“Though we are incomplete, God loves us completely. Though we are imperfect, He loves us perfectly. Though we may feel lost and without compass, God's love encompasses us completely. … He loves every one of us, even those who are flawed, rejected, awkward, sorrowful, or broken.” ― Dieter F. Uchtdorf link
[Update] Before I get into today's topic, let me update you on the home front. Last Wednesday, my mother in law was seen at Duke and was determined to be in end stage cancer. She is becoming confused and very weak. I have learned much in caring for her and will share my thoughts in the future. Please forgive me for not answering emails and phone calls. I will get to them whenever I have a moment.
Now you have a reason to be a proud TWW reader.
My husband has become interested in our genealogy. I am proud to announce to our readers that you are reading a blog endorsed by a descendent of none other than Jonathan Edwards. Edwards oldest daughter, Sarah, married into the Parsons clan. I was so excited that I asked on Twitter if this familial tie will cause The Gospel™ Coalition to unblock me!
Does your pastor love you?
Always pause when you read pastors, theologians and wannabes who use words like *love.* Ask the question, "What does he mean by *love?* Never assume a writer means the same thing you mean. For me, love is a very important component of my faith. It was the realization that the God of the universe loved me and wanted to be in relationship with me that turned my heart to Him. .
Recently, I have been noticing a number of articles posted by groups like Desiring God, The Gospel Coalition and 9 Marks that put a different spin on the word *love.* It seems to be going the way of words like *gospel* and *biblical.* In other words, love does not necessarily mean what you think it means.
Recently TGC posted DOES YOUR PASTOR LOVE YOU? by Erik Raymond. This post demonstrates an interesting spin on the word *love.*
Who is Erik Raymond?
It is often helpful to read the bios of authors. I also like to visit the website of any church with which a pastor is affiliated. It is amazing the number of clues one can discover about the theological bent of the writer.
Erik is the senior pastor at Emmaus Bible Church in Omaha, Ne. Remember, in certain circles, a senior pastor is considered the key authority and visionary of the church.
Pastoral ministry became the clear priority for Erik after graduating from Grace University in 2002. He served as a pastoral-intern and later as an Assistant Pastor at Omaha Bible Church from 2002-2010 before leading the church planting efforts for Emmaus. Along with other like minded area pastors, Erik began The Omaha Gospel Network which later became The Omaha Chapter of The Gospel Coalition. This network strives to promote gospel-centered ministry in the region.
Since he started the Omaha Gospel Network, one can be quite sure that he buys into mindset of The Gospel Coalition which stresses the need for discipline for the membership along with an hierarchical authority of pastors and elders.
Emmaus Bible Church membership agreement
I always read through the statement of faith, beliefs, visions etc. Often, it is within membership agreements that I find the most information on the thinking of the church leadership. This particular membership agreement does not alert the members that they are signing a legal document. Whether or not it is stated, this agreement is a legally binding agreement (with lots of loopholes but that is for another post.) In case you don't believe me, read our post Proof That It’s Not a Membership Covenant™ But a Legally Binding Document
Here is a link to Emmaus' membership agreement.
I will aim therefore, with the aid of the Holy Spirit and in response to the gospel of Christ, to walk together in Christian love, to be submissive to the leadership of the Elders, to strive for the advancement of the ministry of this church–even to the laying down of my life in the service to Christ–to promote its growth in the gospel; to sustain its worship, ordinances, discipline and doctrines; to contribute cheerfully, sacrificially, and regularly of my income as God has graciously blessed me. In view of the glory of Christ and the purity of the church, I will aim to serve Christ and one another heartily, according to my gifts and talents. I expect and trust that if I am persistent in sin that this body of believers at Emmaus Bible Church will hold me accountable with loving reproof, instruction and exhortation to help keep me faithful to the Lord Jesus Christ. If ever I continue without true repentance, I implore this body to seek my spiritual restoration by following Jesus’ plan for purity in his church as outlined in Matthew 18:15-20.
I moreover resolve that if the Lord moves me from this church that I do so in a manner consistent with biblical love, communication, truth and the good of Christ’s body, including notifying and requesting counsel from EBC leadership, and further, to unite with a church where I can carry out the principles and spirit of this agreement.”
Let's look at some of the expectations of members that stressed in this agreement:
- Be submissive to the elder.
- Lay down your life for the ministry of this church.
- Sustain the discipline of the church.
- Give sacrificially.
- Be disciplined for undefined persistent sin which could mean anything.
- Get counsel from the leaders if one plans on leaving the church for any reason. This means you have little to no freedom of conscience since they can reject your reasoning.
Please note that there is no reciprocity in this agreement. In other words, the members are to do all of these things but there is little on the part of what the leaders should do for the members. I would never recommend signing this legal document without counsel from an attorney. I can assure you that the church leadership has done so on their part. Personally I would never sign such an agreement.
So, before I even read the post by Raymond, I already had a hunch that I was dealing with an authoritarian leadership which is willing to discipline any undefined *persistent sin.* For example, he could go after you for *questioning authority.* There is nothing in the agreement to prevent it.
Where is the love?
How is pastoral love defined/demonstrated in Raymond's post Does Your Pastor Love You?
1. He feeds the flock (the church) the Word of God.
Please note that only the sheep are called out for making bad decisions. The shepherd protects them. However, what happens when the shepherd makes bad decisions?
There are threats on the outside from wolves and threats on the inside because of bad decisions by the sheep. In both cases the shepherd is to be actively engaged in the thoughtful care of the sheep.
2. The shepherd's loving ministry of the word consists of doctrinal teaching.
The pastor who loves Jesus and the flock is to preach the Word. He is to herald, proclaim, announce, declare the Word of God.
Assuming that this pastor is a Calvinist, this means that the doctrinal teaching that demonstrates his love is Calvinism.
What is the content of this loving ministry? It is to be doctrinal preaching. Doctrinal preaching is preaching that endeavors to teach theological truth.
Here is how you know your pastor loves you. He rebukes you.
I am not so much here talking about the preacher’s style or mannerisms but the content of his sermon.
- Does your pastor give you the Word of God?
- Does he reprove you?
- Rebuke you?
- Exhort you?
- Is this done patiently?
- Is it done doctrinally?
- If so, you have reason to believe that your pastor loves you.
Pastor Ed Stetzer doesn't do funerals or hospital visits but preaches. Is this love?
Ed Stetzer who oversaw a failed church plant wrote a post a couple of years ago. He took on the job of a bi-vocational pastor in order to *reach* 48,000 unchurched people. We wrote about this in Ed Stetzer and the Four Fence Posts that Define His Ministry. Let's take a look at his view of his role as senior pastor.
That's all fine and good, but Stetzer has stipulated what he will and will not do in a series of articles recently published by Christianity Today. Here are "Four Fence Posts" that Stetzer believes will lead to a healthy ministry:
- Recognize your role in the church
- Pursue personal health
- Guard your flock even from other Christians
- Know your boundaries
Stetzer goes on to explain his approach to ministry this way:
"When you establish these four fence posts – recognizing your role in the church, pursuing personal health, guarding your flock, and knowing what you can and cannot do – you will enable and encourage growth in yourself and your church. Without these four, you will more than likely experience ministry burn out and hinder the development of those under your care and the church as a whole."
He then describes more specifically what he will and will not do:
"At Grace Church, there are three things and ONLY three things that I do: I meet with the staff/apprentices, I preach about 70% of the time, and I lead a small group in my home.
One of the benefits this boundary has brought to our church is that we are very clearly not a pastor-centered church. I'm very upfront with my role to my church. I explain I can't do funerals, visits, phone calls, or meetings. This leaves the door wide open for our congregation to see areas of leadership where they are needed, and to respond accordingly."
