EChurch@Wartburg – 2.19.12

Welcome to the first gathering of EChurch@Wartburg

Enhanced Rainbow by Barb Ver Sluis              

 

This first song may be unfamiliar. It is our greeting to all of you.

Join is in a prayer from the Syrian Clementine Liturgy (1st Century) Link

O God, Who are the unsearchable abyss of peace, the ineffable sea of love, the fountain of blessings, and the bestower of affection, Who sends peace to those that receive it; open to us this day the sea of Your love, and water us with the plenteous streams from the riches of Your grace. Make us children of quietness, and heirs of peace. Kindle in us the fire of Your love; sow in us Your fear; strengthen our weakness by Your power; bind us closely to You and to each other in one firm bond of unity; for the sake of Jesus Christ. AMEN.

Join in a prayer on prayer

Lord, teach us to pray. Some of us are not skilled in the art of prayer. As we draw near to you in thought, our spirits long for your Spirit, and reach out for you, longing to feel you near. We know not how to express the deepest emotions that lie hidden in our hearts.

In these moments, we have no polished phrases with which to impress one another, no finely molded, delicately turned clauses to present to you. Nor would we be confined to conventional petitions and repeat our prayers like the unwinding of a much-exposed film. We know, our Father, that we are closest to you when we have left behind the things that have held us captive so long.

We would not be ignorant in prayer and, like children, make want lists for you. Rather, we pray that you will give unto us only what we really need. We would not make our prayers the importuning of you, an omnipotent God, to do what we want you to do. Rather, give us the vision, the courage, that shall enlarge our horizons and stretch our faith to the adventure of seeking your loving will for our lives.

We thank you that you are hearing us even now. We thank you for the grace of prayer. We thank you for yourself. Amen. – Peter Marshall. Link

Join us in The Lord's Prayer (KJV)

Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. 

Dear EChurch@Wartburg Viewers,

My name is Wade Burleson. Rachelle, my wife of thirty years, and I are friends of Dee and Wanda (aka Deb) at The Wartburg Watch. We are participating in the formation of EChurch@Wartburg because we have a heart for people who love Christ but have been hurt by the church. In a moment you might choose to watch today's video message, and it is only fair that I tell you a few things about myself before you take the time to listen.

First, you will be joining the fourth Sunday morning worship service of the church I serve in Enid, Oklahoma. I realize that the visual of me wearing a suit and standing on a platform may trigger some bad memories. If I could, I'd be casual and relaxed sitting across a coffee table from you and we'd simply talk about Jesus, life, and the Scriptures. Try to ignore the venue. If it helps, grab a cup of coffee or a glass of tea and relax as you listen. I will personally welcome you and all the EChurch viewers at the beginning of this video because you are important to us. Our church believes that people who have been burned by organized religion and have either opted out of going to church or are in transition are as important to Christ as faithful, dedicated members of any organized church. We would like to play just a small role in your healing process as you reorient to what is really important in your walk of faith.

Second, I am not a professional entertainer. I won't use props or gimmicks to get you to like either the message or myself. May we find our source of life in Jesus Christ. I will go verse by verse through the Scriptures and talk of Him. Feel free to disagree with me! Yell and scream at what I'm saying if you feel like it! I am nobody's spiritual authority, nor do I have some special insight into spiritual things. I am just an ordinary Jesus-lover who believes the Truth will set you free. If you make it through the 30 minute message and come away knowing a little more about Christ and find Him a tad more satisfying, then I will have succeeded.

Third, we at EChurch@Wartburg are NOT trying to control you, fix you, change you, or get something from you. We just want you to know that somebody really does care for you. We are like you — we love Christ and His Word, but we believe the church and organized religion have a tendency to screw things up! If at some point you can enter into personal relationships with people in your area who share a love for Christ, we want to encourage you to develop those relationships! Until then, we welcome you to EChurch@Wartburg for some spiritual refreshment and encouragement.

A Scripture Reading: Hebrews 10:1-14 (NASB-Bible Gateway)

One Sacrifice of Christ Is Sufficient

1 For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very [a]form of things, can never, by the same sacrifices which they offer continually year by year, make perfect those who draw near. 2 Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, because the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have had consciousness of sins? 3 But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins year by year. 4 For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. 5 Therefore, when He comes into the world, He says,

“SACRIFICE AND OFFERING YOU HAVE NOT DESIRED,
BUT A BODY YOU HAVE PREPARED FOR ME;
6 IN WHOLE BURNT OFFERINGS AND sacrifices FOR SIN YOU HAVE TAKEN NO PLEASURE.
7 “THEN I SAID, ‘BEHOLD, I HAVE COME
(IN THE SCROLL OF THE BOOK IT IS WRITTEN OF ME)
TO DO YOUR WILL, O GOD.’”

8 After saying above, “SACRIFICES AND OFFERINGS AND WHOLE BURNT OFFERINGS AND sacrifices FOR SIN YOU HAVE NOT DESIRED, NOR HAVE YOU TAKEN PLEASURE in them” (which are offered according to the Law), 9 then He said, “BEHOLD, I HAVE COME TO DO YOUR WILL.” He takes away the first in order to establish the second. 10 By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

11 Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins; 12 but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, SAT DOWN AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD, 13 waiting from that time onward UNTIL HIS ENEMIES BE MADE A FOOTSTOOL FOR HIS FEET. 14 For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.

Considered Perfect for All Time (Hebrews 10:14) from Emmanuel Enid on Vimeo.

Join in a prayer to combat fear

You know, Father, the things of which we are afraid, the terror by night, the arrow by day that takes us unawares and often finds us without a vital, ready faith.

We know that you have not promised to surround us with immunity from all the ills to which flesh is heir. We only pray that when they come, if come they must, they shall find us unafraid and with adequate resources to meet them. Give us a constant faith and a steady courage, that we may neither whimper nor in peevish petulance complain before you.

We thank you that you still rule over the world that you have made. Kings and emperors come and depart. All the shouting and the tumult, the screaming hurricanes of time have not deviated you from your path.

Help us to remember, O Christ, that you are victorious-Christus Victor-reigning over all; that in due time, in your own good time, you will work all things together for good to them that love you, who are called according to your purpose.

May we find our refuge in that regnant faith, and so face the future without fear. Give to us your peace, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen. – Peter Marshall

We encourage you to comment on the sermon or ask questions. Look at this as a kind of Sunday school, blog style. Thank you for bearing with us as we experiment and make mistakes in figuring this thing out.  Remember, if you have specific questions or you have need for counseling, please refer to the contact information on our new page for EChurch@Wartburg.

Thank you for spending your precious time with us.

Comments

EChurch@Wartburg – 2.19.12 — 129 Comments

  1. Dee,

    My brain is drained. Time for bed. Maybe I’ll tackle this issue in the AM, or maybe not…

    Call me sometime tomorrow. 🙂

  2. Absolutely amazing! I sat down at my kitchen table, told my kids that I needed some “alone time,” and went through the worship service from beginning to end, including the message from Wade. All I can say is WOW! Let me say it again WOW! WOW! WOW!

    Thanks EChurch@Wartburg! It’s a great beginning! I can’t wait for the next service.

  3. Sweet promise
    Strange paradox
    Good message by Wade. Actually sounds somewhat like the late Homer G. Lindsay Jr. of FBCJAX.
    He even referenced John Piper but with reservations.
    Good enough message.

