Things I Think

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106 Responses

  1. Babylon's Dread says:

    Pessimistic Monday with a …. punctuated with hope… WE WILL SEE IT ONE DAY… and revival may spring forth.

  2. Michael says:

    BD,

    The system creates tyrants.
    One day God will overcome the system…and all heaven will break loose.
    I believe that…

  3. “we all have been denied seeing how God would pour out His grace and favor on a truly repentant group of leaders.”

    I don’t think that was very well thought out. Why do you look only to Mars Hill to see God work? I have seen it several times … but I look in a different direction.

  4. Michael says:

    MLD,

    Nothing here was well thought out today. 🙂
    I’m using Mars Hill as an example we’ve seen time and time again in the mega churches…I’m well aware that God is working elsewhere.

  5. Babylon's Dread says:

    It would be good to have an understanding of the blessing and beastliness of marketplace religion. It isn’t new… it has always worked for and against us.

  6. papiaslogia says:

    “When you say, “I’ll serve, as long as I’m getting benefits from it,” that’s not actually serving people; it’s serving yourself through them. That’s not circling them, orbiting around them; it’s using them, getting them to orbit around you.” – Tim Keller from Kings Cross.

    The news that Mars Hill is closing churches is bad news for them, but good news for the Church. Mark needs to do the needful thing and do a 180.

    9. Reading through “Kings Cross” and Keller makes the point in the story in Mark 2 (paralytic carried by four men) and when Jesus says – “Son, your sins are forgiven.” – that’s what the man needed the most. While he and his friends came to Jesus to get healed, Jesus gave the man what he truly needed – forgiveness. Se far a wonderful book.

  7. Steve Wright says:

    Great Keller quote, papiaslogia! So spot on and evident in many ways.

  8. JoelG says:

    Ahhhh Michael. Thank you for #2 and #3. Like a fresh glass of cold water. Now, where can I find this church? 🙂

  9. Michael says:

    JoelG,

    The reality is that there are many, many more churches like the ones I described than ones run by rogues.
    Check out a confessional Lutheran or Reformed church…there won’t be any fancy lights or concerts, but the Word and sacraments will be delivered in power.

  10. JoelG says:

    My evangelical flame has burned out. Your writing has kept me sane. Thank you.

  11. Michael says:

    JoelG,

    My own is flickering a bit…and thank you.

  12. fyi says:

    #7 is perfect! I am only a bad decision or two from ruining my life and the lives of those around me. In my 23 years of walking with Jesus my flesh never got any better. It is just as bad today as the day before i got saved. We all need to remember our only good comes from Christ in us. Michael, I personally think we need a dose of reality at least as much as we need humility. How soon we forget… 🙁

  13. Michael says:

    fyi,

    Thank you…and I concur fully.
    I also get slammed every time I write about it…

  14. Dude says:

    The question we all have to ask ourselves about churches with tyrants in the pulpits along with their congregations who willfully back him.Is this a real church?If the pastor doesn’t have the slightest idea on what repentance is ,then what kind of message are the people the pews receiving and what are applying in their own lives.

  15. Michael says:

    Dude,

    I’m writing a book on that very subject…the refusal to repent is an denial of the Gospel.

  16. Dude says:

    JoelG
    My flame went out almost 6 years ago.I’ve rediscovered my faith in a wonderful way.Much of evangelism turns me off.It’s so institutionalized and worldly and full of consumerism.I found a small church with a pastor who serves the body of Christ.It’s okay to walk in the door and say life is a mess.Our response….your welcome at our table.

  17. papiaslogia says:

    “Any person who only sticks with Christianity as long as things are going his or her way, is a stranger to the cross”
    ― Timothy Keller

  18. AA says:

    Amen to #9 & 10.

  19. Jean says:

    Michael,

    Thank you for your thoughts this week. I especially like #3.

    Without the special sauce, you can actually taste the burger. With the special sauce, the burger tastes totally different. The question is: Is the body that Jesus gives and the water that he promises enough to satisfy, or do we need special sauce on the side?

  20. JoelG says:

    Dude, that is great news and gives that rest of us hope. 🙂 Thank you

  21. Paige says:

    Re: Mars Hill and other church tyrants and rogues; I am reading “Soul Survivor” by Phillip Yancy. Today I read the chapter about Ghandi, who, in his curious ways, took the Sermon on the Mount incredibly seriously. A quote from him stands out to me, in regards to these many issues and discussions about ‘rogue’ or ‘tyrant’ pastors:

    “A leader is only the reflection of the people he leads”. M.Ghandi

    Interesting, no?

  22. PP Vet says:

    “9. The biggest problem with hagiography is that it makes the church an unsafe place to tell the truth about ourselves.”

