December 28, 2008

Ravi Zacharias straying from the fold?

I have gotten a lot of questions about Ravi Zacharias lately, wondering what is up with him and his ministry.

Christian Research Network, Slice of Laodicea, and Apprising Ministries were the ones who seemed to originally break the story of Ravi declaring the apostate Henri Nouwen as "one of the great saints in recent memory."

Several complaints to Ravi's ministry brought the following explanation from a staffer. I hadn't until today read the whole letter... the video of Ravi himself was enough to convince me he is in grave danger. But then I thought, I better read the letter, perhaps there is an explanation. However, the letter is like watching a train wreck. It just gets worse and worse the farther you read.

Article with RZIM response letter

It is so discouraging to see so many Christian leaders falling for this trap. So many look up to them and cannot see that they are heading for a cliff. I know the Lord will preserve his remnant, his church, but that does not remove from his people the responsibility to speak up and refute error from Scripture and all the more so when such influential church leaders are promoting it.

I recently had a discussion about The Shack with someone who insists they were blessed by it. I say BLESSED or just emotionally stirred?

This woman took great issue with the critique posted by Jan Markell, and eventually responded by posting a critique by Lighthouse Alliance church as an alternative.

Both critiques say essentially the same thing, especially concerning the points that this woman took particular issue with. So you can imagine my confusion, frustration, and disappointment to see a mature Christian lady who has been my online friend for years, suddenly making no sense in the area of discussions on the Christian faith.

Phyllis Tickle talking out of both sides of her mouth

Why are we not surprised -- because that is how ALL false teachers speak, while trying to seduce the church. They create an illusion of unity by using deliberate "studied ambiguity" to appeal to both the conservative Biblical members of the flock, and those who at their heart reject the teaching of Scripture.

We have seen that Phyllis Tickle is glad that Sola Scriptura is going the way of the dodo





In my research I came across the Midwinter Conference Schedule for the Evangelical Covenant Church, in which Phyllis Tickle is scheduled to speak. And guess what she is speaking on?

Midwinter Conference brochure

or here for the flash version

Phyllis Tickle
Tuesday Evening Preacher -- "Shaped by the Word"

In preaching on the theme, "Shaped by the Word," Phyllis Tickle explains that "For observant Christians, nothin gis more central to public discussion or private faith than is a clear-eyed understanding of Holy Writ and its formative role in human experience. In this time of reformation and upheaval in American Christianity, there is a great hunger to discover ways of engaging the Word more intimately and more efficaciously. We will look together at why this is so, how it is accomplished, and what are the spiritual and religious results."

Phyllis Tickle is known as an authority on religion in America and is a much sought-after lecturer on the subject.

2 Tim 4:3 anyone? Gathering teachers around them to Tickle their ears? ha! How unfortunate.

In addition to publishing numerous essays and articles, she is the author of more than two dozen books on religion and spirituality, most notably the Divine Hours series of manuals for observing fixed-hour prayer. She was founding editor of the Religion Department of Publishers Weekly, and is frequently quoted in major publications as well as electronic media.

She began her career as a college teacher and served for ten years as academic dean at Memphis College of Art before entering full-time writing and publishing. She received the Mays Award, specifically recognizing her work in gaining mainstream media coverage of religion. She is currently a Senior Fellow of Cathedral College of the Washington National Cathedral. She and her physician husband make their home on a small farm in Lucy, Tennessee, and are the parents of seven children.

If the disparity in what she SAYS she says, vs what she actually SAYS and believes, if that gives you whiplash, well.... get used to it. This is how the most deceptive false teachers operate. We tend to think of false teachers as those who blatantly contradict Scripture, such as Mormons and Jehovahs Witnesses, Jim Jones, David Koresh etc. But false teachers do not gain a large following by being deliberately bizarre and incoherent, at least not at the beginning. Scripture tells us that even the very elect could be deceived in the end times apostasy. Matt 24:24. This is only possible with a lie that is ALMOST true or sounds VERY true.

And the longer you stay and listen when they start going astray, the harder it will be to leave, because they have a spiritually anesthetizing effect. I see this happen with people who stay in a false church for social reasons.

And then there are these gems in the brochure which you might also find interesting:

Dale Keuhne "Is there love to be found in the Biblical Teaching about Sex?"

"This workshop will look at key biblical passages on sexuality (with special emphasis given to Leviticus 18 and 20). It will also tackle the politically incorrect questions that everyone in the pews wants pastors to talk about but who usually don't because of their God-given instinct of self-preservation"

God gives the gift of cowardliness? Of shame for his Word? of Fear of Man?

Scot McKnight: "the Blue Parakeet: Reading the Bible all over again"

"the focus of this workshop will be on (1) how we are actually reading the Bible in the church today, (2) how we can improve our application of the Bible by focusing on story, and (3) how story reshapes the issue of women in ministry.

what on earth does that mean? And why crowbar women in ministry in there? My guess is because they are starting to hear backlash against he idea... but that's just conjecture. I know our ex pastor Todd Ertsgaard would tell people something along the lines of "women can be pastors but not in my church."

"Marjorie J Thompson" "Formed and fed by the Living Word"

"How often do you experience God's Word as 'living and active' (Heb 4:12) in your ordinary routines? How do you invite the Spirit to reviatlize Scripture as a source of "daily Bread"? Learn how to practice depth listening, intuitive linking, and active imagination as keys to unlocking the power of Scripture to address and guide your current condition."

December 16, 2008

Which is more abominable? O Holy Night or O Holy Night?

Recently Tim Kuhl (youtube video has since been pulled) used a recording of the abominable O Holy Night (Listen to audio here) in his church. Kuhl lipsynced the silly version... and not sure why. People (like Todd Friel, Ingrid Schueter, and others) were very offended and rightly so, that this was used in church.

However my contention has always been that the original recording was a parody of show off singers who think that by adding all this "emotionality" and ornamentation. I did some research and found I was spot on.

Back story on the abominable O Holy Night

There is an interview with the original recording artist here
The Abominable O Holy Night - Revealed

So Sunday morning we were on our way to church and managed to flip by AM 1050 from Pipestone MN on the dial. We heard Bill Vanderbush, son of Frank Vanderbush, a local "you can do it" man centered pastor who started Vandenbush ministries or Faith Mountain Ministries.

The sermon was from Dec 14 although the message from Dec 7 is even more offensive and it came from papa Vandenbush. But what really got me was the rendition on Dec 14 of O Holy Night which they played toward the end of the broadcast. It is by David Phelps, performed with the Gaither Vocal Band in 2000 or 2001 according to some youtubers who put it up.

I see our friend Ray Boltz is there in the background... hmm...

And I see ladies in the audience are moved to worshipful poses. Body Prayer anyone? I guess if the audience members look like that it MUST be worshipful music!

But does this equal worship? And worship of whom??

Some people may be blessed by what he is doing up there, but it sure seems to me that that is like saying "some people in a cult may still be saved!" -- they are saved in SPITE of the cult, not because of it. In the same way, if anyone is blessed by this extremely ostentatious showmanship, it is in SPITE of it, not because of it.

For those of you who think it's just a matter of style, I think Renee Fleming is fantastic, but I still don't like her rendition of O Holy Night.

Here are the four Celtic Women singing a better rendition. Less distracting, far simpler.

Josh Groban

However both fairly simple renditions above do not use the line "Truly He taught us to love one another;: His law is love and His gospel is peace." I wonder why.

Nat King Cole

I would love a version of the song by Julie Andrews, but I don't think she made one.

November 23, 2008

A couple of eye openers, I hope

he is starting to sound more and more like the rise of the reich. What about all these youth camps???

Obama's youth army plans

I was listening to this with Vic Eliason and Brannon Howse the other day who brought out more details that really got my hackles up regarding Obama and his (truly devious evil) plans. Plus this was the first I heard of Bush giving away the reins of the US economy to the E.U.


So much for 'lesser of two evils' type voting. What is the point, if someone governs well in the War on Terror, then turns around and gives away national sovereignty!? Well, at least Bush put good judges on the Supreme Court! /sarcasm

This particular program really gave a good overview of the situation, plus touching on how the emerging mysticism creeping into the church is playing into it all and enabling it.

Then on Nov 21 Ken Silva and Ingrid Schlueter talked more in depth about emerging mysticism which was very good.

Folks, this stuff is more than likely creeping into your church even if it is a conservative church. There is just so much naivete out there, and when a good upstanding member brings it in, everyone is too nice to do anything definitive about it. So it doesn't get uprooted, and eventually it will bear its ungodly fruit.

November 10, 2008

Complete Lack of Discernment

My son (age 9), who attends a small LCMS private school, tells me that the kids voted for Obama in their mock election! He says he told at least one of his friends "don't you know Obama is OK with killing babies?"

My question for these Lutheran parents is, DON'T YOU SAY ANYTHING ABOUT THIS TO YOUR KIDS AT HOME???

