The Real Problem

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120 Responses

  1. Michael says:

    I’m off to work…so I probably won’t respond to anything until tonight.

  2. “Because in America church is now just a consumer choice,not a sanctified corporate gathering of God’s people.”

    You may call them “god’s people” – me?, I’m not so sure. I made the comment yesterday that the podcaster, turned faith mocker was probably more suited to have joined the Elks Club instead of a Church as he / she obviously was not called to the faith by the gospel.

    Perhaps this is the case with these people – and in Alex’s support – perhaps this includes everyone who sits in the auditorium at CCV and listens to BG

  3. Em says:

    when did preaching become a career option instead of a service performed first and formost to a holy God? i suspect its roots go way back to when most of the population, in the Western world at least, lived on the brink of destitution in feudalism and the the priesthood was a sort of a way out? dunno
    just thinking about where the corruption began …

    something sent to me today that’s worth a ponder also IMHO
    “It reminds me of a conversation with my Dad. Not verbatim but this is what I understood as his meaning. As a new Christian, he wanted to please God. To do for God as He has done for us. This included his choice in career. It was later in life and a life truly lived that Dad realized it wasn’t the career that made him worthy but how he represented The Lord. Once we are His, God will use us as an example. I have lost sight of that time and again. All we need is to be open to Him and stop trying to control the future.”
    we pew sitters don’t really get that we represent our Lord every bit as much as the preacher/teacher/shepherd does

  4. Reuben says:

    This is also why there is no unity. Brand loyalty, whether it is Lutherans or Baptists, superceeds the Body of Christ.

  5. Em says:

    i’m not ging to listen to the Youtube Michael posted … i look at that lineup and all i can think of is rot – bloated, corrupted and, to be charitable, sad – what is wrong with us? i’d be willing to bet that spotted in that congregation are souls that love the Lord and just don’t get it – or if they do, they sit there and pray for that preacher day after day after year after year and somehow, rightly or wrongly, think that is their duty – unending, unproductive stagnant duty … and i may be wrong, it’s just what i see this a.m.

  6. Em says:

    Reuben, you nailed something very important there

  7. Sarah says:

    When I was reading through the article and saw Schaap the only thought that went through my mind was, “Why on earth would anyone want to go there?”

    Why?

    I simply do not understand how some people’s minds work.

  8. Reuben,
    I made the claim yesterday, that what we look for in unity is not at all what Jesus was talking about. I stand by that still.

    But here is the thing – I am in complete unity with all who can proclaim the 3 ecumenical creeds. (and it doesn’t even have to be every single word.) But that unity does not over ride that I can have difference with people.

  9. I assume Reuben’s #4 is a partial shot at me – but it is off base. I have no team loyalty towards baptists at all. I try to stand for what is right, regardless of affiliation. In the case mentioned above, most here know that James Duncan is a personal friend, and that Perry Noble is a Southern Baptist. I stand, and always have, 100% with James Duncan.

    The problem with unity as the top priority is that EVERYONE has to draw lines. For instance, Perry Noble claims to love Jesus. Do we stand united with him?

    Unity? Yes, but we can only have unity in truth.

  10. Papias says:

    “But here is the thing – I am in complete unity with all who can proclaim the 3 ecumenical creeds. (and it doesn’t even have to be every single word.) But that unity does not over ride that I can have difference with people.”

    Amen MLD.

    Unity does not mean that I agree with everyone who names the Name of Christ in every facet or iota of doctrine. We can have unity in that fact that we do not COMPLETELY 100% AGREE with each other.

    I think God likes 31 Flavors….. 😉

  11. Em says:

    Papias, “I think God likes 31 Flavors….” you may be right 31 flavors in agreement on the essentials, but with their own God-given individualities in tact? 🙂

  12. Scott says:

    The way the guy in that video was working that, whatever it was, gave me the creeps. Em, you are better off not having watched it.

  13. Nonnie says:

    Jack Schaap…..I watched about 20 seconds of that video…he is disgusting. How could anyone call him their pastor?

  14. nomans says:

    Oh man… Just about lost my cookies there.

  15. Em says:

    agreeing with Scott, Nonnie and nomans, but … if you’d listened to your old grannie and not watched that video, none of you would be suffering now … 😆
    just the picture made my stomach lurch

  16. My wife and I saw that video and read that article a few weeks ago. The article really disappointed her, because she grew up fundamentalist baptist and Jack Hyles was the “guy who knew what he was talking about”. It shot down all the stuff she heard growing up to learn how bad he actually was. Both of us were disgusted with the video, at least Schapp got time for his crimes.

  17. ( | o )====::: says:

    Having worked in a bible bookstore when I was fresh out of high school I remember each denomination had their favorites. Jack Hyles was one of them, just as we hippie Jesus People kids were all about Greg Laurie and Chuck Smith.

    Our heroes are always destined to fail in some way, be they James Dobson, Billy Graham, or Martin Luther, we’re just faking it, doing the best we can, sometimes better than others.

