June 11, 2007

Our Story - How We Were Purpose Driven OUT part 1

This is meant to be a raw running account of correspondence we had during the time of our church struggle/trial. I apologize for the length. It was just much easier to do this way when we brought it over from the old site than many individual posts. I kept most of my correspondence and didn't alter it to make myself look better, hence you will see a LOT of frustration from qeylar (Paula) and Cyrano (Jason) and others who were involved. It was very difficult to make sense of what was going on and that confusion and the resultant anger and emotion I didn't attempt to hide. This is just ....how it was. This is the 'authentic relationship' version so you purpose drivers and emergents shouldn't have any problem with that.

I tried to fix most links. There may be a few that are still not working.  And the formatting is pretty weird, but would be a lot to go through and fix, so I may, or may not. I see our pdf's are missing off the server, so those will have to be fixed too.

Names of minor players have been changed. But suffice it to say, the church we are dealing with here is Oak Heights Evangelical Covenant Church and the pastor at that time was Todd Ertsgaard, heretofore known as Loki (with Sigyn as his wife of course). The Northwest Conference Director at the time was Jim Fretheim (still there as I write this up in March '08). I have heard more and more stories of Jim's roles in similar events in other Covenant Churches. People need to be made aware of his two faced behavior.

Summer 2004
Jul 09, 08:10 PM (qeylar)

Church Council convenes a subcommittee on how to incorporate an elder and deacon board into our Covenant Church. (membership around 150 – new church building in 2001) . Worship Director Fred on the Council offers to organize it. He asks all present including the Pastor whether they would like to be involved. All decline.
I was asked by Fred if I would participate because as he says ‘he respects my opinion.’ I agreed. Well after that how can I say no? (ha!) He also rounded up four other men to be on the panel: Max (our local KJV only Arminian) Vern, and Gil. So that makes five altogether. We met approximately four or five times over the next several months, and used pretty much Scripture (e.g. 1 Tim 3, Titus 1 and so on) to come up with guidelines. As the Evangelical Covenant Church prides itself on its motto “Where is it Written?” to determine positions on everything, allowing personal discretion on things that qualify as adiaphora, we didn’t worry about consulting any books written by Man. We did however consult other church constitutions just for ideas regarding the practical aspects of organizing structure. (e.g. Term limits, how many for what size church etc.)
Our basic recommendation went something like this (I wish I had kept a copy but the whole thing ended up thrown out later so I figured why bother…):
Elders according to Scripture were responsible for supporting the pastor’s work—filling in for him when he was absent, prayer, some counseling, spiritual guidance, and church discipline. They had to be men since it was clear from Scripture that women were not to have a place of spiritual authority over the men in the church.
During this time while we were meeting and coming up with these recommendations, while they were still being formatted, Fred who had volunteered to organize the subcommittee reported that the Church Chair had called him and asked how we were doing and that … ‘some people’ were concerned that we were going to force our recommendation on the church.
I sat there agog as no one had made ANY noises like that at church or anywhere else. Who would have come up with that idea? The only thing I could figure was they looked at the makeup of the subcommittee and realized at least two, maybe three (third would have been me) of the five were probably known for being opinionated (but not controlling or belligerent). This alerted me that a power struggle was in the works already… and since what we were going on was Scripture—why was there a power struggle?
Essentially our recommendation was this:
Deacons were more of a serving role in the practical day to day ministry of the church, and so women could be deaconnesses, and the guidelines for character (e.g. Having had past struggles with sin e.g. Divorce, remarriage, etc.) were not quite as stringent, assuming real repentance from those actions.
The four men and I (the token woman on the panel) met four times and came up with this. I honestly felt outclassed in Bible knowledge by the men and didn’t say a whole lot, but we all enjoyed each other’s company and at the end one of the men said he cannot remember having such a wonderful discussion with such a great group of people. I echoed the sentiment. By now it was getting into the Fall season.

Pastor End-Arounds Subcommittee Recommendation
The recommendation was mailed to the Council so they could read it and discuss it at the next meeting.
Within a day the Pastor had mailed out his own letter emphasizing how strongly he disagreed with our recommendation.
(names removed)


I did not get this, the Council did, and they are for the most part all in pastor’s camp. So coming by a copy isn’t the easiest thing anymore.
This raised alarm bells all over the place in the subcommittee. While we weren’t assuming (and actually not expecting) that they would just rubber stamp our recommendation, we were NOT expecting pastor to do an end-around and undermine it, or poison the waters before it even got to the table.
Pastor generally is a very genial, cheerful, outgoing man. This kind of manipulative tactic pulled me up short in my assessment of him and opened the door in my mind to further searching to find out what was going on with him.

Jan 2005

Thoughts on music and 'diaconates'
Jan 31, 08:19 PM (qeylar)
It occurred to me at church on Sunday ….
This worship band has Tina up there signing the words.
I had forgotten but it on Sunday it popped back into my head that a long time ago I asked her if she would be interested in signing with live music – because there was a song we both loved that she was interested in doing. (the first few times, she just signed to music played over the sound system). She shook her head and kind of mumbled some negative answer which was mostly “no, not really,..no,. no nah, no.” mumbling with no explanation. I almost got the impression she was embarrassed to say what she was thinking.
Yet she’s up there with them now? She seems to be doing fine. What’s with that? Don’t get me wrong, I love that she’s up there doing it but…
What is it about me that drives people the other direction? *And considering your personalities, would any of you guys even notice? ;-)*
And how about that subcommittee we were involved in? They talked about the issue and didn’t even MENTION that we had discussed it. They basically wasted our time completely, despite the ‘apology’ Loki gave to Fred. I kept looking at you on Sunday, Fred and you seemed to be mostly studying your hands and looking up as placidly as you could at Phil as he went over this topic and I thought for SURE you’d glance over to acknowledge that big elephant in the living room that I know you all know is there too. I found it amusing that you didn’t look. heh heh.
These structural changes then being voted on next month – the adoption of a ‘diaconate’ (so much more user-friendly term…) which will be basically elders and deacons (as we defined them) all lumped into one position. This is far too much for one person to deal with in my opinion, not to mention being gender neutral. Oh goody. So it’s going to say “godly men and women” for describing eligibility. They will not mention divorce status, or anything like that which is explicitly mentioned in the Scriptures. (“Gosh, where is it written again? The apocrypha?”). I can’t wait till next month’s meeting. I get to make waves! (as well as the rest of us on the subcommittee). Pastor did the end-around us when we submitted our findings. I felt better once I read the apology, which IMO should have been issued to ALL of us, not just Fred.
But now I’m beginning to wonder if the ‘apology’ wasn’t a real apology, just a method of pacification which automatically comes when someone who doesn’t like confrontation is confronted. Instead of looking at the issue honestly, say you’re sorry and it will go away like magic….
Silly us, we didn’t realize when we joined either, that the Covenant Church endorsed women oridination. We assumed with a motto ‘where is it written’ that women wouldn’t be ordained into the ministry. I talked to Gil who said he really strongly wonders if our recommendations ever made it to the Council or if pastor just snuffed it right there when we first submitted it, and wrote his letter ‘strongly disagreeing’ (I sent you that one didn’t I?) Cyrano said he was blown away by the question Vern asked – how it was phrased is going to have to make people realize what’s going on, but without sounding like he’s trying to do that.
There are also those constitutional changes being put forth – and guess what the most significant change is? They are striking the scripture reference from 1 Tim 3 about elders and deacons from the constitution! I can understand striking the actual text but at least leave the reference in! Go figure.
It’s bringing up imagery from Animal Farm. Just change one word here and there, and no one will notice. Come now, let’s get that frog a-boiling! I am rehearsing what I’m going to say next month. That “silly us” comment is one of them. Maybe I can serve as the poster child for why women shouldn’t be ordained?
*smile*
Now I am going to go and bang my forehead against the wall some more whilst I seriously contemplate writing my mind to Loki.

More diaconate thoughts
I just talked to Steve [last name] on the phone. His concerns were more practical than doctrinal, and also quite good. I hadn’t even thought of the practical part, I was so distracted by the doctrinal aspect. Basically he wonders why we need another layer of beauraucracy at this point when the church is still so small. What we need are more foot soldiers. We can’t even get those, so who is going to want more work?(my aside: sure they might want the power, but that’s not what it’s supposed to be about)
He is planning on voicing these concerns about it just before we vote, but he thought our plan to come up with a concise way to voice ours as well is a good idea. He didn’t want to attach his name to it at this time because they’re so new to the church, but he won’t be voting in favor of the changes, he said. His thoughts were that along with him, we who are concerned on the doctrinal issues should also stand up and say something as well before the vote so that it people get another visual reminder of the fact that it wasn’t unanimous. He had gotten the impression it was so unanimous that he didn’t ask all the questions he thought of asking on Sunday. He said it sounded like it was pretty much a done deal. (go figure! I am sure that’s exactly why they phrased it the way they did.) I assured him that wasn’t the reason at least some of us were being so quiet and then explained that. (I am playing out the scenario in my mind of you looking at me, Fred, and both of us cracking up—and Phil trying desperately not to notice) Either way, I said that I think it’s about time we are open and honest about our positions so that things can be discussed and resolved without a lot of rumors and backbiting. In my opinion that’s about the only way to minimize that kind of thing is to be forthright and unafraid to attach one’s name to a position.

Max weighs in
(Max was on the recommendation committee)
Since I wasn’t at that part of the meeting, then I am not sure about an “additional layer of bureaucracy .” Instead, I thought that Loki was focusing this group on the ever-so-present ‘care’ factor. In other words, hospital visitation, visiting those ‘regular attenders/members’ who have become ‘irregular’ would be their primary task. Not so much as a layer of accountability to which folks would answer or a group that preserves the doctrinal purity of the church…as we delineated in our committee.

qeylar replies
Well basically it would be adding spiritual care to what the council
already does – at least that’s my impression. And since when were those people on the Council chosen for that purpose? To now foist upon them a ministry they didn’t sign up for and may not be gifted for is unwise I think. And a month is nearly long enough for a congregation to even look at this issue in a practical sense even if you leave out the gender and divorce issues.
I could swear I heard Phil say “spiritual direction” of the church and
I definitely heard “church discipline” of “erring members.”

2/15/05 Email
Lucy – you weren’t there on Sunday, and please don’t take this to mean any comment on yours or Jane’s participation in Ron’s worship band…. just wanted to get that out of the way first. If you want to call and yak about it feel free. :-)
I can’t get this comment someone made to Cyrano about the music on Sunday out of my head. It wasn’t a bad comment, but to me it showed the true nature of this ‘worship band’—and the problems therein. The comment was something like this by Zack: “Oh Cyrano you guys are so good up there I wish you could just keep on going and going.”
And silly enough, I can do nothing but sit here and cry about it at 1:30 in the morning. Why is it suddenly hitting me like this? I can’t sleep, Cyrano is out of town for some computer thing. Maybe that’s part of it. But this music silliness greatly concerns me, not for the music itself, but for the… silliness… that surrounds it all.
Ed went on to say “I wish we could have a service without any message – just a whole service of praise and worship.”
I thought to myself “yeah, we do those things now and then. They’re called concerts.” And “Where would the hearing of the Word be then?” And that gave me genuine alarm. That someone would long to go to church and not hear the Word preached??!? What is wrong with our body of believers? And from a guy raised by missionaries, as I understand it?
So the rest of us who commit to singing regularly and who have helped hold this together all through these shenanigans are left looking lame and ‘untalented’ (for lack of a better description) while the congregation thinks we are excluding Ron and Ricky and all those ‘gifted’ musicians who end up by contrast looking “cool” and “hip” and that is quickly becoming equal to “spirit-led” or “anointed” or “spirit filled.” Does ANYONE know how LONG and OFTEN we have begged and cajoled and otherwise tried to convince them to play with us? Anyone at all? Zack’s comment served to answer that question for me – I sincerely doubt it.
I am seriously going to talk to Zack on Sunday and mention that the only reason we don’t have music like that more often is because the guys WON’T do it with us. The more I have read/heard the interchanges between Fred, Ron, Pastor, and Cyrano, the more I am convinced that [at least] unconsciously Ron approaches music as “my way or the highway.” I also thought about mentioning the comment to Ron himself and asking him to start setting people straight about how much time Cyrano and Fred spent trying to get him and Ricky involved and how many times Ricky basically stood us up. (I am not sure if Ron ever did that or just never committed to ‘be there,’ as Ricky did).
I am so frustrated by this. And the fact that the current ‘doctrinal question’ up before the congregation is not even on people’s radar is, for me, serving to bring BOTH issues into high relief.
I don’t want to sing special music, I don’t want to sing in the worship team, I don’t want to sing in the congregation (in fact, I didn’t on Sunday – I felt too upset once I finally finished collating and got into the Sanctuary) when I have all this hanging over my head. Now, at what point is that my problem, and at what point is that legitimate spiritual oppression because of the shenanigans that are going on? Right now I can’t imagine swallowing all this and volunteering to sing with the worship band [aside: anyone know where it is written that ‘david rebuilt the temple of praise” ??pshaw~! I guess that little jot / tittle isn’t that important… ]
Sorry …excuse me, pardon me…I feel a beat coming on ….
“oooooh…
there’s no God like Jehovah… there’s no God like Jehovah…
there’s no God like Jehovah…there’s no God like Jehovah…
there’s no God like Jehovah… there’s no God like Jehovah…
there’s no God like Jehovah… there’s no God like Jehovah…
there’s no God like Jehovah… there’s no God like Jehovah…
there’s no God like Jehovah… there’s no God like Jehovah…
there’s no God like Jehovah… there’s no God like Jehovah…
there’s no God like Jehovah… there’s no God like Jehovah…
there’s no God like Jehovah… there’s no God like Jehovah…
there’s no God like Jehovah… there’s no God like Jehovah…
there’s no God like Jehovah… there’s no God like Jehovah…
there’s no God like Jehovah… there’s no God like Jehovah…
there’s no God like Jehovah… there’s no God like Jehovah…
there’s no God like Jehovah… there’s no God like Jehovah…
there’s no God like Jehovah… there’s no God like Jehovah…
there’s no God like Jehovah… there’s no God like Jehovah…”
Ah excuse me for that. Just had to get that out. Anyone else have a mental image problem with the line about the bread of one’s tongue leaving a trail of crumbs… etc? I’m either thinking Cookie Monster or ya know, some old guy in the nursing home that can’t really coordinate his mouth anymore…
I’m sorry if I sound terribly cynical… I certainly do feel that way.
It’s becoming a chore just to go to church sometimes, and I spent most of last Sunday feeling upset. I feel like we have this challenge to move to the next level coming up in our church Body, but we are all talking past it (except for a handful of people who see the big elephant in the Sanctuary…) The only thing I really enjoyed was Sunday School when I got to watch an image of some guy I don’t personally know talking about creation/evolution and tying it to orthodox Christian doctrine. [A nearly extinct bird nowadays…]
frustrated, but hopefully able to sleep now…

Talking to Fred about music
Feb 14, 11:30 AM (qeylar)
About the only things that I would disagree with you on are that 1. I am not convinced that Ron’s ‘my way or the highway’ attitude is unintentional. I think it is intentional,
Ok—I guess I can give in a bit on that one. ;-) I try to put the best construction on motives generally. I think he very well could be doing it intentionally because deep down he thinks we’re wrong or he’s been “called to serve” in this manner. Too bad he’s also not gifted to serve in this manner… you can’t lead music and lead rehearsals when you know precious little music theory, and much less than the people you’re trying to instruct – have I told you the times he’s tried to correct people and I would just sit there and go “what is he talking about???” – incredibly frustrating and it seemed to me that I watched many people who were involved in the beginning, although they may not have been able to articulate why, get discouraged by not being able to please the guy. I just figured out posthaste that he didn’t know what he was talking about, tried to do my best, and waited for any opportunity in which I might with tact be able to say “but I don’t understand what you want, Ron…?”
For example one time he frustrated [an instrumentalist] by writing up a harmony part for her to play with that Sunday night youth band they did for a while. Now, it strikes me odd that someone who can’t read music would try to write it… and then try to keep correcting her when she didn’t play it the way he had in mind.
There was also a comment made about she and I trying to do a duet sometime (I wasn’t there, Cyrano overheard this) and Ron said “Yeah but qeylar would expect you to play the right notes.”
What was THAT supposed to mean? A comment on my pickiness or a comment on her level of playing (she has improved since then but string instruments are bar none the toughest instruments to learn to play even passably. She’d better have a tough teacher.)
I believe that in all likelihood, for the last three years certain individuals have been seeing my attitude and leadership as a ‘Fred’s way or the highway’ kind of thing and have been using that to legitimize nonparticipation. To a small degree that is legitimate.
Yep I agree – It definitely can be perceived that way. Except that it was the whole worship committee, who wouldn’t be afraid to disagree with you if they felt it necessary, that came up with the ‘guidelines’ (which are completely disregarded now anyway – so how does the ‘my way or the highway’ thing hold together under honest scrutiny…? Honest being the working word there….)
Say if Chrissi jumps up and starts singing with the worship band I think we ought to include [our daughter] too. She’s got at least as much ability (less experience) than Chrissi does. (I have nothing against Chrissi – she has a better ear than her dad… and I’m sure she loves the Lord.)
It is impossible to truly lead without rubbing some folks this way. The only alternative is to fall into the leading by consensus fallacy and all that really does is drive it underground. 2. Please don’t take this as criticism, but I am concerned for you that you are experiencing so much anger over this that it is keeping you from worshiping.
Oh absolutely – but I have always had fuller worship experiences in choral rehearsals (e.g. minnesota valley chorale etc.) and daily, watching the sun rise and flowers bloom, reading creation/evolution books, sitting in anatomy class, than in any church I have been in. You’re an artist so I’m betting you know what I mean. If I wanted to be as picky about the music as these people are being, I’d have to go to .. ya know, St Olaf or something just to worship. I have a lot higher musical standards than I have ever applied to church because worship is so much more than just music. But the ‘extra’ thing that makes church music into worship – namely the connection with others in the body, despite our differences, is being eroded away more and more. I find the very small circle we have going between you, Cyrano, Max, Lucy, Harry, [another worship leader], very encouraging, but that’s a pretty small slice of the pie at church.
I do feel better (more resigned than anything) this morning. But I still tangibly resent what is going on at church. Believe me I’m trying to figure out whether this is legitimate indignation or has become just a personal grudge.
but I don’t believe He wants any of us to self-destruct over it.
Oh, don’t worry about that. I’m not going to self destruct. :-)
I have had my bouts of anger of this and other issues as well ([my wife] usually calms me down)
Yeah—I think that would help if Cyrano was here to hash over this again (for the zillionth time)—
but I refuse to let it keep me from worshiping (though having Ron continually add words to the music, unexpected key changes, harmonies that don’t harmonize
LOL! I was in the office putting Cyrano’s papers together, and Ron’s mic was turned up louder in the balance than anyone else’s of course. The hair on the back of my neck went up. Honestly if there wasn’t this baggage it may have made me shake my head but if I could trust his motives, I would probably laugh and think “praise God we all sound like scratchy old violins to him and he loves it anyway!”
My biggest challenge in all of this right now is a deep, all pervading sense of sadness. I feel like I am watching Our Church implode and degenerate into just one more spiritually empty church and there is nothing I can do about it (I tried but right now I think even the other members of the council have been just humoring me as being one more ‘out of touch conservative’ that has to be tolerated for the sake of peace but quietly marginalized).
Hmmm….. I wonder if more young conservatives stood up…
For so long I have wanted to get this all out in the open. That Dan Adler seminar would be great for opening up the discussion. I think too often this stuff gets talked around in committees and church members never get to hear what’s really going on. (case in point at the annual meeting)
I too found the hypnotic thrubbing of ‘No God like Jehovah” to have crossed over from irritating to annoying to alarming to just plain silly. I don’t need to be ‘conditioned’ to worship God and I don’t believe anyone else needs to be either; As for the bread-crumb thing – what a gross image! I mentioned at dinner that it may be in scripture somewhere though none of us could think of where – Gloria suggested maybe the Cotton Patch translation – but it is still a crude and gross image.
[aside: anyone know where it is written that ‘david rebuilt the temple of praise” ??pshaw~! I guess that little jot / tittle isn’t that important… ]
I would guess this is referring to the fact that David resurrected the ministry of music in the temple—
The temple wasn’t built until Solomon.
dedicating several individuals, family lines etc to singing, playing music, etc., also was responsible for having large numbers of musical instruments manufactured. He also did much to strengthen the daily practice of worship – since he wasn’t allowed to build the physical temple, I guess one could say that he did rebuild the ‘temple of praise’ among the Levites when he did all of this work with music and worship. My guess anyway.
Your guess but you know scripture as well. That was what I figured they must have been aiming at but for the people who don’t care about certain ‘minor’ facts they’re not going to think that deeply. Why not “psalms of praise” instead of “temple of praise”?
Christian praise song writers are for the most part too liberal in their art – they think because it sounds good it’s ok. No, it also has to accurately represent scripture. And like the bread on your tongue line, you HAVE to be aware of the image it creates for most people and how it is going to distract from or enhance worship. I mean, we are totally vulnerable and ‘naked’ spiritually before the Lord but would you put the word “naked” in a corporate worship song?
I get the impression from reading the Bible that they were pretty well established, developed and probably adhered to somewhat rigidly). That might make an interesting point of departure in a conversation with a lot of these folks who believe we should only have contemporary music.

Zack went on to say “I wish we could have a service without any message – just a whole service of praise and worship.”
I thought to myself “yeah, we do those things now and then. They’re called concerts.” And “Where would the hearing of the Word be then?” And that gave me genuine alarm. That someone would long to go to church and not hear the Word preached??!?
Maybe I just filtered everything through my own understanding, but this was my knee-jerk thought process to that:
  1. We’ve actually talked a bit about the opposite—a service with no music at all.