I know you can't really say much from the pulpit about candidates specifically but... I dunno, all our kids (son 9, daughters 13 and 15) know that Obama is very dangerous to this country. And can even hold their own in a discussion with other kids their age. and McCain is at best the lesser of two evils.

sigh...I feel like I want to crawl into a hole and cry and not come out for... a long time.

Then we had yesterday our missionary to Congo as a guest preacher. He started by reading Psalm 42 from The Message. UGH. It was all about God bringing us Peace but no mention of how we can access that peace or even what KIND of peace it was. No mention of Jesus saying "I came not to bring peace, but a sword!" They are long time friends of our own pastor, whose sermons are actually pretty good and who doesn't rely on gimmicks and 'new fresh relevant translations' (cough cough cough) -- and we just recently complained about our youth pastor going to the National Youth Worker's Emergent Mysticism Convention. Oops... I mean National Youth Workers Convention. So in short order I'm thinking we will be labeled troublemakers... again.

BTW the deacons thanked us for our concern but said they would trust our youth pastor's discernment.

and there was a professionally printed flier that we always have in our bulletins with different little news stories and ideas. I think it was Focus on the Family or some other organization. One of the stories talked about having a football outreach. (rolling eyes).

And we have Sarah Palin the supposed Christian conservative now saying how she wants to work with Obama/Biden and create some sort of unity...

in particular this part:

Palin said she hoped to work with President-elect Barack Obama and Vice Present-elect Joe Biden on energy policy....“So we’ll reach out to Barack Obama and to the people who he surrounds himself with,” she said “A united effort that we certainly will be making here in order to secure our nation and allow us to be more prosperous.”...“It says all good things about our country, and the progress that we have made and the barriers that have come down,” she said. “I couldn’t be more proud of where we are today, you know, this minority status now being kind of propelled to the forefront, that’s healthy. … This is an historic moment. Barack Obama has been elected president,” she said. “And God bless Barack Obama and his beautiful family and the new administration coming in. It is time that we all pulled together and worked together.”


Christians are so lacking in discernment, and so easily cowed. It makes me very sad.

October 24, 2008

AFLC OK with mysticism?

Let me set a little background first.

Last fall (2007), a friend of mine at church who is reformed (we'll call Betsy), and who has a lot of discernment with what is going on in the church, saw that our youth pastor (We'll call George) had Rob Bell's book in his hand. He also had loaned it to another young man (we'll call John) in our congregation who had a lot of discernment (thankfully!) saying "he had some good ideas" but he (George) hadn't read much of it yet.

Betsy very carefully and lovingly presented George with some information on Rob Bell and the emerging church and how dangerous it is. He of course treated her graciously but then turned around a few weeks later and mentioned to my 15 yr old in youth group that 'some people had overreacted' about stuff like this.

MaryAnn (my daughter, not her real name) knew Betsy had been the one who talked to him. I also knew that Betsy was NOT overbearing and had gone way out of her way to be as gentle and kind as possible.

So this irritated me to no end. Betsy was by this time in AZ for the winter so really could do nothing and I wasn't in contact with her.

MaryAnn mentioned it then to (we'll call him Brad) who is an AFLC Bible School grad who helps with the youth. He responded with how we shouldn't judge other Christians just because they do things differently, etc etc. Same line they always use. So after going around on this for a while, Brad asks "for example, you wouldn't judge our reformed brethren as being false teachers just because we disagree on X Y Z"

I said he is not ACTUALLY making the comparison between Reformed Theology and the Emerging church is he? (e.g. comparing the difference between Reformed/Lutheranism and the difference between Emerging church/Lutheranism as being equivalent).

Well, we did get off on a tangent there because of the unclarity with which the Arminian/reformed blowup was handled in the 1990's. He took great offense at my level of alarm. I started researching what Lutherans REALLY believe. Figured out they aren't really Calvinist! (that may be obvious to some but it wasn't to me for a long time!) Meanwhile, Brad went to pastor. Pastor called a meeting. Jason (my hubby, different from Jason Holt/Jason H), me, our three kids, John (the guy who had started reading Rob Bell's book under George's recommendation) and George.

We all talked about it and seemed to understand each other. Ahhh... well glad that was taken care of.

Fast forward to just a few weeks ago. We learned about this in the minutes of a congregational meeting. We are not members so didn't go. Maybe we should. We can contribute to discussion but cannot vote or make motions and stuff.

Our youth pastor asked for $750 to go to this conference:

National Youth Worker Conference page on "connecting with God"

This list of 'techniques' at the bottom as well as some of the stuff mentioned in the paragraphs is all Roman Catholic mysticism. Just surf around the site. He was going to the Nashville one but the agenda is nearly identical in each venue.

Pastor Korhonen called Jason Holt (The AFLC National Youth director) who is promoting this as a good place for our AFLC youth pastors/workers to go, and said there's a big problem with just the names on the speaker roster. I hadn't showed him this page yet but I sent him an email with this link and explanation right away.

JasonH is going to do some research and get back to him. We'll see how that goes.

well apparently he "didn't know" that it had that kind of focus. But George has been there before, according to Brad.

If in the following chat log it has no time stamp it means it had been auto deleted by MaryAnn's phone and she is going by her memory of the conversation. We sent a copy to Brad for fixes there.

3:45 MaryAnn: I don't think it's a great idea for George to go to that conference thing he was talking about raising money for.

Brad: The one in Nashville? Why not?

3:47 MaryAnn: Have you seen who's speaking there?

Brad: No

3:51 MaryAnn:The majority of them are emergent/pro contemplative people. I don't find this to be a good idea.

Brad: Ok

3:59 MaryAnn: That's all you have to say?

Brad: What do you want me to say?

4:02 MaryAnn: I don't know, I guess I wanted you to have an opinion. Maybe you should talk to George about it. I dunno I just feel sort of cheated.

Brad: Why do you feel that way?

4:07 MaryAnn: Because we had this big talk with pastor and you guys where you reassured us that you didn't support this stuff and then he dabbles in it anyway.

Brad: Just because you go listen to somebody or read their book doesn't mean you endorse or support them

4:10 MaryAnn: He's asking for people to raise money for him to go to this thing. If he really wanted to learn about them there are other ways.

Brad: Do you think he'll just blindly accept everything he hears?

4:13 MaryAnn: Is it really worth going to a person with bad theology for that?

4:15 MaryAnn: Why bother doing this, Brad? It doesn't make any sense. Find someone with good theology and learn from them.

4:19 MaryAnn: Except I'm getting better at not getting infuriated with you. I really don't understand what you find logical about it at all.

4:20 MaryAnn: Or right, in any case.

4:24 MaryAnn: That's not the point. I believe George to be a very Biblical man but dabbling in things unbiblical is just a stupid bad idea.

4:25 MaryAnn: You give me the impression that you have no idea how ingrained this stuff is in the church and how much you should be worried about it.

4:26 MaryAnn: Going to something to learn from these people. What exactly does he hope to learn?

4:27 Brad: If you really believe George to be a biblical man then why are you so concerned about it getting into our church from this conference?

4:29 Brad: Are there not unbelievers who have good techniques and methods of working with kids or are Christians the only ones who know how to do that? Can we not learn from them too? Doesn't mean we accept everything they teach but doesn't mean there's nothing to learn from them either.

4:30 MaryAnn: I dont' think that a Biblical person should ask for money from people in their congregation to go to an unbiblical conference.

4:31 MaryAnn: All of their techniques are going to stem from their faulty theology. There are so many better ways to learn how to work with kids.

4:32 Brad: OK I can understand that. Why don't you talk to George about it.

4:33 MaryAnn: I just learned today

4:35 Brad: Where did you learn it from?

4:36 MaryAnn: The website about it

(here I was at the store and sent her a few messages at home)
4:42 Mom to MaryAnn: What was it that Brad said about unbelievers?

4:43 MaryAnn to Brad: For the record I think "can't you sift through someone's crappy theology for an idea" is a productive argument

4:43 MaryAnn (to mom): They can have good ideas about working with kids too.

4:44 Brad: Is or isn't?

4:45 MaryAnn to Brad: Isn't. Sorry.

4:47 Mom to MaryAnn: Oh yeah like the public schools. Great!

4:48 Mom to MaryAnn: However, that isn't what the whole thing is about. I saw Mark Yaconelli had talk about learning to "rest in God"

4:48 Brad: Talk to George about it.

4:49 MaryAnn to mom: umm... so what does that mean?

4:49 Mom to MaryAnn: They can have really bad ideas too. And a little leaven spreads through the whole lump.

4:50 MaryAnn: Yeah, I think my parents are doing something about it. But whatever.

4: 51 Mom to MaryAnn: Public schools dn't have anything to say about how to reach kids with the gospel. It's not about "techniques!" it's about truth.

