Apr 292013
 

thinking_man_ape_wood_3d_sculpture_thinker_think-480x3251. I was watching one of those “World News Briefings” by a well known pastor…who to my knowledge didn’t even finish Bible college, let alone get a degree in political science or economics. It is a source of wonder and amusement to me that people think a pastor is qualified to speak authoritatively to any subject if he somehow links it in with “biblical prophecy”.

2. John Calvin and Martin Luther both believed they were in the “end times”. If we could catapult them through time to today, they might think He already came. Antibiotics, xrays, airplanes, flush toilets, eyeglasses, electricity, the Gospel going out to the ends of the earth through modern media…these would be like heaven to men who lived in that time. We don’t seem to grasp how good we have it…

3. You defeat both the purpose and  power of grace in your life the very second you believe you deserve it…

4. This week the prophecy wonks will have to address the eschatological significance of the death of George Jones. That had to move the hands on the Rapture clock forward…

5. Last week I watched part of a Calvary Chapel “prophecy conference” where Paul Smith was a featured speaker. His entire (semi coherent) message was devoted to tearing down the work of another brother in Christ. The only “prophetic” value it had was ironic…

6. Part of the insidious damage that conferences like that do is they foster the notion that if you attend the services of a certain tribe you are somehow more “saved” than if you attend somewhere that follows a different tradition. This is a crock. The elect at Saddleback are every bit as elect as those that attend Calvary Costa Mesa…and vice versa.

7. Matthew Redmond writes on emptiness after the death of his father…pure gold. My heart goes out to Matt as he continues to gift us in his grief.

8. Your reaction to bad news is an indicator both of the depth of your faith… and of what the object of your faith truly is.

9. I think having a conference to accuse other brothers and sisters is actually demonic…

10.“We learn to praise God not by paying compliments but by paying attention. Watch how the trees exult when the wind is in them. Mark the utter stillness of the great blue heron in the swamp. Listen to the sound of the rain. Learn how to say Hallelujah from the ones who say it.” Frederick Buechner

  504 Responses to “Things I Think”

  1. Hello Things

  2. Good morning, Dread…

  3. Thing one and Thing two at your service.

  4. @#7…it’s been two years since my mother died. I still feel the void. Most of all, I feel guilt for not having treated her better. Its a significant moment in any person’s life when a parent dies

  5. Just a few thoughts,

    #Tim Tebow’s release is surely the apocalypse of the NFL. #YES accusations are demonic. Conferences to accuse are horribly demonic. I have probably been demonic.

    I am terribly confused by the vitriol and divisiveness of some of the Finished Work of Christ grace teachers. They are teaching that there is no progressive sanctification, not really a new teaching but this version is on steroids as they are exposing those who disagree with venom. I am SURPRISED BY the ungraciousness of Grace teachers.

    Bad news has been my soup du jour for a month or so but God keeps canceling the outcome. I am the object of HIS grace despite the above.

  6. Paul Smith, the people who say they love God and hate their brother…….. I just don’t get it.

  7. FF,

    The unspoken assumption is that we must hate our brothers to love God properly…that’s the grave sickness that comes from imbibing at that well.

  8. BD,

    I’m sure that the release of Tebow has prophetic significance… 🙂

  9. Steve,

    You’ll see her again…and have plenty of time to make up for what was lost.

  10. #7 I started to read this article this morning, got halfway through it, got sad and left it unfinished. When I read things like this, it makes me realize that my parents are getting older. My wife and I made the decision this weekend and are moving back to Mississippi the end of May. Being away from family has been hard on us. Being a man, I tried longer to act like it did not affect me, but it did. Jobs are fine, but not the be all end all. My wife is giving up a job with the US Forest Service which is a good secure job, me not so much. Family is far more important and it is time to be closer when needed. Never let a things of the world or problems keep you from family, ’cause you don’t know how long they will be on this earth. None of us are promised tomorrow.
    I did finish the article just a bit ago though.

    As for the rest, I tired long ago of people trying to tell me what prophecy means. I rest on the promise and hope of His return. Enough for me.

  11. I think the most disturbing thing is the ironic, demonic contrast between CC of the 70’s known for “loving the unlovely” and the current intolerant denomination that hates everybody who is not them.

  12. FF,

    It’s sad…and sadly not limited to CC.

  13. Derek,

    I taught 1 Cor 15 last night…on the resurrection…and realized again how precious and vital that doctrine is.
    It’s worth having a conference about…

  14. CK,

    The answer is “no one”.

  15. There’s some good ones out there, Michael, but they can only fill their own shoes.

  16. I know of many who will attend a conference soon entitled “Thank God I Am Not Like Other Men”……………not.

  17. We baptized 4 yesterday morning. A homeless man, a mentally handicapped teenager, a drug addicted single mom, and a woman who’s been living in a halfway house.

    The Kingdom of God is here.

  18. Michael #14- Indeed.
    JTB #18- Amen!

  19. Josh,

    We ought to just quit after # 18… we won’t, but I’ll say the amen!

  20. I imagine those who scheduled Paul Smith for the session were not appraised of his outline or focus of his ‘update.’ They scheduled him because he was well-known in the circle. He wouldn’t submit his topic or content in advance for scrutiny because that is not the way those things are done. Only after the fact do people raise questions. It is a similar problem with the interview you cited in #1–one’s credentials to represent a large number of people is often about ‘fame’ as opposed to qualification.

    I suppose a debate about education/qualification will follow… 😉

  21. filbertz,

    Not only were they aware, they brought him back for an extra session to rip on the Body some more…

  22. 1. Welcome to my childhood church. Source of historical inaccuracies & mathematical impossibilities since my birth. Jesus’ definitive rapture date passed several times.
    2. Sometimes when I get down on life, all I have to do is turn on my faucet.
    3. Previously under the delusion of deserving it, since digging into the Word on my own (not relying on pastors) I escaped the delusion and am undeserving of it.
    4. The first time my past family pastor predicted the rapture, was before me or my siblings were born. I am very glad he turned out to be a false prophet…otherwise me and my wonderful brothers and sisters wouldn’t exist.
    5. Be careful of those, they still believe Chuck Smith isn’t a false prophet.
    6. IMO…it has nothing to do with ‘elect-ness’. It has only to do with tithe revenue and whatever marketing campaigns fill the pews.
    7. While I have not lost my parents yet, I have lost grandparents. My grandmother was the glue that bound the extended family together. Her loss is still realized.
    8. Fully agree. For a time, my faith was in my ‘expectation of calm seas’.
    9. 110% agree. It shows that their gods are ‘self’ & ‘mammon’.
    10. Considering the Word says that if no humans praise the Lord, the very rocks will, I have no doubts this is a possibility.

  23. Fil,
    Thanks for being gracious but Paul Smith has been on the attack for years. He should have hung up his axe and chainsaw a long time ago but the combatants of CC still prop him up for special occasions.

  24. Yesterday morning, our men’s Bible study group started a series on prophecy. My first thought was, “Uh oh, here it comes.” (Most of you probably know that I attend a CC.) To my joy and surprise, it was not what I expected.

    As part of his intro, our men’s pastor touched on various views of prophecy, and who the main teachers and groups are that hold those views. He then went on to say two things that would get him excommunicated in some CC circles. First, that while he would stick with a futuristic, pre-trib, pre-mil point of view, we must remember that any disagreements are only an in-house debate, and that holding to a different view does not in any way exclude a person from the body of Christ, nor make a preacher a heretic. Secondly, he knows that in our fellowship, there are those who hold to different views, and that’s OK. As long as someone knows what we teach, wants to fellowship with us, and doesn’t attempt to change everybody else’s view, great! If it gets to a point where someone just can’t hang with what we teach, he would be glad to recommend some good churches in the area that may be a better fit.

    Made me proud!

  25. CK,
    Amazing!

  26. Adding another “Amen” to JTB’s #18! That’s some good stuff right there!

  27. Crowned1,

    Welcome aboard!

    The other side of the coin is that despite all the foibles of these churches, the Gospel still gets out and people do indeed get saved.

    I’m for that wherever it happens…

  28. Michael & FF,
    I stand corrected (in the corner 😉 )
    I understood that CC senior pastors conferences have a broad topic or scripture passage, but the individual comments are not vetted. Other conferences and retreats typically follow that same tenor, in my experience.

  29. CK,

    Good word…that’s a mature pastor and a mature church at work.

  30. Michael @ 28

    Indeed! The wheat & chaff growing up together is still occurring. I believe that even in instances of apostate churches…God is in control and will not let them exist without preaching John 3:16.

    As many issues as I have with my former church, guess where I learned about Jesus? As my faith grew, He called me out of there, but that does not change the fact that God spoke to me in those pews and started my journey of seeking Him.

    I would never send my children there, I do not want them to suffer spiritually as I did at the hands of “men of god”, but I am glad I was there for a season to learn of Christ.

  31. Years ago a wise old pastor asked me “why are you Calvary guys so combative?” I was young and didn’t have an answer. Today I would tell him that decades of trashing other Christian men from pulpits and conference platforms have had it’s impact. It is just simply OK to fill in your “enemies” name into your sermon notes, Christian or not, and tear into him.
    It just feels right!

  32. 1.he somehow links it in with “biblical prophecy<<<

    No one should speak authoritatively about any particular event but the condition of the world will get worse and worse until the Lord comes. Antichrist will arise, and so forth. No harm in paying attention. The problem comes when it becomes the focus of one's Christian life.

    2. We don’t seem to grasp how good we have it…<<<

    Well, maybe. I thank God for running water. But we often ask here on the PhxP why it does not seem that God does miracles anymore. And someone (usually me) says that we have placed our trust in science and technology and only turn to God in prayer when these avenues have failed us. My dream house is a shack in the woods without electricity.

    3. You defeat both the purpose and power of grace in your life the very second you believe you deserve it…<<

    I believe this is true.

    4. This week the prophecy wonks will have to address the eschatological significance of the death of George Jones.

    I am embarrassed to admit that I have never heard of George Jones.

    5. devoted to tearing down the work of another brother in Christ. <<<

    That's what happened at the early church councils, too. St. Nicholas of Myra (remembered today as Santa Claus) smacked Arius (primordial Jehovah's Witness) in the chops. Well, Arius wasn't a "brother in Christ," so not quite the same, I guess.

    6.t if you attend the services of a certain tribe you are somehow more “saved” than if you attend somewhere that follows a different tradition.<<<

    I do believe that there is One Church that contains the fullness of the Gospel and while you can be saved at other churches, you are missing out on much of what God has for His people. If someone asked me to recommend a church, I could only recommend an Orthodox parish, in good conscious.

    8. Your reaction to bad news is an indicator both of the depth of your faith<<

    This is so true. Do we rejoice when some new dirt is dug up on a person we can't stand? Or we you sorrowful. Maybe the first few seconds don't count but can we at least repent of our first gleeful thoughts and ask God for the grace to be sorrowful?

    9. I think having a conference to accuse other brothers and sisters is actually demonic…<<

    I would resist the temptation to watch or listen to such conferences. To participate, even passively, gives them power. "Ignore" is a strong tool.

    10.“We learn to praise God not by paying compliments but by paying attention.<<

    Do both.

  33. Xenia,

    People usually prefer your ten to mine… 🙂

  34. “You defeat both the purpose and power of grace in your life the very second you believe you deserve it…”

    Someday I want to preach a sermon called “Grace: Undeserved and Unexpected.” As soon as we expect God and others to treat us with grace, it is no longer grace.

    Umpteen years ago, when I was vice-principal at a Christian school, I had several experiences such as the following:

    Me: “Mrs. Fontleroy, I need to let you know that your son Little Lord was involved in a fight today, and smacked another boy’s head on the blacktop.”
    Parent: “Oh, that’s awful, I’ll talk to him about it when he gets home.”
    Me: “Well, Mrs. Fontleroy, you may get that opportunity soon. Because of the fight, I have suspended Little Lord from school for three days, and I need you to come pick him up.”
    Parent: “Suspended?!!!!!” Where’s the grace in that??!!!!”
    Me (what I wanted to say): “Grace? Well, I suppose the fact that I didn’t expell his little butt altogether could be the grace you seem to be expecting.”
    Me (what I actually said): “I know it seems harsh, but you have to understand that we take violence of any kind very seriously, and you might recall our parent/student handbook indicates a minimum of 3 days suspension for any form of violence.”
    Parent: “So now you’re calling my child VIOLENT??!!!”
    Me: “No Ma’am, I’m saying he committed an act of violence.”
    Parent: “THAT’S THE SAME THING. WHO IS THE OTHER CHILD? WHAT DID HE DO TO PROVOKE MY LITTLE LORD? I WANT TO KNOW WHO SAW THIS FIGHT! I WANT TO SPEAK TO THIS OTHER CHILD’S PARENTS!”

  35. Bryan,

    It was the conference in Appleton…they had a live feed, but I haven’t seen an archive.
    They may put one up now… 🙂

  36. CK,

    Perfect!

  37. Hello
    Country music is too sad for me. The twangy geetar and the violinz beg for a sad story. I’m too sentimental as it is and I think I would get depressed listening to it.
    Prophecy conferences are fun for new believers. Reading the prophetic books of the bible should be a prerequisite. It should be like traffic school- once is enough. Maybe someone should write a Chick tract about bible prophecy and current events; something like: Be vigilant. Jesus could return at any time. Occupy till I come. Be wise for the days are evil. My house is not yet full.
    People rag on others because they are insecure. They are immature. Arrested development.

  38. One of the things that makes grace truly amazing is that a sinner like me has ever once been a recipient of that grace.

  39. Gary, you obviously haven’t heard “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk!”

  40. Michael,
    Continuing to pray for your next gig, that it will be awesome and a fit for you.

    Re: Paul Smith & his presentation, who / what ministry was he against?

  41. G,

    Thank you!
    He was scorching Rick Warren.

  42. “Your reaction to bad news is an indicator both of the depth of your faith… and of what the object of your faith truly is.”

    For our three year old grandson the bad news is the men who cut our lawn are here. For the last few weeks he has been terrified of the noise they make with loud lawn mowers, etc. Before they began I brought one of the men into the backyard to introduce him to Connor. I told Connor he was my friend and then gave him a bottle of water. Once they began their work poor Connor was crying crocodile tears and couldn’t be comforted. It’s heartbreaking to see.

    Sixteen years ago this month my father died. The morning of his passing I called and I couldn’t believe he answered the phone. We chatted a bit and he went to lie down. I was off and on that morning with my mother and she was describing the state my father was in and it was clear he was at the very end. After our last call I was absolutely terrified of how I would respond when I got the word he had passed.

    I was scared because I didn’t trust myself and I thought I would have the mother of all panic attacks and I might just die. All I could think to do was pull out pictures of my father and as I looked at them I wept. And as I wept the anxiety subsided and when the call came the worst didn’t happen and I had the privilege of speaking at his memorial.

    There are times when I have gotten bad news and I feel like I’m going to melt into a puddle. Something happens to me and my body physically reacts and I can’t control it. That’s not large as far as acts of faith go.

    I recall our oldest when he was about ten. He was afraid to swallow a large pill of medicine and he stood there hugging his mom and crying. I stood there and saw myself as a child. He grew up and had anxiety attacks when he was in other countries. I felt terrible for him.

    And this morning seeing our Grandson broke my heart as he kept crying “hold me papa” as he was so scared.

    I wish I knew how to have more faith for myself and to remove the anxiety my son and now my grandson experiences. I’ve been told what I’ve experienced is indeed “an indicator both of the depth of your faith… and of what the object of your faith truly is.” That stings.

  43. This one’s for Gary.

    Michael, I think you might like this one too.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dOvRw4dstkE

  44. E,

    My friend, do not confuse the effects of your illness with a lack of faith.
    That would be both unkind and unbiblical…to face what you have faced requires a deeper well than most of us have.

  45. Why would someone rail against Rick Warren in light of the living hell he is now experiencing?

  46. The below scripture would be a great theme for a “prophecy conference”.

    Ezekiel 36:26-27
    I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.

    …or churches could just keep superimposing FOX news clips over selected bible verses attempting the paint an “end-times scenario”. (Most of which have self-destructed. E.g. Saddam Hussein proved not to be the 3rd incarnation of Nebuchadnezzar ushering Israel into Armageddon).

  47. erunner,

    That…is a hell of a good question.

  48. Bryan,

    I wish I had the time to go through all those conferences and books and find all those citations like the one you mentioned…and show how none of them amounted to anything.

  49. Erunner, I agree with Michael. I see you as a man of great faith and compassion.

  50. “I wish I had the time to go through all those conferences and books and find all those citations like the one you mentioned…”

    Michael, it wouldn’t be worth the toll it would take on your health.

  51. Thanks Michael. I saw what you wrote and it triggered a lot for me and in light of this morning I was so sad to see our grandson so terrified of something that was good. I know he’s a child but it floods me with thoughts on why we shouldn’t be afraid and why he couldn’t comprehend or believe what I was telling him.

  52. Bryan’s #49. LOL…I remember the Saddam Hussein one. Most always need to be revised in light of history actually playing out in a way detrimental to their theories. Too easy to get caught up in that and be more worried about the antichrist than The Christ. Been there done that, never again.
    Titus 2:13 summarizes what I really need to be doing:
    “waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,”

  53. E,
    My #32 and the view that CC has attained a level of superiority that is far above the rest of the church. They consistently think very highly of themselves. Some might even call it pride, pray tell.

  54. Rick Warren. Seriously…that makes me want to cuss! Who the hell do these people think they are?!! Lord, have mercy!

  55. Here’s the thing, though. There has to be patience and love for that side too. Especially, for that side. Easy to have patience for the folks we like.

  56. Derek, you said:
    “Too easy to get caught up in that and be more worried about the antichrist than The Christ.”

    This by definition is losing sight of the Gospel, in exchange for alternatives (which bred arrogance & marginalization…or in other words, the ‘fruit’ of what I often see come from these types of “prophecy conferences”. [disclaimer: this is NOT a statement about the Appleton conf. as I’ve NOT heard any of the messages])

  57. Michael,
    Anyone who Paul Smith scorches is usually someone I already like. 😉

    What a bunch of fault finding muttering old men.

    “We’ll done, thou good and faithful servant, thou hast spent thy precious life destroying things I’ve called others to do,” said Jesus never.

  58. Thank you CK.

    FF, I spent over 30 years in CC and I’ve seen and heard a lot. It saddens me greatly yet I am grateful for the men and women who are faithfully serving God in a spirit of teach-ability and humility. Some post and have posted here.

  59. Thanks for the song but that would be another reason to stay away from country music. I don’t want to hear any songs about me. Too depressing right now. Same reason I wouldn’t want to go to AA meetings or Overcomers Victorious.
    erunner- I would show my grandson the mower and the other power tools before they’re running and explain what they do and how they work. Then I’d go inside and hold him by the window so he could see them work. Have you tried that?

  60. Do you guys see the irony in trashing Paul Smith, because he trashes someone else?

  61. Gary, I was going to do that but there were several neighbors standing there talking. I thought he would be overwhelmed by the strangers so I pointed them out through the window as they got ready to work. Thanks for the suggestion.

  62. CK’s #25. Our pastor is the same way. He gave a similar speech on his views and on others views.
    He gave a sermon series on “The Seven Churches in Revelation” that was far different than any sermon my wife had ever heard, growing up Independent Baptist. Not about the “church ages” which is the rage in people that are futurist pre-trib pre-mil, (and usually deals in condemning different denoms) but about the actual problems at each church and their actual good points, if they had any, and always asked which church are we and to examine ourselves in the light of each church. At the end of the series, my wife had never heard sermons like that on those passages before in her life, but she liked it.

  63. E,
    Good observation at 61. I think the “haters” represent just one of the cracks in the soon to be shattered CC infrastructure. The Appleton conference has always had the “we don’t like anybody” tone to it. There are some fine people as you said, but the ones loitering behind the conference microphones are scary to say the east.

  64. Least

  65. Josh, I think it’s okay to question why he would do so in light of the tragedy Rick has experienced. I visited Paul’s church when my wife’s sister and husband led worship there and I found him to be a very nice man. I’m used to seeing Rick raked across the coals but the timing here just compounds things.

  66. erunner – I agree. IT’s when we start name-calling and condemning that we are guilty of the same thing we accuse them of.

