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145 Responses

  1. dswoager says:

    “Church planters only reaching white people…”

    This was very much not the article I expected. I saw the title and thinking of the church plants I have known about in my area, and figured it was about how, if you didn’t know better, you would think that most church planters were former Starbucks execs.

  2. Steve Wright says:

    Julie Anne does add a little Idaho background that is appreciated but a couple of her questions have already been answered (interestingly in the same thread she found the MN quotes) and of course it is slanted 100% to one side. No mention of the 14 months of emails or the self-promotion…but that is OK. Saeed will get plenty of press eventually from guys that slant it all his way too.

    I would also add that outside ordination organizations do not exist solely to keep people from avoiding accountability….I have no idea the Saeed connection but no reason to trash the concept of ordaining institutions as a whole. (I speak from experience as one who was going to have to go that route because CC was not an official denomination for the organization I was seeking ministry with – namely the United States Army)

    And Naghmeh hardly needed words to be put in her mouth by Franklin Graham to be critical of Obama and his administration in the press. I heard her speak two years ago live…believe me on that one.

    Lies are all around and as is often the case, people will believe what they want to believe and excuse away those that don’t fit their narrative.

  3. Michael says:

    Steve,

    There are all sorts of slants.
    You have been hell bent for election to deal with Naghmehs different narratives, but not so much about how the hell this guy was in the ministry in the first place.

    Different strokes…but I’d like answers to all the questions.

  4. Josh the Baptist says:

    I don’t find the “why was he in ministry” thing to be particularly poignant either. That would matter if he had his moral failings had caused a problem on the mission field, but that reall isn’t the case here.

  5. Babylon's Dread says:

    I feel so much safer with RHE advising POTUS… the finger wagger in chief has the shame princess of the age as his conscience.

  6. Josh the Baptist says:

    Oh jeez, BD. I just read that too. Why in the world would RHE be made a spiritual advisor?!?!
    Does someone actually read the goofiness that is Year of Biblical Womanhood and think, “Here is someone I need to guide me in my Faith”?

    Insane.

  7. Michael says:

    Josh,

    So a guy convicted of spousal abuse and a porn addiction is good to go unless he’s on the mission field?

    He was working in and through a church for crying out loud, under pastoral supervision.

    I just don’t get it anymore…

  8. Josh the Baptist says:

    Huh?

  9. Josh the Baptist says:

    Not what I said, at all.

  10. Michael says:

    “That would matter if he had his moral failings had caused a problem on the mission field, but that reall isn’t the case here.”

    Help me understand what it is you’re saying then…

  11. Babylon's Dread says:

    Michael,

    I think your narrative about why he is in the ministry is compelling and I am the patron saint of restoration. I just think restoration is more than getting your title back.

  12. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Steve said,
    “I would also add that outside ordination organizations do not exist solely to keep people from avoiding accountability…”

    I always thought so many of these ordaining organizations were to circumvent the education process.

  13. Josh the Baptist says:

    Ordination or non-ordination would not have made a difference here. You’ve got a guy who got stuck in a jail in Iran, and his marriage fell apart. Nothing Bob Caldwell or anyone else could do about that.

    I get Nervous when we start doing the “blame everyone remotely related” thing. Nagmeh, Saeed, and ACLJ are really the players here.

  14. Babylon's Dread says:

    Wait Josh, Naghmeh claims a long and enduring history of this. That indicates there had been no proper restoration change. Looks like a slap on the wrist and a return to action happened and that would be his ordaining leaders.

  15. Michael says:

    Josh,

    His marriage was falling apart before he was ever imprisoned in Iran.
    His superiors knew it was falling apart.

    In my opinion, this is one more example of the church not taking abuse claims (or women) seriously enough to see them through to true resolution.

  16. Steve Wright says:

    I thought I already made my perspective clear in yesterday’s thread about what I thought about 3-4 months being a legit restoration process…and I definitely made it clear that each side will have slanted articles from their supporters villifying the other.

    Julie’s is just one such article…

  17. Josh the Baptist says:

    I don’t even know why we’re questioning if he should have been in ministry. I don’t see how that is related. Let’s say he was never ordained or whatever. Do we ban divorced men from going to Iran?

    I don’t get it. I get that we’ve always had holes in the system of who we allow as pastors, etc, but I don’t see any relation to that and him being jailed in Iran…and his marriage falling apart. Its just a separate issue that he is only a tiny, tiny little spec in that ocean.

    Do you think that he wouldn’t have gone back to Iran without the blessing of Bob Caldwell?

  18. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I agree with Josh and this was the point yesterday when I asked if Saeed quit calling himself a pastor – gave up all ordinations and or licenses would it then be OK for him to go around from church to church, speaking from their pulpits for a fee?

    The other half is – wouldn’t the inviting church be the scoundrel?

  19. Michael says:

    Josh,

    If someone under my supervision has an issue with abusing their spouse and an addiction to porn then they are not going to be in ministry and all that is going to matter is repentance and restoration of the person and the marriage.

    It’s my understanding that he was “sent out’ by CC Boise…and my simple point is that you don’t send anyone out with those sorts of issues pending.

  20. Michael says:

    “The other half is – wouldn’t the inviting church be the scoundrel?”

