February 4, 2017
It’s all yours today…
February 24, 2017
June 27, 2017
March 25, 2017
Yes, a clean, politics-free (ooops…) slate….
It’s called, outrage fatique.
i guess that this was a Friday not to thank God for… praying that Michael and the kitties simply aren’t producing anything for us to think about…
that’s all right… per Dan and Scooter, a little vegetative state of mind might do us all good
Darn straight Scooter Jones and John 20:29!!!!!
Here’s something fun…
Anon et al…
Always liked this one:
Ummm…where are the Peters brothers when you need them (e.g. burning records)!
Praying for all of the Pastors and Elders in the PP group who are busy right now preparing to deliver the Word tomorrow to the laymen in their particular Church’s congregation. God bless you for accepting the duty of being in the position to guide, lead and to exemplify praise to the one and only Righteous being.
Remember it is God’s words being used through you. You do not need to explain the Bible, just deliver it to those in need to hear it.
Whether it comes from your words of even the Bible itself, the importance is not as much dependent on what is said, or what is written. When God uses it, what is heard or what is read will have a different Holy meaning to each one of them personally.
I certainly no not mean to make light of your responsibility and the difficulty of what you do, but just as important as it is for an individual to refrain from worshiping the Pastor for his words; the Pastor needs to stay focused on the Biblical Word to explain itself instead of how too use his own words to make a point. Of course this can be extremely dangerous, but only when it is NOT done through the faith that God placed you in your position to glorify Himself. Remember, God does not ’need’ you, He is using you. and He can not fail. Do your Church duty to praise God for his power. Rest assured He knew you when He chose you.
God bless each and every one of you.
Paul, i suspect that there are many of us reading your #8 and saying amen
“God bless you for accepting the duty of being in the position to guide, lead and to exemplify praise to the one and only Righteous being.” yes, God protect them physically and mentally and keep them humble before Your matchless Word – God grant them support groups that fear You and think serving You an honor and a duty and not proof that they, themselves, are special
For anyone interested, I have a link below to a conference going on today at Concordia Irvine. If any of the topics listed below interests you, the individual talks are lay level, but delivered by experts, and only 20 minutes in length each. Enjoy!
Higher Things: We Confess 2017
…in the age of President Trump
…that gender identity is given, not chosen
…the love of Christ in the midst of addiction
…through wise and graceful bioethics
…in the age of science
…in everyday vocations
(Warning: This could be considered political…but not intended to be)
The more I consider it (and I’ve been thinking considerably these days), I cannot help but wonder if a mature Christian can be politically active (including actively on social media) and actively pastoral in their ministry and lives of others (even those on the opposite side of the issues).
I dunno, but it seems that someone can’t effectively be both…there is too much potential carryover of politics into a ministry, especially because worldview is involved from the political side. Practically speaking, does actively pursuing political goals negatively affect our ability to lovingly minister to all who cross our path?
Does our focus on the one (politics) color our views, heart and actions of the other (ministry)?
I’m not saying not to have your own opinions and outlooks on current events…nor am I saying to ignore politics and events. Similarly I’m not disparaging those brothers and sisters who feel the necessity to combat social injustices and immorality.
I just think that Jesus’ words in Matthew 6:21 may well apply to this topic in the context of earthly concerns/focus. Can we really have both political (earthly) and ministerial (heavenly) focus at the same time?
Right now, I’m of the thoughts that it’s not possible….
(Thanks for the time to ramble off a thought that has been on my mind for several days)
So are we not supposed to talk about politics this week? Is this a ban, and if so, will the person that mandated the ban get mad if we call it a ban?
Anyway, I was heading into the grocery store yesterday when a man about 80 years old came out, wearing a red hat and pushing a shopping cart. He was kind of aiming the cart at people like he was daring them not to get out of his path. I was so incredulous that he would walk around in public with that hat, especially since he seemed so angry, that I just sort of froze in place.