  18. Bob Sweat says:

    I remember Jack Hyles as well. His bus ministry was mentioned at most conferences that I attended.

    What amazed me was the lack of reaction from the rest of the white coats setting behind Schapp. The whole video was disgusting!

    Michael wrote, “Most will gravitate to where the most people are, the same way they choose a nightclub or restaurant.” A sad commentary indeed!

    The Prophet Jeremiah asked God, “Why does the way of the wicket prosper? Why do all who are treacherous thrive? You plant them, and they take root; they grow and and produce fruit; you are near their mouth and far from their heart.” Jeremiah 12:1-2 I’m not sure Jeremiah appreciated God’s answer, and maybe we don’t either!

    Is all this just preparing us? For what? Or, should we just dismiss what is written in Jeremiah because it is applicable only for God’s judgement on Israel?

    Abuse in the church has bothered me for years now. I was drawn to this blog because it was being addressed. But like Micheal, I not sure if anything can be done.

  19. London says:

    I’m traveling for work and trying to find a place to go to a mid week Bible Study. First thing I did was search “mega churches in xxxx city”.
    Easiest way to meet people is to go to a bar or a big church. I’m not that much of a drinker, so easiest to just find a mega church with a lot going on.
    I think once people get plugged in with other folks, it’s just too much loss to leave all them when the pastor acts like an idiot.

  20. Faking it, all of us?

  21. Papias says:

    “I think once people get plugged in with other folks, it’s just too much loss to leave all them when the pastor acts like an idiot.”

    Yup.

    People get connected to others and then “groupthink” comes into play. If the pastor says something off the wall every once in awhile…..”eh….the guy is losing his mind. Cut him some slack.”

    And some of that comes down to “The pastor preaches the Bible” or “He knows so much of the Scripture that I wouldn’t feel right asking him about what he said…”

  22. Ixtlan says:

    nice exibitionist video. He had better hope some of the other inmates where he is going don’t see that video, I can’t but hope that they do.

  23. Nonnie says:

    Sorry, Auntie Em! Do I have to have a time out? 😉

  24. pardon ze interrupcion. says:

    That video was hilarious!

  25. ( | o )====::: says:

    Yes, Derek. I mean it in the kindest sense. We’re all doing what we can with what we know, for whom we’re serving, but we err when we get tired, bored, sloppy or just plain lazy. We plug in “filler” when we miss opportunities for excellence. It’s the human condition. Look at Moses’ misstep, a legacy tarnished due to misrepresentation, so a big prize of going into the promised land was forfeited, but, mercifully, God Himself remained Moses’ final cherished companion

  26. Em says:

    Nonnie, “Sorry, Auntie Em! Do I have to have a time out?” i’m guessing that a time out would be a blessing, eh? take one 🙂

  27. Reuben says:

    It seems I owe another apology.

    I was not singling out Josh and MLD. It is the case with Anglicans, as I have also found. EOs, Episcopalians, Catholics, Presbyterians, Charismatics, and even more so the case with non-denominationals. I would guess that any tradition could be named, and there are those who think they have arrived at the end all solution.

    Whatever the title, I call it sectarianism. I have found that I tend to despise the labels. The labels signify doctrinal hills, and people die on them. As a result, the Body of Christ, or at least whatever people believe that is, is actually anti-Christ, and I hate it.

  28. Reuben says:

    “Because in America church is now just a consumer choice,not a sanctified corporate gathering of God’s people.”

    I could not have developed a more coherent thought, and described why there is no unity, and that it is a fiction, better than that quote.

  29. Reuben,
    I didn’t think that you were singling me out.

    But there are differences – do they just go away? Do we pretend they are not there? You are a Calvinist, so you divide with the non Calvinist … but it does not mean that it must be hostile.

  30. Actually, I think a great percentage of the American is very united – great unity in believing nothing and standing for nothing.

  31. Reuben says:

    MLD,

    I do not “divide” with Arminians. I am not sure what you think that means. The differences divide people.

    I attempted to show that there is not much that separates us, and there is reason for unity. I did that through some of the 39 Articles. We saw where that went.

    My son was baptized in an Anglican church. There were a number of people there from Calvary Chapel. Because the tribe dictates a hill of doctrine that they will die on, they would not partake in communion with the church, they would not recite the creeds, some of them would not even follow the liturgy.

    What is sad is that there is little for Calvary Chapel to disagree with when it comes to Anglicans. But people will divide anyway. Why? Arrogance, ignorance, who knows.

    I say it is anti-Christ. It is flat denial of the Body of Christ over petty doctrinal differences.

    MLD, do you realize that I am a heretic to most folks from all of my former spiritual travels?

  32. “MLD, do you realize that I am a heretic to most folks from all of my former spiritual travels?”