  4. Awesome, awesome, awesome.

    Thank you Wade for a wonderful message. My wife and I are driving to Gainesville to visit our son in college today and we are going to listen to the sermon again on the way down.

    Thanks WW ladies and Wade for launching this ministry.

  5. Happymom,

    No mention of indwelling sin. I am so grateful that this message provides hope. I trust you are doing well.

  6. Virginia Knowles,

    I love the music of Third Day. I had the privilege of seeing them perform live at my daughter’s Christian school when she was a senior.

    Blessings!

  7. Tom R

    I listened to Wade’s sermon again this morning, and I agree with you. It was AWESOME! Have a safe trip and a wonderful visit with your son.

  8. Deb,

    Interesting that you wrote “no mention of indwelling sin.” I just finished preparing a word of encouragement from Hebrews 10:17-18 for a week from Sunday. Those verses say, “This is the covenant … I will remember their sins no more.”

    The message is entitled “Divine Amnesia” and it has challenged me to ask the question why so many churches put the emphasis on remembering what God forgets. There’s no denial I struggle with ‘indwelling sin.’ The question is how is it dealt with. I believe the teaching of the New Testament puts the focus on Christ and not the sinner, and until the sinner discovers the greatest ‘high’ is the most High, he will continually fall for the false high sin gives.

  9. Ron,

    Welcome to TWW! I’m glad you enjoyed our EChurch, and I pray the songs, prayers, and message will be a blessing to many.

  10. Wade,

    That is incredible! Indwelling sin is the mechanism that churches in Sovereign Grace Ministries and the like have used to ____________ (control, manipulate, berate, etc). the flock. Would any SGM survivors care to fill in the blank with the kind of treatment you sustained? Many have been hurt by this misplaced focus on indwelling sin, and I can hardly wait to listen to your much needed message. I pray it will be an encouragement to many.

    Blessings to you and Rachelle!

  11. Wanda,

    So for the ‘bold caps’ in the previous comment. I just wanted to cap the verse, but I accidentally capped the last paragraph.

    Thanks for your hard work on this project!

  12. Dan,

    Hello from your sister in Christ across the pond. So glad we can be part of the same fellowship here on the internet. God is good!

  13. Deb,

    I agree with your assessment of Sovereign Grace Ministries. I had never listened to much teaching from SGM until I recently heard testimonies from people who have attended. I went back and listened to some of Mahaney’s messages, and others, who are in leadership at SGM.

    You shall know the Truth and He sets you FREE!

    I was shocked.

    The emphases of their messages are all wrong. It’s as if they use grace to entice sinners into the church and then use ‘law’ and the exposure of sin to keep believers dependent on their church.

  14. Wade,

    I fixed it for you. You just forgot the /.

    In all honesty, it wasn’t that hard. I am glad it appears to be blessing so many. Thank you for inspiring all of us with your message.

  15. Wade,

    Your analysis of Sovereign Grace Ministries is one of the best I have ever read. I know that those who have been victimized will appreciate your candid assessment.

  16. Sal Jones,

    Thank you for joining us here at EChurch. Your comment really made my day! This online worship service may be a hard one to top, but we’ll try…

  17. Wade,

    When Dee and I began researching SGM over three years ago (around the time we started reading your blog), a theologian who was very important in my life told me that John Piper, John MacArthur, Danny Akin, Mark Driscoll, and the list went on, couldn’t ALL be wrong about C.J. Mahaney.

    He had never once heard a sermon by Mahaney; yet it was ME who was wrong about CJ and SGM.

    His comments really hurt at the time. Three years have passed, and the truth has finally been revealed for all to see.

  18. Haven’t even read past the first prayer, before I began panting in excitement!! Pastor Burleson could be my pastor!? Too good to be true!

    Okay, now I am scrolling back up to finish reading. 🙂

  19. Shadowspring,

    You made me laugh. 🙂

    I am delighted to be your E-friend. 🙂

    It’s all in the definitions. “Pastor” is a verb–not a noun–which speaks of shepherding or guiding. The Good Shepherd does a really good job of that in all us and needs nobody’s help. Any role I play in directing you to Him will be an honor for me!

    My professional friends have become so enamored with titles, that I cringe just a bit with even the title pastor (though I have to use it for the world’s sake). 🙂

    🙂

  20. Wade,

    As you can see, we’re overjoyed 🙂 by your presence here. You are a stream in the desert to so many who are thirsty for God’s Word. Thanks for allowing us to provide living water here at TWW. May you and your congregation be blessed because you cared for us – your brothers and sisters in Christ whom you touch through our EChurch.

  21. Deb –

    Haven’t had time to listen yet, but as one still involved with an out-of-the-limelight SGM church (maybe for the same reasons you and Wade are still involved with SBC), I think all the pastors you mentioned above can be wrong if they all look to the wrong source. They all seem to be walking together down the same path. I won’t speculate on the why. I just pray that God intervenes with His grace. Some major cracks in the path might point them to the Truth that brings freedom.

  22. Bridget2,

    Couldn’t agree with you more! I look forward to your commentary about Wade’s sermon. If you would be willing, please let us know how it differs from the ones you hear on a routine basis at your church.

    Blessings!

  23. Deb @ 9:45 –

    Not only can sin be used to belittle people, but when you then mix that with the misused and IMO wrongly interpreted teaching on authority, they create a vicious cycle. You can’t possibly see your own sin clearly. The pastor has some kind of ultimate authority to make sure you see your sin and keeps you from wondering. Some also take it upon themselves to keep their flock from being drawn away by disgruntled (often with good reason) members who have left (shunning via the gossip and slander card if you are to discuss any concerns with those who leave). Of course, members don’t want to be in “sin” so they obey the pastor without question. Missing in all this is God and faith that he is at work by way of the Holy Spirit in people’s lives. It easily turns into a “faithless” religion based on response (works) toward leadership. Mix in the pastor who sins (and we all do) BUT is only accountable to his fellow elders who are on staff and paid (one notch below him on the scale), and to those who placed him in his position – (a)postles, and you end up with a pyramid-type institution where everyone is exposed to the possibility of abuse by someone “over them,” save the very top guy who can then be revered, feared, have free reign, or whatever.

    The system is based on, “We are all under authority to an earthly person who is placed there by God to help us grow into maturity.” Sounds good and godly – right? What happens is Christians are treated like children by being expected to bring decisions to their pastor or small group leader for approval. Again, this is viewed by leadership as “biblical fellowship.” If a member disagrees or feels that God is telling them something else, it is viewed by leaders as having a hard heart, labeled as some kind of sin, possibly unforgiveness, etc. The one “under authority” is “caged” and is not free to be “in Christ.” They are “in Christ” which = under earthly authority. It is very hard to disagree with leaders and/or to leave without severe consequences in your life.

    A little truth mixed with a lot of nonesense is never good! Oh! It’s all okay, though, because it’s all in the sovereignty of God that these things play out.

    I am probably too free in Christ, as I don’t buy into all of it and never will! 🙂

  24. Bridget2,

    I may be including some of your commentary in Monday’s post. Thank you for explaining how hyper-authoritarianism works.

  25. I hate to poop on everyone’s parade here, but it’s really a small turd, so it won’t make that big a splash. I liked all the original parts of Wade’s message. It’s the stuff he stole that bugs me: Piper’s maxim. “God is most glorified in you when you are most satisfied in him.” Disclaimer: Piper’s teaching played a crucial role in my spiritual journey, and I’m grateful. He and similar made me study the Bible like never before, becoming much more conversant with its content. They taught me systematic theology and how to rationally interact with the written text. That part of my journey is over now, because I am convinced that this teaching is not only dead wrong, but 100% graceless.