    I’ve tried to make that point for about fifteen years…

  21. Babylon's Dread says:

    If Saeed had been in Iran as Saeed Abedini rather than as Pastor Saeed we would, a) not have gotten such a cry of persecution and a public saga of his return and b) not had a wife used as a pawn while continuing to be intimidated via cyberhell for who knows what end.

    He may not have even fallen under the eye of the government if he had just been a guy trying to help kids.

    However, this whole thing had a possibility of being a symbol for all persecuted believers now it may be a help for all abused women.

  22. Josh the Baptist says:

    I don’t know about church pulpits, but there is definitely some venue that I’d be interested in hearing his experience. Not the marriage stuff, just about his trip to Iran and prison.

  23. Michael says:

    “However, this whole thing had a possibility of being a symbol for all persecuted believers now it may be a help for all abused women.”

    Amen.

  24. EricL says:

    The Mark and Grace Driscoll video on being excited to start a new church was hard to endure. Quite the “performance”. Even sadder is Wenatchee the Hatchet’s list of the support team members, a who’s- who of other evangelical superstars.

    If you support Driscoll’s latest vanity project, you reveal your disdain for the body of Christ. I must admit that some of them had me fooled- I thought some of them were decent folks- but being on this list is certainly a huge warning to avoid them from now on. How can you support a man who refuses to submit to the body of Christ for correction? A liar? A man who exemplified the first link about Bully in the Pulpit.

    Fame Fools, the whole lot of them.

  25. Babylon's Dread says:

    Josh,

    I would like to hear the story but I would not trust the story I heard at this point. The lines drawn make the stakes too high. I would need more than one witness. But I have grown leery of testimonies in my own circles as well.

  26. Michael says:

    EricL,

    Well said!

  27. Josh the Baptist says:

    “It’s my understanding that he was “sent out’ by CC Boise…and my simple point is that you don’t send anyone out with those sorts of issues pending.”

    Maybe, but it is an unrelated point. We shouldn’t fling poo at Bob Caldwell for this. Saeed is not the first person to lose his marriage while overseas for extended periods of time.

    “However, this whole thing had a possibility of being a symbol for all persecuted believers now it may be a help for all abused women.”

    No, no, no…that’s just the smokescreen. She doesn’t have to stay in the relationship, but I don’t have to believe that technology has gotten to the point that he can punch her from around the world. We don’t have to take sides at all, but surely we don’t have to buy her story hook, line and sinker.

  28. Michael says:

    All I want to know is how he watched American streaming services overseas so I can tell my Trey in Germany…

  29. dswoager says:

    The pulpit bully is good stuff.

    Makes me miss the Liberty for Captives blog.

  30. Michael says:

    “She doesn’t have to stay in the relationship, but I don’t have to believe that technology has gotten to the point that he can punch her from around the world.”

    So…the only kind of abuse that matters is physical?

    I think I’m done now…

  31. Steve Wright says:

    I hesitate to give examples of pastoral experience in a fairly large and diverse church because the assumption is that I would be implying Saeed is such a saint (and Naghmeh a she-devil) that this HAS to be the only explanation and the fact is I am not saying that at all.

    But the other fact is, making judgments from sealed records is also wrong. Making judgments about restoration and what did or did not happen is wrong – all we know is the mission field did not take place for a few years later after the only event we know about. We know nothing of the time in between

    I know a guy who was arrested for domestic violence because the wife told me about it and how it was totally against her will. She was furious at the cops but in the midst of a very heated fight where both husband and wife were equally and fully wrong to be acting that way the cops showed up…separated the two. Talked to each of them compared notes, and arrested the guy even though the wife was saying there was no reason to and he had not hit her in any way, shape or form.

    This is not a formerly battered wife either. This is a result of the zero tolerance law that once the cops arrive, it is out of your hands. Period.

    The guy served no jail time, got probation, but got a record.

    Next example – guy commits adultery years ago – one night stand, out of town. Wife forgives him. They reconcile. Their marriage is restored for years and seemingly doing well. She falls for a guy in her regular life that she sees all the time…eventually it grows to the point she wants to leave to be with this new guy and makes very clear everyone knows that she is the victim of adultery and so is divorcing…she does not volunteer that the adultery was years in the past, forgiven and worked through, and she found another guy.

    I’ll stop now with this. As I have said and demonstrated in action as a pastor – I take spousal abuse very serious, have no tolerance for it, and will do whatever is needed to protect the innocent woman, see the guy is arrested if necessary, and certainly boot the guy out of the church if he does not voluntarily leave. I also know that in marital issues at least 80% of the time the guy holds the vast majority of blame for the relationship falling apart no matter the reason even without abuse, and I take the woman’s side almost everytime…almost…because sometimes, again upon investigation of ALL the facts and hearing from ALL the parties, the woman is in fact to blame.

    We don’t know squat about this marriage and so our focus should be finding out about that phone and what the imprisonment was really like…(if you ask me, and nobody is I realize.)

  32. Josh the Baptist says:

    Michael, So we do have to buy her (new) story 100%, or you can’t even converse with us?

  33. Josh the Baptist says:

    Because everything that Nagmeh said cannot be simultaneously true. I have always, consistently said I believe she was abused.

    I DO NOT believe the abuse worsened while he was in prison. Sorry. Doesn’t even make sense to me.

