Perry Noble Announces That He and His Wife Are Divorcing

“After being married for 17 years, I have found myself in a place I never imagined. . .”

Perry Noble

https://twitter.com/perrynoble/status/925777207762542592Perry Noble – Twitter

Perry Noble, former senior pastor of NewSpring Church in Anderson, South Carolina, has announced via Faithwire that after 17 years of marriage, he and his wife Lucretia are calling it quits. See screen shot below.

http://www.faithwire.com/2017/11/01/one-of-the-most-difficult-things-ive-ever-communicated-perry-noble-announces-divorce/Noble founded NewSpring Church in early 2000, around the same time that he and his wife were married. The church, which is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention, became a mega in fairly short order.

However, it hasn’t been all roses with NewSpring. There have been some serious problems in this church’s short history. Remember Pajama Pages?

Then on July 1, 2016, leaders at NewSpring Church issued a statement saying they have removed Perry Noble as Senior Pastor due to alcohol and family issues (See screen shot of most of the statement below)

* * * * * * * * * * * *

http://ns.downloads.s3.amazonaws.com/newspring/editorial/NewSpring%20Church%20Statement.pdf* * * * * * * * * * * *

Soon after this announcement was made last year, Dee wrote a post entitled Perry Noble’s Problems Are Just Beginning: An Analysis. In the wake of Noble’s announcement regarding his divorce, It is worth going back and reading Dee’s informative post.

According to an article in the Greenville News, NewSpring, which once boasted of having as many as 33,000 members attending its 14 campuses, has lost members.

As mentioned in the Greenville News article, Perry Noble recently filed paperwork to launch a non-profit called Second Chance Church. I wrote a post on this development, which you can access below.

Perry Noble Takes a ‘Second Chance’ at Pastoring

Interestingly, on the same day that Noble made a public pronouncement that he and his wife were divorcing, he Tweeted out information about his upcoming conference, which will be taking place next week. (see screen shot below)

https://iwantmychurchtogrow.com/events/preachingDee and I are saddened that Perry’s only daughter is caught in the middle of all of this, and we will be praying for her. No doubt there will be more to come from Perry Noble, and we will do our best to keep you updated.


Comments

Perry Noble Announces That He and His Wife Are Divorcing — 203 Comments

  1. Perry is like that Baby Ruth candy bar in the movie “Sandlot”. He always floats to the top and gets undeserved attention…

  2. It’s not clear who filed for divorce. Did Perry file for divorce, did his wife file for divorce or did they mutually agree to end the marriage?

  3. I just shook my head and then took a look at the Seminar site.

    $159 to $240 per person; for nine hours of teaching….

    I’d really like to know who is paying that kind of money to go listen to someone (someone who is still not qualified to be a pastor according to his home church) teach them how to increase the size of their church.

    Sad.

    Shame on anyone who pays that kind of money to sit and listen to him. It only affirms that he has something to sell/is right in spite of his unresolved sin issues.

  4. Well, it’s obvious to me that the trouble with all of you is that you’re looking for the perfect church.

    What I would say is, if you ever find the perfect church, don’t join it – you’ll spoil it.

    Yours Sincerely,

    Arnold Smartarse

  5. I have never heard this guy speak and am familiar with him only because of the articles on this site.

    I find this incredibly sad.

    I hope he, his wife, and their child find some peace.

    Seems like he must have some real gifts. I would encourage him to use those gifts in the marketplace and to become a layman in the Church. Over time, he might become an encouragement to others who are going through the same thing.

    But I fear that remaining in the ministry may be very detrimental to actual healing.

  6. OK, not especially deep here, but this (slightly abridged, but the gist is there) from James 2:

    My brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favouritism. For if a man comes into your assembly with a gold ring and dressed in fine clothes, and there also comes in a poor man in dirty clothes, and you pay special attention to the one who is wearing the fine clothes, and say, “You sit here in a good place,” and you say to the poor man, “You stand over there, or sit down by my footstool,” have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil motives? … you have dishonoured the poor man. Is it not the rich who oppress you and personally drag you into court? Do they not blaspheme the fair name by which you have been called?

    If, however, you are fulfilling the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbour as yourself,” you are doing well.

    There’s a great deal I don’t know about Merry Global, Newspring congregation, an’ a’ tha’. I don’t know, for instance, what relationship the Newspring organisation has with the local church generally in Anderson. But if nothing else, at least the Newspring management understood enough about “love” to remove Global from the pedestal rather than showering him with the kind of praise and favour not shown to an unimportant, ordinary churchgoer *.

