Apr 222013
 

thinking_man_ape_wood_3d_sculpture_thinker_think-480x3251. “Pursue love” (1 Corinthians 14:1 ESV) What are you chasing?

2. There can be no “grace” without an “offense”. If you want to grow in grace, then you have to be sinned against early and often. Being offended is either an opportunity to grow in the things of the Lord or an opportunity to exercise the flesh.

3. The Bible is clear that in the church the wheat and the tares grow up together. In the celebrity led churches, the unregenerate will idolize a Christ substitute while the regenerate will be repelled by the same…

4. Today is “Earth Day”…not a high point on the Christian calendar, but it should be.

5. One of the greatest challenges in the history of our nation is being a place where freedom of religion is guaranteed when one of those freely practiced religions wants to destroy you.

6. It’s very difficult to teach the book of 1st Corinthians and not come away with the expectation that there will be manifestations of the Holy Spirit in the assembly…

7. My “vision casting” for our church is that we teach the Scriptures faithfully, receive the sacraments worthily, and grow in grace and love of God toward each other while reaching out with the same. I could have formed a committee to work on that but it only took about 15 seconds…

8. Never commit to writing a weekly column about what you think when you’re in a season where you (metaphorically) can’t find your backside with both hands…

9. Right about now would be a good time to start building up the church instead of always looking for ways to tear it down…Our formerly trusted institutions are increasing anti-Christ and we desperately need places where the believer can be” built up, encouraged, and consoled. ” (1 Cor 14:3)

10. It was interesting to watch the news coverage from the Boston tragedy. With the information explosion it’s now almost impossible to keep track of all the material coming at you from every different source and direction…and the reporters were struggling to do just that. The tool is well on it’s way to becoming the master…

  330 Responses to “Things I Think”

  1. First! 🙂

  2. Excellent Things, Michael 🙂
    Happy Earth Day, beautiful blog family!

  3. Just seeing that name on the page makes me smile…

  4. #6 – I kind of see it the opposite. I see it as these things were happening in Corinth, and Paul tried to calm them down. Point them towards deeper things.

  5. 2. There can be no “grace” without an “offense”. If you want to grow in grace, then you have to be sinned against early and often. Being offended is either an opportunity to grow in the things of the Lord or an opportunity to exercise the flesh.<<<

    OR you (generic "you") can BE the offender who repents. Sometimes we are the victimizer, not the victim. Most of the time, in my case.

  6. 1. Sometimes I wonder. Hard to do that on a continual basis.
    4. Love conservationism, don’t like environmentalism.
    5. Oh so true. I just wish people wouldn’t bury their heads in the sand about who is actually trying to destroy them. I know when they try to kill you in real life you learn real quick.
    7. Vision casting always brings to mind some guy either casting some bones or reading chicken entrails. I hate that term. Like your vision though, Michael. Really I think church growth strategies are the lamest junk I have ever heard. I had to sit through one last year and it was pretty much a bunch of worldly junk. Throw the seed, God will grow it.
    9. I see some flak coming on this one, but I agree.
    10. This has been a horrible week and I hope it has reawakened some to the danger out there. But I hope it isn’t used as an excuse to further restrict freedom or God forbid become another excuse to go to war.

  7. Xenia,

    Agreed…

  8. Xenia’s #5. Too true.

  9. Josh,

    Paul encourages the manifestations…while putting them in order as well.

  10. Derek,

    I don’t see any command to grow numerically…my job is to care for those given and grow up together in Christ.
    I agree with you completely on church growth “strategies”.

  11. Michael, yeah, I agree. At least, he certainly did not condemn the manifestations. Still, it doesn’t say to me “there are things that aren’t happening in your church that should be happening”, rather it says, “there are things that are already happening in your church that are not being done properly.”
    Just my take, but I understand where you are coming from.

  12. Number 7: My “vision casting” for our church is that we teach the Scriptures faithfully, receive the sacraments worthily, and grow in grace and love of God toward each other while reaching out with the same. I could have formed a committee to work on that but it only took about 15 seconds…

    I don’t think I would trust a pastor who didn’t have a “vision” like that!

  13. #5 – No one is completely free to practice religion as he pleases. If a religion becomes synonymous with terrorism (Islam is not), then it is time to ban the practice of that religion.

  14. Well, Josh, what religion IS synonymous with terrorism? When I think of terrorism, I can’t think of any other religion that has been committing the vast majority of terrorist acts that you haven’t already excluded,

    Of course there is some terrorism in Northern Ireland between the Catholics and Protestants.

    I’m not quite sure what your point is.

  15. My point is that there are millions of Muslims who are not terrorists. That is all. However, if a smaller sect was discovered that made bombs as one of its rituals, yes, it should be outlawed.

  16. “The Bible is clear that in the church the wheat and the tares grow up together. In the celebrity led churches, the unregenerate will idolize a Christ substitute while the regenerate will be repelled by the same…”

    All the while the idolaters cite their ever growing numbers as proof positive that they are following God, and He is blessing with bigger numbers. Chalk up another for properity doctrine.

  17. i suppose we could get into an interesting conversation about this, but I don’t want to take away from what Michael has posted here. I love what he is saying here….pursue love and extend grace…I will walk away with that and my day will be better for it.
    Blessings, my friend.

  18. “It’s very difficult to teach the book of 1st Corinthians and not come away with the expectation that there will be manifestations of the Holy Spirit in the assembly…”

    So with all the ODM hating folks out there, is “discernment” ever a manifestation of the Holy Spirit or you only referring to tongues etc..?

  19. Yep, sometimes we brood on the times we were offended and spend very little time thinking about the times we were offensive. I think true repentance comes when we begin to see ourselves as the bad guy in many of the incidences of our lives and not always the victim.

    Of course, sometimes we are genuine victims. That’s when we get to practice forgiveness. Repentance and forgiveness, the twin medicines that cure a sick soul.

  20. ” when we begin to see ourselves as the bad guy ”

    Mmm. Good words Xenia. Very hard for us to do, but essential.

  21. Andrew,

    The only “discernment” I see in the text is the “discerning of spirits” …in the local church.

  22. “Yep, sometimes we brood on the times we were offended and spend very little time thinking about the times we were offensive. I think true repentance comes when we begin to see ourselves as the bad guy in many of the incidences of our lives and not always the victim.

    Of course, sometimes we are genuine victims. That’s when we get to practice forgiveness. Repentance and forgiveness, the twin medicines that cure a sick soul.”

    good word

  23. Michael,

    “The only “discernment” I see in the text is the “discerning of spirits” …in the local church.”

    Define local church

  24. That would be the local assembly you attend.

  25. And I attend multi local assembles. I asked you for a definition not where I go.

  26. Read slowly and try to keep up.
    The local church would be the body of believers you are connected to in the local area.
    Your inability to commit to a church doesn’t change the definition.

  27. “Your inability to commit to a church doesn’t change the definition.”

    I am a member of one local body. But occasionally I go to other assemblies for various reasons. Your insults are not good Michael. I am asking you for a definition of the local church. Do the local church have to have a pastor? Does the local church have to have an elder? We had neither for over a year. The way CC defines church is by the senior pastor and leadership in place. We had none of that. And your pastor is a CC that you said you were under authority by. What kind of authority? Don’t all CC pastors eventually report to Chuck Smith somewhere along the line. Are you telling me you are under Chuck’s authority?

  28. Andrew,

    Does the Bible teach that there are offices in the local church?
    Does the Bible teach that the local church has elders?
    There may be times when both are lost, but the biblical expectation is clear.
    Neither my pastor nor myself is under the authority of Chuck Smith and that was an inane question.

  29. Andrew, come now, be fair. You are just bringing hostility over from the other thread.

    You know, I am still foggy on your whole story. I read a lot of what you wrote today, but it still seems all disjointed. You ought to write a narrative as to who did what when and then present it here on Open Blogging start over and then let people see what happened. Taking your time and writing it out may help you to clarify things for people and give you time to put thought into what you say.

  30. Michael its not an insane question. Many say that CC is like an informal episcopacy. When you said you were under authority of a CC pastor, what do you think I am going to think?

    I would think a stronger biblical expectation is that the entire local assembly is included in such things as church discipline. no?

  31. Andrew,

    I don’t drink enough anymore to try to guess about your thought processes.
    You again move the posts…the biblical expectation is that there will be pastors and elders in the local church.
    The last step in church discipline is to take it to the church.

  32. Derek,

    Fair enough. But I am not going to write a narrative. I’m actually sorry I posted any of my story. Its actually probably too personal but the problem is when people ask me questions I have tried my best to respond. I’m not asking anyone to believe any of my story. It doesn’t matter and I won’t mention a thing about this old pastor ever again. In fact I won’t even ever mention CC again. But when it comes to Jesus and proper doctrine I probably will chime in because this is the stuff that matters. I am a member of a Chinese congregation. I love the Word. I love Jesus Christ and I love the Word of God but not sure I made the right decision joining this blog.

  33. I think you will find that a lot of people on here love Jesus and the Word of God. Sometimes though, and I am bad about this as well, I don’t put as much thought into what I am writing as I should. Slowing down and thinking it through would help me a lot. I do think Josh was right you are holding a lot of baggage from the past. understand that you are feeling the separation from your old church family and it hurts, but sometimes we can’t fix it by talking about it, but by bringing it to God and saying I can’t carry this baggage anymore Lord. The Lord has a really strong arm, he can carry it and will bring it to a better conclusion than we can hope for, though it may not seem that way to us.

  34. #5 – when we invite people to the table to exchange ideas and one of our invitees sets the table on fire and tries to kill table mates, they are uninvited. When any freedom given seeks by that freedom to remove the freedom of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness from another party, we curtail the offender expeditiously. Thomas Jefferson and the Barbary pirates is a very interesting historical study. He was a well read man and had read up on the religion of peace. His response was the Marine Corps.

  35. “It’s very difficult to teach the book of 1st Corinthians and not come away with the expectation that there will be manifestations of the Holy Spirit in the assembly.”

    Awesome. CS says, Go ahead and allow manifestations on Sunday morn if you want to stay small.

  36. pursue love
    practice grace
    evaluate carefully
    respect creation
    guard judiciously
    wait expectantly
    ‘envision’ historically
    write one-handed, grope one-handed 😉
    edify consistently
    sort diligently

    …I think this is what you think.

  37. fil,

    Absolutely. 🙂

  38. Nutshell Filbert.

  39. Great thoughts, Michael.

    I especially liked,

    “If you want to grow in grace, then you have to be sinned against early and often. Being offended is either an opportunity to grow in the things of the Lord or an opportunity to exercise the flesh.”