  34. Michael says:

    Josh,

    I’ll be blunt .
    I’ve watched women get shredded by the machine too many times and I confess to a huge bias.
    It’s not something I can stomach anymore.

    My guess is that this guy will be speaking at CC pastors conferences sooner than later and this stuff will never come up.

    I will follow the truth where it leads here…but I also know where it has led for much of the last 15 years or so.

    I’m at a place in life where I also have to watch how wound up I get about anything, so it’s better for me to go write my book than argue.

  35. Steve Wright says:

    I always thought so many of these ordaining organizations were to circumvent the education process.
    ————————————————————-
    MLD, that may be true, but in my case the US Army needed a formal ordination from one of their recognized groups and CC at the time was not recognized as a formal denomination (They are now by the way). The Army also required the education though too, specifically a Masters Degree from one of their approved seminaries.

    So the Army referenced me to an ordaining evangelical group they recognized and I would have gone through them had I not taken the position at CCLE when offered me and had completed my chaplain plans.

  36. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Josh – do you want to hear his experience because he is a Christian or would you go listen to any of the guys who were captives and released?

  37. Josh the Baptist says:

    Any of the guys. I wouldn’t ask him a thing about JEsus.

  38. EricL says:

    I’m trying hard not to become too cynical as a Christian. Frankly, I’ve become embarrassed by my faith family. It’s not the baby believers who cause me to cringe; it’s the so-called leaders.

    It is kind of cute when a baby poops its pants the first few times or when a toddler says something outrageous, refuses to share, or throws a silly tantrum, but so many leaders are acting that way. And other so-called leaders are encouraging their behavior, denying that anything is wrong.

    It is like we stopped recruiting pastors from seminaries and started recruiting them from preschools. (I’m not complaining about their physical age, but about a lack of true spiritual maturity.)

  39. Josh the Baptist says:

    Here’s (again) where the truth has led me:

    He abused her.

    They conspired to manipulate us in order to get him out of jail.

    Sometime during the process she realized she didn’t want to be married to him anymore.

    Beyond that, you have to get into speculation. Those three points are true, and for me it ends there. If he ends up in ministry somewhere soon, it won’t shock me anymore than Ted Haggard or Todd Bentley being back in ministry. He’s got a story, and he will probably be able to sell it.

    She might have a story to sell too. She might get squashed by the machine. Who knows. I would be more sympathetic if she hadn’t already told lots of lies.

    And to be clear – I am no more sympathetic for Saeed. He is complicit. He lied, too. He got free. And I’m done with him.

  40. Pineapple Head says:

    Kind of off topic, but hey.

    A couple of years ago, someone from my church (with a CC background) who knew of contacts to Nagmeh, tried to sell me on the idea of having her come out and speak to our church, For some reason, I declined the invite. I think the base reason was I have an aversion to trotting out people as Christian celebs who criss-cross the country, without really knowing them. Nothing against Nagmeh, per se, I just didn’t want to join a list of churches who felt like such an event was core to their mission.

  41. EricL says:

    My comments @39 aren’t meant for any of the commentators here. Sorry about that. I was just reading some of the other links and didn’t refresh to see that the Abedini discussion was still raging.

    I’ve kept my thoughts on that issue to myself because I’m still unsure of what to say beyond that I’m really hurting for their kids.

  42. Josh the Baptist says:

    So let’s get back to RHE counselling Obama. She’s the new Billy Graham.

  43. JoelG says:

    I find the title of the article “Why It’s Dangerous to Misrepresent the Gospel” to be ironic.

    Back to regularly scheduled Saeed arguing.

  44. Josh the Baptist says:

    JoelG, I’m done with Saeed arguing. Let’s argue something else.

  45. Lurkie Loo says:

    The question keeps coming up of how he could increasingly abuse her sexually and physically while in prison. I’ll say it since no one else has. Sexual abuse can certainly occur long distance by making demands that she do things for his viewing pleasure, via Skype or texting images. This could be coerced by threats, including releasing private videos. I’m not saying that’s what happened; I’m just pointing out that those things are possible thanks to modern technology.

  46. Xenia says:

    I guess I could be really hurting for the Abedini family and their children but I think my concern and efforts could be better spent on the people in my own town.

    If we spent more time and effort on the suffering people in our own communities and less time following the lives of famous strangers, I think we would be fulfilling “love thy neighbor” more faithfully.

    We decry the celebrity church culture but here we are, talking about celebrities and thereby increasing their celebrity.

  47. Josh the Baptist says:

    She hasn’t even vaguely hinted at that, despite all the stuff she has accused him of.

  48. Josh the Baptist says:

    Good word, Xenia.

  49. Michael says:

    LL,

    Thank you.
    I didn’t want to get into those details here, but I’ve known too many women who have had those very battles.
    Those demands and a porn problem seem to go hand in hand.

  50. JoelG says:

    If the author of the article believes what he writes, I hope there isn’t a public place he walks into without telling everyone in the room they’re go to hell. He should announce it everyday, everywhere he goes.

  51. Michael says:

    I thought the Jesus Movement article would get the most attention…see what I know?

  52. Josh the Baptist says:

    The problem is she has not said that was an issue. If we are going to believe her, let’s believe her. She mentioned sexual abuse in that he was addicted to porn. She said she stopped advocating because of something that had to do with promoting him to the public.

    Let’s believe her, ok?

