Church Takeover Success Using Strategies from the Calvinista Playbook

"If you're a theologically minded, deeply convictional young evangelical, if you're committed to the Gospel and you want to see the nations rejoice in the name of Christ, if you want to see Gospel built and structured and committed churches, your theology is just gonna end up basically being Reformed, basically being something like this New Calvinism."

Al Mohler on New Calvinism

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_football_plays#/media/File:FB-toss-sweep.pngA Fullback Sweep Play (American Football)

My father was a standout fullback in high school. At our family reunions my uncles and aunts would often regale me on how my dad would score touchdown after touchdown, usually bringing his team to victory. According to them, he was unstoppable! He could have attended college on a football scholarship but decided instead to join the Air Force during the Korean Conflict. No doubt he caught the opposing team off guard many times by running plays like the one pictured above. 

Through personal experience and the testimonies of our brothers and sisters in Christ, Dee and I have discovered that there is a Calvinista playbook.

For those of you who may be new to TWW, here is what we mean by "Calvinista" (from our glossary of terms):

Calvinista: These are Calvinists gone wild. They are self-important, self-assured, and absolutely convinced that they know what the Bible says on every subject. They also believe anyone who doesn't agree with them is utterly wrong. They spend lots of time running around to conferences, getting together with other guys (women have no place in this discussion) who also agree with them 100%. In fact, they spend more time speaking at conferences than pastoring their churches.

New Calvinism is another way to describe this theological trend that is affecting (we would say infecting) conservative, traditional churches far and wide. If you are unfamiliar with these terms and unaware of this trend to 'restore the Gospel' to its reformed roots, then let me be frank – you and your congregation are sitting ducks (and the Calvinistas couldn't be more thrilled!)

Southern Baptist seminaries, along with some Reformed ones, are cranking out New Calvinist clones at an alarming rate. These "enlightened" seminary grads are poised to transform traditional churches to fit the Calvinista mold. Here are Al Mohler, President of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Ligon Duncan, Chancellor of the Reformed Theological Seminary, and Kevin DeYoung, a Presbyterian pastor and seminary professor, discussing this trend:

Let's carefully consider Al Mohler's edict (beginning at the 1:09 mark):

That's another aspect to this and that is where else are they gonna go? I mean what options are there? If you're a theologically minded, deeply convictional young evangelical, if you're committed to the Gospel and you want to see the nations rejoice in the name of Christ, if you want to see Gospel built and structured and committed churches, your theology is just gonna end up basically being Reformed, basically being something like this New Calvinism, uh or you're gonna have to invent some other label for what's just gonna be the same thing. There just are not options out there and that's something that I think frustrates some people, but when I'm asked about the New Calvinism, I'm gonna say, well just basically where else are they gonna go? Who else is gonna answer the questions? Where else are they gonna find the resources they need? And where else are they gonna connect? This is a generation that understands they want to say the same thing Paul said. They want to stand with the apostles, they want to stand with old dead people, and uh and they know they're gonna have to if they're gonna preach and teach the truth.

Those words are stunning! If you have never heard of the Young, Restless, and Reformed movement, then it's time to get educated! The first time Dee and I became aware of this movement was in September 2006 when our latest issue of Christianity Today arrived in the mail. The front cover was adorned with a picture of someone wearing a yellow tee shirt bearing these words: "JONATHAN EDWARDS IS MY HOMEBOY". Of course, Edwards is best known for his fiery sermon: "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God".

The CT article was entitled: "Young, Restless Reformed: Calvinism is making a comeback–and shaking up the church" (link).  At first Dee and I didn't comprehend the significance of this article because we hadn't been affected by the YRR movement and had little knowledge of its leaders. Several years later, while doing research, the light bulb came on for us so to speak.

Now we are fully aware that Al Mohler and gang have a growing army of lieutenants who are poised to gain access to the pastoral reins of your church and steer it down the 'correct' path toward reformational truth. In their theological construct, Reformed (Calvinistic) Theology is the only true doctrine.

So how is the Young Restless and Reformed crowd (whom we call Calvinistas) 'shaking up the church'? Recently, we received an email from a sister in Christ who experienced such a 'shake-up' first hand. She has provided an extremely detailed account of what happened at her church in hopes that others will recognize the stealth moves of these YRR pastors before it's too late…

Here is how the Calvinista playbook was implemented at a church in the Midwest. Our hope is that should a newly hired pastor at your church attempt to run some of these tricky plays, you will recognize them immediately and be able to defend against them before your congregation is completely overtaken.


Testimony from a Sister in Christ in the Midwest

I have been reading your blog for the past year and a half, and this is the first time I felt led to write you. First of all, thank you for the work you both are doing in researching, writing, and creating awareness on trends in the Christian community. You both seem to genuinely care about the flock of Christ and specifically those who have been hurt by harmful shepherds. 

I want to share the story of what my husband and I recently went through in our former church, which is located in the Midwest. You will unfortunately find it all too familiar to others' stories. As far as myself, I’m a stay at home mom (former corporate girl with an MBA), and I work part time on projects for my old company from home. My husband and I have been married for over 16 years and share a love of Christ, having been believers since our late teens. I felt a similarity to your backgrounds as well. 

I believe sharing my story with people who understand will not only be therapeutic but will help me move forward in my Christian walk. The short story is that two years ago my husband and I made the heart-wrenching decision to leave our church home of over eight years due to a Neo-Cal takeover. 

Here is the long story:

In late 2006, my husband and I relocated to a Midwestern city to be closer to work and family after living in a far out suburb. I was pregnant with our first child. We had been members of a Baptist church in our former community, but the 45-minute drive to remain at the same church didn’t seem viable as we were expecting and wanting to get plugged into the new community.

After visiting a couple of churches, we found "A. B. Church (ABC)" — an unaffiliated local Baptist church. It was a good blend of both of our church backgrounds. The legalism my husband experienced in the IFB was not an issue. Women could serve in many capacities though not as a pastor. (I grew up in a Quaker church with a woman pastor). Anyway, the people there were warm and welcoming. The messages were sound and challenging, and we made the decision to attend regularly. 

During this time, ABC was in the process of searching for a new senior pastor as the former one had recently stepped down due to some disagreements. The associate pastors took turns filling in from the pulpit. We welcomed our son in spring of 2007, and I transitioned to working part-time. (My husband accepted a new job at my same company.) The ABC church body was there for us with meals and support after the birth, and they were what won us over. We started feeling connected to the community, so in the latter part of 2007, we joined the church and dedicated our infant son there. 

In early 2008 the pastor search committee announced that after almost 18 months they had found a candidate for Senior Pastor. The candidate then did a guest sermon and a few meet and greets. The congregation, including my husband and I, were very impressed with his knowledge and enthusiasm, and we voted him in as Senior Pastor in March of 2008. At the time all I knew was that he came from a large church in Los Angeles and that he had served and studied under John MacArthur, whom I remotely remembered listening to on the radio from time to time.

Nothing earth shattering happened over the next couple of years. My husband and I became involved in a wonderful small group and made friendships that continue to this day. In May of 2010, we welcomed our second child, a daughter, and our church family was there to celebrate and support us with meals and prayers. I transitioned to staying home full-time with the kids and became more involved at church, helping out with VBS and getting involved in Bible study.

Now the changes begin to happen…

During the summer of 2010 the pastors and elders announced at a members' meeting that we would be voting to drop our rather large sports ministry. They had determined that it was becoming mostly 'inreach' for ABC families and children who attend other churches versus truly reaching unchurched kids. We didn't see any big deal in that reasoning and voted in favor of the change. 

Also, at that meeting, it was decided by the leadership (not a vote) that ABC would be dropping its Preschool and Mothers Day Out program as enrollment was down, and we were in a part of the city where there was a church preschool and MDO program literally around every block. Again, it seemed reasonable for legitimate reasons. Some people voiced their disdain, but there was little drama. We were a little bummed as our son was set to start preschool in the fall, and it would have been nice to have him at our familiar church, but we agreed the leadership was right and there were many quality programs in the area from which to choose. During this time the associate pastor overseeing the sports ministry stepped down to move into the mission field.

In late summer 2011, the long-time Children's Director resigned. We were all saddened as she had such a wonderful heart for children and served and led by example. About this same time, the senior pastor started "theology reading groups" that met to read and discuss Wayne Grudem's massive book, "Systematic Theology." It was by invitation only, and men's and women's groups met separately. I was kind of ticked my husband and I were not invited to join one, but looking back, it was a blessing in disguise! Also during this time, my husband was voted in as a deacon and helped with servicing some of the equipment on the church property. I continued helping with VBS, nursery duty once a month, and participated in Bible study. 

The next year a search committee was put in place for a pastor to replace the Children's Director. The leadership rephrased the job title to “Pastor of Family Life and Discipleship” so that the new hire would not be solely responsible for the children's ministry. About this time, the long time Youth Pastor (12 + years at ABC) decided to go to the mission field for a short time. In late summer of 2012, the new Family Life and Discipleship pastor was hired. He was a millennial (not quite 30), married with children, and had finished his Master’s Degree at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville. He had also previously served as a pastoral assistant at Mark Dever's Capitol Hill Baptist Church.

Then in the fall of 2012, the elders proposed a new church constitution as they said the old one was over 30 years old, outdated, and didn't provide legal protection for the church with issues such as same sex marriage agendas being pushed, etc. My husband (still a deacon) and I scrutinized the proposed document. We both felt uneasy about it as it seemed to stress membership covenants, more rigid rules, and discipline. Some of the long-time members on the Deacon board were really concerned about it, and my husband discussed it with them in a couple of meetings. The church sent a pastor or elder to each of our small groups to answer any questions or concerns we had about the constitution. It seemed my husband and I were the only ones in our group who raised objections, specifically about what constitutes ‘discipline’. I remember a couple gals in our small group almost rebuking my husband for asking such questions and insisting that we need to submit to authority (whatever!). Anyway, the pastor who came to our group said the discipline wasn't meant to be a game of "gotcha" and it was clearly stated in Matthew 18 as ongoing, unrepentant known sin (which still could encompass a lot of things in my opinion).

In January of 2013, the membership was set to vote on the new constitution. Several amendments were added, but they were for other issues such as not having women deacons and a few minor wordings on things. The deep stuff we were opposed to was still on the amended proposed constitution, and we felt it gave a lot of power to the senior pastor and elders with minimal congregational input as well as it being heavier on discipline. Our church voted on the final draft of the constitution, and even though I voted against it, it did pass. After the new constitution was adopted, we noticed that several long-time members of ABC left. My husband and I were still uneasy about it but held a "wait and see" approach to observe how it was implemented and possibly abused.

In the spring of 2013, the aforementioned youth pastor who left to embark on a year long mission trip to Japan with his family returned to ABC. Not long after returning, he stepped down from his position at ABC, stating that God was leading him in a different direction. He actually switched churches and left for stateside missions in South Florida, which has a non-Christian population of roughly 95% in the Miami area. He was missed by many in the church. His parents, who were long-time members, also left the church.

In summer of 2013, the elders stated they were searching for a new pastor to take the place of the former youth pastor. Again, they chose one who was a millennial (late 20s-early 30s guy) with a young family. He earned his Master’s degree from The Master's Seminary (where our senior pastor has come from). Also, he had been on staff at Grace Community Church, where John MacArthur serves as senior pastor. At this point, the only original pastoral staff member remaining from when we started was the much older part-time, Congregational Care pastor. He was the one who ran our membership class and did our son's baby dedication prior to the hiring of the senior pastor.

In fall of 2013, I found out I was expecting our third child. Around the same time the elders, who now had much more decision making control, proposed ABC join with the Southern Baptist Convention. They said it would help open up the resources for missionaries and also offer a 50% tuition discount at any of their seminaries. Interestingly, the senior pastor was currently getting his PhD from Southern Seminary, along with one of the pastoral interns. ABC’s senior pastor seemed to be a big fan of Albert Mohler, which makes sense in hindsight. Many in the congregation raised questions and concerns as the elders seemed to slip this into the agenda rather quickly. It did not get voted on that night during the members meeting, as they had planned, so it was pushed back to another special meeting. It finally passed. After this we noticed that more long-time members and even a few folks our age left the church. We were still uneasy but did not feel led to go.

In late spring 2014, we welcomed our third child. My husband had been asked to serve a second term on the Deacon board. He noticed several changes starting to happen. In the fall, the leaders of our small group called a meeting with us and decided to step down as leaders. They were now empty nesters, traveling a lot and in the process of downsizing their large home, so they couldn’t continue to lead us. We were sad but we said we needed to step out of our small group as well because our children were keeping us so busy, and it was hard to participate in church activities during the evening. 

As time went on, I noticed that more Grudem study groups were forming. It was during this time that I began to hear about "doctrines of grace", Reformed theology, and Calvinism. The once Robust children's ministry was slowly being whittled down. Children's church ceased to exist, and kids ages 6 and up were required to attend the adult service with their parents. Our son accepted Christ at age 6. For the next two years he asked about getting baptized. We tried to get a pastor to meet with him to determine if he had a grasp on the gospel (we believed he did) so he could be baptized. We were put off on this a couple different times so we finally dropped it. We noticed that children under the age of 16 were not being baptized at ABC, even though we had other friends whose children had also made professions of faith. This was extremely upsetting (to us and our son)! Those who had not been baptized were discouraged from partaking in communion.

The Family Life pastor who replaced the long-time children's director (who had previously resigned) did not fill her shoes in the same capacity at all. He pushed for more and more volunteers to take over duties such as nursery volunteer coordinating, sign in's, leading VBS, and leading the fall festival (our former outreach for families). Also, the youth group for the older kids was dwindling under the new youth pastor, who was given additional duties not involving the youth.

During this time I stopped attending evening Bible studies because taking care of my new baby took precedence. However, I noticed all the studies were from books written by Calvinist pastors and writers. My husband and I didn't like the emphasis on Reformed theology. We pored over scripture and various resources about Calvinism and felt very uneasy about election, limited atonement, etc.  We did not buy this line of theology and did not interpret the Bible or God’s love in that way.

Another thing we noticed was that it seemed the pastors (not the older congressional care pastor) were touting each other from the pulpit and beyond. The Family Life pastor's wife had another baby the week after I gave birth to my third. The senior pastor's wife sent out an email to over 60 people, including me, stating we should serve their family with meals because of how they serve us. At the time, I and two other women on the email list had just had babies of our own.

A few months later, the Youth Pastor was involved in a car accident and did not have collision coverage on the vehicle, as it was his second car. Fortunately, he was not hurt, but the senior pastor led an impromptu benevolence offering during a Sunday service to provide him with a replacement car since he didn't have insurance on it and it was totaled. He and his wife already had another car. The problem we had with that benevolence offering was there were several unemployed folks at the church who were struggling just to put food on the table. They could have benefited more from the thousands of dollars that were raised! The Youth Pastor was then outfitted with a very nice used second van, courtesy of the impromptu benevolence offering.

During our final years at the church, we noticed the senior pastor was becoming less and less accessible to ABC members. On one occasion I had to attend a small group leaders’ meeting in place of our leader in order to take notes. During that meeting the senior pastor stated that he was reluctant to provide counsel to anyone unless they were already in a small group – where they could receive counsel. 

We noticed the pastors and several male members would regularly attend Together for the Gospel (T4G). The senior pastor was gone from time to time to preach at other churches or attend conferences. In his absence, one of the associate pastors would preach or a preacher friend of the pastor (who we later learned were YRR guys). 

Church discipline began to be administered on different occasions per the constitution. The senior pastor would name the person as well as their unrepentant sin from the pulpit. Most of the cases were people choosing to divorce their spouse and not desiring to reconcile. Per the new constitution, the senior pastor could not be subjected to this public discipline!

It was during this time that our small groups began reading and discussing Mark Dever's "9 Marks of a Healthy Church", as requested by the elders. I didn't agree with everything in the book, which seemed heavy on discipline and being accountable to each other a bit more than I was comfortable with; however, we didn't think too much about it, nor did we know (at the time) the extent of the "9 Marks" network. We heard Mark Dever’s name mentioned from the pulpit a couple of times and knew the senior pastor looked up to him as well as John MacArthur and Al Mohler.  

Fast forward to our final year – 2015. At this point, we were not involved in a small group or Bible study due to a nightwaking baby, two older kids, and my husband's busy work schedule. My husband still served as a deacon, but that was the extent of his involvement. I no longer served in the nursery despite the Family Life Pastor telling all of us in regards to the nursery, "If you use, you serve" even though he didn't seem to apply this principle to himself (with his many children using the church nursery every week). 

Also, we knew several of the older, long-term ABC members that had left. They were the larger contributors of both time and money. Any "new blood" that was brought in was mostly of the millennial crowd, which didn’t have the financial resources or time commitment to make up for those who had left the congregation. The members’ meetings turned into informational sessions on what the elders had decided. The congregation had very little input and rarely voted on church matters. The elders – with no input from the congregation – voted to spend several thousand dollars to upgrade the church library and pastors' offices. The renovations were very fancy for a church with a slowly shrinking budget. Elder approved Calvinist books and study guides were later sold through the new "Resource Center” (the former library).  

We were feeling more unrest at ABC, but still the thought of uprooting our kids and leaving the only church we had ever known in our current community was still not quite an option.

The final two straws happened in late winter 2015. One Sunday during a bad snowstorm, we somehow trekked to church in our SUV since we lived just two miles away. Because of the snow, only a fourth of the normal attendees made it to church. In hindsight, I believe it was God's doing that we went that day. In his sermon, the pastor discussed the “U” in TULIP, preaching about Unconditional Election and how we should be so grateful. He also elaborated on other points from TULIP, and I’m fairly certain it was the first time he ever addressed full on Calvinism in a sermon. My husband and I both looked at each other and just shook our heads. Until then, Calvinism had not been pushed from the pulpit, but now it had and we were done! 

During this time, my husband was attending extra deacon meetings led by one of the associate pastors/elders. They were reading through a Dever book on becoming better elders and deacons. It was very bait and switch the way it happened…

My husband and the other deacons thought they were being asked to attend 3-4 extra meetings to go over a book to learn about being better deacons. At the last meeting, the pastor/elder (a YRR guy) finished up by telling them that they – the elders – had decided to dismantle the board of deacons. At this point, my husband and a few others were done. After seeing this take place behind the scenes and prior to the roll out to the congregation, my husband offered his resignation from the current board of deacons, stating that he had a difference of opinion regarding ABC’s current theological leanings and the power structure the elders had created.  

My husband met with one of the non-pastor elders whom we looked up to and respected. He wanted to go over my husband’s concerns regarding changes to the constitution, power structure (no more checks and balances), whittled down children's ministry (and no baptisms allowed), and the Calvinist leanings. Sadly, this particular Elder had morphed into one of the senior pastor's "yes" men and defended the actions and structure

At this point, my husband and I were fervently praying and reading scripture for guidance on leaving. We spoke to some of our friends (also long-time members) who were disillusioned, too. I kept asking myself how can men who study the Word of God many hours every week be so deceived or blinded by power and the doctrines of men. We both agreed that it was time to pull the plug and search for a new church home.

So in the spring of 2015, we began looking for a new church. After visiting five churches over a two-month period, we landed at our new and current church home. We met with the senior pastor, and he graciously answered all of our questions about his stance on Calvinism, church polity, women's roles, children's baptism and ministry, etc. He also seemed like a humble servant leader – something we felt we hadn't seen for years at ABC. After meeting with this pastor and attending for a few more months, we joined the church and got involved with a small group there. 

In the summer of 2015, one of the elders at our former church proposed a sabbatical for the senior pastor. The ABC elders approved it, and the senior pastor took a three-month sabbatical. It was an endowment from a not for profit that funds sabbaticals for pastors, allowing them to take time off from the ministry in order to spend time with their families and/or go on a mission trip. Our former pastor chose to go on a nice tour of the Mediterranean with his family. While he was instagramming his amazing vacation, we were in the process of transitioning churches.

We attended our last members’ meeting at ABC in May 2015. They were voting out the former Board of Deacons and also voting to approve a few new members. When the elders read their testimony, the majority of new people said they had always known they were walking with God and that they did not recall a specific time when they repented of their sins and turned to God. Only God knows their standing with Him and their heart. I just thought it was odd as my husband and I both remember feeling broken and sinful and turning to Christ at a specific turning point in our lives. We noticed this same pattern with several new ABC members.  

Anyway, this was the last time we stepped foot in ABC. The senior pastor announced he was leaving for his sabbatical in a couple of weeks and provided a schedule of where he was traveling overseas as well as a list of the guest pastors who would be filling in for him while he was gone. When he returned in August 2015, they were going to have a Reinstatement Ceremony during the service, led by none other than his mentor, Albert Mohler, as he (the senior pastor) was finishing his PhD from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville

I found this a bit overboard as he was going on a fully funded three-month vacation with his family – a luxury most of the hard working folks in the pew would never have – then having a big celebration welcoming him back! It further confirmed our desire to leave. He sent a follow-up email after the meeting saying that if any ABC members felt led to, we could encourage his mentors in ministry by writing them a letter of appreciation. He then gave us the addresses of both Mark Dever at Capitol Hill Baptist Church and John MacArthur at Grace Community Church in California. I could not believe this elevation of men going on!

Anyway, we hugged the handful of friends who knew we were leaving and promised to get together. We left and transitioned to our new church home. We did leave "their way" by my husband submitting a letter asking for the removal of our membership due to the several reasons I mentioned before such as the Calvinism, Authoritarianism, lack of focus on children, etc. The elders accepted it and did not hound us. They were gracious, and the senior pastor said we were welcome back.

It was hard leaving but at the same time we felt a lot of peace knowing we were following the Holy Spirit's guiding of us. Around the time of our leaving, I found The Wartburg Watch. It helped reassure me and answered my question, "Are we the only ones going through this kind of church takeover?" and "Has this happened to others, and are we the only ones who think this is wrong?" TWW has helped me immensely, and I have stayed up to date on this movement. 

It was a long and gradually ramped up change that happened at our old church: the turnover of all associate pastors with new YRR pastors coming, the cutting down of ministry programs, the shepherding/authoritarian hierarchy, the constitutional changes, the new focus to Calvinism in the teachings and sermons, etc. Unfortunately, it has not been happening just to our (former) church, and I am saddened to know of the extensive network of this YRR group. Still, God is in control, and I only bow to Him as the one true Shepherd in my life. 

Our story does have a happy ending. Our entire family is flourishing at our new church home. The children are thriving. Our son was finally baptized, and our older daughter has been learning more about God's grace and love. We no longer worry about church discipline and being made to feel like we have to answer to our "under shepherds". We truly feel like co-heirs with Christ. People are coming to faith in salvation every month. We joined a small group that the pastor and his family are a part of, and this has helped us get to know them better. Our pastor and his wife are humble, servant leaders. God is so good! We still maintain friendships with some of our ABC friends that stayed. We love them and pray that God will open their eyes like He did ours.  

We were not abused or placed under discipline in the way some of your readers have been. We were able to leave peacefully and quietly. My heart sincerely goes out to the readers who suffered abuse and church discipline. I am thankful for the safe community you have created and the research and concern you provide. I don't think it was an accident in finding your blog.  

Thank you for letting me share my heart and my story. It was really long but cathartic in telling this to someone who "gets it" and is also a sister in Christ.

Comments

Church Takeover Success Using Strategies from the Calvinista Playbook — 443 Comments

  1. The writer mentioned John MacArthur. Say no more.

    Same with my experience at my ex-gulag, Grace Bible Fellowship of Silicon Valley.

    John MacArthur, in my opinion, has a seminary and a college that work like franchise-training grounds for future “owners”. A bunch of authoritarian, unloving, horrible people.

  2. I am glad that the writer and her family are flourishing in their loving new church home!
    That’s a happy ending.

  3. I agree with what she said about the church taking up a special benevolent offering for the youth minister for a vehicle. I saw that happen in the churches that I was growing up in. The pastoral staff always got a big love offering from the church at Christmas, plus the kids all got really nice toys that the members of the congregation themselves could not afford. That always left a sour taste in my mouth. When there are members of the congregation that are in worse shape financially than the pastoral staff, then to take a special offering for them is beyond wrong. I actually think these people expect it. Also when she wrote about the senior pastor’s wife expected the congregation to provide them with meals after her pregnancy, even though there were other ladies in the church who had just also had babies, and they weren’t getting the same treatment, something is really wrong here. The pastoral staff of a church is to be held in no higher esteem than you and I are. You do respect the office but not the fact that they think they are entitled to special privileges.

  4. They did that at our former church with a missionary family who left the church to go to Albania, then returned a few years later. By the way, they live in a home well over $200,000 (very high for Texas as homes can be bought at half that price). Anyway, they had the members buy and donate food to fill their pantry, donate and buy furniture, all the while there are people who are struggling in the church. This was of course recently. It’s funny what these members post on their social media. Also the pastor and his son took a trip to Russia and Singapore all on the church's dime last year. It was supposed to be the pastor speaking at a conference in Singapore, and he announced that the church would be paying for his oldest son so they could do ministry together and spend time with one another. Funny how someone emailed me posts that his son made of him in these countries mainly on his own and talking about going to the clubs and enjoying the nightlife. I guess the church's dime does pay if you're a pastor’s kid.

    The bottom line here is not theology or even teaching. It’s money grubbing hungry men who love to throw their weight around with scripture while they pat each other on the back and praising one another on how good their books are and how well they think they know scripture. They puff up some of these old time theologians who were far from Godly in order to push their group think ways of keeping the sheeple in line. It has nothing to do with God in my opinion but everything to do with it being a good ole boys country club and the $$$$$$.

    In the meantime, they invite so many perversions into the church and when they get caught they have all their yes men and women who in turn have been showered with attention, time, and being in the IN GROUP they have their play dates while the men get their men's bible studies on how to be the masters of their homes. The wives deal with it because they don’t have a voice or are shut down or they like the way things are in their little suburbia world.

    This type of people are a piece of work and this woman's testimony just proves that the playbook was and is being played at our former church. Pretty much all John MacArthur graduates infiltrate unsuspecting member boards. John MacArthur is our pastor’s mentor, and our former pastor doesn’t make a move without his [MacArthur’s] approval, I believe. Anyway, shaking my head as I read about another church that bit the dust with this dangerous doctrine of Calvin.

  5. That sounds so very familiar. Just like the take-over of our EX-church when the John MacArthur protegee new senior pastor gradually made the same changes, including restocking the library with Calvinist materials. And would you believe, the first time I heard Calvinism spelled out from the pulpit was during a snowstorm with very few in attendance!!! I wonder if that’s in their playbook too?!

  6. South Florida is 95% non Christian in the Miami area? Seemed pretty Christian to me when I was there in 2006.

  7. “Now we are fully aware that Al Mohler and gang have a growing army of lieutenants who are poised to gain access to the pastoral reins of your church and steer it down the ‘correct’ path toward reformational truth. In their theological construct, Reformed (Calvinistic) Theology is the only true doctrine.” (Deb)

    I continue to be amazed that Dr. Mohler has not been called into account by mainline Southern Baptists for his words and actions! I find it incredible that he was not challenged in the early days of his rebellion against SBC majority (non-Calvinist) belief and practice. His 1993 convocation address at Southern entitled “Don’t Just Do Something; Stand There!” was filled with warnings which majority SBC leadership should have more effectively dealt with while the window was open. In his charge to rally his Southern troops around the Abstract of Principles (a reformed confession), he made the following statements:

    “The Abstract remains a powerful testimony to a Baptist theological heritage that is genuinely evangelical, Reformed, biblical, and orthodox.”

    “We bear the collective responsibility to call this denomination back to itself and its doctrinal inheritance. This is a true reformation … ”

    It’s clear that Dr. Mohler is on a mission, passionate about his cause, truly believes his theological confession, and is intent on altering the SBC landscape to nothing less than a reformed entity via the release of an army of young, restless and reformed seminary graduates into SBC churches.

    His 1993 words may very well be prophetic:

    “Those who teach the ministry bear the greatest burden of accountability to the churches and to the denomination … It is with a single man that error usually commences.”

    Mohler is that man.

  8. Abuse is usually about control. And Christians have been taught to stay under authority until they have a leading from God that it is OK to leave. Frankly, I think people need to be quicker to use the gray matter between our ears, see when something is wrong, and just plain decide to leave. When something is abusive, you don’t need a leading to leave. Just leave.

  9. Hi Jack, I am the one who shared this story. I was just quoting the stats that we were told by the former youth pastor when he was fundraising and preparing to go on mission there. There probably is a higher Christian population than that, but even if it’s only 20% non Christian, the former pastor and his family have a huge heart for serving people and spreading the Gospel of Christ so I feel South Florida gained some great missionaries. @ Jack:

  10. Max wrote:

    his theological confession, and is intent on altering the SBC landscape to nothing less than a reformed entity via the release of an army of young, restless and reformed seminary graduates into SBC churches.

    The Autocrat’s Language by Masha Gessen: “… a talent for using words in ways that make them mean nothing.” – from The New York Review of Books, NYR Daily, at NYBooks.com, 2017/05/13.

  11. Thanks to the Deebs for sharing my story and to Deb for talking with me. This blog and community has been very helpful and informative. I’ve mostly just been a reader of it up till this point. My hope is by sharing my story, it could possibly help others who have different theological or polity related leanings than what their church is shifting towards. Ultimately, God is perfect and our one true shepherd. I’ve learned to trust Him more and go straight to his word and not man’s interpretation of it when in doubt. May you all have a blessed night!

  12. @ Midwesterner:
    Thanks so much for documenting what happened at your former church. As I said during our wonderful phone conversation, yours is the most detailed account we have ever read about how these Calvinista takeovers happen.

    Thanks to your tremendous efforts, I have no doubt that many will be able to spot the RED FLAGS much sooner than they would have been able to had they not read your story.

    Blessings to you and your family!

  13. That’s an interesting point, Rob. I consider myself a fairly intelligent person (masters degree, graduated 3rd in my class, scored 92nd percentile on the GRE), but one of my big “takeaways” from having gone through this gradual church takeover, is to not underestimate the enemy. He is a great deceiver. It’s easy to be drawn in for a while because the expository preaching and teaching dive in deep, deeper into scripture than any church I had previously attended. We did learn and grow and felt challenged to a degree. But it slowly and gradually (key words) was being overshadowed by the changes that seemed unsettling. Lastly, I think for people to finally make the leap and leave, “the pain of staying has to be greater than the pain of leaving.” We had only 8 years in there and it was hard enough to uproot our family, leave the friends we loved congregating with, and find a new church home. I can’t imagine how hard it was for the folks who had been there 30-40 years. I know most of them didn’t leave at the first few changes. Anyhow, it is in the past and we’ve lived and learned as well as forgiven. @ Rob:

  14. Thank you Deb. Many blessings to you. Deb wrote:

    @ Midwesterner:
    Thanks so much for documenting what happened at your former church. As I said during our wonderful phone conversation, yours is the most detailed account we have ever read about how these Calvinista takeovers happen.
    Thanks to your tremendous efforts, I have no doubt that many will be able to spot the RED FLAGS much sooner than they would have been able to had they not read your story.
    Blessings to you and your family!

  15. @ Harley:

    I absolutely agree and I personally don’t like any special attention. We refused a baby shower (it’s our second baby, we don’t need anything), but I think we might have actually hurt people’s feelings. I actually feel really guilty when people give special things to us or our kids, but I can’t refuse it.

    This was fascinating. I found myself agreeing with the rational behind some of the early stuff – the sports ministry and the daycare. I get it. We’re even talking about having a private, invitation only, study on women’s issues. We don’t want policy changes, we just want explore the issue in a non-confrontational and not-official-church-business way. Even updating church policies related to same-sex marriage has come up a lot.

    I’ve heard and read that staff changes are pretty common with a new Senior Pastor, but it was always presented as a personality issue. For better or worse, there is often a cult of personality around the Pastor. But it seems with these guys that consolidating power is the underlying trend. At least that’s the major red flag I see, less congregational input and more top-down decision making. Also the obsession with just a few celebrity preachers. I hesitate to really use the word scholar with Mohler, or MacArthur or any of them because they are rarely ever mentioned outside their reformed circles – scholarly books and articles rarely dialogue with them.

  16. Has anyone heard this yet from the pulpits of calvinist churches when they are discussing their tithing/offering and year to date finances? The pastor in a sermon titled Samson had one of the elders give a brief overview of the tithes/offerings – some of where the money goes, but mostly it was him mentioning another member by name (who by the way is a yes guy, not a deacon or elder) who they say pays attention to the back of the bulletin, and he noticed the drop in giving (what a slick way for them to bring up that they need more money).

    This elder stated that if the members notice at the beginning of the year and end of the year the numbers increase a lot its because of donors who used to be members of the church but left to go worship at another church but still give to the church. Can someone explain to me what former members of a church give annually or monthly to their former church plus tithe at their new church as well? Your pretty much giving twice. It doesn't pass the smell test.

    Anyway, I listened to what he said and this is all a pony show for the members so they can say they are being transparent (ya right! they wouldn't know transparency if it hit them in the butt). This is all part of their control system because you definitely got to control the money and who's giving. No money means no extravagant pay packages and no money for conferences or special speaking assignments.