    Makes me think of how many times I sin first, and seek the growth later….

    Blessings, brother

  40. I think grace is the slipperiest one of the lot and keeps many from pursuing love as their highest priority or edifying others consistently.

  41. Oops, guess I’m outta touch on my emoticons

  42. nomz–that was clever of you. 😉
    PNotez–great to see you.

  43. Hi fil, you, too !

  44. Please Note! Hi 🙂

  45. fil…#42….great point & succinctly put.

  46. Andrew: I’ve read all your comments and I think I’m starting to understand you better.

    I know you don’t want to, but I would recommend that you sit down and ask God what it is he wants you to do with the pain and damage this CC did. Then I’d recommend sitting down and writing your story. You can chose to delete once it’s over, but I know for me personally, writing out what I hated so much about my old church really help me see what was from the enemy and what was just the flesh.

    I’m just talking for myself in my situation, I left my old church with a lot of unresolved issues, but it would have done no good to talk to them. It’s just a horrible church with a horrible vision. I ignored these issues for years but something would not let me forget, would not let it go.

    So I prayed about it, rigorously, for about a week (this was THREE years after I left the church!) and I was led to read other people’s experiences online. I was so touched by their testimonies that I felt I had to write my own personal experience online and share it with the world.

    I guess my point is, there is problems with your old CC and people should know about it. But you got to present it as someone who has gone through the system and saw its corruption. You need to distinctly tell people what your problem is with that church. Then if people still decide to attend, at least they won’t do it blindly, but they will know what to expect.

    Get ready for a lot of hate mail. Get ready for a lot of thank yous (what is the plural for thank you?)

    I DISAGREE with a lot of PxPs suggestions to just let it go (sorry, just imo, not looking for a fight). That’s what I get so angry with Steve Wright about. There are issues within the church that just get ignored, mostly because the sheep are not more important than the “vision” of the church. Or people are just cowards. They don’t want to face the issues (the white elephants) that are in the room.

    People should be informed of what’s happening at their church and own it as much as the Pastor or the leadership. It’s very easy to get swindled at a church. The only thing I can do is warn people of the tactics churches use to swindle them.

  47. It’s difficult to read 1 Cor 14 and get the idea that church gatherings are meant to have one person doing most of the talking.

  48. #3 is very well put

    To this day, I still search for a local body where the pastor is not elevated. I do not think you can stop that completely…people are going to worship who they want to worship…but I have yet to find a local pastor that does not celebrate their ‘own’ celebrity.

    Unfortunately, I live in orange county, CA…so I am surrounded by the “big wigs” (Smith, Laurie, Warren, etc.).

    Still praying, still seeking, content in Christ & His Word while searching.

  49. As for your story, I see merit in reporting a church that will not sit down with someone one-on-one and try to resolve their issues. So.. yes… I do believe your CC was problematic and if I was looking for a new church, I would want to know that it was a CC that did not emphasize the individual and their needs.

    In summary, isn’t this the true problem with that church? (honestly, it’s the problem with A LOT of churches) Was the theology really the issue or the fact that you held such little importance there?

    And I’d want to know if the CC Movement, nationally, honored a previous CC’s discipline. For example, does my posting on PxP disqualify me from attending a CC? I’d name names and churches.

    As long as your report the truth, you can say whatever you want. You don’t have a responsibility to cover for the Pastor. If he’s acting like a dingleberry, people should know about it. If this regional CC Pastor honored this previous CC’s decision, he should be held accountable and others should ask if he does that to EVERYONE, not the lone rogue he doesn’t like.

  50. “It’s difficult to read 1 Cor 14 and get the idea that church gatherings are meant to have one person doing most of the talking.”

    Some people love to hear themselves talk

  51. The manifestation of the Spirit is a MARK of a true church but your #1 is the MARK OF a true believer.

  52. @ 50, Crowned1

    Re:”To this day, I still search for a local body where the pastor is not elevated. Unfortunately, I live in orange county, CA…”

    I too live in the OC. I go to an EV Free church with no pastor but is led by a team of elders, therefore there is no one to be elevated.

    everstudy

  53. Kathy,
    Thank you for your kind words. I honestly accept most peoples suggestions here. Regarding theology or whether I held such little importance is somewhat related. I think its a combination of both but you are probably right maybe it was more that I had such little importance particularly being a single man with no kids or family living with a gay man. I have since married, have a wonderful wife, in laws and a great church. So thanks again for your kind words and I will remember you and your suggestions.

  54. “I too live in the OC. I go to an EV Free church with no pastor but is led by a team of elders, therefore there is no one to be elevated.”

    I really liked the EV church I went to before I moved. As long as the elders aren’t elevated above the congregation, it sounds great.

  55. I DISAGREE with a lot of PxPs suggestions to just let it go (sorry, just imo, not looking for a fight). That’s what I get so angry with Steve Wright about
    ——————————————
    Hi Kathy,

    I’m not looking for a fight either. I don’t recall ever telling someone to “just let it go” – Yeah, I read that a lot too, even here at PhxP

    I have told people to make a choice to pray a prayer of forgiveness and blessing upon their enemies.

    I understand disagreements, but if I truly make you angry, maybe we should converse offblog…how about emailing?

  56. kathy,

    Thanks again for your support. I think you and me probably have more in common than Steve W. I wouldn’t waste your time with him but its your call.

  57. 1. Even our “enemies”? Why does God send His enemies to hell then? If the Hyper-Calvinist position is truth, then why would God send folks to hell who He didn’t choose to give Grace to? Seems the opposite of pursuing love.

    2. Very similar to Yin and Yang philosophy, a Chinese philosophical concept that predated Christianity (ironically) and the NT.

    3. Dunno about this one. The teaching is a metaphor, the conclusion you assert isn’t provable.

    5. Profile and notify the Local Authorities when someone gets on the radar, like these guys did. The Locals will be much more motivated to watch their every move and would’ve prevented the recent tragedy.

    6. One of the biggest facts that seems to speak against the bible is that we don’t see real supernatural miracles today, like we see in the bible OT and NT.

    7. Seems a good strategy.

    8. Hang in there. Life sucks, but you’ll be dead before you know it, then you either cease to exist or you’ll probably be in heaven. Doubtful you’re going to hell, if such a place exists.

    9. If the bible is true, then the real church is not the church we see as the institutions some rail against.

    10. We’re an Information Society, yet there are parts of the world that don’t hear the Gospel and don’t know we even exist….yet it id assumed that a “correct understanding” of the correct Jesus and correct Gospel is required for Salvation…which begs the question: Does God send folks to hell who never hear? If not, then and understanding of the “correct Jesus” and the “correct Gospel” and correct doctrine is not necessary for saving Faith. If so, then folks go to hell with no chance at Salvation having never heard, having no choice.

    Either way you slice this factual reality…it cuts a huge hole in the vast majority of Evangelicalisms apologetic.

    …cue the “well God appears to them somehow and they have a choice” defense. You really think Jesus appeared/appears to every native, aborigine, Amazon indian, etc throughout human history and shares the western Gospel with them replete with the core essentials of the creeds and confessions? LOL, not a chance. You have to assume God gives many no chance at Salvation or that a “correct understanding” of Jesus and doctrine and core essentials is not required for saving Faith, just some sort of mystical acknowledgment of God (in whatever form that takes on for the native).

  58. If the aborigine, native, Amazon indian who never heard/hears the Gospel can still be saved due to some sort of mystical belief in God due to the assumed revelation by creation etc, then the Mormons and any folks who have a belief in God, even unorthodox, could have the same saving Faith.

    If not, then one assumes a Fatalist position, where God has picked winners and losers as evidenced by the fact that many throughout human history never heard/never hear and orthodox “Christian” Gospel and Jesus.

  59. Steve: you make me as angry as Piers Morgan. No need to take it offline.

    Actually, you have a very good reputation in real life. The only complaints I have of you are here and I’ve been very vocal about them.

    🙂

  60. Andrew: you’re welcome!

    I hope this makes up for calling you a troll. 😀

    We’re here to encourage. I hope you find peace whatever you choose to do.

  61. Steve: you make me as angry as Piers Morgan
    ————————————
    Common Ground!!

    See..we’re making progress, Kathy. 🙂

  62. Nomans, Please Note, Everstudy…like old home week!

  63. Good to see PN back among us…

  64. CK,

    “Old blog” week…I miss those folks.

  65. Comments 64-66 need a “like” button. 🙂

  66. 9. Right about now would be a good time to start building up the church instead of always looking for ways to tear it down…Our formerly trusted institutions are increasing anti-Christ and we desperately need places where the believer can be” built up, encouraged, and consoled. ” (1 Cor 14:3)

    This is something that has bothered me for many years. I heard the typical CC stuff back in the day and couldn’t understand why. Sadly I never said anything.

    What I have trouble with are unrelenting attacks on all things evangelical. At times it seems people speak of evangelicals as if they are a cult. I understand there has been poor representation of evangelicals by many but it would be nice to read more of the positive things going on in those circles.

    People for the most part get along here but it would be easy to start picking at each others denominations re beliefs specific to them. We’ll spend eternity with scores of evangelicals so it makes sense to me for the rest of the body to embrace evangelicals as they do other parts of the church.

    I’ve found spending time with people from “other tribes” has always been a good experience as we seek to honor God through words and deeds.

  67. “Right about now would be a good time to start building up the church instead of always looking for ways to tear it down”

    Very misunderstood passage/statement/principle, IMO.

    How does one “build up the church”?

  68. We build up the church by reminding ourselves from the Scriptures of the Gospel and the goodness of God.
    We build up the church by choosing to pursue love in our relationships both vertically and horizontally.
    We build up the church when we take time to recognize the whole family of God and act as if they’re family indeed.
    We build up the church when we focus on the work of God in our lives instead of the work of the enemy among us and in the world.
    We build up the church when we encourage ourselves both from the Word and through our deeds.

    We need to do more of all of the above…

  69. Michael, that is absolutely awesome!
    If I could applaud right now I would (I’m recording a lecture)

  70. G,
    Thank you, sir. 🙂

  71. #70 You can say that again. In fact, here, I’ll do it for you:

    “We build up the church by reminding ourselves from the Scriptures of the Gospel and the goodness of God.
    We build up the church by choosing to pursue love in our relationships both vertically and horizontally.
    We build up the church when we take time to recognize the whole family of God and act as if they’re family indeed.
    We build up the church when we focus on the work of God in our lives instead of the work of the enemy among us and in the world.
    We build up the church when we encourage ourselves both from the Word and through our deeds.