  53. Xenia says:

    For example, there’s a lady my age (60’s) on our Meals on Wheels route. She looks like she was part of the surfer culture when she was young. She has cancer and lupus. On her refrigerator she has a hand-written note that says the following:

    “I want to go to Heaven!

    But I don’t want to die…..”

    I think this woman’s story is just as compelling as the Abedini story.

    I am sure you all have similar folks in your neighborhoods.

    Go find them and help them if you can.

    All done with the Abedini Saga. God bless them and save them.

    Amen.

  54. dswoager says:

    EricL, you are potentially being too kind by referring to the lack of maturity of many of these men. After all, if you raise a wolf pup to maturity, you end up with a mature wolf.

  55. Josh the Baptist says:

    I read the Jesus Movement article first. I was obviously not born yet, and kind of on the wrong side of the country to be affected anyway. I do know that as a young man, I had a burning fire to live for Jesus. It may have been fueled by a lot of the sill rapture stuff. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become much more dignified. Cooled out some.

    I miss the fire. Badly.

  56. Steve Wright says:

    Sometime during the process she realized she didn’t want to be married to him anymore.
    ———————————————————-
    Josh, I wonder how much of this is the old story about a man putting “the ministry” above his family.

    Everyone should remember that they went to Iran in 2009 as a family for a vacation/visit, with kids etc. which would have been the first time back for Saeed in 5 years (and was not in my opinion the same as being sent out to the mission field by a home church)

    This is when they got harassed by the government (both of them) and she told this story vividly to us when I heard her speak in person. It was the primary focus of her talk.

    They were let go but this is when things changed because he was allowed to do the orphanages and then made about eight trips to Iran in about a 2-3 year period.

    Now if you ask me, that is not healthy for any marriage with young children. However, I feel badly for Naghmeh because she was put in the place so many women of men in ministry are put in. Second place to be precise.

    Personally, I would never do that to my wife and kids and I don’t think God would “call” me to either. But Saeed is from Iran…Naghmeh has lived in America basically her whole life.

    I imagine there were more than a few arguments before some of these trips with the usual “submit” called down on her…ESPECIALLY because of the danger that she had experienced herself with him on that 2009 trip. I know my wife who is a Godly saint of a woman would not be happy with me going AGAIN away from the kids and home.

    and then on the fateful trip he got arrested…well, if it were my wife I know she would be a little more than ticked off at me for being in that position in the first place, even if the arrest was totally unjust (and it was)

  57. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    A couple in our church has started a new “ministry” to homeless people who have dogs with them.
    They are making kits with doggie treats and a Gospel of John in them to give away to these folks as they see them in the community.

    I’m more than a little proud of them…

  58. Xenia says:

    Aw Michael, dogs! What a great ministry. I think I am going to put together some little bags of dog goodies for the people I see around here with dogs. A granola bar for the human, some dog cookies for the pup, a Gospel of John and maybe a few dollars.

  59. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    They are dog lovers like I’m a cat lover.
    They were feeding a fellow they happened upon at the In N Out burger when it struck them that the way to some hearts is through their pets…especially when they are homeless.

    Spreading the kingdom one person, one puppy at a time… 🙂

  60. Josh the Baptist says:

    Steve – That is a slant I hadn’t thought about. Good point.

    I can say before we had kids, I used to travel the country “doing ministry”. I’d be gone for weeks at a time. This was before cell phones. I think I once forgot to call my wife for about 6 weeks. But I was doing the Lord’s work! How dare she be jealous of my calling?

    My pastor sat me down and put it to me bluntly. Quit the ministry. Get a job. You are losing your wife.

    I was so mad. I cried. I left the church.

    But I quit that ministry and got a job. After 12 years on the other side now, I see what a fool I was. You definitely bring up a good point.

  61. Xenia says:

    Just sent away for a pack of Gospels of John. Thank you for the idea, Michael! Give my regards to the couple in your church.

  62. Babylon's Dread says:

    @43 I am with Josh,

    RHE is the new Billy Graham, how do we know? Well, more millennials know her than Billy. And more would follow her than would follow Billy. Besides that she is our hope to keep Obama from going all the way Muslim before he leaves office.

    I am pretty sure that even RHE thinks Islam is of the devil. Wait, evangelicalism IS the devil for her so maybe she just thinks it is an evolutionary stage on the way to secularism.

  63. Xenia says:

    Spreading the kingdom one person, one puppy at a time… 🙂

    My new motto.

  64. Josh the Baptist says:

    “I am pretty sure that even RHE thinks Islam is of the devil. ”

    I don’t think so. I know she is BIG into inter-faith dialogue. Not that that’s bad in and of itself, but hers comes across as “I’m OK , you’re ok”.

  65. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    🙂

    They will be very happy to hear that this is spreading…

  66. Babylon's Dread says:

    Interfaith dialogue for RHE is detente with Russell Moore

  67. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    “And more would follow her than would follow Billy.”

    My concern is that more will follow RHE than the Bible. But I am sure it is a futile concern.

  68. Babylon's Dread says:

    Ok I have to comment about the ownership of the Sacramento Kings

    They tried to celebrate the Chinese New Year with special Ts for the fans

    Turns out it is the “Year of the Monkey”

    And the New Year fell in Black History Month

    Wasn’t kosher for the team superstar

    Who knew?

