Replanting Countryside Acts 29 Style: A Personal Testimony

"Instead of holding on with inordinate pride to the past, a replanted church dies to its former glory, its methods, its structure, and its practices and strategically plants its resources (body, budget, and buildings) in the spiritual ground. The result is a virile replanted church with a God-renewed mission to give life to the spiritually dead community in which it ministers."

What is Replanting? (Acts 29 Network)

http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=757&picture=breaking-heartBreaking Heart

Allow me to introduce you to Becky, who hails from Indiana.  She attended Countryside Christian Church from the late 1990s until 2002 when her children wanted to participate in programs at another church.  Becky and her family returned to Countryside in 2006 and joined the church several years later.  A couple years after that Becky, her husband, and their children were 'perp walked' out of the church (more on that later).

Let's start at the beginning… 

Countryside Christian Church was established in Michigan City, Indiana over three decades ago by Rick Jones, who pastored the church until his retirement.  The church was built in two stages with the sanctuary and classrooms being constructed later.  For a number of years the congregation met on Sundays in the gym and demonstrated much prudence in managing its resources.  Everything was done with transparency and accountability.  Eventually, the church borrowed money to complete the construction.  The final result was a 1,400 seat sanctuary, multiple classrooms, a kitchen, gym, and outbuildings for the food pantry.  It was a beautiful facility and a haven for the community.

Countryside Christian Church grew to be a rather large congregation.  When the church was at its largest size, it held two services, and according to Becky weekly attendance ranged from 1,500 to 2,000. 

Countryside supported 12 to 15 missionaries for a long time and ministered to the community through its preschool program, a Celebrate Recovery program, and a food pantry. 

When the congregation needed to fill its worship leader position, it hired a younger man named Kevin Galloway.   Kevin had a liberal arts degree but no seminary training, and he worked as a police officer prior to accepting the position as worship leader.  Kevin’s appearance and demeanor were much cooler than his predecessors – he was a jean clad, guitar playing, soul patch kinda guy.  Kevin and Becky had an amicable relationship, and he appreciated her ministry of knitting hats and scarves for cancer patients.

In early 2008 Pastor Rick Jones retired after a long career.  His successor was Kevin Galloway.  Becky and her husband began attending a small group once Kevin became the senior lead pastor, and they decided to join the church. 

Not long after the leadership change, the congregation began to hear Pastor Galloway using terms like ‘relevance’.   He would tell the parishioners:  “We want to be relevant.”  Six to eight months after that, the congregation started hearing about an organization called Acts 29.  Initially, the older church members were tolerant of some of the changes; however, over time they began to feel marginalized.  The modus operandi of the church changed significantly.

Then in fairly short order, the cool dude pastor ‘canned’ the food pantry by shifting this ministry to other churches in the area.  Pastor Galloway encouraged all staff members to read books on Mark Driscoll’s booklist, some of which were secular books.  The two female staff members refused to read the secular books and in less than six months they were ushered out as quietly as possible.  The lady who operated the preschool that folded was one of the women who would not read the secular material.  Finally, Pastor Galloway forced out the individuals who were leading the Celebrate Recovery program.   At that point, lots of people left the church.   

As these established ministries were being axed, Pastor Galloway (and the church leaders) made strides to plant a church in Valparaiso, Indiana, which was 20 minutes from Countryside.  Interestingly, Valparaiso is an affluent area of the state and also a college town.  The Acts 29 Network requires all its member churches to plant churches.   

During the church planting phase, money was flowing out of the church coffers at an alarmingly rate.  Countryside, which at one time had thousands of dollars in savings, was scraping to get by.  Church members were told they had to tithe.  Where were all those contributions going?  They were being spent on:

– Large pastor salaries

– Health and disability insurance for pastors

– Large cell phone bills

– Whole Life insurance for two pastors at $840/month each

– Expenditures and gas money to plant the new church

The leaders did not say anything about the mounting expenses.   As money got tight, a deacon’s wife said something to Becky about the pastor possibly using church funds inappropriately.  Becky made a request for financial information, and the church secretary handed her a large packet including copies of credit card statements.  One item that caught Becky’s eye was a $250 charge to Nordstrom.  Apparently, the pastor was on a trip to meet Mark Driscoll and had to make a clothing purchase because there was some problem with his luggage (or whatever!)   Becky does not know whether the church was ever reimbursed for that personal expense.  There were other unusual charges on the credit card statement like $288.69 for a pastors' outing to Binny’s Beverage Depot (a liquor store)

In just a few years, Pastor Galloway ran the church into the ground.  The bottom line was that the church had racked up charges on its credit card well over $10,000 (at a 17 percent interest), and the church was only able to pay the minimum balance each month.  Countryside was in dire straits under Pastor’s Galloway’s leadership.

Becky began discussing the church's financial debacle with other congregants and made some negative statements on Facebook about the state of the church like “Don’t drink the Kool-Aid".  Someone in the church spied on church members' Facebook accounts.  If a parishioner said something the leaders didn’t like, s(he) was called in for a meeting and berated.

After three disciplinary meetings, Becky and her husband were informed that they were not allowed to come back to the church.  The following Wednesday, Becky's husband took their children to the evening activities and was rebuked.  "What are you doing here?" was one of the questions he was asked.  The following Sunday, March 27, 2011, Becky and her family decided to attend church anyway and were sitting in the balcony when they were spotted.

After 20 minutes, church leaders approached Becky and her husband and told them that if they did not leave the cops would be called.  They remained seated.  On the left side of the balcony sat an off duty police officer who came over and said if they did not leave immediately he would call the police on duty.  Then he escorted them out of the church and told them to never return.  Becky and her husband have a handicapped child who was 15 or 16 years old at the time; however, his mental capacity is that of an 8 or 9 year old.  He is not retarded but has a special handicap and can only understand things at a 9 year old level.  He was sitting with his family when they were thrown out of the church, and it was extremely upsetting to him.  He was crying and very distressed because of what happened. 

It is certainly worth noting that at no time did Pastor Kevin Galloway meet with Becky so that she could share her concerns. 

After being excommunicated from Countryside, Becky wrote the following and posted it on Facebook:

After actually reading the letter that Countryside has circulated to its membership (what is left of it) all I can say is…. wow!!! If anything you the leaders of Countryside just proved our point! I had to do and say nothing, just sit back and let you maliciously attack my husband and me, and spread your filthy lies, and watch you shame our Lord. Until it became apparent to my husband and me that you would not be corrected or challenged to walk away from Acts 29, I refused to name you or call you out directly. We had hoped that someone with some integrity would show up at our meetings and at least agree to speak and or address our concerns about possible financial mismanagement… But nope, too busy trying to accuse me of gossip and storytelling, all the while gossiping and storytelling to other about us! Really … , did you think that those ladies you told all about the sin I had committed would not eventually come to me and ask me what happened? The sin you NEVER deemed to address with me at all, the sin to this day you REFUSE to even name the person who accuses me or supposedly heard me say? I name you the liar and the deceiver, when Brian showed up on Wednesday he told you God had NOT released us to leave Countryside and then asked you specifically if the police would be involved if we showed up and you told him no several times. I name you the liar and deceiver… And you, Kevin Galloway, who have refused to even involve yourself in this process and have created an environment where the elders and deacons have absolute power with no one to hold them accountable well done, you have built YOURSELF an empire and are welcome to it. I desire God's approval more than yours, we are all accountable to the truth of the word even you.
     We repeatedly asked the leadership to bring forth our accusers, those who have told them the stories that are now being circulated about us. And every time we met with you new accusations were made against us with still no proof presented, or even a willingness to give us those names. And you will lie and tell people you walked Matthew 18 with us? Shame on all of you. Have any of you actually watched Kevin's sermon on the churches website? I believe you just reposted it this week from Jan 2010. In it he clearly states how the Bible explains Mathew 18 and how is should be walked, they way we confronted you to walk it and then you refused! The way you told us in our meeting we MISUNDERSTOOD this scripture. Really? What amazes me is you still believe that labeling us is going to win you anything. Hundreds of people have left because of your hardhearted leadership and then you pull this? Wow! I bet new members are signing up in droves… All through this mess we have asked to see the supposed reimbursements and get info on Kevin's expenses, we have also shared our extreme concern with … Acts 29 and all the while you have broken your necks to manufacture our sin and discredit us for our questions. God saw it all and I will leave him to his vengeance and try to not get in his way too much.
       I am so not perfect, I have made mistakes folks. I trusted these men and even when they treated us wickedly we believed them when they said they would never involve the police. We never would have brought our children with us if we hadn't. I have always been willing to submit to my husband and I follow him as I should, the problem with his leadership was only thought up by this leadership because he refused to allow them to beat me up and challenged them to walk scripture with me, he questioned why there was no one to accuse except these men who heard these supposed stories second hand, he was then told he did not understand Mathew 18 and told he was unrepentant too. And this madness continues even today. My husband's only sin has been to love me and stand in front of me with these leaders, refusing to let them pull this stuff without godly challenge. And their response has been to tear him to pieces too. They shame our Lord by their refusal of his word. And I pray that God will grant them repentance and that one day they will come to us asking for our forgiveness as they should. But I won't hold my breath.
     My repentance has never been an issue I only required them to bring my sin to me in the proper manner as Mathew 18 dictates and as Kevin himself preaches. Their unwillingness to do so indicates to me that the minute I showed them the paperwork of the budget I received and had the nerve to challenge the Acts 29 link to our church home, they began their own agenda. One needed to shut me up and make me look bad and that they just proved to my family how far they will go to protect themselves. This happened to us but who is next?
     The power of God's word cannot be denied. It is absolute. Nothing can be added or taken away. We certainly acknowledge and believe that. This is not about our denial of the word of God just the words of Mark Driscoll and Acts 29… And regardless of what Kevin would like you to believe, they are not one in the same. Scriptural purity is what we require of our leaders as the word of God commands this. We are told to watch out for the false teachers and to be wise and ready to defend our faith. Even when those actions result in ungodliness. So here we stand by this line we have drawn. We have been wrongly accused, lied about, slandered and watched as many of you will turn your backs on us because they tell you to. I will end this with a borrowed paragraph, I have altered it a bit in the spirit of truth, but here it goes.

     We warn you the church (a body of believers, not a building or a place) not to fellowship with, nor listen to the continued lies, gossip and slander that come from Countryside leadership. Their sin has harmed many souls, and is contrary to the teaching of God's word. May our refusal to fellowship … honor our God with obedience and through this obedience lead these men to repentance.

       Brian, Becky and their children

Perhaps we are finally getting a glimpse of church discipline and excommunication Acts 29 style.  Remember, Mark Driscoll was firmly at the helm of the Acts 29 network when this took place. 

We leave you with an excerpt from a resource on the Acts 29 website called What is Replanting? which Kevin Galloway most likely read and followed.

7. Fearlessly Lead the Replanting Process (1 John 4:18).

     a. Prayerfully determine if God has called your church to enter a replanting at this time. Do you feel God is calling you to replant your church?

     b. Once affirmed, lead fearlessly through the rough waters, people jumping overboard, sea sickness, and mutiny among the crew. Many people (including leaders and even spouses) will become disoriented, discouraged, and dissenting.  Lead the body patiently, lovingly, but firmly  – just as Jesus would.  But don't lead fearful of losing popularity, friendship, or a comfortable, secure job.  A manager is a pleaser of people.  A visionary leader is a pleaser of God.

In our upcoming post, we will share the conclusion of this heartbreaking saga. 

Lydia's Corner:  Isaiah 12:1-14:32   2 Corinthians 13:1-14   Psalm 57:1-11   Proverbs 23:9-11

Comments

Replanting Countryside Acts 29 Style: A Personal Testimony — 187 Comments

  1. Thank you to the Wartburg Watch for getting the true story out of what happened to our family. The shame of it is we were ONE family out of the many that went through this. Most went away quietly, never to return, and some like us were thrown out under church discipline with many lies being spread. I cannot tell you how hurtful it was to see people I had known for years turn the other way in the grocery store so they would not have to speak to us. They were too afraid. Or too deceived. The sickening thing for me is this "pastor" is still in the business of relevance and spreading the infection of Acts 29. My only hope is that that one day people will get wise to Acts 29, Mark Driscoll, and this movement as a whole and flee….

  2. @ Deb:

    Maybe. But it Acts 29 actually used the word “virile.”
    As in testosterone-charged or Viagra assisted.

  3. Dee and Deb…I think you need to post images of the receipts for Nordstrom and Binnys Liquor. It's hard to deny a charge slip.

  4. @ Rebecca Lynn:

    Thanks for sharing your painful story with us. My gut feeling is that there are MANY out there who have had almost identical experiences. I hope they will chime in.

    I pray that you and your family will now have some closure.

  5. I have read TWW for a while now but never commentsd. I am a former Mar Hills member as well as a former member of a small Acts 29 church. This all sounds, unfortunately, too famiar. My husband and I had many negative experiences during that time iin our life. Please spread the word.