    I also wonder if these pastors get any kick backs for promoting and selling the books of their buddies within the church (bookstore, grow groups, men's bible study, women's bible study, seniors, youth , and so forth). I mean if I could count over the years how many books our former pastor promoted of Mahaney, Mohler, John MacArthur, plus many more I couldn't even give a number. It seems to me that he quotes more from other books than he does the Word of God. Just makes ya wonder.

  17. Max wrote:

    “Those who teach the ministry bear the greatest burden of accountability to the churches and to the denomination … It is with a single man that error usually commences.”

    Mohler is that man.

    He asks “.. when I’m asked about the New Calvinism, I’m gonna say, well just basically where else are they gonna go? Who else is gonna answer the questions? Where else are they gonna find the resources they need? And where else are they gonna connect? This is a generation that understands they want to say the same thing Paul said…”

    well, Mohler needs to know that the great question: ‘To whom shall we go?’ was asked by St. Peter of Our Lord Jesus Christ ….
    and then St.Peter added these words so dear to all Christian people from that time forward:
    ” THOU hast the words of eternal life”

    So Mohler got the Holy Gospel of St. Matthew wrong. And I’m wondering ‘Why?’ when Peter’s profession of faith was and is so very important to the whole Church?

    Why? why parrot a part of the great interchange between Our Lord and St. Peter, and instead put it into a different context to serve a different agenda?

    Even the most ‘distant’ Christian from the Tiber still knows of that famous encounter in St. Matthew’s Gospel which even appears in some of the other Gospels:
    (Matthew 16:13-20; Mark 8:27-30; Luke 9:18-20)

    It would be a kindness for someone to speak truth to the great Mohler and point him towards the Lord Jesus Christ as the ONLY answer to his own question: “just basically where else are they gonna go? Who else is gonna answer the questions?”
    Mohler needs to be pointed to Our Lord for his own sake, as his questions indicate that he seems to have forgotten the one needful thing.

  18. Christiane wrote:

    It would be a kindness for someone to speak truth to the great Mohler and point him towards the Lord Jesus Christ as the ONLY answer to his own question: “just basically where else are they gonna go? Who else is gonna answer the questions?”
    Mohler needs to be pointed to Our Lord for his own sake, as his questions indicate that he seems to have forgotten the one needful thing.

    I wish I could think it’s a mistake, but I don’t. I’ve always thought Mohler was a phony.

    You are right, of course. The gospel is Jesus. Not the Gospel™ of New Calvinism, which is a false religion that puts men in the place of God.

  19. ishy wrote:

    The gospel is Jesus. Not the Gospel™ of New Calvinism, which is a false religion that puts men in the place of God.

    I think those men have forgotten that even the Holy Spirit, God, in the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity, points us ONLY to Our Lord.

  20. Midwesterner wrote:

    Hi Jack, I am the one who shared this story. I was just quoting the stats that we were told by the former youth pastor when he was fundraising and preparing to go on mission there. There probably is a higher Christian population than that, but even if it’s only 20% non Christian, the former pastor and his family have a huge heart for serving people and spreading the Gospel of Christ so I feel South Florida gained some great missionaries. @ Jack:

    I don't know about this case but some churches consider their brand of Christianity the only brand of Christianity.

    There was a post on TWW about New England being targeted for missions. Lots of churches there, just not the 'right' ones. My wife's church has supported 'missons' to France, Belgium, and Quebec.

    They have also slammed Muslims, Buddhists, Catholics, other Protestant denominations (including Baptists) In general, could a church's own sense of theological superiority make it susceptible to a takeover like described above?

  21. shauna wrote:

    I also wonder if these pastors get any kick backs for promoting and selling the books of their buddies within the church (bookstore, grow groups, men's bible study, women's bible study, seniors, youth , and so forth). I mean if I could count over the years how many books our former pastor promoted of Mahaney, Mohler, John MacArthur, plus many more I couldn't even give a number. It seems to me that he quotes more from other books than he does the Word of God. Just makes ya wonder.

    There has to be some sort of incentive. This aspect of the Calvinstas is what really disgusts me.

  22. Velour wrote:

    A bunch of authoritarian, unloving, horrible people.

    Agreed. That is exactly my description of the John MacArthur-influenced pastors and lay leaders. Rude, disrespectful, and arrogant. They perceive themselves as the elite guardians of godliness, and repository of all truth.

    But in reality they twist Scripture to control and bully other.

    Unless the lay people fight back and oust these men, there’s no hope for a church.

    In my case, I just voted with my feet, and walked away. I took my parents, my children, my friends, my tithe, and my volunteer hours, and found a church that was loving.

  23. Deb wrote:

    shauna wrote:
    I also wonder if these pastors get any kick backs for promoting and selling the books of their buddies within the church (bookstore, grow groups, men’s bible study, women’s bible study, seniors, youth , and so forth). I mean if I could count over the years how many books our former pastor promoted of Mahaney, Mohler, John MacArthur, plus many more I couldn’t even give a number. It seems to me that he quotes more from other books than he does the Word of God. Just makes ya wonder.
    //
    There has to be some sort of incentive. This aspect of the Calvinstas is what really disgusts me.

    We were wondering where all that TGC money went, and they certainly don’t disclose it.

  24. Thank you so much to the OP for such a detailed story!

    I’m halfway through and two things have jumped out at me.

    1. Bible study groups by invitation only? Never heard of that.

    The senior pastor’s wife sent out an email to over 60 people, including me, stating we should serve their family with meals because of how they serve us. At the time, I and two other women on the email list had just had babies of our own.

    2. Incredibly rude!

  25. Jack wrote:

    They have also slammed Muslims, Buddhists, Catholics, other Protestant denominations (including Baptists)

    I AM proud to be included in such good company 🙂

    seriously, it’s not so hard to recognize them what needs to build THEMSELVES up by knocking others down;
    but, in the end, when they get tired of throwing rocks at ‘the others’, the habit of being destructive and negative turns inward and can become a circular firing squad …. especially in a set-up where there is no servant-leader but instead you find a self-styled ‘visionary’ to whom all must pledge their loyalty (or else)

    negativity? it’s addictive, especially the kind that claims ‘I’m chosen’ and ‘you’re going to hell’ …. that creates monsters that feed on innocent people

  26. Janey wrote:

    I took my parents, my children, my friends, my tithe, and my volunteer hours, and found a church that was loving.

    Good for you! those Churches are out there 🙂

  27. Church Takeover Success Using Strategies from the Calvinista Playbook

    “FOR THE REVOLUTION, COMRADES!”

  28. Christiane wrote:

    but, in the end, when they get tired of throwing rocks at ‘the others’, the habit of being destructive and negative turns inward and can become a circular firing squad …. especially in a set-up where there is no servant-leader but instead you find a self-styled ‘visionary’ to whom all must pledge their loyalty (or else)

    What do predators eat after they’ve killed off all the prey?

  29. Just a general comment:

    9 Marks of a Healthy Church is just the playbook for the ground game. The overall strategy for Calvinizing the church is an ever more sinister book called A Quiet Revolution by Ernest Reisinger (2001). You can get it from The Founders for $3. It is such a revelation that it is worth giving Three bucks to the calvinistas just for the knowledge.

    http://press.founders.org/shop/a-quiet-revolution/

  30. Midwesterner wrote:

    He is a great deceiver. It’s easy to be drawn in for a while because the expository preaching and teaching dive in deep, deeper into scripture than any church I had previously attended. We did learn and grow and felt challenged to a degree. But it slowly and gradually (key words) was being overshadowed by the changes that seemed unsettling. Lastly, I think for people to finally make the leap and leave, “the pain of staying has to be greater than the pain of leaving.”

    That is the toxic mixture for intelligent, committed, and well-meaning people. And the reason that so many remain. I am so thankful you got out with your children and that you had the courage and discernment to act.

    Thanks for your story. There were many, many familiar elements to my own experience. I believe there is a playbook somewhere in Dever’s or Mohler’s office, metaphorically speaking, since I do not believe in multiplied coincidences.

  31. Harley wrote:

    I agree with what she said about the church taking up a special benevolent offering for the youth minister for a vehicle.

    That one is especially egregious since they were too cheap to pay for insurance, basically. That is what it’s for!

  32. Only 5 % christians in greater Miami/Dade area? I have heard that c**p before here in my town. RE and I attended a meeting at SBC mega back when and the issue was the opening of yet another ‘campus’. The then pastor was a big pal of Mohler and eventually left here for an SBC denominational job of some sort. At the meeting that then pastor spewed out similar statistics about how few Christians there were in his church’s alleged catchment area. Of course I went home and checked it out. To get his low percentage of Christians he would have had to leave out even some the other Baptist (non-SBC) churches.

    Lies. More lies. Obvious lies. Tip of the iceberg when it comes to lies in my opinion.

    http://www.city-data.com/county/religion/Miami-Dade-County-FL.html

  33. Jack wrote:

    South Florida is 95% non Christian in the Miami area? Seemed pretty Christian to me when I was there in 2006.

    I bet they aren’t counting catholics!

  34. Jack wrote:

    South Florida is 95% non Christian in the Miami area? Seemed pretty Christian to me when I was there in 2006.

    The Pew Religious Landscape survey has specific data (of adults) for the Miami metro area: 68% identify as Christian, 9% as Jewish, 21% as unaffiliated. Of the Christians 5% identify as Baptists in the evangelical classification, 5% in the Black Baptist classification and another 2% as Baptist in the mainline classification.
    http://www.pewforum.org/religious-landscape-study/metro-area/miami-metro-area/

  35. Max wrote:

    I continue to be amazed that Dr. Mohler has not been called into account by mainline Southern Baptists for his words and actions!

    I had seen the quote about everybody being stuck with this group, but I hadn’t seen the end, which to me is even worse to me because these are their priorities??

    This is a generation that understands they want to say the same thing Paul said. They want to stand with the apostles, they want to stand with old dead people, and uh and they know they’re gonna have to if they’re gonna preach and teach the truth.

    When I think of what’s important about Christianity, standing with random ‘old dead people’ is not important. ‘Saying the same thing Paul said’ is just quoting. And as mentioned, where is Jesus in all this? Where is love for the congregation? Where are the people who are not dead?

    A non paul quote comes to my mind, something about dead mens bones…

  36. Preacher’s Wife wrote:

    We’re even talking about having a private, invitation only, study on women’s issues.

    Can you explain to me the rational behind these typse of exclusionary groups in a church setting, though? Because I truly don’t get it.

    I guess I’ve always thought of church stuff as more ‘open to all’, with invitations in the program sunday morning or the newsletter or what have you. Maybe if your group got too physically large you might split off, I guess, although a bigger room would make more sense. That doesn’t seem to be how some people see it. I had a conversation recently with a date about some group at his church that was talking about not letting more people in for some reason.

  37. Our little church in Wa. had a take over about 15 years ago. The Bible says Be sure your sins will find you out and they did but people are dumb sheep and followed anyway. This pastor actually filmed in an interview saying he had the 5 year plan on the takeover and children that became adults remember him visiting their families to get council from their dad on how to implement the takeover. There is no patience for people who are not like minded and there is a lot of horrible gossip from within there power groups and it is a movement that will lead groups of people to worship the beast someday I am sure.

  38. Lea wrote:

    They want to stand with the apostles, they want to stand with old dead people, and uh and they know they’re gonna have to if they’re gonna preach and teach the truth.

    Nonsense. If they wanted to ‘stand with old dead people’ they might check out the Catholics or the Orthodox or even the Anglicans. So Mohler says stooopid stuff like that and people just what? Just nod their heads in agreement? How in blazes has it come to this?

  39. Deb wrote:

    shauna wrote:
    I also wonder if these pastors get any kick backs for promoting and selling the books of their buddies within the church (bookstore, grow groups, men’s bible study, women’s bible study, seniors, youth , and so forth). I mean if I could count over the years how many books our former pastor promoted of Mahaney, Mohler, John MacArthur, plus many more I couldn’t even give a number. It seems to me that he quotes more from other books than he does the Word of God. Just makes ya wonder.
    There has to be some sort of incentive. This aspect of the Calvinstas is what really disgusts me.

    Yes, I agree 100% with you Deb it disgusts me to! While attending our former church at some point I began to wonder why the pastor kept quoting from all these books. I would see them in their bookstore and on top of this he would be pushing them by saying how good they were. He would comment on the books he read before and while he was attending seminary. I would have to say though that John MacArthur’s books including a slew of his study bibles fill their bookstore shelves. J.M.’s study guides are used in bible studies in the variety of different groups. The leaders push and promote them and of course if these groups go through a bible study and say “This is the book we will be going through” then members are essentially forced to purchase the books. I mean what are you going to say, No? Of course not everyone is going to buy whatever books/materials they use for grow groups, ladies, mens, youth, and senior groups or conferences. Then you have the pastor in the pulpit throwing out names to be honest I never heard of CJ Mahaney until one I came here to this site and then I remember his name and books being thrown around at the church. I didn’t pay attention to a lot of the names that the pastor would throw out or their books unless I had to do the bible study but once I came to TWW all these unknown people became clear to me. Its funny how I attended a church for six years and everything that was written in this article occurs in this church exactly the same way. Playbook is the right word and once I became aware I have spent the last few years going back over everything and reading these blogs just to piece it all together. The email above pieced it together perfectly and maybe the next person won’t have to dive through rabbit holes just to get to the truth. Don’t get me wrong I am so informed that not much gets by me anymore in this respect. Unfortunately I can’t find myself able to do corporate worship or to worship in a church again at this point. Maybe this will change down the road but for now I speak to the Lord daily, I pray, I read and think about his word, and I have found a wonderful church in Tennessee with a pastor who clearly speaks with the Holy Spirit when he preaches. That is a church I would happily worship in if I could find one here. Anyways I grew up in a church where the pastor was in his 70’s and boy did he have a love for the pulpit and preached grace and every Sunday gave the invitation for those to come forward to receive Christ. I am so grateful as I went to this church for two years sat outside for those two years ( actually ended up sitting on the steps on the side where I could hear everything the pastor was preaching) one day I walked into the back of the church sat down as the Pastor was giving the invitation and Just As I Am was being sung. I was 15 and that was the day I came forward and finally acknowledged Jesus as Lord. Anyways all this to say is that the Calvinist churches do not do this and i’m ashamed to say that I never questioned that and I knew better. I wasn’t deceived I knew as a believer that sharing the gospel and grace was free. I was fooled into believing that this is what they believed to. However like the writer of the email stated they don’t drop Calvin on you right away or when the church is a full house. This is done very craftily. I believe there are a lot of smart believers who do know better but how can they know better if they are not being given the entire truth? I mean when your connected with in a body of believers it is very difficult to change and walk away. Your walking away from people you love and who you believe all love you. Your kids are connected with other children and if i’m like the rest of you I love stability and security , who doesn’t or why else would this person and her family stay for so long knowing that things were not right? They did it because they were never given the whole truth only enough to keep them bound. It’s like a boyfriend or husband who cheats the wife knows something isn’t right but she can’t pin point it because she desperately wants to trust her spouse and doesn’t want to think that her husband who loves her would be doing anything but she can’t get rid of that feeling or even some of the evidence that may be popping up. She pushes some things away because it’s not clear and he lies to her so a lot of the times she stays but never shaking that feeling. Once the truth is out there are women who say enough is enough and other women who turn a blind eye because it would hurt more to leave in her eyes. This may be a bad analogy but its one way I see this. When your connected in marriage your are one flesh and it is incredibly painful when a husband and wife part. If we are bound together as believers and one part of the body is broken it not only hurts everyone but it is painful for those who make the decision to break away from the body of believers they are bound with in fellowship, friendship, families are torn. Its horrible and the men who do this have no clue the accountability they will be held to on the day of judgement. If it’s painful for members of the body of Christ just think of what this does to our Lord Jesus! The Word says not to grieve the Holy Spirit and I believe this grieves him greatly as it grieves our hearts when we finally wake up. I don’t envy anyone who wakes up to this and has to make that tough decision to leave its going to be painful if you are connected in the church. Not everyone gets to leave in tact as some do.

  40. @ Lea:
    YES INDEED!!!

    Where is Jesus in all of this? I heard a familiar song on Christian radio this morning that I haven’t heard in quite a while — “I could sing of your love forever…”

    Pretty sure they wot be singing that at T4G 2018. 😉

  41. Christiane wrote:

    @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    Headless, you manage to say much in a little …. I muchly need to learn the knack of this artful gift

    That was actually an appropriate line from an SF novel that stuck in my head years ago.

  42. Lea wrote:

    Jack wrote:
    South Florida is 95% non Christian in the Miami area? Seemed pretty Christian to me when I was there in 2006.
    I bet they aren’t counting catholics!

    More like not counting anything except Really Truly REFORMED 9Marxes.

  43. Lea wrote:

    Preacher’s Wife wrote:
    We’re even talking about having a private, invitation only, study on women’s issues.
    Can you explain to me the rational behind these typse of exclusionary groups in a church setting, though? Because I truly don’t get it.

    Don’t ask Political Questions, Comrade.

  44. @ Headless Unicorn Guy:

    "I stand at the door and knock…"

    These book writing, conference promoting, name dropping gurus don't need Jesus or the Holy Spirit. THEY HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS. If you doubt it, just ask them.

    After all, Mohler pridefully said:  "Where else are they gonna go?" I lost count of how many times he asked this question in that short clip. 

    No thanks – Jesus, NOT a mere mortal like Jonathan Edwards, is my homeboy!

  45. Deb wrote:

    @ These book writing, conference promoting, name dropping gurus don’t need Jesus or the Holy Spirit. THEY HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS. If you doubt it, just ask them.

    After all, Mohler pridefully said “Where else are they gonna go?”

    No thanks – Jesus, NOT a mere mortal like Jonathan Edwards, is my homeboy!

    Didn’t that Rabbi from Nazareth snub the Righteous God Squad types and hang out with the freaks and losers?

  46. Deb wrote:

    These book writing, conference promoting, name dropping gurus don’t need Jesus or the Holy Spirit. THEY HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS. If you doubt it, just ask them.

    Why bother asking? They tell everybody about it whether they ask or not…

  47. Ken P. wrote:

    The overall strategy for Calvinizing the church is an ever more sinister book called A Quiet Revolution by Ernest Reisinger (2001). You can get it from The Founders for $3. It is such a revelation that it is worth giving Three bucks to the calvinistas just for the knowledge.
    http://press.founders.org/shop/a-quiet-revolution/

    I feel like this bears some attention. I suspected there was a textbook, and I’m glad Ken P has shared it with us.

    Here’s a quote from the book I found on Google Library:

    “Southern Baptists are at a crossroads. We have a choice to make. The choice is between the deep-rooted, God-centered theology of evangelical Calvinism and the man-centered, unstable theology of the other perspectives present in the convention.”

    I have seen few theologies more man-centered than New Calvinism, so this is almost comical.

  48. ishy wrote:

    he choice is between the deep-rooted, God-centered theology of evangelical Calvinism and the man-centered, unstable theology of the other perspectives present in the convention.”

    Goodnight! They obviously seriously considered both perspectives, there. *headdesk*

  49. Lea wrote:

    ishy wrote:
    he choice is between the deep-rooted, God-centered theology of evangelical Calvinism and the man-centered, unstable theology of the other perspectives present in the convention.”
    Goodnight! They obviously seriously considered both perspectives, there. *headdesk*

    Not just both, but “all”!

  50. @ ishy:

    True. All the other perspectives are man centered and unstable?

    I honestly don’t know how people can even talk like this. They are blind.

  51. Lea wrote:

    ishy wrote:
    he choice is between the deep-rooted, God-centered theology of evangelical Calvinism and the man-centered, unstable theology of the other perspectives present in the convention.”

    Goodnight! They obviously seriously considered both perspectives, there. *headdesk*

    There can be only One True Way.
    The Universe cannot have two centers.

  52. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    There can be only One True Way.
    The Universe cannot have two centers.

    Whenever I see people absolutely certain of everything that God thinks, I think of the quote “There is a God, and you are not Him.”

  53. Janey wrote:

    I just voted with my feet, and walked away. I took my parents, my children, my friends, my tithe, and my volunteer hours, and found a church that was loving.

    This!

  54. Competitive sports is actually a very cooperative venture, we agree only to “compete” within a narrow set of rules. So, using a sports analogy such as a playbook presupposes an agreed upon set of rules. The problem with these church “leaders” is we come dressed in tee shirts and tennis shoes and they come in swinging swords and dressed in chain-mail.

  55. ishy wrote:

    Ken P. wrote:

    The overall strategy for Calvinizing the church is an ever more sinister book called A Quiet Revolution by Ernest Reisinger (2001). You can get it from The Founders for $3. It is such a revelation that it is worth giving Three bucks to the calvinistas just for the knowledge.
    http://press.founders.org/shop/a-quiet-revolution/

    I feel like this bears some attention. I suspected there was a textbook, and I’m glad Ken P has shared it with us.

    Here’s a quote from the book I found on Google Library:

    “Southern Baptists are at a crossroads. We have a choice to make. The choice is between the deep-rooted, God-centered theology of evangelical Calvinism and the man-centered, unstable theology of the other perspectives present in the convention.”

    I have seen few theologies more man-centered than New Calvinism, so this is almost comical.

    Mohler and the other SBC big shots sought to rid the SBC of “liberals” and replaced them with Calvinists. Gee the SBC sure seems to be a better place since all of the “liberals” were removed. NOT!!

  56. Erp wrote:

    The Pew Religious Landscape survey has specific data (of adults) for the Miami metro area: 68% identify as Christian, 9% as Jewish, 21% as unaffiliated. Of the Christians 5% identify as Baptists in the evangelical classification, 5% in the Black Baptist classification and another 2% as Baptist in the mainline classification.

    There is an unfortunate penchant in evangelical churches (at least all the ones I’ve been exposed to through attendance and other various media) to be disingenuous when it comes to hard numbers or how successful any mission really is.

    My wife is from overseas. In her home country, they had “missionaries” visit their already established and thriving Pentecostal church. The missionaries would take photos of lively services that would have happened regardless of whether they were there or not and then send photos back to their home churches to show what an awesome job they are doing (and drum up financial support).

    As we deconstruct why churches fall under the spell of authoritarianism (Calvinist or otherwise), I suspect this desire to “see” God’s work in a tangible way leads folks to accept any story, to want to believe something special is going on.

    When I attended church in the early 2000’s, I heard missionaries claim people were being resurrected in India, broken bones and spines healed in Columbia, pictures of thousands coming to Christ. Fantastic claims that fall a little hollow when your son is in the neonatal intensive care unit.

    I note that this brand of authoritarianism provides that you are special, you are chosen, you are right in your thinking. Your bible is correct in all it says. There’s a reason that the world is that way – God’s glory.

  57. The takeover described here seems planned, deliberate, and underhanded.

    Even though I agree with them on some points. We did live for a time where the only non RCC church was a healthy Reformed church. We were never taught worm theology, and unconditional election was a reassuring teaching, not a club. Not an “aren’t I lucky to be saved” but an “isn’t God good to save us?” sort of thing. Of course, like Pastor Wade, they believed most would be saved.

    We did reach the point when our kids were teens of being so over the whole multi million dollar children and youth ministry thing. Church was pulling our family apart at the seams. We found we could teach our kids (and grandkids) quite well at home, thank you very much, with far less outlay of time and money. And from the time we first became parents we shunned church nurseries and children’s church, favoring worshipping together.

    I’m not in a Reformed church, but when it is well done it is a happy, healthy, encouraging and uplifting form of the faith.

    But when Jesus is no longer the Head of the Church, and we once again are under human authority, like all such systems, it reeks.

  58. ishy wrote:

    “Southern Baptists are at a crossroads. We have a choice to make. The choice is between the deep-rooted, God-centered theology of evangelical Calvinism and the man-centered, unstable theology of the other perspectives present in the convention.”

    Here are a few more quotes from A Quiet Revolution:

    “Calvinistic Christianity is nothing more and nothing less than biblical Christianity. It follows, then, that the future of Christianity itself is bound up in the fortunes of Calvinism”

    “…reforming a local church involves both the demolition of misguided theological notions and the laying of a biblical foundation anchored by the doctrines of grace”

    “Don’t try to reform a church until you have first earned spiritual credibility. This means you have to live what you teach in terms of holiness before you can even begin to teach it…”

    “In the pulpit, don’t use theological language that is not found in the Bible. Avoid terms such as Calvinism, reformed, doctrines of grace, particular redemption, etc…Teach your people the biblical truth of these doctrines without providing distracting labels for them…”

  59. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Look at the origin and precedent, Comrades:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Five-year_plan

    Interesting. I remember that it seemed like a switch was flipped on the fifth anniversary of the new senior pastor’s arrival. Changes had occurred along the way, of course, including elders and a church covenant, but then the firings and new crony hiring accelerated. The older people have been segregated into their own class so they do not bring the old Baptist ideas into the other classes. Mission accomplished. Of course, now they need to find a way to maintain that fine church facility with all those young, enthusiastic families now that the middle-aged higher earners have left or been run off.

  60. Ken P. wrote:

    “Calvinistic Christianity is nothing more and nothing less than biblical Christianity. It follows, then, that the future of Christianity itself is bound up in the fortunes of Calvinism”

    It is difficult to find words adequate to capture the magnitude of the outrageous claims in that statement. Think about what they are claiming and what they are leaving out of that claim.

  61. Jack wrote:

    As we deconstruct why churches fall under the spell of authoritarianism (Calvinist or otherwise),

    I think Midwesterner alluded to it near the beginning of her story.

    The church sent a pastor or elder to each of our small groups to answer any questions or concerns we had about the constitution. It seemed my husband and I were the only ones in our group who raised objections, specifically about what constitutes ‘discipline’. I remember a couple gals in our small group almost rebuking my husband for asking such questions and insisting that we need to submit to authority (whatever!).

    It is not limited to churches but is a characteristic of groups. Most recently I resigned from a non-profit board where the same behavior was manifest. The members would rubber stamp the proposals brought by the president with little or no critical evaluation. They didn’t need to keep minutes, they could just post the agenda as the outcome matched it.

    This was the third time in as many years where I bailed out of a decision group because they were unable to realize they were into conformity and not critical analysis.

    The problem is how to change the dynamic, how can we come to a better outcome when we see people line up as lemmings and follow the leader? In much the same way that a “mark” would rather hear good things about the conman who is using them, people in this situation greatly prefer being told how insightful their comments are as they mouth platitudes supporting the leader rather than to realize they are an easy marks.

    So far I adopted the move-on strategy but find it very frustrating. I would stay and try to change the outcome if there were some possible outcome other than more strife with no apparent change of direction.

  62. Ken P. wrote:

    “Calvinistic Christianity is nothing more and nothing less than biblical Christianity. It follows, then, that the future of Christianity itself is bound up in the fortunes of Calvinism”

    Jesus only contributed a mere fraction of what Calvin contributed to Christianity.

  63. Jack wrote:

    South Florida is 95% non Christian in the Miami area? Seemed pretty Christian to me when I was there in 2006.

    Thank you, Jack. I was very sympathetic with this woman’s testimony, but that really stuck in my craw.

  64. The mentioning of the five year plan is very interesting. It seemed like the majority of changes happened at my old church in the span of around five years. The first two years, things were left status quo, the the changes stared happening until they ramped up even more. There were also (in my opinion) some “bait and switch” tactics employed when some of these changes were implemented. Gram3 wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
    Look at the origin and precedent, Comrades:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Five-year_plan
    Interesting. I remember that it seemed like a switch was flipped on the fifth anniversary of the new senior pastor’s arrival. Changes had occurred along the way, of course, including elders and a church covenant, but then the firings and new crony hiring accelerated. The older people have been segregated into their own class so they do not bring the old Baptist ideas into the other classes. Mission accomplished. Of course, now they need to find a way to maintain that fine church facility with all those young, enthusiastic families now that the middle-aged higher earners have left or been run off.

  65. This! Shauna, you stated perfectly how we felt. It is not so easy to break away. I am thankful you remained close to scripture and God as he will never lead you wrong. God bless!@ shauna:

  66. Midwesterner:
    Thanks for sharing your story. I am always saddened that people can’t stay at a church they love. However, I’m thankful your former church didn’t hound you or put you under “discipline.” The results were very different at our church.
    Our pastor left after he was confronted with being a liar and deceiver for not telling us he was a Calvinist, but not before he attempted to do almost every one of those things you mentioned. He even wanted to get rid of our VBS! The Sunday he resigned (without even giving a two-weeks’ notice,) he told the congregation that we “didn’t follow his leadership!” He’s absolutely right–I only follow CHRIST’S leadership! He also cancelled communion, since he didn’t feel that we had a spirit of unity. Therefore, he excommunicated the whole church on his last Sunday! Boy, he really showed us, didn’t he?
    Our church is currently seeking a new pastor, and we are going to run any candidate through the wringer. In fact, I’m already working on a battery of questions for the committee in order to help smoke out any pastor with a hidden agenda. Any candidate trying to sneak this stuff in the back door just better keep on walking! My Jesus never had to sneak around to do His Father’s business and neither should we!

  67. Jack, I can’t answer that directly. I was just quoting what we were told. I’m not saying I buy it and we didn’t support their mission financially. This particular pastor (non Calvinist) and his wife were very respectful of others’ differing beliefs. They sought to reach the unchurched mostly. I can’t find their only email message but it may have been South FL directly they were referencing than specifically Miami/Dade but even then it seemed a very high percentage. So my apologies if I did re quote that wrong. I do know what you are talking about though in referring to some evangelicals thinking others’ “brand” of Christianity wasn’t the one true way. I have been around legalistic types who think Catholics and even certain Protestant denominations aren’t true believers. I don’t agree with this at all. In the book of Samuel it states that man sees the outward appearance but God sees the heart. Who am I to assume someone isn’t in Christ because they do church differently than me. It’s the true Gospel of Christ and the command to love one another that unites us. However, there is some of that elitism going on in the YRR camp. My Quaker parents influenced and drilled into me not to be like that thankfully! And Indidnt know what Mohler said in the clip until Deb posted it. It’s definitely unsettling but thankfully I am here to say there are places to go. Great discussion! Jack wrote:

    Midwesterner wrote:
    Hi Jack, I am the one who shared this story. I was just quoting the stats that we were told by the former youth pastor when he was fundraising and preparing to go on mission there. There probably is a higher Christian population than that, but even if it’s only 20% non Christian, the former pastor and his family have a huge heart for serving people and spreading the Gospel of Christ so I feel South Florida gained some great missionaries. @ Jack:
    I don’t know about this case but some churches consider their brand of Christianity the only brand of Christianity.
    There was a post on TWW about New England being targeted for missions. Lots of churches there, just not the ‘right’ ones. My wife’s church has supported ‘missons’ to France, Belgium, and Quebec.
    They have also slammed Muslims, Buddhists, Catholics, other Protestant denominations (including Baptists) In general, could a church’s own sense of theological superiority make it susceptible to a takeover like described above?

  68. Excellent points! So sorry you had to endure that. Good luck with your candidate search Root66. Root 66 wrote:

    Midwesterner:
    Thanks for sharing your story. I am always saddened that people can’t stay at a church they love. However, I’m thankful your former church didn’t hound you or put you under “discipline.” The results were very different at our church.
    Our pastor left after he was confronted with being a liar and deceiver for not telling us he was a Calvinist, but not before he attempted to do almost every one of those things you mentioned. He even wanted to get rid of our VBS! The Sunday he resigned (without even giving a two-weeks’ notice,) he told the congregation that we “didn’t follow his leadership!” He’s absolutely right–I only follow CHRIST’S leadership! He also cancelled communion, since he didn’t feel that we had a spirit of unity. Therefore, he excommunicated the whole church on his last Sunday! Boy, he really showed us, didn’t he?
    Our church is currently seeking a new pastor, and we are going to run any candidate through the wringer. In fact, I’m already working on a battery of questions for the committee in order to help smoke out any pastor with a hidden agenda. Any candidate trying to sneak this stuff in the back door just better keep on walking! My Jesus never had to sneak around to do His Father’s business and neither should we!

  69. Root 66 wrote:

    Our church is currently seeking a new pastor, and we are going to run any candidate through the wringer.

    Absolutely! Someone was telling me that when they chose a senior pastor (which predates my time at this church) they had people from the committee who went wherever the candidate(s) were preaching and listened without telling them they were there. In addition to everything else.

    This five year plan thing is fascinating. I think showing people the ‘plan’ by year and showing them what is happening in their own church might help people see sooner that it’s not just natural things that are coming up (oh, we have to change this because of reason X, and this other thing because of reason y) – it’s a plan. That means the reasons are lies. THAT is a huge red flag and should give anyone pause.

  70. Can someone tell me why they get rid of all the programs for the children? You would think that having these ministries would not only draw people in but come on, its the kids! They need programs like that to help them flourish in the Lord. We need lots of men and women who are gifted in teaching kids about Christ on level they understand and in a way that encourages them and opens up their minds to Christ. I don’t get this why the slashing of childrens programs, vbs, awanas, and so forth.