After a couple of false lunges towards me with the cart, he went past me and down the ramp. After doubling back, as he passed me again he stopped and essentially asked me if I wanted to get into it, like a schoolyard bully. I said “Just go home and leave me alone.” When he lingered I said “… and take off that stupid hat.” He bounded up the stairs and threw a couple of punches at me.
He said “He attacked me! He attacked me!” A group of professional men in nice suits were standing nearby, and one of them said to him “Sir, you’ve been going around to stores all over the neighborhood, trying to pick fights with people. You should go home now.” I decided to skip the grocery store and eat at Taco Bell instead.
Since we aren’t talking about politics, I won’t tell you what his hat said. I hope you all had a great week!
In other news, I’m a bit annoyed that people have been too busy talking about politics to tell me about David S. Pumpkins!
I have a disability which results in me having a specific physical appearance. Think something like those with Down’s Syndrome.
When I was 12, a drunk, maybe 18 year old kid at a gas station got in my face as I was paying while my mom got gas. He wanted to know why I was so ugly. By this point, I was cognizant of being bullied from 1st grade on by my peers. My mother even kicked a woman in the local Woolworth’s for commenting that “children like that should be institutionalized!” That was in the mid 70s.
I responded to the drunk kid (I could smell it) “Jesus made me this way,'” and walked back to my mom’s car, which by then was parked by the bathrooms. The kid followed me; I didn’t see it coming. He walked up to me and punched me hard enough that my glasses were tossed ten feet away from the car, but my head snapped the other direction to splatter blood on the car. I didn’t cry (I was never much of a crier anyway), but I was shocked. The guy hopped on his motorbike and took off. He was never caught. Demonic warfare? I didn’t take it that way even then. In retrospect, my response was sarcastic. I was so tired of being bullied by so many people. I took it as a lesson. Fast foward over 40 years…
A few months ago, I was on the sidewalk outside of my work. I was into my phone and spied an old man pushing his cart up the sidewalk. I’ve lived in some rough places. I know how to protect either strength or indifference in order to be left alone. He stopped 20 ft away from me. I chose indifference… until he started raising his voice. “What are you, deaf?” He said. I got a vibe, and stepped into the street to let him past. He complained about me being deaf again, and then I noticed the large buck knife he had drawn and clutched tightly in his hand opposite me. I apologized, said “sorry sir,” and he passed on, muttering. I didn’t report it to site security. I didn’t have quite the sense that he was possessed (and I won’t claim to possess that discernment, pun intended), but I backed down, despite doing nothing wrong. He was obviously mentally ill.
The meek shall inherit the earth. I think you did right, and I’m sorry that you had to go through that. I still feel like I should have talked to and engaged the old man, but summertimes retreat is best.
Agree with Victor, sometimes best to walk away if possible. Re Politics, no ban was initiated as far as I know on this Open Blogging/Open Mic post (even though I am the first one to comment above and mentioned “politics-free”). The only one here that has the authority to ban topics is Michael, and probably whomever writes the blog post o’ the day.
Hi Stephen (11);
My view isn’t all or nothing, but that it may be very tough to be politically vocal/active and minister to people on the other side of the aisle, but not impossible. I do recall this issue being brought up before either on this blog or another blog, where it was stated to not let your politics get in the way of ministering to one in need. Me personally, I keep my politics to myself for the most part. I don’t care to debate politics, and I don’t flood twitter or Facebook with political sloganeering. Heck, I am not even on twitter or Facebook. I do THINK that a leader who makes his politics known can alienate a large number of people, even if that leader’s intentions were never to be divisive in the first place. Here at PP we have a myriad of political opinions, as well as people of various expressions of Christianity, and that makes this place great – it is definitely not an echo chamber!
I am in awe of God’s work of reconciliation in Alex’s family, and I look forward to hearing their testimony at the 2/19 special service. I am bothered though by the CCA presence and don’t really care to hear 7 other guys and a Christian band. It’s on a Sunday night at 6:30, so how are they going to fit in everyone? For those who have also been hurt by CC and/or deeply invested through hours and HOURS reading his blog over the last 10 years, giving financially, praying, etc., there are really only 3 people that I want to hear from (well, the other boys too). It just seems a little opportunistic and a power play for Don McClure and all these other guys to swoop in.
