Things I Think

You may also like...

342 Responses

  1. stuart rogerson says:

    Well I have over time come to believe in Purgatory. Your story does not do justice to the reality of a particular system in the Catholic Church. I will never unfriended you even though I have under the guidance of God’s grace come to see the error of my journey through the evangelical world, a journey I did not ever expect to make. My spiritual life is so much richer now and The Lord blesses me daily.

  2. Michael says:

    Stuart,

    I couldn’t disagree more with the system…or be more delighted to see you post. 🙂
    Purgatory reduces the finished work of Christ on the cross to an unfinished partial sacrifice…and makes Paul a liar when he says that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.
    In my opinion…

  3. Scott Barber says:

    I have had and continue to have an interest in joining the CC, but purgatory is one of the doctrines I struggle with. On one hand I feel a deep need to pray for the dead; it’s something that wells up within me, and I hate the idea that anyone is every beyond the reach of the power of God’s grace. I am called as a Christian to have hope, that hope will endure forever, and I will continue to act on that hope even if it is only a fools hope. On the other hand purgatory has been such a lightning rod for abuse. Stories like the one told above are infuriating to say the least.

  4. Chile says:

    Most of the missionaries I know in Europe have to come to a working relationship with people who are somewhat in the Catholic church. They are therefore inclined to find common ground and overlook as much as humanly possible.

    Those in South America are much less inclined to overlook what they see as a stranglehold on the people.

    American Catholicism is a very different flavor from either of those continents.

    I have yet to figure out how to effectively relate. I know a few Catholics who came to Christ as adults and ended up in Catholicism. The first two years were intense catechism studies that left them just trying to memorize and spit back answers because there was not enough time for questions, nor were they encouraged.

    My new convert friends spend a lot of time learning about the robes, symbols, Church calendar, and “developing a relationship with the saints.” One of them met with a group of Christians outside of Catholicism regularly. She was a lawyer in Paris, quite sharp. But she spent so much time praying the Rosary and “developing a relationship with the saints,” that she felt very uncomfortable praying in a group without a memorized prayer. She didn’t know what was in the Bible. And she was picking up that as a woman she was to just submit to the Priests and not ask questions. But she was a lawyer and this really struck us as very odd.

    I just don’t get how to handle the Catholic issue when I feel mad that new converts are being kept busy with religious business and not taught how to go the Bible for spiritual nourishment and to Jesus for relationship.

    Not intended to offend, just honestly stating where I am today.

  5. Michael says:

    As Dr. Packer has so clearly demonstrated, the difference between Protestantism and Catholicism is one of authority.
    Protestants believe the Bible to be the sole authority for doctrine and practice, while in Catholicism it is the church, which interprets scripture and tradition to create dogma.
    Protestants have their own traditions…but theoretically the authority is the Scriptures.

  6. PAL says:

    #8. Endurance is an under appreciated spiritual gift.

    Amen to that….. Often when I pray for someone in need of prayer for a particular request, I include in the prayer, “And if this is not in your will, at least grant them endurance.”

    Most people do not understand the power of endurance. If you obtain and maintain endurance, it matters not what the obstacles are.

    Early in my life I was amazed how Christ could withstand the pain of the cross and not even once sin. It had to be pure endurance. Endurance, to me, is nothing but total understanding that the final goal is assured and true; and absolutely nothing can change it except giving up. Once reaching that level of mindset, it overpowers emotional distress and even physical pain.

    True endurance is in fact, a spiritual gift. It comes nowhere but from God.

  7. 1. Purgatory is just an extension of a system of works. It is sad to see people have things that aren’t even remotely found in scripture like this ruin their lives.
    2. I have a few friends online that I have never met that it would make me feel bad if they unfriended me.
    4. Yep. No surprise there.
    5. Reframing is what they are all about. Gotta keep the argument framed as a civil rights issue and not a sin issue. I would say that sexual immorality as a whole needs to be addressed but culture no longer sees any of it as sinful but natural. I think it has been lost in the “culture wars” and christians won’t be prepared for the consequences. Look at some of what is happening in Canada and Britain to see what will happen here next. I really have no idea of a solution to this, prayer is all I can think of. Pray that we remain salt and light in the world.
    6. At least they aren’t reviewing him in the christian blogosphere this time by thousands this time. Maybe, this one won’t sell well. I think you nailed it in your assessment of him there Michael.
    9. I see something about planting a seed, but there is only one that gives the growth.

  8. Alex says:

    Purgatory is a fascinating concept. You kind of see the fascination depicted in Hollywood with shows like Lost, Supernatural etc.

    Theoretical Physicists assert “alternate universes” where “Al Gore is President” and “Elvis is still alive” etc. within M Theory, which is the Origins/Existence Theory Du Jour of the Theoretical Physics world.

    Doubtful, but who the heck knows for sure? One interesting “thing” science has recently observed…the electrons that make up each one of “us”…are in multiple places/dimensions at the same point in finite time. Ponder that reality/fact for a moment or a zillion.

  9. Michael says:

    I like what Matt Redmond had to say on the topic of the new Pope…a lot.
    http://mattbredmond.com/2013/03/15/the-new-pope-luther-and-our-need-to-take-aim-at-ourselves/

  10. Michael says:

    Derek,
    This societal reframing of “traditional” values is leaving most of us dazed and confused…especially those of us with young children in public schools.
    I’m far more worried about them than the church…

  11. Michael says:

    PAL…well said, as have been all the comments today. Carry on whilst I multi task. 😉

  12. Papias says:

    Catholics who get offended by what Prots have to say about their new leader is somewhat naive on their part. I (sometimes) say dumb things about things that some people may be sensitive about on FB(OK – maybe more than sometimes – but sheesh – how many times can people post the same kind of stuff and not get called out on it?).

    Those posts by Redmond and CT were really good.

    Rob Bell, on the other hand….

    “Some people in the church ration grace as if they paid for it themselves..”. Never attend a church with GRACE in its name, or so I’ve heard. 😉

    Did not attend church yesterday and not feeling too guilty about it.

  13. Alex says:

    2. Ya, I hear you. It used to bother me, but then I realize I’ve been rejected by my own mother…makes the FB stuff a non-issue.

    4. I’m not sure he’s wrong anymore. Christianity doesn’t adhere to much of anything anymore. I don’t know of one Group that isn’t racked with scandal, hypocrisy and picking-and-choosing their pet Scripture to support their particular emphasis. Why are homosexuals so special as to single out?

    5. We live in a Democratic Republic (I guess, though Obama is moving us toward a Totalitarian State). We don’t live in a Theocracy. If the homosexuals want to get married (from the Govt./Legal sense) then let them marry. Just as long as churches/individuals have the First Amendment Right to disagree with regards to its “morality” and are protected in speaking to the issue from a “moral” framework.

    6. Everyone recreates God in their own image. We are all “interpreting” “applying the ‘correct’ hermeneutic” believing we are being told what God’s will is and what is “right” through the Holy Spirit working in us and our Conscience etc.

    You cannot remove the Individuality and Personal Interpretation Dynamic from “God”. Now, God “Is”…but much of what we make of Him is unknowable and personal and interpretive and a function of our personal persuasions and beliefs based off the limited information and contradictory information we have available through the assortment of texts “we” as humans decided was the “official Canon” of the “bible” (and there is disagreement between churches/Groups on what is “official Canon”) and the particular Tradition or Group’s interpretations of what “truth” is that we were raised in, or gravitated toward etc.

    God is God. I know very very little about Him. Much of what I used to “know” is really just what others told me or what I thought I knew. The truth and reality is: We know very very little and much of our Belief Systems is entirely subjective and personal…which is OK, that’s just how things are. I don’t know why, but that’s how it is from a Philosophical Logic/Reason perspective.

    There is something rather innate about Belief, though. Something that is “real” yet unquantifiable from a Scientific perspective (though a Sam Harris does give it a good effort in explaining the neuroscience behind “belief” etc).

    7. Grace is a currency and a weapon to many in the Evangelical Church. It’s an Eraser when they want it to be (see David Hocking) and a Sword when they want it to be (see Gay Marriage or Egalitarianism). Max Grace for some…max Law for others.

    8. At the end of the day, “it is what it is”…you either endure or you succumb.

    9. Church “growth” is essential to feed the Celebrity Pastor Amway Gospel Machine. Nothing speaks to “good fruit!” like butts in seats and money in the bank!

    10. Amen. It’s been good to see. Committed to playing nicer and respecting some boundaries here.

  14. What percentage of people in the world are gay? 2 or 3%? What percentage of them would want to get married? 1/2, maybe?
    I wonder if all the hoopla is because it has become a “cause” for people to join. I wonder if we just said, “OK”, if we’d really see any difference. Don’t know, just thinking.

  15. # 4 It was just a matter of time # 5 Spot on #6 speak the truth in love but hold your guns. God’s word will be wth us for eternity. As for the opening statement coming from the prespective of an exRC I loath that organization and the preiest that took the money has discovered on thing cannot get prayed out of hell.

  16. Alex says:

    Josh, if I correctly understand what you’re saying, I think I agree.

    I think the Streissand Effect is in play with this issue. The more the hard-liners fight the inevitable (with regards to Govt./Legal standing) the more press and emphasis the issue gets.

    Let homosexuals marry in the govt./legal sense, work on protecting/bolstering your First Amendment Right to disagree with it from a “moral” and religious perspective.

    But, don’t discriminate in the workplace or cross lines from a govt./legal perspective and don’t incite people to violence toward gays. Those are the boundaries (and I agree with them).

    We aren’t the Christian Taliban (well most of us) and homosexuality is no worse a sin than adultery or fornication and less of a sin than beating your kids IMO.

  17. Michael says:

    “Let homosexuals marry in the govt./legal sense, work on protecting/bolstering your First Amendment Right to disagree with it from a “moral” and religious perspective.”

    I can agree with that.

  18. @ #10 I hear ya. All we can do is to teach our own children what is right and wrong to counter what society is saying. I feel for all the kids that are taught differently with no counterbalance. I am thankful that all the kids I have are grown though and are already settled on the issue, but I will pray for those like you Michael who still have young impressionable children. It is culture shock though.

  19. That’s the thought Alex. Not sure that is my stance right now. But that’s the idea I was getting at.

  20. I actually liked Rand Paul’s latest take on the issue, but I doubt it will work. I think the issue is deeper rooted than just a tax issue. I actually think it is a rebellion issue.
    http://www.ijreview.com/2013/03/41752-rand-paul-i-have-an-idea-for-republicans-concerning-the-gay-marriage-issue-and-its-a-good-one/
    I can agree to that too Alex (#17), but with the trajectory it takes in other countries and the steady erosion of rights in this country, I don’t see it happening that way.

  21. covered says:

    Josh, Michael and others,

    It seems as though the tolerance standard keeps moving. At what point do we say no, this is wrong. Not necessarily that it’s wrong in my opinion, but it’s wrong in God’s opinion. Four years ago when we lived in OC, we placed a Yes on Prop 8 sign in our yard. We now have relatives and friends who will not speak to us now.

  22. Michael says:

    Covered,
    I think we have to speak to what we believe when called on to do so.
    I separate the civil from the sacred…I’m no longer under any illusion that this is a “Christian” nation.
    The other issue, (as Alex always reminds us) is that we have a bunch of our own issues to clean up…especially in regard to marriage.

  23. filbertz says:

    seven and eight in your list are the ones which, in my opinion, should get the most mileage. We’ll quibble and argue over the others & get our feelies hurt or shorts in a bunch, but at the end of the day, we major over minors due to the dearth of understanding of grace and endurance. Freely we’ve been given, freely we should give.

  24. @ #21 I am continually amazed by Trueman’s insight.

  25. Nonnie says:

    The Trueman article is excellent. Thanks

  26. haven’t time to read the comments right now, but i think facebook’s unfriending option is pretty cruel … maybe a ‘back off’ or a ‘leave me alone?’ seems less cruel to me – dunno

    the latest issue of World magazine has a wonderful article by a lesbian … i know, i know, some of us are too pure even for World magazine, but a good read IMO 🙂

    i pray that Phxp keeps on letting the fur fly here – those who don’t really love their gift of redemption will go away for any number of reasons and those who do love what they have in Christ will stay, defend their view, go thru their emotional cycles (& get prayed for) and love the Body in spite of us … IMNSO

    unfriend Michael? SAY WHAT? do you know the word fool occurs 76 times in the ESV bible (just 66 times in the KJV – dunno why)? 😎

  27. Alex says:

    Covered said, “It seems as though the tolerance standard keeps moving. At what point do we say no, this is wrong. Not necessarily that it’s wrong in my opinion, but it’s wrong in God’s opinion. Four years ago when we lived in OC, we placed a Yes on Prop 8 sign in our yard. We now have relatives and friends who will not speak to us now.”

    Homosexuality, not the inclination or “born with it” part, but acting on it in the form of lust or the physical act…is “sin”. It’s “wrong”.

    …same as Heterosexual adultery, fornication, lust, etc. even though I’m “born with it” and want to fornicate…broadly.

    There’s a big diff, IMO, in speaking to the issue from a “moral”/religious perspective and legislating morality that is dubious. Many don’t think homosexuality is immoral in our Nation. They are sincere in that belief. Many think that homosexuals who practice monogamy in a committed marriage relationship are not “in sin”. They may or may not be right from a moral/religious perspective, but it is untenable in a Democratic Republic to legislate them out of govt/legal “marriage”.

    Morality as it applies to the govt/law is a function of Consensus. “Slavery” is condoned and tacitly endorsed in the bible, yet we don’t champion slavery and protect the South’s right to own slaves.

    While the bible speaks to homosexuality as a sin (it seems to) it doesn’t seek to legislate it away, unless one is Strict OT Taliban, IMO.

    That some won’t speak to you regarding your opinion in regards to Prop 8 is part of the dealio. Gotta count the costs.

    The line for me personally is that I will fight hard for your right to disagree and to speak to homosexuality as “sin” and “wrong” as that is your Constitutionally protected First Amendment right as a US Citizen. The boundaries are discrimination and inciting violence toward homosexuals. If they go after pastors and persons for expressing a “moral” “biblical” view of homosexuality as “sin” and “wrong”…then there will be a huge fight (metaphorically speaking) re: the First Amendment.

    I think the church should focus on its own sins 1 Corinthians 5:12 and should speak their conscience and vote their conscience on the social-political issues, but they are going to lose, eventually, on the “gay marriage” debate with regards to govt./law.

  28. “The boundaries are discrimination” and thereby lies the rub. When sin is defined as a civil right, then all who do not comply with that sin are in the wrong. This will end up with people either fined or in jail. Why? Because they discriminated in not marrying two homosexuals who wanted to be married or spoke against homosexuality.
    They won’t stop with just marriage ’cause marriage is not the point total acceptance is.
    I am all for trying to legislate this away, but I just don’t see it happening and like Trueman said in another article “maintaining biblical sexual ethics will be the equivalent in our culture of being a white supremacist.”

  29. erunner says:

    Michael, I hold you and this blog in very high esteem. I disagreed when I saw that Alex and mrtundraman were back and I stated as much. My reasons had nothing to do unpleasant or controversial postings. That’s been a staple here for as far back as I can recall.

    You brought back the blog and now describe it as an online community of faith as opposed to another description you had used in the past. That seemed to signal a new path and tone for the blog as there had been so much disruption you shut the blog down more than once.

    I fear(ed) that the blog was going to slowly evolve into a place where once more CC was going to become the theme and the CC pastors who post here were going to be called to task because they don’t meet the standards of what others expect from them.

    I have no problems recognizing there are issues with CC and as you know I have experienced this for myself. I do have issues with how one chooses to address these issues. Hopefully that will change. Time will tell.

  30. Re#9
    First off let me say I dont pastor a big church. That’s my disclaimer! A good church yes but not big. They are without a doubt some of the finest authentic Christians on the planet.

    I dont have a problem with “Growing ” a church or even a big church as long as the growth is the result of fulfillng the Great Commission. When the growth comes as a result of people transferring from one church to another, or because a particular church being the next happening thing on Christendom, that’s where I have a problem.

    But having said that it is, has been; and always will be that believers and nonbelievers alike will flock toward what ever is happening. Like the migrating of birds, or the changing of the seasons, it just is

  31. Erunner
    Gotta say I read and appreciated your # 30

  32. PAL says:

    This country once was blessed by God, because it was “one nation under God”; and founded for the purpose to publicly seek God. Unfortunately we have continuously and gradually separated from publicly addressing the glory of being a nation under God, so we are now losing that blessing. I am no longer as proud of being an American, than I used to be.

  33. Michael says:

    Erunner,

    I don’t count you as a critic, even when we disagree.
    I understand the risks at hand…and they are the same ones we have to overcome as families and churches.
    Maybe…just maybe…we can learn to live in grace with each other even as we bring these difficult issues to the table.

  34. erunner says:

    Michael, As I have experienced in my family trust must be earned. Part of that is owning the things we have said and done to hurt others. The fact is we have lost people along the way as a result of how others have conducted themselves. I would hate to see them as accepted collateral damage. Hopefully I’m proven wrong.

  35. I’m enjoying MTM & Alex being here. I am finding their tone to be ironic, conversational, quite refreshing.

    I’m also enjoying Steve Hopkins being back, and now that I know he plays Amazing Grace in DADGAD I will have at least one tune in my book the he and I can jam on. Now if we can work out some Jars of Clay & Alabama Shakes we’d be smokin’! =)

  36. Fly on a Wall says:

    erunner says “I fear(ed) that the blog was going to slowly evolve into a place where once more CC was going to become the theme and the CC pastors who post here were going to be called to task because they don’t meet the standards of what others expect from them.”

    Erunner: if this was meant for me and if I had run off any CC Pastors, I do apologize.

    At the same time, this is why I believe there can be no one big ecumenical church. Along the way, PxP will have to decide if they want to take a softer line toward CC and welcome them as family. OR they will continue to post controversies/criticisms and side with the (alleged) victims. As the creator of the blog, it’s Michael’s call.

    As for CC Pastors, I’m grateful that a few are here and they share their bountiful knowledge/wisdom, but I’ve always perceived that it was never a friendly pro-CC place. But I don’t feel bad, as there’s many CC Pastor’s blog they can join.