    Our former church is doing KIDS KAMP in a few weeks. They are inviting kids from the local schools to come as they do every year. I’m sorry but if you all know my sons story how is this place safe for any kids coming into that church? Billy was raped at the church and to my knowledge was never touched by anyone however with how much the elders hid what happened lied, and deceived the members how could any child be safe there if this is how they treat children when abuse has occurred? Please pray for the kids whose parents don’t even attend services there they are trusting their kids to a place where they have no idea how they would handle abuse but we know.

  71. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Didn’t that Rabbi from Nazareth snub the Righteous God Squad types and hang out with the freaks and losers?

    Being a freak and a loser ain’t all bad…the Canaanite woman’s faith in Matthew 15:27 has become somewhat of a “life-verse” for my wife and me, since as Southern Baptists, we don’t fit neatly into the YRR mold anymore! We feel like strangers in a strange land.

  72. shauna wrote:

    Can someone tell me why they get rid of all the programs for the children? You would think that having these ministries would not only draw people in but come on, its the kids!

    I am not sure. The only thing that I can think of is that they are more work, and these types of people are incredibly lazy. There also may be a cost/benefit question – more money spent on children equals less spent on books and conferences and salaries?

    I also wonder when someone is going to realize how financially stupid it is to run off older members. Do none of these guys care about that math?

  73. Hi, I’m sorry. I was just quoting what I was told. Not saying I believe it. I can’t find their old email about going on mission there and we didn’t support it financially but looking back, I believe it was more generally South FL they were referencing instead of Miami/Dade area so my apologies. I know how some people don’t believe others’ “brand” of Christianity is the true way so I understand your frustration. I wrote my story out over the course of several weeks and tried to recollect as much as i accurately and factually could. The one who left for FL wasn’t a YRR. He was replaced with one. The spiritual elitism does and can happen in this kind of movement though. okrapod wrote:

    Only 5 % christians in greater Miami/Dade area? I have heard that c**p before here in my town. RE and I attended a meeting at SBC mega back when and the issue was the opening of yet another ‘campus’. The then pastor was a big pal of Mohler and eventually left here for an SBC denominational job of some sort. At the meeting that then pastor spewed out similar statistics about how few Christians there were in his church’s alleged catchment area. Of course I went home and checked it out. To get his low percentage of Christians he would have had to leave out even some the other Baptist (non-SBC) churches.
    Lies. More lies. Obvious lies. Tip of the iceberg when it comes to lies in my opinion.
    http://www.city-data.com/county/religion/Miami-Dade-County-FL.html

  74. Midwesterner wrote:

    I’m sorry

    IT’s not you. Either they unquestionably repeated some stat they picked up (which people do all the time actually) or there was a fine print to it that wasn’t laid out. That stat is just wrong, though.

  75. Hi Lea and Shauna, I can only speak about my previous church but it seemed that as the Children’s ministry was being downgraded, the focus was shifted more towards Discipleship, shepherding, elders etc. Also, they were focusing on pastoral interns and raising up and sending out new men to seminary to train and become pastors and thus the cycle continues. It was disheartening to say the least.Lea wrote:

    shauna wrote:
    Can someone tell me why they get rid of all the programs for the children? You would think that having these ministries would not only draw people in but come on, its the kids!
    I am not sure. The only thing that I can think of is that they are more work, and these types of people are incredibly lazy. There also may be a cost/benefit question – more money spent on children equals less spent on books and conferences and salaries?
    I also wonder when someone is going to realize how financially stupid it is to run off older members. Do none of these guys care about that math?

  76. @ shauna:
    Shauna,
    I’m by no means an expert on this, but I read once in Piper’s “Children Desiring God” VBS material that they don’t like to share the gospel with children, since they may not understand it or they might gain a false assurance of salvation (you know, just in case they aren’t the elect!) However, There was a Carpenter from Nazareth that said pretty much the opposite of that…I think I’ll stick with Him!

  77. Midwesterner wrote:

    the focus was shifted more towards Discipleship, shepherding, elders etc. Also, they were focusing on pastoral interns and raising up and sending out new men to seminary to train and become pastors and thus the cycle continues

    Money and time spent on Children (or women) is money that could instead be spent on men?

    That tracks.

    And Route66 I can’t tell you how much this attitude towards children bothers me. It is directly contrary to what jesus taught, and if our DLF Jeremy from the other day comes back I’ll dig up chapter and verse for him.

  78. Lea wrote:

    shauna wrote:
    Can someone tell me why they get rid of all the programs for the children? You would think that having these ministries would not only draw people in but come on, its the kids!
    I am not sure. The only thing that I can think of is that they are more work, and these types of people are incredibly lazy. There also may be a cost/benefit question – more money spent on children equals less spent on books and conferences and salaries?
    I also wonder when someone is going to realize how financially stupid it is to run off older members. Do none of these guys care about that math?

    Yes very stupid to run off the older but think about it, it’s easier to deceive the younger crowds than it is our seniors. Our seniors are wise in years and they know the deal especially one who are grounded in the Word. These young buck pastors don’t want to have to in any way be confronted or submit to their elders meaning the elder generation. I grew up learning that you are to respect your elders and listen to them, they bring wisdom and a lot of them have Godly character because of the life experience they have been through trials most through trials we have never faced. They understand finances better than the newer generation because they come from a generation where a hand shake meant their word , a business deal was done in cash and if they didn’t have it they saved or didn’t purchase. Alot of them know how to be content with what God has given them where these pastors want status, money , recognition, fancy trips to great get aways and conferences where they barely spend a dime out of their own pocket and get to piggy back off the funding of their members. The place where my son is going this summer those people are shining examples of ministry and hard work. Not a lazy bone in any of them and getting deep into a toilet , shower, or the mud and dirt to all hours of the night just to make the place ready and beautiful for kids who will come hear the gospel that week at their camp. These are men and women who work with no pay and literally trust God for the needs to be met and will not turn any kid away who wants to come to their camp. It’s incredible and there are many more like them around the world who we have no clue about because they are not laying their treasures here. After over 40 years of being in ministry not one has taken trips to other places or vacations on anyones dime. I would fully support it if someone did do that for servants like them. Anyways I mention this because I don’t believe these people in the churches we are discussing have any idea what it means to serve except to serve themselves.

  79. Lea wrote:

    And Route66 I can’t tell you how much this attitude towards children bothers me.

    Funny thing is–when you ask most of these YRR pastors when they accepted Christ, guess what the answer usually is?!? Yep, it’s usually a single-digit number! They’ve got two sets of rules (shocking–I know!)
    I wish I could find a link or something to that page I read, but all I know is that my blood ran cold when I read it! Their teaching is totally twisted and contradictory to the Bible.

  80. Root 66 wrote:

    @ shauna:
    Shauna,
    I’m by no means an expert on this, but I read once in Piper’s “Children Desiring God” VBS material that they don’t like to share the gospel with children, since they may not understand it or they might gain a false assurance of salvation (you know, just in case they aren’t the elect!) However, There was a Carpenter from Nazareth that said pretty much the opposite of that…I think I’ll stick with Him!

    Yes Root 66 I heard that from the man who leads the mens ministry from our former church. He told me that he didn’t believe kids really make true confessions of faith because they don’t understand. This was of course shortly before we left but I was taken back by that statement. I was taken back even more when I was told that God damns some for hell and others for heaven. Then another time the pastor spoke he said that Judas was meant to betray Jesus meaning God planned that for him. Again these are craftily put into sermons and unless your really paying attention you can miss what is being said. I went back and heard that sermon and was like oh my WORD how did I miss this?

  81. Thanks and I agree Lea. It did seem “off” to me by quite a bit but I guess I have a lot of experience now in noting something being off. Have a great day! Lea wrote:

    Midwesterner wrote:
    I’m sorry
    IT’s not you. Either they unquestionably repeated some stat they picked up (which people do all the time actually) or there was a fine print to it that wasn’t laid out. That stat is just wrong, though.

  82. shauna wrote:

    Can someone tell me why they get rid of all the programs for the children? You would think that having these ministries would not only draw people in but come on, its the kids! They need programs like that to help them flourish in the Lord. We need lots of men and women who are gifted in teaching kids about Christ on level they understand and in a way that encourages them and opens up their minds to Christ. I don’t get this why the slashing of childrens programs, vbs, awanas, and so forth.

    Money is a reason, but the main reason is that Calvinists do not believe in spending any influence on anyone that might not be “Elect”. The Elect are supposed to come to them, and since they believe the non-Elect will not toe their line, then they don’t have to minister to them until they do. That means children, missions to the unreached (hence the change in vision for both NAMB and IMB), and kicking out anyone who questions them.

    The private groups by selection is also part of this reasoning. They say the Elect will come to them, but they definitely pick and choose people they think are most vulnerable, or who will just follow along, as well as those men who are willing to turn into yes-men for the pastor.

  83. Something my wife and I noticed after we left an abusive, authoritarian church. It was a plant from out of state, the area they chose to plant their church was a fairly solid upper middle class area, one with a bit of money, not rich by any means but well off. Everyone that moved to the area as part of the church plant lives in a nicer neighborhood than most of us that filled the seats. That aside, everyone that came to plant the church was 100% sold out on “how church should be,” the Way of Calvin was the only way to do things. After what happened to us, we wish we knew then what we know now.

  84. Brother Maynard wrote:

    Everyone that moved to the area as part of the church plant lives in a nicer neighborhood than most of us that filled the seats. That aside, everyone that came to plant the church was 100% sold out on “how church should be,” the Way of Calvin was the only way to do things. After what happened to us, we wish we knew then what we know now.

    This is actually a part of the playbook for many churches. They will seed the church with their yes-men so they can overrule the congregational votes to put in pastor and elder rule.

    They have done this with all the committees in the SBC, as well, and are trying to do it with the Evangelical Theological Society so they can keep women out of the organization.

  85. ishy wrote:

    shauna wrote:
    Can someone tell me why they get rid of all the programs for the children? You would think that having these ministries would not only draw people in but come on, its the kids! They need programs like that to help them flourish in the Lord. We need lots of men and women who are gifted in teaching kids about Christ on level they understand and in a way that encourages them and opens up their minds to Christ. I don’t get this why the slashing of childrens programs, vbs, awanas, and so forth.
    Money is a reason, but the main reason is that Calvinists do not believe in spending any influence on anyone that might not be “Elect”. The Elect are supposed to come to them, and since they believe the non-Elect will not toe their line, then they don’t have to minister to them until they do. That means children, missions to the unreached (hence the change in vision for both NAMB and IMB), and kicking out anyone who questions them.
    The private groups by selection is also part of this reasoning. They say the Elect will come to them, but they definitely pick and choose people they think are most vulnerable, or who will just follow along, as well as those men who are willing to turn into yes-men for the pastor.

    Wow ishy makes sense but it’s just sick in my eyes. I was always taught to share the gospel with anyone you encountered because you don’t know if they will receive Him or if they will day the next instant. If they don’t receive Christ then you just plant the seed. Its so weird that our former pastor thinks this way because we went to the same Bible Institute at different times of course. But Word Of Life is total evangelism. Wonderful ministry and I had the best year of my life at the B.I. Funny how he went from there to The Masters Seminary and did a 180 however they do do word of life clubs. I don’t think they totally do word of life how it’s supposed to.

  86. shauna wrote:

    I was always taught to share the gospel with anyone you encountered because you don’t know if they will receive Him or if they will day the next instant. If they don’t receive Christ then you just plant the seed.

    This was actually what made me aware of the New Calvinists. I studied missions at SEBTS, and when Akin took over, he dropped my program and moved most of the missions professors to other things. He said that the only proper way to “do missions” was “proclamation (preaching) in a church”. They have re-added the programs, but they are now under the heading of “Proclamation”. I used to work at NAMB, and lived near it, so have some connections there, and the same thing happened at NAMB. All the emphasis has switched to “revitalizing” churches, not planting new ones.

  87. Jack wrote:

    Midwesterner wrote:

    Hi Jack, I am the one who shared this story. I was just quoting the stats that we were told by the former youth pastor when he was fundraising and preparing to go on mission there. There probably is a higher Christian population than that, but even if it’s only 20% non Christian, the former pastor and his family have a huge heart for serving people and spreading the Gospel of Christ so I feel South Florida gained some great missionaries. @ Jack:

    I don’t know about this case but some churches consider their brand of Christianity the only brand of Christianity.,

    Exactly what I was thinking but you actually said it. There’s so many Christians claiming other Christians aren’t really Christians. In the meantime, who is going to the Middle Eastern countries where ISIS is wreaking havoc?

  88. ishy wrote:

    All the emphasis has switched to “revitalizing” churches, not planting new ones.

    Guess why? They get the church building and all of the assets.

  89. Off topic. But only slightly. I am just so sick of all these intellectual wannabes like Piper and his blind followers. They comment on peripheral matters as if they are doling out infallible truth.

    Women and men can dye their hair if they want to. And it isn’t being a “fake human” to do so.

    I always regret googling Piper. Today was no exception.

    https://mobile.twitter.com/JohnPiper/status/864488229868896256?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Etweet

  90. Midwesterner wrote:

    It’s easy to be drawn in for a while because the expository preaching and teaching dive in deep, deeper into scripture than any church I had previously attended. We did learn and grow and felt challenged to a degree.

    Don’t get me wrong, the Bible is a great and wonderful thing, and as holy books go, it has no equal. But I think it’s entirely possible to dive in so deep, that it’s off the deep end so to speak. So much so, that you (generic you) can no longer even see the trees, never mind the forest.

  91. ishy wrote:

    He said that the only proper way to “do missions” was “proclamation (preaching) in a church”.

    Reminds me of our former YRR pastor quoting Piper: “Missions exist because worship doesn’t.” Still scratching my head over that one. Jesus commanded us to “go and make disciples…” NOT “stay here and worship!”
    Again they are focusing on things that the Lord didn’t. Maybe someone needs to explain to me again how they are so “biblical” and “spiritual.” Use small words and pictures if you have to…evidently I’m a slow learner!

  92. dee wrote:

    ishy wrote:
    All the emphasis has switched to “revitalizing” churches, not planting new ones.
    /
    Guess why? They get the church building and all of the assets.

    I think it’s also because Calvinism is a pretty ugly way to describe God. It’s much easier for them to “revitalize” well-trained followers than to start with people who honestly question everything. It’s clear that they can’t handle any sort of in-depth questioning by the way they kick out of churches anybody who questions them, as well as how they heavily moderate all their social media.
    .

  93. ishy wrote:

    They will seed the church with their yes-men so they can overrule the congregational votes to put in pastor and elder rule.

    Seeding the congregation is a very important part of the playbook. I did not realize this at first until I found out that people had specifically moved to be part of the “revitalization” of this church which was not known as a church in need of revitalization. The seeded people were the persons who taught the classes and led the small groups because they were trusted. You can see how that worked.

  94. Root 66 wrote:

    Reminds me of our former YRR pastor quoting Piper: “Missions exist because worship doesn’t.” Still scratching my head over that one. Jesus commanded us to “go and make disciples…” NOT “stay here and worship!”
    Again they are focusing on things that the Lord didn’t.

    Yeah, this aspect of theology doesn’t really seem to derive from much in the New Testament. I think it actually has a lot of OT influence, in that they see themselves as a New Israel, and everybody who God chose would just go to the temple. Except it didn’t work in the OT, and it doesn’t work now.

    Piper is a bit of an exception (because I think he’s not totally all there anymore), but I have noticed that a lot of New Calvinists avoid teaching anything Jesus said. I guess if you just don’t talk about it, nobody will notice that what they do teach goes totally against the words of Jesus.

  95. Gram3 wrote:

    Seeding the congregation is a very important part of the playbook. I did not realize this at first until I found out that people had specifically moved to be part of the “revitalization” of this church which was not known as a church in need of revitalization. The seeded people were the persons who taught the classes and led the small groups because they were trusted. You can see how that worked.

    Looking back now, I see where it happened while I was at SEBTS. I remember that one church a good hour away had some students that recruited among the Southeastern students. The pastor is big in 9 Marks and wrote a book about “revitalizing” churches (whaddya know!). When Akin took over, he suddenly was speaking there all the time. They heavily started recruiting men from SEBTS, and only men or married couples, and putting them in accountability and theology groups.

    If you want something really interesting to read, here is 9 Marks review of that book (and I think HUG especially will appreciate it): https://www.9marks.org/article/dear-wormwood/

  96. Let me be clear: today’s post on the takeover reads very much like the takeover of our local SBC by a not so young restless and very reformed guy. Except he really pushed youth ministry and children’s ministry.

    For some who criticize churches moving away from the youth and children oriented church, I offer the following. It won’t apply to every church or situation but do consider that others may differ from you on this point and give grace.

    I’m now in a Wesleyan/Holiness church. Far from Reformed, as even the Reformed Arminians (yes, they exist!) say we are not real Arminians as we are not Reformed.

    We are definitely closing down youth and children’s programs locally. Yes, they draw more people to church most definitely. Yes, they build fellowship. Yes, many rely on those programs as their main social contact of the week. No, we are not concerned that they attract the non elect since we don’t believe in predestination. Yes, we know folks who have been saved and lives changed for the better through those programs. But all that said, they by and large DO NOT WORK. Not if your goal is seeing those children, those youth, and their families truly brought into the faith. We get the children in droves (free babysitting?) and the teens in slightly smaller droves (good way to meet the opposite sex?) but they graduate high school and disappear. It isn’t just us. Check the national stats. We’ve made youth the focus of the church world since the late 60’s at least and been the most ineffectual at reaching the next generation ever.

    We looked at what the mainliners and RCC do here: children in church with the parents, ditto teens, with confirmation instruction for the teens. Mainline graduates here flock to fundamentalist churches (but are still in church!) and the RCC kids grow up to stay RCC. But the evangelical and fundy kids raised in the nursery, then VBS and junior church, then the youth group, leave.

    It is because we care passionately about the soul of every person in our town we are willing to try a different way of doing church than what has been considered “must have” programs for sixty years of FAILURE.

    We are focusing on the adults. We want to reach those like Daisy here who feel marginalized in marriage and baby carriage focused churches. We want to reach the parents of the children and youth, and help them disciple their own kids. Yes, we still care deeply about our “bus kids” but feel the best way to help them is reach their parents and see their home lives become what they should be, not try to force the kids to choose us over their parents which standard youth and child ministry does.

    We are dropping out of offering day care, preschool, counselling, addiction services, etc and focusing on evangelism, good strong Bible centered preaching, and music that appeals to all ages, not just one demographic. In short, we are letting the church as an organization be the church, and then expecting the members to live out their faith all week. Instead of a busy mom prepping to teach 10 other kids to the neglect of having dinner and a bedtime story with her own kids, we are freeing her to truly mother her kids. That sort of thing.

    Time will tell if our method is effective, as it was for nearly 2000 years, or not. But continuing to prop up the industry (and it IS big money!) of the marriage and baby carriage youth driven version of the church, which isn’t working, is something we are no longer willing to do.

    Our daughter was baptized SBC in the 80’s at age 7 but only after the pastor and church were convinced she knew what she was doing. In the non SBC world we inhabit now, our granddaughter was saved at 5 and asked for believer’s baptism at 7 and again it took some hoops to jump through. Both traditionalist Methodists and Baptists used to assume believer’s baptism took place around 10-12 at the earliest. Of course the Methodist parents who were believers would have had the child Christened instead.

    Peace to all, and keep teaching me. What is happening in Sapulpa?

  97. ishy wrote:

    putting them in accountability and theology groups.

    I’ve been working on a mini headspace theory about accountability groups, so I find this interesting.

  98. Gram3 wrote:

    The Five Year Plan again. It cannot be a coincidence.

    The Calvinista playbook could be material used for a Twilight Zone episode. ‘The Calvinista are Coming…the Calvinistas are Coming!”

  99. Lea wrote:

    ishy wrote:
    putting them in accountability and theology groups.
    /
    I’ve been working on a mini headspace theory about accountability groups, so I find this interesting.

    I think they use them to find out who’s a real follower, and who’s a Berean. Then they chase the Bereans out. Can’t have people who actually read the Bible instead of their authors and point out the huge gaping holes in the wall. Then everybody else notice the holes!

  100. Lea wrote:

    ishy wrote:

    putting them in accountability and theology groups.

    I’ve been working on a mini headspace theory about accountability groups, so I find this interesting.

    “Accountability groups” = creepy. In my former Christian cult, we had meetings that all members were required to attend – unless one had an approved excuse. There we would stand up before everyone and confess our sins and be dealt with. Thought crimes of all sorts were to be “brought into the light.”

  101. ishy wrote:

    a lot of New Calvinists avoid teaching anything Jesus said.

    A smart thing to do when you make up your own theology! I’ve said it before–it’s not until you realize what’s missing in your church in order to see what’s wrong with their teaching!

  102. ishy wrote:

    I think they use them to find out who’s a real follower, and who’s a Berean.

    They seem to only be for men, though. The ‘accountability’ groups I mean. That’s what seems odd.

    Maybe it’s simply because men are the only ones who matter.

  103. Darlene wrote:

    There we would stand up before everyone and confess our sins and be dealt with.

    ah! So were these called accountability groups or were they called something else?

    I do think ‘confession’ is some part of many types of faith, however there is a huge difference between confession and this stuff.

  104. Lea wrote:

    They seem to only be for men, though. The ‘accountability’ groups I mean. That’s what seems odd.
    Maybe it’s simply because men are the only ones who matter.

    I know they promise that men will get to be in charge of their families, and maybe one day be elders and be in charge of the church. The church tells the men what to do, and the men tell their families what to do. It’s bait they dangle to attract power-hungry men. I’m honestly surprised more of these churches don’t self-combust with all their egomaniac males competing with each other.

    Some of them do have accountability groups for women, though. That church might have, but they definitely focused their recruitment on men.

  105. dee wrote:

    ishy wrote:

    All the emphasis has switched to “revitalizing” churches, not planting new ones.

    Guess why? They get the church building and all of the assets.

    It’s a quick cash scheme. One way to make it fail is for members to walk away, leaving the Calvinistas stuck with the bills. They’ll be in debt in no time and the building will be shuttered. I’m beginning to think this is the only way to put these false shepherds out of business.

  106. Someone asked why these type of people do away with children’s ministry. I can tell you after being involved with this stuff for 26 years it is because they believe that fathers are the only ones who are biblically to teach their children and when a church offers a Sunday school program or any other program to teach children it is usurping a fathers authority. They believe because of their doctrine on election they have no business converting children as the father unsaved or not is responsible and their god is going to call his people. We listened to Scott Brown answer this question… if your family only had 2 choices in reading the Bible, either you taught them or they read it for themselves which would you choice? He said of course it would be me teaching them. That is gods only way. They are power hungry, narcissistic child and woman abusers and should be run out of churches once given the opportunity to repent and they refuse.

  107. Lea wrote:

    Darlene wrote:

    There we would stand up before everyone and confess our sins and be dealt with.

    ah! So were these called accountability groups or were they called something else?

    They were just called ‘meetings’. Those of us who are ex-members now refer to them as ‘beatings’. 🙂

  108. Brother Maynard wrote:

    It was a plant from out of state, the area they chose to plant their church was a fairly solid upper middle class area, one with a bit of money, not rich by any means but well off.

    Someone who comments here frequently (perhaps Lydia?) noted that the church planters always plant churches in wealthier neighborhoods.

    In the case of my ex-gulag (cough NeoCalvinist “church”) they rent from the Seventh Day Adventists who have established, older churches in nice neighborhoods whose homes have risen in value. The homes in the neighborhood in Silicon Valley where the church plant started were valued at between $1.6 million dollars and $3 million dollars. Older, small ranch style homes sell for $1.6 million.

  109. The chapter on “Instructions for Local Church Reformation” in the Founders Press booklet A Quiet Revolution draws on Reisinger’s experience ‘reforming’ North Pompano Baptist Church.

    Other advice not yet mentioned:

    Don’t tackle the whole church, first just initiate a select group of men into the doctrines of grace and get them installed as church “elders”.

    Use a carefully screened book table to introduce people to Reformed authors.

    Use preaching as your weapon.

    Steel yourself for attacks from unregenerate and religiously ignorant deacons.

  110. Darlene wrote:

    It’s a quick cash scheme. One way to make it fail is for members to walk away, leaving the Calvinistas stuck with the bills. They’ll be in debt in no time and the building will be shuttered.

    I would like to see all Christians go on strike. Don’t give any money to any church; don’t buy any book; don’t go to any conference for several months or however long it takes. That would send a strong message to the seminaries, etc. that the people are fed up and are not going to take it any more (to paraphrase the film Network).

  111. Gram3 wrote:

    It is difficult to find words adequate to capture the magnitude of the outrageous claims in that statement. Think about what they are claiming and what they are leaving out of that claim.

    “There is no Christ. There Is Only CALVIN!”

  112. Nancy2 wrote:

    Ken P. wrote:
    “Calvinistic Christianity is nothing more and nothing less than biblical Christianity. It follows, then, that the future of Christianity itself is bound up in the fortunes of Calvinism”

    Jesus only contributed a mere fraction of what Calvin contributed to Christianity.

    CALVIN Who Has God All Figured Out.
    How Dare God do something other than what CALVIN says He does!

  113. Ironically, the exemplar of Founders ‘Ministries’ Baptist Reformitude (Reisinger’s North Pompano Baptist Church) no longer exists: it declined and dissolved up a number of years ago.

    As did the crucible of the 9 Marks, New Meadows Baptist (Topsfield, Mass.).

    Mark Dever cryptically mentions the church in an interview:

    http://www.ligonier.org/learn/articles/ministry-capital-interview-mark-dever/

    “How did 9Marks begin, and what is its mission?”

    Dever: “I first thought of the nine marks in a letter I had written to a church plant I had been involved with in the Boston area. I wrote to them in 1991 laying out nine characteristics that marked their church”

    Despite being pastored by luminaries such as Mark Dever, Zane Pratt (now VP at the SBC’s IMB), and Andy Davis (now at FBC Durham), the “Healthy Church” that inspired 9Marks ‘Ministries,’ New Meadows Baptist, went belly up too.

  114. Lea wrote:

    There also may be a cost/benefit question – more money spent on children equals less spent on books and conferences and salaries?

    Like Downsizing(TM) employees to free up $$$$$ for Fat Management Bonuses?

  115. shauna wrote:

    Then another time the pastor spoke he said that Judas was meant to betray Jesus meaning God planned that for him.

    i.e. Judas was just the fall guy so God could snap & upload more Selfies.

  116. Darlene wrote:

    In the meantime, who is going to the Middle Eastern countries where ISIS is wreaking havoc?

    Driscoll was for sending Singles there to be Martyred while the Marrieds stayed in American Suburbia Focusing on their Families and Tithing.

  117. Gram3 wrote:

    Seeding the congregation is a very important part of the playbook.

    East Coast machine politics calls this “Knock & Drag”. Go over to the Projects, knock ’em over the head, and drag them to the polling place or public hearing as your claque group.

  118. Darlene wrote:

    In my former Christian cult, we had meetings that all members were required to attend – unless one had an approved excuse. There we would stand up before everyone and confess our sins and be dealt with.

    Enlightened Self-Criticism before Party Commissars.

  119. ishy wrote:

    I know they promise that men will get to be in charge of their families, and maybe one day be elders and be in charge of the church. The church tells the men what to do, and the men tell their families what to do. It’s bait they dangle to attract power-hungry men.

    “Brewery-wagon driver rescued from obscurity by his beloved Nazis.”
    — Leon Uris, Armageddon: a Novel of Berlin, re a fictional death camp commandant

  120. Darlene wrote:

    It’s a quick cash scheme. One way to make it fail is for members to walk away, leaving the Calvinistas stuck with the bills. They’ll be in debt in no time and the building will be shuttered.

    It’s called “Leave ‘Em High & Dry”.

    I did it back in 1982 when my company was under abusive management. Most of my department (including me) found other jobs and left Milords of Top Management high & dry without anyone to do the vital work. Don’t know what happened after I left, but their former Corporate HQ isn’t there any more.

    Some years later I advised a guy I knew who was in a similar situation to do the same. When they all walked, their abusive boss doubled down and eventually attracted lawsuits that bankrupted that company.

  121. Donna wrote:

    Someone asked why these type of people do away with children’s ministry. I can tell you after being involved with this stuff for 26 years it is because they believe that fathers are the only ones who are biblically to teach their children and when a church offers a Sunday school program or any other program to teach children it is usurping a fathers authority

    Paterfamilias has absolute power over all his household — breeding stock, heirs, spares, and animate property. So was it in Rome before those Christians came.
    And Caesar/Pastor is Paterfamilias of Paterfamilii.

  122. Velour wrote:

    In the case of my ex-gulag (cough NeoCalvinist “church”) they rent from the Seventh Day Adventists who have established, older churches in nice neighborhoods whose homes have risen in value. The homes in the neighborhood in Silicon Valley where the church plant started were valued at between $1.6 million dollars and $3 million dollars. Older, small ranch style homes sell for $1.6 million.

    And $120,000 a year means you’re “Low Income”.

  123. Christiane wrote:

    Darlene wrote:

    There we would stand up before everyone and confess our sins and be dealt with.

    WHAT ??????

    What on Earth?

    Believe me, Christiane, I understand your reaction. Sometimes I wonder how I didn’t end up in a psych ward.

  124. Ken P. wrote:

    Just a general comment:

    9 Marks of a Healthy Church is just the playbook for the ground game. The overall strategy for Calvinizing the church is an ever more sinister book called A Quiet Revolution by Ernest Reisinger (2001). You can get it from The Founders for $3. It is such a revelation that it is worth giving Three bucks to the calvinistas just for the knowledge.

    http://press.founders.org/shop/a-quiet-revolution/

    Ernest Reisinger preached at the Calvinist church I used to attend in the 90’s. I remember my husband being quite troubled after hearing him for the first time. It was his view of God that was disturbing. Little did we know at the time that this was the god of Calvin.

  125. ishy wrote:

    They heavily started recruiting men from SEBTS, and only men or married couples, and putting them in accountability and theology groups.

    There is another situation I am watching where a longtime traditional SBC church was “coincidentally” visited by a former youth pastor of a Calvinista church, and then the former youth pastor joined the longtime traditional church. According to sources there, said longtime traditional church has begun some subtle shifts, and I am watching carefully, particularly this former youth pastor and his “evangelistic” activities. I must admit, however, that it is taking more than five years.

  126. dee wrote:

    They get the church building and all of the assets.

    True, but that asset must be maintained and insured, and these MDivs are typically clueless about such things. They see their name on the sign, and that’s all that matters. I could tell a story about a church that looks very, very fine on the outside, is barely solvent, yet pays tribute to the right organizations, and employs the right graduates at the expense of long time employees. The kingdoms of men. I’ll bet you know lots of others, too!

  127. Christiane wrote:

    Darlene wrote:
    There we would stand up before everyone and confess our sins and be dealt with.

    WHAT ??????
    What on Earth?

    Enlightened Self-Criticism before Commissars of The Party and The Masses.

  128. Gram3 wrote:

    True, but that asset must be maintained and insured, and these MDivs are typically clueless about such things. They see their name on the sign, and that’s all that matters

    “And the Roman Empire shall now and forever be called The Empire of Caesar Commodus…”
    — Fifties sandal movie Fall of the Roman Empire

  129. linda wrote:

    Time will tell if our method is effective, as it was for nearly 2000 years, or not. But continuing to prop up the industry (and it IS big money!) of the marriage and baby carriage youth driven version of the church, which isn’t working, is something we are no longer willing to do.

    My church has a very complicated youth program. I've asked similar questions and got hostile feedback. I too question the value of the modern format for youth ministry. It's not that I am against youth, but what is going on now seems out of balance.

  130. Lea wrote:

    ishy wrote:
    putting them in accountability . . . groups

    Interestingly, an acquaintance of mine said, speaking from experience, that men’s accountability groups are a load of hooey and a complete waste of time because men lie.

    This same man’s oldest son is currently a student at MacArthur’s calvinista factory, otherwise known as The Master’s University. Go figure.

  131. linda wrote:

    Mainline graduates here flock to fundamentalist churches (but are still in church!) and the RCC kids grow up to stay RCC. But the evangelical and fundy kids raised in the nursery, then VBS and junior church, then the youth group, leave.

    I disagree with this. It’s not how it plays out where I live (California). The most hardcore, anti-Catholic, fundamentalists Christians were usually raised as Roman Catholics. To say that RCC kids raised in the church stay in their denomination is simply inaccurate. Huge numbers of them have left.

  132. ishy wrote:

    Brother Maynard wrote:
    Everyone that moved to the area as part of the church plant lives in a nicer neighborhood than most of us that filled the seats. That aside, everyone that came to plant the church was 100% sold out on “how church should be,” the Way of Calvin was the only way to do things. After what happened to us, we wish we knew then what we know now.
    This is actually a part of the playbook for many churches. They will seed the church with their yes-men so they can overrule the congregational votes to put in pastor and elder rule.
    They have done this with all the committees in the SBC, as well, and are trying to do it with the Evangelical Theological Society so they can keep women out of the organization.