Ed Stetzer is speaking as it he is merely a talking head. How can anyone consider themselves to be loving pastors if they don't do funerals, visit the poor and hurting or return phone calls to those who are seeking or in pain? It is the day to day contact, the hugs, the arm around a parents shoulder who has lost a child that makes a difference. Jesus touched people, like lepers, physically. He cried for his friend who died. He held and loved on children and waded into the crowds, allowing th masses to touch him.
There is no question that I believe in good, expositional preaching. Except for Ed Young Jr. every preacher in each church I attended, including the one with the pedophile situation, were doctrinally sound. However, not all of those pastors were loving. The ones, like Pete Briscoe, who were loving left an indelible mark on my life. The one who treated us so poorly over the pedophile situation left me cold. He could preach the Bible but when push came to shove, he couldn't live it under pressure.
I fear that the word *love* now means doctrinal preaching, church discipline, and controlling the comings and goings of people. There is precious little discussion of loving the person, merely talking at them and controlling them. This is not the God and the faith that I envisioned when I came to Christ at the age of 17. I still believe in that loving God these many years later and believe that most people want to hear more about that God than the God who cannot wait to smack us down for each and every little sin.
To those who are depressed, dismayed, let down or tired, let me assure that there is a God who loves you dearly and does not view you as a worm, worthy only of His wrath. Too many arrogant seminarians today are preaching discipline while drunk on their own authority. Don't go to their churches. Instead, find a church in which the pastor wants to get to know you, who smiles when he sees you and liberally gives out hugs. Find a pastor who will return your phone call and would be delighted to eat lunch with you. Run from the church in which a pastor hides in his study and only hangs out with a select few.
And when you find such a pastor and church, please let all of us know.
For those pastors who are "oh so lovingly" preaching doctrine, take a clue from CS Lewis.
“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”
― C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves
Celebrty Endorsement: This blog post is heartily endorsed by William J Parsons, a direct descendent of Jonathan Edwards! Sola Amare!
Most of us rely on expert opinions at one time or another in one degree or another. But I think you are right that the lower tier guys teaching this are just parroting what was drilled into them in seminary and could not make a good case from the actual text if they had to. If you read enough of them, it is easy to spot the identical phrasing and ideas. No excuses, indeed, if one claims to be a teacher.
Emily Honeycutt wrote:
Once upon a time, it was not this way. Differences of opinion were expected and tolerated. Everyone knew stuff from the Sunday School Board was going to be what it was, but people had freedom to depart from the quarterlies and teach directly from the Bible. Discussions were open about most things until sometime in the 70’s when things began to change, at least in the churches I was in.
🙂 Isn’t that the truth! Never heard that before, but I won’t forget it.
@ Headless Unicorn Guy:
It is the same tactic. I saw it in Neo Cal youth groups. Teens already think their parents just don’t understand and they play this off in subtle ways. They know the true Gospel, dontcha know.
Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
well, if the neo-Cal young pastors would be God . . .
someone needs to intervene at those seminaries and help those young men before they end up this way . . .
Probably Pastor Stetzer is also blessed with a month or more like vacation per year called a sabbatical. I am being sarcastic and shame on me for criticizing one of God’s anointed.
No funerals or hospital of nursing home visits from pastor? That is cold.
And G-d forbid weddings? What is his yearly salary and does he get a housing allowance? Oh and the Southern Baptist annuity board money?
Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
The Pied Piper does indicate in his preface to that blasted notorious book Recovering whatever that his mom was in charge when Pappa Pier was parlaying around the country.
Sorry for being grumpy.
Speaking of weddings, I’d like to take this opportunity to tell people about so many wedding vows that the NeoCalvinists insist that brides take: to *obey* and to *submit*.
After a NeoCal man confronted me about this, and why didn’t I believe in it, I researched the vows, which seemed un-Jesus-like to me. The “obey and submit” comes from pagan Roman marriage contract law and has NOTHING to do with Christianity. In fact, many Christian countries don’t even have this language in their wedding vows.
He was left…stammering when I told him the vow’s *real history*.
John Piper can do that to a person.
In order to get through more than just a few seconds of watching Piper on a video, I have to imagine him wearing a crown of daisies.
@ Law Prof:
“…this “pastor” thing … the office that has been created of general CEO, head teacher, one who visits the elderly and ill and shut ins, one who gets paid and takes a title and does all these things,…”
or, perhaps as one who gets paid and takes a title and does none of these things…
I’m sorry, Nancy2, but you will have to change that crown to something else. The name Daisy (TM) and its derivatives (TM) is already in use by someone here who has created goodwill with the public. Piper’s use of a “crown of daises” would create confusion as though our Daisy was ratifying Piper’s plethora of weird doctrines.
Maybe you could fold him a tinfoil hat as his crown.
Okay, how does pink clover sound?
Noooooo. The whole beautiful flower family is OFF limits.
“The wife’s “role” is to be a support and help and joy to her husband, and that sounds a lot like the way they see the “role” of the congregation. They do not seem to want a real give-and-take relationship that is mutual in any respect.”
sounds like a God-complex to me.
up on high, receiving all the glory (from all the “for his glory”s and “for God’s glory”s that pepper the way they talk & write)
Larry Osborne’s “practical tips for launching your own sermon-based small group ministry”
oh my goodness, i’ve never been so bored as when i’ve attended a small group discussing the pastor’s sermon. the sermon was aiming just at intellectual-lowest-common-denominator level. So you can imagine the discussion questions (utterly stupid).
i had made a big effort to get there (arranging childcare, making dinner for the fam’ ahead of time, etc.). i was so insulted by the whole experience. a complete waste of my time. and i felt used for the benefit of something and someone that had nothing to do with me.
i’m still irked to the extreme by it all, as you can see.
gah, dang, christian churches are the lamest, most original-thought-devoid organizations on earth. just like the fake people at my kids’ middle school, loaded with insecurities having no concept of who they are. so ‘let’s mimick whoever the cool kids are!’ yeah, that’s the ticket.
A dented hubcap from an AMC Gremlin?
Now you’re talkin’!
Mass production: Use of an assembly line for the production of large amounts of standardized products. This can only appeal to upper management. Yeah sure, sign me up, I want to be on a display shelf with all the other interchangeable widgets.
So I had to watch just to form my own conclusions. Quick reaction? They seemed to be seated awfully close to each other for all the arm waving, especially Piper. As a frequent hiker I’d never go with Piper, if he took hiking poles with him and started talking there could be serious injuries.
how about a good old fashioned tar & feathering, and let’s get creative with the feathers.
Bill M wrote:
John Piper can cause serious injury just by flapping his lips!
Look at this. A bird with poisonous feathers!
Then, we could put him on a flat bed wagon and enter him as a float in the Mardi Gras parade!
We are NOT paying the entrance fees. Can you arrange with the Council on Biblical Manhood Womanhood to pay for it? Just tell them that he is “representing the faith” at a “conference in New Orleans”.
“For an enlightening lesson on “Calvinism and Sexual Complmentarity”, check out John Piper’s interview with Matt Chandler”
i think they like saying that word. afficionados, they surely must be. 😐
Boy! Me and my Mr. would not last long in one of those groups! LOL!
I can’t watch that video. It’s rated as “cruel & unusual punishment”.
I was actually rather disappointed by my general theology and Bible classes in seminary, in that it seemed way more focused on learning to be an academic rather than someone who could study the Bible. I learned how to write really good papers. The exception was Greek, and I felt like I learned how to study the Bible much better in Greek classes than in theology classes.
My missions classes were not that way, but I was told then when Akin came in that he “disapproved” of the way Baptists traditionally viewed missions, which is why he dropped my program and others. I know now that’s because he believes in authoritarian churches instead of general evangelism.
I am okay with small groups if you can choose which one you go to. Of course, in the Calvinista churches, you can’t. And in many of the non-Calvinista churches, they have everyone so split up by age and marital status, that you don’t have much of a choice there, either.
Since I’ve gone away from larger churches, I feel much more of a sense of community than I ever did in a megachurch. Megachurches have small groups by necessity to create that sense of community, but they often just don’t do a very good job of it.