    * You KNOW what I mean.

  7. Incidentally, I recommend the adoption of the term “pedestal” to replace the term “pulpit” in certain cases, particularly where a man (usually) is allowed to remain therein based on his ability to draw a crowd in the face of his refusal to set an example that anyone should follow in daily life.

  8. Ken G wrote:

    It’s not clear who filed for divorce. Did Perry file for divorce, did his wife file for divorce or did they mutually agree to end the marriage?

    It is frequently meaningless as to who files the paperwork for a divorce. Both parties may have their reasons, good or bad. Usually, the better question is who violated the marriage agreement and what does that tell you about them?

  9. Deb
    To be perfectly truthful, I am not surprised or disheartened that Noble’s wife is in the process of divorce from him. His behavior was and is deeply disturbing and I, personally, would be afraid to be in the same house with him.

    Although the news reports did not say who started this whole process, I suspect it is his intelligent wife. Noble appears, to this observer, to be a deeply disturbed individual.

  10. Anonymous Oracle at Delphi wrote:

    Seems like he must have some real gifts. I would encourage him to use those gifts in the marketplace and to become a layman in the Church. Over time, he might become an encouragement to others who are going through the same thing.

    My observations of Perry Noble have led me to believe that he is a deeply disturbed individual. I cannot imagine what was going on in his home life but I suspect it was not pleasant for his wife or daughter.

    If you want to read about what one man experienced at Nobles church, please read the Holy Rage at the Spring. Dr James Duncan is a professor at Anderson University. It is the worst case of church abuse that I have ever read.

    http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2013/01/04/bloggers-lawsuit-for-harassment-against-perry-noble-and-newspring-church-reaches-settlement/

  11. Loren Haas wrote:

    Perry is like that Baby Ruth candy bar in the movie “Sandlot”. He always floats to the top and gets undeserved attention…

    I think the same thing happened in “Caddyshack”.

  12. Ken G wrote:

    It’s not clear who filed for divorce. Did Perry file for divorce, did his wife file for divorce or did they mutually agree to end the marriage?

    It is frequently meaningless as to who files the paperwork for a divorce. Both parties may have their reasons, good or bad. Usually, the better question is who violated the marriage agreement and what does that tell you about them?@ Tina:
    Oh no! I confused the “Caddy Shack” Baby Ruth pool scene with the “Sandlot” pool scene and Babe Ruth coming out of the closet. (Not that kind of closet)
    OK, the “Caddy Shack” Baby Ruth” scene.

  13. @ Anonymous Oracle at Delphi:
    Alcoholics often think they are much more gifted than they actually are, or they have wonderful skill sets, but can’t use them appropriately because they blow up everything and everyone in their path with their uncontrolled drinking (my family tree has several of them that self-imploded, one of them being my father). IMO, Perry needs a good rehab program and a coach with a specialty in addictive disorders who can give him sound advice on next steps. Otherwise, we’ll be reading a similar article in the next few years, if he doesn’t do himself in with the booze.

  14. @ Nick Bulbeck:

    “I recommend the adoption of the term “pedestal” to replace the term “pulpit” ”
    ++++++++++

    hear hear. but only because pulp and armpit should never have been blended into its own word and i’m tired of cringing.

    (as if the fact that i’m only allowed to clean behind it weren’t bad enough)

  15. How many times will it take Perry Noble to disqualify himself from ministry before he gets it?! How many times before his followers get it? Forgive him if he is truly repentant? Certainly! Restore him to ministry? NO!

  16. Loren Haas wrote:

    Ken G wrote:

    It’s not clear who filed for divorce. Did Perry file for divorce, did his wife file for divorce or did they mutually agree to end the marriage?

    It is frequently meaningless as to who files the paperwork for a divorce. Both parties may have their reasons, good or bad. Usually, the better question is who violated the marriage agreement and what does that tell you about them?

    Agree. Someone cheats/spouse files-clear where the fault lies there and it’s not the spouse who filed!

    It could also be if he filed that she was holding him to a perfectly reasonable standard that he was unwilling to meet.

  17. Overseas Worker wrote:

    I’d really like to know who is paying that kind of money to go listen to someone (someone who is still not qualified to be a pastor according to his home church) teach them how to increase the size of their church.