  2. A service with all music might be interesting, but it would need to cover more than the styles the band does in order to actually give a worship experience…
So I was thinking more in line of that, a service where the message and God’s Word would come not through preaching but through music. And I think that if the “psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs” approach were used, that such a service is possible without ignoring the hearing of the Word.
But that may have been my filtering, I don’t know—not sure if you or I had the more accurate take on what was actually said. We should probably talk through something that Dan Adler said re: worship and preaching.
Does ANYONE know how LONG and OFTEN we have begged and cajoled and otherwise tried to convince them to play with us? Anyone at all? Zack’s comment served to answer that question for me – I sincerely doubt it.
That’s a very legitimate and raw question. I’m putting together something for Tina as head of the committee and I’ll make sure it’s in that.
(I am not sure if Ron ever did that or just never committed to ‘be there,’ as [our drummer] did).
Any time Ron said he’d be there he was. I just didn’t ask him on a regular basis after he stepped away.
Right now I can’t imagine swallowing all this and volunteering to sing with the worship band [aside: anyone know where it is written that ‘david rebuilt the temple of praise” ??pshaw~! I guess that little jot / tittle isn’t that important… ]
I think it’s a legit poetic expression related to the writing of the Psalms, and in that context I don’t have a problem with it. Where it can become a problem is if everything is like that, if every lyric requires “interpretation” to fit into an accurate biblical understanding. If song selection (of any musical style) is predominantly “it speaks to me”, and actual clear expression of truth in lyric isn’t considered, then the criteria are wrong and the slope to “feeling worshipful” has been greased.

Music again (cont.)Feb 14, 12:32 PM (Cyrano)
About the only things that I would disagree with you on are that 1. I am not convinced that Ron’s ‘my way or the highway’ attitude is unintentional. I think it is intentional,
Ok—I guess I can give in a bit on that one. ;-) I try to put the best construction on motives generally.
FWIW, I think Ron has the right goal in mind (worship). I’d even say he generally has the right spirit about it; he really wants to only be an instrument to facilitate that worship. Unfortunately, the problem is in the details:
  1. His definition of worship is pretty good, but it shades in practice to the emotional. And IMO, others who see that emotion as essential to worship take that shading and darken it more, tying it more tightly to particular styles, and losing the right spirit.

  2. Ron has a real tunnel vision or naivite about how his own actions can be perceived or misinterpreted. “I mean well” and “I’m only trying to improve/lead worship” are not blanket pardons for behavior, nor do they prove that the behavior (or attitudes) are correct. It is frustrating to deal with someone who not only doesn’t apologize but doesn’t see any reason to understand why others might think he or she should.
This second point is something that I know has been especially trying for some. Most of Ron’s objections or concerns about what the worship team was trying to do were technical or practical ones. Many of his points were worth considering. But it is reasonable to say that the implementation of the praise band has almost exactly the same technical or practical concerns. It is grating that the only immediately perceivable difference is that Ron stepped back in the first case, and forward in the second.
have I told you the times he’s tried to correct people and I would just sit there and go “what is he talking about???”
This is something I’ve tried to accommodate Ron in, because I thought it was a legitimate point to explore. In the past couple of years, I’ve tried to simplify what I say and try to do in practice. I know at times I’ve gotten qeylar frustrated by not pushing harmony, etc. but it’s been a conscious effort to try to keep everyone included. It’s worship music. Those who are able to harmonize easily can do so, but those who would have to concentrate mightily would have the focus in the wrong place anyway.

[This is a draft of something I wrote to send to Loki, and asked Cyrano for editing suggestions. It was never sent in this form, though parts of it ended up in the anonymous handout and Ichabod email.]
**************
This will probably be hard to read and I apologize for that. But I am becoming more and more frustrated with what is going on at church, and I think you are encouraging it by your actions on the one hand (the deacons/elders issue) and and your inactions on the other (musical disagreements).
Loki – I know you disagree with the findings of our subcommittee on deacons and elders but the way this is being handled is really making me concerned for the direction of our church. It bothers me to even say it because I think it should be up to the men to be the spiritual leaders both in their homes and in our church. It blows my mind that men, who aren’t supposed to be so easily swayed by emotional issues, are buckling to pressure to conform to cultural norms of allowing women to take over their responsibilities, couching it in nice politically and culturally correct terms lest anyone find our church offensive for following Scripture.
I have made an observation that has been seconded by other people I have spoken to. You tend to manipulate and control when things aren’t going your way. This is not meaning that you shouldn’t confront poor behavior. When you handed out the “end-around” letter after we made our recommendations on deacons/elders in the church, this is what you did:
The Control Spirit
Sadly, some church leaders have got to the point where they must rely on techniques of manipulation and domination in order to maintain their positions of influence and authority. Such leaders are insecure and are easily threatened by those whom they cannot control. These leaders may have in the past been raised up by God for a great work, but at some point they departed seriously from God’s will. To maintain their positions of power and influence, to preserve their “territory”, such leaders resort to all kinds of manipulative political tactics which hinder the purposes of God’s Kingdom and delay the outpouring of God’s Spirit upon their communities.
Although it was not unexpected since you steered everything that direction with that letter even before the Council got to meet and discuss it, I found it odd that at the annual meeting they talked about the issue and didn’t even MENTION that the Council had convened a subcommitted which dutifully spent considerable time and energy discussing it. Throughout it all we felt quite unified – The only sticking point was the divorce issue, but we did hash that out. The one person who had reservations about the divorce qualification was also the first to say at the end that he thoroughly enjoyed our time together and had never participated in a study where he felt such unity and camaraderie. I seconded that. I think Fred mentioned to you that it was really unfair to ask us to do that if it was basically to be thrown out entirely. Phil not mentioning it at all gives me the impression it wasn’t even considered valid – that they want to forget they even asked, since we didn’t come up with something that supported their preconceived notion. So Fred and others of us who tend to be conservative in their hermeneutics are being marginalized because we refuse to buckle to social pressure regarding the feminization of our society and churches.
They basically wasted our time completely, despite the ‘apology’ you gave to Fred (—“I’m sorry you took it that way?” That’s just a cop-out) – which by rights even though none of us contacted or confronted you about your behavior, you should have swallowed your fear of conflict and taken the initiative, if you had nothing to hide, to have gone to ALL of us on the subcommittee to clear up this ‘misunderstanding.’ This kind of behavior oozes out every once in a while and betrays your tendency to control if things drift in a direction you don’t like. If things are going where you have a problem with it, take it up with the ones you have an issue with – e.g. those of us who were on the subcommittee would have been the ones to talk to. If someone has a problem, you can’t hash it out and solve it in their absence. This is also being done with music. Those who have a problem should somehow be in the loop so they see how their concerns are being addressed or ignored.

These governmental structural changes then being voted on next month – the adoption of a ‘diaconate’ (oh so much more a user-friendly/baggage-free term…??) which will be basically elders and deacons (as we defined them) all lumped into one position called… what…? deacons?—This is far too much for one person to deal with in my opinion, not to mention being gender neutral, and as was implied in Steve’s question, unnecessary in a church as small as ours to have more beauracracy. So the by laws are going to say “godly men and women” for describing eligibility. They will not mention divorce status, or anything which is controversial and which is explicitly spoken of in the Scriptures and which was in our recommendations because of Scripture. Did our recommendation ever get to the Council at all? They are acting as if we never existed, or at least their behavior is making us feel marginalized and irrelevant. But I do know they did receive our recommendations, which followed the guidelines they gave us – and so how did they account for the fact that our recommendation really was unanimous?
We didn’t realize when we joined Our Church, that the Covenant Church endorses the ordination of women. We assumed with a motto ‘where is it written’ that women wouldn’t be ordained. I want to make it clear that I would have thought a lot longer and harder about joining, had I known that at the time. In fact I can say with confidence that at most, we would be regular attenders.
Steve asked for them to come up with a schematic regarding how the diaconate proposal will change the accountability structure. Cyrano mentioned to me that it was an excellent question – because in providing an answer to it it will not be possible – or at least extremely difficult – to avoid the issue of women being spiritually in authority over men. I wonder how many other people don’t realize what the Covenant’s position on women in ministry is?
There are also those constitutional changes being put forth – and guess what the most significant change is? They are striking the scripture reference from 1 Tim 3 about the qualifications for elders and deacons from the constitution! Imagine that! I can understand striking the actual text but at least leave the reference in! Go figure. Have you ever read Orwell’s Animal Farm?
Put this in the context of bending over backward to accomodate ‘musical tastes’ which aren’t really a doctrinal issue and I think we have our priorities completely upside down on these two issues. Cyrano has spent endless hours trying to convince Ron and [our drummer] at least to help us out with music, and they drag their heels, hem and haw, and generally refuse to participate. [Our drummer] even commits and then doesn’t show. And yet the impression I am getting is that most people, even [our drummer]’s mom and maybe his dad, think we are excluding them. No one has actually asked us about it though of course. But have you taken any action on this bad behavior, this root of bitterness springing up? I am at the point where *I* don’t want to participate in music at all because I am up there before too many people that see me as a nitpicking perfectioninst because of the rumors that have circulated. Even your response to my invitation to participate in a small musical group was “I don’t read music” – where did you get the idea that I found that essential for everyone who participates? It must have come from somewhere.
You take preemptive action on the deacon/elder recommendations, yet you cut Ron a mile of slack for his stubborn refusal (‘my way or the highway’) to particpate in corporate worship. When we say “majoring in the majors and minoring in the minors,” and considering 1. women in ministry and 2. musical styles, which issue falls into which category?
in exasperation,

It is frustrating to deal with someone who not only doesn’t apologize but doesn’t see any reason to understand why others might think he or she should.
I’m sensing a double meaning there…. and if I wasn’t already so bummed I might laugh. :-)
This second point is something that I know has been especially trying for some. Most of Ron’s objections or concerns about what the worship team was trying to do were technical or practical ones. Many of his points were worth considering. But it is reasonable to say that the implementation of the praise band has almost exactly the same technical or practical concerns. It is grating that the only immediately perceivable difference is that Ron stepped back in the first case, and forward in the second.
EXACTLY!!!! So what’s the difference? The difference is that HE is in charge in the second. Or that YOU aren’t.
This is something I’ve tried to accommodate Ron in, because I thought it was a legitimate point to explore. In the past couple of years, I’ve tried to simplify what I say and try to do in practice. I know at times I’ve gotten qeylar frustrated by not pushing harmony, etc. but it’s been a conscious effort to try to keep everyone included. It’s worship music. Those who are able to harmonize easily can do so, but those who would have to concentrate mightily would have the focus in the wrong place anyway.
Nah – not during rehearsal. We should pick one song we already know and spend a little time having us learn parts so that we can actually do it sometime that way no matter who’s up there. No one is going to gain confidence doing it if we don’t try, or don’t practice. I think you’re underestimating people. You’ll have to tackle it the way we tackled our small group numbers. People will get more comfortable with it over time. The rehearsals we have are so low-key it would be a perfect time to start introducing people to holding a harmony on their own.
and then try to keep correcting her when she didn’t play it the way he had in mind.
Caveat: I have no idea whether the notes/rhythm were accurate to what he was asking for. If pushed, I’d assume the notes were, but I’d withhold judgement on the rhythm.
You told me he was telling her to 'hold it out two counts or something.' When he admits freely he doesn’t read music, and he’s trying to teach her to read what he wrote, it’s like the blind leading the blind (or was at the time). So whether the notes were accurate is irrelevant. They may have been, but who there would know? It’s like the time he handed me a lead sheet and asked me to sing melody – I was supposed to pick it up from him but his pitch isn’t accurate enough for me to figure out what he’s singing half the time. So, he may be singing the right note, but if I don’t know the song, how do I know? That was why I wanted written music, and he somehow made the leap that if we had written music he’d be forced to learn to read music.
Say if Chrissi jumps up and starts singing with the worship band I think we ought to include [our daughter] too. She’s got at least as much ability (less experience) than Chrissi does. (I have nothing against Chrissi – she has a better ear than her dad… and I’m sure she loves the Lord.)
No. If Chrissi jumps up it should be handled by the committee so that it doesn’t happen again.
Of course I was being facetious, but…Oh won’t /that/ committee meeting be fun… ! not to mention the results.
But I’ve learned to think through everything you say, whether my first impulse is to dismiss or not (and most of the time, I do get around to thinking through it. I’m not perfect, though…).
Yeah well… I’ve learned to live with that too. <>
Silly. It goes to embarrassing if you have to actually play it. No way on earth I could have actually gotten through singing it…
So… how does that affect your worship mindset? I’m thinking turnabout is fair play here. The other people get distracted by someone being orderly and mundane and not quite as ‘emotional’ as they’d like, and we get irritated by being distracted from worship.
I still think it’s a poetic image referring to him being such a prolific psalm writer, and known as a man after God’s own heart. In that context, I don’t consider it an objectionable phrase.
The fact that you have to think through it so much to decide that is more an issue. The fact that the three of us have different interpretations is still more an issue.
Uhuh… I have the same ‘interpretation’ of it as you, but my interpretation, as well as yours and Fred’s, is based on having a good grasp of Scripture – so how many people would be included in that kind of criteria, do you think, in our church?

2/15/05 Max Response

qeylar,
Well I guess you said your peace (or piece)!
I share your sentiments regarding not wanting to sing…but maybe not for exactly the same reasons as you’ve stated. I think it is because it seems to me that many people would prefer music over message…something I can’t bear.
It has been a downhill spiral (in my opinion…and many would disagree) for music at [OUR CHURCH]. Not because of who is doing worship, but of the congregation’s attitude (as you mentioned in your memo). I remember one council meeting where someone mentioned that they wanted more of the contemporary music because it just made the ‘sad’ that their kids couldn’t dance to the traditional music. Like their kids knew whether they were dancing to a contemporary spiritual song or some worldly pop piece.
This all goes back to the way people today are judging churches…that is, “What is the entertainment value.” Now, they probably don’t think of it so bluntly, but the crux of the matter is…how do they feel during and after church. Today, church to many is the ‘pick-me-up,’ one-day-a-week get-together that is supposed to make us feel good about ourselves. Music, of course, can be very emotionally charging.
More and more sermons today are rated on an entertainment scale, as opposed to the real preaching of God’s words. Anyone can get up front and read a message that they got over the internet or some commentary or funny story they’ve picked up in a book somewhere. Don’t get me wrong…there is a place for this…but not in the place of sound exegesis of scripture. I truly believe the reason for this is that people simply are not encourage, moreover exhorted, to have their noses in THE Book. In fact, there tends to be an emphasis AWAY from any scholastic or intellectual pursuit towards scripture. Again, this is not to say that there are people in the world today that do nothing but get ‘head knowledge’ and never live it out. This is a shame. However, there is no subsitute for studying and understanding scripture either…it’s simply that many pastors today just don’t know how to teach others to learn scripture (or worse yet, can’t themselves). Moreover, there is no expectation placed upon church goers to really “seek ye out the book of the Lord and read.” (Isaiah 34:16a).
As Amos 8:11 states, “there is a famine in the land regarding hearing God’s word.”
It still gets me that we have a ‘signer’ up front ONLY on any given Sunday (with the band) when the words are clearly on the screen in front, and then no signer when the message is delivered…simply makes no sense to me…all about entertainment or playing on emotions…I get enough of that elsewhere.
I also echo your feelings about repetitive phrases in music…one of the tricks used by the charasmatic groups to solicit tongue talking…I always stay away from that stuff.
The problem is, however, that I don’t hold the vision for the church…Pastor Loki does. I am not going to be a thorn in his flesh. It is tough to go to scripture and argue music style and other things that are influenced by the world. The Covenant denomination clearly takes a liberal approach to many doctrines (e.g., women in leadership positions within a spiritual context, baptism, etc.)and God has not placed me in [OUR CHURCH] to attempt to influence the denomination. Nor do I really believe God is calling me to attempt to change Pastor Loki’s vision and direction. As he stated in the letter to Fred, [OUR CHURCH] is his church (I always thought it was God’s) and he will hold the vision. That’s fine by me…I don’t want that responsibility. That said, I don’t have to stay under Loki’s leadership and authority. I will honor it and never try to usurp his authority…I will tell people what I believe and why in the right circumstances (and Loki and I talked about this and he knows it), but I will never preach something that would undermine Loki from the pulpit.
Oh well…enough said.
Hang in there and Isaiah 34:16a

qeylar wrote to Fred: I think your wife might enjoy my note

Fred's reply
Feb 20, 09:50 AM (qeylar)
She will ;-) I will bring a copy to her.
I understand the frustrations you express in your letter and certainly agree with pretty much all of it. I have to ask however, what outcome you desire from the letter. Are you primarily expressing your feelings, or are you hoping for an appeal to reason and maybe even a change in the way Loki and company are doing things? If you are trying to express your feelings to Loki, then your letter is pretty good as is. I personally might soften some of the emotion, but that is just me and it doesn’t make any sense for me to suggest that you express yourself like anyone other than yourself. If you are hoping to motivate Loki to take a fresh look at how he is doing things and make some changes, however, you might consider finding less threatening was of expressing some of the emotion in your letter. I am not suggesting you get rid of the emotion; I believe Loki needs to be aware of just how strongly people feel about these issues (he also needs to have a better grasp of how many feel this way). Knowing Loki, I think your letter as it stands may actually cause him to get stubborn, set his feet and be truly unmovable. The strength of the emotion you express in some of your points may actually keep Loki from seeing some of the truly good arguments you are making.
At any rate, the purpose of our meeting tonight is to discuss this question of how to present our feelings and desires in this situation in the most constructive way possible. Please bring a copy or two of what you have written so far and if you think of it and can find it, please bring the article I gave you (that Loki gave me) that ‘justifies’ the Covenant position on women in leadership.

qeylar's response to Fred

Fred wrote:
I believe Loki needs to be aware of just how strongly people feel about these issues (he also needs to have a better grasp of how many feel this way). Knowing Loki, I think your letter as it stands may actually cause him to get stubborn, set his feet and be truly unmovable.
qeylar wrote:

I agree. But IMO and in my experience those who are actually open to advice really will allow the ‘advisor’ (solicited or not) some leeway, knowing they’re imperfect. I learned that as a teenager with my dad… I see no reason why adults can’t do it too.
qeylar quoting Fred:
The strength of the emotion you express in some of your points may actually keep Loki from seeing some of the truly good arguments you are making. At any rate, the purpose of our meeting tonight is to discuss this question of how to present our feelings and desires in this situation in the most constructive way possible. Please bring a copy or two of what you have written so far and if you think of it and can find it, please bring the article I gave you (that Loki gave me) that ‘justifies’ the Covenant position on women in leadership.
qeylar wrote:

I will. Thanks. I am torn between phrasing things more ‘diplomatically’ – as you have seen with people like Ron (and I think Loki falls into this category) the diplomatic approach only allows him more room to hem and haw and try to placate while dragging feet until you finally give up and let him have his own way. They don’t actually argue with you, it’s more of a passive-agressive stance.
:-\ (I have a middle child that makes this tactic a habit…)
As I was talking to your wife Ethel about the times she has confronted Loki, (she mentioned how) he tends to nod and agree and just treat her like she needs to vent, as if she’s some immature girl. I think if I had been there, I would have come out of my chair and said “Loki, listen, don’t patronize me! I know you don’t agree, so let’s hash this out.”
The thought of all four of us sitting down with him some day and discussing this has crossed my mind. I don’t want it to seem like we’re ganging up on him, but I do need the tempering effect of Cyrano to help me keep my head. And I think since Ethel has already done it, for her to be there with you to show she’s really serious and didn’t just want to ‘vent’ those previous times, would be wonderful. Perhaps if we didn’t want to talk to Loki alone, Loki and Phil then. Or something. But this attitude of Loki’s has GOT to be dealt with.
Cyrano used to approach our disagreements like that, not realizing I really wanted change not just venting. (I guess I’m not typical female in that way.) He’d lay low until he felt it had blown over and then act like everything was OK. Now I’m sure Cyrano isn’t the only husband who’s done this kind of thing.
I don’t expect my eloquent words to magically change anything. I do take our collective responsibility as Christians to be watchmen on the wall very seriously. Regardless of whether I am heeded I feel compelled to warn. At least then the warning will be in the back of their mind when the event happens, and perhaps they’ll learn then what kind of advice to heed if they don’t want to repeat the error. That’s about all I can hope for. More would be nice, but I am not that optimistic.
:-\

Fred talks to Loki
Feb 22, 02:12 AM (qeylar)
Fred then went and approached Loki about the way he sent out the preemptive note regarding our subcommittee recommendation.

Fred's report on his talk with Loki
Feb 22, 12:28 PM (Cyrano)
Loki and I talked for about an hour. I was about as diplomatic as I am capable of being. I know that isn’t necessarily saying much, but I thought it went pretty well within the context of Loki’s perspective on things. He kept saying that it wasn’t a really a women in ministry issue. I acknowledged that the women in ministry issue was separate and that we were, at this time, primarily concerned about how the information was presented and why.
He then talked about why he has dragged his feet on the Elder/Deacon issue for so long – pretty much restating how he feels about the need for Elders to be ordained ministers. I tried very hard to get him to see that by avoiding the explosive issues (as he sees them) he was only putting a longer fuse on it. The explosion will still happen and will probably be more destructive than it would have been had he allowed things to take a more natural course. He kept going back to not wanting to have divisive issues within the church. I tried to help him understand that this was unavoidable to some extent and that divisive issues needed to be met head-on and in the open. He was pretty much unconvinced about that. I encouraged him as strongly as I could to bring it all out into the open and to take a definite stance on what he intends to do and why and to let the chips fall wherever. We will see what happens.
I told him that Cyrano would be sending out the e-mail, probably today,so that he, Phil and the council would get a chance to see what our concerns are before the meeting and have an opportunity to address them.

qeylar's response to Fred
hum. Well not surprising to me. Sheesh.
So I guess it’s full steam ahead huh?? :-)

A question for the Council
Feb 22, 04:54 PM (qeylar)
In order for the congregation to make a fully informed decision on the bylaw changes this coming meeting, we believe it necessary for the council to address the following questions prior to the vote. We respectfully request that whatever presentation is made at the meeting include a response to these questions. If no presentation is planned, please be prepared to have them raised during discussion before voting.
  1. How was the diaconate commission proposal developed? What resources were used to inform the council during the process? In particular, what was the result of the subcommittee on deacons and elders that was announced at the semiannual meeting last fall, and how did that factor into the process and resulting constitution and bylaw changes?
  2. Given that the constitution presently has scripture references regarding deacons and elders, why do the revised constitution and bylaws not contain any biblical references in regard to the diaconate commission?
Thank you.
Cyrano & qeylar
Fred & Ethel
Max & Millie

Email from sister
Feb 23, 12:52 PM (qeylar)
So does Pastor want the women in the ministry or not? I can’t say his behavior surprises me. Lots of Pastors are very controlling and have their own agenda believing fully they know what God wants best for the church…...that is why I tend to not get too involved in “religious institutions” I’ve seen too much of that and don’t feel that “church” is as God ever intended it to be. It’s much more of a man made organization/club…...