4:51 Brad: Well be careful how it's done. Because it sure didn't happen well last time.

4:52 MaryAnn: I really don't know what's going on Brad. I feel like I should be really upset and worried but I feel really apathetic because nothing I say seems to Georgeer.

4:54 Brad: I'm just saying there are good ways to go about bringing up an issue and the last time something came up it wasn't done well.

4:56 MaryAnn: yeah I think you guys need to realize that it's not about techniques of reaching people, it's teaching the truth. If kids don't listen it's not because of you.

4:58 Mom to MaryAnn: Dad talking to pastor, may not be same conference.

4:58 MaryAnn to Mom: O drat...

4:59 Mom to MaryAnn: well we will find out. Sure seems like a big coincidence.

4:59 MaryAnn to Mom: Yeah...

5:02 Mom to MaryAnn: Same name same town same approximate town (time) But Brad's reaction is still all wrong. He made excuses for listening to unbeliever tell how to minister.

5:02 MaryAnn to Mom: I know.

5:02 Brad: And just so you know he's been there before and he's going with the AFLC's national youth director and other youth leaders.

5:03 MaryAnn: Does that make it right?

5:04 Brad: It's done no harm yet.

5:05 Brad: Are you going to not come to youth group because he's been there before and has learned from them?

5:06 MaryAnn to Mom: Oh great. Apparently he's been there before and he is going with a bunch of AFLC directors or something.

5:07 MaryAnn: Yeah Brad that's why. It wouldn't have anything to do with the fact that I have dance and a musical practice and I live half an hour away.

5:09 Brad: It was a hypothetical situation. Would it keep you from coming if you didn't have those other things? And responses like that don't help you out.

5:09 Mom to MaryAnn: That seems consistent with what we just heard. I think we are right.

5:11 MaryAnn: I don't see the point in going. And if the conference happens to not be the one I found, your reaction to my opinion was all wrong. You don't go to false teachers for ministry advice. You just don't. And if you don't like me being sarcastic, I don't know what I can do about that.

5:12 MaryAnn: If I say "yes, it would keep me from youth group," would it change anything?

5:21 Brad: Probably not. Especially because you already said he is biblical. Even though he's been there before. So his being there hasn't made him unbiblical. So why should his being there keep you from coming?

5:22 MaryAnn: You don't seem to understand my point, or want to. So whatever.

5:22 Brad: OK

5:36 Brad: I guess at this point we just don't see eye to eye. Just like we didn't in regard to George having Velvet Elvis in his office.

5:38 MaryAnn: You don't understand. It's more than that. But none of you seem to understand that. It's gotten past the point of frustrating me. I'm not even angry anymore. There doesn't seem a point to being angry.

6:00 Brad: Do you respect me less, think me to be less biblical than you previously thought? And don't be sarcastic it's an honest question.

6:01 MaryAnn: I think you're naive. It's a dangerous thing.

6:05 Brad: OK so is that a yes or a no?

6:06 MaryAnn: I don't know. I don't know if our definitions are the same. I still
think you're saved if that's what you mean.

6:08 Brad: But you respect me less?

6:10 MaryAnn: Does it Georgeer? I respect you a lot. And I knew we were going to have a discussion like this sooner or later. I hate doing it but I still care enough.

6:12 Brad: OK. I gotta teach soon. Doesn't mean the discussion is closed, OK?

6:12 MaryAnn: Mm-hmm.

6:13 Brad: K :-)


So anyway, Brad again has talked ( complained?) to pastor.

Jason took the issue to pastor also (already had touched base with him on the phone and now informed him he would be talking face to face with Brad). Dunno what was said. I just get more ticked off the more I hear, even from my hubby, who is patient to a fault, (patient with me also I must admit - but too patient with people who are being political and too trusting of those who try to pull the wool over his eyes) so I stopped listening, stopped asking. I have told him so many times when someone was trying to wiggle out of something, or being political/disingenuous, and been right so many times, and he still won't listen.


MaryAnn asked Brad what specifically we did wrong last time. His answer was something like "I was accused of something based on an assumption your mom made about me that was wrong."

?! what in the world is THAT supposed to mean? How is that "specific"?

I wrote to Jason at work (seems that text or email medium is the best way to communicate around here... no one really sits and discusses stuff...when we do it usually ends up we don't see eye to eye on the spiritual things especially since I did the cannonball in the pool on the whole PDC thing at our previous church).

here is what I wrote to Jason about what I'd like answered by Brad:

You will have to rephrase these for clarity of course, I'm just writing chain of thought.

1. What exactly does he think I accused him of? (emphasize that if there was a misunderstanding about his or my or Lutheran theology re:reformed/arminian that is part of any discussion and it just needs to be clarified and talked out, not sure that that is a 'sin' on my part or his part). If he can remember HOW he came to the conclusion I was accusing him of something that would be helpful.

1a. I still don't understand how he thought the comparison between Reformed Theology and Lutheranism was an equivalent comparison to the difference between Lutheranism and Emergents like Rob Bell. The discussion went like this, as he was by his questions (similar to the questions he raised this time) defending Rob Bell. He was in my recollection suggesting we shouldn't name them as heretical because they are Christian brothers and sisters and just have a different style or see some things differently. (oh the irony). And then he said something along the lines of "for example you wouldn't reject our Reformed brethren for their differences would you?"

This has the effect of making the difference between Lutheranism/Calvinism and the difference between Lutheranism/Emerging churchers out to be equivalent. They are not. It is a false comparison. The fact that he seemed to be implying they were the same was HUGELY alarming to me. It would not be as alarming if he was just a church member and not a teacher. If he does NOT believe that the comparison is valid, he should say so. But getting his opinion out of him is like pulling teeth so I am left to extrapolate based on everything else he says. This is VERY TYPICAL of people who are veering off into left field and it is the exact same approach Doug Pagitt uses, as well as a host of Emergents I have LISTENED to. (Yes, I listen to them too! For free! I don't ask anyone to pay for it! I listen, and then I tear apart their bad theology! and I am not or should not be ashamed to do so. But I should probably get off my soapbox now).

2. Looking through the transcript of stuff he sent to MaryAnn ask if there is any other way to interpret what he said re: defending the idea of consulting unbelievers on how to work with youth. Also if he was JUST playing devil's advocate, I think he went way too far in that, because he gives the impression that he is really in favor of the idea. What else are we supposed to think? If he's trying to use the Socratic method he needs to brush up on his skills some more. This is not public school he is teaching where he has to remain 'unbiased' or lose his job. If he wants to play devil's advocate (which can be a useful tool in small doses just like sarcasm and hyperbole) then he MUST bracket it with big old disclaimers and be clear that is what he is doing. He sounds just like Kathryn who would argue the same way and eventually went off into universalism/emergent philosophy. If you are playing devils advocate with kids with less discernment than MaryAnn, and you never say what actually is CORRECT according to Scripture (under the pretense of being objective and letting the kids figure it out for themselves) they may never GET to the point of understanding what is correct according to Scripture, in order that they may be able to compare what they are hearing TO scripture. You must give it to them. That's your job as a teacher.

3. Ask if he can see how alarming it is to have him in a sort of position of authority over kids telling their kids their parents are wrong or behaving badly. I never got that from ANY of my youth leaders growing up even when my dad yelled at one of them once for staying too late yakking with me in the living room.

My own personal experience with going against someone's parents as an adult to a teen: I remember feeling guilty even suggesting to your badly behaving sister that she had to really have compassion on your mom and try to understand her side of things even if she wasn't perfect...I felt really bad about it because it gave the impression your mom wasn't perfect and might do things wrong! I dunno... fwiw... Even that seemed to be going too far for my comfort level. IMO I was really skirting the edge there. Brad has gone way beyond that line. So I guess this would fall under the "proper way to relate to kids and their parents in his position" part of the discussion. George had some trouble with that and Brad has even more. George may have fixed that since last year when he said that "some people overreacted" etc. The thing about someone (Betsy?) expressing concern over Velvet Elvis - btw Betsy tells me she was SOOOOO careful to be gentle and kind in her approach to him. So the thing about being gentle and kind from Brad and George and "George won't listen to you if you just get in his face" stuff rings WAY hollow to me. Betsy is NEVER that way and if her approach isn't good enough for him then we SURELY have a problem with egos, as I have been suspecting.

4. Can we learn from people who have a speaking style that is more forward than you would like? Do we always have to agree on language tools like sarcasm, irony, hyperbole, and exactly when and where it is appropriate to use them or should there be an effort to understand where the person is coming from and their different personality?

5. If I find his approach as offensive as he finds mine, which of us is correct and why?

6. Does he think MaryAnn is too sarcastic? What does he think about all the other adults who think she is a great communicator, witty, has a great sense of humor, and is articulate, level headed, clear thinking, and confident? Are they just mixed up?