    Well, anyone with duck squat for brains !!!!

    But not the Kings … now they do.

  69. Cash says:

    It matters if Saeed was “sent out” by CC Boise because they knew of his abuse conviction and the porn addiction. This man had no business representing any church as an elder or missionary or anything else. I say this not to judge him but it’s a relevant question as to why he was working under CC Boise, given his issues.

  70. Lurkie Loo says:

    JtB said: “The problem is she has not said that was an issue. If we are going to believe her, let’s believe her.”

    I believe her, and yes, she only specified porn. Just to reiterate my comment about long distance sexual abuse, I am not saying that’s what happened. It was in response to those who don’t see how sexual and physical abuse could increase in prison. I was just pointing it out as a general example of how someone can be sexually abused long distance. I felt it should be mentioned in case people disbelieve her claim simply because they weren’t aware of that form of real-time perv. No doubt there are inconsistencies in her story, but I do not think increased long distance abuse is one of them.

  71. Steve Wright says:

    Josh @61…thanks for sharing that.

    Before we had children I was doing a fair amount of ministry, some of it with my wife (like the nursing home and the home Bible study) but some without her too….and I remember a need arose at Costa Mesa and I mentioned to her I was thinking about volunteering to help them out and asked what she though and she said “I think you’re doing enough right now. Let someone else do it”

    Wise advice.

    I was very blessed that my CC pastor and mentor, who ran the School of Ministry was tremendously “wife friendly” for the ministry students and led both by his own example with his family and by teaching us that your wife is not some barrier to ministry. You don’t go forward without full support from her – and he made sure any of our social events always included the wives (i.e. Christmas party etc).

  72. Steve Wright says:

    If he had a phone/computer with internet access available all day, every day for the last 3 years – which is her claim – then I have no problem believing her testimony.

    Many people regularly are abused “long distance” today…I know of several.

  73. Muff Potter says:

    @ Babylon’s Dread & Josh the Baptist :

    Would you guys feel better if Obama’s ‘new faith leaders’ were all men (no wimminz allowed)?

  74. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    When they have these faith based leaders announced, are there also some Muslims, Jews, Hindus etc?
    How large is this faith based office

    I guess the big question is … why do they have this?

  75. Babylon's Dread says:

    @74 I would feel better if they had faith

  76. Babylon's Dread says:

    Muff,

    I ordain women, live with an ordained wife, have ordained female pastors and have an overseer of my network who is a woman. Women in leadership of the kingdom of God is NO issue to me whatsoever.

    But, what one teaches and leads others to believe is an issue. RHE has chosen her path. I find it to be impassible. There is no sexism here. There is unbridled renunciation of credo behind this for me. But she is a great apostle to our President and others.

  77. Josh the Baptist says:

    Oh, I get it. Because I find RHE to be one of the most annoying people on the planet, I must hate women. Yeah, that’s it.

    I could name at least 100 women whom I would applaud if Obama chose them for spiritual advising.

    I might ask RHE for advice on publishing, or social media, or something. But she has made her career on deconstructing her own faith. I don’t know what kind of counsel she could offer.

  78. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I am still wondering – what do these people advise on?
    How to make Obama a more spiritual President?
    How to calm down angry right wing Christian groups
    How to play Christians into thinking the President cares? (this could be for any administration.

    Was this article from the Onion?

  79. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    MLD, not unless Sojourners has become the Onion

    White House announced it last week

    https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2016/01/29/president-obama-announces-more-key-administration-posts

    RHE, not unlike MD, prefers to shoot fish in barrels for whatever team she’s not on.
    http://rachelheldevans.com/blog/donald-trump-gospel-liberty

    ask her whether progressives should be okay with Tony Jones’ treatment of HIS first wife and RHE is less bold, it seems.

  80. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    WtH – actually that 2nd link was a pretty good article and one that Christians should endorse. I am not a RHE fan, but like Nadia, once in a while they hit one out of the park.

    If any disagree with her article and side with Trump, well perhaps we need to go back to catechism class and define a Christian.

  81. Xenia says:

    RHE’s article against Trump was outstanding.

  82. Soldier of Jah says:

    “7. You’re Giving Up On Church Entirely

    If you’re planning to leave your current church to stop attending church altogether, please reconsider this very dangerous step.

    Very few decisions are more likely to cause long-term spiritual damage than leaving the church. Even for a little while. Because a little while almost always becomes a very long time.

    Even deciding to ‘see what’s out there’ in other churches can be a dangerous practice. Church-shopping can become church-hopping, which easily leads to church-stopping.

    Christianity was never meant to be lived in isolation.

    We need you. You need us.

    We need each other”

    This is so not true. After being out of institutional churchianity for 6 years, I have never felt closer to my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Fellowship of the saints doesn’t have to be in institutional denominations and could just as easily be among the few in homes. If people want to go to “church” buildings for their fellowship nothing wrong with that but don’t try and scare people into staying in that system. This inducement of fear is baseless as many times you will discover that your relationship with God grows exponentially outside the mainstream “church” system. Our relationship with Jehovah doesn’t depend on pastors, church buildings etc. but on us working out our own salvation with fear and trembling. Men like the one above love to put the burden on the sheep to attend their stated meetings or else their spiritual life will wither away. Thank God I am strong and don’t put up with guys like this trying to guilt people into not leaving the white washed church system. Anyways the roper word for ekklesia isn’t church but rather Congregation or assembly which puts an emphasis on people rather than cathedrals. The Christian congregation has always been the people of Jehovah God in Christ Jesus wherever they meet not the hierarchal church system whether in Rome or elsewhere.