    What makes this blog so unique is the amount of freedom and opinion that Michael has allowed the peon in the cheap seats to have. 🙂

  37. Being unfriended by people because of ideas is wonderful. After having someone infer horrible things about someone I love on FB I still did not unfriend or block them. Their words showed their heart and people are pretty good at sorting such things out.

    Being right or thinking you are right does not carry the day by itself. Delivering a message that gets received requires a great deal of art and wisdom. Working on that myself. Still I do not mind the push and pull.

    It does hurt to be unfriended by someone you value but it can often be a release and relief.

  38. j2theperson says:

    ***I’m enjoying MTM & Alex being here. I am finding their tone to be ironic, conversational, quite refreshing.***

    Ironic or irenic?

  39. I just have a question for Rob Bell. How is it that the goodness and virtue of gay marriage has just become apparent?

    Why don’t we deal with the FACT that we really don’t see gay marriage as appropriate but because of enough pressure being laid upon us we succumb so that we will appear to be wonderful and righteous.

    It simply is not obvious to ANYONE that people of the same sex should be a family.

  40. j2theperson says:

    ***It simply is not obvious to ANYONE that people of the same sex should be a family.***

    I guess it’s not obvious, but, at the same time, marriage and relationships are so confusing in this day and age that I don’t think it’s obvious that they shouldn’t be a family.

  41. G-man
    Thanks for the kind welcome. As to whether I am “back” or not I don’t know but regardless, we can jam any time

    In regards to CC and alleged hostilites and/ a new softer tone of phxp, I left because regardless of anyositive changes I made personally or ministerially, I, and all other CC pastors were all demonized by merely bearing the brand name. Truth is we are not all the same. There is a faction of megalomaniac CC pastors that are kingdom builders but they are fewer than the servant driven pastors. Problem is the controlling “few” set the pace and define the image of the “Many”. The ” many” are content with the brand because it defines them, but stay out of the politics choosing instead to minister to their congregations– which also was a considered a crime by some.

    Speaking only for myself, I am aware of the time and patience it takes to recover from deep emotional wounds and the all encompassing swipes we take when hurt. Been there myself…still am there in many cases. Even as a CC pastor I am/ have been wounded by the few at the top. But I sense a softer tone, even though it may not take much to pull the scab off!

    So I will visit once in a while and enjoy the fellowship

  42. Alex says:

    Dread: Slavery, Women’s rights, Child Abuse, laws against “cruel and unusual punishment” (think Stoning, or barbaric punishments of the OT and NT) etc etc.

    Our “truth” changes. It is fact. We “Christians” are constantly evolving whether one agrees to that premise or not. There are no true “Fundamentalists” only Liberals and Selective Fundamentalists.

    Much changed from the OT to the NT…much changed in the codification of the “church” after Constantine etc…much changed during the Reformation….much changed during the Liberal Movement in the 1800’s and 1900’s…much is still changing today.

  43. Alex says:

    G, it’s a result of Michael’s good leadership. He won me over in a couple of areas. He’s a good man, no matter what he says to the contrary 🙂

  44. Alex says:

    Steve H, glad you’re here. Sorry for how I’ve treated you at times.

  45. Alex
    I appreciate that! Some things were said that cut, and I am sure I said some cutting things too. Your 47 means a lot to me and will go far in reestablishing any sort of relationship

  46. How will politically correct language come to construction. Can we really use female as the exclusive title to parts that receive the male? Don’t we need more enlightened and up to date language for plumbing parts and such? I am sure that language will be affected sooner or later. I know I shouldn’t think such things but that is just the sort of thing that happens in my backward head.

  47. not new news, i know, but …
    back when there weren’t too many tribes on the planet – God tapped a small (smallest?) group of folk and moved them down out of the fertile crescent to set His plan (don’t ask) in action – He made His point with some pretty tough requirements of this little band and He had a good reason(s) – Right is right and wrong is wrong and that doesn’t change – PERIOD – oh you can spread platitudinous platitudes about shades of grey, but that’s us not God – His point was, as i see it, that we are a flawed creation and the absolutes eventually cripple us; we’re hopeless and it’s only gotten worse over the centuries – but for the grace of God, eh? … so IMV, to say that standards of morality change with the changes in society, while a correct observation, doesn’t include God’s standards
    the overriding truth is that His standards aren’t flexible – His grace and mercy, His provision for a way out of our fix is Genius … but the way out isn’t to assume that we justify ourselves because of the times – what we can do is confess that we are a mixed up people, who need mercy from God and from each other … not approval or affirmation of our sorry mixed up condition; mercy and denial – they aren’t the same things

  48. “Sorry for how I’ve treated you at times.”
    That’s all it took for me, and by the way, ditto back.

    …and for any who have left, especially because of me, come on back!

  49. J2′
    Irenic & ironic! 😉

  50. a couple thoughts spring to mind from BD’s #49 … i used to feel gay at times – don’t anymore, tho 🙄 course, i can’t skip very well anymore either 😐

  51. Nonnie says:

    Steve and Alex… your number 47 and 48….I’m blessed to read those posts. Group hug!!! 😉

  52. I have no problem with people having sexual identity issues in life. Neither do I feel that people just choose to be gay. There is a wide spectrum of human experience in terms of sexual identity and experience. Usually I act all enlightened and when confronted with people I am gentle and fair and understanding.

    I just don’t see gay relationships as marriage. I still think of it as unnatural and as a result of brokenness and sin. The matter is lost as a public issue. Gays will marry and we will normalize our point of view about it to accommodate our culture. Bible Christians will be late adopters.

    What’s next? Does anyone see what is coming next? We should get our head around it now if possible.

  53. Nonnie says:

    What happens next? I think MLD expounded on that during the Prop. 8 discussions.
    I bet if you ask him nicely, he will come and share.

  54. Chile says:

    @55 Someone said today that the next issue is a bi-sexuals need to be married to a man and a woman at the same time; and all given the rights to be a “parent” to kids in the relationship.

  55. erunner says:

    fly on the wall, I didn’t have anyone specifically in mind with the comment you pulled. I’ve been here about six years and have seen everything that has gone on. When I arrived Michael was very much going after CC. That went on for a time and then he made a decision to do things differently.

    Many CC pastors posted here and blended in well with the rest of us. Of course Michael received much criticism for that. It seems he gets it no matter what he does. That didn’t mean there weren’t scuffles and hurt feelings during those times but the blog was flourishing.

    During this time BrianD’s link-a-thons were very popular and people would post on them for quite some time. Brian brought all sorts of issues front and center and he opened the window for people like me as to what was going on throughout the church. Michael would do his Things I Think article and those two days could pretty much carry the week.

    In the last three years the blog has been shut down maybe three or four times. This last time when Michael brought the blog back it was my understanding this would be a place for fellowship and discussion without the brawling. He wasn’t interested in a large traffic blog, simply a place for people to gather as free from angst as possible.

    Recently I’ve seen much of the conversation shift back to CC much of that due to the situation Alex is going through. I saw a few CC pastors questioned a lot and it brought back negative memories from what had gone on here in the past. So I spoke up.

    I don’t believe Michael would desire for any CC pastors to go elsewhere as I know he has developed positive relationships with some. So hopefully they will not be made to feel unwelcome and then leave.

    Maybe I have described things in a way nobody would agree with but that is what I believe and I’m open to correction.

  56. A Believer says:

    The brokenness of sin as the human condition is a Biblical concept. It manifests itself in a myriad of ways including our sexuality. When referencing this fallen condition, it’s not useful to say, “God made me this way”.

    If we accept the Biblical revelation about our fallen nature, the only appropriate response is, “What do I do about it?”. Thankfully God does not leave us without a remedy.

    Secular culture doesn’t accept the Bible as authoritative on the human condition. In their minds, nothing is wrong with it. There is no brokenness and hence, no need for a Savior.

    Gosh, I wonder who might be behind promoting that concept. “Hath indeed God said…”.

    Bell’s current perspectives speak volumes about his view on the authority of scripture.

  57. mrtundraman says:

    “Protestants believe the Bible to be the sole authority for doctrine and practice, while in Catholicism it is the church, which interprets scripture and tradition to create dogma.”

    I am sure formally that is the case, but practically I am not so sure.

    I suspect just as many Protestants see their church’s teaching as the authority (particarly their pastor’s teaching) as Catholics. And I suspect that there are many Catholics who try to understand their church’s doctrines in the light of Scripture.

    The Teaching Magisterium in the Catholic Church is both a blessing an a curse, as the Teaching Magisterium in the Protestant Church is.

  58. mrtundraman says:

    “Purgatory is just an extension of a system of works. It is sad to see people have things that aren’t even remotely found in scripture like this ruin their lives.”

    Matt. ch 5 v 26 and ch 18 v 34 – Jesus teaches us, “Come to terms with your opponent or you will be handed over to the judge and thrown into prison. You will not get out until you have paid the last penny.”

  59. MTM, Are you Catholic?

  60. mrtundraman says:

    “Let homosexuals marry in the govt./legal sense, work on protecting/bolstering your First Amendment Right to disagree with it from a “moral” and religious perspective.

    But, don’t discriminate in the workplace or cross lines from a govt./legal perspective and don’t incite people to violence toward gays. Those are the boundaries (and I agree with them).”

    The real problem I have is that it’s one thing to advocate for this from the state’s perspective but marriage has never been a purely state function. It is a function of the state (a “weird terms” legal contract) but is many cases it involves a minister of the Gospel signing the state document and being authorized by the state to marry people.

    The problem in Canada and other places is that it starts with the military where chaplains are ordered to marry homosexual couples against their conscience. They will be fired if they don’t. The next step is when it goes into the local church who then can be sued for a hate crime of they don’t marry homosexual couples. Don’t think it would happen here? It’s the path things have gone in Canada.

  61. mrtundraman says:

    If marriage is only a state contract issue then what rationale does the state use for limiting marriage to two persons? What if three people or N people want to enter into the same relationship? Marriage equality would have to include all sorts of human relationships. Why stop with multiple people? Why not include mothers and sons who love each other and want to get married? After all, if it’s just a contract then why limit who can be in the contract?

  62. mrtundraman says:

    I believe in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Faith.

  63. Ok…all that tells me is that you subscribe to the Nicene Creed. That sort of encompasses a lot there….

  64. PP Vet says:

    I block people on Facebook who are my friends if their statuses are just unpleasant. I do that because I cannot figure out how to “hide” their status using an iPad. The hide button just does not show up. And when it does I don’t know what I did. Don’t want to block them, but I do not know what else to do. I love reading the statuses of healthy edifying fun people, and the experience is marred by unedifying crudeness etc.

  65. MTM, it is cool…I know the answer to the question now…no need to answer.
    @ Nonnie’s 56. I wouldn’t mind hearing MLD’s thoughts on that

  66. Reuben says:

    I do not personally subscribe to Tundra’s use of caps there. I believe in One, Holy, catholic and Apostolic Faith. Catholic and catholic are two very different things. But I like Tundra, and thats good enough.

    The most profound growth I have seen in myself, something that I can only attribute to the Hand of God, is a concept of the one holy catholic. The church universal. I am working towards becoming a real Anglican in the traditional sense, catechism and all. However, I have grown to see value in all “forms” of the body of Christ. I believe that Orthodox and Charismatics are in the family. A whole list of others as well. I have come to terms with the fact that I can disagree with them on stuff, but my concept of the church universal has somehow superseded doctrinal bias.

    I still dig the V by V teaching format, and think it can be highly effective. Got that from CC. I still think that “experiencing” God has a value. Got that from Vineyard. I still think that 30 minutes of Liturgy with 10 minutes of sermon actually brings you closer to a worshipful state than laughing in the spirit after 2 hours of superstar yelling at me. Got that from the Anglicans.

    I support Civil Unions. Does that make me un-Christian? I love mystics. Does that make me un-Christian? I loath street preachers. Does that make me un-Christian?

    I don’t know. To some it does.

    I have also come to terms with the fact that I know I am wrong. I was so right about things before, and now I reject quite a few of those things. I no longer presume to be right. I like to throw things out there and see what folks have to say. I like this because I sleep at night knowing I am probably wrong about everything.

  67. mrtundraman says:

    What if it said Universal in place of Catholic? Would it be OK to be in caps then? If so, the it’s not a problem with Catholic in caps, it’s the confusion of Catholic and Roman Catholic that is the issue, right?

    I believe in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic faith. And I don’t see the upper case C as necessarily calling out the Roman instance of the Catholic faith. In fact, quite the contrary. I see the Catholic, ie Universal as being much more than the Roman instance.

  68. Chile says:

    Reuben –” I still think that 30 minutes of Liturgy with 10 minutes of sermon actually brings you closer to a worshipful state than laughing in the spirit after 2 hours of superstar yelling at me. Got that from the Anglicans.”

    I got it from the Anglicans, too! Love it!

  69. mrtundraman says:

    “I still dig the V by V teaching format, and think it can be highly effective. Got that from CC.”

    I think that historical churches which operate from the Common Lectionary actually do a better job of going through the BIble thoroughly than the Calvary Chapel v by v model. They go through the entire Bible in three years. They cover all the chapters and they don;t allow for concentrations on pet peeves nearly as easily as the Calvary Chapel v by v model.

    I personally heard Chuck Smith find anti-homosexual things in chapter after chapter in the Bible in spite of the fact that there were zero passages on that particular proclivity in any of the v by verses for the week.

  70. Reuben says:

    Chuck was always good at extracting something from nothing of the sort. That would be a huge reason why I deleted all his sermons. Courson’s too.

  71. The First Church of the Argumentative…I go there myself a few times a year, but some people attend every time the doors open. 🙂

  72. j2theperson says:

    ***I think that historical churches which operate from the Common Lectionary actually do a better job of going through the BIble thoroughly than the Calvary Chapel v by v model. They go through the entire Bible in three years. They cover all the chapters and they don;t allow for concentrations on pet peeves nearly as easily as the Calvary Chapel v by v model.***

    I agree. My church seems to end up covering the Bible pretty thoroughly. And I like how they have passages from the Old Testament, New Testament, and Gospels that thematically complement each other.

    It really ticked me off how the so-called verse by verse preachers could work any sort of pet interest into literally anything. My CC pastor growing up could work the Rapture into literally any verse in the Bible. It was obnoxious and horrible.

  73. Ixtlan says:

    Street preachers. Many are modern day mystics, they just don’t see themselves that way, and neither do most others.

  74. To Nonnie’s #56 and Dereck #68 I try to divide my opinion about same sex marriage into 2 categories. I am opposed to same sex marriage – for the obvious reasons like the Bible. So, I don’t participate in same sex marriage myself, and i speak out as a Christian against it.

    Then as a citizen, I have a different kind of responsibility. So, when to topic of same sex marriage comes up in a civil manner, I am still opposed to it because I think it is harmful to society. But, as an American, I have only one vote and I am obliged to go with whatever the majority decides. If same sex marriage becomes the law of the land, I can’t do anything about it. One thing I do know, is that I don’t have to celebrate it, I can choose to not go to any same sex wedding ceremonies and no one can force me to befriend or invite same sex couples over for dinner.

    I do have a couple of friends wh were married during that short window when it was legal here in CA. I am still friends, but they know my position and we get along.

    Now my big concern is the church as a whole, my denomination and my local church in particular. If I got wind that we were even considering such, I would raise holy hell.

    I think that this is a good time for pastors to get out of the marriage business altogether. Let people get married by the county clerk and then have a wedding at church and let it be a blessing ceremony. Martin Luther never wanted to have weddings in the church. He wanted to have a once a year time where people would gather at the church for a marriage blessing.

    Christian marriages should be for Christians – let the Druids and the homosexuals do what they want..But the church does not need to recognize them as legitimate.

  75. The church had a stance against divorce at one time. Even though society accepted it (in some cases like NY they had to legalize it – there was nothing that said that the church had to accept divorced people into it”s communion

    I remember in the 60s when Frank Sinatra was excommunicated for being divorced. We could do the same today… but we don’t have the belly for it.

  76. I don’t understand why the general population has a bad view of the church… we seem to mirror society.

  77. Reuben says:

    Ixtlan, do tell!

  78. “I think that this is a good time for pastors to get out of the marriage business altogether. Let people get married by the county clerk and then have a wedding at church and let it be a blessing ceremony. Martin Luther never wanted to have weddings in the church. He wanted to have a once a year time where people would gather at the church for a marriage blessing”
    i understood that that was how marriages were legalized in old communist russia – church optional/discouraged, maybe … but it makes all the sense in the world and a big ‘AMEN’ to MLD’s post from this corner … marriage blessings? like the annual blessings of the ships and the animals? i’m all for that, too … calling it a day now encouraged by MLD’s above thot – what a great way for us Believers to win the day for the Faith and our marriages

    God keep all close this nite

  79. I sort of liked #77 also

  80. Alex says:

    MTM said, “The problem in Canada and other places is that it starts with the military where chaplains are ordered to marry homosexual couples against their conscience. They will be fired if they don’t. The next step is when it goes into the local church who then can be sued for a hate crime of they don’t marry homosexual couples.”

    That is wrong, IMO. I would fight for pastors and chaplains to opt out of performing a marriage service if they disagreed with the marriage from a formal perspective, same as some pastors won’t marry those who are divorced, those who aren’t “Christians” and those heterosexuals who are living together or are pregnant before marriage etc.

  81. Alex says:

    Steve H, thanks.

  82. Jim Jr. says:

    “That is wrong, IMO. I would fight for pastors and chaplains to opt out of performing a marriage service if they disagreed ”
    How’s THAT for separation of church and state!

  83. Jim Jr. You are pretty ignorant. Separation of church and state is not an American concept at all. If you read the Bill of Rights, you will see that they are all designed to keep the government out of other people’s business.

    So the separation is to keep the state out of the church – but makes no restrictions on the churh’s involvement with the government, nor any part of public and civil life.