I really like when churches do short-term topical classes, especially on hot button topics. I feel like a lot of churches run away from tough issues, and those are the issues you confront on a daily basis.
The church I’ve been going to do does short adult Sunday school topics. They did one on minor prophets and one on controversial topics in the bible…I have enjoyed them.
An SBC-Calvinist church in our area requires new prospective members to attend a pastor-led 13-week class ‘before’ they can join the church … a John MacArthur video series loaded with reformed theology indoctrination. That pastor is a classical Calvinist, rather than a New Calvinist.
Since we’re talking about love and the lack of it in some churches, here’s an interesting side-note to the church I mentioned. We visited there one Sunday to check the new pastor out (I like to see what makes Calvinists tick). At the end of his sermon, he essentially lectured the congregation about altar calls and why he shouldn’t give one. But, if as to appease some dissenters there, he gave a rather awkward invitation for folks to come forward to accept Christ … after which he proclaimed “There! There’s your altar call!!” Needless to say, we didn’t return to church there – it was obvious who this guy was and where he was coming from. What love is this?
I understand Velour. It is a punishing thing to endure. I occasionally tune in to torturous New Calvinist videos, sermon podcasts, reformed blogs, etc. to educate myself on this movement … an exercise that only substantiates what I already know about their error, while confirming the faith I have as Truth.
We could argue the positions on altar calls all day but the Neo Cals came out of Seminary declaring them sinful/heretical implying they conveyed the message mam could save himself. These are guys who were also taught repentance is a “work” of salvation.
They started to back down a bit on that and any sinners prayer as more and more people were on to their real agenda using doctrine and polity.
Perverts would be a better word. Most New Calvinists are not so pornographic and potty-mouth as Driscoll, but they do focus too much on the flesh … a major driver, I think, in subordinating women via complementarianism.
There’s a current piece on the “Sinner’s Prayer” over at Pravda … evidence of the push back they are feeling from some corners of SBC after Platt slammed the prayer as superstitious. (By the way, as a sinner I prayed that prayer years ago and glad that I did).
am I understanding correctly that the ‘old way’ was to ask people to come forward to publicly accept Christ, and then the minister and congregation prayed with them;
and the new neo-Cal way is to abjure that the ‘choice’ to come is something that is made by a person who feels the call of the Holy Spirit to come forward;
but instead the neo-Cal thinks this is not a personal choice in response to grace, but a person is either ‘elect’ or hell-bound, and they have no ‘choice’ to choose Life in Christ?
If I got some of this, even, let me know. I’m sure there is likely much more to it, but that ‘pastor’ sounded so contemptuous, I can only wonder why anyone would return to such ‘leadership’ at all. ?
What I do know of ‘altar calls’, I know from Billy Graham crusades on television. I saw nothing to have contempt for in those invitations, no.
If it hadn’t been for the alter call every night at a VBS when I was an adolescent, I don’t know if I would have ever been saved. I could feel the Spirit pulling me every night at invitation, almost physically.
Would this preacher boy say that I am not one of the Elect(TM)?
Most of these guys are just in it for money and fame. They don’t believe in the Great Commission. I’m not even sure that they believe in God.
This is where I don’t get Miller. Does he think we cannot go back and read the old threads from years ago and his defensive posture toward those who disagreed with Platt? As if disagreeing with Platt was a sin in and of itself? Did he delete all that or does he think he can spin it that we misunderstood him? Again. And again. And again.
I think altar calls are problematic in that they don’t always emphasize a change of heart. A lot of people think just saying words will save you, but they are missing the “belief”. I was an intellectual Christian until I went to college. A female campus pastor came to speak with me, and she emphasized surrendering to God.
When I prayed to surrender my life to God, and meant it, was when I suddenly had assurance of my salvation, and the “peace that passes all understanding”. That’s true to this day, 20 years later.
When I was a missionary, it became even more clear that you have to help people to understand God before they can surrender to Him. The country I was in was animistic, and they were perfectly fine with my God. They’d just add Him to all the other ones. Praying some words did absolutely nothing for their hearts. But when there was true surrender, they had to leave their families beliefs behind, and that took complete surrender. As soon as some of their relatives learned they were no longer going to consider them gods when they died, the new Christians would be harassed or kicked out of the family.
Funny enough, at the Lutheran church I’ve been going to, this past week the pastor gave the best evangelistic sermon I’ve ever heard. He did a better job than any Baptist preacher. He emphasized having faith, surrender, and worship.
How does one become saved in the Catholic Church? Infant baptism? Confirmation? Born into a Catholic family? Visit the priest if adult? I have never understood that process either.
I am starting to think the whole process and acknowledgement would be better coming from outside the institutions!
I agree with this with the caveat that public acknowledgment does not have to turn into something fake.
And from studying the concept of metanoia as understood by the hearers of the first century as in a from…to change. Ironically, JTB was preaching metanoia to the Jews before Christ came around. Baptism was the acknowledgement not the purifier.
And he was totally estranged from the temple system in Jerusalem. to boot!.
I think a big misunderstanding is the concept of the bad’works salvation’ did a number on people for centuries. One cannot ignore Deeds (fruit) when it comes to repentance. And we cannot read minds or hearts. We can only judge fruit. The idea that people who do evil Deeds have good Hearts just blows my mind. But it has become a staple in many walks of Christendom.
This is a huge topic I find extremely important but few discuss it.
Good for you, brother Max, to wade in to the NeoCalvinist lies.
Until that outside process itself becomes an institution?
I think most everyone has to publicly acknowledge their faith after surrender at some point close to it. Where I was a missionary, though, walking down the aisle at the church was the safest place to do so. But God seemed to always bring opportunities for acknowledging Him when it was very tough to do so, like before the family matriarch who could cast you out of the family.
I think a lot of Christians in the US are pretty spoiled by the belief that everyone understands the Christian God. I don’t even think it’s true for most non-Christians. I’ve been in a lot of Baptist churches where the altar call really wasn’t more than “If you want to become a Christian, say these words after me…” with no emphasis on trusting God or having faith, or explanation of what it means to be a Christian. Some churches do this afterward, but I think if there’s not an understanding before, at least to some extent, there can’t really be a change of heart.
Looking at Paul’s sermon at the Acropolis, he basically went through creation to Christ’s resurrection, and then to God’s judgment. It’s a pretty complete picture.
I sometimes go into my Church and sit for a while and contemplate Christ and Him Crucified
Christ and Him Crucified
I have no other words for you, Lydia but these.
The problems I’ve seen with alter calls in rural Southern Kentucky is pressure others put on certain people. I’ve seen men go to the alter and say the sinner’s prayer just to shut the deacons up and get them off their backs. It’s not so prevalent here now, but 30 years ago, preachers and deacons would almost harass people into getting “saved”.
I’ve also seen young people go to the alter just because all of their friends went.
I don’t know how I stumbled onto this article but it is one man’s story of crossing the bridge out of complementarianism.
You don’t have to go into a church to do that.
I can sit alone on my front porch and watch the humming birds and the butterflies, or walk alone down into the woods and sit above the bluffs, or watch the snow fall from the sky and feel closer to God in those situations than when I’m sitting in a church building.
LOL ‘don’t mess with Mama’
a framed saying in my brother’s house:
“Mama not happy, nobody happy,
Papa not happy, nobody care”
The Kingdom of God is all around you. 🙂
beautiful comment, NANCY TWO
Oh, I totally agree with this! And I was framing my response within that understanding of Western Christianity.
@ Ken F:
There is always that danger. It is inevitable. It is an interesting topic to consider how we can keep our thought processes from becoming institutionalized. Not that all forms of institutionalizuon are bad. My old strategic planning process principles are coming out. We always have to weed the gardens, prune and such.
In that article, the writer quotes a woman as saying, “If I had known then what I know now, I never would have married him.”
I’ve been there, and it had everything to do with the SBC.