The red hat says it all.
#18-all politics aside the red hat doesn’t say it all – it only says half of it all…
i was watching a reasonable young woman being interviewed at one of the demonstrations – she was wearing a red hat/cap – a tall, well turned out, professional looking middle aged man came up to them and calmly sprayed the young woman in the red hat directly in her face with pepper spray…
truth is, politics just seems to give some another excuse to vent an ugly nature…
to which Victor’s #14 also attests
JRS, don’t let the bad actors force you to go to Taco Bell when you want grocery deli food – course sometimes a mess of good crunchy tacos is therapeutic 🙂
well, my nurse daughter just made it safely home thru the ice and snow from her overtime shift – thank You, Lord… i can sleep now
I think that people of the red hat tribe are going through shock and confusion right now, trying to process the reality that their guy is turning out to be just as big a disaster as we tried to tell them he would be. Some people are so emotionally vested in this agenda and its leader, that any contrary results or opinions register as a threat to their own egos.
I think that we need to seek wisdom on how we can support people who feel backed into a corner as more and more folks ask themselves if they made a mistake. For every openly vocal or angry one, their are twenty more who are quiet and retreating now, wondering if the rest of the human race hates them. We are only just now seeing news stories of people who are openly regretting their vote and their support. If this current drama causes people to think more deeply and be more circumspect in searching out the truth before getting excited about someone’s political agenda, and being more aware and honest with themselves as we examine our motives against God’s standards, then good will have come out of this mess after all.
Dan from Georgia @16.
I think the word “should” is key but I’m pretty well convinced we can’t do what we “should” do, you know? Especially in this context of being politically vocal/active And ministry.
And you view on potential alienation by those of the opposite view is 100% spot on and I couldn’t agree more.
JRS, give it a rest, bud.
I have all the same questions. The Reconciliation event put on by B.Grenier is beginning to have the appearance of a PR event for CC and maybe the CCA. I REALLY REALLY hope I am wrong. I have trusted Alex to do the right thing–but do not trust these other people on the venue. ( https://scontent-dft4-2.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/16473520_10206307165798483_7987556495170214610_n.jpg?oh=cd1f4dea37a3748d2466595008f2c79b&oe=594C06BE)
FYI, I saw these posts on FB re: the Reconciliation Event:
“What a blessing that both sides are laying down their arms in brokenness. It is surprising–but in a very good way–that Bob is also reaching out to those he harmed. It is rarely, if ever seen. That, of course, will be a long process, but one hopes it will be successful so that others from his church can heal. One cannot help but have questions about the CC pastors invited to the special service, though. However, if it is seen that they, along with Bob, are finally ready to deal with the disfunction that is CC, repent of their attitudes toward sin in the camp, and offer sincere change, then other disenfranchised souls might feel safe enough to come to the table eventually. I’m sure that people will understand if the remaining CC victims will need to see all of that to feel safe. To be sure, there is no trouble with continuing to pray that this miracle continues into the camp of the still wounded. Hope is weak for some of us, but it is hope. Surely, there is no way to properly describe the weight that has been lifted from you and your family and we happily rejoice over that. May God restore all that the enemy has tried to take away on both sides and may He be the victor. God be with you, dear Alex.”
This was the response to Alex about that post:
“I don’t know you personally, but have been following you, and your blog. Like I said when you first announced the reconciliation, you don’t owe anyone an explanation. I am happy for you.”
L.L. — I don’t think anyone wants to talk about it. Perhaps, it’s best. Information is bad. We wouldn’t understand. There’s nothing to see here. Why would you want to know what happened to your money. And, just because a bunch of unrepentant, party line characters who have had their misdeeds exposed on blogs we all frequent will be present, we should not question a thing. ….. Good thing we had this talk. Now go home and put tape over your mouth, hands up to your ears and a mask over your eyes.
Since I respect your posts a lot, do you think reconciliation is immediate?