If I think of any more I'll let you know. I suppose MaryAnn could send you her questions too if she has any.

it was done badly last time.

Which part?

1. George loaning John book he hadn't read
2. Betsy warning George about the Emerging church (she has said over and over again she took GREAT PAINS to be as gentle as possible)
3. George overreacting to that loving warning and complaining that some people had overreacted about the emerging church to him - complaining about this to MaryAnn
4. My expression of alarm over this development to MaryAnn
5. MaryAnn's txt conversation with Brad, with me present
6. Brad complaining to pastor
7. Pastor calling a meeting between all of us.

Just which part was done badly?

Last Thursday (10-16) they met for an hour to talk about stuff. Jason wrote up notes and I was so upset I just couldn't bring myself to read them. Jason doesn't defend me much. He has said (to others) that I am capable of defending myself. Well that's chivalrous.

So anyway Jason wrote up his notes from the meeting and sent them both to Brad and Pastor. I dunno how anyone is viewing me now and right now I don't have the stomach to read the notes (he also sent to me).

Sometimes I just want to stay home and listen to good teaching online and forget about going to church where I will surely eventually be labeled as a troublemaker again. My pastor does understand what I am concerned about and shares it. But I am SO GUNSHY now. Even people I agree with tend to tell me I'm going about it all wrong, and I find myself watching them walk away from me. I really don't know what I can change anymore, other than the message. I know I'm not perfect, that I am sometimes cynical or sarcastic, but I look at myself over and over and think what is it that drives people away, makes them tell me to shut up unless I can say it in a way they'd approve (even those who agree with the content of what I'm saying)?

I get so tired of it. Like I said, I know I'm not perfect, but somehow there is more grace for those teaching falsehoods than for those who defend the truth a little more passionately than their peers.


(9:05:52 AM) jason:Got a note yesterday from Pastor re: the Nashville conference.
(9:06:01 AM) terriergal: k
(9:06:33 AM) jason: Don't have it up right now, but the gist...
(9:06:50 AM) jason: The deacons looked more into the conference, some of the speakers, etc....
(9:07:27 AM) jason: And decided to let George decide whether or not to attend, according to his discernment in the Word (or some phrase like that)
(9:08:09 AM) jason: And they were going to tell Holt that was what they decided
(9:08:24 AM) jason: And we were thanked for bringing up the subject
(9:08:27 AM) jason: So I wrote back
(9:09:01 AM) terriergal: oh great
(9:09:07 AM) jason: Thanked him for letting us know the outcome. And told him I was going to talk with George
(9:09:12 AM) terriergal: but are we going to FUND his trip?
(9:09:52 AM) jason: You know, I didn't ask that explicitly. My assumption was that we were. I'll write back to pastor re that.
(9:10:37 AM) jason: And last night I wrote to George saying I wanted to talk with him whatever his decision.
(9:11:20 AM) jason: Had the draft ready in early afternoon, but no address. The church site has very few email addresses. Irritating
(9:16:49 AM) terriergal: ask MaryAnn for his email, i'm pretty sure that's it.
(9:16:54 AM) terriergal: But so far I'm not happy with this outcome
(9:16:58 AM) jason: Yeah, I have it now. Sent the letter last night.
(9:16:58 AM) terriergal: at all.
(9:17:22 AM) terriergal: I'm sorry, but if George wants to go, he can spend his own money.
(9:18:46 AM) terriergal: so are you pleased with the decision so far?
(9:22:33 AM) jason: Sorry, was just pulling up the email from pastor.
(9:22:45 AM) jason: I asked about the funding.
(9:22:50 AM) jason: Here's the relevant quote:
(9:22:52 AM) jason: Also I wanted to let you and Paula know that the deacons discussed George's attendance at the NYWC. They looked at the website and did some checking on some of the speakers. They left it up to George if he still wanted to go, trusting his discernment according to the Word.
(9:23:11 AM) jason: I will also be letting Jason Holt know of their decision.
(9:23:29 AM) jason: No, I'm not pleased. Especially if there's still church funding.
(9:23:35 AM) terriergal: we should put in a request to go to a roman catholic youth conference
(9:23:57 AM) jason: That's part of why I want to talk to George next.
(9:24:03 AM) terriergal: what's the difference?
(9:24:11 AM) terriergal: the deacons don't think it's a big deal
(9:24:20 AM) terriergal: and that IS a big deal
(9:24:32 AM) jason: And it's circulating in my head about what I'm going to teach about
(9:24:51 AM) jason: The funding isn't the sticking point, no.
(9:25:08 AM) terriergal: I thnk you should teach about this.
(9:25:26 AM) terriergal: and why this kind of thing is dangerous. It's getting too little too late again
(9:25:41 AM) terriergal: and I'm ready to start staying home
(9:26:07 AM) terriergal: send the girls to (local small LCMS church) for confirmation or something
(9:27:26 AM) jason: Hadn't thought about (local small LCMS church) for confirmation. I'm guessing the pastor would be willing to catechize them. Probably not actually go through confirmation service (officially) if we're not LCMS.


Jason then went on to say that he was thinking of teaching on the attributes of God. It might stir stuff up. But it'd be the long way around.

I responded that sure, go ahead and be circumspect, that'll work. Just don't be surprised if I don't show up.

I think we should put in a request to go to a buddhist/Hindu/Roman Catholic youth conference, and see if the church supports it.

October 4, 2008

Mark Driscoll on Harsh language at Desiring God 08

WOTM Sept 30, 2008, hour 1
from about 11:30 - 35:00 minutes Give or take.

Talking about the Desiring God Conference, potty words and Mark Driscoll. Todd's take on Driscoll's presentation is essentially  that he agreed with much of what Driscoll said.  I concur as well.

For the most part Driscoll did a good job.

breaks it down into two parts
- be gentle with sheep
- rebuke the swine sternly
- drive off/shoot the wolves

But he didn't agree on Driscoll 's take on skubalon, and neither do I. Interestingly enough, Driscoll tiptoed around actually using those words. IF they are OK to use, why didn't he just use them? 

Paul Tripp did! It was OK for him and apparently to John Piper to go ahead and use the S word in a demonstrative way in a video posted to the public to promote the Desiring God conference. But then Mark Driscoll tiptoed around the word in his own presentation!

Certainly you can refer to false teaching as skubalon /dung/refuse etc. because that's what it is, but Driscoll seems to be implying that we can use the profane version for this term, which Friel rejects.  It's the difference between using slang terms for private body parts, for example, and their proper medical terms.

WOTM even beeped out the word 'ass' which Luther used (meaning donkey not the other meaning) when replaying Driscoll. I can see why they would do it.  I don't think it needed to be done in this particular example, since the word was being used to denote a stupid four legged animal and not the alternate meaning.  I can't see beeping that out when it is still used in hymns.

"How often must I cry out to you coarse, stupid papists to quote Scripture sometime? Scripture! Scripture! Scripture! Do you not hear, you deaf goat and coarse ass?" -- Martin Luther

I can see there being some debate on that particular word since there are two very different meanings right now, but that isn't the one Paul Tripp was using!

I also was NOT impressed with Driscoll at the end of his presentation pulling out the "we are persecuted and dealing with real nasty situations, so don't criticize us, we have it so much harder than the rest of you!" card. I'm sorry, but that doesn't give anyone freedom from questioning and criticism.

7 yr old breaks into Australian zoo, kills animals

There are many news stories about this already, I just picked the first link that came up in a search:

Yeah, I'm a hunter -- I kill animals. I also eat them. I also sometimes eliminate animals that do damage around my property. I also have to eliminate house sparrows in order to protect native birds like purple martins, bluebirds, swallows, and house finches from their attacks. They are merciless and aggressive. But there is NO JOY in killing them. It is actually not fun and whenever a life must be taken in the animal world, I attempt to do it as quickly as possible to minimize suffering. That in itself is enough to set us apart from the animal world. People don't realize that animals are FAR crueler to each other than we are to them. But we should not be cruel to them because we are made in the image of God and cruelty to animals is sick. We should be, at worst, benevolent dictators when it comes to the animals around us. While animals are here for our use, we should never enjoy causing pain or suffering for poor 'dumb' (for lack of a less archaic term) animals.

In today's society there is more sympathy for animals than babies in the womb, but that is another subject.

About six months or so ago, I found a youtube video of some sick aussie kid (older than this) who caught a gouldian finch (threatened in Australia) and fed it to his cat... he would let the cat catch it, then rip it out of its mouth, and do it again, until the bird died. Yeah so it’s just a bird, but the kid was giggling with glee the whole time and thought it a good idea to post his twistedness on youtube, AND besides, the gouldian is a threatened species in its native Australia.

I belonged to the NFSS - I hadt just joined it and paid my dues and joined a private discussion group for it. (National Finch and Softbill Society So I reported this to the group and many other bird aficionado type lists, and asked any Aussies on the list to try and report this kid and get him some intervention.

