December 23, 2014

More ChristMyth nonsense from Atheists and Christians

It's amazing to watch Atheists and fearful legalistic Christians all saying the same kinds of things about Christmas.  One would think that would give the legalistic Christians just a little bit of pause, but...

Anyway I recently happened across a decent article on exposing the pagan lies about Christmas that come around every year about this time.

Christmas and its Christian Origins from "Fair Minded Notions" blog.

Some of the many good links at the end don't work so well so I had to do some investigation and googling to find the articles they linked to.

November 2, 2014

VCY America abuse at the hands of Vic Eliason and Randy Melchert (correction)

Vic Eliason and Randy Melchert of VCY America have decided to threaten to sue Vic's kids because they aren't keeping silent about his abuse and coercion anymore. Great use of donor funds. DONORS please register your complaints about this. Melchert also attends Brookfield Baptist church. One would think Brookside Baptist (in Brookfield, WI) members might want to think twice about having their name attached to such an abusive frivolous suit.

Vic Eliason Threatens to Sue Daughters and Families (note - in the original version I said "decided to sue" which was incorrect - I knew this, but mis-"spoke." Also, I had mixed up the name of the town with the name of the church, though I had read it right initially. Brookside Baptist in Brookfield, WI, not Brookfield Baptist." Thank you to the person who corrected me!)

October 31, 2014

A New Purpose Driven Innovative church growth program in the LCMS called Five Two and their Wiki conferences

A great post by Vanessa Rasanen at Bible Beer and Babies blog:
The first time I heard the title “sacramental entrepreneur” I’m pretty sure my brow furrowed with confusion. I know what a Sacrament is. I know what an entrepreneur is. Most of us can get that far on our own, but putting them together makes little sense. Do some googling and you’ll see it comes from the FiveTwo ministry.

Why Is Everyone Talking About FiveTwo?

Now, a lot has been written on them lately, after their Wiki14 conference – the first time they decided to grace social media with a deluge of their material – brought them and their mission to people’s attention.
Read More at Bible Beer and Babies

October 17, 2014

Mars Hill “Global Fund” Contributors With Concerns Invited to Contact Washington State Attorney General’s Office (Sola Sisters)

Sola Sisters writes:
Mars Hill “Global Fund” Contributors With Concerns Invited to Contact Washington State Attorney General’s Office

According to former Mars Hill member Dean Watkins:
I just got off the phone with an employee in the Washington State Attorney General's office. They have spent some time trying to figure out how to have accountability for the Global Fund issue. As a church, Mars Hill is exempt from filing with the Secretary of State. But under RCW 19.09 "Charitable Solicitations," whether or not an organization is exempt from filing with the Secretary of State, they must still comply with the law.
...(snip)...
If there are enough complaints, the Attorney General's will likely investigate. But the complaints need to be from people who gave to the Global Fund. Thank you each for filing your complaint, or sharing this information with someone that may have a complaint to file.


The stories of Driscoll's resignation keep insisting he has not done anything wrong other than being too harsh to people.  Nothing illegal or immoral.  (Apparently they think immorality only involves blatant sexual sin.  I'm left wondering just what a pastor would have to devolve to in order to be removed from his church these days...)

You can also file a complaint about 501c3 violations with the IRS online here.
related: On Driscoll, it’s called inurement, and it’s probably illegal (Pajama Pages)

October 8, 2014

FABULOUS (*long*) Three part analysis by Herescope on The Culture Which Gave Rise to Mark Driscoll

Honestly, this is every bit worth your time so that if you flee one of these dysfunctional churches, you don't jump right into ANOTHER (albeit slightly more subtle version of) Mars Hill. It makes the connection to Leadership Network/Peter Drucker and Jim Collins' teachings that were also adopted by people like Rick Warren and Bill Hybels (who are much less 'controversial' than Mark Driscoll and therefore easier to hide their unbiblical leadership model). It really does get to the root of the problem.

"We Are Not ABANDONED"
The Culture Which Gave Rise to Mark Driscoll
Part 1: What "blessed subtraction" and "anonymous" mean
http://herescope.blogspot.com/2014/09/we-are-not-abandoned.html

"Under the Bus" and "Off the Map"
The Out-of-Control Bus That Runs Over Sheep
Part 2: The Culture Which Gave Rise to Mark Driscoll
http://herescope.blogspot.com/2014/09/under-bus-and-off-map.html

The MegaChurch Transit Authority...
...and How it Operates
The Culture Which Gave Rise to Mark Driscoll, Part 3
http://herescope.blogspot.com/2014/10/the-megachurch-transit-authority.html

related:
Resistance Is Futile: You Will Be Assimilated Into The Community  (audio lecture and power point)

September 2, 2014

Brilliant post by Janet Mefferd on the never ending Driscoll saga

The Driscoll Case: Now In the Jury’s Hands
Mars Hill members also released horrendous online testimonies, describing the kind of abuse they claimed to have suffered at the hands of Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill. Except those tales were often undermined by the very writers themselves, who often ended their terrible accounts of spiritual abuse with strained accounts of “love” for Pastor Mark and his soul, along with some very unnecessary self-flagellation. Things like: “The bottom line is that I love Mark, and I wish the very best for him, and after all, I’m a terrible sinner — a really bad, bad sinner — too!” And I thought, “Why are these testimonies ending like this? I don’t get it. There’s no moral equivalence here.”

Sure, there were a few more pseudo-apologies from Driscoll, which were never real instances of godly sorrow and thorough repentance, but the Internet would be awash in cries for mercy: “Seeee? It’s time to heeeal and restoooore Mark Driscoll!” Then another scandal would break, and we’d go through the same cycle, AGAIN, ad nauseam.
read more at Janet's blog

August 30, 2014

My email conversation with Philip Stallings

(3-1-2015 Philip Stallings seems to have vanished off of Freedom Outpost.  The article above is still on archive.org here. )
(4-16 as of today Joel McDurmon and Tim Brown have both come to realize that Stallings is an unrepentant sinner who deserves to remain excommunicated from the body of Christ.)



(Update: I've restored Tim Brown's name to the thread, and struck through the paragraph explaining why I'd redacted it. Briefly, I didn't want to hold him responsible for something he hadn't read. I've since found out that he has read it and is badly mischaracterizing what I've written.  I'm comfortable that what I've said is accurate and clear; Tim is free to prove otherwise, and I'll clarify as needed.)

I don't often post on this blog, but I was recently contacted by Mr. Philip Stallings about some of what's been written here, so it seems like the right place to post the conversation. I'm not planning on writing him any more, but if there are more messages from Mr. Stallings, I'll update the post accordingly. Please note that in my first response to him, I reserved the right to give the emails to anyone I thought should see them; I've taken his continued responses as assent.

I'm making this available because, as I told him more than once in the thread, I think his emails demonstrate he is still not dealing honestly and fully with his own past behavior. Also, I'm aware of recent actions by him that continue in the same pattern: escalation of conversations with women in inappropriate ways, with extremely crass, abusive language once the woman grows uncomfortable with what he's saying. At a minimum, such behavior is disqualifying for a Christian teacher/leader, but if he's continuing other types of behavior that I've seen from him in the past, it's goes far beyond not meeting standards for leadership.

This is an attempt to warn the flock, especially women, about this man, so that he isn't given authority and credibility by those ignorant of his ongoing behavior, and to let anyone who has been victimized by him know that they are not alone, that people are trying to keep it from happening again. I'm keeping this post focused on the email thread; if you do some searching online, I'm sure you could find more specific details about how Philip has been acting.