  6. Becky, thank you for sharing this! I had a very similar experience over a non-essential doctrine, which I kept to myself completely, having been told by the pastor, that adhering to it was not a “dividing point”. He made it a dividing point, and gossiped to the whole congregation. After 7 months of torment, I felt the Lord leading me to leave. My husband didn’t get it at the time, but left with me. Come to find out, in the 2 or so years which followed, this same MO was used on dozens of families. I have found God’s forgiveness for this person, and he is an excellent teacher, the best I’ve come across in more than 40 years of faith in Christ, including a year in a solid Bible college… still, though, it and other sour church experiences have taught me to look to God and His word alone, and not to men.

    Your account of the leadership’s total disregard for people over the ends they seek is quite common, especially in some of the mega churches. He probably was well versed behind the scenes in Hybels, Warren and their mentor, Peter Drucker, who touted the Hegelian dialectic. In that paradigm, there is no problem with forcing dissenters out. Driscoll and SGM have used this same approach.

    Only by the faithfulness and power of the Holy Spirit, am I still in a church. This was not the only bad church (4 in a row), but thanks to my Lord and also to my husband, I am still growing, now in a balanced, solid, non denominational community church. My radar is always on full alert, however, and I cringe every time I hear certain names dropped by congregants,(Driscoll being the most recent.) L

  7.   __

    Axe29jack’d (TM) – ‘Rock’in Da Church House’ ?

    hmmm…

    Axe29jack’d (TM) throws ‘dem proverbial ‘trouble-makers under the bus?

    huh?

    “They’re Off the bus,
    Under the bus,
    They were ‘off-mission’,
    So now they are un-employed…
    This will be the defining issue,
    If you succeed or fail,
    I have read enough of the New Testament,
    To know occasionally that Paul puts someone in the wood chipper.” ~Mark Driscoll

    What?

    “..You need to gather a whole new core…” ~ Mark Driscoll


    Comic relief: “We have Engaged Da Axe29jack’d (TM) Borg…
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vPzJSBHG4pI

    *
    Notes: 
    Mark Driscoll – “Gathering a whole new core…”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Iz5nDJy1FA

    See also:

    http://apprising.org/2012/07/03/mark-driscolls-dead-bodies-and-chris-rosebrough-with-another-ones-off-the-bus/

    Quote:

    Mark Driscoll: “Here’s what I’ve learned. You cast vision for your mission; and if people don’t sign up, you move on.  You move on. There are people that are gonna to die in the wilderness and there are people that are gonna take the hill. That’s just how it is.

    Too many guys waste too much time trying to move stiff-necked, stubborn, obstinate people. (pause) I am all about blessed subtraction. There is a pile of dead bodies behind the Mars Hill bus (laughs) and by God’s grace it’ll be a mountain by the time we’re done.

    You either get on the bus or you get run over by the bus. Those are the options; but the bus ain’t gonna stop.  And I’m just a—I’m just a guy who is like, “Look, we love ya, but, this is what we’re doing.” There’s a few kinda people. There’s people who get in the way of the bus.

    They gotta get run over. There are people who wanna take turns driving the bus. They gotta get thrown off (laughs). ‘Cuz they wanna go somewhere else. There are people who will be on the bus, leaders and helpers and servants, they’re awesome.

    There’s also just, sometimes, nice people who sit on the bus and shut up. (pause) They’re not helping or hurting. Just let ‘em ride along. Y’know what I’m saying?  But, don’t look at the nice people that are just gonna sit on the bus and shut their mouth and think, ‘ need you to lead the mission.’

    They’re never going to.  At the very most you’ll give ‘em a job to do and they’ll serve somewhere and help out in a minimal way. If someone can sit in a place that hasn’t been on mission for a really long time they are by definition not a leader.  And, so they’re never going to lead.

    You need to gather a whole new court. I’ll tell you guys what, too. You don’t do this just for your church planting or replanting. I’m doin’ it right now. I’m doin’ it right now. We just took certain guys and rearranged the seats on the bus.

    Yesterday we fired two elders for the first time in the history of Mars Hill last night. They’re off the bus, under the bus. They were off mission so now they’re unemployed. I mean (pause) you—this will be the defining issue as to whether or not you succeed or fail.

    I have read enough of the New Testament, to know occasionally that Paul puts someone in the wood chipper.” 

  8. Confirmation of the old adage “the fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree.” Very sad.

    “Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: As surely as I live, says the Sovereign Lord, you abandoned my flock and left them to be attacked by every wild animal. And though you were my shepherds, you didn’t search for my sheep when they were lost. You took care of yourselves and left the sheep to starve. Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord. This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I now consider these shepherds my enemies, and I will hold them responsible for what has happened to my flock. I will take away their right to feed the flock, and I will stop them from feeding themselves. I will rescue my flock from their mouths; the sheep will no longer be their prey.
    “For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I myself will search and find my sheep. I will be like a shepherd looking for his scattered flock. I will find my sheep and rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on that dark and cloudy day. I will bring them back home to their own land of Israel from among the peoples and nations. I will feed them on the mountains of Israel and by the rivers and in all the places where people live. Yes, I will give them good pastureland on the high hills of Israel. There they will lie down in pleasant places and feed in the lush pastures of the hills. I myself will tend my sheep and give them a place to lie down in peace, says the Sovereign Lord. I will search for my lost ones who strayed away, and I will bring them safely home again. I will bandage the injured and strengthen the weak. But I will destroy those who are fat and powerful. I will feed them, yes—feed them justice!”
    Ezekiel 34:7-16

  9. Eagle wrote:

    Dee and Deb…I think you need to post images of the receipts for Nordstrom and Binnys Liquor. It’s hard to deny a charge slip.

    If they have them yes….if they charged their liquor bill to the church, well, that blows my mind….

  10. All of this completely jives with my experiences in an A29 church. Sadly, I’m not the least bit surprised by any of it. I’m sorry you and your family went through that, Becky 🙁

    To anyone who is “recovering” from hyper-authoritarian church crappiness, I was wondering if any of you have found decent churches? I had taken a hiatus from church attending after I realized that the Calvary Chapel I’d been attending had some similar issues as my previous A29 church (honestly it’s a miracle I still have my faith… I’m so sick and tired of bad churches). I’m now in the market for a decent church, but I’ve moved outside of evangelicalism to do it, due to varying degrees of bad experiences. Anyone have any recommendations? I actually became a Christian while attending a Catholic church. I loved the tradition and liturgical style, and the lack of rock-band light show hyperChristianism present in the evangelical Churches I’ve attended. But there are things about Catholic theology I disagree with too much to become Catholic. I am thinking about trying an Episcopal church. “Catholic light”, I’ve been told…

  11. TW wrote:

    I will search for my lost ones who strayed away, and I will bring them safely home again. I will bandage the injured and strengthen the weak. But I will destroy those who are fat and powerful. I will feed them, yes—feed them justice!”

    Promises of God.

  12. Binny’s Beverage???? RoFL. Nothings says fellowship more than Seagram’s! Nordstrom’s? His luggage didn’t come and he needed Nordstrom’s?? Whatsa matter? Does Mark get antsy if you wear a Target t- shirt? Real men wear Nordstrom’s?

    Let me make sure I get this story straight. This guy switches people to Acts 29-a sign of the true church of God. Loses people hand over fist and then plants another church while this one is in a nosedive? ROFL.

    And then they have the gall to perp walk a mother with a handicapped teen out of the church because she raised some questions? Wow! Such big men! Yep-that’s how to show em whose boss!

  13. @ Sopwith:

    The only people Jesus, ” threw under the bus “, were the Pharisees, the pompous, spiritually dead religious leaders of the day. (They loved to throw the flock right out of the synagogue too)

    Thanks for sharing what MD boasts about…..let’s shout from the roof tops how arrogant and abusive these beaters of God’s flock are.

  14. @ Moxie:

    My experience of leaving evangelicalism is similar to yours. It did not have to do with a hyper-authoritarian church style, but it did have to do with a lot issues, some of them similar to what some people on this blog talk about. I started going to catholic mass at that point, since I had prior knowledge and some experience with catholicism. Then I went to RCIA for the purpose of meeting the requirement for conversion to catholicism, but I was profoundly disappointed with that experience. There are among the catholics I have known either in my extended family or at work some informed and committed people basically in love with both Jesus and the church. But in RCIA I thought that they were rather trying to be like protestants but did not know how. My prior exposure to catholicism had been before Vatican II, and I was not expecting to find what I found in today’s catholicism. Anyhow, to convert to catholicism one has to affirm that one believes everything the the catholic churches teaches. I do not believe that. But I love liturgy, and I was a better person when I was going to mass. Subsequently and for other reasons my son and his family became episcopalians. I see what they do and hear what they believe, and the episcopalians are really into liturgy, but it is not for me. It may be for you. I have nothing bad to say about their services. It is just that I am not like them and they are not like me.

    I am now in a church which is a part of a moderate protestant denomination. The services vary from almost non-liturgical to somewhat liturgical depending on who the pastor happens to be and what he/she may prefer. The people tend to be solid and sensible, and they are service oriented and community minded and laity affirming. And most of all they more or less tolerate me. I see what they do and it is some satisfaction to me that I can help them in some way with some of it. Is it a wild love affair between us? No, not even close. But it is a place where I can be and where I can let go of the anger and disappointment and where I can sit at peace with fellow believers.

    It has been my experience that it is not best to expect too much in looking for a church. There is an adrenalin rush about evangelical style that is not out there in the same way elsewhere. It takes a while to detox from the rush, but the effort is worth it, and some paths are more peaceful.

  15. @ dee:

    You'll be interested to know that Binny's Beverage is on Twitter. 😆

    And here's their slogan:

    "If you can't find it at Binny's, it's probably not worth drinking."

  16. Nancy wrote:

    It has been my experience that it is not best to expect too much in looking for a church. There is an adrenalin rush about evangelical style that is not out there in the same way elsewhere. It takes a while to detox from the rush, but the effort is worth it, and some paths are more peaceful.

    I think you gave Moxie great advice Nancy. I have been attending an Anglican church in Dubai and have found it quite refreshing. I love the Pastor (that’s not what their title is in the Anglican church, but can’t remember what they are called) I know Anglican churches are real hit or miss and this church is not what I would call “high church.” It is pretty informal as Anglicans go. They had an intern here when I first started attending and I guess it took him some adjusting to get used to the rather informal way our service is conducted. I know it’s not for everyone, but I was raised Lutheran and I like the liturgy. I also like the frequency and meaningful emphasis placed on the Communion and the overall reverence of the service.

    I attempted to go to what I would term a “seeker friendly” church after I quit UCCD. It is the largest church in Dubai and probably half the congregation formerly attended UCCD. I didn’t care for it. Lot’s of bright lights, loud, upbeat songs with 2 or 3 verses repeated over and over and sermons where they paused in the middle to show a video. It obviously appeals to the masses, but it’s not for me.

  17. Instead of holding on with inordinate pride to the past, a replanted church dies to its former glory

    Oh. That’s cute.

    A church that resists this sort of change does so because it is stubborn and proud. Change is humble. Gets right to the heart of things, in a subtle insulting sort of way.

  18. Moxie wrote:

    I’m now in the market for a decent church

    Moxie,
    You are in no way alone on this. Many have simply given up. Even defining a “decent” church is difficult today. I agree with Nancy that setting your expectations low can help. The danger is that it is easy to eventually just concede that it isn’t worth it. I liken it to health care (that’s my profession). As long as you keep in mind that a doctor’s office and hospital are in the business of making money you can protect yourself. But if you ever turn your health completely over to the professionals without doing your own due diligence you are in trouble. Same for church. Don’t turn your spiritual life over to the professionals. It’s dangerous. I wish you the best. Steve

  19. What I don’t understand is why they gave a guy with no seminary training the authority to plant a church with Acts 29. I thought they were stricter.

  20. Rebecca Lynn, I am terribly sorry that you and your family were treated like this. You have a community here who will support you as you speak out against these tyrants. There is a bit of hope though, however small it might be. Last year there were 5 or 6 churches in my area who were a part of the Acts 29 network. This year there is only one church. Churches are waking up and leaving this dangerous group. May this trend continue.

  21. @ SJ Gonzalez:
    He really was a good bet. A young and cool jeans’ wearing Pastor already with a church that seated thousands. Why would’nt they have taken the bait? On paper he looked awesome to them. Lets not forget Acts 29 requires ALL their churches to tithe ten percent (I believe) of their income to the network. So they saw our church and were probably rubbing their hands together in anticipation. My real question is this….How the heck did he get hired as a lead pastor by our deacons and elders with no divinity training? I mean really what were these men thinking? Acts 29 has proven over and over the bar is really low for their pastors…I mean look at Marc himself!!!! But I cannot understand how the men I knew and respected thought this was the right thing to do….!!!I feel so betrayed and those rats that voted him in jumped ship mostly in the first year of his reign.

  22. Kevin had a liberal arts degree but no seminary training

    This, is a HUGE problem. Heretical renegades such as this make up their own rules. They are not part of any denomination so there is no accountability. They have no creed to which they subscribe so they can make it up as they go along to suit their purpose. Lastly, there is an overwhelming number of men given positions of authority who haven’t a shred of Biblical intellectual training so they have no intellectual discipline in the Scriptures so they simply decide what to do and pick out a couple verses of the Bible that they can twist to their own satisfaction.

