‘WHO’ will be the next SBC President – J.D. Greear or Steve Gaines?

"The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) is a fellowship of about 46,500 Baptist churches and another 4,500 mission churches (churches that have not yet established their autonomy as self-governing congregations) scattered across the United States and its territories."

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Southern Baptists will be voting for a new president at its next gathering in St. Louis just three months from now.  'WHO' will it be?

Based on the nominations thus far, it appears the Southern Baptist Convention has come to the proverbial fork in the road.  When the messengers convene in June to handle the convention's business, they will be voting for either J.D. Greear or Steve Gaines (as it stands right now).  We thought we would put together some information about these two pastors that you might find helpful.

J.D. Greear

Earlier this month, the Baptist Press announced that J.D. Greear's name will be placed into nomination for SBC president.  Here is some of the information they shared about J.D.

North Carolina pastor J.D. Greear will be nominated for president of the Southern Baptist Convention, Florida pastor Jimmy Scroggins announced today (March 2).

Greear, 42, "is leading his generation to live out a passion for the SBC, missions and the local church," Scroggins, pastor of Family Church in West Palm Beach, Fla., wrote in a news release stating his intention to nominate Greear during the SBC annual meeting June 14-15 in St. Louis.

During the 14 years Greear has pastored The Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, N.C., worship attendance has grown from 350 to just under 10,000, Scroggins said. Total baptisms increased from 19 in 2002 to 928 in 2014, the last year for which statistics are available through the SBC's Annual Church Profile.

Scroggins said The Summit's "149 people currently with" the International Mission Board marks the largest total from any church in the convention — a statistic the church told Baptist Press the IMB has confirmed. Greear himself served two years with the IMB before being called to The Summit.

Closer to home, The Summit has planted 26 churches in North America in conjunction with the North American Mission Board.

J.D. Greear received his undergraduate degree from Campbell University and his M.Div. from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.  In addition, J.D. completed his Ph.D. in Theology at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary where he is also a faculty member.  It should be noted that Greear aligns himself with the Neo-Cal camp.  For example, The Summit Church is listed in The Gospel Coalition directory, the 9Marks directory, and the Acts29 Network.

On his website, he has a recommended reading list which includes the following books:  Radical Reformission (Mark Driscoll), The Cross Centered Life (C.J. Mahaney), Nine Marks of Healthy Church (Mark Dever), Desiring God (John Piper), The Holiness of God (R.C. Sproul), Humililty: True Greatness (C.J. Mahaney), and Don't Waste Your Life (John Piper).

As residents of the Research Triangle area where J.D. Greear pastors, we have watched his empire grow.  It has been our observation that The Summit has planted satellite churches in strategic locations and has been successful in attracting quite a few attendees from other churches.  We know some of the congregants at The Summit who have left established churches in our area to become part of this new work.  Greear's church has locations near college campuses in our area, which attract quite a few young Christians.  I have attended The Summit twice (at different locations), and it was interesting to watch J.D. Greear on the big screen (a la Mark Driscoll) rather than in person.  He preaches live primarily at the main campus, and each satellite campus has a pastor that oversees that particular flock. 

J.D. Greear has written a post explaining why he is running for president of the Southern Baptist Convention.  In it he lists his four biggest passions that God has placed on his heart:

1. To continue and deepen our focus on gospel-centeredness in both theology and mission

2. To engage our culture with both grace and truth

3. To call for a new era of engagement in the agencies and boards of the SBC

4. To platform and equip non-Anglo pastors and members

Back in 2009 J.D. Greear was appointed to a committee called the Great Commission Resurgence Task Force.  Interestingly, Donna Gaines (wife of Steve Gaines) also served on this committee. 

Steve Gaines

The second nominee for president of the Southern Baptist Convention is Steve Gaines, who has served as senior pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church (just outside of Memphis, Tennessee) for 11 years.  I (Deb) owe a debt of gratitude to his predecessor Adrian Rogers for inspiring me to go deeper in my Christian faith.  Dr. Rogers, who passed away in November 2005, was a non-Calvinist, and I am fairly certain that Gaines is following in his predecessor's footsteps.  The Baptist Press published an article about Steve Gaines' nomination.  Here is an excerpt:

Gaines' presidential nomination is the second to be announced for the SBC annual meeting. North Carolina pastor J.D. Greear's nomination was announced March 2.

Gaines is married to Donna and has four children and nine grandchildren. He holds master of divinity and doctor of philosophy degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

This Baptist Press article also included the following information:

"When Steve Gaines shared his prayer journey he and [his wife] Donna had travelled, I was touched by his clear call to allow himself to be nominated," Hunt, pastor of First Baptist Church in Woodstock, Ga., wrote in a news release stating his intention to nominate Gaines during the SBC annual meeting June 14-15 in St. Louis.

"Steve struggled with this nomination as he has always believed this office should seek the man," Hunt continued. "With such a passionate desire for spiritual revival in our churches and nation, and knowing him to be a man of deep intense prayer, it brings joy to my heart to nominate Dr. Gaines."

During the 11 years Gaines has pastored the Memphis-area Bellevue Baptist Church in Cordova, Tenn., the congregation has averaged 481 baptisms per year, according to the SBC's Annual Church Profile. Previously, he pastored churches in Alabama, Tennessee and Texas.

Giving to the Cooperative Program is a topic that garners much discussion when it comes to selecting the next president of the Southern Baptist Convention.  Here is some pertinent information provided by the Baptist Press regarding J.D. Greear's church (The Summit) and Steve Gaines' church (Bellevue Baptist).

The Summit

According to the Baptist Press article, here is information regarding The Summit's giving.

In his release, Scroggins said the church "voted last year to give $390,000 to the Cooperative Program in 2016, making it one of the top CP giving churches in the state of North Carolina and the SBC." He noted this marks a 230 percent increase in The Summit's CP giving [emphasis mine].

Three years ago, the congregation voted to increase its giving through the Cooperative Program over a five-year period to 2.4 percent of undesignated receipts, the church confirmed to BP. The Summit reached its goal two years early.

As of Jan. 1, 2016, The Summit began forwarding all its CP giving through the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSCNC), the church said. Previously, it forwarded some funds it regarded as CP gifts directly through the SBC Executive Committee for distribution according to the CP allocation formula. In 2013-14, for instance, it gave $96,000 directly to the EC, according to the 2015 SBC Annual. The BSCNC reported CP receipts of $54,000 from The Summit in calendar year 2014. Adding the two numbers together yields the $150,000 the church self-reported as "CP giving" on its 2014 ACP — a total amounting to 1 percent of undesignated receipts.

The Summit's Great Commission Giving "has been at or around 10 percent for the last several years," Scroggins wrote. Great Commission Giving is a category of giving established by SBC action in 2011 that encompasses giving through CP, Southern Baptists' unified program of funding state- and SBC-level ministries, as well as direct gifts to SBC entities, associational giving and giving to state convention ministries.

According to ACP data, The Summit's Great Commission Giving was 13 percent of undesignated receipts in 2014, 12 percent in 2013 and 15 percent in 2012.

The Summit's Great Commission Giving includes more than $1 million annually to IMB-related causes and more than half a millions dollars to NAMB-related causes, the church told BP. The Summit additionally is in the process of funding an endowed chair at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary to the total of $500,000.

Bellevue Baptist Church

Information provided by the Baptist Press indicates the following about Bellevue's giving:

Bellevue's finance committee is recommending that the congregation give $1 million during its 2016-17 church year through the Cooperative Program, Southern Baptists' unified channel for funding state- and SBC-level missions and ministries. That will total approximately 4.6 percent of undesignated receipts, the church told Baptist Press.

As of April 1, 2012, Bellevue began forwarding all its CP giving through the Tennessee Baptist Convention, the church said. Previously, it forwarded approximately $200,000-$340,000 annually in CP through the TBC, according to ACP data, and designated about twice that amount to be forwarded to the SBC Executive Committee for distribution according to the CP allocation formula, the church said.

The shift in giving methods resulted in an increase from giving 1.3 percent of undesignated receipts through CP in 2011 to 2.6 percent in 2012, according to ACP reports. Bellevue increased that percentage to 3.5 in 2013 and 3.8 in 2014. Between 2011 and 2016, the church has increased its CP giving by 278 percent, according to BP's calculations.

The church's Great Commission Giving totaled approximately $2.5 million over the past two years and is anticipated to be $1.3 million (6 percent of undesignated receipts) for the congregation's 2016-17 church year, which begins April 1, Hunt said. Great Commission Giving is a category of giving established by SBC action in 2011 that encompasses giving through CP as well as direct gifts to SBC entities, associational giving and giving to state convention ministries.

Hunt said Bellevue has collaborated with the International Mission Board to lead evangelism training in 34 countries since 2007 and "at the request of the IMB … has been a strategy church for Jinotega, Nicaragua, since 2007." The church also reported a $150,000 gift to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions last year and anticipated an equal gift for 2016.

Bellevue is partnering with the North American Mission Board to plant churches in the Northwest and has planted 10 churches in other areas, including work with Native Americans in three locations, Hunt said.

Total missions giving for next year is anticipated at 18 percent of Bellevue's undesignated receipts, the church reported, and includes the "Bellevue Loves Memphis" initiative, a service evangelism campaign launched by Gaines in 2007.

We would be remiss if we didn't mention that shortly after Steve Gaines began serving at Bellevue in 2005, he mishandled a pedophile situation.  Back in 2007 the Baptist Press reported on the controversy, as follows:

In December, controversy erupted at the church when several members claimed that pastor Steve Gaines had failed to discipline a staff member allegedly involved in sexual misconduct with a child. Already under some pressure from church members dissatisfied with his leadership, Gaines announced during worship services Dec. 17 that the church had placed Williams — on staff at the church for 34 years — on a leave of absence. Gaines then wrote a letter to the 30,000-member congregation two days later, explaining why the decision had been made.

“I learned about this in June from the minister involved and believed that the issue was settled,” Gaines wrote. “Two weeks ago, I was surprised to find out it was not. Some people have questioned why I waited for several months. It’s simply this: I acted out of heartfelt concern and compassion for this minister because the event occurred many years ago; he was receiving professional counseling; and I was concerned about confidentiality.”

According to the investigative committee report, Williams engaged in “egregious, perverse, sexual activity with his adolescent son” over a period of 12-18 months. Williams then became convicted of his actions, stopped and asked for forgiveness. He never sought counseling until recently, when his son initiated it. And neither Williams nor his son revealed the matter to anyone else at the time.

Williams apparently thought everything was fine between him and his son until November 2005, when his son indicated to him that everything wasn’t resolved. His son told him their relationship would be severed for a period of time. After that encounter, “the circle of knowledge about Paul’s sexual activities with his son started to grow,” the report recounts.

Two other staff members at the church -– Jamie Fish and Webb Williams -– as well as Gaines learned about Williams’ actions throughout 2006. Coombs said his committee had uncovered no evidence that former pastor Adrian Rogers knew anything about Williams’ actions.

According to the report, Williams’ son and two friends approached Gaines on Dec. 7, 2006, asking why Williams was allowed to continue to serve on Bellevue’s staff. It was after this meeting that Gaines informed other members of the staff, including Coombs, Vander Steeg and others, and began the investigation.

Coombs acknowledged in his report that Gaines, Fish and Williams erred in not coming forward sooner with their knowledge of the situation.

To prevent such inaction in the future, the committee recommended a complete review of the church’s policies and procedures. Coombs said implementation of new policies and procedures should take place as soon as practical.

In addition, the committee recommended additional training for the entire staff about how to handle such matters -– including individual training for those staff members with knowledge of Williams’ actions.

The church also will provide counseling and support for any individuals “who feel they have been harmed by Paul’s actions or feel they have been hurt by the church’s action of not dealing with Paul earlier,” according to the report.. 

It will be interesting to see the outcome of this presidential race, and we will be sure to report on it.  With less than three months to go, we are certain there will be some politicking in the SBC.

J.D. Greear's fan base has already come out with a rap endorsing their candidate.  Suddenly, these two video clips have come to mind: Go Wayne Grudem and the Broadway Skit about C.J. Mahaney. We are left wondering who is really being glorified…

In God's sovereignty, Southern Baptists will be meeting in the "Show Me State" to demonstrate how the convention will move forward.  Which fork in the road will the SBC take?

Comments

‘WHO’ will be the next SBC President – J.D. Greear or Steve Gaines? — 249 Comments

  1. They all talk about how they are serving “the church”, but nothing is said about serving God. … Oh, wait, … my bad … “church” is their “god” … never mind …

  2. both still live in homes slightly above the average congregant…according to tax records Steve Gaines home is assessed at $309,000 in Shelby County. J.D. Greear, his home is assessed at $539,000 in Raleigh. Not on the level of a Steven Furtick…but these pastors still are living fairly abundant lifestyles as “leaders” versus “servants”. In Shelby County, there are plenty of homes under $225,000 that are nice. Raleigh? Under $300,000 and both men would still remain above their average congregant. Personal opinion only, when a person is called to the ministry, living a lifestyle that places you in the upper tier of the population disqualifies you because you have chosen money/image/lifestyle over the life of a true servant. But I am certain many would disagree…where do you draw the line? Andy Stanley? $1.5 million house. Jentzen Franklin? $1.4 million. In my county, one of the poorest counties in the state, the pastor of the 1st Baptist, 400 members strong makes over $150,000 salary + benefits and lives in a $275,000 house. Yet, our county suffers from extreme poverty/ unemployment. The picture is fuzzy here….

  3. prodinov wrote:

    In my county, one of the poorest counties in the state, the pastor of the 1st Baptist, 400 members strong makes over $150,000 salary + benefits and lives in a $275,000 house. Yet, our county suffers from extreme poverty/ unemployment. The picture is fuzzy here

    The picture seems very clear to me:
    There can be no REAL pastors who are living extremely well off of their ‘positions’ in communities that are suffering extreme poverty and unemployment. It ain’t fittin. It just ain’t fittin.

  4. Thought this would make one of my favorite blogs, particularly with the sex abuse situation at Bellevue.

    I’m guessing that this will be cast as a Cal/Trad contest but Greear gets invited to about anything anyone does in the SBC. If he’s a rabid Cal, he has kept it hidden from about everyone. The greater contrast might be the old school/new school method of mission sending and funding. Gaines is old school. Greear, new school.

    Adrian Rogers died a decade ago. Wish we could have his thinking on this.

    I, foolishly, have a forlorn hope for anyone other than a megapastor.

    …and look for Gaines to have a music video soon…perhaps a Beale street blues special.

  5. Would that be the same Steve Gaines who asserted that tithing was illustrated by the story of Ananias & Saphira?

    “As soon as Ananias heard these words, he fell on the floor dead. God killed him….Every time a Christian refuses to tithe, they’re just like Ananias and Sapphira. They’re lying to God and they’re stealing from God. If God treated us this morning in this room like He treated them in that day, how many people would be wrapped up in blankets and taken out the back door [dead]. Think about it. Think about it.”

    THAT Steve Gaines?

    That kind of teaching expertise seems to indicate that his diploma came out of a box of Cracker Jacks.

  6. i must be really bored…Friday and all…but i became curious about 2 previous SBC presidents and did my due diligence….so current one, Ronnie Floyd…the Washington County (Fayetteville) tax records show his golf course home priced at $752,000, and 3 vehicles, a 2015 Infiniti QX80, a 2014 Infiniti QX80, and a 2013 BMW X3. Johnny Hunt? His local home in Woodstock is assessed at only $463,000, but he did buy that nice condo at 12011 Front Beach Road in Panama City Florida last year at a purchase price of $350,000. So? How many readers here at the WW can say they live in this type of property, drive this type of car, or make the kinda money these preachers make? Taking the averages, I would doubt there are hardly any, if not a handful that live like this….anyway…that is my take…did my work on these SBC guys….if anyone doubts the numbers, I can actually provide the links and the actual addresses but I did not want to violate any terms here other than the financial numbers….