Interesting news from Lucy
Mar 02, 10:13 AM (qeylar)
Fred—Cyrano may be talking to you about getting together with Loki and talking through some of this crap that’s come up, but thought I’d fill you in on this last straw that’s weighing on me.
Apparently Lucy got a phone call from Tina last night, she talked to Harry asking if he wanted to be on the Worship commission, etc. and eventually Lucy asked “so have we scheduled a worship commission meeting for this coming month?”
Tense dead silence for a minute…
“weeeelll… I talked to Loki and we are going to do a little restructuring…”
Basically eventually got around to saying they decided Lucy has been on there long enough and she’s just NOT on the commission anymore. Now, according to the rules they can do that. But according to plain old civil conventions they should have at least not blindsided her with that info, or talked to her about it before deciding that she wasn’t going to be on it.
I just don’t like the way things are going. Sure, if Loki put out his hand for me to shake it, it wouldn’t be against the ‘rules’ for me to stand there and stare at him, but it would be taken as hostile, wouldn’t it?
This is not good leadership if you can’t foresee how these behaviors are going to be taken. It seems to me that the leadership that’s being put in place is ‘maverick’ leadership which just goes ahead and does whatever it sees fit regardless of the impact on everyone else. There may be a place for that but it surely isn’t in this situation. Someone wants “change” because they personally are dissatisfied, and they don’t seem to care what kind of change. Change for the sake of change is almost never good. It happens because you haven’t thought about it long enough to figure out just what’s wrong in the first place.
More and more I’m seeing these behaviors snowball and Loki is just sitting back and letting it go – sometimes even contributing. (CUE: miss Piggy voice:) “WHAT THE HECK IS GOING ON??? AAAAUGH!!”
>:o
so, if you and Ethel want to join us I sure would like to have more people around to keep me on track – otherwise I tend to get sidetracked by my emotions).
:-) One of the reasons I want to have Cyrano there – to make sure he brings up some of the more uncomfortable things he hasn’t been willing to say when I’m not there (- e.g. the rumors we have gotten whispers of – and the fact that it seems they had to have started with Ron/Jenna), and for him to make sure I don’t get too carried away. Hopefully a good balance…. or at least, better than when we’re separate.


Fred comments on Lucy's call
Mar 03, 11:36 AM (Cyrano)
Oh boy:-(
Well, I guess if Tina wants to ‘restructure’ she is sure within her rights to do so, but I agree, it was a pretty heartless way to go about things. It may not necessarily be so much ‘heartless’ as indelicate or tactless. I don’t know what the intention is behind this (though my dark side has suspicions) and I can’t help but think back to when I started my last round as Prayer and Worship chair and I entertained the idea of disbanding the worship teams in favor of a single song leader and some sort of choir – but I was pre-emptive in saying anything and caused much more consternation and confusion that it was worth in the process. I would have been better off if I had presented the notion as a question (which it really was in my mind) and asked for input that to say ‘this is what I am thinking of doing’ which was interpreted (understandably) as ‘this is what we are going to do’. In this particular case, it seems pretty hard to find an adequate explanation that isn’t a flat out rejection of Lucy however. When membership isn’t limited, you don’t ask someone to stand down unless you find them to be incompetent or you find them unwilling to follow your direction. Lucy isn’t incompetent so all I can conclude is that it is the latter and that begs the question – what is this new direction that Lucy would be unwilling to support? And that further begs the question, since Tina hasn’t a clue about Our Church, our history, etc., and she couldn’t have any idea about where Lucy stands on anything, where is the concern about Lucy supporting the new direction coming from? I am afraid it is a case of guilt by association.
I am certainly willing to join in discussions with Loki but scheduling could be an issue (the kids are both coming home for spring break – Nancy tomorrow and Keith next Thursday) and after Ethel’s consternation with Loki over the ‘discussion’ the two of them had surrounding the [Brian and Jessica last name]’ situation, she may feel it is futile and be unwilling. Also, I would suggest you cross the deaconate bridge first. Also, you need to be aware that I strongly suspect that Loki is viewing Ethel and I as trouble-makers and pot stirrers right now. In addition to the deaconate thing and my opposition to most of the nominees for council positions, Alice [last name], our new council recording secretary, asked me for a copy of our report on Elders and Deacons and I gave it to her (I don’t see a problem with this) and I think Loki is seeing this as an open act of defiance (I am basing this on comments Alice make about a talk she and Loki had on the phone). Alice also talked to Loki about being opposed to reading and using the ‘Purpose Driven Church’ as a guide to building up our church (she has watched it destroy 3 churches) and Loki knows that I think the book is misguided. His only comment was that others have told him it isn’t Biblical and that he doesn’t agree and no one has been able to show him that it is in error (of course we couldn’t convince him that the Covenant Church’s position on women in ministry in error). So . . . I might actually hurt your creditability by being in your corner, but that said, I am willing.
I talked to Lucy for a few moments. Sounds like they are going to do some ‘restructuring’ with worship music as well. Wanna start a board for chances on how long it will be before I am asked not to do hymn sing? I can’t say this comes as a surprise, but it is disappointing.

Fred wrote:
Lucy isn’t incompetent so all I can conclude is that it is the latter and that begs the question – what is this new direction that Lucy would be unwilling to support? And that further begs the question, since Tina hasn’t a clue about Our Church, our history, etc., and she couldn’t have any idea about where Lucy stands on anything, where is the concern about Lucy supporting the new direction coming from? I am afraid it is a case of guilt by association.
That’s my concern.
I am certainly willing to join in discussions with Loki but scheduling could be an issue (the kids are both coming home for spring break – Nancy tomorrow and Keith next Thursday)
Cyrano was thinking tomorrow morning sometime (earlier the better IMO – since I work tomorrow night). That way the kids here would be at school. But, we can work something out.
and after Ethel’s consternation with Loki over the ‘discussion’ the two of them had surrounding the [married couple breaking up] situation
???
[that married couple]?? I don’t know anything about that. Unless that was the Sunday School thing and Jessica was the one who ripped Ethel for asking children to think about the Bible during the week.
she may feel it is futile and be unwilling.
Well that’s why I wanted to include her – so the rest of us could serve as moral support.
Also, I would suggest you cross the deaconate bridge first. Also, you need to be aware that I strongly suspect that Loki is viewing Ethel and I as trouble-makers and pot stirrers right now.
Everyone seems to have that as an excuse not to talk. (no offense) Max, [Harry and Lucy], now you. and pretty soon he’s going to consider us ‘troublemakers’ just because we confronted someone on an issue. I don’t think that can be avoided and I am not really concerned how he views me. (well… I am concerned, but not primarily. I can’t keep taking responsibility for being misunderstood, and especially not if I don’t go in and talk to him.)
As far as ‘crossing the deaconate’ bridge first, what do you mean by that? All of these issues have one thing in common – they are being foisted upon the congregation by a minority behind closed doors. The music however has Cyrano involved and I’m pretty sure if they had a different music director/piano player to resort to they’d have booted him by now too. But they’re kind of in a rock and a hard place with finding a faithful pianist, and are holding their noses… at least, or trying to drag him along… that’s the impression I am getting.
Alice, our new council recording secretary, asked me for a copy of our report on Elders and Deacons and I gave it to her (I don’t see a problem with this) and I think Loki is seeing this as an open act of defiance (I am basing this on comments Alice make about a talk she and Loki had on the phone).
Oh for cryin out loud. So he chooses NOT to believe that Alice ASKED for this info?
Alice also talked to Loki about being opposed to reading and using the ‘Purpose Driven Church’ as a guide to building up our church (she has watched it destroy 3 churches) and Loki knows that I think the book is misguided.
I thought it was lame. I didn’t read it that thoroughly, but it struck me as really BASIC Christianity in most places. I must have missed any destructive passages. (if you want to point some out to me feel free)
His only comment was that others have told him it isn’t Biblical and that he doesn’t agree and no one has been able to show him that it is in error (of course we couldn’t convince him that the Covenant Church’s position on women in ministry in error). So . . . I might actually hurt your creditability by being in your corner, but that said, I am willing.
Please feel free.
Wanna start a board for chances on how long it will be before I am asked not to do hymn sing? I can’t say this comes as a surprise, but it is disappointing.
ugh. Well I’m about ready to call it quits. This is so childish

Email from Fred

qeylar wrote:
one who ripped Ethel for asking children to think about the Bible during the week.
Nah, that was [person1] and [person2]
...???[that married couple]?? I don’t know anything about that.
Sorry. I thought you knew. Ethel went to talk to Loki about their marital problems (I AM assuming you know it is [married couple] that we have been praying about in church. Jessica walked out on Bryan about 3 weeks ago or so) because she has been mentoring Jessica a little – as much as Jessica will permit – and feels very strongly that Jessica is making a HUGE mistake here and needs someone in authority like Loki that she may respect to tell her firmly. Loki basically just nodded and uhummed his way through it. Ethel felt like he wasn’t paying much attention to what she had to say.
. . . .Cyrano was thinking tomorrow morning sometime (earlier the better IMO – since I work tomorrow night). That way the kids here would be at school. . . . . .But, we can work something out.
. . . . .As far as ‘crossing the deaconate’ bridge first, what do you mean by that?
Maybe I misunderstood. I thought what you wanted to get together with Loki over was the way Tina told Lucy she was out and the implications of that. I was feeling a little bit like I had to walk softly because I am not the chairman anymore and saying anything would just be dismissed as meddling where I don’t belong anymore but I was sure willing to lend support to concerns about the way things were being done.Looking at your first note again, did you mean this, the deaconate thing plus other unstated stuff? In the original understanding, I was thinking that you might get a more ‘fair’ hearing if you waited till he had gotten past his first ‘rebellion’ before you sprung another one on him. If the deaconate thing is part of it you need to talk to him before hand but I’m not sure what you are going to add to the e-mail Cyrano sent out and the discussion I had already with Loki – unless there has been a chapter added to this story that I am unaware of.
. . . . . . I thought it was lame. I didn’t read it that thoroughly, but it struck me as really BASIC Christianity in most places. I must have missed any . . . . ... . . .destructive passages. (if you want to point some out to me feel free)
I admit that after I encountered areas where I thought he was advocating the old ‘do what ever it takes to get ‘em in the door’ brand of evangelism, I didn’t read the rest very carefully . I have lots of trouble with the notion that if you just ‘attract’ unbelievers, then you can present the message. To me, if people aren’t attracted first by Jesus and the message, it doesn’t matter. You can’t get them there with tricks . In my view, we are to tell people about Jesus and then they have to make a decision to come to Jesus on their own. Any attempt to ‘bribe’ people into making that decision not only compromises the witness, but also makes it much more difficult for people to understand the true and full nature of the decision they are faced with. Often, for people who have been brought in by an ‘attractive’ resentation’ as soon as the church gets boring or isn’t any fun anymore, they are off looking for the next attractive thing.
Even worse for a church are those who don’t ‘catch the faith’ but hang on demanding to be entertained. I also get concerned with the philosophy that insists you get people active and involved as quickly as you can to hold them. The fruit comes from the Spirit, not the other way around. If you don’t have people motivated by the Spirit to come forward to serve in what ever capacity they feel they can serve in, then the Spirit either isn’t in them or they are immature and need help maturing spiritually. I am also concerned with anyone who spends all of his time bragging about his ‘numbers’ of converts. First, you can’t really measure that, and secondly if that is what you are about, you’re missing it yourself. I guess I interpret the great commission to mean that we are to give people the opportunity, not to force Christianity down their throats.
As for scheduling, tomorrow isn’t good (deadlines I need to meet). Monday and Friday of next week I have to sit in on interviews with people applying for a second Multimedia Development Specialist position (yeah! help for me!) and Thursday I will be[out of town].

Email to Fred
Fred wrote: Sorry. I thought you knew. Ethel went to talk to Loki about their marital problems (I AM assuming you know it is [married couple] that we have been praying about in church.
No, I didn’t… news to me. Why did she walk out on him? (Brian, not [wrong name], as you said – threw me off there for a minute) unless that’s something I don’t need to know… if it’s other than unfaithfulness or abuse, then I agree she’s probably just being controlling.
Loki basically just nodded and uhummed his way through it. Ethel felt like he wasn’t paying much attention to what she had to say.
Figures.
Maybe I misunderstood. I thought what you wanted to get together with Loki over was the way Tina told Lucy she was out and the implications of that.
No I plan on bringing just about everything up that I can think of. heh. Mostly his manipulating and controlling things and how it’s starting to manifest itself in other people now in the church. That would cover everything in which we have encountered this behavior.
qeylar wrote:. . . . . . . [PDLife] I thought it was lame.
I didn’t read it that thoroughly, but it struck me as really BASIC Christianity in most places. I must have missed any . . . . ... . . .destructive passages. (if you want to point some out to me feel free)
I admit that after I encountered areas where I thought he was advocating the old ‘do what ever it takes to get ‘em in the door’ brand of evangelism, I didn’t read the rest very carefully .
[qeylar correcting self:]
Oh wait—I didn’t read purpose driven church, I read purpose driven life. That wasn’t in the Purpose Driven life. I didn’t find ‘life’ that offensive, but really basic Christianity 101 stuff (which says volumes if that’s what’s taking the church by storm – where has basic Christianity been all these years?)
As for scheduling, tomorrow isn’t good (deadlines I need to meet). Monday and Friday of next week I have to sit in on interviews with people applying for a second Multimedia Development Specialist position (yeah! help for me!) and Thursday I will be [out of town].
Well, just thought I’d ask, maybe there’s a reason everyone is unavailable (for whatever reason) tomorrow. :-) Cyrano hasn’t told me whether he set up the appointment anyway.
my heart just aches for Lucy. She has so long felt like she was on the outside looking in in things she has a real heart to participate in, and usually for reasons beyond her control. (for example she’s short, which makes her hard to cast in a leading role onstage although she has the talent for it… she’s worked so hard on overcoming her vocal shortcomings in spite of really discouraging and downright rude comments about her voice… – just makes me mad when people just act without really knowing what’s going on, nor caring enough to get to know…)

Email to Fred
BTW this entire paragraph you wrote is my thoughts exactly.
“One of the great difficulties is to keep before the audience’s mind the question of Truth. They always think you are recommending Christianity not because it is true but because it is good….You have to keep forcing them back, and again back, to the real point.” CS Lewis God in the Dock.
Only today I have found a passage in a Christian writer where he recommends his own version of Christianity on the ground that ‘only such a faith can outlast the death of old cultures and the birth of new civilisations.’ You see the little rift? ‘Believe this, not because it is true, but for some other reason.’ That’s the game.”—C. S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters end of chapter XXIII

Cyrano's notes on Music and Worship
Commission meeting with Loki

The letter that was sent to the council with questions about the deaconate proposal was starting to bear fruit. Cyrano ended up in an impromptu meeting with Pastor after a worship commission meeting. Here is his writeup:
Last week after the worship leaders meeting (itself pregnant with possible undertones), Loki asked to talk with me. We ended up talking for over an hour about the questions, etc. I thought it was a good meeting (in that there was a lot of information covered), but I can’t really judge that until I see how the council handles the questions we submitted at the meeting on Sunday. Given what appears to be happening with the worship commission, any actual response (or lack thereof) to what we raised will be very telling to me.
But I wanted to summarize the discussion just in case it helps you, or it raises points you want to comment on.
I stressed that the issue of women in leadership, while troubling, was really quite secondary to the concern about the manner in which the decision re the diaconate was made and how it was being presented to the congregation. I mentioned that the removal of scriptural references regarding the responsibilities of deacons/elders gave the impression that any scriptural accountability was being removed from this new commission, which I thought untenable.
The vague nature of the diaconate’s responsibilities and accountability was discussed. I told him that I didn’t raise questions on Sunday because 1) Phil said it was an informative presentation (no debate) and 2) having just seen the presentation, it was impossible to really formulate questions. Given the amount of time the council worked on the proposal (and avoided working on it for years prior), I thought that it was unrealistic to assume everyone understood and approved the proposal simply due to the lack of questions at the time. I stressed that the spiritual discipline aspect of the commission was especially problematic, since in my mind that implied some level of spiritual leadership, but I couldn’t see how the whole thing fit together. I used the word “gerrymander” when talking about how carefully crafted the responsibilities seemed to be (or would have to be, if everything said about the diaconate were to hold true). Basically, I felt that the expectation was that the congregation was to just rubber-stamp whatever the council brought forth, which is not appropriate. I told him that having talked with him, I had a much better understanding of what the diaconate was intended to be, but that even if I agreed with the proposal (which I still didn’t, citing the vagueness of the spiritual discipline mandate), I wouldn’t vote for it if I didn’t feel that it had been properly defined and explained to the congregation so an informed vote could be reasonably expected.
I talked some about the subcommittee, saying that I never expected the subcommittee’s recommendations to be brought directly to the congregation. It was intended for consumption by the council. My concern was that it didn’t really appear to be factored into the process at all, evidenced by the complete omission in Phil’s report of any mention that the subcommission actually did anything.
Loki seemed to agree re: scriptural references. I would hope they’d be reinserted, which might raise whole new vistas of questioning, we’ll see. He said he was going to be talking with Phil; the implication was that more clarity would be given prior to the vote. We’ll see.
One other thing: It was a side note, and I didn’t really intend to bring it up because it was outside my direct knowledge, but I mentioned the “unanimous vote” comment of Phil’s. I had been under the impression that there were at minimum abstentions, based on what I’d heard from qeylar and at the meeting we had. But Loki said that the vote was unanimous without abstentions. If that was the case, then I can’t fault Phil’s wording or his presentation of the proposal as a council recommendation. Any reservations in the council prior to the vote, even if strongly voiced, are trumped by such a vote. That’s the whole point of having commissions. Perhaps I misunderstood everyone (qeylar says I did) about the misdirecting nature of Phil calling the vote unanimous…

Thank you for the summary of your meeting with Loki. I hope they do address our questions and especially hope that they reinsert the scriptural references.
I also talked with Loki about the description of the vote as unanimous. True, technically it was, and I have never said anything else. I guess what I have tried to convey is that while it may have been an accurate record of the vote, it wasn’t an accurate representation of the spirit of things and I still maintain that I thought I was crystal clear about my lack of support for the direction in which the council had decided to go on this thing.
I freely admit that I am not a very diplomatic person and that I apparently don’t communicate well given the wide path of misunderstandings I appear to leave behind me most of time. In those meetings, I was trying very hard to express my belief that what we truly needed at Our Church was a board of Elders as they are described in scripture but that I understood that wasn’t going to happen, that I didn’t believe the direction we were going was a good idea but since the council was plainly going in that direction with or without me, I would do my best to contribute in as constructive a way as I could. I was trying to do all o f this without giving the impression I was just sore because my sub-committee’s recommendations had been rejected. Apparently, I did not succeed.
If a person insists upon going by the letter rather than the spirit then I should mention that as I recall, what we voted on was to present this thing to the congregation. I don’t recall a vote concerning whether or not we were all in agreement as to this being what was best for the church.
Loki mentioned to me that by not actively voting against presenting this to the church I am as guilty of presenting a misleading impression as I was saying he and Phil were. I have to concede the point I guess. I still don’t understand how my position could have been unclear, but in retrospect, I guess I should have abstained from both the process and the vote. Sunday should be interesting.

You are reading Part 1Go to:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6

A few additional tidbits

June 10, 2007

Our Story - How We Were Purpose Driven OUT part 2

Email to Fred
Fred wrote:
Often, for people who have been brought in by an ‘attractive’ presentation’ as soon as the church gets boring or isn’t any fun anymore, they are off looking for the next attractive thing. Even worse for a church are those who don’t ‘catch the faith’ but hang on demanding to be entertained. I also get concerned with the philosophy that insists you get people active and involved as quickly as you can to hold them. The fruit comes from the Spirit, not the other way around. If you don’t have people motivated by the Spirit to come forward to serve in what ever capacity they feel they can serve in, then the Spirit either isn’t in them or they are immature and need help maturing spiritually. I am also concerned with anyone who spends all of his time bragging about his ‘numbers’ of converts. First, you can’t really measure that, and secondly if that is what you are about, you’re missing it yourself. I guess I interpret the great commission to mean that we are to give people the opportunity, not to force Christianity down their throats.
Some quotes:
“One of the great difficulties is to keep before the audience’s mind the question of Truth. They always think you are recommending Christianity not because it is true but because it is good….You have to keep forcing them back, and again back, to the real point.” CS Lewis God in the Dock
Only today I have found a passage in a Christian writer where he recommends his own version of Christianity on the ground that ‘only such a faith can outlast the death of old cultures and the birth of new civilisations.’ You see the little rift? ‘Believe this, not because it is true, but for some other reason.’ That’s the game.”—C. S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters end of chapter XXIII
I would rather know the truth than be happy in ignorance. If I cannot have both truth and happiness, give me truth. We’ll have a long time to be happy in heaven.—A. W. Tozer
Long ago I ceased to count heads. Truth is usually in the minority in this evil world. C. H. SPURGEON
If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ. Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved; and to be steady on all the battlefield besides, is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point..—Martin Luther (1483-1546)
Solomon bids us (Prov 23:23) to buy the truth, but doth not tell us what it must cost, because we must get it though it be never so dear. We must love it both shining and scorching. Every parcel of truth is precious as the filings of gold; we must either live with it, or die for it. THOMAS BROOKS
Falsehood is never so successful as when she baits her hook with truth, and no opinions so fatally mislead us, as those that are not wholly wrong; as no watches so effectually deceive the wearer as those that are sometimes right.—C. C. Colton—

C. S. Lewis “we believe in a thing not because it is modern, or helpful, or leads to desirable ends, but because it is true.”

