Apr 142016
 

cj-mahaneyimagesI thought we were different.

I was wrong.

The “we” I speak of are the families of Reformed and Calvinistic churches and pastors that are gathered for the Together for The Gospel convention this week.

 

That is the tribe I chose to associate with after dealing with all the theological and ecclesiastical aberrations of non denominational evangelicalism.

Surely, their historical and confessional foundations would keep this group from all the abuses I had witnessed before.

Sadly, this is not so.

When Al Mohler introduced C.J. Mahaney at this conference yesterday, he affirmed that even the Reformed have joined the corporate evangelical industrial complex.

That complex is concerned only with the well being of the leadership, and only with the top of that pecking order.

In introducing Mahaney he introduced with approval a man who is implicated in the largest sexual abuse scandal in evangelicalism in our time.

He did so with approval and without a hint of censure.

Mohlers introduction wasn’t just intended to bring Mahaney to the microphone…it sent two other messages.

The first message was to the protestors outside the building and online.

That message was that these leaders do not care about either the protests or the victims they represent.

Period.

Evidently, the “tenth mark of a healthy church” is that the leaders have no conscience.

The second message was to those inside the hall…the 8000 from all over the world who came together under these leaders.

That message was that Mahaney is one of our own and you will accept him as one of your leaders.

They willingly acceded to the tyranny in hopes of being a tyrant one day themselves or lest their current tyranny be exposed and they need powerful friends.

This…is the modern template of what it means to be a “Reformed pastor”.

Richard Baxter and Jesus wept together.

In June, Calvary Chapel will trot out Skip Heitzig at a pastors conference…and the messages conveyed will be exactly the same.

Scandals don’t matter.

Victims don’t matter.

This is one of your leaders and you will submit.

They will indeed.

There is nothing like the prospect of profitable tyranny to sear a mans conscience.

Ichabod.

  78 Responses to “Reign of the Tyrants”

  1. And this is the apostasy that has spread all over the world and even been exported by the US to the rest of the world. Christians don’t get it. Nothing about this resembles Christianity.

  2. Lesson learned! Tyranny isn’t denominational or theological, it is however character driven. You don’t just find arrogance in Calvary Chapel’s, you find it wherever pride is allowed to fill pulpits. Quite frankly that should have been your focus long ago instead of pointing mainly at Calvary Chapel’s and their form of government. But I’m thankful you have written about it now as it reminds ALL pastors to check their heart’s before they entertain teaching God’s Holy Word.

  3. This is one of the most confusing aspects of the evangelical landscape for me today. Women are supposedly more easily deceived, according to these leaders, but it seems to me that the deception of money and power is widespread among men in this group. God have mercy!

  4. Thank you for being a prophetic voice.

    Since I have roots in the Reformed tradition myself (as well as the evangelical tradition–but am sort of hesitant to admit that openly, now … ), I absolutely agree that both Jesus and Richard Baxter would certainly be in tears over this trampling of human suffering and dignity.

    God’s blessings go with you. Elizabeth Jones @chaplaineliza #PursuePEACE

  5. “And to the angel of the church in Sardis write: ‘The words of him who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. “‘I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God. Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent. If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come against you. Yet you have still a few names in Sardis, people who have not soiled their garments, and they will walk with me in white, for they are worthy. The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’
    [Rev 3:1-6 ESV]

  6. Yet another truly sad indictment of celebrity Christianity.

  7. “Show me the money” and “Good ole boys club.” Nothing more, nothing less.

  8. These guys are evangelicals. How many Presbyterian types who wear robes were in attendance? Those guys are the Reformed.

  9. Thank you for this post.

    Let me add a bit of info. Did you know that Al Mohler told the following sick *joke* when he introduced CJ and the audience had a big chuckle.

    “I told C.J. that in getting ready to introduce him I decided I would Google to see if there was anything on the Internet about him.”

    Not only did they ignore victims; they laughed at them.There is something deeply wrong with these men.