  67. People need to drop the Rick Warren bashing. Seriousy. What is wrong with the guy?

  68. I disagree with Rick Warren on tons of major issues. I wouldn’t bash him, and certainly not in the wake of losing his son.

  69. Josh, To respond in such a way as to not notice the plank in our own eyes only further alienates while drawing lines in the sand. Meanwhile the world has a chuckle and other believers go ahead and follow the example presented to them. To try to rise above the fray while doing so without being prideful is a worthy goal. Therein lies the challenge.

  70. Yessir, erunner. Totally agree.

  71. You know what, I will say this about Rick Warren. As many people as criticize him and say worse about him, the man never seems to retaliate in kind. Was it Michael, that once said (and I paraphrase) he is just a nice man who wants everyone to like him and there were worse things to be in life?

  72. I certainly don’t think he’s going to Hell.

  73. Quarterback rating is an imperfect measurement. And the fact is, performances and potential are based only partially on statistics.

    But the average net QB rating of eight great QBs (Montana Elway Brady Aikman Brees Manning Manning Rodgers) over the first equivalent two or so years of their careers is a couple points lower than Tim Tebow’s (73 vs 75).

    Some like to extract a single component of the QB rating, the one where Tim is lowest, completion percentage, and emphasize that. In touchdowns per attempt, however, for example, he is actually better than anyone in that group early in their careers.

    It is hard to see how anyone can objectively argue that based on performance he is awful. (Makes about as much sense as arguing that Rick Warren is not a great Christian leader!)

    I anticipate great victories ahead for Tim (and Rick). Whether on or off the field, not sure I much care, ultimately.

    But if a team picks him up and lets him play, that’s my team.

  74. I would like to point out that many CC’s don’t have “prophesy updates” or subscribe to those who do.

  75. PP Vet, The Jets sabotaged Tebow and couldn’t have done more to humiliate him if they had tried. I like him a lot but I don’t see a future for him in the NFL. Maybe Canada??

  76. Josh,
    I’d offer that bagging on Paul Smith’s trashing is appropriate, not at all ironic in that we’d like to hear something from him that praises other ministries. There’s a difference between making a single event observation and creating an industry thinking one is somehow appointed of God to straighten out everyone else. The Little Country Church at the Edge of Town has become an incessant noise of clanging ill-timed paradiddles.

    CCCM’s leadership legacy has become their fault finding instead of supporting and partnering with what is good, honorable, just righteous in other ministries.

    It’s like the parent who, when you come home with an “A” says, “What?! You didn’t earn an ‘A+’?!” Some people just can’t be pleased, but to make the theme of a ministry such fault finding is like dating Debbie Downer.

  77. …not to mention being completely insensitive considering the loss of Rick’s son.

  78. “I’d offer that bagging on Paul Smith’s trashing is appropriate, not at all ironic in that we’d like to hear something from him that praises other ministries. ”

    So trash him until he does so!

  79. Canada would be fine with me, e! Tim is like Samson (and like all of us, in a way): His strength is embodied in something. In his case, in his clear devotion to the purposes of God in his life. As long as he has that, he will be a joy to me.

  80. Wow!! Chris Broussard is talking about the news that NBA player Jason Collins came out today as being gay. The other guest is a Sports Illustrated writer who is gay and says he and Jason are Christians. Chris just stated that being an active homosexual is against Bible teachings and therefore they can’t be Christians. Those comments are going to be scrutinized and all heck is going to break loose.

  81. Josh,
    Nahhhh, it’s just a wishful thought from a guy who has fond memories of how free CCCM used to be. Candidly I just took sport at finding that Paul Smith remains tone deaf to unity.

    One of the reasons I moved on is the stifling lack of freedom to associate with those who are not of the tribe. I got reamed from “a leader” because he disapproved of Kay Arthur’s inductive study method, not because of the methodology but solely because “she’s a woman teaching men which invalidates anything she has to say because she’s indirect violation of Paul’s injunction forbidding women to teach”. Of course” facilitating” self study never entered the consideration.

    Anyhow, here’s to other more fruitful pursuits, such as enjoying playing my guitars when I tune them down a whole step, then placing a partial capo on them and getting lost in the sound, chords and scales.

  82. E’s #83, that reminds me of a Carl Trueman article I read this weekend. Bet it plays out that way too.

    http://www.reformation21.org/blog/2013/04/transgression-the-new-conformi.php

    Excerpt:
    “They would still regard him as a homophobe. Their approach was, after all, not that of classical liberalism, where one respects the right of another to be wrong; this is that of modern liberalism, where one is free only to conform to the dominant ideology. If the old Puritanism was the fear that somebody somewhere might be enjoying themselves, the new Puritanism is the fear that somebody somewhere might be holding a dissenting opinion.”

  83. Re # 3
    I think your statement addresses the challenge the gospel faces in the current culture. Was watching an episode of Under Cover Boss. The head of a large chain of gyms went into one where the employee was rude to customers, fopped an attitude with people, used profanity even in front of children. The boss, who wore a disguise, later confronted her on her behavior. She got very defensive, said “you don’t know me”. Later the franchise owner fired her. Her last words, spoken directly to the camera were “im a good person”.

    The challenge the gospel faces is it is irrelevant in a culture where people believe they are at their core good. Many see as arcahic the scripture that says we are all sinners and the wages of sin is death. What need is there of grace when we are all good people? Hell or eternal damnation were rendered obsolete and antiquated by better educating people as to the good people the are! To many, Jesus died not as our penal substitue but to free us to be the good people we are at our core. I take Scripture at it face value when it says there is none righteous. But try and “sell” that today…you wont get much traction

  84. Trying to ” sell” culture that we are sinners in need of rescue gets as much traction as a someone opening up an a shop to sell 8 track tapes! 🙂

  85. An example to Steve Hopkins’ point was seen after the Boston bombing when a blog post by a B-list Hollywood actor, Patton Oswalt, somehow went viral. It was about as opposite of Biblical teaching in response to that murder as one could imagine, but people sure loved hearing it and sharing it with others….

  86. Steve H. I agree with a lot in your last two statements about the state of culture. I just think the church in America spends an inordinate amount of time trying to “sell” our position. It is involved with the whole relevance thing. Even the language used “sell” is based in American culture, ’cause that seems to be what we know a lot about. I do this myself in thinking about things a lot and sometimes I catch myself and sometimes I don’t. The culture we live in is a powerful thing that warps our ways of thinking a lot. Not criticizing you, more of how we as Americans tend to think.
    I think the church would do itself a favor to just preach the gospel and let the Lord bring the harvest.

  87. G,
    Do you mean the sound of an amateur drummer using the fat end of the stick to pound out sixteenths on a crash cymbal during a ballad?

  88. SteveH,
    Here’s where I struggle with the church being widely off message to a world that watches and groans at our missteps.

    The gospels of Jesus speak of Him enabling humanity to have a relationship with God. Paul amplifies, some say he clarifies or modifies but the bottom line is always the same, to depend one’s love for God through Jesus and to love others as neighbors and beloved family.

    The mechanism of access is what’s up for debate because if someone has a relationship with God in any manner then God can and will fine tune that relationship throughout the life of the person.

    Being culturally “good”, is a far different thing. The objection that atheists and agnostics cannot be moral or compassionate because they don’t have a relationship with God is one that I’ve come to realize is horribly flawed because the majority of humanity is not screwed up like the extremists in any “ism” or religion. Most of us, spiritual or not, come to value the better aspects of humanity.

    Every human retains the image of God and the values a refined culture reinforces come to the forefront, as we have recently seen in Boston.

    “Good” is about getting along with others, tolerance, kindness, the acting out of the standards in our western culture that have come to be appreciated because they allow us to work together, innovate and create a better world.

    I saw a great graphic today posted by TheEffect community at their Facebook page that says,

    “The love of God cannot be measured.
    But it can be demonstrated.”

  89. Patton Oswalt’s quote went viral because it was true, plain and simple.

  90. “Do you mean the sound of an amateur drummer using the fat end of the stick to pound out sixteenths on a crash cymbal during a ballad?”

    More like a highly talented drummer who is drunk and thinks its time for a solo when the rest of the band is making a sweet soulful groove 😉

  91. Wow, didn’t even know that Patton Oswalt quote existed. Just looked it up, pretty indicative of Steve H’s #86. But then again, what can you expect from culture and the world? More frustrating when Christians start talking the fundamental goodness of man.

  92. We’re going to different directions here. Oswalt’s quote was just that it is encouraging that people risk their lives to help in tragic situations like Boston.

    This is true, and is also good behavior. We should absolutely encourage that type of thing in our world.

  93. Ok, maybe I am confused. Is this the quote?

    This is a giant planet and we’re lucky to live on it but there are prices and penalties incurred for the daily miracle of existence. One of them is, every once in awhile, the wiring of a tiny sliver of the species gets snarled and they’re pointed towards darkness.

    But the vast majority stands against that darkness and, like white blood cells attacking a virus, they dilute and weaken and eventually wash away the evil doers and, more importantly, the damage they wreak. This is beyond religion or creed or nation. We would not be here if humanity were inherently evil. We’d have eaten ourselves alive long ago.

  94. That’s part of it. It was a longer post.

  95. Found it in it’s entirety here: (warning: profanity)
    https://www.facebook.com/pattonoswalt/posts/10151440800582655

    I see what it is about Josh, but it still fundamentally wrong on the nature of man.

  96. Well, I’ll leave it to others to waste time definding the spiritual views of a rabid atheist like Oswalt (and a quite vile, vulgar human being to boot)…

    Forget Paul or for that matter the rest of the Bible. One can’t call TRUTH to the teachings of Jesus as found in the red letters, and likewise amen the words of Oswalt about humanity’s inherent goodness.

    Plain and simple.

  97. No, he’s right. The vast majority of people will never commit an act of terrorism. Most people will actively fight against such things. This is true.

    If he were talking about man being sinless, or having the ability to save himself, he’d be wrong. But on the subject of the Boston bombings, he is correct.

    Nature of man leads us away from God, but not towards terrorism, necessarily.

  98. Steve W,
    I am not ragging on Oswalt, he is an atheist, what else can I expect from him? My wife tends to get really mad at avowed atheists when she hears them, and I used to. But, we can’t expect an unbeliever to understand things that believers should know. So sorry, JTB for the interlude, I had to google him and realized he was an atheist and then his statement made all kinds of sense. They have nothing to hold on to but the hope that humanity is basically good or they have no hope at all. Think I will pray for that dude tonight. What a weak hope.

  99. Steve, I do think you are reading way too much into that Oswalt quote.

    Were you not encouraged at the sight of so many brave men and women running towards the explosions? I know I was. That doesn’t make Oswalt a good guy, or saved, or anything. I don’t even know who he is. But he made a good point. Most people don’t do that.

  100. Do you guys honestly disagree with the main point of his post? He wasn’t making a theological point, he was thanking those who risked their lives in the face of danger. Do you disagree with that?

  101. “Wow!! Chris Broussard is talking about the news that NBA player Jason Collins came out today as being gay. The other guest is a Sports Illustrated writer who is gay and says he and Jason are Christians. Chris just stated that being an active homosexual is against Bible teachings and therefore they can’t be Christians. Those comments are going to be scrutinized and all heck is going to break loose.”

    yeah being a Homosexual and a Christian is an oxymoron

  102. WOAHHHHH?!?!

    That’s not true either.

    A homosexual is just a worthy of God’s grace as I am. And i am completely unworthy.

  103. Hey Josh,
    Your #99, that wasn’t what I was saying. Basically, we see the big things and think to ourselves “Thank God, I am not like those sinners and terrorists!”
    But, there is a lot less public sin going on in the America and we usually deny we could be anything like them. But, we have pedophiles, child abusers, wife beaters, murderers…ad nauseum. We also have gym lady who still wants the title of “good person”.
    My whole thing is that America is in denial. Steve H. had it right. We may not all do the spectacular sins that make the world stand up and take notice, but we have enough of the common mundane type to condemn us.
    I agree things like those people running back to help people at the bombing are good and should be applauded. They keep the country running and are part of God’s restaints put on this sinful world. But, they aren’t indicative of the fundamental goodness of man.

  104. “One can’t call TRUTH to the teachings of Jesus as found in the red letters, and likewise amen the words of Oswalt”

    Yes, actually one can by zeroing in on the content of what Oswalt said and finding the praiseworthy and truthful parts of the content.

    I’m curious, what does Jesus say about the nature of humanity?

    Does he dismiss it completely and all the praiseworthy deeds, thoughts and actions of all humans throughout history?

    I do recall Him taking to task the religious leaders who were all about their view of “truth” at the sake of compassion. Something about how he treated the least among His scene whilst the religious among them looked down their proud noses at little dogs begging at The Master’s table, or the faithful pagan who believed in a God Who would speak but a word and the healing of his beloved servant would happen because he recognized The One whom he dared to humbly petition.

  105. “A homosexual is just a worthy of God’s grace as I am. And i am completely unworthy.”

    a homosexual is one who practices same sex activities and thereby is not born again as they are practicing something nthat is an abomination to God. They can repent and receive God’s forgiveness however they would then no longer be homosexual as they are a New Creation in christ. Just like a drunkaard gives up the drink he is no longer a drunkkard. Being homosexual isn’t like being Black or Mexican, it is a Perversion. You are not born a Homosexual

  106. When I first read the quote in question my doctrinally sound inner Calvinist rejected it on the same grounds as have been given here.
    However…there is something to be said of the fact that we are also God’s image bearers…

  107. Josh, to be encouraged by people running towards the chaos is self-evident. I like to think that if either you or I were there, we would do the same.

    I’m a little sorry I brought it up. It’s just that I know a lot of facebook friends that know the Lord, lots that don’t (and some I am of course unsure about).

    Oswalt made a much larger point than being encouraged by the details of heroism at the bombing. He made a sermon about humanity. I was grieved that my friends who don’t seem to know the Lord were the ones to amen his words – and it seemed to fit with what Hopkins wrote above. Being a little familar with his work, I also know to whom his final words would be meant to include as well. The words about garden variety “bigotry and ignorance” – words far beyond terrorists, though lumping then in with the same crowd

    Oswald states we would not survive if people were not basically good. That the issue is not one of nation or religion. OK, well the most populous nation in the world has arguably the most evil religion at its core. The one that supports caste, child slavery, dowry deaths and 100 other evils. Yet, when there is a fire, earthquake or other disaster, people in India join to help the victims too. They won’t help little children dying in the streets because that is their karma. They won’t kill a snake or rat that might threaten a small child, because those are gods. They will shun lepers and kick them out of community instead of treating them as medically in need. So the tiny minoirty of Christians have to do that work there.

    Might the religion at the core of a nation have something to do with its relative “goodness” – not that we expect an atheist to see that maybe America’s Christian underpinnings have borne some fruit along the way. That in our nation we don’t find thousands cheering in the streets in support of those rare few terrorists who actually do the act.

    Derek is right. I don’t EXPECT an atheist, (especially a rich, famous American atheist) to have a Biblical worldview. But his worldview about the goodness of man being the key for our continued survival grieves me when I see its influence on the lost. It does make it harder for the gospel truth to penetrate.

    In fact, only an act of God could do so 🙂

    Blessings.

  108. “PP Vet, The Jets sabotaged Tebow and couldn’t have done more to humiliate him if they had tried. I like him a lot but I don’t see a future for him in the NFL. Maybe Canada??”

    No, Tim Tebow sabotaged Tim Tebow. He should’ve signed with the Jaguars where he woulda started instead of back up with the Jets. Form all reports he is a horrible practice player so why should the Jets give him chance to start? Practice is where you earn your job to start. Maybe Tebow wanted all the publicity that came with being in NYC.

  109. Solomon,

    The Bible makes a lot of practices sin, among them, homosexual acts.
    It doesn’t say that the homosexual cannot be saved, it says that the acts are sinful.

    My old nature exists next to the new creation I have become…and sometimes it seems like that old man has the upper hand.

    I do things every day that are an abomination to God…and you do too whether you know it or not.

  110. “Solomon,

    The Bible makes a lot of practices sin, among them, homosexual acts.
    It doesn’t say that the homosexual cannot be saved, it says that the acts are sinful.

    My old nature exists next to the new creation I have become…and sometimes it seems like that old man has the upper hand.

    I do things every day that are an abomination to God…and you do too whether you know it or not.”

    Where did I ever say that a homosexual cannot be saved?

    Once a Homosexual receives Christ he is no longer a Homosexual because if he were to remain in that sin then is he not a new creation. Once saved, we are new creations in Christ, we are no longer fornicators, adulterers, drunkkards, sorcerers etc.

  111. SolRod,
    Don’t you have some sin you struggle with? I do.
    A homosexual is no different than an adulterer in that manner.
    The homosexual christian struggles and fights against homosexuality. The adulterer needs to struggle and fight against his adulterous ways (which is not as condemned in our church culture to our shame). We all have some sin we struggle with or we would not need to kill it.
    I would never say that the sin was good, but I draw the line at saying the sinner is not saved.
    I post some things that some may find to be homophobic, but they are actually things I find astute into the homosexual movement in America. I don’t fear or hate homosexuals, but I will not promote or put a blessing on a lifestyle choice that you decide to live in and try to tell me is good when it isn’t.
    I disagree with the homosexual movement in America, but we need to remember that these are people. And like the alcoholic who may struggle with drink his whole life, so may the homosexual struggle with his homosexuality his whole christian life. They need support and prayer to overcome, but they may not ever fully defeat it till the resurrection of the dead.

  112. My point is that once a practicing homosexual comes to Christ is identity is no longer that of a Homosexual and his identity is in Christ.

  113. Good is a relative term. Man’s problem is comparing himself to other men, rather than the only standard for comparison – God.

    Jesus makes this point regularly.

    The gospel is of no known value to the one who thinks he is good because of the greater sins of others.

    And God help the sinner who thinks the standard for comparison is someone as evil as a terrorist. God has a higher bar.

  114. “The gospel truth” is that God exists, that access to a true and abiding, quality relationship with God is available to all, good, wayward, special, shunned, prosperous, poor… all are welcomed through Jesus. He doesn’t take ask for your papers because He already knows your pedigree and that there’s gonna be something that made y respond to His call.

    Last time I checked Jesus hadn’t revoked God’s image being in each human.

    To require agreement with a subsequent presupposition that “there is no inherent goodness in humans” is a demand that He never placed on His followers and is completely denying the reality of all of human history.

    He simply said, “Follow Me.”

    No further complication is helpful.

  115. Don’t you have some sin you struggle with?

    Sure do, Lust is one of them but I know that if I start living in Fornication then i am not right with Christ and I am in danger of eternal damnation should I die in that state

  116. Solomon,

    It’s only by the grace of God and lack of opportunity to fall that I still stand.
    My sinful desires haven’t changed one iota…if anything they’re stronger than they’ve ever been.
    The difference now is that I can control them…and I desire better things more than the sin.
    Most of the time…

  117. Solomon,

    Following your logic…you think that you can lose your salvation if you die whilst in unrepentant sin.
    The Bible says that the measure of a mans sinfulness begins in his thought life…so if honest, you are always in sin and will be damned.

    You’re relying on your own goodness to get you in…not Gods.
    Good luck with that…

  118. God’s bar is enunciated in Jesus’ call to humanity,

    “Come to Me, all you who are weary and heavy laden, for I will give you rest.”

    When any person hears that, decides He is worth considering, worth following, they will respond positively.

    He doesn’t say, “Call anything ‘good’ as ‘bad’.”
    He doesn’t demand we ignore verifiable reality.

    He simply appeals to the heart and soul, offering strength and rest to a person who is beat and dog tired of life.

  119. Let me tell a story of how I sinned last week, without actually committing a sin IRL.
    I work at Coca-Cola High Country. I started there as a Quality Inspector, but we quit producing 7 months ago because it is cheaper to ship it in from Coca-Cola Enterprises in Denver than to make it now. CCHC is actually a very good company to work for. Instead of laying their production people off, they moved us all into the warehouse side. Well, I get along with nearly everyone I work with. notice I said nearly. There is this one guy who seems to go out of his way to get on my nerves.
    Well, last week I messed something up on his day off and I went and told the boss, no problem. Well, the next day he comes in and tries to get me in trouble for it. I got mad and I stayed mad. For half the day, all I wanted to do was go and punch him in the face. I fantasized about punching him in the face for hours. I was in sin.
    My besetting sin is anger and I feel I will struggle with it till the Lord calls me home. It is better than it used to be, thanks to the Lord. It was just as bad or worse to think for hours on my anger as it would have been to have committed the deed. Thank the Lord for His grace, ’cause I know what I would be like without Him.