August 29, 2014

Mars Hill's leadership continues to implode

Praise God that Paul Tripp has the boldness to say what he has said.  Honestly, reading this made me want to rejoice and cry at the same time:

Nine Current Mars Hill Church Elders Take a Bold Stand
When asked about speculations that he might have resigned to protect the reputation of his ministry, Paul said this: “I am not worried at all at burning my integrity for the real deal, but I won’t burn it for something that’s not the real deal. I don’t think even now that there is the recognition of the depth of what Mars Hill Church and Mark is actually dealing with. This is without a doubt, the most abusive, coercive ministry culture I’ve ever been involved with.” He continued on to communicate that Mars Hill’s leadership culture was not shaped by the same grace that it says it believes.

 ----- Paul informed us that at one point that during the time when he was setting up the reconciliation process, the EE, without asking the BOAA, met with their lawyers and added a slew of legal constraints to the process. Paul was emphatic in telling the EE that this was unacceptable, but they did not listen, and consequently hindered the process. Paul was disturbed that anything would be seen as more important in this process than being made right with man and with God. “If your response to reconciliation is ‘I want to cover my butt legally, then you’re not interested in reconciliation.’”
read more at Warren Throckmorton's blog post containing a pdf copy of the original document.

KOMO tried to talk to Mark and he wouldn't come to the door, and lied to avoid it:

Mars Hill pastor terminated after criticizing church leader (VIDEO)
Then he called the police on the reporter even though he had done nothing wrong.  (The police didn't do anything to him, but they *were* called.)

Dave Lester has begun a petition urging Mars Hill to listen to these 9 pastors.

Mars Hill complains  about the 'leaked document' by the 9 pastors.  When in doubt, apologize for something that is actually NOT the problem, and make them think you care.  Psst!  Mars Hill - the Bible says to be sure your sins will find you out.  It doesn't excuse you based on how they are made known:
Unfortunately, in recent months it has been proven almost everything that goes on that City group is leaked publicly to online media. We simply do not know who is passing these private conversations along to the media, but the fact is, it keeps happening.

Your elders are deeply grieved over the manner in which this has happened. In particular, we are grieved because 1 Corinthians 6:1–8 gives us a very clear (and even stern) command that when we have grievances against one another, we are to work them out in such a way that non-believers are not invited into the discussion. This passage shows us that even in cases of serious wrong or disagreement, God wants us to exercise appropriate discretion. We are terribly sorry because this is incredibly distracting and harmful to the cause of the gospel. Please forgive us for our division and lack of unity. We know this hurts all of you deeply and we are eagerly working toward the unity that we have in Jesus.
The deep denial these people are in is just astonishing... wow.

"Your elders are deeply grieved over the manner in which this has happened."  Apparently not all of them.  And a 'guest' commenter on Warren Throckmorton's blog post made an excellent point:
"Can't believe they used 1st Cor. 6 after what Paul Tripp said about the Executive Elders scrambling to contact their lawyers. "
Do as I say, not as I do.   So sad.  It is far past time for those who care about Mark Driscoll to expose the festering gangrene to the sunlight so that God's name is no longer blasphemed because of this.  Hiding it behind church doors is not even close to loving anymore.

More disclosures from Bent Meyer:
New Disclosures By Former MH Pastor/Elder Bent Meyer
Loooong document:
https://joyfulexiles.files.wordpress.com/2014/08/bent-meyer-written-record-8-28-14-letter-combined-document-set.pdf

Mars Hill then goes on to release a statement throwing Paul Tripp under the bus:

Mars Hill Church updates members on Paul Tripp and new additions to Board of Advisors and Accountability
Paul Tripp’s comments to our elders were never made directly to the Board of Advisors and Accountability, as we have minutes of these meetings. We are deeply disappointed that Paul did not bring these concerns to our full Board or to the Executive Elders directly.

The concerns brought forth by these elders and the comments from Paul Tripp have been heard and are being taken seriously. Their letter, as with past letters voicing accusations toward Pastor Mark, will be processed in accordance with our bylaws. This means the accusations will be thoroughly examined and a report issued when the review is complete.
John Phelps of Storyville Coffee Company, and Matt Rogers, both local businessmen,  have been added to the Board to "provide increased accountability in areas of financial responsibility, staff and elder transitions and church culture."

Well, the more people you invite into the sausage factory I guess the better.  Even if it is just one by one that they start to realize what an unsanitary mess it is.  But hey they have Mitt Romney's senior campaign advisor Mark DeMoss helping us to learn ignore the smell of rot, so...  Here's to a great PR revival for Mark Driscoll such as the one which led to Romney's successful election as POTUS!


August 27, 2014

Phoenix Preacher weighs in -- "Driscoll Wins"

Some great points made here by Michael Newnham of Phoenix Preacher:

The Mark Driscoll saga is over.
Game, set, match, Mark.

All the cannons have been fired, the ammunition is exhausted, and so is the army of wounded warriors that have tried to bring him to repentance.

They were defeated not by Mark, but by the congregation they were trying to protect.

Driscoll will return and thrive…and that pile of bodies behind the bus will grow exponentially as the tyrant takes his revenge.

It will take about two years for him to rebuild the numbers and the finances…and for his famous friends to be seen with him in public, though they are proving helpful behind the scenes.

The people have spoken…they want their king and they will walk right over the bodies of the fallen to praise him and make their offerings to Baal.
read more at Phoenix Preacher

August 26, 2014

Translating Mark Driscoll (God Loves Women blog)

One of the most brilliant analyses of Driscoll's Aug 24 announcement I've seen yet - from a woman, I am informed, who works with perpetrators of domestic violence:

Translating Mark Driscoll
This morning I watched the 17 minute videoed announcement from Mark Driscoll this weekend that he is stepping down as Pastor of Mars Hill for a minimum of six weeks. You can watch the video and read the transcript here.

Within the announcement Mark speaks of the “court of public opinion” not being useful in addressing issues in a Biblical manner and suggests online conversations, like this blog for instance, are unhelpful. I can see that everyone having OPINIONS can be problematic, but without the courageous tenacity of bloggers across the internet raising the issues, Mark Driscoll would not have taken the very necessary and welcome step that he has. So I’m not going to apologise for adding the OPINIONS in the public space and as I would suggest that his denigration of the “court of public opinion” is a tactic to silence the hurting, and as a book we Christians honour states, “For all that is secret will eventually be brought into the open, and everything that is concealed will be brought to light and made known to all.”
read more at the God Loves Women blog

Also listen to the first part of hour 3 of Janet Mefferd's Monday show.

Driscoll's becoming an "expert" at putting lipstick on a pig. Or better yet, a dead rotting pig. And now he's hired a political PR firm (one that helped Romney not win) to help him take his makeup artistry to the next level. Weekend at Bernie's anyone? or are we on one of the third or fourth sequels by this time?


August 25, 2014

Mark Driscoll hires Romney Political advisor to help 'fix' his problem, possibly targeting the blogosphere, yet deafening silence from Evangelical talking heads regarding the abused

This analysis is spot-on from The Wartburg Watch
Mark Driscoll: 9 Pessimistic Predictions For Those Under the Bus
These are my predictions. I hope that I am wrong. For those of you who need a quick catch up on the Driscoll dilemma, here is an article written yesterday by the Vox.