    Matthew 18

    God I’m sick of hearing this from fascist church leaders. They NEVER use it to engage in a Spirit-filled discussion of resolving differences. It’s ALWAYS used as an instrument of oppression. Whenever someone in their church raises an issue they don’t want discussed, they stand up and shout “Matthew 18!, Matthew 18!”, the person raising the issue is then hustled off to a backroom and subjected to a process worthy of a Chinese Communist reeducation camp. They are told they are wrong, not on the basis of anything having to do with the issue itself, but because they are refusing to submit to authority,they are being divisive, ergo they are sinners and must repent and if they don’t, they are subjected to “church discipline”, meaning they are shunned and harassed.

    Acts 29 – NGH (No Gospel Here)

    Take a look at the Acts 29 “DOCTRINAL DISTINCTIVES OF ACTS 29” located here:
    http://www.acts29network.org/about/distinctives/

    I defy you to find anything there about love of one’s neighbor. In fact, here’s what Acts 29 considers to be ‘spreading the gospel’:

    We are called to make Christ known through the gospel and, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to bring his lordship to bear on every dimension of life.

    The primary way we fulfill this mission is through the planting of churches that plant churches and the training of their leaders. Our aim is that Jesus Christ would be more fully formed in each person through the ministry of those churches God enables us to plant around the world.

    In fact, of their five ‘doctrinal distinctives’, they take the time to spend one of them on emphasizing male supremacy, but not one on Christian love.

    In short, it’s all about church plants, in fact, the main function of Acts 29 churches are to plant other churches – it’s not about what their churches are to do to aid their congregation and community in growing in the love of God and love of neighbor. NGH

    I know that this may not be in the spirit of all that’s been discussed in the previous post about having civil discussions. I would love to have or see a civil discussion involving Matt Chandler where he would discuss how actions such as those described in the post above by his churches express the love of God and love of neighbor. I would dearly love to be proven wrong, but, I think that will occur only when Hell freezes over.

  23. SJ Gonzalez wrote:

    What I don’t understand is why they gave a guy with no seminary training the authority to plant a church with Acts 29. I thought they were stricter.

    SJ,
    That is a very rational thought in most professions. NOT the church, however. People come to see me every day for a root canal treatment. I went to college, 4 years of dental school, and then I completed a two year residency in the specialty of endodontics (root canals). Hence, I’m qualified to do root canals.

    I also attended a large, respected seminary and completed a three year M.Div. I got the Greek, Hebrew, the whole nine yards. Left dentistry and took a staff position at a large, conservative, evangelical church in a large city.

    I was on staff with 10 seminary trained men and two women (children’s ministers) who did not attend seminary. The children got the best deal. The two “untrained” women were much more spiritually minded. My conclusion after a couple of years on the inside of the church biz was that a seminary degree in no way “qualifies” someone to be a spiritual leader. Back to endodontics for me 🙂

    There is value to some, not all, seminary degrees. However, NEVER take for granted that a seminary degree qualifies someone to be YOUR spiritual shepherd. This really cannot be overemphasized today. This mistake, I fear, is causing a multitude of problems from which recovery is unlikely.

    “Church” is getting really dangerous, perilous for the individual soul. A soul is precious. We all need to guard our hearts diligently. This blog can help us do just that!

    Peace to you. Steve

  24. Meet a Church Planter: Kevin Galloway in Michigan City, IN

    by Scott Thomas

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    I became familiar with A29 as I have followed Mars Hill and The Resurgence on the web. The Gospel Coalition Conference in Chicago allowed me to meet and speak with Tyler Powell and other A29 pastors which led to a phone call with Scott Thomas and a subsequent trip to Seattle to meet with Scott and Tyler. They have been such a great help to me and the Countryside community already!

    What advice do you have for men who are wrestling with the decision to plant?

    First and foremost-Jesus is first. He always has been and always will be. Make sure He is first in your decision to plant. If not-it won’t last. I would ask the question, “Are you confident in your calling and has this calling been affirmed?” If not, run away because this role can kill you, your marriage, and the church you are trying to lead. I would advise the young men to seek opportunities to serve under an older gospel-centered pastor previous to their “going out” to plant. The mentoring and ongoing relationship with a man like that would be invaluable in years to come.

    Galloway Family2

    How do you pastor your family?

    My family is my ministry. I try to shepherd and disciple my wife and children through the teaching and sharing of the word, prayer, and time together. We share openly about God in our home and we share about our lives together. Our entire family is involved in the mission of the church allowing us to serve God and others together.

    Country Church Logo

    Church Profile: Countryside Church

    What is your philosophy of community in your church and what does that look like practically in your church? Of evangelism?

    The mission of Countryside is realized in community, discipleship, and mission. We hold all three in high regard and teach everyone at Countryside to engage each one. Community is realized in church membership, small groups, and mid-sized groups that we call Interchange. Interchange is a theological learning discussion that takes place in different areas of our communities such as restaurants, pubs, coffee houses, and church buildings. These groups are led by pastors and elders. We believe that community occurs as we help each other in discipleship and as we serve together.

    What are some examples of God’s grace that you have seen in your life and/or the life of your church?

    We’ve been through so much as we have led Countryside through deep change. In that, we have lost friends and relationships. God has provided so much strength and grace to lead us and confirm God’s calling in our lives. He has surrounded us with wonderful elders and staff to partner and endure with. To be honest and not cheesy-Acts 29 is an evidence of that grace.

    How can we pray for you?

    Pray that we make much of Jesus in all we do….

    Read more on Acts 29 Church planters here!

  25. JeffT wrote:

    I know that this may not be in the spirit of all that’s been discussed in the previous post about having civil discussions.

    I think you were totally civil. Truth is truth and passion is passion and if civility shuts them down, flush it along with all the other repressive definitions we turn onto our words.

    I think civility simply means respecting the person God originally made, even when they’ve done awful things to themselves. And I think it’s ok, too, to talk about what people turn themselves into when they’ve gone on some bizarre ego trips that trash others. For eg, a person who has become narcissistic is just that. As to actions/words and ridiculous systems, open season. IMO.

  26. ww wrote:

    We’ve been through so much as we have led Countryside through deep change. In that, we have lost friends and relationships.

    I love these statements. you do know that he is implying that the other people were in the way of God’s plan as defined by Galloway and Acts 29. How did the gospel ever survive before they came along to do it better? The latest phrase is “You will love members.” Therefore they claim those who left were in the way of the “gospel” work.

  27. @ SJ Gonzalez: CJ Mahaney has a high school diploma and he is considered a “big cheese” by these guys. It has precious little to do with training and everything to do with aligning yourself with the correct tribe.

  28. JeffT wrote:

    I know that this may not be in the spirit of all that’s been discussed in the previous post about having civil discussions.

    Please express yourself. I want to hear your real feelings as opposed to civil niceties that do not express things realistically.

  29. formerly anonymous wrote:

    A church that resists this sort of change does so because it is stubborn and proud

    I have to laugh. They are the ones pronouncing judgement on those they are called to serve. And they, of course, are humble and godly and very, very gospelly.

  30. @ Steve:
    …………….

    ” “Church” is getting really dangerous, perilous for the individual soul. A soul is precious. We all need to guard our hearts diligently. This blog can help us do just that!

    Peace to you. Steve”

    Truth…a soul is so very precious. Lord help us to always keep that in mind.

  31. dee wrote:

    considered a “big cheese” by these guys.

    SJ,
    Celebrity “Christianity.” We must always remember that “these guys” do not lead the church. They are involved in a business. It just happens to be a business that has hijacked the name “church.” That is unfortunate for us as is their use of some words that we hold precious. But that’s ok. We just let them as we pity them and pray for them. It’s challenging but we can’t let the bad business blind us to the BEST BLESSING. We focus on the KING, not the pitiful thieves running around our castle. (But we must expose them for the protection of others 🙁 Steve

  32. Steve wrote:

    SJ Gonzalez wrote:
    What I don’t understand is why they gave a guy with no seminary training the authority to plant a church with Acts 29. I thought they were stricter.
    SJ,
    That is a very rational thought in most professions. NOT the church, however. People come to see me every day for a root canal treatment. I went to college, 4 years of dental school, and then I completed a two year residency in the specialty of endodontics (root canals). Hence, I’m qualified to do root canals.
    I also attended a large, respected seminary and completed a three year M.Div. I got the Greek, Hebrew, the whole nine yards. Left dentistry and took a staff position at a large, conservative, evangelical church in a large city.
    I was on staff with 10 seminary trained men and two women (children’s ministers) who did not attend seminary. The children got the best deal. The two “untrained” women were much more spiritually minded. My conclusion after a couple of years on the inside of the church biz was that a seminary degree in no way “qualifies” someone to be a spiritual leader. Back to endodontics for me
    There is value to some, not all, seminary degrees. However, NEVER take for granted that a seminary degree qualifies someone to be YOUR spiritual shepherd. This really cannot be overemphasized today. This mistake, I fear, is causing a multitude of problems from which recovery is unlikely.
    “Church” is getting really dangerous, perilous for the individual soul. A soul is precious. We all need to guard our hearts diligently. This blog can help us do just that!
    Peace to you. Steve

    I agree. Seminaries are not called “cemetery” for nothing. I trust seminary alumni ( and I am one) as far as I can throw them. SBC seminary grads especially. Look, there are some of the most honest humble men in the pulpit who might be high school grads, and seminary grads who are as crooked and un-spiritual as you can imagine.
    You are correct. People are being led down the path to destruction by these charlatans and it is a scary time for people in the church….

  33. Here's what was announced earlier this week:

    Seattle-based Mars Hill Church to Host Undergraduate, Graduate Level University and Seminary Programs

    "Seattle-based Mars Hill Church, led by Pastor Mark Driscoll, announced Monday that it will host both certificate and degree programs in Bible and Theology studies at the undergraduate and graduate level at the church's Bellevue location. Classes are scheduled to begin in the Fall of next year."

    Just what Christendom needs…

  34. Why did Janet Mefford’s producer resign, and why did she remove her plagerism discoveries about Mark Driscoll from her website?

  35. dee wrote:

    formerly anonymous wrote:
    A church that resists this sort of change does so because it is stubborn and proud
    I have to laugh. They are the ones pronouncing judgement on those they are called to serve. And they, of course, are humble and godly and very, very gospelly.

    They are passing judgment, presumptively assigning a motive (the reason you are resistant to change is because you are proud), and presuming the right to do so. They have assumed a right to tell you what you are and why you are that. They assume power and authority to do this. They simply take for granted this is how it is and make their declarations accordingly. They have turned humility on its head.

  36. …the congregation began to hear Pastor Galloway using terms like ‘relevance’. He would tell the parishioners: “We want to be relevant.”

    Ah yes, “relevant.” The nice word for “hey everyone older than 40, you’re not hip anymore and the bulldozer is coming, so either get outta the way or we’ll run you over.” And I say this as a 23yo who’s been on the receiving end of that bulldozer because I committed the unpardonable sin of defending the “old fogeys” and their right to contribute to the discussion. So I suppose really the Relevant Bulldozer isn’t a respecter of age – when it comes down to brass tacks, it’s just a bulldozer.

    Also, maybe I don’t drink enough, but I’m a little confused how you would spend $288 at a liquor store. Somehow I get the feeling the liquor in question wasn’t in a box.

  37. Deb wrote:

    Seattle-based Mars Hill Church to Host Undergraduate, Graduate Level University and Seminary Programs

    I bet they will have the most lenient attribution rules in academia. I wonder if the students will be given a discount to utilize Docent services?

  38. @ Hester:

    Just imagine what kind of imbibing goes on at those manly conferences. 

    No wonder women aren't allowed at "Act Like Men"…

  39. @Dee – I wonder what their policy on plagarism will be!

    Seriously, I have a page on the plagarism policy of my university attached to every syllabus every semester.

  40. Moxie wrote:

    I’m now in the market for a decent church, but I’ve moved outside of evangelicalism to do it, due to varying degrees of bad experiences. Anyone have any recommendations?

    Yes, and I even have some personal experience on this one! Echoing other comments about setting your expectations low, there is an unbiblical distinction very often made in Christian circles between “church” and “para-church”. But as I understand the stated intent of Jesus, there is one church; and everything else is para-church.

    Several years ago we left a local [para-church organisation that calls itself a church], because we found we were having to leave too much of ourselves at the door when we came in every time. But you know what? We’ve realised that doesn’t really matter. We’ve now started attending again, and you could say we only go for the singing! Specifically, we couldn’t bin the need to gather with other believers and give God the glory due his name. But the bulk of our Christian walk takes place elsewhere, in the company of other believers we’ve met along the way. There’s obviously some detail in there, but we’re off out in a few minutes (family rock-climbing evening) and I need to be quick!

    So: recognising that men have no authority to divide the local church up into isolated denominational caves, we walk together with as many local expressions of the church as we need to. Most of them aren’t “Sunday church” but exist for a purpose that takes up our working hours. That’s what we were really missing before.