  7. @ mot:
    so these two are ‘the fruit’ of the fundamentalist takeover?

    that says a great deal about the state of the SBC and its values, but I still hold that there are many good people who are Southern Baptists who are shocked and horrified by predators, those who protect predators, and those who fleece the sheep . . . the voices of these good people are needed in the SBC before it falls to the ‘wolves’ who prey on the ones who are vulnerable

  8. @ Christiane:
    sorry, I tried to respond to Dr. Fundystan’s comment, this: “This is like choosing between Satan and Beelzebub.”

    sorry for confusion . . . it’s been a long day

  9. BL wrote:

    Would that be the same Steve Gaines who asserted that tithing was illustrated by the story of Ananias & Saphira?

    “As soon as Ananias heard these words, he fell on the floor dead. God killed him….Every time a Christian refuses to tithe, they’re just like Ananias and Sapphira. They’re lying to God and they’re stealing from God.

    It is certainly unbecoming for the guy TAKING $150,000 out of the pot to complain about the guy not putting enough in.

  10. @ prodinov:
    Exactly. They both live in bubbles. They have nothing to teach people when it comes to living out the real kingdom here and now. They expect people to pay them well to live comfy lives..

    and people do. People love their wealthy celebrity pastors. It boggles my mind.

  11. Christiane wrote:

    so these two are ‘the fruit’ of the fundamentalist takeover?

    Absolutely yes. Like most fundamentalists, the SBC cares little for the things of Jesus (the institutions by and large – there are many fine individuals who remain SBC…although they are getting fewer and farther between).

  12. When a young reformer talks about “gospel-centeredness in both theology and mission”, it is code for “Calvinism-centeredness” since Calvinism = Gospel to them.

    And, yes, a Gaines vs. Greear run for SBC President is definitely a line in the sand. If SBC’s millions were able to cast a vote for non-Calvinist vs. Calvinist, they would surely put Gaines in office. Unfortunately, that’s not the way it works. That decision is made by a relatively small number of “messengers” sent from SBC churches to handle that business each year. The annual convention used to attract a good representation of SBC churches across the country, with 20,000-30,000 voting members in attendance. Over the years, the attendance has declined to around 5,000 messengers and the YRR have been stacking the vote for their candidates. The annual convention has become more about theo-politics than positioning a once-great denomination to fulfill the Great Commission. And the SBC masses don’t have a clue.

  13. I live in Memphis. I personally know dozens of people who left Bellevue after SG took over. There used to be a website called savingbellevue.com that listed many of the odd things he did. Accusations included an incident where he allegedly climbed a fence to enter a gated community because he was trying to force a meeting with a deacon. Who was out of town at the time. He was also accused of using church credit cards to pay for personal expenses.

    I could go on and on, but instead I’ll just link a blog I found. http://www.newbbcopenforum.blogspot.com/

    If these two guys are the only choices to lead the Southern Baptist Convention, it’s time to leave the Southern Baptists.

  14. Dee, I just noticed the message that your MIL has been put on hospice. I will be praying that her passing is peaceful.

  15. prodinov wrote:

    Andy Stanley? $1.5 million house. Jentzen Franklin? $1.4 milli

    The same Andy Stanley who called parents selfish for not wanting their kids in a mega church? Yes, I know he apologized…. After the internet outcry.

  16. Lydia…yeah, the same Andy Stanley, but I misspoke. His home last assessment was $1.1 million, but in that particular area, it is considered not at full value. It is gated, and you can not get anywhere near it…look at it on google maps….965 pleasant hollow trail, alpharetta, georgia . So…pastor tells his congregants, yes…you are selfish if your kids don’t go to a mega church…meanwhile…Andy lives a gated lifestyle avoiding the very lower caste that support his purchases. If you were to buzz his gate to speak with him, do doubt the police would be on you in minutes. These guys are so protective of their status…and these other SBC guys…they are moving toward that…Gaines & Greear…Now, a $500,000 house, 3 years = $750,000, and then on to the gated country club of $1 million and more. Very very common with these guys…and they love to hide behind trust accounts to hide their identity in the tax records. See….they do not want you to know. They want you to remain in the dark because they do not trust you. Give them money. Trust them then…but you will have a very difficult time to find out how they live….hidden from view.

  17. @ Max:
    Gaines does not stand a chance against Greear. Ezell, Platt, Moore, Greear. There is a pattern. The messengers are mainly church staffers these days. Not like the old days.

    The SBC has a Pope named Mohler.

  18. Lydia wrote:

    After the CR was solidified it became totally top/down.

    No doubt about it, Lydia … the big dogs are in control. The SBC multitudes who finance their foolishness have little or no say in denominational affairs these days. I was naive enough, at the time, to think that “CR” stood for “Conservative Resurgence”, but it’s apparent now that it really meant “Calvinist Resurgence”.

  19. prodinov wrote:

    Andy lives a gated lifestyle avoiding the very lower caste that support his purchases. If you were to buzz his gate to speak with him, do doubt the police would be on you in minutes. These guys are so protective of their status…and these other SBC guys…they are moving toward that…Gaines & Greear…Now, a $500,000 house, 3 years = $750,000, and then on to the gated country club of $1 million and more. Very very common with these guys…and they love to hide behind trust accounts to hide their identity in the tax record

    Bingo. I used to chuckle when people told me they were given pastor x personal cell number or email. They had no clue that private secretary checked them. The cell was never answered. They all do this to appear approachable. Everything is about perception. The last thing they want are the pew peasants driving by. In truth, many of them have contempt for their audience. Don’t get me started on their many income streams outside their salary and housing allowance and the double dipping.

  20. Lydia wrote:

    Gaines does not stand a chance against Greear.

    Agreed. It’s a done deal. I may not like the Calvinist Resurgence, but General Mohler has executed a brilliant battle strategy. Calvinization of the largest non-Calvinist denomination in America is now largely complete with hardly a shot fired from the opposition. Greear’s crowning will be the final blow for me; reality is sinking in.

  21. At least Andy Stanley has the guts to say that tithing isn’t a New Testament principle, and that we should give money to causes we care about and to the poor, not just to the church. (See sermon #3 in series, Crazy Like Us, Nov. 15, 2015.)

  22. @ Max:

    As Southern Baptists, my husband and I have decided that we will not be contributing to Neo-Cal church plants.  If this is the way the NAMB and IMB are headed (and it certainly appears that way), we will not be contributing to either Lottie Moon or Annie Armstrong.

    We will look for other opportunities to fund mission projects.

  23. I think the Southern White Faced Owl would do better than the two men in the running. Oops! She might be a female owl–that can’t possibly be allowed.

  24. mirele wrote:

    I think the Southern White Faced Owl would do better than the two men in the running. Oops! She might be a female owl–that can’t possibly be allowed.

    Yep. Those “messengers” that get to vote in the SBC conventions? All male, baby, all male.
    I am a member of an SBC affiliated church, and I don’t care anymore.
    Sure, I could go to the Convention and attend the Ladies meetings and teas, but they’d have to make my tea a Long Island Iced Tea, and I still might not be able to stand the “talks”.

  25. Nancy2 wrote:

    mirele wrote:

    I think the Southern White Faced Owl would do better than the two men in the running. Oops! She might be a female owl–that can’t possibly be allowed.

    Yep. Those “messengers” that get to vote in the SBC conventions? All male, baby, all male.
    I am a member of an SBC affiliated church, and I don’t care anymore.
    Sure, I could go to the Convention and attend the Ladies meetings and teas, but they’d have to make my tea a Long Island Iced Tea, and I still might not be able to stand the “talks”.

    Women messengers vote.

  26. @ Deb:
    And their mismanagement of money with the recent IMM crisis where they wanted the over 50 year olds out. @ Kathy:
    And he makes a great role model for that advice as a pastor with a million dollar house in a gated community.

  27. BL wrote:

    Would that be the same Steve Gaines who asserted that tithing was illustrated by the story of Ananias & Saphira?

    A&S as in “TITHE OR GOD WILL KILL YOU”?

  28. Sadly, those that “run” the SBC would tell you all is fine and dandy. There are no problems.

  29. Lydia wrote:

    And their mismanagement of money with the recent IMM crisis where they wanted the over 50 year olds out.

    A few weeks ago I attended a missions event and met one of the SBC missionaries who was brought home from overseas. I felt sad for her. Since she arrived home a few months ago the state convention has been providing her with a temporary job. Once that ends, she'll be on her own.

    She was such a godly woman who didn't show any bitterness. God bless her!

  30. Deb wrote:

    She was such a godly woman

    “Godly” is not a word that I’ve heard used to describe the generation of New Calvinists who will surely replace her and others on the mission field when the IMB financial mess is resolved. It’s a crying shame what has happened to SBC’s international mission force. When these folks surrender to the leading of God they should be supported until God’s assignment is lifted from their lives for the time and place He has called them to … not because of theo-politics in a denomination which has gone astray.

  31. @ Max:
    Max: I still can not fathom the bringing home over 1000 missionaries. Where is the outrage in the SBC because of this?

  32. Deb wrote:

    As Southern Baptists, my husband and I have decided that we will not be contributing to Neo-Cal church plants.

    And that would be wisdom. I’m not against planting churches, but I am against planting theology … and that is what NAMB’s unspoken strategy is, IMO. NAMB has an aggressive agenda to plant 1,000 new churches per year, with a $60 million annual budget to do so. What theological flavor do you think those young church planters are? NAMB is reaching into the pockets of trusting non-Calvinist Southern Baptists across the country with its tear-jerker promotions to plant churches, but the masses don’t realize that the “gospel” being delivered at those plants does not agree with their traditional belief and practice as Southern Baptists.

  33. Deb wrote:

    A few weeks ago I attended a missions event and met one of the SBC missionaries who was brought home from overseas. I felt sad for her. Since she arrived home a few months ago the state convention has been providing her with a temporary job. Once that ends, she’ll be on her own.

    I know a family ( a couple in their mid 40s with, eeeeessshhh, 7 children ages 4 – 18) in my area who’re in the same situation. (I believe that, if this husband isn’t a Calvinist, he leans hard that way. He is always quoting Piper, Platr, Dever, etc. ~~~ So their return makes no sense to me, unless the IMB thinks it costs too much to support a family of 9!). Most of these people who were brought home have no property/homes here, and no job skills. What are they going to do???
    On top of that, within a short period of time, I expect the “voluntary retirement” older missionaries to be replaced with YRR!!!

  34. mot wrote:

    Where is the outrage in the SBC because of this?

    Therein is the heart of the problem, mot. Mainline Southern Baptists are either uninformed, misinformed, or willingly ignorant at what is happening in their denomination. The New Calvinists have taken advantage of their apathy to come in the back door to takeover SBC’s mission agencies, seminaries, publishing house, and other entities … with barely a whimper from thousands of wimpy non-Calvinist pastors and millions in silent pews.

  35. Whew! I just listened to the J.D. Greear rap video. “Tricky” is the right word … the New Calvinists have come in by stealth and deception to trick the SBC out of the hands of its millions of non-Calvinist members! And you know what they call folks who turn tricks … New Calvinism is a counterfeit that prostitutes the gospel.

  36. @ mot:
    It’s worse. They are immediately hiring younger ones. And beating the sheep for more money

    I have this theory that the more blatant the ruse the more people will never believe it is a ruse. Put a “godly” title and explanation with it and people don’t question.

    They needed a celeb like Platt who had no prior support of the CP. He has celebrity value. How radical of him. He is telling people to write blank checks to the IMB while reading his supposed radical for 6 figures and a plush office.

    These guys are pure fake.

  37. @ Beaux:
    It’s not just the six figure seminary salary. It’s all the paid speaking gigs and perks. Guys like him never have to pay for anything including his seminary supplied home. And student workers like drivers.

  38. @ Deb:
    She also needs a reference and there is a clause in the VRI contract they signed warning them not to say anything negative. It could affect their pittance of a payout. SBCToday wrote a blog post about it.

    I don’t understand this attitude that it is godly to say nothing when Christian leaders screw over people.

  39. @ Elizabeth Lee:
    Either one of these isn’t a good choice for SBC president. They may be as corrupt as ordinary politicians and are as far away from their constituents as politicians in the secular realm . Between the two Neo Calvinism and Tradionalism : Neo Calvinism terrifies me. But the SBC has had traditionalist Presidents since 1979 and they share blame for this present mess. As much as I admire Adrian Rogers, his feet were also made of clay.

  40. Here is what Steve Gains had to say over at SBC Voices–“I am also very concerned about the fact that we are bringing 1,000 IMB missionaries off the foreign fields, primarily due to lack of funds to support them. Again, all Southern Baptists, including me, must own this horrible thing. Not only do we have a soul-winning crisis in the SBC, we also have a stewardship crisis. We must teach our church members to handle money God’s way. We must teach them to tithe to their churches, set reasonable budgets and live within them, pay off debt, save for future needs, and give generously to those in need as the Lord leads. We must also encourage our churches to give more than ever to SBC causes through our Cooperative Program. All of us can and must do more than ever in giving financially to the SBC. We must raise more money so we can put an additional 1,000 missionaries back on the field instead of bringing them home.” It is the SBC members fault that these 1000 missionaries had to be brought home according to Gaines.

  41. I wanted to add I will not as a SBC tithe to my church. I will give as the Holy Spirit guides me and the Holy Spirit guides me less and less to give to my home church for it to sent to my local association, state and national organizations where it is not managed in a Godly manner.

  42. Mark wrote:

    Either one of these isn’t a good choice for SBC president.

    I should nominate my son-in-law! He is an SBC seminary graduate who felt called to serve in a rural area. The church he pastors is in an economic depressed area. He works a full-time job in a neighboring city to support his family, while serving his church of 100 as a bi-vocational pastor with only minimal support from that flock. He works long days, but makes himself available to church members as needed. He stays up late to study and pray, as he prepares messages for Wednesday and Sunday services. He is a non-Calvinist pastor/teacher who loves people, with a heart to see folks come to Christ. He has no aspirations to be a celebrity pastor of a mega-church, nor a desire to mix with other pastors his age who have been caught up in all the glamour of the reformed movement. He is faithful to his calling. He would make a great SBC President, but would never get elected – he’s too real.

  43. @ Max:
    I applaud bi voc pastors. I have an old friend who does it. His wife, who also works, really operates as his partner in so many ways. And the congregation is very involved, too.

  44. mot wrote:

    @ Max:
    Max: I still can not fathom the bringing home over 1000 missionaries. Where is the outrage in the SBC because of this?

    The average pew sitter doesn’t care….they don’t. We’re having a ” pie supper tonight” and ” there’s a new carpet in the educational building…..so we’re good.!”

  45. @ Deb:he also needs a reference and there is a clause in the VRI contract they signed warning them not to say anything negative. It could affect their pittance of a payout. SBCToday wrote a blog post about it.

    I don’t understand this attitude that it is godly to say nothing when Christian leaders do wrong to people….including withholding information like they did concerning how serious the financial crisis was. Months before the crisis and solution was announced, Platt was out bragging in public about adding more missionaries.

    We should trust such people?

  46. K.D. wrote:

    The average pew sitter doesn’t care….they don’t.

    Another reason I cannot stomach SBC churches anymore. People literally choose ignorance.

    I cannot sit there and watch IMB produced videos begging for money. Nor can I abide by all the Neo Cal quotes in the LifeWay materials (i cant stand the Lifeway stuff, anyway) and the worship of Pope Mohler.

    People just go along. It will be interesting to see how much more money they can shame them out of this upcoming year. That is where the rubber meets the road.

  47. mot wrote:

    Here is what Steve Gains had to say over at SBC Voices–“ … give generously to those in need as the Lord leads. …

    Too bad Steve didn’t just leave it at that, it has all sorts of wonderful implications.

  48. Lydia wrote:

    Hmm. Did the Summit pew sitters even know they were SBC until now?