I was called a sicko by Gwynne Willison, current Advertising Manager for the NFSS, for my trouble. And the mods would not stand up to her. So I am not renewing my membership. It’s a joke. I can't seem to please anyone, not even animal lovers when I try to stick up for animals. The reason she called me this was because to her, it was just as 'sick' to pass the video around as it was to have made it. Never mind that I was passing it around to try and alert people to this kid and to see if someone could help locate him and put a stop to his sick behavior, perhaps someone could take him under their wing and be instrumental in changing the direction of his life somehow.

If only someone would have intervened sooner in this zoo kid's case, maybe this would not have happened. I pray he will get the help he needs and his parents will WAKE UP.

October 3, 2008

Thoughts on McCain

even if you aren't old enough to vote, share this with people you know who are. I like Palin, but I think she has already been handcuffed, and is toeing the moderate line as exhibited in the debate last night. It refreshed my memory of why I did not plan on voting for McCain before she came along and gave me pause. She lost that special something last night and I'm not thinking she'll get it back as long as she has the McCain albatross around her neck.

Think McCain will protect 2nd amendment rights?

Think McCain will promote prolife?

"I'll tell you what a wasted vote is"

Mike Gendron still legitimate

So apparently Mike Gendron is still a legitimate 'evangelist' in spite of his hypocrisy in the treatment of Bear Frankson.  Mike recently spoke at Jan Markell's Understanding the Times conference in Eden Prairie at Grace Church.

He also was  in the pulpit and taught Sunday School recently at Twin City Fellowship, welcomed by Bob DeWaay, who I KNOW would never justify the kind of two faced behavior Mike has engaged in, aided by his wife Jane.

All someone has to do is listen to the phone calls and the publicly broadcast meeting from the following day where Bear was publicly slandered in front of the entire congregation.

The links are posted in this post of mine here:

Jacob Prasch and David Lister sowing more false divisions

I was also publicly slandered via a congregational letter.  None of my friends really thought to go out and counter that lie either with a congregational letter to set the record straight.  A few talked privately to the ones who sent the letter, but that does little to counter public lies.

October 2, 2008

Ensley Alliance church pastor

Here is an example of the love coming from the Christian & Missionary Alliance:
Subject: RE: C&MA Purpose-Driven Pirates Steal Another Church Property and
Loot Bank Account &: Vietnamese Church Files Criminal Fraud Charges Against
C&MA Los Angeles County;"Response to C&MA Bob Wiebe Charges"
Date: Thu, 2 Oct 2008 07:37:12 -0500

What I believe is that you are an absolute idiot and are guilty of causing strife in God's work due to your own sick needs...the Bible says to kick out and refuse fellowship to such individuals and God's hand will bring you Gone you evil man and all who work with you..

A C&MA Pastor

A C&MA Pastor? Well just some quick googling brings up

Rev. Thomas A. Hicks
Ensley Alliance Church
Pensacola, FL.

Pastor Hicks, you should be ashamed of yourself.
OF course, it could be the new pastor at Ensley, depending on who has control of the email address.  It seems Hicks is now in NC.

Ensley Alliance church also has a nice little blog where you can watch over the shoulders of the men at Ensley Alliance Church because they are of course our examples to follow. Is this "you are an idiot" response what you're teaching your men there pastor?

Fireproof A MUST SEE!

We took the whole family on Sunday. Youngest was age 9 and he was able to follow the story and enjoyed it as much as everyone else. I don't know if he quite understood a lot of the adult ideas that were dealt with, as any sensitive ones were dealt with in a vague enough way not to be titillating, and yet they were clear enough for the rest of us to understand.

It is a FANTASTIC GOSPEL CENTRIC/CHRIST CENTERED movie and doesn’t compromise the true Gospel. It does not make it squishy and mushy, nor is it about the power of positive thinking. It is about the illusion of human phileo and eros love (ie.e the transiency of infatuation) vs. the sacrifice and commitment of real agape love. I never thought I would see that kind of contrast accurately portrayed but they did it!

Regarding the 40 day thing -- it is NOT like Purpose Driven at all — Kirk and his ministry buddies are VERY VOCALLY ANTI Purpose Driven. Those of you who know me know I cannot STAND Rick Warren and believe him to be a traitor both to our nation and to the cause of Christ. Possibly less so a traitor to our nation but not much less. The only thing remotely resembling PDL is the 40 day love dare. It is just 40 days of practical ideas for changing how you relate to your spouse (if you want to save your marriage). Caleb starts out just going through the motions and finds it doesn’t work. Then things change because he finally understands the gospel and it finally clicks in his head during a discussion with his dad. The 40 days of ‘law’ (e.g. rules and practical works for how to relate to your spouse) serve as nothing but a mirror to show him how he falls short and cannot fulfill it. It is exactly as it should be.

scripts and production values — well you can see places that could have been done differently. I won’t lie there. But they were also pretty pressed for time. The movie is 2 hr 12 minutes as it is, and what they needed to do was add more time to the beginning. But you make those kinds of compromises, I guess. Kirk has also spoken on how difficult the verbal abuse scenes were for him. I have to say it shows. I know I can be meaner than that. And people who are still passionately fighting back are not yet at the point of abandoning the marriage. Usually they are a bit more withdrawn deliberate, and sullen about it. But then maybe that’s my personality speaking and how I would go about it in that situation.

I thought the trailers on the site did not do the movie justice. I was not impressed with the trailers and even less impressed now that I’ve seen it. So if you liked the trailers you will be even MORE impressed with the actual movie.

The ‘gospel moment’ (if you’ve seen it you know what I mean but I won’t spoil it for anyone who hasn’t) literally was breathtaking and heartwrenching.

there is an IMDB discussion on the movie here regarding the kiss scene in which Kirk's wife posed as a body double.

I signed up just to post a reply. AARRGH!

I don’t get how people are judging Kirk like this... astounding. But then I shouldn’t be surprised.

September 28, 2008

Bob Wiebe, wild man...

Yet more hissing and spitting from the cockroaches disturbed by the light of truth being shined on the C&MA. Bob Wiebe threatens Ishmael's place as 'wild man' from Genesis 16:12

September 27, 2008 5:46:43 PM
To:  Mike Frankson (

I am about to launch a civil law suite against your outrageous accusations. i have asked you before to take me off your mailing list, and now I am telling you that if I ever receive another message of any kind from you or your cronies, I will take whatever action is needed to stop you from these kinds of things. You amaze me at your your ability to defame people, and I suggest you find another line of work that will not get you into the difficulty this one just might, so again, remove me from your mailing list immediately. To have an e-mail address with john-3-1-6 in it is a disgrace to the Bible.

Bob Wiebe

and also to James Sundquist who tried to warn the Canadian C&MA:

From: "Bob Wiebe"
Date: May 5, 2005 5:02:16 PM EDT
To: "'RockSalt'"
Subject: RE: TO CMA Western Staff re Canada's Stoney Creek Alliance Church ousting of 65 for opposing Purpose Driven Church and refusing to sign Rick Warren Covenants joins ranks of U.S. Churches

This is without doubt one of the most damming, judgmental, truth less, pieces of writing I have read in my by now many years of life and ministry. You sir, are throwing the baby out with the bath water, and I have no idea why you would even take the time to write this drivel. Please remove me from your mailing list, or I will put your e-mail address on my block senders list. It is beyond me what you are attempting to do, other than black list the name of a pastor, who while not perfect is never the less one of God’s gifts to the Church.

Bob Wiebe

September 27, 2008

C&MA pastors retaliating against accusations

Funny how no one cares about James who has also investigated this, and they never trot out the 'two sides to every story' argument when they are booting people for resisting false teaching and domineering behavior from their beloved fuhrers.

Subject: Re: C&MA Purpose-Driven Pirates Steal Another Church Property and Loot Bank Account & UPDATE: Vietnamese Boat People Church Files Criminal Fraud Charges Against C&MA in Los Angeles County
Date: Thu, 25 Sep 2008 20:06:00 -0600

Do not send me another email with your divisive propaganda! Shame on you! there is always two sides of the story and I have investigated this. You are spreading lies of what really is going on.

May the Lord forgive you!
Pastor Henry

From: "Mike&Nancy"
Date: September 25, 2008 8:00:11 PM EDT
To: "James Sundquist"
Subject: FW: C&MA Purpose-Driven Pirates Steal Another Church Property and Loot Bank Account & UPDATE: Vietnamese Boat People Church Files Criminal Fraud Charges Against C&MA in Los Angeles County


Subject: RE: C&MA Purpose-Driven Pirates Steal Another Church Property and
Loot Bank Account & UPDATE: Vietnamese Boat People Church Files Criminal
Fraud Charges Against C&MA in Los Angeles County
Date: Thu, 25 Sep 2008 19:48:43 -0400

Dear Mike,

I am making a legal request that you immediately remove my name from
your mailing list, with no further contact!