  120. “You’re relying on your own goodness to get you in…not Gods.
    Good luck with that…”

    So many scriptures warn about not falling away and entering into a lifestyle of Sin is a way to get to that point. I don’t rely on my own goodness because I fall short big time on that

  121. SolRod,
    You didn’t punch him because you are a good man who made a good choice.

    And, good for you, my brother!

    You live and work in a job where there will be interpersonal struggles, sorta like life in general. When someone throws you under the bus it’s EGO that is messing with you, and you chose the far better thing.

    Someone needs to give you a great big high five and commend you, and I will be the first!

    Proud of ya!

  122. Sorry, that should have been to Derek! O_o

    SolRod, here’s celebrating you in advance of goodness coming through you 😉

  123. I think SolRod may just be referring to Galatians 5: 19-21.

  124. Christ died for all sin – so sin is not an issue in salvation … not even homosexual sin.

  125. It will probably be misrepresented, but I agree with what Broussard said here. He wasn’t being just a “homophobe” he was stating his Christian views.

    http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/espns-chris-broussard-calls-homosexuality-448377

    Excerpt”
    “If you’re openly living that type of lifestyle, the Bible says you know them by their fruits, it says that that’s a sin,” said Broussard, comparing homosexuality to any other sex outside of marriage. “If you’re openly living in unrepentant sin, whatever it may be, I believe that’s walking in open rebellion to God and Jesus Christ.”
    ____________
    “As a Christian, I don’t agree with homosexuality. I think it’s a sin,” said Broussard. “There are a lot of Christians in the NBA, and just because they don’t agree with that lifestyle, they don’t want to be called bigoted and intolerant.”

    The key here is unrepentance and openly living a lifestyle. Not talking about someone who struggles.
    But, I am sure his words will be considered bigoted and intolerant and their will be calls for him to apologize and lose his job…blah blah. It is always the same with the elite who want you to conform.

  126. G’s Jesus would work awesome in India…

  127. “Christ died for all sin – so sin is not an issue in salvation … not even homosexual sin.”

    Sin unrepentant of is an Issue and if you continue to walk in it you won’t inheirt the Kingdom of Gos, scripture is pretty clear

  128. “It will probably be misrepresented, but I agree with what Broussard said here. He wasn’t being just a “homophobe” he was stating his Christian views.

    http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/espns-chris-broussard-calls-homosexuality-448377

    Excerpt”
    “If you’re openly living that type of lifestyle, the Bible says you know them by their fruits, it says that that’s a sin,” said Broussard, comparing homosexuality to any other sex outside of marriage. “If you’re openly living in unrepentant sin, whatever it may be, I believe that’s walking in open rebellion to God and Jesus Christ.”
    ____________
    “As a Christian, I don’t agree with homosexuality. I think it’s a sin,” said Broussard. “There are a lot of Christians in the NBA, and just because they don’t agree with that lifestyle, they don’t want to be called bigoted and intolerant.”

    The key here is unrepentance and openly living a lifestyle. Not talking about someone who struggles.
    But, I am sure his words will be considered bigoted and intolerant and their will be calls for him to apologize and lose his job…blah blah. It is always the same with the elite who want you to conform.”

    Nothing wron at all with what he said, we must love truth and it sometimes hurts

  129. Who am I? I am an adopted son of God. I am still a sinner but that’s my old nature which is tied to the flesh and will one day die. When I came to God I confessed that I had messed up my life. I didn’t compartmentalize or qualify it. If I had been a homosexual that would’ve been part of my messed up life and I would’ve repented of that too. I may not have named it but sin is sin. Identifying myself as a homosexual is not compatible with who I am any more or less than if I identified myself as a woman chaser, drug addict, alcoholic, etc. If I fall back into one of those sins I still don’t identify myself with that cuz it wouldn’t be my lifestyle. A homosexual who comes to Christ will confess and repent of either being a homosexual, or doing homosexual acts. A recovering alcoholic may still have to deal with temptation. He may even consider himself an alcoholic while he is recovering. A homosexual is one who does homosexual acts. If he is no longer doing those things he may still struggle with that sin but it’s no longer his lifestyle. He is a recovering homosexual.

  130. “I taught 1 Cor 15 last night…on the resurrection…and realized again how precious and vital that doctrine is. It’s worth having a conference about…”

    As long as it’s not Chuck Smith doing the teaching… That would be a very bad thing indeed. It’s too bad that his teaching is the core of the curriculum at CCBC,

  131. “Steve Wright says:
    April 29, 2013 at 4:10 pm
    G’s Jesus would work awesome in India”

    Why, thank you, Steve, a blessing and compliment to Him alone, though you never intended it, because He is risen, sent us to proclaim Him and His very words, as has been the case from the moment He ascended.

    He also “works” among the greater community of humanity who get a chance to weigh Him unencumbered by a complex requirement of reality denying prerequisites, but that’s another discussion for another day.

  132. SolRod,
    “Sin unrepentant of is an Issue and if you continue to walk in it you won’t inheirt the Kingdom of Gos, scripture is pretty clear”

    So, have you given up sin? If you continue to sin, that may be evidence that you have not “really” repented – and you are in the same boat as the homosexual.

  133. “I would like to point out that many CC’s don’t have “prophesy updates” or subscribe to those who do.”

    Doesn’t CCCM still do the New Years Prophecy stuff? If so, don’t all CC’s “subscribe” to CCCM?

  134. “So, have you given up sin? If you continue to sin, that may be evidence that you have not “really” repented – and you are in the same boat as the homosexual.”

    So to me there is a difference between us falling into sin and getting back up as opposed to living willfully in Sin

  135. I might suggest, G, that you have that other discussion some other day with a person who actually is making such “reality denying” prerequisites.

    I do crack up at your repeated use of quotes above, around phrases you take exception with, that haven’t actually been written by anyone here. It’s a nice touch.

    So much straw…so little fire.

    Any gospel that does not mention a cross, an empty tomb, a sinner and a Savior (not to mention a forsaking of all other false gods)….well, like you said… discussion for another day….

  136. The prophecy racket is still going strong. Ever since Hal Lindsey’s book “The Late Great Planet Earth” took off, these guys have been turning a good buck and will continue to do so.

  137. G,
    What I did was still sin, The Lord addresses things like that in the Sermon on the Mount. It isn’t an opportunity for congratulations. It is me being evil in my heart. That goes on in the hearts of all men. Which is why they need a savior. God is the only one who can save me from myself and my heart. I sure am not able. When I realized what I had been doing, I felt sick and asked God to forgive me. I still don’t think the fact that I didn’t hit him is ’cause for congratulations or proof of how at heart I am just a good person. I don’t think you believe that either. People are bad and how do I know that? Because I know me.

  138. SteveW,
    A person only forsakes one god for Another. The one you sell is hardly the best representation of Jesus. No wonder people stay Hindus.

    If Jesus be lifted up He will draw all men (and women) to Him, not only as a sacrifice for fulfillment of a penalty requiring substationary sacrifice to satisfy the justice of The Law as understood by Paul, but also as the unique and best and true representative of God. This is what the gospels are about.

    I’m not short cutting anything, just simply denying your assertion that I must view humanity as “not good”, as has been my point all along.

    Being a born again follower of Jesus is solely about believing what the writer of the gospel said when he asserted about Jesus, “…for God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life”

    Nowhere in the gospels does it say that one must ALSO adopt a nihilistic view of humanity that all good works or goodness is worthless to God or man, or that if one chooses to believe that a person is basically “good” that they are disqualified from benefitting from the new birth that Jesus speaks of. If a person is good, then God will continue to make the person better by the effect of love, patience and kindness that pours from the person.

    It is a flawed sales pitch which insists on requiring Jesus as the solution to a spurious problem of mankind being “not good”. That is a twisted and tired solution to a problem that Jesus never said was a problem. Read them again, the gospels never frame the narrative about solving “the-not-good-enough” problem. The gospels never go there. They are about a relationship with and the discipleship of following Jesus. You are simply adding things that Jesus never states.

    From my reading of the gospels Jesus liberates us from that nihilistic world view that devalues the goodness of a person and redeems us to see the value and worth of every individual, the marginalized, the “outsider”, the woman, the outcast, the Samaritan, the pagan Centurian.

    I battle no straw men, I’m sticking to the point I raised in the beginning.

  139. Mtm,
    Just because CCCM may do it doesn’t mean everyone is lockstep with the mother ship. In my estimation, the independent spirit is alive and well within CC circles, even if it is anemic and a bit unpredictable at times.

  140. Derek,
    You said, ” I still don’t think the fact that I didn’t hit him is ’cause for congratulations or proof of how at heart I am just a good person. I don’t think you believe that either. People are bad and how do I know that? Because I know me.”

    Ok, last part first, that’s called “projection”, not a good thing to look at your condition and apply it to “everyone else”.

    My congratulations are sincere and, yes, I DO believe it because you chose to NOT act upon your ego driven self centered, self justifying impulse. You chose to cool off, even though it was a struggle. I will celebrate you every day and every time you choose to do and act “good”, because you are honoring the image of God in yourself and in your co-worker.

    Damn it, man, take a compliment when someone gives you one! 😉

    Again, ya did good!

  141. Steve,
    I gotta admit, there are times that the only thing we have in common is the need to breathe air.

    Anyhow, gotta go play my guitar and chill.

    Wishing you the best, no matter how much we see things differently.

  142. Steve W.,
    the power of the gospel is not found in its perfect recital, but in God’s ability to draw a person to Himself and extend grace and reconciliation to him/her. Yes, the gospel would work well in India, even if G-ster were the one to share it, because it isn’t ever about the communicator, but about the message.

  143. Is this a private club or can anyone join in? I ask cuz I don’t know the pet names you’re giving each other. Also because each time I post I have to give my e mail addy and my name, even though I signed up and I’m getting e mail notification of every post.

  144. SolRod,
    “So to me there is a difference between us falling into sin and getting back up as opposed to living willfully in Sin”

    LOL – how do you “fall” into sin? I mean, do you sin and then say “Wow, how did that happen?” If you were really repentant, you would stop.

    Sin is who we are – not what we do.

  145. Derek,
    Ok, just in case any of us “not-so good”, non-females need a fellowship… 😉

    http://www.larknews.com/archives/5007

    Gary,
    I’m a guitarist & graphic designer, hence my ( |o )====:::
    …but feel free to call me “g”

    Also, try turning on “cookies” and turning off “privacy” in your browser, PhxP should remember who you are until you delete/empty your browser. No need to agree to email follow up posts, you just have to refresh your browser. Hope that helps

  146. By the way, SteveW, my “quotes” are contextual. If I am citing you and what I object to when you post, I quote you. When I quote texts I also use those quotation marks. Anyone who reads my posts gets it. I think you need to retread and show me where I’ve done anything like what you falsely accuse me of.

    But I still love you 😉

  147. Apologies to all for dominating the thread today.
    Guitars are waiting.
    Peace

  148. Ok I git it. G is short for (lo)====::: When I play with a tuner it’s a radio. I used to want to be a graphic designer. That was before computers. Some folks sure love to spew their pet doctrines here. It’s as though they lurk until someone presses their button.

  149. fil,

    Here was my subtle point. While yes, I agree with you that the gospel works in India. Most definitely. Because, as you said, it is the message that matters.

    So we assume the true message is sent though, correct?

    However, many a missionary to India has presented Jesus in a fashion as described above, and asked ‘who wants to follow this god known as Jesus? who’s tired and wants a little love and a better life? Simply follow him. That’s all he asks.

    Every hand will go up in response. (And this is when the missionary will make sure to take the picture to send back to the USA in the fundraising letters to show the effective fruit of their great ministry – pardon the cynicism)

    Of course, if we ask the next question. Do you understand that in following Jesus you must forsake all of your household gods and idols (you know, like we see preached in Acts) – well then just about every hand will go down.

    When I visited the leper colony Christian hands had built and were supporting, I saw photos of Jesus on the wall, right alongside the photos of the Hindu idols. Of course, this is the same place where a few months later the elders among the lepers who were militant Hindus would lie in wait to attack my friend and seek his life. Fortunately, as with Paul so often, God spared.

    Saving a soul from the grip of Hinduism is not easy, in fact, it is impossible for man. It is a work of God. But in the gospel there is power unto salvation to everyone who believes.

    The gospel that Jesus died for our sins and rose from the dead and will receive all who come to Him. Simple message. Any messenger will do.

    Throwing Jesus’ name onto some other presentation has no power – at least in the eternal sense.

  150. Gary, the free for all is open to all. 🙂

    Jump in.

  151. Hey MLD, weren’t you called a ‘stalker’ for your continued multiple response posts to someone around here 😉

  152. MLD,
    I know I’m gonna regret this… I like Luther’s song (It’s my fave) but I don’t go to his church. Are you his disciple in the theological sense or the overbearing personality sense?

  153. I’m not MLD, but the answer to your question in #155 is “Yes” on both accounts. 😉

    Love ya, MLD!

  154. Steve,Stalker was one of the more polite names. 🙂

  155. Steve W:

    About 32 years ago, as a young man, I worked with a man who was a missionary to India (I didn’t get to go just took care of his affairs while he was away) and your comments about India are right on.

    “I saw photos of Jesus on the wall, right alongside the photos of the Hindu idols. Of course, this is the same place where a few months later the elders among the lepers who were militant Hindus would lie in wait to attack my friend and seek his life.”

    The message is only simple in the USA because our cultures idols aren’t directly gods with pictures on the wall. In India and in so many other cultures and people groups Jesus is just another god who can bring prosperity to them. Even in Mexico in the little Pueblos (towns) the Catholic faith is mixed with each town’s spirit who can either torment or bless people.

    The message of Jesus is one of exclusivity and requires a change which is always counter culture, even in the USA. It isn’t being religious at all, it is life.

    I believe God said it best and Moses wrote it down, No other gods, images of gods or anything like it (note see ten commandments, the Decalog).

    We don’t sit around the fire and sing Kum ba Ya! We live it!

    Sure is tough sometimes though.

  156. The Guitar Guy did say this:

    “Nowhere in the gospels does it say that one must ALSO adopt a nihilistic view of humanity that all good works or goodness is worthless to God or man, or that if one chooses to believe that a person is basically “good” that they are disqualified from benefitting from the new birth that Jesus speaks of. If a person is good, then God will continue to make the person better by the effect of love, patience and kindness that pours from the person.”

    I would add however that God did say, after Noah made his voluntary sacrifice, that all men are evil in their hearts/minds,

    “Never again will I doom the earth because of man, since the devisings of man’s mind are evil from his youth;”

    Of course He also made a covenant with all mankind at this point…

    And don’t forget He also called His creation, including at the top mankind, “God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good.”

    I love that “very good” part.

    Enough all this stuff makes my mind melt sometimes 😉

  157. Michael,

    Start to finish, one of your best Monday threads I’ve seen.

  158. Thanks Bob. God closed a door in a way that only He could and that’s probably why my wife and I aren’t serving in India today. As it is, after the door closed we still started our first church largely in order to support ministry there (not just our idea but that of the whole initial core group).

    We made our first trip to India with the full intention of seeking His will about moving there as fulltime missionaries. I still have my learn kannada textbook somewhere!

    We absolutely love India and the people there, and at the same time recognize it as one of the most unChristian, unGodly spots on the entire globe – a combo which usually is found in a missionary’s heart.

    My hope is someday we will have the resources to minister there through the church I now pastor, in addition to the mission work we presently support.

  159. Gary,
    Sometimes something that’s said hits a nerve.
    It’s all good. Michael is a gracious host.
    There are few places like this online.
    I hope you enjoy it here. Prepare for a long stay.

    Graphic design is awesome. If you’ve got the manual design skills and sensibilities then dive in, partner with a digital person and make the world a more beautiful place!

  160. Steve W

    One of the things I love about India is the food. Even in all the weird animist traditions food is a common place of peace.

  161. ( lo )====:::,
    I haven’t done any art since junior college except for the occasional poster for church. A year or 2 after that I was a paste-up artist at a small graphic art studio in southern Ca. I was hoping to graduate to real art but it didn’t happen.

  162. Steve W
    One of the things that makes arguing with the G-ster difficult is he places the gospels above the writings of Paul. I love the guy! But his theology, though nice, goes against what has been taught for 2,000 years.

    Cornelius was a good, devout man. So why did God send Peter to reach the gospel? ( btw you’ve got to read ahead in chapter 11 for the answer)

  163. 1. I have to confess I am somewhat jealous of that guy, I wish I could spew like that and rake in the cash with out a hint of guilt or shame. I admire that.

    2. End times is a good source of supplemental revenue for a ministry or person. Only the bigger franchises can go full time on just that one shtick sometimes you have incorporate the save america angle or play the evolution card. It will gain a substantial donor base, which justifies all means every day all the time.

    3. I dont believe I deserve it and I would go further there is no way I can receive it because that would denote need, that is a line I can ever let myself cross. Even though I long to with all my heart, another reason I often despise my weakness.

    5. Rick Warren is a cottage industry the pro and anti rick warren hanger ons ride the coat tales with their books and seminars etc. I do not fault any of this, how someone rakes in cash is their own business, I wish I had the guts to be like many of them are. It bothers me when I speak badly about other people like Rick Warren, that makes me a deceptive enabling coward. If I was a pro rick warren it will make me a hater because I disagree with how the purpose driven church ruined many fine congregations and people should never disagree with success. Something I always agree with. Personally I dont get it, someone said Rick Warren is a nice guy wanting people to like him, they said that is not a bad thing. From 31 years in the American Christian Industry, yes it is, its vile, it makes me a man pleaser, I should seek to rip people limb from limb if they make even one small mistake. Sue them if they tick me off or worse try to take my assets. If a family member gets in the of my vision take em out no mercy. Of course I cant live like this, I have tried but I am a miserable failure.

    6. These conferences do one primary function, they generate income. This alone justifies their use, now I have walked out of several conferences when the presenter starts talking trash about another christian leader. That makes me an apostate and I should fall on my face and repent. I just cant seem to repent of that, this testifies to my rebellion and hatred for God.

    7. I cried once when my brother died (to my shame), the other many relatives I have had to identify when they died, organize and lead the memorial services, and be “strong” for others . I have never shared this with another person, but for no other relative, student, etc I have not publicly grieved and never ever will. It is just not an option, now I cried my eyes out in private, something I loath myself for it is a horrid weakness and shows how I loath God. David lost a child and ate knowing that the worse was over. Grief is not an option. I dont understand this part of the Christian religion but there has been no doctrine more ingrained in every cell of my being then this one. Never, not ever.

    8. I am terrified when good things happen, I should only get bad things here now and in eternity another gift from my faith.

    9. If it does not generate a significant income I would agree with you. If it did, then by proxy it has to be of God. Period.

    10. I do praise God at times, but usually I beg God not to kill me or those I love. I know He has the right to slaughter us with no mercy what so ever and if He did it would be on us. We are so evil, vile, filthy, God hating, rebellious scum God should take us all out. I got that part of the Gospel.

    Now being the nihilistic evolutionary (believing) old earth supporting universalist. I dont get it, I agree I am badly mistaken on most of what I blabber on about. When I first became a Christian I begged God to heal me, forgive me, be my savior, etc. I have repented of such requests, well actually not but I am still trying. I dont get it I really dont and one thing I am sure of, I am not the only one that does not get it, but we want to. So we ask the Body of Christ to pray for us, and we are ashamed of asking at the same time. What a strange religion it really is.

  164. Yeah, cause why would a Christian ever place the words of Jesus, the son of God, creator of the entire universe, above Paul the creator of…ummm…tents anyway??
    Silly G

  165. You do realize London back in the good old days such a statement would gain the person a stake, rope, or the sword. I find a great deal of contradiction between what Paul and Jesus said. There are apologetics that defend the status Que. I find them weak at best, but I could be, most likely wrong.