    We need to do more of all of the above…”

  72. CK,

    And we…I…need to be more intentional about how we speak of the Bride…

  73. Michael,
    As an outsider to conservative protestant Christianity, I must say that I’m pleasantly surprised that you acknowledge Earth Day as something worthwhile. The usual caricature of Bible believing Christians whose only concern is to get as many as possible “saved” and “raptured” out of here, and to hell with this world, is turned on its head. Kudos to you sir.

  74. Thank you, for stopping by, Muff.
    I hope that particular theology gets turned on its head early and often. 🙂

  75. I have a long way to go when it comes to that theology. Whenever stewardship of the earth gets brought up in my circles, which is once in a blue moon, it’s usually of the “It’s all gonna burn” variety. When it’s brought up in a positive light, my usual first thought is “Liberal.” Change isn’t easy. Just being honest.

  76. “There can be no “grace” without an “offense”. If you want to grow in grace, then you have to be sinned against early and often. Being offended is either an opportunity to grow in the things of the Lord or an opportunity to exercise the flesh.”

    This struck me like the old Hai Karate after shave commercial. SLAP…”Thanks, I needed that.”

  77. CK,

    I AM a liberal! 😉

    However, I’m very conservative theologically…and I think good, biblical theology is a theology that cares for the earth as part of God’s good creation.

  78. “It’s very difficult to teach the book of 1st Corinthians and not come away with the expectation that there will be manifestations of the Holy Spirit in the assembly…”

    Our great celebrity preachers make these manifestations unnecessary.

  79. “I AM a liberal!”

    Yes, I’m aware of that. But I love you anyway. 😉

  80. Sorry, I just can’t get into Earth Day. They made bad predictions when it started in 1970 that sound like the same thing they say now.
    http://www.ihatethemedia.com/earth-day-predictions-of-1970-the-reason-you-should-not-believe-earth-day-predictions-of-2009
    Not saying to be a bad steward, just skeptical of most of what comes out of the mouths of the modern day earth prophets.

  81. Hoping that “Vision Casting” is a fast-fading fad. Your #7 is right on. At first, I was thinking there needed to be something about worshipping or glorifying the Lord in there. But then I thought that teaching the scriptures faithfully would naturally lead to that (theology to doxology), and all the things you mention are worshipful.

  82. Captain Kevin,
    I would love to hear a conversation between you, Steve W and Xthian in a rowboat. Come to think of it I would also love to hear a conversation between Alex, Andrew and mr tundra.

    Just thinking out loud…

  83. David, there wouldn’t any room for conversation. As the captain, I would be loudly yelling, “Row…Row…Row…Row!”

  84. Rub-a-dub dub, three men in a tub.
    And who do you think they were?
    The Tundra, the thundra, the newbie trod undra,
    they all went to sea in a tub. 😉

  85. Who is Xthian? Is it Xenia, myself, or someone else?

  86. fil and the CK are on a roll 🙂

  87. delurking

    http://youtu.be/rztYMMhMT2Y

    I found this very touching, I have sort of lived this type of life without the adoption and having a wife. I wont go into what I have been called by fellow Christians for have lived this type of life. It hurt real deep, real deep. I count that another of my many weaknesses.

  88. Fil’s 86. LOL!!!

  89. Michael @ 31
    “The last step in church discipline is to take it to the church”

    Not really.
    Actually you are talking about the Matt 18 process and only the last part is “church discipline”. When Steve W says only 50 percent stay around by the time it gets to take to the church part, he probably means they are not willing to stay around to get arrested since they have already been put under church discipline without ever taking it to the church part.

  90. Here’s the deal: Church discipline in modern America is impossible. The culture difference is too great to pull out church discipline as the one aspect of the early church that we hold onto, while letting go of so many other aspects.

    Any church that could effectively use church discipline in our culture, we would call a cult. Any other church who tries to use church discipline is gonna get it wrong.

    So what do you do when there is a disruptive force in your congregation? Tough to answer, really.

  91. “So what do you do when there is a disruptive force in your congregation? Tough to answer, really.”

    If you have a membership, they have already agreed to discipline.

    This isn’t so tough – if someone is disruptive beyond the church being able to handle it – for the peace and safety of others, you call the cops!

  92. And that wasn’t directed toward Andrew, just anyone in general. How do you practice church discipline when there are 200 churches in the same small town?

  93. @ 93 – Well, I don’t see that answer in scripture, but sure, it works. I guess.

  94. “If you have a membership, they have already agreed to discipline.”

    AS long as it doesn’t apply to them. You’ve heard all the stories, MLD. Nobody did anything wrong. Church discipline is dead. Its a product of our culture.

  95. “Here’s the deal: Church discipline in modern America is impossible.:

    i disagree. Its not the culture that is the problem here, it is the American church. With no membership its impossible which is why I advocate membership.

  96. Josh,

    I believe I have told this story once or twice before on this board when the subject of church discipline was being discussed. Nonetheless, to recall it one more time, I saw an incidence of church discipline conducted at the church I previously attended before my current one. It involved a married man who was caught in an affair and refused to give up the affair. I do not know how all the beginning steps played out, but in the end, it was announced before the church body that man was being placed under church discipline which meant he was not be accepted back into the church body until he repented of his sin. There had been several steps of private meetings conducted by the elders before it came to this point. The man was a member and had been active in the church. His wife and children were still attending the church.

    Now, does this mean that this man could not have started attending some other church fellowship unbeknownst to the leadership of the church that had placed him under discipline? Sure, that could happen. If the leadership would find out about it, I’m sure they would inform the new church fellowship. I don’t think they went to the extent to send out a notice to every possible neighboring church informing them that this particular man was under discipline. But at the very least, the church certainly appeared to conduct proper church discipline in as much as is realistically possible in our current culture.

  97. “This isn’t so tough – if someone is disruptive beyond the church being able to handle it – for the peace and safety of others, you call the cops!”

    For the most part I agree with you MLD. In my situation I was never once disruptive in any church service. Not at all. I sent a few emails, that was it but never raised my voice, made any gestures or spoke bad about anyone in church at all. Just wanted to state that for the record.

  98. Most churches have membership. Calvary Chapel is a tiny blip. With free-market religion, if I discipline you, you just join the church next door. Its impossible.

  99. If a church is unable to exercise church discipline biblically, is it appropriate to call it a church? Just asking not looking to start a fight. This goes back to my question of Michael what is the local church?

  100. @ 98 – Yes, I agree the church should carry on in that manner. However, there are no teeth in the discipline. I don’t think we shouldn’t try to carry on in a biblical manner. Just know that the culture has changed to the point to make it almost impossible.

  101. It depends on what you consider church discipline. In the Lutheran church, if we excommunicate, it’s not necessarily to kick them out. It is to withhold the Supper from them until the come to their senses.

    But if they do leave, we still enforce what Andrew was crying about – if someone wants to join a new Lutheran church, they must transfer their membership. I guess they could say they are coming from a CC and start the catechism all over again – but I don’t see rogues doing that.

  102. “I don’t think we shouldn’t try to carry on in a biblical manner”

    Disagree, we should always carry on in a biblical manner. This is God’s design not based on culture.

  103. @ 101 – Yes. Still a part of The Church. Local assembly, or fellowship, or congregation may be more accurate, but we know that when we say Church in that context we are talking about a local fellowship.

    A local church is a gathering of believers for the purpose of worship. That is still possible without exercising discipline.

  104. In CC I am not sure what church discipline means. But don’t care anymore.

  105. @ 104 – I used a double negative. I agree with you. Obviously, we SHOULD try to carry on in a biblical manner.

  106. I just did an internet search for the man who was disciplined as I had left that chruch not too long after the discipline occurred and I have not heard anything about him since. It appears that not too long after the discipline he moved to Hong Kong for business and is still in Asia. I doubt the church tried to reach out to all the churches in Hong Kong to let them know of the man. 😉

  107. The lack of church discipline is the fruit of most Americans’ life verse, to wit, “Aint’ nobody gonna tell me what to do.” Very few Americans are willing to submit to church leadership and if one does, they are labeled “sheeple,” etc. Churches that attempt to exercise discipline are labeled cults, just as Josh said. Giving oneself over to the authority of a church is just not something most Americans are willing to do and the fruit of this is no effective church discipline. How many of the so-called “abuse” cases we hear about on the PhxP are the result of a church trying to exercise some kind of discipline?

    You can’t have it both ways. You can’t have effective, biblical church discipline on one hand and scream Abuse! when it’s applied on the other hand. At the very least, you need to hear both sides of the story, which you never will, because most pastors are good men who don’t publish their side of the story, at least not on stranger’s blog.

    (Pardon my typical broad-brushing but you all know exactly what I’m talking about.)

  108. Now obviously with the case of that man, there probably is nothing further the local church can do to effect discipline. However, the hope would be that just having put the man through the proper biblical church discipline process will in one way or another will have a lasting and reparative effect that will help lead to the man eventually repenting.

    Just for example, we can see the lasting effect that church discipline (that appears to have not been carried out properly) has had on Andrew. The hope would be if the discipline is carried out properly and justifiably, that lasting effect would be positive in the end.

  109. I believe that Xenia speaks much wisdom in this discussion.

  110. I know of a situation where there was adultery with a church leader. The pastor, quietly had him step down from leadership. The man went around to his friends saying he was made to resign for bogus reasons. The pastor never spoke out publicly as to why he made him the elder resign. The reason he never made it public was to protect the children of both families involved in the adulterous affair. He decided that he would rather take the heat than have the children in those 2 families suffer publicly.
    He took a lot of heat from it, but he loved those kids more than his reputation. He is a true pastor, in my opinion.

  111. Michael,

    Your characterization of yourself as liberal and conservative theologically reminds me much of what John Stott wrote. He said we should be radical conservatives — conservative with our approach to revelation but radical in everything else. Sounds like what you wrote!

    http://sojo.net/blogs/2011/07/28/conservative-radical-article-john-stott

  112. Xenia
    “At the very least, you need to hear both sides of the story, which you never will, because most pastors are good men who don’t publish their side of the story, at least not on stranger’s blog.”

    I think your demonstrating a flawed understanding of church discipline. Matt 18 talks nothing about the pastor. Where do people get this idea that pastor is the one that administers church discipline? And what about when the pastor himself needs to be put under discipline. I think this is very important.