    Here’s how: I can’t see one qualitative difference between “being satisfied with God,” and “loving the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind and all your strength.” Both are Biblical commands. But the later, which Piper’s sentiment is a restatement of, is THE SUMMARY OF THE LAW! It is good, right, and and true, but ultimately it is a crushing burden that brings nothing but despair. I am not capable of loving God completely, nor am I capable with being completely satisfied with Him. Jesus would not be enough for me if I never ate again. I would be freaking miserable and hungry as I starved to death, and “knowing Jesus” just wouldn’t be enough to cheer me up, the vast majority of the time. This is because I’m a sinner, and the comfort I need isn’t “just be satisfied with God! That’s all He requires!” That’s all? You might as well say “Be thou perfect.” It’s law without gospel, pure and simple. It places the focus back on one’s self in an effort to become satisfied enough with God, and just like the rest of the law, this is a crushing burden.

    Just to be clear, I thought Wade got it right even when Piper didn’t. But the question is NOT whether I am satisfied with God: The question ought to be, “Is God satisfied with me?” And the answers is: Yes, for Christ’s sake. What I need to know is that because Jesus has died for me, God will always be satisfied with me. This is the truth that I need to cherish and believe and cling to because THIS is how we find peace with God and delight in him; it is His kindness that leads us to repentance. To say that God is MORE glorified when I am more satisfied is not only a conditional acceptance, and thus contrary to the gospel, but I believe it is also highly unbiblical. I don’t believe some people glorify God more than others. I believe that heaven and earth ARE full with his glory, NOW. And I believe that all men will glorify God, either as a vessel of His grace or an object of his wrath. I contribute NOTHING to the glory of God, and it is presumptuous for me to even try. To push others to “make God their treasure” is to demand that they create the sort of internal emotional change that God alone can work. We can’t make ourselves love God more. Broken sinners are INCAPABLE of loving God, which is why Jesus had to come and die in the first place! God creates in us a love for Him, without any help from us, by His Word and Spirit.

    Once again, I think Rev. Burleson was true to God’s grace with his exposition, but I think Piper often obscures this.

  26. Pastor Burleson,

    Great message! Even though we may not agree upon all points theological, much of its content still reflects and resonates with human longing for something better than what we are today.

  27. HowDee YaAll,

      “…blessing so many…” (youze message Wade…)

    “…The emphases of their (SGM) messages are all wrong…
    It’s as if they use grace to entice sinners into the church and then use ‘law’ and the exposure of sin to keep believers dependent on their church.” -Wade Burleson

    Hmm?

    “…The inevitable conclusion undergirding the whole SGM abusive ‘phenomena’ is a strangle-hold over the moral authority to define the interpretive outcomes, i.e. the ability to define interpretive conclusion and standards, that is -the presumption to redefine word meaning and ethical standard, thus creating a structure of despotism that can not be challenged.” -John Immel 

    That SGM use ‘orthodoxy’ as a ‘cloak’ is no surprise. 
    TEKELSGM – You have been weighed in the balance and have been found wanting?!?

    Big Ut’O…huh?

    What?!?

    “…John Piper, John MacArthur, Danny Akin, Mark Driscoll,  etc. …couldn’t ALL be wrong about C.J. Mahaney” ?!?

    Hmmm?

    Oh! e Oh! oh oh…

    Comic relief? C.J. Mahaney: ‘Which button do I press’?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vBZutwGDO1w&feature=youtube_gdata_player

    -Snicker-

    The Lord reigns, he is clothed with majesty; 
    The Lord is clothed with strength, 
    Your throne is established of old…
    You Are From Everlasting!

     These floods have lifted up, O Lord, 
     These floods have lifted up their voice; 
     These floods lift up their waves. 

      Big deal.

      But the Lord on high is mightier 
      Than the noise of many waters!
      Yea, than the mighty waves of the sea. 

     Your testimonies are very, very sure, yeah!

      ‘Holiness’ becometh your house, O Lord, 
      …for ever! (you betcha’)

    YaHoooooooooooooooo!!! 

    You are faithful…thankz Jesus! 

    Sopy ♥,† 
    ___
     “The great I Am”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGv5d8EE34k&feature=youtube_gdata_player

    Bonus: April Smith – “Colors”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cdu_xUonNuE&feature=youtube_gdata_player

  28. Miguel
    You said “But the later, which Piper’s sentiment is a restatement of, is THE SUMMARY OF THE LAW! It is good, right, and and true, but ultimately it is a crushing burden that brings nothing but despair. I am not capable of loving God completely, nor am I capable with being completely satisfied with Him.” I agree. In fact, one of my current pastors often says, “Even on my best days my motives are mixed.” This fact means that we are totally dependent on grace because we cannot try hard enough to be good, both before our conversion or after. We are postionally holy but functionally sinners.
    You said because “Jesus has died for me, God will always be satisfied with me. This is the truth that I need to cherish and believe and cling to because THIS is how we find peace with God and delight in him;” Far too many groups control their people by bashing them over their heads with the continuous sinful estate. In fact, we are deeply loved and that is why Christ came. Grace is the key but many preach grace+++++
    I am visiting my son at college in Alabama and will be out of pocket quite a bit so please bear with my disjointed comments.

  29. Sopy,

    The theologian I referred to previously also listed the following individuals as those who couldn’t possible be wrong about C.J. Mahaney:

    Al Mohler
    Mark Dever
    Ligon Duncan

    How could I have left THREE of the T4G guys out?!

  30. Miquel,

    You wrote:

    “Just to be clear, I thought Wade got it right even when Piper didn’t. But the question is NOT whether I am satisfied with God: The question ought to be, “Is God satisfied with me?” And the answers is: Yes, for Christ’s sake. What I need to know is that because Jesus has died for me, God will always be satisfied with me”

    Amen. I could not agree more.

    I don’t believe, however, you will ever be satisfied with God until you know HE IS SATISFIED WITH YOU. That’s the point of the message, and to whatever extent I failed to communicate that point is my fault.

  31. Miguel –

    I totally agree with you on the problem with Piper’s quote. If I am capable of being satisfied with God then I, necessarily, have no need for Christ. I also don’t believe that we can add to God’s glory (more glorified?). He doesn’t need me to, nor can I, add anythig to Him. Yet He has met all my needs in Christ!

    I think Piper uses too many adjectives in his writing at times. In his zeal to expound on a point, be often takes a truth of scripture and turns it into something different than what the text means. He would do better to quote the scripture and not try to rewrite it with so much flowery language. I know some folks love his writing and are drawn in by iit’s beauty (to them). They need to be aware of what is really being said or not being said so they are not overcome by the style of writing.

  32. Dee: “Positionally holy but functionally sinners.” That’s quite a good way to put it. I’ll probably steal that line.

    Wade, I think you got the message out well. You pointed us to God’s grace and not our response. It’s just not so simple in the day to day, though. I can give ascent to the fact that God accepts me, and I know it is true. This knowledge produces in us a love for God, but still an imperfect one. I find comfort in knowing that I’m accepted, but this comfort is limited by the face that I still don’t love Him as I ought or find satisfaction in Him alone. We will always have to deal this struggle on this side of heaven. I find it dishonest when preachers (not including you) build up this promise of perfect security and true inner peace from realizing certain spiritual truths. I’ve followed after that line of thought with everything in me and only come up empty. For the believer, this life is a cross, and there is no secret around it.