  166. Re Michael’s number 9 “Think” …. We recently had a talk with a CC pastor of a large So. Cal. church and he talked about how grieved he was over that kind of attitude amongst some CC folks. Thankfully, I believe there are many more CC’s out there that do NOT endorse the kind of “prophetic conferences”(tearing down brothers in Christ) you referenced in the post today, than those who do. There are many, many CC pastors out there who love and honor the Lord more than the brand.

  167. Nonnie
    Although some would like to think of CC as a franchise where, for instance, a CC in Orange County is exactly the same as a CC on the East coast, it just isn’t true. There are certain “distinctives” we all agree on, we are premillennial, we believe all scripture is inspired, we teach the bible, and music is contemporary. But there are variances with in these distinctives. More and more CC pastors realize there are differing interpretations on non essential theological and eschatalogical issues and no longer want those to divide us from the body of Christ. Thats why it disturbs me when broad brush statements are made about CC. None of us are perfect, and CC in general, like any other “denominational structure” is imperfect, but each church and pastor has to be judged on its own merits.

  168. Re: The Oswalt quote – I still think we are talking about two different things.

    If he was talking theology, or how to get to heaven, then yes, man is doomed and there is no hope.

    However, we live in a world where people are afraid to go to the grocery store because some lunatic may blow it up. Oswalt is right. The chances of that happening are still very slim. There are far more people who don’t want to blow up a grocery store than those who do.

  169. Steve, I guess I didn’t make myself clear. Basically what you just said is the general theme of what I was trying to convey…..that there are, indeed, many more CC Pastors that put their love for Christ, His word and their congregation over what other CC’s may be promoting, especially in reference to the divisive and condemning comments against other brothers and sisters in Christ. Sorry if I wasn’t clear.

  170. The fruit never falls far from the tree. Power corrupts. The level of power is the level of corruption. CC is a franchise. It is a denomination. CC pastors are not servant leaders. I will take my imperfect church with our servant leaders over all CCs combined. Who needs it?

  171. Gary – and which is your church?

  172. I don’t trust you, MLD, so I won’t tell you. I would recommend it to hurting people but not to devisive people.

  173. Wow! And I and all other CC pastors are mean spirited, divisive, autocratic, and condescending? Hmmmmm…o well…don’t know Gary’s story…but neither can you open the eyes of those who will not see

  174. Is there a reason my comment is in moderation?

  175. What a strange Internet reality distortion when trust issues arise between people who have never met. Wow indeed!

  176. I don’t really “trust” anyone that I only know from the Internet.

  177. FF,
    Trust is earned.

    Caution is real-world and commendable. Anyone who is a reading, non-posting participant of PhxP can figure out whom they initially trust and and don’t.

    If I walk into a party and observe a few people haranguing others I’m initially gonna steer clear of those I don’t click with until I choose to interact. I have to limit how many glasses of Syrah I’ve had lest I lose track and hurt others. I’m a recovering harangue-a-holic.

  178. Gary,
    I don’t get. Those of us who are open and honest about our church affiliation Steve W (CC) and myself (Lutheran) get whacked by you – and then you say you don’t trust us?

    You hold a very dishonest position.

    btw, I am sure that the Steves here would recommend their churches to hurting people.

    Bomb throwers like you and MTM can blast away all day long – but neither of you can take incoming.

  179. Xenia is someone I used to harangue, which I regret having been drunk on ego.

  180. Another hater!

  181. I’ve been posting here for years, and MLD can take an incoming with the best of them! 😉

  182. Kind of early for a food fight! 🙂

  183. someone throw a blueberry muffin my way…

  184. Going to a pastors retreat this am with 22 other pastors of varying ages from the PNW and the East coast. It will be round table discussion led by a couple of seminary professors including Gary Brashears. I love getting together with pastors and thinkers of different denominations and theological persuasions other than mine. Forces us to think and ironically, our differences actually bring us together rather than divide us apart! I will tell you all how it goes. BTW, I will be the only CC pastor attending

  185. Hey all,
    Just heard a story on TV about the ongoing story of Saeed Abedini, an American-Iranian Pastor imprisoned in Iran for his faith in Christ.
    http://www.christianpost.com/news/pastor-saeed-abedini-severely-beaten-fainting-from-internal-bleeding-93977/
    I have been following his story for a while and signed several online petitions to get the US govt. to get off their backsides and try to obtain his release.

    Hebrews 13:3
    Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body.

  186. Steve,
    I envy you a little this morning. I used to go to “think tanks” like that quite a bit years ago. I miss it. Have a great day!

  187. “Wow! And I and all other CC pastors are mean spirited, divisive, autocratic, and condescending?”
    I didn’t say that. Good example of painting with a broad brush. Someone please give me an example of a CC servant leader.

  188. Michael,

    Regarding you number 5 about Paul Smith tearing down “the work” of another brother in the Lord. Do you have a link to this prophecy conference? I want to come to my own conclusions rather than someone else tearing apart Paul Smith of which I know little about. I just want to see for myself if Paul Smith is referring to “the work” of another brother as something different from “the work” of the Lord. You see if if anyone tells me something in the church is “the work” of another brother, I am immediately suspect that it is not “the work” of the Lord. Just saying…

  189. Gary, be fair.
    Your #173 was a broad brush.

  190. Yes, it was because I’ve never seen or heard of a CC pastor showing an example of being a servant leader. I would love to be proven wrong. I have no problem with being wrong. I’m often wrong. Chuck told about some examples way back in the early daze but not since. All the statements I made in the post you’re referring to are true. Btw, I have no personal grudge against any particular CC pastor in case you’re wondering.

  191. No, not wondering. It seems half the people on here have some grudge against CC in one form or fashion. Never been involved with CC, but a your broadbrush statement includes several CC pastors who frequent here, just by being a broadbrush statement. I am a baptist and I frequently see CC pastors verbally abused on here with little or no evidence, just broadbrushes, which you seem to be against when it is directed at you.
    How can you know that there are no servant leaders in the CC movement?

    BTW, if you reply. it might be awhile before I can reply, I have to take my wife to the dentist soon.

  192. Take heart, Gary.

    Those of us who choose not to represent ourselves, our church, or our theological positions as some great things have the luxury of not having to defend them.

    If you want to build a moat around your theology and your church, of course you will have to defend it.

    http://tinyurl.com/bvm2san

    The predators among us, great in words but small in spirit, are desperate to associate each of us with some person or group so that they can attack us. I really do not understand what drives them.

    They cannot understand that some of us worship One Great One, and find nothing else with which to identify.

  193. Oh and my #187 is in moderation because it has too many links. 🙁
    All need to take a look at it. Sort of off topic, but I urge you to find the online petitions and sign them.

  194. Gary @ 173

    I believe “servant leadership” is really an oxymoron. Until folks realize that there will be problems. Servants are there to support the leaders and leaders are there to guide the servants. When will you ever have a leader follow a servant? Never!

    When will you ever have a servant lead? Never! In many ways these terms are mutually exclusive. Lets not kid ourselves. This is why I don’t think the terms should be juxtaposed together like this.

    I think the question is whether a leader is always a leader and whether a servant is always a follower? This is why I believe in mutual submission. Sometimes the leader needs to step back and follow and be a servant. Sometimes the servant needs to step up and lead. But I don’t think serving and leading happens simultaneously. You are either one or the other at a particular point in time. This is why I am not real big on all these leadership conferences. Those leadership conferences that stress servant leadership are fooling themselves because they believe the way to be great is to be a servant. But what they don’t tell you is that by “being great” doesn’t necessarily mean being a leader. But if they want to stress being a servant than by all means do so and stop being a leader at the moment you want to be a servant because you can’t serve another and at same time try to get that person to follow you at the same time. These two things don’t work simultaneously in my humble opinion.

  195. Gary,
    Your caution is wise. Just be yourself and interact here on your own terms. Don’t let anyone bully you. I hope you still do art in some manner.
    Have a great day.

    Xenia,
    Sorry again for having been unkind to you.

  196. In that case I was out of line. I was responding to one post and I haven’t read all that goes on here or on other threads. I didn’t name any one CC pastor, just the one guy who I don’t trust who identifies himself as Martin Luther’s disciple. I hold Martin Luther in high regard. I think he was like Peter- impetuous but honest and humble.
    If I have a grudge it’s not against any particular CC pastor or person, but against the system. If you want evidence of the CC pastor’s lifestyle there are numerous websites you can peruse.
    Again I’m asking if someone can show me an example of a CC servant leader. What does that look like?

  197. Gary,

    I can not find one example of a CC servant leader and I have no idea what that should look like.

  198. By servant leader I mean what Jesus said; “I have given you an example. Those who would be a leader must be a servant.” (Something like that) When a leader is being a servant he is being a leader in showing an example of serving. My pastors are all servant leaders. I have invited certain people who I’ve never met personally to come to my church. When they ask I give the details.
    Here is an example of a servant leader. He apologizes for mistakes he made. He apologizes personally and publically.

  199. Oops- I see I misspelled my name and my previous post went to moderation so I’ll attach it here-
    By servant leader I mean what Jesus said; “I have given you an example. Those who would be a leader must be a servant.” (Something like that) When a leader is being a servant he is being a leader in showing an example of serving. My pastors are all servant leaders. I have invited certain people who I’ve never met personally to come to my church. When they ask I give the details.
    Here is an example of a servant leader. He apologizes for mistakes he made. He apologizes personally and publically.

    ( lo )====:::,
    I haven’t done much real art in a long time. but my life and circumstances are changing and I’m itching to draw.

  200. Gary,

    Jesus said that if you want to be Great, you need to be a servant of all. Nothing about being a leader in that verse. I think many make the same application mistake and think this verse Jesus mentioned in Matthew is about leading. I don’t think it is.

  201. My dental appointment is at tooth-hurty. 😉

  202. “LOL – how do you “fall” into sin? I mean, do you sin and then say “Wow, how did that happen?” If you were really repentant, you would stop.

    Sin is who we are – not what we do.”

    Looks like your getting caught up in mincing words. Bottom line is a Practicing Homosexual is not a Christian and will not inherit the Kingdom of God if he does not repent. being Gay is not a Gender or a Race or an ethnicity, it is a PERVERSION!

  203. Am I still blocked? 🙂

  204. When will you ever have a leader follow a servant? Never!
    —————————————————————-
    Andrew, Jesus served, even to the point of the washing of feet. And we follow Him, right?

    The apostles were all leaders of the early church, and Jesus was teaching them to be servants.

  205. Steve Wright,

    Andrew, Jesus served, even to the point of the washing of feet. And we follow Him, right?
    ————————————————————————————————————–
    Yep and Jesus was God.

    Not sure what you point is Steve Wright. We are to be servants and we can agree on that. Other than that, not sure what your getting at. I am not against leaders. Are you somehow saying that if we become servants we too will become great as in becoming powerful leaders, pillars of the church, have enormous congregations, have gigantic following, profound influence, etc…etc.. etc…??

  206. Steve Hopkins, my 174 was in moderation until just now. I hope you saw my reply to you. Blessings!

  207. Andrew – Jesus’ example shows us that it is possible to be a leader and a servant at the same time.

  208. Josh,

    Jesus was also a man and God at the same time.

    We will never be God.

  209. Andrew,

    I’m going to do this as politely as possible.

    “Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat,so do and observe whatever they tell you, but not the works they do. For they preach, but do not practice.They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger.They do all their deeds to be seen by others. For they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long,and they love the place of honor at feasts and the best seats in the synagoguesand greetings in the marketplaces and being called rabbi by others.But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brothers.And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven.Neither be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Christ.The greatest among you shall be your servant.Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”
    (Matthew 23:1–12 ESV)

    “And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came up to him and said to him, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.” And he said to them, “What do you want me to do for you?”And they said to him, “Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.” Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?”And they said to him, “We are able.” And Jesus said to them, “The cup that I drink you will drink, and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized,but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.”And when the ten heard it, they began to be indignant at James and John. And Jesus called them to him and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them.But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant,and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all.For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.””
    (Mark 10:35–45 ESV)

    The context of servant leadership comes from these passages…where Jesus is addressing the issue of LEADERSHIP with the disciples and use HIMSELF as the model of one who has all authority, yet became the servant of all even unto death.

    He also modeled this by washing the disciples feet…modeling one with authority who is willing to serve those under him without shame or hesitation.

    It’s not that hard to see.

  210. Andrew,

    It was a conference at Calvary Appleton last week.
    I was watching a live feed.
    Smith was ripping Rick Warren…whose work is every bit as valid as Chuck Smiths.

  211. Andrew, let’s say I start serving the poor around my house. Maybe other people see me do that and join in. Then I am a servant and a leader.

  212. Michael,

    It is not hard to see at all the servant hood of Jesus and what He taught us.
    These are wonderful words from our Lord. But I don’t see the concept of leadership in them. At least the common understanding of LEADERSHIP. That is a stretch. I see the concept of servant hood. Jesus taught the concept of servant hood to his disciples. It is not that hard to see that. LEADERSHIP is not the greatest gift in the body of Christ. Unfortunately those that interpret Jesus words about being the “greatest” are by default making the “gift” of LEADERSHIP the greatest. And we know that no gift is any greater than any other gift in the body. The toe needs the foot just as much as the eye needs the nose. That is the beauty of the body. And there is only one head: (JESUS Christ) LEADERSHIP is not the greatest gift as you and many seem to be making it. And I don’t believe this is what Jesus is referring to. I keep reading and reading and reading the above scripture. Sorry but Jesus is talking about servant hood. Its not hard to see. Read it again.

  213. I installed some new security software and it’s throwing a lot of comments into moderation.

    My apologies…I’m working on it.

  214. Concerning Jesus and Paul: They seem to contradict one another at times because of their respective audience. Jesus was speaking the Law to those under the Law. So when we read His words, they are perfect and beautiful….AND NOT INTENDED FOR US! When we read the four Gospels, it is a continuation of the Old Covenant up until the moment Jesus cried “It is finished!”. So reading the Old Testament and the four Gospels is reading someone else’s mail. Paul’s letters, on the other hand, is directly to us (the Church).

    Context, context, context….

  215. Andrew,

    You are hacking the Scriptures like an overcooked roast.
    In the context of the passages He is addressing the future leaders of the church who were arguing about their LEADERSHIP positions in the coming kingdom.
    He was telling them that this what what true leadership looks like.

  216. The above understanding radically transformed my idea of just how beautifully and jarringly scandalous this truth we call “Grace” really is!

    Amazing Grace!!

  217. “So reading the Old Testament and the four Gospels is reading someone else’s mail.”

    Gotta say, I think you went a couple steps too far, there.

  218. Michael,

    Yes, they were arguing about the future LEADERSHIP positions in the church. And this is precisely why Jesus rebuked them. Just because this is what the disciples had in mind, this doesn’t imply that this is what Jesus had in mind. Quite the contrary. Jesus was talking about servant hood. You are the one that is hacking the scripture here.

  219. Jesus was under the Law, preaching the Law, while fulfilling the Law. Thus, God remains just and merciful at the same time. Paul’s “Justification By Faith” is an explanation of how Christ’s work pertains to us who were never under the Law.

    Which means… When Jesus gives impossibly difficult commands, they are not intended for me to keep as the basis or a means of righteousness. Like the 10 Commandments, I enjoy the perfect beauty of His words without having to condemn myself (or anyone else) for not strictly adhering to them.

  220. Andrew – you are letting your understanding of the word “leader” cloud your mind.

    Yes, the disciples were rebuked, but their is no doubt they became leaders. It just wasn’t the kind of leaders they had in mind.

  221. Josh. In my opinion, failing to take those steps mixes up the Law and Gospel. A deadly combination.

  222. PMY – You don’t adhere to Paul’s commands either.

    And Jesus said those who would keep his commands…only the ones who love Him.

    Again, I understand the hermeneutic you present, you have just taken it way too far.

  223. Graw: the lethal combo of Grace and Law.

  224. Andrew,

    The church has historically interpreted these Scriptures in the way we have demonstrated to you.
    If you truly believe that you have greater insight than all who have come before you, then you have bigger issues than I can address.

  225. Graw sounds like an ugly monster which I think it is.

  226. The strict separation of Law and Gospel is found nowhere in scripture.

  227. Michael,

    Historically other than very recently in the last 40 or so years has the term “servant leadership” ever have been used?

  228. Andrew Servant Leadership can be traced to at least 570 BC.

  229. Josh. Is not that the very point of Hebrews? Old is gone. New is better.

  230. You show me a place in Hebrews (which probably was not written by Paul) that says Jesus was under the Law and thus we should not follow His commands and I will eat my computer. Right now.

  231. Michael,

    Who is “we”? Other than the rise with the leadership network and other organizations have I ever heard the term “servant leadership”. It is very new terminology and something that I never heard of growing up in church.

  232. Andrew, it is an ancient concept. Google it. It goes back thousands of years. Seriously.

  233. I hope I didn’t imply we are not to follow His commandments. Rather, He kept the commandments for me, a Representative as me. I am loved by God regardless of whether I keep commandments or not. That is the Law of Life and Peace and not of Sin and Death.

  234. God loves me as though I lived the life of Christ. Awesome.

  235. That’s exactly what Jesus preached, in the Gospels.

  236. He preached… Forgive or you will not be forgiven, pick up your cross, hate your family for His sake, your righteousness must exceed that of the Pharisees’, if your eye wanders then pluck it out, you are guilty of murder and adultery, sell off all that you own, ect… As the means to be righteous.

  237. Camel through the eye of a needle stuff. It’s the Law all juiced up!

  238. Andrew,

    You obviously have no knowledge of the history of the church or the doctrines it has taught.
    The “term” is not the issue.
    The “concept” is the issue and the concept is found from the beginning of the church to the present day.
    It was incarnated in the ministry of Jesus…a ministry He passed on to the apostles and down through the ages.
    This commentary is only about 500 years old…

    26. It shall not be so among you. There can be no doubt that Christ refers to the foolish imagination by which he saw that the apostles were deceived. “It is foolish and improper in you,” he says, “to imagine a kingdom, which is unsuitable to me; and therefore, if you desire to serve me faithfully, you must resort to a different method, which is, that each of you may strive to serve others.” But whoever wishes to be great among you, let him be your servant. These words are employed in an unusual sense; for ambition does not allow a man to be devoted, or, rather, to be subject to his brethren. Abject flattery, I do acknowledge, is practised by those who aspire to honours, but nothing is farther from their intention than to serve. But Christ’s meaning is not difficult to be perceived. As every man is carried away by a love of himself, he declares that this passion ought to be directed to a different object. Let the only greatness, eminence, and rank, which you desire, be, to submit to your brethren; and let this be your primacy, to be the servants of all.

    28. As the Son of man. Christ confirms the preceding doctrine by his own example; for he voluntarily took upon himself the form of a servant, and emptied himself, as Paul also informs us, (Philip. 2:7.) To prove more clearly how far he was from indulging in lofty views, he reminds them of his death. “Because I have chosen you to the honour of being near me, you are seized by a wicked ambition to reign. But I—by whose example you ought to regulate your life—came not to exalt myself, or to claim any royal dignity. On the contrary, I took upon me, along with the mean and despised form of the flesh, the ignominy of the cross.” If it be objected, that Christ was exalted by the Father, in order that every knee might bow to him, (Philip. 2:9, 10,) it is easy to reply, that what he now says refers to the period of his humiliation. Accordingly, Luke adds, that he lived among them, as if he were a servant: not that in appearance, or in name, or in reality, he was inferior to them, (for he always wished to be acknowledged as their Master and Lord,) but because from the heavenly glory he descended to such meekness, that he submitted to bear their infirmities. Besides, it ought to be remembered that a comparison is here made between the greater and the less, as in that passage, If I, who am your Master and Lord, have washed your feet, much more ought you to perform this service to one another, (John 13:14.)

    Calvin, J., & Pringle, W. (2010). Commentary on a Harmony of the Evangelists Matthew, Mark, and Luke (Mt 20:26–28). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

  239. sO…Do you not follow it?!?!

    This is a new spin, here. Very interesting.

  240. Josh,

    So “servant leadership” didn’t begin with Jesus is your premise. Fine but what Jesus taught was radically different than anything before. It is also radically different than anything I have seen manifest in the churches today. Jesus laid down his life for us. I don’t see too many pastors that are willing to lay down their life for anybody in their congregation let alone even in their immediate family. In fact, most don’t even have the time to even know your name if the church is so big. The mega church concept that you will become greater, more influential and have more followers, etc.. when you become a servant of all is flawed. This is the pyramidal structure of the church that has never worked. Jesus is the head. There are not two heads in the church. The mega church concept where this teaching of “servant leadership” flourishes is not a good example of what Jesus taught. Jesus taught about servant hood. Don’t worry about who will sit on the left or right. Let Jesus sort that out. But as soon as you start teaching about being a great leader, you have lost sight of being a servant.