    What does that mean? Not, for example, being psychologically naked.

    What is relational honesty in the church? I have no idea.

    How does that tie in with thinking on lovely things … in His temple let everyone speak of His glory.

    I will tell you this: No technique, rule, or principle will work without love.

    In a church where love is not the most important thing … above all … no teaching on honesty will work.

    Start with love. Insist on love.

    That is the only law.

    In a context where we are securely loved, we are free to be ourselves.

  23. hopeful aka brian says:

    I had a long sarcastic rant about Mars Hill and Mr. Driscoll, but maybe this is a good thing, maybe if they shrink back down to a manageable size there will be more accountability. Please dont let too many people know that I was posted something positive. Thanks. 🙂

  24. PP Vet
    “Start with love. Insist on love.”

    Love means never having to say you’re sorry.

    Also, love many times is a big kick in the butt to wake someone up.

  25. Francisco Nunez says:

    We don’t know whether the grievances against MD are all true but what we do know is that the accusations if true, are serious and they now come from 2 or more witnesses. This fact certainly suggests that someone’s house is not in order. Given the minimum number of witnesses, the accusations warrant to be heard and examined by an impartial group of biblical elders. This said if you are an under shepherd of Christ and have been in ministry long enough, you will realize that accusations whether true or false, will come your way. In other words we all will be tested at one point or another. Christ gave us guidelines on how to deal with situations where elders are sinning in the church (1Tim5:19-20) Being above reproach is not a suggestion but a non-negotiable for all of Christ’s under shepherds. When an overseer is no longer blameless, it hurts the church and thus one must step down unconditionally and submit to a group of biblical elders until things are sorted out. If found guilty, the sinning elder must repent and submit to an unconditional restoration plan. We can either respond in fear and in self-preservation mode or with repentance and humility . Only one of these two options brings healing and glory to Him who sits on the throne. How we respond when we are in hot water speaks volumes as to who really is our Lord.

    I once heard a speaker say at a conference “Shepherds are much like fruit medley tea bags…………you don’t see their true character until they’re immersed in hot water”

  26. Very encouraging to see what’s going on with Mars Hill and Driscoll. I don’t think this lets up, I think he’ll hunker down, but he’ll be much smaller and much less powerful since he chose the path of denial and didn’t deal truthfully with his sin.

    Good to see the NFL drop the hammer on Ray Rice today as well. Folks are getting tired of men in power hitting their wives and kids. Domestic abuse is more common than most would imagine…and Pastors do it too. I grew up in a very violent home and am the step son of a Calvary Chapel pastor who committed the abuse. He is still in good standing with Calvary Chapel. Unfortunately we do not have a video of it, like in the Ray Rice abuse.

  27. I guess the question is, does everyone involved in domestic abuse automatically lose their job?

    To me it’s OK if they do – I am the one who thinks first time DUI offenders should get 10 yrs in jail.

  28. filbertz says:

    perhaps we should re-write Romans…’the hammer of God brings repentence’ instead of the goodness of God. Punishment isn’t always the answer, nor should it be the default response of Christians to wrong-doings of others. Freely we have been given; stingy we have become.

  29. It’s easy for the shrewd abusers to get away with it…no video, no confession, no crime. Just stonewall and get some folks to lie for you. Works well for most abusers. This is one of the rare times there is undeniable evidence.

  30. Dude says:

    Have prayer request….having landlord problems again.Need a calm attitude in the morning.Thanks

  31. Randy Davis says:

    Maybe it is because it is Monday and pastors aren’t normal on Mondays. But it is beginning to like there very few churches or even Christians, at least in the US. I know, I know, I hear God speaking to Elijah. But tomorrow is Tuesday.

  32. Thislittlelightofmine says:

    It’s good to see closing of a few Mars Hill sites because the people actually woke up and affiliate pastors spoke up for them. I don’t believe I’ve heard that Driscoll beat, imprisoned or molested his own son.

    If only affiliate pastors in Calvary Chapel would do the same for Visalia.

  33. Josh Hamrick says:

    For clarity, that is not what is happening at Mars hill, either. These are video sites that are being closed because they can’t afford the rent.

  34. Thislittlelightofmine says:

    Thanks Josh. Pretty sure I called them sites and I don’t think they would be closing unless the many affiliate pastors came forward and the bad press took away his some of his star power.
    If Driscoll was still going strong I don’t believe these sites would be closing but like you I can only speculate.

  35. Wally G says:

    MH’s announcement that they will no longer be able to do “church” for the bride of Christ without more money is the most blatant confession of a hireling I have ever heard.