  10. @5

    Papias. Did you know Sardis was founded as a military garrison? that’s why it was built atop what appeared to be a rock from a distance. It wasn’t actual a rock at all.

    t is a very apt description of Covenant Life Church and all the other groups that connect back to the Shepherding Movement.

    It’s whole purpose is to suppress and dominate other groups, just like the purpose of Sardis.

  11. MLD is right. These guys are evangelicals who hold Cavinistic Soteriology.

    They have more in common with Chuck Smith than Richard Baxter.

    I like a lot of these guys. Think they made another mis-step here.

  12. In fact 6 of the 10 plenary speakers are Southern Baptist.

  13. Dee Parsons comment at 9– “Not only did they ignore victims; they laughed at them.There is something deeply wrong with these men.”

    I just can’t. This is what’s wrong with America. It’s not the liberals.

    Kiss the Son, lest He be angry.

  14. The issue in any church or church body is not **if a pastor will sin badly, but **what will those to whom he is accountable do about it. Even in a Moses model, the laity have the power of the purse. If people pay to attend conferences to hear these folks, they must not care about their sin (as long as they’re not queers), right? Anything thing but gay will pass.

    And people wonder why the American church is in decline.

  15. i haven’t been following what these guys are up to… not gonna, either

    that said, what terrifies me is that the fear of a holy God is gone… we don’t understand grace… we toss it off with the caveat that it is not a license to sin, but, then we smile sweetly and declare, if you ask God to forgive you, He always will… well yes and no… a penitent heart before God, asking forgiveness is going to receive forgiveness… but i think we need sounder teaching on that aspect of our walk…
    we say there is no end to God’s grace – i disagree… Hebrews 10:29

  16. Michael, your headline is spot-on. I think the divide in Protestantism between clergy and laity is greater today than it has ever been in this country. Ever.

    Senior pastors have set themselves up as tyrants and kings over “their flock”, whether it be 7,000 or 70.

  17. Michael, I like the article. Over the last year of watching the GFA cesspool of scandal I have become a neo-Iconoclast. I see this as a trend that I believe God is starting from the ground up. The new Icons are not pictures hanging on walls of dead saints, but time and money spent pursuing and enriching our very few select group of Celebs. Both Christians and pagans in our culture worship celebrity status. There is no difference. There ought to be. It was noted in the comments that 6 of those guys are SBC. My pastor got his credentials from them but left 2 decades ago because of how worldly the politics of the organization had become. He now states that he is a recovering baptist. With time sin festers and gets worse as the pastors here well know.

  18. Dee Parsons (#9) and bishopdave (#13)…

    That is just sick and revolting what Albert Mohler said. I have no respect left for him…from what little I had in the first place.

    And for these good ‘ol boys to be pointing their finger at gays/liberals/democrats/whatnot for God’s coming judgement, there are more than a few fingers pointing back at them, and maybe God’s judgement is coming, but just not towards whom they believe will be judged.

  19. And in a related note…worship of megachurch pastors and celebrities continues at the ChristianPost…

    http://www.christianpost.com/news/can-christians-get-tattoos-according-to-the-bible-pastor-mark-driscoll-answers-161591/

  20. Mark has the luxury of recycling stuff from a decade ago on the assumption that without a MH internet presence all the stuff he’s recycling can look newer than it is.

  21. have some other thoughts about those who present themselves as pastors but are more celebrity than pastor … but may just save that for a post at the blog

  22. Ichabod…

    Seems Roger O was right!

  23. These men do not even have a thought to those who have been victimized. They think sexual abuse is funny. A “trial” he called it. A trial for him? Or for the victims? Of course he meant a trial for his preacher buddy. Disgusting.

  24. Yuppers.

    Well stated and something we’ve been asserting for many years now.

    Christians tick the same as any other Group of humans on the planet. They are no more “specially anointed” nor are they “transformed” into anything. They are human beings and example and demonstrate the same human traits and actions and reactions. Same, no difference, other than sometimes worse.

    Don’t support these churches. They are human constructs full of greedy for money and greedy for power men.