Email to Fred
Fred wrote:
I don’t know any details – didn’t ask. Ethel shares everything with me (that I know of at least:-)) but she doesn’t know the whole story. What we do know is that they were both very young and she was pregnant (not anything either is shy about talking about) when they go married and she is now making the ‘I missed my life and opportunities’ kind of noise that has gotten to be a legitimate excuse for divorce in our dumb-headed culture. She has made some vague references to abuse on the part of Brian (Ethel thought verbal but it was unclear) but as Ethel said this is a woman who has shared too much with her over the years. Until now she has had nothing but praise for Brian so it is difficult to believe that he had been abusive all of this time and that was the one bit of information she has always with held. I am not going to relate some of the stuff she has told Ethel, just take it from me it easily falls into the category of what my kids have always deemed TMI (too much information). When she first sprung this on Ethel, Ethel told her she would pray that their marriage would be healed. Jessica pretty much hasn’t talked to her since. I guess she has refused to go to counseling (Brian is willing).
You should direct her my way. I felt a lot of that “I missed my opportunities” stuff and acted way too far on it when I was so dissatisfied with Cyrano (all that was pretty much over with by the time we moved to [this town in 1999])—and that would fall into the category of TMI as well if I went into it. Suffice it to say, been there, done that, except I didn’t ever leave.
Man I wish they played Dr Laura around here still. She was very instrumental (although occasionally I think she misses important details) in helping me kick myself in the pants when I feel sorry for myself.
As far as abuse, Jessica doesn’t seem like someone who would put up with physical but I can envision either one of them using abusive language. I don’t know… it’s hard to tell. The more mature person has to take the first step usually, and deactivate their own ‘hotbuttons’ so that the other person can stop getting the satisfaction of getting a rise out of them. Concisely, people have to learn to let others be wrong sometimes for the sake of a relationship – a person doesn’t need to have the last word, even if they are in the right. That’s a hard one for me… something I try to keep in mind. Even Cyrano admitted that I’ve gotten better.
On a totally different subject, did you know that when we first came here and I was getting to know Ron and Jenna, and getting involved in music, Ron got all excited and said “oh you and I should do this duet!” He pulls out a duet by sandi patty and Wayne Watson “Another Time, Another Place” – about the yearning of Christians to see the face of Christ and depart from this world.
I said “SURE! that’d be great!”
It got put off, and I asked him about getting it together numerous other times but each time he just mumbled something about not having time.
I don’t know what I did to tick him off but he apparently developed an aversion to working with me early on. So, I think I’m gonna work it up with someone else – maybe even see if Maia could handle it – not sure on that one. Cyrano has been making noises about taking some vocal lessons from me (for summer musical he says) but he’s awfully bashful about singing.

Email from Max
Well,
Just spoke with my wife…guess if I hadn’t been in Japan the Deaconate vote wouldn’t have passed.
Your feelings about how the meeting went?
Max
PS As Millie said, I can take a look at the music when I get back…week of March 21

Are you able to stay at this church with all these games going on? I wouldn’t be able to, I’d either have to take time off or go somewhere else. Not a healthy situation for good Christian growth. Pastor sounds like a control freak.
BTW, I’ve got a great set of tapes that we all listened to when we were dealing with all the church issues and freaky pastors. The tapes are called “Are you in a controlling church? How would you know and what are you doing to leave?” By J. Conrad Hole. He hits the nail right on the head and it was great enlightening information and helped me be at peace with moving on…. Let me know and I’ll send them to you. I believe he has a church in the MPLS area.

Email to Fred
Quoting Fred:
Hey, look at the bright side. The blurb said, the late Finis Dake. He won’t be writing any more books and I am guessing if what he wrote in this one involves any heresy, he has heard about it by now;-)
LOL!
Well, I hope you in your household weren’t too preoccupied by the vote etc. yesterday. I got home from church and announced that I would rather not talk about it anymore. It was over. In other words, we talk about it off and on for most of the day.
heh heh. So the question is did you do that yesterday too? You need to get your wife on here too~!
As far as I am concerned, this was the last straw in helping me determine whether or not my trust in Loki has been misplaced. I now believe that it has been and from now on, I will assume he is hiding something in pretty much everything he says and act accordingly.
Good for you. I am getting to that point too. Very sad. That was basically the conclusion Alice came to at [her church] too (after talking with her) – tired of seeing two incongruent sides of Pastor there… I will tell him flat out that’s what I think if Cyrano and I ever get a chance to talk to him. Check out my note to Max and the part about dear Sigyn and how she defended him up and down. I don’t think she has a dishonest bone in her body, but Loki strikes me like a slightly spoiled child that has his mom partly snowed.
I hate to even speak like that of them. I am sure they’d find it insulting but I don’t intend it to be. Of course you should be biased toward your spouse to an extent…but…
...
What I see is you, and Max, and Cyrano, are truly gifted to lead because you don’t DO the power play thing. You consider people’s feelings, you delegate, you are forthright (well, Cyrano could work on that…. ;-) and because of that, Loki (subconsciously perhaps) knows he can exploit your soft touch. Exploiting people in that way is not real leadership, however. [all without compromising truth]

So anyone willing to go discuss Loki with Loki? (obviously if we get around to it before Max is back , it won’t include Max) Or has that all been washed away by this meeting and subsequent vote? I can understand either point. I’m not particularly keen on it anymore either. I would rather just show up, worship, and go home, and not be involved any more. (maybe occasionally special music only because I enjoy it for its own sake.)

A brief exchange on obedience

Fred wrote:
I don’t see why it is so hard to think that this is more than likely an obedience thing.
qeylar wrote:
Absolutely.
Say, John MacArthur has a [sermon series] out as a direct rebuttal of Purpose Driven Church called “Bible Driven Church.”

Email from qeylar

Mar 06, 05:00 PM (qeylar)
Fred wrote:
I think I borrowed Max’s copy of The Purpose Driven Church, otherwise there might be a copy available in the church library (several copies were purchased by the church to distribute to the council).
Oh, and just for clarification, it was Nancy that Lucy was talking to in the narthex (Gloria was sitting right next to Ethel and I during the meeting. Her comment afterwards was that she wanted to Ask Phil what he was talking about – she felt he wasn’t making any sense, talking in circles)
Ah that’s right… I get the two of them mixed up. But suffice it to say, talking in circles is exactly what I was thinking too. Tell her that.
[and this is where I realize where at least one of our subcommittee members was agreeing with us to our face when they really didn’t agree:]
[Vern and his wife] voted for it.
sigh
How weird. Was Gil even there?
After having the Pastor intimate that I was at fault/deceptive for voting to present the question of the deaconate to the congregation… I decided that my only course of action was ‘if in doubt, vote against it’, so I did.
Ahhh…! that makes complete sense to me too especially in that light.
When our committee was first commissioned in council I asked everyone present if they wished to be part of it. Loki said nothing.
Oh my… that’s bad. That is… just…that’s worse than a misunderstanding in my opinion.
One of the reasons we were meeting was to look at something that had the potential to take some of the ‘pressure off of Loki’ but he had to pressure himself further to be at his meeting? Where is there any sense in that. Looking at the Deaconate structure as it was presented, do you see how this is going to save Loki any grief?
Nope nope nope! I told Sigyn that too.
The only reason Loki feels he should have been at those meetings is that he is thinking he might have been able to squelch the nature of our discussion and thus prevent any of it from ever seeing the light of day.
probably. But at the same time, it could have been fun stonewalling him.
He panicked when we came out with a good and thorough report and came to believe the council might actually agree with our recommendation – thus the pre-emptive letter.

As for talking to Loki, nah. Sunday settled that for me. He might make a show of listening but nothing is getting in.
Have you told him that however? I will if you’re not going to be there.
Next time I do talk to him, I’m not bothering with my feeble attempts at diplomacy. I am going to make it a policy from now on to try my level best to get him to be brutally honest with me.
Oooh! This should be fun! <> thems fightin words! ;-)
I don’t know if Gil is interested in doing any confronting or talking, but I’m pretty sure that Vern isn’t. Ethel feels he has always been right in there with Loki and too gutless to tell us in the committee what he really thought. I don’t know if this is fair or not, but he did vote for the thing Sunday.
That is disappointing.
I can understand why you would want to send your note to Loki. I haven’t any faith left that it would do any good, myself, but who knows? You may want to read the book first however, rather than rely on reviews.
I know… :-\
Fred wrote:
Loki is thoroughly sold on it as are several of the council members. Like I said before, I didn’t read it carefully enough to be able to critique it in a way Loki would pay any attention to.
Does it matter? :-)
Check this page out. Full of scriptural refutations. I’m going to start printing and bringing this stuff as often as I can.

http://www.myfortress.org/RickWarren.html

Email from Fred
Mar 06, 09:51 PM (qeylar)
Fred wrote:
I’m not bothering with my feeble attempts at diplomacy.
So I’m betting you’re gonna shake his hand and look him in the eye and say “top of the Ichabod to ya Pastor!"

Actually, in my mind, invoking Ichabod would be more diplomatic than I want to be at this point. I had something more direct in mind like ‘Hey pal, the Ark is gone and guess who is to blame!’ I am hoping it isn’t this bad yet, but I definitely think we are slipping faster and faster in that direction. Don’t know if I would recognize the point of no return when I see it or not. Ethel and I stayed with the Methodist Church much longer than we should have, but then there were other issues that took time to confront first (family history in the church and all of that – no excuse according to Jesus but still hard for us frail humans).

Email to Fred

qeylar quoting Fred:
Sometimes the reaction was shock that I would challenge some of the notions in the book (I still have a mental image of the look on Phil’s face when I expressed the opinion that the selection of worship music can not have anything to do with popular opinion, tastes or attraction and that in fact to do so was harmful. I think he would gladly have burned me at the stake then and there)
OOOOH that sounds fun.
, other times confusion, mostly though, people ignore it. After reading this article, I now realize I should have read the whole book carefully because it would have given me a great deal of insight into what Loki has been thinking these past 3 years and a means of opening up a more honest, meaningful and possibly constructive dialog.
yep. I know what you mean. You know, it’s still possible to do that… I think – at least make a little further inroads into his conscience…. which may or may not bear fruit at this church, but God will, if Loki allows, cause that to grow.
I will make a note to look back over the minutes when I get home this evening. I am certain Barb would have recorded the fact that I volunteered to head up that committee, but she didn’t always record a lot of detail and may have missed the call for volunteers to sit on the committee. I’ll check.
She is hard of hearing – that might explain that. For anyone to argue that you didn’t ask would be to outright accuse you of lying. That’s a pretty bright line I doubt Sigyn or Loki will cross.
Have you been watching 24? I think you’d enjoy that one.

Thought from Fred
I have also been thinking about something I would like both of your opinions on (Cyrano, your questions about how to re-instate the Bible reference on Sunday kind of got me started in this area of thinking). What if those of us who are very concerned about the direction of [OUR CHURCH] and the Covenant in general suggested that we as a church create – I am not sure what you would call it ; a discussion group, Bible study, investigative committee, whatever – of people (make SURE Loki is there or at least invited to be there) tasked with doing fairly exhaustive study on some of these large issues like what really is the Covenant’s belief on women in ministry, where it is coming from and is it justified, is Rick Warren on the right track or is he a self aggrandizing heretic (or somewhere in between), is there really any wiggle room in what Jesus said about divorce or divorce and remarriage, what does the Bible really say about homosexuality. etc., etc. you get the idea.
Basically an ongoing, organized, consistent, purposeful (don’t take that word tooooo seriously) attempt to roll up ourselves as a church, get into the Word, and find out ‘where is it written’ on many of these hot button issues that are tearing the Church apart. I realize it may sound like what you have been doing in Sunday School, but I am thinking more in terms of really deep study with an action orientation – in other words, a willingness to possibly shake the Covenant’s tree a bit if it is called for.

qeylar's reply
I’ve been wanting something like that for a while. That’s kind of what we wanted to get going in Sunday School but if you say “apologetics” (because that is what you’re talking about) people run for the hills.
I’m all for it. I would be fine with doing it during the week but even better, during Sunday School. About the closest we’ve come to these ‘spiritual meat’ issues is Cyrano’s current issue class and Shelly’s evolution class. It makes me very sad to hear Christians coming out of her class going “I dunno if I can subscribe to a literal 7 day creation….”
Very smart people saying this kind of thing too. I pointed him to www.drdino.com (if you want some good stuff to listen to on your computer while working, go there and download his seminars and/or debates. We just bought the DVD seminar set and are probably going to donate the VHS copies we have to the church. Nothing of his is copyrighted because he wants you to copy and hand it out to everyone.)

Cyrano weighs in
Mar 07, 12:52 PM (qeylar)
I’ve just ordered a couple of books that seem to refute PDC, but I’ll need to wait to read them to be sure. I also have yet to read PDC (or PDL for that matter, but qeylar has that one so I’ll fly through that; I have PDC on request at the library).
One thing, though. For my own intellectual honesty, until I’ve actually read the books, I’m hesitant to put my name as endorsement of anything like this (or talk with Loki about it specifically). Excerpting is a little like statistics; you can make them say anything you want. I read through what qeylar had (I found it actually) and it was quite troubling, but still…
Something like this [deeper Bible Study] would be a very good idea. There are some prerequisites to making it work, though, whether the church is pushing it or not:
  1. A committed membership (everyone needs to be involved. They may not speak too much, though that’d be nice, but they need to stay involved in the process and speak when needed).
  2. Small size (or you don’t have discussion)
  3. No pressure to be sensitive, and people leave their feelings at the door. It has to be open for people to say practically anything and not be seen as attacking another or devaluing or whatever the current tolerance newspeak is.
I doubt Mr. Warren would approve…

To Max about the congregational meeting
Mar 16, 10:41 AM (qeylar)
well…
Sigyn tried to answer my question (how are we escaping having a ‘ruling body’ the way things are set up – and what recourse does the diaconate have if the erring member is a council person or two or three or even the pastor?)
Cyrano said I made it fairly clear to everyone there I didn’t like it. heh.
Sigyn bless her heart came up to me and tried valiantly to soothe me afterward but mostly what she did was provide an opportunity to vent. You know how women do that without expecting to come to any definitive conclusion… (not ME of course… ;-)
Well I basically told her (nicely) a lot of the problems I’m having with Loki seeming to pull power plays. I didn’t phrase it that way… just brought up specific instances of behavior, especially the one where he wrote that ‘preemptive strike’ note to the council. I should have emphasized how much “I” he put in that letter, but I forgot.
Anyway she kept falling back to “communication is not being done because Loki’s so busy and overworked and that’s why hard feelings are coming up” – and that is supposed to be ‘fixed’ by the diaconate board. (yeah right…) She also mentioned several times that it keeps coming back to how hurt Loki was that we didn’t include him or even contact him regarding the subcommittee. She mentioned what a “good job” we had done otherwise. (ahem, if it was so good why was it thrown out?)
If Loki was hurt, his beef was with the Council, not us. He should have done what he did to US just because he felt left out. IMO that speaks more to his high opinion of his own importance, much as I love hiim and Sigyn.
Nothing was made any clearer. Lucy stayed out yakking with Gloria and she mentioned yesterday evening when she came through my checkout that she thinks Harry was a little miffed at her for doing so. I dunno. Harry voted for it. Still trying to figure that one out. I voted for the housekeeping changes because I hadn’t noticed anything offensive there, but Fred said that he’d seen something that was changed to accomodate the diaconate board that I must have missed, and so did Cyrano, although he went through it again to make sure right before the vote.
I talked to Alice afterward and she also voted against, of course. She seems to be on the same wavelength as our little minority with regard to most of the stuff going on.
I hate this feeling like a gossip but without getting some communication going and being open with what is going on and what our beefs are, how can anything get resolved?
Another ‘power trip’ happened last week too:
Apparently Lucy got a phone call from Tina last night, she talked to Harry asking if he wanted to be on the Worship commission, etc. and eventually Lucy asked “so have we scheduled a worship commission meeting for this coming month?”
Tense dead silence for a minute…
Finally Tina said “weeeelll… I talked to Loki and we are going to do a little restructuring…”
Basically eventually got around to saying they decided Lucy has been on there long enough and she’s just NOT on the commission anymore and they should have term limits of three years anyway. So they just added that rule. Just the two of them decided that. Now, according to the rules the worship director can decide who they want on the worship commisson. But according to plain old civil conventions they should have at least not blindsided her with that info, or talked to her about it before deciding that she wasn’t going to be on it. And I am curious, how long has Jack been on the worship commission?
I really want to go and confront Loki, not that I think it’ll make a difference. I am frustrated that I cannot quite put my finger on what’s wrong, to explain it to them, other than these subtle manipulative techniques that keep getting employed.
You shouldn’t have withdrawn your name, IMO. We’re gonna have to nominate you again next time. ;-)

Ideas
Mar 26, 02:19 PM (qeylar)
Berit Kjos has a series on Warren . You might find part 4 really interesting: “Dealing with Resisters.”
Apparently some churches actually use the church discipline thing to oust dissenters. This is not a minor thing we’re dealing with.
Talked to Shelly – she seems to have her issues straight too… she wasn’t too thrilled with the Warren books and she seemed to believe me when I explained to her how it can be quite damaging to the church. My evolution printout from the back table disappeared. Not sure who took it nor why, but I’ll just put another one there. I have to fill you guys in on how I have been this past week regarding church issues.
I felt so empty when we went to church Thursday night. But I kept looking at faces, and with the exception of a few, felt like I didn’t know them anymore. With all that has been going on in the news, it was incredibly frustrating to go to church where you’re supposed to feel encouraged and not so alone… and have none of that happen. I got out right after they were done and sat in the car. I haven’t felt so bad since 9-11, and not so bad at church since everyone ragged on me for getting engaged so young, after mom announced it at Bible Study at Maranatha (the church back home…I escaped to the car and cried then too).
Cyrano is also playing Jesus in an interpretive dance set to Ray Boltz’s “Watch the Lamb” and that song always gets me too. Especially when I see Cyrano acting out the part. Kinda hits too close to home.
We went home and watched Gibson’s “Passion.” Cyrano sat with me and he was even sobbing in a couple of places. When Mary runs to him as he falls, and remembers a moment when he fell as a child and she ran to him also – when the battered Jesus speaks to her at that moment, that gets Cyrano. And the moment when he says “Father forgive them” (the first time) as they are putting him on the cross got him too. It is so hard to watch. But worth the grief.
I took a few days off from the Schiavo fiasco just to get my brain together. I have been having such ambivalence about confronting Loki regarding this – I honestly feel quite alone, even though I know you are concerned as well. But I never felt I shouldnt do it – just that I felt terrified to do it and HOW to do it. If this is something Satan is “purposefully” using to disrupt the church, it is normal that I should be a little apprehensive. So I gave it a few days. Just to see if my conviction changes with emotions. It doesn’t. My willingness changes, but not my conviction on the issue. And the more information I find on how this book is being used, the more I realize the “devil’s in the details.”—alot of the details that he conveniently leaves out of his books.
We have a new printer coming that prints duplex. So I can save on paper for all the good stuff I’m planning on leaving around the church. As soon as that comes I plan on starting the ‘campaign.’
However I had another idea that goes along with Fred’s suggestion that we get a Bible Study going to deal with some of these harder issues—I thought that we could start with Rick Warren—putting an ad in the paper along the lines of “Are you tired of the PURPOSE DRIVEN CHURCH? Come join our study on “Who’s driving the Purpose Driven Church?” (or something along those lines.—“what the Bible says about the purpose driven church”) Or whatever.
My letter to Loki has stayed essentially the same through several edits and unless you guys find something glaringly wrong or obnoxious about it, it’s going to go out as is, with as much Purpose Driven refutation attached as I can find.


Email from Fred
Mar 27, 09:36 AM (qeylar)
Fred wrote:
Sorry to hear that this is hitting you so hard. I do understand that overwhelming sense of sadness. The Terry Schivo situation on top of it is like salt in a wound. The inevitability(?) of this sadness or at least the causes of it is a constant topic of discussion for Ethel and I. If nothing else, the time I have spent in the Village School these past 8 months or so has reminded me in the strongest possible ways that there is nothing unique going on here. We humans seems to be trapped into this cycle of throwing ourselves upon God’s Mercy, receiving His Grace, getting puffed up by it and having the audacity to first think we deserved it, then that we had something to do with it, then that we don’t need God at all and turning away from Him and finally, living in the filth of our own making long enough to get our faces rubbed in it so we can eventually ‘re-discover’ our need for God and start the whole thing over again. It is amazing to me that God hasn’t shaken the cosmic etch-a-sketch and started over from the beginning.
Maybe all anyone can do is earnestly seek the Lord, gently but firmly encourage others that do likewise, ask for God’s provision in discerning wrong turns and blind alleys and lovingly try our best to allow God’s light to shine through us to a dark world. In other words, keep speaking out concerning what you truly believe to be wrong, speak for what you believe is right and keep doing it unless someone can prove to you that you are wrong all the while trusting God and remembering that it isn’t about winning or losing the game, but just about playing. I seem to be full of trite, over used metaphors today!
As for me I am beginning to think that I need to ask God more often to help me shake off the sadness, the consternation, the irritation and the fear – leave it all behind, and just serve Him the best I can with a joyous heart and no worries about whether or not I am effective because
  1. That concern in itself is a trap
  2. It really is in His hands any way and
  3. I probably won’t live long enough to have any real perspective on it.
I thought your letter to Loki was good, by the way.