  36. TLLOM, the response from CC pastors I’ve talked to (including guys like Steve Wright on here, Bob Caldwell and Dave Rolph in person) is one of two responses: 1. “Not my business, I have my own independent CC franchise to worry about” or 2. “I warn others there are accusations/allegations about child abuse, etc., but I do not make a judgment”

    I have learned to accept those responses. We don’t have a video like the Ray Rice assault and CC pastors are just men and not very special men at that, most are just normal practical guys just trying to make a living and are barely keeping their own franchise together, paying the bills, dealing with their own staff issues, their own family problems etc. They are not “specially anointed” in any way shape or form and we shouldn’t expect much from any of them, something I’ve corrected in my thinking.

    I now no more expect a Calvary Chapel Pastor affiliate/associate to be anything more than what I’d expect out of the janitor at a local CC. They have their own bills to pay, their own businesses to tend to. Why would they stick their necks when it doesn’t directly affect them? That is normal non-specially-anointed human behavior, and we should expect it.

    To Dave Rolph’s and Bob Caldwell’s credit, both have told me they at least warn or would warn folks leaving their CC to another area where there was a BG or another CC scandal-ridden pastor that there are allegations/accusations etc, so the people could do their own research and have knowledge that there is smoke. I don’t recall what Steve Wright’s position is on that…if he goes that far or not, he can speak for himself.

    I don’t look to CC pastors or CC Leadership any longer as any source of moral authority and I don’t expect them to do anything other than what directly affects them and their personal livelihoods.

    If God is really a personal deity that gets involved with creation, then God will act and it won’t be through any CC non-specially-anointed pastors or leaders that’s for sure.

    And, I do think the wheels of justice are grinding slowly but surely…Chuck Smith died of aggressive cancer, so did the lower court judge (both after partly taking BG’s side)…CC Visalia has been under judgment for years now, BG’s supporters have had major health issues, attendance, money, influence…all way down. BG continually bemoans “trials” and “attacks from the enemy/devil” when it is reaping and sowing and God’s righteous judgment.

    BG and those who support him in his sin will reap the fruit of their unrighteousness and evil…and will continue in judgment unless or until he repents or dies.

  37. Mark Driscoll is tame compared to the many CC pastor scandals/crimes/abuses we’ve covered over the years here and on the other blog…but MD’s stuff is still very wrong. It is good to see God’s righteous judgment on him as well. May he continue to reap what he’s sown. He has not nearly copped to anything…which means he hasn’t repented of anything.

    A pox on him and his house as well.

  38. Don’t give money to pastors/preachers who don’t disclose finances.

    Don’t give money to those who spend the bulk of it on themselves.

    Mark Driscoll makes over $500,000 per year ‘serving Jesus!’ just like Bob Coy (Coy justified his huge salary and perks b/c of others of his pastor buddies like Driscoll, Greg Laurie, James MacDonald etc)….and reportedly those guys make even more than Coy does (I say does b/c CCFTL is still paying Coy).

    Stop giving your hard earned money to mega-churches and celebrity scumbag pastors. Revolt. If you want to be entertained, buy a subscription to netflix. If you want to help people, give directly to well-run foodbanks, missions, etc. Skip the wealthy middle-men.

  39. Josh Hamrick says:

    I wasn’t trying to be confrontational TLLOM, just pointing out that it is a different situation. Driscoll’s location has not closed. Driscoll is on location, but will be back. The video sites are closing. If this were CC world, it would be like Rolph being so upset over BG that he closed his own church.

    From what I remember, BG lost a lot of members and all his sway in the movement, so pretty much the same thing has happened. If BG would have had video sites, he would have had to close them.

  40. Jean says:

    All this talk about “video sites” is ridiculous. In a church of 20,000 members, they couldn’t raise up pastors qualified to preach in these other sites? What kind of church is a “video site.” Lord have mercy.

  41. Babylon's Dread says:

    I see the media was accredited with closing these sites. Media is the the sword… live and die by the same.

  42. Thislittlelightofmine says:

    Alex those of us in Visalia could have really used the support of the CC assistant pastors to add there voice to the momentum instead of waiting until the lawsuit counted on their defense of the victims. Even then they didn’t want you to share their stories.

    I’m glad to see the assistant pastors of MH stand against this man. Character counts.

    The voice of men like Steve Wright would help to bring this issue back to light. We can see from MH that the combination of both assistant pastors and sheep standing together can make a dent in the celebrity pastor’s armor.

  43. vinekudzu says:

    Don’t give money to pastors period. Give to a church which is accountable for it’s use. I never touch money and I do not set my salary and the money I do spend is justified to the treasurer with a receipt. The size of the church should never affect proper fiscal policy. And if they do not an open policy, avoid that church.

  44. Thislittlelightofmine says:

    In reading the link above I never saw the words “rent” or “video”. My assumption is based on “Mars Hill pastors at four locations told their congregations that their church location would be closed or possibly closed in the near future.”