    Overseas, you’ve been overseas too long! While you’ve been away, the American church has become Christianity Lite. There are lots of young pastors who would dearly love to know Mr. Noble’s church growth techniques and will pay his fee gladly. They don’t care about his righteousness or even their own … they just want to pick his brain and have their own mega-church.

  18. @ elastigirl:

    <Complete_and_utter_tangent>

    I have a form of lexical-gustatory synesthesia – in a nutshell, words have a taste, and generally a sound/texture as well.

    As a result, there are words that I like, and words that I don’t like.
     I like “isotropic”, “wood” (but not “would”) and “carpet”
     I don’t like “peach” (though I like peaches)

    It so happens that “pulpit” is another word I don’t like.

    </Complete_and_utter_tangent>

  19. @ Nick Bulbeck:

    ha! that’s funny! to me, numbers and letters have colors.

    1=red
    2=silver
    3=raspberry
    4=orange
    5=gray blue
    6=yellow
    7=green
    8=red orange
    9=pumpkin orange

    A= yellow
    B= green
    C= red
    D= green
    E= orange
    F= orange
    G=
    H=light blue

    K=lilac
    LMN=oranges, reds

    RST=blues, greens
    UVWX=silver, blue,
    Y,Z=orange

  20. Anonymous Oracle at Delphi wrote:

    Seems like he must have some real gifts. I would encourage him to use those gifts in the marketplace and to become a layman in the Church. Over time, he might become an encouragement to others who are going through the same thing.

    I think a lot of these guys are nowhere near the level of capability in the real world to have the kind of fame they want. Usually in the background there are people who do all the administration and real running of the church. A lot of them even have people doing the actual writing of their sermons for them.

    Someone like Noble might have charisma to fool gullible Christians (many who I believe really want to be fooled), but they have no real skills other than talking.

  21. I don’t think expecting your pastor not to abuse alcohol and terminate a marriage is the equivalent of “looking for the perfect church”.

    Arnold Smartarse wrote:

    Well, it’s obvious to me that the trouble with all of you is that you’re looking for the perfect church.
    What I would say is, if you ever find the perfect church, don’t join it – you’ll spoil it.
    Yours Sincerely,
    Arnold Smartarse

  22. ishy wrote:

    Anonymous Oracle at Delphi wrote:

    Seems like he must have some real gifts.

    I think a lot of these guys are nowhere near the level of capability in the real world to have the kind of fame they want.

    I think it would be instructive to study what it is that makes these men “successful” (which, on their own terms – marketing and brand penetration, book sales, and the like – they are).

    I know of one successful religious entrepreneur whom I worked with for a bit, whose primary gift is an intriguing one. He has an uncanny knack of getting people to give him credit for what they have done.

    This may well be true of Elmer Gantry’s everywhere. I read an interview with an author who ghost-wrote a bestselling book on behalf of a businessman who used his father’s wealth and connections to become successful, and later went into politics. The author’s observation on the businessman was that “He lied strategically. He had a complete lack of conscience about it. …[Since most people are]… constrained by the truth …[his ability to lie with a straight face]… gave him a strange advantage”.

  23. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    I know of one successful religious entrepreneur whom I worked with for a bit, whose primary gift is an intriguing one. He has an uncanny knack of getting people to give him credit for what they have done.

    I found this type of thing happened a lot when I worked for large companies. I think it’s probably consistent with the type of people that seek to gain power over others, even if they are small fry. There are people who are good leaders, but not power-seekers, but the power-seekers don’t often seem to have much integrity about where that power comes from.

    And there are power-seekers who don’t have charisma or who aren’t strategic but still try to take the credit for stuff other people do. Of course, most of those I’ve known who didn’t advance were not smart enough to maintain the facade. And yet, they’d still keep using the same tricks, even when everyone had their number. And we see a lot of these power pastors who don’t have integrity and can’t keep it up, but they still keep trying the same old tricks even after they’ve been outed.

    It might just be that the religious world seems like a much smaller pond to get that power, but may come with as much in the way of financial advantages. But how many of these guys really gained back the power that they initially had by doing the same thing over again? The prosperity gospel churches seem to bring them back somewhat successfully, but I can’t think of one outside of that type of church.

  24. Good post….. this is all very sad. I read a little of the “pajama pages”. I will leave the judging to God, of course, but I cannot imagine that these men are saved. You cannot have the Holy Spirit and act that way, nor can you allow others to act that way.