  83. Muff Potter says:

    My apologies Dread. My trigger finger gets way too itchy at times. Just chalk it up to a typical knee-jerk-unsaved-liberal-apostate-heretic who doesn’t belong here. And one who at times has all the tact of Geronimo raiding a trading post in the Arizona territory.

  84. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    My happening to be on the same page a RHE about Trump is like me happening to be on the same page as Driscoll about soteriology. 🙂

  85. Steve Wright says:

    Not sure if you all saw it but the post mortem on Iowa shows that actual evangelical support of Trump was significantly less than those polls had reported the last couple of weeks…

  86. Trump needs to be denounced by the Christian community as a non Christian and perhaps at least in a religious sense an anti christian and that he should stop trying to kiss our ass and just tell us what a secular Trump may do for the nation … and then make the case for why we as Christians should vote for him – but not because he thinks he is one of us.

  87. dswoager says:

    Soldier of Jah, amen.

  88. Michael – why would you say that? It just says he spoke to both sides and had no other comment. Exploiting would be if he came out and said a lot instead of “no other comment”.

    Look, I don’t like Graham much either, after all he is an evangelical so he is wrong on everything – but to say he is exploiting the situation … I don’t think so.

  89. Michael says:

    What in hell does Franklin Graham have to say to Mormon cultists or the federal government that should be freeing my dirt from these insane squatters?

    Nothing.

    He’s a media whore.

  90. Would you have said the same if it were his dad who made the phone calls – he was just as phony … it was just more acceptable in his day.

  91. and … you don’t know what he had to say because he refused to make comment. I think hate has taken you overboard on this one buddy.

  92. Michael says:

    MLD,

    I don’t know enough about Billy to answer well.
    I know a lot about Frank.

  93. Michael says:

    He had no business being involved at all.

    None.

    I don’t hate anybody.
    I do dislike some with vigor.

  94. Cash says:

    Franklin Graham is an opportunist and it all has to do with politics for him. Right wing, conservative politics.

  95. EricL says:

    Michael,
    You and Franklin need to make up. Why don’t you go meet him when he has his Decision America prayer rally in Salem? Go ahead and sign up for more info. I dare you 🙂
    https://decisionamericatour.com/tour/oregon/

  96. Michael says:

    That’s too far to drive just to heckle…maybe. 🙂

  97. brian says:

    I watched spotlight.

  98. keith says:

    was the key issue with Driscoll in the Mars Hill days the handling of finances? Or the mistreatment of staff and the flock? Never followed too closely.

  99. Em says:

    thanks for all the good links – again 🙂

  100. Babylon's Dread says:

    Narcissism seems to be the most persistent descriptor of the rogues gallery of PP stories

  101. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    keith, there was about a two year period of controversy that involved:
    1. authoritarian leadership style
    2. demonizing dissent
    3. questions about the fiscal responsibility/competency of leadership
    4. rigging the NYT best seller list to promote
    5. Real Marriage, one of a number of books that had what can be described as citation problems
    6. Driscoll claimed “we’re not sure who they are” for people who might have issues with Mars Hill and Driscoll in spite of the fact that the major names had been on record since about 2012.

    That’s the short bullet point history of 2012-2014, not counting 2015 and the different accounts for how and why he quit.

  102. John The Beloved says:

    Love or Hate Franklin. I’m convinced he is a brother in Jesus.

    Its refreshing to see a Christian correct the lie from our revisionist president.

    The media is making a lot of noise today about President Obama visiting a mosque in an attempt to recast what he said was “a warped image of Islam.” The foundations of this nation have nothing to do with Islam, but everything to do with the Church of Jesus Christ. Islam cannot save anyone from hell or open the gates of heaven. Only One can do that—Jesus Christ, the Son of God who paid the debt of sin for all mankind by giving His life as a sacrifice on Calvary’s cross where He suffered and died for our sins, took our sins to the grave, and on the third day God raised Him triumphantly to life. He’s alive today. Muhammad is dead. I worship a risen Lord! Islam can’t compete with that.

    https://www.facebook.com/FranklinGraham/posts/1088660594523454

  103. John The Beloved says:

    I found this article on Christianity Today

    Exploring Evangelicalism: An Interview With Brian Brodersen of Calvary Chapel—Part 2

    http://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2016/january/exploring-evangelicalism-interview-with-brian-brodersen-2.html

  104. Surely someone must have hijacked Franklin’s FB page.
    “The foundations of this nation have nothing to do with Islam, but everything to do with the Church of Jesus Christ. Islam cannot save anyone from hell or open the gates of heaven.”

    Does he really believe that the function of government is to save people from hell and open the gates of heaven? Oh wait, I have been in a couple of those churches that do.

    The Christian’s job is not to transform culture and those supporting a Christian candidate just because he is a Christian absolute idiocy.

  105. Xenia says:

    Since I am an absolute idiot, my preference is to support a Christian candidate who will pray for wisdom and for the country and not for someone who has no connection to God at all.