  45. Michael says:

    All MH satellites are video.

  46. Michael says:

    The media didn’t do this, Driscoll did.
    The key is that attendance and giving went in the toilet…all the media in the world doesn’t matter if that doesn’t happen.

  47. Jean says:

    I wonder what the “ROI” is on keeping a satellite video church open. Sounds like it’s all dollars and cents.

    I imagine I’d probably have more fun at a Vegas Wedding Chapel. That’s a church too, isn’t it?

  48. littlelight, agreed, it is good to see the folks in Mars Hill leadership coming forward. I was hard on some of the guys at CCV who didn’t come forward right away, but to their credit, some of them counted the cost and stood up tall and took the heat. Seattle isn’t as cozy as Tulare County…the assistants and employs etc at CC Visalia took great risk by giving sworn declarations as BG is so uber-connected in the small-town Tulare County/Visalia law enforcement ranks and even the DA’s office.

    Remember BG is buddies with the former DA, the sheriff, the police chief (former and current), etc. and BG’s right hand man’s son works at the current DA’s office…and it is human nature in small towns to do the Good ‘Ol Boys thing…it just is what it is…but despite all that…BG is getting some much needed accountability b/c he’s so prideful and stupid and is hanging himself with his own rope (something I thought he’d likely do).

  49. Thislittlelightofmine says:

    Josh, let’s say you are right in some way. For us it would be more like CCTulare, CCPorterville, CCHanford and CCBakersfield all closing due to lowered attendance because the media drove home the point that their affiliate pastor was doing terrible things and these surrounding pastors neither said or did anything to confront the man or shelter his damaged flock. In fact it was the opposite. Chuck came to town to support BG and what he did to all of us and his own children.

    I agree it’s not the same. It’s a 1000 times worse and the response by CC pastors has been disgraceful. But they too will have to answer to The Lord for what they did or didn’t do when faced with the truth. How many times did that cock crow. Unto the least of these.

  50. Thislittlelightofmine says:

    It took the media coverage to make it real for the low information crowd. With out it the butts would still be in the seats.

  51. I think we all (and there’s a lot of folks watching) learned a lot about Calvary Chapel and the character of CC pastors in all this, including Chuck Smith.

    They certainly dispelled some commonly held myths from all the pre-internet mythology about being “specially anointed” etc. Steve Wright summed it up well with “I am independent and have my own problems to worry about” which is the prevailing CC attitude.

    It is good to see that some Christian evangelical Movements don’t feel this way as exampled by Acts29 and the former/current leaders speaking out regarding Mark Driscoll.

  52. hopeful aka brian says:

    “Mark Driscoll makes over $500,000 per year ‘serving Jesus!’ just like Bob Coy (Coy justified his huge salary and perks b/c of others of his pastor buddies like Driscoll, Greg Laurie, James MacDonald etc)….and reportedly those guys make even more than Coy does (I say does b/c CCFTL is still paying Coy).”

    Funny it seems some of the Jesus movement group did tend to go that way, not that I fault them. It sure is a long way from living in communes waiting for the rapture.

  53. All we can hope for with CC is that each CC franchise has child protections in place and that they are honest with their finances and don’t get rich off of Jesus.

    We can’t expect the CC guys to show the kind of character that Acts29 and the former/current leaders who are speaking out about Mark Driscoll are showing.

    I don’t expect anything from my current Calvary Chapel pastor Bob Caldwell…other than for him to be human. So far, at least he’s honest about that and hasn’t tried to b.s. me. He’s doing a decent job with his franchise and a decent job taking care of his business…so that’s better than nothing.

  54. Michael says:

    All these leaders are speaking out now that it’s safe.
    I wrote my first article about Driscoll’s abuses in 2007…and they all waited this long when the record was clear.
    I’m glad they are affirming what they knew for years…and are apologizing to all they people they let get run over.

  55. Part of the problem is our expectations. Don’t expect CC pastors to look out for anything other than their own franchise and their own personal income and following and interests.

    That’s the common theme I’ve gotten for years from Steve Wright and all the other CC pastors I’ve dialogued with, including the good guys like Rolph and Caldwell and some others. To Rolph’s credit, he took about as much of a stand as he could have taken within the tight confines of the CC “don’t talk, don’t mess with other CC pastors” dynamic.

  56. Michael is also right to a degree…the people who give the money and warm the seats and follow all these pastor jerks are the ones who we need to continue to reach through personal contact, social media, media etc.