  25. The Institutional Church and these Mega-Denoms and their Leadership Hierarchy and Dynamic may be more ANTI-CHRIST than anything out there….yet most of you support the Construct.

  26. You even continue to have Pastors on here who regularly defend the same Construct that perpetrates so much b.s.

    They don’t care. “Not my problem!”

    Well, it is your problem, you actively participate in it and endorse it and support it by your participation in it. Shame on you you worthless luke-warm hypocritical kiss-arse water-toting politicians.

  27. “Same, no difference, other than sometimes worse.”
    Not sometimes worse – always worse.
    We are worse because we know better.
    We are worse because we know the living God and can’t get out of our own way.
    We are worse because we have the promise of heaven and still sin against our Holy God.

    But, and this is a big but – we are forgiven.

  28. […] preaching despite being dogged by allegation of criminal conduct in covering up child sex abuse. In this article the Phoenix Preacher said that the “tenth mark of healthy church” is that leaders have […]

  29. I want to send my Mahaney books back for a refund..what address should I use?

    And..LOVE you ending quote which nicely SUMS up the whole ‘leadership’ of the US (&the world)…no man is Immune so RUN 2 JESUS at every moment!

    “There is nothing like the prospect of profitable tyranny to sear a mans conscience.”

    We serve the LORD in the Philippines and wondering how the latest Bribed effort is playing out in the totally corrupt pulice arena here? Have any New News on ‘Coffee Ball’? … Bribery is THE WAY of life in Most of the world. Americans need to get out more…

  30. the wondering eagle’s question gets to the heart of what needs to be defined where leaders of the Faith are concerned – their repentance is one issue and should be prayed for and welcomed by all of us… however, restoration to leadership is not necessarily to follow repentance – one has to meet the scriptural definition that sets the standard, not only meet it going in, but maintain it throughout – if one stumbles their restoration to leadership is very problematic – to use a popular term

    PhxP has devoted whole posts trying to reach a consensus on this restoration question – it seems to be a difficult one

  31. I came across an interesting old term in reading about music history, sinecure. It was at one point a term that suggested any job that paid the bills with minimal work so you could focus on art. Fernando Sor had a fairly undemanding military position in his earlier years and he composed for the guitar. But the older meaning meant having a church position granted to you that didn’t require you to do any of the priestly offices and such.

    The megachurch pastors and Christian celebrities of our era may have high profiles but I’m wondering if in every practical respect they have secured sinecure for themselves. they get to pretend to be pastors while the people who serve the local church are regarded as if they aren’t “on mission” because they are doing actual pastoral work rather than being propagandists shilling brands left, right or center.

    And at the risk of throwing in a link …

    http://wenatcheethehatchet.blogspot.com/2016/04/pastoral-activity-in-era-of-sinecure.html

    But then I’m at a point now where I’d say everyone running for POTUS is doing the same thing. The only way for this game to stop being played would be if humans stopped existing.

  32. This is always comical to me – that one these guys get referred to a leaders let alone ‘leaders of the faith’ – how comical – at best they are para church parasites. The are self made / self described important people – and their followers are stupid and apt to believe anything. My pastor and he alone is my faith leader if we must use a term.

    Look, the president of the LCMS runs a much larger organization than any of these guys and I know that the vast majority here, without googling, have no idea of who he is. I would also guess that most LCMS folks don’t know who he is. Why is that?

    His job is to be a servant of Christ to the people of Christ — he walks quietly.

    People who even know of CJ Mahaney or any of the conference goons, before all the notoriety popped up should be ashamed – you are idol worshipers.

  33. Well, Mohler is the president of an SBC seminary and Platt is president of the International Mission Board. So those two, at least, I am involved with in some way. I pay their salary. Both are fantastic at the job we pay them to do. I wish they chose better freinds, but I don’t play guilt by association.

  34. I haven’t kept score, but isn’t most of this grace and bad action from American christendom? Whether you call it Evangelical or whether you exempt the liturgical/hierarchical churches or not. Now I’m a believer in American exceptionalism. This country’s overall behavior in the last century was both a beacon for political freedom and an example of how that freedom could create one of the most dynamic and creative nations ever known.