    We have a summit church (I’m guessing it’s related) and I was wondering the same thing. Attended a few times and can’t say.

    Visiting churches and seeing a list of 10 male ‘pastors’ and 7 women ‘anything but pastor’ as staff pretty much drove me away from the baptist church.

    And reading this blog had made me realize that, though I never thought about it before, pastor/seminary were things I never realized were a possibility for me. Because female. Because baptist. I didn’t even realize women could go to seminary! I mean, I’m not sure that I would have considered that path but I never felt held back terribly – and yet I was. A spiritual career path was never something I thought I could have.

  49. Lea wrote:

    Lydia wrote:
    Because female. Because baptist. I didn’t even realize women could go to seminary! I mean, I’m not sure that I would have considered that path but I never felt held back terribly – and yet I was. A spiritual career path was never something I thought I could have.

    One of the big stinks when I was in SWBTS was the number of females who were in the school of theology. One of the big points being made was ” How many of these ladies were taking spots for men hoping to become ministers?” In truth the answer was…None….

  50. For years my mission money has been going to the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Global Missions.

  51. Junkster wrote:

    Mahaney promoter or pedophile protector? What a choice!

    That’s why I said “Vote Southern White Faced Owl!” 🙂

  52. K.D. wrote:

    The average SBC doesn’t care anymore. It’s all about the entertainment value or the social value of church. And it is getting worse.

    Amen! For a denomination tagged as a “People of the Word”, I don’t see many of them reading or living it. They are comfortable doing church without God … and, thus, easy pickins’ for the New Calvinist movement.

  53. Sounds like the Neo-Cals are the conservative version of Katharine Jefferts Schori.

    For those who don’t know, Schori is the former Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, and probably the most theologically liberal individual to ever lead a national church. She called individual salvation a “great Western heresy,” said that the Apostle Paul was wrong for casting a demon out of a little girl, claimed there was more than one way to God, etc. She was also behind the numerous lawsuits that were initiated against churches and dioceses that left the Episcopal Church after it ordained the partnered gay bishop Gene Robinson in 2003. Those schismatic churches formed what is now known as the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA). The wounds between TEC and ACNA are still very sharp, very fresh, and very real.

    Although Michael Curry is now the church’s head bishop, the damage that KJS inflicted upon the church will be felt for years to come.

    Let’s just hope that if a Neo-Cal DOES become SBC President, he doesn’t become power-hungry like Katharine Schori and inflict similar damage on the SBC. I’ll be praying for you guys.

  54. Lydia wrote:

    Neo Cal quotes in the LifeWay materials

    Particularly in the young adult literature, New Calvinism’s primary target. LifeWay is a big part of SBC’s problem. Thom Rainer, LifeWay President/CEO, was formerly on staff under Al Mohler at Southern Seminary – what would his agenda be? And Ed Stetzer, LifeWay VP, has been chummy with the New Calvinist who’s-who for years. New Calvinism sells books – LifeWay is following the money. On the reformed ride, Rainer and Stetzer also get to enjoy the limelight at reformed conferences and hangout with cool people.

  55. Lea wrote:

    And reading this blog had made me realize that, though I never thought about it before, pastor/seminary were things I never realized were a possibility for me. Because female. Because baptist.

    The way women are treated in our churches and my husband’s behavior, combined with my health problems drove me to very near a faith crisis. That is how I found TWW. Women are not really members in most SBC churches. We are pseudo or quasi members, at best!

  56. Max wrote:

    Particularly in the young adult literature, New Calvinism’s primary target. LifeWay is a big part of SBC’s problem.

    In our former church, they used LifeWay literature. I taught a Sunday school class for teenagers. Two weeks after I accepted the class, I tossed the LifeWay booklets and taught straight out of the Bible!

  57. ION:

    Tonight at the climbing wall, after two determined and thoughtful practice attempts, I finally sent the tricky 6c problem on the slabs. I followed this up with a ground-up repeat of Kevin The Route (7a/+).

    I think, therefore, that the next SBC president should be me.

    IHTIH.

  58. I knew JD back in seminary, when we were both working on our M.Divs at SEBTS (before I transferred to a non-denom school and eventually stopped pursuing the degree). I have also attended Summit a few times. I have the following observations:

    1. JD always struck me as very driven to "succeed" and be number 1. This in and of itself is not necessarily negative, but it can lead to treating people based on their perceived worth, whether they can advance you and your agenda or not. (In this he is like his bff, Bruce Ashford, who I also knew then and now.)

    2. The Summit is a very contemporary church – dark, well lit stage, high quality music performance, pastor/preacher is the central focus, etc. They do a lot of good things in the RTP area, but there (ed.) is no real community. You only get to know each other in care groups, which study the pastor's sermon and hold each other accountable. One can come and go the church without knowing or even really speaking to anyone else. Not the Biblical model in my opinion (as a seminary drop-out, haha).

  59. Nancy2 wrote:

    In our former church, they used LifeWay literature. I taught a Sunday school class for teenagers. Two weeks after I accepted the class, I tossed the LifeWay booklets and taught straight out of the Bible!

    Good idea! LifeWay is trying to sneak in “The Gospel Project” literature by offering free trial lessons to hook churches on buying this material written exclusively by Calvinists. It is written for all age groups. The “free” enticement is sort of like the drug dealer on the street corner across from school giving away stuff to get you hooked.

    Jerry Vines has produced a Sunday School curriculum to counteract the assault by LifeWay with its subtle introduction to reformed precepts in their long-trusted (but no more) SS materials. It’s called “Vines by the Book” … check it out at https://www.jerryvines.com/about/pages/vines-by-the-book-sunday-school-curriculum/

  60. K.D. wrote:

    Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:

    This is like choosing between Satan and Beelzebub.

    The average SBC doesn’t care anymore. It’s all about the entertainment value or the social value of church. And it is getting worse.

    In the words of the prophets Emerson, Lake, & Palmer:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IwSTe9uit48

  61. Beaux wrote:

    Does anyone know how much pope mohler makes? Or any of other big shots?

    Believe it or not, as a student at SBTS, a few buddies of mine decided to try to estimate this. There is actually some significant discontent among many students there about the lavish lifestyle of Mohler and others. The challenge is that you have to account for perks somehow. For example, Mohler lives in what can only be called a mansion (tax appraisal, which is public, lists the value at $4 million), the grounds upkeep is paid for by the seminary, and he has a driver and car which are also paid for by others (a “modest” new Lincoln, not a BMW or anything). The model we finally ended up with was “how much money would one have to earn to live this way”. On top of that we factored in earnings from conferences and speaking tours (that information was actually fairly easy to get from the Business Department), book royalties, etc. We came up with a minimum of about $2 million annually, although we felt closer to $4 million was probably more accurate.

  62. @ Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist:
    This is a horror. I have not attended one that did not have women messengers! Usually they send half and half. But then again, my last church was taken over by the YRR and I have not been back in a about 2 years.

    Sheesh!

  63. @ Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist:
    It is hard to value the perks. I did a similar assessment with mega church pastors. For example, value of a ski vacation in Vail in a members condo with flight on their private jet. That sort of thing is common. Or the deal on new tires. All the free meals, vacations, etc. I saw all that and more. There were drawers full of Starbucks, Olive Garden and other cards where one could eat out for years…. free. It is simply a bubble life people don’t consider when listening to them. They have nothing to teach people when it comes to Christ.

    People love to give the king gifts and freebies.

  64. Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:

    We came up with a minimum of about $2 million annually, although we felt closer to $4 million was probably more accurate.

    This must be the suffering for Christ that CJ was talking about recently.

  65. @ Bill M:

    There was a bit of a brouhaha a few years back when JD Greear got a ride on a private jet to or from the SBC convention. I think he was keynote preaching the pastors conference thing i.e. They do before.

  66. Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:

    We came up with a minimum of about $2 million annually, although we felt closer to $4 million was probably more accurate.

    While Dr. Mohler is enjoying that level of income in his $4 million mansion + groundskeeper + limo & chauffer + other perks, the average Southern Baptist pastor makes about $35,000 annually. If you are a bi-vocational pastor in a rural area, you might make $20,000 per year. The big dogs live good, while the faithful labor in love.

  67. Lydia wrote:

    @ Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist:
    It is hard to value the perks. I did a similar assessment with mega church pastors. For example, value of a ski vacation in Vail in a members condo with flight on their private jet. That sort of thing is common. Or the deal on new tires. All the free meals, vacations, etc. I saw all that and more. There were drawers full of Starbucks, Olive Garden and other cards where one could eat out for years…. free. It is simply a bubble life people don’t consider when listening to them. They have nothing to teach people when it comes to Christ.
    People love to give the king gifts and freebies.

    And let’s not forget about the, ” needed “, paid sabbatical.

  68. @ Burwell:
    Made that correction. Typos bother me too, especially when I make them.

    Thanks for that very interesting comment. My older daughter attended The Summit during her college years. She graduated from UNC in 2011 and will be receiving her Masters in Education from Carolina in early May. :-)

    My younger daughter also attended The Summit for a while but not as long as her sister, so I do know quite a bit about this church through their experiences.  They are attending other churches now.

    There was a time when I considered working on a Masters degree at SEBTS (over a decade ago). I actually went to one of the Preview Days back in April 2005, and Bruce Ashford was assigned to my group. I had absolutely no idea what was going on with the Neo-Cals back then. God shut the door on that pursuit, which I didn’t understand at the time. Now I count my blessings that He did. :-)

  69. I listened to the entire thing, I just cant explain why I find it deeply troubling. One phrase that bothers me the most, “go to your study”, “read” etc. For the most of history most of the people involved in the faith could not read, the early church did not have a complete bible and most Christians did not have an entire canon of scripture. I get the passion and focusing on what Jesus did for us at the cross and how beautiful and Holy God is. I cant put my finger on it but this theology is very troubling. I may well be wrong but just wanted to ask.

    https://www.gracechurch.org/sermons/11837

  70. Nancy2 wrote:

    The way women are treated in our churches and my husband’s behavior, combined with my health problems drove me to very near a faith crisis. That is how I found TWW. Women are not really members in most SBC churches. We are pseudo or quasi members, at best!

    I think that since most women aren’t respected in NeoCal churches, including SBCs, our money shouldn’t be good enough for them either and they shouldn’t ask for it/expect it/or use it. In fact, I’d like a refund from my NeoCal church.

  71. @ Mae:

    all the high salaries, expensive homes, cars, (& driver for al, and velvet ropes for shock & awe & to highlight his eminence from the riffraff), the private jet use, expensive gifts and vacations, the laughable much-needed sabbatical…..

    good grief, these men are pampered powder puffs

    they must have no idea how they appear. they’re rather shameless about it all. they give no sign of being embarrassed. guess they feel entitled.

  72. Max wrote:

    mot wrote:
    Where is the outrage in the SBC because of this?
    Therein is the heart of the problem, mot. Mainline Southern Baptists are either uninformed, misinformed, or willingly ignorant at what is happening in their denomination. The New Calvinists have taken advantage of their apathy to come in the back door to takeover SBC’s mission agencies, seminaries, publishing house, and other entities … with barely a whimper from thousands of wimpy non-Calvinist pastors and millions in silent pews.

    Not a SB, however, familiar with stealthy takeovers by neo Cals. Call me ignorant, naive, whatever, never thought Christians of the Calvinist persuasion, would stoop so low as to lie their way into leadership positions in non Cal churches. Overtaking assets, buildings, claiming holy authority to do so….set the sheep straight on doctrine, etc.
    To see it happen is to believe it.

  73. Gaines v. Greear reminds me of another election headed our way. Sorry, the sooner the YRR take over the better, otherwise it’s just death by a thousand cuts for our Baptist brothers and sisters. Take heart. There is life outside of evangelicalism. Jump in, the water’s warm!

  74. Mae wrote:

    never thought Christians of the Calvinist persuasion, would stoop so low as to lie their way into leadership positions in non Cal churches

    Mae, this is indeed disturbing … and the reason many Southern Baptists have been caught unaware with the Calvinist takeover. They have been too trusting of this new generation of “pastors”, who justify such tactics as OK for the good of the New Calvinist movement. Who would think that other “Christians” would do such things?! Pastor search committees across the denomination have been deceived by the stealth and lies of the young, restless and reformed. As one SBC-YRR church planter told me “We are coming in the back door.” To those who are uninformed or misinformed about the New Calvinist movement, now is high time to get the facts! To those who are willingly ignorant, shame on you … you will lose your church to a bunch of young rebels who will scatter the flock!

  75. Max wrote:

    The big dogs live good, while the faithful labor in love.

    Absolutely correct. I know of two SBC pastors who are faithful and humble, and whom I would I do anything for. Both poverty struck, both rural, both not especially bright, but both genuinely good people. I would be loathe to paint individual members with a the broad brush that describes the leadership and institutions of the SBC.

  76. Mae wrote:

    Call me ignorant, naive, whatever, never thought Christians of the Calvinist persuasion, would stoop so low as to lie their way into leadership positions in non Cal churches.

    At SBTS it was openly taught by several professors, that this was acceptable because “people don’t really understand Calvinism”, and “you can’t compromise correct theology just to get a pastorate”, and “its better to teach them the truth anyway”, and (I kid you not) “Psalm 18:26 condones using deceit to accomplish God’s will”.

  77. Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:

    Mae wrote:
    Call me ignorant, naive, whatever, never thought Christians of the Calvinist persuasion, would stoop so low as to lie their way into leadership positions in non Cal churches.
    At SBTS it was openly taught by several professors, that this was acceptable because “people don’t really understand Calvinism”, and “you can’t compromise correct theology just to get a pastorate”, and “its better to teach them the truth anyway”, and (I kid you not) “Psalm 18:26 condones using deceit to accomplish God’s will”.

    Totally agree this is occurring. The “correct” theology excuse drives me bonkers. Reconstructive/ dominion theology is at play when stealing assets, bank accounts, and properties, are common practice. They have deceived themselves by believing they are little gods, kings and priests.

  78. Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:

    At SBTS it was openly taught by several professors, that this was acceptable because “people don’t really understand Calvinism”, and “you can’t compromise correct theology just to get a pastorate”, and “its better to teach them the truth anyway”, and (I kid you not) “Psalm 18:26 condones using deceit to accomplish God’s will”.

    So, deception is preferable to “incorrect doctrine”.

    It is bizarre how the result of their “correct doctrine” does not include basic honesty, good character and integrity.

    I often wonder what will become of such young men who bought into this long term. I get it about their wealthy leaders/gurus making fame and bank off our Lord. But most won’t. The irony for them is that whatever happens, they believe God determined it anyway. This means they don’t really have to ever take a good hard look at themselves and what they believe.

  79. elastigirl wrote:

    they must have no idea how they appear. they’re rather shameless about it all. they give no sign of being embarrassed. guess they feel entitled.

    No, they have no inkling. They believe they have the favor of the Lord by decree:

    “Power always thinks it has a great soul and vast views beyond the comprehension of the weak; and that it is doing God’s service when it is violating all his laws”
    ~ John Quincy Adams ~

  80. “The Patterson-Pressler coalition insists that the pastor is the unquestioned ruler of the church. W. A. Criswell said, “Lay leadership of the church is unbiblical when it weakens the pastor’s authority as ruler of the church . . . a laity-led church will be a weak church anywhere on God’s earth. The pastor is ruler of the church.” In 1988 the Southern Baptist Convention passed a resolution affirming that the pastor was the ruler of the church.”

    This is some of where this YYR nonsense began.

  81. mot wrote:

    “The Patterson-Pressler coalition insists that the pastor is the unquestioned ruler of the church. W. A. Criswell said, “Lay leadership of the church is unbiblical when it weakens the pastor’s authority as ruler of the church . . . a laity-led church will be a weak church anywhere on God’s earth. The pastor is ruler of the church.” In 1988 the Southern Baptist Convention passed a resolution affirming that the pastor was the ruler of the church.”
    This is some of where this YYR nonsense began.