  113. Xenia’s 109 is right on.

  114. Matt 18 is not talking about church discipline. The church was not around at that point. Matt 18 is about conflict resolution.

  115. Matt 18 is not talking about church discipline. The church was not around at that point. It is talking about conflict resolution.

  116. Josh,
    You are right on. Only the very last part of Matt 18 is about church discipline. My point exactly that I mentioned to Michael’s 31

  117. “If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church.”

    So the church did exist then.

  118. I still worded that incorrectly.

    The church as we know it was not around at the time Matt 18 was given. Pastors, elders, etc, would not have been established.

  119. “1. Even our “enemies”? Why does God send His enemies to hell then? If the Hyper-Calvinist position is truth, then why would God send folks to hell who He didn’t choose to give Grace to? Seems the opposite of pursuing love.”

    That’s because the Hyper Calvinist position is absolute hogwash. God desires all to be saved but people like the Pharisees can reject God’s will for their lives.

  120. No one one can pluck us out of his hand but we can jump out of that hand if we choose to do that. We have a thing called Freewill

  121. Josh

    Matt 18 is a Hebrew way of solving problems. If you read the OT you will find that all issues, if brought before the elders of the community. require two or more witnesses. What Matt 18 is demonstrating is an application of the Torah teachings in a very normal Hebrew community. Nothing new or special there at all.

    Now you mention the “church” didn’t exist in Matt 18 so I have to assume you mean the “church” which began a the day of Pentecost? If this is correct then your statement is correct, but if the rule of Torah mentioned in Matt 18 refers to the whole Hebrew community from which the followers of the risen Messiah Jesus extended from, then your are incorrect in your statement.

    Just saying…

    Application is everything.

  122. Actually…
    “Hyper-Calvinism” is a theological term that refers to an aberrant branch of Calvinism that denies the free offer of the Gospel.
    There are about 13 of those people left…
    I don’t see “free will” anywhere in the Scriptures past the Fall.

  123. Andrew, when it comes to this topic do you see a difference between someone who is living in sin, versus someone who is just a distraction to the worshipers gathered together.

    Example – Someone who has attended the church for a couple weeks shows up one Sunday on the patio and starts trying to sell tickets to their kids school fundraiser to those who are arriving to worship God.

    It’s not a sin in the sight of God to sell tickets to raise money…but it is not the time or the place in this instance.

    Is there a distinction in your eyes?

  124. I have more of a Johnathan Edwards understanding of free will. We have a free will and that is to sin.

  125. Bob – Re: Matt: 18 :

    If our application of the text is discipline within a local Christian Congregation, those did not exist at that time. Like you said, this is a method for problem solving.

    Now, the text is still relevant to conflict resolution within the Christian church, that’s just not explicitly what the text is about.

  126. Josh (and Bob) and yet, we have First Cor 5 which definitely is in a NT church context where Paul sure seems to skip those steps of Jesus and goes straight to the excommunication.

  127. Exactly Steve. My point is that those who claim Matt18 as the written rule for church discipline are applying the text incorrectly.

  128. And as I have said before, a key to that passage is the conclusion where we have permission to treat that person as an unbeliever.

    Maybe they are still saved and just really hardened in sin..but we can’t know that.

    But the Lord says after taking those steps on conflict resolution, if there is still no repentance, then you are free in the Lord’s eyes to treat the person as an unbeliever.

    Which is different from someone who is a distraction or problem to the flock…someone who is a little leaven that will leaven the whole loaf.

    And the overseers certainly have an obligation to the Lord to oversee the flock. Hence the term “overseer”

  129. By “that passage” I of course meant the Matthew verses…as I’m sure you knew, Josh.

    Jesus says to us that person is as an unbeliever after all the steps of resolution are exhausted.

  130. “Josh (and Bob) and yet, we have First Cor 5 which definitely is in a NT church context where Paul sure seems to skip those steps of Jesus and goes straight to the excommunication.”

    Yep, and Paul was an apostle unlike these modern pastors. This is why I use the Word of God (Bible) as my authority and not a pastor. I respect my pastors, elders, leaders, etc… but just don’t treat them as having authority in matters of church discipline.

  131. So, Andrew, which part of the Bible do you use for Church Discipline. That is not what Matt18 is about.

  132. Andrew, I am the first to say on here quite loudly that there are no modern apostles in the NT sense. However, Paul’s rebuke was to that church for not already kicking the guy out – the rebuke was not because they did not practice Matthew conflict resolution.

  133. “Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.”
    (Hebrews 13:17 ESV)

  134. Michael,
    Hebrews 13:17. I think Spiritualsoundingboard.com has some great insights onto this verse.
    Often quoted in CC more than any other verse I can think of. Just saying….

  135. Have to run now.

    I have a question at 127 (and to a degree 132) about distractions versus sin.

    Would be curious on some response. Especially from Andrew….

  136. “I respect my pastors, elders, leaders, etc… but just don’t treat them as having authority in matters of church discipline.”

    Gotta ask…then who does?

  137. Josh I do think both the Matt 18 and 1 Corinth verses are very applicable. My only point is that pastors are not the ones holding the keys to this authority. It appears the congregation as a whole does as long as they submit to the Bible. That is all I am saying.

  138. Andrew,

    The verse is clear.
    It does not mention CC.

  139. IF you went to a church with congregational polity, that is basically what you’d get. The SBC awaits, my friend! 🙂

  140. Derek,
    Church discipline appears both in in Matt 18 and 1 Corith and seems in both cases that it involves the congregation as a whole to be part of it. It is never a pastor vs. a congregant thing. Never that I can see.

  141. Andrew your #141 answered my question. I will say this about that. I come from congregational churches, just because it is done democratically does not guarantee a just or fair outcome. I have seen and heard of churches torn apart from things like that. Congregations can collectively make the same dumb mistakes that a few leaders or individuals can do. Just look at the dumb choices that the American public makes a lot of times when given their way.

  142. I don’t believe in a congregational polity. I believe in a mixed polity somewhere between congregational and Presbyterian polity which to me seems to fit the Biblical model best.

  143. Don’t get me wrong though. I prefer congregational.

  144. @ 146 – Then the Presbyters will have the “power”. Just enjoy it, if that’s what you choose.

  145. Andrew,

    What you’re doing is what happens here constantly.
    You take your bad experience and apply it across the board and end up as unbiblical as the people who hurt you.
    I’m the pastor of a local church…and when the Scriptures say that I will give an account for those in the church I take that very seriously.
    It doesn’t say the congregation will give an account for my responsibilities.

  146. Nothing Biblical with what I wrote. You quote a verse about submission to leadership but never quote a single verse about submitting to each other. Ephesians 5:21. You are irresponsible with that.

  147. “I’m the pastor of a local church…and when the Scriptures say that I will give an account for those in the church I take that very seriously.”

    Scripture verse please.

  148. Andrew,
    I don’t think anyone on here would think that Michael is just one to tell people to blindly submit to leadership at all times.

  149. Derek,

    Michael quoted this Hebrews verse. Then states I am unbiblical. I see how this works now. Pastor is right. unknown blogger is wrong. Anyway, it is what it is.

  150. Andrew,
    The verse he previously submitted Heb 13:17 answers your #151.

  151. As for the unbiblical part, Dude which of us is biblical all the time, but Christ? I know I am not.

  152. Regarding Michael’s #9…here’s a piece by a secular anthropologist on the good that church attendance does.

    “The benefits of church”

    “One of the most striking scientific discoveries about religion in recent years is that going to church weekly is good for you. Religious attendance — at least, religiosity — boosts the immune system and decreases blood pressure. It may add as much as two to three years to your life.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/21/opinion/sunday/luhrmann-why-going-to-church-is-good-for-you.html?src=rechp&_r=0

  153. Andrew,

    The passage I quoted answers your question.
    You were talking specifically about leadership and I was speaking directly to that.

    I am not the “pastor” here…I am one of the community.
    If I’m “right” it’s because I’ve exegeted the verse properly.

    Obviously, you have the opportunity to disagree…I’m asking you to do so biblically.

  154. I think Andrew pretty much exemplies “Ain’t nobody gonna tell me what to do.”

    Nothing against Andrew as a person (God bless you!) but is this lone wolf, personal freedom at all cost really a Christian attitude?

  155. “I think Andrew pretty much exemplies “Ain’t nobody gonna tell me what to do.”

    Wow, if that is what you think you are 100% wrong. I want to submit to my leaders. I want to submit to my wife. Unbelievable you think this. Read Ephesian 5. Submit to one another and not just to leaders. And leaders submit to the flock. Please read your bibles before people accuse me of being un-biblical.

  156. Andrew,

    Leaders have a whole different set of biblical requirements and responsibilities.
    We are held to a higher standard and will be judged by a higher standard.

    The fact that some leaders are going to face a stern judgment because of their actions does not mean that we are to no longer have leadership that is different in some respects from the laity.

  157. ” I want to submit to my leaders.”

    Then do it. What’s the issue.

    I’m thinking through Michael’s 160. “Leadership different from laity”…at first thought doesn’t sit right. I’m big on the priesthood of believers (as I’ve said a billion times 🙂 )

    I know there are elders and teachers and such, but I’m thinking its more of a differing function than “position”.

  158. Josh,

    I’m big on the priesthood of all believers as well…but there are “offices” that carry different qualifications and responsibilities than those of the general laity.

  159. Michael says:
    ” I will give an account for those in the church”

    Hebrews says:
    “as those who will have to give an account”

    Do you see the difference here? Michael is coming across like he is somehow accountable for the actions of those in his church. But I don’t think that is what Hebrews is saying. Everybody is accountable for their own actions. Yes, Leaders/teachers will be held to a stricter standard but they are not really responsible for someone else. Each person must give an account. If Michael is very concerned about teaching properly the full counsel of God, he should look at the broader teaching of submitting to one another instead of using an isolated verse to justify a lopsided view of Christian submission.

  160. I understand your take, but I also think that’s what gets us to “The God of the Mundane” mindset. I realize there are different functions that must be performed in the body, but we are all called to be Holy. We will all be responsible for our lives. Know what I mean?

  161. “If Michael is very concerned about teaching properly the full counsel of God, ”

    Why should he be, if he will not be held accountable for those he teaches?

  162. Andrew,

    You are twisting my words again and I don’t appreciate it.
    I was speaking to submission to leadership, not giving a general teaching on the whole topic.
    I do believe that according to that verse I will be held responsible for how I taught and guided the fellowship in spiritual matters, not for their decisions.