First thought on PDC
Mar 30, 12:40 PM (Cyrano)
This is a draft in progress, so the flow may not be there.
I’ve spent the past couple of weeks reading Rick Warren’s ?Purpose Driven Church? as well as numerous articles and a book that disagreed with Warren’s work. Here’s what I’m thinking so far:
  • A lot of the suggestions in PDC are administrative or practical, and fall into the “avoiding a Christian ghetto” category. Generally, they are things I’ve been saying (or fighting against) for fifteen years myself, and I don’t have a problem with the content of the recommendations themselves (see below, however)
  • Some of the criticism of Warren strikes me as nit-picking, or more accurately, weak “evidence” that was generated to support a pre-existing conclusion (see below, however)
  • While Warren’s suggestions might be good (and certainly producing some effect), I have serious concerns about the rationale he gives (or often doesn’t give) for making those suggestions.
  1. I was initially troubled by the way Warren used a large number of different translations and paraphrases when referring to Scripture. While comparing translations can be illuminating and helpful, the sheer variety of sources (and the extreme excerpting of those sources) just smelled of cherry-picking a phrase because its wording more closely aligned with the point being made. The is troubling, because it’s very easy to shade meanings and cause the reader to infer something that the actual context of the passage would not support. Definitions are critical in discussions, and Warren’s approach here blurs definition of terms all too often, either deliberately or ignorantly.
  2. A general impression I got in reading PDC is that Warren is making huge assumptions about the reader. He often phrases things vaguely or makes blanket statements with troubling doctrinal ramifications, and supplies no clarifying statements. Again and again, I got the feeling Warren was saying “Well, you know what I meant…” Perhaps I did. But the philosophical wiggle-room that is allowed in what he actually says makes it possible, IMO, for different people to reach contrary conclusions while both are holding true to Warren’s statements. This is at best a poor teaching style.
  3. There are several occassions where this vagueness causes one in just a few paragraphs to reach two different conclusions about what Warren believes. Again, this is very sloppy at best. It’s rhetorical bait-and-switch at worst.
  4. Warren does sprinkle legitimate “checks” throughout his book, mentioning the need for a sound doctrine, supporting inerrant Scriptures, spiritual maturity, etc. If one is looking for such things, they provide a legitimate context upon which one could start to implement some of his suggestions. However, such checks are far less common or voluminous than the applications that they are supposedly providing the underpinnings for, so it’s easy to miss or ignore them. This is terribly dangerous, IMO.
  5. Most of PDC is set within the context of an almost purely unchurched-outreach church, and the bulk of the suggestions (or at least the degree to which he takes them) reflect that. However, that is not [OUR CHURCH]’s context at all. Yes, we need to be evangelical, and we must be open to visitors of any level of church and biblical knowledge (i.e., avoid the Christian ghetto). But IMO the problems that [OUR CHURCH] has or will have are far more a result of spiritual immaturity than any inability to reach the unchurched. And while Warren’s book has a chapter on growing saints to maturity, by-and-large I saw no “there” there. Discernment is needed to evaluate how [OUR CHURCH] operates, whether we’re talking about worship music styles or council positions or outreach programs. And that discernment is a product of spiritual maturity, which comes only through a working immediate knowledge of Scripture.
  6. I felt ashamed as I read, because in seeing what was being propagated, and seeing some of the problems in it, I kept coming back to my own lack of discernment. I’ve got significant Bible knowledge and rhetorical experience, but I don’t feel equipped with that “reflexive” application of biblical principle that I consider a hallmark of the spiritually mature. I don’t blame [OUR CHURCH] for that, though I like to think that a more expository style in worship preaching (at least some of the time) would have illuminated this shortfall sooner.

Email to Harry
Mar 30, 03:00 PM (Cyrano)
Questions I posed to a former Council member I am friends with; Harry, married to Lucy who was summarily dumped from the worship commission. (Addition: We’ve since had that “explained” away by the pastor. It is possible this was a legitimate misunderstanding.)
I know we talked a little about this a week ago, but I’m trying to really get it clear in my head by asking several people, so I’m just checking with you again. Re: the council and Purpose Driven Church, was the book recommended/suggested by the denomination?
Harry:No – not from the denomination.
Was it a part of the general “when you’re this far along, you do X” plan that they seem to have (buy land, build, pastor time off, etc.), or for some other reason?
nope.
You mentioned it was recommended reading for new council members. Do you know what context it is put in when presented that way: “We’d like you to read this because…
“It was in the context of “the general ideas in this book are good ones, we’re already doing alot of the things he recommends anyway (mission, vision, Loki likes the baseball diamond visualization of the Christian development, etc.)” It’s not used as a spiritual blue print for the life of Our Church. The content of the book has been openly discussed at council meetings (including Loki) with comments like “we’re not going to do everything he recommends”, “good ideas, but needs to be implemented in the context of the way we do things at Our Church”, etc.
I would not be concerned that [OUR CHURCH] is going to be a blue print copy of Rick Warren’s philosophies. He has a lot of ideas. We’re trying to make sure we’ve picked the good ones and implement them in a way that fits for our church.
Later, Harry added:
Thought of one more thing on “The Purpose Driven” topic….
The first time the book was read by the Council was 3-4 years ago. I don’t know when Loki first read it, but I’ve always gotten the impression that whatever things we’re doing that Rick Warren recommends is somewhat by coincidence, not by design. The Purpose Driven Church has not been treated like a “founding document.” It was read by the Council when Loki took his 6-week renewal leave in the fall of 2001, and has since been recommended to new Council members.
Is qeylar concerned that [OUR CHURCH] is falling in lock-step with Rick Warren and everything we do is “Purpose Driven”? I’m confident that’s not the case, and I’ve tried to outline that in my responses.
Harry

qeylar's reply to Harry
Mar 31, 09:51 PM (qeylar)
Regardless of where we got the ideas from they’re wrong. Loki has been pulling stunts behind the scenes that smack of manipulation (e.g. the booting of your own wife from the Music/Worship Committee which was even more distasteful than the end-around-letter episode from the subcommittee recommendation, and the calling of Max to influence him to withdraw his name from nomination for Church chair.) and this book gives him justification for it.
Harry I think you’re missing what’s going on. Any church that is mature and has people primarily concerned with truth isn’t going to give Rick’s book a second look.
That is why I am concerned.

Well, this must be the day for all of us. I was just informed that there was a meeting held last night after I left the sound booth that our “Traditional” service was being discontinued “because the experiment didn’t work out”. My pastor lied to me last Wednesday when he said that they were open to working something out with those who wanted Traditional music. Also, the Worship director wouldn’t even look me in the eye. Even knowing that this happened last night, the pastor didn’t bother to tell me today while we golfed. I sent the following message to one of my sound committee members who feels like I do:
I won’t be back. You realize, of course, that this is about FAR more than just the music? This was about lying, deceit, unscriptural and false doctrinal teaching, mind control and spiritual and psychological warfare, not to mention misuse of funds and misrepresentation to the congregation about all the business on the outside being run through the church books. Now that I think about it, what took me so long, and why did I think it would end any other way?
...And if he (the pastor) asks me again “Are you willing to die on that hill?” I will reply “I am not dying anywhere—I am attending another church where they don’t practice deceit, mind control or unscriptural teachings!”

A letter from a friend on PDC ideas
BACKGROUND:
As i suspected, your church is congregational. i can’t emphasise the protection issue too strongly. In my particular church, i CAN be sanctioned by the Session (a collection of active Ruling Elders, presided over by the Pastor). However, i can appeal any sanction to the Presbytery of the East of the EPC. For reasons that i will go into later, it is highly unlikely that i ever will be sanctioned. At the simple whim of the congregation, you can be removed as a ‘resister’. Keep this in mind.
NOW FOR SOME MEAT:
The council of course is elected by the congregation – usually the heads of other areas e.g. Worship Committee director, building committee director etc. None of this is based on anyone’s spiritual maturity level.
This is a good starting point for discussion of the underlying concepts. What you are in fact seeing is the process of concensus. There are two popular terms for this consensus process, one has recently come into existence. They are called Diaprax and The Delphi Technique. They are in fact identical. Diaprax is an invented term. It was coined by a man named Dean Gotcher of the Institute for Authority Research in Herndon KS. It combines two Greek Words: a verb meaning discuss, argue, consider, reason (our English word dialectic is derived from it), and another which means what one does, deed, action, practice. The two words are combined into DIAPRAX, meaning the practice of the dialectic.
Here are some references to this procedure. i’ll start with General and move to the specifics:
This article is by a church watch guy named Paul Proctor. Berit Kjos often publishes his articles. It, along with this article by John Loeffler, that shows how the diaprax is used in a more secular setting. The original work on the subject by Dean Gotcher is found here. It is a bit technical, and approximately 52 pages in length. It is HTML formatted for quick download, and is essentially a text file, so it downloads fast and easy. As you read though Gotcher’s work, you will see certain buzzwords that the PDC/PDL cult uses in their world. Some groups are more blatant than others. Some actually use the word FACILITATOR instead of TEACHER.
Traditional Bible study was what is called didactic. This comes from the Greek word meaning to teach. The cognate noun is of course, a teacher. The emphasis in the traditional didactic method is the presentation and proclamation of bible doctrine. It answers the question “What does this mean?
In the Diaprax system, this important step is glossed over. The operative question becomes “what does this mean to us?” Of course, there is a fallacy in that. One MUST determine first what the passage says before they can determine what it “says to us”. In the PDC/PDL this important step is missing, as you may have no doubt noticed.
Here is the primary weakness of the PDC/PDL. It involves Warren’s handling of scripture. You need look at this article to determine how Warren is slaughtering the very basic methods of Scriptural understanding. He has, as Hank Hannegraaff has pointed out in respect to many people, “taken a passage out of context, and made it a pretext for aborrant doctrine”. While the example given deals with the PDL, the PDC uses the same methodology in it’s handling of scripture. As i alluded to above, this methodology as described in the first paragraph of the link, is becomming more common. It is in this however, that you have the beginnings of a plan to defeat this cult.
DEFEATING THE DIAPRAX/DELPHI TECHNIQUE:
FIRST:
Keep in mind that the desired outcome of any “bible study” or small group meeting has been predetermined. That is to say that the Facilitator/Group Leader has the purpose of directing the conclusions of the group toward the predetermined conclusion. Due to the nature of Diaprax/Delphi, this conclusion will ALWAYS be away from a traditional value or traditional understanding of scripture. The Process continues through several iterations to move the group further away from a traditional understanding.
SECOND:
Be nice. Be so nice and sweet that the people around you drop dead from diabetes. Without that behaviour, you and your allies will be seen as a disruption, and treated as such by the facilitator. Never loose your temper (in public), make the facilitator loose his/her temper.
THIRD:
You can’t beat these people by operating alone. One person can simply be ignored. Put together a team, and don’t allow your allies to be seen as working together. If discovered, it would be revealed that the entire group you’re associated with is disruptive (as if they’re not!!). Don’t be seen together during breaks, don’t talk to one another. Your group must be seen as acting independently of one another.
FOURTH: The chosen weapons of battle
Warren’s usage of scripture is at best questionable, and at worst hermeneutically irresponsible. It is on this point that there is a wealth of questions that can be brought out against the PDC/PDL.
  1. Study the scripture citations for EVERY POINT that Warren makes in his books.
    1. Compare with various translations. Warren often uses paraphrases such as Eugene Peterson’s The Message and The New Living Bible because the language appears to support the point that he is trying to make. Compare with more literal translations such as NKJV, NASB, ESV, KJV, and in some cases, NIV.
    2. Context, context, CONTEXT!!! Always see how a passage is used in the context of where it is located in scripture. Warren’s usual mistake is to pull a passage out of context because the wording appears the point he is attempting to make at the time. This is an abuse of “proof texting”, and not an acceptable hermeneutic method.
    3. Remember, not every point that Warren will make will be incorrect. There are instances of correct scriptural exegesis. These correct teachings do not affect the main points of his book.
    4. Be prepared to argue EVERY SINGLE POINT that your study has determined to be an abuse of scripture.
      1. Prepare Scriptural passages that refute Warren’s main points.
      2. Be certain to read the passages cited by Warren in more literal translations, and in context.
    5. NEVER allow the facillitator to proceed without answering your question.
    6. The facillitator will attempt to dodge the question
    7. The facillitator will attempt to rephrase your question into something that you did not intend or ask.
      1. Write the question down if you must
      2. Do not interrupt the facillitator, but follow up with “That’s fine, but you didn’t answer my question, my question was…”
      3. Do the above with a smile on your face. DO NOT LOOSE TEMPER OR PATIENCE.
      4. The facillitator will attempt to avoid you. It’s best to have allies to continue the questioning.
Remember, that the essence of the diaprax/delphi technique is to question ‘authority’. In the case of the PDC/PDL the authority is what the church has HISTORICALLY taught. Well if authority can be questioned, let’s be Tabla Rasa about the whole thing…question the assumptions of the facillitators. Ask them to cite sources for their assertions. Do not permit them to appeal to the audience.
Stick with the factual domain. These ‘studies’ are attempting to take discussion into the affective (feeling) domain, and facillitate change in this manner.
If all else fails, remember that Diaprax seeks to get one to regard Relationship Uber Alles. That is to say that TRUTH is to be sacrificed for the sake of maintaining “Unity”, or Community.
i’m certain that many Purpose Driven advocates have realised this, because in many of these Purpose Driven studies, the use of the bible is discouraged, as witnessed in this exchange .
If all else fails. There will come a point where you and your husband have to determine if it’s best to leave.
i’ve had to make that determination a couple of times, and i’ll end up reevaluating a few more times before this is finished.
Above i told you that i am relatively immune from sanction. That is because of the Presbyterian structure in Church government. i am a member of a denomination. That denomination (the EPC) has rules for the discipline of church members.
i would be called before the session of the church to answer charges. In that meeting, i would take the fight directly to the members of the session (a collection of ruling elders moderated by the pastor), and challenge them to defend the aborrant doctrine that is presented. i have nothing to defend, as my postitions are in line with what the church has historically believed and taught, and can be verified.
Of course i’d probably be convicted (you can’t beat the politics), but would then appeal to the Presbytery of the East. There are enough traditionalists there that i’d win. We have several nationally known scholars in the Presbytery, and they are influential. Again, at Presbytery, i’d take the fight to the opposition. Wouldn’t get emotional, just the facts, but i’d be forceful and knowledgable.
Even if i lost at all levels, the bottom line is that i wouldn’t be removed from salvation, and i wouldn’t be removed from the church, IN FACT, THE INSTITUTION WOULD HAVE PLACED THEMSELVES OUTSIDE THE CHURCH, FOR HAVING DEPARTED FROM SOUND DOCTRINE. i may be excluded from the INSTITUTION, but the institution is NOT the church, although the church includes the institution (in as far as the institution is under the authority of the church).
In the end, you have to rely on the Holy Spirit to convince others. Your responsibility is to present your views as clearly as possible, with as few distractions as possible. No matter what happens, God is still Sovereign, and His will WILL IN FACT be accomplished.
Remember, the gates of Hell will not prevail against the church, but it does not follow that individual congregations will survive. None of the Seven Churches in Revelation exist today. Who are we to assume that our little congregations will survive?
At any rate, this is a strategy that puts the proper spin on things. It is up to the Purpose Driven Cult to prove it’s claims, as it is DEMONSTRABLY outside the teaching and experience of the church.
i’ve heard the old evangelical “pearl of wisdom” called the seven words that wreck churches _“we’ve never done it this way before”_
That false wisdom works on the a-priori assumption that “it” is something that SHOULD be done at all. That rather begs the question.
i’ve given you just a thumbnail sketch of how to fight this perversion of sound doctrine. Your own experience will have to flesh out the details, no two situations are exactly alike. None the less, you will find the material in these multiple links to be of some use, although maybe overly technical.

The anonymous distribution
[note - some of the links in the anonymous distribution are now broken - some of the site have disappeared or moved and I cannot locate the links. Seekersensitive.com was acquired by oldtruth.com so I redirected that link there.]


Apr 07, 03:43 PM (qeylar)
Here is a copy of what I just distributed not an hour ago. One is addressed to Loki and I put it on his desk with the two books I mentioned [Who’s Driving the Purpose Driven Church by James Sundquist, and Deceived on Purpose: The New Age Implications of the Purpose Driven Church by Warren Smith]. The other I put in all the mail folders (including our own – great cover huh? ;-) and contains some of the same information but without the ‘reproof’ aspect. I didn’t specify an identity to which anyone could attribute this distribution. I will say my hands felt a little shaky while I was doing it. Millie was there. – I asked her just to say if Loki asks who put it there, “the person asked me not to say.”
I am betting if anyone brings this up at a council meeting, Loki will initially just about have a heart attack thinking they all got his ‘reproof’ version. But… oh well.
(The page which was inserted into all the mail folders at church was the same except I removed the reproof indicated this way at the beginning and the end of the letter.)

Biblical critiques of Rick Warren’s (Essentially Robert Schuller’s) teachings:

Someone mentioned that so far you didn’t have proof that Rick Warren’s book contained unscriptural teachings. Frankly, there is a LOAD of information out there for anyone that cares to look. Please also read the reader reviews on Amazon.com for “Purpose Driven Church” – sort them by ‘most helpful reviews first.’ However one only need to consult Scripture (which a pastor should be doing himself) to realize how aberrant Rick Warren’s approach is, and how dangerous it is to give to immature Christians who have no concept of what the Bible warns about false teachings and adding to or subtracting from the Word of God.
Two excellent books reviewing Rick Warren’s teachings:
Innumerable times a whole Christian community has broken down because it had sprung from a wish dream. The serious Christian, set down for the first time in a Christian community, is likely to bring with him a very definite idea of what Christian life together should be and to try to realize it. But God’s grace speedily shatters such dreams. Just as surely as God desires to lead us to a knowledge of genuine Christian fellowship, so surely must we be overwhelmed by a great disillusionment with others, with Christians in general, and, if we are fortunate, with ourselves.
By sheer grace, God will not permit us to live even for a brief period in a dream world. He does not abandon us to those rapturous experiences and lofty moods that come over us like a dream. God is not a God of the emotions but the God of truth. Only that fellowship which faces such disillusionment, with all its unhappy and ugly aspects, begins to be what it should in God’s sight, begins to grasp in faith the promise that is given to it.
The sooner this shock of disillusionment comes to an individual and to a community the better for both. A community which cannot bear and cannot survive such a crisis, which insists upon keeping its illusion when it should be shattered, permanently loses in that moment the promise of Christian community. Sooner or later it will collapse. Every human wish dream that is injected into the Christian community is a hindrance to genuine community and must be banished if genuine community is to survive. He who loves his dream of community more than the Christian community itself becomes a destroyer of the latter, even though his personal intentions may be ever so honest and earnest and sacrificial.
God hates visionary dreaming; it makes a dreamer proud and pretentious. The man who fashions a visionary ideal of community demands that it be realized by God, by others, and by himself. He enters the community of Christians with his demands, sets up his own law, and judges the brethren and God Himself accordingly. He stands adamant, a living reproach to all others in the circle of brethren. He acts as if he is the creator of the Christian community, as if his dream binds men together. When things do not go his way, he calls the effort a failure. When his ideal picture is destroyed, he sees the community going to smash. So he becomes, first an accuser of his brethren, then an accuser of God, and finally the despairing accuser of himself.
Because God has already laid the only foundation of our fellowship, because God has bound us together in one body with other Christians in Jesus Christ, long before we entered into common life with them, we enter into that common life not as demanders but as thankful recipients. We thank God for what He has done for us. We thank God for giving us brethren who live by His call, by His forgiveness, and His promise. We do not complain of what God does not give us; we rather thank God for what He does give us daily… In the Christian community thankfulness is just what it is anywhere else in the Christian life. Only he who gives thanks for little things receives big things.
We prevent God from giving us the great spiritual gifts He has in store for us, because we do not give thanks for daily gifts. We think we dare not be satisfied with the small measure of spiritual knowledge, experience, and love that has been given to us, and that we must constantly be looking forward eagerly for the highest good. Then we deplore the fact that we lack the deep certainty, the strong faith, and the rich experience that God has given to others, and we consider this lament to be pious. We pray for the big things and forget to give thanks for the ordinary, small (and yet not so small) gifts. How can God entrust great things to one who will not thankfully receive from Him the little things? If we do not give thanks daily for the Christian fellowship in which we have been placed, even where there is no great experience, no discoverable riches, but much weakness, small faith, and difficulty; if on the contrary, we only keep complaining to God that everything is so paltry and petty, so far from what we expected, then we hinder God from letting our fellowship grow according to the measure and riches which are there for us all in Jesus Christ.”—Dietrich Bonhoeffer
  • 2Ti 4:3,4 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away [their] ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
  • 1Ti 4:6-7 In pointing out these things to the brethren, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, constantly nourished on the words of the faith and of the sound doctrine which you have been following. But have nothing to do with worldly fables fit only for old women On the other hand, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness (all NASB)
  • Pro 1:20-24 “Wisdom shouts in the street, She lifts her voice in the square; At the head of the noisy streets she cries out; At the entrance of the gates in the city she utters her sayings: How long, O naive ones, will you love being simple-minded? And scoffers delight themselves in scoffing And fools hate knowledge? “Turn to my reproof, Behold, I will pour out my spirit on you;I will make my words known to you. Because I called and you refused, I stretched out my hand and no one paid attention; And you neglected all my counsel And did not want my reproof;
  • Pro 29:1 A man who hardens his neck after much reproof Will suddenly be broken beyond remedy.
Loki, you have been spoken to by enough people concerning the spirit of compromise with the world, spiritual immaturity, and lack of discernment that has entered and been condoned (and even encouraged!) in the leadership at Our Church. We need to be refined by the Word… the whole Word, even the warnings against sin and deception, the judgements of God on such people, lest we find ourselves to be among them.due to ignorance and teaching of half-truths.