    I don’t understand the reasoning for this, but it is not only Criswell or Patterson but also the rank and file Baptist. I have talked to some who believe they must never question their pastor. Also some churches are terrible to their pastors. I have seen this more than a couple times. Maybe this resolution was a reaction to this. I respect pastors but I don’t worship them.

  82. Mae wrote:

    The “correct” theology excuse drives me bonkers. Reconstructive/ dominion theology is at play when stealing assets, bank accounts, and properties, are common practice.

    ^ This.

    Christian Reconstruction, Dominionism, 7 Mountain Mandate, Kuyperism, Kingdom Now, Christian Nationalism, Cultural Mandate, Joel’s Army, Manifest Sons of God, City Church Movement, New Apostolic Reformation, City Transformation Movement, Replacement Theology, Latter Rain Movement, Leadership Network, Coalition on Revival, Purpose Driven – just some of the groups/movements that I am aware of.

    ALL of the above have in common their goal to establish their version of the Kingdom of God on earth – with themselves in charge.

    These movements are led by and contain Southern Baptists, Calvinists, Presbyterians, Pentecostals, Charismatics, Reformed, non-denominationalists, and more.

    These dominionist goals are shared by such diverse leadership as to include R C Sproul, Peter C. Wagner, Francis Chan, Kenneth Copeland, Rick Joyner, Mike Bickel, Bill Gothard, Rick Warren, Luis Bush, George Otis, Bill Bright, Os Hillman, George Barna, Bob Burford, Len Sweet, Ralph Reed, Pat Robertson, R J Rushdoony, Gary North, Cindy Jacobs, Lance Wallnau, Os Guinness, Loren Cunningham, Francis Frangipane, to name a few.

    Back in the 80s, the Coalition on Revival (membership included Bob Mumford) asserted:

    “We deny that the Church must await the second coming of Christ for the Kingdom of God to be inaugurated on earth in time-space reality and in power.”

    “We deny that the restoration of man’s God-ordained dominion (a) lies outside the scope of Christ’s redeeming work as mediator on the Cross, or (b) awaits the physical presence of the returned Christ for its inauguration and expansion.”

    Having experienced the quality of churchianity leadership who believe such about their own authority in the church, that we have seen over the past 3+ decades – imagine if they actually did manage to gain control of government and exercise that same quality of leadership?

    Note: I am NOT asserting that all of the above organizations and leaders are conspiring together as one (though there is some networking amongst them).

    I am asserting that multiple streams of churchianity are pursuing the same *goal*.

  83. BL wrote:

    I am asserting that multiple streams of churchianity are pursuing the same *goal*.

    I think they have missed the point of what Jesus was about, doing, and advocating.

  84. Dee: I know this is a topic that has been of interest to you. I don’t always agree with Robert Jeffress on everything, and I’ve not listened to his entire sermon, but I thought you might be interested in this. (I’ve only heard parts of it.)

    Jeffress hosts a weekly show called ‘Pathway to Victory.’ Today’s topic deals with children who die and whether they go to heaven or not. It’s part of a sermon series he did called “Do all roads lead to Heaven.”

    I did find the sermon on the TV section of his site, but I’m not sure if the link will work right. I didn’t see the sermon on You Tube (it might be there and I overlooked it).

    Are Children Who Die in Heaven? Part 1
    http://ptv.org/tv/

    Not All Roads Lead to Heaven
    Are Children Who Die in Heaven?
    Throughout this series we have seen that only those who exercise faith in Jesus Christ for salvation will be welcomed into Heaven. But what happens to infants, small children, or the mentally challenged who die? Does their inability to trust in Christ condemn them to an eternity in Hell?
    In this special message, Dr. Robert Jeffress helps answer the question, Are Children Who Die in Heaven?

    I’m not sure if that link I gave will take you to the page itself with the video, or to a home page called “Recent TV Broadcasts.”

    If you find yourself on a page called “Recent TV Broadcasts,” the particular link on that page to look for is-

    Are Children Who Die in Heaven?
    NOT ALL ROADS LEAD TO HEAVEN (air date March 20, 2016)
    – and then, click on the big, navy blue button next to that text that says “Watch Now”

  85. Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:

    (part 1)
    At SBTS it was openly taught by several professors, that this was acceptable because “people don’t really understand Calvinism”, and “you can’t compromise correct theology just to get a pastorate”, and “its better to teach them the truth anyway”,

    (part 2)
    and (I kid you not) “Psalm 18:26 condones using deceit to accomplish God’s will”.

    This is one of several problems I have with Calvinism or Calvinists.

    Debating with Calvinists is like trying to herd cats. They shift the goal posts constantly. They always like to tell you that you just don’t understand Calvinism, so they outright dismiss any and every criticism or argument you make.

    But, when you ask ‘Tom the Calvinist’ to explain Calvinist to you in her own words, and he does, and then, so, four months later you use his explanation when debating Hank the Calvinist, Hank is like, “You don’t understand Calvinism.”

    So you say, “But Hank, Tom told me ‘blah blah blah’ is what Calvinists believe.” Then Hank says, “Well Tom is wrong!! He doesn’t really understand Calvinism.”

    A lot of Calvinists play that game (I experienced the same situation when debating people of another particular religious view).

    Even when I went to Calvinist sites to read blurbs about Cal by historical Cal guys regarded as eggs-perts about Cal, layperson Cals on forums would tell me that Mr. Historical Cal was wrong when I quoted Mr Historical Cal guy’s quotes at them.

    Each Calvinist has his or her unique definitions of TULIP / Calvinism. They disagree with each other all the time.

    There might be a few points they agree with each other on overall, but when you get down to the nitty gritty, or some of the other areas, they disagree.

    It’s like Calvinists do not even know what Calvinism is.
    (It’s similar with gender comp and how complementarians behave regarding comp.) Yet, they accuse dissenters of not understanding Calvinism.

    Part 2. Using deception to do God’s will.

    That is like Islamic taqiyya.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taqiya

    Why do some Christians keep emulating Muslims or Mormons on some stuff?

  86. Lydia wrote:

    At SBTS it was openly taught by several professors, that this was acceptable because “people don’t really understand Calvinism”, and “you can’t compromise correct theology just to get a pastorate”,

    It’s not just coming out of the seminaries.

    A group called Leadership Network (co-founded by Bob Buford, with its foundation based on Peter Drucker) has been instrumental in launching and networking some of the new leadership in churchianity.

    Their mission?

    “Our role is to foster innovation movements that activate THE CHURCH to greater impact for the Glory of God’s name. What began in 1984 with 20 leaders now serves over 200,000 leaders all over the world.”

    and

    “Of the estimated 350,000 churches in North America, only a relatively small number play a significant role in introducing innovations to the Church at large. Leadership Network’s “DNA” is to work directly with those few pioneers who are testing and implementing the new ideas that will drive the Church in the future.”

    They have worked with and promoted Peter Wagner, Mark Driscoll, Perry Noble, Rick Warren, Doug Pagitt, Leith Anderson.

    From the Leader Net blurb:

    “Buford did not just convene meetings. He funded the impact he desired. He did so selectively, however, only choosing investments that would create exponential returns. For example, he and Colorado billionaire Phil Anschutz financed the Burning Bush Fund.

    They took their catalyzing passion and combined it with strategic investment. Leaders like Mark Driscoll, Tim Keller, Larry Osborne, Greg Surratt, Neil Cole and others involved their churches and ministries.”

    The business marketing and CEO attitude in today’s churches flowed out of Buford’s Leadership Network.

  87. BL wrote:

    innovation movements that activate THE CHURCH to greater impact for the Glory of God’s name

    “Greater impact” is code for what?

  88. BL wrote:

    I am asserting that multiple streams of churchianity are pursuing the same *goal*.

    So who is left?

  89. With TWW, it is interesting how the question of who will be king in the SBC evolves into who is who in the bigger picture. Very informative. This often happens with these posts. Qualitative research or case study turns into quantitative or scaled truth.

  90. Bridget wrote:

    I think they have missed the point of what Jesus was about, doing, and advocating.

    Men who crave power and authority, hidden in the guise of churchianity usually do.

    Just as the Jews were expecting the Messiah to restore the physical kingdom of Israel, today’s dominionists are expecting (and working toward) restoring a physical kingdom.

    They IGNORE Jesus’ words “My kingdom is NOT of this world” and jump all the way back to Genesis and God’s words to Adam.

  91. Bridget wrote:

    BL wrote:

    I am asserting that multiple streams of churchianity are pursuing the same *goal*.

    I think they have missed the point of what Jesus was about, doing, and advocating.

    As long as people are convinced they need some spiritual guru to tell them how to live or what to believe, we will continue to see this problem. when they figure out they can govern themselves maybe this could change?

  92. BL wrote:

    They IGNORE Jesus’ words “My kingdom is NOT of this world” and jump all the way back to Genesis and God’s words to Adam.

    The Bible as a smorgasbord, pick and choose.

  93. @ BL:
    I am quite familiar. Have even met both back in my mega days. Drucker literally changed the face of all non profits. Which is another reason secular non profits are led by folks making high 6 figures.

    BL wrote:

    group called Leadership Network (co-founded by Bob Buford, with its foundation based on Peter Drucker) has been instrumental in launching and networking some of the new leadership in churchianity.

  94. JYJames wrote:

    “Greater impact” is code for what?

    “Our role is to foster innovation movements that activate THE CHURCH to greater impact for the Glory of God’s name. What began in 1984 with 20 leaders now serves over 200,000 leaders all over the world.”

    To increase their effect and influence. To more effectively establish and enforce upon the church and then the world, their vision of what would glorify God’s name.

    Ultimately? It is code for Dominionism.

    They have networked, supported, promoted a diverse group of people who are the Who’s Who of churchianity.

    On the macro level – conferences, seminars, books, teaching materials, conference calls, online videos featuring the ‘leaders’ they have helped establish – on a national (actually it’s networked across the world) scale.

    Then on the micro level – there is a city-level networking where they bring the local pastors into the network by providing them with access to the national/world leaders.

    These local pastors receive (used to be faxes) emails, publications, guidelines, programs, free sermons, talking points, audio and visual media, and examples of how their strategies have been implemented in other locales.

    There is a large number of interlocking organizations, ministries, and leaders that have established connections from the national level all the way down to the smallest rural church.

    This is part of the reason we are seeing the same teachings, attitudes and actions across denominations and churches – they are all drinking from the same poisoned well.

  95. BL wrote:

    Note: I am NOT asserting that all of the above organizations and leaders are conspiring together as one (though there is some networking amongst them).

    I am asserting that multiple streams of churchianity are pursuing the same *goal*.

    BL, I’m not sure this fits, your inclusion of the City Transformation Movement brought triggered something. Several decades ago the pastors from most denominations in my community started meeting together. It was to be an expression of what the individual churches have in common, they say they leave their weapons at the door.

    Like many things that start, seem good, and has positive effect, I see that it also has significantly enhanced the divide between “pastors” and the people. For many of them, they have replaced meaningful relationships with people in the local church fellowship to which they serve with instead relationships with other pastors.

    All too often I hear their voiced concern not for believers in other local churches but for the other pastors. Their voiced prayers are not for believers in other churches but the pastors. Recently I noticed that events at various larger churches have a series of speakers, the speakers are almost entirely made up of pastors in the community and their commendations of other pastors at these events is disconcerting.

    I see a lot of similarity with Jesus describing religious leaders of his day. “they love the place of honor at feasts and the best seats in the churches and greetings in the marketplaces and being called pastor by others.”

    A local church here recently picked a new pastor, the prior one retiring. I know many that attend there and I am dumbfounded by the near “pastor worship” that I hear coming from them. Okay they guy is competent and can give a message without notes, but the verbal praises for what should be a humble servant reveals why the church in general is in such straights. With such adoration of pastors, no wonder so many narcissists are attracted.

  96. Sex Offender Pastor: News Roundup
    http://www.churchlawandtax.com/blog/2016/march/clergy-gender-pay-gap-spiritual-treatment-and-abuse-sex-off.html

    Connecticut Pastor Led Church for Five Years as Registered Sex Offender.
    “A pastor at a Baptist Church in New Haven, Connecticut, was allowed to continue leading his church for five years while on the state sex offender registry after a child-molestation conviction, letters from church officials and state court records show.

  97. @ BL:
    I am glad you take the birds eye view. It is the only way to make sense of what has happened over the last 40 years or so in Evangelicalism as a whole. Each movement/group sounds/looks more and more alike when you strip away their particular propaganda marketing niche whether it is CEO Jesus or the Determinist God.

  98. Bill M wrote:

    Like many things that start, seem good, and has positive effect, I see that it also has significantly enhanced the divide between “pastors” and the people. For many of them, they have replaced meaningful relationships with people in the local church fellowship to which they serve with instead relationships with other pastors.

    Bingo. This one is big and could be a topic of its own. It is now codified as the normal. I cannot tell you how many times I have seen SBC pastors on blogs warn against friendships with members. This is a 180 from how I grew up.

    They also talk of the importance of pastors meeting to encourage one another: hence the need for so many conferences. They go to get shored up for dealing with the enemy…errr…ignorant masses they must “lead”.

    They have unconsciously set up an us/them dichotomy. The priesthood of believer is dead. Soul liberty is dead.

  99. Pingback: None Of The Above | 1st Feline Battalion

  100. @ Daisy:

    More on that story:
    Breaking My Church’s Silence About A Pedophile
    http://www.courant.com/opinion/op-ed/hc-op-insight-keane-break-silence-about-pedophile-0320-20160318-story.html

    Snippets:

    by Rev Bill Keane

    I decided to make public the failure of my church hierarchy to expose one of its long-term ministers as a pedophile.

    On the contrary, last April, the annual report of the American Baptist Churches of Connecticut included praise and gratitude for Eli Echevarria, convicted four months before and sentenced to prison for possessing child pornography involving young girls down to toddlers. The printed endorsement nearly sucked the life out of my soul.

    …Given widespread accounts of sexual assaults in other churches and institutions spanning several decades, most people can’t fathom how authorities can fail to alert the community of predators in their midst.

    Unfortunately, there is an answer that crosses denominational lines. Silence sets in when the energy to guard the institution exceeds the concern for people the institution is supposed to protect. In my view, the institution tends to protect itself.

  101. Lydia wrote:

    As long as people are convinced they need some spiritual guru to tell them how to live or what to believe, we will continue to see this problem. when they figure out they can govern themselves maybe this could change?

    Remnant. There is always a remnant.

    For the organizational church, I do not believe that it will ever change. The history of the organizational church seems to prove that men who lead the church in times/areas of freedom from persecution will always choose the same path.

    In addition, the very structure of the organized church (across denominations) prohibits and undermines an individual’s ability to grow in their ability to be taught and guided by God.

  102. BL wrote:

    the very structure of the organized church (across denominations) prohibits and undermines an individual’s ability to grow in their ability to be taught and guided by God.

    I have not found that to be so in my personal life. So, for the sake of somebody who really does not see how that is possible (me) would you please elaborate somewhat on that idea.

  103. @ okrapod:

    I hit post comment too soon. Denominations vary in what is the structure of the organized church. What I do not see is how you could make such a blanket statement over such a diversity of church structures.

  104. Lydia wrote:

    They have unconsciously set up an us/them dichotomy. The priesthood of believer is dead.

    I somehow expected that within a denomination but when it starts happening between “pastors” in different denominations, it took me by surprise.

    When I left an authoritarian church and fled elsewhere, a colleague sent put a different spin on Eph 3:10 for me, “God’s purpose in all this was to use the church to display his wisdom in its rich variety to all the unseen rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.” Here’s to rich variety and may it stay that way.

  105. okrapod wrote:

    @ okrapod:
    I hit post comment too soon. Denominations vary in what is the structure of the organized church. What I do not see is how you could make such a blanket statement over such a diversity of church structures.

    okrapod wrote:

    Denominations vary in what is the structure of the organized church. What I do not see is how you could make such a blanket statement over such a diversity of church structures.