    So am I, but I don’t care. In fact we don’t care together, that’s why I can still talk to them, coffee and eat with them

    btw, I thought the 39 Articles went very well – no one died and no one called the cops. 🙂

  33. FWIW, not much 🙄 i, too, thought the 39 Articles and the affirmations, questions and discussions were good … the question seems to be, how to stand where you’re pausing or planted – either one – without the other guy ( 🙂 ) taking it as a personal assault?
    i have observed two groups of what i would call non-denominational mavericks (not their leadership, necessarily) that have many followers-so-called that are very offensive in their contempt for those who haven’t parted company with the establishment church … and yet, they think that they are standing for sound teaching … trouble is, the teaching is sound, but the followers seem to be busy acting like the adolescent trying to prove himself smarter than his parents … i would say that i probably am smarter than the generation that went ahead of me, but only because what they taught me was something that i could build on … aand ‘smart’ is relative

  34. Lutheran says:

    I think Reuben has a really valid point. I wish I had any answers, but I don’t. I think maybe one element is lack of getting out to different churches. The thought of CC people refusing to say the Creeds at an Anglican church strikes me as hilarious — if it weren’t so pathetic.
    I’ve always argued that Christians need learn about church history. But I guess education isn’t going to solve this one.

    I think one of the reasons CS Lewis appeals to so many is that he wrote as a ‘mere’ Christian (though he attended a high Anglican church).. He avoided the denominations in his writing and stressed what Xns of all stripes have in common.

  35. and furthermore … that Youtube up there: how come all the men on the dais belong to the meat cutters union?

  36. I had to do some Googling – but I had never heard of Jack Hyles. Perhaps he was for more discriminating tastes than mine. Hadn’t heard of the other guy either.

    Where the hell is Indiana anyways?

  37. Scott says:

    Regarding #35, I was thinking Milkmen.

    Regarding #36, do you know that neither had I. Maybe I need to get out more. Had a little time to research the Jack dude, never mind…

  38. Perhaps that is what the uniforms look like without the hood. 😉

  39. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    This is the thing tho, spiritual abuse is alive in well in smaller fellowships including Home churches. I was recently attending a Home fellowship with my kids, a friend of mine and her kids. We have been going there since the summer time and all was well. I didn’t agree with them on everything but we still went and considered that our place of fellowship. Recently the npastor told me that every january he passes out covenant cards for the attenders to sign saying that they will be committted to the ministry for the 2013 year . I thought our yes was to be yes and our no be no and that this covenant card stuff was non sense being that we are not to take oaths or swear by earht or heaven. That was bad enough but then he dropped the bomb on me that he wanted to include that we are committing to tithe. First of all I don’t belive that the tithe is for today and that we as Christians are called to give as we prosper -grace giving, second of all by having a home church there is virtually no over head. Third of all the pastor didn’t work but yet his wife has this good job so the burden to suppor tthe family is on her. They are in debt but yet they bought a new fridge and big flat screen tv when they didnt need one.

    Me and my friend are just about the only working adults there as the others are his kids, two in high school and two in college and there kids friends who are either in college or just out of college so even if they work they don’t make much money. I have zero debt and a good job but I am raising three children on my own with no help financially and i pay a healthy rent. My friend is raising two kids with help but a low paying job. The pastor knows this but yet wants to put this bondage on us. Why should I pay him this money when he not even wise with his finances yet I am wise so my family has to suffer so that he can pay his debt off and have the luxuries of life? The straw that broke the back was this past sunday he passed out the cards and he said he wants us to wrtite our weekly income on the cards and also how much we will be giving weekly. I gave him scriptures to refute him and all he did was hem and haw and not give me one scripture to back himself up. Needless to say I am gone as is my friend. I am tired of this spiritual abuse!!

  40. Papias says:

    “My son was baptized in an Anglican church. There were a number of people there from Calvary Chapel. Because the tribe dictates a hill of doctrine that they will die on, they would not partake in communion with the church, they would not recite the creeds, some of them would not even follow the liturgy.”

    Reub, I am sorry that the CC didn’t do what you hope they would do. But they came and saw and heard. Perhaps over time an impact will be realized?

  41. Papias says:

    SolRod,
    may you be blessed as you find somewhere else to fellowship. I would have walked out on the spot.

  42. Scott says:

    It’s nothing that reading the Bible and doing what it says wouldn’t cure. If people really believed the Bible and really obeyed God, things would be a lot different. Makes you wonder who out there really knows God, rather than knows of Him.

  43. “…they would not partake in communion with the church, they would not recite the creeds, some of them would not even follow the liturgy.” I’ve never understood this kind of behavior. I’m a non-denom guy, currently attending a Calvary, but if I’m visiting a service of some other tradition, unless I find something flat-out wrong, I enjoy participating. My thinking is, if God can be glorified through my participation in this event, with these people, then go for it.

  44. SolRod, I think you’ve made the right choice in parting ways with this “pastor.”

  45. “The problems in the pews are far bigger than the ones in the pulpit..and until those are addressed no amount of blogging will change a thing.”

    Michael, my first experience with blogging was when I came here trying to figure out what the heck was going on with Skip. I held out hope, along with many here, that repentance would come, and huge changes in the “system” would take place. We all know now that that just isn’t going to be the case. That being said, we’ve all come a long way, baby. Maybe that’s what it was supposed to be about after all.