    Bridget: Your second sentence says what I took a page to get to.
    I think the reason Piper does this is because he comes from the school of thought that says if you have the right hermeneutical tools and methods, you will never fail to extract the pure meaning of the text of scripture. Our understanding of scripture will always be clouded by experience, tradition, and culture; there is no objectivity. I could be wrong, but Piper seems to think he gets scripture right on all points. I just feel more comfortable and encouraged around theologians who are open to their own errors, like Eugene Peterson and N. T. Wright.

  33. Eagle –

    You do have a way with words! I don’t know that all churches in SGM partake to the same degree. I think many pastors don’t even realize that this is the outcome of their doctrines. Some may see it but believe what they teach is correct so they dismiss “bad fruit” as the fault of the member who somehow misapplied the teaching. All the churches in SGM are not the same, although all have been affected to some degree. Even pastors have been led astray.

  34. Well… Martin Luther would definitely be proud … Almost six hundred years later and Protestant Christianity still divides over his “proper distinction between Law and Gospel.”

  35. Eagle,

    You write, “Wade…you may not like this, but I’ll say this anyway. Christianity is about behavior modification. That’s what many Christians, churches, para church ministries have turned it into.”

    Gently disagree with you regarding your definition of Christianity. However, I agree with your description if you called it RELIGIOUS CHURCHIANITY!!!! Biblical Christianity is all about Christ (in my opinion), and not us.

  36. Eagle: You say Christianity is about behavior modification. I would disagree even Biblically. It’s about being real with our struggles and sins, it’s about being real about doubts. It’s about being real. Church has turned it into behavior modification. Not God. Not Christ. It’s not about that. In fact the Old Testament and the New Testament points to Christ. When God sees us he sees His Son if we have Christ as our Lord and Savior.

    It’s not that we modify our behavior, but through time God through the Holy Spirit modifies our behavior.

    The Apostle Paul says in Romans 17:9For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do–this I keep on doing.

    It’s the Holy Spirit that changes us not we ourselves, and it takes time. A lifetime really.

    It’s not that we do anything. We do sin, but the difference is we are sorry for our sin because we hurt the one we love. God. But regardless, we are accepted, loved. Not for anything we have done but because of what Christ has done both in his 33 years on earth and through the cross.

  37. Eagle,

    I know where you’re coming from. Tragically, in so many churches true Christianity has been replaced with legalism. It’s a FAKE CHRISTIANITY.

    With the rise in hyper-authoritarianism, legalism is only getting worse! As you know, that’s one of the reasons TWW exists. I really do feel your pain, and I wish I could take it all away. I think of your often and keep you in my prayers.

  38. “God is most glorified in you when you are most satisfied in him”

    Coming from a lifelong struggle with a childhood trauma, being most satisfied with God is so beyond my reality that this statement really makes me angry, angry with people like Piper who are so out of touch with the other half of the population who have experienced severe trauma in their life and struggle just to have a little bit of faith. Satisfied? Maybe for a fleeting moment every once in a while. Piper does not get it. Please don’t teach me that I must do something in order to give God glory.

    I did enjoy this message from Wade, but I would love to hear a woman preach. I elect Dee and Deb!

  39. J. Terry,

    I appreciate your vote for Dee and me to preach, but we do that through our posts four days a week. Trust me, Wade is a much better orator.

  40. J. Terry,

    You write: “Please don’t teach me that I must do something in order to give God glory.”

    Hmmm. I am really trying to think through what you mean. When I think of “satisfaction” I don’t think of DOING anything. Satisfaction means to me I find what ANOTHER is doing supremely wonderful! In other words, if I’m satisfied with God, it means that I understand that what HE HAS DONE FOR ME, IS DOING IN ME, and SHALL DO FOR ME is so incredibly good, so unbelievably great, and so unconditionally gracious that I am both surprised by His blessings and supremely satisfied in Him. In short, I haven’t done a thing, but trust Him who does it all! Don’t know if I make sense, but your statement “Don’t teach me I must do something in order to give God glory” receives from me a hearty “AMEN!”

  41. Under no circumstances was I going to lie to make a system happy or a pastor happy. If things are going great I’ll say so, if not I’d rather be honest about that as well.

    I like that. That is how it should be. I always wondered when I was so tired and beat down, if I could just be. If I could just not confess my sins at least for a long period of time. If I could just live, pray and well live. Skip the rest just to keep from feeling so worn out. And I did. I do believe to this day that is was just fine with God who knew my wore out state and my being tired of being fake while trying to make that fake living reality.

  42. Wade,

    Thanks for the vote of confidence, but I think I’ll stick to writing. My family has heard me preach quite a bit, especially about some of the topics we discuss on this blog. 🙂

  43. Wade,

    I feel the best service a pastor can do for those of us in the body of Christ who have been transformed by trauma is to study how that trauma has deformed our souls. There are many of us in the church. And I have yet to hear any pastor who really gets it. I wonder what if anything is so incredibly good, so unbelievably great, and so unconditionally gracious. And I don’t mean to be negative, I do realize good gifts from God in my life, it’s just that my ability, or capacity to feel great joy for these things has been damaged by the horrible realities of this life. Satisfaction still requires a feeling. And a lot of the time I am just not feelin it. The church has been a big big roadblock for me, heaping on more shoulda couldas. It was when the Lord helped me see that there was Nothing I could do, Nothing Nothing! to make Him love me, that I finally found some peace.

  44. Deb/Wade
    Dee here. I have made a decision to remove XBaptist/Anonymous’s comments and will email him personally. I know who it is and so do both of you. We have been friends in the past. I think this needs to continue offline because it has become very, very personal.

  45. XBaptist/Anonymous
    I have removed a few of your comments. You know how much we all have stood behind you and would very much like to continue this off line. I will be happy to repost your comments in the future after we discuss this. You know how much we all care for you and will pray for you as well.

  46. Dee & Wanda,

    I hope I’ve addressed you two correctly. Thanks to you and all involved in this.

    I have to confess that I usually approach things via Internet in an attitude of critiquing what I read or see. But I made an honest effort to approach your first service as a worshiper rather than judge and jury. I have to say, you nailed a worship experience for me. Not just the message, you would expect that I’m sure, but the songs, prayers, all of it. I’m spreading the word.

    Mary and I are now going to our church. But I’ve been to church already. Thanks.

  47. Paul,

    Thanks for your encouraging comment! We are overjoyed to be sharing your son’s messages here at EChurch@Wartburg, and we pray that Wade’s powerful expository preaching will enrich the lives of many who, for whatever reason, have become disenfranchised from the church.

    After reading a number of your posts, it’s not difficult to figure out who most influenced Wade’s life. Oh how I wish more pastors were like you and your son.

    Thank you for taking the time to participate in our first internet worship experience. Our sincere prayer is that it will encourage others to walk more closely with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

    Blessings to you and your wife!

  48. May I make a suggestion to those listening? It is something I did in the beginning when listening to the sermons Wade gives and it is just a take it or leave it suggestion.

    First I am grateful to all who are listening to this worship service, which I agree with Paul was great. I loved the format, this is a big step for some of you to just be listening. But don’t do anything but listen, worship with us as a church.