  84. David Sloane says:

    …umm..Ixtlan

    #76 Off the wall, but I have to agree with ya. Met a lot of them and most are out there in mystic zone as well as i…
    LOL

  85. JimWho just likes to show up every once in a while and say “I love lamp”. I think I saw him kill a guy with a trident once.
    [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gId6nrMDmUU&w=420&h=315%5D

  86. brian says:

    Speaking of things that have really bothered me I have spent the weekend going through the archives at team pyro. I have often thought about posting but I find them intimidating and because I do not write with absolute perfection and may misstep which would be dissected and parsed into oblivion with 100000^100 apologetic two steps. I really wanted to understand I really did. I cross referenced and reread things read the comments listened to many of the sermons of the two pastors and Mr. Turk’s videos. I mean this I really wanted to understand. But in their theology it seems I really dont want to understand, I hate God, I am in rebellion to Him, created from the foundation of the world with one purpose in life, to be born, live, die and burn in hell for God’s glory. I started with the concepts of evolution, and the age of the universe but continued onto almost every single aspect of life.

    They had answers for it all, full of verses, full of “logic” but lacked reality. It came down to absolutes and they were so sure but in every single aspect of life. We live in a world of probabilities not absolutes, that is just a fact. We may develop constructs based on absolutes but we use probabilities to function, you could not even get out the door living in the black and white world of absolutes. My heart breaks thinking of the pain I have personally gone through trying so hard with every single ounce of strength trying to live in such a nice clean neat world.

    What I grant Team Pyro, they care and as I ferreted through their posts and responses I really started to develop a kinship because I appreciate people who care even if I think they are totally crazy. Knowing I am totally crazy I relate. So in a sense I saw people trying to hack their way through life with the presuppositions, just like I do, except I do not think my presuppositions are eternal. I lack that spiritual insight and I do not mean that as a cut, it is something I am actually envious of. I did this because of Michael, because I was so angry with people of the reformed tradition, but love Michael I wanted to come peace with this tribe. So I chose one of the more “extreme” of this tribe, that is also not a cut, sometimes extreme is good.

    I even listened to several dozen hours of Pastor MacArthur’s sermons, some of which were quite wonderful, others not so much. Then I sat through his appearances on CNN which were well not so wonderful. to be continued on next post

  87. brian says:

    Continuation from last post sorry about the length.

    This weekend I laid a great deal of pain to bed this weekend. I shredded a great deal of anger and frustration. I align quite well with much of what Alex has posted, as well as Michael and others, even MLD who asked me one time do I believe in extra terrestrials. Yes I actually do, in fact I think their are dozens in our “local” area and hundreds of thousands in our solar system, and billions in the know solar system. I think the development of “Sentience ” is a “natural” outcome given what we know about the universe. But I also hold to the unique aspect of each life which is a basic Christian world view. One I value highly. I would first like to thank Michael for being the brother and pastor in the cyber world I wish I had in the real world. Second I would like to thank Pastor Johnson, Pastor Phillips, and Mr. Turk, also Pecadillo.

    I posted one time at Pyro but would not be involved to much, because I admit, I am thinned skinned. It does hurt when my faith and world view are challenged, it also hurts to struggle through these faith issues. I take my faith very seriously, it is often all I have. Look Im a mess, I get confused, doubt, often beg God into the early hours of the morning for things like miracles so I could see just one student healed, one person stop hitting themselves, biting themselves down to the bone, or trying to take the one remaining eye out with the nearest utensil. No offense but those prayers were never answered, not one time. But along with those prayers I have prayed God give me the love to help, make a difference, forgive, the doctors the wisdom to find an answer, develop a community for a person to live on their own and so on. Those prayers are always answered, the answer is usually quite messy and haphazard but beautiful. Trust me I wish all the people suffering in the world were healed, all the pain healed, etc. That cant happen given the universe we live in.

    I know for a fact I am not the only one who struggles with these things, but I know God is the great artist and God is painting a portrait of such wonder that we will all be amazed. That new creation will be through the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The focal point of time and the only hope of humanity.

  88. brian says:

    Solar systems should be Galaxy sorry about that.

  89. Nonnie says:

    “I know for a fact I am not the only one who struggles with these things, but I know God is the great artist and God is painting a portrait of such wonder that we will all be amazed. That new creation will be through the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The focal point of time and the only hope of humanity.”

    Wow! Beautiful, Brian.

  90. Fly on a Wall says:

    Brian: I don’t know if the massses were to read and understand your post? Or was it aimed for a specific few?

    For anyone who cares, this is what I got when I googled Team Pyro:
    http://teampyro.blogspot.com/

    And this is what I get when I google Frank Turk:
    http://firstthings.com/blogs/evangel/author/frank-turk/

    Before I make an ass out of myself and go on a four-page tirade about alls that wrong with that website, I’ll just ask this… why do you care? (and I’m so so so so sorry if anyone on this blog writes for team pyro but you probably hate me already, so I’ll just apologize again).

    Team Pyro is the jelly that comes out of an Evangelical when they are smushed in just the right way. It’s snazzy marketing, glib answers to unanswerable questions, and edgy humor sprinkled with Christanese slang. Is there a reason I’m suppose to care?

  91. Brian,
    I wouldn’t worry about those jerks over at Team Pyro. Just another example of some truth without love. They write a good game sometimes, but go and look at their tweets to see where their hearts really lie. People like me sometimes get aggravated and vent my feelings on twitter, but those guys have a running diarrhea of the mouth on there. They are more about proving themselves right than showing the least amount of grace. Don’t let people like that get you down.
    I think I remember that you had found a church family (I may be wrong)…How is that going?

  92. I am sitting here working a little on my Sunday morning Bible class. I am working through the 2nd part of a 2 part class on the Trinity and I am using the Athanasian Creed as the outline.

    Reuben said something yesterday that made me do a little research. He said “I still think that 30 minutes of Liturgy with 10 minutes of sermon actually brings you closer to a worshipful state than laughing in the spirit after 2 hours of superstar yelling at me. Got that from the Anglicans.”

    So I went through last weeks Liturgy and counted the number of times that the Holy Trinity was mentioned or referred to. I came up with 11 times and that does not count if the Trinity was mention in either the children’s message or the sermon.

    I mention this because evangelicals, in their “free style’ worship seem to neglect the Trinity proper. I don’t mean that they mention the Father here, and then later the Son over here and a couple of times the Spirit here – rarely do they mention the 3 person’s together.

    I think this is the importance of the liturgy. As Rod Rosenbladt once said “the liturgy is there to protect the congregation from the pastor.”

  93. Papias says:

    MLD, What kind of “worship” occurs at your church? Is it contemporary or traditional or some mixture? What types of songs do you do at your service?
    I’ve been going through alot of Bach cantatas of late, mixing in some of the Matthews Passion, and some of the lyrics to these are deeper than much of the stuff coming out of Nashville today.
    Frankly I’m in one of those seasons that I would become a Lutheran just for the music…. 😉

  94. Michael says:

    I’m out of town and out of touch until this evening.

  95. #95 – I think this is the importance of the liturgy. As Rod Rosenbladt once said “the liturgy is there to protect the congregation from the pastor.”
    absolutely the best justification for a liturgical (and entrenched) form of service that i’ve ever heard … if the liturgy in use is faithful and accurate at inception

    every now and then MLD is on a roll of wise wisdom here (that’s when i can agree with his posts 😀 ) – like his #86 “So the separation is to keep the state out of the church – but makes no restrictions on the churh’s involvement with the government, nor any part of public and civil life.”

    taking a break from packing – moving the last of my stuff/life out of this house tomorrow (and with it my computer, so indulging in my last enjoyment of PhxP, too) and heavy rain is predicted – pray-ers? help!

    post script – FWIW – we denigrate ‘stuff’ – i do, too – but now that this house is about empty of mine … it’s not a home

  96. Nonnie says:

    From this Corner: May God give you strength and joy as you end your time in this home and begin a new adventure. Praying for you.

  97. Nonnie, thank you so much
    you and yours will stay in my prayers

  98. monax says:

    Chile (#4) writes: I feel mad that new converts are being kept busy with religious business and not taught how to go the Bible for spiritual nourishment and to Jesus for relationship.

    Michael (#5) points out the structural differences between Protestant and Catholic understandings of authority—Catholics regard the church as their ultimate authority for doctrine and practice, and Protestants uphold the Bible as their sole authority.

    Alex (#45) writes how “truth” changes over time: much changed… much changed… much changed… much is still changing today.

    Here are my thoughts:

    It’s not just Catholic converts who are entrained as such—but millions of Protestant are likewise imprisoned within cultures that promote and practice Roman systems of false authority.

    This is a relatively new discovery for me: that the ecclesiastical apparatuses of the Protestant churches with their built-in governmental power and control mechanisms have actually and effectively come in-between (and even against) Christ and His Saints. They’re inhibitive structures that have essentially strangulated much of the life from the body.

    I have spent most of my 44 years of life “in church”—so to speak, and it’s only been the last 13 months that I have given up on attending services anywhere. I still get-together with brothers and sisters for fellowship, prayer, bible study and such. But this much I want to report to you—contrary to popular assumptions my spiritual life has not suffered from not “going to church.” In fact, my spiritual life has ever so deepened as I continue to mature in the Spirit.

    What is at stake here for the Saints is this question of the nature and scope of spiritual authority. What is the authority of the Saint? What is the authority of the Church? And so forth.

    One of the dangers (as I see it) from both the Catholic and Protestant domains is this egregiously unbiblical idea of a clergy / laity distinction. We see this false distinction promoted everywhere from Presbyterianism to Calvary Chapel.

    Please know, I’m new to the scene. I’m new to wanting to understand this thing called the Moses Model of church governance. So I’m happy to come across a Calvary Chapel pastor here who might be able to explain to me why any given pastor need not be accountable to the people he assumes to serve?

    Again, I’m new. But in the Moses Mindset I see a way of doing and being church that is both Roman and unbiblical.

    Regarding the idea of changes. Perhaps we can say that “Truth” does not change—only our apprehension and faithfulness to it changes. So with all the evolving changes in the Body of Christ how do we judge the difference between a true and false system of doing and being Church?

    ”The only standard by which the church can be judged is Scripture itself,” writes Herman Bavinck, “The true church really has only one mark: the Word of God… The Word and the Word alone in is truly the soul of the church” (Reformed Dogmatics; 2011 John Bolt ed).

  99. Ixtlan says:

    Reuben,
    Most mystics were considered eccentric, actually, strange in their day….. kinda like most street preachers today. Got to see a street preacher convention once. They had a parade, complete with a drum corp. What an incredible collection of oddballs.

  100. mrtundraman says:

    “I am working through the 2nd part of a 2 part class on the Trinity and I am using the Athanasian Creed as the outline.”

    So much for sola scriptura…

  101. covered says:

    monax, you wrote some interesting thoughts. Many (smarter) people than I will advise you that finding a church to call home is scriptural and much healthier than not. My first concern would be lack of fellowship. Even though I am a pastor, I believe that the fellowship offered by a healthy church body is one of the most important reasons to find a church. Even if you were to say that you have no need of what other’s can offer, I assure you that you have something very valuable to offer to others.

    Your comment regarding CC and the Moses model is something that many here have been asking for a while. In the 2+ years that I have been here (mostly lurking), I can’t recall one pastor from Calvary who practices the Moses model give a reason why he thinks that it’s a good idea.

    monax, I agree 100% that truth does not change and this is why I am bothered by the idea that moral standards are no longer important to many. God does not change yet the church seems to be more and more tolerant to cultural behavior.

  102. MTM,
    You are an idiot. I said I was using that as an outline. Then I show the scriptural basis.

    Do you really think that the guys who worked up the creed did not use scripture as it’s basis?

    I know you have to be top dog wherever you go, but at least put some brain power behind your comments.

  103. Alex says:

    C’mon MLD, we’re trying to clean up that sort of rhetoric/communication around here, no?

  104. Shaun Sells says:

    monax –

    admittedly I only skimmed your comments, but here are at few thoughts:

    – You said you had left the church but were meeting regularly with believers to pray and be in the word. I would suggest that you are still going to church, just a home church. Teaching, fellowship, breaking bread, and prayer can happen outside the traditional church. I would suggest you are growing in your faith because you are pursuing it.

    – “So I’m happy to come across a Calvary Chapel pastor here who might be able to explain to me why any given pastor need not be accountable to the people he assumes to serve?”
    As a Moses Model Calvary Chapel pastor I would say that even the pastor should be accountable to the church. The reason this blog exists is because some pastors have gone off the rails and not been accountable to anyone. However, I do believe that the scripture does assign the role of leadership and oversight within the church to pastors/elders. Some see oversight as a bad thing, but when done in love and integrity it is Biblical and Godly.

    – ”The only standard by which the church can be judged is Scripture itself,” writes Herman Bavinck, “The true church really has only one mark: the Word of God… The Word and the Word alone in is truly the soul of the church” (Reformed Dogmatics; 2011 John Bolt ed).
    AMEN!

  105. Chile says:

    Calling someone an idiot is not nice. 😉 They will know we are Christians by our love, 😉 not our unnecessary name calling 😉 and belittling of others whose presence threatens us. 😉

  106. So that other might know, the creeds are a great jumping off point for biblical studies. I once did one on the apostles creed and had 111 direct scripture references.

  107. OK, MTM is not an idiot. But I do take offense to him continually measuring motives. He questioned my salvation a couple of days ago. Probably just his mean streak.

  108. Chile says:

    Shaun said, “As a Moses Model Calvary Chapel pastor I would say that even the pastor should be accountable to the church. ”

    I don’t understand this statement. If a Moses Model has the pastor above the board and the elders, then how is the pastor accountable to the church?

    Shaun, you don’t have to answer this as I know each time I ask it someone says they are bothered by it. Just stating the question that many of us have and have been unable to get a solid answer for.

  109. Chile says:

    When one is characterized by speaking in unkind ways, 😉 it makes wondering about motives a natural next step. 😉

  110. monax says:

    covered,

    Please know, I possess no lack of Christian fellowship—I do not forsake the assembling… especially in ways that have always been the most edifying for me: in home meetings. I meet with other pastors, brothers and sisters, for worship, prayer, eating pizza and drinking beer, swimming and studying Scripture, sharpening our irons as we share our lives together.

    Fwiw, I’ve been in pastoral and teaching ministries most of my life. And as I look back at my path through these churches—from Baptist, Charismatic, Black Baptist (i’m a white boy, btw), three Presbyterian, to most recently a SBC church plant—I assess them all, in retrospect, as possessing a nature of business I do not regard as healthy for the church.

    A decade ago at a certain Bible Academy I remember discouraging my friends, my students, from watching Christian Television. Largely for the reason that they had not yet developed a solid biblical worldview from which to discern truth from error (as there was much error on TBN and the local Xn station). I’d encourage them to spend that time with the Holy Spirit and the Word of God.

    And now in like manner I’m prepared to encourage new friends to spend their righteous times of peace and joy with other Christian friends instead of “going to church” and getting potentially hooked into a sick and abusive church experience (a probability at this point).

    Fyi, the smartest and most discerning of my Christian friends do not do church the traditional way—it’s just not their scene. But where two or more of us are gathered we become a unique and local expression of the Body of Christ.

  111. Shaun Sells says:

    I don’t understand this statement. If a Moses Model has the pastor above the board and the elders, then how is the pastor accountable to the church?
    – the senior pastor is not above these groups in my mind. The pastor is one of each of these groups and probably sets the agenda when they meet, but can be outvoted by them as has happened to me several times. I am the president of the board of directors, but I still only get one vote. I am the head of the elders, but can still be out voted by them.

  112. monax says:

    Shaun,

    glad for your comment. agreed.

    and as a Calvary Chapel Pastor I may want to come back to you with a question or two as I dig deeper into CC.

    thanks,

    David

  113. mrtundraman says:

    “The senior pastor is not above these groups in my mind. The pastor is one of each of these groups and probably sets the agenda when they meet, but can be outvoted by them as has happened to me several times. I am the president of the board of directors, but I still only get one vote. I am the head of the elders, but can still be out voted by them.”

    What do you think about this story?

    “The man who was in charge of the Korean fellowship at our church is a medical doctor. He did not get any salary for his ministry to the Koreans. He makes his living as a pediatrician and an allergist. The Korean fellowship was growing quite large, so they said “We really need to get a board established for the Korean fellowship.” So, the man appointed board members and asked me to come to the service that I might lay hands on these men that he had chosen for his board, and I did, The very same week that we laid hands on these men and prayed for them and appointed them as board members, they had a meeting and asked the pastor to resign. They said, “Either give up your medical practice or resign as the pastor. We feel that we need a full-time pastor and your medical practice is taking you from your ministry here.”

    The man was devastated; he didn’t know what to do. So he asked me what I thought. I said, “Fire the board. God has called you to pastor that fellowship; the board didn’t call you to pastor it. Let them go.”

    So we ordained them in one week and defrocked them the next.”

    – From The Philosophy of Ministry of Calvary Chapel by Chuck Smith…

  114. Shaun Sells says:

    What do you think about this story?

    I think the church had weak by laws that allowed the board to fire the pastor without the elders approval. I think they had weak by laws that allowed the pastor to fire the board without any other input.

  115. mrtundraman says:

    “I think the church had weak by laws that allowed the board to fire the pastor without the elders approval. I think they had weak by laws that allowed the pastor to fire the board without any other input.”

    And that fellowship was the Korean Fellowship at CCCM set up by Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa/Chuck Smith and lifted up by Chuck Smith as an example of how the pastor is above the board and can even fire them if they disagree with his vision for the church…

    I am glad you don’t agree with the Philosophy of Ministry of Calvary Chapel. It says a lot of good about you that you would speak up against Chuck Smith this way.

  116. mrtundraman says:

    Martin Luther (the original not the imitations) said that the Apostle’s Creed was THE statement of faith. So much for Sola Scriptura…

    As one critic wrote “Luther merely replaced Catholic creedalism with a system of his own. Luther and Calvin practiced “pseudo-Sola Scriptura” because they did use creeds in addition to the Bible.”

  117. Fly on a Wall says:

    What do you think about this story?

    Complete idiocy. I never completely read Philosophy of Ministry by Chuck Smith, now I know why people think it’s awful.

    Firstly, who was the board? Was it comprised of men that this Pastor had sheparded and grown to love? Were they faithful congregants? Then why would a Pastor not take seriously the needs brought before him?