I’m sort of confused by infant baptism anyway. It seems like my church just uses it as some sort of promise to love and care for the child as a church? As near as I can tell. (they are old school Calvinist though)
Are there any infant baptisms in the bible, btw? Sincere question.
I think part of it is the principle that a lot of people will respond to being asked. So you ask, would you like to come down? It can be fake, and it can be for show, but I like the idea of asking. Of course, you could avoid the ‘for show’ issue if you just ask people to come to an office after church to talk or something like that.
Common as dirt among the neocalvinists, YRR, personal glory-seekers, looking for a righteous leader types, in my anecdotal experience, is a seething hatred for women.
The only thing I have a problem with are either/or rules that take the Holy Spirit out of the equation.
Law Prof wrote:
..and it’s a feeling they’d never express, seldom even to themselves, they so try to cover it over with goodness and faux godliness and flowery language. But if they really trust you to keep a confidence, some will express that dark truth. Trying to get them to put two and two together and understand that their theology is driven by their pathology, though, that’s something I’ve never seen a one acknowledge and I doubt I ever will.
Very good article.
No matter the view of women as unequal to this day?
Law Prof wrote:
And liked we’ve discussed here before all of these abusive NeoCal pastors also had problem relationships with their own fathers- absent, alcoholic, drug addicted, violent, etc.
They don’t seem to know how to do manhood and over compensate because they lacked a loving father on regular basis in their lives to model it for them.
“If it hadn’t been for the alter call every night at a VBS when I was an adolescent, I don’t know if I would have ever been saved. I could feel the Spirit pulling me every night at invitation, almost physically.”
i think this is great. It’s just plain honesty — feeling the honesty of the moment of God expressing himself as,
“YES! I’m on your side! 3 cheers for Nancy! Come on, let’s do something fun and creative and productive together!”
and Nancy expresssing herself as “YES! You & me, God! Let’s do it!”
so many silly, limiting, controlling man-made rules for this thing called ‘altar call’ or ‘no-altar call’.
Law Prof wrote:
Yes. They seem to think if they repeat their aberrant theology “2+2=5” enough times, and get nodding approvals from others that “5” is the correct answer, that no one else can see through them and knows that the correct answer is really “4”.
Watching the 4-man panel, including John Piper, promoting Comp was truly bizarre for me.
No one challenges them? Of course they don’t invite the opposition, including conservative Christians, who could shoot down their inane arguments in record time and make them look like fools.
The panelists said that if you get “Epehsians 5 wrong — you get The Gospel wrong.”
So was The Gospel “wrong” before the Apostle Paul wrote the letter to the Ephesian church?
Was The Gospel “wrong” before the canon of Scripture was put together? Was it ‘wrong’ before printing presses, money and literacy?
How could Jesus have possibly saved anyone in the Scriptures without Ephesians 5?
Didn’t Jesus get the Gospel ‘wrong’ because He didn’t have Ephesians 5?
As for me, I don’t know the state of these men’s relationships with their fathers. They may have had abusive mothers. They may have had good relationships with their parents. They may have been harmed as children in some way from outside their family and concocted wrong thinking based on their experience. They may have unknowingly harmed themselves by refusing help to deal with painful experiences and found unhealthy alternatives, or alternatives that seem healthy and right, but harm others. I have found that life is more complicated than simply saying all abusive men had bad relationships with their fathers. It harms families to place blame when we don’t know the facts.
It seems as though they are trying to instill fear! Fear mongering is what I call it. And it is no way for a supposed minister of the gospel to teach.
I once tried to speak up about the dreadful treatment of small infants and little ones as recommended by those fiends, the Pearls. I was on a blog where physical punishment of children was the norm, but what the Pearls were advocating was something profoundly evil.
I got shouted down. My brother is a pediatrician, and he has seen it all. Some parents are very sick people. And when their ‘religion’ exacerbates that sickness in them, then a child is at risk and the damage to their little curculatory systems and kidneys can be fatal. God have mercy.
I’ll say that the majority of the men I know in the Comp world – as pastors – espousing the Comp doctrine had bad relationships with their own fathers…from Mark Driscoll to Voddie Baucham to my own ex-NeoCal pastor. Get to know them, and that’s what you find out about them. Of course, it may not be accurate in the background of every Comp promoting pastor.
For a long time – since the late 1990’s – Comps have been controlling the narrative under the ruse of it’s *Biblical* instead of addressing many of their own unhealed pasts and childhoods that Comp attractive to them. It’s time to call them out on all of it.
you know, there may be something really wise in what you say here . . .
in the counseling profession and at the higher levels of the mental health profession,
it is very much advised that a therapist will him/or herself undergo therapy first,
as a part of the process the comprehend enough of how one’s own personal baggage could/might/would be laid on clients, unless that baggage was first dealt with in therapy
might work for clergy, since there ARE so many people for whom clergy is a first-stop for help in crises
this ‘therapy’ is not to ‘screen out’ people so much as to prevent their own difficulties from entering into the client/therapist relationship,
which might prove harmful to the client
I think, in many if not most instances, the comp/pat stuff is just generational thing, where many men are refusing to let go of the sexist norms of the past.. Back in the day, men were the masters and women were their “property”. Even after the privileged white men lost control of (former) slaves, they still had control of their women. With the19th ammendment, the ERA, women’ rights (equal work for equal pay, etc) advocates, and so on, the last bastion of slavery started slipping away. The men were completely losing control of their women. I think the pivotal point for the development of Complementarianism was the social and political recognition of women as full citizens with the same rights and privileges as men. Ego driven power and control. Too many men have a bad case of “little man syndrome”, and they believe the solution is to spread the virus to others.
(Just my opinion, as a female member of SBC churches for 38 years.)
Some feel it’s implied in Acts 16 when the jailer who believed, he “and his whole household” were baptized.
It’s one of those issues people get fired up about, which, I figure, to each his own.
I agree. Another thing is that the cultural expectations of what some man’s relationship with his father ought or should have been have changed. If we go on the assumptions that our current ideas are the only true and valid ideas then we are apt to be entirely wrong, since there have not been enough generations who believe and practice the newer ideas to have the outcomes information to form any decent statistical evaluations of how the new ideas actually result in some cultural setting.
Too much of this business of somebody did not have a good relationship with his father seems to play into the victim mentality which seems to be the explanation du jour of almost anything any more. For example: the idea that somebody’s father was working all the time even if that meant being on the road used to indicate that the man was serious about providing for his family, and now it means that he was neglecting his family. The idea that some woman was a SAHM used to mean that she was serious about raising her kids and doing whatever she did toward the general welfare of the family, and now it is increasingly rejected as a good choice for women.
It is ridiculous to judge yesterday’s families by today’s standards. Eventually we will no doubt have yet other ideas and see today’s standards as outmoded and possible the cause of some poor person’s victimhood some way. If John Piper had father problems or mother problems he can join the club, get over it, and maybe somebody will tell his about ‘grace’ which will help him do that.
A big AMEN here Nancy2!
I feel the same way with the hummers at the feeder, the red-tailed hawks riding the thermals, and the wheeling of the constellations about the pole star in the night sky.
Twain knew this too. Pap and Injun Joe were just mean and vile critters. No rhyme and no reason. That’s just what they were.
For all of us who have had abusive NeoCalvinist pastors – the screaming, yelling, threats, tirades, orderes to “obey” and “to submit” to them- yes, their relationships with their abusive fathers and the fact they’re acting it out on the rest of us – is a very serious problem.
These men – everyone from my former NeoCalvinsit pastor to Mark Driscoll – should have been in very good psychotherapy years ago to deal with their personal problems, anger, rage, acting out, etc. Additionally, these men were unfit for ministry.
I can see why certain denominations require that future seminarians take a series of psychological tests, like other professions require such as law enforcement.