  41. @Moxie – our journeys sound similar. I was brought to the Lord in high school as a Catholic charismatic and eventually ended up at CLC. I no longer am charismatic, but have been evangelical for the longest time. I do tire of churches, and many of them feel like “McChurch”. I enjoy the sermons at my current church, but I do feel like my faith is teetering on the edge and I’ve been hoping for awhile to get it back. Don’t know that I”m ready to go liturgical, but some peace in my personal relationship with God would be nice.

  42. SJ Gonzalez wrote:

    What I don’t understand is why they gave a guy with no seminary training the authority to plant a church with Acts 29. I thought they were stricter.

    Remember, Heinrich Himmler had an Agronomy degree and yet Hitler made him head of the SS.

  43. __

    “Let Freedom Ring!”

    jerry wrote:

    Why did Janet Mefford’s producer resign, and why did she remove her plagerism discoveries about Mark Driscoll from her website?

    hmmm…

    Technical difficulties?

    A conflict of interest?

    Self-preservation?

    What?

    Janet Mefford: “I’ll be back!”

    Lady Liberty might be cracked, but she can still ring!

    YaHoooooooooo!

    Sopy
    __
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M1ypn0y32Ac

  44. @ Deb:

    This ditto-head agrees. And it will probably have all the intellectual depth of a Madrassa in Pakistan.

  45. What I don’t understand is where in the Bible they get any foundation for the word “replant”. Sounds more like a hostile takeover to me.

  46. __

    Lin wrote:

    @ Sopwith:
    The only people Jesus, ” threw under the bus “, were the Pharisees, the pompous, spiritually dead religious leaders of the day. (They loved to throw the flock right out of the synagogue too)
    Thanks for sharing what MD boasts about…..let’s shout from the roof tops how arrogant and abusive these beaters of God’s flock are.

    Lin,

    Your welcome!

    sweet hour of prayer…sweet hour of prayer!

    Kirrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrk!

    …dis kind go not out but by prayer and fasting!

    YaHoooooooo!

    hum, hum, hum…’dis is my Father’s house’……mmm mmm mmm…

    Sopy

  47. @ Steve:

    I actually want to be a minister (PCA) and down here in Miami there’s no shortage of self appointed prophets with no education. I agree the, seminary doesn’t call people. But the Presbyterian in me makes me weary of people who are not trained in divinity (including how to love people correctly) given that much authority over people.

    So, I’m off to seminary this summer 😛

  48. dee wrote:

    @ SJ Gonzalez:
    In fact, old CJ set up his own “Pastor’s College” to indoctrinate everyone else in the “CJ” way.

    Yah, the whole CJ thing is a whole other story. At least they have the pretense of education. Emphasis on pretense @_@_@_@_@_@_@_@_@_@_@_@_@_@_@_@_@_@_@_@_@_@

  49. rebecca lynn wrote:

    @ SJ Gonzalez:
    He really was a good bet. A young and cool jeans’ wearing Pastor already with a church that seated thousands. Why would’nt they have taken the bait? On paper he looked awesome to them. Lets not forget Acts 29 requires ALL their churches to tithe ten percent (I believe) of their income to the network. So they saw our church and were probably rubbing their hands together in anticipation. My real question is this….How the heck did he get hired as a lead pastor by our deacons and elders with no divinity training? I mean really what were these men thinking? Acts 29 has proven over and over the bar is really low for their pastors…I mean look at Marc himself!!!! But I cannot understand how the men I knew and respected thought this was the right thing to do….!!!I feel so betrayed and those rats that voted him in jumped ship mostly in the first year of his reign.

    Yah, you have every right to feel that way. I pray you find a church where God’s love is preached to you in Word and Sacrament, also people. I’ve experienced the hurt of young people being put into positions of power to quickly and my arms got goosebumps because my last church was in a movie theatre too. I would have killed to have had a building. My sleeping cycle got killed because I volunteered there for 2.5 years.

    I pray you find a safe space.

  50. Pastor Galloway encouraged all staff members to read books on Mark Driscoll’s booklist, some of which were secular books. …snip… Finally, Pastor Galloway forced out the individuals who were leading the Celebrate Recovery program.

    Out of curiosity what were the secular books recommended? And what is the issue w/Celebrate Recovery? (I’ve heard friends say good things about it CR…)

  51. I know this article has been quoted from already, but I think people need to read the whole thing through. Very disturbing verbiage, once you’re familiar with how it’s used to hide what’s really happening.

  52. srs wrote:

    Pastor Galloway encouraged all staff members to read books on Mark Driscoll’s booklist, some of which were secular books. …snip… Finally, Pastor Galloway forced out the individuals who were leading the Celebrate Recovery program.
    Out of curiosity what were the secular books recommended? And what is the issue w/Celebrate Recovery? (I’ve heard friends say good things about it CR…)

    A lot of churches involved with the church growth movement find such ministries to much to fund. They’d rather do it through small groups, or at least that was my experience. Simple Church by Eric Geiger comes to mind. (gag)

  53. SJ Gonzalez wrote:

    So, I’m off to seminary this summer

    SJ,
    Good for you! It is a noble desire you have. You can benefit greatly at seminary. You can also lose your soul. Be careful. Be wise. Be discerning. Don’t believe something just because a professor says it is so. Test it yourself. Learn to serve not to run a business. Learn from those simple, everyday, Christians that nobody notices.

    Take hermeneutics, languages. Don’t get proud over what you learn. Forget methodology junk courses; waste of money and time. Teach those who follow you how to think for themselves; how to discern truth. Make them test what you teach. The church doesn’t need another building full of blind followers of blind leaders. Open your eyes and ask your flock to keep their eyes open.

    If you become a celebrity, you missed it. Quit.

    Wishing you the absolute very best!! Steve

  54. SJ Gonzalez wrote:

    @ Steve:
    I actually want to be a minister (PCA) and down here in Miami there’s no shortage of self appointed prophets with no education. I agree the, seminary doesn’t call people. But the Presbyterian in me makes me weary of people who are not trained in divinity (including how to love people correctly) given that much authority over people.
    So, I’m off to seminary this summer

    Be so careful, so careful…..I’ve seen the seminary ruin so many good people….I am going to pray for you like mad….

  55. @ Deb:

    This is very bad/sad news. He’s already having way too much impact. I don’t know if this is the right time/place to ask this but I was wondering who else would be on the list of current celebrities who stand to have the most impact on the next generation of “church” “leaders.”

    1. Mark Driscoll

  56. srs wrote:

    Pastor Galloway encouraged all staff members to read books on Mark Driscoll’s booklist, some of which were secular books. …snip… Finally, Pastor Galloway forced out the individuals who were leading the Celebrate Recovery program.
    Out of curiosity what were the secular books recommended? And what is the issue w/Celebrate Recovery? (I’ve heard friends say good things about it CR…)

    http://www.acts29network.org/resources/recommended-books/

    http://theresurgence.com/books

    In the past I’ve seen references to recommendations of authors like Seth Godin and Malcolm Gladwell. Perhaps they’re the ‘secular’ authors that you and others were thinking of.

  57. @ Nancy:
    You have awesome advice. Parts of your reply sound like something I might have written. I had a similar experience with Catholicism– I really loved the Catholic church I attended for a time when I was in college. At that time I didn’t know anything about theological distinctives to have a real opinion on them (and still don’t know all there is to know about Catholicism although I have many Catholic friends). But after a while, when they asked me to start eh RCIA classes, I came up against “you have to believe everything we believe. In detail.” I couldn’t do it.

    You mentioned that you felt you were a better person when you were attending mass. That’s how I want to feel again. I hate the way my attitude changed when I was in my own evangelical heyday, attending my old A29 church. It made me more arrogant and narrow about everything. I immediately started judging everyone based on very little information about them. It made me believe that only “we” had the corner on truth. I recently read on someone’s blog a post about when they were going through a faith crisis that they wanted to “pray and hope in God, while not being a nuisance to humanity.” I want a quieter, more humble faith where I can ask questions. I don’t want to have to prove to my fellow Christians how “Christian” I really am. *sigh* Sorry, that was a long tangent.

    I will definitely take your advice about not having my expectations set too high. At this point I really do wonder if what I call a “decent” church really does exist.

  58. SJ Gonzalez wrote:

    What I don’t understand is why they gave a guy with no seminary training the authority to plant a church with Acts 29. I thought they were stricter.

    I was just listening to a podcast the other day where a guy who used to be Southern Baptist discussed why he left SB for whatever Protestant branch he’s in now.

    He said he was made (I think, IIRC) preacher (or assistant preacher?) at a huge Baptist mega in Texas after a like, 30 minute interview, where the lead preacher just asked him two, three basic questions such as, “What is your salvation testimony,” and he was allowed to be a preacher there after that.

    When he changed denominations, and wanted to get more involved in his new one (I think be a preacher?), he said he had to go through a very rigorous, time intensive process.

    He had to spend weeks or months studying a bunch of stuff and take a lot of tests and pass them before being permitted to teach or preach.

    He said he thinks that is a much better way of handling things than just a 30 minute interview.

    I can see where he’s coming from, and the dangers of letting just anyone preach or lead, but at the same time, I wonder about people who behave as though only people with advanced degrees should teach Christianity.

    Some of the Apostles where not highly educated.

  59. TW wrote:

    I didn’t care for it. Lot’s of bright lights, loud, upbeat songs with 2 or 3 verses repeated over and over and sermons where they paused in the middle to show a video. It obviously appeals to the masses, but it’s not for me.

    Agreed. I really like the reverence of the liturgical style. Evangelicalism is loud. Not just the music. It’s too much for my introverted personality and it overwhelms me. I used to think this meant something was wrong with me.

  60. Steve wrote:

    Don’t turn your spiritual life over to the professionals. It’s dangerous.

    This is incredibly good advice. This is where I went wrong previously.

  61. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    But the bulk of our Christian walk takes place elsewhere, in the company of other believers we’ve met along the way.

    This is definitely food for thought. I do feel like I have a rich “community” of believers around me. They are just all of different backgrounds. I think I’ve been trained to only regard “real church” (Sunday service, membership, jump through hoops to be accepted) as fulfilling the commands about the gathering of believers. But really, I think scripture gives a whole lot of wiggle room when it comes to “being the church”.

  62. I’m sorry the lady discussed in the original post and her family were treated that way.

    You can’t help but notice that lots of people who call themselves Christians, who get together in some of these churches, don’t resemble the Jesus of the Bible.

    All this church planting stuff is ridiculous, IMO.

    The area of the nation I live in right now, there are Baptist and Pentecostal churches on every corner, with an occasional Methodist one here or there.

    I don’t think America needs more churches. It seems to me as though we have enough as it is.

  63. @ JeffT:
    That’s EXACTLY why I left Sovereign Grace — I saw that the lack of solid seminary training was going to catch up with CJ. Whether he knows it or not, it has.

  64. @ Moxie:
    Sometimes I wonder if Evangelicalism is more personality-driven, than more liturgical churches — altho’ I have seen personalities draw congregations in those churches as well.

  65. @ former Sojourn member:

    Regarding the Driscoll authored book (I’ll be generous and assume he wrote the whole thing and didn’t lift material),

    WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?: FINDING YOUR TRUE IDENTITY IN CHRIST
    Mark Driscoll
    Buy on Amazon

    I had to reject some of Driscoll’s very views about women (which are flavored by gender complementarian views) to figure out who I am. The irony.

  66. Moxie wrote:

    At this point I really do wonder if what I call a “decent” church really does exist.

    Moxie,
    Probably not but that’s o.k. He is infinitely more than decent and in the end that’s what counts. We happen to be living in the U.S. during a time when some entrepreneur wannabes used the “church” to make a name for themselves. Other believers through church history endured worse. I appreciate the heart you have and your desire to do what is right. I might be pessimistic about the current state of affairs but I don’t give up. Enjoy Him; pity the Driscoll et. al. , and press on. The sheep are safe in the end. The wolves….different story. Peace to you, Steve

  67. SJ Gonzalez wrote:

    srs wrote:

    A lot of churches involved with the church growth movement find such ministries to much to fund. They’d rather do it through small groups, or at least that was my experience. Simple Church by Eric Geiger comes to mind. (gag)

    I attended a Calvary Chapel that went to a Purpose Driven/Church Growth model by stealth.

    “Charitable” activities were discontinued and replaced by “promotional” activities. The church leadership became increasingly arrogant and controlling.

    I found a copy of The Purpose Driven Church by Rick Warren in our local library. It said that a church should not use it’s resources on things that do not directly support the church’s (leader’s) purpose/vision/mission.

    I eventually left Calvary Chapel and hunted for a new church. I found a Presbyterian Church and one of the things that I liked about it was that it had a food pantry. (Real community service)

    A few months later, I overheard the Pastor say that he was commissioned to grow the church. Programs similar to my former CC programs began, the food pantry was closed, and a branch was “planted” in a nearby town.

    I think I am going to be a “none”. I am praying that if the Lord has a church that He wants me to attend, He will direct me. I have not been successful trying to “find” a church.