    Unless there was something more malicious behind the story, this is what I read into it, the congregants (or the board) feel needs are not being met because of the Pastor’s time constraints, Maybe this has to do lack of attending to the sick, lack of ministries, maybe as dumb as the Pastor can’t hold enough pot lucks. BUT these are the needs of their congregants… and he was called to serve them.

    At the same time, he has to fulfill his role to God and family and that may be as a doctor. That comes first.

    He should’ve heard the detailed needs of the people, see if he could hire someone to perform these (miscellaneous) duties, deny his own pay. He still got to keep his vision for his church and his relationship with his people, while at the same time keep his job, and his family happy.

    I don’t have a problem with the Moses’ model. As I’ve alluded to many times, it’s Biblical and it’s efficient. But Jesus > Moses. How about a Jesus model?

  118. mrtundraman says:

    The bottom line of Chuck’s story isn’t that the fellowship should have had different by-laws, but that in the Moses Model the board is subservient to the pastor.

  119. Fly on a Wall says:

    I’m sorry, I’m thinking Calvary Chapel Distinctives not Philosophy of Ministry.

  120. Fly on a Wall says:

    “Moses Model the board is subservient to the pastor.”

    We are all subservient to the Pastor. I don’t have a problem with that. What I have a problem is what some people consider subservience.

    The Calvary Chapel model assumes that the Pastor had put in all the work of building up a church, they are entitled to all the assets, they have the final say in everything and don’t have to answer to anyone (even God).

    Where is this biblical?

    That is not Moses, that is Saul.

  121. mrtundraman says:

    Fly – My guess is that most people just quickly read by these stories and don’t read them all that close. After all the appeal of being Moses can be blinding. I don’t think they think all that hard about what these stories mean or even say.

    Still, I do respect Shaun for what he said here. It takes a lot of guts for a CC pastor in good standing to come out in public against the CC Philosophy of Ministry.

  122. Alex says:

    I’m hearing about more churches leaving CC. Not a knock at the current CC guys, just an interesting Trend that seems to be taking hold.

  123. How did things I think get hijacked into a CC thread again?

  124. mrtundraman says:

    The things I think included “I risk allowing people to speak who may say something unpleasant or controversial.”

    So it’s on topic 🙂

  125. Alex says:

    I mentioned them one time out of 128 comments 🙂 Not it 😆

  126. Ixtlan says:

    I have hear a few times now that more churches are leaving Calvary Chapel, but no one ever seems to be able to name them. What churches have left?

  127. mrtundraman says:

    #30 was the first mention of CC, but erunner in fact.

  128. MTM, I think I am starting to seeing why erunner has problems with you being here.

  129. mrtundraman says:

    April is Child Abuse Prevention month. The ribbon color is blue.

  130. Steve Wright says:

    And that fellowship was the Korean Fellowship at CCCM set up by Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa/Chuck Smith and lifted up by Chuck Smith as an example of how the pastor is above the board and can even fire them if they disagree with his vision for the church…
    ————————————————————-
    Wrong. That is not accurate (dare I say, a false witness). And you provide no reference to check our your claim. (Philosophy of Ministry p.17 of 19)

    It was actually used as an example of the Scriptural admonition to not lay on hands suddenly, and the problems that can arrive if one does.

    The part you left out that sets the whole context for that story is as folllows:

    It is important to have a church board but not to assemble that board too quickly. In starting a new work, the Bible says to lay hands on no man suddenly. Know the men well.
    Whenever we are looking for new board members, I always look in the Saturday night prayer meeting for men who have prayed with me for years. I can trust them. I know that
    they are men of prayer; men who will seek the counsel and the guidance of God, even as I seek the counsel and guidance of God; men who were faithful in the Saturday night prayer meetings with me. I mentioned that it is important not to appoint a board too quickly. A case
    in point illustrates one of the reasons why. (now MTM’s story begins….)

    The man was serving the Lord’s people for ZERO salary, as is so often promoted here – making his living in his secular employment. This church was just starting out.

    The point is God’s will, right?

    The idea that God’s will is for this man, in week ONE with these newly empowered men, to quit his job and impoverish his family – or to quit serving the Lord freely as he had been doing (to the obvious approval of the others besides the newly empowered men) is quite a stretch to imagine. Only the starting point that pastors are typically in the flesh with power, and elders are saintly Spirit-filled men at all times could read this example and not see the problem is with the new elder board – in my opinion and not directed at any commentators.

    I have no interest in a discussion that moves the goal posts and talks about whether a better way to solve the crisis could have been found. Apparently, as Shaun rightly said, there were no by-laws in place and so if they thought they had the power to force this guy out of the ministry, they found out he had power too. It is not a pretty story, but it sure is not a one-sided story.

    And it DOES fit nicely the purpose for which it is used as illustration. Lay hands on no man suddenly.

  131. Shaun Sells says:

    Great points Steve.

  132. mrtundraman says:

    Steve, I did list the reference. I don’t have a paper copy of it so it doesn’t have page numbers so the charge of not providing the reference is a false witness you are bearing against me. It seems like you ran off fuming so quickly that you didn’t read to the end of the quote I provided which listed the reference as being from the Philosophy of Ministry of Calvary Chapel.

    Steve, Providing the context doesn’t help your case at all. I am saddened to read you are defending the idea of a Calvary Chapel pastor firing his board.

    Whether or not he was making any salary is not relevant. The board felt that it needed a full time pastor and his time was divided between the things of the Lord and his own earnings. No doubt the fellowship could not afford to pay what he was making as a medical doctor so he couldn’t quit his job and take a cut…

    Chuck Smith personally laid hands on the board one week and encouraged the pastor to fire the board the next week. Where was Chuck’s discernment the week earlier? He was part of the laying on of hands. Notice the blame shifting.

    If you were part of the board you wouldn’t say “it’s not a one-sided story.” it was all about power and who has it in the Calvary Chapels model. The Calvary Chapel Philosophy of Ministry tells prospective pastors that they can even fire the board if they have the wrong people in place.

    It’s funny how one man’s example of one thing actually tells quite another story.

  133. mrtundraman says:

    Shaun, do you agree with Steve that Chuck was right to tell the guy to fire the board? Maybe I judged you too quickly.

  134. Shaun Sells says:

    MTM, you are blinded by your disdain for Calvary and not willing to be reasonable. There is no give, either we agree with you 100% or we are wrong. This is why people don’t enjoy discussing things with you.

    Have a good night all.

  135. mrtundraman says:

    I think that the excuse will always that we given a hasty choice be made when a pastor fires a board member(s).

    Nevertheless, the pastor, at the advise of Chuck Smith, fired the entire board.

    Should a pastor fire the entire board? Nope. It’s just plain wrong.

  136. mrtundraman says:

    Shaun, It’s stories like the Korean Fellowship firing that give me total disdain for Calvary Chapel and anyone that advocates their corrupt form of church government.

  137. MTM,
    “Martin Luther (the original not the imitations) said that the Apostle’s Creed was THE statement of faith. So much for Sola Scriptura…”

    It’s really sad that a man of your experience has such a wrong idea of what Sola Scriptura is. Do you really think that it means scripture only? If that were the case no one could preach or write a book … even a reference book. Your interpretation of Sola Scriptura would lead to only reading the Bible – in fact no discussion about the Bible would be allowed.

    Here, sit at my feet while I teach you something. Sola Scriptura is in force when there are 2 competing views of how doctrine should be treated. Is it the Church who has the final word, or is it the actual scriptures. If they are not competing, there is no reason to invoke Sola Scriptura. Hence, the creeds do not compete with scripture, they complement and reinforce scripture.

    But you are hard to nail down since you change your theology and church affiliation every couple of years. How’s that Missionary Alliance thing going? Oh wait, that was a couple of years ago.

  138. Steve Wright says:

    I am glad you don’t agree with the Philosophy of Ministry of Calvary Chapel. It says a lot of good about you that you would speak up against Chuck Smith this way.
    ———————————————————————–
    Still, I do respect Shaun for what he said here. It takes a lot of guts for a CC pastor in good standing to come out in public against the CC Philosophy of Ministry.
    ————————————————–

    Those were your references as you played what to this reader seemed like a ‘gotcha’ game with Shaun. And to repeat, you played it in the context YOU want to talk about, not the context actually used in the story about not laying on hands suddenly.

    Many readers not as focused on CC as yourself would have no idea you were talking about a specific booklet with that actual title. If you still think I gave a false witness against you then forgive me.

  139. Ixtlan says:

    @140

    And that comes across quite clearly. Believe what you want , feel all the indignation that you convince yourself that you are entitled to. But, if you want to converse with those who are a part of Calvary Chapel, and bit of decorum and self control might be in order. Why must you insist that these guys string up Chuck Smith? Why is it so black and white with you? Do you not have any grace?

    I completely understand and support Alex’s indignation, not only with his step-father, but also with the entire movement that appears to choose impotency rather than policing their own. But you Mr. TundraMan, I don’t get it.

  140. “As one critic wrote “Luther merely replaced Catholic creedalism with a system of his own. Luther and Calvin practiced “pseudo-Sola Scriptura” because they did use creeds in addition to the Bible.” (I’ll bet you found that on the internet.)

    Well let’s compare – when asked what I believe, I can state the apostles’ creed to someone and not flinch thinking I am not proclaiming my biblical beliefs correctly – 100%

    So what do you do when asked what you believe? I know you don’t believe in the Solas, but I still bet you make it up and don’t just quote scriptures.

  141. Steve Wright says:

    Shaun, do you agree with Steve that Chuck was right to tell the guy to fire the board
    ———————————————–
    I of course also said no such thing as this. No matter. What I wrote, I wrote.

    Have a good night, all.

  142. Alex says:

    I think there’s a chance that Purgatory could be real 🙂

  143. Alex says:

    How ’bout them gays marrying? OMGosh! 😆

  144. Fly,
    “We are all subservient to the Pastor. I don’t have a problem with that. What I have a problem is what some people consider subservience.”

    This is one thing the MTM led CC haters will never get when they talk about accountability – what they really mean is that they disdain authority .

    I am on the board at my church and we are above the pastor on the ort char – in fact the pastor is listed in 3rd position – but I am still under the authority of my pastor in his role as pastor.

    But guys like MTM, who reject authority, reject the Creeds etc want only one thing – independence. They have reinvented the biblical wheel and everything that has come before them is null and void.

    This is not a defense of Pastor Chuck, CC or any organization – this is just a comment about who these folks are.

  145. Ixtlan says:

    I think mld just knocked that baby right outta the park!

  146. Alex says:

    MLD, I think your analysis is pretty flawed above.

    It’s not a rejection of Authority…it’s a “difference” in Authority. I’m kind of surprised you can’t see that (which makes me think you might be playing?)

    IMO, it is similar Constructs to SGM, IFBC etc that have an “authority” problem in that they don’t want to share Authority via Consensus Principle…and it is Consensus Principle that the Early Church modeled, it is Consensus Principle that the Disciples modeled, Consensus Principle that chose the “proper” Canon, Consensus Principle that chose the “proper” Creeds etc and so on and so forth.

    I think MTM likes Consensus Authority vs. One Guy / Moses Authority…no?

  147. Alex says:

    lxtan, I just Willie Mays’d him.

  148. Alex says:

    MLD, thank you, sincerely. Made my day. Peace.

  149. “I think MTM likes Consensus Authority vs. One Guy / Moses Authority…no?”

    And that is why he can choose to go to a church that allows him to have a voice. But he does not have to hate those who choose differently. Some people like to go to a top down church that has strict rules.

    But if they go to that church, they get an earful from the MTMs of this world saying that they are fostering abuse by being a part of such an organization. So, to MTMs, everyone had better side with their choice or feel the full force of blog terror.

  150. Alex says:

    All kidding aside, I “think” the big Philosophical difference is kind of a Populism vs. Oligarchy to pull a metaphor from Socio-Politics.

    I could be wrong, but I think that is the heart of the disagreements with the Moses Model construct, wherever it is found.

    It’s akin to Democratic Republic vs. Benevolent Dictatorship (which is a term I’ve heard used in CC to self-describe the construct).

    I and many others see less trouble with Consensus Rule vs. the other…and many see more trouble with the Masses ruling vs. one guy at the top.

  151. Alex says:

    I think guys like Shaun and Steve try to do the best they can with being the “guy at the top” and from what I can tell share the power and take input from their boards and elders and probably even some input from their congregants.

    Unfortunately, they are the exception IMO and not the rule in an SGM, IFBC, CC similar type construct.

  152. Steve Wright says:

    A final note.

    If anyone reads the booklet discussed above, in discussing church government you will read the warning about the dangers of a pastor trying to be a one-man show, who is not servant of all as Christ modeled, who abuses his power, does not make clear accounting to the Board on financial matters, and do not seek advice and counsel of the Board before making important decisions involving the church.

    You will also read the giving of thanks for the liturgical churches and their place in the Body of Christ 🙂

    Your mileage may vary…but in fact that is what is taught to the readers of this booklet.

  153. covered says:

    Alex, your 148 & 149 were perfect! Still not sure anyone told us why the Moses Model works.

  154. Alex says:

    I do want to note that I run my business in the “benevolent dictator” style. At the end of the day, it’s my arse on the line and I have the final say.

    But, I don’t think that model works well for churches / spiritual things…but again, my opinion.

  155. Alex says:

    Steve W, I agree that the warnings are given and the cautions and trappings are noted by CS and others…and some do manage to avoid the pitfalls.

  156. Alex says:

    covered, do you think there’s Gay Purgatory? 🙂

  157. covered says:

    We will have to wait till Sunday when Bible comes on 🙂

  158. Alex says:

    ooops! sorry, wrong blog! LOL

    coverd, ROTFLOL!!!!! 😆

  159. Steve Wright says:

    covered – it’s all in how one defines the term…and if one cares to actually read and agree with the warnings in the literature.

    Example (besides those I stated above)

    I read in the CC material that a pastor most definitely does not want a bunch of yes-men on the Board. I agree with that 100%

    The reality is that some pastors do have yes-men on the Board, and this leads to problems.

    But the warnings are there…they are taught. A wise man would heed.

    Until a few years ago the term ‘Moses Model’ primarily meant to me “Delegate” It’s what my personal CCCM experience had shown as I was empowered for various ministry and allowed the freedom to lead as I felt led.

    I already agreed before I even got saved that delegation is a wise, proper, sensible, and effective means of leadership (in business, the home, sports, government etc.) all the more so in recognition of the multi-faceted gifting of the entire Body of Christ by the Spirit.

    The secondary meaning was ‘not a hireling’ but that never implied (to me) not accountable.

    When I was in seminary I was taught by a big hitter with the SBC how I could become a SBC pastor. How my try-out would go, how my evaluation would occur and what standards (more people in the seats and more money in the bank) would be applied to decide if I could keep the job. It was not an attractive picture to me and screamed ‘hireling’ which of course my CC background (before seminary) and the teachings of Peter in Scripture had steeled me against.

    The idea of dictator, to me, was not at all taught in the literature. That it has showed itself in practice in some places is another matter.

  160. Chile says:

    Re: Shaun @114

    Chile–“I don’t understand this statement. If a Moses Model has the pastor above the board and the elders, then how is the pastor accountable to the church?”

    Shaun– “the senior pastor is not above these groups in my mind. The pastor is one of each of these groups and probably sets the agenda when they meet, but can be outvoted by them as has happened to me several times. I am the president of the board of directors, but I still only get one vote. I am the head of the elders, but can still be out voted by them.”

    Thanks for the answer. If this is how you do it, then how is that you are actually a Moses Model? MM flow chart has the pastor answering to God alone, with the board and elders below him, and with is ability to fire any of them if he disagrees with them.

    Again, you don’t have to answer, but this is the question your answer raises. Thanks.

  161. covered says:

    Steve,

    Thanks for your response. My experience with CC taught me that you are an exception to the rule. If “Delegating” were the standard procedure for the other CC’s, then things wouldn’t be where they are today. Also for the record, I have sent people to your church when they moved to your area. Thank you for answering the question.

  162. Chile says:

    MLD–” what they really mean is that they disdain authority …
    This is not a defense of Pastor Chuck, CC or any organization – this is just a comment about who these folks are.”

    Unfair and false characterization. I do not disdain authority, but even the world knows if you concentrate power and remove needed accountability, things go bad. It’s unwise. It’s not hard to grasp this concept. We already know we all sin and no one is above falling. We ALL need some guardrails.

    I am in an authority position and I am under authority of others. I respect appropriate authority with built in needed checks and balances. It’s part of life. Dictatorships are not healthy.

    It’s unfair for you to broad brush people -who see the issues- as people who disdain authority. Once you’ve seen the real dangers and damage that a dictator can inflict, you wake up. By your own mouth, you claim to not have seen any of the dangers or damage inflicted, so you are unaware and have less to contribute to such a conversation. We know the reality that all authority needs a counterbalance all too well.

  163. ” It’s unwise.”

    Perhaps for you it is unwise – but you and the other MTMers want to dictate that it is unwise for everyone. You want to be the mind controller. As I said, if anyone says they really like their CC, you want to tell them that they are wrong (jn fact stupid for not seeing things the way you see them)

    Let people do what they want. If people want and like a Moses Model church, who are you to tell them otherwise? Stay out of their business.

  164. Steve Wright says:

    Thank you covered. Not sure I really ‘answered’ your question though.

    I never even thought in terms of ‘Moses Model’ as a specific phrase for over a decade and a half within CC. I know I never used it (still don’t). The literature does not teach dictatorship. At least not how I read it.

    I would say the Moses Model as understood by most here and around the blogosphere most certainly does NOT work and IS unhealthy.

    Like I said, all in the definition. If how we (or other CC pastors) do things, with delegation, accountability and so forth means we somehow are not ‘Moses Model’ pastors makes no difference to me.

    CC to me is about far more than that.

  165. Chile says:

    Wright –“I would say the Moses Model as understood by most here and around the blogosphere most certainly does NOT work and IS unhealthy.”

    This is the first time I’ve ever heard this from a CC pastor. Ever. This clarification is really helpful, thank you.

  166. Chile says:

    MLD–“Perhaps for you it is unwise – but you and the other MTMers want to dictate that it is unwise for everyone. You want to be the mind controller.”