    Keep up the pressure. When it hits these a-holes in the wallet, they feel God’s judgment and cry like babies. You should hear BG go on and on about “trials” and “the devil” etc., it’s rather comical. It’s called you’re getting what you deserve b/c you’re a total (deleted) and you are reaping what you sow…and Driscoll is reaping the fruit of his sin as well.

  57. Michael says:

    Here’s reality.
    Driscoll still has around 8000 a week who are supporting him with their presence and their cash.
    That’s more than Heitzig had at the top of his crisis.
    Unless that number drops by half again, he’ll be fine in a couple of years.

  58. Bob Caldwell made it very clear to me that his concern was the Boise area and his franchise “ministry”…he didn’t play games, he didn’t pretend to care about the BG situation or any other situation in the broader Calvary Chapel Movement…even though he’s on the CC Association “board”, he was clear to express he really doesn’t care what happens elsewhere, just his CC franchise. I can respect that, at least he’s honest about it and doesn’t try to play it both ways.

    His concern was what I was doing at his CC franchise and if I had an agenda. I was just as upfront or more, “I have an agenda” and then asked him how much money he made and if he has child protections in place, etc.

    He makes less than $100,000 a year (and has a big CC) and he has very solid child protections in place, he is very accessible to the public/attendees, he is pretty darn transparent. His franchise has a food bank, helps the homeless, etc.

    When asked what he would tell a CC’er of his franchise if they moved to Visalia…he said he inform them there are accusations/allegations by BG’s blood son and step-sons and employees and former assistant CC pastors etc without passing judgment and that he’d encourage those CC’ers to do their own homework and make their own decision. I said, fair enough, that’s all I expect from anyone, the goal is that the public is warned and folks can make up their own minds.

    I’m cool with Bob Caldwell and I think CC Boise, so far, is generally a good CC franchise from what I’m directly experiencing and can tell.

  59. Michael, Driscoll won’t be fine in a couple of years if he digs in and doesn’t repent. Oh ye of little faith.

  60. Michael says:

    Skip is fine…most of the scoundrels are.
    I don’t expect divine retribution in this life…I’m assured of it in the next.

  61. Thislittlelightofmine says:

    I hope at some point one of these scandals is going to stick on a bad pastor and the tide will turn. It think it takes repeated steps like these for increasing media to take notice and jump on the bandwagon. Then maybe eventually they will fry one sufficiently enough for the others to curb their tyranny.

  62. Jim says:

    “If you want to help people, give directly to well-run foodbanks, missions, etc. Skip the wealthy middle-men.”

    Well said, Alex.

    Michael, my local CC, which has a $5 million video church in my town runs 16K. You’ve never heard of the pastor.

    8K is a long way down from where Mark used to be. I can’t imagine he’s happy with his current situation.

  63. Pastor Brian David Laurie says:

    We have child protection procedures in place but also for others as well. I had to report a situation recently, it keeps me up at night actually.

    BTW, I’m anything but a wealthy middle man. I could make more on unemployment.

  64. “Driscoll still has around 8000 a week who are supporting him with their presence and their cash”

    How is it that a 10 year old anti-woman quote saying women are “penis homes” has JUST NOW enraged the people of that church?!

    What the hell is wrong with Christianity, especially the 8,000 persons who remain and support this jerk, that they silently put up with such bullshit?!?

    They are no better than the Muslims who remain silent and refuse to repudiate extremists and whack-jobs within their religion.

  65. Someone earlier today said something that made me realize why I don’t get disturbed by the Driscolls and others like him – and why Michael is always accusing me of supporting them.

    I don’t consider them Christian pastors and I do not consider their operations as churches. Driscoll, like many of the others is no more than Tony Robbins, except he has a Jesus hook.

    As to the church and the church goers – they are after the Tony Robbins message and they are happy with that. If they ever had to sit through a good law & gospel sermon they would be peeling the skin off their own arms.

    Driscoll – bless his soul, has helped to keep Seattle as the most unchurched city in the US… because even though he has set up shop all over town, he has not added one church.

    I don’t care who Tony Robbins baits and switches and I don’t care who Driscoll does the same to.

  66. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    ( lo )===:::, not aware anyone AT Mars Hill is enraged by the quote. What’s baffling is why it’s only become a point for discussion today when, er, Wenatchee The Hatchet published the raw text of the WW2 thread more than a month ago.

    a lot of people didn’t know MD was William Wallace II back in 2000, even among some of the leaders. And by MD’s account he quickly realized the WW2 thing was a bad idea and a lot of the material got yanked (though not in a way that precluded archive caches). So it’s not a surprise the material was dormant for a while. It’s more a surprise that someone on Patheos presented the partial html screen cap I published more than a month ago as though it were the full discussion of “Using Your Penis” without so much as a word of attribution. 🙁

  67. That picture of the MH Portland video venue is quite impressive.

  68. hopeful aka brian says:

    They fired another pastor for speaking up. Why is that ok? I mean I am sure some MH people read this blog why do you folks put up with that stuff. Driscoll is not even that talented.