    But recently things seemed to have gone terribly wrong. Perhaps it has always been there as an undercurrent, but I would typify today’s culture with one word: “greed.”

    Whether it is the corporations sending jobs overseas and firing, demoting, and underpaying the remaining workers, or the politicians whose only goal is to hang onto power and fill their pockets with campaign contributions to maintain their office — thus ignoring the will of the people or the common good in favor of those that provide the dollars.

    In WWII we helped to save the world. It was a time of great personal sacrifice both here at home and on the battlefield. We still have wars and death aplenty, but here on the home front it is party city. They call it guns and butter and it has wrecked our government finances while it has destroyed lives and bodies.

    So is it surprising the our religious institutions are also corrupted by greed. Greed for power. Greed for influence. Greed for those holy dollars.

    Maybe it is a fine time for some other nation to step forward on the world stage and become the leader of the free world. Maybe it is time for Christ to return and set all this straight. I do yearn for a simpler time when caring hearts and good will seemed more prevalent. Maybe this dirty laundry was all hidden away and we’re just in the age of media and the Internet and exposure and exposes.

    I don’t know. I just am sad about these events. The expression “going to H-E-double toothpicks,” etc. seems to fit today’s events. And by today, I mean the last ten, twenty, thirty, or more years.

  35. Opps. My first line should say “disgrace and bad action”

  36. CJ Mahaney no longer meets the criteria for an overseer.

    1 Tim. 3:1-7 says “an overseer[a] must be above reproach… Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders…” – that’s in the text! And it applies throughout one’s time as an overseer, not just at the laying on of hands.

    Is CJ currently well thought of by outsiders? Just read the media articles in TIME and elsewhere, and the comments and survivor blogs, to find out.

    Mahaney has fallen into reproach by a huge child sex scandal coverup that occurred in his own church for many years among multiple leaders and many victims.

    It was a close-knit church whose policies were to deal with such things internally, which the victims attest to. CJ was very close with his leaders and they knew of the crimes; even his brother-in-law testified to that. It’s very difficult to assume he didn’t know about even some of the crimes in all those years and after victims had approach church leadership. As a result he’s under reproach by the Church and the world at large for not reporting and thus being complicit in crimes against children.

    At the very least, Mohler should have had a sense of seriousness about the possibility that his long-time buddy CJ may have indeed committed the crimes as alleged, and even if not, he was chief overseer of the leaders who committed the crimes over the years.

    For Mohler to joke about and thus implicitly dismiss the cries of the victims protesting outside, lumping them together with internet slanderers, that sent a very wrong message to other victims and to the Church at large.

    As SNAP director David Clohessy said, “It’s reckless and callous when clergymen give prominent positions to colleagues who face charges of concealing child sex crimes. It actually makes churches more dangerous. It discourages other church members and staff who see, suspect or suffer child sex crimes from speaking up. It emboldens those who commit and conceal child sex crimes.”

  37. Josh,

    I certainly have some respect for some of the men in this group that I know about. However, I think this goes beyond a guilt by association thing. Particularly for those who had a say in making Mahaney a speaker. Most egregiously, Mohler, who satirically made light of the scandal (and thus the victims of sexual abuse) when introducing Mahaney at the conference.

    It is one thing if these guys maintain relationship with Mahaney. It is quite another to prop him up and promote him as a leader with all the scandal surrounding him. It was especially ugly what Mohler did. I don’t think these things should be given a pass.

  38. CJ Mahaney no longer meets the criteria for an overseer.

    This is my point at #32 – none of these guys are acting in the role of overseer – they are acting as self inflated important people – not acting as overseers but as information down-loaders of higher life / victorious living crap to people they have no ecclesiastical authority.

    They actually perform more in the role of a reality show and have all walked away from their vocation. But I am more disappointed (well thats not really the word because I have actually become apathetic) in those who even attend. What are they searching for that they cannot find in Jesus Christ … and why do the “leaders” think they can fulfill that?