A quick response
Apr 08, 12:38 AM (qeylar)
The “STUFF” has already hit the fan. Secretary Millie just called me. He came in, saw it, asked Secretary Millie, she said she was asked not to say. He went in his office for a few minutes and came out very upset, saying essentially this is not the ‘Scriptural’ way to do things, etc. (neither is any of the ways we have organized our church, in fact they threw out the scriptural guidelines we came up with for the diaconate thing, so why is it important now to be Scriptural? Rick Warren’s books aren’t Scriptural either!) so implied he wasn’t even going to look at it until he knows who it is.
So …that’s that, I guess. For now.
Secretary Millie sounded mildly amused about the whole thing, but I couldn’t tell. (ha.) I realize this is going to peg her as complicit, too…argh. Pastor is going to feel surrounded, and this will probably bring out his true colors as he will start lashing out at anyone he imagines may have done this. This will hasten the chaff and wheat being separated is all, IMO and draw the dividing line more brightly, making things a little easier to discern for everyone. I almost can’t wait to hear the message on Sunday.
Then again, I can. I don’t enjoy this at all.
I feel miserable about this all. Going to try and look up Alice’s phone number because he may try and blame her first. She needs some forewarning.
Loki thinks it will go away if he (“I’m gonna take my bat and ball and go home!”) ignores it – but with separate handouts in each mail folder incuding Sigyn’s folder…well, we’ll see.
UPDATE:
Millie and hubby (who also disagrees with the book) feel pinned – they want to tell Loki. So I asked if the guys would get together and confront Loki a la Scripture before she does that. She and they seem to have agreed.
Cyrano called the other two guys, and then called pastor and set up a meeting with him at 2pm Central time tomorrow (Saturday)....so… he also told him we were responsible for the note and the books. Hopefully he hasn’t torched them yet.
I am still undecided if I should be there, but I probably should. I’ll just get hyper and overly passionate about the whole thing and cause a scene probably. Better bring the kleenex. I just have to put myself in mind of patiently waiting out Dad’s lectures and ‘calmly answering.’

Email from Sam
Apr 08, 11:41 AM (qeylar)
I don’t know about you and your husband, but sometimes it feels we are the only people who are aware, or sometimes the only people who listen to the sermons. The pastor could say something completely out of line, and when I ask someone their opinion, the shrug and say “I guess I didn’t hear that!” I am trying to educate people who are comfortable keeping their mouths shut to start listening and speaking up.
I’m beginning to wonder if these people have already succumbed to the spirit of the antichrist. Many have been in hurtful circumstances before, and they just want to sit quietly and not stir any more trouble. I cannot sit idly by and let someone spread lies from a pulpit. James 4:17—Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

Meeting this afternoon
Apr 08, 04:02 PM (qeylar)
Cyrano is the only one going this afternoon.
I may or may not go… we’ll see. [I have to work at 5 and don’t know if I want to waste my afternoon casting my pearls before swine, but….]
I think he and Fred and Max decided that Cyrano should approach him alone first and then later bring ‘witnesses.’ we’ll see… I hope at least one of those guys will step up to the plate. More thinking Fred than Max will be willing… but… like I said, we’ll see.

Loki's wife
Apr 09, 02:47 PM (qeylar)
Yesterday my husband ‘talked’ with pastor for… THREE and a HALF hours! They may have agreed on some of the stupid things going on in the music department, [or at least pastor gave that impression, but he has done that before too just to avoid confrontation] but they DID NOT agree regarding the Purpose ‘Drivel’ Church. At the end pastor asked whether it would be worth trying to talk to me. My husband said “frankly, NO.” But today his wife, out of the blue, comes up to me and asks if we can “get together.” (Oh really, now, this is SO transparent. Follow the formula to get the results you want.) I agreed anyway, and this will happen on Saturday the 16th. This is the same procedure they took with some people before who expressed their concerns over this. They really must think we’re fence sitters because we’ve been quietly studying this for so long that they think it’s just a sudden issue that cropped up for us. I am not a computer and you can’t just expect if you follow a pattern they told you in a book about which buttons to push, it’s going to make me ‘behave.’
Our pastor summarized the story of David and Bathsheba today in a message about Solomon (from Ecclesiastes- illustrating ‘a life without purpose.’) and guess which character got left out of the “david and bathsheba” story? Yep… Nathan. I was so tempted to ask him just how many Nathans he requires God send him.
He also spoke about how important it was to have accountability and how David had decided he was beyond having accountability—and the one other guy (he’s about 55, I’m 34) who thinks so much like me that he could finish my sentences for me – he looked right at me and I looked at him and we exchanged that knowing glance and then just looked straight forward again. Our pastor will have NONE of an accountability structure at our church… unless they’re all just like him. When we as a subcommittee recommended an accountability structure, based upon SCRIPTURE – he STRONGLY voiced his disagreement in a letter that contained lots and lots of “me, my, I” and “my vision for this church” etc. Curiously enough, that was something ELSE he mentioned in his sermon about Solomon – how much Solomon emphasises “me, my, I” and what HE did which in the end turned out to be vanity and chasing the wind. I just sat there sometimes visibly cocking my head wondering how he could manage to stay up there and preach without cracking.
So I am going to gather some people together this week for prayer and study and coming up with a clear defense for my pastor’s wife this coming weekend…. I don’t relish this at all. It’s like digging through the trash heap bin to find your paycheck you accidentally dropped in there the other day… Ya have to do it, but man, it stinks.
In adult Sunday School we spoke of the Minnesota Defense of Marriage act that is going before our state legislature soon – and then pastor closed in prayer. It was pretty good up until the point where he said (slightly paraphrased) “Lord [this marriage controversy] shows us what happens when we depart from your (... law? Statutes? Precepts?... no… you guessed it…) Purposes….”
I think I’m going to have to start bringing a scratch pad and marking off how many times he uses the word ‘purposes’ in the course of a service – just to keep myself awake. (yes, I’m being a little hyperbolic here…)
pray for me.

A confusing scripture reference
Apr 09, 04:58 PM (qeylar)
Cyrano just reported (and also told the guys this morning) Pastor actually used [the following idea] to support his support of PDC:
“What about the place where Jesus said when his apostles asked if they should call down fire on those who preached the gospel with bad motives: ‘no, the important thing is that the good news is preached.”
However:
Philippians 1:15-18 (PAUL speaking)

It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. The latter do so in love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains.But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.
Luke 9 (New International Version)

As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. And he sent messengers on ahead, who went into a Samaritan village to get things ready for him; but the people there did not welcome him, because he was heading for Jerusalem. When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?” But Jesus turned and rebuked them, and they went to another village.
Apparently it’s OK to paraphrase broadly in our church. He’s going to ask pastor for the specific reference for that assertion, because these two passages are the closest he can find.
ahem.
Of course, he may very well say “I didn’t say Jesus said that!” Regardless if he quotes the Philippians passage, our concern is that Christ is NOT preached – not the man Rick Warren’s motives…er … purposes.

Can't sleep
I can’t sleep, it’s 2:46 am and I took 2 benadryl about an hour ago. I am feeling a little bit like I might be able to, but before I just ended up crying for my dad, who has been through this very same thing, and wishing I could just talk to him about it. [passed away in 1990]
If you have any ideas what I should bring (regarding information/printouts) to Max and Millie’s tonight let me know. Printout whatever you want/find and bring it too. Cyrano just ordered three more copies of Deceived on Purpose to have on hand. I don’t know if I’ll get mine back from pastor. Who knows, maybe he took it home to cook hamburgers over on the grill.

An appropriate quote
Apr 10, 09:08 AM (qeylar)
I thought this ‘daily quote’ that I received especially appropriate.
The Federalist Patriot
Founders’ Quote Daily
“We have the wolf by the ears, and we can neither hold him, nor safely let him go. Justice is in one scale, and self-preservation in the other.”—Thomas Jefferson

Scary PDC stuff
Apr 11, 02:40 PM (qeylar)
Oh, yikes… oh yikes… check this out. This is not good.
You guys need to talk to pastor without delay and find out if the above is going on. I can come too if you want… but, well, you know me…. so you can decide if it’s worth having me there.
This is the page it was linked from:
Got it from that new discussion group PDL Fictions [now defunct]

Delphi technique
Apr 11, 03:19 PM (qeylar)
Hope this isn’t what happened last night at your meeting at church Cyrano,
which seemed to go ‘so well.’

Sam talks about the Delphi techniques in churches
Apr 11, 03:36 PM (qeylar)
Note the guy’s pastor (this guy is from an AofG church) seemed surprised that he was aware that the Delphi techniques are being employed. I wonder if pastor Todd is familiar with Delphi?
****************************
Sam wrote:
If it’s any consolation to you, it appears this is a growing movement to expose the PDL nonsense. During my meeting with my pastor and his associate last Wednesday, I mentioned that some of the local churches in the area were using the Delphi Technique. He looked both puzzled and shocked that I knew about it. I really believe this is a move of the spirit of the antichrist, not necessarily THE Antichrist. This is very serious business, don’t be mistaken. Yet in this past week, certain events have unfolded that exposed more and more of this in our local church. A music leader from another church is scheduled for a special service with us on May 15, and he is very much opposed to this Warren stuff. He personally spoke with my pastor and said almost the same things, and we had never discussed it together until Sunday night, several days later. I think our pastor may think he has an underground movement in the church now. Keep the faith, this is going to be interesting. I agree with you about that “week long sleep”. Keep me posted on any new developments, okay? Tell your friends and husband that there are other churches going through this, and we all need to pray for each other.

The final straw
Apr 11, 09:57 PM (qeylar)
Tonight we (as many as we can) are gathering at Max’s for supper (according to his invite when I called yesterday to ask for an emergency meeting to come up with a way to address Sigyn on Saturday.
Like I said, Cyrano spoke to him last Saturday and his wife was going to ‘make an appointment to get together…’
But I was waiting for Cyrano to get an answer back as to why Pastor mangled scripture to support his promotion of the Purpose Driven Church/Life in our church. He finally did write back and it was classic liberal backtracking:
In looking at the passage I was thinking of I realized I got a couple of passages combined. The calling of fire down from heaven was indeed the Luke 9:54 passage about the Samaritans not welcoming Jesus (though not entirely irrelevant to the point I was making that our attitudes and motivations in how we treat others matter to God). The passage I was referring to, however, is found in Mark 9:38-40. In this context the disciples were trying to hinder someone from ministering in Jesus name because he was not following their understanding of representing Christ. Jesus corrects this and says, “For he who is not against us is for us.”
A further point of clarification. I am not saying we do not share disagreements, I’m saying we do not reject a brother or sister in Christ just because they do not agree with everything we agree with or have a different emphasis in the ministry. I believe it is important to major on the majors and minor on the minors. In other words, as long as someone believes and teaches what is essential for salvation (what I believe are the affirmations of the Covenant church) then I can embrace him or her as a brother or sister in the Lord even though they may see things a little differently than I do. That is what I was trying to communicate. I hope this is clarifying for you.
That was it… I had finally had it. I ripped my pastor a good one in a reply email. Everyone who’s even concerned about the PDC book in our church is sitting around trying to present their case ‘nicely’ – [please excuse this illustration] peeing on the same round and round the mulberry bush style for years….and pastor remains unrepentant. So I let him have it.

The Ichabod letter
Apr 12, 02:30 AM (qeylar)
I should have approached you a long time ago, before I was upset, but I am far beyond furious now. I am tired of remaining silent. If you read Scripture you’ll realize that when God’s priests and prophets went astray, there were no kindly words for them. So if you use that excuse to ignore this, scripture will condemn you still.
The men who disagree with you are far too nice and refined to take you to task in the manner you need. I have spent three years being depressed because I find no food at this church, because I have to hold in my opinions… because Cyrano labors so long with Ron and no one will set him straight…And because I am fed spiritual pablum at Our Church and I am tired of being anemic. It is only now I realize why I am not being strengthened and encouraged at church. Because no one puts a premium on knowing (first) and doing the Word.
I would get more out of sitting at home and listening to and reading REAL preachers online. You are disgracing the word with your spirit of fear and compromise. Fred warned you that if you didn’t tackle problems head on it would later explode. Well, he’s right. Consider this a warning shot across your bow. If you don’t readjust your focus, your titanic will be sunk. Oh yes, you may eventually have a Crystal Cathedral, but your real mission will be lost. I don’t intend to sit around and watch the people I love get hurt. But I do intend to warn them. And no, I won’t honor any requests to ‘not spread the word about Our Church.’ You ARE liberal, and I will spread it whenever I get the chance. I don’t honor unBiblical promises.
It doesn’t matter what I say, or how nicely I say it, so I figure I may as well cut to the chase and show my true feelings about the Word being compromised. MANY people have approached you, but you turn a deaf ear, why would I be any different if I approached you nicely? You’re right, and no one will convince you otherwise because your mind is made up, and you don’t know Scripture and don’t see the importance of knowledge in that area (in spite of the Covenant motto… which by the way, means you’re baiting and switching to get people to join).
I thought maybe that anonymous note might have more of a chance of making an impression, but no…. you just played the stubborn three-year-old again who, if the game isn’t under his control, stomps his feet and starts throwing his little puny weight around and intimidates the kids around him into thinking it’d be a better idea to ‘go along to get along.’ That’s not the way I operate because it is also unScriptural. I could really care less about getting along, because unity in the midst of lies and half truths is no unity at all… it’s just group-think. Are you familiar with the Delphi method? Because you and everyone at church just about is partaking in it. Perhaps you are doing it deliberately. In fact, many Church Growth fad churches KNOW they are employing these mind-control techniques. “Let’s find consensus, let’s not consult Scripture”? Gosh that subcommittee’s report was sure Scriptural but it wasn’t according to the conclusion we predetermined for the church, so we’ll throw it out.
Yet we must carry out our confrontations face to face because suddenly Scripture is important then…we must know who the dissenters are so we can marginalize them. It doesn’t matter if you marginalize them or not, Loki… if you do not heed the Nathans he sends, God will remove your lampstand himself.
>In looking at the passage I was thinking of I realized I got a couple of passages combined. The calling of fire down from heaven was indeed the Luke 9:54 passage about the Samaritans not welcoming Jesus (though not entirely irrelevant to the point I was making that our attitudes and motivations in how we treat others matter to God).
This is nonsense and CYA backtracking. Maybe you ought to go back and find out what Scripture says about Rick Warren’s teachings too while you’re at it. God doesn’t excuse you from ignoring the truth because you don’t like my ‘style’ or my ‘anger.’ Yes, I am angry, I am angry because this book adulterates God’s precious Word, and you promote it like it’s no big deal. This is anathema to me, and to God. I cannot imagine what you could do to make it better. I cannot stand to be in the same building anymore. The handshake was all I could muster, and I thought your effort to smooth my feathers with a handshake? Oh, come on, what do you think I am, a child? And now Sigyn wants to get together for a tete-a-tete…. I read her mind the moment she started to approach me. How very transparent you two are.
I knew it the moment Cyrano relayed that “calling down fire” story to me that you were wrong (well I knew you were wrong before, but I knew that story was wrong and I just sat there agog at your level of Scriptural mangling to support your untenable position). What you are doing even still is prooftexting. I can use Scripture to say anything I want, and especially if I quote from The Message. But Jesus has a lot of things to say about false teachers and they’re not very pleasant.
How is it that you don’t know your Scriptures? You, having been to Seminary, cannot exposit Scripture like the handful of other believers who are rapidly losing interest in Our Church because of the spiritual twinkies you dole out every Sunday. No wonder I had been depressed until last year. But thanks to you, now I have found a purpose. I wonder if it’s the purpose and vision you had in mind for me? Because I know how important ‘your vision’ is to you.
Mark 9 does not mention anything about teaching something false, it just talks about working miracles outside of the group. Rick Warren preaches Another Gospel and Paul is pretty clear on what should happen about that. Warren repackages Schuller’s Gospel of Self-Esteem. He has it totally backward. He has hidden Robert Schuller’s influence lest he lose market share by being soiled by the widespread knowledge of Schuller’s non-Christian teachings. THERE ARE NO NEUTRAL TEACHINGS. You said yourself on Sunday, the bias of nature is toward disorder and corruption.
What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin;
As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips:
Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:
Their feet are swift to shed blood:
Destruction and misery are in their ways:
And the way of peace have they not known:
There is no fear of God before their eyes.
Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God
You are allowing roots of bitterness to grow rampantly in our church because of your being ashamed of the whole Gospel and your inability to lead. Rick Warren is a false teacher. And I have read his books. I am not just going by hearsay or other papers that quote him. I read his books first and they set off a million alarm bells. ESPECIALLY Purpose Driven Church which can be used to support ANY agenda. How decidedly UnChristlike.. PDC promotes Ron’s behavior (e.g. leading in an area you are not qualified to lead), and yours (*e.g.You sent out that tacky “full of me-I-my” letter, just like the Ecclesiastes passage from Sunday, curiously enough…you sent it out after the subcommittee recommendation, and Sigyn still told me after the vote that you did it because you ‘felt bad that you weren’t asked to be involved,’ when you WERE)....frankly on Sunday I watched you with a lot of curiosity wondering how you could preach the message you preached without cracking in two.. It was all about the things you have done or are seeking to do. I notice you left Nathan out of the story too. How convenient…. remember how the subcommittee sought to bring in a source of accountability to you? Yet you derided King David for his thinking he didn’t need any. How many Nathans are you going to let pass through Our Church? Five? Ten? Twenty?
PDLife you can get away with IF you read from a Scriptural mindset, rather than one ignorant of the Word. However, that is NOT the audience the book is addressed to. So that caveat falls flat.
I knew it the moment Cyrano relayed that story to me that you were wrong (well I knew you were wrong before, but I knew that story was wrong and I just sat there agog at your level of Scriptural mangling to support your untenable position). What you are doing even still is prooftexting. I can use Scripture to say anything I want, and especially if I quote from The Message. But Jesus has a lot of things to say about false teachers and they’re not very pleasant.
How is it that you don’t know your Scriptures? You, having been to Seminary, cannot exposit Scripture like the handful of other believers who are rapidly losing interest in Our Church because of the spiritual twinkies you dole out every Sunday.
I just want to thank you for giving me purpose although I’m sure it’s not exactly what you probably pictured for me. However God’s purposes are not to be thwarted. I’m feeling highly purposeful, especially in the last few months. And this purpose, unlike Solomon’s, will not disappoint even if it brings down people’s anger on my head. I know my Shepherd’s voice.
As for the prophets: My heart is broken within me, All my bones
tremble; I have become like a drunken man, Even like a man overcome
with wine, Because of the LORD And because of His holy words.
For the land is full of adulterers; For the land mourns because of the
curse. The pastures of the wilderness have dried up. Their course also
is evil And their might is not right.
For both prophet and priest are polluted;
Even in My house I have found their wickedness,” declares the LORD.
Therefore their way will be like slippery paths to them, They will be
driven away into the gloom and fall down in it; For I will bring
calamity upon them, The year of their punishment,” declares the LORD.
Moreover, among the prophets of Samaria I saw an offensive thing:
They prophesied by Baal and led My people Israel astray.
Also among the prophets of Jerusalem I have seen a horrible thing: The
committing of adultery and walking in falsehood; And they strengthen
the hands of evildoers, So that no one has turned back from his
wickedness. All of them have become to Me like Sodom, And her
inhabitants like Gomorrah.
Therefore thus says the LORD of hosts concerning the prophets,
‘Behold, I am going to feed them wormwood And make them drink poisonous
water, For from the prophets of Jerusalem Pollution has gone forth into
all the land.’ ”
Thus says the LORD of hosts, “Do not listen to the words of the
prophets who are prophesying to you. They are leading you into
futility; They speak a vision of their own imagination, Not from the
mouth of the LORD.
They keep saying to those who despise Me, ‘The LORD has said, “You
will have peace’”; And as for everyone who walks in the stubbornness of
his own heart, They say, ‘Calamity will not come upon you.’
But who has stood in the council of the LORD, That he should see and
hear His word? Who has given heed to His word and listened?
Behold, the storm of the LORD has gone forth in wrath,
Even a whirling tempest; It will swirl down on the head of the wicked.
The anger of the LORD will not turn back
Until He has performed and carried out the
purposes of His heart; In the last days you will
clearly understand it. Jeremiah 23:9-20
http://www.covchurch.org/cov/formation/pdf/cf-localch.pdf
how to grow a church according to the Covenant documents:
page 7:
the first area or agent of growth is God’s Word …shaping our actions and our lives. As part of the Evangelical Covenant Church, we are people of the Word, who value Scripture as the only perfect rule for our lives. We desire to know, understand, and live out the truths of the Bible. Our hope is not simply to be Biblically literate, as in knowing the facts, but to make Scripture come alive within us… both individually and collectively as a body of Christ.
Any idea when you’re gonna start that doctrine class? And will it contain Scripture?
Also have you found those Scripture references for where Jesus said about preachers preaching with impure motives “what does it matter to me as long as the Gospel is preached”? I’m still looking here.
And how was it that David came to repentance after the incident with Bathsheba? You seemed to have left that out on Sunday when you summarized the story. Also the part about the first child dying. Man, the costs for disobedience are high, aren’t they? And the thing about David not having accountability… isn’t that what our elder board subcommittee recommendation was geared toward correcting?
And speaking of being unscriptural about putting an anonymous note on your desk—just how Scriptural is it to send your wife to talk to me? I read her mind when I saw her coming. Cyrano asked you if it would be worth talking to me, and he told you flat out ‘no.’ And apparently that didn’t get acrossto Sigyn. I notice that what comes out of meetings with Loki for one person seem to be different than what he tells the next.
If she wants to talk to me she is going to have as much hope of changing my mind as you do, so you can let her know that. I know whatever I say to her will go straight back to you as well and that iswhat I am counting on.
You are the one who needs your mind and focus changed. You have short shrifted God’s word in this church and substituted a mantra of “purpose” and given this spiritual twinkie as a feast for the immature believers in the ‘ruling body’ of our church.
Solomon had LOTS of purpose in his life. What was missing was ahdering to God’s precepts. Didn’t he consult mediums too? Rick Warren tendsto quote New Age leaders in his book as support for his nonsense.Hmmm… how similar is that?
I cannot imagine what will change my mind about this church, because you are obviously so set in your path. My heart is already gone from it. I am far more interested in truth than feeling good about myself. And truth gets trampled at every turn at Our Church because no one wants to hurt any feelings.
Do you still want to get together, Sigyn? Because all I am going to do is show you that your husband is being an irresponsible leader. That is why I agreed to it. Upon reconsideration however, I have to wonder if it would be worth the time and heartache for either of us. Without a formal repentance and recantation of the Purpose Driven mantra, there is no use either of you speaking to me.
qeylar
I’m outta there.