  106. Josh the Baptist says:

    I may be an idiot, but I’d assume my values would be more closely aligned with that of a Christian that a Muslim.

  107. Xenia says:

    When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn. Prov. 29:2

  108. yep – that all works well in a theocracy.

    So you both believe what Franklin said that the governments role is “to save people from hell and open the gates of heaven?”

    If that is the belief of your candidate of choice, let me know so I don’t mistakenly vote for that person.

  109. Josh the Baptist says:

    A. That’s not even what Franklin said.

  110. Josh the Baptist says:

    “Islam cannot save anyone from hell or open the gates of heaven.”

    That is what Franklin said. Are you saying you disagree with that?

  111. Steve Wright says:

    MLD – Is the purpose of government to make sure people do not have a warped view of Islam. That was the purpose of Obama’s visit. The President doesn’t have more Constitutional duties to fill his calendar.

    Amazing what Christians get upset over and what they just let slide by without comment…even in the context of the same news item. But we hear what we want to hear and ignore the elephant in the room…scratch that. We never ignore the elephants, only the donkeys.

    Let’s face it, if we had a President Romney promoting Mormonism and the nation’s “warped views” on it, everyone would scream because, after all, the guy is a white Republican

  112. Josh,
    Read the whole sentence
    “The foundations of this nation have nothing to do with Islam, but everything to do with the Church of Jesus Christ. Islam cannot save anyone from hell or open the gates of heaven.”

    Note his reference to “nation” and the point being a reaction to something the “nation’s President” did. He is basically saying that the nation and the President should have nothing to do with Islam.

    And yes I agree that all religions except Christianity are just as impotent as Islam. But would Franklin had made the same comment if Obama had entered a synagogue?

    Because I believe this statement also – “Judaism cannot save anyone from hell or open the gates of heaven.”

  113. Steve, just as I think prayer breakfasts also are not a place for our President. I am sure you do also????

  114. Josh the Baptist says:

    You really think Franklin would keep his mouth closed about Judaism or any other religion?

  115. I am leaving for work. In the meantime if you want to google the anti Jewish remarks from Franklin I will read them.

  116. Josh the Baptist says:

    https://www.google.com/search?q=franlin+graham+anti+jewish&oq=franlin+graham+anti+jewish+&aqs=chrome..69i57.6567j0j7&sourceid=chrome&es_sm=0&ie=UTF-8

    There’s 195,000 to get you started.

  117. Steve Wright says:

    MLD – Obama is using the Presidential bully pulpit to promote Islam and he has said in the past that America owes a great debt in its founding to Islam (I have no idea if Obama repeated that yesterday or not but he has said it).

    Graham said two things…refuted the nonsense about Islam being helpful to America and preached the gospel. Using HIS celebrity to do so.

    A prayer breakfast, while pretty much a joke from the ecumenical side of things in terms of spiritual significance has still positive civil significance in that it is good for our political leaders to acknowledge the role of faith in our nation – especially in the days when the 1st Amendment is under attack. A prayer breakfast is akin to all the rest of it, prayers before Congressional sessions, In God we Trust on the money etc.

    A PR campaign for Islam is hardly the same, especially since we know Islam has sort of a bad PR rep at present around the world and in this country…deserved I might add.

  118. Steve Wright says:

    I think that even as so many Christians bemoan mixing politics and the faith, they are equally as guilty in letting their political biases take priority over the preaching of the gospel when it happens.

    How anyone can be upset that someone clearly says the gospel, and if you read that statement you DO have the gospel – and put it alongside the truth that Islam does not save – all because the guy who said it is Franklin Graham who one has POLITICAL differences with is quite the speck/log moment.

    If I ever read Carter, Clinton (either one) or pick the lefty Hollywood liberal of you choice say something that clear both in expressing the truth of Christ and the gospel and the falsehood that is Islam I would praise that person to the fullest. No mater their political beliefs.

    America is at war with militant Islam…you Lutherans don’t have as good a track record as you should when it comes to speaking out against evil tyrants you know…

  119. Josh the Baptist says:

    In fairness Steve, I posted I pretty clear Gospel statement from Obama last week, and you did not praise him to the fullest.

  120. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Josh – you would not make a good research assistant. All of those google sites are Franklin bashing other people as anti Jewish or anti Israel – hence they popped up. Oh! and some were in defense of his dad’s antisemitism – all that synagogue of satan stuff.

    But if someone can show me a similar comment of his when a president met with a Jewish group or went to a synagogue, again I will read it.

  121. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Steve,
    “you Lutherans don’t have as good a track record as you should when it comes to speaking out against evil tyrants you know…”

    2 things – you really lose all credibility with me when you stoop to the “Luther killed all the Jews ” stuff.

    2nd – you know nothing of history in that it was Lutherans working internally for the overthrow of Hitler. Not all Lutherans but Lutheran groups.

    But to the point – Obama was not visiting militant Islam the other day.

    And the main point – Franklin did tie our nation, our President to his “gospel comment”

  122. Xenia says:

    No need to make things complicated.

    If a political leader is pro Christ and pro Christianity, I am for them.

    If a political leader is anti Christ and anti genuine christianity, I am against them.

    Simple. This means some years I cannot vote.

  123. Josh the Baptist says:

    I have no desire to be a research assistant.