    Yep that is exactly how they do it at our former church in fact all the original people who left their home church when the pastor caused a church split “walden Community Church” there is not maybe a couple left out of 150 people. However it came at a great cost because those who split with our pastor and the yes men were hurt due to relationships they were forced to severe. It’s funny that once people begin to realize how controlling, manipulative, and how deceitful these men become but it usually results in them being disciplined when they question the pastor’s ” God given authority” end quote!

  133. ishy wrote:

    Root 66 wrote:
    Reminds me of our former YRR pastor quoting Piper: “Missions exist because worship doesn’t.” Still scratching my head over that one. Jesus commanded us to “go and make disciples…” NOT “stay here and worship!”
    Again they are focusing on things that the Lord didn’t.
    Yeah, this aspect of theology doesn’t really seem to derive from much in the New Testament. I think it actually has a lot of OT influence, in that they see themselves as a New Israel, and everybody who God chose would just go to the temple. Except it didn’t work in the OT, and it doesn’t work now.
    Piper is a bit of an exception (because I think he’s not totally all there anymore), but I have noticed that a lot of New Calvinists avoid teaching anything Jesus said. I guess if you just don’t talk about it, nobody will notice that what they do teach goes totally against the words of Jesus.

    I actually see a lot of similarities with the Catholic church. Can’t go directly to God to forgive your sins ( have to confess to a priest) Calvinists (you confess to one another your sins) hmmmmm……. sounds no different to me whether it be one person or more. Have to (buy people out of purgatory) Calvinist ( you need to work hard give more be persevering in the faith or else you just might not be a believer) same principle one way or another something has to be given up. No Free Grace in any of that crap! No justification by faith alone and certainly works do not earn free passes and a gift can not be given with an expectation of works in return.

  134. @ dee:

    I would but our story is not really a big thing, no lawsuits, no higher ups called in to fix anything, just a simple family serving in the church and the c*^# we put up with from another family in the church until we got sick of it and called them on it. Reading through the stories here and other blogs as well we see the same patterns in what we went through in the big stories. How the Pastors treated us and made us out to be the most unforgiving people on the planet because we weren’t willing to say we forgive you and everything was back to the way it was in the snap of your fingers.

  135. linda wrote:

    We did reach the point when our kids were teens of being so over the whole multi million dollar children and youth ministry thing. Church was pulling our family apart at the seams. We found we could teach our kids (and grandkids) quite well at home, thank you very much, with far less outlay of time and money. And from the time we first became parents we shunned church nurseries and children’s church, favoring worshipping together.
    I’m not in a Reformed church, but when it is well done it is a happy, healthy, encouraging and uplifting form of the faith.

    Perhaps you aren’t used to a NeoCalvinist pastor’s sermon. We’re not talking 10-20 minute sermons that go on in regular churches. The “expositional preaching” goes on for 1 hour and 30 minutes to 1 hour and 45 minutes EVERY Sunday. To me it’s a form of child abuse and the kiddies should be permitted a reprieve with toys and the great outdoors.

  136. Velour wrote:

    The writer mentioned John MacArthur. Say no more.

    Same here. Had a pastor who attempted two clandestine Calvinist takeovers of churches, the second of which was mine. Formerly on the staff of MacArthur’s church, a Masters Seminary graduate. Was run out of the first church and the matter had to reach the state court of appeals before he finally agreed to leave and the members barely saved their old church. In the second one, he ran a growing church straight into the ground and it disbanded within two years of him coming on staff. The same playbook: secret meetings, YRR friend coming from far away and being placed in a position of high authority, change in the church constitution to give him absolute power, paring down of ministries, 20-something leaders hand picked by the head pastor, unilateral decisions presented to the congregation as a done deal, increasingly Calvinist sermons, less and less grace while touting the “doctrines of grace”, gradually brainwashed young followers, glorification of men, outright abuse.

  137. Rob wrote:

    Abuse is usually about control. And Christians have been taught to stay under authority until they have a leading from God that it is OK to leave. Frankly, I think people need to be quicker to use the gray matter between our ears, see when something is wrong, and just plain decide to leave. When something is abusive, you don’t need a leading to leave. Just leave.

    Exactly, we already have that leading from the Holy Spirit. It’s called the Bible, which is abundantly clear about what should happen to these abusers who falsely come in the name of God: they should be themselves disciplines, thrown out, shunned, and if you are at a congregation where people are too foolish to listen to the truth, then by all means just leave and let the Lord deal with them. They’ll have to answer also for what they let abusers do in their midst.

  138. Gram3 wrote:

    Seeding the congregation is a very important part of the playbook.

    These guys (calvinistas) are Huns bent on conquest. I pray Almighty God that decent Baptist folk will find the courage to stand up to them and give them the sack.

  139. Lea wrote:

    where is Jesus in all this?

    A huge missing piece in New Calvinism! They talk about being “Christ-followers”, but hardly ever mention the name of Jesus in their sermons.

  140. @ Muff Potter:
    I agree. Thing is, there are some decent Baptist folks who are truly deceived by this. Well-meaning people that I’ve known for a long time who have been caught up in it. Still hoping that some will see the light and lead a turnaround. Those with real leadership ability can do it.

  141. I posted an urgent prayer request please please go to the prayer request page and read. It’s billy.

  142. shauna wrote:

    I posted an urgent prayer request please please go to the prayer request page and read. It’s billy.

    Folks,

    Here is Shauna’s prayer request for her son Billy: http://thewartburgwatch.com/permpage-prayer-requests/comment-page-1/#comment-324589

    It is hard to find the Prayer Request page now, until TWW is redesigned and it shows up on the right side of the page. In the meantime, I have a link of weekly prayers in E-Church and you can find the page that way.

    Thanks.

  143. @ Lea:

    Mostly because it’s a very contentious topic in our church right now. My husband and I personally want to study and explore it more and we’d like to do it with other people with different opinions. But we don’t want it to become an issue within the church, as in we don’t want people to think we’re trying to change everything, because we’re not. It’s also a matter of creating a safe place for us to express our views without someone crying heretic. Further, there’s going to be a lot of reading and study involved, it’s not going to be a “this is how I feel” study, we want to look at scripture, culture, and our own biases. We want to make sure that the people participating will actually read and study, and not just show up. That said, I doubt we would turn anybody away if they wanted to participate. Again, we’re just thinking about it. We have very strong opinions on either side of this issue in our church. We’re not entirely sure what we believe, so on this issue we’d like to be church members and explore the topic rather than “The Preacher” and be expected to make some sort of stand. Basically we’re not ready to go public with anything. Does that make sense?

  144. Thank you Velour, I appreciate you so much. You have no idea. Thank you thank you all for being so kind and patient with me through this. I want to feel normal again maybe someday.

  145. I got a disturbing Facebook message from a friend of 40+ years. She now attends Grace Bible Fellowship in Silicon Valley. I can’t retrieve the post but it basically said” there are no verses in the Bible that ask you to listen to the still small voice of God”

    It bothered me , because she felt so differently before. I agree there are no direct verses per se, but there is plenty of implication of The Holy Spirit being that still small voice.

  146. @ linda:

    Thank you. I feel almost the exact same way. I don’t like dividing up families by age and would love it if there were more intergenerational activities in church. Jesus didn’t send the kids away during service, why do we? (Admittedly I’m hypocritical about this. My toddler goes to children’s church with her friends and it is easierfor me to listen when she’s not there. But I think there are better ways)

  147. Leslie wrote:

    I got a disturbing Facebook message from a friend of 40+ years. She now attends Grace Bible Fellowship in Silicon Valley. I can’t retrieve the post but it basically said” there are no verses in the Bible that ask you to listen to the still small voice of God”
    It bothered me , because she felt so differently before. I agree there are no direct verses per se, but there is plenty of implication of The Holy Spirit being that still small voice.

    That’s my ex-gulag, Leslie, as you know. And it’s a high-control Thought Reform group/cult.
    Be very careful of that group.

    Without criticizing them, continue to be a loving, sane Christian to your friend.

    It took me seeing enough good Christians leave Grace Bible Fellowship of Silicon Valley,
    two dear Christians excommunicated and shunned ‘before all’ on trumped up charges, and me having a major illness when the chairman of the elder board came calling for me (I had been in and out of the hospital with a serious lung condition), for me to say ‘no more’. And then they excommunicated and shunned me, lied about me.

    They even told hundreds of church members that our law enforcement agencies said that I was unstable. Our law enforcement agencies had NO contact with me. My neighbor, a long-time, high-ranking law enforcement officer vouched for my sanity and credibility. So did my department chair and all of my professors at the college where I am an “A” student, at the top of the class, finishing an Administration of Justice degree! Ha ha ha! My department chair and all of my professors have worked for said law enforcement agencies for decades, have credibility, and saved my reputation.

    Just be gentle with your friend.

  148. Velour wrote:

    She now attends Grace Bible Fellowship in Silicon Valley.

    By the way, Leslie, a few facts about Cliff McManis “senior pastor” at Grace Bible Fellowship of Silicon Valley, my ex-church where your friend goes to church.

    *McManis’ “Ph.D.” is a fake from a diploma mill in Independence, Missouri. The U.S. Department of Education and the Missouri Attorney General’s Office confirmed it was a fake.

    *McManis’ other “advanced” degree is also a fake from the same Independence, Missouri, diploma mill.

    *The Missouri Attorney General’s Office brought up the one “accrediting agency” (not recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and not a bona fide outfit) for the diploma mill on fraud charges and that group was found guilty in court. They were banned from Missouri. They went over to Arksansas, re-named themselves, and re-entered Missouri and are up to the same fraud practices. I contacted the Missouri Attorney General and notified them, “They’re baaccccckkkkkk! Time to take action again and more fraud charges!”

    *McManis told we church members how he had “defended the Gospel” before “hostile liberals at a public university in Southern California” when he was “taking classes to obtain his teaching credential.” Results of that vetting? Supervisors with California Teacher Credentialing in Sacramento said that California has NEVER credentialed anyone with McManis’ name to teach and that it’s lie.

    I refer to what goes on at GBFSV as “spiritual carbon monoxide poisoning”. It can knock a person out before they know it.

  149. Leslie wrote:

    She now attends Grace Bible Fellowship in Silicon Valley.

    Leslie,

    Here is good information from psychologist/author/Thought Reform/Cult expert Steve Hassan about how Thought Reform works. This is what is being done at Grace Bible Fellowship of Silicon Valley (my ex-church where your friend goes).

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Pvpd6wCeM4

  150. Jerome wrote:

    The chapter on “Instructions for Local Church Reformation” in the Founders Press booklet A Quiet Revolution draws on Reisinger’s experience ‘reforming’ North Pompano Baptist Church.
    Other advice not yet mentioned:
    Don’t tackle the whole church, first just initiate a select group of men into the doctrines of grace and get them installed as church “elders”.
    Use a carefully screened book table to introduce people to Reformed authors.
    Use preaching as your weapon.
    Steel yourself for attacks from unregenerate and religiously ignorant deacons.

    Glad I won’t be standing before my Maker answering for carrying out this deception of God’s people.

  151. Velour wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    She now attends Grace Bible Fellowship in Silicon Valley.
    By the way, Leslie, a few facts about Cliff McManis “senior pastor” at Grace Bible Fellowship of Silicon Valley, my ex-church where your friend goes to church.
    *McManis’ “Ph.D.” is a fake from a diploma mill in Independence, Missouri. The U.S. Department of Education and the Missouri Attorney General’s Office confirmed it was a fake.
    *McManis’ other “advanced” degree is also a fake from the same Independence, Missouri, diploma mill.
    *The Missouri Attorney General’s Office brought up the one “accrediting agency” (not recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and not a bona fide outfit) for the diploma mill on fraud charges and that group was found guilty in court. They were banned from Missouri. They went over to Arksansas, re-named themselves, and re-entered Missouri and are up to the same fraud practices. I contacted the Missouri Attorney General and notified them, “They’re baaccccckkkkkk! Time to take action again and more fraud charges!”
    *McManis told we church members how he had “defended the Gospel” before “hostile liberals at a public university in Southern California” when he was “taking classes to obtain his teaching credential.” Results of that vetting? Supervisors with California Teacher Credentialing in Sacramento said that California has NEVER credentialed anyone with McManis’ name to teach and that it’s lie.
    I refer to what goes on at GBFSV as “spiritual carbon monoxide poisoning”. It can knock a person out before they know it.

    Hey guess what? Mcmannis or however you spell his name is best buds with my former pastor! Go figure and I would like to also note that the former youth pastor is the son or borther of Bobby blakey. Mr Blakey was a guest speaker at GBFSV like I said before people all these masters seminary grads hang together. If one is a liar it wouldn’t suprise me if the rest follow his lead.

  152. shauna wrote:

    Hey guess what? Mcmannis or however you spell his name is best buds with my former pastor! Go figure and I would like to also note that the former youth pastor is the son or borther of Bobby blakey. Mr Blakey was a guest speaker at GBFSV like I said before people all these masters seminary grads hang together. If one is a liar it wouldn’t suprise me if the rest follow his lead.

    I am (sadly) not surprised, Shauna, by this news.

    Cliff McManis lived in Texas at one time. I don’t recall where. And Utah. And other places. Lots of places. I don’t know what that was about. Seems weird to me.

  153. Leslie wrote:

    It bothered me , because she felt so differently before. I agree there are no direct verses per se, but there is plenty of implication of The Holy Spirit being that still small voice.

    To her, there is no Holy Spirit; there is only CALVIN.

  154. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Leslie wrote:
    It bothered me , because she felt so differently before. I agree there are no direct verses per se, but there is plenty of implication of The Holy Spirit being that still small voice.
    To her, there is no Holy Spirit; there is only CALVIN.

    Well, what they teach at Grace Bible Fellowship of Silicon Valley is essentially that the authoritarian pastors/elders take control of your life and you listen to them, and you ‘submit to them’ and ‘obey’ them. Cliff McManis (senior pastor) and Sam Kim (chairman of the elder board) have both told me that to my face. For my refusal, Sam Kim banished me from church property, all church services, all contact with church members, etc. etc.

    So why would you need the Holy Spirit when you have the elders?

    And the Holy Spirit is a threat to the Grace Bible Fellowship of Silicon Valley pastors/elders. The Holy Spirit would tell people, and has, to leave GBFSV.

    Some husbands wanted to join GBFSV, while their wives refused to and went to other churches. Their wives had a very bad feeling about GBFSV. That’s the Holy Spirit (and working brain cells) at work.

    In other cases, wives wanted to join but husbands had a ‘weird’ feeling about GBFSV.
    One wife wanted to join, but the Holy Spirit went after her husband. He finally sat her and the kids down for a family meeting and they discussed Grace Bible Fellowship of Silicon Valley. It turns out their children (some of them younger and some teenagers) HATED GBFSV and didn’t want to join, talked about how weird and bizarre it was, how they excluded people, even kids, how there were cliques and elitists groups. So they had a family vote and it was unanimous, as the wife later told me when I interviewed her.

    Many people also received dire warnings from long-time Christian relatives, other church members at other churches where they were, etc. that GBFSV had NO accountability to anyone. Don’t join.

    The Holy Spirit operated through many people in many ways. And still does.

    That reminds me, could someone please do a search for Grace Bible Fellowship of Silicon Valley and vote up my 1-star review as “helpful”? Thank you!

  155. Velour wrote:

    So they had a family vote and it was unanimous, as the wife later told me when I interviewed her.

    …that they SHOULDN’T JOIN!

  156. Velour wrote:

    That reminds me, could someone please do a search for Grace Bible Fellowship of Silicon Valley and vote up my 1-star review as “helpful”? Thank you!

    It’s a Google review.

  157. Leslie wrote:

    I got a disturbing Facebook message from a friend of 40+ years. She now attends Grace Bible Fellowship in Silicon Valley. I can’t retrieve the post but it basically said” there are no verses in the Bible that ask you to listen to the still small voice of God”
    It bothered me , because she felt so differently before. I agree there are no direct verses per se, but there is plenty of implication of The Holy Spirit being that still small voice.

    It’s a direct reference to I Kings 19, where Moses encounters the Lord, but He’s not in the earthquake, not in the winds so powerful they blow rocks apart, but in the “still small voice” that follows. While there’s nothing in the Bible that directly says God always speaks in a still small voice–and I’ve never heard anyone claim that, by the way–there is very much something to be said for the concept, there is definitely precedent there, and yes, the phrase is absolutely biblical. So I think that ugly cult may unfortunately be diverting your old friend from the truth.

  158. Max wrote:

    Lea wrote:
    where is Jesus in all this?
    A huge missing piece in New Calvinism! They talk about being “Christ-followers”, but hardly ever mention the name of Jesus in their sermons.

    My experience has been they don’t even talk about following Christ much, they talk about “advancing the kingdom”, “the mission”, being “missional”, “promoting the gospel”, “the doctrines of grace”, and of course, they make numerous references to Calvin, Piper, whomever. Anything but Jesus.

  159. Leslie wrote:

    I got a disturbing Facebook message from a friend of 40+ years. She now attends Grace Bible Fellowship in Silicon Valley. I can’t retrieve the post but it basically said” there are no verses in the Bible that ask you to listen to the still small voice of God”

    Hi Leslie,

    I forgot to mention how the Holy Spirit worked in my life to get my out of the cult Grace Bible Fellowship of Silicon Valley that your friend is entrapped in.

    I was very sick, for weeks, with a serious lung condition. I couldn’t go to church. I was in and out of the hospital. I’m never that sick! Never hospital sick! I was gone from church for more than 5 weeks, too sick to attend.

    The first Sunday back, when I entered, that small voice of God whispered one word to me when I sat down in a pew: “DEATH!” I knew my time at GBFSV was up.

    There were many other signs, evidence, dear Christians who had left or been excommunicated on false charges. My anger grew about it all.

    But God used a major illness, being away, and that one word to make me NOT back down to the pastors/elders at Grace Bible Fellowship of Silicon Valley when they attempted to control me again. And when I refused, they ordered my excommunication and shunning. They cost me all of my “friends” of 8 1/2 years. I didn’t get a single Christmas card. My mail box used to be full of them.

    But I am free from that cult. And I am SO GLAD!

    I continue to pray for those who are stuck there. I will pray and fast for your friend.

    Hugs,

    Velour in Silicon Valley

  160. Christiane wrote:

    @ Velour:
    Thanks, Velour. Placing it there for now helps to find it.

    Welcome, Christiane. Thank you, as always, for faithfully praying for peoples’ needs.

  161. Ken F wrote:

    Here’s a chilling section from the playbook: https://www.9marks.org/article/church-reform-when-youre-not-necessarily-the-pastor/

    Oh my, chilling is right. I didn’t even read through the whole article, which is essentially a Calvinista playbook for “reforming” – ahem….Taking Over a church. The man who wrote that article is ignorant of the meaning of love. Love, for him, is a mere word and a means to manipulate people into his way of thinking. Blind guides, these 9Marxist men are. Avoid them at all costs.

  162. Pingback: Wednesday Link List | Thinking Out Loud UNITED STATES

  163. Leslie wrote:

    I got a disturbing Facebook message from a friend of 40+ years. She now attends Grace Bible Fellowship in Silicon Valley. I can’t retrieve the post but it basically said” there are no verses in the Bible that ask you to listen to the still small voice of God”

    It bothered me , because she felt so differently before. I agree there are no direct verses per se, but there is plenty of implication of The Holy Spirit being that still small voice.

    linda wrote:

    Mainline graduates here flock to fundamentalist churches (but are still in church!) and the RCC kids grow up to stay RCC.

    Mainline churches here are struggling. RC churches are doing pretty good but that’s due to immigration of a majority RC population. Time will tell if subsequent generations keep the faith.
    I was raised in a mainline church and I couldn’t engage but it was an evangelical’bible believing’ church that finished the job of my deconversion.

    Or maybe the Calvinistas are right and I was doomed from the start.

  164. Darlene wrote:

    Ken F wrote:
    Here’s a chilling section from the playbook: https://www.9marks.org/article/church-reform-when-youre-not-necessarily-the-pastor/
    Oh my, chilling is right. I didn’t even read through the whole article, which is essentially a Calvinista playbook for “reforming” – ahem….Taking Over a church. The man who wrote that article is ignorant of the meaning of love. Love, for him, is a mere word and a means to manipulate people into his way of thinking. Blind guides, these 9Marxist men are. Avoid them at all costs.

    Yes, now the humble “pew peon” can destroy churches too! Just follow these quick easy steps and you too can plunge your church into ruin. Jesus never jockeyed for control, and neither should we. He spoke much, though, on laying down your life for others! I don’t see any of that in this “reform movement.” Indeed, this stuff is chilling and ungodly!
    It reminds me of when Pollyanna said in the movie, “Nobody can own a church.”

  165. Velour wrote:

    The writer mentioned John MacArthur. Say no more.
    Same with my experience at my ex-gulag, Grace Bible Fellowship of Silicon Valley.
    John MacArthur, in my opinion, has a seminary and a college that work like franchise-training grounds for future “owners”. A bunch of authoritarian, unloving, horrible people.

    Velour, yeah; it’s as easy as that. You are so right, dear sister. One mention of MacArthur or of any of his disciples/mindless clones and things that have crawled out of that thing (like ACBC) is enough. Case over. Never mind them being horrible, unloving, proud, self-arrogant, know-it-all people, but they represent a horrible “god” and a false, unbiblical gospel; and I’m not shy nor afraid to call that whole thing (Calvinism; neo, old, or whatever the hell it is) a cult.

    Thanks for being a shining light, Velour.

  166. Law Prof wrote:

    Max wrote:
    Lea wrote:
    where is Jesus in all this?
    A huge missing piece in New Calvinism! They talk about being “Christ-followers”, but hardly ever mention the name of Jesus in their sermons.
    My experience has been they don’t even talk about following Christ much, they talk about “advancing the kingdom”, “the mission”, being “missional”, “promoting the gospel”, “the doctrines of grace”, and of course, they make numerous references to Calvin, Piper, whomever. Anything but Jesus.

    Right on the money, Prof and Max. If Jesus walked into one of their cliques on a Sunday, they’d stop Him and ask Him to tithe…to sign on the dotted line…to bow down to their authority…to play the tambourine in the band; meaning, of course, that they do not know Him. It’s plain to see. Oh, how I pity the few truly saved souls in that fake movement who are trapped in there. They need our prayers so that they can leave that whore. Yes, I said “whore.” There’s no nicer word in my vocab for that thing.

  167. Law Prof wrote:

    nd of course, they make numerous references to Calvin, Piper, whomever.

    It sounds like they follow ‘dead men’ from that quote above, not a living god.

  168. @ Ken F:
    After reading that depressing DG post, I’m so glad I haven’t wasted my life following the Pied Piper.

    Instead, I follow the King of Kings and Lord of Lords whose Good News is truly worth sharing.

    The way Piper spins the Gospel is horrifying! I will never ever forget his scream of the damned utterance in the 2009 trailer of the Resolved conference, hosted by MacArthur's Grace Community Church.

  169. Law Prof wrote:

    they talk about … being “missional”

    Oh yes, “Missional” is a hot-button word in New Calvinism! I’m not sure if they coined the word, but it is definitely part of their language … “missional communities”, “missional leaders”, “missional coffee”, etc. It’s one of the red flags if you are trying to figure out if a church you are visiting is part of the new reformation. Beware of pastors who carry ESV Bibles and drop words like missional. Oh, and, they love the title “lead pastor” even if they are the only pastor.

  170. Root 66 wrote:

    it’s not until you realize what’s missing in your church in order to see what’s wrong with their teaching

    I’ve visited New Calvinist church plants in my area (to see what makes them tick). None of them have a Cross displayed.

  171. Ken F wrote:

    Darlene wrote:
    Oh my, chilling is right. I didn’t even read through the whole article, which is essentially a Calvinista playbook for “reforming” – ahem….Taking Over a church.
    That article gets worse the further you read. 9Marx recently posted this article stressing the importance of staying in the wrong church: https://www.9marks.org/article/why-you-will-join-the-wrong-church/. It’s all about the covenant for them.

    Again, they are drawing a parallel between church covenant and marriage covenant. It’s a twisted concept.

  172. @ Deb:

    Yes, I reckon Piper doesn't understand that the Greek word for "gospel" literally means "good news." Clearly he must be an adherent to "worm theology!" How very, very terrible. I can personally testify that Christ makes the dead to live again. Maybe I'm missing something, but that seems like good news to me!

  173. Root 66 wrote:

    I’m already working on a battery of questions for the committee in order to help smoke out any pastor with a hidden agenda.

    New Calvinists are not beyond lying to a pastor search committee. They will do anything for the good of the movement. They are told by their reformed icons that they have come into the world for such a time as this to restore the gospel that the church has lost. Thus, they justify stealth and deception as a means to accomplish an end. Of course, none of this is Christlike. I had a YRR church planter in my area tell me “We are coming in the back door.” To which I replied “a person who doesn’t enter the sheep-pen through the door, but climbs in some other way, is a thief and a robber” (John 10:1). He smiled and walked away.

  174. Max wrote:

    None of them have a Cross displayed.

    Yes, and our former YRR pastor wanted to remove the American flag because he felt it would “distract from the gospel.” It was a page right out of Dever’s playbook. Frankly, if your “gospel” can be distracted that easily, I really don’t want any part of it!

    My Gospel rose from the dead, forgives sin and offers eternal life to any who believe!

  175. Max wrote:

    New Calvinists are not beyond lying to a pastor search committee.

    I know. Our former pastor was a deceiver and we called him out on it. However, he didn’t see himself as a liar since the search committee didn’t point-blank ask him if he was a Calvinist when he was interviewed. Well, shame on us! We won’t make that same mistake again. Maybe we can even borrow somebody’s polygraph equipment this time!

  176. Max wrote:

    They are told by their reformed icons that they have come into the world for such a time as this to restore the gospel that the church has lost. Thus, they justify stealth and deception as a means to accomplish an end. Of course, none of this is Christlike.

    great comment, MAX

  177. Root 66 wrote:

    our former YRR pastor wanted to remove the American flag because he felt it would “distract from the gospel.”

    New Calvinist church plants in my area will not display the flag or recognize military veterans on Memorial Day. What’s wrong with that?! Countless men and women have paid the ultimate price to keep our country free – including the freedom to proclaim the gospel from American pulpits. Of course, the New Calvinist “gospel” is not the Gospel.

  178. Root 66 wrote:

    Max wrote:
    None of them have a Cross displayed.
    Yes, and our former YRR pastor wanted to remove the American flag because he felt it would “distract from the gospel.” It was a page right out of Dever’s playbook. Frankly, if your “gospel” can be distracted that easily, I really don’t want any part of it!
    My Gospel rose from the dead, forgives sin and offers eternal life to any who believe!

    On the other hand, if these guys truly believe this stuff, then they probably SHOULDN’T display a cross. It might give people the false idea that they follow the One who bore it!

  179. Max wrote:

    or recognize military veterans on Memorial Day.

    He tried that, too. But I was the worship leader and that wasn’t going to happen on my watch!

  180. Max wrote:

    Beware of pastors who carry ESV Bibles

    Ha! The ESV is actually our Bible of choice, but the fact these guys use it almost exclusively makes us want to switch.

  181. Root 66 wrote:

    he didn’t see himself as a liar since the search committee didn’t point-blank ask him if he was a Calvinist when he was interviewed

    In addition to the usual vetting for prospective pastors, I suggest you take a look at their social media posts. Twitter is particularly good at revealing their theological leaning. Beware of any candidate who re-tweets one-liner Piper Points, Dever Drivel, Mahaney Malarkey, Mohler Moments, etc. And, of course, it’s a dead give-away if they post a photo wearing a “Calvin is My Homeboy” tee-shirt! Oh, and you might consider looking for candidates who have not graduated from an SBC seminary during the past 10 years.

  182. Max wrote:

    “Calvin is My Homeboy” tee-shirt!

    That might be a dead-giveaway! Researching their social media posts is a great idea, though. I’ll definitely pass that along. Thanks!

  183. Root 66 wrote:

    Yes, and our former YRR pastor wanted to remove the American flag because he felt it would “distract from the gospel.” It was a page right out of Dever’s playbook. Frankly, if your “gospel” can be distracted that easily, I really don’t want any part of it!

    I don’t think it’s right or appropriate to have national symbols displayed during an assembly to worship God. It’s not that I think it’s a distraction, I think it is borderline idolatrous. It would be like the early church displaying Roman Eagles during their meeting services. I’ll stand for the pledge of allegiance at schools and sporting events, but I’m not going to place my hand on my heart and declare allegiance to anything that isn’t God.

  184. Max wrote:

    New Calvinist church plants in my area will not display the flag or recognize military veterans on Memorial Day. What’s wrong with that?! Countless men and women have paid the ultimate price to keep our country free – including the freedom to proclaim the gospel from American pulpits. Of course, the New Calvinist “gospel” is not the Gospel.

    For those few SBC churches that still use hymnals, the Calvinists got their hands on the 2008 edition (the most recent I know of). I have linked an article covering all the hymns left out of the latest edition. The one that riled me up the most is they got rid of “Whosoever Will”. Cals don’t believe that one I guess.

    Maybe they will try to get rid of John 3:16 in a later Bible translation from Lifeway.

    http://www.ethicsdaily.com/omitted-titles-in-new-baptist-hymnal-reflect-theological-shift-corrected-cms-13109

  185. Max wrote:

    None of them have a Cross displayed

    well, if you think about their theology, it seems to cluster around the OT ‘god of wrath’ theme, patriarchy, and some isolated NT verses from St. Paul who was beheaded, not crucified when he was martyred. So, maybe they have little need to display a Christian icon like the Cross

    The truth is that they appear to have a different theological core.

  186. Root 66 wrote:

    On the other hand, if these guys truly believe this stuff, then they probably SHOULDN’T display a cross. It might give people the false idea that they follow the One who bore it!

    Don’t give them ideas!
    During the period of “seeker sensitivity,” churches took down the crosses to avoid alienating prospective members.
    Are there seekers who want to be controlled, steam rolled and left in the spiritual cold? Hard to imagine but maybe there are.

  187. Ken P. wrote:

    Maybe they will try to get rid of John 3:16 in a later Bible translation from Lifeway.

    They ignore it, don’t they?

  188. Ken P. wrote:

    For those few SBC churches that still use hymnals, the Calvinists got their hands on the 2008 edition (the most recent I know of). I have linked an article covering all the hymns left out of the latest edition. The one that riled me up the most is they got rid of “Whosoever Will”.

    The sad thing about this is that thousands of Southern Baptist churches across the country replaced their old hymnals when the new one came out. “Whosover Will” will never echo through those churches again. The pew ain’t got a clue. I don’t trust LifeWay products these days, including Sunday School resources.

  189. Ken F wrote:

    That article gets worse the further you read. 9Marx recently posted this article stressing the importance of staying in the wrong church: https://www.9marks.org/article/why-you-will-join-the-wrong-church/. It’s all about the covenant for them.

    I’ve read both of those articles you’ve posted here. I have some questions for them.
    What if I want to un-reform a church? Shouldn’t I use the same dirty tactics? Okay, they say if I’ve joined the wrong church, I have to just tough it out. It’s a lifetime covenant. I can’t leave. Shouldn’t that go both ways (what’s good for the goose is good for the gander)? So, if the church leaders are not happy with my behavior, why should they be allowed to kick me out?

    Of course not! How many people have these egomaniacs excommunicated???? Their rules only apply one way – to their advantage!

  190. Ken F wrote:

    That article gets worse the further you read. 9Marx recently posted this article stressing the importance of staying in the wrong church: https://www.9marks.org/article/why-you-will-join-the-wrong-church/. It’s all about the covenant for them.

    Bridget wrote:

    Again, they are drawing a parallel between church covenant and marriage covenant. It’s a twisted concept.

    What struck me about that parallel is that abuse is not mentioned in either case. Quote from the article: “The reason God roots the most important relationships in the world—like marriage and church membership—in covenants is to ensure they endure through fire. Have you ever noticed how traditional marriage vows were designed to ensure couples prepare to love one another well in the midst of suffering?”

    If a spouse abuses you and will not stop, the marriage covenant has been broken, and you have to get out for your own safety… but of course, many church leaders say that’s not an option. And, if a church abuses you and will not stop, that covenant has also been broken, and you have to get out for your own safety… but of course, this article doesn’t address that case either.

  191. bendeni wrote:

    but of course, many church leaders say that’s not an option.

    Because if they did, their Widdle WIfeys would already have their bags packed and a divorce lawyer already on retainer.

  192. Christiane wrote:

    Ken P. wrote:
    Maybe they will try to get rid of John 3:16 in a later Bible translation from Lifeway.

    They ignore it, don’t they?

    As of now, It Never Existed, Comrades.

  193. Root 66 wrote:

    However, he didn’t see himself as a liar since the search committee didn’t point-blank ask him if he was a Calvinist when he was interviewed.