  69. I’m starting to believe in Divine Retribution….maybe it only happens sporadically. I haven’t seen any Jesus-type verifiable walking on water or turning water into wine miracles…but I’ve seen two pretty uncanny coincidences of two dudes coming down with aggressive cancer shortly after being on the wrong side of a situation with God implications….and it sure seems it’s a hand of judgment on the BG situation as it’s all bad news all the time over there…and more to come with the next illness and death.

    At what point is it no longer coincidence?

  70. Michael, how can you believe in “miracles” but not Divine Retribution? Seems both are claimed in the Old and New Testament…we don’t have any verifiable evidence for real miracles…at least none that have passed any scrutiny…so how do you claim miracles…but dismiss Divine Retribution when dudes keep dropping dead, getting ill and things keep going sour in all areas connected to that situation?

  71. Alex,
    I have a question I asked last week but it was at the end of a thread.

    What good does it do for a church to do all the stuff you want them to do? Your other church by your own testimony did it all right.
    Membership – transparancy – elder led – all the child protection etc. You even said that teaching would not matter as long as they had all that.

    But it bought no loyalty from you or you family. You left them.

  72. hopeful aka brian says:

    The one thing that will take Driscoll out is what I said it would be from day one, economics.

  73. Michael says:

    Alex,

    We are living in this age in the light of the cross where God’s objective is to reconciliation with sinners, not retribution against them.
    It is the kindness of God that brings people to repentance.
    The Bible doesn’t lie about the fact that evil people prosper…we see the souls of martyrs under the altar in the book of Revelation asking God how long it will be until their blood is avenged by Him.
    Now, God does discipline His children.
    That discipline is always rehabilitative, not retributive and it is not a judgement, but a correction.
    If God zapped everyone who sins, we’d all be ash piles…

  74. WenTheHatch,
    What baffles me is why anyone would tolerate his dislike and contempt for women.

  75. Unfortunately, many in the “ministry” today are motivated by power and money. They often believe (falsely) that they are untouchable as they are being “used of God.” This always proves to be their undoing, as God see and in His time, acts, often very harshly.

    More and more of these guys will be exposed for what they are. Yet they will remain. Too often people have itching ears and these guys rush in to fill the need.

    Paul said that they spoil your love feasts and serve their own bellies. Jesus said that they were unprofitable servants and that He would beat them severely and appoint him his portion with they hypocrites.

    God is Just. He is only patient for so long. Then He acts with a terrible swiftness. God have mercy on them.

  76. PP Vet says:

    “If God zapped everyone who sins, we’d all be ash piles ….”

    Truth.

  77. Jim says:

    “If God zapped everyone who sins, we’d all be ash piles ….”

    ALL of us.

    Like everything God does, His discipline is a holy and mysterious thing. For me, it’s a topic that requires a soft voice, if one at all.

  78. Dude says:

    Whats so sad about this is situation is how the common believer in MH and CC are actually contributing to the problem.If we choose to back a sinning pastor in the pulpit we the little people are helping the pastor sin.I don’t want to stand before Christ on my arrival into heaven……..

  79. PP Vet says:

    He does not zap us. He did not zap Lucifer.

    Somehow He is not uptight about maintaining order and control. He lets things play out.

    It looks like His pattern is: Let’s see if my sons can clean this up.

  80. Passing Bye says:

    Alex, do we know how much Brian B. @ cccm is paid? And does his wife get paid?

  81. MLD said, “But it bought no loyalty from you or you family. You left them.”

    No, that is not correct. We’re attending both churches, we’re still members at the other church.

    But, if we decided to leave the one for the other…it would be out of a calling to influence the new church for change in the direction of the good church, sort of like a missionary that is sent out from a good church to help others.

  82. Passing Bye, I don’t know what Brodersen makes, just Greg Laurie, Bob Coy, Bob Caldwell, Rob McCoy, Ron Arbaugh, Steve Wright and a few other of the big names. Raul Ries makes a lot of money from his CC franchise as well.

    One goal is to find out what the big guys make off of “serving Jesus!”

    McCoy, Caldwell, Wright and Arbaugh are good examples…the others, not so much. Arbaugh is an amazing guy in this area, Steve Wright has demonstrated some great things in this area as well.

    When the Peer Pressure is to be more like the real Jesus who wouldn’t get rich from selling himself instead of the false Jesus like the wealthy Coy’s and Laurie’s and Driscoll’s and MacDonald’s etc who use each other’s salaries as justification for their big salaries….then we’ll see a good move in a good direction.