  46. Scott says:

    See we have another Scott here now.

  47. Michael says:

    CK,

    My hope is that we refocus on the only thing that will make a difference.
    Education.
    My goal is to equip the saints so they won’t fall prey to these guys…unless they willingly choose to be prey.

  48. Steve Wright says:

    My son was baptized in an Anglican church. There were a number of people there from Calvary Chapel
    ———————————–

    My hope is that one day soon Reuben will recognize that THIS was a sign of unity..and love.

  49. Now this is interesting – is refusing to take communion being divisive… or is it being respectful? When I go to a mid week CC Bible study with a couple of my high school buddies, I pass the plate and do not take communion.

    I don’t feel divisive and I think it is respectful to let them do their own rites and rituals without my interference.

    I went to 2 RCC weddings this year and even when invited to take communion (which is rare in an RCC for outsiders to be invited up) I did not.

  50. brian says:

    I often loath my cynicism and BS filter but after reading these stories I am grateful for them.

  51. Chile says:

    When I became a Christian I stepped out of the Litheran Church and into Jack Hyle’s Tribe. It was the end of the 70’s when so many denominational churches had become liberal. I didn’t know much, but the new Tribe used the Bible and explained it in a way that was helpful to me.

    After about 4 years with them (same tribe, different church and school,) I discovered some serious long-running sexual sin issues. When then facts became public, I had several people deny the truth in favor of keeping their world in tact. In order to do that, they had to ignore their responsibility in how they responded to those facts.

    I saw it as a love for one’s comfort and a lack of love for others. This theme played out in many ways.

    All the big churches and schools in this tribe continued on – even after tons of serious ongoing sins were exposed – HOWEVER, it lost its drawing power and many were warned sufficiently to stay away that the tribe was neutralized.

    The sexual sin issues replicated themselves in many who went out from the main churches in the churches they planted. The damage has been greater than reported.

    The Tribe was severely hurt not only by the public warnings and information of the rampant sin, but the knowledge that many in the Tribe did nothing in response.

    Sin can be found anywhere, but for it to have an environment where it can thrive for a long time in secret is a very big red flag. Again, the biggest decrease in attendance and greatest deterrent to even checking out that tribe was knowing that many did nothing in response to the allegations … And eventually the facts.

    I watched a church of 6000 reduce to about 500. The associated university dropped from 4,000 to 300. The public rolled their eyes and never took that tribe seriously again. Books have been written about their ways … For laughs.

  52. Bob Sweat says:

    MLD

    Your #36, be careful, I was born in Indiana. 😉

  53. Alex says:

    Agree with Reuben. Brand Loyalty is a biggie.

    Don’t agree with the premise of “the real problem”.

    The masses have always been this way throughout history. We have a Leadership Problem…or more a Lack of Leadership Problem.

    The bar for Leadership is very low…and the “good guys” are scared money and lack conviction.

  54. Alex says:

    “The problems in the pews are far bigger than the ones in the pulpit..and until those are addressed no amount of blogging will change a thing.”

    No, disagree. That runs counter to Scripture and common sense and has been proven wrong time and time again throughout history:

    Recent examples: Slavery, Women’s Suffrage, Civil Rights Movement etc.all started in the pulpit…just sayin’

  55. Alex says:

    But, I know when I’m beat. I give up on you guys here in terms of hoping you’ll pick up the mantle and try and change stuff that needs to be changed.

    I’ll stick to warning, exposing and speaking out on my blog and elsewhere and advocate for change elsewhere.

    This is a nice club though and there are several nice folks here

  56. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    CK and Papias,

    Thank you for the encouragement

  57. Reuben way back at 31 said:
    “I attempted to show that there is not much that separates us, and there is reason for unity. I did that through some of the 39 Articles. We saw where that went.”

    I loved the discussions around the articles. What was wrong with that? I miss those entries.

  58. Michael says:

    As with most issues, this isn’t an either/or situation, it’s a both and all of the above.
    Leadership is important…but when leadership fails to materialize, then change must come from below.
    Over the last few years I’ve been involved with “exposing” a lot of stuff…not only on these pages, but in a national magazine and the AP wire.
    It changed absolutely nothing in the structure or governance of CC…and today if anything, the situation is worse than when I started.
    In all of the human rights issues mentioned above it took a coalition of leadership and public action to make changes…if the people did not participate the leaders would have had no chance.
    Institutions must have the will to change…in an institution the status quo is comfortable and protected.
    That will to change only comes when the means of support and survival is threatened…and in the church that only comes from those who write the checks and fill the building.
    Exposure of evil doing is important, but exposure alone has accomplished little.
    We have to reason with leaders and those who would be leaders, while equipping people to deal with such on the local level.
    It is both fascinating and heartbreaking to me to see that if I’m speaking truth to power, then I’m applauded…but when I call on people to take responsibility for their spiritual health and work to equip people to do so, then I’m a traitor to the cause.