    Worse, this activity appears to be downright Satanic in nature. The behavior of the leadership at that church, along with the mass deception of all the “members”, indicates that something much darker is at work.

    Let’s all “be watchful and sober minded”. It appears that the enemy is really at work in our churches and there are plenty of willing accomplices.

  25. George wrote:

    It appears that the enemy is really at work in our churches and there are plenty of willing accomplices.

    Ronan Farrow, The New Yorker investigative journalist, noted the other night on Late Night that in various jurisdictions it is now being looked at if purchasing silence from those assailed is even legal or is it actually criminal.

    Unfortunately, in the church, the silence of women does not even have to be purchased. It is assumed, as that is what is expected of Christian women.

  26. George wrote:

    Good post….. this is all very sad. I read a little of the “pajama pages”. I will leave the judging to God, of course, but I cannot imagine that these men are saved. You cannot have the Holy Spirit and act that way, nor can you allow others to act that way.
    Worse, this activity appears to be downright Satanic in nature. The behavior of the leadership at that church, along with the mass deception of all the “members”, indicates that something much darker is at work.

    This is the first I have read about the “pajama pages” incident.

    IMO this shows what can happen when people deify a leader. They “protect” this leader at all costs apparently using the logic that the end justifies the means. It could also be that these staffers’ jobs are so dependent on Noble and his status that lead them to do this.

    Either way the behavior of this church’s staff and members certainly isn’t what one would expect out a group that claims to be Christian. This is just appalling.

  27. As someone who knows Perry (I attended the church where he was youth pastor prior to starting Newspring), I have to say that I find these articles to be nothing more than idle gossip, and that’s just as bad as anything you are accusing Perry of doing. I can understand reporting the divorce so that others can make a decision about whether to seek Perry’s teaching, but this “analysis” is nothing more than gossip about people you don’t know. I suggest we just pray for Perry and his family.

  28. Oh, and before you say, “Well, you are reading this gossip, it just popped as a recommendation from Google on my phone.

  29. No surprise divorce is taking place. Wonder how the marriage lasted as long as it did.

    It’s not imaginable to me, these men could make it in the outside world. Too full of chicanery, ego driven, in need of a wide, gullible audience.

    Will he end up in real rehab, perhaps. Will he give up seeking out the audience and financial going, I very much doubt it.Sirry to say, it appears to me these men are hard wired to engage in this type of behavior. Psychological help was needed long ago.

  30. I’ve heard Mr. Noble speak on a few occasions at Elevation. Why the disdain for him because he’s getting a divorce? He’s had treatment for his substance abuse issues and apologized profusely.

    Is there more to the story?

  31. The church is not a building or a place! If I’m ever going to find the perfect church it won’t happen until I see Christ. Until then I will look for the underground church because that is what it’s coming to. Pretty soon the church will not be a church but rather an institution. So far I have yet to ever encounter a perfect church nor would I try to fine one. I see corporations set up to look like the church. Arnold Smartarse wrote:

    Well, it’s obvious to me that the trouble with all of you is that you’re looking for the perfect church.

    What I would say is, if you ever find the perfect church, don’t join it – you’ll spoil it.

    Yours Sincerely,

    Arnold Smartarse

  32. Shauna wrote:

    So far I have yet to ever encounter a perfect church nor would I try to fine one.

    If you’ve never visited Wartburg’s E-church, you’ve missed a blessing. It’s the only one I attend and have never been disappointed….smile.

  33. Like Driscoll, it appears that Noble created a cult of personality around himself. He’s a dangerous person based on what happened to Dr. Duncan of the Pajama Pages. This extends to his followers. I believe Newspring Church was happy to enable this clown as long as he was useful to them. I don’t believe for a minute the elders are any better now that he’s gone.

    The pastor is only allowed his platform as long as there are followers. Anyone who has supported or continues to support this psychopath gets absolutely no sympathy from me. It’s more twisted theology.

    Like with Driscoll, I feel bad for the kids and spouses being shanghaied into this man’s orbit.

  34. @ Kal:
    Your comment is so prevalent within the celeb-evangelical circles that I need to address it. There is so much wrong in the assumptions of your comment butI do not blame you. This is how you have been taught and that teaching is showing up in your comment.