    Jesus said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be the least, and the one who rules like the one who serves.”

    If Jesus is real, then there are a lot of pastors who are anti-christ…b/c they don’t practice what he states above, not nearly. They are full of self-serving b.s. and liars.

  83. “if we choose to back a sinning pastor in the pulpit ”

    That is an interesting statement though, since every pastor is a sinning pastor. Where does one draw the line?

  84. Re: Diving Retribution…the Old and New Testament…if you are a bible literalist and say the bible is inerrant, etc….establishes explicitly a doctrine of Divine Retribution.

    Ananias and Saphira is one of several New Testament examples.

    I don’t know if it’s true or not, but the bible you claim is inerrant and infallible states it as fact.

    …unless there is a mass Cessation of supernatural manifestations…which would be supported by the evidence we have today of no verifiable supernatural miracles and not even a verifiable satanic supernatural manifestation like what the bible describes that pharaoh’s occultists were able to conjure up. Today all the occult supernatural manifestations are debunked, none of those idiots can conjure up anything supernatural either.

    So, maybe you’re right, no supernatural things today, including Divine Retribution.

    Still some very uncanny coincidences with Chuck Smith and the lower court judge both getting diagnosed with aggressive forms of cancer very shortly after somewhat siding with BG. If another person close to BG croaks, and another, dunno, I might become a believer in the supernatural here and now.

  85. papiaslogia says:

    When figuring pastors salaries you almost have to get those numbers straight from the IRS to see the total package. Some of these big name guys draw monies from other sources than just their franchise.

    There’s book deals, teaching ministries, guest speaking… all sources of income that a franchise may only report what they pay.

  86. New Testament:

    “For if you eat the bread or drink the cup without honoring the body of Christ, you are eating and drinking God’s judgment upon yourself. That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died. But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged by God in this way.”

    Michael, do you believe this literally in the bible or do you believe it is in error?

  87. Michael, you are either a selective fundamentalist/literalist and pick and choose biblical inerrancy depending on the issue….or you seem to have forgotten many passages in the New Testament that claim God does zap folks and does practice Divine Retribution if they don’t cop to their sins.

  88. Alex – do you really think any of us are going to say it is in error?

    Look at it this way – denial of God leads to weakness, illness and death. Taking the Lord’s Supper wrongly (an different discussion) is denying God.

    It’s a natural consequence like not obeying a sign that says “Keep Out! Electrified Fence”

  89. Perhaps Chuck’s cancer was a gift from God so he didn’t have to put up with you any longer. Ever consider that? 😉

  90. “Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. 2 With his wife’s full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles’ feet.

    3 Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? 4 Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied just to human beings but to God.”

    5 When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard what had happened. 6 Then some young men came forward, wrapped up his body, and carried him out and buried him.

    7 About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. 8 Peter asked her, “Tell me, is this the price you and Ananias got for the land?”

    “Yes,” she said, “that is the price.”

    9 Peter said to her, “How could you conspire to test the Spirit of the Lord? Listen! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also.”

    10 At that moment she fell down at his feet and died. Then the young men came in and, finding her dead, carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11 Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events.”

    Is this a metaphor above? Just an allegory? A fable to impart a truth? Does this sort of thing really happen?

    You seem to draw some rather arbitrary lines, these things happened in the New Testament during the supposed New Age of Grace after Jesus died and resurrected and ascended.

  91. Michael, what you are stating simply doesn’t add up….from the very bible which is the source you claim as inerrant, during the time period you claim is during “the age of Grace” etc.

    You may want to rethink your statements and take a position of “I don’t know” or change your position to acknowledge the fact that the bible you claim is inerrant and infallible clearly demonstrates Divine Retribution during the “Age of Grace”

  92. Michael says:

    Alex,

    I’ve already stated that God disciplines His children.
    However, I would never presume to know when He is doing so or how He is doing so.
    If He always kills sinners before their time I’m a dead man walking.

    The message of the NT isn’t be good or die, it’s be reconciled to God.

    I also see from Scripture and history that judgment is often delayed…but never denied.

  93. papiaslogia says:

    IDK about the Divine Retribution angle, but God CAN strike down people as He sees fit. Did it to Ananias and Sapphira. Struck down Herod with worms.

    Paul stated 1 Cor 11:30 that some have “fallen asleep” = died due to sin.

    If He can do it, that should cause us to pause and speak with reverence about His power.

  94. You literalist/conservative/fundamentalists can drive a logical critical thinker crazy. You make so many statements and draw so many firm conclusions that don’t nearly add up from the very bible you then claim is “perfect, inerrant, infallible” etc.

    I know most don’t even notice all the contradictions, but for those who think critically and logically, they go off like a big red siren each time you make claims that don’t add up.