Teaching that Jesus is your spandex wearing Super-Hero is bad enough. But the bigger concern is the tweens/teens are being taught that they are essentially mini-gods with their own super powers. They teach them that they can prophesy, heal the sick, speak in tongues and perform miracles on par with the original 12 apostles. People forget that kids this age do not have their brains fully developed. They respond to emotion over logic and this is a seductive and powerful emotional pull. HUG nailed it with his comparisons to a different religion that also targets passionate youth. His Uruk hai Army comment was very funny too. But honestly, who needs a god when you have the same powers as the Almighty?
I think you are missing something when you cast it all in the area of abuse and victimization and call the current behavior ‘acting out’ of some residual psychological damage. That may well be so in some cases, and that would have to be determined on an individual basis.
But there is the other aspect of that in which the parent is a classic #$$% and this very behavior gives the kid both the permission and the role model of how to be an #$$% himself. It does not need to be abuse. It can be, and is, a life style for hoards of people.
It also omits the various diagnoses of certain personality disorders as well as other psychiatric conditions which do not seem to be caused by victimization but which involve destructive and even sociopathic behaviors, and even some which can be diagnosed in childhood and adolescence.
It is not presumptively the parent’s fault. It used to be when I was in school that this idea went so far as to claim that ‘childhood schizophrenia’ was caused by maternal rejection of the child at an unconscious level. Not so. Blaming the parent or blaming the family of origin of abuse is not a default position which can be unselectively applied to any and all situations.
Let me hasten to add that in the 50’s and 60’s at our little oilfield church we DID believe in the Father and the Holy Spirit. We just did not separate the Trinity into tri-theism, which seems to be happening today.
Jesus was most definitely not our best buddy, homie, or Someone to be treated lightly or irreverently. We just had an intact Trinity and a Christ centered faith.
This is important for our family even today. Turns out part of hubby’s background is probably Jewish, and two of the grands have one parent who is 3/4 ethnic Jewish. One of those grands also has another parent around 1/4 ethnic Jewish. All are most definitely Christians, and none are Messianic Jews.
But for our family the line is very clear: Jesus was fully man but also fully God. He is not a lesser god.
And we see it that if He can be made a lesser god, then these hyper comps (not what I lived with in the 50’s) can see the father of a family, then men in general as also lesser gods somewhat equal to our Lord and Savior.
I’m not buying THAT. A church should be clearly and distinctly Christ centered. Or soon once again we will see our Puritans becoming Unitarians.
This makes me feel ill. Actually ill. This looks like The Christian Post is using Mark Driscoll as an advice columnist. I have to wonder who is behind this? The CP has not always been friendly to the disgraced, fallen pastor.
I am with you on this looking advertorial. Consider the timing Mirele. In the three weeks leading up to his official TTC launch one of the largest Christian publications backs off their negative press, does a 180, and now appears to be promoting Mark Driscoll as an advice columnist? I wonder how many favors Lawrence Swicegood had to pull to get this done? The CP is risking the credibility of their entire organization by elevating this scoundrel to a teaching pastor worth having his advice touted across the globe. They are actively legitimizing this wolf. When he publicly reverts back to his old ways, this is going to make the CP look foolish at best.
Jeannette Altes wrote:
The problem is there are genuine cases where someone wasn’t loving. It would be right to correct that brother or sister.
They key is to allow room for a member to call out the leaders for not loving. When a member say “I don’t feel loved! I have solid reasons why you aren’t being fair!” it should be a powerful wake up call for the church leadership.
The wrong answer from them would be “Well you shouldn’t feel that way.”
The right answer is “Thanks for telling us your feelings. They are genuine. Tell us then, what would loving elders have done in this situation?”
It doesn’t really bother me, but I do think the ‘baptist’ idea of baptism feels more right to me? But I think the presby baptism of infants kind of does the same thing a ‘dedication’ of the baby does in a Baptist church. I don’t know how it’s really the same thing…
I agree with this. I do think we may see patterns in some of these guys (for instance, it seems an awful lot of mega pastors have no seminary degree – although I haven’t done a thorough study).
But there is also some projection, and some Freud in the general dx of a bad father or bad mother. Except in cases where we know things for certain.
I still go into the Church and kneel down and pray when I am in grief or troubled or just wanting some time alone in the presence of the Eucharist. This is a Catholic thing. It is NOT necessary, or even more important than going into the garden of my aunt with all the flowers and the birdfeeders and praying.
But I go in, and I light a candle, or two and I may sit for a ‘visit’. The Church is still and quiet and there are almost always others kneeling in silent prayer there. My old Church was stone-built and cool inside, with many candles, stained-glass windows . . . when we moved out to the suburbs, sometimes i would still drive in to the old Church for a visit, and there I felt like I was home. Like I said, it’s a Catholic thing. Like walking eight hundred miles on pilgrimage in Spain, or praying for the dead, or asking the dead to pray for me, or holding the frail rosary of my Memere (grandmother)of blessed memory, and fingering the beads worn as thin as watermelon seeds . . . it wouldn’t make sense to most people, but I figure this is a part of who I am. And of my heritage from the family I will always love. 🙂
Roots and wings. It is good to know who you are AND to celebrate it.
Thanks for your response as well as Bridget for her response on this topic.
I think there’s been a miscommunication among us. I don’t think that all abusive behavior among these NeoCal men leaders who promote comp is attributed to bad childhoods.
There are, however, many of them who fit this category including my ex-NeoCal pastor who scores of church members say were abused by him. Ditto for other pastors like Mark Driscoll.
Agreed. I never said otherwise.
Yes, I’m aware of this scenario as well. And if someone has not resolved this unhealthy behavior they are unfit for ministry.
Again, I never omitted these factors either. I gave specific examples of abusive Comp promoting NeoCal pastors who have not resolved their childhood issues, have unleashed abuse on others and done terrible damage in the lives of Christians and in a witness for the Gospel, and are unfit for ministry.
Of course not everything is a parent’s fault. I was discussing specific examples of men who are unfit for Christian ministry because of their unresolved childhood issues and the level of abuse that they inflict on people around them.
There may be a variety of factors that make people unfit for ministry, including personality disorders like NPD.
I think the denominations who require prospective seminarians to undergo psychological testing, to check their fitness for ministry, are protecting the churches and members. Men and women seminarians I know who passed the tests said that people with severe problems were weeded out.
I always appreciate your posts. I have Eastern Orthodox Christian relatives who find great comfort in going to their churches to pray and contemplate. Of course they pray elsewhere too.
Law Prof wrote:
Sadly, I think this attitude is the majority attitude of many of the SBC lesders.
This article gives a pretty decent summary of baptising infants in the Reformed (Presbyterian) churches.
All I can think of when I read this is Dr. Sheri Klouda. Her story is heartbreaking.
Witch hunters. By their definition, I think I’m a witch.
When almost no SBC leaders stood up for this woman, I knew the FUNDAMENTALIST view of women by the SBC leaders was the Standard Operating Procedure in the SBC!
you make me think of my Ukrainian godmother, of blessed memory. She used to tell me: ‘when you go by the Church, stop in for a visit; so when they carry you in feet-first, God won’t say, ‘who is it?’ (I don’t where she got it from but I always smile when I remember that.)
And any man that supports the egalitarian view of a women is a witch supporter. They have perfected their evil system!
I like that. I also like the custom of bowing as one passes a church in which the Blessed Sacrament is reserved. I have never done that and probably won’t, but I think it is appropriate.
Those men were unconscionable in what they did to Dr. Sheri Klouda, conservative professor of Hebrew. The trustees had hired her. Then later the Comp-espousing leader had her fired, when she was the sole source of support in her family, her husband was gravely ill, and they had so little money that Dr. Klouda was forced to sell her blood to get money to pay for the basics.
Those men should take their Bibles and toss them in the trash. They do not know God.
They do not know Jesus.
I know many loving Eastern Orthodox Christians.