  39. And as I was typing my previous comment, I see an old friend chimed in. Good to see you here, J.D.

  40. MLD,

    Some of these me, including Mahaney are still overseers in their home churches.

    In all the conference speaking, they may not be in an official “overseer” role over the attenders, but I would imagine they speak in manners as if they are. To speak in an authoritative tone.

  41. *men, not me

  42. Kevin H,
    They can assume all they want – but when they step out of their congregation and go speak to others, especially a mongrel group, they are no longer an overseer.

    At that point they are a paid speaker … much like Tony Robbins or Dr. Laura.

  43. I remember one time back in the late 80’s when the church was all gearing up to jump into politics and select Christian leaders were taking their positions in the church to follow the call of polluting the church in politics that I came upon a certain Baptist preacher whose church my husband and I were considering as a church home. Said preacher came to visit one day to talk about us joining the church, and he felt quite free to tell me what my political obligations would be in terms of following him, what protests I would have to do, how much I would have to give, etc. I kind of looked at him like he was nuts and told him that I was not interested in his version of Christianity and he became very irate at me, and loudly told me how badly I needed to be reeducated. He said, “Do you know who I am?” Well, I did. He was some little nobody preacher in my town. He looked at me and he said, “I am the second most politically powerful Christian leaders in this county and if I say we’re going to do something, my people are going to obey me.”

    I told him he had called at the wrong house and showed him the door. Didn’t look back.

    Apparently that spirit of power and privilege has polluted far and wide.

  44. I don’t think Mohler should have made the Google comment. I don’t think his intent was necessarily dismissive, but it wasn’t appropriate, regardless. He’ll have to answer some questions, privately, probably. But he’ll get a pass. The rest won’t even have to deal with questions.

  45. Obviously, MLD is right. These guys aren’t acting as overseers at this conference, but I don’t think that is the issue anyway. People are concerned that these guys are implicitly (or explicitly) promoting Maheney to the people they do oversee.

  46. #32 – “This is always comical to me – that one these guys get referred to a leaders let alone ‘leaders of the faith’ – how comical – at best they are para church parasites. The are self made / self described important people – and their followers are stupid and apt to believe anything.”
    i like your definition better, MLD… even tho so many who are Believers look to these guys as their role models, you and Wenatchee the Hatchet: “propagandists shilling brands left, right or center.” and the comments that follow… AMEN
    as a nation as well as an assortment of church bodies, the truth has been skewed to a false premise …

  47. My pastor left the SBC because of the “worldliness of the denomination.” I agree with him whole-hardheartedly. Even before I met my current pastor, the SBC was famous for their internal political infighting. In Jesus’ Church they had a reputation for being the most divided, argumentative and contentious major denomination. That does not fit in with Jesus teachings. My pastor has noted the worldliness of the “SBC Brand” as well. He was put off by stupid mailings with orders on what to promote for the “next season.” There is the political infighting and the internal power struggles which again go against the simple, direct teachings of Jesus. And the fact that everything was about the SBC brand. They had to everything in house, even missions. They did not want to promote any missions without their brand.

  48. I wonder if the people who attend these quasi ecumenical conferences check with their pastors first?
    If the pastor is responsible as your overseer wouldn’t it be best to ask him first about what it is you are seeking when you go to these conferences so that perhaps he may have the answer for you, or advise if he thinks it would be helpful or harmful … and save you the bucks.

    Does anyone here agree that it shows disrespect of your pastor to go without first conferring with him?

  49. MLD,
    This is the U. S. of A. fer cryin’ out loud!

  50. Jean – could you imagine how the look of the American church would change if people respected the proper spiritual overseer in their life (their own pastor) and submitted to his vocation.

  51. MLD, your question in #48 scares me – it sounds like a level of “oversight” the Shepherding Movement would promote, unless I misunderstood.