September 25, 2008

Christian & Missionary Alliance Leader Named in Fraud & Extortion Scheme

[note: I do have the supporting documentation for the Bob Iddings situation, am working to get that up soon]

UPDATE on C&MA abuse of power also posted here:

and here:

September 25, 2008

Christian & Missionary Alliance Leader Named in Fraud & Extortion Scheme

District Superintendent Wayne Spriggs Seizes Reedsville Bank Account and Church Property

On the heels of the C&MA Headquarters being sued for stealing $18,000 bank account and $650,000 church property of a Chinese church in Colorado Springs, and more recently a Vietnamese Boat People Church, in Long Beach California, the Eastern Pennsylvania District of the C&MA as now hijacked another church. And just like the national bank crisis is about real estate, this case of greed is about real estate. But unlike the national bank crisis, the leaders of the Wall Street giants are not blaming it on the investor, while the C&MA is blaming it on the pastor and members of this local church who invested in it. Their punishment? Steal their property! And unlike the current national bank crisis collapse and corruption with Fanny Mae, Freddie Mack, and Leeman Brothers, the C&MA loots church bank accounts in the name of Jesus. This time in Reedsville, Pennsylvania, spearheaded by Wayne Spriggs, District Director, who has a history of threatening people.

The Summary Letter by former C&MA Credentialed Pastor Bob Iddings, Reedsville Christian & MIssionary Alliance Church, Reedsville, Pennsylvania:


“But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand.” (Eze 33:6 AV)

The Christian and Missionary Alliance has seized another church, its parsonage and its bank account, this time by the hands of Wayne Spriggs, District Superintendent of the Eastern Pennsylvania District of the Christian and Missionary Alliance and its District Executive Committee.

A disgruntled adherent from our church who was displeased when she did not get her way, called our District Superintendent, Wayne Spriggs, and insisted on a congregational meeting in an attempt to have me removed from the church and “to ruin me”. Although a congregational meeting was not held, what was to follow was a nightmare for our church adherents and myself.

It was a known fact by our District Superintendent that another church in our community who was currently renting space was interested in our church property, which we feel was at the root of what was to ensue, as Wayne Spriggs is attempting to close many of our small churches to acquire money to fund start up of new mega/emergent churches which he believes is the direction our churches should be going. He is opposed to the small churches and feels that they lack the ability and resources to evangelize.

Wayne Spriggs knowing that I am a man who stands for what he believes, forced my hand by demanding certain requirements to be met by myself and my church people or face closure of the church. He knew we would not agree to his terms, thus forcing my resignation. However, he did not allow us the time we asked for to prepare for closure, but came to our church one Sunday evening with the news the church would be closed, and the next day came and confiscated all financial records and immediately went to the bank and withdrew all the churches funds. Although the church was slated to close in two weeks, there was never another service held at the church and the church adherents were not notified, only to come to the church the following Sunday to find a sign on the door that there would be no services for the next two weeks.

During this time, Wayne made accusations of misconduct on my part to have DEXCOM issue a decree that I was forbidden to attend prayer conference scheduled during the same week he closed the church. This was done in an attempt to keep other churches and pastors from knowing what had happened. During the months that followed, Wayne refused to allow me to attend meetings held by DECOM and LO&CC concerning my situation and when I was asked to meetings with a few of his hand chosen representatives, I was not permitted to bring anyone with me as a witness and I was denied written copies of minutes of those meetings. In addition, when I was cleared of all charges, Wayne immediately had LO&CC suspend my license for failure to follow through with his demands without following proper procedures set forth by the constitution of the C&MA. Although I had challenged him on several occasions concerning his mishandling of the proper procedures to be followed, he chose to disregard my concerns and proceeded forward with his erroneous handling of the situation. I later appealed this to our National Office who found that proper procedures were not followed and asked that he reinstate my license, which he refused to do until I wrote a letter resigning my credentials with the C&MA.

During this entire ordeal, our family was going through a crisis with our daughter who was facing surgery the day after we were told the church would close for possible iliac cancer. Wayne showed no compassion for our situation, nor did he or anyone from the district ever inquire about my daughter’s condition or situation. His only concern was that we be out of the parsonage by May 31st, of which he reminded us on several occasions. He lacked any concern for the fact that we had no job, no income and limited time to find housing due to our family crisis.

Our church was financed through a local mortgage company and we have been totally debt free for at least 12 years. To my knowledge we never had any loans from the C&MA's Alliance Development they would not even have grounds for foreclosure or lien. But it really wasn't even our property or even our money, these were the monies given by our people to God as tithes and offerings. What they (the C&MA) have taken is God's, not man's. I know we were small, but the spiritual growth in the last few years has been great. God called me here to combat those who were trying to control and corrupt His church and be a witness to this community and even as Philip (Acts 8:26) was called to go into the desert to witness to one man.

The Christian and Missionary Alliance is no longer true to the scriptural principles on which it was founded. They are embracing the emergent church movement and will not hesitate to enforce their reversionary clauses and liquidate any churches assets or confiscate funds in order to move forward with their new agenda and fund these new churches. Let this serve as a warning, your church could be next!!! Robert Iddings, former Christian & Missionary Alliance pastor

This hostile takeover by the C&MA is nothing new, but in fact, follows a well published pattern of devouring their own brothers in Christ. Here are two recent pending cases: The C&MA's seizure of the C&MA Chinese church story entitled: "Suing for Reconciliation" is available in Christianity Today Magazine 
and the Colorado Springs Gazette: 
"Congregation Suing District after its Home is Sold" 
Also read the comments on that article. Here is one of oft recommend posts by Rocksalt [see other posts too]:

"My highest commendation to Gazette Reporter Marc Barna..his story was NO SPIN...very balanced! I wrote three documentaries on the C&MA. The truth about what the C&MA did is even more sinister and evil than the article reflects. The account by the Chinese members is correct. A public relations nightmare for the C&MA either way the court case goes. One clarification re The "Reversion Clause" is that "accredited", though it makes it much easier to hijack the church then when it is merely "affiliated", it is not license, due process, and the absence of fraud and arbitrariness must prevail in exercising the reversion clause...even the C&MA Constitution states this. For a complete report on the C&MA's seizure of the Chinese church and the more recent seizure of another ethnic church and its even larger bank account by the C&MA which was a Vietnamese Boat People church in Long Beach, California, and the investigation of C&MA VIce President John Soper, contact"

The Vietnamese hostile takeover story will be in an upcoming issue of District Weekly in Long Beach, California. Update: On September 22, 2008, Daniel Nguyen, former members of the Vietnamese "Boat People" Christian and Missionary Alliance Church, Long Beach, California filed criminal fraud charges against the Christian & Missionary Alliance in Long Beach, California. For independent verification and a copy of the filing, contact:

Sr. Inv. Randal McNary
L.A. County District Attorney
201 N. Figueroa Street
Ste 1500
Los Angeles, CA 90012
213-580-8733 (o)
213-202-5954 (f)
213-379-2044 (c)

Full report of Christian & Missionary Alliance denomination hijacking of Reedsville Christian and Missionary Alliance Church is available at:


Once again, the Christian and Missionary Alliance has trashed the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution Freedom of Religion by snatching and poaching church properties and bank accounts and rendering victims into villains and villains into heroes.

C&MA Pastors are already retaliating from this news release, virtually none showed charity or compassion for the victim and most attack the messenger, one even accused the messenger of “Mail Fraud” and “Invasion of Privacy” from C&MA Pastor Jim Grumbine. Invasion of Privacy? What hypocrites! How about the invasion of the privacy of the Vietnamese and Chinese church bank accounts and churches? Here is a link to the retaliation responses from C&MA pastors from Jim Grumbine and other recent church and bank hijackings:


Pastor Jim Grumbine's charitable attitude

Upon hearing about the unethical behavior toward a fellow pastor by the illustrious Wayne Spriggs, Jim Grumbine of Discovery Church.   um... what denomination is that again? OH Christian & Missionary Alliance... wonder why it isn't in the name of the church? I think I remember reading that suggestion in a book or article by Rick Warren....taking your denomination out of the name of the church... turns people off. I guess I can see why in this case.  A lot of YELLING GOING ON AT THIS CHURCH, APPARENTLY:




Um.. yeah those questionable means of communicating with other people who know you.  If contacting someone once or twice by email to plead with them regarding an injustice done, or warn them against spiritual danger, is that really an invasion of privacy?  In the latter case (warning against spiritual danger) the world might think so, but should Christians really play that card so easily?  Next thing you know that will be the defense of anyone who has Matt 18's church disciplinary process brought against them.

His phone number is available online.  I wonder if anyone who calls it with a message he doesn't want to hear is accused of violating his privacy?  Snail mail?  Violating right to privacy, surely!