    MLD, it’s starting to look like you are the only one who doesn’t get it why it’s so unhealthy and breeds some pretty damaging stuff. Even the CC pastors here get it.

    MLD –“Let people do what they want. If people want and like a Moses Model church, who are you to tell them otherwise? Stay out of their business.”

    No, you are confusing things. I was in a CC along with many others and we all got kicked out when we approached the pastor about habitual unrepentant sin in the camp. It was my business. It still is my business as the CC is damaging my neighbors, friends, community, and making road kill out of the best of them. Quite a few kids have lost their faith over this. May I suggest you take another look at 1Corinthians 13 as a refresher that if you don’t have love for others, the rest of what you do is worthless.

    Many of those left in my old CC are still there because they have been told that if they leave they will be out of God’s will. I know, they used this on my family after they creatively removed me, as if we’d separate as a family. Many are still there because they have been taught that if they do not remain 100% loyal to the pastor then they will never grow, never move up the CC corporate ladder, or they know that leaving will strain the family. Others feel stuck (their words,) but keep thinking that someone is going to come in and straighten out the church. Most believe there is actually accountability somewhere, they can’t fathom that there really isn’t any. So they just close their eyes and hope for the best.

    It’s really only the new people and the paid people who sing the praises of CC. The rest are waiting for the Calvary to arrive.

    Anyone who can sit back and watch the souls of people trampled all over ruthlessly and just say, “It’s none of my business,” doesn’t know love.

  167. covered says:

    Steve,
    Like Chile I appreciate your transparency. We need to remember that not all CCSP’s are like Bob G. Thanks again and you answered the question.

  168. Chile says:

    @176 calvary = cavalry

  169. Ixtlan says:

    @176
    Makes me want to go there and start a new work. Although I still think mld is right @ 150…

  170. Steve Wright says:

    Chile – You are welcome. If defined as ‘a dictator who answers to nobody on this earth’ I believe you would find many who would repeat what I wrote. Unhealthy.

    As noted earlier, Chuck warns in the literature about men who try to be a one-man show, that don’t talk to their Boards, don’t serve etc. Says that is a danger within the church government structure. (And major kudos to you, Alex, for noting those warnings are written by Chuck as you posted above)

    The only thing possibly ‘unique’ about me and a couple others is a willingness to (on occasion) post on this blog and interact with our affiliation’s critics. Some guys love the Lord, His people, His Word, love to serve, have no desire to build a personal kingdom. Don’t want people’s money.

    Some of us really do see Jesus as the Authority that keeps us in line, and some of us really do only want what Jesus wants (and believe the mind of Christ is found in a multitude of counselors/elders). I’m glad we have solid accountability guidelines in place which allow for the removal of me as the pastor if I am disqualified for any of multiple reasons. I’m glad I can tell people of their existence. I’m glad others can use them as a model for their own churches as they may desire.

    However, those guidelines have absolutely no influence on my behavior. They are not my authority. Christ is.

  171. Ixtlan says:

    In church work, it is rare that you can actually fix what is broken. Better to go outside the camp and start a fresh. Church history has confirmed that over and over again.

  172. Chile says:

    MLD, if you are Lutheran, not invested with CC, not invested with wounded of CC; and you have not experienced any spiritual abuse or otherwise, then why do you get in the middle of our business, our conversations with the CC pastors?

    The pastors and I are conversing just fine. You do not represent them well, nor defend them well. It’s really not your business, is it?

  173. Chile says:

    Agreed, Ixtlan. But walking away from the road kill, wounded and bleeding, and simply allowing the unaccountable system to remain in place to empower yet another person to fleece the flock in my town is unloving, just wrong. It feels the same as hushing up about the pedophile and leaving him alone to molest at will. For many of us that would be a sin we could not live with.

  174. Chile says:

    We are still receiving dazed and confused wounded at alarming rates, and they removed the bad pastor. Unfortunately, the system allows the good one to continue in the bad pastor’s footsteps. Maybe no moral failure, yet, but the control tactics are overbearing, in the name of Jesus. (I wish I were only talking about one church … but this pattern repeats itself way too much.)

  175. covered says:

    Chile, I am very curious about your experience. I pray you have peace. When it was evident that the CC we attended had an abusive Sr. Pastor (I was the assistant), God called me to begin a new work. That CC went from 250 to 40 and is now close to losing it’s building. All we (Elders) wanted was for him to get help and his pride and the Moses Model prevented him from receiving help.

  176. Ixtlan says:

    Well then, Godspeed. Choose your battles wisely.

  177. Steve Wright says:

    Covered @185 – I know it is not popular in some circles but I continue to say that ‘voting with your feet’ is truly underrated as a means of God exercising His will among His people.

  178. covered says:

    I agree Steve that people do vote with your feet. The problem is that many love “things” about their church and it becomes home. It’s much like living with an abusive father. I will never forget that people kept saying, “I thought it was me…”

  179. Ixtlan says:

    This is such an interesting discussion. I have a friend who is a senior pastor of a small church that is elder led. There is one elder in the church who wants to push his will in much the same way as many of you describe senior pastors. The pastor told me he is close to giving this elder his key. He recognizes the fine line between respect and dominance. He doesn’t want to dominate, but he does want to pursue what he believes to be God’s leading of the church. He feels that it would be better to allow these elders to do what they want and move on rather than to either be pressed into a mold that God has not made for him or start a battle and fire some elders. And like my pastor friend, I have to believe that God does speak to the pastor (not exclusively) to go the direction He desires.

  180. Ixtlan says:

    @188

    When I left my first abusive church situation, I felt like Cain going out of the presence of the Lord and dwelling in the land of Nod. Fortunately, I found a back row in another church real quick which probably kept me sane. I went for several months, coming in just a bit late, and sprinting for the door as soon as the pastor said amen. It was probably the hardest and wisest thing I have ever done.

  181. Chile says:

    Thanks, Ixtian! I pick up half dead people out of the middle of the road and explain to them what just happened. It gives them hope. I don’t look for battles.

    Covered, I remember your story. That must have been hard. The way that worked out in the end must have been a nice confirmation to have.

    My story is thankfully one that has taught me so much. The pastor was removed, though it looks like those CC pastors who removed him had their own asset grabbing agendas. They look good next to the evil pastor, but they don’t look clean in the light.

    I do have peace, but I am compelled to sound the alarm bell to help others. People recognize me online and contact us. Over and over we give them the questions to ask and the light bulb goes on.

    But it’s very fearful to walk out, since the shunning is painful and the realization of what you participated in is even more painful. You see these people in the grocery store, at town functions, etc… It hurts our kids, wives cry over their women friends tossing them out like a rag doll, and men stand confused in disbelief that anyone could have no accountability after all the effort put out to make you think there was some. And, of course, your name gets smeared and that is tough to navigate in town.

    Then if you try to visit another church in town, you find a section of CC cast-a-ways, that you helped shun on one point. It’s humiliating. The whole process is extremely draining on most. Everyone is wary of one another. Kids suffer greatly. Many just give up church altogether. Some give up on God, because they can’t figure out where the bad ends and the good begins. What is God and what was false religious bondage? For some this task of separating is too much.

    I also use the info I’ve learned through this experience in other contexts outside of CCLand. I grasp the structure, attitudes and context in which such evil can thrive and use this knowledge for good elsewhere, too.

    I do have a life that is completely devoid of CC stuff, I just have seasons when I’m home and can bring light to this and seasons when I’m working more.

  182. covered says:

    Ixtlan, this would be a tough situation. Like you, I believe that when The Lord calls a pastor, He also “qualifies” him to shepherd. It is God’s church and we don’t forget that. We also are a small church and Elder led. What blesses me is that in our case we don’t have yes men yet they encourage and support me. If it were a daily battle to walk in our calling I would wonder if it weren’t time to move on. I thank God that we don’t have that problem.

  183. Ixtlan says:

    don’t take this personal, Chile…

    some of you need to turn up the zoom on your Web browser

    Spell my name right!!!

    I -X-T-L-A-N

  184. Ixtlan says:

    covered,
    I know my friend doesn’t want yes men. He does however, want some support when he feels led to make some changes for the good of the church body.

  185. covered says:

    Ixtlan, I respect that you found a place go even if it was incognito. To me it’s a mature believer to do what you did. Not going anywhere and staying home would have been easier but I believe that you did the right thing.

  186. Chile says:

    I’m not being antagonistic, I’m just honestly seeing the other side of “voting with one’s feet” that I think makes it a bad policy for leaders to espouse.

    Picking up an moving a family is difficult. It’s easier for one family to move (the pastor’s) than it is for all the people to leave. Usually the pastor has come to the town of the people. This is their town, where they live. They invest time, effort and money into the church and raise their kids there. It’s part of the community. But if a pastor goes off the rails, he is the one who should be dealt with/or moved, not the town’s people.

    Besides, “voting with one’s feet” doesn’t amount to much in most situations. The churches often have revolving doors and 2 replace you as you exit. This only encourages the pastor that people are expendable, while it damages the families that have to leave.

    I see all of God’s plan about restoration of relationships, with God and with our fellow man. Seems that the church issues are always an opportunity to seek this restoration. We all need this. But voting with one’s feet just seems to disrupt lives, families, the church, and the town. Leaders encouraging others to vote with their feet seems like an easy out, disregarding the need for restoration. At least, that’s how it was at my last CC. Pastor’s easy out, protect him and his staff in sin for longer with a fresh batch of people.

  187. Chile says:

    Ha! Ixtlan! I can’t see …

    So what does this name mean?

  188. covered says:

    Chile,

    Wow, we have much in common. We are in a small community and not a day goes by when my wife or I are not snubbed by someone. I believe that we are in God’s will and we are grateful for the grace He showed us by moving us out of an abusive church.

  189. Ixtlan says:

    @196 My kids were living at home at the time. I felt a real responsibility to show them how to handle these issues. I didn’t hide the truth from them. They are both involved in ministry in their perspective churches today.

    @197 Ever heard of Carlos Casteneda?

  190. covered says:

    Ixtlan, as long as we love one another even when disagreeing, God is glorified.

  191. Chile says:

    I was able to go to another church in a fairly short period of time, but I had been starving for fellowship and to hear the Word without it being from someone in unrepentant habitual sin. We had kids that needed the stability and we were able to make a transition that took us to another town. Those who had to stay in the town are having a much more difficult time, as they see one another frequently and it triggers a lot of painful responses. We were free from all that.

    We were in a neighborhood of CC leaders and it was a huge help that our transition was timely and took us out of that environment. Our kids had been shunned by the leader’s kids, and the unbelievers in the neighborhood were really angry about that. The cancer of it all just spreads and no one can stop it. So the CC issues damage a town, damage Christians, unbelievers, and more …

    To do nothing would merely enable the destruction to continue freely.

    I want to add, that if we did not have the church we found, I think it would have been wise for us to stay home and meet with “safe” believers. I know others have had to do this and it’s been healthy for them.

  192. Ixtlan says:

    @200 hmmm. . . true.

    I was on another blog reading someone’s account of their abusive church situation, and sure enough, it was the same guy…..

  193. covered says:

    Good night Chile & Ixtlan I’m pretty sure we solved the world’s problems 🙂

  194. Ixtlan says:

    Good night and Godspeed.

  195. Ixtlan says:

    just saw #203

    Yes. That would be him. Sometimes you reach a point where you can never go home. Goodnight.

  196. Chile says:

    My oldest had to work through a lot as result of what happened not only to us, but to so many others. Now he’s surrounded by Driscollites and he can spot the manipulation, coercion, fake accountability, power grabs, and college kids who can’t think … a mile away. he gets it that it’s part of life, but also that it’s unhealthy to choose it. He chose wisely and others come to him wondering why he’s not on the Driscoll band wagon? He says he’s had great opportunities to challenge them to ask certain questions …

    What he noticed was that the kids from those camps were less mature than the kids in his high school. They know how to follow rules, but they can’t think for themselves and look down on women. All the Driscoll sex talks have had a negative affect on the college age young men. The young women actually think the boys have to look at porn, that no guy can resist it due to his wiring. Yep, that’s the message they catch from Driscoll’s message, regardless of what words he uses. I read someone else’s kid had similar observations.

  197. Chile says:

    Good night, Gracie! and Ixtlan & Covered!

  198. Steve Wright says:

    I think makes it a bad policy for leaders to espouse.
    —————————————–
    Well..to be clear. I don’t espouse it at our church. I have never kicked anyone out, nor suggested “find another church if you don’t like it here”.

    I mention it as Covered gave us an example. 2 did not replace the 1 that left in that case. In fact looks like the 250 down to 40 barely able to pay the rent is exactly the Spiritual “fruit” of voting with one’s feet. I assume it is still a CC – still flying the dove. Yet, somehow those people are still gone without significant replacements. Almost as if God is in charge of leading His sheep as He wills. 😉

    If someone tells me they are in a lousy church, and leadership does not care to listen – I tell them to find another church. I’ve left churches (two to be exact, one a CC (not CM) and one a Baptist). No desire to change things and frankly the people there seemed to like it as it was – I just was bothered by a couple things so I quietly, without throwing a grenade, moved on. Still facebook friends with many from the Baptist church (the other was way before such things and I lost track of anyone I might have known)

  199. Steve Wright says:

    Ixtlan – @189

    A few sisters had a connection with another (non-CC) church for something and shared how badly they were treated by some guy who was some big Board officer (not a pastor in any capacity). He was the Treasurer. This guy really went nuts on them and my first inclination when they told me was to get involved, drive down there to tell the guy if he ever needs to berate any women to call me and I will come down and he can share his concerns man to man.

    However, the women are strong, mature, and said let it slide. This was a one-time thing anyway – though there were two separate events of verbal abuse to two different sisters.

    So my 2nd inclination was to call the Pastor. I have no connection to any of these people, but just to introduce myself and share the story so he would know the sort of witness this guy is to that church (not to mention the Lord).

    But then it hit me. I’m not dealing with another CC. What can the Pastor really do?

    The Pastor knows what sort of guy the Treasurer is. No way this was a one-time, rare event. He was 2-2 on the abuse batting average with our people. How many Treasurers hang out at the church anyway, waiting to deal with anyone who shows up, even those who have made prior arrangements with the pastor like our women (said pastor not being there)?

    The Treasurer runs that church. The Pastor knows it. I’m sure most everyone else does too. They live with it. So I felt, Why should I just bum out the Pastor, who I don’t know, and urge him to do something where he has no power.

    I did say “This would never happen at a CC!” 😉

  200. Fly on a Wall says:

    #173: “Let people do what they want. If people want and like a Moses Model church, who are you to tell them otherwise? Stay out of their business.”

    I wasn’t aware that Chile told people to stop going to their CC. Who on PxP attends a CC?

    I thought we were discussing problems within the CC Movement. How will the people know if we don’t speak out?

    I wrote a rather nasty Yelp review about CC Golden Springs (it was actually generous, I could’ve been far nastier and it would all be true). So I get a nasty email from someone who tells me that God will not tolerate sinners and if Raul Ries said something to upset me it was because of my sin and if he was such a bad person, well Pope John Paul Chuck Smith would deal with it! May I burn in hell!

    This is the typical mentality of someone who attends CC. Chuck Smith will deal with it!

    But we, the unemployed and idle, can do a little digging and see that Chuck Smith will definitely NOT deal with it.

    You can read all about Raul Ries’ shenanigans here
    http://calvarychapelabuse.com/wordpress/?page_id=717

    I have gone to CCGS for years and years and years. Seriously, I first started attending in 1994, that’s almost twenty years. I have never, ever thought he would be guilty of doing those things. If I didn’t stumble on Alex’s blog, I would never have known, although I did despise that church with a passion.

  201. Fly on a Wall says:

    You know what I would love? I’d love to hear from a congregant from Bob Grenier’s church and have us ask questions.

    Do you believe in Bob Grenier’s leadership?
    What about all the allegations of abuse?
    Does he practice what he preaches?
    What makes you submit to the authority of a man who has been known to abuse and manipulate the people he’s in charge of?

    And I’d love to see their answers. Because my mind cannot grasp it.

    Jim Jr., where are you?

  202. Fly on a Wall says:

    Chile: Your story is painful to read. And I’m sorry you had to go through it.

    Ixtlan says: In church work, it is rare that you can actually fix what is broken. Better to go outside the camp and start a fresh. Church history has confirmed that over and over again.

    That’s what I’ve been hearing in prayer.

    As for the shunning, it’s a mixed bag. If you did the right thing, people will secretly praise you. Of course, not the Pastor’s kids, they were directly affected, but the people who see the evil in the church will be glad that someone spoke up.

    Then there’s the dingleberries who will fight to the death that none of what you say is true. Well, they might be trying to convince themselves more than you. Or they’re writing reviews to impress the right people that will move them up in church hierarchy. Usually it has very little to do with you, especially if you spoke the truth.

    If you think you’re being shunned but a lot of people have left the church, I challenge you. The Pastor and his family are being shunned even more. Have compassion.

    As for me, I’m a little torn, as I left my CC with blessings, and I have fond memories of that place. But God led me to a little blog that changed all that. And I side with the victims because that is what the Holy Spirit has led me to do. God is first. The people who believe in you will come later.

  203. Alex says:

    I could maybe understand the “voting with your feet” more if the CC or whatever church refunded your giving/tithes/donations and compensated one for their time they invested in a particular church.

    In a Moses Model Construct, the Senior Pastor, essentially, controls/owns all the “stuff” that has been paid for by these same people. We saw this in the Kempner situation, we see it on IRS documents throughout CC.

    In a Congregationalist construct, the Membership technically owns/controls the “stuff” and a particular member who has beef has recourse in that System and is a stakeholder…so if they decide to “vote with their feet” they can do so having had their fair say/recourse and leave their membership/ownership voluntarily.

    Now some may say, “well, the person shouldn’t care about the stuff!”

    Well if so, then the Pastors shouldn’t care about the stuff and should cede power/control/ownership of the stuff to the congregation, no?

    Seems if it is really “the Lord’s” stuff…paid for by tithes/giving etc from the monies/work of the people of the Body of Christ…then ownership/control of the “stuff” by one Pastor and his family isn’t necessarily fair or good and has inherent pitfalls…maybe?