    If you can provide any scripture to show why it would indicate disrespect of spiritual authority that a person doesn’t run everything they do past him, I’m all ears.

    Essentially that would amount to refusal to submit to the elders – but as I see it, submission is conferred by the one submitting, not usurped, and the overseers in a church have no authority beyond what Scripture grants.

    Now if one of the conference speakers, or even a leader of a para-church ministry, asserted spiritual authority over the attendees/members, then we’d have a real problem, since they would be assuming pastoral authority without assuming the corresponding pastoral responsibility.

  52. JD Smith,
    “If you can provide any scripture to show why it would indicate disrespect of spiritual authority that a person doesn’t run everything they do past him, I’m all ears.”

    Is that what I asked for – to run “everything” past him? This s why I was careful to use the term “his vocation”. I can flip the thought to “why would anyone go to a church where they refused to involve the pastor in their “outside” spiritual life?

    I contend that if pastors really understood what it meant to be an overseer, guys like CJ and many mega pastors would quit the business as too much work as most many just want to sit in their study and teach on Sunday.

  53. also wonder as to the response to this. So the big guys are coming to town like the Ringling Brothers Circus. Would you go to your pastor and say – “hmm, I was thinking of going to get a deeper understanding of (fill in the blank)” – and your pastor replied “come see me that day instead and let’s talk about it – will train you.”

    Would you accept his offer?

    (not a reply to JD – open to anyone.

  54. MLD – thanks for clarifying. I still think we each have liberty as individual believers to participate in the greater body of Christ without the explicit blessing of our local church, whether that be to attend a teaching event, another church’s event, a worship music event, or even attending seminary or changing to a new local church.

    Just because we have liberty though, doesn’t mean we wouldn’t be better off doing those things in conjunction with our existing local church in general when possible, and I agree that involvement by and being known by our pastors would do tremendous good.

    To your example – I would probably oblige the rare pastor who made such an offer to me. However if it were him vs. seminary, I might choose seminary while still meeting with him, since he himself might not be as capable a teacher if that’s what I need.

    In fact the reverse happened once, with a traveling pastor who wasn’t even our local church pastor but an itinerant speaker at a Southern Baptist church – Paul Washer. Not exactly a circus but he stayed up until past midnight with us young adults, well past the end of the sessions, (this was almost a decade ago) answering our questions about church, ministry, missiology and soteriology.

  55. JD – I didn’t mean it to be restrictive, as much as the local pastor being your first stop on any kind of ‘spiritual’ venture.
    I would guess that most american evangelicals and probably a growing number of more liturgical folks are using their pastors as an after thought or absolutely not at all.

    I think this is why the multi church on the screen works so well in so many evangelical churches – the pastor is no more than the “speaker”.

    I read somewhere that Perry Noble has 17 sites that beam him in.

  56. hmm… pondering some terms here… speaker, teacher, pastor… some of the men (generic) we call teachers are just speakers and are some of the men we call teachers are better defined as pastors? … and most the the men we call evangelists – are they better defined as speakers? dunno
    i have no problem with teachers who “sit in their study and teach on Sunday.” if they’re in their study studying… very valuable vocation, but then that church needs pastors and if they want their Sunday service devoted to ritual worship, they need to think about reviving Sunday Schools IMHO … i suspect Sunday Schools disappeared for lack of teachers who knew what they were teaching… dunno – again
    isn’t it interesting that most don’t even know what teaching the Faith is about? it’s not growing one’s bank account because your faith is that good
    i ramble therefore i quit … 🙂

  57. Here is a short biblical view of what pastors and the people Christ serves through pastors owe one another. This is written by a personal friend.

    Since it is scripture based, I invite you to interact with the duties identified in the article.

    http://higherthings.org/myht/articles/catechesis/pastors-and-people

  58. Ezekiel 34:1-6

    The word of the Lord came to me: 2 “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Woe to you shepherds of Israel who only take care of yourselves! Should not shepherds take care of the flock? 3 You eat the curds, clothe yourselves with the wool and slaughter the choice animals, but you do not take care of the flock. 4 You have not strengthened the weak or healed the sick or bound up the injured. You have not brought back the strays or searched for the lost. You have ruled them harshly and brutally. 5 So they were scattered because there was no shepherd, and when they were scattered they became food for all the wild animals. 6 My sheep wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill. They were scattered over the whole earth, and no one searched or looked for them.