Many of these men are proud foot-soldiers of the Conservative Resurgence–I refer to
it as the FUNDAMENTALIST TAKEOVER. They destroyed the lives of Christians and yet they are proud of their actions. My blood boils over these peacock strutting men and many who “pastor.”
I think that depends. You know that I started a residency in psychiatry and then had to switch to radiology when my night child care (husband) got drafted during the VN era. We were not in therapy nor did we have to undergo mental evaluations (unless somebody showed some kind of symptoms, as occasionally someone would). But we were not training in Freudian psychotherapy either. In fact, the head of the department had a picture of Freud in his office, hanging on the wall, and facing the wall. Looked weird but he got the point across.
200,000 living members fleeing the SBC every year now, fed up with these leaders,
with NeoCalvinism, authoritarianism, and Comp teachings.
Highest divorce rate now in the nation.
Huh. So, I don’t think this article has convinced me at all.
Yet, ask the current SBC leaders and they will tell you all is well. These people repulse me.
I know a lot of therapy trainings use practice therapy, but I don’t know that anyone is required to really get therapy.
waking up wrote:
Priceless!!! But turn on CC and also leave the volume on. The closed captions are wildly inaccurate, but “on the front doctors franciscan deal kazakh” makes FAR more sense than the actual words. 🙂
My hubby just said today that he probably would have died if a I hadn’t come to the ER and taken control when he fell off of the ladder. When the EMTS told me they had asked him who the pres. Of the U.S. is, and he said Ronald Reagan, I knew …..
Aside from the physical injuries, hubby’s memory and concentration were off kilter for about 6 weeks. I made his medical decisions and dealt with the doctors and insurance reps. When he refused to take the liquid antibiotics, I told him that he could take them, or I could rally the troops – he would take them, one way or another. I was a cross between a mama bear and a Tasmainian devil with him for a while. I hid his truck keys, tractor keys, and all of that good stuff. No regrets, on my part or my hubby’s. Our pastor and his daughter came over and mowed our yard and called to check on hubby often while he was out of commission. A few other church members called, but none of the deacons ever called. I wonder if it was because they knew I would answer the phone?
I hate to wish evil on anyone, but a little wake-up-call-fall surely wouldn’t be a bad thing for some of these SBC manly men.
I did not know that. I was told about the ‘therapy’ thing many years ago in grad school.
Radiology? My nephew David is doing a radiology residency at a nearby naval hospital. He says he doesn’t want to end up working fourteen hours a day like his father. My brother is pediatrician and he LOVES his work. If he sleeps four hours a night, it’s a lot for him. Always been that way.
Downside: he’s overweight, won’t go the dentist, wants to do all his own yardwork and handy-man jobs on his farm, and I don’t know how long he has before he drops. I’m his OLDER sister, so I get to yell, I mean, advise at him. 🙂
I agree with them, and I believe they get Ephesians 5 wrong along with the rest of Ephesians. And 1 Corinthians. And 1 Timothy. And I believe they get the Gospel wrong because they add to the Gospel with their soul-crushing law.
The weird addition to that comment was supplied by one of my grandchildren.
Fear sells. The trick is to figure out what your target market fears most.
I applaud and celebrate your way as uniqely your own. And if it doesn’t conform to my way? So what. Who am I or anybody else for that matter to say that your way is wrong? I had enough of that horse poo-poo when I was a teachee in the Calvary Chapel cult.
What goes around comes around. Karma and her sister Comeuppance are relentless.
“FEAR ALWAYS WORKS!”
— Acting Mayor Bellwether, Zootopia
Just like the old Soviet Union, “The System Is Perfect In Every Way!”
The Rulers of Tomorrow, the Master Race.
Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
“If you step out of line they take you away? They seem to have no fear of hades.
A Righteous Mass Movement can get by without a God, but not without a Devil.
And not only a Devil, but WITCHES hiding among us to be smelled out and burned.
I often wonder if these evil people will ever repent?
“*I* shall exalt *MY* throne above that of the Most High!”
We were waiting at the DMV today and my daughter came across an article on Facebook by Wayne Gruden and asked if I knew who he was. Poor thing didn’t expect to get an earful. The main point I tried to make was that organizations like CBWM don’t get the fact that their narrow interpretations of a few words in Ephesians should not truump “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
FW Rez wrote:
Better for her to learn now the easy way. She can learn to spot the logical fallacies, emphatic language, assertion masquerading as argument, etc. Talking about Grudem while at the DMV is guaranteed to produce a migraine.
Different things work for different people. I had set out to be a medical missionary. Emphasis on the medical, not an evangelist in a white coat. I had ideas of helping set up elementary health care for some unreached people group in some tropical jungle or something. That did not work out. In fact the former FMB let me go see for myself and prove to myself that it was not going to work out. So I went to plan B, which was the ‘unreached people group’ of the psychotic and incurable and institutionalized. When that fell through due to the war and the needs of mothering with an absent husband I accepted an offer from the radiology department when they lost their residents to the draft and were desperate and were looking for women and old guys to keep the place running. This had not been even plan C, but life is like that. But I felt horrible about it. I felt that I was basically no longer a doctor, just a dictionary of anatomic terms or something. I kept asking God which one of us, He or I, had deserted the other one? I figured I had done something really wrong but I had no idea what that was, so finally I had to just give up on the self pity and move on. I spent a long time in radiology. The children turned out well. I still have a long white coat hanging in the back of a closet along with an academic gown with stripes on the sleeves and a little black dress that has memories. And God has yet to explain all that to me; but I see nothing in scripture that says we are due any explanations. Yet.
My dentist says he wants to mow the grass in ‘heaven’. No more teeth. I said that I want to have another whack at the practice of medicine, except that would not work in the absence of disease. So much for that.
Oh, and don’t forget Romans 9 … they REALLY get that one wrong!! They get the Gospel wrong because they steer away from the words of Jesus in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John in favor of camping out with Paul! The only bible they really need are the Pauline epistles; they are masters at twisting his words to fit reformed theology.
Way off topic here, but ……
That owl in the photo at the top of this article: does it look like to anyone else that it’s strutting down the catwalk in Milan, modeling 2016 fall fashions, or is it just me?
@ Headless Unicorn Guy:
Thanks for the song, H.U.G. Yep, that explains why Comp men are scratching their heads when they get dumped by their wives.
I think if they had the choice they would eliminate the 4 Gospels from their Bibles. Wait a minute they already have.
Are you sure it’s a female? Hee Hee.
I’m sorry you were disappointed; you had a beautiful dream of being a medical missionary.
Someday, we will be shown the bigger picture and the reasons for our place within it. And then, we shall understand. I believe this to be true.
Muff Potter wrote:
I hope so.
I think when the Neo-Cals TAKEOVER the SBC and start removing the non-Cal from the Seminaries, etc.; I wonder will they realize they have reaped what they had sown? Just maybe they will lose some of their arrogance and smugness.
I get the impression that the NeoCals don’t care. After all, they will justify that they are among The Elect, even that these events God knew about in advance — so too bad.
My ex-NeoCal pastor used to tell us that when Jesus came back and did battle that my pastor would be riding a horse for Jesus.
I would sit in my pew and think, “A guy like you who has screamed at Christians, bullied them, lied about them, ordered their excommunications and shunnings on trumped up charges, cost them friendships, told people to ‘obey’ and ‘submit’ to him — Jesus wouldn’t trust you with the manure in the horses’ stables let alone with a horse.”
I don’t say it was a female. Males can strut their stuff, too. Just ask Matt Chandler!
I don’t believe the YRR will really crash until the pew peons wake up and smell the bitter coffee.
I find it truly amazing that a handful of New Calvinist leaders have been able to lead thousands of young evangelicals away from reading, teaching, and preaching the words of Jesus! It astounds me that a small cast of arrogant characters have been able to redirect the energy of a generation of young preachers to promote Calvin at the expense of Christ. I stand dumbfounded that mainline Christianity has allowed this proliferation of theological aberration with little challenge. If the enemy of the Cross wanted to distract the American church from the Great Commission in the 21st century, he couldn’t have come up with a better plan. There is a spirit on this movement, and it ain’t holy.