1. Mark Driscoll will be back in business in fairly short order. If you don't like it, you will be the new problem.

On Sunday, Mark Driscoll, with wealthy, evangelical Public Relations guru, Mark DeMoss, sitting in the audience, began his comeback. Make no mistake about it. Driscoll is going nowhere except back to the pulpit after 6 weeks of some R&R and image building. Get prepared. It is going to be quite a ride.
read more at The Wartburg Watch

If this prediction especially #3 about the Robert DeMoss PR firm targeting the blogosphere and other critics comes to pass, wouldn't it be ironic to see Christians, who claim they want to stop being silenced by the media, leading the charge against freedom of speech against other Christians?  We've already seen it with Ergun Caner and others large and small.

(NOTE:  The only way to combat this is for everyone to be unafraid to blow the cover off bullies and their behind the scenes threats and scare tactics immediately when you are threatened, and refuse to comply.  En masse.  Please don't let these people intimidate you.)

August 21, 2014

Former Mars Hill pastors bring formal charges against Mark Driscoll ; Narcisissm in the church and its enablers

Twenty-One Former Mars Hill Church Pastors Bring Formal Charges Against Mark Driscoll

There is a pdf in that article that delineates some of the charges (by far not ALL of them, just representative examples, concentrating on stuff that is recent to demonstrate the fact that it is still going on, and has been for years.)  It's jaw dropping to think of any pastor using the narcissistic, self absorbed, abusive, harassing, sexually humiliating language Mark Driscoll has used personally on people who are supposed to be his co-elders.

Also, in the pdf there is a list of URL's to a 5 part lecture series by Dr Diane Langberg, PhD that is so amazingly accurate in describing how this epidemic of Narcissism ("lovers of self") works.  It seems to fit so many messed up pastors (not just Mark Driscoll) and people who aspire to leadership and use others but may not yet have a leadership position in the church. People like Philip Stallings.

NARCISSISM AND THE SYSTEM IT BREEDS Part 1
NARCISSISM AND THE SYSTEM IT BREEDS Part 2
NARCISSISM AND THE SYSTEM IT BREEDS Part 3
NARCISSISM AND THE SYSTEM IT BREEDS Part 4
NARCISSISM AND THE SYSTEM IT BREEDS Part 5

The opening to the 4th part
"...so there are some major difficulties in working with such a person that we need to understand. One: If loyalty is to his own importance, and any means that he can use to service that end, how do we  intervene?  How do we treat or speak to the narcissist?  Because it would seem, if you think about it, that any intervention or confrontation threatens their fortifications, their fabrications, thereby escalating them.  If I feel like your'e about to break my wall down or climb over it, I'm going to build it higher, right?  Which is not exactly a good outcome.  So there is also the subtle deception that can wrap itself around somebody attempting to intervene or help a narcissist.  You are sitting there with somebody who is pretty impervious to what you have to say.  That can be a little frustrating. You're encouraging them to have insight, you want them to have empathy and to care for others.  The Narcissist sitting across from you is looking for grandiosity and attention and approval, and may attempt to achieve it by becoming in the moment in your presence in your office the greatest repenter that ever lived.  He will attempt to deliver the goods desired to feed the ever-hungry monster of being the best at whatever he is doing.  So it's quite easy you see, to catch the disease and you begin to think 'Wow, look at this repentance.  I'm the best intervener.'  Now we have two narcissists.  Look what you have wrought.  When in reality what you've really done is just get caught up in the system, the belief system that he has, and bought the lie.  Because what's happened is the narcissist has finagled things in his relationship with you so that he's still the best.  He's the best repenter.  And so are you [the best at something] because you're the one who got him there. So he will drag you along with him to also be the best so that he can still be the best.

It's also very easy for the system surrounding the narcissist to buy the lie because to lose the narcissist threatens their viability. So if you have a narcissistic leader in an organization and he's pumping stuff out productivity-wise or numbers-wise or whatever, nobody wants to touch the problems, which is exactly what the narcissist wants.  Because if you touch the problems the organization might fall down.

And so the time-honored truths of God, which are that repentance and transformation are very slow and take time, are pushed aside.

Romans 5:4 says Steadfastness is proof of soundness, or perseverance is proof of character...it takes faithful change and perseverance for character to be reshaped.  And of course you don't really have to look very far, if you look on google news or in the papers, you know, we have political failures ad nauseam that are ripe with examples of 'Oops didn't mean to do that, sorry you caught me, I think I'll run again next year. I'm all better.  I changed my mind, I'm not going to do it anymore.'"

...is a perfect description of what Tim Brown of www.freedomoutpost.com is doing with his new author Philip Stallings. Getting caught up in the narcissism himself.  SMH.  No one is so blind as him who will not see.

She also makes a good point to remind people that it is almost never the majority who raises the alarm, because the system is too invested in the narcissistic leader.  Or they will boot the leader and put in another one so they can refuse to acknowledge how they have contributed to the problem. (cough, Acts 29...)

But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth. Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men corrupted in mind and disqualified regarding the faith. But they will not get very far, for their folly will be plain to all, as was that of those two men. 
2 Tim 3:1-9

August 11, 2014

Cue the Challies lecture on Driscoll. (Janet Mefferd)

Challies has commented on the Character problem of Mark Driscoll.   Read if you feel so compelled.

Well, I remember when Tim went out on a limb and called Brian Mclaren a heretic, got a bunch of flack, and then recanted.  Then a couple years later, recanted his recantation.  Way to demonstrate discernment there Tim.  Likewise with Driscoll.  Better late than never I guess, except...

Janet Mefferd has had a thing or two to say about it (note, the link is bad, she fixes it in a subsequent tweet.)
Janet Mefferd discussed this with Warren Throckmorton today on her show.

(Yes we all know he's liberal, I don't endorse his theology but he has been indispensable in following this story.  If only the Evangelical talking heads would take this stuff as seriously.)

Then I came across Ingrid Schlueter's EXCELLENT take.  Reposted with permission:
Challies has written a piece called "Character is King" regarding Driscoll and the mess in Seattle. I've been restraining myself from commenting on the Driscoll debacle for several days, but today, a few thoughts. Challies writes, "As the situation comes into focus through scandal after scandal, it becomes increasingly clear that there are, and always have been, systemic issues at Mars Hill. Many of those issues are directly related to the sins and weaknesses of the church’s founder and leader."

When I and others warned about Driscoll back in 2004 on our blogs and in my case, on the radio show I hosted, we were roundly sneered at by the Reformed Club of Bloggers and the Driscoll fan club. It took about one tenth of a teaspoonful of discernment to see what Driscoll was in 2004. He reeked of anger, immaturity and pride, and the fact that he early on earned the label the "cussing pastor" spoke for itself. So now, in 2014, as countless victims have limped away from the spiritual abuse Driscoll engaged in, their families and faith damaged, Challies and company have decided that it is now, "increasingly clear that there are, and always have been, systemic issues at Mars Hill...many of those issues are directly related to the sins and weaknesses of the church's founder and leader." Mr. Challies, I have one word for you and the others who failed to speak out on Driscoll. Duh.

To those calling for an end to public discussion of Driscoll's collapse, I have a word for you. Driscoll wasn't just a pastor of a local church, minding his own business with his own authority (!) structure in place to deal with any problems. He was promoted and touted as an international celebrity of the Reformed world, and he made millions from the books, conferences, etc. that were marketed to the masses. The swaggering, swashbuckling poster boy for the Young, Restless and Reformed crowd, the one who would take Calvinism to a new generation. This is why it is all of our business. If you want to live on the Internet, on social media, and at internationally promoted conferences attended by tens of thousands who have nothing to do with your church in Seattle, you can expect to have your behavior addressed by the same. It amuses and disgusts me to hear claims of, "Oh, this is a private, in house church issue" when the issue is a celebrity pastor run amok. If these men wanted to be just local pastors they had no business selling themselves, their books, t-shirts, mouse pads, key chains, coffee mugs, conference tickets and life sized cutouts to the masses. You cannot have it both ways.