    Isn’t that like Douggie ESQUIRE and “I did not know that woman in a Biblical sense”?

  194. bendeni wrote:

    Have you ever noticed how traditional marriage vows were designed to ensure couples prepare to love one another well in the midst of suffering?”

    The suffering is supposed to be about outside forces, not your spouse/church. That’s when it’s time to cut ties. I realize they don’t believe that but I don’t much care.

  195. Max wrote:

    They are told by their reformed icons that they have come into the world for such a time as this to restore the gospel that the church has lost.

    “RULERS OF TOMORROW! MASTER RACE!”
    — Ralph Bakshi’s knockoff Wizards

    Thus, they justify stealth and deception as a means to accomplish an end.

    The Cause so Righteous it justifies any means whatsoever to bring it about.
    Just ask Citizen Robespierre and Comrade Pol Pot.

  196. Bridget wrote:

    Again, they are drawing a parallel between church covenant and marriage covenant. It’s a twisted concept.

    “Marriage Covenant” according to Ariel Castro?

  197. Max wrote:

    I’ve visited New Calvinist church plants in my area (to see what makes them tick). None of them have a Cross displayed.

    Any wall-sized portraits of Calvin and/or Lead Pastor?

    Or just plain whitewashed walls with SCRIPTURE calligraphed on them like a Genevan church or Wahabi mosque?

  198. Bridget wrote:

    Again, they are drawing a parallel between church covenant and marriage covenant. It’s a twisted concept.

    It doesn’t even make sense.

  199. Hi Catholic Gate Crasher, just to reiterate, I was quoting stats told to me, I didn’t do a good job of explaining that I didn’t personally believe them. They did seem way off! Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    Jack wrote:
    South Florida is 95% non Christian in the Miami area? Seemed pretty Christian to me when I was there in 2006.
    Thank you, Jack. I was very sympathetic with this woman’s testimony, but that really stuck in my craw.

  200. Max wrote:

    In addition to the usual vetting for prospective pastors, I suggest you take a look at their social media posts. Twitter is particularly good at revealing their theological leaning. Beware of any candidate who re-tweets one-liner Piper Points, Dever Drivel, Mahaney Malarkey, Mohler Moments, etc. And, of course, it’s a dead give-away if they post a photo wearing a “Calvin is My Homeboy” tee-shirt! Oh, and you might consider looking for candidates who have not graduated from an SBC seminary during the past 10 years.

    Max,

    What you have said cannot be emphasized strongly enough. When considering a pastoral candidate, check those Tweets and Facebook updates!!! Also, look at their recommended book list if you can find it. If Nine Marks of a Healthy Church is there, beware!  Just because someone makes a claim that something is 'healthy' doesn't make it so…

  201. Hi Linda, I am not sure if this shift away from youth ministry was a general part of these YRR church reformations, it may be just particular to my story and individual church. This can go on in non reformed churches too. I just tried to factually share detail by detail what happened to paint the picture of what happened. However, as a parent of minor children it is disheartening to be in a church with a once robust children’s ministry that had the resources to have a good program that had other brothers and sisters in Christ coming along side you to help train and instruct your children in the Lord. I had already many times overheard the shaming statement from the elders not to be “consumerist Christians” and only go to a church because it had certain programs. So I’ve carried that guilt/awareness with me as we moved on to our new church, asking myself if I’m being a consumerist Christian. I also served and still serve in our new church in the Children’s ministry to give back as my kids are being given to. I don’t think there is one perfect model, but like many things, perhaps there should be a better balance in serving all age groups and depending on your demographics of the particular local church. We did agree with their initial desire to be more effective in reaching others by dropping the preschool and sports ministry. It did free up a lot of time and resources. Anyway, I wish you well as you try this new set up in your local church! . linda wrote:

    Let me be clear: today’s post on the takeover reads very much like the takeover of our local SBC by a not so young restless and very reformed guy. Except he really pushed youth ministry and children’s ministry.
    For some who criticize churches moving away from the youth and children oriented church, I offer the following. It won’t apply to every church or situation but do consider that others may differ from you on this point and give grace.
    I’m now in a Wesleyan/Holiness church. Far from Reformed, as even the Reformed Arminians (yes, they exist!) say we are not real Arminians as we are not Reformed.
    We are definitely closing down youth and children’s programs locally. Yes, they draw more people to church most definitely. Yes, they build fellowship. Yes, many rely on those programs as their main social contact of the week. No, we are not concerned that they attract the non elect since we don’t believe in predestination. Yes, we know folks who have been saved and lives changed for the better through those programs. But all that said, they by and large DO NOT WORK. Not if your goal is seeing those children, those youth, and their families truly brought into the faith. We get the children in droves (free babysitting?) and the teens in slightly smaller droves (good way to meet the opposite sex?) but they graduate high school and disappear. It isn’t just us. Check the national stats. We’ve made youth the focus of the church world since the late 60’s at least and been the most ineffectual at reaching the next generation ever.
    We looked at what the mainliners and RCC do here: children in church with the parents, ditto teens, with confirmation instruction for the teens. Mainline graduates here flock to fundamentalist churches (but are still in church!) and the RCC kids grow up to stay RCC. But the evangelical and fundy kids raised in the nursery, then VBS and junior church, then the youth group, leave.
    It is because we care passionately about the soul of every person in our town we are willing to try a different way of doing church than what has been considered “must have” programs for sixty years of FAILURE.
    We are focusing on the adults. We want to reach those like Daisy here who feel marginalized in marriage and baby carriage focused churches. We want to reach the parents of the children and youth, and help them disciple their own kids. Yes, we still care deeply about our “bus kids” but feel the best way to help them is reach their parents and see their home lives become what they should be, not try to force the kids to choose us over their parents which standard youth and child ministry does.
    We are dropping out of offering day care, preschool, counselling, addiction services, etc and focusing on evangelism, good strong Bible centered preaching, and music that appeals to all ages, not just one demographic. In short, we are letting the church as an organization be the church, and then expecting the members to live out their faith all week. Instead of a busy mom prepping to teach 10 other kids to the neglect of having dinner and a bedtime story with her own kids, we are freeing her to truly mother her kids. That sort of thing.
    Time will tell if our method is effective, as it was for nearly 2000 years, or not. But continuing to prop up the industry (and it IS big money!) of the marriage and baby carriage youth driven version of the church, which isn’t working, is something we are no longer willing to do.
    Our daughter was baptized SBC in the 80’s at age 7 but only after the pastor and church were convinced she knew what she was doing. In the non SBC world we inhabit now, our granddaughter was saved at 5 and asked for believer’s baptism at 7 and again it took some hoops to jump through. Both traditionalist Methodists and Baptists used to assume believer’s baptism took place around 10-12 at the earliest. Of course the Methodist parents who were believers would have had the child Christened instead.
    Peace to all, and keep teaching me. What is happening in Sapulpa?

  202. Deb wrote:

    What you have said cannot be emphasized strongly enough. When considering a pastoral candidate, check those Tweets and Facebook updates!!! Also, look at their recommended book list if you can find it.

    Unfortunately, the really smart YRR’s will cover their tracks when looking for a job by deactivating their social media accounts. And believe me, you don’t want a really smart YRR as pastor … they are the cream-of-the-crop deceivers.

    Darn it, the Church of the Living God should not have to consider stuff like this when looking for a pastor! Contrary to popular belief, New Calvinism is not a fresh move of God. Nothing about it sounds like the God I know. Maybe I will become a “Done” and finish my life just going about doing good in Jesus’ name.

  203. Boston Lady wrote:

    They need our prayers so that they can leave that whore. Yes, I said “whore.” There’s no nicer word in my vocab for that thing.

    Boston Lady, give a whore her due respect. At least she’s up front about services offered and pricing. These guys are something else altogether. They’re more like the carnival barkers of old with a sharp eye for easy marks.

  204. Max wrote:

    the really smart YRR’s will cover their tracks when looking for a job by deactivating their social media accounts

    For example, I couldn’t find Smokey Hurst (Sapulpa) on Twitter or Facebook. Hmmmm …

  205. Happy Wednesday all! When Deb and I discussed my story, she felt it might be good to share it to help others who do not want to see this change happen in their local church and how to spot any red flags early. Thank you all who posted the links on the playbook too. I have been reading this blog for two years and now sharing my story and engaging with you all, has been very helpful for me in making sense of what happened and fully healing. I know our stories all are unique, but we also “get it” in regards to this happening. If you are passionate about not seeing this happen in your local church, you can either leave like we did (and yes, Mr. Mohler, there are places we can go and they are very good!), or if it’s still early in the process, you can possibly head off a full church reformation/takeover.. My main tips (and I apply these even now at our new church b/c things can change) are to just carefully follow what the pastor promotes as reading material. Who does he re tweet, does he follow Piper, Dever, Mohler, Grudem, etc. does he go to T4G or do a Weekender at Devers church?

    Also, if a new constitution is proposed, carefullly scrutinize it. If it seems heavy on elder rule, church discipline, and covenant membership, do not vote it in! Educate and inform your friends who feel the same. I’m not for divisiveness in the church but if you do not agree with this, I believe it is important to vote against it. I have retained a copy of our former constitution for future reference should we need it.

    The Deebs have many great resources and articles here as well for additional research. I would like to conclude by noting the good that came from this. We went directly to the Word of God (of course we shouldn’t have all along), but it reminded me to always go straight to his word because men can dilute it with their opinions. So we grew in our walk with Christ. Also, we learned that despite our different church backgrounds (my husband’s IFB background and my Quaker upbringing, which seemed so different at first, actually held the same views on church polity, and theology. All the deep stuff in similarities came to the surface as a result of our research and Bible study. Since we were both United in our views, it helped in our family’s transition out. My prayers and thoughts go to those where their family members are divided on this.

    I consider many of these men to be brothers in Christ and I actually pray for their change as it can only come from God. I think of Jesus’ words, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” I believe this applies to this movement and the doctrines of men going on. Thanks Deb and all of you for allowing this normally quiet gal to share her long experience. I look forward to sharing and engaging with you in the future. Have a blessed day.

  206. Velour wrote:

    shauna wrote:
    Hey guess what? Mcmannis or however you spell his name is best buds with my former pastor! Go figure and I would like to also note that the former youth pastor is the son or borther of Bobby blakey. Mr Blakey was a guest speaker at GBFSV like I said before people all these masters seminary grads hang together. If one is a liar it wouldn’t suprise me if the rest follow his lead.
    I am (sadly) not surprised, Shauna, by this news.
    Cliff McManis lived in Texas at one time. I don’t recall where. And Utah. And other places. Lots of places. I don’t know what that was about. Seems weird to me.

    I realized just how connected all these men were when I started to figure out what was going on. Our former pastor personally is connected to everyone of these men mentioned. Remember a lot of seminary grads from TMS and TMC usually serve at John MacArthurs church before taking over a ministry. I believe they get their training there on take overs and this Calvinist playbook. Remember at this particular seminary they get first hand experience on how to operate their own churches once they do a take over. It’s sad because there are many unsuspecting members who have no idea what they are getting. I believe also that there are certain men placed in certain churches who infiltrate themselves into leadership and begin working on the elder/deacons there at that church. I believe they use their influence and the “good ole boys club mentality” to get other key leaders to say yes to seminary grads who come submit applications for pastor positions. How do you think that other church got away with making the former pastor a janitor? That didn’t just happen overnight or just because a new pastor came in and this is what he says go’s. Nope there were key leaders who I believe are plants in order to enact the rapid discipline practices and to kick any discerning christian out quietly or get them to conform. There is no way new pastors can come and from nowhere and not have help or men already on board with the take overs. I think this should be part of that playbook and if you just think about it, it makes sense!

  207. Max wrote:

    the really smart YRR’s will cover their tracks when looking for a job by deactivating their social media accounts

    On the other hand, watch them squirm when a search committee asks “Why did you deactivate your Twitter account?”

  208. Max wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
    Any wall-sized portraits of Calvin and/or Lead Pastor?
    Not yet. But there is a “We Serve Starbucks” sign in the church foyer.

    For all that money that I gave, I do expect a good cup of coffee!
    Now I can grind my own beans at home and have a good cup of coffee…and save on giving money to tyrants.

  209. Midwesterner: thanks! Yes, we are painfully aware of how the neoPuritans have misused the new programming we are planning and implementing!

    Back in the 80’s this denom I am now in went in quite heavily on friendship evangelism. It was supposed to be the be all and end all of how to win the unsaved to Jesus. To that end, churches built gymnasiums out the wazoo for church league basketball and formed tons of church league softball clubs. Then they invited the unsaved to join, with conditions of fair play and no foul language. The idea was that this would provide a platform for forming deep friendships leading to opportunities to evangelize. By the late 90’s it was apparent it wasn’t working, but tons of money/teaching/guilting went on to try and prop up the church sports teams. By now, very few areas of the country have those, at least in this denom.

    Youth ministry, youth focused churches, and very heavy investment in children’s ministry are relatively new things on the scene when it comes to Christianity. (Varies from less than 100 years to maybe 150 years.) IF our local church felt they really did help families raise their children in the faith we would do them no matter the sacrifice. If you count success by butts and bucks, they are golden. If you count success by number of parents that believe them to be beneficial in raising their kids in the faith, they are platinum. If you count success as the number of kids raised in churches heavy on child and youth ministry who remain in the faith after graduating high school, they are, well, to be polite, highly unsuccessful. Near to being stinking garbage.

    So we are looking to try something “new” to us but very familiar to our mainline and RCC neighbors. We are going to go against the grain a bit of pop culture. We are not going to be a bunch of grownups trying to look hip and young (Calvinista goatees and skinny jeans begone LOL), not going to be trying to compete with the school system and museums when it comes to crafts, not gonna expect our singles and no kids families to serve the with kid families and miss church doing so, and not gonna offer stuff that further fragments the family.

    Rather, we are going to spend some time with the church functioning as “a voluntary association for the propagation of the gospel.” Period. We do plan to have materials available, and even some light mentoring if requested, as parents assume the role of primary teacher of the faith to their own children. As is, we find ourselves more functioning as free babysitting for non attending parents, or putting spiritual bandaids on church families broke by mom or dad refusing to grow up and assume adult roles.

    I enjoyed your article immensely, having gone through a takeover as you described (except re the youth and children)not once but twice. In both cases I can state for a fact lying regarding the tallying of votes.

    Never thought I’d say this, but if you are SBC and takeover is happening, snap a pix with your cell phone of your marked ballot before submitting it. And sign it, even if it is supposed to be an anonymous vote. That way if you vote no, and the tally comes in unanimously yes, you have proof when you stand up and announce the tally is wrong.

  210. Velour wrote:

    I can grind my own beans at home and have a good cup of coffee

    And usually better than the paint-stripper served at most church coffee stands! The only thing worse than discovering you were deceived into attending a New Calvinist church, is sitting through the service sipping on really bad espresso. The spiritual maturity of Americans can be measured by how easily they are lured to church because of the coffee shop in the foyer.

  211. Jack wrote:

    There is an unfortunate penchant in evangelical churches (at least all the ones I’ve been exposed to through attendance and other various media) to be disingenuous when it comes to hard numbers or how successful any mission really is.

    Slightly off topic, but…

    This “disingenuous” attitude has been on display quite unabashedly at Robert Morris’ Gateway church recently.

    Warren Throckmorton reports: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/2017/04/30/robert-morris-spins-large-staff-layoff-gateway-church/

  212. Jack wrote:

    There is an unfortunate penchant in evangelical churches (at least all the ones I’ve been exposed to through attendance and other various media) to be disingenuous when it comes to hard numbers or how successful any mission really is.

    What’s the difference between “being disingenuous” and LYING?
    “Semantics, My Dear Wormwood”?

  213. bendeni wrote:

    … but of course, this article doesn’t address that case either.

    This is why 9Marx quit accepting comments on their posts. Cross- examination is too darn incomvenient.

  214. Lea wrote:

    Max, you talk about coffee an awful lot

    For the average adult man, about 60% of his body is water. Mine is 30% water and 30% coffee. I’m convinced that my good health at a ripe old age is a direct result of abusing my body with caffeine. About the time I thought about reducing my coffee intake from 3 pots per day to 1, The Wartburg Watch came along. In order to provide deep content to my comments, I partake of numerous cups per day to fuel my wit and wisdom. 🙂

  215. Max wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    I can grind my own beans at home and have a good cup of coffee
    And usually better than the paint-stripper served at most church coffee stands! The only thing worse than discovering you were deceived into attending a New Calvinist church, is sitting through the service sipping on really bad espresso. The spiritual maturity of Americans can be measured by how easily they are lured to church because of the coffee shop in the foyer.

    LOL.

  216. shauna wrote:

    Remember a lot of seminary grads from TMS and TMC usually serve at John MacArthurs church before taking over a ministry. I believe they get their training there on take overs and this Calvinist playbook.

    In my area of California, a lot of John MacArthur graduates set up “shop”/do their own church plants. I think it’s a franchise model akin to setting up a 7-11.

  217. Folks,

    Please remember to pray for Shauna’s son Billy in Texas as he has been having some difficulties with school and a teacher. He missed about 40 hours of school due to night terrors.

    Thank you for praying as he makes up his absences and deals with a difficult teacher.

  218. Velour wrote:

    shauna wrote:
    Remember a lot of seminary grads from TMS and TMC usually serve at John MacArthurs church before taking over a ministry. I believe they get their training there on take overs and this Calvinist playbook.
    In my area of California, a lot of John MacArthur graduates set up “shop”/do their own church plants. I think it’s a franchise model akin to setting up a 7-11.

    Yep Velour I believe your right….. It’s funny three to four years ago I never imagined I would be having these conversations. Do you know how clueless I was to all this stuff? I mean you couldn’t get me to say one negative thing about our former pastor. John MacArthur even though they promoted his stuff I didn’t really know much about just kept hearing our pastor refer to him as his mentor. Same with John Piper and all these other men. I began to get a bit of a sour taste towards him when an elder noticed my Ryerie Study Bible which I purchased at Word of Life Bible Institute my first year at the college. It was my first bible and Dr. Ryerie was one of my professors. Anyways they seemed to not like that I had his study bible and made some negative comments. Now I had a chance to meet and get to know Dr. Ryerie and he came across as a very nice man and a someone who had a deep desire to understand and know God’s word. My experience with him was always good and he never brought up these different doctrines unless we were going through his book on theology. The good thing about that is he just taught from his perspective but never pushing anything on any of the students. Kind of letting kids be free thinkers while teaching them what he knew. In Calvinism heaven forbid should anyone challenge that doctrine or have questions.
    Then I read where TMS students are supposed to buy Ryerie’s theology book in order to dismantle his teachings. This was encouraged by MacArthur. Then the elder who noticed my bible said some negative things about my bible and that his bible wasn’t one I should be reading. I brushed it off and no way was I going to give up that bible. It was my first and it had been with me for twenty years. God used it to minister to my soul. Then when going to this elders house because I cleaned for them and were in their grow group and I worked for his mother on their ranch I noticed he to had Ryerie’s theology book. At the time he started classes at Dalla Theological Seminary. This is where our former pastor was sending some of the new elders. Of course this was on the churches dime. Anyways my bible disappeared for two years I believe I asked for prayer in retrieving it and it found it’s way back to me. I was so thrilled. I have a problem with anyone who tells me not to read something or who attempt to get me to think like them. I like to decide for myself which way I will go and how I will think. Anyways all this to say Velour is that this is a dangerous trend and these men in my opinion are not in the ministry because they are called. Maybe some of them will have a drastic change in their lives at some point because God has a plan for them but for those who don’t I have no doubt they are making careers out of the ministry. Its funny how God opens the eyes of those who see what’s really going on and the rest remain clueless. Unfortunately for some it comes with a price and part of me says ok Lord what can I do with the pain but at the same time wonder why I was so clueless for so long. I’m glad to know these things in spite of everything that has happened.

  219. Max wrote:

    Max wrote:
    the really smart YRR’s will cover their tracks when looking for a job by deactivating their social media accounts
    On the other hand, watch them squirm when a search committee asks “Why did you deactivate your Twitter account?”

    Wow! Has this ever happened?

  220. Velour wrote:

    Folks,
    Please remember to pray for Shauna’s son Billy in Texas as he has been having some difficulties with school and a teacher. He missed about 40 hours of school due to night terrors.
    Thank you for praying as he makes up his absences and deals with a difficult teacher.

    Oh and I was offended when men at a seminary laugh and refer to another believer as LYERIE RYERIE. This is what J.M. calls Dr. Ryerie and this is what the students are encouraged to do when they are reading his books and making fun. Real Christ like, right? Real mature for grown christian men and women to poke fun at another believer because they do not hold to your doctrines. Obviously Dr. Ryerie’s books strike a nerve or else why would they go through the trouble of poking fun and getting his book just to try to disprove his theology? Then John MacArthur has the nerve when Dr. Ryerie passed to make a statement on how much of a friend he was to Dr. Ryeire. He made some statements that appeared as if they were best buds. I was so disgusted watching that on youtube. J.M. should be ashamed of himself. The arrogance if this man. Whether Dr. Ryerie is right or wrong he was still a brother in the body of Christ.

  221. Praying for him Shauna!shauna wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    Folks,
    Please remember to pray for Shauna’s son Billy in Texas as he has been having some difficulties with school and a teacher. He missed about 40 hours of school due to night terrors.
    Thank you for praying as he makes up his absences and deals with a difficult teacher.
    Oh and I was offended when men at a seminary laugh and refer to another believer as LYERIE RYERIE. This is what J.M. calls Dr. Ryerie and this is what the students are encouraged to do when they are reading his books and making fun. Real Christ like, right? Real mature for grown christian men and women to poke fun at another believer because they do not hold to your doctrines. Obviously Dr. Ryerie’s books strike a nerve or else why would they go through the trouble of poking fun and getting his book just to try to disprove his theology? Then John MacArthur has the nerve when Dr. Ryerie passed to make a statement on how much of a friend he was to Dr. Ryeire. He made some statements that appeared as if they were best buds. I was so disgusted watching that on youtube. J.M. should be ashamed of himself. The arrogance if this man. Whether Dr. Ryerie is right or wrong he was still a brother in the body of Christ.

  222. shauna wrote:

    Real mature for grown christian men and women to poke fun at another believer because they do not hold to your doctrines.

    Way way too many of these ‘pastors’ at SBCVoices and on twitter and blogs like pyro and so on and so forth come off as ill behaved, rude, immature teenagers. I am actually astounded that they don’t even try to behave with some maturity and kindness, even as a front! If they’ll say that stuff in public, how bad must they truly be in private?

    And why should anyone listen to a thing they have to say?

  223. Lea wrote:

    I am actually astounded that they don’t even try to behave with some maturity and kindness, even as a front! If they’ll say that stuff in public, how bad must they truly be in private?
    And why should anyone listen to a thing they have to say?

    I no longer listen to anything they have to say. They don’t live it out in their lives.
    They are not humble, decent men.

  224. Interesting article on Paige Patterson’s (president of SW Baptist Theological Seminary) address regarding Calvinism and the SBC. Some valid points. Not everything mentioned was per my experience but there is a general similarity. Many are aware and feel they (YRR) are invading the wrong denomination. I guess there is a group pushing back per the article (Connect316). Anyway, an interesting short read for anyone.

    https://baptistnews.com/article/chapel-speaker-terms-calvinism-trojan-horse/#.WRyXonT3af0

  225. That sounds familiar!Jerome wrote:

    The chapter on “Instructions for Local Church Reformation” in the Founders Press booklet A Quiet Revolution draws on Reisinger’s experience ‘reforming’ North Pompano Baptist Church.
    Other advice not yet mentioned:
    Don’t tackle the whole church, first just initiate a select group of men into the doctrines of grace and get them installed as church “elders”.
    Use a carefully screened book table to introduce people to Reformed authors.
    Use preaching as your weapon.
    Steel yourself for attacks from unregenerate and religiously ignorant deacons.

  226. Velour wrote:

    In my area of California, a lot of John MacArthur graduates set up “shop”/do their own church plants. I think it’s a franchise model akin to setting up a 7-11.

    I bet their Slurpees ™ suck!

  227. Jack wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    In my area of California, a lot of John MacArthur graduates set up “shop”/do their own church plants. I think it’s a franchise model akin to setting up a 7-11.
    I bet their Slurpees ™ suck!

    LOL!

    Cups come complete with Piperisms and the other NeoCalvinist “heros”.

    Blech.

  228. Velour wrote:

    think it’s a franchise model akin to setting up a 7-11.

    No. More like title loan agencies – total rip offs!

  229. Jack wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    In my area of California, a lot of John MacArthur graduates set up “shop”/do their own church plants. I think it’s a franchise model akin to setting up a 7-11.
    I bet their Slurpees ™ suck!

    LOL I laughed at this one…… slurpees probably don’t even have syrup

  230. Midwesterner wrote:

    Many are aware and feel they (YRR) are invading the wrong denomination. I guess there is a group pushing back per the article (Connect316).

    The Connect316 group blogs over at http://sbctoday.com/. They are endeavoring on behalf of traditional non-Calvinist Southern Baptists (the majority) to halt the proliferation of New Calvinism with SBC. While it is a noble effort, it is too little too late. New Calvinist leaders now control most Southern Baptist entities, including seminaries, home and foreign mission agencies, publishing house, ethics commission, church planting program, and have taken over an increasing number of traditional SBC churches by stealth and deception.

  231. Max wrote:

    the proliferation of New Calvinism with SBC

    Should read “the proliferation of New Calvinism within SBC”

  232. Midwesterner wrote:

    I consider many of these men to be brothers in Christ and I actually pray for their change as it can only come from God.

    Midwesterner also wrote, n the OP, “Sadly, this particular Elder had morphed into one of the senior pastor’s “yes” men and defended the actions and structure.”
    Someone must have prayed for my change, since once upon a time I was one of those “yes” men. It was a different kind of church, but I, a “pastor” met with a real, unacknowledged elder who had concerns and I defended the actions and structure to the hilt. It was the last time I saw him. But years after that church had ceased to be, I discovered his blog (and this blog) and corresponded to ask his forgiveness, which he freely gave.

  233. Deb wrote:

    Wow! Has this ever happened?

    I’m speculating here, but it sure sounds probable. For example, take Smokey Hurst (Sapulpa). He is such a popular guy, he should have a Twitter account to tweet his life away. But, I’ve not been able to locate any social media communications by him. Did he purge his social media history while looking for a pastorate?

  234. Deb wrote:

    @ Ken F:
    After reading that depressing DG post, I’m so glad I haven’t wasted my life following the Pied Piper.
    Instead, I follow the King of Kings and Lord of Lords whose Good News is truly worth sharing.
    The way Piper spins the Gospel is horrifying! I will never ever forget his scream of the damned utterance in the 2009 trailer of the Resolved conference, hosted by MacArthur’s Grace Community Church.

    Oh my, I never saw that before. He is calling Jesus “the damned.” He knows NOT the character of God. Misguided, deceived and dangerous shepherds. We must warn people to flee from these men – for the sake of their sanity and being at peace with God!

  235. Dave A A wrote:

    but I, a “pastor” met with a real, unacknowledged elder who had concerns and I defended the actions and structure to the hilt.

    This gives me hope for a particular young man. One of the well-meaning ones caught up in this madness. Thank you for sharing this part of your story.

  236. Max wrote:

    Law Prof wrote:
    they talk about … being “missional”
    Oh yes, “Missional” is a hot-button word in New Calvinism! I’m not sure if they coined the word, but it is definitely part of their language … “missional communities”, “missional leaders”, “missional coffee”, etc. It’s one of the red flags if you are trying to figure out if a church you are visiting is part of the new reformation. Beware of pastors who carry ESV Bibles and drop words like missional. Oh, and, they love the title “lead pastor” even if they are the only pastor.

    Max, we need to get a list going of all the hot-button New Calvinist words on TWW. After each word, the revised Calvinista meaning should be given. Maybe we could have a special glossary section here at TWW for this very purpose. Deceivers these men are!

  237. Bridget wrote:

    Ken F wrote:
    Steve wrote:
    I always regret googling Piper. Today was no exception
    Wait till you read what he posted last night: http://www.desiringgod.org/no-kingdom-without-a-cross
    Ugh! There is something wrong with that man.

    Bridget, yes, there is! Watching P[per preach is even worse than reading his words. He comes off as agitated, angry, hate-filled, cruel – and to a child or young person, his preaching would be just plain scary. Compare that to Billy Graham. Whatever one may think of Billy Graham, at least he had a gift to reach millions with the preaching of the gospel. And he did it in such a way that the mercy, grace, kindness and compassion of God came through.

  238. Max wrote:

    The Connect316 group blogs over at http://sbctoday.com/. They are endeavoring on behalf of traditional non-Calvinist Southern Baptists (the majority) to halt the proliferation of New Calvinism with SBC. While it is a noble effort, it is too little too late.

    That Trevin Wax article is straight from TGC.

  239. @ Darlene:
    *To add to my comment above. Piper looks as though he is on the brink of having a nervous breakdown while he is preaching.

  240. Nancy2 wrote:

    Max wrote:

    The Connect316 group blogs over at http://sbctoday.com/. They are endeavoring on behalf of traditional non-Calvinist Southern Baptists (the majority) to halt the proliferation of New Calvinism with SBC. While it is a noble effort, it is too little too late.

    That Trevin Wax article is straight from TGC.

    The traditional non-calvinists in the SBC have waited too long and will not be able to overcome the New Calvinists in the SBC IMO.

  241. Darlene wrote:

    Whatever one may think of Billy Graham, at least he had a gift to reach millions with the preaching of the gospel. And he did it in such a way that the mercy, grace, kindness and compassion of God came through.

    Yes. He is much loved by millions of Christian people. Without a doubt, he was a servant of God.

  242. shauna wrote:

    Thank you Velour, I appreciate you so much. You have no idea. Thank you thank you all for being so kind and patient with me through this. I want to feel normal again maybe someday.

    Shauna, I hope that one day you can be free from all these anxieties. I am so sorry for all the stress that you are undergoing at this present time. God be with you always!

  243. Christiane wrote:

    Darlene wrote:
    Whatever one may think of Billy Graham, at least he had a gift to reach millions with the preaching of the gospel. And he did it in such a way that the mercy, grace, kindness and compassion of God came through.
    Yes. He is much loved by millions of Christian people. Without a doubt, he was a servant of God.

    My atheist grandmother who loved watching Billy Graham wouldn’t give even a minute of her time listening to Piper.

  244. Lea wrote:

    shauna wrote:

    Real mature for grown christian men and women to poke fun at another believer because they do not hold to your doctrines.

    Way way too many of these ‘pastors’ at SBCVoices and on twitter and blogs like pyro and so on and so forth come off as ill behaved, rude, immature teenagers. I am actually astounded that they don’t even try to behave with some maturity and kindness, even as a front! If they’ll say that stuff in public, how bad must they truly be in private?

    And why should anyone listen to a thing they have to say?

    Observe Mr. Miller at Voices very long and just imagine what he would be like in private?

  245. mot wrote:

    Nancy2 wrote:
    Max wrote:
    The Connect316 group blogs over at http://sbctoday.com/. They are endeavoring on behalf of traditional non-Calvinist Southern Baptists (the majority) to halt the proliferation of New Calvinism with SBC. While it is a noble effort, it is too little too late.
    That Trevin Wax article is straight from TGC.
    The traditional non-calvinists in the SBC have waited too long and will not be able to overcome the New Calvinists in the SBC IMO.

    Mot, so do you think it’s time for the non-Calvinists to cut their losses and leave the SBC? I wonder how well the SBC would fair financially without the non-Calvinist’s contributions.

  246. Darlene wrote:

    mot wrote:

    Nancy2 wrote:
    Max wrote:
    The Connect316 group blogs over at http://sbctoday.com/. They are endeavoring on behalf of traditional non-Calvinist Southern Baptists (the majority) to halt the proliferation of New Calvinism with SBC. While it is a noble effort, it is too little too late.
    That Trevin Wax article is straight from TGC.
    The traditional non-calvinists in the SBC have waited too long and will not be able to overcome the New Calvinists in the SBC IMO.

    Mot, so do you think it’s time for the non-Calvinists to cut their losses and leave the SBC? I wonder how well the SBC would fair financially without the non-Calvinist’s contributions.

    I really think the non-calvinists should cut their losses and leave the SBC IMO. Sadly, I do not think they will because IMO they would have to admit their excuse of purging the “liberals” from the SBC did not bring the Great Awakening they were almost guaranteeing. I realize I focus on the SBC too much here and am sincerely heartbroken to see the SBC be in the shape it is now. I have been in the SBC for over 40 years and can remember better days before the FUNDAMENTALIST TAKEOVER–some would call this takeover the Conservative Resurgence but I do not.

  247. mot wrote:

    I really think the non-calvinists should cut their losses and leave the SBC IMO. Sadly, I do not think they will because IMO they would have to admit their excuse of purging the “liberals” from the SBC did not bring the Great Awakening they were almost guaranteeing. I realize I focus on the SBC too much here and am sincerely heartbroken to see the SBC be in the shape it is now. I have been in the SBC for over 40 years and can remember better days before the FUNDAMENTALIST TAKEOVER–some would call this takeover the Conservative Resurgence but I do not.