  163. Josh,

    The fact that a teaching has been abused, does not make it invalid.

  164. “I have a question at 127 (and to a degree 132) about distractions versus sin.”

    Well I think this probably goes to the intent of ones heart. We are to bare with one another. A pastor may view one of his sheep as a distraction and would rather stonewall than sit and talk. In this case the pastor may be sinning. So maybe the pastor is not submitting to the sheep either. Can go either way I suppose.

  165. “I was speaking to submission to leadership, not giving a general teaching on the whole topic.”

    yeah, but I was speaking about the broader concept of submission to one another. You started first by calling me unbiblical.

  166. @ 167 – No doubt, and I don’t dispute the different functions, but what’s a higher qualification than holiness?

    I see this more from the pastor’s side. I think these lists of qualifications are abused. Everything in the list from 1st Tim is required from all believers, not just elders (or deacons). The list was written to a pastor to check himself, not to a congregation to check their pastor. I think it makes for a hypocritical laity, more than an abusive pastorate, to put dividers in place that don’t have to be there.

  167. Andrew,

    I’m done.
    You’re placing yourself beyond either correction or dialog.

  168. Michael,

    I love you man. However, you have such a hard time with me but you allow Alex to rant on and on and on bordering on craziness and you yourself will not dare be challenged with a bible verse. Its telling for sure.

  169. ” Alex to rant on and on and on bordering on craziness”

    Careful there, friend.

  170. everstudy @ 54

    Thank you for the reference brother. I may have to check out your assembly.

    I will be honest that I am weary of pre-trib assemblies as I do not believe the rapture to be sound doctrine. But mostly, I am looking for assemblies that read the Word of God verbatim and have very minimal topical sermons.

    Thanks again & God bless.

  171. Andrew,

    What bible verse was I “challenged” with?

  172. Ephesian 5:21
    Really don’t see to much submission from you to me. That is all I am saying.

  173. How do you submit to someone on a blog?

  174. “Leaders have a whole different set of biblical requirements and responsibilities.
    We are held to a higher standard and will be judged by a higher standard.”

    I am a leader Michael.

  175. Andrew,

    I’m not going to “submit” to bad exegesis and false accusations.
    If this is your normal method of dialog it casts some light on why you have had issues elsewhere.

  176. Guys, we are on a blog. Not a local church.

  177. Andrew,

    That’s great.
    I’m Batman.

  178. No one is asking you to submit to bad exegesis. It says submit to one another. And you accuse me of bad exegesis but just quote submit to your leaders. I am a leader Michael.

  179. Thats what I thought Michael. I don’t believe you are a pastor. Your batman.

  180. we will submit when we respect the person or we respect their position. If neither is true, we will not yield to him/her/them. Instead of worrying about another, whom we have no control over (and often, they have none over themselves) we must focus on being respectable individuals that others might find worthy of submission. I can’t point my finger at another and demand submission…except for my dog…and he doesn’t always respond. 😉 A lot of men have this issue when they wonder why their wives aren’t ‘submissive.’

  181. Andrew. stop being silly. We are on a blog, owned by Michael. I don’t know how someone would go about the biblical act of submitting on a blog…but Michael isn’t the pastor of this blog, he’s the creator.

    It’s a bad analogy for you, and a silly demand.

  182. Filbertz @ 184 is right. Forced submission is an ugly, ugly thing.

  183. “A lot of men have this issue when they wonder why their wives aren’t ‘submissive.’”

    BINGO. That is why I submit to my wife and we have a blessed marriage.

  184. roll over…play dead…sit…speak…

    OK, eat. 🙂

  185. Seriously,
    If guys would only take Eph. 5:21 very seriously you could have a very beautiful marriage. I can testify to that. Very very important.

  186. What I’m getting at is men are directed to love their wives. Women are directed to submit to their husbands. I can’t demand submission from my wife, but I can choose to love her. Her response is beyond my control. On the other hand, many controlling, manipulative, and abusive men demand submission from their wife without fulfilling their obligation to love. That is the picture I meant to create.

  187. Filbertz,

    yes, I agree and we are also to SUBMIT to our wives. Makes all the difference in the wold. Trust me on that. It really does. Eph. 5:21.

  188. Josh, I would conclude that ‘forced submission’ is a misnomer, not submission at all. Instead, it is bullying or control, like making someone say “uncle.” I agree, total ugliness. Yet, some Christians play by those rules.

  189. capital letters makes the word submit look like a club. 😉

  190. so, Andrew, how does it look outside a marriage when we are to practice ‘mutual submission’ toward one another. I think it has to do with an attitude of humility, considering another as more important than oneself. Your take?

  191. …which is why servant leadership is so rare…

  192. …and conflict so common…

  193. Filbertz,

    You 194 is spot on. Its considering others more important than ourselves. It is exactly what Christ did for us.

  194. woooohooooo…filled up the recent comments box!!!

    I’m so shallow. 🙂

  195. Andrew, I have witnessed over the past 4 days how many here have shown you incredible grace. A few days ago we urged you to fill in some of the holes in your testimony with regards to why you hate CC. We have watched as Michael and Josh as well as Xenia, MLD, Kathy and Steve reach out to you even when you have been rude. It would serve you well to take a position of believing the words of those who serve as leaders and those who show you kindness and quit looking for fault in those who seem to be reaching out to you. It is truly painful to watch you set your traps when you have been blessed with an opportunity to learn like the rest of us.

  196. “servant leadership” is a fabricated term that the seeker sensitive movement invented. Its not in the Bible.

  197. Covered, I don’t hate CC. I believe their are serious problems there but I am not talking at all about that now. We are talking about marriage in the home now.

  198. Phil 2 verses 3-5 are some great words to live by. I believe that the only way to “work out our own salvation with fear and trembling” happens only with humility. Just my .02 on submitting.

    fil, you have said great things today. thank you.

  199. Servant leadership is a biblical concept whether the term is in the book or not.
    Jesus must have been the first seeker sensitive pastor…”The greatest among you will be the servant of all”.

  200. covered. Just curious what exactly I said that was so painful for you? Fil and I were in agreement on so much and you say he/she has great things to say but you just give me this awful post about me. I don’t get it. Probably never will. It is what it is I guess.

  201. Michael,
    I hate the term “servant leader” because it implies we are to serve the leader although no one will say that I have witnessed that happen to others. A true servant will never force is leadership on anyone. And Michael you are using bad exegesis with the verse “The greatest among you will be the servant of all”. This is referring to being a servant not being a leader.

  202. (No comments on my church distraction question still?. OK)

    True life example that happened a few years ago.

    Young girl showed up for literally two services. On the 2nd service, she sat in the front row – well, sat is not really true, she stood while others sat during the singing. Even when we were done and I was about to speak (and by the way, this was during communion on top of it all) I actually for the only time ever in ministry had to say “let’s be seated” Front row center. Nobody asked her to sit down or anything. That’s not how we do things first time.

    After service she asked about singing with the praise team. I said “Well, first we do ask that people just come and worship here for six months before serving anywhere” – Her response was “I don’t think Jesus would do it that way”

    I remained respectful and said with a smile and kindness that it is really for both her best interest and ours, to really get to know each other better – so she feels strongly that this is her church home, and we know her a little too before putting her in a place of responsibility. I also said this is a policy we have had for years and has shown itself valuable over time. (This is one of those times when a lengthy membership process would serve valuable 🙂 )

    She proceeded to go into the womens bathroom and cause a huge scene, crying and wailing – finally a couple sisters were able to talk her out and she left – never to return.

    In contrast, I have had several new people to the church come up after a few weeks and ask about serving, I mention the 6-month policy and they totally agree, understand and say “Ok, we’ll talk in 6 months. We sure love it here”

    I’m sure to the girl, I was nothing but a dictator who was not like Jesus and our church is horrible (and who knows if she has a blog).

    But to the flock, I was an overseer. Not just plugging people in who show up, want the biggest spotlight there is, and throw a tantrum when they don’t get their way.

    I stayed kind and gracious to her, but I certainly did not change a good policy for her exception.

    Submit to overseers, because they are responsible for the souls of the church. (in action)

  203. “Andrew on April 23, 2013 at 1:19 pm
    “servant leadership” is a fabricated term that the seeker sensitive movement invented. Its not in the Bible.”

    Andrew,
    There is a universe of things that are not “in the bible”. Your telephone, your eyeglasses, your computer, none are “in the bible”, so consider a thing on its merits, not whether it’s in your book

  204. Steve, I already answered you at 168.

  205. Actually, the “Bible” is not even in the Bible, at least, not the Bible we have now.

  206. Steve W.,
    Serving is not just about serving at church. You can help out at food kitchen, homeless, etc.. Hope you didn’t leave this sister thinking she couldn’t serve until 6 months without mentioning these opportunities.

  207. I believe we should all be servants. Not every one is a leader. When it says “The greatest will be servant of all” is not speaking about leadership. A non leader can be a very great person. Just saying…..

  208. Andrew,
    Man, I was trying to see your POV. But, you are sort of going in all kinds of directions here buddy. Your train of thought is just not clicking with me. I cannot see how “servant leader” in your words “implies we are to serve the leader”. The understanding you have is completely the opposite from most christians who understand it to mean the leader serves.
    I think I can see why you had problems at your former church now. You see bad teaching everywhere and criticize everyone when they only cover part of a topic and not the whole, but I think you would always find it to be not whole and see some other application further than what anyone has said.
    You need to quit trying to discern what everyone means from just a few words spoken on the internet.

  209. Andrew, I am not picking on you. Read your dialogue with Michael and with Josh. I use the word painful because these two and many others who you go back and forth with have proven their knowledge. I am not a Baptist or a Calvinist but I know the truth when these men speak. It just seems as though listening and asking questions rather than reacting would go a long way. No offense Andrew, I have no issue with you and maybe I need to go to work now.

  210. Sorry Andrew, I missed your reply. But while I certainly agree that the intent of the heart is a big deal in our relationships, and there is a shared responsibility between pastor and worshiper….

    I specifically gave an example of selling tickets on Sunday morning as people are walking in the doors. Obviously, one should be kind and nicely explain that we do not allow that here – and we can even explain that there are so many kids, all with different fundraisers, that every Sunday the church would look like a Walmart. But we aren’t simply “asking” them to stop. We are telling them to stop. Ordering if you prefer.

    Point though is….this is not some church discipline sin issue, and it is an example of when the person needs to submit, on the spot, to a request from leadership.