I have also seen urgent requests for prayer for Mark and his family. At risk of being redundant, let me urge prayer for his victims, as well, while you're on your knees. The ones with their faith nearly destroyed, the ones who were bullied, who spent years in that church thinking they were serving God, only to be shunned and discarded by the personality cult leader at Mars Hill. They are the ones I am concerned about. Mark has made enough money in one year to do just fine for the rest of his life. Those whose testimonies fill the Mars Hill abuse blogs are the ones on my heart, and those are the ones who deserve our prayer.

As for Challies and the Reformed Club of Bloggers who enabled Driscoll by their silence and delicate, nuanced criticisms (if they existed at all), I say, shame on you. We were right all along. And none of you will have the testosterone to admit it.
"Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power." - Abraham Lincoln

Documentation of the problem with Mark Driscoll (SOLA SISTERS)


Thursday, March 27, 2014 Documenting the Problems with Mars Hill Pastor Mark Driscoll [UPDATED] (Sola Sisters)


This is a great list of articles which keep track of all the issues that have been developing for years with Mark Driscoll/Mars Hill Seattle.  It keeps getting added to! :-(

Pastor Tullian quoting Buddhists now about grace? (UPDATE and real Antinomian Nadia Bolz-Weber about brokenness and forgiveness?)

(note 6-22-2015): I have since come to the conviction that even though I don't believe all the critiques of Tullian are fair, they do have some good points. Tullian's message has been going off the rails for a while and his associations and messages are getting more vague. He seems to have gone from assuming the gospel to assuming the law.)

Original post time 8/5/14 2:17 PM CDT 

Um, what?

Context:
http://twishort.com/snZfc
"I had to experience despair, I had to sink to the greatest mental depths, to thoughts of suicide, in order to experience grace, to hear Om again, to sleep deeply again and to awaken refreshed again. I had to become a fool again in order to find Atman in myself. I had to sin in order to live again. Whither will my path yet lead me? This path is stupid, it goes in spirals, perhaps in circles, but whichever way it goes, I will follow it...Now he understood it and realized that the inward voice had been right, that no teacher could have brought him salvation." p 97,99.
Truly alarming.   I used to recommend him.  I cannot recommend Tullian if he is going to keep doing this stuff and going this direction.

UPDATE:
another one from Nadia Bolz Weber

So, Last week we learned about 'grace' from Siddhartha.  This week the cussing pastrix Nadia F-word Bolz-Weber teaches about an F word and a B word, Forgiveness and Brokenness.  

So let's take bets.  Will it be Jay Bakker, Brian McLaren, Tony Jones, Jim Wallis, or Barak Obama next?


August 10, 2014

Philip Stallings trying his hand at writing

For your amusement and/or horror.  Beware, irony ahead:

Is it Time to Stop the Murder of Babies & Implement Lawful Execution of Practicing Homosexuals?

(3-1-2015 Philip Stallings seems to have vanished off of Freedom Outpost.  The article above is still on archive.org here. Still no word from Mr Tim Brown as to why Stallings is no longer a contributor.)
(4-16 as of today Joel McDurmon and Tim Brown have both come to realize that Stallings is an unrepentant sinner who deserves to remain excommunicated from the body of Christ.)


Mr Stallings seems to forget that the OT law would like have some pretty harsh penalties for criminals and licentious people such as himself who cannot stop coveting their neighbor's wives and daughters (and who certainly doesn't contact their fathers or husbands to ask if he may sexually harass them).

To find out who the seemingly fake Christian, Mr Paradox/Philip/Phillip Stephen Stallings is, please read this:

In Case Anyone thinks Philip Stephen Stallings "Mr Paradox" of NC is Actually in Seminary... (ADDED EVIDENCE PHOTOS 4-6 and 4-7-2014) (UPDATE new profile for Stallings)

(google seems to have pulled it possibly in response to frivolous complaints by Stallings or his enablers.  It is now here. Stallings is learning about repentance from Ergun Caner quite well I think.)
Twitter page as of 8-10-2014, 
was expelled Sept 2012 from The North American Reformed Seminary.

(8-13-2014)But at least Stallings, on his FreedomOutpost profile, says "former seminary student"  but no mention of being EXPELLED because of his shameful behavior.
(end 8-13-2014 addition)

The following article was illustrative of his problem.  Notice that even liberals get that what he does is perverted and sick, though they may have a different motivation for saying so:
'Straight White Boys Texting' Is The Tumblr Of Our Time

A man named Tim Brown runs Freedom Outpost and some other Tea-Party-like sites, and has become the latest person to believe Stallings' claim that he's persecuted and that he isn't doing what so many women have seen him do to them and all the women are blowing it out of proportion (no, just some of them could tell what he was up to long before it got to where it always goes).  Tim Brown spent a ridiculous amount of time arguing with my husband and I and some others I know, over this unrepentant man who seems to have pulled the wool over his eyes.  And now he's helping him gain credibility again and by helping a predator get more social influence, you expose more people to danger.

While warning is all I can do, some people just refuse to listen.

August 8, 2014

One small bright spot - when pastors do what is right even though it's hard

[Dislcaimer - I don't endorse Matt Chandler or any of these guys on the board (most of whom I do not know) Matt Chandler has, since this posting, decided to give a sort of blanket endorsement of Ann Voskamp, heretical mystic because she wrote somewhat mystically and touchingly on suicide, meaning, her own thoughts of it. I don't even know what she was trying to say other than "I felt really bad about myself" and something referring to Mother Teresa as an acceptable source for theology.

For another view on the timing of this disciplinary action by Acts 29, see this article:
An Open Letter to the Acts 29 Network

...and frankly after some of the things I've been reading in the last few days I am leaning toward that person's point of  view.  End disclaimer.]

original post: Thank God for these men on the Acts 29 board, who have done what is right though it might be unpopular with many:

Acts 29 Network Removes Co-founder Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill Church From Membership
Mark,

As the Board of Acts 29, we are grateful to God for the leadership, courage, and generosity of both you and Mars Hill in not only founding the network but also sustaining it through the transition to this board three years ago. The very act of giving away your authority over the network was one of humility and grace, and for that we are grateful.

Over the past three years, our board and network have been the recipients of countless shots and dozens of fires directly linked to you and what we consider ungodly and disqualifying behavior. We have both publicly and internally tried to support and give you the benefit of the doubt, even when multiple pastors in our network confirmed this behavior.

In response, we leaned on the Mars Hill Board of Advisors & Accountability to take the lead in dealing with this matter. But we no longer believe the BoAA is able to execute the plan of reconciliation originally laid out. Ample time has been given for repentance, change, and restitution, with none forthcoming. We now have to take another course of action.

Based on the totality of the circumstances, we are now asking you to please step down from ministry for an extended time and seek help. Consequently, we also feel that we have no alternative but to remove you and Mars Hill from membership in Acts 29. Because you are the founder of Acts 29 and a member, we are naturally associated with you and feel that this association discredits the network and is a major distraction.

We tell you this out of love for you, Mars Hill, Acts 29, and most significantly, the cause of Christ, and we would be irresponsible and deeply unloving not to do so in a clear and unequivocal manner. Again, we want you to know that we are eternally thankful for what you as a man and Mars Hill as a church have meant to our network. However, that cannot dissuade us from action. Instead, it gives added significance and importance to our decision. We hope and pray that you see this decision as the action of men who love you deeply and want you to walk in the light—for your good, the good of your family, and the honor of your Savior.