  241. Just have Faith. The rest will take care of itself, Baptist!

  242. We are exhorted to be like Christ throughout the New Testament. What could this possibly mean if not in His humble servanthood. Yes, Jesus is God Incarnate and, yes, that is crucial to our salvation, and, yes, we will never become gods in any way.

    So what then are we being commanded to model by the New Testament writers? Certainly not His deity.

  243. Trying to keep Jesus’ commandments to prove anything is an adventure in missing the point.

  244. Andrew, you are talking about certain people who have not lived the lives that JEsus modeled. That does not nullify servant-leadership.

  245. PMI @ 249 – Love the Lord your God….Love your neighbor as yourself.

    Someone else’s mail?!?

  246. Andrew,

    You are exegeting Scripture not on it’s own merit and with the tools the church has historically used to do so, but through the lens of your personal experience.

    That is frankly, an abuse of the text, dishonest, and dangerous.

    I wouldn’t care much, but you claim to teach a Bible study and thus you are inflicting your error on others.

  247. Baptist. So you love The Lord with all your heart?

  248. @ 253 – IF thiat is not my aim, I am certainly in sin.

  249. OT. Reliance on your love for God. Failure.
    NT. Reliance on God’s love for you. Win.
    The point is: God loves YOU with all His heart.

  250. So you love God with every thought, breath, in every moment?

  251. @ 255 – Though that isn’t a fair description for the OT, I’ll not go into that right now.

    My issue is that you are lumping Jesus’ teaching in with things that you say don’t apply to us.

  252. @ 256 – I already answered that. Those thoughts that are not loving God are sinful.

  253. ” Love the Lord your God….Love your neighbor as yourself.”

    “Someone else’s mail?!?”

    Those words were addressed to Pharisees who tried to trap Jesus. Doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t.

    PTI, Good stuff!

  254. “Servant leader”. It’s not that hard to figure out…you want to find one, just go to a church pot luck and see when the “leader” gets in line. If he is first, then he is neither a leader, nor a servant. If he waits until the end of the line, and makes sure everyone else is taken care of, then he is both.

    Easy test….works every time.

  255. So…you guys who advocate ignoring Jesus’ commands…

    Do you still say you love him? (Remember what He said about those who love Him, hint: they will follow his commands)

    Do you consider yourself a follower of Jesus?

    Seriously. This is like bizzarro world. Christians saying Jesus words don’t pertain to…Christians. Wow.

  256. I love Him. But that is only because He loved me first,while I was still a sinner. I am grateful that righteousness is not dependent at all on my love for Christ Jesus and completely dependent on His love for me.

    The brilliance of the NT is that it takes humans right out of te equation…it’s sinner proof!

  257. As an aside…reading Christ’s words as strictly Law (particularly in the Synoptics) completely blows Matthew 18 Church Discipline out of the Church….

  258. “If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love.”

    The above quote from JEsus…Does it apply to you? Apparently not. Only the Disciples?

  259. Same goes for “Narrow is the way”….. I am grinning. Good News!

  260. Andrew. Was He talking to me? You?

  261. @ 263 – I agree with that, but only because the church wasn’t around at that point. So, there is a separation of LAw / Gospel even between the synoptics and JOHN?!?!?!?

    How could you possible know this?

  262. We had all better try to keep the Lord’s commandments or else He will ask us why we didn’t. He doesn’t require perfection but He does expect us to try. This is called “walking with the Lord.” Not trying to do what the Lord asked us? That’s called “Doing your own thing because we think we know better.” Believe me, we don’t know better.

    I have sat through many frustrating “teachings” in my CC days where the Lord’s commandments were explained away into meaninglessness. These teachers will have some ‘splaining to do.

  263. @ 265 – When the the Narrow way get changed? Some time after Jesus, I suppose…but whew boy, trying to support that with scripture will be tough.

  264. Cuz John was written decades later. After destruction of the Temple. He had a different vantage point and His genre, literary style, is obviously distinct from the earlier accounts. But even still, all commandments in John still fall under the Old Covenant.

  265. Baptist. Romans 5. If Adam brought us death through disobedience, how much more are we given the gift of righteousness by another Man’s obedience. Where Sin is, Grace increases. Romans 5 is mind boggling !

  266. .

    It sounds very pious to say “It’s all about God and not about me” but how can that be used as an excuse to disregard the commandments of the Lord? True piety is obeying the Lord, not bragging that He loves us so much that we don’t have to obey Him. It’s the difference between being a spoiled brat and a mature Christian.

  267. Michael,

    I am not claiming to be a pastor, but you are. You quote something with these words:

    “Let the only greatness, eminence, and rank, which you desire, be, to submit to your brethren; and let this be your primacy, to be the servants of all.”

    Wonderful words. Why, you give me such as hard time Michael I don’t know. But the other day when I mention about mutual submission to the brethren you basically rebuke me. I honestly don’t get it Michael. I really don’t. I don’t disagree we need to be servants. That is the point of Jesus teaching. It was about servant hood and not so much about leadership. If you think being a LEADER is the greatest gift than by all means propagate your theology. I don’t see that at all even with your own quotes that you quoted from church history. This is sad Michael. Keep in mind, you are the pastor Michael, not me.

  268. Holiness by accident. That’s what I call it. Not disregard for the Law nor Christ’s interpretation and teaching of the Law.

  269. Read Romans 5 and see for yourself how narrow the way is. Lol.

  270. Sorry, X. Cannot help but brag that God loves me no matter what. I boast in the cross alone. I’m sure you do as we’ll.

  271. PMI – It seems that what you are doing is equating following commands with salvation, which was not even the case under the Old Covenant. ( read Hebrews 11 ) Salvation is not achievable by following any commands, it is a gift of God. BUT!!! If we are going to follow Christ, if we are going to be disciples, if we are going to love him and be obedient, then we have to follow His commands. That’s the definition of following.

  272. “If you think being a LEADER is the greatest gift than by all means propagate your theology. ”

    NOWHERE, NEVER, have I EVER said such a thing.

    EVER.

    You are a deceiver and contentious, a twister of my words and the words of Scripture.
    It’s no wonder you got thrown out of a fellowship.

  273. Andrew, I’ve tried to help you man. You keep poking our kind host. Not gonna work out for ya.

  274. It we don’t obey the Lord, who do we obey? We might have convinced ourselves that we are obeying the Holy Spirit and that’s “New Covenant” but I have found that most people who disregard the words of the Lord in favor of “obeying the Holy Spirit” are deluding themselves. They are listening to their own imaginations, often. However, the Third Person will not contradict the Second Person.

  275. As a pretty strong dispensationalist myself, I think a distinction needs to be made in recognizing that Jesus in fact did teach under the Law of Moses (i.e. when healing a leper, the command to show the priest would not be done today if God chose to heal)

    However, He was also teaching the disciplies in preparation for the Church age – when the Law of Moses would indeed be set aside.

    We would be wise to separate His teachings in accordance to the Law (typically to the masses and the Pharisees) and His teachings to the disciples.

  276. Josh,

    It doesn’t matter. Michael is deceiving people if he insists the passage is about leadership. Its about servant hood. And Michael is very mean to keep bringing my past into question. Very sad.

  277. Andrew, at first I thought your point was that mutual servanthood eliminated the idea of leaders in the Body of Christ. Others before you have tried to make a similar point.

    However, you have written also that you have nothing against leaders, and seem to recognize that leaders do exist.

    Certainly you are not arguing that once one becomes a leader, he no longer is a servant – and yet you wrote way up there (the first thing I pasted) that nobody would follow a servant, and no servant would be a leader.

    Again I quote you: “When will you ever have a leader follow a servant? Never!”

    So maybe you can at least see our confusion at what point you seek to make in all this.

  278. Andrew,

    The passages are about how leadership is to be practiced.
    As the servant of those you lead.
    If you cannot see that you are beyond correction and are nothing more than a divisive person who should be marked as such.

  279. Wow.

    This is whacky.

    So now, some stuff Jesus said doesn’t apply to me. and some stuff does.

    Let’s be reasonable for a moment. Let’s say I wasn’t building my whole life around Him (which I am) and I was just reading the bible as a casual observer.

    Jesus’ teachings are still absolutely right! Every bit of them. Eevn a pagan would do well to follow the teachings of Jesus. Wouldn’t get him to heaven, but would definitely make this life better.

    You guys are twisting some pretsels out of something that isn’t that hard.

  280. Wow Michael,
    You have already concluded that I am not a leader. So why would any of these verses apply to me? If you can not see the greater context of what Jesus is saying, I feel really sorry for you man.

    We all take turns leading. I am not a one man show. No one gets the spot light. We all share. We all learn from each other so if the others think I am divisive than they can say that when its their turn to lead. But Michael you are being divisive here. That is all I can say.

    Steve Wright,

    Yes, there are leaders. I have nothing against leaders. I love my leaders. Every parent is a leader to their child. The children don’t know any better and need a leader. A great way to lead is by example. I have no problem with that, in fact its probably the best way to lead.

  281. So now, some stuff Jesus said doesn’t apply to me. and some stuff does.
    —————————————————–
    Josh, remember when Jesus was asked a question and His response was “What did Moses say?”

    When would a pastor give that answer today?

    Jesus was born under the Law, He lived under the Law, he died under the Law. I know you agree on all that.

    So why is it hard to recognize that He also taught under the Law – but again, my point is to look to the context of whom He is teaching and on what subject.

    If one of us today sees a divine healing, we are in trouble if we have to find a Levitical Priest to authenticate it! 🙂 (As Jesus taught on one occasion)

  282. Andrew,

    Do you believe there are leaders in the Body of Christ – leaders of other Christians in the church.

    yes or no.

    (Not parents, employers, the city mayor etc.)

    Seriously, if you think ‘no’ just say so and it will at least make more sense of your posts.

  283. deception is a pretty serious allegation and requires both evidence and insight into another’s motives. One ought to tread carefully when slinging labels, for that opens the labeler to labeling…

    the labeler is liable to libel…that was fun to say. 😉

  284. Steve – I still follow the Ten Commandments. Not perfectly, and not for Salvation. But I follow them.

  285. Steve Wright,

    Yes, I do believe their are leaders in the Body of Christ. I’ve already stated that we all take turns leading our Bible Study. I am not the only leader.

    In addition I also believe there is the office of Pastor/Elder and deacon in the church. However, I don’t think Jesus was referring to to this in this passage Michael pointed out.

  286. divisive is a pretty serious allegation and requires insight into another’s motives. One ought to be careful when slinging labels…

    a divisive divider has no dividends with the indivisible…that was fun to say, too. 😉

  287. Andrew, Do you think those leaders should serve others?

  288. Josh,

    The Church rewrote one of those Ten to fit our day…and the other Nine are all commanded in the New Testament. So yeah, I seek to keep the Nine – and my busiest work day of the week is the “Sabbath” (as redefined by the Church over the centuries)

    And of course, forgetting about the issue of salvation because we both fully agree that the Law does not save, only Christ through grace.

    But as to our guide for Christian living and pleasing God. You do recognize that you pick and choose from the Law of Moses’ commands. I’m sure there are many you do not seek to keep. Why? My answer would be the teaching of the New Testament that overrides on occasion.

    That really is the only point I seek to make when I talk about evaluating Jesus’ words in the Gospels. I go against the hardcore dispensational view that Jesus somehow is to be ignored until the Upper Room. No. A thousand times, No.

    And I do consider myself a hardcore dispensationalist. 🙂

  289. n addition I also believe there is the office of Pastor/Elder and deacon in the church
    ————————————————
    Now we’re getting somewhere! Are those leaders then to be servants?

  290. I love when fil gets in these moods 🙂

  291. Fil @ 289

    “deception is a pretty serious allegation and requires both evidence and insight into another’s motives. One ought to tread carefully when slinging labels, for that opens the labeler to labeling…”

    Consider Michael’s words to me. These are coming from PASTOR Michael.

    “You are a deceiver and contentious, a twister of my words and the words of Scripture.
    It’s no wonder you got thrown out of a fellowship.”

  292. Steve @ 289

    Of course. But Jesus doesn’t just have these leaders in mind in the Matthew passage. I believe there is a greater context. But we will never get to that at this rate when Michael keeps accusing me.

  293. “My answer would be the teaching of the New Testament that overrides on occasion.”

    Of course, but I don’t see the NT overriding JEsus’ teachings, ever. THAT is the discussion that is taking place.

  294. Josh at 293

    Of course. But Jesus doesn’t just have these leaders in mind in the Matthew passage. I believe there is a greater context. But we will never get to that at this rate when Michael keeps accusing me.

  295. Andrew @ 298 – Then there is your servant-leader. You have said there is no such thing. The leader who serves is a servant leader. Solved.

  296. Gary,
    Re: your 202
    Sorry, and not being contentious, but the weight of providing evidence really should lie on you.
    You think no CC pastor is a servant leader.
    That would be like me stating that X minority were all like Y.
    When we stereotype, no one takes much of what we say seriously.
    And why? Because no one group really ever resembles a stereotype. I am sure you can find plenty of examples to support your theory, but I am pretty darn sure that all in that group will not fit the theory (I actually believe the numbers would be low).
    _____________
    It looks like this convo got real interesting after I left, and also very confusing.

  297. Josh, what about the examples I gave earlier. Show yourself to the priest. What did Moses command?

    How about when Jesus taught that the scribes sit in Moses’ seat and therefore all they teach you, that you should do (i.e. follow the Law of Moses)

    How about when Jesus taught to tithe in context with the Pharisees lack of love and justice. (I don’t think the NT teaches tithing, though it does teach grace giving)

    How about when Jesus said ONLY adultery is acceptable for divorce. Paul of course added to (not overrided) on that in the NT.

    Please understand me – these are few and far between. But it is my experience that the most common confusions among Christians as to how to live comes when they see a contradiction between Jesus and the New Testament. Of course, my explanation is that no such contradiction exists – because inevitably the verse they are having trouble with is one of the few examples I mention here.

  298. Andrew: take a breather. Your point isn’t going to be more accepted just by resorting to more furious keyboard mashing.

    I understand what you’re saying but it’s not being accepted as such.

    Just a word of advise: what your saying is not well-accepted anywhere, hence why the church is in the state it is today.

  299. what your saying is not well-accepted anywhere, hence why the church is in the state it is today.<<<

    I see. The church is in a bad way because people do not obey the Lord.

    Well, maybe *your* church.

  300. Josh @ 301

    “Andrew @ 298 – Then there is your servant-leader. You have said there is no such thing. The leader who serves is a servant leader. Solved.”

    Not so fast. Do you believe the passage in Matthew is only referring to servant hood is only referring to pastor/deacons in the church? Or is there a greater context?

  301. And show Michael some respect. It is his blog. Outside of Reuben and nomans, no one else helps him with it. It’s our privilege we get to comment.

  302. Kathy @ 304,

    Your a sweety and you hit the nail on the head. But I will take your advice and leave. Probably for good. This is not a healthy blog.

  303. Kathy – Maybe you can help. What is he saying? I’m being serious.

  304. Xenia: I don’t have time to elaborate my point. I wasn’t going to reply, I was just about to leave my room.

    Maybe later tonight I can write a paragraphs on what Andrew is trying to say from my point of view.

    Till then, may God be glorified. Peace.

  305. What passage in Matthew? You said there is no such thing as a servant leader, then you described one.

    I am completely lost.

  306. Kathy,

    I have given Michael a lot of respect but his comments to me about my past over and over again is completely uncalled for. No one needs to put up with that garbage. No one. This is the problem and you are right nothing I have to say will ever be accepted when Michael resorts to these kinds of attacks over and over again. This is pure abuse.

  307. JTB @ #309

    Everytime he gets on that subject, he confuses me as to his position. It almost seems he has an objection to the modern term “servant leader”, does not think any scripture supports it, but then agrees with most of it.
    Sorry Andrew, you are not making yourself clear.

  308. We are all to be servants if we follow Jesus. Nobody would argue that – even if reality does not show it.

    At the same time, that role of service varies depending on our calling. We serve each other in various capacities (and I am not simply speaking of at the local church)

    There is a huge temptation for those in the office of pastor/elder to be lifted up in pride and seek to be served rather than to serve all. Imagine how much more the temptation if one was an apostle and doing the miracles and having the influence they had.

    This is what happened to the leadership among the Jews in Jesus’ day – and what He taught His followers against.

    Actually, London made possibly the best point in the thread – about who gets served first in the potluck.

  309. Josh,

    To understand this terminology you need to understand what leadership means in our society. A pastor is best defined as a shepherd caring for sheep in the bible. However, modern day pastor/leader is more defined as CEO of corporation. Corporations are using this same servant-leadership terminology as churches are. But churches are not the same thing as corporations. This is why I don’t like this terminology. When the world and when the church use the same terminology and even use the same scripture verses to justify themselves, the church needs better ways to define than this. But enough said about this whole concept. I have better things to do than hang out her.

  310. Why leave, Andrew. You are good conversation. And I agree with your # 315, it just wasn’t clear before.

    Hang out. You said mean things to Michael, he said mean things back. Nobody was abused.

  311. No Josh,
    Michael has resorted to using my past against me now three times. I am sorry but this not right. I have to go. This is abuse.

  312. To call what happened here today abuse, is an insult to those who have actually been abused.

    Don’t be a victim. Own up. You weren’t completely nice, nor was he. We move on.

  313. Andrew,
    Your claim of being abused here doesn’t hold up when everytime someone posts something you always chime in with “Do you believe in (Blank)?”
    Yesterday, on the discussion of the Holy Spirit and the Spirit of Christ, one of your first things was to ask Josh if he believed in the Trinity. Sorry, it seems like you are trying to find theological differences, not to learn, but be contentious. That is my take.

  314. Andrew,

    Your postings here have shown a person who will not receive either correction or engage in meaningful dialog.
    Thus, it’s easy to see where you would have conflict with anyone who tried to do so, then run and claim abuse.

    Just like you’re doing here…

  315. I like Andrew. There is a communication gap, but I think he’s a good guy.

  316. Abuse. I don’t think that word means what you think it means.

  317. Xenia,

    It is called spiritual abuse. Use a person’s past as “ad hominem” attack against everything they say even if another says the same exact thing. It is sick and perverted.

  318. @ 323 – If what happened to you today here is abuse, then the word truly has no meaning.
    You and Michael exchanged a few words via the internet. No big deal.

    Do you really think what Michael said to you equates with what some others have suffered through, to the point of calling it abuse? You are diluting the word by extreme overuse.

  319. Derek at 319

    “Andrew,
    Your claim of being abused here doesn’t hold up when everytime someone posts something you always chime in with “Do you believe in (Blank)?”
    Yesterday, on the discussion of the Holy Spirit and the Spirit of Christ, one of your first things was to ask Josh if he believed in the Trinity. Sorry, it seems like you are trying to find theological differences, not to learn, but be contentious. That is my take.”

    I don’t believe my conversation with Josh on the trinity was anything dis-respectful. I was learning about Josh and his beliefs. We had a very courteous dialog. Not sure where you are getting this from Derek.

  320. “Do you really think what Michael said to you equates with what some others have suffered through, to the point of calling it abuse? You are diluting the word by extreme overuse.”

    Yes, I do believe it is spiritual abuse. Because Michael doesn’t know my history or my past experiences yet he uses this precisely against me. This is very dangerous.

  321. OK Andrew. Josh is right if you believe anything on here was abuse, then the word has lost it’s meaning.

  322. @ Xenia’s #322.
    I heard that one like I was watching “The Princess Bride” 🙂

  323. Andrew and Derek – The Trinity dialog was fine. I was not offended, and appreciated the conversation.

    Andrew, several of us, not just Michael, had trouble understanding where you were coming from on the servant leader conversation. Did you think we were abusive too?

  324. Andrew,

    You have stated your case against me and your feelings about me in very strong language.
    Now, if you believe you are in some sort of spiritual danger you need to take responsibility for your own well being and go away.
    I would not want to further damage such a delicate flower, but you need to help yourself here.