    I was raised in SBC churches – became a church member in spring of1978……. 39 years, this month. It is not the SBC in which I grew up and spent my twenties.
    Nowadays, they push the CR and BFM2000 (very close to IFB style!) like the Apostle Paul wrote about them in an epistle to the SBC.

    As for Dave Miller: I’m locally known for my blackberry cobbler. If I had attend and bring a “covered dish” to a fellowship meal with Miller, he’d never get the blackberry stains out of his suit! He be covered with the dish!

  248. Nancy2 wrote:

    mot wrote:

    I really think the non-calvinists should cut their losses and leave the SBC IMO. Sadly, I do not think they will because IMO they would have to admit their excuse of purging the “liberals” from the SBC did not bring the Great Awakening they were almost guaranteeing. I realize I focus on the SBC too much here and am sincerely heartbroken to see the SBC be in the shape it is now. I have been in the SBC for over 40 years and can remember better days before the FUNDAMENTALIST TAKEOVER–some would call this takeover the Conservative Resurgence but I do not.

    I was raised in SBC churches – became a church member in spring of1978……. 39 years, this month. It is not the SBC in which I grew up and spent my twenties.
    Nowadays, they push the CR and BFM2000 (very close to IFB style!) like the Apostle Paul wrote about them in an epistle to the SBC.

    As for Dave Miller: I’m locally known for my blackberry cobbler. If I had attend and bring a “covered dish” to a fellowship meal with Miller, he’d never get the blackberry stains out of his suit! He be covered with the dish!

    My views on women in ministry makes me a heretic among the TRUE SBC FOLLOWERS. It is an issue I am more than willing to disagree with them. Their Militancy is a real turn off for me.

    Yea, Mr. Miller has a real problem with women with a backbone IMO.

  249. mot wrote:

    I realize I focus on the SBC too much here and am sincerely heartbroken to see the SBC be in the shape it is now. I have been in the SBC for over 40 years and can remember better days before the FUNDAMENTALIST TAKEOVER–some would call this takeover the Conservative Resurgence but I do not.

    Mot, you and I share the same heart and grief for a once-great denomination. I have been a Southern Baptist for over 60 years. The Conservative Resurgence has really become a Calvinist Resurgence. Any effort by traditional non-Calvinist Southern Baptists (there are millions) to stay the New Calvinist movement would be for nought at this point. It is just too aggressive and appeals to the next generation of Southern Baptists. The SBC we knew during a better day has left us.

  250. Darlene wrote:

    shauna wrote:
    Thank you Velour, I appreciate you so much. You have no idea. Thank you thank you all for being so kind and patient with me through this. I want to feel normal again maybe someday.
    Shauna, I hope that one day you can be free from all these anxieties. I am so sorry for all the stress that you are undergoing at this present time. God be with you always!

    Thanks Darlene it will happen. Right now it’s the end of the school year and financially i’m working to keep food on the table. The challenges are difficult right now but i’m certain with prayer we will be ok.

  251. Darlene wrote:

    Oh my, I never saw that before. He is calling Jesus “the damned.” He knows NOT the character of God. Misguided, deceived and dangerous shepherds. We must warn people to flee from these men – for the sake of their sanity and being at peace with God!

    RC Sproul is also in on this. See this from April 2012: http://www.ligonier.org/blog/forsaken-jesus-became-curse/

    It was as if there was a cry from heaven, as if Jesus heard the words “God damn you,”

    Isn’t Sproul from Old-Calvinist stock?

  252. Darlene wrote:

    Bridget wrote:
    Ken F wrote:
    Steve wrote:
    I always regret googling Piper. Today was no exception
    Wait till you read what he posted last night: http://www.desiringgod.org/no-kingdom-without-a-cross
    Ugh! There is something wrong with that man.
    Bridget, yes, there is! Watching P[per preach is even worse than reading his words. He comes off as agitated, angry, hate-filled, cruel – and to a child or young person, his preaching would be just plain scary. Compare that to Billy Graham. Whatever one may think of Billy Graham, at least he had a gift to reach millions with the preaching of the gospel. And he did it in such a way that the mercy, grace, kindness and compassion of God came through.

    Creepy dude man. Here is the transcript

    Yes, Jesus reigns. Yes, the King and the kingdom have come. But, no, that is not good news. I get frankly very tired of people building their theologies around that as good news. It’s not — not without blood, and his in particular. Not without substitution. There is no good news in the resurrection of Jesus. I’m going to be slaughtered by this deathless king. No good news in his reign. No good news in his coming. Not until he becomes a bloody Savior do I feel any hope at all before the reign of God Almighty.

    Be careful that you don’t buy into these naïve celebrations of what is gospel. Think, brothers. Think. The glory of the King is going to be upheld and, wonder of wonders, rebels are going to be pardoned, even adopted into the King’s family, because the King became a curse for us (Galatians 3:13). In his flesh, our sin is condemned (Romans 8:3).

    Piper: “Until Jesus becomes a bloody Savior for me, I do not feel any hope at all before the reign of God Almighty.” Tweet Share on Facebook
    And now, for all of us who are in Christ, the wrath of God is spent and justice is satisfied and what makes that good news is that when he died, he bought for his own faith in Jesus Christ, resurrection from spiritual death, eternal life, forgiveness of sins, justification, or the imputation of his own righteousness, peace with God, escape from hell, and the enjoyment of all the new covenant promises, the best and highest of which is, “I will be your God, and I will be with you, and you will be my people.”

    Christ suffered the righteous for the unrighteous that he might bring us to God (1 Peter 3:18), in whose presence is fullness of joy, and at whose right hand are pleasures forevermore (Psalm 16:11). If you don’t end up there, you don’t have gospel. God is the gospel, in the end, enjoyed, treasured, known, shown.

  253. Max wrote:

    Oh yes, “Missional” is a hot-button word in New Calvinism!

    “Missional” opens up a whole new can of worms. One of the big names behind the missional movement is Mike Breen, who was the founder of 3DM and The Order of Mission (have some fun digging into this: https://www.missionorder.org/). Mike Breen is bringing back the Shepherding Movement. I have not found many direct ties between Breen and the New Calvinists, but I think it’s only a matter of time. The Missional Movement might be something we see more of in the future on blogs such as this.

  254. Max wrote:

    The SBC we knew during a better day has left us.

    Yes, I am hanging on by the proverbial spider web. I did not leave the SBC, it left me.

  255. Deb wrote:

    The way Piper spins the Gospel is horrifying! I will never ever forget his scream of the damned utterance in the 2009 trailer of the Resolved conference, hosted by MacArthur’s Grace Community Church.

    One of the big problems with Piper and his fellow Calvinistas is they start with the wrong view of God. Their god is more like a Greco-Roman deity who is angry, distant, hates us as we are, and requires appeasement so that he does not have to instantly wipe us out. Their god is too holy and pure to be able to look at us miserable sinners. He must squeamishly turn away lest be become impure by our presence. And if he was to be in our presence, he would have to immediately destroy us as per Jonathan Edwards’ famous sermon. He can only love us if we are covered in Jesus’ blood, which means he only pretends to love us.

    They claim to believe the Bible and they claim to literally interpret it, but they badly violate their own standard when it comes to Genesis 3. In Gen 3 we find YHWH-Elohim walking in the Ruach (Trinity?) coming out to meet them where they are, just like always, and meeting their needs, just like alwasy. We don’t find a deity who is angrily storming out of the garden, or turning his face away, or pulling back the bow with the arrow pointed. So their god is not the God in Genesis. Why not? Did God change? Unlikely. Was the fallen state of Adam and Eve so much different than our fallen state that they and God could be together in a way that we cannot? Also unlikely (and not discussed in the Bible). Their theology does not properly take into account that first meeting in mankind’s fallen state. It was Adam and Eve who changed, not God. He did not need appeasement, but they needed rescue/redemption/salvation.

  256. shauna wrote:

    There is no good news in the resurrection of Jesus. I’m going to be slaughtered by this deathless king. No good news in his reign. No good news in his coming.

    This proves how badly he has twisted his view of God. God is not like that.

  257. Nancy2 wrote:

    What if I want to un-reform a church? Shouldn’t I use the same dirty tactics?

    I think most people who comment on this blog are too decent to use those tactics.

  258. Ken F wrote:

    Darlene wrote:
    Oh my, chilling is right. I didn’t even read through the whole article, which is essentially a Calvinista playbook for “reforming” – ahem….Taking Over a church.
    That article gets worse the further you read. 9Marx recently posted this article stressing the importance of staying in the wrong church: https://www.9marks.org/article/why-you-will-join-the-wrong-church/. It’s all about the covenant for them.

    I did eventually read the entire article. The writer uses the word “love” as a mean to an end, in order to convince (brainwash, strong arm) people to his point of view. “Love” those poor, pathetic, clueless non-Calvinists until they come around to the “truth” (seeing things his way (Calvinism IS the gospel). Such patronizing drivel! For those who are not convinced (brainwashed, strong armed) into his point of view, they’re merely “intractable” trouble makers – probably just reprobates anyway and not worth having around.

    Folks, these Calvinists are arrogant, dangerous, cruel, and downright reprehensible. Run from these people! There is no reasoning with them. They have an agenda and they intend to implement all strategies necessary in order to achieve that agenda which is: Calvinization of the entire Evangelical church.

  259. Darlene wrote:

    Folks, these Calvinists are arrogant, dangerous, cruel, and downright reprehensible. Run from these people! There is no reasoning with them. They have an agenda and they intend to implement all strategies necessary in order to achieve that agenda which is: Calvinization of the entire Evangelical church.

    When I talk to people in my church about this I weird responses, like I am some kind of paranoid conspiracy freak. I don’t think many people in the heart of the Bible belt care that much about the takeover.

  260. Ken F wrote:

    Darlene wrote:
    Oh my, I never saw that before.
    Wow. I just now quoted something from RC Sproul that is very similar and my comment went into time-out. Here is the link: http://www.ligonier.org/blog/forsaken-jesus-became-curse/

    I’m sorry, Ken. After I started reading that Sproul article, I couldn’t get past the first sentence of the second paragraph. Maybe I’ll pick it up later. What they say about our Lord Jesus Christ is, frankly, repulsive to me. I think it borders on blasphemy.

  261. Darlene wrote:

    I think it borders on blasphemy.

    You are way too kind. It is actual blasphemy. These men are very wrong in how they view God the Father.

  262. Darlene wrote:

    Mot, so do you think it’s time for the non-Calvinists to cut their losses and leave the SBC? I wonder how well the SBC would fair financially without the non-Calvinist’s contributions.

    Let’s find out….

  263. from the article

    “If there ever was an obscenity that violates contemporary community standards, it was Jesus on the cross. After he became the scapegoat and the Father had imputed to him every sin of every one of his people, the most intense, dense concentration of evil ever experienced on this planet was exhibited. Jesus was the ultimate obscenity.

    So what happened? God is too holy to look at sin. He could not bear to look at that concentrated monumental condensation of evil, so he averted his eyes from his Son. The light of his countenance was turned off. All blessedness was removed from his Son, whom he loved, and in its place was the full measure of the divine curse.”

    Now this sounds very familiar it is a bit less crass than I have heard directed at those outside of Christ, like me, well like most of humanity and probably other hominids as well. It was clear God cannot be in the presents of sin, any type of decay or failure, or weakness, or need, or grief (because the dead should bury their dead), or if you are sick because illness is a sign of the fall and it disgusts God. Our corruption in the flesh such as hunger, thirst, getting sick, getting old, these are all signs of the fall in Adam it it enrages God. Anyone not covered by Christ are children of Satan, and objects of God’s wrath from the foundations of the world. We are spiritually dead unable to do anything to please God, in fact when we try to please God outside of Christ we merely pile more wrath on ourselves because we have crucified the Son of God again. Our works are filthy rags and they disgust God and are an affront to Jesus.

    I was always terrified I lost my salvation or I was never saved or God was just messing with me sort of like happened to Job. I have heard it said that God hated Jesus on the cross and dumped on Him every evil thought, dream, word, sickness, cells that dont divide perfectly, self righteous work, cancer, abuse …. Even though it is clear we have all that coming and more because we are all dead in Adam and are by nature Children of Wrath. Even in Christ we are lost and fallen and sinful and we disgust God but He is blinded from His Holy Wrath because He is satisfied by how much wrath He poured out of Jesus on the cross. Unless you are actually not in Christ and dont find out until you are before the Great White Throne judgement when you care cast out because He never knew you.

    Then there was the millennial kingdom when we might fall again even a single thought when we are in our perfect glorified bodies God would immediately cast us into outer darkness. Even the lost would get glorified Bodies but they would allow God to pour out His wrath on those lost in a more perfect way. Im not kidding this just goes on and on. I just could not reconcile this aspect of God with what I saw in those folks I work with. I never could. Some told me I was deceived of Satan … but I think they might be wrong about God.

  264. How did the early church grow and change the world without the wisdom and theology of John Calvin????? Folks they follow a MAN and his views….not the Jesus they say they know.

  265. Ken F wrote:

    Darlene wrote:
    I think it borders on blasphemy.
    You are way too kind. It is actual blasphemy. These men are very wrong in how they view God the Father.

    Actually I was going to say blasphemy, but I held back on the side of caution. You are right. Referring to our Lord’s passion as an obscenity is blasphemous.

  266. @Max,
    Oops, sorry Max! That article is not in SBCToday – it’s on SBCVoices. No surprise there!

  267. Ken F wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
    Or just a knockoff?
    Or just a trademark?

    Feature, not bug – as you like to say, HUG.

  268. Abigail wrote:

    How did the early church grow and change the world without the wisdom and theology of John Calvin?????

    As John the Baptist did for Jesus, the early church was simply preparing the way for John Calvin??? ; ^ )

  269. Max, Thank you for providing deeper insight into the Connectgroup. I really feel for the SBC. As mentioned, I was raised in the Quaker denomination but earned a full scholarship to attend an SBC affiliated college in KY. We attended an SBC church most of the four years I was earning my undergrad. My college roommate and close friend’s father was even a professor at SBTS during the beginnings of the “Mohler Mayhem.” He is long retired now, but I would be interested to get his take on all these changes. Interestingly, my college broke away from its affiliation to the SBC, sometime around 2008-ish. Anyhow, I appreciate your experienced insight and affinity for coffee! Max wrote:

    Midwesterner wrote:
    Many are aware and feel they (YRR) are invading the wrong denomination. I guess there is a group pushing back per the article (Connect316).
    The Connect316 group blogs over at http://sbctoday.com/. They are endeavoring on behalf of traditional non-Calvinist Southern Baptists (the majority) to halt the proliferation of New Calvinism with SBC. While it is a noble effort, it is too little too late. New Calvinist leaders now control most Southern Baptist entities, including seminaries, home and foreign mission agencies, publishing house, ethics commission, church planting program, and have taken over an increasing number of traditional SBC churches by stealth and deception.

  270. Darlene wrote:

    Actually I was going to say blasphemy, but I held back on the side of caution. You are right. Referring to our Lord’s passion as an obscenity is blasphemous.

    One problem is they take Psalm 22:1 in isolation. They need to read the whole Psalm, especially verse 24. Whether or not Jesus meant to highlight the whole Psalm, it is a very accurate description of the passion, which means the Father did not forsake the Son.

  271. Bridget wrote:

    9Marx recently posted this article stressing the importance of staying in the wrong church: https://www.9marks.org/article/why-you-will-join-the-wrong-church/. It’s all about the covenant for them.
    Again, they are drawing a parallel between church covenant and marriage covenant. It’s a twisted concept.

    I spent some time “searching the scriptures” after reading this line, “When the Bible speaks about the church, it refers to it as a covenant community.” I won’t accuse the young fellow of knowingly lying, since he’s likely been taught this until he believes it’s true. But of course, the Bible refers to the church as no such thing. There are covenants between individuals, between God and an individual, and between God and the community (which included ALL Israel and later ALL the Church, not some small splinter). Other than those, the Israelite community made a covenant with the Gibeonite community (inter-community) and later with their 7 year old king Joash (subject community to ruler). Not one intracommunity covenant binding individuals to a certain fraction of the community.

  272. mot wrote:

    I really think the non-calvinists should cut their losses and leave the SBC IMO.

    I can’t help but wonder that even if they did, the Calvinistas would try to follow there, too, unless the non-Calvinistas got really loud and angry and honest about it all.

  273. Dave, thank you for sharing your story. It provides hope to me that a change of heart is possible. Also, your humbleness to reach out and ask for forgiveness is so encouraging. BTW, are you the Wondering Eagle blogger? If so, I enjoyed reading a couple of your posts. Have a good evening! Dave A A wrote:

    Midwesterner wrote:
    I consider many of these men to be brothers in Christ and I actually pray for their change as it can only come from God.
    Midwesterner also wrote, n the OP, “Sadly, this particular Elder had morphed into one of the senior pastor’s “yes” men and defended the actions and structure.”
    Someone must have prayed for my change, since once upon a time I was one of those “yes” men. It was a different kind of church, but I, a “pastor” met with a real, unacknowledged elder who had concerns and I defended the actions and structure to the hilt. It was the last time I saw him. But years after that church had ceased to be, I discovered his blog (and this blog) and corresponded to ask his forgiveness, which he freely gave.

  274. Nope you just expose them. Ken F wrote:

    Nancy2 wrote:

    What if I want to un-reform a church? Shouldn’t I use the same dirty tactics?

    I think most people who comment on this blog are too decent to use those tactics.

  275. Dave A A wrote:

    I won’t accuse the young fellow of knowingly lying, since he’s likely been taught this until he believes

    But I will accuse him of hypocrisy. These men shout “sola scriptura” when it suits them, and then throw it away when “scriptura” does not fit their theology, as in this case.

    These men need to be more careful. James 3:1 – “Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment.”

  276. Ken F wrote:

    “Missional” opens up a whole new can of worms. One of the big names behind the missional movement is Mike Breen, who was the founder of 3DM and The Order of Mission (have some fun digging into this: https://www.missionorder.org/). Mike Breen is bringing back the Shepherding Movement.

    “Missional” is actually another word they borrowed and redefined, just like “Gospel”. It’s been used in missions theology for a long time, but it means “to be focused on the gospel of Jesus”–the complete opposite of how the Calvinistas use it. It was a quite popular word in the house church movement in the 90s. I went to a house church for awhile. New Calvinists would have hated it! Nobody got paid anything, and nobody was selling books!

    I know Scot McKnight has written a book about Paul which tries to put the word back into its original context. I should read that.

  277. ishy wrote:

    “Missional” is actually another word they borrowed and redefined, just like “Gospel”. It’s been used in missions theology for a long time, but it means “to be focused on the gospel of Jesus”–the complete opposite of how the Calvinistas use it.

    Here’s the one solid connection I found between Breen’s missional movement and New Calvinism – the GCM Collective (https://3dmovements.com/3dm-launch-training-for-church-planters-and-mc-leaders/). It’s founder is Caesar Kalinowski, who also founded Soma Communities. Soma Communities is part of the New Calvinism movement. Note that GCM is very missional. Yes, another ruined word.

  278. Ken F wrote:

    I have not found many direct ties between Breen and the New Calvinists, but I think it’s only a matter of time.

    I think a tie, or perhaps ‘the’ tie, lies with the Leadership Network. That organization has developed many of the leaders of the Shepherding Movement, Emergent Church, and New Calvinism. Yet, LN has escaped attention in the blogosphere as a source of knuckleheads that the church has had to put up with. Perhaps TWW would take on that challenge in a future post.

  279. Nancy2 wrote:

    That article is not in SBCToday – it’s on SBCVoices.

    That makes sense. Trevin Wax, managing editor of The Gospel Project at LifeWay Christian Resources, is a theologically-elusive sort of guy that talks out of both sides of his mouth. He slithers between non-Calvinist and Calvinist camps within SBC.

    “The Gospel Project” should more aptly be named “The Calvinist Project” since its initial advisory board and all writers were New Calvinists. Traditional Southern Baptists who use those LifeWay materials are being slowly indoctrinated into reformed theology; it’s subtle, but it’s there.

  280. Max wrote:

    Nancy2 wrote:

    That article is not in SBCToday – it’s on SBCVoices.

    That makes sense. Trevin Wax, managing editor of The Gospel Project at LifeWay Christian Resources, is a theologically-elusive sort of guy that talks out of both sides of his mouth. He slithers between non-Calvinist and Calvinist camps within SBC.

    “The Gospel Project” should more aptly be named “The Calvinist Project” since its initial advisory board and all writers were New Calvinists. Traditional Southern Baptists who use those LifeWay materials are being slowly indoctrinated into reformed theology; it’s subtle, but it’s there.

    Max: Why do you think Dave Miller supports Trevin Wax’s views? Is Miller a Calvinist?

  281. @ mot:
    Mot, David Miller is devoted to the doctrine of ESS and has written extensively about it in support of it. When I challenged him on SBCvoices concerning the ESS doctrine, I was first put on ‘moderation’ and then later blocked completely. I didn’t mind that because it’s his blog, but he was not up for dialoguing about differing points of view, no. I was thinking there at the end that he maybe took disagreement personally. I don’t think he calls himself a Calvinist, though. (?)

  282. Ken F wrote:

    Isn’t Sproul from Old-Calvinist stock?

    Both Sproul and MacArthur have choice spots (pre-recorded) on a fundagelical FM station here in Southern Cal.

  283. Max wrote:

    Root 66 wrote:
    it’s not until you realize what’s missing in your church in order to see what’s wrong with their teaching
    I’ve visited New Calvinist church plants in my area (to see what makes them tick). None of them have a Cross displayed.

    Ah….didn’t cha know, displaying a cross is too Catholic. AAAAAnnnnnnnd it’s idolatry!

    Folks, if you haven’t done so, read the history of the Reformation with regard to the Calvinists. (Puritans) They were Iconoclasts and when in power in England, they went into all the Catholic churches destroying just about everything is sight, leaving behind a bare-bones building.

  284. mot wrote:

    Is Miller a Calvinist?

    Sometimes he’s a Calvinist; sometimes he’s not. One of those guys. But there is no doubt that his blog, SBCVoices, is where a lot of New Calvinists like to hang out.

  285. mot wrote:

    Why do you think Dave Miller supports Trevin Wax’s views?

    These guys (New Calvinists) are taking the “unity” high road. They can afford to, since they are now pretty much in control of the SBC. They know in their heart of hearts that they have contributed to the near-demise of a great force for evangelism and now want everybody to agree to disagree, get along to go along, and live harmoniously together under one big tent. It would make them feel a whole better if traditional (non-Calvinist) Southern Baptists would just link arms with them and sing kumbaya.

  286. Around the time of our leaving, I found The Wartburg Watch. It helped reassure me and answered my question, “Are we the only ones going through this kind of church takeover?” and “Has this happened to others, and are we the only ones who think this is wrong?” TWW has helped me immensely, and I have stayed up to date on this movement.

    No, you are not the only ones. I recognize most of this.

    A couple of years ago on this blog I was in a discussion with someone called Faith, who coached me through much of this and assured me I wasn’t alone. We discussed a “playbook” or manual that the 9Marks crowd must be using. I have yet to find it online, but Mark Dever’s book The Deliberate Church comes pretty close, more so than does his book 9 Marks of a Healthy Church, which we as deacons studied. It was unremarkable. The 9Marks website will have all of this, but it’s fragmented in the various articles. Most notorious to me are the ones by Jonathan Leeman.

    I think a lot of pastors and elders/deacons are getting their playbook directly from “Weekender” conferences at Dever’s Capitol Hill Baptist Church. That could be why no coherent “playbook” is available to the rest of us. But yes, no doubt it exists.

  287. Ken F wrote:

    Was the fallen state of Adam and Eve so much different than our fallen state that they and God could be together in a way that we cannot? Also unlikely (and not discussed in the Bible). Their theology does not properly take into account that first meeting in mankind’s fallen state. It was Adam and Eve who changed, not God. He did not need appeasement, but they needed rescue/redemption/salvation.

    Good point Ken. Are you (generic you) a father? Tell me then, would you break fellowship with your kids in anger if they got talked into something bad by an interloper who is jealous of their beauty and autonomy?
    Theology, if it can be so called, really does depend on one’s starting point.

  288. Max wrote:

    He slithers between non-Calvinist and Calvinist camps within SBC.

    Trevin is Calvinist. Last I heard he was missing the middle petal on his tulip, but still a Calvinist.

  289. Max wrote:

    mot wrote:

    Why do you think Dave Miller supports Trevin Wax’s views?

    These guys (New Calvinists) are taking the “unity” high road. They can afford to, since they are now pretty much in control of the SBC. They know in their heart of hearts that they have contributed to the near-demise of a great force for evangelism and now want everybody to agree to disagree, get along to go along, and live harmoniously together under one big tent. It would make them feel a whole better if traditional (non-Calvinist) Southern Baptists would just link arms with them and sing kumbaya.

    My understanding is that Miller was a foot soldier in the battle to remove the “liberals” from the SBC because the “liberals” were destroying the SBC. Was he a closet Calvinist or maybe he was an open Calvinist. IMO all this talk about unity in the SBC will not work.

  290. ishy wrote:

    mot wrote:
    I really think the non-calvinists should cut their losses and leave the SBC IMO.
    I can’t help but wonder that even if they did, the Calvinistas would try to follow there, too, unless the non-Calvinistas got really loud and angry and honest about it all.

    They’ve already started infiltrating the Evangelical Free Church, as Eagle, who comments here from time to time and has his own blog, has attested. They’re probably working on the non-denominational churches as well. I don’t think they’d get anywhere with the Methodists or Lutherans, but ya never know. I think if they had their way, they take over the entire Protestant landscape. Anyone who refuses to submit would be subjected to punishment and excommunication.

  291. Ted wrote:

    I think a lot of pastors and elders/deacons are getting their playbook directly from “Weekender” conferences at Dever’s Capitol Hill Baptist Church.

    Lots of the pastors are former interns/elders at Capitol Hill Baptist or derivative churches of Capitol Hill Baptist. There is this thing called the internet that lets these former interns/elders keep in close touch with one another about problems they are having with their stubborn sheep.

  292. A big wooden cross is displayed at our former church behind the pulpit yet they are hyper Calvinists once they built the new gym and moved everybody from the chapel to there no cross is displayed and there’s a saying before u go into the new sanctuary no scripture verse Darlene wrote:

    Max wrote:

    Root 66 wrote:
    it’s not until you realize what’s missing in your church in order to see what’s wrong with their teaching
    I’ve visited New Calvinist church plants in my area (to see what makes them tick). None of them have a Cross displayed.

    Ah….didn’t cha know, displaying a cross is too Catholic. AAAAAnnnnnnnd it’s idolatry!

    Folks, if you haven’t done so, read the history of the Reformation with regard to the Calvinists. (Puritans) They were Iconoclasts and when in power in England, they went into all the Catholic churches destroying just about everything is sight, leaving behind a bare-bones building.

  293. There has to be lying going on in order for them to get this doctrine in the church. I’m sorry but coming into any church under false pretenses is a lie. Not disclosing your true beliefs or going in knowing the church is not a Calvinist church and taking them over is a lie and worse than lying you are a decieverKen F wrote:

    Dave A A wrote:

    I won’t accuse the young fellow of knowingly lying, since he’s likely been taught this until he believes

    But I will accuse him of hypocrisy. These men shout “sola scriptura” when it suits them, and then throw it away when “scriptura” does not fit their theology, as in this case.

    These men need to be more careful. James 3:1 – “Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment.”

  294. mot wrote:

    Was he a closet Calvinist or maybe he was an open Calvinist.

    I seem to recall a piece on SBCVoices that Dave Miller wrote a few years ago, indicating that he leaned Calvinist while a student at Southwestern Seminary.

  295. Gram3 wrote:

    Trevin is Calvinist. Last I heard he was missing the middle petal on his tulip, but still a Calvinist.

    Moderate (4-point) Calvinism has always seemed a paradox to me. Can “Unlimited Atonement” truly come alongside “Unconditional Election” in a reformed theology grid? I don’t typically agree with R.C. Sproul, Calvinist icon, but I do accept his reasoning when he suggests that there is confusion about what the doctrine of limited atonement actually teaches. While he considers it possible for a person to believe four points without believing the fifth, he claims that a person who really understands the other four points must believe in limited atonement because of what Martin Luther called a resistless logic. Makes sense to me. TULIP would not be a flower without all its petals.

  296. Max wrote:

    mot wrote:
    Is Miller a Calvinist?
    Sometimes he’s a Calvinist; sometimes he’s not. One of those guys. But there is no doubt that his blog, SBCVoices, is where a lot of New Calvinists like to hang out.

    Interesting. Sometimes he feels like a nut….er….Calvinist, sometimes he doesn’t. While commenting on a Calvinist Facebook site the other day, one of the commentators got a bit riled up with me. I was just having some harmless fun on a thread that began with someone complaining about Red Letter Bibles and the comments ranged from funny to absurd. Anywho, the fella that got irritated with me (I think he didn’t appreciate my sense of humor) insisted he wasn’t a Calvinist. Yet, he extolled the Doctrines of Grace, TULIP, Regeneration precedes faith, and likes Voddie Baucham along with a slew of other Calvinist celebrities. But….he isn’t a Calvinist. Riiiiiight. And I’ll be buying some ocean front property in Kansas.

  297. @ Darlene:
    *Some folks might remember that commercial: Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don’t. Almond Joy & Mounds candy bars. 😉

  298. Darlene wrote:

    insisted he wasn’t a Calvinist

    If you walk like a duck, talk like a duck, and are continually seen in the presence of ducks … you are a duck.

  299. Darlene wrote:

    But there is no doubt that his blog, SBCVoices, is where a lot of New Calvinists like to hang out.

    I think you just hit the nail on the head. Miller believes it is his blog and he gets to decide who comments and who does not. For him it is a power position.

  300. Ken F wrote:

    These men shout “sola scriptura” when it suits them, and then throw it away when “scriptura” does not fit their theology, as in this case.

    There’s a “church discipline” video where Dever calls it a “tradition”.

  301. Ted wrote:

    <b.We discussed a “playbook” or manual that the 9Marks crowd must be using. I have yet to find it online, but Mark Dever’s book The Deliberate Church comes pretty close, more so than does his book 9 Marks of a Healthy Church, which we as deacons studied.

    I think a lot of pastors and elders/deacons are getting their playbook directly from “Weekender” conferences at Dever’s Capitol Hill Baptist Church. That could be why no coherent “playbook” is available to the rest of us. But yes, no doubt it exists.

    What about Ernest C. Reisinger’s book entitled, The Quiet Revolution? Someone mentioned this book up thread and gave many quotes from it, which basically gives instructions on how to take over a non-Calvinist church. I noticed that it is still in print and costs very little – $3.00. I haven’t read it, but from the quotes that I have seen, it sure sounds like a Calvinist playbook to me.

  302. Max wrote:

    Darlene wrote:
    insisted he wasn’t a Calvinist
    If you walk like a duck, talk like a duck, and are continually seen in the presence of ducks … you are a duck.

    Hey Max, that’s exactly what I told the fella. He still wouldn’t admit he was a Calvinist. I told him to own up to the label.

  303. Shauna wrote:

    There has to be lying going on in order for them to get this doctrine in the church.

    Oh, yeah– lots of it. Just don’t know anything about this author to say whether he’s purposely making up things “the Bible speaks” or parroting what the bigger dogs have barked.

  304. Ken F wrote:

    One problem is they take Psalm 22:1 in isolation. They need to read the whole Psalm, especially verse 24. Whether or not Jesus meant to highlight the whole Psalm

    I don’t find it credulous that Jesus quoted Ps 22:1 out of context as his his words.

  305. Darlene wrote:

    What about Ernest C. Reisinger’s book entitled, The Quiet Revolution?

    A product of the Founders Ministry … a group of old guard Calvinists within SBC. They have been more influential in the current resurgence of Calvinism than most folks give them credit for. Al Mohler was mentored by them.

  306. Muff Potter wrote:

    Ken F wrote:

    Isn’t Sproul from Old-Calvinist stock?

    Both Sproul and MacArthur have choice spots (pre-recorded) on a fundagelical FM station here in Southern Cal.

    Here too.

  307. Midwesterner wrote:

    are you the Wondering Eagle blogger?

    No, he’s a different Dave. My moniker was originally Appalled, when I appointed myself an Apostle just like CJ– hence the A A.

  308. Darlene wrote:

    He still wouldn’t admit he was a Calvinist.

    I think, after a while, most Calvinists get concerned that they might be wrong about the free will of men to accept or reject Christ and their lack of evangelism to reach lost souls. If, as a non-Calvinist, I am wrong to see every person on earth as reachable with the precious Gospel, then I will stand guilty before the throne as loving everyone too much. But, if a Calvinist is wrong …

  309. Max wrote:

    If you walk like a duck, talk like a duck, and are continually seen in the presence of ducks … you are a duck.