    Do you have a specific denomination or church structure in mind?

    Denominations: Assembly of God, Presbyterian PCUSA & PCIA, Southern Baptist, Non-Denominational, Charismatic, Independent Baptist, Church of Christ, Lutheran, Methodist, Episcopal, Pentecostal.

    Polity: Episcopal, presbyterian, congregational, pastor-led, elder-led, plural elder-led.

    I have time in, and experience with, all of the above.

    No matter the denomination or governing structure, organizational churches have much in common.

  106. @ mot:

    That was the only resolution in 1988 that looked like it might be it since the ‘affirmed’ but limited the scope of what priesthood of the believer meant and ended declaring that the pastor was none the less leader of the church. I thought that might be it.

  107. Bill M wrote:

    BL, I’m not sure this fits, your inclusion of the City Transformation Movement brought triggered something. Several decades ago the pastors from most denominations in my community started meeting together.

    Like many things that start, seem good, and has positive effect, I see that it also has significantly enhanced the divide between “pastors” and the people. For many of them, they have replaced meaningful relationships with people in the local church fellowship to which they serve with instead relationships with other pastors.

    Mission America Coalition, City Reaching, Loving Our Communities to Christ, Lighthouse Movement, City Impact Roundtable, City Transformations, National Pastors Prayer Network – all interrelated.

    Community transformation – Their push is to have only one church per city or community. Hence the networking of the pastors in a city or community.

    Leaders from these national organizations contact local pastors and urge them into networking. Many of these programs are a financial form of Amway. The national leaders that come in with training and materials AND FUNDING (initially) become the ‘advisor’ for that city.

    Money then flows from the city to the organizational leaders for the assistance & oversight. The organizer usually comes back to the city every year for an extended weekend to update, encourage and pick up his check.

    Again the interlocking people and organizations: Paul Cedar (Mission America) and Peter Wagner (New Apostolic Reformation) and Ray Ortlund (The Gospel Coalition) go way back.

    Mission America (Paul Cedar) wants city pastors to network together, no matter what doctrinal differences they might have. So, no pastor has to change or alter his denominational leanings, they just have to get together – because the goal is to have ONE churchy organization per city or community.

    Having one per city is very useful to the New Apostolic Reformation (Peter Wagner) folks, because it is their stated goal to have an Apostle over every city.

    And The Gospel Coalition (Ray Ortlund) quotes Peter Wagner’s whack-a-doodle spiritual warfare nonsense, amongst other teachings.

    For context, Peter Wagner claims (and is acknowledged by many of churchianity’s elite) that he is the leading apostle in the New Apostolic Reformation.

    And in this ‘office’ he ‘decreed’ some upcoming apostolic glories upon Todd Bentley (the kick ’em in the head and let Jesus heal ’em guy involved in the Pensacola craziness) about 4 weeks before the very public revelation of Bentley affair with a young assistant and his drunkenness during ‘ministry’.

    It’s a bunch of religious incestuousness that causes a constant demeaning of the name of Christ. Looking through the connections is like playing that old 6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon game.

    Except all of these groups can usually be connected in less than 3 degrees.

  108. Lydia wrote:

    I am quite familiar. Have even met both back in my mega days. Drucker literally changed the face of all non profits. Which is another reason secular non profits are led by folks making high 6 figures.

    He has changed churchianity as well.

    With many of those churches led by folks making high 6 figures.

  109. @ BL:

    You have quite a religions background it seems. Over the course of the greater part of a century I have been baptist (way back in the day) then methodist and now episcopalian and nobody ever even tried to limit much less ‘prohibit’ my spiritual growth in any way, nor do I see how they could get that done if they tried.

    Nobody wanted an account from me of what I read or what I believed (unless I volunteered the information) or what classes I took in school or where I stood on political issues or what my conversations were with people on the job or where I worked or, or, or. I just do not see that they had any systems in place to do that and I did not hear anybody trying to set up any procedures to do so. Nobody tried to ‘prohibit’ anything–that is such a strong word–implies some sort of enforcement system, but no such thing was in place.

    Now I do hear evangelicals complaining about neo-cal evangelical churches, but since I have never had any dealings with that crowd I take their word for the horrors they describe. But you did not limit your condemnation of church organizational structures to that group and this is where we differ.

    So, how is it that let us say the UMC or the TEC ‘prohibits and undermines an individual’s ability to grow in their ability to be taught and guided by God’? Really? The whole world can easily see that methodists and episcopalians are all over the place in beliefs and practices. If there is anything about that which looks like a bunch of prohibited or stunted or controlled or intimidated people I sure do not see it.

  110. Lydia wrote:

    Bill M wrote:
    Like many things that start, seem good, and has positive effect, I see that it also has significantly enhanced the divide between “pastors” and the people. For many of them, they have replaced meaningful relationships with people in the local church fellowship to which they serve with instead relationships with other pastors.
    Bingo. This one is big and could be a topic of its own. It is now codified as the normal. I cannot tell you how many times I have seen SBC pastors on blogs warn against friendships with members. This is a 180 from how I grew up.
    They also talk of the importance of pastors meeting to encourage one another: hence the need for so many conferences. They go to get shored up for dealing with the enemy…errr…ignorant masses they must “lead”.
    They have unconsciously set up an us/them dichotomy. The priesthood of believer is dead. Soul liberty is dead.

    Oh my, this is so true….they all think they are better than the average pew sitter……

  111. Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:

    “Psalm 18:26 condones using deceit to accomplish God’s will”

    That is a deceitful stretch of a passage to justify New Calvinism’s stealth and deception, which are sins. It is never right to do wrong. Seminary professors who teach young rebels to go out and takeover churches by lying their way into pulpits will be judged.

  112. okrapod wrote:

    You have quite a religions background it seems.

    That is a kind way of looking at it! 😉

    But, I see where I was not clear enough.

    I was more specifically thinking of the structure of the church *when it meets*.

    Also, I see a difference between spiritual knowledge and spiritual growth.

    For example, I can read books, listen to audio, and watch video about topics as varied as driving a car or performing surgery. I could then have a great deal of *knowledge* about these topics.

    But, until that knowledge is used to actually drive a car or perform that surgery – my ability is limited. And the more that I drive a car and perform that surgery – the greater is my growth as a driver or surgeon.

    We are a body, comprised of many AND different parts.

    Different gifts, different functions, different experiences, different needs. Comprised that way by God, so that as each contributes, the body *exercises* and in doing so is built up, unifies, and matures.

    When the body gathers together do we see the BODY function?

    No. When we gather together, the only part working is one man’s mouth.

    And the majority of people sitting in the pews have not given thought to bringing something to offer that might encourage, minister to, build up their fellow members. What did they exercise? What did they contribute?

    So, there we are, gathered together yet isolated within ourselves, as all listen while one man speaks.

    What if Susie could have shared how the Spirit of God ministered to her mom as she breathed her last and restored their broken relationship in the hospital that week?

    And John could have found encouragement from Susie’s testimony as he has been dreading making hospice arrangements for his furious-about-it dad in the coming week.

    And Jilly finally understands why Luke 1:17 had been repeating itelf in her head all week and guiding her prayers – and she shares that with the members.

    And what happens? Well, the attention focuses on the goodness of God instead of the talking guy in the pulpit. The joints and ligaments of the body are strengthened as member ministers to member. And God is glorified, because GOD is the only One Who knows what each specific gathering of His body needs.

    Otherwise, in our regularly scheduled sermon, the topic was tithing.

    Quench the Spirit? He didn’t even have a chance…

  113. Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:

    “Psalm 18:26 condones using deceit to accomplish God’s will”

    Seminary professors who teach young students to go astray need to flip the page over to Proverbs. There’s a passage that describes New Calvinism tactics to takeover churches, and what God thinks about it:

    “The Lord hates six things; in fact, seven are detestable to Him: arrogant eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that plots wicked schemes,
    feet eager to run to evil, a lying witness who gives false testimony, and one who stirs up trouble among brothers” (Proverbs 6:16-19).

    Let’s see how many of these apply to New Calvinism: arrogance, lies, schemes, divisiveness. These are not fruit of the Holy Spirit … and the Lord hates it!!

  114. BL wrote:

    Leaders from these national organizations contact local pastors and urge them into networking. Many of these programs are a financial form of Amway. The national leaders that come in with training and materials AND FUNDING (initially) become the ‘advisor’ for that city.

    Money then flows from the city to the organizational leaders for the assistance & oversight. The organizer usually comes back to the city every year for an extended weekend to update, encourage and pick up his check.

    Thanks BL. I will save your comment and keep my ears open.

    I’ve bailed out from church leadership as I’m burned out on institutional church but am still involved with local non-profits. I keep intercepting attempts to turn part of the mission focus away from regular people and towards pastors, to add pastors to the board, to minister to pastors in some way.

    A long the way I have noticed that the local non-profit boards become more authoritarian over time, less openness in the agenda, more rubber stamp committees for the directors. I am still trying to articulate objections and provide a more compelling rebuttal to the whole leadership and pastor mindset.

    It is hard enough to keep oneself from adopting the herd mentality, trying to get folks to listen to another point of view and come to their own conclusions is near impossible. Also getting older patience seems to wear thin and registering effective opposition to this stuff without being dismissed as some ornery naysayer may be more than this old guy can contend with.

  115. Lydia wrote:

    Drucker literally changed the face of all non profits. Which is another reason secular non profits are led by folks making high 6 figures.

    Have you read a good articulation in opposition to Drucker?

  116. Max wrote:

    Seminary professors who teach young rebels to go out and takeover churches by lying their way into pulpits will be judged.

    “Not many [of you] should become teachers [serving in an official teaching capacity], my brothers and sisters, for you know that we [who are teachers] will be judged by a higher standard [because we have assumed greater accountability and more condemnation if we teach incorrectly]” (James 3:1 Amplified).

  117. @ BL:

    Well, I do think that how a service is conducted is important and I hope you can find a place that meets your needs. In my experience the baptists and the methodists and the episcopalians have plenty of opportunity for testimony time, but the kind of service you talk about is not how a worship service is done. My church is liturgical with only a short homily instead of a long sermon and I don’t think I could sit through any long sermons like some people here describe. Actually I probably could not sit through some sermons without leaping up mid sermon and denouncing the preacher as a heretic and a dunce. Best I should stay where I am.

  118. Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:

    At SBTS it was openly taught by several professors, that this was acceptable because “people don’t really understand Calvinism”, and “you can’t compromise correct theology just to get a pastorate”, and “its better to teach them the truth anyway”, and (I kid you not) “Psalm 18:26 condones using deceit to accomplish God’s will”.

    My former Christian cult promoted lying as well using John 7:8 in which Jesus said he would not go up to the feast of tabernacles, but later goes anyway.

  119. I should be more accurate and say *justified* lying, because lying was only acceptable if it served to benefit the goals of our church. The end justified the means.

  120. Darlene wrote:

    My former Christian cult promoted lying as well using John 7:8 in which Jesus said he would not go up to the feast of tabernacles, but later goes anyway.

    Uhhhh … Jesus was without sin … lying is sin. That’s why you referred to the ministry of your former church as a cult. Jesus went here and there as directed by the Holy Spirit; that’s why He could change his mind if we wanted to.

  121. Max wrote:

    Jesus went here and there as directed by the Holy Spirit; that’s why He could change his mind if we wanted to.

    I meant to say “… He could change his mind if He wanted to” … not “we”

  122. @ Bill M:
    The Drucker craze was pre internet. I know from the training industry back in the day, he was hailed as a great guru on par with the likes of Deming. I did not connect the dots until much later. It would make for some interesting research, though.

  123. okrapod wrote:

    I don’t think I could sit through any long sermons like some people here describe. Actually I probably could not sit through some sermons without leaping up mid sermon and denouncing the preacher as a heretic and a dunce. Best I should stay where I am.

    I can relate. :o)

  124. Thanks for the responses. I attend a small SBC church in a Podunk flyover state. The church is great. However, I reeeaally struggle with tithing. I had concerns with the imb fiasco and how political Russell Moore is. I really love and want to support my church, but I can’t stand that my money (even if it’s a tiny %) goes to their paycheck.

  125. Max wrote:

    Darlene wrote:
    My former Christian cult promoted lying as well using John 7:8 in which Jesus said he would not go up to the feast of tabernacles, but later goes anyway.
    Uhhhh … Jesus was without sin … lying is sin. That’s why you referred to the ministry of your former church as a cult. Jesus went here and there as directed by the Holy Spirit; that’s why He could change his mind if we wanted to.

    Changing your mind is not a sin for, goodness sake. Deceiving people is much different than changing your mind.

  126. @ Bill M:
    You have articulated well what has gone on with so many non profits.

    I am with you on patience wearing thin to deal with uphill battles in such a venue where the rubber stamp is expected. in my view authoritarianism (often in the guise of the ego of cult of persoality) is the underlying problem not only in church but government, profit and non profit sectors, too.

  127. @ Beaux:
    I would not give them a dime. You can designate to your church only. This works best in an open system where the budget is developed and voted on by members. In my former SBC churches, the pastors were not involved in the budget process.

  128. BL wrote:

    When the body gathers together do we see the BODY function? No. When we gather together, the only part working is one man’s mouth. And the majority of people sitting in the pews have not given thought to bringing something to offer that might encourage, minister to, build up their fellow members. What did they exercise? What did they contribute?

    BL, sadly you have described much of the church I have been accustomed to. Somewhere along the way, over the last 2,000 years, we have drifted from the eternal plan for the Body of Christ. Whose job is the ministry? All of us have a role (priesthood of the believer). Unfortunately, most folks just come to hear the mouth, rather than exercise the other parts of the body. And the mouth up front will get us off track if we’re not careful. Someday, some little ole church will get it right and genuine ministry by the whole body will break out! Power, peace and joy will rest upon it.

  129. BL wrote:

    As far as I can tell, the leaven has worked its way all through the dough.

    Perhaps, there are individuals who are not yet sold out, however, there is no “Martin Luther” or leadership figure to publicly nail the document on the public door, yet.

  130. @ Beaux:
    I have been a Southern Baptist for soon to be 42 years. The IMB fiasco has definitely changed how I will be giving to my church. I will with the Lord’s help find a way to get money to where it needs to go for ministry. But I am not going to support the big boys of the SBC.

  131. Lydia wrote:

    Bill M wrote:
    Like many things that start, seem good, and has positive effect, I see that it also has significantly enhanced the divide between “pastors” and the people. For many of them, they have replaced meaningful relationships with people in the local church fellowship to which they serve with instead relationships with other pastors.
    Bingo. This one is big and could be a topic of its own. It is now codified as the normal. I cannot tell you how many times I have seen SBC pastors on blogs warn against friendships with members. This is a 180 from how I grew up.
    They also talk of the importance of pastors meeting to encourage one another: hence the need for so many conferences. They go to get shored up for dealing with the enemy…errr…ignorant masses they must “lead”.
    They have unconsciously set up an us/them dichotomy. The priesthood of believer is dead. Soul liberty is dead.

    We need a new Luther pinning the theses’ on the door, rebelling against the pastor/priest class. The theses’ might not be that different from 1519.

  132. Lydia wrote:

    I cannot tell you how many times I have seen SBC pastors on blogs warn against friendships with members. This is a 180 from how I grew up.

    Am I correct that you grew up as part of a family which we would today see as belonging to the church insider circle? The reason I ask that is how often you describe how you grew up and I look at how I grew up and see so much difference. When I was young pastors were discouraged from friendships with church members because it would lead to and be seen to be favoritism whereas the pastor was supposed to not show favoritism. Obviously that whole idea about favorites has changed, but at the time we had more than one person explain to us that there would be nothing ‘personal’ with the pastor by any ‘special’ people. I could understand that at the time because similar rules applied to lawyers and I never saw my Dad get ‘personal’ with clients. Available, yes, personal no.

    Perhaps that was a good idea for pastors which degraded into snobbery as time went on.