  59. #48

    MLD, not only out of respect for my pastor but out of concern for my own soul I always tell him what church I intend to visit when I am out of town.

  60. MLD, first off there would normally be a fair amount of snark in this question, but trust that this time there is not. How far does that attitude reach? Should I touch base with my pastor before I consider reading a book, participating in blogs like this, or listening to sermon podcasts? To a degree I think it would be a good idea for a lot of people to potentially do just that, there is a lot of junk out there. On the other hand, there are people that just like to cast a wider net, get differing perspectives, and weigh what is out there.

    I don’t think that is inherently insulting to your pastor. When I first became a Christian, I grabbed everything I could get my hands on, thankfully I think God protected me from some pretty nasty stuff that I was taking in alongside the good, but I’m pretty sure that keeping up with my appetite at the time would have been a full-time job for a pastor. It wasn’t that I didn’t value what he had to teach me, it was that I valued anyone that could teach me something useful.

  61. dswoger – I see no snark.
    Let me ask this with your pastor in particular. Does he have authority as the overseer in any part of your spiritual life? If not, then what is he the overseer of – the staff?

    This is how our nature works – in rebellion. But everyone wants to run to the negative extremes when I was very clear in my presentation.

    I asked in the midst of 10,000 people going off to that conference, what was it that they were seeking that they cannot find in Christ alone? No one answered that and my follow up was did anyone go to their own pastor and say I am seeking this and I am thinking of going to this conference… do you have ant input as my pastor and overseer to help me? Or do I just go to a roomful of strangers?

    That is how you let your pastor be involved in you spiritual quest.

  62. I highly recommend that people here read the article Jean posted.
    Its funny that we have expectations of pastors to and for us, but we have no expectations at all about us to the pastor.

    My pastor told me when I went through classes to join the church that his job was to care for my soul, to teach me to do the same for myself and he was there to teach me how to die. I always took that seriously – that we have this bond and commitment together.

    So, if my pastor were to warn me about the mistake I may be making by going to a Calvinism conference, about how it may cause confusion, even confusion that I may bring back into our church — yes I would pay attention.

  63. I think the first question is a very valid one. I personally don’t get conferences at all. I see them advertised, or commented on here, and I find them puzzling.

    To go more toward the second, I think it’s actually kind of strange that to most people I don’t have a pastor, but if you were to break down the expectations of who a pastor is, the role they play in your life, and the relationship that we have to one another. I have one of the best pastors anyone could ask for.

    I absolutely do share with him all of the things that I mentioned below, and would definitely talk to him about some hypothetical conference that I would hypothetically go to.

    And just so you know, I didn’t do much want to run off in a negative direction, but something you said touched on a subject I got deeply invested in a couple weeks ago. I came across the idea that it is essentially rebellious, disrespectful and offensive to seek knowledge outside of your pastor. That seemed a bit over the top to me.

  64. doswoager, I didn’ say anything about not seeking knowledge outside of your local pastor. I am making the case for involving your pastor.
    But with evangelicals it is different. The teachings either all run together and what doesn’t everyone just figured it’s a different version of the same thing.

    If I were a Pastor I would be very concerned if I catechized you and preached to you each Sunday, I would be vey concerned if I found you spending Wed night’s at John MacArthurs church. As Lutheran I don’t need to say anything negative about JMac but his teaching is so different that I as an overseer would want to have that conversation.

  65. I don’t know if many pastors are oblivious or, frankly, don’t care. But, between social media, Christian radio, Christian publishing, Christian television and conferences, many Christians are exposed to many, many different teachings on the essential doctrines of the Christian faith. The result is that out of 100 members of a single congregation, in a survey of the major doctrines of the Christian faith set forth as multiple choice (using variations on orthodox and heterodox doctrines,), you will find that the congregation confesses many different beliefs. This should be a major concern to the pastor. Is it at your church? What is your pastor doing to prevent that?