    It is not good for the souls of the people coming to worship God to have to deal with such a hastle as they try to enter the sanctuary.

    Or do you disagree and think the person has every right to stay on the property and continue to sell their raffle tickets? It’s a yes/no question. “Intent of the heart” not really changing the answer. I’ll give everyone the benefit of the doubt that they did not know and meant no trouble. Assuming they stop.

  211. Serving is not just about serving at church. You can help out at food kitchen, homeless, etc.. Hope you didn’t leave this sister thinking she couldn’t serve until 6 months without mentioning these opportunities.
    ————————————-
    Maybe you need to read the story again.

    It is offered to give just one simple example of why a church has leaders who have to deal with conflict on behalf of the others in the church.

  212. I don’t know why people have trouble with “serving your pastor”? I serve my pastor in certain roles and functions as he serves me as a member of the congregation.

    I do it happily.

  213. Steve w. I can not give yes/no by not being there and knowing all the facts. Sorry about that.

  214. I think the question many of us are wondering is…

    Who’s Robin?

    🙂

  215. Is there anyone reading here, besides Andrew, who can’t give a yes/no to my question about asking someone to stop selling raffle tickets on Sunday morning as people walk in the door….anyone who thinks the story needs “all the facts”

    res ipsa loquitor

  216. Lutheran,

    It’s the movie version of Batman – No Robin required. 🙂

  217. ”Alex to rant on and on and on bordering on craziness”

    Folks believe in talking snakes, literal demons and devils, miracles that don’t manifest themselves today, some sort of ethereal ‘trinity’ concoction that says all three are one, yet all three are separate and that makes perfect sense and takes on whatever form you want it to avoid a contradiction about no one “seeing” God, yet folks saw God and it is assumed that all three are one God…but that somehow doesn’t count as “seeing God” to avoid a contradiction in scripture…

    I think many outside the bubble would think I’m the sane one on here for questioning…

  218. a leader shouldn’t expect others to go or do anything/where they haven’t gone/done themselves. That is why leaders must be servants…to show all of the rest of us how to excel in our serving. Jesus would be the foremost example.

  219. #219
    No facts needed and no extended church discipline either. Telling them to stop would be the correct thing to do.
    Andrew, I hope you come to some kind of peace in your life eventually.

  220. “Do as I say, not as I do” doesn’t work in parenting nor in pastoring.

  221. Steve,

    I guess I’m showing my age. I was thinking of the original TV show.

  222. Hey, we tell the neighborhood people not to park in our parking lot while we are having services – or the big bad tow truck will get them

    Steve – I would follow the Jesus example and turn over her table. 🙂 You have to tell her to stop.

  223. 1 Timothy 6:4 explains Andrew.

  224. 1 Timothy 6:4 explains Andrew.

    Ouch!

    Well, if we’re playing dirty, I’d say 1 Timothy 6:4 applies to 75% of this blog (me included).

    Raspberry.

  225. Jamesk. Not sure what to say. I’ll try to do better. I’ll let you deal with Alex.

  226. Kathy is the only one here that seems to have any decency. I can understand a normal person posting a lot on a blog but pastors spending the inordinate amount of time they do on this blog makes me question who they are “not serving” other places. Seriously, this blog appears to be a big waste of time. I’m guilty posting here as much as anyone else but I am not a pastor either.

  227. Andrew,

    I just lost my job and my son is out of school having medical examinations so I’m “serving” him and blogging between tests.
    If you think it’s a big waste of time for you, I can fix that for you.

  228. “Submit to overseers, because they are responsible for the souls of the church. (in action)”

    Legitimate ones, not self-appointed ones…

  229. “4. Today is “Earth Day”…not a high point on the Christian calendar, but it should be.”

    Creation Sunday would make an interesting point in the Christian calendar, but I wonder if the prohibition against worshiping the creation might be the reason it isn’t on the calendar already. For many Christians, the typically heard expressions of Earth day about “Mother Gaia” are problematic at best.

  230. Andrew,

    There are a fair number of people on here who aren’t pastors.

    If you want to be more than a drive-by, you’re killing your case by making statements like “Kathy is the only one here that seems to have any decency.” I mean if that’s your opinion, fine. But it puzzles me — I honestly don’t know why you’d keep on here if that’s how the people on this blog strike you.

  231. Michael,
    Sorry, I thought you were a full time pastor. I’ll prayer for your son. Today is my last day Michael. I think you have mis understood me big time. I am a sincere person but I can not convince you of that. I state I am a leader and you say you are batman. Completely mocking me an those I lead. I am attacked every which way from Sunday. I don’t sense Christian love other than from Kathy. She and I started off rocky but we found understanding not so much with you or anyone else. So do what ever you need to do to fix that for me Michael. But, I’m not impressed.

  232. “Earth Day keeps me grounded,” he said with gravity.

  233. Andrew, your #230 is priceless. Your words were few but they sure do explain much about your attitude.

  234. “Jamesk. Not sure what to say. I’ll try to do better. I’ll let you deal with Alex.”

    LOL.

    Don’t let it get to you Andrew. Your opinion is as valid as anyone’s (except maybe MLD’s and Derek’s 🙂 😆 )

  235. MLD “I don’t know why people have trouble with “serving your pastor”? I serve my pastor in certain roles and functions as he serves me as a member of the congregation.”

    Everyone serves a purpose in the village….

  236. Andrew, I kind of agree with your observation above also.

    I work for myself, so I’m not stealing from anyone when I post on here. I wonder about others who spend a ton of time blogging and collect money from what is presumed to be “God’s money” or on the dime of someone else while they’re at work etc.

    I’m sure, however, there’s a loophole for it, as Scripture can be turned into whatever folks want…

  237. Personally, I’m glad all the pastors participate. It has been very educational.

    It has reinforced by belief that no one is “specially anointed” and all are sinners and jerks when push comes to shove.

  238. The “loophole” is that most pastors don’t have the luxury of a nine to five job…and many may have been “working” way past that serving people who have problems at inconvenient times.

  239. Andrew, Hang in there. I think you’ve got valuable things to add…

  240. MLD wrote – “Hey, we tell the neighborhood people not to park in our parking lot while we are having services – or the big bad tow truck will get them”

    Sounds fair if you tell the people in your church not to park in front of the neighborhood people’s homes otherwise they will be towed.

    Still, I would hope for a more gracious position from a church. Then I remember my own LCMS churches…

  241. “Seriously, this blog appears to be a big waste of time.” Hey, so does most of the Old Testament.

    God works in wondrous ways. 🙂

  242. Andrew, the fact that this many different individuals have taken the time to interact with you, positively or negatively, should be looked at as a plus. I think it is much harder to put something out there and be completely ignored. On the other hand, since I’ve primarily watched and read along, you’ve provided some vinegar to the mix, too. It takes some time to get one’s bearings in this type of exchange. Keep at it, it’ll likely pay off.

  243. “I believe we should all be servants.”

    Still, someone’s gotta drive the car.

    Every group,organization, family has “a lead” based on what’s going on. It’s more about “how” than “whom”.

  244. “Andrew, I kind of agree with your observation above also.

    I work for myself, so I’m not stealing from anyone when I post on here. I wonder about others who spend a ton of time blogging and collect money from what is presumed to be “God’s money” or on the dime of someone else while they’re at work etc.

    I’m sure, however, there’s a loophole for it, as Scripture can be turned into whatever folks want…”

    And there’s some that go on Israel trips every year on the church’s dime claiming it helps them get closer to God. I thought the Holy Spirit did that but I guess a trip to Israel every year does the trick too.

  245. “Still, I would hope for a more gracious position from a church. Then I remember my own LCMS churches…”

    We are in a very tight area. The apartments surrounding us do not have enough parking at all – so, we allow them to park in our lot, overnight 7 nights a week. We just tell them that they have to move their vehicles Sunday mornings and whenever we may have something going on. And they have been very respectful.

    We take on much liability giving permission for overnight parking – but the apratments behind us are a mission field for us.

    I bet your church doesn’t allow overnight parking.

    But your hate for your parents and their involvement with the LCMS has really jaded you. I hope one day you can find forgiveness in your heart..

  246. Jay Richards (Discovery Institute) and Jim Wallis (Sojourners) will address the question of Christian social engagement through the subject of the Common Good. Each will present a proposal (and response) on the question, “What is the common good? And how should the Church and Christians pursue it?”
    The debate will take place Tuesday April 23 at 7:00 p.m., in the chapel at Trinity International University. If you cannot make it here, you will be able to watch the event live at stream.tiu.edu.

  247. (that’s 8pm Eastern time)

  248. “Don’t let it get to you Andrew. Your opinion is as valid as anyone’s (except maybe MLD’s and Derek’s”

    Wait! you mean MLD’s opinion is valid? J/K MLD, you’re having enough issues with your boys in Blue 4th placing it in the West

  249. “Servant leadership is a biblical concept whether the term is in the book or not.
    Jesus must have been the first seeker sensitive pastor…”The greatest among you will be the servant of all”.

    True, but you sure don’t see that much in American Christianity where many of the Pastors love them some “them”

  250. Andrew said “Kathy is the only one here that seems to have any decency.”

    Kathy is the only one here that seems to have any empathy towards me. There. Fixed it for you!

    But thank you regardless. There’s glimpses when the Holy Spirit takes control and I’m something other than a selfish, self-righteous, argumentative, dirty, rotten, sinner.

    But I’m starting to agree with your opinion about the blog… I’m not trying to start a fight… I love this place (or am I addicted?)… but I’m doubting its validity in the spiritual realm.

  251. Solomon,

    Actually, I see it all the time.
    Nobody bothers to blog about good pastors.

  252. SolRod,
    I am going to the Angels game tonight. Someone (not MTM) got us tickets for the dugout suites. Those are the ones right behind home plate at ground level where you just see people’s heads.

    The backside to the suite overlooks the indoor batting cages.

  253. PP Vet said, ““Seriously, this blog appears to be a big waste of time.” Hey, so does most of the Old Testament.”

    LOL. But, it wasn’t a waste of time, God killed and smote all sorts of “enemies” for his “specially anointed”.

    I love the word “smote”…it’s such a great word.

    God sure did a lot of smoting in the OT…He takes a break in the NT and then gets back to smoting folks in Revelation.

    It’s like a Grace Sandwich inside of Smote Bread.

  254. “SolRod,
    I am going to the Angels game tonight. Someone (not MTM) got us tickets for the dugout suites. Those are the ones right behind home plate at ground level where you just see people’s heads.