  68. Daisy wrote:

    I’m sorry the lady discussed in the original post and her family were treated that way.
    You can’t help but notice that lots of people who call themselves Christians, who get together in some of these churches, don’t resemble the Jesus of the Bible.
    All this church planting stuff is ridiculous, IMO.
    The area of the nation I live in right now, there are Baptist and Pentecostal churches on every corner, with an occasional Methodist one here or there.
    I don’t think America needs more churches. It seems to me as though we have enough as it is.

    Absolutely, in my part of the country, we certainly are not lacking churches….

  69. Hester wrote:

    …the congregation began to hear Pastor Galloway using terms like ‘relevance’. He would tell the parishioners: “We want to be relevant.”

    Ah yes, “relevant.” The nice word for “hey everyone older than 40, you’re not hip anymore and the bulldozer is coming, so either get outta the way or we’ll run you over.”

    Wanna talk Relevant(TM)? Google Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In — find some clips of it on YouTube and see how well it’s aged.

    Because NOTHING GETS OLD-FASHIONED FASTER THAN OVER-RELEVANCE.
    Except Pretentious Over-Relevance.

    And Rowan & Martin weren’t aspiring to anything higher than a topical current-event comedy revue. Laugh-In wasn’t billed as The Answer to Life, The Universe, And Everything.

  70. dee wrote:

    I have to laugh. They are the ones pronouncing judgement on those they are called to serve. And they, of course, are humble and godly and very, very gospelly.

    They even have liveried Armorbearers blowing long trumpets before them to announce how HUMBLE(TM) they are!

  71. @ K.D.:

    Daisy and KD,
    I’m with you both on this. In my area it’s actually getting humorous. The big name guys are coming in here remotely with their big screens, etc. One of them now has 7 or more “churches” in my state. It must be working. The budget went from $20 million last year to $35 million this year. The competition is from out of state but it’s Texas so he may be able to complete. Both of these guys really beat the tithing drum consistently. It’s hard to believe but it’s working. One of these satellites has 5 services on Sunday. I live in the suburbs and the talk is that we’re getting our own “church.” Can’t wait. Steve

  72. Anon wrote:

    Maybe. But it Acts 29 actually used the word “virile.”
    As in testosterone-charged or Viagra assisted.

    As in “PENETRATE! COLONIZE! CONQUER! PLANT!” (While the woman getting pounded screams the praises of His Manly Manliness.)

  73. SJ Gonzalez wrote:

    What I don’t understand is why they gave a guy with no seminary training the authority to plant a church with Acts 29. I thought they were stricter.

    The Acts29 network doesn’t trust seminary trained guys. They don’t want them anywhere near their congregations unless it’s one of the TGC brain trust. You can’t brain wash an intelligent person.

  74. Michelle wrote:

    I think I am going to be a “none”. I am praying that if the Lord has a church that He wants me to attend, He will direct me. I have not been successful trying to “find” a church.

    Michelle, I’d recommend asking your old church friends from several years ago where they go now. One morning I left a bunch of messages and soon discovered that many of my old friends were at a little church nearby. What a breath of fresh air! The pastor is young, well-educated, and humble. The Christianity is conservative without being legalistic or arrogant. I truly pray you will find the same. (Don’t rule out little churches. My new church had been around for years, but I’d never heard of it.)

    Blessings to you.

  75. Former CLC’er wrote:

    I enjoy the sermons at my current church, but I do feel like my faith is teetering on the edge and I’ve been hoping for awhile to get it back. Don’t know that I”m ready to go liturgical, but some peace in my personal relationship with God would be nice.

    Good luck in your journey. I’m looking for peace in my relationship with God, too. I feel like when I was a young Christian I used to be able to just read the bible and pray when I wanted to and it happened naturally and was easy. Then I started learning about “quiet time” and how we are to read our bibles daily and do this and that, or our walk is not right and we are sinful and horrible (or something…). This was affirmed by our membership covenant that required small group attendance, certain amounts of volunteering, pledge giving, etc (who knows what else I signed my name to… the agreement was like 10 pages long…). Everything that used to flow easily for me now feels anxious and rigid. I have a hard time shaking the feeling that God must be angry with me all the time (sometimes for reasons I can’t even identify). I expressed some of these feelings to other people at my A29 church and was told that I was just experiencing “spiritual maturity” and that over time you will start to see your sin more clearly as you grow. I’m pretty sure those initial concerns were actually some early intuitive rumblings that things were amiss.

  76. Several of the more important issues:
    1) It is silly for people who are irresponsible with money to be in charge of money. It is silly for the pastor(s) to be in charge of money. At our church, the officers control the money, and the pastor consciously stays out of these kinds of decisions. Given the many warnings about money in the Bible, this seems wise.

    2) It is hard to be more “relevant” than a food pantry and recovery group. For those of us who are both Christian and adult, soul patches and jeans are about as relevant as a halloween costume.

    3) Christianity is, at its core, about relationships. These kinds of stories remind everyone that nonsense pop-culture blurbs about “community” don’t mean jack squat without actually taking the time to interact with real people. The fact that the pastor didn’t even talk to people who were apparently sinning so grievously that they had to be excommunicated speaks volumes about being unqualified to pastor.

  77. Moxie wrote:

    I do feel like I have a rich “community” of believers around me. They are just all of different backgrounds.

    Sounds like a great community!

    I had a really good eye-opener a couple of years ago when I was invited along to a lunchtime Thing at the local Anglican building (strictly, it’s the Episcopal church up here in Scotland). On arriving I discovered it was “readings from the King James”, and I promise you I was this close to driving straight home again! But actually, it was a great time. You learn over the years to discern spiritually, rather than emotionally or doctrinally, when the Holy Spirit is welcome.

    May you find many friendships you would have missed if you’d remained passive!

  78. Hester wrote:

    Also, maybe I don’t drink enough, but I’m a little confused how you would spend $288 at a liquor store. Somehow I get the feeling the liquor in question wasn’t in a box.

    Lol. I can imagine spending more than that on a single bottle. Not that I’m confessing or anything. That being said, for a pastor – on a church credit card – this is shameful and ridiculous.

  79. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    Nick Bulbeck wrote:
    … if you’d remained passive!
    Moxie – that sounded better in my head…

    LOL. In isolation it practically sounds like a Jared Wilson/Doug Wilson reference.

    But thanks for the sentiment.

  80. Moxie, the “spiritual maturity” as they called it, sounds like plain old fear of man and legalism, to me. I know EXACTLY what you’re talking about. It’s not Jesus, though, just the condemnation and manipulation of the enemy, because Jesus has made peace for us, He IS our peace. ALL accounts have already been paid in full, 2000 years ago. Do I still sin? Sure, probably many times a day, but my hope is not in me anymore, it’s in Him. He’s in me, He’s faithful to His promise to transform me into His image. Found out recently that the word Shalom comes from the root shlm, which means, finished, paid for. It was finished for us by Jesus, and we, praise God, can move forward, away from this crud.
    Former CLC’er, praying for you to have that peace again. I’ve been there, done that.

  81. Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:

    For those of us who are both Christian and adult, soul patches and jeans are about as relevant as a halloween costume.

    Somewhere on the web there was a joke infographic of Christianese beard styles. The “Young and Hip” soul patch was diagrammed on a “youth pastor” face with jowls, wrinkles, and near-bald head with bad comb-over.

  82. Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:

    Hester wrote:

    Also, maybe I don’t drink enough, but I’m a little confused how you would spend $288 at a liquor store. Somehow I get the feeling the liquor in question wasn’t in a box.

    Lol. I can imagine spending more than that on a single bottle. Not that I’m confessing or anything.

    A $288 liquor store bill has only two alternatives:
    1) The REAL Expensive stuff.
    2) LOTS of not-so-expensive booze.

  83. There are many things on that credit card statement that are concerning. Pastor Kevin’s travel expenses were over the top as well. He had lots of important Acts 29 stuff we needed to pay for. All the while we are being told each week from the pulpit we aren’t being obedient to tithe enough to pay our bills. As he chased off more and more of our tithing base, we struggled more and more. And lets not forget the church plant in Valparaiso he made sure to charge us gas and mileage as well. Our leaders of any worth abandoned us all to deal with the mess they had created instead moving on to other churches in our area. There was NO ONE LEFT to challenge him or take the church from him. Instead the sheep were being devoured and no one seemed to care. I felt helpless, and exposed. Many of us were afraid to speak out at church so we began to use social media, but they were watching. Large parts of my comments and conversations on FB were copied and presented to me at one of our last meetings, proof of my evil they said. It felt like I was trapped in the book 1984. I am so grateful to be out of there, but very afraid for those sheep too deceived to leave. I am praying for them even now. The bigger picture for me is this…Marc Driscoll….Acts 29…needs to be pulled down. His disgusting view of women, lack of scriptural integrity is infecting everyone who reads his books, goes to his church and now GOD FORBID school. He is a virus that needs a cure. If we don’t stand against his brand of Christianity we will see all that our parents and grandparents built for Christ destroyed on the altar of relevancy.

  84. @ rebecca lynn:

    I, too, am praying for those who have been affected by the Acts 29 takeover of Countryside, which is now called Christ Church.

    Not many would have had the courage to challenge the leadership as you did. I pray that eyes will be opened because of your testimony.

  85. rebecca lynn wrote:

    The bigger picture for me is this…Marc Driscoll….Acts 29…needs to be pulled down. His disgusting view of women, lack of scriptural integrity is infecting everyone who reads his books, goes to his church and now GOD FORBID school. He is a virus that needs a cure. If we don’t stand against his brand of Christianity we will see all that our parents and grandparents built for Christ destroyed on the altar of relevancy.

    Rebecca Lynn,
    Very well stated. Do you have any ideas on how to start this process? What will it take to stop Driscoll and others like him? Steve

  86. It is so concerning to me that many pastors, when they’re even questioned about something in a nice way, get so defensive, to the point of wanting you out of their church. That’s so crazy! Unfortunately, been there, done that.

  87. I want to again suggest a para-church organization (apologies to those above who commented on para) that is principally lay-led. It is the Emmaus Walk organization. They do walks for men, for women, they have a different kind for teens. Great religious experience and a community for weekly mutual accountability in a small group and monthly or so dinners and worship times. The initial experience is a three day event (usually Thursday evening through Sunday afternoon), away from home, single gender due to sleeping arrangements. Very worthwhile. After being on a “walk”, you can volunteer and help with a subsequent “walk”, and eventually give one of the talks if you are so inclined. A ‘walk” includes a number of really moving worship services that I found spiritually deepening, even on the third or fourth walk. For information check out http://emmaus.upperroom.org/. BTW, I met and worked with people from a wide variety of faith backgrounds and no one was made to give up any of their beliefs to participate.

  88. Steve wrote:

    rebecca lynn wrote:

    The bigger picture for me is this…Marc Driscoll….Acts 29…needs to be pulled down. His disgusting view of women, lack of scriptural integrity is infecting everyone who reads his books, goes to his church and now GOD FORBID school. He is a virus that needs a cure. If we don’t stand against his brand of Christianity we will see all that our parents and grandparents built for Christ destroyed on the altar of relevancy.

    Rebecca Lynn,
    Very well stated. Do you have any ideas on how to start this process? What will it take to stop Driscoll and others like him? Steve

    Time and faithful discernment blogs soaked in prayer. I never thought the day would arrive so soon that Vision Forum and Nat’l Council for Family Integrated Churches would be so publicly exposed, but look what’s happened in the span of just a few weeks time.

  89. Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:

    It is hard to be more “relevant” than a food pantry and recovery group.

    This is the best thing I’ve read in the comments section in the two or so years I’ve read The Wartburg Watch. Brilliant! This just couldn’t be more true! Thank you for expressing it.

  90. Deb wrote:

    As I understand it, the Binny’s Beverage purchase was for a pastors outing.

    Sounds like it would be enough for a frat party – Beer in kegs? A beer bong? Perhaps stopped at the grocery store on the way and bought some Jello? Perhaps some plastic cups and ping-pong balls?

    Or maybe it all went for just a couple of bottles of Pappy Van Winkle and some cigars.

  91. Steve I really have thought about your question. It probably will sit with me for a few days. I don’t think there is a easy answer, or some sort of formula. I do think this, given enough time Marc continues to hang himself over and over again with his own tongue. The more he speaks the stupider he sounds, and that is to our cause. HOWEVER when will the men that lead really lead? There are hundreds of churches that do NOT follow Marc, there are hundreds of leaders that don’t as well. I think there needs to be a large mutiny, a standing up if you will by the men in all our churches a resounding shut up and go away thing. Large groups of men and women to literally protest and march on Mars Hill, taking back from the enemy what has been taken. A concerted outpouring by believers standing shoulder to shoulder and saying enough. And I personally believe a boycott of anything coming out of Tyndale publishing as well. They have aided an abetted a movement of such damaging proportions and even now are racing to cover their butts in his latest plagarism scandal. I say latest because I am sure we look at all his books there will a huge pattern of this abuse found. But I am just a housewife…honestly have no idea how to do any of this. Maybe I have big grand ideas here…. I just don’t know. But i would be willing to take that stand with all of you. I say we bring the fight to this man and let God win the battle. He will…he always does. I am sick of men like him treating women like cattle, sheep like food, and the world like their oyster.