A man who hardens his neck after much reproof Will suddenly be broken beyond remedy. Prov 29:1

Lord help us to submit to warnings and to stand up for the oppressed, even those who are being oppressed by those who call themselves brethren.

September 23, 2008

Wayne Spriggs threatens James Sundquist

Hmmm...taking our cues from Richard Abanes are we?

-----Original Message-----
From: James Sundquist []
Sent: Sunday, September 02, 2007 8:29 AM
Subject: Followup: re Lynn Kent Intentional Interim Pastor at Elizabethtown CMA
Importance: High

Dear District Director Wayne Spriggs, Dear Pastor Jim Moynihan, Chris Dellinger, Terry Amig, Annie Parkins, Phill Stumpf, Connie Shope,Becky Woods, Mike Erickson,Yvonne Schleh, Bob Dodson, Flossie Kark, Bonnie Espenshade, Deb Jones, Cody Miller, Jeff Morral, Doug Bradnick, the Elders and Members of Elizabethtown Christian & Missionary Alliance Church,

To date, I have not received a response from you or any of your staff regarding your intentions to retain Lynn Kent as your intentional interim pastor.

Are you still going to retain him in light of the revelations I sent you about him and what he did to members of Maranatha Bible Chapel in Horseheads? I would hope that you would be very concerned about those victms as well as what he might do to members of your own church.

I wanted to give you one final opportunity to respond to my appeal and alert. But if I don't hear back from you in the next few days, I will assume that you are proceeding or have already installed him, and will not be interviewing any of the victims at Maranatha and are not really interested in their plight, and will so indicate this in my special report on the C&MA which will go out nationally within ten days.

Sincerely in Christ,

James Sundquist

----- Original Message -----
From: Wayne Spriggs
To: 'James Sundquist'
Sent: Thursday, September 06, 2007 9:39 AM
Subject: RE: Followup: re Lynn Kent Intentional Interim Pastor at Elizabethtown CMA

Dear Mr. Sundquist,

This letter will serve both as a request and warning to you.

I am asking you to immediately cease and desist from interfering in the life and ministry of any Eastern PA District Church. We do not hold your views on the subjects you have raised with us. I have thoroughly checked into the matters you mentioned in the previous email and they are bogus!

I will not engage you or allow you to engage in the life and ministry of any Eastern PA District Church. I need to warn you that I take very seriously your interference in our churches. If I receive any information at all of any further interference on your part, I will take whatever action necessary to prevent your engagement with our churches.

I regret the need to write to you in this manner, but I view your interference in one of our churches as a very serious intrusion into ecclesiastical matters which are not the perusal of non members of a local Christian and MissionaryAlliance Church.

We do not hold your views, we do not subscribe to your opinions, and we do not have any interest in your perspective on the subjects you have raised with us. Give yourself to something more positive, such as expanding the kingdom of God with lost people!

I trust we will not have any further interference by you.

Yours sincerely,

Rev. J. Wayne Spriggs
District Superintendent
Eastern PA District.

From: "James Sundquist"
Date: September 6, 2007 10:54:32 AM EDT
To: "Wayne Cole"
Subject: CMA D.S. for Eastern PA threatens James Sundquist

Dear Wayne,

Well the CMA is showing its fangs again. Trying now to threaten and intimidate me. But they will not succeed.

Note that Spriggs thinks he owns those members and can speak for them. Let them ask to be removed from my mailings to them and exposing both Spriggs and Kent nationally. Notice how tender hearted and kind he is about what happened to members of Maranatha Bible Chapel!

What do you think? And there can be anyone left who wonders what Miller has done and will do to intimidate its members?

It is amazing to me the lengths they will go to shield themselves behind the cloak of it is an ecclesiastical matter (just like the Roman Catholic Church did with the priests molesting boys)

While they work on destroying the Kingdom of God, we will work to preserve it from these scoundrels!


September 22, 2008

(UPDATED) C&MA seizing churches/assets of faithful pastors

The Christian & Missionary Alliance has started to seize the assets and churches of those who resist the man-centered philosophies the denominational leadership is trying to foist on them, such as Purpose Driven/seeker sensitive, and Emerging mysticism.

It sounds like the false teaching and abuse of power in the name of Rick Warren continues unabated... the danger continues and so we must continue to shout from the housetops to flee the sinking purpose driven ship and get into the real Ark of safety, the glorious salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, for the glory of God alone, and to comfort those who have been cast out by the false teachers in their circles, slandered before their congregations, and turned on by those who once were friends. We remind you that you are not alone! We have, many of us, suffered the same fate. And greatest of all, Christ suffered this reproach -- this is his reproach that we bear. And so count it all joy! I know it does not feel that way now.

Pastor Bob Iddings has written up a testimony of what happened to him in the Christian & Missionary Alliance at the hands of one Wayne Spriggs, District Superintendent of the Eastern Pennsylvania District of the Christian and Missionary Alliance and its District Executive Committee.



UPDATE: James asked some questions for clarification and here are the answers from Bob Iddings:

The behaviors of Spriggs and his cronies is eerily familiar. The secrecy, the miscommunication, no documentation, not allowing witnesses, the lies, the "hurry up we need to get this meeting scheduled" stuff...oy... it almost looks like they're all being controlled by the same entity!

September 16, 2008

Another Purpose Driven Deception - this time from the Discernment ministries

I guess it's time to write an article about the general phenomenon of how even anti purpose driven churches and ministries still behave in the PD way with those who raise real issues.

People who flee PD churches NEED to hear that they will encounter another deception -- where people say they are against PD but they have not rid themselves of the machiavellian tactics used to create Unity in that type of church. Rather than loving reconciliation, the one who is wronged and dares to be upset about it or consider it worthy of proceeding through Matt 18's prescription for dealing with it become marginalized just because they want to follow Scripture.  People who have been dragged behind the Purpose Driven horse suddenly find themselves in the middle of it all over again.  It is not fun, especially if not much time has passed since the first dragging to emotionally process it all and regain some strength and composure.  I just want to encourage those who find themselves in this situation to take courage -- you are not alone!

It is grievous... and very many good ministries either are helpless to say anything because those who are witnesses to the grievous act will not come forward, stick their necks out, bear the reproach of Christ, and testify to the truth. Other ministries, when the information and witnesses DO come forward, just don't listen because they believe it is not their problem, when Scripture says it is.

Yes, we have precious few friends... which is exactly why we need to expose the deeds of darkness and hold our friends to a Biblical standard, lest they fall into sin and disgrace. One of the most useful things a parent uses with their children is to pray that when their children sin, that they will get caught! Because if they do not get caught, they learn instead the pleasures of sin seemingly without consequences... and the sin grows! Why are we as foolish adult children of God any different?

Bob DeWaay had to go through it with Brian Flynn... so he should know that it is heartbreaking and yes it is still possible to do.  Still, I have not seen a public statement on this issue.

In any case, you refugees from Purpose Driven churches need to know that you are not alone if you run into the same behavior in discernment ministries -- threatening, lying, ostracizing, marginalizing, rebuke for daring to stand up against sin in a member of a discernment ministry. Just because they understand PD is wrong does not make them a good leader, nor does it make them right in every other area.  Consider Jacob Prasch's calling John Piper and R C Sproul 'deceivers who are deceiving others' in his address at Tri City Calvary Chapel on August 24, 2008.  Consider Jacob saying that the only church worth your time is a dispensational church that doesn't teach covenant theology. In doing this, Jacob has created false division in the church -- he has excluded people like the White Horse Inn guys, and Issues Etc, and he should be rebuked (hoping for repentance) and separated from, as the Scripture tells us about divisive issues contrary to the gospel.

However, (putting on my sarcasm hat now) since we have SO FEW FRIENDS in the discernment community, we are willing to compromise with people who cause false divisions, and rebuke those who raise this concern as being divisive. Sound familiar? I think you'll read about this tactic in Dan Southerland's book "Transitioning" (taking off sarcasm hat) although it's presented favorably there.

September 15, 2008

Rick Warren Breaks Pastoral Confidence

Apparently pastoral confidence means little to Rick Warren:

And the accuracy of the story doesn't seem to mean much to him either. There is some question as to who initiated the call. Rick Warren did!

"Well actually she called me yesterday," Warren said. "The question I asked her was 'how can I pray for you?'"

Warren said that Palin then "asked me to send her some bible verses on how do you deal with the unfair, unjust attacks and the mean-spirited criticism that comes in."


UPDATE: Palin's camp calls to say that the Alaska Gov. was returning Warren's call. According a Palin spokeswoman, Warren called her on Saturday September 6 and she returned his call on Monday September 8. The Monday phone call is when the above conversation described by Warren took place.

Always trying to insert himself in the movers and shakers. Doesn't ANYONE see the Eddie Haskell act going on?  

RW: "It's not about you."

RW: "No, it really IS all about ME!"

