May 31, 2013

Together for the Gospel (T4G) apparently can't take the heat (UPDATED 6-6-2013)

A couple screen captures from their facebook page courtesy of Bill Kinnon.

First comments:

Later comments:

(aside: I see Bill Conover (aka preacherbill to us former Wretched chatters)  makes his usual classy appearance.  He used to be a mean nasty KJVO Arminian, and now he's become a mean nasty Calvinistic baptist.)

One has to wonder though, why they took this statement down. Are they ashamed of it?  If so, why not issue a retraction or recantation?  If they cannot defend the statement, why make it in the first place?

It's still on their website, so apparently they aren't THAT ashamed of it. Just don't want to deal with all us little whiners I guess.  Whining about such silly things as child sex abuse coverups in the name of Jesus.  I mean, why don't we just grow up and get holy, like them?

(NOTE as I was listening to Janet Mefferd today, talking to Boz Tchividjian about this, Janet noted that they have revised their statement to remove the sentences: "No such accusation of direct wrongdoing was ever made against C. J. Mahaney. Instead, he was charged with founding a ministry and for teaching doctrines and principles that are held to be true by vast millions of American evangelicals."  They have rearranged a bit too on first glance.  I don't have time to read through it thoroughly and note all the changes, as there are too many things going on in my house in the next two weeks, but you can look for yourself and compare.  But I do find it telling that they issued nothing resembling a correction or mea culpa for that horrible fallacious couple of sentences... but just quietly changed it and hoped no one would notice? Do they really think we're that dumb?)

What Silence Says

I found this wonderful reminder today, though I am not familiar with the blog itself:

What Silence Says

May 30, 2013

MD- Prominent ministers back accused wrongdoer (SGM scandal)

MD- Prominent ministers back accused wrongdoer (SGM scandal)
Boz Tchividjian of Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment (GRACE) is right to question why these ministers over look the fact that “Mahaney was actually the Senior Pastor at one of these churches where all of this horrific abuse allegedly occurred AND that [he] discouraged these families from bringing this matter to the God ordained civil authorities.”
What a good old boys network.  Bravo for Boz.  I hope Tullian will say something too.  Too many boys playing church and remaining silent on these things.  Tells me they're all into the "circle the wagons", "pastors can do no wrong" mentality.  I've seen pastors wronged and I've seen parishioners wronged. It happens both ways.  But the pastors are the ones that have the position of authority so that when they do wrong to one or two or a small minority, they can just ride on a wave of good will from the others whose egos they've properly stroked.  And if you're a parishioner who does something wrong, all you have to do is stroke that pastor's ego to get yourself covered.  It's shameful and grievous and the sheep should not be so deceived to think they need to put up with this.

Wade Burleson has written a longer piece on what Boz has said, introducing us to GRACE "Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment" - a ministry for which Tchividjian sits on the board of directors.

and here is a longer piece Boz wrote, expressing his anger over the silence, anger that many of us have expressed and been slapped down for, by many of the silent ones, especially.
Where Are The Voices? The Continued Culture of Silence and Protection in American Evangelicalism by Basyle “Boz” Tchividjian
I think it is fair to mention at this point that besides being one of the founders of SGM, CJ Mahaney was the senior pastor at one of these two churches during the period of this horrific abuse.  CJ Mahaney is a founding member of an organization called “Together for the Gospel” (T4G) and close friends with the other founding members who are evangelical leaders.  Let me be very clear, I have never met CJ Mahaney and have not at all followed the internal “issues” that have been written about concerning SGM.  I have absolutely no personal animus against Mr. Mahaney or anyone else related to SGM.  I am simply expressing grave concerns regarding the manner in which some in the Christian community have handled this very dark matter.
After reading this complaint and doing a little bit of additional research, I searched online hoping to find statements by Christian “leaders” speaking out about this case or at the very least expressing grave concerns regarding the very disturbing facts alleged in the lawsuit.  I was never looking for, or wanting, anyone to throw CJ Mahaney under the proverbial bus.  I was simply hoping to hear statements that expressed horrors about child sexual abuse and with institutions that are not transparent about such offenses.  Initially, all I found was silence from these leaders.
Where are the voices, Boz asks?  Well here's one!  Good old Frank Turk, showing the true colors as established by Phil Johnson at Team Pyro, yet again:

Jo over at The Reformed Traveler has posted some good articles on The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse

May 18, 2013

Erik Dykstra repents??? Well, maybe not... just repackaged false teaching

For What it's worth I did find this claim by someone that there has been genuine repentance at Crossing Church by the pastor:


I'm listening  to the sermon to see if it really indicates what this guy says it does. I hope you will check it out too. I'm going to remain skeptical... but I am listening. So far it is a vast improvement. I hope it is for real.