  124. Steve Wright says:

    Josh, I countered your post with a much longer interview from Obama if you recall….And it countered everything he said that you quoted…and it most certainly did not stand in opposition to the lies of Islam which is what I actually wrote @120 – notice the two parts brother.

    If you can find Graham praising Islam somewhere and saying Christ is one of many paths, denying the reality of heaven and hell, and saying sin is when he goes against his own beliefs…then I will take back my praise here. 🙂

    Instead Graham is usually countered with “right winger” when he preaches the gospel and that is my point. I don’t challenge someone just because they are a left-winger…

    What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice.

  125. Steve Wright says:

    2nd – you know nothing of history in that it was Lutherans working internally for the overthrow of Hitler. Not all Lutherans but Lutheran groups.
    ————————————————
    That is why I said, not as good as you should…you had more than your share of appeasers and I have read too many stories of people betrayed by Lutheran pastors loyal to Hitler to listen to you tell me in 2016 that it didn’t happen….

  126. Josh the Baptist says:

    My only small point is that politics is a very easy set of blinders that many people wear. I’m guessing if I found a clear Gospel statement from Carter (and I could, easily) that you could post a much longer interview that discounted the statement.

    On the other hand, Franklin can post stuff like this, but his opponents have tons of fuel to argue the other side.

    Just a small point, really.

  127. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Steve, I could crawl in the mud and point to groups similar to your (baptist type) who did not stand up to evil in the civil war and fought to maintain evil for the right to own and abuse slaves … but I won’t. 😉

    I will admit – Lutherans, unlike some Christian groups still need Jesus, forgiveness and continuing salvation.

  128. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    “If a political leader is pro Christ and pro Christianity, I am for them.” = Donald Trump in some cases.

  129. Xenia says:

    I have seen no evidence that Trump is pro Christ.

  130. Michael says:

    Franklin just declared that the direction this country is going is socialism and socialism is “godless”.

    This is a not very well disguised attack on Obama and Democrats like Bernie Sanders.

    The implication is clear that unless you are a good Republican, you are going to split hell wide open.
    The Gospel is evidently constrained to those who agree with Franklin politically.

    That’s really no Gospel at all.

  131. Xenia says:

    Yet it is true that most socialist countries are quite godless.

    Anyone have any thoughts as to why this seems to be the case?

  132. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    I think we need to define some terms.
    First off, what constitutes “socialism”?

    I would think that programs like SSI would fit the bill along with many others.

    The second thing we need to define is what makes a country “godless” or “godly”?

    Can nations be “godly”?

    I have my doubts…and if nations can be godly then I’m not exactly sure how capitalism makes them so.

  133. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I used to rail against socialism — until I went on Medicare. Now I say, hey, this is pretty cool.

    Oh, by the way, I am glad that right wing guys don’t drive on our socialist roads. 😉

  134. Josh the Baptist says:

    So in your minds, there would nothing notable about Bernie Sanders the first self-acknowledged socialist president?

  135. Michael says:

    Josh,

    It may be politically notable, but I don’t think it moves the needle in heaven.

  136. Josh the Baptist says:

    HUh?!?

  137. Josh the Baptist says:

    Ok, lost me on that one. Not talking about a needle in heaven.

    You and MLD are making the point that we are already socialist. I am asking then, will it be no big deal if Sanders becomes the first self-labeled socialist president?

  138. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Josh – do you think that Sanders or Trump, if they maintain their campaign insanity will be able to form any coalition with Congress to get anything done?

    I don’t think so.

    Wasn’t FDR pretty much a socialist — or at least his programs?

  139. Michael says:

    Josh,

    I’m at a point where I really don’t care.
    It’s not going to make the kids well, it’s not going to make me well, it’s not going to change much at all.
    It will pass and I’m worried about things eternal.

  140. Josh the Baptist says:

    MLD – I agree that the extreme guys like Trump, Sanders, and Cruz will be able to accomplish very little.

    FDR surely had reason for not calling himself a socialist. Like if a socialist can get elected, will we one day have a communist candidate that has a chance of winning the presidency?

    Just seems that things are changing at light speed. We probably should take note.

    Now, I agree with Michael that I care very little about the elections other than just for entertainment. I have already said, I have zero hope in our political process or any of the candidates that is running.

  141. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Josh – I care only locally. I want my city to pick up my trash, clean my streets, pump clean water in, pump the poop out – provide police, fire and emergency services.

    Since there is no draft, I don’t have to worry about my grandkids going to war – so screw the Feds – why pay attention?

    We have lived through the 8 years of Obama – which was highly doubtful to some and we will live through the next guy. Pretty much a no harm no foul administration – we lived!!!

  142. Josh the Baptist says:

    I was for Obama, but I’d say it was an awful 8 years.
    I thought Bush Jr was the worst ever.
    I think Clinton was the best ever.
    Bush Sr. was ineffective.
    Reagan seemed to get a lot done, despite some major ethical flaws.
    I’m the only person on earth that likes Jimmy Carter.

    So that is all the presidents in my lifetime…and yep, we survived them all.

  143. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I survived;
    Truman
    Eisenhower
    Kennedy
    Johnson
    Nixon
    Ford
    Carter
    Reagan
    Bush
    Clinton
    Bush
    Obama

    They all took on a tough assignment and they all served God’s purpose.

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