  133. @ okrapod:
    My mom was not an “inner circle” type at all. At.all. We were in many different churches. Including inner city ones. Favoritism was considered a big no no by both my parents in all realms. It would not have occurred to them to treat a janitor any differently than a pastor, etc. I am glad I was raised that way. It helps me see individuals, not just groups or castes as so many have been conditioned to see people these days.

    The CBF churches I have visited over the last 10 years probably come closest to what I experienced growing up with more of a focus on the priesthood and soul competency. Even though those terms may not be really used you can see it in how they operate and feel it in their culture. Maybe we were more CBF types sans the politics?

    I have a hard time putting personal friendships with legal clients in the same category as those in the Body of Christ.

  134. Lydia wrote:

    I have a hard time putting personal friendships with legal clients in the same category as those in the Body of Christ.

    I don’t. For two reasons: (1) I was talking specifically about pastors, and (2) we have just seen a case of favoritism when it comes to rape of a minor; we have suggested that there is something personal at work in that case. When it gets personal then objectivity flies out the window. Hence, doctors are not supposed to treat their own families except if it is very minor or very catastrophically an emergency.

    When it gets personal then people in fact do not treat everybody the same-as in your illustration of the housekeeping staff.

    What I was wondering, however, was if your mother was not more a part of the ‘staff’ as being in the music department than was my father who was no way ‘staff’ and whether that would account for what you observed as different from what I observed. If that was not the case, as frankly I have no idea as to how the musicians relate to the pastors and such, then I will have to look for other explanations.

    The next idea that I have as a possibility is that perhaps they were saying one thing while doing another. Perhaps they wanted us to believe that they acted one way while all the time it was not the case. And perhaps you clued into that and I did not. That would not be an unreasonable explanation since I pretty much did not care what was going on and still now pretty much avoid church politics with major concerted effort. I am still talking about personal relationships between pastors and parishioners. I thought it was definitely a no-no and I thought we understood and respected that.

  135. @ okrapod:

    Now let me add this. I would love to think that I have some original and unique ideas, but alas I have found that this is not so. I am thinking that if I tuned into the kind of thinking that I am talking about then that idea is bound to have been out there and perhaps the current attitude toward the clergy is not new but merely accentuated what with all the money and power of the current mega church clergy.

    In talking about why people do what they do-why do they let the clergy isolate and elevate themselves, why do they tolerate clerical prosperity, why do they fawn over doctoral degrees, why do the want long sermons and precise instructions then I am perhaps trying to make a case that all of that fits right into an older idea of understanding the role of the pastor-as especially set aside for the gospel ministry if I remember the terminology adequately.

  136. okrapod wrote:

    I don’t. For two reasons: (1) I was talking specifically about pastors, and (2) we have just seen a case of favoritism when it comes to rape of a minor; we have suggested that there is something personal at work in that case. When it gets personal then objectivity flies out the window.

    I do not believe at all that it was a case of favoritism at all.

    Had the rape been on the other foot, if you will, and Joe’s family was not willing to forgive, forget, show the appropriate obsequiousness to the leadership, move on and shut up, they would have received the exact same treatment as did Shauna.

    Case after case that has come to light, reveals the same pattern over and over.

    It has nothing to do with the specific perps and victims – and has everything to do with protecting the leadership’s status quo.

    The perps are almost always willing to go along with the leadership, because both the leadership and the perps want the same thing. That no one talks about it, no one else knows about it, everyone pretends that it never happened, and let’s all continue on.

    THIS is why the churchianity leaders end up siding with the perps – they have the SAME goals.

  137. @ BL:

    Perhaps so. Both sides of that have been discussed by commenters here and it will be interesting to see how that plays out. I am more than ready to believe either scenario at this point.

  138. @ Deb:

    Thank you for making that correction, Deb. I greatly appreciate it!

    I am glad your daughters have found church homes. I rejoice with you as well, that God shut that door at SEBTS. He did the same for my wife and me, but it took me longer to realize it.

  139. Max wrote:

    enticement is sort of like the drug dealer on the street corner across from school giving away stuff to get you hooked

    The following announcement just popped up in my email inbox: http://www.baptisttwentyone.com/2016/03/registration-for-the-b21-panel-at-sbc-st-louis-is-now-open/

    This is another “enticement” that the New Calvinists use to encourage a gathering of the YRR at SBC’s annual convention. Baptist21 is a primary SBC organization which feeds the New Calvinist movement. Check out the list of speakers at their conference this year: J.D. Greear, David Platt, Matt Chandler, Al Mohler, Danny Akin, Russ Moore … a literal who’s who list of New Calvinist leaders within SBC.

    And the pew ain’t got a clue.

  140. Max wrote:

    And the pew ain’t got a clue.

    Well, I hope you are correct about cluelessness because I suppose that carries with it some degree of innocence unless it is willful ignorance. But here locally I am not so sure how clueless the pew persons are at the local SBC mega. I only have three reasons for thinking that and none of those reasons is very solid as evidence.

    One reason is that the few of the pew whom we still run into, since a family member exited that scene, are anything but clueless. But that is just a few and not enough to say much about the rest.

    The second reason is that this particular church has from its inception been the most conservative of the large SBC and former SBC churches in the area and they have marketed themselves as that. It would take a heap of mental dullness for anybody over there not to get some sort of picture of what neo-cal is all about. I even understand what is being said from their pulpit from listening to some of their sermons on line and from seeing who they get for guest speaker special events. One of which recently was Mohler.

    The third reason is that they have the only local private high school which is both academically excellent and remotely within our price range (if that) and when we went over there to talk to the people they of their own initiative made sure that we understood that the school was not-was not-and was not insisting on the same religious beliefs at the school that the church was teaching. They brought up YEC vs old earth to get into that discussion. They assumed that we knew what the church was teaching, so I am thinking that if they assume that the public knows what is going on (we being the public) then they must surely think that their own pew persons know what is going on. But that is an assumption which again is wobbly reasoning.

    It hurts to say so, but I tend to not think that the pew persons are nearly as clueless and therefore unaccountable as I would like to think, at least not locally. And BTW, one of the staff pastors who did not get hired as lead pastor in this church recently went to Summit in Raleigh as an executive pastor. Birds of a feather.

  141. Burwell wrote:

    The Summit is a very contemporary church – dark, well lit stage, high quality music performance, pastor/preacher is the central focus … no real community. You only get to know each other in care groups, which study the pastor’s sermon and hold each other accountable. One can come and go the church without knowing or even really speaking to anyone else. Not the Biblical model in my opinion

    This is modus operandi at SBC-YRR church plants in my area. Cool music with talented musicians is the primary draw to these places, along with the free coffee and pastries in the foyer. Regardless of the number of members in these “churches”, the pastor is not approachable. He turns over all the “ministry” to core groups (they call them LifeGroups here). Small groups are a way to control the indoctrination and the members. Each Sunday, Mr. Cool is propped up on stage under a spotlight to deliver a non-gospel message. You won’t find him visiting sick and hurting folks through the week; he won’t leave the coffee shop where he twitters his life away, re-tweeting Piper Points. This is the biggest sham to hit American Christianity, but a great number of 20s-40s love it this way. “The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?” (Jeremiah 5:31).

  142. okrapod wrote:

    I hope you are correct about cluelessness because I suppose that carries with it some degree of innocence unless it is willful ignorance

    Cluelessness always carries a responsibility with it, whether it is innocent or not. It is the responsibility of every Christian to pray for discernment in these matters, to seek God’s face, and to act accordingly. Southern Baptists, at large, are not doing this … and New Calvinism has walked in unhindered in far too many places.

  143. Steve Gaines’ sermons on tithing (which are his “thing”) are horrific. Do and say anything to the congregation to guilt them into giving their last pennies to the local 401(c) or 403(b)…I mean, the Lord. God will curse you for withholding his money, which of course ignores the fact that 90% of the money given to the churches goes to maintain , the church, the staff, the insurance, the stage lights for “worship”, etc.

    He’s known for being the guy other churches invite to speak when they want to shake down the congregation into giving more. He should be an embarrassment to the SBC, and what he does is absolutely unethical.

    I don’t know anything about J.D., but it’s hard to imagine he’s worse than Gaines…but with TGC ties, he might be. The SBC sealed it’s fate with the conservative “resurgence” years ago. The only thing left to do is to take down the rest.

    I am at least glad the J.D. involved isn’t J.D. Hall.

    Here’s some Gaines theology for you: https://vimeo.com/86522894

    This is even worse: https://vimeo.com/78973009

    How about even worse than that one? (This is the one quoted in the article): https://vimeo.com/38351377

    Another folks: https://vimeo.com/28984615

    Want more?: https://vimeo.com/25896597

  144. @ okrapod:
    I honestly think a separate clergy class has been the accepted historical position. Those who functioned outside that paradigm were the outliers.

  145. Lydia wrote:

    @ okrapod:
    I honestly think a separate clergy class has been the accepted historical position. Those who functioned outside that paradigm were the outliers.

    Once the church got larger than the human troop-size limit (100-150 individuals), some sort of specialization and hierarchy was inevitable.

  146. BL wrote:

    It has nothing to do with the specific perps and victims – and has everything to do with protecting the leadership’s status quo.
    The perps are almost always willing to go along with the leadership, because both the leadership and the perps want the same thing. That no one talks about it, no one else knows about it, everyone pretends that it never happened, and let’s all continue on.

    “Everything’s so Nice Nice Nice, AND DON’T YOU DARE ROCK THE BOAT!”

    Just like an Alcoholic Abusive family.
    There is NO elephant (hic!) in the living room.

  147. mot wrote:

    @ Beaux:
    I have been a Southern Baptist for soon to be 42 years. The IMB fiasco has definitely changed how I will be giving to my church. I will with the Lord’s help find a way to get money to where it needs to go for ministry. But I am not going to support the big boys of the SBC.

    “Open your window, lean out into the street, and yell after me: ‘I’M MAD AS HELL AND I’M NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANY MORE!!!!!'”
    — either the movie Network or Donald Trump, take your pick

  148. Lydia wrote:

    @ Bill M:
    The Drucker craze was pre internet. I know from the training industry back in the day, he was hailed as a great guru on par with the likes of Deming.

    I remember Drucker being a big thing in business management classes at Cal Poly, circa 1976-78.

  149. BL wrote:

    To increase their effect and influence. To more effectively establish and enforce upon the church and then the world, their vision of what would glorify God’s name.
    Ultimately? It is code for Dominionism.

    And Dominionism is code for “The Handmaid’s Tale as How-To Manual.”
    “Just like Great Leader Calvin in Geneva.”
    “Just like an Islamic Republic, Except CHRISTIAN(TM)!”

    50-60 years ago, these Young, Restless, and Truly Reformed would be totally into Communism instead of Calvinism.

  150. prodinov wrote:

    both still live in homes slightly above the average congregant…according to tax records Steve Gaines home is assessed at $309,000 in Shelby County. J.D. Greear, his home is assessed at $539,000 in Raleigh.

    Her in Da O.C. $309 grand would get you a small one-bedroom condo and and $539 grand an actual three-bedroom house with a back yard just big enough to fit a pool.

    In Shelby County and Raleigh, what’s the median price for say a 1000-1200 sg ft three-bedroom house with an actual back yard? That would give a more valid comparison; you could say Pastor so-and-so’s house & estate is four-five times as pricy as a typical house in the area.

  151. Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:

    This is like choosing between Satan and Beelzebub.

    Or the choice given German voters in their 1932 elections: Hitler or Stalin’s Minions?

    “Whichever one wins, Germany loses.”
    The World at War, Episode 1: Germany 1933-39

  152. @ okrapod:
    I admit I am not following you. We might be talking about 2 different positions: What is and what should be. I view pastor as one function within the body. Same with elder, teacher, deacon, etc. I don’t view any of those as an office or elevated position… although history has taught that as the normal. I realize we probably disagree on that and that is OK.

    This is really going to sound weird but before the CR, music programs at church were typically separate with lots of choirs, training, etc which meant more pew involvement than the worship leader model we see today. Mohler changed that focus, too. The once excellent music program at SBTS is now SGM worship leader stuff. The classical/choir aspect is dead.

    The SBC churches I grew up in voted on everything. They had Wed night business meetings once a month for the entire church. People today find that a bore and would rather a hand full of guys make all the decisions for them and their money.

  153. Daisy wrote:

    Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:
    (part 1)
    At SBTS it was openly taught by several professors, that this was acceptable because “people don’t really understand Calvinism”, and “you can’t compromise correct theology just to get a pastorate”, and “its better to teach them the truth anyway”,
    (part 2)
    and (I kid you not) “Psalm 18:26 condones using deceit to accomplish God’s will”.
    This is one of several problems I have with Calvinism or Calvinists.
    Debating with Calvinists is like trying to herd cats. They shift the goal posts constantly. They always like to tell you that you just don’t understand Calvinism, so they outright dismiss any and every criticism or argument you make.
    But, when you ask ‘Tom the Calvinist’ to explain Calvinist to you in her own words, and he does, and then, so, four months later you use his explanation when debating Hank the Calvinist, Hank is like, “You don’t understand Calvinism.”
    So you say, “But Hank, Tom told me ‘blah blah blah’ is what Calvinists believe.” Then Hank says, “Well Tom is wrong!! He doesn’t really understand Calvinism.”
    A lot of Calvinists play that game (I experienced the same situation when debating people of another particular religious view).
    Even when I went to Calvinist sites to read blurbs about Cal by historical Cal guys regarded as eggs-perts about Cal, layperson Cals on forums would tell me that Mr. Historical Cal was wrong when I quoted Mr Historical Cal guy’s quotes at them.
    Each Calvinist has his or her unique definitions of TULIP / Calvinism. They disagree with each other all the time.
    There might be a few points they agree with each other on overall, but when you get down to the nitty gritty, or some of the other areas, they disagree.
    It’s like Calvinists do not even know what Calvinism is.
    WW needs to do a story just on the idea/report that seminary is condoning/teaching use of deceit? Upon reading the verse, they are basically calling the people at the churches crooked?
    Really, is that what they think?? How would the average pew sitting think of that?? My jaw is still on the floor…

    (It’s similar with gender comp and how complementarians behave regarding comp.) Yet, they accuse dissenters of not understanding Calvinism.
    Part 2. Using deception to do God’s will.
    That is like Islamic taqiyya.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taqiya
    Why do some Christians keep emulating Muslims or Mormons on some stuff?

  154. BL wrote:

    I do not believe at all that it was a case of favoritism at all.

    I’m inclined to agree with you. With authoritarian leaders, they appear to value subservience and loyalty over most everything.

  155. Lydia wrote:

    I honestly think a separate clergy class has been the accepted historical position. Those who functioned outside that paradigm were the outliers.

    I think you’re right. The Levites who took care of everything YAWEH, the Egyptian priests who looked after and were attentive to the needs of the gods, or even the post Constantine and post Reformation churches; all share this common thread of a specialized class.

  156. Max wrote:

    It is the responsibility of every Christian to pray for discernment in these matters, to seek God’s face, and to act accordingly. Southern Baptists, at large, are not doing this … and New Calvinism has walked in unhindered in far too many places.

    You may be right, but there is also the possibility that people do pray and seek God’s face and still think that the neo-cal teachings are correct and consistent with scripture. I don’t subscribe to the idea that if people would only pray and/or be discerning that they would necessarily reject what is going on. I think there may be a lot of true believers in the neo-cal teachings.

    For example, in my extended family we did a lot of research and study and prayer and discussion and ended up with some conclusions which would be anathema to some folks here. Not neo-cal I might add. I just don’t see how we could assume what people’s conclusions would be if only they would study and pray about something.

  157. @ Lydia:

    I am not at all talking about what should be, mainly because I do not think there is a rigid ‘should be’ that can be determined by scripture. The church at Corinth was quite apparently different with different issues than the issues discussed in the Timothy epistles. I don’t see scripture rejecting either apparent style, but that is just how I see it. So, no, I am only talking about how I perceived things in the past, for better or worse.