A friend's response to reading the Ichabod letter
Apr 12, 06:01 PM (qeylar)
Wow!
I’m trembling just reading it—this is not you, HaShem is giving Todd a warning, you are just the messenger.
Lord, we ask you to cover our sister with your mercy and grace, protect qeylar with your angels and guard Cyrano & qeylar’s family all together. Father, for Loki’s sake, we beg you not to harden his heart, rather to repent.
In Yeshua’s precious name,

Loki's response to Ichabod
Apr 12, 07:39 PM (qeylar)
(This is the complete message, minus his name at the bottom and qeylar’s in the salutation.)
I received your e-mail. I’m sorry you feel this way. I’m trying to do my best in being a Biblical pastor.

Max's response to Ichabod
Apr 13, 01:01 AM (qeylar)
In essence I agree with what Fred said. I would like to add some thoughts, as well. Perhaps one of the issues is what one might consder pent up frustration. I know that you have been somewhat disappointed at my ‘activity’ associated with all that you’ve been frustrated with. However, you need to know that I have spent countless hours discussing various issues with Loki over the last several years. Hence, my counsel at times that you/we need to keep an eye on what we are trying to accomplish. This is a bigger issue than one person, or even a group. The key thing in all of this is to remain blameless, yet stay true to God’s word.
Your letter to Loki obviously represented a gasket failure. Too much pressure that something finally had to give. Unfortunately, as Fred pointed out, you may feel better having released all this pressure, but I’m afraid the validity, truth, and/or substance of your message may be lost amidst the blatant accusations and attacks.
I, too, have learned over the years that more consistent communication, which can be frustrating in itself, helps to keep things at more of a steady state so that an all out outburst does not happen.
I guess I could’ve tried to taken more time with you to discuss the issues Loki and I have poured over througout the past few years. I believe that I have a duty to not compromise on God’s truth and feel as though that I can do this in a variety of ways. I think we satisfied our responsibilities, for example, when we proffered our conclusion on the elder/deacon board recommendation. In other instances, during my discussions with Loki on various topics, I think I have discussed my issues and respresented with commensurate scripture and truth. Sometimes successful and sometimes not.
At the end of the day, I think that you simply need to draw a line and say that if things cross this…then I’m done.
We will continue to pray for the situation, as well and let me know if there is something I can do to help ease your frustrations…

From Sam
Apr 13, 04:16 PM (qeylar)
Have you heard any repercussions since sending this? I have a golf date tomorrow with MY pastor, and I know this subject will come up. He thinks he is above all this, putting himself in a narcissistic position of being too smart and too important to mess with these details.

Email to friends
Apr 14, 09:50 AM (Cyrano)
First, I want to thank each of you for your comments. qeylar’s taking a step back, so she hasn’t seen them or heard much of their content, but I let her know that I thought they were good.
Second, I wanted to let you know that as of this morning, I’m no longer able to continue the discussion with Loki about these issues. Per a note from Phil, due to the seriousness of this issue, qeylar and I have been referred to the Executive Committee for a decision on this issue, and we are not to talk with Loki or Sigyn. In the interim, all leadership or music responsibilities for me have been suspended. It’s quite a solution to the Gordian knot of my current commitments at Our Church… (BTW, this is a paraphrase, but I think it’s got an accurate tone)
It’s a little frustrating; I’ve been working for quite a while on something for Loki, but I suppose it’ll be useful if there’s any sort of confrontation/meeting with the council (I’m thinking there would have to be, but I’ve been wrong before). I’m assuming there will be; the note referenced using a biblical approach for reconciliation. I fear that cow’s left the barn, been turned into quarter-pound patties, and served to the starving masses already, but ah, well.
I don’t want to create a split in this by my actions or how others perceive them, so I’m going to leave it at this for now. You know where to find me if you want to continue the conversation; I don’t want to force you into anything, but I thought given the previous conversations we’ve had and the fact you’ve seen qeylar’s note, that you should know why.
I covet your prayers, as does qeylar.

The Executive Committee responds to Ichabod letter
Apr 14, 10:30 AM (qeylar)
This email came to us today. Both of us were suspended from all activities at the church. They didn’t ask, but Cyrano returned any music he had lying around and gave back his church key today, to avoid the appearance of any problems moving forward.
***********************
Dear Cyrano and qeylar:
This comes in response to the email that Pastor Loki received from qeylar on Wednesday, April 13, 2005, the content of which seriously breaches the vow that she pledged to uphold as a member of Our Church Covenant Church to “Support the ministries of this Church including those of the conference and denomination to which we belong.” Due to the serious nature of the content, the matter has been brought before the Executive Committee of Our Church Covenant Church. Please know that it is our sincere desire to take the Biblical approach in this matter and seek reconciliation. However, until we’re able to take these steps, the Executive Committee, after much prayerful consideration, has taken the following action.
Effectively immediately, all facets of your church leadership responsibilities have been suspended pending the outcome of Executive Committee and Administrative Council deliberations. This suspension includes, but is not limited to, teaching Sunday school, leading and participating on the worship team, keyboard accompaniment, Worship Commission participation, and serving as the church’s Music Director. This action comes directly from the Executive Committee, and as such, we request that there be no further contact with Pastor Loki or Sigyn regarding this matter. Any correspondence should be addressed directly to the Executive Committee of Our Church Covenant Church.
Respectfully,
The Executive Committee of Our Church Covenant Church

Response from a friend to my note
Apr 14, 10:31 AM (Cyrano)
You both are in our prayers. My wife and I had a long talk last night
about how to handle our situation. Since I have a golf date with my pastor in about a half hour, I hope it will open a door for more discussions, without being outnumbered as in the past. Our prayers are with you and others in your congregation, that God will open their eyes.

Response to Ichabod from Fred
Apr 14, 11:33 AM (Cyrano)
Ethel and I feel for you and our prayers are with you both.
Well, I am both surprised and not surprised. I thought, under the circumstances and considering that under the current form of Our Church structure, the executive council is supposed to function as a Deacon board(not Elders!), a meeting should be called for the executive council to decide what to do and how to do it. I am a bit surprised they actually did it. Alice called us about 8:10 last night to ask for prayer support because the council had been called into an emergency meeting set for 8:30. She had heard rumors of things and when she was at our house Wednesday night for Ethel and Gloria’s Bible study and asked me what was going on. I asked her if she had gotten the anonymous stuff in her mail – she had. I told her that you had spoken with the Pastor at length on Saturday about those issues and others. She already knew about that and some of qeylar’s other concerns because she had talked to qeylar on the phone (I think). I told her that qeylar had written a letter and sent it to the Pastor concerning a lot of these things but that the tone of the letter was probably going to cause a stir and that she should be prepared to be called into a meeting of the executive council. I thought about calling you to let you know this meeting was taking place just as a heads up but finally decided that a.) you might have already been informed, and b.) if not, telling you might only cost you a night of sleep for no good reason. Hope I made the right decision. If not, I apologize.
I understand, sort of, why you are not to talk to Loki or Sigyn (after all, you are the folks that once suggested guns and pizza for a care group activity ;-)) – they probably feel that any further communication between the 4 of you, until this is resolved, would only exasperate the situation. It puzzles me a tad bit that they have suspended Cyrano’s music leadership for something that technically qeylar has done (want me to play keyboard on Sunday! That’d cause them to re-consider in a hurry! Wait, they are going to be at a retreat at Lake Beauty – unless they cancel- they won’t be here to hear. Shucks). The only thing I can think of is that they may be thinking that from a Biblical perspective, if a leader in the church doesn’t have his household in order, that he shouldn’t be in leadership. I think, under the circumstances, that stand would be a bit tenuous since a large part of all of this stems from the desire of Loki and the council to side step the Biblical model for male leadership in the first place. At any rate, I think they might be over-reacting just a bit.
I am assuming that the council intends to discipline qeylar, possibly both of you. If nothing else, it might give you a forum to discuss these concerns without any of the evasion that seems to have been characteristic up to this point. It is an unfortunate way to get there, but the Lord may make something good come of this yet. What I find truly interesting in this, is that for a church that has recently become very concerned about ‘spiritual gifts’ that they don’t seem to recognize that IF qeylar has a problem here it is only that she truly has the gift of discernment but hasn’t necessarily learned how to express what she discerns in a way that isn’t threatening to those without the gift.
Even if the cow doesn’t appear to be in the barn right now, don’t consign it to the butcher just yet. All the same, I might not be eating any hamburgers for a while.
We will definitely be keeping you in our prayers.

Thinking about Ichabod
Apr 14, 12:00 PM (qeylar)
I may be willing to say “I’m sorry I went out from my husband’s leadership on this issue.” But that’s all. I will not take back what I said.
I may also be willing to say “I shouldn’t have agreed to meet with Sigyn regarding this, I misled her into thinking I was open to change my mind on this issue.”
However when you think about it, what would have happened had the outcome of my meeting with Sigyn been what they desired? Hypothetically: Sigyn succeeds in convincing me, and sends me back home to a husband who for all they know still has issues with this thing with Loki? Let’s just follow that out… the effective conclusion is that they were seeking to ‘divide and conquer’ a married couple by going through the wife. Soooo scriptural. Scripture is only adhered to when it strengthens Loki’s case. Classic liberal tactic.
Notice that I had my own desire to divide and conquer by agreeing to talk to Sigyn. By hook or by crook I won’t be going through with that I guess.

Response to Ichabod from Fred
Maybe I should go get a tattoo or something…
Ethel heard a news story yesterday about a 14 year old girl in California somewhere who is missing and presumed kidnapped by a woman who is described as having had her eyebrows removed and replaced with barbed wire and also has tattoos of snakes all up and down her arms. So, ah, the bar has been set pretty high.

Response to Ichabod from Max
Apr 14, 08:46 PM (Cyrano)
First, I want to thank each of you for your comments. qeylar’s taking a step back, so she hasn’t seen them or heard much of their content,
Wise move by qeylar.
I do apologize if qeylar feels as though I wasn’t doing ‘enough.’ As I mentioned in my letter, I have spent countless lunches and ‘special’ meetings with Loki on a number of topics…sometimes agreeing…while others ‘agreeing to disagree,’ as the saying goes. I think perhaps qeylar may have benefited from more consistent communication or discussions of the ‘issues’ that ended up building up to the letter that she wrote Loki. I trust that she is not angry with me in any way.
With respect to the actions of the church…I am not that impressed. If the church had a structure that we had proposed, then maybe I would’ve been more aligned with their action. However, they seem to be picking and choosing when it is convenient to apply scripture and when it is not. Moreover, I am not keen on how Phil used email to engage you. It seems to me a more appropriate way would’ve been 1-on-1, or at the least via phone…
Just to let you know, that I did call Loki and explained to him ‘my’ position (prior to me finding out about what happened to you). I did not want Loki to think that there was a conspiracy against him. I plan on discussing things further with Loki, as well. Especially this latest action of removing you. I wonder if Loki didn’t seek direction from the denomination, too.
Nevertheless, please let me know if there is something I can do. Perhaps I can facilitate a more in-depth Bible study at our place with a select group of people?

Canadian friend's response to my note
Apr 15, 04:01 AM (Cyrano)
...sigh… it sounds like a pretty sad and dead end situation is developing… too familiar….

Meeting at the checkout
Apr 16, 12:14 AM (qeylar)
Someone came through my checkout line tonight who just learned of the whole thing recently (last Sunday, as a matter of fact, when they also came through the store). While talking to her and her husband I started choking up and tearing up right there in the store. She said at the end “see you tomorrow” and I said “I don’t know if I’ll be there.” She says “ohhhh… you should come. You can sit by us.”
I wanted to hug her right there. It may be what I should do, but I am not all that excited to do it.
Pray for me, and Cyrano. He was planning to go anyway. I have caused enough trouble and to go almost seems like I’m looking for more.

The next Sunday service
Apr 16, 09:45 PM (qeylar)
Sam wrote:
We will be praying for you and Cyrano. First of all, you have NOT caused trouble. You have told the TRUTH.
Yeah but I did it pretty harshly. Not that I would take it back. I probably would have eventually taken the letter and had him read it to himself while I sat there and waited.
Pastor of course didn’t even LOOK at us the entire service – where we sat in our usual front row seat. I thought to myself what if I walked over across the sanctuary to shake his hand during greeting time? But that thought was of course quickly dismissed.
Interestingly his message was actually fairly good this morning. Hmm… less focus on man’s significance and more focus on God. (would have totally undermined the Rick Warren’s Global Peace Plan attitude…)
Strange. hmmm…
Most of my friends came up to me and talked (and I cried). Funny, I didn’t feel so weird about crying in front of people yesterday as I normally would. Harry got it and gosh he was so sweet… took me completely by surprise, really, but his wife Lucy didn’t talk to me – I told him to tell her I’m sorry and we got to talking around about how I feel they are pushing her out as well, because of this agenda by shallow people, supported by the Warren book. We spoke a bit about the subcommittee thing and eventually he said “so you think we’ve been doing it wrong from the founding of Our Church. I thought a moment and I said “Yes, I guess I do.”
Gil even got the tears, Ethel and Fred got ‘em (Ethel got them on the phone the other day too), and Max just stood there looking kinda awkward, like he didn’t know what to say, never asked how I was doing or anything, then he left. Millie asked how I was doing, at least – that was before the service. In her usual perky style. :-)
****
and then…
Phil came up just as we were about to leave and asked us if we could each meet before the executive committee SEPARATELY.
I said without hesitation NO. (with that ‘what? you have to be kidding!’ kind of inflection) This seemed to surprise him – I went on “Loki and Sigyn tried to divide us last week and that is what really set me off.”
Cyrano was irritated with himself that he didn’t foresee that request coming from Phil and therefore didn’t have an answer prepared. I was surprised that I caught it so quickly because I hadn’t foreseen it either – probably as quickly as I should have caught Sigyn’s original invitation to play ‘divide and conquer.’ Cyrano thought of a good response ‘later’ during the conversation in that it made no sense to separate us since the note informing us of the executive committee’s decision to remove Cyrano’s leadership capacities was addressed to both of us [even though it was because of what *I* did.] I mentioned it seemed there are some double standards as to how these things are applied in difficult situations depending on who is offended. However that would be something to discuss later.
Phil talked about really wanting reconciliation. I said I do too but reconciliation cannot happen by sacrificing truth. Phil said that he didn’t think anyone is going to do that (I can’t remember how he phrased it but that was the general gist) and I said “well, that is one of those things that remains to be seen, I guess.”
After some talking we left him with our basic opinions and that we were not going to go alone. They were basically looking for ammo against Cyrano – thinking he was in on the letter too and would have said things the same way. ...Which he wasn’t and wouldn’t have, he’s far more diplomatic. But their letter was addressed to both of us anyway, so why did they feel then they needed to separate us now? Funny how they almost unconsciously do this kind of mindgame… it’s almost automatic! Frightening….there is at least one guy on there who I wouldn’t be surprised to consciously be using delphi techniques, since he’s a manager where Cyrano works and is fairly…notorious in his behavior.
So, probably Tuesday night. At least we’ll get to say our piece. Loki and Sigyn still won’t be involved, although I said I regretted (and would apologize for) dragging her into it, and she didn’t deserve the blast she got, because what I had to say was directed at Loki. I Also said that we would be open to speaking to both of them before a mediator. Cyrano went into more detail – he’s just so far more eloquent and organized when he speaks. Here I am on painkillers (ran out today, can’t get refilled until tomorrow) too besides, so my short-term memory is even shorter. Runs about ten seconds…

Sam's reply
Apr 16, 09:51 PM (qeylar)
Sam wrote:
Under NO circumstances should you allow them to separate you. That is the main strategy of the Delphi Technique—“divide and conquer”. I hope you have information on that to provide them. Good luck…our prayers will be for you. We had our Sunday night small group tonight, and without having to tell anyone anything about why were weren’t at church this morning, several couples (5 total) are going to visit another church next Sunday. It seems God opened blinded eyes with several people over this past week, without any discussion among us. :-)
qeylar wrote:
oh yes…I know.
I don’t know that they even consciously know they’re adopting these worldly coercive techniques… but slowly but surely they are.
People protest and say “but we don’t even know what Delphi is” (or variations of that argument) – it matters not to me – Delphi is the default politicking strategy of the world. It is in total opposition to the means that are at the church’s disposal.

Fred's thoughts on Sunday
Apr 17, 12:27 PM (qeylar)
Morning qeylar and Cyrano,
I don’t think you are ‘nutty’ for thinking they (meaning the church council) are employing the Delphi Technique. I am fairly unconvinced that it is a conscious effort on their part in as much as they are purposefully (forgive the use of that word) employing it to manipulate anyone. I do believe, however, that this has become so endemic in our culture that most people who have any ‘training’ in ‘people skills’ are touched by it and employ parts of it, often unskillfully and unconsciously, or more dangerously, under a different guise such as a technique for ‘dealing with negative people or perspectives’ without ever having a clue what they are doing and what the long term ramifications are (sadly, they themselves are victims of the Delphi technique in that they have been manipulated or conditioned to use it and aren’t necessarily aware of it). Any time you hear the terms negative people or negative attitude, you can pretty much be sure that it’s origin can be traced back to someone who has ‘trained’ someone else in techniques to ‘make the world a better place’. Unfortunately, those techniques almost always start with the belief – whether articulated or not – that the ends justifies the means (I hate to sound like a skipping CD – since the expression ‘a broken record’ is soon going to mean nothing, I might as well coin a new metaphor here – but I am beginning to believe that there is no greater threat to Christianity, and maybe civilization, that this bankrupt philosophy that the ends justifies the means. Ask Eve. After a few thousand years of contemplating it, she could probably give you an earful about just how destructive that philosophy is!).
It seems people today who have anything to do with other people (such as ministers, doctors, corporate officers, etc. – they don’t bother with multimedia guys) have been trained to believe that all conflict is bad and that confrontation needs to be avoided at all costs. Peace now is prized above all things and if honor, honesty and integrity have to be sacrificed to achieve it, then . . . ahem, the ends justify the means. Unfortunately, this ends justifies the means philosophy is cloaked in what appears to be such high minded goals that people hardly ever see it, let alone question it. This is one of the reasons I really don’t believe, at this point anyway, that the church is consciously utilizing the Delphi technique. They are doing the opposite. Instead of creating and manipulating tensions, they are trying to get rid of all tensions not realizing that they are also closing the door on certain truths. I don’t think that the council is sinister or calculating (at least in the sense that they have things careful thought out, laid out and planned out – they calculate but not well) they are just in way, way over their heads in this and don’t know what to do or how to react as is evidenced by the fact that their initial reaction is to panic and over-react. Separating you is another example of this. I could think of several reasons why they would want to do this (none of them very good reasons) but I suspect that ultimately, they are trying to minimize the unpleasantness of the situation. They will be thinking that they are trying to control it, but really at the base, I think they may be trying to avoid what they may see in their minds as a lot of emotion of various kinds. I certainly hope it isn’t a conscious effort to avoid a confrontation with any truths involved by separating you.
After sitting on the council for 6 years and knowing at least a bit about the personalities of the members that have joined since I left. I can tell you that the executive council is probably feeling very insecure about their ability to handle this but may be unwilling to admit it to themselves. They are scared and they don’t want to make a mistake. They are hurting, confused and don’t want to feel hurting and confused. They are not seeing clearly that you also are also hurting, confused and confounded and don’t want to be. Because they are all big supporters of Loki as a pastor (as they should be if they are on the council) and believe that Our Church is a great church (not absolutely unfounded beliefs – you have to remember, a huge portion of that judgement is going to be relative to what they have experienced prior to coming to Our Church and despite the fact that there are some serious threats to Our Church and some of the directions we are headed could be deadly, Loki is still a decent, if not, in our opinions, somewhat stubborn and right now confused and misguided pastor and Our Church has the potential to recover as a church if we have the will) they are going to be very defensive and will find any criticism of Our Church and Loki to be out of line and incomprehensible. I know it is difficult under the circumstances, but try to feel a bit of compassion for these lambs in the woods, and take things as slow and easy as you can. Most of these people are well meaning in their own way, but most of them are not deep thinkers and probably none of them possesses great wisdom or experience in matters such as this (thought some might mistakenly believe work-related situations to be the same). As you have pointed out, they are contaminated with things like the Delphi technique and seem unable to recognize the Pandora’s box they have opened with the Purpose Driven craze. It is unfortunate, but that is what you have to contend with. I believe that most of them think of me as being hopelessly old-fashioned and ‘out of touch with reality’. They didn’t understand 30% of the things I had to say. That’s ok. I am used to it. I believe they resent the fact that I make jokes about things frequently because they are unable to see that 1. my jokes are almost never at anyone’s expense except maybe me and that they are often expressions of my joy in living and reverence of the Lord rather than an irreverence for ‘serious things’, and 2. that they are also often how I deal with what used to be an oppressive realization of the true state of things around me. Instead of seeing that I am trying to use humor to keep things in perspective and to teach them all a few lessons about life in general, I believe that they may actually regard it as an indication of a lack of understanding and intelligence. Years ago, this would have made me very angry. Very Angry! I used to have a pretty vial temper. These days, when I do something like sit down to discuss disagreements with Loki, I am not holding back anger, I just don’t feel it much any more. I still get frustrated and irritated, but it mostly amuses me in a secret sort of way. Ironically, in a funny sort of way, though I think people often see me as off-the-wall for all of the reasons mentioned above and maintain a mental distance from me, may even feel somewhat superior, it makes me feel closer to them. Maybe I am certifiable! I guess the point of all of this rambling is that I want to plead with you to do your best to keep your sense of humor in all of this and dig down as deep as you can and try to find within yourself some genuine compassion for these people. They need it as much as you do. No matter what the outcome of this week, I am sure there are going to be some very uncomfortable moments. Believe me, I am not trying to minimize what you are feeling nor am I trying to say your feelings are in unjustified but I really, really believe that God has the power and desire to make something good come out of this if only the parties involved are willing to cooperate with him.
You and Cyrano, in my opinion, took the high road by showing up for church this Sunday. No one who knows what has happened expected you there (I have been told that they didn’t think Ethel and I or Max & Millie would be either which is another indication of how badly this thing has been misunderstood so far). A few might see it as an act of defiance – there is nothing you can do to change that – but it reality, I believe is was an act of great courage, faith and belief in the provision of our Lord. The council did absolutely the wrong thing in my mind by suspending Cyrano and could easily have magnified the situation beyond recovery. But like I said, they are confused and frightened and people make regrettable decisions under those circumstance.
I have been told more than I believe I should know about the state of mind of those on the council and don’t feel at liberty to share it with you, but I would like to offer a few suggestions based on this knowledge; take them for what they are worth. Please realize I am not suggesting you engage in any level of manipulations or half-truths yourselves (nor do I believe you would). I am making these suggestions merely to help you as much as I can, avoid being blind-sided.
  1. I personally think no real good would come out of accepting the separation of you two in the discussions to come. If you can do so honestly without recourse to manipulations of your own, try to be respectful by asking for their rational and keep asking (but politely) until you are satisfied that the answer is an honest refection of their motives and then politely argue based on, and only on, the acknowledged facts and rational.
  2. Be prepare to, if you honestly can, apologize for the personal attacks in your letter to Loki while maintaining that you do honestly feel the issues you raised themselves need to be addressed by the council. I don’t personally believe you need to apologize for most of what you said, but I do believe an apology is in order for the way you said it. I think an apology to Cyrano especially, but to both of you from the council is in order for the way this has been handled so far, but I wouldn’t expect or insist upon it.
  3. Because of the emotion in the letter and the reaction it caused and the predisposition of the council to believe that Loki can’t do wrong, be prepared to have the council be mystified by your letter and unable to understand what it is you want. Be prepared to ask, patiently, for a discussion about the actual issues you have raised. Be prepared to patiently explain what the issues are. Be prepared for the probably fact that no one, I mean NO ONE, has looked at any of the information you dropped off anonymously and won’t have thought about or have a clue about the potential dangers of Warren’s approach, let alone the Biblical problems with it.. Be prepared for the widespread belief that either you didn’t read Warren’s book, or you didn’t understand it. Be prepared to stick to the facts without making pronouncements about Warren’s teachings being “false teachings” or Warren being a “false teacher” . That is something the council would have to be lead to see on the merits of the preponderance of the facts and right now, they are completely ill-disposed to do so.
  4. Be prepared to abanVern all references or illusions to any kind of conspiracy of the part of the council. First, in the true sense of the word, there probably isn’t a conspiracy of any kind, but the catch 22 is that if there is, you won’t ever get them to admit it anyway and without absolute, irrefutable proof, any indication that you believe such a conspiracy exists will be used against you. Secondly, be prepared for the possible belief that you two, Ethel and I and Max and Millie have been conspiring. Be prepared for hostility to the idea that anyone in our church should be able to meet to discuss ideas about the church.
  5. Be prepare for the fact that most of these folks don’t understand the concepts you are talking about even if they say they do and you will probably have to proceed slowly and patiently from the foundations, building an understanding. Don’t assume understanding on any point. Be prepared to lay out in a logical and fairly detailed way how you arrived at the conclusions you have arrived at but base that argument upon facts, actual events and developments as much as possible and try to stay away from conjecture or statements about peoples motives (even if you are correct).
  6. Be prepared to love these people as much as you can. They aren’t going to make it easy. Be prepare for the fact that the very approach they take would, if you were unprepared, illustrate and exasperate what it is you are concerned about and that they won’t have a clue about that and may not be capable at this time of seeing it.
I have to send this off. It has take entirely too much time to think this through and write it down – sorry for my ramblings (the morning is gone!), but I felt it was important to try to help in anyway I can. As far as witnesses are concerned, I guess that is up to the council(?). If it would be helpful, I am willing to answer any questions that are put to me.
We have been praying continually for you folks and Loki and Sigyn and the council. I guess pretty soon, we’re going to find out how God plans to answer those prayers! Stay courageous, but stay confident in God’s provision as well.