  325. Andrew – I think if I gave some details about what happened to me at 7 years old at the hands of the man across the street everyone here would agree it was “abuse”.

    Without getting too personal, are you really telling me that your interaction with Michael is in that same category?

  326. Josh,
    No I do not think any but Michael was abusive for bringing my past into the conversation. That I believe is abusive the rest of you were fine.

  327. Derek, there is a Princess Bride quote to fit every occasion. 🙂

  328. Josh @ 331
    If I were to bring up your abuse at 7 years old and tell you that it was your fault every time I disagreed with you, you might consider that abuse, no?

  329. Andrew. Michael’s disagreement with you here today was very slight, and it was not abuse. Perhaps he was out of line when he said that he could see why you had been kicked out of church, but there is a big difference between that and abuse. If that is abuse, then everyone in the world is abused every day of their lives.

    Let’s use words the way they are intended, so that they keep their meaning. Otherwise, we’ll have to invent a new word to separate things like today from real abuse.

  330. “You have stated your case against me and your feelings about me in very strong language”

    Michael, your language was even stronger against me. And I am not even sure why. Sorry we have to leave on these terms.

  331. Josh,

    You are avoiding my question. If I were to bring up your case of being abused at 7 years old and turn that around and say it was your fault you were abuse and that is why you are wrong, you would not consider that abuse? How insensitive has the church become?

  332. Andrew,

    You’ve made your point.
    How long are you going to try to milk this?
    Either get off or go forward.
    I’m done now.

  333. Michael,

    I was responding to others. Some asked questions of me. Sorry Michael if I hurt you or offended you. But as you wish Michael I am going even if Josh or others ask me to stay. Bye.

  334. Well, crap. That was kinda fun.

  335. It was interesting and yet hard to follow. Jesus was a servant leader even
    if He didn’t “say ” it. I think that word just got in the way.

  336. I’m gonna pat myself on the back for a moment. Earlier someone brought up Chris Broussarsd’s comments re: Jason Walker coming out of the closet. Jay Mohr talked about this on his show earlier and had callers weigh in on if Chris was justified in mkaing the comments he made. I called in and disagreed with Jay he was cool about it tho and he made me the “Star of The Show” today which is a daily award on the show. LOL! Hey I;m hard up for awards these days even if it is a meaningless radio show award 🙂

  337. There is not a sane person in the world who would deny what Josh experienced as a small boy as physical and emotional abuse.

    However, if spiritual abuse is defined down so low to include comments seen in this thread, then it does call into question any other claims by the same person of spiritual abuse.

    Say what you want about me, but the idea that Michael and the regular posters here at this blog are insensitive and uncaring to spiritual abuse is ludicrous. That they would PRACTICE it upon others is all the more ludicrous.

    Everyone here took Andrew at his word about his past, but some dared ask for a few background questions and those were never delivered. In fact, the details that were shared over time were all over the map.

    But it is far, far easier to blame others than to look in the mirror.

  338. Didn’t learn much about the servant/leader thing but I can see that Josh is perhaps the nicest, most patient man on this blog 🙂

    Michael, I appreciate your patience and wisdom. You are full of grace.

    I believe that there is some sort of communication barrier as Derek said. Also, for what’s it’s worth, there seems to be an issue with (against) Pastors and that is getting to be an old topic.

  339. Listening to Andrew reminds me why I discount almost all stories of “spiritual” abuse. If any church person has said no to Andrew, that counts as spiritual abuse.

    The spiritual abuse claim has turned into a catch all from, the pastor looked at me cross eyed to a Jim Jones situation. Most are of the “cross eyed variety.

  340. Steve wrote — “As a pretty strong dispensationalist myself, I think a distinction needs to be made in recognizing that Jesus in fact did teach under the Law of Moses (i.e. when healing a leper, the command to show the priest would not be done today if God chose to heal)
    However, He was also teaching the disciplies in preparation for the Church age – when the Law of Moses would indeed be set aside.
    We would be wise to separate His teachings in accordance to the Law (typically to the masses and the Pharisees) and His teachings to the disciples.”

    I see what you are attempting to do but this dog doesn’t hunt and there are a lot of reasons why.

    #1 – Parallel passages. One Gospel shows Jesus teaching the masses and another Gospel shows Him teaching the same thing just to the disciples.
    #2 – There are teaching of Jesus specifically to the disciples which were with respect to the word.
    #3 – The “church age” didn’t start with Jesus. The church was in the wilderness…

    I respect your attempt at creating a hermeneutic that could work against a DIspensational background, but if the foundation is shoddy the building won’t stand.

    Not a single jot or tittle of the Law will ever be set aside.

  341. typo…
    #2 – There are teaching of Jesus specifically to the disciples which were with respect to the Law.

  342. Tundra, Talking to a Baptist like Josh about a dispensational perspective on the Gospels is a little different than debating someone like yourself who denies the idea from the start.

    So simply for clarity, I will acknowledge I painted with broad strokes about the words to the masses versus the disciples. I could have been clearer there. However, the larger point I sought to make is that Jesus taught under the Law of Moses, while at the same time introducing much that was not only new but would be carried over into the Church – through the ministry of the apostles He was preparing.

    As to your point #3 and reference to Acts 7:38 – if your standard for God’s Word begins and ends with the Old King James, then sure, the church was in the wilderness. I’ve known several King James Only folks who love the Lord but are convinced that 1611 English stands inspired above the original Greek and Hebrew.

    My guess though is that you are not such a person, but I really don’t know. If you aren’t though, then you know that every other translation pretty much has dropped ‘church’ in favor of the broader meaning of ekklesia – a word used for even the Ephesian mob.

    I define the Church as the Body of Christ, not simply all saved from the beginning of time…..when the Promised Parakletos would come and indwell, seal and baptize those who believe the gospel at the moment of saving faith – still future as of the Upper Room, and even future as of the Ascension. But fulfilled in the 2nd chapter of Acts.

    (and note – yes, I believe the baptism of the Spirit is the moment of salvation, and not a secondary empowerment later…)

  343. Steve Wright said, “However, if spiritual abuse is defined down so low to include comments seen in this thread, then it does call into question any other claims by the same person of spiritual abuse.”

    You and others (MLD and many more of you) on here have accused me of being an “abuser” for blog comments on this blog forum. You’ve asked Michael on many occasions to deal with me for comments you deemed “abusive”.

    So, I would suggest you make up your mind about this issue…are words “abusive” or not?

  344. As I’ve said many times, if I give you (Steve, MLD or anyone) a hard time verbally, it’s “abuse” and you want blood and justice (for you and your friends and those you feel an affinity or loyalty toward).

    If you or your Group do it to someone else, it’s “get over it!” “grow some thick skin” “it’s not that bad” and you minimize, question whether or not it’s abusive etc.

    Human nature and you continue to prove my thesis.

  345. Alex, I believe there is such a thing as spiritual abuse.

    That said, I have never, EVER equated words on a blog with spiritual abuse. Against you or anyone else.

    I would think you of all people would be the first to tell someone like Andrew to not equate the cause you and others seek to fight with what he saw on this blog today. Because it diminishes that cause.

    Can words hurt, even typed ones. Sure. Which is why someone who is so easily offended (Michael’s use of ‘delicate flower’ is perfect) probably should not show up with loud criticism, condemnation and attacks against multiple people and their beliefs, and then when a little pushback comes, be so quick to call foul.

    (As an aside, I’ve called you a bully in the past. When you were acting like one. Not an abuser…a blog bully. Try to keep the insults straight. 🙂 )

  346. Alex,

    I was accused of spiritual abuse.
    Words can be abusive indeed.
    However, Andrew was not spiritually abused on this blog.
    Now, I’ve had enough.
    If people don’t like me or the people on this blog or the blog itself…they can leave.
    If they want to have an issue, I’ll ban them.
    I’ve put up with crap for way too long.

  347. Leaving your dog tied up outside in sub-zero weather, that’s animal abuse.
    Beating up your wife, that’s spousal abuse.
    Screaming obscenities at your children, that’s child abuse.
    Manipulating your parishioners in ways harmful to them, that’s an abuse of authority
    Stealing money from an elderly relative, that’s elder abuse
    Disagreeing w/ someone on the Internet…. that’s entertainment.

  348. Andrew explains himself here, so I won’t add anymore.

    “To understand this terminology you need to understand what leadership means in our society. A pastor is best defined as a shepherd caring for sheep in the bible. However, modern day pastor/leader is more defined as CEO of corporation. Corporations are using this same servant-leadership terminology as churches are. But churches are not the same thing as corporations..”

    I don’t think Andrew had a bad point. I think there’s a difference between being argumentative and being wrong.

    I don’t think people jumped on Andrew because he made a bad point. (I’d have to read through the comments and I don’t want to). What Andrew believes is what many of PxP do. But it must’ve been his delivery (again, too lazy to go back and read all the comments).

  349. “Disagreeing w/ someone on the Internet…. that’s entertainment.”

    hahaha.

  350. Andrew: I’m not trying to add to the dogpile but starting a war with Michael is one you can’t win. So why start it? Who wants to fight a war you can’t win?

    TBH: there’s LOTS of stuff written on here that I disagree with too. Sometimes it’s just better to walk away, especially if you’re greatly outnumbered. But then there’s times where it can be a rock-rolling good ol’ fashion debate. So I always come back….

    Pick and chose your battle. 😉

  351. Probably 90% of all pastors live at near poverty levels, doing the work of a pastor and teacher to there congregations. I doubt many are out for the power and with the intent to abuse.
    In the midwest, especially the farm lands, many Lutheran pastor care for 3 congregations, sometimes driving a couple of hours between them, so that the folks have someone on Sunday to preach the word and serve the communion.

  352. Xenia, that was priceless.

  353. “Probably 90% of all pastors live at near poverty levels”

    Do you have the data to back this up?

    I’m not talking about Asst. Pastors, Childrens Ministry directors, worship leaders, etc… I’m talking about Senior Pastors, the ones that get to control the cookie jar.

    Well… let’s take a small survey here! There’s lots of Senior pastors that read this blog. How many of YOU are living at or near the poverty level?

    Yeah…

    And don’t be fooled by their yearly salary, which is what is stated on the budget report and it is very modest I admit. That is more their personal allowance. You need to take in account their housing cost, their car costs, their vacations, ahem… their travels and sabbaticals.

    It’s not a bad living. It’s more in the range of a 6 figure salary man. That’s why so many people put up with crap to do it.

  354. “Probably 90% of all pastors live at near poverty levels”

    “The median expected salary for a typical Pastor in the United States is $86,128”
    http://www1.salary.com/Pastor-Salary.html

    Church Pastors’ Pay Rises to More than $80,000

    “Pastors leading in Presbyterian and Lutheran churches earn the most with over $100,000 in compensation… ”
    Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/church-pastors-pay-rises-to-more-than-80-000-33898/#l6xmRmsD38z6AfRd.99

  355. Pardon The Interruption,

    Gotta ask about your post earlier today…

    Pardon My Interruption says:
    April 30, 2013 at 10:22 am
    Concerning Jesus and Paul: They seem to contradict one another at times because of their respective audience. Jesus was speaking the Law to those under the Law. So when we read His words, they are perfect and beautiful….AND NOT INTENDED FOR US! When we read the four Gospels, it is a continuation of the Old Covenant up until the moment Jesus cried “It is finished!”. So reading the Old Testament and the four Gospels is reading someone else’s mail. Paul’s letters, on the other hand, is directly to us (the Church).
    Context, context, context….

    Are you trying to be absurd?

  356. “Talking to a Baptist like Josh about a dispensational perspective on the Gospels is a little different than debating someone like yourself who denies the idea from the start.”

    I would hope that he, or anyone else, would test the hermeneutical paradigm against Scripture regardless of whether or not they are Dispensationalist. Your paradigm just doesn’t stand the test.

    “However, the larger point I sought to make is that Jesus taught under the Law of Moses, while at the same time introducing much that was not only new but would be carried over into the Church – through the ministry of the apostles He was preparing.”.

    When the Old Testament is studied carefully one finds that there was very little new. 300+ messianic prophecies pointed to the life and times of Jesus. Even the New Commandment was the Old Commandment.

    The Revelation was that the Son was manifested.

  357. Kathy, as much as it pains me I have to say that MLD is actually right this time… Pastors typically make very low salaries and the extras you mention don’t make their incomes anywhere near that of a competitive position.

    I’m not talking about the mega church pastors. Just the 90% as MLD pointed out.

    And yes, you can verify it for yourself. Take the “yearbook” of a denomination which list all of that data for the local churches. You will be surprised.

  358. Agreed. Most pastors barely make what is considered livable by blue collar standards. There are always exceptions, but the 100K+ a year guys are either pastoring huge churches (which are not normative, just highly visible) or they are using most of the tithe for the salary and facility, leaving nothing for anything else.

  359. Steve, in my book blog bully is the same as you saying I was abusive.

    I don’t think strong words on a blog are abusive, I think X’s assessment above is accurate. If you were a child, I’d agree with your “blog bully” comments, but you’re not a child (at least not physically).

  360. Michael, I don’t think you are spiritually abusive in any way. I think you can be wrong sometimes and can misdiagnose things at times, but we all are guilty of that. I strongly disagree with anyone that would label you abusive.

    Abuse to me is pretty much exactly what X said. Co-bloggers are on equal footing. Survival of the fittest. If you can’t swim in the deep end, then put the floaties on and stay in the wading pool.

    Husband-wife, father-child, Pastor-sheep…different animals. Verbal abuse is real, but it depends on the relationship. Me busting up MLD is not the same as me busting up a teenager or a Pastor busting up a sheep that looks to him as representing God.

  361. Well… we’re just throwing around opinions, which is fine, but that also means there’s no answer.

    I’m just curious, has there ever been an independent study done on Pastor’s salaries before? MTM mentions yearbook, but I have no idea what that is or how to get access to it.

    Not just that, churches are pros at hiding expenses. Which is one reason I never argued about a churches budget report. Firstly, I didn’t have time to read it. Secondly, a lot of the expenses is hidden in things like “building” costs or transportation, or traveling expense, etc…

    Since we’re just throwing around opinions…. let’s ask Alex! Alex, did you feel you were raised in household that was near the poverty level?

    I can’t remember one pastor that was homeless. All of them had homes, at least half had VERY NICE homes , I know of two that had half million dollar homes (but half million doesn’t go far in OC). I’ve been shopping for churches in Las Vegas and it’s the same story, I haven’t seen a Pastor living anywhere near the poverty level. If they were, they’d be living in my neighborhood! And I’d know about it.

    Of course I’m being judgemental. I have no idea where the money comes from. Maybe their wives are heiresses?

    But of course, I visited the more well known churches, with at least a few hundred people in attendence in decent neighborhoods. If I had to account for every home fellowship, and porch church, I’m sure the poverty level is greater. I still can’t see it anywhere near 90%.

  362. Kathy, I posted stats but it is in moderation.

  363. BTW: i’m not against Pastors earning the equivalent of a 6 figure salary, especially if their church can afford it and they are the reason for its success.

    I’m just saying it is. Just because the bring the jaloopy to church doesn’t mean that’s what is in their garage.

    I think it’s sad when a church has stockpiled their wealth into the billions on the backs of those living on food stamps.

    I think it’s sad that the last thing to go on a church’s budget is the Pastor’s personal house.

    I think it’s sad how the staff on a church is grossly underpaid, yet the Pastor and his family are taken care of.

    But what do I know…

  364. Ostensibly because of links.

  365. Most of the pastors I grew up with had to have a second job. The big-time pastors are not the norm and skew people’s views.

  366. Our Lutheran pastor has been a parish pastor for about 30 years. I would guess his salary is somewhere in the 50s (I’m not currently on the elder board but I was, so this is from memory). He has 8 years of post-secondary education — a 4-year liberal arts degree and a 4-year seminary degree. He will be retiring this year.

    What others have said on here I believe is true. Pastors in the mainline denoms. are sure as heck not in it for the money. These newer groups like CC where the pastoral paradigm is much different from the traditional model, well, I don’t know how it works.

  367. Now having said that, there have to be some sort of boundaries or it goes to hell quickly and the Group tends to eventually enforce those boundaries (sometimes unevenly at times, but in the end it all seems to even out). I know I probably wouldn’t put up with me on my blog b/c I don’t like domineering a-holes 🙂

    I must like some of you more than I think sometimes…as I keep coming back. I was able to quit p**n years ago, but can’t quit the PhxP, it’s like heroine for blowhard pontificators 😆

  368. Average pay 86k, Presbyterian and Lutheran 100k. Links caught in moderation @360.

  369. Seems Andrew thought he was among like minded or at least friends. Michael has different theology and wanted him gone.

  370. Q,
    That is a lie.
    His theology wasn’t an issue, his attitude and accusations were.
    I’m not in the mood for any more nonsense.
    That’s one warning and it will be your last.

  371. G. This kind of Grace that the New Testament grants when read in It’s purest form may initially seem absurd to our religious proclivities. In actuality, what I’m proposing here is much more generous and gracious to this broken world than your espoused view of Sola Gospels. 🙂

    I cannot follow Jesus’ commands in terms of fulfilling righteousness….nor Buddha’s….nor Mohammed’s. But I celebrate the finished work of my High Priest, my Man in Heaven, so that now I am n Christ, at the right hand of God’s very throne.

    The fact that Jesus’ teaching, while perfect in every way except attaining salvation, was not directed toward the Canaanite woman, nor you, nor I is Good News.

    If you take your viewpoint seriously, Jesus did not come to give Good News but a Tough Assignment.

    Do you hate your children, walking away from them for Religion, a.k.a “Christianity”? Did you sell everything and give it to the poor lest you be impossibly rich, thus cannot enter the Kingdom unless you know how to shrink down a camel ? Do you daily deny yourself and pick up YOUR cross? I don’t.

    I rest in His faith, in His love. That is Good News! Absurdly so….

  372. Your view just may be…. May be….more stringent and binding and religious than you may intend, dear G.

  373. Kathy asked, “Since we’re just throwing around opinions…. let’s ask Alex! Alex, did you feel you were raised in household that was near the poverty level?”

    When I was young and BG started CC Visalia, we were poor. The church grew and so did our lifestyle. By high school, we were middle class, but nowhere near 6 figures.

    By the time my brother Paul was high school/college age (he’s 10 years younger) BG was pulling down 6 figures, paying my mom for work and taking all sorts of benefits and expenses etc. Bookkeepers and others have told me in the range of the tax-equivalent with all perks of over $150,000 per year combined (maybe more). Housing allowance, everything paid for, two salaries, retirement, car allowance, gym memberships, phones, even car washes and gifts for pastor friends, meals, you name it (all according to multiple sources) including allegations of petty cash being spent on personal items (my brother Paul and others allege this).

    Now some could say “where God guides He provides” and the whole “a worker is worthy of his hire” etc and other excuses. I’m sure there are loopholes both government and spiritual.

    Folks can contest the numbers above, but I was given the info by three former CC bookkeepers, a former board member, former long-time assistant pastors etc, folks with intimate knowledge of the finances. It was all “board approved” allegedly, and while I thought it was “corrupt” or whatever and while I though it was “sinful” and “evil” from what I thought was correct Christian Fundamentalism, the authorities in Tulare County and the authorities in Calvary Chapel at the local and regional and CCCM level all seem to say it’s above-board and A-OK. I guess then that folks should use BG as a model for finances and run their Business or Church in a similar manner…lots of great loopholes I wasn’t aware of until recently due to the validation and “A-OK” rubber stamp from both CC and Tulare County.

    Personally, I feel like a sucker for not running finances in a similar manner. So much money I’ve wasted in doing things so conservatively.

    To you CC pastors out there, BG is good-to-go according to Chuck, you may want to get some pointers and make some more $$$ and quit stressing over stupid things like stewardship* (asterisk) just get your board on board and you’re good to go, no problem.

    Take what you can while you can. Get it, get it, get it. Life is short, pray hard and play hard. God’s anointed deserve it. They work hard for their kingdom and to the victor belongs the spoils, in the name of Jesus of course.

    Praise God! Pass that offering plate.

    I think I might sell the pawn shops and become a preacher. It can be a great gig.