    Listen to the messages that are going to be posted and just let them sink in. Don’t do anything else. Listen or if you want sing along with the songs and just let them sink in. Let God love you through the messages and songs.

    I used to take the notes handed out each week and go home, get my Bible out and look up every scripture passage, read every word on those notes and study all week and sometimes for weeks.

    I think that most of you are so used to hearing a do this and do that message, that the real message Wade is giving is being lost and misconstrued into a you must do something so God can do something message and that is not the message at all. It is not what the Bible teaches from my reading of it.

    So my suggestion is to do nothing. Simply come back for a few weeks and keep listening, keep hearing the songs which correlate with the message. Listen to Cry Out To Jesus for example, or any of the the other songs posted. Do nothing else. Just sit back and let all of this sink in like a balm or a warm bath with bubbles.

  49. I used to take the notes handed out each week and go home, get my Bible out and look up every scripture passage, read every word on those notes and study all week and sometimes for weeks.

    For clarification, the reason I did this was coming from the background that I did, Independent Fundamental Baptist, I had never heard anything like this before. It was as if it was too good to be true and I wanted to know for myself if it was true, so I studied it for myself. I even got tapes(this was before internet) of the message and listened to them over and over again.

  50. Eagle: “I look at Christianity to be a cancer.”

    Actually, sin is the cancer.
    Jesus is the only real hope we have.

  51. I’m just listened to the EChurch sermon. Could what Wade said be true??? Indwelling sin was always used to guilt me into submission to someone, either pastors or men in general. Being a woman, it was easy to be controlled out of guilt. I must pray and ask God to help me believe that what was preached is true, even though it is there to read. I hope someday I can get the “punishing” God out of my head and see the loving God instead. My old church’s teaching is nearly impossible to get out of my head and heart.

  52. Scooters Mom
    You are deeply loved and the evil one wants you to ignore that fact. Jesus came to save you, not to condemn you. Far too many of todays preachers harp on the sin because they can control with that. You are free.

  53. Paul
    Thank you for chiming in. I am on the road visiting my son at Samford. This will be my gathering for the week. Am I blessed or what?

  54. “Well… Martin Luther would definitely be proud … Almost six hundred years later and Protestant Christianity still divides over his “proper distinction between Law and Gospel.”

    That is strange. I was thinking along the same line.

  55. Scooters Mom,

    I am dedicating next week’s message – Sunday, February 26, 2012 – to you. It will be at EChurch@Wartburg on Sunday, March 4, 2012. The message is entitled “Divine Amnesia” – and based on Hebrews 10:18 where God says, “This is the covenant (that is, “This is the agreement I have made with you, Scooter’s Mom”) … I will remember your sins no more.”

  56. In my view, the EChurch concept is a brilliant addition to prior contributions over the last three years from The Wartburg Watch.

    I really enjoyed the first “service” of the EChurch.

    The EChurch format makes sense to anyone who has sat in a pew…but how often does one see Micheal W. Smith, Third Day, and first rate preaching from Pastor Wade Burleson in Enid, OK all at one service? The power of electronic editing and connecting of various church service elements from various sources, as well as the capacity to reach potentially millions for Christ by this approach, is awesome.

    I will be praying that God will continue to use this electronic ministry at The Wartburg Watch to touch “the lost, the let down, and the looking”…potentially a significant step toward fulfilling His Great Commission.

    Of course, as to the staying power of this approach, the devil will be in the details. Prayer will be key. So, as Dee’s husband, I would ask all who are reading this and who share this perspective to please pray for this EChurch ministry.

    May Deb and Dee be blessed with His wisdom and His humility to create and edit the contents of each EChurch service to His glory. Thanks to Pastor Burleson for his pastor’s heart and his willingness to get out of the way and let God speak through him.

    Lord willing, this is only the beginning of the beginning for this electronic EChurch approach.

  57. Dee & Wade,

    Thank you. I am crying as I type this. I believe God might be talking to me.

  58. Dr. Jon,

    Just got home from church and read your encouraging comment. Thanks for allowing Dee to spend so much time on our ministry here.

    scooters mom,

    Bless you, sister. I pray that Wade’s messages will touch your heart as they have mine. There is freedom in Christ!

  59. HowDee YaAll,

    “The EChurch format makes sense to anyone who has sat in a pew…but how often does one see Micheal W. Smith, Third Day, and first rate preaching form Pastor Wade Burleson in Enid, OK all at one service? The power of electronic editing and connecting of various church service elements from various sources, as well as the capacity to ‘reach potentially millions’ for Christ by this approach, is awesome.” -Dr. Jon

    Again & Again…Thank You Dee! Thank You Deb!

    Wade,

    Please continue to sit with us fer a spell!

    Thank you! for your effort here @ Wartburg; Brother Martin, in heaven with Jesus, would indeed be proud, I think. You are kind and caring in this endeavor, yes?

    …For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, yes? In Romans 1:16, the apostle Paul talks about the power of the gospel. As you know, the greek word for “power” is dunamis, from which we derive our english word “dynamite.” Paul is saying, “The gospel is dynamic or dynamite!” Folk are askin’ where is this ‘dunamis power’ today? 

    All great things in the church are simple, and many can be expressed in single words such as freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope. Where are they, today?

    Bad Church a’ Rising? -snark-
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=klAGvZ4xnVc&feature=youtube_gdata_player

    Petilianus said: “The Lord Christ also warns us, saying, ‘Beware of False Prophets, Which Come Unto You in Sheep’s Clothing, But Inwardly They are Ravening Wolves; And Ye Shall Not Know Them by Their Fruits.’ ”

    Jesus did say Beware! …of the false prophets, which come to you disguised in sheep’s clothing, but in their inward parts, they are ravening wolves-you shall know them by their fruits.

    .Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, doing so not by reason of constraint put upon you, but willingly according to God?

    Not in fondness for dishonest gain but freely, nor yet as lording it in a high-handed manner over the portions of the flock assigned to you, but as becoming patterns for the flock?

    And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you shall receive the victor’s unfading crown of glory?

    What?

    Has evil in the church simply triumphed because good men have done nothing?  Have individuals placed, by their action, the glorious gospel at ‘risk’ and ‘into the gutter’? No buddy wants that kind of church today?!? Plain and simple?

    “I wonder how many are walking through life with an impending tragedy coming their way, and they can not sense it?” 

    A Sense Of Impending Tragedy?

    hmmm…

    The US debt is 15 trillion. US debt is at 100% of GDP.  “…impending tragedy coming their way..” hiding our heads in the sand? “imagine that!, when they have thrust their head and neck into the ground, that the whole of their body is concealed? hmmm. Contrary to the popular belief, Ostriches do not bury their heads in the sand, we only think they do.

    “When the eagles are silent, the parrots begin to jabber.”
    -Winston S. Churchill

    You are faithful…thankz Jesus! 

    Sopy ♥,† 
    ___
    Dear TWW Readers, I have found this classic helpful: “What the Bible Is All About” By: Henrietta C. Mears. …really worth a read.
    (http://www.abebooks.com, has it for a buck or so.)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henrietta_Mears

    Comic relief: “…is church thick as a brick?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=toHlMD50eYY&feature=youtube_gdata_player

  60. Anon,

    Thanks for sharing that photo! We don’t need security guards in our virtual church, but Dee and I do have our concealed weapon permits. 🙂

  61. Anon
    Now that is one picture that everyone should see. What in the world is going on at Mars HIll that they have to have meetings that look like a gathering of Star Trek personnel being tutored by Worf in Klingon war tactics?”Today is a good day to die!”