qeylar's reply
Apr 17, 02:58 PM (qeylar)
No, you know… I’m sorry, but I can’t take it back. It’s not even as bad as I remember from the first night, now that I reread (again – and I thought this a day after sending it, as well).
I realize I forgot to cut parts that I moved around so I duplicated some, but I’m honestly having a hard time figuring out what to apologize for here – Fred you suggested personal attacks might be something I should be prepared to apologize for… I’m … really… stuck on that one. Maybe you guys can give me some specifics from the actual text. I am at a loss myself. I will apologize for sending it to or addressing Sigyn in this at all and I told Phil that. This was not her doing, most likely.
I can’t apologize for being ‘mean spirited’ because any criticism is considered ‘mean spirited.’ And shouldn’t we be indignant if someone misuses Scripture?
I guess I could apologize for saying he doesn’t know Scripture, he probably knows some. (ahem) But frankly, if you can’t see how Rick Warren’s book isn’t dangerous, as a pastor, you cannot possibly really know Scripture. It doesn’t make him a freak or a criminal – it makes him like a zillion other pastors.

Fred's thoughts on the Ichabod letter
Apr 17, 06:34 PM (qeylar)
Ok, sorry for the delay. Here are a few examples of what I meant. Please know that what follows is intended just as constructive suggestions more to illustrate a point than to scold. You asked why I thought you might apologize for the WAY you expressed yourself; following are examples illustrating why I think that.
I should have approached you a long time ago, before I was upset, but I am far beyond furious now. I am tired of remaining silent. If you read Scripture you’ll realize that when God’s priests and prophets went astray, there were no kindly words for them. So if you use that excuse to ignore this, scripture will condemn you still.
The first two sentences, while an accurate reflection of your emotional state, has the effect of issuing a challenge in a threatening way that gets peoples guard up and shuts down their willingness to take anything else that follows as anything but a threat. All they will see from this point on is the threat. The way I see it, you could have remained faithful to your intent by starting out something like…
I should have approached you with these concerns earlier but I was upset and didn’t want my emotions to keep you from hearing what I really want to say. But I really need to discuss these issues you with you so I can’t wait any longer. Please be receptive to what I feel a need to discuss with you. I am concerned that we are wandering from the word at Our Church and because scripture is very plain about what happens to those in authority when they wander, I am concerned for you too.
...says essentially the same thing but doesn’t scare the daylights out of the people reading it. Now I am not advocating that you should have written something like this if you just didn’t feel you could do so honestly, I am just trying to illustrate how the WAY you wrote what you wrote is compromising the ability of those reading it to get to what you really mean.
I have spent three years being depressed because I find no food at this church, because I have to hold in my opinions
Sorry qeylar, but again, this doesn’t leave anyone any room. You wounded the dog, now your backing him into a corner. Again, just an example of how it might have been phrased differently while saying the same thing…
I am saddened that in the last 3 years Our Church doesn’t appear, at least to me, to have grown very much spiritually. I want to see Our Church realize much more of its potential in serving God in this way, but there doesn’t seem to be any kind of forum though which we can talk seriously about these kinds of issues.
I would get more out of sitting at home and listening to and reading REAL preachers on-line. You are disgracing the word with your spirit of fear and compromise.
There is no opening for discussion here, so, in their minds, why would they bother…
It saddens me to say that I spend a lot of time reading on-line preachers and am actually finding them to be more fulfilling. It seems to me that this is not a desirable situation. Loki, it seems to me that you used to preach a stronger, more Biblical message. What has changed? I would welcome an opportunity to tell what I mean.
Consider this a warning shot across your bow. If you don’t readjust your focus, your titanic will be sunk. Oh yes, you may eventually have a Crystal Cathedral, but your real mission will be lost. I don’t intend to sit around and watch the people I love get hurt. But I do intend to warn them. And no, I won’t honor any requests to ‘not spread the word about Our Church.’ You ARE liberal, and I will spread it whenever I get the chance. I don’t honor unBiblical promises.
Why threaten and bludgeon?
I am very much concerned that unless you recapture the fire for the Lord and His word you once seemed to have, that, though we may end up with a church full of people, it will be a lukewarm church. Right now, I am finding it difficult in good conscience to recommend my own church to others. I am sure you’ll agree that is not a good state of affairs.
I thought maybe that anonymous note might have more of a chance of making an impression, but no… you just played the stubborn three-year-old again who, if the game isn’t under his control, stomps his feet and starts throwing his little puny weight around and intimidates the kids around him into thinking it’d be a better idea to ‘go along to get along.’ That’s not the way I operate because it is also unScriptural.
Your point here is that he is behaving childishly, but, I am sorry to have to say it, your way of saying it seems a bit the same. Name calling for name calling sake doesn’t accomplish much of anything. His perspective on the anonymous thing, right or wrong is that it is unscriptural so by calling him childish then saying you are doing things in a scripture fashion reduces the argument to ‘your not scriptural and I am, so there’ in his mind. I just don’t believe this is want you wanted to do.
Gosh that subcommittee’s report was sure Scriptural but it wasn’t according to the conclusion we predetermined for the church, so we’ll throw it out.
Again, sarcasm isn’t going to get you where you want to go, which I believe is more than just venting.
This is nonsense and CYA backtracking. Maybe you ought to go back and find out what Scripture says about Rick Warren’s teachings too while you’re at it. God doesn’t excuse you from ignoring the truth because you don’t like my ‘style’ or my ‘anger.’ Yes, I am angry, I am angry because this book adulterates God’s precious Word, and you promote it like it’s no big deal. This is anathema to me, and to God. I cannot imagine what you could do to make it better. I cannot stand to be in the same building anymore. The handshake was all I could muster, and I thought your effort to smooth my feathers with a handshake? Oh, come on, what do you think I am, a child? And now Sigyn wants to get together for a tete-a-tete…. I read her mind the moment she started to approach me. How very transparent you two are.
I fear this would be perceived as little more than nasty, irrational insults and yet you have so much more of value to say here.
(for example)
I realize that you don’t care for anonymous submissions and perhaps I should not have submitted the material I did that way, (I had reasons for doing so that I would like to discuss with you also) but could you please look at the links I sent you. I am convinced that if you will only look at the links with an open mind you will understand why I am so alarmed. Please don’t dismiss my concern and try calm me down. If you will only look at these critiques of this book I am certain you too will be alarmed.
I knew it the moment Cyrano relayed that “calling down fire” story to me that you were wrong (well I knew you were wrong before, but I knew that story was wrong and I just sat there agog at your level of Scriptural mangling to support your untenable position). What you are doing even still is prooftexting. I can use Scripture to say anything I want, and especially if I quote from The Message. But Jesus has a lot of things to say about false teachers and they’re not very pleasant.
How is it that you don’t know your Scriptures? You, having been to Seminary, cannot exposit Scripture like the handful of other believers who are rapidly losing interest in Our Church because of the spiritual twinkies you dole out every Sunday. No wonder I had been depressed until last year. But thanks to you, now I have found a purpose. I wonder if it’s the purpose and vision you had in mind for me? Because I know how important ‘your vision’ is to you.
Here you set up others as experts over Loki and imply he is a fake and an imposter. The point of a rebuke is to encourage repentance, not to destroy. Expressions like spiritual twinkies can only irritate.
It isn’t my purpose here to tear you or you letter to bits, but you asked what I thought you probably should apologize for and so I am telling you how I see it. It isn’t my intent to be hurtful or condescending, but I am finding it difficult to believe that you find nothing wrong with your mode of expression here. I can’t believe that your intent was just to wound. I won’t believe your intent was to wound. I think far too highly of you for that. I have to believe that your letter was intended to bring about a good change. A great deal of what you say here is true and needs to be addressed, by it doesn’t stand even the smallest chance of being considered if the recipients of the letter are blinded by fear, pain and confusion.

qeylar's reply
Apr 18, 11:19 AM (qeylar)
ccing Cyrano and Max because I mention you at the end Cyrano. Sorry ahead of time but Cyrano we ‘talked’ about this the other night…
Fred wrote:
I should have approached you with these concerns earlier but I was upset and didn’t want my emotions to keep you from hearing what I really want to say. But I really need to discuss these issues you with you so I can’t wait any longer. Please be receptive to what I feel a need to discuss with you. I am concerned that we are wandering from the word at Our Church and because scripture is very plain about what happens to those in authority when they wander, I am concerned for you too.
Yeah you’re probably right. I guess I should apologize for the overall tone BUT I cannot leave the issues I raised – they must be addressed.
...says essentially the same thing but doesn’t scare the daylights out of the people reading it. Now I am not advocating that you should have written something like this if you just didn’t feel you could do so honestly, I am just trying to illustrate how the WAY you wrote what you wrote is compromising the ability of those reading it to get to what you really mean.
sigh I know. I find it tiresome. I had to learn to read the truth through that kind of thing, I don’t see why other people have to be allowed to be babies about it.
I have spent three years being depressed because I find no food at this church, because I have to hold in my opinions
Sorry qeylar, but again, this doesn’t leave anyone any room. You wounded the dog, now your backing him into a corner. Again, just an example of how it might have been phrased differently while saying the same thing…
I am saddened that in the last 3 years Our Church doesn’t appear, at least to me, to have grown very much spiritually. I want to see Our Church realize much more of its potential in serving God in this way, but there doesn’t seem to be any kind of forum though which we can talk seriously about these kinds of issues.
no, really I’ve been depressed. I wasn’t even saddened. I didn’t feel anything.
I would get more out of sitting at home and listening to and reading REAL preachers on-line. You are disgracing the word with your spirit of fear and compromise.
There is no opening for discussion here, so, in their minds, why would they bother…
It saddens me to say that I spend a lot of time reading on-line preachers and am actually finding them to be more fulfilling. It seems to me that this is not a desirable situation. Loki, it seems to me that you used to preach a stronger, more Biblical message. What has changed? I would welcome an opportunity to tell what I mean.
You know, I read these and I see your point but it sounds so bloody…wishy washy, and very easy to dismiss. The whole reason I blew up is because these kinds of nice phrases don’t get anyone’s attention and it really tells me they’re not hearing that kind of approach either… because they assume if you don’t use HOT language, you aren’t really concerned. It’s a catch-22. I dealt with the same with Cyrano when we were first married. He was always so distracted and never paid attention, then he would beg and pry me to tell him what was wrong. When I did, and I pleaded with him for X to change, he would acknowledge, much like Loki, and then do nothing. For years. Until finally I stopped talking and started acting weird. Then he figured out I was serious. Once I put his promisekeepers tape on the burner and turned it on high and left the room. I hate to have to use that as a pattern but people nowadays don’t respond to words.
I will apologize for the tone but with the caveat that I felt that others have been bringing up these concerns NICELY for years and been brushed under the rug and not taken seriously, in my mind BECAUSE they were nice about it.
I thought maybe that anonymous note might have more of a chance of making an impression, but no… you just played the stubborn three-year-old again who, if the game isn’t under his control, stomps his feet and starts throwing his little puny weight around and intimidates the kids around him into thinking it’d be a better idea to ‘go along to get along.’ That’s not the way I operate because it is also unScriptural.
Your point here is that he is behaving childishly, but, I am sorry to have to say it, your way of saying it seems a bit the same. Name calling for name calling sake doesn’t accomplish much of anything.
name calling? I said he played the part. I guess I could have used a different illustration about the kid who jumps in to control the situation when he feels it’s going in a direction he didnt’ have in mind. But I honestly couldn’t think of one.
His perspective on the anonymous thing, right or wrong is that it is unscriptural so by calling him childish then saying you are doing things in a scripture fashion reduces the argument to ‘your not scriptural and I am, so there’ in his mind. I just don’t believe this is want you wanted to do.
It’s the going along to get along part that I referred to as unscriptural.
Gosh that subcommittee’s report was sure Scriptural but it wasn’t according to the conclusion we predetermined for the church, so we’ll throw it out.
Again, sarcasm isn’t going to get you where you want to go, which I believe is more than just venting.
Yep
This is nonsense and CYA backtracking. Maybe you ought to go back and find out what Scripture says about Rick Warren’s teachings too while you’re at it….And now Sigyn wants to get together for a tete-a-tete…. I read her mind the moment she started to approach me. How very transparent you two are.
I fear this would be perceived as little more than nasty, irrational insults and yet you have so much more of value to say here.
Yes I could have avoided the sarcastic tone and just phrased it factually.
Here you set up others as experts over Loki and imply he is a fake and an imposter. The point of a rebuke is to encourage repentance, not to destroy. Expressions like spiritual twinkies can only irritate.
Hasn’t he been rebuked already quite a few times? If this keeps coming up and he thinks it’s just legalism coming in, he owes it to the congregation to do some serious study on what ‘freedom in Christ’ really means. He just wants to ignore it until it goes away. (I know, you know that…)
It isn’t my purpose here to tear you or you letter to bits, but you asked what I thought you probably should apologize for and so I am telling you how I see it. It isn’t my intent to be hurtful or condescending, but I am finding it difficult to believe that you find nothing wrong with your mode of expression here.
Honestly, I don’t like the results, but I don’t see using sarcasm as wrong. I can issue a “Loki” apology and say that I apologize for saying it like I said, except that I felt there were no other options, judging by the way he doesn’t deal with difficult issues. If he can’t deal with Scary Ol’ Rod, why should I think he would deal with something as sticky as this one?
I know I sound a little ‘end justifying the means’ here and that does bother me, but I have a hard time believing this would have gotten past Loki if I had phrased it the way you suggest. Loki would have worked hard to placate me, brushed it under the rug, and hoped no one else would ever see what is going on, because it would undermine ‘his vision.’ You guys have already tried it, haven’t you?
In my mind the whole thing should have been pushed years ago when you two saw this book come in. Max since he had more Bible knowledge at the time should have been leading the charge, but he has unscripturally bound himself to Loki. I should never have had to say anything; the men should have handled it, but everyone is so tired of fighting that they just like Loki hope it won’t amount to much.
However, I’m going out to shoot the alligator in the pond because no one else will do it. I honestly don’t know for sure if Cyrano is doing this because I am so concerned or because he is. And that bothers me too. He assures me he is, but I never know. And now, he has no choice anyway. That bothers me to no end. I don’t want to lead. I really don’t. I hate it. Because I am not suited for it. But to watch the guys beat around the same bush for years without drawing a line in the sand and sticking to it absolutely drives me batty. So far Peter is the only one who really tried and he ran out of patience too. He could have used some help at the time. Where was everyone?
Now I said those last two paragraphs as nicely as I could, is it going to sink in?

Cyrano writes some papers
Apr 18, 11:34 AM (Cyrano)
Here’s what I’ve put together about this whole thing. The bones of these docs were put together while I was talking with Loki, but now I’m not supposed to do that, so I’ve tried to flesh them out in prep for the meeting tonight. I honestly don’t know whether I’ll even have the chance to bring this stuff up, but I thought it’d be good to have thought it through and have the docs available for the Executive Committee (man, you have no idea the censoring I’m doing to try to keep an open attitude there…)
Anyway, take a look if you have time. The Our Church one is mostly complete; it could do with another passthrough for clarity, cutting 10% or so. The PDC/PDL one is still an outline; I haven’t had time to finish it. If you do take a look, I’m particularly interested in places where I’ve misstated events or situations and where your Scriptural interp differs. I’ve provided both a PDF and an editable version, just in case. I’ll probably tweak this before the meeting, so anything you can get me by five would be best.
Note: I don’t have all the old versions of these papers archived. The most recent versions are on this site, though:

The new worship commission chair
Apr 18, 11:53 AM (qeylar)
You remember how my husband said he went to that Worship commission meeting last week or so ago, and the new Commission chair was utterly clueless and caught in the headlights?
Cyrano had held his ground and they talked about how Don had created a situation for himself in that he keeps bringing his daughter up to perform with the worship team even though she is under the age guidelines. However, Cyrano insisted that he is not going to be the bad guy in this. Pastor seemed to agree someone needs to handle it. Of course not him. Even though he volunteered about a month ago.
(but we’ll see)
Well this new commission chair not only thought the meeting was ‘contentious’ but actually spent the entire weekend CRYING at their leadership training seminar this past weekend that they went to… about how BAD it was. Oh brother. I think Don had had her under his thumb and was hoping she would make inroads for him, and she was probably glad and all excited to do it… She comes to the worship commission meeting and BLAM she finds out everyone there has a history with Don, mostly unpleasant because of him, and sees Don for what he really is, and now she’s scared to death. Utterly clueless girl.
The place is such a mess of disorganization and mixed messages, I don’t see how I can possibly continue to attend there.

Membership vows...
Apr 18, 11:56 AM (qeylar)
FIRST-PERSON: Church membership covenant: Expect what the Bible expects
Sound familiar?
CHURCH MEMBERSHIP COVENANTS
Another one

Membership in Covenant churches
Apr 18, 12:04 PM (Cyrano)
From the Covenant affirmations:
[new link http://www.covchurch.org/home/who-we-are/what-we-believe]
When new members join a Covenant church, they are asked two questions about belief:
  1. Do you confess Jesus Christ as your Savior and promise to follow him as Lord?
  2. Do you accept the Holy Scriptures, the Old and New Testaments, as the word of God and the only perfect rule for faith, doctrine, and conduct?
They are then asked if they intend to live as faithful followers of Christ and members of the church and denomination.
That’s all. That is enough.
http://www.covchurch.org/cov/resources/affirmations2.html

Diaprax and Delphi
Apr 18, 03:55 PM (qeylar)
Fred wrote:
(sadly, they themselves are victims of the Delphi technique in that they have been manipulated or conditioned to use it and aren’t necessarily aware of it)
That jives with this:
http://www.newswithviews.com/PaulProctor/proctor8.htm
Facilitators of Diaprax always minimize the importance of scriptural knowledge (facts) and didactic teaching (lectures) in order to successfully seduce their subjects into group participation with un-offensive human interaction, superficial edutainment, non-threatening worshiptainment and dialectic ‘team-building’ techniques. Diaprax doesn’t teach anyone anything except how to THINK, FEEL and EXPERIENCE what everyone else is thinking, feeling and experiencing. The only thing learned by Diaprax is the process itself. What Diaprax is REALLY all about is unlearning your core values—letting go of anything that keeps you from moving toward the new paradigm of global harmony. It’s about turning one’s ears from the Ancient of Days to the latest noise on the street for spiritual guidance and direction.

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A few additional tidbits