    In the WaPo of 5.15.2017, an OpEd piece by Michael Gerson explains why Evangelicals in the US today are embracing authoritarianism – perhaps neo-Calvinism?

    Evangelicals:

    1. … lack a body of social teaching like Catholic social doctrine, … a doctrinal whole & consistent social justice. [i.e., how to treat women]

    2. … are racially and ethnically homogeneous, which leaves certain views and assumptions unchallenged. The American Catholic Church, in contrast, is one-third Hispanic, etc.

    3. … have an eschatology of America on the brink of destruction, saved only by returning to the certainties of the past – men in charge, etc.

    The cost? Evangelicals:

    1. are loyal to inferior authoritarian leadership of shockingly low character.
    2. associate faith with exclusion and bias, us & them.
    3. strive for advantage rather than seeking the common good.
    4. sacrifice grace for resentment.

    – Michael Gerson

    Sound like the neo-Calvinistas?

  310. Max wrote:

    Ken P. wrote:
    For those few SBC churches that still use hymnals, the Calvinists got their hands on the 2008 edition (the most recent I know of). I have linked an article covering all the hymns left out of the latest edition. The one that riled me up the most is they got rid of “Whosoever Will”.
    The sad thing about this is that thousands of Southern Baptist churches across the country replaced their old hymnals when the new one came out. ,b>“Whosover Will” will never echo through those churches again. The pew ain’t got a clue. I don’t trust LifeWay products these days, including Sunday School resources.

    My question is: Did they toss out the hymn ‘The Love of God?

    The love of God is greater far
    Than tongue or pen can ever tell;
    It goes beyond the highest star,
    And reaches to the lowest hell.
    The guilty pair, bowed down with care,
    God gave His son to win;
    His erring child He reconciled,
    And pardoned from his sin.

    Refrain
    O, love of God, how rich and pure!
    How measureless and strong!
    It shall forevermore endure-
    The saints’ and angels’ song.

    When hoary time shall pass away,
    And earthly thrones and kingdoms fall;
    When men who here refuse to pray,
    On rocks and hills and mountains call.
    God’s love so sure shall still endure,
    All measureless and strong;
    Redeeming grace to Adam’s race-
    The saints’ and angels’ song.

    Could we with ink the ocean fill,
    And were the skies of parchment made;
    Were every stalk on earth a quill,
    And every man a scribe by trade.
    To write the love of God above
    Would drain the ocean dry;
    Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
    Though stretched from sky to sky.

  311. Dave A A wrote:

    Shauna wrote:
    There has to be lying going on in order for them to get this doctrine in the church.
    Oh, yeah– lots of it. Just don’t know anything about this author to say whether he’s purposely making up things “the Bible speaks” or parroting what the bigger dogs have barked.

    True True….. I just listened to the sermon our former pastor spoke on mothers day. Oh dear Lord God help the members in that church see the light! He spoke on Samuel talking about Abigail, David, and her husband…. calling her the winsome woman. As he gets deeper into this sermon he talks about how woman should support their husbands even if they are like abigails husband or worse. Then he go’s into a woman he counseled who was being abused by her husband. Saying that he encouraged her to leave a dangerous situation. Well, let me just tell you I know of the woman he was speaking of she lives right down the street from us. I and others have had conversations with us and her story is completely opposite to Pastor Kens narrative. Sorry I heard it from her and I believer her she has no reason to lie given the horrendous abuse she suffered at the hands of her husband. This is where these men will lie to cover their butts and encourage other women to stick with their husbands no matter what they do. He then went onto say that given enough time God just may taken them out to let God have vengeance and she be like abigail and trust God to take out her husband because that is what God did with Abigails husband. If you don’t believe me go to the church website and listen to the sermon it is unbelievable. It is also no different then when he said that God took out a young college girl because she reported that her youth pastor ( kens mentor) sexually abused her and our former pastor stated that maybe just maybe sometimes God takes people like her out because they don’t repent of their on going sin. Her sin in his eyes was that she was like a 35 year old aggressive woman persuing the youth pastor and dating a bunch of different men. Anyways the girl died in a car accident according to him and he states this in 2013 just months after billys rape in a church at a mens conference. So tell me if if this twisted pastor isn’t lying his butt off and twisting scripture. He is just as twisted as piper telling a woman to stay with her abusive husband and pray for him knowing it will insight him and she will get beat for it! Our former pastor loves piper in fact he just promoted a new book of his or one of his books in that very sermon on mothers day. I knew though if he said once before that someone got what was coming to them because they told about their abuse or didn’t follow their rules according to these nut jobs your in sin and therefore God can and will take you out. It’s only a matter of time before he uses my son billy as a punching bag for one of his sermons. So if you wonder why I continue to expose him that is one of my main reasons. He will not get away with it when he makes that huge mistake. None of these men should be getting away with that type of hateful speech. I’m disgusted with everyone of them and Piper the guy is a nut and he’s one of the worse because he is encouraging these young bucks straight out of seminary along with John MacArthur, Mark Dever, Al Mohler and the rest of them to treat brothers and sisters like crap!

  312. Oh and I brought up our former pastors love for Piper because if he is saying that he encouraged anyone to not stay in an abusive marriage he is a LIAR!!! The guy brought billy’s rapist into the church just days after the rape knowing he would encounter billy I have to believe that was done purposefully to intimidate billy which the perpetrator did just that! Why else would our former pastor allow that after he was scolded by the judge because he asked for the charges to be dropped? Then he stood at that bond hearing and was told that he was not to be on the premises(church) at the same time as billy. That was a blatant disregard to the law and in my eyes i now see it as intentional. Anyways If he loves piper like he does then he is going to follow his lead there is no way he is going to tell a woman to leave especially with how he treated us and that woman who he gave so called counseling. By the way who stays in marriage counseling for 9 years and the situation remains the same I know who, the woman who ken says he encouraged to leave her husband because it wasn’t safe. I call a big B.S. Flag on that one. So just remember these men have no conscience when they do that.

  313. Steve wrote:

    Off topic. But only slightly. I am just so sick of all these intellectual wannabes like Piper and his blind followers. They comment on peripheral matters as if they are doling out infallible truth.
    Women and men can dye their hair if they want to. And it isn’t being a “fake human” to do so.
    I always regret googling Piper. Today was no exception.
    https://mobile.twitter.com/JohnPiper/status/864488229868896256?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Etweet

    Piper is a fakir, a poseur, an intellectual midget posing as a giant.

  314. shauna wrote:

    Oh and I brought up our former pastors love for Piper because if he is saying that he encouraged anyone to not stay in an abusive marriage he is a LIAR!!! The guy brought billy’s rapist into the church just days after the rape knowing he would encounter billy I have to believe that was done purposefully to intimidate billy which the perpetrator did just that! Why else would our former pastor allow that after he was scolded by the judge because he asked for the charges to be dropped? Then he stood at that bond hearing and was told that he was not to be on the premises(church) at the same time as billy. That was a blatant disregard to the law and in my eyes i now see it as intentional. Anyways If he loves piper like he does then he is going to follow his lead there is no way he is going to tell a woman to leave especially with how he treated us and that woman who he gave so called counseling. By the way who stays in marriage counseling for 9 years and the situation remains the same I know who, the woman who ken says he encouraged to leave her husband because it wasn’t safe. I call a big B.S. Flag on that one. So just remember these men have no conscience when they do that.

    I am in no way blaming her, not her fault. She finally put her foot down and said enough so glad she did that! And she told our former pastor essentially to GET OUT!!! when he showed up unbeknownst to her at her home with her ex husband when she finally filed for the divorce. She had already told him no to counseling and left the church yet this fool was so arrogant and pushy that he didn’t take no for answer. Remember it’s not just him the whole lot of them are like that. They do not respect boundaries. They violate peoples rights in so many ways and are to stupid to recognize that if Christians were not as forgiving as they are these fools would be in lawsuits like crazy.

  315. Darlene wrote:

    What about Ernest C. Reisinger’s book entitled, The Quiet Revolution? Someone mentioned this book up thread and gave many quotes from it, which basically gives instructions on how to take over a non-Calvinist church.

    Yes, that’s more like it. I went upthread and read the quotes.

    My personal favorite: “Steel yourself for attacks from unregenerate and religiously ignorant deacons.”

  316. Max wrote:

    Name *

    I am acquainted with a guy who was the worship leader of the neocalvinist church that I left that was later run into the ground through the abuse imposed by the pastor who was a Master’s Seminary graduate (who later repented and is now a fine fellow). The worship leader now has a podcast and refers to himself, with great pomp, as “Missional Man”. Missional Man had an opportunity to help a widow and former member of his defunct neocal church in great financial distress last year, a fine lady, and Missional Man did…absolutely nothing! Blew her off. So my family with our many children had to take a deep breath and help this widow. We love her, was not easy financially, but don’t regret it for one second. She’s given so much to so many. Anyway, this is just a long way of saying that in my experience (and this is not the only one), many of those neocals who talk about being “missional” and “on the mission” are absolutely not on a mission to serve anyone but themselves.

  317. Christiane wrote:

    @ mot:
    Mot, David Miller is devoted to the doctrine of ESS and has written extensively about it in support of it. When I challenged him on SBCvoices concerning the ESS doctrine, I was first put on ‘moderation’ and then later blocked completely.

    In my opinion ESS is a doctrine straight from hell. It’s a dividing line for me, I personally do not believe a genuine lover of Jesus would diminish Him in any way. I do not think that anyone who believes this vicious heresy knows Jesus. When a leader starts preaching this, expose them publicly and run in the other direction.

  318. Darlene wrote:

    Watching Piper preach is even worse than reading his words. He comes off as agitated, angry, hate-filled, cruel – and to a child or young person, his preaching would be just plain scary. Compare that to Billy Graham. Whatever one may think of Billy Graham, at least he had a gift to reach millions with the preaching of the gospel. And he did it in such a way that the mercy, grace, kindness and compassion of God came through.

    I’ve only seen two Piper sermons in person, and never got the cruelty (though both times were in the 1990s, perhaps the man has changed in recent decades), but one thing I did get was monumental arrogance, smugness, self satisfaction, pride. He dripped with it and was so repulsive to my wife and me that we had enough and marked him off our list.

  319. I don’t know if I agree or disagree with all or any of this woman’s views. I just thought this might be of interest to some readers:

    This woman preacher is schooling the Christian boys club on the crucifixion
    http://religionnews.com/2017/05/17/fleming-rutledge-woman-crucifixion/

    Fleming Rutledge, 79, is a theologian and one of the first women ordained in the Episcopal Church. Her book, “The Crucifixion: Understanding the Death of Jesus Christ,” is a magisterial 669-page tome that has garnered the attention and respect of some unlikely religious leaders.

    Exhibit A is the “New Calvinist” movement, which firmly holds that women are barred from the pastorate and are required by God to submit to their husbands.

    John Piper, who is something of the pope for New Calvinists and once claimed that God had intentionally given Christianity a “masculine feel,” featured a reading from the book on his podcast and called her book “valuable.”

    Andrew Wilson gave it a glowing review at The Gospel Coalition, a New Calvinist mega-website, where he called it “beautiful scholarship.”

    But mainstream evangelicalism has also embraced Rutledge’s work.

  320. shauna wrote:

    She had already told him no to counseling and left the church yet this fool was so arrogant and pushy that he didn’t take no for answer. Remember it’s not just him the whole lot of them are like that. They do not respect boundaries.

    Precisely, Shauna.

    These authoritarian NeoCalvinist pastors/elders have NO boundaries. That was my experience with them at my former gulag (Grace Bible Fellowship of Silicon Valley).

  321. shauna wrote:

    By the way who stays in marriage counseling for 9 years and the situation remains the same I know who, the woman who ken says he encouraged to leave her husband because it wasn’t safe.

    At my former NeoCalvinist gulag (Grace Bible Fellowship of Silicon Valley) the pastors/elders had me in mandatory “meetings” for the entire length of my church membership to “be friends” with deeply troubled people (a practicing woman alcoholic who was out of control, no thanks; a woman given to hate speech who demanded that I use it, no thanks it’s a firing offense at my job in California; and a woman who refuses to get medical care for her memory problems, no thanks).

    What needs to be done — getting the alcoholic to treatment, telling the hate speech woman to get to therapy and work on her own self (and close her mouth), and telling the memory disordered woman to get medical care and be in support groups — the boyz were incapable of kicking into gear and taking ANY appropriate actions.

  322. Daisy wrote:

    This woman preacher is schooling the Christian boys club on the crucifixion
    http://religionnews.com/2017/05/17/fleming-rutledge-woman-crucifixion/

    Hi DAISY,
    I found the link interesting, particularly that part about the crucifixion being ‘crucial’ to The Story for all in the Church.
    She points out that the word ‘crucial’ is used to mean absolutely necessary and central in modern use, but that the word itself comes from the Latin for ‘Cross’ as does the word ‘crucifixion’ …..

    in this way, even if the neo-Cal folks remove the Cross from their buildings, and place Jesus Christ in the lowest of low positions of importance in their theology,
    if they attempt to replace the Cross and all it represents in our faith with their own ‘male headship’,
    they still will unwittingly be using language that refers to the Cross as central: ‘the crux of the matter’, ‘it was crucial; that is, extremely necessary’, ‘the loss of her child was a crisis in her life, ……

    even in their language, the male-idolaters cannot escape the Cross …. it is too embedded into our psyche in the English language which derives from so many other languages, including Latin, when the Romans occupied Britain for four centuries

    To use a term from author Flannery O’Connor, the neo-Cals will still be ‘Christ haunted’ in spite of their efforts to belittle Him …… they only demean themselves when they try …. they cannot escape the shadow of His Cross not even 2000 years later and a continent away, and in the end they may in time find that they also may come to the place of crucifixion/crisis in their own lives in order to learn compassion for those who suffer … a painful journey indeed, but one that reveals the great mercy of God that flows like a river from the Crucified Lord

  323. Law Prof wrote:

    Christiane wrote:

    @ mot:
    Mot, David Miller is devoted to the doctrine of ESS and has written extensively about it in support of it. When I challenged him on SBCvoices concerning the ESS doctrine, I was first put on ‘moderation’ and then later blocked completely.

    In my opinion ESS is a doctrine straight from hell. It’s a dividing line for me, I personally do not believe a genuine lover of Jesus would diminish Him in any way. I do not think that anyone who believes this vicious heresy knows Jesus. When a leader starts preaching this, expose them publicly and run in the other direction.

    ESS would have Our Lord be ‘lower’ within the Trinity even before He ‘descended’ to help mankind; ESS would have Him remain ‘low’ after He arose and ascended ….

    all of this so they could use Him as an example to women about how they are superior on earth to females who must be kept ‘silent’ and ‘submissive’ ….

    Throwing Our Lord under the bus was necessary for them to justify their own male-god-hood on Earth as superior male beings;
    and they have shamed themselves beyond all imagining in the process.

  324. @ Velour:
    I agree. I used to respect MacArthur a great deal, years ago. But as time went by and I heard and read more things from him, I realized just how angry and controlling he seemed to be. I got rid of the MacArthur Study Bible and and stopped listening to his sermons. Something weird is going on. This New Reformation is like the Second Great Awakening. Not exactly what it presents itself to be.

  325. shauna wrote:

    It is also no different then when he said that God took out a young college girl because she reported that her youth pastor ( kens mentor) sexually abused her and our former pastor stated that maybe just maybe sometimes God takes people like her out because they don’t repent of their on going sin. … Anyways the girl died in a car accident according to him

    This is just awful. It almost sounds like they had her taken out the way that comes off!

  326. Law Prof wrote:

    Christiane wrote:

    @ mot:
    Mot, David Miller is devoted to the doctrine of ESS and has written extensively about it in support of it. When I challenged him on SBCvoices concerning the ESS doctrine, I was first put on ‘moderation’ and then later blocked completely.

    In my opinion ESS is a doctrine straight from hell. It’s a dividing line for me, I personally do not believe a genuine lover of Jesus would diminish Him in any way. I do not think that anyone who believes this vicious heresy knows Jesus. When a leader starts preaching this, expose them publicly and run in the other direction.

    I see little to no love from men like Miller. Women are just for filler in the SBC IMO for men like Miller.

  327. Christiane wrote:

    Law Prof wrote:

    Christiane wrote:

    @ mot:
    Mot, David Miller is devoted to the doctrine of ESS and has written extensively about it in support of it. When I challenged him on SBCvoices concerning the ESS doctrine, I was first put on ‘moderation’ and then later blocked completely.

    In my opinion ESS is a doctrine straight from hell. It’s a dividing line for me, I personally do not believe a genuine lover of Jesus would diminish Him in any way. I do not think that anyone who believes this vicious heresy knows Jesus. When a leader starts preaching this, expose them publicly and run in the other direction.

    ESS would have Our Lord be ‘lower’ within the Trinity even before He ‘descended’ to help mankind; ESS would have Him remain ‘low’ after He arose and ascended ….

    all of this so they could use Him as an example to women about how they are superior on earth to females who must be kept ‘silent’ and ‘submissive’ ….

    Throwing Our Lord under the bus was necessary for them to justify their own male-god-hood on Earth as superior male beings;
    and they have shamed themselves beyond all imagining in the process.

    They seek God’s glory and God will not stand for that.

  328. Lea wrote:

    shauna wrote:

    It is also no different then when he said that God took out a young college girl because she reported that her youth pastor ( kens mentor) sexually abused her and our former pastor stated that maybe just maybe sometimes God takes people like her out because they don’t repent of their on going sin. … Anyways the girl died in a car accident according to him

    This is just awful. It almost sounds like they had her taken out the way that comes off!

    It is beyond shocking that this could be said by any pastor.

  329. Law Prof wrote:

    many of those neocals who talk about being “missional” and “on the mission” are absolutely not on a mission to serve anyone but themselves

    In my area, “missional” evidently doesn’t include visiting sick folks in hospitals, praying with the lonely and dying in nursing homes, or caring for widows in distress. But the young lead pastors and their young “elder” teams find plenty of time to tweet their lives away at local coffee shops. The love of New Calvinists can be measured in inches.

  330. Changing the subject only slightly:

    In my experience with an attempted 9Marks-style takeover, our church is a small American Baptist Church, and Calvinism didn’t seem to be the driving force. Oh, we did suffer through a few video series on “Doctrines of Faith” and there was a plan to have a “book rack” to offer helpful material for sale. I never saw any titles, but I know that Dever, Piper, MacArthur and Keller would have been among them. Keller is not so bad.

    The driving force, rather than Calvinism, became Complementarianism. The pastor has made it known that he is Reformed, but in 25 years he hasn’t really pushed it. But he and one of the deacons were pushing hard for all-male, elder-led church government.

    The related matter of Eternal Subordination of the Son (ESS) seems a bit bizarre, but a lot of this crowd cling to it, I think, to justify subordinating women. I talked with my pastor briefly about it a while back. He said he was aware of it but hadn’t studied it.

    This movement has many layers, and can be tailored to individual churches. It appears to be a trans-denominational effort, with strict Calvinist theology almost optional.

    Complementarianism, or the Eternal Subordination of Women, does not seem optional however.

  331. Ted wrote:

    The driving force, rather than Calvinism, became Complementarianism…But he and one of the deacons were pushing hard for all-male, elder-led church government.

    This is why I resist the idea that this is all about Calvinism. It’s a lot more than that.

  332. JYJames wrote:

    Sound like the neo-Calvinistas?

    Yep! Particularly the descriptor “authoritarian leadership of shockingly low character.” Who would have thought the church would ever be talking about a new breed of “pastors” with shockingly low character?! Yet, TWW continues to document this strange phenomenon in Christendom.

  333. mot wrote:

    Lea wrote:
    shauna wrote:
    It is also no different then when he said that God took out a young college girl because she reported that her youth pastor ( kens mentor) sexually abused her and our former pastor stated that maybe just maybe sometimes God takes people like her out because they don’t repent of their on going sin. … Anyways the girl died in a car accident according to him
    This is just awful. It almost sounds like they had her taken out the way that comes off!
    It is beyond shocking that this could be said by any pastor.

    PASTORS SERMON PREACHED TO A GROUP OF MEN AT MANCAMP

    mot, here is a transcription of our former pastor’s sermon he did the same year and within a few months after my sons rape. I was stunned when I found this and I have downloaded it so that if he tries to have it wiped off the internet it will not be gone forever. For the sake of this please decide for yourself if I am wrong to be concerned about the statements he has made concerning this teenage girl.

    In my first internship under a youth pastor ( my mentor) we had a great relationship I wanted to be just like him, he was like Paul and I was Timothy. He pulled me aside one day at his home and told me that he had contemplated committing suicide. I was stunned and didn’t know how to deal with that! He told me that he got a call from a federal agent. A town that he use to minister in he said he was involved sexually with one of the girls in his youth ministry. She was a minor and he had to go down to testify because he was charged with sexual assault of a minor. So, I stuck with him throughout this process and I stayed faithful and loyal to him. Like I said he was like a spiritual daddy to me.

    I asked him to tell me how did this happen? So it doesn’t happen to me. I couldn’t wrap my mind around that! And he said Ken! You know what? When I got to that church God was blessing it and things were just going great!!! It was growing and kids were coming out of the woodwork’s. I got so busy, I got tired and I stopped having my quiet time. I just stopped spending time in God’s word because I was so busy. I would stay up late and wake up early and then there was this girl. She was 17 and was acting like a 35 year old aggressive , seductive woman who was full on perusing me, is what he said. She was relentless and would not stop. In a moments weakness he said ” I gave in to that temptation”. And again even even when he moved away part of it was covering his family, he wanted to get away from this situation. So he went and took another ministry where I had met up with him in this new town in an attempt to get away from her. She continued to call him and pursue him even while he was away. Anyways she got involved with other men after that as well and ended up at a christian college. She got herself into counseling and in the counseling session this all came out. She had been involved with a married man. She was a minor da duh duh duh da! This is how the whole thing happened and through the whole process we never sensed that she was at all repentant or broken about any of this, it was almost like she had a bold face ” what did I do wrong”? Like if that guy were back in her life she would still be pursuing him. Ok, and it was like whoaa……

    Several years later I had heard that she died in a car accident. She had been driving and exited , she was going back to college. She crashed her car and died. For the first time I thought to myself “I wonder if here was a professing christian, Right? A professing christian saying that she loved the Lord and all this stuff, Right? She as living this secret life of sin. I thought the Lord Just sometimes take those kind of people out? Right? I mean so they don’t bring shame and dishonor on the name of Christ. I don’t know that’s a whole other discussion, right? ( Ken Chuckles) to get into. The point is this ” Sin leads to what? Death!!! When sin is accomplished it brings forth death!

  334. shauna wrote:

    She was 17 and was acting like a 35 year old aggressive , seductive woman who was full on perusing me, is what he said.

    Whoa!!!! Red flag, Red flag, Red flags all over the place.

  335. shauna wrote:

    a moments weakness he said ” I gave in to that temptation”.
    ….
    Anyways she got involved with other men after that as well and ended up at a christian college. She got herself into counseling and in the counseling session this all came out. She had been involved with a married man. She was a minor da duh duh duh da!

    1. Your pastor’s ‘mentor’ admitted to this action and she’s the one with a problem!
    2. How shocking that an older teenager would date people (which is all that ‘involved with other men’ nonsense means)
    3. Why do they think she was in counseling in the first place? Nothing to do with a grown man in a position of authority taking advantage of her at 17.

    And they have the nerve to talk about HER as unrepentant while chuckling over her death????

  336. shauna wrote:

    The point is this ” Sin leads to what? Death!!! When sin is accomplished it brings forth death!

    So why isn’t his mentor dead, dead, dead?

    I am sorry for posting so much about but it is just awful.

  337. shauna wrote:

    mot wrote:

    Lea wrote:
    shauna wrote:
    It is also no different then when he said that God took out a young college girl because she reported that her youth pastor ( kens mentor) sexually abused her and our former pastor stated that maybe just maybe sometimes God takes people like her out because they don’t repent of their on going sin. … Anyways the girl died in a car accident according to him
    This is just awful. It almost sounds like they had her taken out the way that comes off!
    It is beyond shocking that this could be said by any pastor.

    PASTORS SERMON PREACHED TO A GROUP OF MEN AT MANCAMP

    mot, here is a transcription of our former pastor’s sermon he did the same year and within a few months after my sons rape. I was stunned when I found this and I have downloaded it so that if he tries to have it wiped off the internet it will not be gone forever. For the sake of this please decide for yourself if I am wrong to be concerned about the statements he has made concerning this teenage girl.

    In my first internship under a youth pastor ( my mentor) we had a great relationship I wanted to be just like him, he was like Paul and I was Timothy. He pulled me aside one day at his home and told me that he had contemplated committing suicide. I was stunned and didn’t know how to deal with that! He told me that he got a call from a federal agent. A town that he use to minister in he said he was involved sexually with one of the girls in his youth ministry. She was a minor and he had to go down to testify because he was charged with sexual assault of a minor. So, I stuck with him throughout this process and I stayed faithful and loyal to him. Like I said he was like a spiritual daddy to me.

    I asked him to tell me how did this happen? So it doesn’t happen to me. I couldn’t wrap my mind around that! And he said Ken! You know what? When I got to that church God was blessing it and things were just going great!!! It was growing and kids were coming out of the woodwork’s. I got so busy, I got tired and I stopped having my quiet time. I just stopped spending time in God’s word because I was so busy. I would stay up late and wake up early and then there was this girl. She was 17 and was acting like a 35 year old aggressive , seductive woman who was full on perusing me, is what he said. She was relentless and would not stop. In a moments weakness he said ” I gave in to that temptation”. And again even even when he moved away part of it was covering his family, he wanted to get away from this situation. So he went and took another ministry where I had met up with him in this new town in an attempt to get away from her. She continued to call him and pursue him even while he was away. Anyways she got involved with other men after that as well and ended up at a christian college. She got herself into counseling and in the counseling session this all came out. She had been involved with a married man. She was a minor da duh duh duh da! This is how the whole thing happened and through the whole process we never sensed that she was at all repentant or broken about any of this, it was almost like she had a bold face ” what did I do wrong”? Like if that guy were back in her life she would still be pursuing him. Ok, and it was like whoaa……

    Several years later I had heard that she died in a car accident. She had been driving and exited , she was going back to college. She crashed her car and died. For the first time I thought to myself “I wonder if here was a professing christian, Right? A professing christian saying that she loved the Lord and all this stuff, Right? She as living this secret life of sin. I thought the Lord Just sometimes take those kind of people out? Right? I mean so they don’t bring shame and dishonor on the name of Christ. I don’t know that’s a whole other discussion, right? ( Ken Chuckles) to get into. The point is this ” Sin leads to what? Death!!! When sin is accomplished it brings forth death!

    This has all the appearances of a Christ less human being. What was he thinking when he said such an ungodly thing.

  338. mot wrote:

    What was he thinking when he said such an ungodly thing.

    He was thinking to ‘warn’ grown men about those awful 17 year old hussies who might go after them and how it’s totally ok that they don’t bother to resist because those girls will get their comeuppance from god.

    I cannot express how mad this thing makes me!

  339. mot wrote:

    shauna wrote:
    mot wrote:
    Lea wrote:
    shauna wrote:
    It is also no different then when he said that God took out a young college girl because she reported that her youth pastor ( kens mentor) sexually abused her and our former pastor stated that maybe just maybe sometimes God takes people like her out because they don’t repent of their on going sin. … Anyways the girl died in a car accident according to him
    This is just awful. It almost sounds like they had her taken out the way that comes off!
    It is beyond shocking that this could be said by any pastor.
    PASTORS SERMON PREACHED TO A GROUP OF MEN AT MANCAMP
    mot, here is a transcription of our former pastor’s sermon he did the same year and within a few months after my sons rape. I was stunned when I found this and I have downloaded it so that if he tries to have it wiped off the internet it will not be gone forever. For the sake of this please decide for yourself if I am wrong to be concerned about the statements he has made concerning this teenage girl.
    In my first internship under a youth pastor ( my mentor) we had a great relationship I wanted to be just like him, he was like Paul and I was Timothy. He pulled me aside one day at his home and told me that he had contemplated committing suicide. I was stunned and didn’t know how to deal with that! He told me that he got a call from a federal agent. A town that he use to minister in he said he was involved sexually with one of the girls in his youth ministry. She was a minor and he had to go down to testify because he was charged with sexual assault of a minor. So, I stuck with him throughout this process and I stayed faithful and loyal to him. Like I said he was like a spiritual daddy to me.
    I asked him to tell me how did this happen? So it doesn’t happen to me. I couldn’t wrap my mind around that! And he said Ken! You know what? When I got to that church God was blessing it and things were just going great!!! It was growing and kids were coming out of the woodwork’s. I got so busy, I got tired and I stopped having my quiet time. I just stopped spending time in God’s word because I was so busy. I would stay up late and wake up early and then there was this girl. She was 17 and was acting like a 35 year old aggressive , seductive woman who was full on perusing me, is what he said. She was relentless and would not stop. In a moments weakness he said ” I gave in to that temptation”. And again even even when he moved away part of it was covering his family, he wanted to get away from this situation. So he went and took another ministry where I had met up with him in this new town in an attempt to get away from her. She continued to call him and pursue him even while he was away. Anyways she got involved with other men after that as well and ended up at a christian college. She got herself into counseling and in the counseling session this all came out. She had been involved with a married man. She was a minor da duh duh duh da! This is how the whole thing happened and through the whole process we never sensed that she was at all repentant or broken about any of this, it was almost like she had a bold face ” what did I do wrong”? Like if that guy were back in her life she would still be pursuing him. Ok, and it was like whoaa……
    Several years later I had heard that she died in a car accident. She had been driving and exited , she was going back to college. She crashed her car and died. For the first time I thought to myself “I wonder if here was a professing christian, Right? A professing christian saying that she loved the Lord and all this stuff, Right? She as living this secret life of sin. I thought the Lord Just sometimes take those kind of people out? Right? I mean so they don’t bring shame and dishonor on the name of Christ. I don’t know that’s a whole other discussion, right? ( Ken Chuckles) to get into. The point is this ” Sin leads to what? Death!!! When sin is accomplished it brings forth death!
    This has all the appearances of a Christ less human being. What was he thinking when he said such an ungodly thing.

    Yes, Yes, and YES!!!!!!!!! Remember these guys high five each other, follow each other promote one anothers books, do conferences together, share stages and speaking engagements with one another. This is not the first sermon I found of this particular pastor which is absolutely heartless , shameful, and downright vile. What do you think the parents of this teenager/young college girl would think if they heard him saying this about their daughter? I would go ballistic and I would be showing up at his front door. If he would so blatantly speak of a young lady like this about his mentor from years ago and do it just a few months after a young boy is raped by one of the members in his church where he clearly protected the rapist, what do you think he will say about billy in a future sermon once he feels comfortable? This is not the first sermon of his that he has done which he blames the victims. Listen to his mothers day sermon posted on his church website and what he says about those who are in sin. He essentially says God takes his vengeance out of husbands so it’s best for the wife to wait for God to do it rather than they leave their abusive husbands. I am not kidding this is what he is saying. This type of filth is being perpetrated in the pulpits of america with these men. This again is why TWW is but better yet members need to start holding them accountable as well.

  340. Lea wrote:

    mot wrote:
    What was he thinking when he said such an ungodly thing.
    He was thinking to ‘warn’ grown men about those awful 17 year old hussies who might go after them and how it’s totally ok that they don’t bother to resist because those girls will get their comeuppance from god.
    I cannot express how mad this thing makes me!

    Think about this people what federal agent contacts a pastor who fled to another town another ministry? Child sex abuse is done on a local state level not federal! Whose to say she was 17 at the time his mentor abused her? It very well could have been that she was much younger. Also the state handles child sex abuse, I know because we went through it personally. The District Attorney and the state of Texas not a federal agent. When you get to that level it usually involves much more serious crimes such as child pornography, sex trafficking, kidnapping, and so forth. please correct me if i’m wrong.

  341. Lea wrote:

    shauna wrote:
    a moments weakness he said ” I gave in to that temptation”.
    ….
    Anyways she got involved with other men after that as well and ended up at a christian college. She got herself into counseling and in the counseling session this all came out. She had been involved with a married man. She was a minor da duh duh duh da!
    1. Your pastor’s ‘mentor’ admitted to this action and she’s the one with a problem!
    2. How shocking that an older teenager would date people (which is all that ‘involved with other men’ nonsense means)
    3. Why do they think she was in counseling in the first place? Nothing to do with a grown man in a position of authority taking advantage of her at 17.
    And they have the nerve to talk about HER as unrepentant while chuckling over her death????

    Also it appears to me that they were stalking her if they knew she was dating many other men , right? Seems to me that they followed this girl a little to closely not to mention what is our former pastor saying when he seems to have the big issue with her reporting the abuse? He seems to have more of a beef with her than her abuser it seems. Why else go through the trouble of speaking for his mentor in a sermon blaming his victim?