    I still don’t get the strange “machete incident.” Do we have any witnesses to the man rushing the podium, any cell phone photos? I would not blame him for needing body guards if people are rushing the podium, swinging weapons. How frequently does this happen?

  62. Q: “Why can’t you talk about grace?”

    A: From Dave Faulkner’s blog:

    What about spiritual abuse? Fifteen years ago, near the end of a difficult phase in my life, I heard Marc Dupont speak on the subject, and I bought his book, ‘Walking Out of Spiritual Abuse‘. Helpfully – in my opinion – he draws lessons from King Saul. On the one hand, the people of Israel got the king they deserved, because they rejected seeking the face of God in favor of having a charismatic personality. If that doesn’t ring alarm bells in all sorts of ways on today’s church scene, I don’t know what does.

    But on the other side was the character of Saul himself. He looked the part, but his fears and insecurities led him into control and manipulation. At the conference where I heard Dupont speak, he talked about the incident where Saul is picked out as king. You may recall how Samuel ‘drills down’ through tribes and families before finally picking him out. Dupont pointed out that it says that Saul was found ‘hiding in the baggage’, and while the ancients didn’t use the notion of ‘baggage’ metaphorically as we do and so this is strictly bad exegesis, we can say from painful experience that it often is people with ‘baggage’ who cause spiritual abuse. As he says in the first chapter of the book,

    Most leaders who end up with a harsh and demanding style of leadership are not individuals who would deliberately hurt others. (Page 13, author’s emphasis)

    Could it be that Mark Driscoll (and other abusive leaders) is a man with unresolved baggage? He has owned up to fair amounts of difficulties in his marriage. Is he a man who wants to see many people come to Christ? Might it therefore be that this is a man with deeply good intentions, but whose emotional pain has led to the founding of a chronically misshapen church, leading to the problems described in the testimonies cited at the beginning of this post? On this basis, the accusation of spiritual abuse is possible – religious power misused in a way that consistently harms others, and done so by a wounded person who has been elevated to the level of celebrity, one place where a Christian minister probably never should be.

    http://bigcircumstance.com/2012/01/28/mark-driscoll-and-the-mars-hill-churches-when-discipline-becomes-control-becomes/

  63. Eagle,

    Check out http://www.potsc.com it is quite refreshing.

    I hear you in your frustration…The problem is (among many) that churches do not trust that their members walk in the Spirit, or live Spirit led lives. If they did, they would preach grace, they would not feel the need to play “sin patrol”, it is kindness that leads to repentance. The Holy Spirit leads into all truth and teaches us (over time) to be obedient to the Word. We screw up, for sure, but if we are walking in the spirit He will lead us back. I don’t know what the solution is for these churches, I am discouraged as well. I know you are not a Christian anymore, and I quote this not to be preachy but because it articulates what I am not articulating well.
    Galatians 5:1
    1 So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.
    2 Listen! I, Paul, tell you this: If you are counting on circumcision to make you right with God, then Christ will be of no benefit to you. 3 I’ll say it again. If you are trying to find favor with God by being circumcised, you must obey every regulation in the whole law of Moses. 4 For if you are trying to make yourselves right with God by keeping the law, you have been cut off from Christ! You have fallen away from God’s grace.

    5 But we who live by the Spirit eagerly wait to receive by faith the righteousness God has promised to us. 6 For when we place our faith in Christ Jesus, there is no benefit in being circumcised or being uncircumcised. What is important is faith expressing itself in love.

    7 You were running the race so well. Who has held you back from following the truth? 8 It certainly isn’t God, for he is the one who called you to freedom. 9 This false teaching is like a little yeast that spreads through the whole batch of dough! 10 I am trusting the Lord to keep you from believing false teachings. God will judge that person, whoever he is, who has been confusing you.

    11 Dear brothers and sisters,[a] if I were still preaching that you must be circumcised—as some say I do—why am I still being persecuted? If I were no longer preaching salvation through the cross of Christ, no one would be offended. 12 I just wish that those troublemakers who want to mutilate you by circumcision would mutilate themselves.[b]

    13 For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. 14 For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”[c] 15 But if you are always biting and devouring one another, watch out! Beware of destroying one another.

    Living by the Spirit’s Power

    16 So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. 17 The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. 18 But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses.
    19 When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, 21 envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

    22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

    24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. 25 Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. 26 Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another.

  64. Hi Wade –

    Your comment and assessment of SGM is REALLY good.

    “I agree with your assessment of Sovereign Grace Ministries. I had never listened to much teaching from SGM until I recently heard testimonies from people who have attended. I went back and listened to some of Mahaney’s messages, and others, who are in leadership at SGM.

    You shall know the Truth and He sets you FREE!

    I was shocked.

    The emphases of their messages are all wrong. It’s as if they use grace to entice sinners into the church and then use ‘law’ and the exposure of sin to keep believers dependent on their church”.

    It’s spot on! As someone who was “enticed” into SGM with their “grace talk” – that sounded really similar to grace teaching I had heard from Terry Virgo, one of my fave preachers over here in the UK. However the subtle difference is that they still just spend 90% of their time or more speaking about sin, obsessing about sin, focusing on sin and “categorising” sin (one of Mahaney’s favourite phrases).

    And by the time they get to the little part of “grace” left meant to inspire hope in you, it’s too late. Christian has sunk into the Slough of Despond.

  65. tem,

    Welcome to TWW! I am so grateful that you enjoyed our first EChurch worship experience. I don’t know what else to call it.

    Our prayer is that the music, prayers, and message will enrich your walk with Jesus Christ.

    I want to encourage you and others to submit song suggestions. I have already gotten input from my younger daughter.

    Blessings!

  66. Eagle said:

    “Out here in the Washington, D.C. area, I used to attend McLean Bible Church. There were times when the pastor would say, “I know you want to hear about grace, but you need to know how awful you are…” And I would sit in the chair thinking…God that’s awful!! I know how bad I am. You don’t have to remind me and reinforce it. I know myself better than you do pastor…. Why can’t you talk about grace?”

    Eagle,

    What a tragedy! How in the world can we stop this train wreck? That is NOT the Gospel message. I am so sorry that you’ve had these experiences, but I appreciate how you are sounding the alarm about a plague that is spreading throughout Christendom.

    Still keeping you in my prayers…

  67. Dee,

    In God’s sovereignty, the last song we sang in church yesterday was “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus”. We sang all the stanzas together with the chorus, and I was so blessed!

    It seemed to me like God was giving a THUMBS UP to our EChurch@Wartburg because that was also our final song for our first internet worship experience.

    Coincidence? I don’t think so…

    God is so good!

    P.S. Sorry you missed the beautiful snowfall last night. My husband and I were taking our younger daughter back to college just after it started. Sadly, it was just a dusting, and it will probably be gone by the time you arrive back in God’s country 🙂 since it’s a sunny day.

    P.S.S. Some here will think this is trivial, but yesterday was Coconut’s birthday. Her breeder fondly called her “Snow” as a puppy, but my daughters renamed her. This cute little Maltese is my blogging companion, and I will always remember that the date of our first EChurch@Wartburg was her birthday! And it was snowing to celebrate the occasion…

  68. The trouble is that I know what the Bible says, and then I also know how the church operates. There is a huge disconnect. Many churches teach otherwise and I’m guessing because they want to control people. However, I would also wager that many are afraid to talk about grace because they are afraid people are going to have a license to do whatever.