    I think I have what it takes:

    1. Charisma: check

    2. Good public speaker: check.

    3. Good lookin’ (not all are, but doesn’t hurt): check.

    4. Good salesman: check.

    5. Good at persuasion: check.

    6. Good at marketing: check.

    7. Good at self-promotion: check.

    8. General knowledge of the bible: check.

    9. Shameless in screwing people over: ah f***k, same one that keeps me from making more money in the pawn biz. I need to get over that character flaw and make more $$$.

  374. “Take what you can while you can. Get it, get it, get it. Life is short, pray hard and play hard. God’s anointed deserve it. They work hard for their kingdom and to the victor belongs the spoils, in the name of Jesus of course.”

    LOL.

    Alex, I’ll always find you entertaining.

  375. Kathy, you should party with me sometime, I’m even funnier when I’ve got a couple of bourbon and cokes in me 😆

  376. “Average pay 86k, Presbyterian and Lutheran 100k. Links caught in moderation @360.”

    That’s what I thought.

  377. I think it would be fun to be a semi-Christian stand-up and mock all the garbage in the church (as well as myself)…while drinking bourbon (kind of like Ron White) and cursing…kind of Martin Luther meets Ron White meets Ricky Gervais, but in a somewhat dorky Jim Gaffigan / Patton Oswalt flavor. Irreverent, cutting truth, yet affirming what is supposed to be God if it’s all true.

    I think I could pull it off 🙂 I may take a stab on youtube. What’s the worst that could happen? I don’t think it would send me further into hell if the Selective Fundamentalist gospel and god is the true version.

  378. Alex. Re: 383. Do it!

  379. I’m telling you folks, grace abounds…literally. Especially in Calvary Chapel. Quit stressing out and be human. The only caveat I’d offer is don’t hide it like CC does, hypocrisy seems to be something Jesus hated. If you’re going to be a monumental sinner, then don’t add lying to the list like the pastors I know do.

  380. “E” @ #45

    I really respect you a lot. I kind of know what you go through from having emailed you back and forth a bit and finally getting to meet with you that one Sunday with my son. I think it was the courage you showed me when you fought back against the anxiety/panic by letting us come over and pray with you that impressed me the most.

    You are an inspiration to a lot of others who may experience panic attacks. What I like about you is that you have never thrown in the towel. You are a man of God who stands inspite of your own personal struggles in life.

    It is great that you have shown Joshua type faith and courage in your own way. The compassion you have for those who suffer panic attacks did not come easy. May God always surround you and your family with understanding and compassionate people like yourself…

  381. I’LL KNEEL YOU ALL!

  382. “I think it would be fun to be a semi-Christian stand-up and mock all the garbage in the church (as well as myself)…”

    I would soooo watch this.

    Limit the cussing and I think you have your million-dollar idea. 😉

  383. Kathy,
    When you say that you have looked for churches and can’t find any where the pastor is at poverty level, try going to one of the many storefront type churches found in old downtown areas.
    I don’t have the data but I remember once reading that the average church in America is 150 people. Try making 6 figures off of that.

  384. I don’t know why you guys go to churches that give the pastor access to the money. My pastor doesn’t have any access to the money – he is not even a signer on the bank signature cards.

    You guys are dopey to go to those kinds of churches.

  385. I think this is the most bizzare thing I have read in a while.
    http://jamesmacdonald.com/blog/my-resignation/

  386. I’m back. What did I miss? jk jk jk jk
    #322 Ith inconTHEEVable!
    #333 Yep. Love that story.
    #353 LOLOLOL!! Loved it. Post-of-the-day imho.
    #359. My pastors are well paid and worth every sheckel.

    Derek #302. I asked if anyone could show examples of a CC pastor being a servant leader. I’m still asking. I can’t and won’t post that which I don’t know, that which I have no evidence of. Someone gave a good general example- that of watching if the pastor got in the front of the pot luck line or the end. My pastors always wait until everyone is served before getting in line. (They’re in line lol)
    Alex#379 When I heard Chuck say “Where God guides He provides” I thought he meant that if God guides you to do something He will provide what you need to do what He tells you to do. Now I know he meant something else.

  387. It took me over an hour to wade through the posts. It was worth the wade. :0

  388. I have lost all interest in MacDonald. He is starved for attention, and I figure the loss of mine might inspire others to ignore the fat headed elephant as well.

  389. I never had any interest in him. Just saw it linked in twitter from someone who thought it was just as weird as it is. Sort of a big pity party and whine post.

  390. Gary #392,
    Ask Reuben about his former CC pastor. It might be the droid your looking for.

  391. *you’re

    And I found the link to Reuben’s story about his pastor.
    http://reubenmills.wordpress.com/2011/11/17/celebrating-a-faithful-man/

  392. I’ll stay out of the pastoral compensation discussion except to note two things about the links cited. The salary dot com site gave a job description that went with that $86,128. Here it is: (note the required masters degree and 5 years experience)

    Directs religious services and all daily operations for the organization. Responsible for all staff. Oversees outreach and educational programs. Performs religious services and leads prayer. Requires a master’s degree in area of specialty and at least 5 years of experience in the field or a related area. Familiar with a variety of the field’s concepts, practices, and procedures. Relies on extensive experience and judgment to plan and accomplish goals. Performs a wide variety of tasks. Leads and directs the work of others. A wide degree of creativity and latitude is required. Typically reports to a regional or chapter manager.

    As for the numbers from the Christian Post article – those are for total benefits, not just salary.. A lot of times we see the salary only of certain professions like fireman, school teacher and so forth and ignore the benefit packages that are typically a part of those jobs. Health insurance alone for a married pastor with kids probably makes up well over 12,000 of that total compensation – even for a high deductible/co-pay plan.

    Carry on… 🙂

  393. Steve,

    Thanks for filling out the picture.

    Just as I thought.

    The devil is in the details.

  394. Great story about your pastor, Reuben. Is he a CC pastor? And your dad, was he a CC pastor?

  395. Michael, it wasn’t a lie, it’s an opinion.

    “That’s one warning and it will be your last”

    That’s what Andrew was up against, bend or be rejected.

    Not going to bend, but didn’t call anyone a delicate flower.

  396. Q,

    Just keep your toes on the edge…step over and you’re gone.

    Actually, if you think I’m such a bad guy, why the hell are you on my blog?

  397. #387 was suppose to say SILENCE! I KNEEL YOU!

    It was a reference to Jeff Dunham in reference to Alex’s comment. Just got through watching a Dunham clip and realized I misquoted Achmed

    I know, it failed miserably.

    I really need an edit button. 😛

  398. God talked to Adam and Eve, no? What language were they speaking? Hebrew?

  399. Q,

    On a blog where my tradition is the minority and many traditions and theologies abound…what was the “theology” that I wanted rid of?
    Let’s hear it…

  400. Kathy, LOL! I LOVE Achmed the Dead Terrorist. Hilarious routine.

  401. I’m assuming incest was not sin during the Adam and Eve days…as brothers had to have relations with sisters (or their mom) if the Genesis account according to fundies is correct…yikes.

  402. God spoke to Adam and Eve in Italian, si? Espanol?

  403. Gary, I just find it weird that if the Fundie interpretation of Genesis is correct, that Adam and Eve materialized from dirt and spoke Hebrew. We are then to assume that everyone spoke Hebrew until Babel. Seems a bit far-fetched. Why do we have cave drawings and no written words if Adam and Eve, assumed to be the first humans, spoke a language?

  404. I actually think Chuck Smith is right that Mormons can be Christians and that Adam and Eve were not the first humans…

  405. I can rag on fundies with the best of ’em, having been one for a while, but I don’t remember the part about Adam and Eve speaking Hebrew or Shebrew. yeah, a lot of fundies are prudes but many are closet -er- I mean out of the closet. Hmmm I’m cornfused. They’re fine with sex but don’t tell. Maybe perhaps they are phony fundies.

  406. …and the evening and the morning were the first, um, epoch. A yom is a yom and I mean to keep calm. 😉

  407. Adam and Evil

    Eve was not evil, for pity sake.
    Eve was deceived by a pretty snake.
    But soon they fibbed about what God said.
    By noon the rib and the clod were dead.

  408. Chuck Smith can be a Christian and Adam and Eve were the first Mormons. It’s tired and I’m getting late…

  409. 19 Lamech married two women, one named Adah and the other Zillah. 20 Adah gave birth to Jabal; he was the father of those who live in tents and raise livestock. 21 His brother’s name was Jubal; he was the father of all who play stringed instruments and pipes. 22 Zillah also had a son, Tubal-Cain, who forged all kinds of tools out of[g] bronze and iron. Tubal-Cain’s sister was Naamah.

    These were contemporaries of Adam and Eve.

    How did humankind enter the bronze and iron age and skip all the other steps and progressions? Where were the cave men and the pre-bronze and iron age?

    …big oops for Selective Fundies.

  410. Many of you on here that are Fundamentalists seem like such bright intelligent folks in so many areas, yet nearly brain dead when it comes to some pretty obvious glaring problems with the Fundie Genesis interpretation.

  411. So Lamech went from A to Z with no Legos. Signing off for the night. That’s it- God spoke in sign language.

  412. Gary said, “God spoke in sign language.”

    Had to be verbal, as the gospel of John says “no man has seen God at any time” 😉

  413. Alex,

    I look forward to seeing you continue this thread on your blog…and getting it off mine.

  414. LOL, uncomfortable I know.

  415. Andrew, you’re a total a-hole!

    Back on track. Good to go 🙂

  416. Alex,

    Annoying, not uncomfortable.
    You’re doing the easy part…hammering away at the same stuff skeptics have been throwing for centuries.
    The hard part is doing honest investigation with the best commentaries and scholarly papers…which takes a lot of effort and a lot of time.
    You will not find those answers on a blog, nor will most blogs allow you to label the readers “brain dead” among other epithets.
    When I truly want answers, I go where the answers can be found…and I put in the work to be satisfied with those answers.

  417. I did the work, the answers are lame. How do you explain around it?

  418. It seems you drew Andrew out to find a chink.

    You knew he was coming from a fundamental view, it seems you tolerated, but were just drawing him out, and when he wouldn’t bend, I mean be corrected, it seems you found foibles and called him a deceitful…

    It just isn’t your brand.

  419. So what commentaries on Genesis have you read?

  420. In fact, my guess is you haven’t wrestled with the Tubal-Cain bronze and iron issue…

  421. Barnes, Clarke, Gill, Henry, Wesley, etc

  422. I’ve read from Wenham and Sarna and several others as well. You really think i’ve never read a commentary?

  423. Alex,

    Those are ancient works in the field of biblical scholarship…and only one of those would even be considered a remotely scholarly volume. (Gill…a couple hundred years ago)
    Ancient.
    Try on Wenham and Waltke and get back to me.

  424. Alex,

    If you’ve read real scholars and think it’s all a joke, then I can’t help you.
    No one has ever been argued into the kingdom of God.

  425. And of course, Papa Chuck’s “commentary”. Seems Papa Chuck doesn’t think Adam and Eve were the first and only humans:

    “Now, herein, of course, creates a big problem for a lot of people. Where did Cain get his wife? I think this is one of the most oft asked Bible questions. The genealogical records that are given to us in the Bible are not at all complete. The Lord is interested really in only one genealogical line. And that is the line that comes from Abraham, through David to Christ.

    None of the rest of them are really important. Some of the families are followed for a little while just to give you sort of a brief historic background to show you areas of the world that were populated by certain people, descendents of certain people. But they will only trace other lines for just a short way, it cuts off, and the basic line that we are going to follow is the line that will lead from Adam to Abraham, from Abraham to David, and from David to Jesus Christ. After Jesus Christ, genealogical records are of no value. We don’t need them anymore. The only value of holding or maintaining a genealogical record is to bring it down to Jesus Christ, so that when He is born it will be proved that God fulfilled his promise to David and to Abraham, that through thy seed shall the nations of the world be blessed.

    And so Adam and Eve had sons and daughters that aren’t even listed, their names aren’t even given. As we get into the fifth chapter and we find a genealogical chart, it names just one son because we’re only following one line, as it will bring us ultimately to Abraham. They had many other children, it says they had sons and daughters, but we’re only interested in one family line, the one that will bring us to Abraham. We’re not interested in all of the sons and daughters that they may have had.

    Now at the time that Cain killed his brother Abel, they were probably a hundred and twenty years old at this point. And by this time there were no doubt many other brothers and sisters, children of Adam and Eve, who no doubt had their children, who had their children. He could have married a cousin; he could have married a niece on down the line. There are many possibilities. The Bible doesn’t trace and isn’t interested in tracing all the families of men, just the one line to bring us to Abraham in order that we might come to Christ. And so, he could have married a sister.

    In the beginning there would have been a much purer strain. There could have been intermarriage between brother and sister without a genetic foul up which would exist today in close inner marriage because of the whole scheme of things that has deteriorated down through the years. You’re not nearly as healthy as was Cain and Abel and their brothers and sisters. At a hundred and twenty years, they were just starting. I’ll never get that far. But they lived to be nine hundred years old, nine hundred and thirty, nine sixty and so forth. And so there was a much purer strain at the beginning. He could have easily married a sister, there’s really no problem with Cain finding a wife and marrying her.

    Now for a moment we’re going to follow Cain’s descendents, but there is no sense of carrying them out very far because his descendents were all destroyed in the flood. And so you’ll start out with a new race after Noah. But we’ll follow them for just a moment here in Chapter five, we’ll trace them for a little way.”

  426. More from Papa Chuck’s “commentary” (but according to Michael, I’ve never read any commentaries, LOL):

    “So really it is interesting that iron appeared in an anti-delugian age. Before the flood they had already begun to use iron, so they had developed certain smelting methods. Now, it is interesting that even till the time of David, Israel had not advanced to an Iron Age. Many of their enemies would come in with iron chariots and Israel was always at a great disadvantage. It wasn’t really until about the time of Solomon that they really began to smelt copper and come into a use of metals. But Israel was slow in the development of metals. But here in an anti-delugian age, they were using brass and iron, which of course is very interesting.”

    Chuck asks some interesting questions…

  427. I don’t consider Chuck Smith’s work to be a commentary in any scholarly sense of the word.
    It’s devotional material at best.

  428. Michael,

    The following is an attempt to answer your (earnest?) questions.

    I first found your blog during the Skip Heitzig deal and found it informative and helpful.

    I don’t know if you are a bad guy but am pretty sure there are flaws in your beliefs. As I read, I do not think all the people here are as intellectual as they think they are nor that spiritual.

    I have been in and out of Calvary Chapel since the tent and have seen the good the bad and the…well you get it.

    “why the hell are you on my blog?”

    I’m a Christian and It’s informative in seeing others views…

    And Alex posts here, he’s gone haywire, I mean AWOL.

  429. Chuck, wtf is the “anti-delugian” age? LOL. Chuck Sr. ain’t no scholar…just sayin. Dumbass.

  430. This guy is a former CC pastor who calls out Chuck’s “maybe Adam and Eve weren’t the first humans”…and I think, ironically, that Chuck is right on this one…even if he can’t get antediluvian right 😆

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1O2XGvm9Dgc

  431. Seems Papa Chuck doesn’t think Adam and Eve were the first and only humans:
    —————————————————-
    Alex, I see why you don’t get anything from all those commentaries you read.

    Now I don’t know what you may mean by “only” humans, but as far as Adam and Eve being the first, and the original ancestors of all other human beings…..nowhere…and I mean..nowhere does anything Chuck say in your copied paste go against them being the first..

    I challenge anyone to read what you posted (noting especially the part about Adam and Eve no doubt having many children that are not listed) and draw the conclusion you do that Chuck does not think they were the first humans.

    So if you read everything else like this, not with a desire to see what the author actually writes, but with a pre-existing idea already established….then yes, you will struggle indeed.

  432. Steve, LOL, You took about 15 minutes longer than I thought to post that.

    What do you make of the ex-CC pastor’s claim? Have you read what he’s referring to in his video?

  433. Steve Wright, are you familiar with the “Gap Theory”?

  434. Steve Wright, are you aware that Chuck Smith articulates specifically this about the Gap Theory? (unlike some of you, I do my homework when I take on an issue…)

    “It is a very interesting theory indeed, a very plausible theory indeed. It would surely answer all of the problems that are raised by the scientists who are seeking to prove that the earth has been here for several million or billion years. It surely would not be out of harmony at all with what God has said here in Genesis one.”–Chuck Smith, Genesis Commentary

  435. Steve Wright, a major tenant of the Gap Theory is a pre-Adamic race of humans.

  436. “And so the adherents of the gap theory see Genesis l:l as original creation, and the rest of Genesis as a process of re-creation, as God began to re-create the earth in order to place man in his present form upon it.”–Chuck Smith, Genesis Commentary

    Notice the use of “man in his present form”…

  437. Alex, I see rather than deal with what I wrote you decide to post new stuff and take issue with what was said in the new stuff….

    well…four posts to be exact.

  438. Five!! 🙂

  439. Chuck Smith’s got some interesting theories…maybe he’s a distant relative of Joseph Smith 🙂 Very creative individual…

    Again, Chuck’s not as orthodox as some make him out to be…and I’m OK with that. If you actually read his stuff on some of the difficult-to-resolve issues in the bible, he gets out there…not as out there as Missler, but out there.

  440. Steve, I laid some bait for you. You took it. You are probably the only one that doesn’t notice that, which makes it even more hilarious 😆

  441. I finally gave up on you (or another cc apologist) and posted the guys video and got into the meat of the support of the claim. You posted right after I showed my hand, LOL. I knew I should’ve waited a little longer dangit! LOL.

  442. I wanted to see you or someone else claim Chuck has never said such a thing and that I was spinning the other commentary I posted and watch you call me exactly what you called me above…and then BANG, the proof! 😉

  443. Truth is, you have no clue about a lot of the whacky stuff Chuck says and believes. I actually read the stuff. Again, I think some of it is interesting, who knows, could be right, but it’s certainly not very orthodox. Missler’s a hoot, too.

  444. “It is interesting that when Noah came out of the ark after the flood, when the inhabitants of the earth had been destroyed by the flood, the command of God to Noah was to “replenish the earth.” The same command that God gave to Adam and to Eve, “to replenish the earth,” speaking of perhaps a pre-existence of forms of life.”–Chuck Smith, Genesis Commentary.

    Amen Chuck! Very interesting indeed! 🙂

  445. G’nite, LOL. Just having a little fun and making a very valid point or twenty indeed.

  446. Steve Wright said earlier, “Alex, I see why you don’t get anything from all those commentaries you read.

    Now I don’t know what you may mean by “only” humans, but as far as Adam and Eve being the first, and the original ancestors of all other human beings…..nowhere…and I mean..nowhere does anything Chuck say in your copied paste go against them being the first..

    I challenge anyone to read what you posted (noting especially the part about Adam and Eve no doubt having many children that are not listed) and draw the conclusion you do that Chuck does not think they were the first humans.

    So if you read everything else like this, not with a desire to see what the author actually writes, but with a pre-existing idea already established….then yes, you will struggle indeed.”

    BWUAHAHAHAHAHAHA! 😆

    ..now g’nite 😉

  447. PTI,
    Well, bud, ya lost me. Not sure if we’re on the same page, but then I am OK with that.

    I can relate to Jesus, trust in Him, rely on Him to make up for anything I lack in faith or performance, count on the meaning of His life, death and resurrection. He speaks to me through the gospels, consoles me, strengthens me, emboldens me.

    That’s pretty much it, beyond that I got nothing.

    Peace

  448. http://youtu.be/oSCX78-8-q0

    Just watch this, these are atoms being manipulated by “us” primates. I have followed this discussion and wont get into the is there a literal Adam / Eve debate. It there was an original Adam and Eve, it was a miracle and outside the venue of science. It would contradict huge amounts of evidence from a broad line of disciplines that are the bedrock of all of modern day genetics, biology, immunology, etc. The list literally goes on for several pages. I welcome the “debate” I hope someone invalidates evolutionary theory, that would mean we are closer to understanding who we are in a physical sense. I would welcome it, provide evidence that negates the validity of the theory, I welcome that for any theory it means we move forward.