Shortly after sending this, we will be informing the members of Acts 29, your Board of Advisors and Accountability, and your elders, as well as putting out a public statement on the Acts 29 website. It brings us no joy to move forward in this direction, and we trust that the Lord will be at work in all of this.

In sorrow and with hope,

The Board of the Acts 29 Church Planting Network

Matt Chandler
Darrin Patrick
Steve Timmis
Eric Mason
John Bryson
Bruce Wesley
Leonce Crump

When sheep have blood on their lips

(note: I mention Rosebrough here, but I no longer support his show.  For the reasons go here:
(aside: for an update on the Ingrid/ChrisR situation please go here: http://www.purposedrivel.com/2013/09/a-great-announcement.html  Ingrid and Chris had reconciled.  This was a good thing.  We were all friends again.)

(2-25-2015 Further update here:
http://www.purposedrivel.com/2015/02/tullian-and-nadia-birds-of-feather.html
I am no longer a Pirate Christian supporter.  Too much hypocrisy, too many double standards, too many false accusations. I apologize for all the confusion.  I pray it won't happen again.)
*********************

I am so grieved to watch so many sheep turn into sharks at the slightest hint of blood in the water.  I have seen too many terribly bad, irresponsible posts in the wake of Braxton Caner's tragic suicide, trying to tar and feather JD Hall, one that was even trying to connect JD Hall's admitted unwise and brief contentious twitter exchange with Braxton to paint all or most Baptist pastors as somehow dysfunctional just because they aren't Lutheran.  That post even included a picture of Fred Phelps to make the point.

So I want to point out two good to add to the first one Dr White posted :

Chris Rosebrough spoke about it briefly at the beginning of this podcast and then more at length about 35 minutes in:

• Patricia King Discusses Biophotons
• Perspective on Braxter Caner's Suicide & Jordan Hall
• Sermon Review: God on Film - Frozen by Craig Broek of Platt Park Church
http://www.fightingforthefaith.com/2014/08/biophoton-spirituality.html

And Wade Burleson
Blame Is Not a Game: JD Hall, Ergun Caner, and the Tragic Suicide of 15-Year-Old Braxton Caner

May God comfort Braxton's family with the peace of Christ.

August 3, 2014

Have people no shame?

I just don't even...



Continue to pray for the Caners. For repentance, for comfort.

A good reminder:




July 29, 2014

Mark Driscoll's Pussified Nation (Matthew Paul Turner)

LOL  oh... this is just too rich.  From Matthew Paul Turner:

Mark Driscoll's Pussified Nation

Err... what?  A pastor wrote that stuff?  Now I have to go bleach my eyeballs.

Others talking about this

Mark Driscoll in 2000: “We Live in a Completely Pussified Nation” (Warren Throckmorton, with whom I have substantive disagreements but who I find to be right on track regarding Driscoll and doing a lot of valuable work keeping up with the antics at Mars Hill.)

Mark Driscoll Admitted to Trolling His Own Church’s Online Forums 14 Years Ago & the Thread is Still Online. Whoops! (Patheos' resident atheist, obviously someone I don't recommend for theology)

Inside Mark Driscoll’s disturbed mind (I do not endorse Rachel Held Evans at all either)

140 page google doc of the thread pulled from archive.org

(Added July 30, 2014): Komo news has picked it up, and apparently they did a 90 second video segment as well, though I do not have a link for that at the moment.
 Mars Hill: Dissenters plan protest, release vulgar Driscoll rant

May 23, 2014

Peacemaker Ministries - Tim Butler's experience

I just read through this multi part story about one young seminarian Tim Butler and his experience at his church with "Peacemaker Ministries."

Worth a read, familiarize yourself with how the enemy operates within the camp to cause division and enable corrupt leadership:

Unfolding My Story: The Dangers of Peacemakers

Unfolding My Story: Church Abuse and Trust

Unfolding my story: Twisting Scripture  HUGE RED FLAG - excerpt:
Consider when Peacemaker asks , “Why a Peacemaking Team?” Here is part of their answer:
Because God calls his children to serve their leaders and to advance their vision to build his church. (Emphasis is Peacemaker's.)


Unfolding my story: Propaganda  excerpt:
Once people started to learn what was happening to me and my family at our old church, some people stepped up to try to help. This did not serve to cause the pastor to rethink his actions, but to annoy him — he complained to me, and, in fact, to the councils one night, about how he was having to waste time “explaining” things to people who were concerned about what he was doing to me. By “explaining,” it turned out, he meant convincing people that the things they were doing to me were not happening at all. If someone questioned an action that was harder to conceal, such as why the church would go to my seminary and jeopardize my work there, the questioner was told, for example, that the church was really trying to “help” me by getting “counsel” for me.

Like the word abuse I discussed earlier, at first I hesitated to call what the pastor was doing “propaganda.” But to call it something else, I have realized, is to help conceal really ugly actions that are continuing to be deployed to abuse more people at that church and churches like it.

After reading those, it seems like it would be better known as "the Enforcer Ministry for Purpose Driven Pastors" or something along those lines.

May 20, 2014

Article about Tullian Tchividjian blasting TGC for their defense of Mahaney in the SGM scandal mysteriously pulled, (then reposted)

(note 6-22-2015): I have since come to the conviction that even though I don't believe all the critiques of Tullian are fair, they do have some good points. Tullian's message has been going off the rails for a while and his associations and messages are getting more vague. He seems to have gone from assuming the gospel to assuming the law.)

(NOTE 8:37am Central, May 21, 2014: apparently the article is back up as of three hours ago
 http://www.christianpost.com/news/tullian-tchividjian-blasts-sovereign-grace-ministries-handling-of-sex-abuse-scandal-prematurely-departs-the-gospel-coalition-120062/   here is the author's explanation:



so, apparently at this point, false alarm re the Evangelical Industrial Complex, which is good news.  They certainly still could pull a stunt.)

An article posted tonight on the Christian Post in which Tullian Tchividjian was quoted as being critical of The Gospel Coalition handling of C J Mahaney has already been pulled. I wonder why? Is the Evangelical Industrial Complex rearing its ugly head again?

Perhaps the world will never know.

link to google cache:
https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache%3Ahttp%3A%2F%2Fwww.christianpost.com%2Fnews%2Ftullian-tchividjian-blasts-sovereign-grace-ministries-handling-of-sex-abuse-scandal-prematurely-departs-the-gospel-coalition-120062%2F

I also saved a pdf copy because eventually that cache will disappear.
Tchividjian added that he was "pretty disturbed" when Don Carson, Kevin DeYoung, and Justin Taylor published a statement on TGC website in May 2013 which defended Mahaney, saying that it looked "like the good-old boys club covering their own."

"I thought it was premature. I thought it was insensitive. I communicated with the guys who wrote this statement that I was disappointed, that I thought it was unwise and premature and that they needed to clarify that their statement was not a statement from The Gospel Coalition, per se, but was their own personal statement," Tchividjian explained. "There were some of us on the coalition, or who were associated with it, who didn't want to be associated with their defense of C. J.," he continued. "I've just been sort of disgusted by the whole thing."
Regarding the theological issue of his supposed "antinomian" tendencies:

Yet while "no one from The Gospel Coalition formally reached out to me or questioned anything I ever posted or asked me to clarify anything I ever posted," Tchividjian noted that he began to feel a shift in the site's theology and how his doctrine was being received based on what other contributors were posting.