I know it is in salvation, it’s instantaneous, but it seems to me that if this event is called ” repentance and reconciliation” , is one to believe this is going to happen, or did happen?
Why all the bigwigs? Why the bells and whistles?
Maybe numbers are down.
It’s just plain weird, but hopefully it will be recorded.
I really hate my thoughts on this..
Having said that, I rejoice in what God has done in this family. That’s what counts.
Thank you for your kind comment. You always ask good questions, too. I can only share what I know, which may not be much.
If it’s a reconciliation with God in the equation and we have truly repented–you said it correctly–instantaneous. God is honorable and will do what He says. If we are talking about reconciliation between two, flawed individuals, the Bible gives every indication that is His will. He wants us to live in the “bond of peace”. However, it’s not that simple if trust has been broken. Look at this verse, “Do not be in a hurry in the laying on of hands–giving the sanction of the church too hastily [in reinstating expelled offenders or in ordination in questionable cases]–nor share or participate in another man’s sins; keep yourself pure.”, I Timothy 5:22, Amplified. Caution is advised in allowing a person back into fellowship because they were shown to be untrustworthy for a season and also in making someone a pastor if you have any doubts. I would say that where there is true forgiveness, instantaneous reconciliation is possible. However, as this verse implies, we are not obligated to be stupid if someone has a bad history. Trust takes time. There are a lot of moving parts.
The above paragraph covers a bit about what can happen between two people who were at odds. However, the Grenier situation is never going to be that simple because so many people were conscripted into the cause. And…don’t hate your thoughts. Too many seem to share them.
I wish the stories on the CCA blog could be archived for access. However, I read enough to know that more people suffered horrific things under the CC boot than I had ever imagined–and I had seen so very much over the years. I also sensed that many on the CCabuse blog were exceedingly grateful that someone gave them a voice. They were riding the wave with Alex out of love because he allowed them that voice. I would think it reasonable that they were also hoping his victory would help bring attention to their plight as well. I hope that Alex will go back to giving them a voice on his blog and, in keeping with repentance, Bob will work towards cleaning out the climate of immorality and abuse in the house of CC.
Because so many gave of themselves (materially and otherwise) to help Alex, they would also like to celebrate. Again, you could see the love people had for him on his site because he presented himself as a fellow sufferer. When he shut down his blog, they lost a unique outlet for their grief. Unfortunately, now some of these people are seeing that some of the pastors invited to the celebration have reputations that would put them on the list of CC perpetrators. Because details are murky, people have a lot of questions. If (as the FB poster was hoping in my caption above) these senior CC pastors are coming to repent of their attitudes and offer a real housecleaning–then everyone really can rejoice. I believe that you, Lurky Loo, me and a host of others would gladly amen to that. So many of us do not lack a soft heart of rejoicing over this miracle, but life experience has taught us to also walk wisely no matter what kind of well-meaning pressure is brought to bear. The conflict inside of our psyches is caused, not because of any negativity towards reconciliation or any lack of love for the Grenier family as some might be tempted to assert, rather it is from recognizing disturbing patterns seen before.
May God help us all to be patient when we need to be and bold when we need to be. May everything be done in the light so what is good can be manifest and, likewise, what is not.
Amazing response , and so well thought out.
Yes, many facets involved.
Thanks so much 🙂
I doubt the blog will be archived or that Alex will return to it.
But I don’t want to speak for him.
I was traveling through other, informative blogs and found this article on the signs of apostasy and how to spot a wolf:
I couldn’t help but notice this:
“5.)Apostates are Rebellious (v. 8)
By not teaching what the Bible actually says, these apostates live in and encourage rebellion in others. A pastor once told me that 1% out of submission is equal to being 100% in rebellion against God. To deny a doctrine, the reality of hell for example (Rob Bell) and to teach that denial to others is absolute rebellion against God. To refuse to yield to the Authority of Scripture is to refuse to yield to the Author. They go hand in hand; authority entails submission.”