  342. I don’t believe its made up at all. I listened to the sermon where he split the first church he ever pastored. He gave one sermon in pretoria africa and one at the masters seminary both sermons incredibly ugly. He told an abused woman after seeing bruises up and down her body that she just bruised easily when her husband was beating her. He brought my sons perpetrator into the church one week after the rape blatantly disregarding my sons safety , the law and the safety of the children in the church. He has told me to move on get over it! He just stated in his most recent sermon that God enacts vengeance upon unrepentant sinners including husbands now who abuse their wives. I don’t believe he gave that sermon for the benefit of the women but to keep women in their place. Basically convincing them they need to stay in their marriages when abuse occurs even though he says its ok to leave. He will say what you want to hear but then use scripture to keep women bound if that makes sense. I absolutely believe this is a true story because it’s indicative of his character and what he believes. The story is way to detailed and he seems a bit to miffed for it to be made up. Seems to me that he took it very personally that a young girl got his mentor in trouble.

  343. Rose Marie wrote:

    @ Velour:
    I agree. I used to respect MacArthur a great deal, years ago. But as time went by and I heard and read more things from him, I realized just how angry and controlling he seemed to be. I got rid of the MacArthur Study Bible and and stopped listening to his sermons. Something weird is going on. This New Reformation is like the Second Great Awakening. Not exactly what it presents itself to be.

    Me too, Rose Marie.

    I got rid of all of my JMac books and the Study Bible. I tore them up and put them in the recycling container.

  344. Velour wrote:

    Rose Marie wrote:
    @ Velour:
    I agree. I used to respect MacArthur a great deal, years ago. But as time went by and I heard and read more things from him, I realized just how angry and controlling he seemed to be. I got rid of the MacArthur Study Bible and and stopped listening to his sermons. Something weird is going on. This New Reformation is like the Second Great Awakening. Not exactly what it presents itself to be.
    Me too, Rose Marie.
    I got rid of all of my JMac books and the Study Bible. I tore them up and put them in the recycling container.

    Velour I did the same. I also got rid of every book that I purchased in the church book store during my years there. Another former member wanted them for her research so I said good riddens. I wanted nothing to do with anything that church promoted or taught once I realized the extent of the spiritual abuse we had endured. I have spoke to others and it’s funny they all did the same thing. Its interesting how people’s reactions are the same my first order of business once it clicked in my head and made sense was to go to my bookshelf and start pulling all their books. I wanted nothing piper, J.M, Dever,Mahaney, and the many more I got. All their books on parenting tossed. I love books heck I still have my text books from college thats how much I love books but these ones i had no problem pulling and getting rid of them.

  345. oh please you all remember billy through out the day. One more warning and he gets suspended. most of billy’s warnings were from sleeping in there. He can not help it when he is up all night. It seems that this is not taken into consideration. Anyways billy needs to stay awake needs to just get through because finals are next week. He has to get all the work done and be ready for finals. I don’t know how you can pray except that God helps billy remember everything and to focus.

  346. Shauna–thank you for mentioning the Ryrie Study Bible. I am a picker and get to cheaply collect all the study Bibles. Hadn’t used my Ryrie in years.

    Yesterday after reading your post I dug out all my “baptistic” Bibles and started comparing the notes. The older ones focused on salvation for the most part, things like sin, wages of sin, what Christ did on the cross, need for repentance and faith, and salvation. The new ones are focused on helping folks have a happy life, happy marriage, happy children, better finances, etc.

    Sparked a revival in my soul. I believe all those “happy things” will happen only when a person is right with God, but even then there are no guarantees life won’t have some very rough patches.

    Thanks for reminding me Jesus didn’t come to make this life peachy keen for me, but to see people saved.

  347. shauna wrote:

    The story is way to detailed and he seems a bit to miffed for it to be made up. Seems to me that he took it very personally that a young girl got his mentor in trouble.

    This is probably true.

    shauna wrote:

    I don’t know how you can pray except that God helps billy remember everything and to focus.

    Maybe we could pray for peaceful sleep.

  348. @ Lea:
    Yes of course I pray for that as i’m getting him back to sleep at night. I guess I assumed that would be the main thing people have been praying for. Since he is at school today he needs prayer to stay alret, focused, and do nothing to get himself written up.

  349. Lea wrote:

    shauna wrote:
    The story is way to detailed and he seems a bit to miffed for it to be made up. Seems to me that he took it very personally that a young girl got his mentor in trouble.
    This is probably true.
    shauna wrote:
    I don’t know how you can pray except that God helps billy remember everything and to focus.
    Maybe we could pray for peaceful sleep.

    Oh yea and thank you Lea for offering suggestions. I appreciate your prayers. I hope my last statement didn’t come across rude. I forgot to say thank you.

  350. shauna wrote:

    I hope my last statement didn’t come across rude.

    No, it was fine. I think my brain just went along the track to sleep and didn’t really comment on the other. Will pray for all of it!

  351. Thanks this is off topic but have any of you ever listened to Joshua Aaron? He sings praise music in Hebrew. He is Jewish and has an incredible voice. His music is so uplifting. I forgot how much I love youtube. I can listen to pretty much anything without having to buy it and One of his songs is Kadosh Ata ” You are Holy” so beautiful so encouraging.

    Definitely praise worthy music and it’s so beautiful listening to it in Hebrew.

  352. Lea wrote:

    mot wrote:
    What was he thinking when he said such an ungodly thing.

    He was thinking to ‘warn’ grown men about those awful 17 year old hussies who might go after them and how it’s totally ok that they don’t bother to resist because those girls will get their comeuppance from god.

    “I’m Chris Hansen, Dateline NBC. We’re doing a series on men seeking sex with underage girls online. You’re free to walk out that door, but first: Do you have anything to say for yourself?”
    To Catch a Predator, Dateline NBC

    “Come on, let’s hear The Excuse. I wanna hear The Excuse.”
    — Blastphamous HD on YouTube, reaction video to To Catch a Predator

  353. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Lea wrote:
    mot wrote:
    What was he thinking when he said such an ungodly thing.
    He was thinking to ‘warn’ grown men about those awful 17 year old hussies who might go after them and how it’s totally ok that they don’t bother to resist because those girls will get their comeuppance from god.
    “I’m Chris Hansen, Dateline NBC. We’re doing a series on men seeking sex with underage girls online. You’re free to walk out that door, but first: Do you have anything to say for yourself?”
    — To Catch a Predator, Dateline NBC
    “Come on, let’s hear The Excuse. I wanna hear The Excuse.”
    — Blastphamous HD on YouTube, reaction video to To Catch a Predator

    I’m not understanding this comment Headless. Can you clarify? Are you saying that Chris is exposing that all the do is give excuses rather than accept responsibility? I think thats what your saying.

  354. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    “Come on, let’s hear The Excuse. I wanna hear The Excuse.”
    — Blastphamous HD on YouTube, reaction video to To Catch a Predator

    Oh man it’s been a long time since I watched that show. Was this a common theme? Maybe there is a helpful youtube video cut together of excuses.

  355. Lea wrote:

    So why isn’t his mentor dead, dead, dead?
    I am sorry for posting so much about but it is just awful.

    Makes me ill.

    And why was there no talk of the sin of the mentor!?! he was, what? blameless because a 17 year old was pursuing him.

    Why are women held to a higher standard than men . . .

  356. For those who don’t want to send $$$ to Founders ‘Ministries’ or give them your address, you can read at the internet archive the entire Quiet Revolution booklet:

    https://web.archive.org/web/20090223225920/http://founders.org:80/library/quiet/

    Chapter 4 (Walking Without Slipping: Instructions for Local Church Reformation) is the part most relevant to this post.

    from Chapter 1 (Introduction):

    “Make no mistake about it. Southern Baptists are at a crossroads. We have a choice to make. The choice is between the deep-rooted, God-centered theology of evangelical Calvinism and the man-centered, unstable theology of the other perspectives present in the convention.”

  357. From Quiet Revolution Chapter 3 (Beginnings of Reformation in The Southern Baptist Convention: The Rise of the Founders Movement):

    “Calvinistic Christianity is nothing more and nothing less than biblical Christianity. It follows, then, that the future of Christianity itself is bound up in the fortunes of Calvinism.”

    “What is now known as the Founders Movement can be traced back to a simple idea in the mind of a single Florida pastor in the late 1970s. Ernest Reisinger was the senior pastor of North Pompano Baptist Church, a small SBC church in North Pompano Beach, Florida.”

    “Reisinger, his associate pastor Fred Malone, and the North Pompano church, began the Boyce Project”

    “The goal was to distribute Boyce’s Abstract to every student graduating from the six official Southern Baptist seminaries”

    “Publishing the Boyce volume required massive effort and sacrifice by the small North Pompano church. Reisinger and the den Dulk Christian Foundation planned and proposed the project. However, it was the church members that carried it. Many in the congregation made a real financial sacrifice to fund the project. Elderly ladies would purchase one book each month from their social security checks to give to a seminary student.”

    “The Boyce Project had an immediate impact beyond the seminaries. For example, it inspired Bob Selph, pastor of the Miller Valley Baptist Church of Prescott, Arizona, to distribute a small book he had written, Southern Baptists and the Doctrine of Election, to all Southern Baptist pastors.”

    “on November 13, 1982, Reisinger, Nettles and Malone met at a Holiday Inn in Euless, Texas, for prayer to seek God’s direction with respect to a Southern Baptist conference ministry.”

    “the first conference was planned and held August 1-4, 1983….The Founders Conferences have continued annually ever since. Until 1991, they were held at Rhodes College. Since 1991, the conferences have been located at Samford University, in Birmingham, Alabama. Speakers have included such distinguished men of God as John MacArthur, J. I. Packer, John Piper, Al Mohler, David Dockery, Timothy George, Tom Nettles, Walter Chantry, Al Martin, Iain Murray, Errol Hulse, and Geoff Thomas. These and other speakers have impacted countless numbers of attendees”

  358. Max wrote:

    the Founders Ministry … a group of old guard Calvinists within SBC. They have been more influential in the current resurgence of Calvinism than most folks give them credit for. Al Mohler was mentored by them.

    They also heavily promoted Mark Dever. A list of Founders Conference speakers, 1983-2002:

    https://web.archive.org/web/20021016183558/http://www.founders.org:80/conferences/tapes.html

    Dever was on the platform for seven years running beginning in 1995.

  359. Jerome wrote:

    They also heavily promoted Mark Dever.

    And they say that tradtionalists are just spinning conspiracy theories. We wouldn’t be talking about hidden agendas if they would stop giving us so much evidence!

  360. Max wrote:

    “authoritarian leadership of shockingly low character.” Who would have thought the church would ever be talking about a new breed of “pastors” with shockingly low character?! Yet, TWW continues to document this strange phenomenon in Christendom.

    Your comment parallels a comment today on NPR. With the passing Roger Ailes, 10+ harassment lawsuits pending, it was said that it took a couple of courageous ladies telling the truth, Gretchen Carlson and Megyn Kelly, to bring what had been accepted darkness into the light. TWW is doing this today for the church.

  361. Jerome wrote:

    Here is the exact quote, from chapter 4:

    “The pastor involved in reformation may have to suffer at the hands of a large, unregenerate church membership, and especially from unregenerate and religiously ignorant deacons and leaders.”

    The majority of the unregenerate membership voted in favor of the scheme, but it wasn’t a 2/3 majority. Hey, I didn’t draft those by-laws.

    Although my term had expired, I’m honored to be called an “unregenerate and religiously ignorant deacon.” Next to the pastor I’m afraid I have more seminary training than the rest of them.

  362. Jerome wrote:

    From Quiet Revolution Chapter 3 (Beginnings of Reformation in The Southern Baptist Convention: The Rise of the Founders Movement):

    “Calvinistic Christianity is nothing more and nothing less than biblical Christianity. It follows, then, that the future of Christianity itself is bound up in the fortunes of Calvinism.”

    The fortunes of Calvinism??? Is that another name for the Holy Spirit?

  363. Ted wrote:

    Complementarianism, or the Eternal Subordination of Women, does not seem optional however.

    Complementarianism is non-negotiable. Once it became apparent that the case against female exclusion from leadership is not airtight, then they needed another argument. And that is when ESS came to the rescue and that is why they are so bitterly clinging to it and why Ware and Grudem only grudgingly agreed to eternal generation at last summer’s ETS meeting. Which was only after all the gnashing of teeth over ESS in the blogosphere. Prior to that, both of the esteemed scholars denied that.

    If females are permitted to be elders, then the supply of elders theoretically could double. Then the value of elders’ labor could theoretically decline significantly. Very significantly. I know that is not a very spiritual argument, but I think it is a pretty elegant one that does not require any understanding of Greek but only a bit of common sense and some understanding of human nature.

  364. Ted wrote:

    “Calvinistic Christianity is nothing more and nothing less than biblical Christianity. It follows, then, that the future of Christianity itself is bound up in the fortunes of Calvinism.”

    That sounds very Mohleresque to me. The *fortunes* of Calvinism is an odd phrase, I think, for a Calvinist to use about the future of Calvinism and Christianity.

  365. shauna wrote:

    I’m not understanding this comment Headless. Can you clarify? Are you saying that Chris is exposing that all the do is give excuses rather than accept responsibility?

    And the fact that they’re predators preying on the most helpless “and making long excuses for justification”.

  366. Jerome wrote:

    Ted wrote:
    My personal favorite: “Steel yourself for attacks from unregenerate and religiously ignorant deacons.”
    Here is the exact quote, from chapter 4:
    “The pastor involved in reformation may have to suffer at the hands of a large, unregenerate church membership, and especially from unregenerate and religiously ignorant deacons and leaders.”
    https://web.archive.org/web/20090309012610/http://www.founders.org:80/library/quiet/quiet4.html

    LOL i’m sorry but I had to laugh at the last section of the link you posted. Good grief talk about an attack on ignorant and religiously ignorant Leaders, deacon Oh yea and an unregenerate church according to this manual. Oh and pastors may have to suffer at the hands of their wives who don’t understand their husbands position. WOW WOW WOW i’m not laughing because it’s funny but talk about sad. I wonder what each church leader and deacon would think after reading that?

  367. Its fully the first time I heard of John Macarthur it was at a bible study where someone was speaking about him, I think it was 81. It was on incarnate sonship a view he later repudiated somewhat in my opinion. I am not a theologian, of course, neither is JM. I still think he harbors “feelings” that way because of its relation to ESS and his pragmatic almost “psychotic” view of patriarchy. It was also during the “Lordship” salvation issues that still is a disagreement. This followed his twaddle concerning psychology and reaching the pinnacle in irrelevancy with his dogmatic rhetoric concerning YECism and evolution, which he does not understand at all.

    The first words I remember saying about him to someone is I bet he will have or has the entire family in the business with him. I was given that glare if anyone knows that view. I always thought the guy was a tool, just like Bill Gothard and all the other clowns in the clown car. No offense to any honest clowns.

  368. Ted wrote:

    My personal favorite: “Steel yourself for attacks from unregenerate and religiously ignorant deacons.”

    True translation: “Steel yourself against upbraiding from those who actually love Jesus and hate it when anyone tries to usurp Him.”

  369. Christianity is two thousand plus years old. But The Story begins at Creation.

    Calvin was a creature of God. He had a point of view that some followers were able to put into the context of the whole story, without turning into ‘YRR’ abusers of innocent congregations, arch patriarchists silencing women, and a ‘boyz club’ mentality that fosters ‘male-headship’ above the rule of Christ’s Lordship. I don’t think the YRR (neo-Cal, or whatever they are called) ARE the same as the old school Calvinists.

    One way of ‘identifying’ them would be to examine how extreme the ‘YRR’ have become in their own distance from classical Calvinism. Especially in how they treat people. And especially in how the male leadership glorifies ITSELF even above Our Lord Whom they have kicked to the curb with their ESS theology.

    It’s in that gap that we can see what happens when people take the word of a creature, build on that a whole theology, and then depart even from that into another realm of male idolatry claiming connection to the 500 year old original.

    I’m Catholic, but I know and love the many Dutch reformed people of Wyckoff NJ who care for my son who is severely ill and has Down Syndrome, as well as many other residents of Eastern Christian Children’s Retreat. These are decent Christian people who bear NO resemblance to the wicked and abusive “YRR” behaviors of people who are now taking over the SBC. The Dutch Reformed community of my son’s retreat are true Christian witnesses to the loving-kindness of God as revealed to the world in the Person of the Risen Christ.

    The difference?
    I see no loving-kindness in the ‘YRR’ extremism. They are building their power on their own lies and deceptions, driven by pride and greed and a thirst for power and control. They serve THEMSELVES.
    I don’t think God’s ‘glory’ is helped by their lies and greed, no. Their misbehavior belongs to THEM, and they cannot say they do it in God’s Name, no.

    Thanks for letting me vent. (sigh)

  370. Hi Velour, Thanks for your understanding of my story. Sounds like you’ve experienced the MacArthur influence too. Since our SP used to be on his staff, JMac flew out and preached from the pulpit at our former church one Sunday a few years ago. I remeber it being a packed house and he had security details. I was serving in the nursery that particular Sunday so I didn’t get a chance to hear. Just thought of hm at the time as that “semi famous radio preacher” I listened to a few times. It definitely had that celebrity feel to the atmosphere. I do think he was pretty knowledgeable but I didn’t have the admiration complex like others. The SP was later more influenced I believe from the likes of Mohler, and Dever during the changes that were implemented

    On a side note about your gulag comment: we have a long time 93 year old family friend (he’s like a 3rd grandpa to me) who is a WWII vet. He was taken captive by the Germans in WW2 and spent several months at a Pow work camp. He later wrote a book about his experience there. Anyhow, he stated that as poor as the conditions were and how poorly they were treated, they feared being transferred to a Russian Gulag even more. I know this is no way a close comparison, but I fear 9 Marx churches after my experience. anyway, that was my thought after seeing your gulag comment. Have a great day! . @ Velour:

  371. Hi Ted, This is an interesting subject. I have noticed fromdiscussions and the website, my former church promotes the Counsel for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. The complementarianism wasn’t pushed hard when we still there thankfully.

    I am curious to hear from yourself and anyone with experience or knwledge of what denominations this new Calvinist movement is affecting. I know it’s been Baptist and SBC, but I’d be interested in hearing if anyone else knows of other denominations that are affected.

    Having said that, I am not too concerned about my parents’ Quaker denomination being targeted that I grew up in for the following:
    1 They allow women to preach from the pulpit which is something that would make the complementarians heads spin I’m sure.
    2. Most of the Quaker churches, at least in the Midwest, are smaller with congregations of less than 100 and many have aging congregations. Many are in rural areas so there’s not a lot of money or exposure to be had I’m sure. I thought it was fine and many are humble, hard working folks.
    3 Many Quakers hold to an Arminian theology, including my parents. I’d say I’m in the middle.
    Anyhow, thanks for any input on this! Ted wrote:

    Changing the subject only slightly:
    In my experience with an attempted 9Marks-style takeover, our church is a small American Baptist Church, and Calvinism didn’t seem to be the driving force. Oh, we did suffer through a few video series on “Doctrines of Faith” and there was a plan to have a “book rack” to offer helpful material for sale. I never saw any titles, but I know that Dever, Piper, MacArthur and Keller would have been among them. Keller is not so bad.
    The driving force, rather than Calvinism, became Complementarianism. The pastor has made it known that he is Reformed, but in 25 years he hasn’t really pushed it. But he and one of the deacons were pushing hard for all-male, elder-led church government.
    The related matter of Eternal Subordination of the Son (ESS) seems a bit bizarre, but a lot of this crowd cling to it, I think, to justify subordinating women. I talked with my pastor briefly about it a while back. He said he was aware of it but hadn’t studied it.
    This movement has many layers, and can be tailored to individual churches. It appears to be a trans-denominational effort, with strict Calvinist theology almost optional.
    Complementarianism, or the Eternal Subordination of Women, does not seem optional however.

  372. Everything you said Christiane here! You expressed and vented it better than I could. It’s nice to dialogue with others who “get it.”@ Christiane:

  373. Got it, thanks! And thanks for sharing. Have a great day!Dave A A wrote:

    Midwesterner wrote:
    are you the Wondering Eagle blogger?
    No, he’s a different Dave. My moniker was originally Appalled, when I appointed myself an Apostle just like CJ– hence the A A.

  374. shauna wrote:

    he’s one of the worse because he is encouraging these young bucks

    (referring to Piper)
    And Piper, like fellow RBD’s (reformed big dogs) is reluctant to take any responsibility for what the ground troops do with his statements, like “And that tower and this city are coming down!” or saying god kills people with tornadoes to get Piper’s attention, or that god knocked the steeple off a Lutheran Church to punish them. As Ken P mentioned, the RBD’s concern themselves with the big strategery or Air War and any mistakes (massacres) by little minions in the Ground War are anomalies.

  375. Midwesterner wrote:

    I am curious to hear from yourself and anyone with experience or knwledge of what denominations this new Calvinist movement is affecting. I know it’s been Baptist and SBC, but I’d be interested in hearing if anyone else knows of other denominations that are affected.

    Midwesterner, thanks for your interest.

    This seems to be a trans-denominational effort. Mark Dever is the founder of 9Marks, and his church is Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). This seems to be affecting the SBC heavily, but my church, here in Maine, is American Baptist (ABC). Our membership is about 65 and there are 100 to 150 most Sundays.

    Our pastor and at least one deacon worked toward a change in the by-laws for an all-male, elder-led format. For 130 years we have had a board of deacons, male and female, and a church council made up of heads of departments, male and female. The proposed elder board would have abolished the church council and subordinated the diaconate.

    On 9marks.org the “church search” shows about 26 9Marks churches in Maine. The nearest is a Congregational church (CCCC) about 10 miles from our ABC church, and at least three families have left us for them. Notably, the deacon pushing for a by-laws change packed up and headed over there two weeks after his defeat at the annual meeting.

    Another ABC church about twenty miles away has changed recently to an elder format without formally becoming 9Marks. That would have been essentially our outcome, as the 9Marks network itself wasn’t necessarily the immediate goal.

    The two churches I mention have been allies of ours and there is a lot of cooperation and cross-pollination. My wife and I have good friends in both.

    The goal seems to be complementarianism (rather than calvinism itself) and a legalistic understanding of elders as the true church government (see 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1). Deacons and church council apparently are not biblical enough.

    You mention the Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. Yes, that was a large factor during the three-year education period leading up to our vote. Also Mark Dever’s book Nine Marks of a Healthy Church, John Piper’s book Five Points, and Nancy Leigh DeMoss and the True Woman 101 series, among other material, videos etc.

    I have noticed that Presbyterians and other longstandingly Reformed churches aren’t as dogmatic as Baptists who have become reformed. Tim Keller, for example (and we studied his book The Prodigal God, which I recommend) is more balanced. I even like R.C. Sproul, without always agreeing. That tradition has had 500 years to sort out the difficulties. We Baptists don’t seem to know what to do with Calvinism. We are like teenagers who have just discovered sex.

    Well, that’s harsh. But it’s accurate I think.

    Cheers.

  376. Ted wrote:

    I have noticed that Presbyterians and other longstandingly Reformed churches aren’t as dogmatic as Baptists who have become reformed.

    “You can take the boy out of the Babtists, but you can never take the Babtist completely out of the boy.”

    Because the Fundamentalist Righteousness & Attitude just transfers over to the new Ideology.

  377. Ted wrote:

    That tradition has had 500 years to sort out the difficulties. We Baptists don’t seem to know what to do with Calvinism. We are like teenagers who have just discovered sex.

    Good rim-shot.

  378. Christiane wrote:

    I’m Catholic, but I know and love the many Dutch reformed people of Wyckoff NJ who care for my son who is severely ill and has Down Syndrome, as well as many other residents of Eastern Christian Children’s Retreat. These are decent Christian people who bear NO resemblance to the wicked and abusive “YRR” behaviors of people who are now taking over the SBC. The Dutch Reformed community of my son’s retreat are true Christian witnesses to the loving-kindness of God as revealed to the world in the Person of the Risen Christ.

    Too late, Chrisitiane. After reading this and other blogs about the YRR for years, the name “Calvin” has come to have the same aroma in my nostrils as the name “Hitler” to an old Jew with a number tattooed on his arm.

  379. shauna wrote:

    I also got rid of every book that I purchased in the church book store during my years there. Another former member wanted them for her research so I said good riddens. I wanted nothing to do with anything that church promoted or taught once I realized the extent of the spiritual abuse we had endured. I have spoke to others and it’s funny they all did the same thing. Its interesting how people’s reactions are the same my first order of business once it clicked in my head and made sense was to go to my bookshelf and start pulling all their books. I wanted nothing piper, J.M, Dever,Mahaney, and the many more I got. All their books on parenting tossed

    I am so glad that we each got rid of those hateful books by those hateful men!

  380. Midwesterner wrote:

    On a side note about your gulag comment: we have a long time 93 year old family friend (he’s like a 3rd grandpa to me) who is a WWII vet. He was taken captive by the Germans in WW2 and spent several months at a Pow work camp. He later wrote a book about his experience there. Anyhow, he stated that as poor as the conditions were and how poorly they were treated, they feared being transferred to a Russian Gulag even more. I know this is no way a close comparison, but I fear 9 Marx churches after my experience. anyway, that was my thought after seeing your gulag comment.

    I am 1/2 Russian and my grandparents fled Russia and communism. So I use “gulag” because it seems appropriate for these NeoCalvinist, authoritarian outfits!

    P.S. So glad to be free from the hateful teachings of John MacArthur. He’s an old man who lacks love, in my opinion.

  381. Ted wrote:

    On 9marks.org the “church search” shows about 26 9Marks churches in Maine. The nearest is a Congregational church (CCCC) about 10 miles from our ABC church, and at least three families have left us for them. Notably, the deacon pushing for a by-laws change packed up and headed over there two weeks after his defeat at the annual meeting.

    Thank goodness he left. It’s too bad, however, that he wasn’t mature enough to know that the teachings he seeks after are fraudulent.

  382. Ted wrote:

    and church council apparently are not biblical enough.
    You mention the Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.

    Because a church council is unbiblical but a Manhood and Womanhood council– is!

  383. Dave A A wrote:

    Ted wrote:
    and church council apparently are not biblical enough.
    You mention the Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.
    Because a church council is unbiblical but a Manhood and Womanhood council– is!

    Too funny, Dave.

    And sadly, true.

  384. I completely agree with you Velour about JMac. He’s very critical of those who do not adhere to his way, thinking, theology. Etc. I’m glad your grandparents were able to leave the communism and you were able to also leave your abusive church. I think your analogy/comparison is fitting. I actually chuckled a bit when you called your former church a Gulag. I didn’t know what they were or how bad they were until our family friend educated me on it. Anyhow, it’s nice to dialogue with someone like you who understands these abuses of power in the church. Have a great one!Velour wrote:

    Midwesterner wrote:
    On a side note about your gulag comment: we have a long time 93 year old family friend (he’s like a 3rd grandpa to me) who is a WWII vet. He was taken captive by the Germans in WW2 and spent several months at a Pow work camp. He later wrote a book about his experience there. Anyhow, he stated that as poor as the conditions were and how poorly they were treated, they feared being transferred to a Russian Gulag even more. I know this is no way a close comparison, but I fear 9 Marx churches after my experience. anyway, that was my thought after seeing your gulag comment.
    I am 1/2 Russian and my grandparents fled Russia and communism. So I use “gulag” because it seems appropriate for these NeoCalvinist, authoritarian outfits!
    P.S. So glad to be free from the hateful teachings of John MacArthur. He’s an old man who lacks love, in my opinion.

  385. I think I meant to say I fear the neo-cal churches like my friend feared the Russian gulag so I totally get your description of it that way. Or also as the Deebs says, “Hotel California.’ @ Velour:

  386. ___

    Stealthy Integration: “The Trap Has Meticulously Been Set?”

    hmmm…

    “We must, therefore, work for a longer, slower, deeper change, as we work to ‘change’ our churches…” -Mark Dever

    Doing the math?

    Mark Dever: “Healthy Churches equates to Calvinist churches.”

    Mark Dever: “TULIP equals the gospel.”

    Mark Dever: The gospel equals Calvinism.

    Let’s all be friends?
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Av5vYmLG5JM

    Embracing Calvinism?

    Inside the paradigm: “Church leaders do not need another innovative method or engaging metaphor for growing their churches. It is firmly believed that they need to embrace John Calvin’s theology and the priorities that he himself designed for cultivating health and holiness in the local congregation. It is believed that John Calvin actually teaches church leaders how to build churches that display this health…”

    hmmm…

    To be a stealth Calvinist is to be deceptive and dishonest?

    huh?

    Ignorance is bliss?
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=8YTVYMG3u8A
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=4JkuaUik1Hg

    Truly, at its core, the 9 Marks 501(c)3 organization , lead by Mark Dever, intends (with the help of other Calvinistic 501(c)3 para-church organizations such as TGC, T4G, CBMW, Lifeway, Southern Baptist Seminary, and others) to cast a expansive Calvinistic vision within the Southern Baptist Convention’s of churches…

    One congregation’s willing pastoral staff at a time.

    Until SBC = Calvinism

    That’s the plan.

    ATB

    Sopy

  387. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Christiane wrote:

    I’m Catholic, but I know and love the many Dutch reformed people of Wyckoff NJ who care for my son who is severely ill and has Down Syndrome, as well as many other residents of Eastern Christian Children’s Retreat. These are decent Christian people who bear NO resemblance to the wicked and abusive “YRR” behaviors of people who are now taking over the SBC. The Dutch Reformed community of my son’s retreat are true Christian witnesses to the loving-kindness of God as revealed to the world in the Person of the Risen Christ.

    Too late, Chrisitiane. After reading this and other blogs about the YRR for years, the name “Calvin” has come to have the same aroma in my nostrils as the name “Hitler” to an old Jew with a number tattooed on his arm.

    not too late for me ….. I see the fruit of a people who have not had their souls destroyed by adherence to a reformed doctrine …. their priority is Christ, not Calvin
    http://eccretreat.org/

  388. Midwesterner wrote:

    I am not too concerned about my parents’ Quaker denomination

    I value the Quaker’s methodology for decision making. For me it most closely follows Jesus teaching, it is not the leadership junk that swirls around in too much of the protestant church. It is a worthy study to just search the internet on Quaker decision making.

  389. Midwesterner wrote:

    I think I meant to say I fear the neo-cal churches like my friend feared the Russian gulag so I totally get your description of it that way. Or also as the Deebs says, “Hotel California.’ @ Velour:

    Exactly.

  390. @ Thersites:
    I also prize the Quaker way highly. My best friend was raised in it and comes from a long line of Quakers who have been involved in standing up for what is right. She was educated at Earlham College. She has converted to Judaism after the death of a child and I have no comment on that other than I respect that her journey led her to where she could find comfort, and so I have supported her in this.

    I find your name choice interesting indeed. Perhaps it will become more clear why the choice in time, but it was an unusual choice and no doubt meaningful to you personally and also to what you write in your comments.

    As to the Quakers, if anyone wants to have their children well-educated, they can’t go wrong sending them to a Quaker school. Their philosophy of education is stellar and respectful of the individual’s personhood. A Quaker school in any major city is likely to be one of the best offerings indeed.

  391. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Ted wrote:
    I have noticed that Presbyterians and other longstandingly Reformed churches aren’t as dogmatic as Baptists who have become reformed.

    “You can take the boy out of the Babtists, but you can never take the Babtist completely out of the boy.”

    Because the Fundamentalist Righteousness & Attitude just transfers over to the new Ideology.

    Yes, I think that’s it. I joined a Presbyterian church, with elders, and this authority stuff is not a big deal. There are a lot of committees things of that nature, though.

  392. 9Marx has just released an audio of Leeman interviewing Dever on this subject.

    Episode 15: On How Quickly a Pastor Should Make Changes
    https://www.9marks.org/interview/episode15/?utm_source=email-podcast&utm_campaign=email-podcast&utm_medium=email-podcast&utm_term=email-podcast&utm_content=email-podcast

    A recurring topic covered is how young 9Marxist pastors are continually screwing up. Here are some of the subjects covered:

    “It’s tempting for a new pastor to show up with a laundry list of problems that need to be fixed immediately. But that approach is unloving—not to mention it almost never works. Too many pastors have left churches worse off due to their hastiness in implementing change. To help with this, Jonathan sat down with Mark to chat about how quickly pastors should try to make changes in a church.

    SHOW NOTES:

    – You’ve said before that young pastors have great acuity, but poor depth perception. Can you explain that? (1:00)

    – What kinds of mistakes do young pastors take? (2:40)

    – How did you moderate the pace of change at the beginning of your time at CHBC? (5:50)

    – Is “change nothing in your first year” good advice? (9:45)

    – What should a pastor give himself to in the first year? Why is preaching so crucial? (13:00)

    – Should a pastor deliberately set out to build relationships with those who are disagreeable? How much does that help? (15:55)

    – Why should some pastors not practice church discipline right away? (18:00)

    – How much does handing out books help? (19:50)

    – Three areas of things that might change. (23:00)”