    The backside to the suite overlooks the indoor batting cages.”

    Nice, enjoy! Last time I was at Angels stadium was for a Twins game a few years back. My friend gave me four tickets from her law firm and they were 1st base side in the first row. The problem was that it was hot as heck and my kids were young so I spent a fortune on Lemonades and water. At least my friend saw me on tv and she mentioned that I looked almost dead from the heat.

  255. “I love the word “smote”…it’s such a great word.”

    I like the word “Spake” better

  256. OT = Taliban

    NT = Gahndi Jesus Love Wins

    Revelation = Jihad the “enemies”

  257. “It’s like a Grace Sandwich inside of Smote Bread.”

    Bwahahaha… I can’t see why anyone would hate Alex.

    He’s like the Howard Stern of ODMs.

  258. Kathy said, “He’s like the Howard Stern of ODMs.”

    LOL! That’s funny. I was hoping for Martin Luther, but that’s probably closer to reality LOL 😆 🙂

  259. Kathy said, “Bwahahaha… I can’t see why anyone would hate Alex.”

    When one is smart and beautiful, there’s always gonna be haters 🙂 😆 😉

  260. Wow and afternoon and this place blows up!

    I get the issue with “servant” churches and the problems. My experience with many CC pastors and congregate (not members) is the emphasis on “service” is to the local church and the benefit of the pastor’s “vision.” Yes it’s a hard comment but it’s my general experience with CC (and BTW Mark Driscoll’s church also).

    Back to the excommunication thing Steve W mentioned happened in Corinth (think leather and Ricardo M. and an old 70s car). The problem with reading just the letters of Paul and the writers of the NT is they are very sparse and only represent what God maintained for us to read. In Paul’s case as a Jew of Jews and Pharisee trained by one of the two most prominent teachers and schools of thought, he would or at least should have followed the words of God from the Torah. My conclusion would be he went far and long suffering with people as each case would allow. He would use at least two witnesses and prescribe to a order of justice prescribed by his training and beliefs.

    What does that mean? I believe he gave the person every chance possible and what we read was the end of the line. I am right? Does it matter? I believe God requires the same fairness He shows to His creation.

    PS. I submit to my wife. Was it mentioned men are instructed to love their wife and does this mean we men have a problem in this area? Hmmmm, maybe so.

    Weird thread today

  261. And of course that discipline happens in the context of the gathering together of the church, not a star chamber:

    1Cr 5:4-5

    In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ,
    To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

    That’s quite different from what we see today where security is called and the person shown the door.

  262. Bob said, “I believe God requires the same fairness He shows to His creation.”

    What “fairness”?

    Is it fair for a person to suffer eternal torment forever with no end, a person who never hears the Gospel or never has the opportunity to hear about the correct Jesus and the correct Gospel message? History shows a ton of souls who never even had a chance…

  263. MLD wrote – “But your hate for your parents and their involvement with the LCMS has really jaded you. :

    They didn’t know better and didn’t bother to try or find out if there was anything better. My mother was raised in the Lutheran church since my grandmother was a German Lutheran. Probably all the way back to Luther.

    “I hope one day you can find forgiveness in your heart..”

    All I can do is to do the right thing and keep my own kids away from those dead churches.

  264. I think Xenia and MTM are correct on the church discipline issue.

    Seems there’s a two-part problem in much of evangelicalism (and especially Calvary Chapel)

    1. CC and constructs like it don’t have a true NT structure/mechanism that could administer an NT church discipline example (and Chuck says he doesn’t want that, but has done it to some degree many times in an ad hoc manner).

    2. Folks in CC don’t want to submit to an authority, as that “authority” is usually the CC-Franchisee Moses who is the reason for their beef in the first place…and while they plead through letters to CCOF and Chuck Smith for help, they get the cold Stone Wall of the CC Fraud Machine which gives the impression of caring about them and the appearance of accountability, while practicing something quite the opposite.

    Seems the EO and RCC and Mainlines have a mechanism that can do an NT style church discipline and seems their members feel a sense of fairness (sans the child abuse stuff, which has cancered pretty much everyone).

  265. In modern usage, legal or administrative bodies with strict, arbitrary rulings and secretive proceedings are sometimes called, metaphorically or poetically, star chambers. This is a pejorative term and intended to cast doubt on the legitimacy of the proceedings.

  266. “Star Chamber” was a great flick.

  267. The systemic problem with child abuse isn’t the abuse, as evil as it is, that’s not a systemic problem. The systemic problem is the reassignment of pastors and priests knowing full well that they committed the evil actions. Some denominations have dealt with this better than others. The ones that have the sentiment best expressed by MLD’s attitude where he says that an abused person should just “get over it” and to “move along”, those organizations with that attitude have not done as well in dealing with the problems. They will suffer loss…

    April is Child Abuse Prevention Month.

  268. Alex,

    When it comes to church discipline CC acts in a “Star Chamber” way. The leadership make the call and there’s no congregational input.

    When it comes to church discipline in the NT, the obvious word is “transparent”. Leadership and the people are involved. The people are not just rubber stamps for the leaders.

    What a contrast.

  269. “It takes some time to get one’s bearings in this type of exchange. Keep at it, it’ll likely pay off.”

    No. I’m done. No matter what I say, people like Michael will constantly bring up my past to discredit me. Seriously I don’t need that. Its been great knowing all of you a little bit even if sparse. But I got much better things than to participate in Michael’s waste of time blog.I may post at Alex’s. Disagree with him on almost everything but least he doesn’t make light of abuse.

  270. ” No matter what I say, people like Michael will constantly bring up my past to discredit me. ”

    I think you have Michael wrong. If there’s anyone he could do that to here, it’s me. Yet, he has been gracious. But I can understand and the CC abuse BLOG may be better suited towards what you are trying to do/say. See ya over there…

  271. MTM, agreed. You’ve documented the disconnect very well, it’s part of church history.

  272. Andrew, sorry you feel that way. Michael’s a good guy. I think he’ll tone it down with you. Give him a shot. Like MTM said, he’s come a long way and is a work in progress like all of us.

    I will always have a heart for the abused whether I agree with them theologically/doctrinally/politically/methodologically or not. Michael has a heart for the abused as well. You’re welcome at CC Abuse, but I’d hate to see you leave the PP on those terms.

  273. One thing I heard repeatedly at seminary is that there is no normative model for church government in the Bible. Maybe there’s some merit to that claim since clearly the NT isn’t a cookbook for how to govern a church. But I think the argument is overstated and there are some clear markers in the NT about what makes up a church.

    These have been called the “Marks of the True Church” and there are various lists of those marks. Wikipedia has some of those lists for those who are interested.

    One of the common marks is church discipline rightly administered. If you are in a church which doesn’t have church discipline, rightly administered (note I didn’t say perfectly administered) then you are not in a church.

    Make your own application, CCites.

  274. Andrew, MTM’s participation here is an example of the fact Michael is not what you think. They had legendary battles and a long-time feud and it’s good to see both of them share a space. It’s actually one of the few times I’ve actually seen folks do what the bible seems to encourage in the NT. Very rare stuff, but it happened and is happening. It has to count for something.

  275. MTM said, “The systemic problem is the reassignment of pastors and priests knowing full well that they committed the evil actions”

    Yes, good point. It’s knowing about it and tolerating it, covering it up, protecting the abuser either tacitly or directly etc.

  276. And I’d say that is it Michael who came 99.99% of the way to allow me back here. I still have to take credit for the 0.01%.

  277. “Yes, good point. It’s knowing about it and tolerating it, covering it up, protecting the abuser either tacitly or directly etc.”

    In your situation, Chuck Smith has had to jettison control over his entire denomination due to the pressure of either take charge or get out of the way. Smith wanted it both ways, but the legal threats of the courts got Chuck Smith to do what nothing else could do. If nothing else, you have had a significant part in that. No more can Smith have it both ways.

  278. What amazes me is how long Chuck Smith has avoided legal responsibility for the mess he has created with all of these messed up CCs out there. I would have thought some of the local scandals would have forced his hand years ago.

  279. Andrew,
    So here’s how it works.
    You come here, post, argue, debate, wrangle, reveal, struggle, deny, hear tough stuff mirrored back, flip into denial, push back, retreat hurt, stomp off…

    …lurk, read, lurk, rise up in righteous indignation, post some more…

    Welcome to the family, a broken people who’ve found acceptance in spite of ego.

    See you soon.

  280. Andrew says he’s leaving. Gee, what should we do? I don’t think this sort of thing has ever happened here before.

  281. As usual, Guitar Guy’s response was much more gracious than mine. I’m feeling a bit snarky tonight.

    Seriously Andrew, God bless you.

  282. G, you nailed the essence of the PP in that comment above.

    “You come here, post, argue, debate, wrangle, reveal, struggle, deny, hear tough stuff mirrored back, flip into denial, push back, retreat hurt, stomp off…

    …lurk, read, lurk, rise up in righteous indignation, post some more…

    Welcome to the family, a broken people who’ve found acceptance in spite of ego.”

    That should be in the About section 🙂

  283. “Welcome to the family, a broken people who’ve found acceptance in spite of ego.”

    Damn, dude, you get it.

  284. Andrew,

    Just curious, in one post of this thread you state that you are a “Leader” and later on in another post you state that you are not a “pastor.” So in what sense are you a leader? Are you an employer in a business? Are you a military man of rank? Are you a personal gym trainer/ coach?

    I don’t believe that this blog is a waste of my time. While I come here daily I leave with much that is thought provoking. Much that I have not heard before or known about since the bulk of my own Biblical education is from my many years sitting under Chuck Smith’s pulpit. I get another perspective and learn much when I come and hang out/lurk here.

    I also get some sort of a “sense” of what each person is like who post here over time. I see you as one who rows in a boat with Alex. Both of you are actually loved much in here by others. To be confronted is not being unloved.

    I love roasted Serrano peppers with my Mexican food. Their spice makes the food so much more than it would be otherwise. You and Alex are the spice of this place for me. And MLD with Steve Wright and Solomon R along with a few others are the salt. Michael is the restaurant.

    I am fed well over time with ample sufficiency that I enjoy.

    I and I am sure a lot of others who are lurking about like this place with you in it! I like you. And I like Alex. Keep rowing…my brother.