Max, sadly I must agree with you!
I’ve spent most of my 60+ years in SBC ranks waiting for the pew to get stirred up about something! Their apathy and complacency about the things of God have opened the door for New Calvinism. As long as you don’t mess with their chicken dinners, they don’t care about a little bad coffee. I’m getting old and cynical, I suppose, but the masses in SBC pews, and most of its pulpits, just don’t seem to give a big whoop about the denomination trending toward Calvinism. The New Calvinist leaders know this and forge ahead.
Sadly, I think the last one left will have to turn the lights off in the SBC.
Max: I was reminded of you just now. I bought a fancy carton of eggs that had a slip inside talking about the antibiotic-free pasture-raised hens and such. It referred to the hens as “our girls”.
Deebs — I loved this line from your blog post:
Instead, find a church in which the pastor wants to get to know you, who smiles when he sees you and liberally gives out hugs. Find a pastor who will return your phone call and would be delighted to eat lunch with you. Run from the church in which a pastor hides in his study and only hangs out with a select few.
Yep, New Calvinist “hens” have been brain-washed about the beauty of complementarity. Sad to see the patriarchy keeping their “girls” from exercising their freedom in Christ and using their gifts in the Body of Christ. New Calvinism is legalism disguised as grace.
I suppose that everybody knows that ‘girls’ is a slang term for women’s breasts. As in the expression, somebody ought to tell her that she needs to cover up the girls a bit better. Or worse. Not that this use of the term ever crossed the minds of the lads in the pulpits, of course.
My only warning about this is that authoritarian NeoCalvinist churches may also use these tactics – such as lunch/meetings/coffee – in which you are required to meet with pastors/elders. It can also be a tool of control and thought reform, in which you are reported up the chain to the other pastors/elders.
Do you have liberty? Liberty to say ‘no’? Are there healthy boundaries?
At my ex-church we didn’t have the liberty to decline these meetings, even when we wanted to. Trust me, I tried. I was hounded incessantly. And then I had to go listen to dumb, stupid advice for a couple of hours and throw them ‘a bone’ and act happy with their ‘advice’. Other ex-church members told me that had the same problems.
With his skinny jeans….
The Comp honeymoon is over. They now have the highest divorce rate in the nation.
They also have record amounts of domestic violence and crimes against children.
You are saying comp but not designating any particular group. I have not been able to find good references about the statistics of divorce, domestic violence and crimes against children as related to a certain gender comp belief. I can find some stuff on SBC, but of course they are not all comp. Anyhow, can you point me in the right direction with some references, please.
Piper doesn’t even know how right he is with “If you get Eph. 5 wrong, you get the gospel wrong”.
If you do not see the truth of the whole passage – “submit to one another” – in Eph. 5, in the light of Matthew 20:25-28, but instead insist on taking out one half verse to interpret the chapter as being about authority and power, yes, then you will get the gospel wrong. Then you will get “servant leadership” instead of true servants, hierarchical relationships in church instead of true co-inheritors of the kingdom, men and women more defined by their chromosomes and/or physical appendages than by what Jesus did for them.
I think that complementarianism is the basis for abuse – if you see one of the really important relationships in your life as one of hierarchy and power, you will be disposed to see all of them in such a way.
The only reason why not most or all complementarian couples devolve into abusive relationships is that many who say that they are complementarians, in reality live – as R.Moore and W. Grudem complain – basically egalitarian lives.
And don’t get me started about Grudem’s list of 83 positions in church, graded according to their suitability for women. Or Piper’s “directive and (im-)personal” nonsense. Seriously? Why is this even still a topic? They should be laughed out the door and told to come back after successful therapy.
Trust me, I’m in Dallas, and I see it for myself. Chandler is just the smiling Mark Driscoll, seducing sheltered DFW suburbanites with the ultimate “nice guy” act. And like those hens that produced my tasty eggs, they make think they’re free, but they’re going to produce and they’re not going to leave.
When you listen to his testimony of entering the ministry (e.g., his interview with John Piper), he offers little evidence that he is truly called. New Calvinism is an easy living for preacher boys with a little charisma and a knack for gabbing.
Have you ever read his testimony on why he didn’t graduate from seminary? Seminary is for people who aren’t as good as he is! He sounds like every one of my engineering classmates who dropped out to party more.
So Matt Chandler is a great pastor because he can draw a crowd, and there you have it: according to Matt Chandler, Joel Osteen is the best pastor in the world.
That’s the Dallas church community for you: Not nearly as removed from Bob Tilton and Ed Young Jr. as they like to think they are.
They’re on the internet. I’ve previously posted them on other discussions. I don’t have time to look up links again.
Best wishes in your research. It’s sobering.
Julie Anne Smith wrote:
Isn’t there a Scripture somewhere which says “You will know them by their hairdo”?
Yes, the Reformation had been underway for quite a while (started by Catholic monk Martin Luther) before the Institutes appeared on the scene. Martin Luther read the ICR when first published and gave his approval. The Institutes written as a compendium of the doctrines of the Christian religion, was based on the false premises of Augustine’s religious doctrine.
The following 501(c)3 Calvinist religious groups are extremely effective at reinforcing false biblical teaching as truth:
The Gospel Colition (TGC)
Together For The Gospel (T4G)
Acts 29 (A29)
Sovereign Grace Churches (SGC) formerly Sovereign Grace Ministries (SGM)
The spiritural life you save may be your own and your family, –if you are to grow in grace and knowledge of our Savior Jesus Christ amounst kind folks who demonstrate love and trust, not an environment of fear, ultamate suspition, and distrust. These 501(c)3 religious individules may be wrapt in bondage and some form of spiritual corruption, but you need not be…
Seek solid religious fellowship elsewhere,
(See the bible for details)
“They Absolutely Do Not Believe You Are A Christian Unless You Follow The Calvinist Format?”
@ Julie Anne Smith
When attending another church, when asked if I am a Christian, I politely answer: “I follow the teachings of God’s only Son, Jesus Christ according to the four New Testament Gospels. I am very pleased with the results.”
I have yet to receive an unfavorable response.
Jesus said, “I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.” (John 10:9). This statement is a part of Jesus’ teaching after He had healed the man born blind. It had been at Jerusalem that Jesus had miraculously healed the man. Evidently the man had been a familiar sight in Jerusalem, perhaps because he begged for his sustenance at some busy intersection. It was a powerful miracle that no one could deny.
The man had been brought to the Pharisees. The Pharisees were enemies of Jesus. They confronted Jesus whenever they could. They demanded signs. How about this one? No, not good enough. When the man who had been blind but now could see refused to deny that Jesus had healed him, he was put out of the synagogue.
The point of Jesus’ statement “I am the door” is that the Pharisees were rejecting their only access to God. Jesus later put it another way when He said “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but by Me.” (John 14:6). The same “Light of the World” that revealed the way to the spiritually blind was also blinding to those who thought they could “see perfectly fine without any help from you, Jesus of Nazareth, thank you very much.”
The point of Jesus’ discourse following this incident is that we cannot make it without Him. He is our door as well. Consider His statement again: “I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
“I Am The Door”
“He is the stone which was rejected by you, the builders, but which became the very cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:11,12).
Jesus described Himself in several different ways. He is the Good Shepherd, the Cornerstone, the Bread of Life and the Water of Life.
Salvation has become a very simple matter. There are not four or five paths to heaven and we need not be concerned with the complication of picking the best one for us. There is only one way. All the others lead in the wrong direction (Matthew 7:13,14).
It is with great animosity that the Council looked upon Peter and John when they taught “and there is salvation in no one else.” That same anger is directed at those who would teach the same message today by a world that supposes there are many ways to heaven and many names through which to be saved. It will take a great deal of courage to remain loyal to the Risen Lord Jesus and insist that He is ‘still’ the only way.