  204. Alex says:

    It’s very hard for a person to “vote with their feet” when they have invested so much time, money and invested so much emotionally in a “church”.

    Steve W (and I don’t say this judging motive, he probably just hasn’t considered this from his perspective) seems to think it’s no big deal, just leave type of attitude, which I think is a big deal for many and not nearly as easy or simple as that.

    Why should the person have to leave? Why can’t their beef be worked out with the Pastor and his Board/Elders?

    I know folks who gave tens of thousands of dollars, actually more than $100,000 to a CC over the years, plus all the time they gave literally building the church. Then when they have a legit beef…it’s “vote with your feet”. No recourse.

    Doesn’t seem righteous or just to me.

    If the “vote with your feet” is the answer in the Moses Model type construct no matter which church group is employing it…seems it would be fair/righteous/just then to refund the folks their money if their only recourse is to leave.

  205. Alex says:

    If it is truly “the Lord’s money!” and the people feel as if they were lied to and that the particular church didn’t hold up their end of the bargain…seems God wouldn’t have a problem giving them all that money back since it was given under the pretenses of “doing the Lord’s work” etc. I could see a man having a problem with it, but not God.

  206. Alex says:

    Money makes the World go round…stuff, land, buildings, tither-base, trips, conferences, marketing etc. Money = Power. If you don’t think so, if you ever get sued you’ll understand how that works in our System. Money buys all sorts of things.

    http://youtu.be/3_iQZiVD_zA

  207. mrtundraman says:

    “In a Congregationalist construct, the Membership technically owns/controls the “stuff” and a particular member who has beef has recourse in that System and is a stakeholder…so if they decide to “vote with their feet” they can do so having had their fair say/recourse and leave their membership/ownership voluntarily.”

    And, most denominations have a mechanism whereby the assets from churches that close down go back to the denomination. That keeps the pastor from feeling it’s his personal property. The sense of entitlement I see with Moses Model pastors blows my mind.

    As to the “if you don’t like it, there’s the door”, I can’t imagine many things that are more ungodly. But when you have a dictator running the show that’s what you get.

  208. mrtundraman says:

    Steve, had you read “The Philosophy of Ministry of Calvary Chapel” by Chuck Smith prior to this discussion? Just curious since your claim that I didn’t attribute the book might make sense if it was the case that you were unaware of the booklet. Anyway I respect you for apologizing for the claim that I didn’t attribute the source – which of course I did.

    I agree, the book offers warnings against dictatorships. And with good reason since it sets up a church structure which enables dictatorships. Yes, board-led church have people who abuse their position. I was a part of one and was a victim of one in a most serious manner, but I would still say that it was better for the pastor to be the one abused and suffer like Christ than for any of the people in the church to be abused.

    If anything the charge of a pastor is to protect the sheep even at his own danger. The hireling is the one who won’t sacrifice his life for the sheep and a system which says “if you don’t like it you are the one who needs to leave” isn’t such a system.

    To set up a system which protects pastors and leads to abuse (like CC and the list of others that Alex named) is to commit grave sin. Unlike some, I can’t pass by the chance to condemn this institutional sin.

  209. Fly,
    “I wasn’t aware that Chile told people to stop going to their CC. Who on PxP attends a CC?”

    Chile and the other MTMers continually harass people who support or attend CC. Their mantra is that you show support for pastoral and spiritual abuse just by your continued attendance after they have enlightened you to the “truth”.

  210. Chile said “The pastors and I are conversing just fine. You do not represent them well, nor defend them well. It’s really not your business, is it?”

    You are really funny (and I do mean Eddie Murphy funny) – I was having conversation with and / or about MTM, when out of the blue you butt into OUR conversation with your #172 and in the course of YOUR butting in, you tell me I have no reason to be in the conversation. Are you the Moses Model Blog dictator?

    This is what I mean that you are trying to be the mind controller. I even said, and you even quoted me when I said I was NOT defending CS, CC or the pastors –

    “This is not a defense of Pastor Chuck, CC or any organization.” (check my #150 and your #172.)

  211. Eddie Murphy funny? By that do you mean that Chile was funny in the 80’s but is now a sad, money grubbing shell of his former self? 🙂

  212. Alex says:

    One man’s harass is another man’s “disagree” and expression of opinion.

    Everyone “harasses” on here by that loose definition. I’ve been “harassed” and even banned 🙂

  213. Alex says:

    I do agree that we need to strive to keep it irenic though and to let everyone have a fair say and to challenge all of us to stick to some boundaries of decorum and civility.

  214. Alex says:

    Josh, COFFEE SPITTER ALERT! LOL!!! 😆

  215. Alex says:

    Back on topic 🙂

    Seems if the Fundamentalist Christian Position of “No Gay Marriage” is to be consistent…then the Position should also include a Ban on Divorcee Marriage, Fornicator Marriage and Adulterer Marriage, no?

  216. I don’t think there is any question we’ve dropped the ball on divorce. However, I see the benefit in our govt promoting traditional family units. That’s how we reproduce, that’s the best way to raise and educate children, etc.
    I’m trying to imagine the benefit that gay marriage has for our culture.

  217. Alex,
    I think my #77-79 speak to what you say about Gay Marriage and the Church. I do bring up the RCC’s position on divorce, remarriage and excommunication.

    I would be for not recognizing divorced people remarrying until the repent in front of the pastor for their divorce and would excommunicate them. )Excommunication being keeping them from the Lord’s Table until repentance.)

    I like the RCC way that “hey, you got married in the church and can only be divorced by the church.

  218. Just so we are clear “Gay / Homosexual Marriage is not the issue. Homosexuals can get married – just not to each other. I face the same restrictions that a homo man does – I too cannot marry someone of the same sex even if I wanted to for some financial or legal benefit..

    Same sex marriage is the issue and should be framed as such.

  219. Alex says:

    I hear you Josh, but I don’t think Gay Marriage will make more gay people.

    You asked this good question IMO: “I’m trying to imagine the benefit that gay marriage has for our culture.”

    I have a gay brother and I think marriage/monogamy committed relationship has benefits in health related areas and also helps bring some positive benefits to society in terms of a more stable environment for the homosexual communities. I think that wonton promiscuity in either Camp (gay or straight) is not a good thing from a medical/health perspective and that promoting committed relationships in the gay communities is a good thing.

    I would feel much better if my brother was in a committed “marriage” vs. the gay single life. There are risks to both gays and straights who live the active single life.

    Plus, committed relationships tend to build society in terms of working toward a goal of home ownership, routine, etc.

    Banning Gay Marriage will not stop folks from being gay.

  220. “I hear you Josh, but I don’t think Gay Marriage will make more gay people.”

    No, I don’t either, and if it sounds like that what I was saying, I apologize for being unclear.

    Your mention of the health benefits of monogamy is a good point. I hadn’t considered that. Certainly if we want to reduce aids and such, monogamous relationships are the thing to promote. Very good point.

    “Banning Gay Marriage will not stop folks from being gay.”

    Absolutely not.

  221. “I would feel much better if my brother was in a committed “marriage” vs. the gay single life.”

    The lack of marriage does not, or should not be a reason why homosexuals are not in a committed relationship. Homosexuals can commit their lives to each other – hire out a hall and walk down an aisle, telling all their friends and family about their love and commitment and then have a big party. They do not need to call it marriage.

    They lack nothing legally – they can leave their estates to each other very simply and can assign each other medical rights.

    The homosexual marriage issue is not about marriage at all – it is about getting the state to legitimize their sin.

  222. MLD, Alex was specifically answering my question of “What is the societal benefit that the govt should reward?”.

    Your points are all true, but that was not Alex’s point, at least in that post.

  223. Steve Wright says:

    MTM – Yes, I know the booklet. Read it years ago. Knew instantly the story you were referencing and that you were referencing it wrong, though did not instantly remember the source. I HAD largely forgotten about it as Distinctives gets all the hubbub.

    When you write that a pastor is against The Philosophy of Ministry at Calvary Chapel, that does not sound like taking issue with a booklet to those not in the know. It’s not hard to say “booklet” at the end. But again, I see how you were innocent in your mind on the referencing (if you can repay the favor on my end), and I see why you would want to keep harping on that rather than the main point being you totally misquoted the context. 😉

    Alex – I’ve said this before. It is ILLEGAL for assets of a 501c3, which most Calvarys I’m sure are, to personally accrue to the pastor or individual officer/director. If you know of someone breaking the law, you should do your civic duty. I’m sure the IRS will return your call.

    Fly – There are many posters here who attend Calvary Chapels that are not pastors. They can identify themselves as they desire. They post less now than a few years ago. And they are somewhat reticent to speak of their churches, given the reasons MLD said.

  224. It should also be clear that giving to a church is not an investment, and should never be seen that way. It is giving to God, to do God’s work. If you don’t believe the church is doing God’s work, just don’t give.

  225. Nonnie says:

    We attend a CC. We also minister in different CC’s around the UK. They are tiny little fellowships with 20 to 60 people. In each one, the pastor and his wife are giving themselves away to that congregation; loving and serving them. They love the Lord and they love the little flock God has given them. They are certainly NOT living “high on the hog,” but rather sacrificing their time and their personal funds to support a tiny church plant. We are blessed to be able to come alongside them and help with worship, teaching, or in other ways.

  226. That’s inspiring Nonnie. Thank God for those men and women willing to serve in that way! And God bless your service as well!

  227. Ixtlan says:

    As Nonnie has pointed out, there are many small Calvary Chapels bothe in this country and abroad that are small based on the worldly church’s standards but are large for the kingdom. Most of the pastors of these churches understand sacrifice and what it means to be a shepherd, not providing a place of religious entertainment by highly paid, skilled professionals.

    The problem with these large churches is that too many people are living their spiritual lives vicariously through the experience that these large churches can provide for them., which includes ministry opportunities… Who doesn’t want to a Levite? Professional church ministry has been spun as the pinnacle of Christian existance for years. ANd most days, it is a whole lot easier than loving your neighbor who cusses and drinks too much and fornicates and is totally clueless that they are on their way to hell. Give me “nice people” to minister to anyday, but then, we find out the reality is that there are no nice people. They just behave better when they are on the “campus” of the church.

    Church leadership will start treating people as they are called to do when the people start to demand it. That is why you vote with your feet. If enough of them do, the house of cards will fall. And if they stay after knowing about the abuse and are willing to put up with it, then there is no recompense for their misery.

  228. Kevin H says:

    Just chiming in in reply to Steve W’s 234. I have never been a high volume poster here but do read along pretty regularly. I do attend a CC. It is a large CC. To be honest, and I have probably stated this here before at one time or another, it is not my first choice of churches. My family attends there mainly due to family circumstances which are not worth discussing here. I do have some problems with the way some things are done at my CC, but I have never seen anything nor know of anything nearly as bad as the many abuses that have been discussed here over the years. If there were, then it would be a non-negotiable and we would no longer attend. However, there are also many good things about the church in the way I have seen it reach out and minister to its own, its community, and beyond.

  229. Fly
    You said ” This is the typical mentality of someone who attends CC. Chuck Smith will deal with it!”

    Again you draw me from out from the shadows with that statement. You are building a straw man! I am a CC and have never heard that, nor have the people in my church. I don’t doubt your experience but it would do us all good if you restricted your comments to a specific church, or group of people and incidents and allow your readers to draw their conclusions from the facts

  230. Shaun Sells says:

    Oddly, most folks at Calvary Chapel Cheyenne have no idea who Chuck Smith is. He doesn’t come up that much in my verse by verse studies…

  231. Fly on a Wall says:

    Steve Hopkins: I understand your concern and I was in no way trying to insinuate your church does that.

    But I can’t believe that you’ve never heard that comment in your affliation with CC, as I’ve heard it or it has been insinuated many times over the years. Sometimes, it’s not as direct, I’ve heard people say, “Well, it’s a CC, and they have a good reputation. It can’t be a CC if the Pastor does **** ”

    They somehow think CC is run like the Catholic Church (what a horrible example, as they can’t police their own either, but what I mean is they think all CCs have to answer to a higher up). But if they read the distinctives (which I hadn’t done until last year) they would know this is not true. Actually, one of the biggest problems within CC right now is their lack of accountability.

  232. It’s the same in Salem. No dove, no materials from pastor Chuck (we do’t have a book store), or Costa Mesa, no tapes or CD’s to listen to, not even a link on our web page to CC Costa Mesa. Not saying we won’t at some time n the future. Just saying that what goes on in Costa Mesa doesn’t effect me much here in Salem. I dunno, from where I stand as a CC pastor, and from my expereince Pastor Chuck is not the all controlling influence you make him out to be….unless of course he has some mystical powers I am not privy to! Maybe it’s because like Medussa I haven’t looked into his eyes! Just a bad joke….come on!

  233. Steve Wright says:

    Fly, I’m closer to Costa Mesa geographically than Shaun Sells or Steve Hopkins. Even here though we have many who don’t know anything about Calvary Chapel as a group. We are just a local church they found – and that happens to be our name.

    Of course, given our location and the fact that radio stations, Harvest Crusades, and many many Calvarys are all in the area, most of course certainly understand we are one of many Calvary Chapels. And most have heard of Chuck Smith – though like Shaun, Pastor Chuck does not seem to come up in verse by verse studies of Scripture.

    But of the many hundreds of people that I pastor each week, I have never ONCE had anyone for any reason suggest or say that somehow we answer to a higher up. Never even remotely a comment about ‘calling Costa Mesa’ for something akin.

    I am not doubting your comments @242. You are sharing your experiences. I am sharing mine.

  234. Fly on a Wall says:

    So many great discussions going on here. I forgot to mention I agree with Alex and not just because he’s disagreeing with Steve 🙂

    He makes a great point. You can’t just pick up and leave. Church is a lot like family, you invested in them, good and bad. It is like leaving family, it’s very heart-breaking. There’s a lot of good one has invested, but the bad became overpowering and unacceptable. I highly doubt anyone leaves the church over the color of the carpet.

    I’ve had people write to me from my old church saying they felt the same things but they didn’t want to write about it, insinuating that I should feel guilty about hurting people’s feelings. I feel just as bad when I write something bad about the Mormons, or Alex’s mom, or whoever else is involved in abusive behavior. But I write it because the truth is more important to me. At the end of the day, we have to answer to God, and woe be to us if we didn’t follow our conscience and do the right thing.

  235. fly
    I’ve got to be honest and say I have never heard that before. I will admit though, it may make a difference that I am up here in Salem, Oregon. That puts me pretty far away from the OC and out of the loop. I am sure it’s a whole different game in So Cal. I kind of like being fat dumb and happy up here.

    Just saying that it’s good to limit comments to specific incident’s pastors, and churches and make conclusions from about that particular incident. If they all conect across board, then so be it. Just can’t judge all CC’s by a few bad ones.

    The same thing happened here at PxP. I heard comments that PxP was anti Calvary. But that is not necessarily the case. Sure there are people here who were very critical of the movement but at the same time, there are folks here who are aware of problems, and issues in the movement, and have been hurt, but aren’t necessarily anti CC.They are open to dialogue and learning, even change.

    Just saying we gotta limit comments to specific incidents, churches and not the movement as a whole. I guess it’s the ex-cop coming out of me: “just the facts ma’am”

  236. Steve Wright says:

    Church is a lot like family, you invested in them, good and bad. It is like leaving family, it’s very heart-breaking
    ———————————————–
    I agree with all of that. I’ve experienced it (as I wrote above).

    Ultimately, we do what the Lord wants us to do. The Lord is our guide…even in the tough decisions, and is our comfort in the heartbreaks.

    Then you walk into a new church, knowing nobody, but over time make a whole new family. You find yourself in the place the Lord wants you to be. And that does NOT necessarily mean that the Lord never wanted you to be at the first church for that season of your life.

    As many here would attest.

    I don’t think my years spent at the (non-CC) church I left were wasted, (nor the money I gave in the offering). God used that time for great things in some lives, and certainly used that time for my life and the life of my family.

  237. Fly on a Wall says:

    Where did we get sidetracked into a discussion about Chuck Smith?

    Let’s see, MLD accuses Chile of telling people not to attend their CC (which I have never seen, I’ve always thought she had a problem with the Moses’ model and the lax spiritual accountability that she had witnessed in her own church). What I gather is MLD insinuating people like a top-down organization in their church, that’s why they attend Calvary Chapel.

    I brought an arguement that it’s not true. People attend Calvary Chapel because they don’t know any better.

    Well, the good (or bad) is you can’t debate about experiences. You can just accept/reject.

    As for the two Steves, I’m glad that your congregation is ignorant to the going-ons at the Mothership. I’m glad you’re ignorant too. I don’t think you’d be happy to find out what goes on there.

  238. Steve Wright says:

    , I’m glad that your congregation is ignorant to the going-ons at the Mothership. I’m glad you’re ignorant too. I don’t think you’d be happy to find out what goes on there.
    ———————————————————–
    That sort of comment does not aid the discussion.

  239. Bob (not Alex's) says:

    “Ultimately, we do what the Lord wants us to do. The Lord is our guide…even in the tough decisions, ”

    Been a “Christian” for a very long time and hear this kind of thing all the time. Now let me ask you a legit question, “How do you know what the Lord wants you to do?”

    Also if the “Lord is your guide” how does He guide you?

    The peanut gallery hears this kind of talk all the time from the pulpit and the “heroes” of ministry.

  240. Steve Wright says:

    Bob. Your answer would require pages if you want all the doctrinal explanation of the role of the Holy Spirit, prayer, the Scriptures and so forth. It is a subject expounded on often by me in the exposition of the Scriptures to the people. Not a Christian bromide.

    Bottom line as far as church search is – God guides His sheep.

    Xenia, Alex, Reuben, MLD (to name the first four that come to mind) all seem to have found a church home, having left their previous CC backgrounds.

  241. Steve Wright says:

    And I would add in the above four examples from the PP community – all those church homes are quite different from each other.

  242. Fly on a Wall says:

    Bob: I’m glad you asked. To be 100% honest, I don’t know. But I go with what I read in the Bible and what the Lord shows me in prayers. It’s all I can do.

    My personal experience goes like this; I first treated Alex’s blog with disdain. I still had my rose-colored glasses on and was drinking the CC kool-aid. But what struck me was Chuck Smith’s attitude towards Alex. That was the first clue something was terribly wrong.