  59. Michael, obviously you are right to a large degree.

    However, I disagree that nothing has changed. I can tell you of several CC’s that have made changes, and I’m as outsider as you can get. I’m sure someone closer to it could find many, many more changes that have been made.

    I know that you and others hoped for some type of denominational structural change, but for those who don’t believe in those type of things, my self included, the local church is the only place to make the change.

    Good work, keep it up!

  60. Kevin H says:

    I haven’t posted in a little while, but I’ve got a few thoughts on this thread.

    First, SolRod: I’m sorry for what you have gone through with your your most recent home fellowship experience. I’m glad you were wise enough to get out of the situation before it could have caused even more harm down the road.

    Second, Reuben: Let me throw my hat in too in agreement with others that I liked the 39 Articles threads and thought they were good. Yes, there may have been some serious disagreement at times on some of them (When is there not disagreement around this place?), but overall I thought they served a lot of good.

    Third as to Unity: I think what is most important is the spirit or attitude we have when we disagree with others in regards to doctrine and/or methodology. We can have some doctrinal and methodology differences and still be united in Christ. Of course, there are doctrinal lines we have to draw where we can no longer have unity. But on many issues, we can state our disagreement but still accept and love others as brothers and sisters in Christ. The problems we run into is when our spirit or attitude is focused on division and we treat other Christians as second class or as not even being Christians at all. This can be done out of some kind of combination of arrogance, ignorance, fear, or probably a plethora of other reasons. But I think this is where we run into unity problems.

    Fourth, and lastly, as to Jack Schaap: That man is disgusting. And it is amazing that people could continue to support and attend his church after a demonstration like that. I guess our felt needs must be triumphing over what is true and right.

  61. Nonnie says:

    Rubes, I was really enjoying the 39 articles series!!!

  62. Scott says:

    Did a little research on that Youtube of the sermon Michael linked. He titled the sermon, “The Golden Shaft”!

    How weird is that?

  63. PP Vet says:

    “My goal is to equip the saints so they won’t fall prey to these guys”. Wonderful.

    The best way to recognize unhealthy leadership is to understand what a healthy person is.

    The best way to help people understand what a healthy Christian looks like is to be one.

    From my view, becoming healthier is what this site is all about, and it has helped me on that journey.

  64. Nonnie says:

    Where is the “LIKE” button for some of these comments?

  65. Em says:

    FWIW
    i’m not sure, but i think i started ‘lurking’ here about 9 years ago (is that possible?) … hurting people come here and react to the input they receive in 2 different ways, i think: “you (us) don’t understand at all; I’m out of here!!!” and others seem to respond with, “let’s talk some more” … everybody gains from the latter group (most do, anyway)

    the only danger is that there are so many tested and hurting souls within the Body (somebody couldn’t figure out what “the Body” meant Romans 12:4-5 ) that we may begin to think that it’s all about the miseries of the Faith 😥

  66. Em says:

    Nonnie, just read your #64 as i’m looking at the smilies list – how about this one? 😀 that’s a colon with a capital D hmmm … ought to be a better one, tho

  67. Nonnie says:

    😀 Is this “Like” Em?

  68. Em says:

    Nonnie, 😀 as opposed to 🙂 my smilie list is on my old computer and there ought to be a “like” better than the ^^^ that some use, eh? anybody got one?

    hope this is a good day for little, tiny hero baby Bennet and his littler, tiny baby hero cousin

  69. Alex says:

    Michael said, “That will to change only comes when the means of support and survival is threatened…and in the church that only comes from those who write the checks and fill the building”

    Yes, that’s why I think it’s good to continually expose the stuff. Folks sometimes tend to stop supporting bad situations with their money when the truth comes out. i know that didn’t happen for very long in Heitzig’s case, but it is happening to a degree. But, I understand the rest of what you posted in that comment and you certainly have a valid rationale and I respect your opinion. You’ve earned the right to have an opinion on this issue, IMO.

  70. Alex says:

    Michael said, “but when I call on people to take responsibility for their spiritual health and work to equip people to do so, then I’m a traitor to the cause.”

    I’m sorry if I’ve ever given you that impression. Like you said, I think it’s an “both/and” not either/or. I don’t think you’re a traitor, I get frustrated however with the de-emphasis on the former Cause (IMO). I also get frustrated with the good CC guys, but that horse has been beaten to death.

    I really care about the stuff. However, I give up on here. It’s a dead horse. I’ll try to work on the “take responsibility for their spiritual health” part over here and try to participate on that level. I do have an increasing amount of doubt in Fundamentalism and a lot of questions. I’ll try to engage with those who I think may have some answers in that area like G and brian, etc.

  71. Alex,
    Saw your mention. To be counted in company with our dear late night :: brian:: is an honor. He says more in a single post than I can in a weeks’ worth.
    Thanks.
    No need to self limit engagement though.
    This place, because each participant is committed to love, will endure, even when topics and views are difficult or in opposition. Michael and all here have patiently endured my hard reflections on my own journey, my difficult questions, my heart cries for reform and mercy.
    Just err on the side of trying to keep it light, quick and witty, which I’ve seen you do.
    Continuing to pray for your day in court, that you will be heard and prevail.
    Best to you and your wife and kids.