    Eagle: That is so true and I believe it is more the latter(and as you mention for some churches, both) which later when I began to read and study scripture for myself, showed they didn’t really know the Bible, or they would trust the fact that we as Christians are indwelt by the Holy Spirit and control was not something they could do and be really following what the Bible taught.

  69. HowDee YaAll,

    …listen to the sound of a new beginning!

    What?

    I hear You say your alone
    I hear You sayin’ that you’ll never make it..
    I’ve got to tell you you’re wrong
    Cuz I have been down this path you’re taking!

    Hmmm?…

    Jesus Christ offers ‘life’ to every man and woman ‘here’ on the simple condition that You come to Him, and if You go away from ‘here’ without it, it is simply because you would not come to Him.

    Oh!

    No individual is lost because they needs to be lost. No one needs to be lost! God has ‘provided’ salvation for everybody! The atonement of Jesus Christ covers the sins of every man! He tasted death—as we are told in the Word of God—for everyone, and the offer of salvation is made to every individual. If anyone does not take it, it is because they will not ‘come and get it’. No one  is lost because of any purpose or decree of God!

    It is ‘the will of God’, we are told expressly in His word, that ‘all’ should be saved, and He “is not willing”—as we read in our bibles (2 Peter 3:9)—“that ‘any’ should perish, but that ‘all’ should come to repentance.” 

    ..if any person is lost, it is solely because ‘they’ will not come?!?

    So…

    Are you in over your head?
    Are you in water so deep your drowning?
    Do you think you’ve been left, 
    And there is no one to feel Your hurting?

    Huh?

    Well everybody has been there
    And everybody’s felt lost
    If you’re in over your head?!?
    Lift it up, to Jesus!

    Ok?

    You’ll never know what Faith is
    Till you ‘don’t’ understand
    Sometimes it takes the silence
    To finally hear His plans for You!

    ohhh! 

    Oh, listen to the sound of hope!
    That’s rising up
    Over your ‘old’ horizon
     Listen to the sound of ‘a new beginning of…’
    This is where the ‘old’ is ending

    ohhh!  ohhh! 

    Listen to the sound
    Amazing Grace
    How sweet that sound!
    His grace is reachin’ for You,
    His grace is reaching out to You!

    …Listen To The Sound Wherever Your Are!…

    …if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature, and the old icky things are passed away.  Behold, all things are becom’in fresh and new, with God reconciling us to himself by Jesus Christ! With God Himself being present in Christ at the cross, and reconciling the world unto Himself, our sins and our bad stuff no longer present a barrier to God’s ‘gift’ for us! Or His ‘love’…

    Receive His ‘gift’ today! (tell um… Ya wantz it!)

    You’ll be ‘glad’ You did! 

    ooohh ooohh oohh! ;~)

    Sopy ♥,† 
    ___
    Building 429: “Listen To The Sound” 
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xx0rznLvYUo&feature=youtube_gdata_player

    Bonus: MercyMe – “Beautiful”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7C2o0jHNRuU&feature=youtube_gdata_player

  70. Pingback: et cetera 18 | SallieBorrink.com

  71. Eagle – I hear you, and yet, at the same time, know of churches where these things are NOT the focus.

    However… I think McLean Bible would be more than enough to put just about anyone off religion/church/whatever, regardless of their background. I am so very sorry that you’ve been burned so badly (and not just by them and their organization).

    fwiw, I used to hear some – I thought – wild stories about Mclean Bible when I was living in the area. Looks like they were all true. (I never wanted to go near the place as a result of what I’d heard.)

  72. Eagle – that’s hilarious! The music is every bit as tedious (and as accurate, in terms of the chords and overall structure) as the real item! 😉 (A bit more seriously, I was a church musician for 10 years – liked playing in the band, pretty much intensely disliked the music.)

  73. …and lyrics, too.

    I used to wonder if there was anything we could say that God hadn’t already heard; also, I would listen to myself and wonder why in the world I was saying what I was saying… and this was before I got booted.

    Old habits die hard.

  74. About “contemporary worship” music: no offense intended toward anyone; I just cannot stand the overall blandness of it and think that 90+% of what’s used in services is pretty substandard, both in terms of music and lyrics. (Theology is a whole ‘nother topic – and very problematic, I think.)

  75. Feedback. My wife and I have not attended a church service in about 8 months. We instead attend an adult bible fellowship class at our mega church. While we could take a little of it our church services became a little heavy on the Saddleback/Willow Creek type stuff. On Saturday my wife and I listened to the E Church sermon. After the sermon my wife said Wade reminds me of classical music that is calm for awhile then gets louder and intense then calm again. My wife does like classical music so that was good. Today my wife brought up for discussion something Wade had talked about in his sermon. It has been a while since we talked about something we heard in a sermon. So thanks for the sermon we may try this again sometime.

  76. SoAzDoug,

    I really appreciate your feedback. We are trying to fill a need, as you have described, and I am so glad you and your wife tuned in via the internet. Wade definitely doesn’t speak in a monotone. Dee and I have attended Wade’s church once and I have been listening to his sermons online for a while. He has been a huge encouragement to me, and we are honored to feature his teaching here.

    Blessings!

  77. Eagle,

    Thanks for posting that sad/funny video. I also want to say I appreciate that you stay around here with all you’ve been through.

  78. numo,

    Now that you’ve said it, I feel emboldened to chime in too.
    In my opinion, Christian contempo (music) is some of the most banal and insipid tripe I’ve ever heard.

  79. …sigh… and throw in several “hallelujas” when you don’t know what else to do and *PRESTO* your *original* brand new song is ready to be published.

  80. Eagle,
    Yes, that’s me. And yes, I do remember you asking me similar questions a while back when our story first posted. Please know I did not get the impression you were being difficult then or now.
    Those are honest questions and I appreciate them. I really do.
    Given the depth of them, I believe they all deserve answers that might take a while and I don’t want to hijack this thread. Would it be ok with you if we took this offline? Please know that answering you, (to the best of my ability) is very important to me and I’d love to take “a crack at it.” 🙂

  81. Numo
    We will do some different music over the weeks. I am not much of a fan of 7/11 music either.

  82. numo et al,

    We’re looking for song suggestions. Yes, you get to have input into the EChurch worship experience!

  83. Eagle – I think everything you put on your list can be a service to God. When I had my daughter, I knew I would be having a c-section and a longer hospital stay. My husband and I specifically prayed that God would put the right nurses on shifts for when I was there. He answered that prayer abundantly and gave me wonderful nurses who served and blessed me during a very difficult recovery. He gave me a godly and compassionate Catholic OB-GYN. Were any of them in “full-time ministry”? No, but they ministered to me in many ways.

    I’ve been in “full-time ministry” and now I’m not. I’m still serving God, but in a different way. Right now I have no formal position of service at my church, but I see God using me in different ways all the time. I think service to God is about being willing to be used and then expecting God will provide the opportunities. Even if I never hold an “official position” in my church, God will never stop using me in the Kingdom as I seek His direction.

  84. Dee and Deb,

    I’m thankful for the encouragement at the EChurch and am already looking forward to next weekend’s special time!

    I keep thinking of Jesus’s call for us to come to Him and be led by His gentle and humble heart…We don’t have to see if we have been the worst sinner ever….or, or on the other hand, the most super saint around.