    My big beef was with Evangelicals or more so the Emergents (I don’t know what else to call them, the hip-happening mega church in the area?) I tried reading literature that would affirm my disgust for them but God kept leading me to critics of Calvary Chapel. Then one day I prayed about wisdom about Alex’s blog (we had a disagreement and I wasn’t sure if I was suppose to be there) and I read this in Scripture. 13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.

    Now, I still wasn’t aware of all CC shortcomings when I received that verse. I didn’t know about CC’s lack of spiritual accountability. (I was still defending Raul Ries)!

    As I dig more, I started to see that Matthew 5:13-16 is exactly what God thinks about Calvary Chapel. All the abuses fall in line with that verse. Well, then my conclusion is, judgement will also fall in line with that verse. God thinks CC is no longer good for anything and it will be trampled on by men. I already see it happening.

  243. Nonnie says:

    Bob, I try to keep it simple. Love God, love others. (I confess, I don’t do either like I want to do)…then “do the next thing.” Years ago I heard Elisabeth Elliot speak and she said after her husband was killed, she was living in jungle with her 10 month old baby, and she just learned to “do the next thing.” When we seek to have hearts that are submitted, loving, and seeking the Lord, we can do the dishes, when they need to be done, change the diaper, fill the car with gas, buy the groceries, love our neighbour, care for an elderly parent….all the His glory. God’s word says HE orders our steps…or guides us, and I believe that His guidance comes through the ordinary, mundane course of everyday life, as well as He reveals His truth, character and love through His Holy word.

    A person’s steps are directed by the LORD, and the LORD delights in his way.
    Psalm 37:23

  244. We hear from the Scriptures. If we hear from him through our prayers, it is because are imaginations are bathed in Scripture. If we here Him from a pastor or other believer, it is because that person shares from the Scripture.

  245. PP Vet says:

    “do the next thing.”

    Word (as the hip people say)

  246. Fly,
    “I brought an arguement that it’s not true. People attend Calvary Chapel because they don’t know any better.”

    Really? They go and no one asks them for input for decision making and you think that just goes unnoticed? Many people don’t want to know how the sausage is made – on purpose.

    Chile has on many occasions accused people who attend CC of contributing to the CC abuses just because of their attendance- because they will not take a stand.

  247. Alex says:

    As a Michael convert (yes, he has persuaded me in an area or 10 🙂 ) we need to keep it as irenic as possible and dialogue with the CC pastors on here (and elsewhere) rather than yell at them. I’m guilty as that place of torment Rob Bell says doesn’t exist.

    Polemical approaches tend to polarize rather than seeking common ground where it can be found.

    I just want to encourage those who have legit beefs with CC etc to not be like I’ve been with the CC guys on here, but you’re all big boys and girls and will do what you want and I am just offering my opinion, while agreeing with much of the beefs.

  248. Alex says:

    For some reason it is much easier for me to be irenic with Atheists and Deists on an internet radio show vs. CC pastors on here (and elsewhere). I’m sure it is due to my personal pain and disgust over the whole situation I am embroiled in and due to the fact I have heard from so many in CC, such terrible stuff. Still, it doesn’t do much good to yell at the CC guys who aren’t like some of the other guys in their Group. While it does draw attention, it does tend to force them and others in CC to circle the wagons and tempts them to want to ignore us and run from us.

    Of course, I still hope many of them will either work to change the stuff in their System…or to leave their System and affiliate with a better Group that is committed to a more just and honest and righteous approach to ecclesiology etc, but yelling it at them all the time vs. having discussions about it has shown to be an unwise approach that has netted little in the areas of changing hearts and minds from within CC.

  249. Chile says:

    MODERATOR: Ugh, please delete my 260.

  250. Chile says:

    MLD, I’ve not harassed anyone. You on the other hand, harass me without repentance.

    I’ve not told you to stop talking to others and I want you to please stop telling me to stop talking with others, especially since they, themselves, are not asking me to stop.

    C’mom, let’s be adults. Play fair. Stop mischaracterizing me and making stuff up. I’ve not told a single person to stop attending a CC, EVER. I have spoken with known, proven abusers in CC leadership about the issues of which they were caught. I have spoken with many who’ve been beaten up and thrown out of the system, as well as those who are questioning and confused as to what is going on. The latter two categories thank me profusely.

    MLD, do you realize that the role you are playing is to impede any progress that could be made through some understanding between those of us with legitimate issues and the CC pastors. Is that what you want?

  251. I rest my case. Now I am the problem because I am impeding progress.

    Steve W., Steve H and Shaun – I apologize that I have kept you from making the needed changes away from your wicked ways.

  252. mrtundraman says:

    “I see why you would want to keep harping on that rather than the main point being you totally misquoted the context”

    Let’s go down that road. You want to set the context a little wider than the story and explain the point that Chuck was trying to make in the hopes of getting out of the point that he did make which is that pastors in CC can fire their boards if the boards get out of line.

    Fine, l\et’s take it wider. The real context is “The Philosophy of Ministry of Calvary Chapel”. The book was written so that CC juniors would be able to learn from their senior, that is, Chuck Smith, how a CC church should be run.

    One of the lessons in that greater context is don’t lay hands too quickly on board members. Not a lesson I find in the Bible at all because at CC board members are NOT the same as elders or deacons. They may overlap the two. There may be deacons who are board members and board members who are deacons but the two are not synonymous in the way CCs are structured (other denominations clearly vary).

    So Chuck has taken the legal requirements for a board and married it with the practical context of having someone else to blame for controversial decisions. He can say, as he does in the booklet, that it was a board decision, so don’t blame him. As the booklet states:

    “On the other hand you need a board of dependable men for your protection because there are decisions that must be made that are not going to be accepted by everyone, decisions that will create divisions among the body if you make them yourself.”

    and

    “So, the board is there as a protection for the pastor, a buffer to stand between you and the people when difficult decisions are made that are not always acceptable or agreeable to the entire body.”

    Yep, Steve, there’s a great example of leadership. My dad would have said such a person is hiding behind their mother’s skirt.

    The really sad part is that CC pastors aren’t at all ashamed of this booklet or the distinctives booklet but go out of their way to defend them. I would totally encourage anyone contemplating CC pastorship or anyone attending these places to actually read these books. I don’t fear the truth, CC should fear the truth. These books are horrible.

    Add to that list Larry Taylors book on Assistant Pastors. Another ungodly production.

  253. mrtundraman says:

    A great article on the Moses model from someone outside of us (not me):

    “Chuck Smith illustrates this extreme view of authority in a story he tells in The Philosophy of Ministry of Calvary Chapel. The church in Costa Mesa had started a local Korean fellowship, which was pastored by a medical doctor. After some time, the new fellowship appointed a board of elders. The Korean congregation had grown quite large, and the elders began urging the pastor to give up his medical practice and serve the church in full-time pastoral ministry. The pastor disagreed, and went to Chuck Smith for advice on how to handle these conflicting viewpoints as to how the church should proceed. Pastor Chuck’s solution? Fire the elders! Apparently, when there’s a difference of opinion between the pastor and the elders, the way to handle this is to get rid of the elders! It’s shocking to me that Smith has not only written a public account of this story, but he actually uses it to teach leadership principles to Calvary pastors.”
    http://exploringthefaith.com/2011/03/15/moses-model/

    Amen!

  254. mrtundraman says:

    “I’ve not told a single person to stop attending a CC, EVER.”

    I have told tens of thousands and even convinced independent fellowships they don’t want to go that way. It is kinda like becoming a communist country,. You only get one vote when you go totalitarian.

  255. mrtundraman says:

    “I see why you would want to keep harping on that rather than the main point being you totally misquoted the context”

    It’s not linguistically possible to misquote a context if the context is not provided. It may be wrong to leave out the context, but if it’s wrong to leave out the context, it’s also wrong to leave out the context of the context, and so on, ad infinitum.

    If the argument contradicted the context then it’s not honest. If the context said “I don’t believe people should worship green trees” and someone cut the context to say he said that “people should worship green trees” that would be dishonest.

    To say that Chuck Smith told the Korean fellowship pastor to fire his board is not to misquote the context at all. That’s what he did.

    Steve, simple question – was it right for Chuck to tell the Korean pastor to fire his board? Do you believe that a pastor should be able to fire a board and should fire a board when they seriously disagree with him? I just want to see how far off we are.

  256. Steve Wright says:

    Even that link you post OMITS the fact that this was the first decision this newly minted Board of elders made within one week of them being given power. Because saying so changes the dynamics of the story quite dramatically. As I said, when the story is told properly, in full, only a certain mindset sees all the blame in that story falling on one side.

    As to your ‘simple question’ there is a myriad of questions and facts relevant to this story that I do not know. I assume you don’t either.

    That’s one of the biggest problems with the blogosphere. Making judgements of who is right, who is wrong, without knowing all the facts. Usually based on established bigotries (i.e. the pastor is always right, the pastor is always wrong etc.)

    For the point of discussion, despite your obvious desire to take a very unique situation and apply it universally to CC worldwide – every church should have the by-laws written so a pastor can’t fire the entire Board at once. Every Board member should know what his church’s by-laws are as to his hiring and firing before agreeing to serve.

  257. Reuben says:

    “So, the board is there as a protection for the pastor, a buffer to stand between you and the people when difficult decisions are made that are not always acceptable or agreeable to the entire body.”

    I remember reading that. Very well. I also see clearly why Larry Taylor’s long since refuted booklet on being the “buffer” is still held in high regard.

  258. mrtundraman says:

    “Even that link you post OMITS the fact that this was the first decision this newly minted Board of elders made within one week of them being given power.”

    You are right in that the TPoMoCC story says that they ordained them one week and fired them the next. Still it was good to see someone not connected to me who thought the exact same thing about how outrageous the story is.

    Either way the pastor fired the board and there’s no amount of polish you can put on it that can make that shine.

    “Because saying so changes the dynamics of the story quite dramatically.”

    True, it shows bad judgment all around not just in the firing.

    “As I said, when the story is told properly, in full, only a certain mindset sees all the blame in that story falling on one side.”

    And only a certain mindset excuses Chuck Smith’s role in the matter.

    “As to your ‘simple question’ there is a myriad of questions and facts relevant to this story that I do not know. I assume you don’t either.”

    Not hard at all to say it was wrong to fire the board. I can easily say it. It was wrong to fire the board. He should have followed the board not fired them. Easy to say, Steve.

    “For the point of discussion, despite your obvious desire to take a very unique situation and apply it universally to CC worldwide”

    Well when Smith titled the booklet “The Philosophy of Ministry of Calvary Chapel” it kinda made that universal for CC, right Steve?

    “…every church should have the by-laws written so a pastor can’t fire the entire Board at once. Every Board member should know what his church’s by-laws are as to his hiring and firing before agreeing to serve.”

    Agreed, so you agree it was wrong for Chuck to tell him to fire the board?

  259. mrtundraman says:

    Reuben, In the CC system the assisting pastor (notice I didn’t say assistant pastor) has the role of the hireling in the Bible. If the pastor is a wolf he is told to leave the sheep to be slaughtered by the Senior Pastor. As Taylor put it:

    “In a situation where something in the church is so completely wrong that the sheep in the body are in spiritual danger, then say nothing to anybody, resign, and move on. If the church is a Calvary Chapel affiliate, then take your concerns and share them privately with Pastor Chuck or with Oden Fong, then drop it, leave it alone. Let them handle it. Trust God. He’ll correct the situation. But, do not gossip. It is a terrible sin before God.”

    Even the pagans have more sense.

  260. mrtundraman says:

    Why doesn’t anyone have trouble with where Chuck Smith said “God has called you to pastor that fellowship…”?

    I don’t like it when pastors claim a word from the Lord. How do I know that God called the medical doctor as the pastor to the Koreans and that he wasn’t calling someone else by stirring the hearts of those men to call another as their pastor? More importantly how can someone like Chuck Smith claim to be speaking the word of the Lord?

  261. mrtundraman says:

    I will leave it to Steve to dig out the context of Taylor’s point above in the hopes of justifying why people should be left in spiritual danger…

    Note that it was from a different time where Smith was claiming some authority over CC pastors although such a complaint to Smith was surely to be met (as many were) with a letter of rebuke from Chuck Smith telling them that they were in sin for spreading gossip.

    Today Smith says he has no authority over CC pastors – that’s why he says he can’t boot Bob Grenier and whey Bob’s Calvary Chapel of Visalia remains on the list of Calvary Chapels on the mothership website.

  262. Reuben says:

    Tundra @270, agreed.

    Additionally, the redefinition of “gossip” is a card overplayed by CC as a whole. Guys who barely even know Chuck pull that card. I question Ed Taylor on how much money he and his wife made in the last year, compared to his entire staff. “Gossip”. “Slander”. “Critical Spirit”. “Shut Up”.

    It is also worth pointing out the fact that Chuck holds no responsibility for any church but his own.

    The point of all this is simple. Chuck started CC in rebellion, built a system where the pastor is autonomous, taught hiring boards of hand selected men, lied about his responsibility, built walls of men, and the infection flourished like a mighty move of the spirit.

  263. Steve Wright says:

    will leave it to Steve to dig out the context of Taylor’s point above in the hopes of justifying why people should be left in spiritual danger…
    ——————————————-
    What a colossal waste of time it is to try and have a discussion with you, Doug.

  264. mrtundraman says:

    Steve, don’t sell yourself short.

  265. “The really sad part is that CC pastors aren’t at all ashamed of this booklet or the distinctives booklet but go out of their way to defend them”

    More blanket statements that just aren’t true of all CC’s. How’s that straw man looking now? stick a pipe in his mouth and some overalls! sheesh….MTM you are exhausting!

  266. I get the idea Fly is doing his best but MTM just wants to fight

  267. Chile says:

    Doug made some excellent points. These are the foundational issues in CC and Doug has quoted the source. Seems like a legitimate thing to bring up, as well as for CC pastors to tell how they see and handle such.

    To say it is a “waste of time” for you to discuss, leaves me with the impression you do not have a way to defend what Chuck Smith built into the foundation of CC’s.

    I am looking for a transparent response from anyone who supports these CC principles. Either a “Yes, I do like the way Chuck set it up.” Or , “No, I don’t think these are Chuck’s best ideas.” What I hear, whether right or wrong, is “I won’t discuss it.”

    If you are here, as stated, to speak a balancing perspective to CC critics, then these are issues that cannot be glossed over. If I’ve misunderstood your presence online, then … well, I guess I’d think just as a CC pastor you should be able to answer these questions anyway, since you represent this brand.

  268. As far as the question of being led of the Spirit or following God’s leading…I agree with the post that says, “I really don’t know”. I think we do our best and try not to confuse God’s calling with my own personal “want to”. I think that we should not act unilaterally, but when ever possible, seek the wise counsel not of yes men, but wise men and women of God who will help you think tru and pray about where you feel the Lord is leading. Them, as the ad says, when you have the peace of God, Just Do It with courage

  269. Chile says:

    Well, Hopkins, if you any of you don’t defend them, then this is great time and place to tell us so. It’s not a fight, it’s not disrespectful, and it’s not harassing to simply ask if any of you will explain your take on these issues in print that are fundamental to the CC brand.

    Please hear the questions as honest, but not take it as a personal affront. You decided to wear this brand, and many would like to know how you deal with these written principles Chuck lays out.

  270. mrtundraman says:

    Steve, it is not a strawman considering you are one of the pastors who defends the indefensible.

    I’ve never met anyone who would defend Chuck counseling the man to fire the board. To anyone outside of CC pastors that is just plain wrong.

    I am glad to have you defend this because nobody would believe that someone would defend this if you weren’t here. I’d be hearing that nobody believes that, etc… that was the Calvary… We are in the hinterlands and we don’t do that… That was so 1980’s CC…

    Instead you are here. Thanks!

  271. Chile says:

    MLD @262

    That’s not what I said.

    Play fair.

  272. Chile,
    That is exactly what you said;
    “MLD, do you realize that the role you are playing is to impede any progress that could be made…”

    But that is why you don’t see your other comments to CC friendly people as abusive. It’s called blindness.

  273. mrtundraman says:

    “I get the idea Fly is doing his best but MTM just wants to fight”

    If I could count the number of people who told me that same thing 16 years ago when I started this and have come to me over the years telling me that they were wrong then… At least in the dozens, maybe a hundred or more… I lost track a long time ago.

    One great thing about being at this for so many years is that the arguments on the other side never change but the players on the other side change all the time.

    And I suspect that after Chuck shuffles off this mortal coil I’ll hear from many more telling me that they were wrong and I was right. They will no longer feel the need to defend the indefensible.

  274. Reuben says:

    Hoppy,

    With all due respect…

    The argument that all of CC is pegged as guilty is getting old. In just a weeks time, I have been personally blasted for taking to task things CC related, and because people so cherish the dove is exactly why the backlash of “blanket statements that just aren’t true of all CC’s” continue to flow. It always follows soon thereafter, when dove lovers are questioned about why they do not incite change in their own system, the answer is always, “I am a nobody, I have enough on my plate with my own church, nobody listens to me…” thus perpetuating the idea that the CC DNA will NOT be changed. Chuck wants nothing to do with anyone else, and neither does anyone else. Then people get pissed when the whole system is called into question. Something like Alex happens, and people scatter.

    So the pressure from the outside is the only thing that will change the inside. At least that is the way it would seem.

    The answer is not at SMP, bro. Ask Chad how he dealt with the church secretary and her husband. Ask Chad how Mark R. dealt with the church secretary and her husband. Ask Chad if hiring and firing is a decision that is his, or his elders, or his boards. Does that change situation to situation? Ask Chad how many elders he has been through. Ask him how many of those church plants were church splits. Ask him why there were splits. When he answers these questions for you (I already know the answers), lets compare notes. Then we can move on to the big stuff.