“If Anyone Enters Through Me”
“Now when they had heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, ‘Brethren, what shall we do?’ And Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and let each of you be baptized for the forgiveness of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:37,38). Salvation is conditional. We must enter the right door. Each one of us has the responsibility to make his or her own decision to enter the Door and then follow through. The Lord will not drag us over the threshold.
Some say that salvation is totally by grace. Of course, salvation is utterly impossible without God’s grace, but to say that its “solely by grace” removes the need for a favorable ‘human response’. It would mean that we do not have to enter the door. It would be more correct to say that the door is given “solely by grace,” but we must have the faith to enter it (Ephesians 2:8).
Speaking of doors, it is as easy to leave by a door as it is to enter by it. Some picture discipleship as entering a door which, as soon as one enters, Jesus slams it shut so and locks it so one cannot leave if he changes his mind. But the sad fact is that some do change their mind, and are free to leave (Galatians 5:4; Hebrews 6:4-6).
“He Shall Be Saved”
“He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved, but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.” (Mark 16:16). The phrase “shall be saved” occurs in both our main text (John 10:9) as well in this verse. “Salvation” in used in at least two senses in the Scriptures. Sometimes the Bible refers to salvation from past sins when one obeys the gospel, as Jesus does here. But at other times, it is eternal salvation that is being referred to. Peter encourages those who are facing persecution to continue to live faithfully, allowing the trials they face to prove their faith, thereby “obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls.” (I Peter 1:9). There he is referring to our eternal inheritance to be received at the end (which is really the beginning!).
It should be pointed out that Mark 16:16 elaborates on how one “enters” the Door. These two verses compliment one another, both talking about how to be saved. We enter the door when we obey the gospel. It is not correct to pose these verses against one another and say, “See, one does not have to be baptized to be saved because Jesus said one must enter the door to be saved.” Actually, He said both, and both, taken together along with all else the Bible says about salvation, are true.
“And Go In And Out”
“If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:31,32). The idea of “going in and out” does not refer to leaving and coming back to Jesus. Rather, it refers to the freedom we have in Christ. We are free to live without regret and fear. We enjoy peace and our well-being is not bound by temporal concerns. Though we experience bad times as well as good, we do not “grieve as do the rest who have no hope” (I Thessalonians 4:13).
Freedom in Christ does not mean we are at liberty to disobey Him, however. Grace is not a license to sin (Romans 6:1,2) nor is it an opportunity to serve the flesh (Galatians 5:13). We cannot be free apart from knowing the truth, and we cannot truly and accurately know the truth without abiding in His word.
“And Find Pasture”
“He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters.” (Psalm 23:2). The Lord will sustain us. He is our Strength and Provider. He has promised “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you.” We confidently say, “The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid.” (Hebrews 13:5,6).
As God’s children, we are as sheep in the midst of a green pasture. We are free to nourish ourselves on what the Lord has provided. We need not be hungry or thirsty. We can stay with our Lord Jesus, and know His protection. It would certainly be foolish to wander off on our own. We patiently wait, provided with the things we need, knowing that “when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.” and that we “are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” (I Peter 5:4; 1:5). 
 ref: http://www.bible.ca/ef/expository-john-10-9(2).htm
Great list. I would add “Founders Ministries,” but at this stage it might be a bit redundant since Founders is now so tightly linked with TGC and 9Marks. I would also add “Soma Communities.” Also watch out for “The Gospel Project” because it is basically the teaching curriculum of TGC and relies heavily on TGC contributors.
Another ministry to keep an eye is The Order of Mission and 3DM, both founded by Mike Breen. Mike Breen does not seem to be very connected with the above mentioned, but his ministry has a lot of weird cult-like and shepherding movement aspects.
Funerals, hospital visits, etc. = Earning the right to be heard on Sunday morning.
“Cook’in Da SBC to bring forth Calvinism Within It’s Midst, Perhaps?”
@ Ken F,
Apparently, Founders Ministries
is the one that began cooking up the spreading of Calvinism in the SBC.
So guess who the founder was who dreamed up the idea of recovering Calvinism in the SBC? none other than Earnest Reisinger, one of the forefathers of New Covenant Theology.
It so happens, at the fall season of the Banner of Truth Conference in 1979, Ron McKinney spoke with lain Murray, Ernie Reisinger and others about the possibility of having a conference where some aspects of Reformed theology could be discussed and evaluated by men of differing viewpoints.
That conference ended up being the “1980 Council on Baptist Theology” held in Plano, TX. 
The ball was ‘later’ picked up, you guessed it, by Albert Mohler and Mark Dever. C.J Mahaney knew a bit about conferencing…
The rest, as you say, is history…
You’d have to ask the guys who list individualism as the result of wicked western secular culture.
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Paul Wilkinson wrote:
Paul Wilkinson wrote:
An old saying in my part of the world “They don’t care what you know until they know that you care.”
Stan, this focus scares me to death. And it is coming from many quarters. It is collectivism, pure and simple, whether it comes from a religious or secular groups. It encourages people to get their identity from a group (which really means the gurus leading the group). It is a most effective form of control.
It is so much harder to control people who view themselves as independent individuals. If there are enough of them. Sigh.
So many of these big church guys never went to or graduated seminary. I doubt seminary alone is a fixer, but that seems to be a weird trend. I would love to do a project relating size of church with seminary training! Some of these people come off more like motivational speakers than pastors. Except they aren’t actually motivating…
From that article, they list being ‘counter cultural’ as super important. That’s a problem because what if culture is actually right? Our culture is anti slavery. And murder. And several things that are pretty bad. Should we be ‘counter cultural’ in those areas?
Another bit from that Matt chandler article: I had an undergrad in Bible that had prepared me to handle the Greek (thanks Dr. Knight)
Is this the ‘George knight’ that people keep talking about?
The Party and the Collective, Comrade.
Julie Anne Smith wrote:
“It is not enough for you to obey Big Brother, 6079 Smith W. You Must LOVE Big Brother.”
Rule 1. THEY get to define culture. Therefore, they get to define “counter cultural”. Do you remember when postmodernism (as the real problem in evangelicalism) was all the rage in churches? Some Megas created ministries to combat post modernism. I never once heard a good definition of what it means outside the art world.
These days being ‘counter cultural” is NOT joining a group that claims to be counter cultural!
It’s weird about Chandler. Didn’t he get his start as a college campus guru in ministry? Wouldn’t such a guru be pro post grad education?
Postmodernism, in my experience as I recall, was usually a fancy way of saying “people who believe that there’s no universal truth.” I used the term with some evangelicals recently to illustrate how those chickens have come home to roost. For example, some washed up minor celebrity claimed that a certain leader of the free world who is black and identifies as a Christian is really in fact a Muslim, because they feel that it must be true in their heart. And there was another talking head on TV who was arguing that the crime rate is going up (rather than down, as the actual statistics show) because people feel less safe. These folks were speaking for the side who used to decry “postmodernism.” Just saying…
Good thoughts. I think you are right and could give examples used from the other end of the political spectrum. I am guessing you never listened to Jeremiah Wright sermons? They were eventually taken down before critical mass..
If I remember correctly post modernism was also a defined as a focus on moral relativism and situational ethics. Things the ruling oligarchies in church and government love to define for us peasants.
I take relativism on the other end of the spectrum for granted. I never did hear any Jeremiah Wright sermons, though.
As we see time after time here, moral relativism and situational ethics are alive and well in too many churches and religious organizations (again, I take the existence of the same in some secular organizations for granted).
Let me put it this way: Methodism’s founders, the Wesley brothers, began as rebels against the Calvinists who were trying to take over the Anglicans…..
We haven’t changed much in this regard.
We have women everything….except obedient & submissive.
Everything has to go through a congregational vote or its not happening.
There is a list of local mental health professionals posted on the bulletin board in the entryway. The church directory contains the names & addresses of local hospitals & medical centers.