    It is about Jesus.

    That’s freeing!

  85. “So why do evangelicals turn “serving God” into taking church based positions? Do they realize that they are disengaging from the world and going back into their own bubble?”

    Exactly! It is the worst thing they can do and those of us “out there” cannot learn anything from them anymore about being salt and light in the WORLD because they live in a bubble.

  86. Eagle – The short answer before I head to bed? Because there is lots of bad and/or poorly thought out theology in the church today. We’ve dumbed down our culture and that includes the church.

    It’s interesting to read the discussions on TWW about the Calvinistas and how that spills over into people’s thinking about the Reformed part of the church in general. I grew up Baptist and more with the “come out and be ye separate” mentality (although not excessively so). Gradually I moved to a more Reformed way of thinking (that had nothing to do with the neo-Reformed movement). The denomination I’m in now is much more about engaging every part of the culture, serving God in all parts of culture, influencing the secular for Christ, etc. It is much more of a “go into all the world and influence it for God” type attitude. Sometimes it makes me uncomfortable because they go farther than I am personally on board with. But at the same time it is good because it balances out my default way of thinking which still tends to be “come out and be ye separate.”

    So all that to say, there are many parts of the Christian church who do not equate serving God with leading a Bible study or doing full-time ministry. I think part of the problem is they aren’t as vocal and are too busy serving God to spend copious amounts of time online telling everyone how they should be doing it.

  87. Muff – well, you said it, not me! 😉 But I have to ask: are you at all nostalgic about music from the Folk Mass days? When we talked about that a few weeks ago (in comments on another post), I looked up some clips and found myself walking around humming and singing those songs for several days afterwards. And that reminded me of other songs that I hadn’t sung – let alone thought of – in a few decades.

    Deb and Dee – I really hope I haven’t said anything that’s upset you! If so, my sincerest apologies. I would like to help out with music, although my tastes are definitely a little “out there.”

    Maybe I should try and rustle up some of those folk Mass songs…! 😉

  88. Eagle: I have no full or part time position at church in ministry by choice right now because I work sometimes late in the night and I have my grandchildren who I spend alot of my spare time with as well as my husband who is gone much of the week due to his job.

    One of my ministries at my place of work is giving meal money to those who are just starting employment. Many times these are people who have not worked for awhile for whatever reason and have no money to even buy a meal for their breaks. I will give them money for the first few days to get something to eat. This is a ice breaker and sometimes as God opens doors I can tell them of Christ.

  89. Eagle
    Most Christians that I know do not believe one must be a pastor to serve God. Sometimes, people can get carried a way with themselves and think of themselves as anointed. Ignore them. This whole paradigm changed during the Reformation/Renaissance. If you look at art, until that time, paintings were only done of religious leaders and royals/prominent people. The emphasis changed to looking at the average person in his/her daily pursuits-the baker, the blacksmith, etc. The Reformation recognized the innate dignity of the believer serving God as he goes throughout his day.

  90. dee,

    You are welcome! I know there are a number of people who read my site who have been seriously burned by churches. (I’ve been blogging for seven years starting elsewhere so I have a long history with many of my readers.) I think they would find this very encouraging. 🙂

  91. Eagle
    because some people are called to teach and preach and so they take on that responsibility. But, they are no different in God’s eyes than the mother who cares for her children or the guy who drives a truck. Each are called to minister in different venues. If we listen to the guidance of the Holy Spirit we will all use our gifts and talents in wonderful ways.

  92. Eagle…
    Your questions/observations on the Feb 20 post are dead on… I would only observe that this is actually not indicative of modern theology but the predominate assumption of historic Christianity. Modern Christianity has for the most part sustained its place as a lingering echo of medieval thought. For millennia the “church” –that is the organizational hierarchy of the church — has insisted that everything God originates at the chancel. And that is because they have been very adept at creating a number of doctrinal presumptions. The most potent two are the concept that the Sabbath = “Day of divine service,” and that presumtion is gets it real power from the substantive commitment to Altruism as the leading moral philosophy.

    If one is inclined, I address the foundations of Altruism in my most recent article Reflections of Super Bowl XLVI, at Spiritual Tyranny.

  93. Just when we thought it couldn’t get any better, you give us EChurch with Wade Burleson. What a blessing! His message was heartfelt, and it made us feel like we were right there in the church.

    You ladies are awesome! Thank you for spreading the truth around the world

  94. H&M,

    Thanks so much for the encouragement, and welcome to TWW!

    We are indeed blessed to be able to share Wade’s powerful messages around the world.

  95. numo,

    Sorry if it sounded like I was stuffing words into your mouth, that was not the intent. And a hearty sorry to the blog queens and anyone else here who thought my Christian contempo music comment to be insensitive.

    And yes numo, I do wax nostalgic at times for the music style of Dylan & Baez at Mass & liberal Lutheran churches. They were socially engaged back then whereas now it’s strictly about keeping souls & sinners from the fires of perdition, complete with altar call and magic incantation to get “saved”. When’s the last time you heard a C-contempo group do an anti-war song?

  96. Pastor Burleson,

    Thank you for the wonderful message! It encouraged and uplifted Tom and I. I appreciate your ministry ! Yvette Rich

  97. Muff – Oh man, I didn’t mean to say that you put words in my mouth; more that you articulated what I think about almost all contempo xtian music, the “worship” stuff especially.

    I have heard some real doozies that were circulated internationally but which never took off in That Church. (There were some folks with good taste around who wouldn’t let that stuff anywhere near the congregation!)

    But I digress… and some of the old folk Mass-type songs that I still love are close kin to some of the better/best contempo xtian stuff. (There *are* some good songs, but you have to wade through a lot of mediocre-bad material to find them – imo, anyway.) One site that I checked re. folk Mass-ish music is actually excerpts from a book that shows a direct linkage between that music + Jesus Movement music and contempo xtian, spelled out in detail, with podcasts, too. (Fun if you have good memories of that time or want to wax nostalgic for lost youth and whatnot! ;))

  98. Ah yes numo! The good old daze! Dylan’s “Masters of War” & Baez’s “Joe Hill” come to mind. I’m wondering if there are some really talented xtian-contempo artist(s) out there who’d dare to break out of the iron grip of the last 40yrs. and do an anti-war song. I mean really piss-off the patriarchs by claiming that social relevance for the Church is more than just the wedge issue focus of abortion & gay marriage.

  99. Dee and Deb,

    I also want to thank you both for all that you are doing, your prayers and support!

    In Christ alone,

    Yvette Rich

  100. Muff – well, you know what people said when Bruce Cockburn recorded songs protesting US involvement in Nicaragua and elsewhere…. that he “wasn’t [isn’t] really a Christian.”

    I think the CC industry (contempo xtian; excuse lowercase but my wrists are hurting and it’s easier not to hit shift + c) is so massive now that it takes an awful lot to challenge it – also that most people who actually do think differently (like Sufjan Stevens and B. Cockburn before him) are not associated with the CC crowd, as they have freedom of speech out here in the wider world. (Kinda like xtian fiction, but that’s a whole other topic and one on which i’m probably a little too opinionated for my own good. ;))

  101. Dee and Deb,

    Thanks! Our love to both of you! The next few months are going to be very difficult, but we are thankful for your prayers !

  102. Yvette,

    Please know that you and Tom are in my prayers. We hope you’ll be blessed by our EChurch@Wartburg outreach.

    Blessings to you!