Why the Gospel For Asia Story Matters

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20 Responses

  1. EricL says:

    They have something against “happy” bloggers? Just reclaiming the gay word 🙂

    Thanks for keeping it up, Michael. When servant-leaders have lost the servant part of their job and act as bosses of a church, sometimes it takes outsiders to talk truth into their fictional world. It make them uncomfortable, but hopefully it will also bring about healthy change and a return to being servants of Christ and the church.

    Sometimes, I wish quarterly foot-washing was mandatory of all church leaders. Some of those mega pastors would have second thoughts about expanding if every three months they had to wash the feet of every church attender. I think many of them would quit after the first half-dozen. Can you imagine them washing thousands of pairs of feet? And having to do so every three months? That might bring back the servant part of servant-leader.
    🙂

  2. Bob says:

    “Some decided to do so to work for GFA…and I watched as they seemed to lose the ability to think for themselves and were being crushed by having to raise their own salaries to do clerical work for a missions organization.”

    I have to admit that I have no problem with people volunteering and providing their own pennies to go on ministry even when it is as simple as clerical work.

    What I object to is being lied to.

    There’s a teacher (yes a real live teacher) I like who has a 501c3 organization and each year publishes the organization’s required IRS filings. No hiding anything at all, the majority of the money goes to staff salaries.

    Of course this organization also doesn’t say they are feeding the poor and publishing pictures of the poor and needy to get my sympathy (and dollars). It’s strictly about teaching the subject to the hearers.

  3. Kevin H says:

    Thanks for sticking with this Michael.

    Same for Throckmorton. When I first started reading a couple things on Throckmorton’s blog a couple years ago, I had also seen criticisms of his stances on homosexuality. However, just like you apparently saw on the live chat feed last night, the criticisms had nothing to do with the topic of homosexuality but rather were being used as an attack on his character because they didn’t agree with whatever the other topics Throckmorton was dealing with. That is what helped me to know that there is probably some pretty good validity to the things Throckmorton was writing about because his critics weren’t (or couldn’t) mustering an attack on the subject at hand, but rather resorted to attacking his character instead.

  4. Kevin H says:

    It would be interesting if you were able to get and publish any feedback anybody at the conference got from GFA (at those few times when somebody was available to speak to). Did they get any direct answers about the financial questions? Did they get any direct answers about the issues brought up by the GFA Diaspora group?

  5. JoelG says:

    From an outsiders point of view I was wondering why this Yohannan fellow is “untouchable”. I get it now. In the world of evangelicalism those that preach being “radical” for Jesus are a cut above the rest of us slackers.

  6. CrucifiED says:

    One of the many reasons I left CC. All of that talk of transparency seemed to go out the door anytime a major pastor or ministry was being questioned.

    After I started pastoring, and sat in the senior pastor meetings at the pastor’s conferences, I started witnessing how men were rebuked by the speakers for asking questions about what was going on in the bigger churches. Valid questions if you ask me since everyone back in their small churches were hearing about some fishy stuff going on.

    I had seen it before and didn’t want to believe it, but when I saw how the major pastors addressed the minor pastors the year I was at the ECPC and Heitzig has just been written about in Christianity Today, the Lord started to open my eyes.

  7. Michael says:

    EricL,

    They would just add staff to foot wash or bring in coin operated foot washing machines…

  8. EricL says:

    Alas, you are right, Michael. Well then, let’s make it mandatory AND the two of us can start a business building foot washing machines. Maybe the leaders won’t learn how to be servants, but at least we would make tons of money 🙂

    CrucifiED- sorry to hear about your bad experience. Although I’m no longer in CC myself, I know some awesome CC pastors. I just wish more of them had greater power in the group, but then they are the kind of guys who don’t grab for that power.

    KevinH- thanks also to you, for helping put the GFA stuff into succinct posts and comments. This story needs to be told. May it end in repentance and more openness by that ministry.

  9. dswoager says:

    On a tangent… This reminded me that when all of the Driscoll stuff was going down, and I was talking to my wife about it, she had no idea who Mark Driscoll was, but exactly who Warren Throckmorton was given that she graduated with a degree in psychology from Grove City College. Small world.

  10. CrucifiED says:

    EricL, I agree. My heart still goes out to all of the genuine CC gospel pastors, especially those in the small churches who receive little to no help from the bigger churches that sent them there to plant churches and are told to shut-up when they have questions about the stories they hear in our Christian media about their own organization.

    I pray they all have the strength to be a model of the Gospel while they are there, and have the wisdom to go if the organization of CC would ever cause them to compromise that Gospel or the transparent nature of the Gospel. That’s what it started to become for me and left when I had a good chance to move on from it all.

    Most people chose not to remain our friends, but I have a great love for the very few friends I still have there. And praise God he has given me many new friends in my new church home.

  11. conscientious objector says:

    Skip to 6:40… this sums up CC/GFA pretty well!

  12. Em says:

    “coin operated foot washing machines” … you’ve given someone an idea … let’s put them right at the door to the main floor of the sanctuary … wash your feet or go to the balcony … now let’s see what would be a fair price? one dollar – would it cost more to set up to make change? … somewhere, right now this is being discussed, i just know it

    thank you, Michael, for the funny thoughts in my head right now…. comic relief

  13. Michael says:

    For the record, I’ve talked to a few guys who are unwilling to go on record.
    The answers they’ve got are the ones we’ve already heard…and no one has come out completely assured.
    I do know many have ceased support until they are.

  14. Xenia says:

    Some people are called by God to join organizations that seem to outsiders to be quite cultic. These places are called monasteries.

    Here’s what’s different between GFA and a monastery:

    1. Everyone knows before going in the kind of austere, self-denying place a monastery is. No surprises. You know that if you go all the way with monasticism, you will leave your family, have no spouse, will be getting up in the middle of the night for hours of prayer and will be required to obey the rules of the monastery and the abbot/ abbess. I think some of the GFA people were shocked at what was required of them.

    2. There’s a probationary period that can last for years where a novice can decide if this is the life for him or her. He or she can leave any time with no hard feelings. In fact, sometimes it is hard to get a monastery to accept you!

    3. There is a 1700-year history of monastic experience where the leadership knows what works and what doesn’t work; what is reasonable and what is impossible. GFA has no such experience.

    4. Monasteries are not para-church ministries, they are under the governance of the local bishop who can yank their charter at the drop of a hat if he sees misconduct. I think KP is a law unto himself.

    5. Monasteries are part of the Church as a whole and cannot dream up their own theology and unOrthodox practices. We all follow the fasting calendar; they follow it more strictly, for example.

    IOW, monasticism, which would surely appear cultic to most of you, has many safeguards built in.

  15. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    Well done.

  16. Xenia says:

    Thank you Michael.

  17. SJ says:

    If I may ask, which CC pastors put the kybosh on the KP questions in the live feed chat?

  18. Kevin H says:

    SJ,

    I don’t think Michael stated that it was CC pastors who were dismissing the questions about K.P. and GFA. He simply stated that it was some people in the chat room of the live feed of the conference. It could have been anybody with a device with internet capability.

  19. SJ says:

    Yah, I saw that, it’s all anonymous.

  20. Set Free says:

    Xenia, your first point is 100% correct. I know, because I was there. Not only are staff and students not given an understanding of the increasingly monastic leanings of life under KP, any questions to KP or other top leaders about his future vision regarding monastic expectations are greeted with either silence (the most common response), feigned ignorance, or denials and generic reassurances.

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