  92. Stop inviting this man to speaking engagements, stop supporting his books, perpetrate a full on media black out. Can it be done? I don’t know…but take away his soapbox and who is he really? A short, fat little man, who abuses his position to hurt others, especially women. I think we all need to start thinking about how we can affect change. I certainly in a heartbeat would get on a bus and confront the man for his lack of love, damage he has done to the name of Christ, and his pyramid scheme of a network.

  93. Deb wrote:

    @ Headless Unicorn Guy:

    As I understand it, the Binny’s Beverage purchase was for a pastors outing.

    Then it was either for a LOT of pastors or pastors who were heavy drinkers.

    Any info on what denomination it was? If it was an officially-Dry one, that means a LOT of “Secret Sips” going on. Like the joke about “Always take two Baptists with you when you go fishing. Take only one and he’ll drink all your beer. Take two and neither will touch a drop.”

  94. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Deb wrote:
    @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    As I understand it, the Binny’s Beverage purchase was for a pastors outing.
    Then it was either for a LOT of pastors or pastors who were heavy drinkers.
    Any info on what denomination it was? If it was an officially-Dry one, that means a LOT of “Secret Sips” going on. Like the joke about “Always take two Baptists with you when you go fishing. Take only one and he’ll drink all your beer. Take two and neither will touch a drop.”

    One of my favorite jokes. 🙂

  95. former Sojourn member wrote:

    http://theresurgence.com/books

    They are not very good at attribution even with their recommended books: The fourth book they recommend is “On the Grace of God”, instead of the author’s name they have put “NA” which presumably stands for “not available” or “not applicable”, even if the image of the book cover above clearly says “by Justin Holcomb”.

  96. Chris wrote:

    Time and faithful discernment blogs soaked in prayer. I never thought the day would arrive so soon that Vision Forum and Nat’l Council for Family Integrated Churches would be so publicly exposed, but look what’s happened in the span of just a few weeks time.

    Today’s bloggers have a lot of similarities to the prophets God raised up. For the kings, whether good or bad, there were prophets who were independent watchdogs. They were the 1st millennial BC discernment bloggers.

  97. If you’re in one of these taken-over churches, vote with your feet and take your tithe with you.

    There are plenty of churches out there, about 300,000 by last count.

  98. Steve wrote:

    @ Deb:
    …I was wondering who else would be on the list of current celebrities who stand to have the most impact on the next generation of “church” “leaders.”
    1. Mark Driscoll

    I hope:

    2. Greg Boyd
    3. Bruxy Cavey
    4. NT Wright
    5. John Stackhouse

    But I fear it’s actually:

    2. Piper
    3. Mohler
    4. Mahaney
    5. Taylor

  99. elizabeth seton wrote:

    @ Moxie:
    Sometimes I wonder if Evangelicalism is more personality-driven, than more liturgical churches — altho’ I have seen personalities draw congregations in those churches as well.

    I’ve had a hard time pinning down exactly what it is about liturgical churches that I like so much. This is definitely part of it. I think evangelical churches are way more prone to hero worship.

  100. @ E.G.:
    E.G., umm some on your first list are considered heretics by those on your second list. Hee hee. I do agree with you that list one is having more and more influence. Wright Will be a scholar for the ages.

  101. In other news, our son just battled his way up his first 6a+ at the climbing wall today.

    (It was a dogging ascent, but that’s fine for a first go at a grade-push.)

    I’m away down the offie (or liquor store, if you prefer) for celebratory vin. Though I won’t be spending more than £6 on it (unless the Co-Op have an especially good one on offer at £6.95, which they sometimes do) and I won’t be demanding that other Christians pay for it.

    [NB: “Offie” = “Off Licence”, the standard title given to a shop that is licenced to sell alcohol for consumption off the premises.]

  102. An Attorney wrote:

    I want to again suggest a para-church organization (apologies to those above who commented on para) that is principally lay-led. It is the Emmaus Walk organization. They do walks for men, for women, they have a different kind for teens. Great religious experience and a community for weekly mutual accountability in a small group and monthly or so dinners and worship times. The initial experience is a three day event (usually Thursday evening through Sunday afternoon), away from home, single gender due to sleeping arrangements. Very worthwhile. After being on a “walk”, you can volunteer and help with a subsequent “walk”, and eventually give one of the talks if you are so inclined. A ‘walk” includes a number of really moving worship services that I found spiritually deepening, even on the third or fourth walk. For information check out http://emmaus.upperroom.org/. BTW, I met and worked with people from a wide variety of faith backgrounds and no one was made to give up any of their beliefs to participate.

    I echo An Attorney’s recommendation of the Walk to Emmaus. I walked on Maryland #29, and my husband walked on Maryland #28, in the early 90’s. It was easily one of the spiritual highlights of our lives. My husband continued to be involved for a number of years after that serving on other Emmaus walk teams. There is also a Catholic version called Cursillo that married couples can attend together. The Emmaus version is under the auspices of the United Methodist Church, but they are truly ecumenical.

  103. I don’t know why these churches let themselves be destroyed, rather than throwing out the pastor. Either they are too afraid to stand up to him in unison, or there aren’t really enough dissenters to do anything. I don’t care what the “power structure” of these churches are, if the mob rises up in unison nothing can stop them.

    Mass communication provides an easy way to organize and move quickly and quite possibly in secrecy if you don’t have a mole in your list.

    So I would say instead of being one thorn in the side and getting perp walked, try a coup. If it fails you get perp walked and if not you achieved your goal.

    The rebel’s mistake is that they always seem to think they can do something solo against a group of elders/pastors.

  104. Just to add, that is not directed at the story in the article. It’s just the common thread through all these stories, including my own: lone wolf takes on leadership, lone wolf is destroyed easily by leadership.

  105. JustSomeGuy wrote:

    The rebel’s mistake is that they always seem to think they can do something solo against a group of elders/pastors.

    The other mistake in Christian circles is that they don’t realize until too late, just how evil and ruthless those in power really are. After all, they are Christian, right?

  106. JeffT wrote:

    God I’m sick of hearing this from fascist church leaders. They NEVER use it to engage in a Spirit-filled discussion of resolving differences. It’s ALWAYS used as an instrument of oppression. Whenever someone in their church raises an issue they don’t want discussed, they stand up and shout “Matthew 18!, Matthew 18!”

    The Matthew 18 process is a fool’s errand. If you use it you will never get past step one, because you will be escorted out before you reach step two or god forbid step 3 where you can “Gossip(TM)”.

    The only way you will have any possibility of success is to use step 3 and only step 3.

  107. Mara wrote:

    JustSomeGuy wrote:
    The rebel’s mistake is that they always seem to think they can do something solo against a group of elders/pastors.
    The other mistake in Christian circles is that they don’t realize until too late, just how evil and ruthless those in power really are. After all, they are Christian, right?

    How could they realize it, with the culture of secrecy in churches? You don’t know anything about what’s going on with the people around you and the church. They don’t tell you, you don’t tell them. Then one day you are gone, and the glorious leaders tell everyone that you had to be removed for pride reasons or some such bull**** and everyone just nods and continues on in their ignorance! Never caring to dig deeper because gossip. And of course, you rarely ever send like a mass open letter to the church goers or anything because “Oh we want to be nice and not make waves” or because you were threatened by the leaders.

    It happened in my church. After I was gone, I noticed several others had stopped attending themselves. I asked them why. Turns out they all had the same issues I was having, they all went to the elders in private, they all got booted for the same reason. Nobody was the wiser. I didn’t even know there were others. It was almost half the church, all at the same time, and not one (including me) told any of the others what we were doing and we all were divided and conquered by our own failure to be transparent about what we were doing and band together. We were all following the Matthew 18 process.

    Your entire church can be lone wolves, but unless they form a pack, they will be slaughtered easily. Forget Matthew 18. Matthew 18 will destroy you.

  108. @ dee:

    I’m being nosy now . . . is a commentor asking for their own comments to be removed or is a reader asking for someone elses comments to be removed?

  109. rebeccalynn wrote:

    Stop inviting this man to speaking engagements, stop supporting his books, perpetrate a full on media black out. Can it be done? I don’t know…but take away his soapbox and who is he really? A short, fat little man, who abuses his position to hurt others, especially women.

    I’ve never once bought any Mark Driscoll products. I’ve learned all I need to know about him and his views from reading stuff free online and watching a few of his videos on You Tube, that’s for sure. 🙂

    Driscoll frequently looks bloated to me, and like a far (far, far, far) less handsomer version of actor Vincent D’Onofrio, when D’Onofrio went through his chubby phase on “Law and Order: Crimimal Intent.”

    All of that to say I find it funny because Driscoll has taken pot shots at women for their appearances.

    Driscoll first blamed some preacher’s wife for her husband cheating, because, he claimed, she ‘let herself go’ (but I think he later retracted that, or claimed he did not say it, or that he was misunderstood).

    It’s so funny that a man who looks bloated and who has a double chin (Dricsoll) apparently expects his wife, and all women, to look like picture-perfect movie stars around the clock.

  110. Hi! Semi-new reader (fascinated, by the way and have referred several friends and my mom) and I did not realize that The Summit was an Acts 29 church but in hindsight this makes sense because I know a church planter that was a member and they also came up as an Acts 29 church in my search. Wow, this makes me sad because the church planter is an awesome pastor and brilliant theologian and I cannot believe he could go from the heavily scripture-based sermons I heard him preach to that tripe. I’m eager to share this with my husband, he’s going to be floored.
    We’d previously had a NASTY brush with “personal theology” and a heavy dose of patriarchy at our last church which was run by one man, so we were leery going into ANY church after that. When my first question to the pastor at the “get to know you” brunch was “Do you decide what’s served for lunch at church-wide events?” it might give you an idea of the iron-fisted grip of tyrannical control-freakery we came from. I am not sure that was my actual question, it might have been, “Do you subscribe to church government and have elders and deacons?” but the sandwich question wanted to come out.
    We were down to trying out two new churches, decided The Summit was too huge for us, tossed it out without giving it a second thought, and ended up at our current church and love it. We hear the gospel preached clearly each week without legalism or any hater-tastic flame-shooting from the pulpit (stage, if you’re that cool, I suppose) or complementary ear plugs. Do you think they leave them in for the sermon, too? Our pastor actually wears the same outfit some weeks. I know! What a disgusting pauper!
    Also, thank you for the Furtick coverage. I grew up in the Charlotte area and it makes me SICK to see how he’s infested it with his non-gospel and materialism, and he’s also leaked into my hometown, proper, taking in huge amounts of tithes each week. I hear they’re coming here to the Raleigh area. Good news for Nordstrom and Forever 21, I suppose.
    As an aside, did you see this post? I searched your site but hadn’t seen an update on this situation. Please delete if it’s inappropriate to post here/post at all and accept my apologies for putting it up. http://jensgems.wordpress.com/2013/12/06/doug-phillips-portrait-of-a-religious-sociological-cult-leader/

    Thanks for all your info, you’re a regular stop in my web reading now 🙂

  111. @ Janie:

    Welcome to TWW! Since you recently stumbled onto our blog, you might be interested to know that our posts cover a wide range of topics, including some of those you mentioned. You might want to click on "Categories" and read some of our older posts.

    I had not seen Jen's most recent post, but I do frequent her blog. We have been investigating Doug Phillips for five years, and we started writing posts about him and his cohorts shortly after we started blogging in March 2009. BTW, were you in a Family Integrated Church?

    Hope you will continue chiming in. 🙂

  112. Daisy wrote:

    Driscoll frequently looks bloated to me, and like a far (far, far, far) less handsomer version of actor Vincent D’Onofrio, when D’Onofrio went through his chubby phase on “Law and Order: Crimimal Intent.”

    I prefer the term “Buttery Doughy Guy”:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2jWe9T2Ml4s

    It’s so funny that a man who looks bloated and who has a double chin (Dricsoll) apparently expects his wife, and all women, to look like picture-perfect movie stars around the clock.

    Straight out of PORN, Daisy. In porn, all the women look like picture-perfect porn stars round the clock while the men can look any which way.

    And it’s a fundamental law of nature that the more Buttery Doughy the guy (and the less remaining natural hair), the more he DEMANDS a woman be a totally-perfect 44DD bombshell.

  113. Janie wrote:

    As an aside, did you see this post? I searched your site but hadn’t seen an update on this situation. Please delete if it’s inappropriate to post here/post at all and accept my apologies for putting it up. http://jensgems.wordpress.com/2013/12/06/doug-phillips-portrait-of-a-religious-sociological-cult-leader/

    In that article:

    DOUGGIE ESQUIRE(TM) IS FIVE-FOOT-FOUR? (Meter-65 to those of you outside the USA.) He’s another case of Short Man Syndrome, another “Evil Hobbit” like the spheroid city manager who cleaned out the treasury of Bell, California (and recently got several years in prison for it).

  114. “Tears are falling, hearts are breaking….

    Rob our sin and make us holy, perfect son of God..”

    WELCOME TO OUR WORLD ( youtube) Michael W. Smith

  115. Seneca
    I will be happy to post your comment with the quote about Emmaeus but I would like you to cite where you got it from. Could you rewrite it?