"I was told the other day that conversations about me and about what I had been saying had been going on for a year, which I didn't know about until the other day," said Tchividjian.
...
"My frustration was, I was never reached out to, called or emailed from any of the powers that be, saying, 'Hey listen, there are a couple of us that have some questions that have been raised, would you care to clarify?' said Tchividjian. "Or ask me questions! Or even invite me to this meeting, if my name was on the docket!"

Billy Graham's grandson said that he was also frustrated that he had never received personal feedback or criticism about the content of his posts from TGC leadership, saying that the thrust of everything he wrote was about God's grace and had never been "harsh" or "divisive." -- source

That's his problem.  He didn't call heretics brothers in Christ, and call anyone who disagreed Nazis and racists.  That's what he should have done if he wanted a warm send-off from The Gospel Coalition.

Interesting that the guy they are all labeling "antinomian" is the one who is actually (at least in this article) blasting people for their sinful handling of this sex abuse and the ensuing cover up scandal, while they sit around making like nothing is wrong with what they're doing and pretending they're all about obeying the law. Right. So who's the antinomian again?

(disclaimer - I myself have some reservations about Tullian, but these people are being ridiculous at this point.  Steve Lawson's blatant twisting of Tullian's words at Shepherd's Conference 2014 was unconscionable, but I guess it's ok for a well respected pastor to misrepresent and essentially lie about people if he disagrees with them.)

April 19, 2014

Ergun Caner loses his frivolous lawsuit - videos reposted

Ergun Caner has lost his sinfully frivolous and lying lawsuit and so the videos he worked so hard to suppress have been reposted.  Get em while they're hot at Witnesses Unto Me:

The Videos Ergun Caner Sued to Suppress

April 17, 2014

See his patient love


(English lyrics are approximate)
Come ye daughters, share my mourning:
See him! – Whom? – The Bridegroom Christ.
See him! – How? – A spotless Lamb.
See it! – What? – His patient love.
Look! – Look where? – On our offense.
Look on Him. For love of us
He Himself His Cross is bearing.

O Lamb of God most Holy,
Who on the Cross did languish.
O Savior meek and lowly,
Who suffered bitter anguish.
The sins of man Thou bearest,
Our every grief Thou sharest.
Have mercy on us, Jesus.


"Who has believed what he has heard from us? 
And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?

"For he grew up before him like a young plant,
and like a root out of dry ground;
he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
and no beauty that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by men;
a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his wounds we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the LORD has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.

"He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
yet he opened not his mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
so he opened not his mouth.
By oppression and judgment he was taken away;
and as for his generation, who considered
that he was cut off out of the land of the living,
stricken for the transgression of my people?
And they made his grave with the wicked
and with a rich man in his death,
although he had done no violence,
and there was no deceit in his mouth.

"Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him;
he has put him to grief;
when his soul makes an offering for guilt,
he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;
the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.
Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied;
by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,
make many to be accounted righteous,
and he shall bear their iniquities.
Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many,
and he shall divide the spoil with the strong,
because he poured out his soul to death
and was numbered with the transgressors;
yet he bore the sin of many,
and makes intercession for the transgressors."
--Isaiah 53

April 16, 2014

The uselessness of an ECFA accreditation

I recently wrote to the Evangelical Center for Financial Accountability.  I had learned recently that they gave accreditation to Mars Hill  church in Seattle in Sept 2012, despite the fact that they used $210K of church funds in 2011 and 2012 to buy Mark Driscoll a spot on the New York Times' Bestseller list.  How did this escape their notice at that time?  Did they not have access to Mars Hill's financial records then?

Here is what I sent them:

Message
Buying a place on the NYT bestseller list, and having supposed 'independent' people on the Board of Accountability who sell their books at Mars Hill Seattle and speak at their events? How is that not a conflict of interest? This violates your code of conduct for the organization. So having them accredited makes your accreditation look pretty hollow.


But I got a response from one Michael Martin who handles legal issues I guess.

The letter had a disclaimer at the end that said this:


I recently wrote to the Evangelical Center for Financial Accountability.  I had learned recently that they gave accreditation to Mars Hill  church in Seattle in Sept 2012, despite the fact that they used $210K of church funds in 2011 and 2012 to buy Mark Driscoll a spot on the New York Times' Bestseller list.  How did this escape their notice at that time?  Did they not have access to Mars Hill's financial records then?

Here is what I sent them:

Message
Buying a place on the NYT bestseller list, and having supposed 'independent' people on the Board of Accountability who sell their books at Mars Hill Seattle and speak at their events? How is that not a conflict of interest? This violates your code of conduct for the organization. So having them accredited makes your accreditation look pretty hollow.


But I got a response from one Michael Martin who handles legal issues I guess.

The letter had a disclaimer at the end that said this:
This text is provided as general educational information and with the understanding that ECFA is not rendering legal, accounting, or other professional advice or service. Professional advice on specific issues should be sought from an accountant, lawyer, or other professional. This communication and any attachments may contain sensitive, confidential information for the use of the designated recipients named above. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure or distribution is prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender by reply email and destroy all copies of the original message.

So, since I don't know if that means I can't share it,  I'll paraphrase.  They reassured me that Mars Hill has been a member in good standing, in compliance with their "committed to our high standards" since September 2012, and that their BOAA is also in compliance with their standards for board governance.

And then he went on to tell me that they also buy the whole non apology thing for the ResultSource/Mars Hill/New York Times bestseller fiasco.  They've apparently swallowed it hook line and sinker.   I guess it really is true that it's easier to ask forgiveness than to ask permission. If you just admit it was poor judgement (a la Bill Clinton) then everyone accepts it as OK.

To me, this says that everyone's accreditation at ECFA has just lost all value.  Good to know that pastors and churches and para church ministries who have worked hard to do everything above board are now just as trustworthy as Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill.  Inspiring.

Steve Lawson's train wreck at Shepherd's conference 2014

(note 6-22-2015): I have since come to the conviction that even though I don't believe all the critiques of Tullian are fair, they do have some good points. Tullian's message has been going off the rails for a while and his associations and messages are getting more vague.  He seems to have gone from assuming the gospel to assuming the law.)

original post:

I listened to Jordan Cooper take this apart but he didn't play the whole thing. I listened to the whole thing. TOTAL TRAIN WRECK. LAW LAW LAW.

http://vimeo.com/89619924

About 22 minutes from the end, he called out Tullian Tchividjian explicitly by quoting and then paraphrasing several portions of his book Jesus Plus Nothing Equals Everything.  He also called out Tullian's preaching prof Steve Brown from his book Scandalous Freedom.

I have issues with both those guys sometimes and how they sometimes shy away from naming specific sins except self righteousness... and virtually no third use of the law (which we really do NEED to hear) but the characterization Steve Lawson employed was unbelievably skewed and twisted. It was shameful.

At one point he actually said with derision
"How often should you have to look back at your justification?" 
All of us in this house were pretty much agog at that. He also used himself as an image of drive to perform (his sports career in college).

I felt so many times through this message that if I took him seriously then I could never measure up to the standard of perfection embodied by ... not Jesus, but Steve Lawson and if I didn't, well then... am I even really saved?