  285. Great post David S! Well said and very true. Some of us are wienies and some of us are buns!

  286. I think it’s a waste of time in the loose sense, like anything done besides earning a living or working on something is a waste of time. Or, it’s a waste of time in the sense of changing folks (MLD will never change 🙂

    But I agree with david sloane above, that if used properly, it’s a great place to learn some things and to test positions and to express things and to be human and vent.

  287. david, do I need to insult you so you won’t be nice to me and make me feel so awkward? 🙂

  288. Someone is at the Big A tonight?

    Wow… It was so long ago that I was there last. We celebrated one of the members of our church softball team 21st birthday. It was a typical 21st birthday celebration. We burned one or two joints of Indica on the drive over I had a pint of Jack in each boot. We were all smashed before the 2nd inning. Didn’t see any indoor batting cages though. Take me out to the ballgame 😉

  289. covered,

    God is the hot dog maker.

    Steve W is the weenie.

    MLD is the pickled relish.

    Michael is the sauerkraut.

    I’m the spicy mustard.

    Together, we give you heartburn. 🙂 😆

  290. Yep Alex, one big happy family 🙂

  291. Wow, Alex! You gave Steve W. a compliment! Well done!!
    Yes, indeed, he brings a lot of good meat to the table here. I have learned much from him.

  292. Nonnie, LOL! Good one.

    I was thinking turkey dog 🙂

  293. Turkey, of course! How perceptive of you. He does indeed want people healthy and strong in Christ. Well done, once more, Alex!!

  294. Oh, and Alex, while I am “razzing” you a bit, I do want you to know that sincerely, I am continuing to pray for you and your family. I know many are! Blessings.

  295. MTM, said “best expressed by MLD’s attitude where he says that an abused person should just “get over it” and to “move along”,

    In the context I was speaking yes – but shame on you because you compared what happened to Andrew with a woman being raped.

    I feel sorry for your wife that you have so little regard for women and theire sexual abuse that you would consider her rape being on no higher scale than Andrew being kicked out of his church for being argumentative with his pastor (even if he was right he was still argumentative.

    I know you will have some witty comment in the wee hours of the morning – but you couldn’t possibly hate Chuck Smith and CC so much that you are willing to discount rape down to such a low level.

    I guess your mom and dad really did screw with your mind having you attend LCMS.

  296. david sloane
    “Just curious, in one post of this thread you state that you are a “Leader” and later on in another post you state that you are not a “pastor.” So in what sense are you a leader? Are you an employer in a business? Are you a military man of rank?”

    I’m Superman. Seriously though, I am leader in my home and husband to my wife. I am a team leader at my work. In addition I lead a Bible study and fellowship and occasionally I lead Sunday School. But I am not a pastor.

    I am sorry if I was too hard on Michael. Hope he can forgive me. I do appreciate the comments from Alex, MTM and David to encourage me to stay. In all honesty this blog is probably more of a distraction than a waste of time. I don’t want to be distracted in loving and caring for those God has entrusted to me. God speed.

  297. MLD,

    I will miss you too. No, you can not compare rape to what I have been through. I would never want any one to do that. Comparisons like this are uncalled for in the church. I have already told Alex my story before how a man that raped and molested many young girls and was convicted and went to jail is serving in my old church that I am excommunicated from. In fact he was one of the security guys that overheard much of my interactions with the pastor the very last time I was in this church. I am asked to leave and he is still there. Now go think about that for awhile MLD.

  298. Andrew,
    I never said tht your pastor wasn’t a rascal and I am sure if the story you just told is true, that he should be held to account. And I was the first to agree with Chris Rosebrough’s assesment that your pastor makes heretical statements and is an ass for vision casting.

    But you have left that church and are now happy elsewhere – move on so that your old relationship does not adversely affect your new relationship.

    And that was my point yesterday, I know so many divorced guys who ruin their new marriages because they are so bitter about their ex wife. Don’t do it.

  299. MTM,
    I guess I should take into consideration your brokenness from you victimization by CC nearly 20 yrs ago and you inability to move on. But why you would want others to continue in their bitterness and hurt is beyond me. Keep your “victim” mentality to yourself, and do not be the one who continually impedes others from regaining wholeness.

  300. MLD wrote – “MTM, said “best expressed by MLD’s attitude where he says that an abused person should just “get over it” and to “move along”,
    In the context I was speaking yes – but shame on you because you compared what happened to Andrew with a woman being raped.”

    So where do you stand on the issue? So far you’ve avoided answering the question. I said I’d drop it and you keep bringing it up.

    Would you tell a woman who was a vicitim of sexual assault to follow your lead about how you’d act if you had a bad shopping day? Would you tell her to get over it? It’s a legal matter, you say, but you haven’t answered the question in spite of all of your dancing around.

    Or do you just want to keep knocking over the pieces and crowing around?

  301. MLD – Not sure what you are referring to. I was never vicitimized by CC. The only negative experience I had was being kicked out of a Webservants meeting and that wasn’t that big a deal anyway. Many of my best friends are Calvary Chapel folks.

    My motivation is love, not hatred. I’d like to see them repent of their false teachings and bad practices and come to the light. I’d like to see them become a safe place spiritually and physically. They aren’t now.

  302. MLD said again – “But you have left that church and are now happy elsewhere – move on so that your old relationship does not adversely affect your new relationship.”

    Who says it is affecting his new church? It might make him more careful. Why do you want to interfere in someone else’s healing with this “just forget it” advise?

  303. Why do I keep trying to play chess with a pigeon? You’d think I would have learned by now.

  304. So true, MTM. I have pretty much had to put him in the category of people I have given up on interacting with here. It took me too long to figure that out, too.

  305. Andrew, don’t know why you’d leave, or think that I’ve been anything other than kind to you. I won’t always agree with you, but I do want the best for you and your family. Hopefully, you’ll stick around.

  306. MTM says “I’d like to see them repent of their false teachings.”

    I left CC because I disagreed with their teaching. But not being the pompous ass as you – I would have never thought to ask them to REPENT because they taught differently than me.

    But then again, I left the SBC for similar reasons, and didn’t think of telling them of their sinful teachings and demanding they repent.

  307. Ahh, the SBC is awesome…

    or awful.

    I can’t remember which one.

  308. PP Vet – sorry you find my conversation to not being on the level to which you are accustomed.

    But, if you find MTM’s not making a distinction between rape and Andrew being kicked out of church, well what can I say to the guy who thought Todd Bentley’s sexual escapades should have been overlooked due to his anointing.

  309. Todd Bentley for the win!

  310. Just for giggles, MLD, what was the sinful teaching that caused you to leave the SBC?

  311. One of the luxuries of being anonymous here is being able to ignore false accusations from losers. 🙂

    However, time for a teaching moment: An insult is just an opinion, but a false accusation is a lie.

  312. Josh,
    “Just for giggles, MLD, what was the sinful teaching that caused you to leave the SBC?”

    Just the opposite. I was making the point that MTM thinks that teachings that disagree with him are “sinful” that is why he demands that they REPENT of their false teaching.

    I was just saying that I left churches over teaching – but never considered them sinful … just different.

    However, you guys do refuse salvation to infants 😉

  313. PP Vet adds to the ad hominems

  314. “However, you guys do refuse salvation to infants ;-)”

    Do Lutherans baptize as soon as child pops out or is there a waiting period of a week or so? If so, why wait and refuse the child? 🙂

  315. “However, you guys do refuse salvation to infants”

    Untrue, we made up “age of accountability” to deal with that.

    You guys made up “infant baptism”.

    Our invention gets all infants, yours only gets the Lutheran ones 🙂

  316. That is not an ad hominen, you ignorant blowhard! It is an insult! I patiently explained the difference to you the other day.

    Sigh ….

  317. Doesn’t “ad hominem” mean – insulting the person rather than addressing the argument? In that case, it could possibly be both an ad hominem, and an insult.

  318. It doesn’t matter, you have no idea how to interact in conversation. But then, my conversation wasn’t directed to you.

  319. But there was no argument, JTB. Simply an accusation. Does that make sense?

    If we were arguing, say, infant baptism, then I should not bring up something about you personally and claim that it invalidates your argument. That would be an ad hominem argument. In the forum of ideas, your argument should stand on its own.

    If some gasbag accuses me of having publicly endorsed immorality in the pulpit – a pretty serious allegation! – that is not an argument, just a statement.

    Not to be pedantic, but:

    Ad hominen: “Your argument on infant baptism is flawed because you are a reprobate.” (Flawed debating technique. Go to college.)

    Insult: “You are an idiot.” (Statement of opinion – no evidence required)

    Lie: “You attend a snake handling church.” (Alleged statement of fact. Requires evidence.)

  320. I do seem to remember you loving Todd Bentley, though, right?

    So, MLD brings it up and instead of refuting it you call him a loser.

    I realize we aren’t in a court of law, but for a blog, I’d say that qualifies as ad hominem.

  321. Furthermore, anyone hear Glenn Beck’s “You have until Monday” stuff on the Boston bombings?

    That man may be a danger to himself.

  322. For the record, here is what I actually posted on Phoenix Preacher on Todd Bentley, on June 26th 2008 at 9:08 AM:

    “I do not see how making a motion to kick someone is any more violent than heading up to the mountain to sacrifice your son, or rampaging through the temple with a whip.

    It is a stretch to cite Todd for moral impropriety for that one action. Let’s give the Holy Spirit some latitude to do the same kinds of things today that He has done throughout history.”

    My point was that there is a difference between an offensive style of ministry and actual moral failing.

    This was before his misbehavior relative to his marriage came out.

    When it did, I agreed that he should get out of the ministry immediately.

  323. Wow. You keep a record of that stuff?

    PP Vet for the win!

  324. Alex:

    Yes I believe God is absolutely fair and let us add just to that also. You state the atheist/agnostic line about those who have heard or had the opportunity to hear. Well Paul addressed that up front and yes I fully believe all peoples in all ages and in all times have the opportunity to know recognize God as Creator and over all and the power to save via the Messiah.

    People choose to ignore God and do what is right in their own eyes and are fully without excuse. You can fight all the standards doctrines including, depravity, choice, tulip, the chosen (frozen), grace, mercy or whatever, but each person knows what is right from the beginning.

    You might notice Jesus clearly (assuming you believe it is Him saying it) states the eternal fire (Matt 25:41) was for the devil and his angels and the destruction of humans in it is because of? See Matt 25 and decide if those are really Jesus words for yourself and they are consistent with God’s words in the OT, no changes here at all. And are they fair and just?

    Let me repeat what I said again and expand it a bit. You read the words of the bible for your self and decide. Atheist, Agnostic, Theist, or what?

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