  72. Alex,
    Regarding Fundamentalism, as a movement, it sprung as a reaction to “modernism”, and “higher criticism” within the church at the turn of the 20th century. Interestingly enough publications like Sword of The Lord perpetuated the movement long after American Evangelicalism sprung up as a more “moderate” movement.

    I have found it to be the least user friendly expression of our faith since The Crusades

  73. Chile says:

    ” I have found it to be the least user friendly expression of our faith since The Crusades.” –G

    You can say that again! I tried to live what they preached to the N th degree. I found it was impossible and damaging to both myself and others.

    But in defense of some, some were able to live out a version of this Fundamentalism that included a bit of common sense and more love; though it had to be done in a culture that closely resembled the 1950’s.

  74. Chile,
    Yep, it was so much easier when the world was black and white, then along came color and Pleasentville was never the same 😉

  75. Chile says:

    G, that is an excellent way to describe it!

    I had falsely assumed I’d be able to recognize the issues associated with what I found in the IFB’s easily if I ever ran into it again. I was wrong. I never imagined it could morph into “cool” and slip right under my nose. This is why I chose to find out as much as I could about the structures the enable/support such a culture this time. I can’t do this again!

  76. PP Vet says:

    I was saved in a fundamentalist church. Thank God for fundamentalist churches.

    As a Christian subculture, it has its strengths and weaknesses. As does the “anonymous fault-finding online Christian blog commenter” subculture. 🙂

  77. Scott says:

    I read the abbreviated lawsuit of Duncan vs Noble, the suit which Noble’s insurance company settled out of court. I’m surprised a lot more people in the blogging world aren’t being sued to be honest with you.
    http://www.pajamapages.com/a-few-details-about-our-newspring-lawsuit-abbreviated-edition/

  78. Chile says:

    PPVet,

    My comments are made in the context of having been trained for ministry through the IFB’s main university at the time. The big wigs/leaders of the movement came to our campus to spred their influence to make sure we were being properly trained.

    It was after I worked in another country that I realized I was not taught how to handle Scripture. I awoke to the fact that I was trained to manipulate and motivate by guilt. We were not taught to think, rather obey the leaders and regurgitate material. Asking questions was a sign of rebellion. Nothing short of total conformity to their list of rules and culture was acceptable.

    I think it’s important to note what the hub of a movement is training it’s future leaders. I also think its important to note that 3 of the 5 Fundy schools were found to have rampant long running sin in its leadership that was covered up by many and ignored by many more.

    I was a rule abiding ministry student when I decided to finish my education elsewhere. The Vice President of the school, son-in-law to the pastor of the mega-church and president of the school, told me that if I left the school “God would never use me again.”

    I left. It took several years to make-up for the fact that the school was not accredited, and to retake all my Bible/theology courses because the education had been so poor. My second school was a breath of fresh air, forced us to think, and taught us how to live and play well with others. It’s known for the longevity of its students in the ministry since the 1920’s.

  79. Chile says:

    PP Vet,

    Back in the day, many Baptist churches had become disillusioned with the liberal leanings of some of the Southern Baptist Schools (and then churches,) so they switched to Fundamentalism / IFB’S. Those who did, still had years under leadership that was not yet affected by the IFB schools product. Prolly a better place.

  80. I think that it’s funny – when asked why Jews have the lowest rate of alcoholism the reply is because they have no rules about it and look at things like alcohol as a gift from God. Those who have the most rules, usually have the most offenders (although in the closet).

    I think this bodes well for these fundamentalist who rail forever on sexual sin – they are the biggest offenders.

    Deep down to a fundamentalist – Jesus never really died on the cross – or if he did it was all symbolic and really didn’t mean anything. The number one for a fundamentalist (and I am not just talking IFB) is your actions and your obedience.

  81. Chile says:

    MLD, you forgot LOOKS. Outward conformance was demanded. Heart issues were rarely mentioned in the 5 years I was in it.

  82. Outward conformance is obvious – look at the picture of each with the white coat. 🙂

  83. Chile says:

    The rampant sin issues weren’t just sexual, they included creatively stealing money, no accountability for the pastor, spiritual abuse, emPHAsis on the wrong syLAble, seriously poor handling of Scripture by any account, and more…

  84. It’s a simple fix – do like we Lutherans do
    1.) Dress your pastor in a dress
    2.) Don’t give him access to the checkbook
    3.) Do not have the pastor in the top position on the organizational chart.

    This keeps the big ego guys out of your system.

  85. Chile says:

    I agree.

    The “Dress” would certainly cut down on riding the false “cool” factor.