I heard all Tullian's Jesus Plus Nothing sermons, but I'm going to have to get ahold of the book now so that I can see exactly how Lawson quoted the beginning of one portion and then seamlessly seems to have lapsed into 'paraphrase and caricature' of the rest without indicating where the end of the quote was.  I would also like to see how 'in context' the passage was.  Tullian is of course speaking about justification so it would be silly for Lawson to apply what he was saying to sanctification.  Such would be a confusion of Sanctification and Justification, exactly the same thing of which  he was accusing Pastor Tullian.

He even had to acknowledge (though it was done very cursorily) that one's salvation was secure in Christ.  But then he took such peace away again by going back to Jonathan Edwards and his drive to be the theoretical "Best Christian" on earth and demanding we answer to ourselves whether we are fully surrendered to Christ.  The answer, if you are human and honest, is no, to all those questions he posed.  Jonathan Edwards' line of prayer speaking to God and telling him he's fully surrendered to God's will is just silly and self deluded.  Yeah, I know, everyone thinks well of him.  I guess I don't follow the conventional wisdom, I'd rather go with Scripture.  Paul admits he is the chief of sinners, at the end of his life.

For some reason we think being sanctified has only to do with outward conformity to house rules or some other moral code.  Well, no, sanctification is far more than that.  And the longer you are a Christian the less likely you are to claim moral progress because your understanding of morality gets deeper and bigger even as you are leaving certain obvious sins behind.  I fear for anyone under a pastor or elder who doesn't realize that.

This past week some bloggers for Pulpit and Pen insisted needing to hear the gospel is a sign of immaturity.  An elder from a Sovereign Grace church in Helena MT actually said "I pity people like you."  So exactly what is the need to hear the law over and over again to tell us how to be good? I find I'm telling little children how to be good more often than my adult family members!  But adults family members still need to be told they are loved, even if you don't have to tell them constantly how to be good or even remind them to be good.

I suppose it might in some cases be a sign of immaturity, or it might be a sign of them being convicted of sin, or it might be a sign of some other struggle in their life, stuff that a large percentage of us are going through at any one time. And because pastors are invested in the lives of their flock, they are going through it ALL the time with the flock, and so probably need to hear the gospel even more!

But what pastor who cares at all for other people would just tell a struggling saint or discouraged fellow pastor to buck up and strive and beat their bodies to submission like he's doing? It should be their pleasure and honor to set the table of God's grace and beckon the weak undeserving people (just like himself) to be filled!

An hour and 20 minutes hammering these guys with the law, and no gospel for them. What encouragement for burned out and despairing pastors. I guess pastors don't need Jesus.  Thank goodness there weren't ANY of those burned out despairing pastors present at that conference.  (Yes, that's a bit of sarcasm.)  If as Lawson says, being a good pastor is all about beating yourself into submission and giving till you have nothing left to give, I guess Rick Warren is doing a bang up job.  Lots of the very pastors he is concerned about dishonoring the name of Christ present a very law/moralistic driven message of personal transformation. (Mark Driscoll, Dough Phillips, Bill Gothard, Steven Furtick) How come it's not working for those guys?  How come he didn't quote any of those guys or examine their message to see what is wrong with it?

It is rather interesting though to be reading Bo Giertz's "The Hammer of God" and see how these guys sound exactly like the young ' full victory mode' preachers before they figure out how to dispense grace rightly in their parishes. They are bound and determined to root out sin in themselves and their hearers by firing at people with God's law and skimping on the gospel. And the result is disharmony, dissension, infighting, class warfare, and bitterness. And the young pastors just cannot see what they are doing wrong at first. By the end of each novella they have at least begun to figure it out. Sadly, many pastors go forever without figuring it out. I am grieved for the people who have to suffer under such withering moralism.

I am only partway through the first novella. All three novellas are supposed to illustrate the same point, so I expect the rest will be equally good. Here is the young curate from the second novella, as he realizes there is great trouble brewing in his parish.
"Friends," he said, when he finally turned to his companions, "I want to look upon this as God's call to holy warfare against the flesh for all of us. And I propose to begin with myself tonight. There must be no sin remaining in us. We have responsibility also for others. And for the revival, too. Those who wait for the Lord must not be put to shame because of us." -- Pastor Fridfeldt, The Hammer of God,  by Bo Giertz p 140
huh, sounds like Steve Lawson. Maybe in a few years Steve Lawson and all his defenders will get to the end of their personal novella and understand more fully 'there but for God's grace go I.'
Then Jordan Hall, of Pulpit and Pen, decided to fire off a Facebook status saying "Preaching holiness is not preaching Law. Only an antinomian can't distinguish between the two."

So I guess if you disagree on a legalistic message, you're a heretic. Great. Kinda like his tweet about Lutherans -- if you're a Lutheran you worship tradition, robes, ritual, and alcohol...?

To which I would simply say Preaching Holiness is indeed preaching law. It might be done rightly and it might be done wrongly. Only a pietist would not be able to tell the difference.

Contrast Lawson's man-centered-performance-driven-pastor message with this beautiful blog post (which ironically I received from someone who didn't seem to see the problem with Lawson's message):

Weaning Christians off the Gospel

also see
The Gospel For Those Broken By The Church

April 7, 2014

Feeling a bit disenchanted with Tullian

[correction 5-23-2014] I want to issue a bit of a retraction. I was under the impression that Tullian in his latest sermon series on Romans didn't address sexual sins because I didn't remember him dealing with it and I wondered why he glossed over it since it is so specifically addressed in the first chapter.  But I discovered today that I never finished listening to his first Romans series.  So while I still wish sometimes he would say  things differently, I'm not "quite a bit" disenchanted anymore.  But I will leave the following post up, trusting this correction will suffice [end correction 5-23-2014]

Not just "a bit."  "Quite" a bit.

I have been really excited about him now for a couple years.

He often quotes questionable people. He just quoted Rick Warren favorably in part 8 of his Romans series. Something about "if I thought law could change people I'd have been a politician, but I don't so I'm a pastor."  In a sense that's right.  But unfortunately, the way Rick Warren means that is not the way Tullian was supposed to have meant that.  Rick Warren preaches nothing BUT law-light and moralism and almost never gets the gospel right.  The exact opposite of what Tullian says he is all about.

Tullian does preach some law, and preaches the perfection God requires, yes. But it's not very specific when it comes to how we ought to treat each other.  The laws we break are limited to snapping at our spouses or speeding in traffic and then trying to justify ourselves.  It's "we are all screw ups and all in the same boat" which is true. But we also need to know that certain behaviors aren't going to be overlooked in the church and should not be found among God's people.  Why did Paul bother to write "such things shall not even be named among you" and the letters to the Corinthians shaming them for being proud of tolerating sexual sin in their membership? Jesus, the apostles, and the prophets preached warnings constantly too.  We need to hear it.

I try to listen from the point of view of an abuse victim because I know a gal who grew up being sexually abused by her AFLC pastor father for YEARS and no one knew it was happening until he finally went outside the family once all the kids grew up and left home.  And I dealt with bullying for a long time as well.  It's hell.

I am troubled because I hear nothing in Tullian's sermons that would give someone like a sexual abuse victim or any other victim of crime, or other hidden crimes, or constant bullying, any hope or idea what to do in such a situation.  Are they supposed to call the police? Or are they supposed to 'forgive?'  Are they supposed to tell someone and get the person in trouble?  Or are they supposed to 'turn the other cheek?'  At what point does someone have any right or even responsibility to cry out for justice even if it puts themselves and their loved ones in further danger?  Does Tullian know for sure no one in his local or even larger audience is in such a situation?  How does any pastor know it's not happening in his church?  I know personally a very good and faithful pastor who was for years pastoring an entire family where the father was sexually abusing the children, and physically and sexually abusing his wife. This pastor did not know it until a few years ago, when I told him of the family's history.   I am approximately the same age as the youngest of these children and she was a teenager and confirmed by this pastor who couldn't see it under his nose.  This pastor is about 15 years older than me.   I knew it when I was 18 and met this girl and she told me all about it.  I didn't know I should have told someone, however.  And so the cycle of silence continues.  It makes me angry that I didn't say something and angry that no one told me I should have broken her confidence!