If I have got it quite right, a certain denomination/association was founded by a man who devised a system that took away pastoral scrutiny, took away the need to be submissive to authority and defied the written Word by putting Biblically disqualified pastors back into their pulpits. Further, he encouraged rebellion against Scripture by those that followed him through policy and action, thereby codifying that a pastor’s sin was different than those of the congregation and put himself and other pastors “above the law”. Then, when this ungodly policy was made public in 1992, he did not repent. He entrenched by maintaining that a pastor was “God’s anointed” and said that a pastor’s gifts were too valuable for him to be set aside–putting the gifts above the giver and the holiness of God. Secular people would call this break from reality, a mental problem. Those that were near abdicated their loyalty to God’s Word, euphemized the situation in some other way and went along with it because they didn’t want to “make waves”. Meanwhile, pew warmers got to have their dalliances labeled as sin and some offenders were brought up and publicly shamed in congregations of those who later fell. Have I missed anything?
I will not use the word “apostate” for this fearless leader. However, when part of what he did shows up on a list of what constitutes apostates, I gotta give it some attention.
I don’t think that site will be archived.
The Grenier reconciliation will have no impact on CC… one of the things you need to get a complete grip on is that there is no central authority in CC and there will be no movement wide changes.
Any change will happen one church at a time.
If I may, I will comment on the nature of CC authority first. I also give license to you to correct me if I have overstated or misstated anything. I honestly do not want to get this wrong.
Here goes–If I have got this quite right–you are technically correct in that there is essentially no legally defined central authority. My contention, however, is that it is not really the way it has operated. One of their entities (CCCM, CCA or CCGN) has the power to authorize a pastor to “associate” and use the dove or to pull the plug on a pastor that ceases to amuse. Further, they are all associated by their agreement with the CC “Distinctives” and must teach certain, basic doctrine or they cannot continue to display CC in their title. Lastly, they have organizations like the CCA and the CCGN which, by their own statements (at least by CCA), that they intend to exercise certain authority over their members. Even if the claims of authority are illegitimate by these groups, if the pastors willingly go along with being a member–they are still showing tacit agreement with all of the policies.
Again–I agree that you are technically correct. However, it also doesn’t negate that they have operated as a group when they want to and can, therefore, make changes as a group–if they really want to. That’s the problem and a good deal of why we are all here on these blogs. They don’t want to. They hide behind their “technicalities” and people continue to be left “blowing in the wind” for someone else to ignore.
Am I holding my breath for those “corporate” changes — um…NO.
If what you are saying is true ( “there will be no movement wide changes”), then I am compelled to ask another question.
When does it become oxymoronic for the “good” pastors to stay in?
“One of their entities (CCCM, CCA or CCGN) has the power to authorize a pastor to “associate” and use the dove or to pull the plug on a pastor that ceases to amuse. ”
Actually they have the power to do nothing more than add or subtract a name from their database.
“Further, they are all associated by their agreement with the CC “Distinctives” and must teach certain, basic doctrine or they cannot continue to display CC in their title.”
Probably half have never read the Distinctives or vary in some way from them. The only entity that could sue for someone using the name or the dove is Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa.
“Lastly, they have organizations like the CCA and the CCGN which, by their own statements (at least by CCA), that they intend to exercise certain authority over their members. ”
The only thing the CCA wants to exercise control over is doctrine. CCGN has explicitly said it is not a governing entity.
These guys can’t even agree on what time it is…
If a group decided that they have disciplinary authority,they also incur liability for the actions of affiliates…which is why Chuck Smith disbanded the CCOF office.
I repeat…there will be no movement wide changes.
It is a waste of time to pursue such.
Pursue changing the way parishioners think and then change will come.
I also wanted to add that I am not waiting for pigs to fly. I don’t have any conviction that these “big names” who are going to this “celebration” will come clean. I just couldn’t figure out any other way to make the point that a scenario like the one that is being presented in that “reconciliation” ad may very well have the effect of making some people feel betrayed. Many see these men as symbols of their suffering. Many are even quiet because they fear they will be accused of being jealous or negative. It is very sad. If you could have seen my posts on Alex’s site you would know my support for him was unconditional. I even shared of great healings I have experienced and advocated that forgiveness and reconciliation is the best course. Now, perhaps, the worst will be believed. I don’t know.