  116. I want to address the comments of Just Some Guy. Our leadership at Countryside Christian Church was made of many men I had known for a long time, personally I trusted most of them. Several deacons gave sermons regularly and were very well known to us. When they voted Kevin Galloway in, I was not in the least alarmed because the men in charge were trusted by myself and many others. I had no clue what was coming…and when these men who I trusted began leaving at first we were told they just wanted to retire and that was all, then several pastors left as well. It began to alarm all of us. One of the pastors left and was threatened that if he said anything he would lose all his benefits, and his retirement. He has since moved to another church in the area and is serving. By the time we looked around and realized something was up it was too LATE. The men we trusted were gone, missing, or just jumping ship right and left. We had NO ONE to talk to without the fear of reprisal. My kids were in high school, and my son who has disabilities were active in the youth group and my husband ran sound on Wednesday nights for the kids. We were afraid, we wanted to keep our kids safe and we prayed constantly and asked God to release us, and every Sunday my husband told me we were to go back. I knew something was wrong, I just did not realize how wrong…and when I received that credit card statement, I was floored. But again who would I take this to? That's why I kept it at home and with my husband only. But again why did we stay? Because my husband felt God calling us to, and regardless we were going to be obedient. No matter what they today or back then we tried everything we could to affect change there, stop and call them out to be accountable, and when it became clear in my last meeting I let them know exactly what my God was going to do to them. They were warned, called out, and eventually judged by a holy god. I believe God used my husband and me the only way they would let him, we held the mirror up for them to see their sins and when they refused to repent, we spoke the words of truth for the coming judgment. Not because we were so godly or perfect, trust me I am a sinner, but God will use any old mouthpiece even a donkey if needed to get our attention.

  117. @justsomeguy

    I’m with you, brother. Your experience resonates with mine. My wife and I left a controlling, authoritarian Acts29 church.

    We left after a crazy inappropriate series of encounters between ourselves and the lead pastor. We had been considering leaving for a while in order to find a more diverse congregation (i.e. Not a bunch of hip 25 year olds), so we were able to truthfully cite that as a reason for leaving. We were afraid of weirdness and a drawn out conflict if we cited any other reasons.

    Fast forward to a year later, and we recently found out that almost all of the founding families (it was only a few years old) had left on their own (no collaboration or banding together). This was actually tremendously validating for us, and we are now in the process of reconnecting with them.

    It’s so sad when crappy leaders hurt the very people they are supposed to protect. I’m sorry you were hurt but I’m thankful that you’ve escaped!

  118. dee wrote:

    Seneca

    I will be happy to post your comment with the quote about Emmaeus but I would like you to cite where you got it from. Could you rewrite it?

    Just google “Emmaus Walk cult” and a bunch of stuff comes up.

  119. wow, this is a tapdancing first, I’m with Seneca and ‘agin’ An Attorney re: Emmaus Walk (will always back your grasp of international relations and political ideology though, An Attorney). My experience is only mine though, and I can’t speak for anyone else and what they may have gained out of it. I’ll have a google sometime as suggested as I’m curious.

  120. TW wrote:

    : I now consider these shepherds my enemies

    The RSV of this reads “Thus says the Lord GOD, Behold, I am against the shepherds; and I will require my sheep at their hand, …”.

    This passage about false shepherds is a comfort to believers, but it is easy to miss the phrase I highlighted. I sometimes wonder just who these super-apostle-pastors think they are dealing with. When they exploit the sheep, God himself turns agaisnt them. Áre they really so stupid to think they are going to win in such a contest? This is far worse than mistakes that any decent but inexperienced pastor can make – just as everyone makes mistakes. Not in the same ballpark. This is man setting himself up against God himself, unbelieving defiance, thinking godliness is a means of gain.

    Such pastors and leaders are dancing and partying on the edge of a volcano that one day will errupt and take them all away.

  121. Thing is, though, that if you google anything a bunch of stuff comes up.

    I’m much less interested in any quotes off google, than I am in Haitch and An Attorney’s respective experiences of Emmaus Walk.

    I’ve no experience of Emmaus Walk – actually I’d never heard of it before. But I do know from experience (so do most of us, really) that the same group can impact different people in dramatically different ways. Likewise, when an organisation Does Its Thing in more than one location, it may work well here with these people, but badly there with those people. We could learn a lot from pondering why An Attorney found it good, but Haitch found it bad.

  122. I have a background in cult psychology!! Emmaus is not a cult. There is time for the individual to spend time alone with God. There is time for the small group, all first timers, to talk and share. The talks are 20-30 minutes each, and following the talks each group gets an opportunity to discuss and share. There is no coercion. There are a number of worship experiences focused on one’s relationship with God. People are expected to be active in their local church and to support their church. People do drop out of Emmaus, all participation is voluntary. I quit going to Emmaus events due to demands of my job and being needed in my church when our pastor left, and no one ever pressured me in any way. I remain friends with many of the Emmaus people I met. The group I was a member of was sponsored by a Presbyterian church, and had active board members from Baptist, Methodist, Episcopalian, Presbyterian and non-denominational churches.

    The origin was the Curseo movemennt among Catholics, but that was a lay developed orginization in the Catholic church. A group of Christians, mostly Methodists, saw the effect of the movement in the lives of Catholic friends and decided to try to set up an organization for non-Catholic Christians, and got the Upper Room, a Methodist entity, to help them with it.

    It is a fun, inspirational, revival-oriented weekend with follow-up that is solely at the volution of the individual, with a lot of encouragement but no coercion. And though I disagreed with some of the interpretations, they were within the boundaries of main-stream Christianity.

    I gave a talk one time at a walk. It was based on an outline that I was free to personalize, plus on my own hearing of two such talks, but it was mine to put together and present. Emmaus is a volunteer-organized, volunteer-run, and no one is coerced in any fashion.

  123. Theodore Dalrymple
    *
    Everyone on the Couch
    *
    Today’s psychiatry undermines self-reliance and morality.
    *
    [ I think he’s got a very valid point ]

  124. Seneca Griggs wrote:

    Today’s psychiatry undermines self-reliance and morality.

    Wow, now that’s a broad swipe at a huge subject. “All” of today’s psychiatry? Really. And you and Dalrymple know this how?

    I know many, many psychiatrists who uphold values, personal responsibility and morality. Many of these are located at some of the great medical institutions of our country. This statement speaks to an uneducated response that is not nuanced in the least. In fact, I would be careful stating this. There are far too many exceptions to your rule. In fact, I believe the exceptions may be the norm.

    Often times, these sorts of statement arise from people who were confronted about their bad behavior from a therapist and did not “receive” it.

  125. Deb wrote:

    @ Janie:
    Welcome to TWW! BTW, were you in a Family Integrated Church?
    Hope you will continue chiming in.

    Thank you for the warm welcome! And yes, I hope I get the opportunity to chime in from time to time. This comment will be long, but they’re normally going to be short snark, I’d guess based on the fact that I have limited time. Acceptable snark, but snark is what I do best. Just thought I’d put my best foot forward first, I am southern after all. That’s what we do. Then we bust loose with the snark. Kind of like taking off your bra after 5 pm. I hope whichever Mistress of the Blog (Dee or Deb) caught the first email I used, because you can take it and add an http to it and it’s my blog. You can see I’m legitimate and not a nut 😀

    The former church we attended was not a Family Integrated Church (is this abbreviated “FIG?” I need to go back to the abbreviation page), it would have appeared to be your normal baptist church upon initial visit. It even had a youth group but at least one family that was vocal about their distaste for youth groups, which I’d never heard of people having, which lead me to do some researching. I doubt they’ll ever go “FIG,” or anything similar, that pastor did NOT like being interrupted by children. AT. ALL. Or people going to the bathroom. Or anyone leaving for any reason.

    The church I few up in would be closer to a “FIG” but not by doctrine, but out of necessity. We just didn’t have enough hands to deck to run a children’s church. There was a nursery but there was (is) usually only one or two children in there. With 50-some-odd members divided up between choir, ushers, greeters and congregants, there’s not a lot left over. I sat with my dad and grandparents while my mom sat in the choir from 3 and up. But I have fond, fond memories, especially now that they’re gone 🙂 (not mom yet, I hope I get many more years with her!).

    I actually received Vision Forum’s catalog several times. I cannot remember ordering anything from them ever, they weren’t to my taste. We’re homeschoolers so I probably got on some mailing list and that’s how it ended up in my mailbox. I admit, I was anti-college for a bit, but I was pro-entrepreneurial endeavor if possible, once they’d completed schooling with us. My husband does things like this on the side through Kickstarter (I no longer have a kitchen), and one of my children would do very well in this area. But then I discovered St. John’s College and their reading list and fell in love. So now I’m off that bandwagon. At any rate, Doug Phillips certainly set a precedent in the HSing community. Among those of us who didn’t follow his orthodoxy, he gave us useful codewords to use to avoid it such as, “Is that homeschool group…denim-skirty?” If the answer is yes, you know where you don’t want to go.

    Actually, a nice denim skirt would be versatile but I’m not wearing it because of an edict from my husband. And he’d raise an eyebrow if I bought one and call me a “homeschool mom” so it’s probably off the table. Thanks, Doug Philips, now my calves can’t even be warm in the winter because of your silly patriarchal skirt dogma which has even seeped into the consciousness of hapless computer engineers who know nothing of you or your beliefs. Scratch that Christmas gift idea.

  126. The bate “I will make you relevant”. The switch “I will make you revulsive”.

    In the mean time I will enjoy what you gave and built.

  127. dee wrote:

    Seneca Griggs wrote:
    T
    Wow, now that’s a broad swipe at a huge subject. “All” of today’s psychiatry?
    Often times, these sorts of statement arise from people who were confronted about their bad behavior from a therapist and did not “receive” it.

    * My psychiatrist had no idea what he was talking about. I dropped him like a hot potato. Did he call you? If it turns out he did, I’ll sue him into Obamacare. dryly

  128. Sadly, having been in an A29 “Church”, nothing in Becky’s account surprised me in the least. The little boys who run these things are a joke. None of these boys have ever, nor could ever, accomplish anything in the real world, where results matter. One thing I always found amusing is that they love to say things like “stop trying to earn your salvation. God doesn’t want you to try harder.” So all of the commands in Scripture don’t seem to matter to them. But somehow, they love the verses on giving. I guess those do mean what they say, while the verses on holiness, etc don’t mean what they say. Got it.

  129. RB wrote:

    Becky, thank you for sharing this! I had a very similar experience over a non-essential doctrine, which I kept to myself completely, having been told by the pastor, that adhering to it was not a “dividing point”. He made it a dividing point, and gossiped to the whole congregation. After 7 months of torment, I felt the Lord leading me to leave. My husband didn’t get it at the time, but left with me. Come to find out, in the 2 or so years which followed, this same MO was used on dozens of families. I have found God’s forgiveness for this person, and he is an excellent teacher, the best I’ve come across in more than 40 years of faith in Christ, including a year in a solid Bible college… still, though, it and other sour church experiences have taught me to look to God and His word alone, and not to men.

    This is a GREAT point. One of the defining characteristics of A29 “Churches” is that to be in good standing, you MUST drink the kool-aide. You must follow, robot like, everything that the oh so smart and hip “leaders” say and think. Irony of ironies….there is no group more tribalistic than A29 and in his new book, Dirscoll speaks out against tribalism. That’s rich. Pot…meet kettle.
    Your account of the leadership’s total disregard for people over the ends they seek is quite common, especially in some of the mega churches. He probably was well versed behind the scenes in Hybels, Warren and their mentor, Peter Drucker, who touted the Hegelian dialectic. In that paradigm, there is no problem with forcing dissenters out. Driscoll and SGM have used this same approach.
    Only by the faithfulness and power of the Holy Spirit, am I still in a church. This was not the only bad church (4 in a row), but thanks to my Lord and also to my husband, I am still growing, now in a balanced, solid, non denominational community church. My radar is always on full alert, however, and I cringe every time I hear certain names dropped by congregants,(Driscoll being the most recent.) L

  130. Oops, sorry I messed up that last post. I was trying to respond to RB and agree with what RB wrote.

    I meant to link to what RB wrote and add my thoughts:

    This is a GREAT point RB. One of the defining characteristics of A29 “Churches” is that to be in good standing, you MUST drink the kool-aide. You must follow, robot like, everything that the oh so smart and hip “leaders” say and think. Irony of ironies….there is no group more tribalistic than A29 and in his new book, Dirscoll speaks out against tribalism. That’s rich. Pot…meet kettle.

  131. SJ Gonzalez wrote:

    What I don’t understand is why they gave a guy with no seminary training the authority to plant a church with Acts 29. I thought they were stricter.

    Well, to be blunt, you thought wrong. In my experience, A29 takes great pride in their “pastors” NOT having any theological training. They actually prefer it that way. You get a fellow with any theological training and he might have some dangerous thoughts and might not be a kool-aide drinker.