  95. Michael, I never said, “Always”…I said “sporadically”….much like you claim with regards to miracles.

    I’ve never seen a legit supernatural miracle, nor have many I know…but you claim they still happen very rarely….

    I would assert that maybe it’s the same way with Divine Retribution…maybe it only happens very rarely like you say with legit miracles today…but it does still happen when God decides to do it.

  96. Michael says:

    Alex,

    The Bible has many truths that seem paradoxical and have to be held in tension.
    It’s not rational, or logical.
    Doesn’t bother me a bit.
    God doesn’t zap all sinners.
    He does so occasionally.
    The main message of the Cross is to be reconciled to God….because in an irrational and illogical act one man died for the sins of others and gives them His righteousness.

  97. “I know most don’t even notice all the contradictions,”

    Alex, if you understood the proper distinction between law & gospel, you would see that there are no contradictions. many paradoxes perhaps, but mostly you need to know “is God speaking in his law or is he speaking in his gospel.”

    But you are years behind academically to understand.

  98. Michael, you seem to have changed your position…I just want to make sure I’m clear: Do you believe there are some instances today, in this “age of grace” where God zaps folks? Not the norm…but it does happen occasionally?

  99. MLD, I’m not going to go down those paths with your trolling, I’ve learned from my past mistakes. Save it for someone else 😉

  100. papiaslogia says:

    ‘If anyone sees his brother committing what is not a mortal sin, he will ask, and God will give him life for those who sin is not mortal. There is sin which is mortal; I do not say that one is to pray for that. All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin which is not mortal.’ ( 1 John 5:16,17)

    This passage wouldn’t make sense unless we believed that a Christian could be in such wanton presumptuous sin that God MAY decide to “call them home”.

    “Paul, writing to Titus, says something very similar. In the closing part of that little letter he says,

    As for the man who is factious (hairetikos = divisive, self-willed), after admonishing him once or twice, have nothing more to do with him, knowing that such a person is perverted (lit., ‘turned inside out’) and sinful (sinning); he is self-condemned.” Titus 3:10,11)

    Here is a brother determined to go on his way. Therefore there is no need to pray for him. There is nothing you can do but let God’s judgment wake him up. Perhaps God in grace will deal patiently with him, give him a time of sickness or weakness, and that will bring him to his senses. But if not, God will take him home.

    Dr. H.A. Ironside used to illustrate this as follows: Sometimes you see children playing outside, and when quarreling breaks out the mother says, ‘If you don’t behave yourself, you will have to come in the house.’ Her child says, ‘Don’t worry, Mother, I’ll be good.’ But a little while later quarreling breaks out again and the mother comes out and says, ‘Now that’s enough. You’ve got to come in. I can’t trust you outside anymore.’ The child begs his mother to let him stay out some more, ‘Oh Mother, I’ll be good. I promise I will.’ But she says, ‘No, I gave you a chance. Now come on inside. I can’t trust you out there anymore.’

    That is what God sometimes says to us. Do we realize, Christian friends, that God’s whole reputation is at stake in our behavior? Everything we do and say is reflecting the character and the being of God to the world around. No wonder he watches us so assiduously. No wonder He judges us so precipitously at times. If there be a willful determination to disgrace Him in the eyes of others, as Moses had, God will say, ‘All right, that’s enough. I can’t trust you out there any more. Come on home.’ And home we go.” (Ray C. Stedman, in Expository Studies in First John).”

  101. Avoidance, being your strong suit also renders your comments contradictory. But that’s OK.

  102. MLD, I am intentionally avoiding you b/c you suck folks in to contentious quarrels which distracts from the blog and then you point the finger back at those you draw in and blame them for ruing the blog. I think it is both sinful and dishonest of you and that will be my last comment to you. I will not repeat the same mistake and get sucked in again.

  103. I have never accused anyone of ruining the blog – I have stood up for you and asked Michael to bring you back on several occasions.

    I was engaging you on the conversation you initiated on the inerrancy of scripture. I know I ask difficult questions.

    But I am with you – I pray for divine retribution on Bob and all who support him. I think it would make great headlines “Fireball slams into local pastors house.”

  104. Alex,

    “I am intentionally avoiding you b/c you suck folks in to contentious quarrels which distracts from the blog and then you point the finger back at those you draw in and blame them for ruining the blog. I think it is both sinful and dishonest of you and that will be my last comment to you. I will not repeat the same mistake and get sucked in again.”

    …well said. Good to see the patterns.

    I’ve missed your cogent observations here Alex.

    Wishing you well as you continue your faith journey.

  105. Alan says:

    Michael, Love Comment # 54. I’m grateful for those like you who’ve had the courage to call things the way they are.

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