  86. Em says:

    we are a flawed creation and we have no perfect church model … sadly, when a group of Believers and their offspring run their church without the drive to evangelize, perhaps not even convinced that it is necessary, i.e., “God will bring them to us,” they become stale, provincial, like-minded and of similar background from what i’ve seen. the result of that is a lot of sheep outside their gates forming other flawed groups – i think – dunno

    just another day in an omnipotent God’s path to victory – come soon, Lord Jesus

  87. Em says:

    MLD and Chile, thing is, what do you do when the cool cycle goes round and that flowing robe becomes cool? 🙂
    i do admit that in my Presbyterian days of long ago, when the order of service, reached the point where the ministers came striding in in their flowing academic uniforms with the tasteful, stripes of rank on the sleeve, they gave the impression of owning the place and entitled to the claim … but the balcony did have a big school clock on the face of the balcony rail to remind old Dr. Clarence Kerr that he had 15 minutes – no more – to make his point … this was sad, IMO – and left no doubt as to who really owned the place

  88. Scott says:

    MLD, your #84, right as I reading your post here at the Starbucks, the local St. Paul Lutheran pastor walked in, I thought about showing him your post, then thought better, LOL.

  89. Chile says:

    Em, I agree with your statement, however, the IFB’s are most known for their door to door evangelism.

    It was not that they did not try hard to evangelize, but that they became insular with their strict rules of outward confirmity (KJV only, short hair on men, women in dresses only, no movies, no alcohol, in the church every time the doors were open even if it was 7 days for a conference;) lack of accountability for the pastor (who also held the purse strings,) and a culture of not questioning anything.

  90. Chile says:

    Scott, you should have! I did something similar with a Lutheran Pastor I was talking with 2 weeks ago. He laughed and agreed!

  91. Chile says:

    Yes, Em, the robe can become a status symbol the same way that the local worship pastors have to sport lots of ratios to draw a crowd these days.

  92. Chile says:

    Oops! Ratios = tatoos

  93. PP Vet says:

    An innocent spell-correction typo, but still, “worship leaders sporting lots of ratios” is a delightful visual.

  94. Em says:

    #91 … amen, Chile – we are flawed in every direction … yet the PhxP blog site seems to prove that it’s just another day in an amazing, omnipotent God’s path to victory over evil – come soon, Lord Jesus

  95. Robert says:

    Wondering why Noble’s church is still packed out every week?
    Well, he and Driscoll, and Furtick, and MacDonald, and Jakes, and Chandler, and Stetzer, and Mahaney, etcetera, etcetera, ad nauseaum, are all buds – scratchin’ each others’ backs and endorsing each others’ books. When is the Church going to show these hucksters the door?

  96. Alex says:

    Robert said, “When is the Church going to show these hucksters the door?”

    It’s a good con isn’t it? Hard to break through it. Part of it is their own self-delusion and justification for their misdeeds b/c they are “specially anointed” and they’ve got the example of King David in the OT to cling to.

    THe other part is, as Michael notes often, there are plenty of stupid people to attend their “ministries” and give them money.

  97. Robert said, “When is the Church going to show these hucksters the door?”

    Well, most of the guys listed there, I really don’t consider as having”churches” as I don’t think that they properly preach the word nor do they properly administer the sacraments.

    I consider them to be more of the Tony Robbins types – and I don’t care if people spend a lot of money for Robbins to tell them how to have a better life and I don’t care if they spend their money on Furtick or Noble and the bunch..

  98. FWIW – MLD’s #97 sounds spot on to me with regard to the men in question – BUT there’s some excellent “popular preachers” also – servants of God

  99. Alex says:

    Again I disagree that nothing is changing. This article from Marci Hamilton illustrates how powerful the Movement really is…a Movement I am a part of…and PP used to be a part of. Marci is the one who introduced me to Kelly Clark, btw. She’s a brilliant legal mind and advocate.

    http://verdict.justia.com/2013/01/10/football-sexual-assault-and-the-web

    Don’t ever give up, don’t ever give in, but again, I know I’m beat on here, I’ll save the advocating for my site, but did want to share this.

  100. “Don’t ever give up, don’t ever give in, but again, I know I’m beat on here,”

    This is the one thing you have never come to understand. Because people do not live your issue 24 / 7 like you do you think we are dogs.

    If we have a topic that is not your topic, you think we are sellouts.

    If we have relationships (even if it is just to be civil in blog conversation) with people you have already judged guilty by association, you think that we are attacking or rejecting your position.

  101. Alex,

    IMHO, FWIW, you are correct in your #99 and the web page you refer to shows it.

    The main problem that I see is that people tend to go from one extreme to the other when it comes to how they view things happening. Of course exposing wrongdoing, in and of itself, cannot wipe out the fact that it will happen again. Just like the news covering mass-killings in public places. However if what a previous victim can do reachs the point to protect just one unknown person they will have done their job. If it can help more people buy continuing with effort, the better.

    Unfortunately you will probably never reach enough people to save (whether you know about them or not) because you want to save them ALL and I think that is the point that is not recognized and misunderstood as overbearing.