  158. okrapod wrote:

    I just don’t see how we could assume what people’s conclusions would be if only they would study and pray about something.

    The Holy Spirit was sent to lead us into Truth. It is possible to study and pray without seeking the Holy Spirit’s leading and come up entirely with the wrong view about something. God has only one plan of salvation. This is a test within SBC over who has a corner on the Truth regarding the eternal destiny of souls. The New Calvinists are convinced that they have come into the world for such a time as this to restore the gospel to the Southern Baptist Convention which lost it over the years. And the traditionalist non-Calvinist majority within SBC equally think they have the correct gospel message. Can two distinctly different soteriologies co-exist in a single denomination going forward?

    Effective evangelism and worldwide mission depend on a common and clear message of the cross of Christ. I have listened carefully to the arguments posed by both sides pertaining to the soteriological debate and know that the BFM2000 revision allows sufficient wiggle room for theological diversity under the SBC big tent. I have diligently studied Bible passages used to defend Calvinist vs. non-Calvinist belief and practice. I have heard the reformed rhetoric about forsaking our roots, abandoning the rich theological heritage of SBC’s founders, losing the gospel in the 20th century, and today’s widespread Biblical ignorance in 45,000+ SBC pulpits and pews. Frankly, I’m growing weary with this distraction while millions die in darkness. A once great evangelistic denomination has surrendered too much ground.

    At some point, I see an SBC split over this … and that might not be a bad idea. Charles Finney, an evangelist in the 19th century, had some good advice in this regard:

    “It is evident that many more Churches need to be divided. How many there are that hold together, and yet do no good, for the simple reason that they are not sufficiently agreed. They do not think alike, nor feel alike … and while this is so, they never can work together. Unless they can be brought to such a change of views and feelings as will unite them, they are only a hindrance to each other and to the work of God. In many cases they see and feel that this is so, and yet they keep together, conscientiously, for fear that a division should dishonor religion, when in fact the division that now exists may be making religion a by-word and a reproach. Far better would it be if they would agree to divide amicably, like Abraham and Lot. ‘If thou will take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, I will go to the left.’ Let them separate, and each party work in its own way; and they may both enjoy the blessing.” (Charles G. Finney, Revivals of Religion, Lecture XVI: The Necessity and Effect of Union)

  159. Jeffrey Chalmers wrote:

    Why do some Christians keep emulating Muslims or Mormons on some stuff?

    In general:

    Humans following the way the world does things, will do things the same way humans have always done throughout the ages. Across ages, nations, religions.

    Humans actually following Christ will not do things the same way the world does and has always done.

    Inasmuch as we see churches/christians emulating the world, then no matter what their words or doctrines or beliefs or teachings may be – they are following the world and not Christ.

    All their whining aside about all being sinners saved by grace, we are to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him.

    And no, I am not speaking to perfection and never sinning.

    I am speaking of their ongoing pursuit of power, wealth, reputation, recognition, novelty, submission of others.

    Of their pursuit (unashamedly!) of incorporating the ways of the corporate world, the marketing world, the consumer world, the entertainment world into their churches.

    Do the things the world does? – you’re of the world.

    Do the things that Christ did? – you’re of Christ.

    We have GOT TO STOP relying on what people SAY. It is what people DO, that reveals what they really believe, and what is really in their heart.

    We have GOT TO STOP excusing sin in leadership by referring to ‘how much they helped me, how much I was blessed by their ministry, how they never did anything like that to me!’

    I became a Christian while in a Christian shepherding/discipleship cult. I was not personally abused, attacked, shamed, or mistreated. Many others were. That I encountered God in a cult, doesn’t mean that I can therefore excuse or ignore what was done to others in that same cult by the leadership.

    Too often, however, that seems to be exactly what believers are doing.

    There is disbelief that leadership coulda/woulda done such a thing.

    Then there is belief that the person crying out BROUGHT IT UPON THEMSELVES.

    And as soon as that person is gone, throw a rug over the blood, rearrange the chairs, and go on as if nothing ever happened – because it didn’t happen to you.

  160. @ BL:
    Weird…. Something is up with the WW program…
    I left a post responding the idea that the seminary was teaching pastors to be deceitful, citing the Psalms passage, not what is shows me responding to…..

  161. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    BL wrote:

    50-60 years ago, these Young, Restless, and Truly Reformed would be totally into Communism instead of Calvinism.

    Man, I am so glad you said this, I was certainly thinking it….

  162. Daisy wrote:

    Part 2. Using deception to do God’s will.
    That is like Islamic taqiyya.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taqiya
    Why do some Christians keep emulating Muslims or Mormons on some stuff?

    From some party conversation long ago, someone proposed the idea that Islam is “an end-stage religion”, like some sort of religious stable low-energy rest state. At the bottom of a energy trough that once you’re in it is very hard to rise out of; entropy keeps pulling you back to the bottom of the trough.

    And as I understand it, present-day takkiya is a case of Interpretation for Personal Advantage. Originally, the doctrine was a variant of “is it a sin to lie for your own survival or the survival of others?”. Let entropy (and self-interest) set in for long enough, and it becomes “lie if it’s to your own (and The Cause’s) advantage.” We’ve seen this pattern in the history of Christianity as well as Islam.

  163. BL wrote:

    I became a Christian while in a Christian shepherding/discipleship cult. I was not personally abused, attacked, shamed, or mistreated. Many others were. That I encountered God in a cult, doesn’t mean that I can therefore excuse or ignore what was done to others in that same cult by the leadership.

    Too often, however, that seems to be exactly what believers are doing.

    “But Souls Were Being Saved!” is just Christianese for “The End Justifies the Means”.

    “Souls(TM)”, NOT people, are just Christian Currency, spiritual money.

  164. HUG….by looking at Zillow or Realtor.com, the numbers are still quite disconcerting surrounding those in the ministry who live so far beyond the averages nationwide. In Sheldy county, average house price is $147,500, therefore Gaines is living in a home 100% above average. Raleigh? $303,298 average, or another gauge $128 per square foot. So Greer is almost 100% also. All relevant. So…why do these guys not live via averages? Just saying…and as mentioned by others…there are substantial other benefits these guys are pocketing. No doubt many servants in the ministry work paycheck to paycheck,,,but most of their sheep do so also…while those who have benefited from their ability to smooze and portray pulpit mannerisms, they pocket the proceeds. My philosophy and it is probably slightly in err, is if a pastor/servant lives in a house that is above average, drives cars that are above average, lives a lifestyle above average, then those who are average and below average will never receive any ministering from their pastor whom embraces such above average life.

  165. Muff Potter wrote:

    Lydia wrote:

    I honestly think a separate clergy class has been the accepted historical position. Those who functioned outside that paradigm were the outliers.

    I think you’re right. The Levites who took care of everything YAWEH, the Egyptian priests who looked after and were attentive to the needs of the gods, or even the post Constantine and post Reformation churches; all share this common thread of a specialized class.

    The church I grew up in (technically Baptist)…I do not remember a separate clergy class. But then, my mom worked for the church, pastor’s kids were my age and friends, etc…

  166. Lea wrote:

    But then, my mom worked for the church, pastor’s kids were my age and friends, etc…

    I was trying to ask Lydia if something like that applied to her mom and her family, but I guess not.

  167. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    BL wrote:

    “Souls(TM)”, NOT people, are just Christian Currency, spiritual money.

    Hate the Christian speak, like “soul” winning. Also dislike the dehumanizing phrase, ” boots on the ground”, as if soldiers were chess pieces.

  168. Muff Potter wrote:

    The Levites who took care of everything YAWEH

    Well, there were also the prophets, and there were ‘teachers’ as when Jesus called Nicodemus a teacher of Israel, and of course rabbis and the pharisees who Jesus said ‘sit in Moses’ seat’ whatever he meant by that. I don’t know who else if any. And of course the Levites tending to the temple.

    I can see where the need for Levites went away with the destruction of the temple, but I am thinking that the idea of all these other people and their religious ‘functions’ might have persevered and influenced early synagogue-based messianic groups in the diaspora. I don’t know that–just a guess about people hanging on to what they could of their religious culture after the great disaster.

    It would make sense then that when Paul was writing to Timothy it might be within the prior context of designated religious leadership. Again, just a guess.

  169. okrapod wrote:

    You may be right, but there is also the possibility that people do pray and seek God’s face and still think that the neo-cal teachings are correct and consistent with scripture. I don’t subscribe to the idea that if people would only pray and/or be discerning that they would necessarily reject what is going on. I think there may be a lot of true believers in the neo-cal teachings.

    You make a good point. I would contend that the person of the Holy Ghost desires to work in partnership with and in concert with what’s already resident within, namely one’s own Jiminy Cricket conscience and moral compass.

    Some sects teach a kind of God induced micro-management paradigm with regard to prayer and the Holy Spirit. Calvary Chapel comes to mind as an example, which is one reason why I left after almost two decades as a teachee.

  170. Muff Potter wrote:

    I would contend that the person of the Holy Ghost desires to work in partnership with and in concert with what’s already resident within, namely one’s own Jiminy Cricket conscience and moral compass.

    I think so too. I also think that the leadership of the Spirit is not limited to just the individual (I think) or just the group (the church says) but that what He does is more comprehensive than that.

  171. okrapod wrote:

    I can see where the need for Levites went away with the destruction of the temple, but I am thinking that the idea of all these other people and their religious ‘functions’ might have persevered and influenced early synagogue-based messianic groups in the diaspora.

    History of the early church has been an interest of mine for several years. The following book is available on google books, so more in depth info is available for free to anyone who wants to read more.

    From: History of the Christian Church, Volume 1
    By Philip Schaff, David Schley Schaff

    “As there was no proper priesthood outside of Jerusalem, any Jew of age might get up to read the lessons, offer prayer, and address the congregation.”

    “Jesus and the apostles availed themselves of this democratic privilege to preach the gospel, as the fulfilment of the law and the prophets.”

    “The familar mode of teaching was by disputation, by asking and answering questions on knotty points of the law, by parables and sententious sayings, which easily lodged in the memory; the Rabbi sat on a chair, the pupils stood or sat on the floor at his feet.”

    There may be some speaking at cross-purposes. I don’t think anyone is saying that there are supposed to be NO leaders of any sort in the church.

    But rather that the leadership found in churches as far back as Diotrophes pursues an authority, control, and position that is NOT congruent with leadership as described and represented by Jesus and the apostles.

    While apostles and evangelists came through preaching the gospel and establishing bodies of believers, the elders of those assemblies came FROM the assemblies themselves.

    They were chosen by the people they lived with and who knew whether or not they were men of good character/reputation.

    They were not to be overlords, but moderators – helping to keep order as the members of the body ministered to the body.

    Watchdogs to protect the body from the whack-a-doodle that can and does break out whenever people actively participate together.

    Umpires to call foul if something or someone starts heading out of bounds.

    People whose deeds and character were an example to the body of how they should be.

    But, the leadership of the assembles was never meant to be a one-man show, bolstered by the yes-men he assigned to himself as ‘elders’.

    A single leader that everyone has to quietly and submissively listen to for decades, and who can never accept questions and pushback from the pew peons.

  172. BL wrote:

    There may be some speaking at cross-purposes. I don’t think anyone is saying that there are supposed to be NO leaders of any sort in the church.

    Actually that has been espoused from time to time by various commenters here on TWW but not in this particular thread, including the idea that there is no such thing as a pastor/shepherd including no such office of pastor since there are no ‘offices or ‘roles’ of any sort in the church. I have not been able to follow their ideas exactly as to how they get to that conclusion but there are those here who think that if I understand them correctly. They seem to be worth listening to when they say all that, but I am not convinced thus far by scripture, just as I am not convinced by scripture of the tyranny of the neo-cal idea of dictatorship in the church.

    I don’t mean to be ugly, but I was born into the evangelical tradition and that was my native tongue. I have heard more evangelical arguments for this that and the other than I can count. I have enough undergrad hours in philosophy and religion to have declared a major had circumstances been otherwise, and I am sick to death of the ideas and arguments and suppositions and intensities and distortions and petty quibbling and gross distortions and people who use their rhetorical skills to manipulate other people and superficialities and avoidances of the difficult issues and intolerance for other understandings and other ideas. I terminated that sentence because of its length, not because I ran out of things which I am sick and tired of.

    Anyhow, I bailed out and went in another direction and a great burden has been lifted off my back in doing so. Other people can do what they want, it is not my problem. I have only come to peace with the idea that it is not my problem since I cut myself free and moved on. Okay, I feel better now. Well about that I do. There is still the economy and the election and all that of course.

  173. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    … “lie if it’s to your own (and The Cause’s) advantage.” We’ve seen this pattern in the history of Christianity as well as Islam.

    A perfect example of this is Mohammad’s treatment of the Quraysh tribe of Mecca. He negotiated a peace treaty with this enemy to buy time until his own army was strong enough to annihilate them. That is how he conquered Mecca to establish it as the holiest site in Islam – through stealth and deception. The “Quraysh Model” of warfare is still employed by Muslims … beware America! Heck, some “Christian” groups have used stealth and deception to takeover others (sound familiar?) … such behavior isn’t very Christlike, is it?

  174. @ okrapod:
    I don’t think there is a rigid way, either. I don’t see anything rigid about about all people functioning in the Body in their gift or at their comfort level. The eye cannot say to the hand I have no need of you. In fact, it is probably akin to the messy business of sausage making. :o)

  175. @ BL:

    “I became a Christian while in a Christian shepherding/discipleship cult. I was not personally abused, attacked, shamed, or mistreated. Many others were. That I encountered God in a cult, doesn’t mean that I can therefore excuse or ignore what was done to others in that same cult by the leadership.”
    ++++++++++++++

    I appreciated your comment, BL. I think it’s quite amazing, really, that people can encounter raw, unrefined, real God in the midst of ‘god’-environments that are so contrived, toxic, & run by schmucks.

    I think it’s awesome. & to me it reflects 100% on God being such a great person and 0% on any modicum of merit at the church of the schmucks.

    actually, I think people can encounter raw, unrefined, real God anywhere. at Wal-Mart, Disneyland, a mosque, a temple,…

  176. Muff Potter wrote:

    Some sects teach a kind of God induced micro-management paradigm with regard to prayer and the Holy Spirit. Calvary Chapel comes to mind as an example, which is one reason why I left after almost two decades as a teachee.

    I know Calvinism has God as micro-manager, but how does Calvary Chapel fit into the paradigm? Does this have to do with the Moses Model, where Pastor is Lone Wolf Anointed Leader micro-managing everything in his franchise (including the people)?

  177. BL wrote:

    We have GOT TO STOP relying on what people SAY. It is what people DO, that reveals what they really believe, and what is really in their heart.

    The whole focus on “correct doctrine”,at all cost, misses the point of Jesus Christ.

  178. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    In Shelby County and Raleigh, what’s the median price for say a 1000-1200 sg ft three-bedroom house with an actual back yard?

    HUG, I don’t know about Shelby County, but in Raleigh, the median house price is $199,600. More importantly, the median home price in Durham (where the main campus of Summit as well as the offices is located) is $171,400. His house is significantly valued above the average in the area, specially 170 and 215 percent, respectively.

  179. @ Lydia:

    It seems to me to be rigid if people say that this is the only legitimate way to conduct a worship service, that anything else is not valid. That is the rigidity I see-not the idea itself as a part but only a part of christian practice.

  180. @ Burwell:

    It should be noted, too, that his house has nearly 4500 sq ft. That makes it difficult to compare with 1000 to 1200 sq ft homes.

  181. K.D. wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    BL wrote:

    50-60 years ago, these Young, Restless, and Truly Reformed would be totally into Communism instead of Calvinism.

    Man, I am so glad you said this, I was certainly thinking it….