In the middle of the sermon it sounds like he has been talking to Tullian Tchividjian. He actually mentioned a pastor that he has been listening to... and that he is a "presbyterian reformed guy." He's even using Tullian's phraseology in places.

He also mentions that he's been listening to some charismatic pentecostal guy. I sure hope that isn't Joseph Prince. sigh. But, regardless, though there are some sloppy parts, this particular message is a huge improvement. So I set out to listen to some other more recent messages.

and...sigh. It sounded good at first, but now listening to some more recent messages (the ones right after "Time Machine," he definitely still sounds somewhat word faith-y. He just emphasizes God's love as the "word" you are supposed to confess in order to get the things you want like a raise/promotion/ avoiding a layoff (and like, for him in this particular sermon we are listening to, on his day off, catching a fish was what he prayed for). Is that what Jesus prayed in the garden?

He's turned belief into a work we must do to get what we want. sigh. Still not good at all.  Very little emphasis on Christ and his perfect finished work on our behalf.

In addition, their "code" on their website is still organized around everyone aggressively defending and supporting the "vision" of the "visionary" (i.e. the pastor) and if you don't like it you can go somewhere else. I wonder if it's changed enough so that people will still talk to you, if you do, though.

He's now constructing straw men about those that 'divide' the church into those that are loved by God and those that aren't. i.e. if you say someone isn't repentant, and therefore not saved,or is wrong, and that that issue is worth fighting about, that somehow necessarily means they aren't loved by God and that we hate them.


So, we listened to five or six different messages and some of them were actually OK with some sloppy spots. (Still not something I felt particularly gung ho about, but couldn't say they were totally off.) Others were just sloppy mixed word faith positive confession type stuff.  He still has his theology of glory mixed in with this new focus on grace.  And of course there's the problem of a woman pastor.

I was also right in my suspicions I think.  I scrolled back through his twitter feed to about the time where he gave that first "Time Machine" sermon and there were quite a few retweets of Pastor Tullian appearing on Erik's feed, along with a bunch from Joseph Prince.  Sigh.  No Art Azurdia unfortunately.  And lots of Joel Osteen. (vomit)

It's funny how you can very often guess who someone's been listening to by how they sound, if you listen closely enough.

I do hope this is a transition into sounder doctrine.  Since it's only been about 8 months, maybe it's still a work in process. I pray it is the case.

May 13, 2013

Finally, a perfect explanation for the purpose of my blog (and also why it's not interactive)

This is exactly how I felt reading so many blogs about the problems of Purpose Driven.  I found it very comforting to read other's thoughts that echoed my own when I was going through the church discipline process, which was really a kangaroo court church discipline process.  It happened to me when I rebuked my Evangelical Covenant pastor for his meddling/manipulative/micromanaging behavior, for his overlooking, wrist-slapping on real interpersonal sin, for his attempts to undermine the decisions of the various commissions if he didn't agree with them...and mostly for wanting Biblical Doctrine taught to my family.

May 8, 2013

Some of the worst "Lutheran" sermons I've ever heard....

Seriously. And this is from a denomination that is supposed to be theologically more conservative than the ELCA.

Is Jesus ever mentioned except "in Jesus name" at the end of the prayer?

Names of God 5: El Roi
October 10, 2010

Names of God 6: Adonai Ro-i
October 17,  2010

Names of God 7: Adonai Tsebaot
October 24, 2010

Names of God 8: El Elyon
October 31, 2010

Truly bad stuff.  At least the last one gets to the gospel because he's talking to kids and focusing on Reformation Sunday.  But he still says the first thing to remember is go shine God's light to the world.  And the SECOND thing is that God has given this to us as a gift.  In the context of the regular omission of the gospel and the name of Jesus, it'd be hard to remember the gospel from week to week.

It's hard even to know where to begin.  It makes me fear for the future of the AFLC. How do these guys get approved to serve a congregation? How do they get passing grades in seminary? Zeal shouldn't be the primary qualification for ordination.

I sure hope he's improved in 2.5 years.  But I'm not optimistic.

Anyway, just had to share. As usual, you're welcome.