    My reason of saying this is because I personally do not think that outside of your blog, you get enough agreement feedback as you do the negative feedback. And you have personally found the power of the strength to fight the negative. That puts you between a rock and a hard place; but you have devoted yourself to be in that position, for the purpose of helping others, which I give you a great amount of respect for.

    God bless you,
    Paul

  102. Alex says:

    [Hyperbole Alert]: Someone needs to kick Jack Schaap in the groin…until there’s nothing there but a bloody swollen mess of goo.

    How people still attend that ‘church’ after that performance is telling of just how stupid and sheepish a large part of our populace is. If Schaap is “specially anointed” then my Atheist/Agnostic friends might be right…or the Universal Reconciliation folks might be right as well.

  103. Alex says:

    Paul, thank you.

  104. Chile says:

    Alex, the reason Jack Schaap could get away with that is due to a culture of unwritten rules that one must:

    1. Not question the Lord’s annointed
    2. Not speak negatively of the Lord’s annointed
    3. Conform to the group, which must conform to the pastor

    Note that to disagree with the pastor is to disagree with God. Independent or objective thinking was seriously discouraged. In that culture, the PP would be from Gate 12 of Hell.

  105. Alex says:

    Chile, yup. Maybe we can discuss it in detail on this thread since it’s IFB 🙂

  106. Alex says:

    One big Problem is these guys are delusional and think they are “specially anointed” and then they have the “King David” Immunity Get-out-of-jail free card.

    Then they convince the gullible masses that they are specially anointed. Then they do what many male sinners would do with that much power…they sin, big time.

  107. Alex says:

    …and with hand-picked sycophant ball-less male “elders” and board members around them…you get what you get.

  108. I automatically dismiss guys who do “vision casting” for their church.

  109. Chile says:

    I agree, MLD. I’ve seen the “Vision casting” as a cover for “We’re gonna do this my way…and I don’t want to hear any push back when my idea doesn’t work, or doesn’t fit.”

  110. Chile says:

    Alex, the elders, or “stage sitters” are picked based on their devotion. It also looked like a man was more apt to move up the spiritual ladder to this position if he was a man who seemed to need attention from the pastor.

    This is going to sound terrible, so bear with me to hear my point. These men seemed like guys who were on the fringe in high school, but always wanted to be in the popular crowd. They finally got their
    chance in church. Unfortunately, it made them easily manipulated.

  111. Chile says:

    MLD, I wish some of these guys would get a hobby or write a book to fulfill their need to be important, INSTEAD of casting a vision that the people don’t want to be part of.

    No offense to book writers, just suggesting that if a person is motivated by their need to feel important, then writing a book might not be as harmful as vision casting … Cause I can choose not to read it without a fall- out.

  112. Chile says:

    Alex, the correlations are stunning!

  113. Michael says:

    Chile…#110 is why a lot of these guys want to be pastors as well…people finally had to pay attention to them.

  114. Alex says:

    Chile said, “This is going to sound terrible, so bear with me to hear my point. These men seemed like guys who were on the fringe in high school, but always wanted to be in the popular crowd. They finally got their
    chance in church. Unfortunately, it made them easily manipulated.”

    Actually, I think that is part of the dynamic in many cases. The Personality types of the Indians fits this profile…and they “need” a strong Chief to lead them by the nose…and they feel validated and important based off of the affirmation they get from the Chief.

    It’s a symbiotic relationship. I saw it first hand for many years. The guys are nice guys, etc, but completely ball-less and spineless and they second-guess their conscience often and defer to the Chief jerk.

    Some, however, want to be Chief too…and those usually take one of two paths: Conflict with head-Chief…and they end up on the outs…or they suck up better than the rest and look for an opportunity to move up the ladder and then become a Chief of their own Teepee with their Chief’s endorsement and approval.

  115. The problem with the guys who cast visions is that they automatically make me be against God if I disagree.

  116. Alex says:

    Actually, I think some of these guys really do have “visions”…taking too many pills will sometimes cause hallucinations.

  117. Em says:

    i’m here to tell you that, if the fire in your belly is to be an important player in the grand scheme of things, i wouldn’t take up writing books 😐

  118. Chile says:

    Yes, Michael, the pay-off the attention, power, feeling important and finally “showing” people from their past they have value is intoxicating…. And addicting. But as it is with any addict… they need more for the next Jesus high.

  119. Chile says:

    Em, in the same way that a new car is better than a fling in a mid- life crisis so I thought writing a book is better than being in leadership in ministry in order to feed one’s ego. The damage can be less that way.

  120. Chile says:

    Alex, in the IFB we didn’t admit to having any visions, nor was it called “vision casting”; rather, one would say, “The Lord told me …” to start a ministry, build a bigger building, up my salary, etc…

    One IFB pastor said The Lord told him to take a year and live on the mission field (beautiful spot,) while the home church still called him their pastor and PAID him!

    What I found funny was when my last CC pastor did something very similar in that he left for months on end while his assistant ran the church. The pastor was busy developing relationships with 4 other women, yet still took the big paycheck.

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