  66. I asked for and received my pastor’steve blessing to participate on this blog. “Justed don’t be argumentative,” he said.

  67. CJ Mahaney no longer meets the criteria for an overseer.

    Did he ever meet the criteria for an overseer in the first place?

  68. Oh how I hate auto correct.

    Omit the name “Steve,” please and omit “ed,” too.

  69. Jean, I had a conversation with someone else here a couple months ago about that topic, and pretty much got the impression that pastors can’t be bothered with all the nonsense that’s out there, that they only need to be concerned with teaching the truth themselves. More of less, that a good sermon will inoculate you against false teaching elsewhere. Seems to me that, especially the environment that you are describing, that pastors should try to be as well versed as possible on what the congregation is taking in.

    I don’t think that you necessarily have to be heavy handed about it either. I think that if you have a pretty good idea of who is in the congregation, you have a pretty good idea of what kind of leash (for my lack of a better word) a person might need.

  70. For those of you who would like to hear Al Mohler’s joke and the men laughing about it, here is the link. You can hear it at around the 7:30 mark but the first 7 minutes of Mohler extolling Mahaney’s virtues are worth the listen. Ask yourselves, “Why?”

    https://soundcloud.com/watchkeep/albert-mohler-and-cj-mahaney#t=0:00

  71. […] Newham, in his blog, Phoenix Preacher, had this succinct analysis of Mahaney being allowed to speak at the T4G […]

  72. I think much of this goes to the point of having a category for an office of the ministry or is it that everyone carries on the same activities.
    What I find is that those who are more creedal, confessional and liturgical do indeed think in this category. They see definite assignments to the ‘clergy’
    Evangelicals and more low / free church do not and in my opinion this is for a couple of reasons.
    1.) a misunderstanding of Peter and Luther when they speak of the priesthood of the believer
    2.) They make no distinction in scripture of who Jesus is speaking to.

    As an example of #2 – who was Jesus speaking to in Matt 28:16-20?

  73. He was speaking to the 11 disciples whom he had instructed to meet him on a particular mountain in Galilee.

    His instructions were pretty clear on what he (JESUS) wanted them to do after his ascension.

    Unless there’s some hidden Lutheran meaning I’m missing? 😉

  74. Scott, you have it correct – he was not speaking to the masses, the general “church” population – he was speaking to the pastoral leaders and passing out vocation to them. To the same group to whom he gave the office of the keys.

  75. Whew! I won the prize!

    It’s pretty clear from the text who it was he was speaking to and what he instructed them to do.

    Where it gets a little mirky is was he instructing them to reproduce other “disciples” just like themselves in faith & function, or merely in faith only?

  76. Scott, I think there is both to the degree that they are to make disciples, who become Christians and carry on their own vocation and then we see in the book of Acts that they have also developed a class of “clergy” – the small ‘a’ apostles.

    Think of the order he is describing. If this were the general Christian, he would need to roam the world making disciples – he would need to be baptizing his own converts and be their life long teacher.

  77. I need to make a correction. The joke told by Al Mohler is found in the first few minutes of the audio. I got it confused with another audio we had been sent. I apologize for any confusion.
    http://thewartburgwatch.com/2016/04/15/al-mohler-extolls-cj-mahaney-at-t4g-while-joking-at-the-expense-of-sgm-victims-does-money-play-a-role-in-the-relationship/

  78. The “Red Dragon” is sodomy, and it silences the powerful to servitude, no matter what they say their convictions are. You will not find those in authority giving up any of their sacred images for something as allusive as “truth.” Awww, the enemy has played his chess game well…making sure that the system is built on bottom feeders working their way to the top by stepping on the heads of the sincere and lying with weak-willed and defenseless. Sodomy rips the soul from off its hinges…rest assure, no one is talking.

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