I remember that CS told Alex there were no affiliates.
Then I found many CC websites where the churches stated they were affiliates.
That was probably 6 years ago. Maybe the Pastors didn’t know what the word meant, they were just thinking they were a “branch” of CCCM?
I have a hunch its really only those who got out that really care.
The ones inside are happy.
Financial disclosure, transparency issues, etc don’t really matter.
I don’t think they can see clearly till they get out, usually because they rubbed leadership the wrong way. then they begin seeing…
…and why would a CC pastor want to change a system that benefits them?
Because I am fully in support of Alex, I will not comment on the event.
I have my own issues with it and understand the feelings that some have.
I probably know more CC pastors than everyone here combined.
It’s a very mixed group…the days of a CC that was monolithic in belief and practice ended a long time ago.
A CC that could remain one movement ended with the death of Chuck Smith…and it was fragmenting long before that.
I genuinely appreciate that you took the time to address what I said. The information should go a long way to help me sort through the “mechanics” of CC’s strange non-denom denom. Thank you.
I also agree with what you said about changing the way parishioners think. I does help to be more informed and less passive. However, if I may, the battering I took was not because I was passive. I was not the kind of person who went along without questioning the drivel that I was constantly being handed. The reason I went through more than one CC was precisely because I did ask questions. Not everyone’s story is the same, of course. Some were bound because that’s where their spouse made them go or because they had to show fellowship in order for their child to be in a certain Christian school. There are a lot of other, more complicated reasons.
With CC’s history, it is not hard to grasp that it is an unrealistic expectation for leadership to repent and change. I do maintain that exposing the leaders that cover up their sin as well as exposing their unbiblical model and policies can still yield positive results. The exchanges on your blog seem to indicate that many have been helped by the information they found. I still want you to know how grateful I am for opportunities to post.
Unfortunately, there is still the issue of people who, through no fault of their own, were thrust out of fellowship by leaders who had no conscience about what they were doing and are still unable to find a place to go. They were given no possibility for redress either. God can redeem and heal anything if we let Him. That is not being debated in any way. It becomes evident that there is an increasing number of church refugees wandering on the hills. If CC pastors won’t take responsibility for their own refugees and the people who claim to push good doctrine don’t care enough to put spiritual/pastoral abuse on the same level as a lack of orthodoxy, then what is to be done? Are these people to be sent away with nothing and told to be filled and be warmed? (This is not directed at you, Michael. Just the open query of someone who is deeply concerned.)
Michael, thank you for #34.
THIS– “…I don’t think they can see clearly till they get out, ”
You nailed it!
“If CC pastors won’t take responsibility for their own refugees and the people who claim to push good doctrine don’t care enough to put spiritual/pastoral abuse on the same level as a lack of orthodoxy, then what is to be done?”
JM I have two functions here.
One is that I am a reporter.
The second is that I am a pastor concerned about broken people.
My conclusion after a long time doing both is that if you choose to attend a church without transparency on all matters and a a congregational influence, expect the worse.
If you have been broken in one of these churches, they are not going to be part of your healing.
They usually don’t even believe you were broken in the first place.
Exposure can help on a church by church basis…but everyone we ever exposed in CC is better off now than when we exposed them.
Michael, I genuinely apologize if my post #36 made you feel any weight of responsibility to make up for other’s misdeeds. That would be far from what I intended. That’s why I made that statement in parentheses in the last paragraph. Additionally, I actually agree with your comments/advice in post #39. All is well and, again, you are appreciated by me and surely others who are able to express their gratitude better than I. 🙂
Thank you…I’m just using these comments to make some important points.
Too many are wasting energy trying to reform something that is not interested in reform.
I know this may be rehashing ax question and answer from somewhere else
But why advertise such a tender moment, why hype up a father turning to his son?
It’s very strange to me, and seems, kind of…
Now just to me and I have a weird history with my own Dad…
It SEEMS sick
I answered that in #34…
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