    Evolutionary biology has given us vaccines, antibiotics, cancer drugs (the tools used to support the validity of the ToE also validate the testing of Cancer drugs and treatment). That is a very simple reflection of a much more complicated subject. It has provided a predictive tool that has proven quite accurate on many thousands of occasions. Dont believe me, please, dont, look at the evidence, not the rhetoric but the evidence. I hope Im wrong I really do, I hope it is much deeper and we study and ask questions and explore more. What I really hope is we move past absolutes and being satisfied with simple answers. I really do. We demand absolutes from our theology, but we live by probability every single day, in almost every practical way.

    The Deep field Hubble picture and the picture voyager took when leaving our solar system are truly some of the most moving pictures I have ever seen. Those images often bring me to tears, it reminds me of how small we are and yet how unique. My view and I know it is anti biblical and even Antichrist but the stories of the scripture are the hopes of our desire to touch God told in human form, in human language, with human frailty. They are us trying to touch the Divine in a very messy human way, and God reaching down to touch us in a very pure way. I am not the center of the universe, neither is the species I belong to, that does not diminish my value as a human one iota. We are one among many, that I would almost call a fact. I doubt we will ever meet them this side of eternity but on the other side, yes we will and each of us will be amazed.

  449. poorly worded sorry about that. Hope you get the idea Im trying to convey.

  450. Alex once again proves the Bible to be true.
    1 Cor 1:18 – “For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”

    The things he brings up above are no more foolish than the thought that there could be a virgin birth, or that God himself walked on the earth as a human being or a resurrection of Jesus’ dead body.

    Give him a few more rages and he will deny them all. For right now he is just too chicken to admit it.

  451. I spend my sleepless nights struggling with the conundrum of whether the chicken preceded the egg.

  452. You guys no nothing of poultry science.

  453. The Bible is clear that the chicken came first.

    Richard Dawkins thinks that it is debatable.

  454. Chuck Smith says there must have been eggs before chickens, but then again he said the Chicken Hawk would be coming back in 1981.

    So yeah, you don’t know anything.

  455. I kinda like the James MacDonald link (Derek’s 391).. Resigning from always trying to fix people is not a bad thing, as long as it doesn’t cause him to be cold, aloof, and uncaring.

  456. Everything I read from Macdonald comes across as very arrogant. I could have some sort of bias built up, but I just can’t read it any other way.

  457. “I’ve put up with crap for way too long.”

    I think all of us have and are, just saying.

    Boy, Alex do you beat your children and wife into submission with the same sort of approach to discussion?

    First let me state categorically, you are correct Chuck Smith does believe in the “Gap” theory.

    Second science has proven (or at least theorized) through DNA tracing that there was an “Eve.” So if there was an “Eve” there has to be an “Adam” (not a Steve).

    And third the scriptures never provide a “scientific” description about “how” things happen when God speaks, it just says they do!

    Of course Thomas had to see the holes and couldn’t just trust Jesus was the Jesus and yet he, Thomas, appears to also believe.

  458. More from the many bible commentaries Michael says I don’t read, LOL.

    Papa Chuck dancing around “no man has seen God at any time”…he addresses Moses (in a lame way and offers some whacky radiation apologetic and then launches into his gnostic/JW “this ain’t my real body” stuff, it’s quite interesting…and again, who knows, he might be right, but he’s not orthodox. BTW, Chuck, you forgot to address Jacob seeing God “face to face” and you forgot to address Adam and Eve talking with God and God dwelling/walking with them in the Garden. I would love to hear his explanation re: those…

    “No man has seen God at any time (Jhn one eighteen);

    Of course, people immediately say, “Well, what about Moses?” When God said to Moses, “What would you like?” He said, “Lord, I’d just like to see you.” And God said, “You can’t see Me and live.” But God said, “I’ll tell you what, you get there in the rocks and I will pass by and then you can see the afterglow.” It says “the hinder part,” but it’s actually the afterglow of God having passed by a spot and then Moses looking at the radiation of the afterglow. And he became irradiated in looking at that. His face began to shine so that when he came back to the children of Israel they couldn’t look at his face. They said, “Cover it, man, you’re shining. We can’t stand to look at your face.” But no man has seen God at any time. Your physical body just couldn’t handle that. It’d be like trying to stand in the sun; you’d be consumed.

    Now, God has promised that the pure in heart shall see Him, but not in this body. We’re going to have to have a change of body. Paul said, “This corruption must put on incorruption, this mortal must put on immortality” (I Corinthians fifteen). One day I expect to see God, but not in this body, in my new body. This body is designed for the earth of the earthy, designed for the environmental conditions of the earth. My new body, far superior, designed for the heavenly environment. And in that new body, I can behold the face of the Lord and I can sit and worship at His feet. What a glorious day that will be!”

  459. My theory is that he is trying to force Michael to ban him.

  460. Bob said, “Boy, Alex do you beat your children and wife into submission with the same sort of approach to discussion?”

    Bob are you saying words on a blog and words to other adults (like a CC senior pastor to his ‘sheep’) are “abuse” and wrong and actionable?

    I thought CC Steve Wright said contrary words are not “abuse” and to grow some thicker skin or something like that. You CC guys sure have a hard time picking a position and sticking with it.

    Re: my wife and kids: no. I encourage disagreement and offer my two cents and then try to help them sort through stuff and make a concerted effort “not” to force things on them, but to explain why I think something should be done a certain way or why I think something is a certain way and then encourage them to figure it out from their perspective. I love their spirits and their individuality and they have much power in our relationship and I validate that all the time.

    Now, fellow adult blogger blowhards, different animal altogether and according to Steve W and others on here, harsh words by a pastor or by them and their friends are not “abuse” or “spiritual abuse”. <— I'm going with that definition.

  461. PP vet said
    “Take heart, Gary.

    Those of us who choose not to represent ourselves, our church, or our theological positions as some great things have the luxury of not having to defend them.

    If you want to build a moat around your theology and your church, of course you will have to defend it.

    http://tinyurl.com/bvm2san

    The predators among us, great in words but small in spirit, are desperate to associate each of us with some person or group so that they can attack us. I really do not understand what drives them.

    They cannot understand that some of us worship One Great One, and find nothing else with which to identify.”

    PP, I think you misunderstand me. I have done just the opposite of what you say here. I have offered my church as a haven for some hurting souls online. I have given the name and city. But I won’t expose the people I love and who love me to divisive people. I am able to defend what needs to be defended and to let go the rest. I will build a moat to protect against wolves.
    I’m reading the link and it’s very good. It’s long and after the halfway point I’m taking a break.

  462. It’s interesting, Chuck Smith’s god is radioactive, LOL.

  463. Have you no respect for Michael at all? He has repeatedly asked you to take this to your own blog.

  464. X, Michael said I don’t read commentaries, I offer some stuff from the many commentaries I read (regularly) and point out some things. Why the hate and accusation?

  465. Gary,

    Great story about your pastor, Reuben. Is he a CC pastor? And your dad, was he a CC pastor?

    Senior pastor Doug Gibney of Calvary Chapel Nederland, CO. My father was not a CC guy. He was Oneness Pentecostal, charismatic movement, independent church.

    For all the bad I have seen in Calvary Chapel, I have also seen the very best. I still consider CC Ned to be my home church. I disagree with almost all doctrines, and the philosophy of ministry, but they are my family.

  466. Hate? No, you and your problems do not rise up to a level of seriousness that would produce the emotion of hate. You flatter yourself.

  467. “I don’t consider Chuck Smith’s work to be a commentary in any scholarly sense of the word.
    It’s devotional material at best.”

    – Michael

  468. Alex,. Even in your gotcha you make a claim that never actually happened in reality. That is not the best precedent for you to keep setting. The fact that you do so apparently for amusement’s sake is also probably not to wise given your circumstances. But you’ve done so for the three years I’ve known you, and I assume for many years prior – so I doubt you will change.

    I responded to one post and what was said in that one post. I did not make a claim as to what Chuck Smith has or has not taught over the course of 50 years. I did not comment on other material you were keeping back to surprise us all with. You made a claim and posted a lengthy quote supposedly in support of that claim – and I responded to it and it alone. On the whole Cain’s wife issue. You did not mention the Gap Theory anywhere in that claim, or of course my answer would have been different.

    I have heard Chuck support the Gap Theory. I have heard him also support the Young Earth and strongly support the work of Henry Morris. So I could not tell you what he believes today about the age of the earth. Of course, that too was not your claim – as you spoke about Adam and Eve..

    In his support of the Gap Theory in the messages I heard, I do not recall him supporting the theory of a pre-Adamic race (many Gap Theory folks do not) but if he did, then so be it. Of course, we are not talking about a written commentary per se, but simply the transcription of his sermon notes – and I believe the sermons are from the early 1980s or so. I wasn’t even saved then and certainly am unaware of all he taught then.

    He would be terribly wrong in my opinion of what the Bible teaches. My Genesis studies, also online (but not transcribed into text) goes strongly against the Gap Theory, as well as the Day-Age theory. In no way do I believe there was death before the Fall – death of any kind. No way do I believe in a pre-Adamic race. I have no idea how many CC pastors support the Gap Theory and a pre-Adamic race, my guess is it would be a small minority. Of course, I have no idea if Chuck even holds to that view still today. But it does not really matter to me. I disagree with Chuck on many Biblical interpretations – none of them though essential to the Christian faith and salvation. Chuck is not an Old Testament scholar (or a New Testament scholar for that matter), nor would I call him a theologian. He is a brother in the Lord that has been used as a pastor in the salvation and equipping of thousands of people for the work of the Gospel – including yours truly.

  469. Steve, the gotcha was funny, and I do in fact have a sense of humor, you present such a weird take that folks are not allowed to play games or be funny at times. You have some freakish sense of judging that is beyond weird, but very typical of your breed.

    I’m a human being, and much like the mullet, I’m business in the front and party in the back. You, sir, are only showing what a complete semi-retarded bubble-oid you really are. Your ‘anointing” and position has warped your brain to the point you cannot related to regular heathens.

  470. X said, “Hate? No, you and your problems do not rise up to a level of seriousness that would produce the emotion of hate. You flatter yourself.”

    Good and likewise. I don’t “hate” CC or Chuck or any of you and I’m not bitter etc. I like your response, it’s healthy and it’s just how I feel when others like Steve call me similar/same.

  471. Alex:

    Yes, the way people address each other in a blog can be abuse.

    The difference between a blog, a pastor, my home or even a place of work is this, there is no apparent benefit of abusing an anonymous person over a blog.

    Of course the abuser can feel “superior” over their fellow bloggers and I guess that in itself is a benefit similar to the abuse situations I previously mentioned.

    So the answer is, almost yes.

    What does happen on the internet is false news spreads really fast!

    Now is Chuck a scholar? No, but he is in charge and says he speaks for God and that is the danger. Moses taught all prophets must be tested and that is what the Pharisees, scribes and leaders of Jerusalem constantly did of Jesus over His knowledge of Torah.

    “The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your countrymen, you shall listen to him…‘But the prophet who speaks a word presumptuously in My name which I have not commanded him to speak, or which he speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die.’ …When a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not come about or come true, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.” Deut 18

    Danger lurks in the hearts of men who want to be another Moses!

    Carry on your ranting!

  472. Steve W dances, “In his support of the Gap Theory in the messages I heard, I do not recall him supporting the theory of a pre-Adamic race (many Gap Theory folks do not) but if he did, then so be it. Of course, we are not talking about a written commentary per se, but simply the transcription of his sermon notes – and I believe the sermons are from the early 1980s or so. I wasn’t even saved then and certainly am unaware of all he taught then.”

    I agree that Chuck shifts his positions often and dances out of things like the 1981 prediction, I agree on that point, he is shifty.

    Fact is, Chuck does or did support a pre-Adamic race of man position, I articulated it partly above. Do your homework.

    LOL, and now Chuck’s stuff isn’t a “commentary”…BWUAHAHAHA! Nice juke!

    I guess we can’t really be sure what Chuck Smith believes, eh Steve Wright? You seem to say we can’t pin him down on much of anything, no?

    …yet when I entertain whacky non-orthodox theories, I’m a “HERETIC!” etc 🙂 😉

  473. “He would be terribly wrong in my opinion of what the Bible teaches”
    – Steve W.

  474. Interesting that Chuck Smith tolerates NO CALVINISM! …but has some really whacky non-orthodox theories about pre-Adamic race, Gap Theory and non-orthodox “this body is not the real me” etc…and Chuck gets all sorts of excuses and apologizing by CC-ites for his very non-orthodox stuff.

    Steve W, do you believe God is radioactive, like Chuck does? LOL.

  475. It amazes me that someone will come on here and post 7 or 8 in a row, asking the same inane questions, mocking God’s word, when the blog host has specifically asked him to take it to his own blog. What is the matter with you?
    If you treated your mother the way you treat people here, can you not understand why she is afraid of you and avoids you? Please think about what you are doing and how you are making yourself look? Do you not think this type of behaviour could be used against you in court as “irrational and stalking” type behaviour? Honestly, Alex, I’m concerned for you. Do you have no shame? Do you have no sense of propriety?
    Michael asked you to take this rambling to YOUR blog. Please honour this man that you say your respect.

  476. alex, it seems you’ve crossed over a threshold of some sort–your comments are more personal, mocking, dismissive, and impervious to courteous interaction. Are you alright? Regardless of all that swirls around you, people here still care about you. Please don’t thoughtlessly dismiss that care. May I remind you that agreement isn’t necessary for love, grace, or even civility.

  477. Nonnie, you’re so right, I deserved the abuse and my children deserve the shunning. So does my brother Geoff who even partly defends BG and my mom, etc.

    Praise Jesus, I’ve seen the light, thank you. It’s all my fault, I deserve it!

  478. filbertz, I’m making a point about the duplicity and hypocrisy in this Group, though I still love it and support it.

    I’ll take another big break and let you all do the same stuff, just spread out further between comments.

  479. Alex, I’ll let your insults against me pass.

    Once more, your take on what has actually been said is embellished to suit your purposes – namely to attack your enemy, Chuck Smith.

    Your statement of facts morphs more into your opinion and what you want to think. Seems to happen a lot with you and believe it or not, it is why a few of us could never trust you enough to believe you on other matters.

    A pre-Adamic race of people-like people is wrong and unsupported by the Bible. I don’t care who teaches it.

    And there is a huge difference between an OT scholar’s written commentary, typically involving an editor as well, and the transcribed notes of a Bible study by a pastor who is not even fluent in the original languages.

    The fact you imply there is not much of a difference is telling.

    I’m done.

  480. alex, your point is getting lost in the delivery, tone, and frequency. I am as faulty as anyone here, but our faults don’t have to define or limit us. You and I can do better.

  481. If we all admitted to being hypocrites, would that make you happy?

    I certainly am hypocritical in many areas. If that’s what you’ve been trying to prove, you shoulda just said so, I could have saved you some time.

  482. Alex, This is exactly why I was against you being allowed back. You apparently don’t take into consideration anyone but yourself and all it does is to continue to alienate you from others, keep others away, and to cement the negative thoughts people have concerning you.

    You had a great opportunity to allow Perry Robinson help you out on FB when it came to what you believe are your airtight ideas. He punched holes through them quite easily which was clear for all to see yet you wouldn’t. Perry is an intelligent man and I think could be of help to you if you allow him to be.

    You are pushing Michael into a corner and it almost appears you want him to ban you from this blog once again??

    You have a blog that is widely viewed with people that are serious in making a difference as much as they are able. I would get together with them and make a decision on what the future of your blog will be.

    Does it not bother you the damage you have already caused here with your behavior? If it doesn’t I feel badly for you.

    You’re reaching the place where you are becoming a spectacle where nobody can even begin to take you seriously any more. There’s a time to back off Alex. You’ve been dealt a temporary setback in court. You need to law low and regroup.

  483. Well said,E.

  484. Alex, the abuse you suffered was deplorable, but the abuse you give out is just a bad.

  485. Alex,

    You know that I have long supported your cause but not always your methods. The same goes for your presence here at the PP. Nonetheless, I have never felt the need to call for your banning here. However, at this point, I must. You are making a mockery of this place and the people here. You are completely disrespecting the host. The same host who has exhibited extreme amounts of patience and graciousness with you over the years.

    Yes, I still do support your cause in principle. But this type of behavior, which many people have told you over the years does not help your cause, has now gotten worse. I understand that the recent court ruling that went against you has likely had a significant effect on you. I can not fully understand as I am not in your shoes, nor have I ever been in a situation like yours. And so I try to express my empathy the best I can with obvious limitations. But at the same time, as being a part of this community, I must call out your behavior which is heading toward extremes, and ask that you are no longer allowed here until you can modify your behavior. Your current presence is not serving any good for you or anybody else in this community.

  486. I understand that the recent court ruling that went against you has likely had a significant effect on you.<<<

    He sowed to the wind and will reap the whirlwind.

  487. Point made (though many of you don’t even realize it). Thanks guys. Carry on.

    X, btw, BG is reaping the whirlwind. You have no clue…

  488. You have no clue<<<

    Nor am I interested.

  489. I really feel for you right now, Alex. If it was me I would be very depressed after the court ruling. A terrible setback. Temporary I hope. I wish peace for you.

  490. Three points:

    – The chicken came before the egg.
    – Tim Tebow was released by the Jets.
    – Marty McFly arrived in the future on April 30.

    Connect the dots, people! Time to wake up.

  491. Steve W, thanks for the material, I’ll be sure to quote you in the future, this is public record.

    Gary, it was actually (ironically) the best outcome (if you understood the dynamics in play) and will be very costly for BG and CC.

    “depressed”…LOL, hardly. I’m just disillusioned and frankly more skeptical than ever due to the example of the church and even folks on here regarding the macro-situation. It resolved some questions for me. I think X had it right above, that it’s not “hate” nor is it bitterness…it’s that I make fun b/c I think a lot of it (and folks) are stupid and I don’t care enough to hate them or the issues. I’m learning to make fun of it rather than take it seriously as a Fundamentalist would. It’s been a long process to kill of the ever-clinging Fundie in me.

    I do appreciate the well wishes, though.

  492. I may not know the law, but when you sell liability insurance for 20 years you get to know attorneys.

    I’d be really worried if my attorneys were ‘shocked’ at the result, given I have never had an attorney that did not say there was at least a 20% chance of losing even the most air-tight civil case. Usually they put the risk of loss at even higher to be conservative.

    I’d be concerned if that shock was coupled with so much celebration on the initial preliminary rulings which clearly meant little, rather than telling their client how little they really meant to the big picture and that there was a long way to go.

    I’d also be concerned by the kneejerk appeal, given the statistics against a successful appeal in California are about 80%-20%. Not to mention another 1.5-2 years of dragging this out (and running their meter). (I’d ask if they lose will they waive their appeal fees.)

    And since the appeal is on a ruling to throw the case out, I would guess most judges might be slow to do so, slow to overrule the trial judge that saw ALL the evidence and thinks the proverbial ‘having your day in court” is proper here.

    Which goes back to my advice from a couple weeks ago. Scrub the website and ask for the suit to be dropped. It would be best for your soul. And this thread seems to support that….

  493. My apologies for the mess.
    I thought Alex would respect my wishes after I asked yet again.
    Then I took ill yesterday and haven’t paid much attention.
    I’ll deal with it.

  494. Steve Wright said, “Alex, I’ll let your insults against me pass.”

    Liar, no you won’t. You’ll bring it up many times in the future and keep attacking. 😉

  495. later, busted, accountability and church discipline, what a concept 😉

  496. Or maybe Alex’s attorneys did offer all these cautions…and Alex just reported what he wanted to hear.

  497. Steve Wright said, “Which goes back to my advice from a couple weeks ago. Scrub the website and ask for the suit to be dropped. It would be best for your soul. And this thread seems to support that….”

    You are clueless.

    My concern for the website is for those hurt by CC and how my now-more-skeptical-than-ever input would not help them. It’s not out of concern for the lawsuit, my attorneys believe strongly that I am well within my Constitutionally protected First Amendment rights and they put their time, money and reputation on the line to defend that and are confident they will win at the Appeals level (which will cost BG and CC dearly, big bucks).

    Your opinion of my “soul” carries about as much weight as your opinion of pretty much anything else…nearly zero…though I bet you can sell the hell out of insurance. You do seem to have that insurance salesman quality about you 🙂

  498. Here’s a question for you Steve, something I think you are actually qualified to have a solid opinion on: Is AFLAC a good supplemental policy? Am I wasting my money?

    AFLAC (in best duck voice). 🙂

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