    Oh wow. I agree. Leeman has already made the leap. His bio, “Witness” by Whittaker Chambers reminds me of this movement. His generation was disillusioned by WW1 and were easy marks for communist recruitment.

  182. elastigirl wrote:

    I think it’s quite amazing, really, that people can encounter raw, unrefined, real God in the midst of ‘god’-environments that are so contrived, toxic, & run by schmucks.

    “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13). Yes, even in the darkest places, God can still be found by those who are genuinely seeking Him.

    “Salvation comes to the soul that comes to salvation. Forgiving Savior and penitent sinner meet” (O.C.S. Wallace). God desires relationship, not religion. Jesus came to redeem and work through individuals, not institutions. The real Church is made up of individuals who have found Him, not religious structures that demand adherence to the traditions and teachings of mere men.

  183. @ okrapod:
    I don’t think I have the gravitas to declare what is valid or not. I leave that for the AL Mohlers who have acolytes. I dont have any. I have no problem stating my opinion and experiences, though.

  184. okrapod wrote:

    It seems to me to be rigid if people say that this is the only legitimate way to conduct a worship service, that anything else is not valid. That is the rigidity I see-not the idea itself as a part but only a part of christian practice.

    If I have come across as rigid, or as saying that what I have described is “the only legitimate way to conduct a worship service”, then I have failed to communicate.

    Because, I do NOT believe that there is ‘only one way to conduct a worship service’.

    I do believe that the vast majority of churches DO believe that there is only one way to conduct a worship service.

    I DO believe that the body of Christ in the majority churchianity is hog-tied to pews/chairs, with mouth duct-taped.

  185. Burwell wrote:

    @ Burwell:
    It should be noted, too, that his house has nearly 4500 sq ft. That makes it difficult to compare with 1000 to 1200 sq ft homes.

    I live in a 1350 sq ft home, and in truth, it is too big for my wife and I, we only had one child and even then, we had an empty bedroom, an empty what became a hobby room, and now that he’s in China, we have all sorts of space…what do you do with 4500 sq ft?

  186. BL wrote:

    I do believe that the vast majority of churches DO believe that there is only one way to conduct a worship service.

    Well some have switched to chairs instead of pews, but they are all equipped with the same duct-tape dispenser.

  187. Bill M wrote:

    Well some have switched to chairs instead of pews, but they are all equipped with the same duct-tape dispenser.

    LOL!

  188. BL wrote:

    We have GOT TO STOP relying on what people SAY. It is what people DO, that reveals what they really believe, and what is really in their heart.

    When you haven’t grown up with or encountered a Master Manipulator and/or Pathological Liar…

  189. K.D. wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    BL wrote:

    50-60 years ago, these Young, Restless, and Truly Reformed would be totally into Communism instead of Calvinism.

    Man, I am so glad you said this, I was certainly thinking it….

    Think of it — a RIGHTEOUS Mass Movement Remaking the World into RIGHTEOUS Perfection.
    Whether God’s Omnipotent Will or the Inevitable Dialectic of History.

  190. The SBC has always been an oligarchy with political blocks. It is worse and worser the choices we see this year. The presidency has enormous power in appointing people into trusteeships and other positions. This was how the conservative resurgence succeeded and this is how the Neo Cals are succeeding in taking over the SBC. The Neo Cals make the argument that the founders were Calvinists and the SBC should go back to its original Calvinist moorings, the doctrine emulated in Boyce’s Abstract And Principles. I was influenced by more of a 20th century evangelical version of Baptist that allows for a big tent of doctrinal positions. I never put down Calvinism. My mother was a Calvinist. It just isn’t my way of looking at things. Calvinists and Arminians have always been a part of the SBC. Now it has become a political issue, unfortunately, and wonderful Christians of both stripes (traditionalist Baptists) will be excluded out for not following the party line on a very serious philosophical issue, the issue of freedom.

  191. Mark wrote:

    The SBC has always been an oligarchy with political blocks. It is worse and worser the choices we see this year. The presidency has enormous power in appointing people into trusteeships and other positions. This was how the conservative resurgence succeeded and this is how the Neo Cals are succeeding in taking over the SBC. The Neo Cals make the argument that the founders were Calvinists and the SBC should go back to its original Calvinist moorings, the doctrine emulated in Boyce’s Abstract And Principles. I was influenced by more of a 20th century evangelical version of Baptist that allows for a big tent of doctrinal positions. I never put down Calvinism. My mother was a Calvinist. It just isn’t my way of looking at things. Calvinists and Arminians have always been a part of the SBC. Now it has become a political issue, unfortunately, and wonderful Christians of both stripes (traditionalist Baptists) will be excluded out for not following the party line on a very serious philosophical issue, the issue of freedom.

    And will lead to more and more people, and churches leaving the denomination. As suggested earlier, the denomination needs to split. It has needed to split for years now. Problem is, some folks just do not want to accept the inevitable.

  192. @ K.D.:

    True. It is inevitable. Only general question I have, and it isn’t directed at you but to the general audience: have you ever been involved in a separation? Separations are painful even if they are justified. I see this happening. Max had a link to the SBC blog. The way the Neo Calvinists were talking down to those who didn’t hold their position tells me separation is inevitable. No reasonable person can reason with these people. I know Calvinists they would offend.

  193. Mark wrote:

    Now it has become a political issue, unfortunately, and wonderful Christians of both stripes (traditionalist Baptists) will be excluded out for not following the party line on a very serious philosophical issue, the issue of freedom.

    Wonderful Christians were excluded after the CR. Including some great but little known scholars who dared to write about uncomfortable questions about Genesis, etc, which are legit positions now. They politicized YEC and Comp.

  194. Lydia wrote:

    Mark wrote:
    Now it has become a political issue, unfortunately, and wonderful Christians of both stripes (traditionalist Baptists) will be excluded out for not following the party line on a very serious philosophical issue, the issue of freedom.
    Wonderful Christians were excluded after the CR. Including some great but little known scholars who dared to write about uncomfortable questions about Genesis, etc, which are legit positions now. They politicized YEC and Comp.

    Well then it’s possible Baptist conflicts will not be ending anytime soon. I am sure some other issue will come up and there will be some fight among the Baptists. It is a good time to jump ship. On the CR conflict, even Paige Patterson has admitted there were wonderful Christians on the other side, including members of his own family.

  195. BL wrote:

    We have GOT TO STOP excusing sin in leadership by referring to ‘how much they helped me, how much I was blessed by their ministry, how they never did anything like that to me!’

    I became a Christian while in a Christian shepherding/discipleship cult. I was not personally abused, attacked, shamed, or mistreated. Many others were. That I encountered God in a cult, doesn’t mean that I can therefore excuse or ignore what was done to others in that same cult by the leadership.

    Too often, however, that seems to be exactly what believers are doing.

    There is disbelief that leadership coulda/woulda done such a thing.

    Then there is belief that the person crying out BROUGHT IT UPON THEMSELVES.

    And as soon as that person is gone, throw a rug over the blood, rearrange the chairs, and go on as if nothing ever happened – because it didn’t happen to you.

    Substitute “authoritarian church” for “Christian shepherding/discipleship cult” and you have described my experience.

  196. Mark wrote:

    The way the Neo Calvinists were talking down to those who didn’t hold their position tells me separation is inevitable.

    Here’s an example of “talking down” to those who don’t accept reformed theology as ‘the’ default for Christianity:
    “Where else are they going to go? If you’re a theological minded, deeply convictional young evangelical, if you’re committed to the gospel and want to see the nations rejoice in the name of Christ, if you want to see gospel built and structured committed churches, your theology is just going to end up basically being Reformed, basically something like this new Calvinism, or you’re going to have to invent some label for what is basically going to be the same thing, there just are not options out there, and that’s something that frustrates some people, but when I’m asked about the New Calvinism—where else are they going to go, who else is going to answer the questions, where else are they going to find the resources they are going to need and where else are they going to connect. This is a generation that understands, they want to say the same thing that Paul said, they want to stand with the apostles, they want to stand with old dead people, and they know that they are going to have to, if they are going to preach and teach the truth.” (Dr. Albert Mohler, President of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary)

    Soooo … Non-Calvinists aren’t committed to the gospel? Non-Calvinists don’t want to see the nations rejoice in the name of Christ? Non-Calvinist belief and practice is not an option? Non-Calvinists don’t preach and teach truth? Such arrogance!!

  197. Mark wrote:

    Calvinists and Arminians have always been a part of the SBC.

    Agreed … and got along pretty good with each other until the New Calvinists showed up! The old guard SBC Calvinists were a much more civilized bunch, adding good perspectives to Scripture vs. Arminian positions. I’ve been a Southern Baptist for 60+ years … I have found those Southern Baptists serious about their faith to be “Biblicists” rather than identifying with either the Arminian or Calvinist camps. It would be wrong to characterize the (current) majority of Southern Baptists as Arminian in belief and practice.

  198. Max wrote:

    Mark wrote:
    Calvinists and Arminians have always been a part of the SBC.
    Agreed … and got along pretty good with each other until the New Calvinists showed up! The old guard SBC Calvinists were a much more civilized bunch, adding good perspectives to Scripture vs. Arminian positions. I’ve been a Southern Baptist for 60+ years … I have found those Southern Baptists serious about their faith to be “Biblicists” rather than identifying with either the Arminian or Calvinist camps. It would be wrong to characterize the (current) majority of Southern Baptists as Arminian in belief and practice.

    “Biblicist” is a good thing to be.

  199. Max wrote:

    elastigirl wrote:

    I think it’s quite amazing, really, that people can encounter raw, unrefined, real God in the midst of ‘god’-environments that are so contrived, toxic, & run by schmucks.

    “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13). Yes, even in the darkest places, God can still be found by those who are genuinely seeking Him.

    “Salvation comes to the soul that comes to salvation. Forgiving Savior and penitent sinner meet” (O.C.S. Wallace). God desires relationship, not religion. Jesus came to redeem and work through individuals, not institutions. The real Church is made up of individuals who have found Him, not religious structures that demand adherence to the traditions and teachings of mere men.

    I think this shows the impact of the Holy Spirit, and why we should listen to the still small voice more often – instead of our supposed ‘leaders’. Or ‘servant leaders’. *eyeroll*

  200. Max wrote:

    Soooo … Non-Calvinists aren’t committed to the gospel? Non-Calvinists don’t want to see the nations rejoice in the name of Christ? Non-Calvinist belief and practice is not an option? Non-Calvinists don’t preach and teach truth? Such arrogance!!

    There can be only One True Way. (And that Way is MEEEEEEEEEEEE!)

    “The Universe cannot have two centers.”
    — Kooks Magazine re the difference between kooks and cranks

  201. Max wrote:

    It would be wrong to characterize the (current) majority of Southern Baptists as Arminian in belief and practice.

    But if your logic is Hyper-Boolean and there is ONLY Calvinist (GOOD!) and Arminian (BAAAAAAD!) and Nothing Else…

  202. Burwell wrote:

    @ Burwell:

    It should be noted, too, that his house has nearly 4500 sq ft. That makes it difficult to compare with 1000 to 1200 sq ft homes.

    I use 1000 to 1200 sq ft because that’s the size of my house in SoCal. I have found that 1000 sq ft or so is the largest size of house I can keep maintained.

    4500 sq ft is called a “McMansion” out where I am, and is associated with Boomer Yuppies. I don’t think those four-bedroom-plus-bonus-room (three-car garage) houses in Westminster like my parents lived in just before retirement run more than 3000.

    Though PASTOR still has a ways to go to keep up with the Furticks. Expect a LOT more preaching on TITHE! TITHE! TITHE! TITHE! TITHE!

  203. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Some sects teach a kind of God induced micro-management paradigm with regard to prayer and the Holy Spirit. Calvary Chapel comes to mind as an example, which is one reason why I left after almost two decades as a teachee.

    I know Calvinism has God as micro-manager, but how does Calvary Chapel fit into the paradigm? Does this have to do with the Moses Model, where Pastor is Lone Wolf Anointed Leader micro-managing everything in his franchise (including the people)?

    For the most part, Calvary Chapel rejects the main tenets of Calvinism. But when it comes to God being in ‘control’ and wanting to ‘use you’ for his own aggrandizement in a deterministic sense, their differences are only cosmetic.

    God wants to use you totally and has no interest in your input or to be in partnership with you. One’s prayer life must always reflect this, because you cannot be trusted to come up with anything good (Romans 7:18). Almost as if the Holy Spirit acts as a kind of ‘enforcer’ for this line of thought.

    Their claim that they are all about “relationship” with Jesus as opposed to following a religion is only partially true. The real question is:
    What’s the nature of that relationship?

  204. Pingback: Linkathon! | PhoenixPreacher UNITED STATES

  205. Muff Potter wrote:

    For the most part, Calvary Chapel rejects the main tenets of Calvinism. But when it comes to God being in ‘control’ and wanting to ‘use you’ for his own aggrandizement in a deterministic sense, their differences are only cosmetic.

    Same with most seeker megas. The differences are cosmetic.

  206. __

     If I should identify with John Calvin’s “Institutes Of The Christian Religion”, that basically shows an interest or inclination (for all intents and purposes) towards Calvinism. As such John Calvin becomes foundationaly the leader of my religious persuasion.

      If on the other hand, I identify with Christ Jesus ‘alone’, what does that make me?

  207. Sopwith wrote:

    If on the other hand, I identify with Christ Jesus ‘alone’, what does that make me?

    An Arminianist Heretic.

  208. prodinov wrote:

    according to tax records Steve Gaines home is assessed at $309,000 in Shelby County.

    That’s today’s assessment. Property values in much of Shelby County have declined, but it’s hard to believe the value of that house has declined from the original purchase price of $548,000 in 2005. It’s not THAT impressive a house for this part of the country. Homes and land (in most places) are much cheaper per square foot than in California and the eastern states. A 4500-sf house isn’t necessarily “McMansion” territory here.

    I would be more interested to know why Steve Gaines and Jamie Parker, the music minister Gaines brought back to Bellevue from Gardendale, got identical mortgages from the same bank for their houses, both of which cost over $500K. By identical, I mean to the dollar the same odd amount of money when there were questions about the credit-worthiness of both men. The head of the church finance committee at the time just happens to be an officer (COO or something like that) at the aforementioned bank. I could go on. But won’t.

    Except there was said to have been a little fluff-up at Bellevue this morning:

    https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=bellevue+baptist+armed+man

    The man was apprehended outside the sanctuary, not inside as many reports state.

    Gaines has been paranoid as long as he’s been here. A few years ago (one of my last blog posts) he saw a man walking down the aisle during a service holding what he said looked like a handgun. The man turned out to be holding a hat. That resulted in the “missing minutes” on the internet feed the following week while Steve lamented about the “epidemic” of church shootings, etc. This incident should fit nicely on his resume for SBC president… he’ll play the “persecuted bold man-o-gawd” martyr card to the max.

  209. “We are left wondering who is really being glorified…”

    Sorry, but no matter what side you are on, you can not be serious that a little fun, parody, and promotion would be anywhere near glorification.

    I understand the writer of this article is not a J.D. supporter, but come on, we’re all seeking Christ & his will and a statement like that really is not needed.

  210. On a brighter note, Dr. David Crosby of First Baptist Church New Orleans has indicated he is running for President. He can be seen with Dr. Fred Luter, former SBC President, announcing his intentions on the FBCNO Facebook page. He is a shining light in the convention.

  211. Lydia wrote:

    Muff Potter wrote:

    For the most part, Calvary Chapel rejects the main tenets of Calvinism. But when it comes to God being in ‘control’ and wanting to ‘use you’ for his own aggrandizement in a deterministic sense, their differences are only cosmetic.

    Same with most seeker megas. The differences are cosmetic.

    “The only goal of Power is POWER.”
    — Comrade O’Brian, Inner Party, Airsrip One, Oceania, 1984

  212. I want to know why they listed what Bellevue gives/plan to give to the Cooperative program, but does not list what Greear’s church gives or plans to give. My guess not near that much.