September 2, 2008

Jacob Prasch and David Lister sowing more false divisions

Jacob Moriel has sadly turned on his friend James Sundquist:

James's response

In it you will find transcripts and links to all the pertinent audio but here they are all together:

Bear calling Mike's wife:

Bear calling Mike:

Next day's public slander of Bear at the seminar:

David Oxedine's testimony (difficult to listen - highly compressed sounding EQ but oh well)

Bear's record of events (be patient with all the detail he provides - much of it is important to the story eventually)

This is so disappointing to see Jacob Prasch, David Lister, Mike Gendron, and the Higgins men behaving in this "Lording it over you" fashion.   As far as I can tell, this began as a discussion James started regarding this video which I reported on here:

In trying to discredit the source of the video, in the course of this discussion, rather than deal with the issue of the video twisting Bob DeWaay's words in an Abanes-esque fashion, Jacob tried to discredit the messenger (whoever 'churchwatch' is) by likening that person to some ministries who he has some personal beefs with, (names which for the most part I did not know of, other than Robert Morey) as well as a certain individual Bear Frankson. This is how the issue that was three years old was "inexplicably raised."  So again they are misrepresenting the issue and defending themselves with frantic red herrings. They (David and Jacob) were the ones who raised it. And yet, wonder of wonders, they have no idea why it was raised again. David Lister and Jacob went on to mischaracterize Bear's phone call to Mike Gendron's wife late at night, well as his phone call to Mike himself, as 'harassing' in nature, to all of us privy to the email discussion.

Jacob and David's condescending screed against Jacob's longtime friend James Sundquist claims that a host of witnesses found Bear's actions at the conference disrupting... what host of witnesses?  Names?  Details?  What was said and done specifically that was inappropriate? You cannot make a case by saying "a bunch of people were offended."  If you want to go down that road you will incriminate your own ministry!  HOSTS and HOSTS of people ARE offended by Moriel ministries, you can be sure of that.  But are they offended for the right reasons?  I would argue, for the most part, they are not, with the exception of this particular development.

The statement Jacob and David made (after apologizing for misrepresenting Bear by accusing him of harassment and of touching pastor Higgins' wife) does not seem to add up to what was recorded in the meeting in the first sound clip where Bear was publicly defamed without opportunity to defend himself.

Bear doesn't seem to be 'harassing' anyone. The wife was not upset (as a pastor's wife with a publicly posted ministry number I would suppose he/she gets calls at all hours). He was polite. But the out of normal hours timing of the phone call, if it did happen that way, is certainly understandable because of the fact that someone had just called 911 on him. (or rather, LIED about having called 911 as was found out later - and even LIED ABOUT LYING about calling 911 - now THAT is weirdness in the name of Christ, Mr John Higgins!)   I don't know that I would have been nearly as composed.

I pleaded with one council member and we visited (my husband, me, this council member, and his wife) until 2:30 am one night.  We spent most of the afternoon not talking about it and then started, close to nightfall... and we just kept talking.  It would blow my mind, if, after those very good (albeit animated at times) conversations those people were to turn and say we harassed them.

Mike gave him the phone number and for all Bear knew it was his cell number which would have rung wherever Mike was at the time, even if Bear had KNOWN it was a Dallas area code.   He would not have been able to know it was a land line on such short notice.

I initially thought Mike G was caught in the middle not having been there and felt like he couldn't really do anything anyway.   He does say it wasn't his problem at all.  Except that ... as a shepherd in the church of the Lord, you are bound to minister to his sheep whenever they need it.  And you are bound to examine the people you yoke together with.  If they are behaving the way Jeremy and John Higgins have behaved, then you are bound to confront their sin.  Especially if this guy is yelling across you at Bear as you sit in his car...AFTER you told Bear you would try to stick up for him.

However, Mike says in his email to James that it is not his fight and he should not be involved, and then turns around and lends support to the Higgins side of the story  anyway, in the Q&A session at the seminar.  Holy Double-Standard Disappointment, Batman!

It would sure be nice to see a mediated RECORDED meeting between all these people to get the issues aired and resolved. It doesn't seem to be high on Jacob's priority list, nor Higgins' in spite of Jacob's insistence that both sides be heard.  And Sherry, well, I am pretty sure she would like to just stay in hiding.  Bear was not given a chance to be heard at the meeting where they lauded the ability of Mike to forgive Bear's tresspasses (which had not at that time been resolved apparently!)  They have been slandering this poor guy for three years with impunity and obviously THEY have not let it go.   Bear did not ask to raise this issue again.  DAVID LISTER AND JACOB PRASCH RAISED THE ISSUE by repeating lies about a private citizen that they had heard from their host church down there.

The actual witnesses present in many church fights seem to think the opposition's behavior is 'unChristian' and 'improper.'  But that is not a testimony of events which the Bible calls for ("by the testimony of two or three witnesses" etc.), that is an opinion ABOUT the events.  

I was also purpose driven out of a church.  I know some of what was said about me behind my back when I was on trial.  For example, it is a fact that I trembled throughout every meeting, not because I was scared, but because I felt so strongly about what was going on, and was so upset over people's inability to see the truth.  I did not rant or rave.  I shed tears briefly twice.  (although for some reason that didn't rally anyone to my side.  I guess I don't do 'helpless' very well.)  I was no more 'excited' in the meetings than anyone else (especially the last one when Jim Fretheim led the meeting and turned it openly hostile!!)

This trembling was taken to mean I was on the brink of a breakdown. No, Jody, it's because I HATE confrontation and I love the truth. And I am so grieved when people (including myself) have bought lies!  Surprise surprise! 

Incidentally a few months later, I also trembled when I was at a political event locally to hear Michelle Bachman discuss some proposed Defense of Marriage legislation. The pro-gay people were there of course too and when they started to rant, I started to shake.

I harbor no illusions that discernment ministries aren't subject to the same temptations to vilify the opposition when their back is up against the wall or they suffer some sort of embarrassment. I just watched Ray Comfort do the two step around his responsibility to confront error, and treat those who warned him about it with condescension, resulting in their discrediting among his staff and supporters.  As wonderful as Ray's ministry is, and as bold as he is with unbelievers, he was not bold enough to openly thank the people who warned him and act the slightest bit contrite.  Nor was he bold enough to lend his credibility among his supporters to bolster theirs once again.  No good deed goes unpunished, I guess it's true.

Bear Frankson has no assets to protect. A ministry does. The bigger it gets, the more temptation to protect the reputation and not acknowledge faults. These things plus the audio verification of Moriel's twisting of facts are leaning me FAR in Bear's direction. Yeah he may have been vocal. Ray Comfort and his crew are vocal on the street as well and we applaud them for their boldness. 

Are we going to fault Tony Miano for preaching and confronting error outside the LA version of the Lakeland revival? I'm sure he was even less welcome there than Bear was outside the event he was at (an event where the speakers agreed with him on these issues) because he was actually preaching against he false prophet Todd Bentley.  Bear was outside saying he agreed with the speakers but they kicked me out anyway.  Is a difference in style worth all the fuss Moriel has created over it by their spreading falsehoods to make Bear look even worse in the eyes of his friends?  I know some would say Jacob is at least as offensive if not more so, in style,  than any claims about Bear.

Here's testimony from an eyewitness, David Oxedine

My take:
It sounds like this Sherry person started it with her complaint against Bear (because she didn't like his style) for using something she said about PDL in his material packet. That got the men in her life all protective and emotional against, who was the perceived threat against this damsel in distress.  Bear couldn't just set aside his Biblical principles and coddle the poor lady, so they got after him to get in line with everyone else who felt sorry for the cowardly lady who put her hand to the plow and then turned back.

And so they overreacted when he disregarded that request and continued to use her testimony (fair use) in his anti-PD packet. From that point on Bear can do no right in their eyes and they got all territorial about every nitpicking thing and blew it all out of proportion.

John Higgins makes the statement that a late night phone call is so hard to forgive.  ESPECIALLY when this kind of 'weirdness' comes from Christians.

If you ask me, the lies and slander against a brother who tries to stand up for the truth -- that is harder to forgive.  Dear Jesus please help me, I am trying.   But it is for the benefit of Moriel, and of John Higgins and his out of control boys, as well as Sherry Neese and her husband Lanny that I write against them. I plead with them, that they may repent.  For until they do no reconciliation can take place.

from the Moriel statement:
Of more concern however is the absurdity of protesting and of publicly rampaging against others who oppose Purpose Driven, ecumenism, and the other discernment related issues Mr. Sundquist himself is concerned with. To shoot your own allies when you have so few of them to begin with in a war against apostasy is frankly ludicrous.
Hmm yessss....quite tragically ironic at this point...

August 29, 2008

This one's for you Rich

In lieu of all of the calls for more civility from Abanes & Co., Inc., I think Phil Johnson must have created this new Pomotivator (click image to be taken to full size version on Phil's site):