  132. ww wrote:

    Meet a Church Planter: Kevin Galloway in Michigan City, IN
    by Scott Thomas
    Email
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    I became familiar with A29 as I have followed Mars Hill and The Resurgence on the web. The Gospel Coalition Conference in Chicago allowed me to meet and speak with Tyler Powell and other A29 pastors which led to a phone call with Scott Thomas and a subsequent trip to Seattle to meet with Scott and Tyler. They have been such a great help to me and the Countryside community already!
    What advice do you have for men who are wrestling with the decision to plant?
    First and foremost-Jesus is first. He always has been and always will be. Make sure He is first in your decision to plant. If not-it won’t last. I would ask the question, “Are you confident in your calling and has this calling been affirmed?” If not, run away because this role can kill you, your marriage, and the church you are trying to lead. I would advise the young men to seek opportunities to serve under an older gospel-centered pastor previous to their “going out” to plant. The mentoring and ongoing relationship with a man like that would be invaluable in years to come.
    Galloway Family2
    How do you pastor your family?
    My family is my ministry. I try to shepherd and disciple my wife and children through the teaching and sharing of the word, prayer, and time together. We share openly about God in our home and we share about our lives together. Our entire family is involved in the mission of the church allowing us to serve God and others together.
    Country Church Logo
    Church Profile: Countryside Church
    What is your philosophy of community in your church and what does that look like practically in your church? Of evangelism?
    The mission of Countryside is realized in community, discipleship, and mission. We hold all three in high regard and teach everyone at Countryside to engage each one. Community is realized in church membership, small groups, and mid-sized groups that we call Interchange. Interchange is a theological learning discussion that takes place in different areas of our communities such as restaurants, pubs, coffee houses, and church buildings. These groups are led by pastors and elders. We believe that community occurs as we help each other in discipleship and as we serve together.
    What are some examples of God’s grace that you have seen in your life and/or the life of your church?
    We’ve been through so much as we have led Countryside through deep change. In that, we have lost friends and relationships. God has provided so much strength and grace to lead us and confirm God’s calling in our lives. He has surrounded us with wonderful elders and staff to partner and endure with. To be honest and not cheesy-Acts 29 is an evidence of that grace.
    How can we pray for you?
    Pray that we make much of Jesus in all we do….
    Read more on Acts 29 Church planters here!

    Hilarious. I’m convinced that they cut and paste those same answers for every one of their “pastors.” I’ve heard those same cliches more times than I can count. A29 are the masters of cliche.

  133. SJ Gonzalez wrote:

    @ Steve:
    I actually want to be a minister (PCA) and down here in Miami there’s no shortage of self appointed prophets with no education. I agree the, seminary doesn’t call people. But the Presbyterian in me makes me weary of people who are not trained in divinity (including how to love people correctly) given that much authority over people.
    So, I’m off to seminary this summer

    Good for your SJ. I see many here that seem to be bothered by your decision. I don’t get that at all. We need more people who are actually trained in theology. In our day in age, we have far too much of “well, here’s what I think….”.

    So, I for one am glad to hear of your decision to attend seminary. I’m baffled that in every other profession, we value education, but somehow, when it comes to pastoring, we decide that education doesn’t matter. Funny, the church has collectively gone south, at the same time that we’ve had tons of “pastors” with zero training. Coincidence? I think not.

  134. Alan wrote:

    Irony of ironies….there is no group more tribalistic than A29 and in his new book, Dirscoll speaks out against tribalism.

    That’s because they’re not HIS Tribalism with HIMSELF as Tribal Leader and Shaman.

  135. @ Alan:
    Not only that, but good seminary training will also give instruction on how to actually minister to people and deal with things you might not have thought of, like the registered sex offender who starts coming to your church.

  136. Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:

    @ Alan:
    Not only that, but good seminary training will also give instruction on how to actually minister to people and deal with things you might not have thought of, like the registered sex offender who starts coming to your church.

    Tongue’n cheek, Dr.?

  137. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    I’ve no experience of Emmaus Walk

    I don’t know much about it either.

    I did hear an audio parody thing of it, where some girl joined it, when on a walk, got lost in the woods for days.

  138. Alan, thanks. Glad you’re going to seminary. Have a feeling it won’t dissuade you from faith in Christ. I have friends from way back who got Div. degrees.

  139. JeffT wrote:

    I know that this may not be in the spirit of all that’s been discussed in the previous post about having civil discussions.

    If this is an allusion to my comment of a few days ago, please be assured I have no problem with what you wrote – I think you are right! 🙂

    I am thankful for all the answers to my comment on the other thread. I owe some answers and clarifications, and hopefully I’ll get to take care of that today – the last few days have been very full here and I just didn’t get to write anything.

  140. I think the Emmaus Walk is an each to his/her own kind of thing, if it’s something that you think will be helpful then knock your socks off. You definitely get loved up on big time. I was also a leader and spoke, but for myself it was mostly a feel good event that didn’t go any further than that. It also happened to be among one of the most painful periods of my life and I was deeply wounded. The prayer requests that are written at the table by a leader and couriered to a prayer team in another room can operate as ‘dobber notes’. Its success I think may depend on the dynamics of leadership and also of the select group. I’ve heard of Ignatian retreats, perhaps that may have been more suitable then.

  141. In other news, a new record has been established for the coldest place on earth; satellite measurements detected a temperature of -93.2°C at a remote region of the Antarctic interior. This is a provisional result, but if ratified will beat the existing record of -89.2°C measured at the Vostok base 30 years ago.

    I hope this is helpful.

  142. Alan wrote:

    SJ Gonzalez wrote:
    @ Steve:
    I actually want to be a minister (PCA) and down here in Miami there’s no shortage of self appointed prophets with no education. I agree the, seminary doesn’t call people. But the Presbyterian in me makes me weary of people who are not trained in divinity (including how to love people correctly) given that much authority over people.
    So, I’m off to seminary this summer
    Good for your SJ. I see many here that seem to be bothered by your decision. I don’t get that at all. We need more people who are actually trained in theology. In our day in age, we have far too much of “well, here’s what I think….”.
    So, I for one am glad to hear of your decision to attend seminary. I’m baffled that in every other profession, we value education, but somehow, when it comes to pastoring, we decide that education doesn’t matter. Funny, the church has collectively gone south, at the same time that we’ve had tons of “pastors” with zero training. Coincidence? I think not.

    Meh, well for some reason there are men who learn but never come to a knowledge of the truth, the truth being, that we need to be transparent as people if we hope to grow holistically in the Lord.

    Saying that, there are some folk here that tell me not to believe everything my professors tell me. I’m was trained as a historian so I have “ad fontes” as my philosophy. I can tell you right now that I’m not a fan of the Gospel Coalition (and I think Keller should leave). Not only that, I think the Calvinism promoted there is not True Calvinism(TM). Or at least, that’s what not what I’ve seen reading Calvin and the Dutch guys. Not even the Westminster Confession.

    And church growth methods? I’m done with those.

    Actually I’d like to see some classes that teach self awareness, conflict resolution skills, and emotional health. A lot of pastors I’ve met just want to walk in and “fix” things. Sometimes things don’t need fixing.

    I also have the benefit of being part of a denomination where the beliefs are already predetermined and there are higher courts that can oust me in case I act stupid, so I’m thankful for that.

    It’s not perfect, granted, but it’s not congregational (sorry SBCers :/)

  143. @ Ken:
    Actually, global warming suggests that cold weather will be colder, that is, the extreme weather conditions will be more extreme. As in record short cold events, record rainfalls, record droughts, record highs, record winds. More energy in the atmosphere means more disruptions. Arctic and Antarctic winds that barrel straight from the pole regions to the edge of the tropics causing record lows. But the average temperature will increase a bit at a time.

  144. @ An Attorney:

    Yes, but what happens when the oceans get their salinity diluted (from polar and glacial melt) enough to where they can’t store the heat they once did? Will the great ice sheets start to form once again? Some scientists seem to think so.

  145. @ SJ Gonzalez:

    Thanks for the reply SG. Love what you wrote in your last set of comments. Great stuff. I wish you all the best in seminary and in your future of being a pastor.

  146. Might be a good idea to quit now and not let this (d)evolve into a global warming debate…not one of those topics that does well in comments threads in my experience.

  147. @ Muff Potter:
    Yes, about the time all mammalian life is nearly defunct, major cities and island nations flooded into non-existence except in memory.

  148. @ An Attorney:
    There will be a cyclical nature to the climate, but on a longer and more extreme level than the experience of humans over the last 2000 years.

  149. @ An Attorney:
    And it takes a huge delta in salinity to reduce the heat storing capacity of the oceans, meaning it would only follow the devastation of the loss of glaciers, etc., which will mean summer drought/flood cycles in much of the world, in contrast to the slow melt replenishment that now occurs in many mountainous areas like the Columbia River basin.

  150. BTW, undergrad chemistry, long time environmentalist, with atmospheric and other modeling in my background, and a Ph.D. before becoming an attorney.

  151. Hester wrote:

    Might be a good idea to quit now and not let this (d)evolve into a global warming debate…not one of those topics that does well in comments threads in my experience.

    You are probably right. I took an ‘anti’ position on this on another forum largely to be contrary for fun, only to realise the sceptical opinion on this has a lot going for it.

    We say we believe the bible – OT and NT – is the Word of God, then you read Gen 8 : 22 [the LORD said] “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease” and are faced with the problem do you really believe this stuff, that God is there and mankind is not going to destroy the planet or don’t you. That God designed the world to cope with changes in temperature, it did not evolve by chance. I have very much felt the challenge of that, the uncomfortable feeling there is still some unbelief lurking somewhere in my brain in the face of a supposed consensus on global warming.

  152. @ Ken:

    Ken and Hester
    Yes we don’t want a debate on Global Warming unless Dee/Deb want it to start.

    Ken
    I have never heard anyone who is doing more that yelling out talking points on the “there is global warming with some/all of it caused by people” side of the argument say that mankind is going to DESTROY the planet. Just that things will change and we are not really prepared for that change. Check out cities mentioned int he Bible that are no longer inhabited due to changes in growing seasons or rising sea levels or sinking land.

    Anyway, WHEN this debate comes up here you need to bring up points that are valid. Do some research for when (if) we have this debate here.

  153. @ GuyBehindtheCurtain:
    I don’t think this is at all the place to debate global warming, which usually generates more heat than light! There are also very very few qualified to give an informed opinion.

    Nevertheless, Christians do need to be aware of some of the religious background to some aspects of environmentalism, but this best left for a ‘the Earth is our Mother’ type thread if it ever arises.

  154. @ Ken:
    @ GuyBehindtheCurtain:
    This is as good a time as any to remind folks that TWW, in general, does not debate issues that might be considered political. Now, this is not because Dee is shy of such a debate. In fact, she has many opinions on current issues and politics. For example I am married to a doctor so you might be able to guess how I might feel about health care initiatives.

    In fact, early on we thought we might talk about politics and faith but God had us take a U turn from this plan. We believe that people of good will can be Democrats, Republicans and Libertarians. We also believe Christians can have differing perspectives on other political hot topics.

    We quickly came to realize that we were already taking on hot topics within the faith which, as you all can see, cause explosions on a day to day basis. We realized that adding any sort of political debate to the milieu would cause even more frequent disagreements, and some of them strong at that.

    So, we have decided to stick away, in general, from political issues. Of course, there will be times it will come up. For example, I always get a pit in my stomach when political issues regarding Muslims are mentioned.

    For the sake of sanity, we try to stick away from political hot potatoes and focus on religious hot potatoes. I hope this makes sense.

  155. @ dee:

    It really is a shame that certain ‘hot potatoes’ as you’ve pointed out cannot be discussed without arousing passions that lead to the kind of rancor which eventually destroys civil dialogue even amongst reasonably intelligent and educated adults.

  156. One of the problems with Acts 29, and Mark Driscoll specifically, is demonstrated quite clearly in that last paragraph about “leading fearlessly” even when people disagree with you. Of course church leaders sometimes have to follow God’s call in a direction that not everyone understands or agrees with (this is, in fact, true of all Christians at an individual level). But Driscoll’s attitude seems to say that the more adversity you face, the more people are concerned about your behavior, the better job you are doing. There’s this expectation that true leaders are going to meet constant confrontation, and are going to look alarming to many parishioners, and that doing things the rest of the church body can’t understand is somehow spiritual and good and normative. There is no expectation that the church body is just that–A BODY–no expectation that a healthy church will generally have agreement among members about the direction they are going.

    Some people accuse churches of just being country clubs that cater to members and don’t care about the outside world. I’d say Driscoll and Acts 29 almost swing to the opposite end of the spectrum–the church body becomes simply a means to an end, and members’ hearts and feelings aren’t the church’s problem.

  157. dee wrote:

    We believe that people of good will can be Democrats, Republicans and Libertarians

    Now look here, I am considerably more Libertarian even than Ron Paul, but they ought to bring in a law to stop people saying things like that …. 🙂

  158. Pingback: Gospel Centered Bus Driving | Thou Art The Man

  159. Deb wrote:

    @ Rebecca Lynn:

    Thanks for sharing your painful story with us. My gut feeling is that there are MANY out there who have had almost identical experiences. I hope they will chime in.

    I pray that you and your family will now have some closure.