These are the sheep we should be actively seeking out with our words, so that they will know they can and should and even must come forward and be set free from fear and bondage and their abusers held accountable.

"...whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea." Mt 18:6

"It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were cast into the sea than that he should cause one of these little ones to sin." Luke 17:2

We hear endless sermons on gossip, as if that is the thing that is threatening to devour the church.  But when for example sexual perverts and abusers can repeatedly prey on people in the church and successfully hide behind the 'gossip' card, we are obviously not even defining gossip correctly.  This needs to be fixed, unless we don't care that children and women are possibly suffering silently under a na├»ve pastor's watch.  Should they suffer even one more day of such treatment?  The very act of speaking out and offering them hope and courage may make the difference between them thinking Christianity is just a hypocritical facade and so walking away from the faith, and the truth that Christ indeed cares and rescues the helpless, the oppressed and downtrodden in our midst.

"...truly, I say to you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ will by no means lose his reward." Mark 9:41

"...whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.” Mt 10:42

It’s always more “forgiveness” for the perp, never any “law” - which is exactly why the mother of an abuse victim is brainwashed to think she should keep allowing her kids to be victimized.  It brings tears in my eyes to think of an abuse victim in a congregation feeling a pastor is speaking hope to everyone (including her abuser) except him or her, feeling even more keenly the depth of their own emotional isolation, and coming to the conclusion that this whole Jesus thing is just meaningless at best, or a desperately cruel joke.

(related: Boz Tchividjian has a great blog post here (though I would NOT recommend Nouwen, who he quotes):
Flashes of light: Reflecting Jesus into the dark places of the church)

I have hated some of the unfair reviews Tullian has gotten, but I'm starting to wonder...he rarely speaks against any specific sin except self righteousness, bickering, silly foibles like blaming others for misplacing your keys, etc. It's almost like he isn't sure whether Jesus' blood speaks to the more egregious sins among us.  And when he has two brothers working as sex abuse prosecutors and running a ministry to help sex abuse victims, he really cannot claim ignorance of the subject.

For some great blog posts about addressing sex abuse in the church, check out the blog at
G.R.A.C.E (Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment - www.netgrace.org

April 2, 2014

So much heresy, so little time (The Noah Movie's Kaballah Gnosticism among a host of other things)

The amount of nonsense going on in evangelicalism in just the last few months has been overwhelming.  Some of the things on my mind:
  1. Mark Driscoll in an ethical death spiral but refusing to admit it.  ("It's just a flesh wound!")
  2. The "debate" (with no cross-examination???) between Bill Nye and Ken Ham, which had many supposedly-Christian talking heads making fools of themselves by telling Ken Ham to quit making a fool of himself.
  3. Michael Brown playing footsy with the snake Benny Hinn then digging in and superbly fortifying his position with straw.
  4. Ergun Caner insisting the liars are those who would expose his lies and protect the sheep from him.
  5. Chris Pinto and Brannon Howse and their crazy attacks on solid Christians who are not moved by Pinto's fearful, conspiracy-minded propaganda films, sometimes including goofy frauds like William Schnoebelen.
  6. Steven Furtick's Napoleon complex and suddenly becoming "pastoral" when Charlotte Mayor was arrested.
There are probably a lot of other issues that are escaping my mind or being blocked out at the moment. I am just so tired of the chaos and confusion in the church. So, last but not least:
  1. Gullible Christians (especially Christian media folks) speaking positively of  "Biblical" movies coming out, when the movies are in fact terribly unbiblical.

John Piper Responds to Pastor David Yonggi Cho's Conviction for Embezzling $12M by Making Plea to US Pastors (Christian Post)

I've been annoyed with Piper for a while because of his blatant dallying with Driscoll, and Warren, etc. in effect enabling some of the dysfunction he's calling out in this article/video:

John Piper Responds to Pastor David Yonggi Cho's Conviction for Embezzling $12M by Making Plea to US Pastors

It's not quoted in the article, but Piper specifically slams the idea that pastors have "accountability" with other peers outside the church and other people with lots of money. Sounds like he’s finally, and rightfully, fed up with all the rockstar unaccountable megachurch pastors we are always hearing about, who systematically drive out anyone who would hold them locally accountable, so no one is able to rein them in.

Some really good advice to pastors or any leaders of any group.

February 27, 2014

A Single Cure (Todd Wilken at The Bare Bulb)

Fabulous article by Todd Wilken.  Short and sweet, and oh so right.

A Single Cure

What happens when you suggest a pastor like Gary Lamb preach the gospel

Almost invariably, when a pastor who is negligent in preaching the gospel is admonished to preach the gospel, you get varying levels of this particular emotion:



It's funny how they can sit in the pulpit and tell us what we should do week after week, but if someone dares to suggest they aren't doing THEIR job, they act like a three year old. Is there any wonder why even Christian people don't respect pastors anymore? [It might be notable to remember  Gary Lamb stepped down from his position for an affair in 2009, just five years ago, but apparently back in the saddle at some "Action" (i.e. LAW based) church now.]  

Gary should turn in his pastor card for various reasons, not the least of which is having no idea what to preach in the first place.

January 14, 2014

More Beth Moore Reviews by Fighting for the Faith (Added one from Do Not Be Surprised)

I just noticed that Chris Rosebrough has some more Beth Moore reviews over the last couple of years:

(I may have linked to this first one before)
Sermon Review, "Don't Throw Away Your Confidence" by Beth Moore
BM sermon review starts at 1:12:40 approximately.

Sermon Review "Pressing On 1 & 2" by Beth Moore
BM segment starts at 1:04:30

Beth Moore "Exegetes" a Picture She Claims Jesus Put in Her Mind
BM segment starts at 46:20

Beth Moore Non-Exegetical Exegesis
BM segment starts at 47:40

Beth Moore & the 12th Month Redemption?
BM segment starts at 45:50
*****
added 1-15-2013
And also a new blog post by Erin Benziger at Do Not Be Surprised on hearing from God outside of Scripture:
Why Beth Moore and Not Me?


(note as of 2-24-2015: I am no longer a Pirate Christian supporter.  On 9-2013 there was an update on the Ingrid/ChrisR situation - please go here: http://www.purposedrivel.com/2013/09/a-great-announcement.html  Ingrid and Chris had reconciled.  This was a good thing.  We were all friends again.)

 Further update here:
http://www.purposedrivel.com/2015/02/tullian-and-nadia-birds-of-feather.html
I am no longer a Pirate Christian supporter.  Too much hypocrisy, too many double standards, too many false accusations. I apologize for all the confusion.  I pray it won't happen again.)

January 1, 2014

Dr. James White (AOMin), Fred Butler (GTY) Weigh In On The Problem With Conspiracy Videos (posted at Sola Sisters)

The gals at Sola Sisters have collected a bunch of links following the refutations done by James White and Fred Butler on Chris Pinto.  Most of the links are found at the end of the article, but a few of course are found within the article itself.  In any case, it's a great resource.

Dr. James White (AOMin), Fred Butler (GTY) Weigh In On The Problem With Conspiracy Videos