    I really wish you guys would drop the dove. I say that with love. The more pastors leaving the system, the more it fails under its own guilt. Get your buddies to do it. Start a whole new brotherhood. With your looks and charm, you could rival Chuck any day! 😛

  275. Chile says:

    “Chile has on many occasions accused people who attend CC of contributing to the CC abuses just because of their attendance- because they will not take a stand.”–MLD

    Close …
    I believe that supporting a pastor that has all control and no meaningful accountability is unwise, at best, and sinful, at worst. I think you are confusing this with when I said that CC pastors who are silent on blatant abuses that are not being addressed in other CC’s is tantamount to participation.

    But your actual accusation was that I tell people to leave, which I have not. I educate them on what questions to ask, or how the system works and where to find the information. (MLD, I keep noting how you change what you have said as you go.)

    After reading one of Doug’s post, I am reminded of when I informed a church looking at becoming CC of what they needed to know in order to make an educated decision. They had been repeatedly told that the incoming CC pastor wanna be would have accountability. I told them what to ask and how to find out if his words could be backed up. They thanked me, because they found out the words were the opposite of what was actually true. There turned out to be zero real accountability.

    I also warned the church to check the church government style, as they believed strongly in the NT role of elders with actual power, plus the people keeping the pastoral role in check. The incoming Moses Model pastor had not been transparent with his intentions of changing their by-laws, unilaterally.

    When people are pulling bait and switch like this, then I feel a responsibility to help people find the questions they didn’t know to ask.

    CC pastors here: I trust/hope you did no such things as I’ve described here. This is an indictment on several CC pastors in my state and one in Virginia, that I’m personally aware of.

  276. mrtundraman says:

    You see, Steve, my philosophy of ministry is completely unlike the CC PoM. My philosophy of ministry centers around the idea that truth is worth fighting for. My philosophy of ministry is that even Calvary Chapel pastors are worth talking with.

    I follow the “go after the 100th sheep” philosophy while CC pastors tell the sheep that “if they don’t like being in the flock, there’s the door to the pen”.

    We really do come at ministry from a totally different angle. Yours may be more productive then mine but I think mine is correct.

  277. Chile says:

    MLD, in #262 you said,

    “Steve W., Steve H and Shaun – I apologize that I have kept you from making the needed changes away from your wicked ways.”

    I did not say this. You changed the meaning of my words.
    You are impeding any progress that could be made with CC pastors being able to share what they think, especially as it relates to seeing a CC pastor see things differently from the many abusive one’s I’ve known, as well as the trend I’ve seen in many others, as well as the CC principles of ministry in writing that cause great concern. Just last night I heard Steve say something I’ve NEVER heard a CC pastor say before. It was MOST ENCOURAGING! It’s progress either way.

    MLD, how about you let anyone who thinks I’m being abusive to them, tell me themselves, instead of you speaking for them.

  278. OK, you are abusive to me.

  279. Chile says:

    Reuben’s 285 is true.

    I experience/watch some of the most horrendous destruction of Christian’s lives, see the patterns, find out tons of people have seen the same patterns from many other places, and I then have some questions and valid concerns.

    I ask. I get vague answers, if any. (Not just referring to this board.)

    If I get answers that use the same words and sentence construction as the lies I’ve been told in the past, so I ask clarifying questions to see if their statements are true. Some call me out as “harassing” or asking for too much. So I still don’t have answers.

    I read the philosophy and principles of CC ministry and can see the roots of the issues I encountered, so I want to know how one deals with these in order to wear the brand? It’s a valid question. Doug actually asks the questions I have and he’s told he’s “exhausting,” wanting to “fight,” and a “colossal waste of time.”

    How is a person ever supposed to know how one can wear the brand and it be good, if I can’t ever ask or get real solid verifiable answers? This is not a bully tactic here, what I want is for you to walk in my shoes for a moment and think about what you would do? How would you ever know anything besides the abusive nature of a CC brand if you could not ask or get real answers?

  280. MLD, your #150 was pretty insightful.

  281. Chile says:

    Don’t just say I’m abusive, show me how I was, MLD.

    You keep saying things but there’s nothing I’ve done and you know it.

  282. Chile says:

    Read further, Derek, because we don’t disdain authority. At least, I know I don’t.

  283. monax says:

    MLD, from where I’m reading—YOU, if anyone, appears to be the abusive one with your twisted ignorance and impeding arrogance… unless, of course, you’re just clowning around… still, though, not very edifying imho.

    i’m behind just about everything Chile is bringing here, and i want to affirm her spirit and the heart of truth, love and grace I find in her words. bless you Chile!

    i’ve finally finished reading everyone’s comments… thank you everyone. i am getting a real education…

  284. You know Chile, if you didn’t keep hinting in posts about your past (maybe present?) as a reporter maybe people would be more forthcoming. I am surprised that any CC pastor would talk to you knowing that. Puts a whole new spin on “real solid verifiable answers”?
    And hey I am not telling any CC pastor to not talk to you, I am just saying that I would be wary.

  285. TL;DR
    Read enough thank you. CC stuff gets boring on every thread.

  286. mrtundraman says:

    “I am surprised that any CC pastor would talk to you knowing that.”

    Says a whole lot about what you think about CC pastors.

    When I am told that I am a fighter I take that as a compliment. Most CC pastors just meet meek sheeples. I take this passage seriously:

    “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort [you] that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. ”

    “Earnestly contending” is not a trait that CC pastors agree with. Why should they waste their time with people like Chile and me? There are so many other sheeple out there. Why go after these ones?

  287. No, says a whole lot about what I think about reporters Dougie.

  288. Chile says:

    Derek, I wasn’t hinting. I was a news reporter many years ago. Not today. I’ve already declared that.

    If a CC pastor would not talk with someone because they thought they were a reporter, thendo they have something to hide? Do you not know that reporters/writers have read here? It’s in CT articles.

    This blog is a public blog. Words here are forever. Everyone comes to the blogosphere knowing that. You are in permanent record, Derek, and so are we all.

    If you think CC pastors have something to hide, then you should warn them not to post online, ever.

  289. Chile says:

    Thanks, Monax!

  290. monax says:

    Please know, there is a false authority the faithful fight against!

    Our Christian understanding of true authority must be grounded in the clear authority of Scripture.

    I regard what Fly says here as an example of false authority:

    We are all subservient to the Pastor. I don’t have a problem with that.

    From my present understanding I have a problem with that. I see it as being unbiblical.

    Can someone here Scripturally ground this idea for me? Not nebulously with a handful of verses, But someone who has has actually spent some exegetical time in places like Hebrews 13:17 and possesses at least a working knowledge of the original languages. From my reading of the Bible—I don’t see this to be true. I am here to be educated.

  291. I don’t care if I am in permanent record or not. I am a little peon, a layperson, no CC attender. Really this whole CC discussion sometimes to me seems like a waste of time. The problem is not CC, or baptists, or Lutherans….it is about human sin. if you think reforming CC will actually stop people from sinning then I don’t really know what to tell you.

  292. Alex says:

    DT what is interesting is that I think it’s been flipped upside down. The Church wants to legislate Rules and Morality on Gays and those outside the church…despite:

    1 Corinthians 5:12 What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside?

    …and often say, “well everyone sins, every Church System has problems” to justify not pushing for Rules and Moral Standards within Church Systems.

    Seems a bit weird and a contradiction, IMO.

  293. Alex says:

    Seems if one were to take the Position of: “if you think reforming CC will actually stop people from sinning then I don’t really know what to tell you.”

    Then why force a Moral Standard with regard to Marriage? Why force Society into any type of Moral Standard and not the Church?

  294. Chile says:

    Derek, we’ve covered this point many times, maybe you weren’t here for it. The main point is that the CC true Moses Model that Chuck Smith designed and lays out in his principles of ministry and the Assisting Pastor booklet, is structured in such a way as to concentrate all the power into the pastor, and remove all meaningful accountability. This sets up even good men to fall, and gives everyone else no recourse if/when the pastor goes power crazy or openly falls.

    The system’s design allows real abuse to flourish freely. Other church systems can have plenty of sin, but if their design has any measures for people to hold a leader accountable, or for the falsely accused to have reasonable recourse, there is -at least- a chance at correcting the inevitable wrongs. A true Moses Model without any corrective measures, has no way to address any issues.

    I hope that you can see that the outcry of many is from the many abuses that have been enabled and empowered to happen within this MM system. There have been, and continue to be, a great deal of carnage. Those of us who have been up close and personal with the carnage, want to see others warned and the system corrected.

    This was the lesson of Penn State, recently. Even entrenched ways of doing things can be changed to protect people. The changes needed in the CC structure will serve to protect pastors, as well. The pastors on here say they have made such changes. One day, I hope I can see their by-laws to know if it’s really as they say. That would be most encouraging. In the meantime, it helps a lot whenever I hear one tell me that they recognize certain issues to be real, or that some things Chuck laid out in the training booklets are not good. This tells me that they actually understand and acknowledge some of these serious issues; because without that, then no franchise would even have a chance to be safe.

  295. Sorry Alex, this thread went south long ago. Not really feeling it right now.
    I think the anti-CC people will eventually run everyone else off this blog. Been thinking about taking a break from it myself.
    I would like to say though that I have seen your change and it has been appreciated.

  296. Reuben says:

    Derek,

    I think the reforming CC issue is fueled by those who were hurt, and they found out that there were countless others hurt, by the same system, and something has to change. So when I look at CC, I see a system that has laid waste to numerous, and I see reasons why, and I seek protection for the Body of Christ.

    Since my bad experience with CC, I have found others. Their stories make mine look silly. Some of those stories are so bad that I lose sleep. I wonder who will do the right thing, and put a stop to the madness. I look around, and I see people “aww shucks” situations, or blow them off as mountains out of mole hills, or even attack the abused for having the audacity to question the system.

    What I see is a small handful of people who have attempted to incite change. Michael, Alex, Jezzy B, Doug…

    These people have seen hurt beyond what is bearable for most humans, and still somehow keep sanity. They become the shoulders to cry on for pain so overpowering…

    They have made it known that it is not ok to have to endure abuses from pulpits.

    I look at myself, and I ask myself, what am I doing to stop the madness? I am ashamed to say not much.

    Others have come to me with their own stories. People from a church I used to be a pastor and elder at. People from churches I used to work closely with, and hailed as massive works of God. I see and hear the pain. What shocks me is that almost every story is the same. Most stories stem from the same problems, or in the case of CC, the same problem, singular.

    Reforming CC will not stop people from sinning. Reforming CC will prevent quite a bit of the wreckage left behind.

  297. monax says:

    This layman concept—where do I find this in the Word of Truth?

    . .

    Chili (176) wrote: I was in a CC along with many others and we all got kicked out when we approached the pastor about habitual unrepentant sin in the camp.

    Chili, would you please contact me through my gmail @ DiscerningSpiritualAbuse (see my gravatar)? I’m doing research on the CC system. I’m also looking for examples of members getting “kicked out” after attempting to hold their pastors accountable.

  298. #305…more of the same. TL;DR. Will it never end. This was a Things I Think with no reference to CC in the article, but it went there anyways as usual.

  299. Alex says:

    Sorry to hear that DT, I think your voice adds a lot to the conversation. Blessings bro.

  300. And I am out of here for the nonce. Peace!

  301. Well one last thing.
    I was a tanker for 21 years and here is a quote from the Tanker’s General.

    If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking. ~George S. Patton

    Peace!

  302. erunner says:

    Chile, It’s vitally important that those who seek reform do so in a way that honors God instead of becoming a vendetta. Having witnessed that here in spades through the years it’s understandable that CC pastors are going to be less forthcoming than you desire. Trust is earned.

  303. Chile says:

    Monax, my email on the computer isn’t working yet. I’ll email you later when I have access.

  304. Chile says:

    Erunner, trust is earned. I have yet to see a CC pastor work to regain the trust of those abused within the brand they promote. May have happened, I’ve just not seen it.

    I think the whole point of a pastor’s heart is to reach out to people where they are, be the servant, be the adult, be the first to speak kindly, love people … be like Christ.

    When I see abused people ask questions and onus is put on the abused to earn the trust of the leaders to get answers, something is backwards.

    It is not understandable why any pastor would not be forthcoming.

  305. An the MTMers line up in lock step around each other. I remember reading about this in Salem 400 yrs ago.

    Look, I left CC long ago over theological issues – but my lack of hatred for them or the movement should not be held up as impeding reform.

    “Hate them or you are just like them” my loose translation of the MTMers moto.

  306. Chile says:

    “my lack of hatred for them or the movement should not be held up as impeding reform.”–MLD

    It’s not.

    You change what’s being said every time you post.

  307. erunner says:

    Chile, Can a pastor be hurt, betrayed,mistreated? Yes they can. Alex and Doug are guilty of that in spades although Alex seems to have turned a corner.

    Who are the abused here asking the questions here??

  308. Reuben says:

    I sure don’t feel that way, MLD. Comparing it to the Salem Witch Trials?

    I have more hatred for the Dodgers than I do for Calvary Chapel. 😛

  309. “is structured in such a way as to concentrate all the power into the pastor,”

    Just what is “all power” – my goodness, we are talking about a local church. These guys have no power in the community – they don’t even know 90% of the people who attend their church – how the hell do they exert power over the faceless people. Most of the attendees don’t even do the basic subservience of attending church each Sunday. The average attendance span of an attendee is probably shorter than the career expectancy of a football player (4.2 yrs).

    I think that the MTMers worshiped their pastors early on and think everyone did. Most, probably over 80% have probably never served in their church and only sat – the pastor “with the power” could not move them off the dime..

    These wicked “abusers” can’t even capture the attention of their own folks. This is fantasy talk.

  310. “I have more hatred for the Dodgers than I do for Calvary Chapel”

    Speaking of that, we are about 11 days away from opening day.

    We bought two 51″ screens today for the guys in the office. Were ready to rock n roll come April 1. 🙂

  311. Chile says:

    Erunner, the weight of responsibility lies on the shoulders of those given leadership positions, those entrusted with the pastoral ministry, those who represent the brand. It is not on those who who’ve been abused, and those who ask legitimate questions about the system from which the abuses were able to flourish.

  312. Chile, I can keep quoting your words;
    “MLD, do you realize that the role you are playing is to impede any progress that could be made…”

    Just tell me where I changed the meaning. Did you really mean to say I was being helpful?

  313. Chile says:

    MLD … since you don’t know what you are talking about and are apparently unknowledgeable about how CC Moses Models work, you should probably not weigh in on the subject. Maybe you could do some homework, find out, and then you might have something to add.

  314. Reuben says:

    I am ashamed to say that the worlds biggest Rockies fan has to watch the games on MLB.tv via Roku after the fact, or listen to the games on the radio.

    The radio part I don’t mind at all. Our announcers are top notch. Watching the game late is a bummer.

    We got rid of Cable. :/

  315. Reuben says:

    Oh Chile, I have to defend MLD on that one, He has been hearing how MM works since PhxP was invented.

  316. erunner says:

    Chile, You didn’t answer my question. Who are the abused ones here who are asking the questions? Are you referring to you, Alex, and Doug?

  317. Chile, so if a bunch of us were to each stand outside of a CC next Sunday and we asked people, “do you feel abused by your pastor or church” – just for giggles, what percent to you think would answer yes?

    Now if they answered “no” would you be satisfied or would your feel compelled to tell them why they should have answered “yes”?

  318. Chile says:

    “MLD, do you realize that the role you are playing is to impede any progress that could be made through some understanding between those of us with legitimate issues and the CC pastors.”–Chile

    Pretty self explanatory.

    The pastors have told me a couple of helpful and encouraging things. That’s progress. It would also be progress if they better understood where people like me are coming from.

    You impede the progress either way, each time you jump in and tell me to stop talking with them, when they are not complaining or asking me to stop. You divert the conversation, throw in comments that are unbecoming a Christian, and make sweeping false allegations that you change each time you are countered with truth.

  319. Chile,
    “MLD … since you don’t know what you are talking about and are apparently unknowledgeable about how CC Moses Models work,”

    I thought I was the poster boy – I was at Ocean Hills for the whole Skip thing. Isn’t he the Master MM guy – the Master Abuser?

    Think before you type.

  320. Chile, I have never told you to stop talking to them – I told you to stop beating on them.

  321. The difference is that I didn’t suck up to him and I didn’t move into his neighborhood to be close to him – like you did to your pastor.

    I taught my classes twice a week, and did not let him interfere.

  322. Chile says:

    Where did I beat on a pastor?

  323. Reuben,
    When baseball starts I will go easy on you – I think you will have enough misery on the diamond. 😉

  324. “Where did I beat on a pastor?”

    Only when you touch your keyboard. You are blind to it, so I won’t try to convince you.

  325. Michael says:

    First, my apologies for being an absentee owner…I’m a tired old boy.
    We’re reaching the point of diminishing returns here…though I don’t fault anyone for that.
    Part of the problem is that the guys who post here from CC have the brand, but not the characteristics of the abusers we all want to deal with.
    I know Steve and Steve pretty well…(Hopkins and I have met on more than one occasion) and it’s not in their emotional or spiritual makeup to be bad guys.
    Shaun cleaned up a very nasty situation in his church…and he feels more keenly than most exactly what we’re talking about.
    You guys are asking excellent questions…but I’m not sure how much farther we can progress.
    I think a break is probably in order…

  326. Chile says:

    “like you did to your pastor.”–MLD

    Why do you make stuff up?

    I lived in my neighborhood before the others either moved in or became assistants. I never idolized a pastor, ever. I came to CC from a healthy church and had no clue any church could be this bad. Healthy churches don’t exalt pastors or keep them in the spotlight.

    You make assumptions and declare it to be so with zero evidence.

  327. Chile says:

    Ok, Michael. But for the record, I’m not asking the questions in order to decide if these guys are good or bad. I’m asking them to see if anyone in the brand can see the problems; and if so, can they tell me their perspective. We’ve only gotten past “go” a couple times, but then others tell us to stop and divert the conversation. It’s pretty frustrating.

  328. Alex says:

    I agree with Michael’s 337

    Back on topic, I am pretty sure I found proof of Gay Purgatory 😆

    http://youtu.be/SXf6oYafHtQ

  329. Hey Michael
    Gonna be gigging Saturday April 6 th at the Goodbean on Jville. Speaking the following Sunday morning at Heritage. Be nice to see you at the gig

  330. Michael says:

    Steve,
    If I don’t have Trey I’ll swing by…I love the guys at Heritage.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.