    Substance abuse:

    So, “one and done?” Having worked at an alcoholic hospital, I know just how naive such an assumption is. You don’t just *get treatment* and then get along with your life. The treatment program is only the beginning of a long and arduous road. That road is filled with minefields and the majority of individuals who walk down that road will *go off the wagon.* Some of those will return to keep on, keeping on, and others will throw in the towel. would urge you to read up about the difficulties of alcohol and substance rehab.
    This does not seem like a man who is walking the 12 steps with humility.

    Personality defects:

    I have been watching Noble’s videos and reading his published statements. There is something wrong with this man. He appears to be overly hyper and determined to be back in the limelight.This can be scary if you are living or working with him. I can just imagine what he was like at home behind closed doors. We cannot rule out abuse or other substance issues. You don’t know and I don’t know but I suspect that something is very, very wrong.

    Divorce

    I am so glad that his wife is proceeding with the divorce given my observations of this man’s behavior. I bet things were hell at home. And you want that hell to enter the pulpit?

    Most thoughtful churches do not allow anyone back into the pulpit for a number of years, if at all. These years must be filled with humility and hard work with intelligent, thoughtful people carefully assessing his progress or lack thereof.

    What should he do?

    Do you want me as well as other to support Perry Noble? Let me tell you what he should do. He should take a humble job, sweeping the floors of homeless shelters, changing the diapers of severely handicapped adults, working in the inner city-not preaching- but painting, cleaning etc. In other words, be an actual servant not a humblebrag.

    Noble doesn’t want that. He is probably laughing at that suggestion because, you know, he is a gift to the world and is needed to build another giant church and get lots of money. Where would Jesus be without him?

    I believe that Perry Noble is in deep, deep trouble and those around him who egg him on are guilty of causing more harm.This man should not return to the pulpit anywhere in the near future, if ever. Please help Noble. Do not blow his problems off because it seems like “the Christian thing to do.”

  35. Jack wrote:

    The pastor is only allowed his platform as long as there are followers.

    Exactly! Noble, Driscoll, and other celebrity preachers who dilute the truth to suit the culture would have no stage to strut on if it weren’t for an audience willing to keep them there. Cults of personality prosper when leaders serve what their followers want. Christianity Lite has drawn a great following of Generation X, Y, and Z with a culturally-relevant cheap-grace message which does not exhort folks to holy living.

    “For the time is coming when men will not tolerate wholesome teaching. They will want something to tickle their own fancies, and they will collect teachers who will pander to their own desires.” (2 Timothy 4:3 Phillips)

  36. Shauna wrote:

    Until then I will look for the underground church because that is what it’s coming to.

    The church goes underground when a government prohibits freedom of religion. In the United States (and there are commenters here from around the world), we have freedom of religion. Folks choose their faith and practice.

    Discussed at TWW:
    1. Why, with freedom, are folks not making better (subjective POV) choices?
    2. Where/how does one connect with a better (subjective POV) fellowship? (Pastor Wade Burleson’s teaching points us in the right direction. Thanks, Pastor Wade.)

    Also shared at TWW, success stories:
    – Dee’s story of how she found something better, praise Jesus.
    – Another commenter shared how, leaving one church, they found good fellowship at another church in the neighborhood. Again, praise Jesus.

    “Amendment I of the US Constitution prevents Congress from making any law respecting an establishment of religion, prohibiting the free exercise of religion, or abridging the freedom of speech, the freedom of the press, the right to peaceably assemble, or to petition for a governmental …”

    In freedom, adults choose whom to marry, and 50% end up in divorce, so we learn to make better choices. They did us wrong but we chose them. We freely choose where and with whom to worship and then sometimes find out it was not such a good choice, and move on. At some point, as grown-ups with all of this freedom, we can humbly admit our own learning curve in regard to adult choices:

    C – Confess failure
    A – Ask God into it
    L – Learn from it
    M – Move on.

    “Calm” by Pastor Joel Johnson, officiant of the Kardashian-Humphries wedding for a 72-day marriage. Adults making poor choices.

  37. Max wrote:

    Cults of personality prosper when leaders serve what their followers want.

    Apparently Jesus did not have the personality:

    John 6:60 & 66: Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this, said, “This is a hard saying; who can understand it?” When Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples complained about this, He said to them, “Does this offend you?” … From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more.

  38. Kal wrote:

    Is there more to the story?

    Remember, Kal, that Perry’s own Elders asked him to leave the church he started, because of “his posture toward his marriage, increased reliance on alcohol and other behaviors…” That’s really vague, so there probably is more to the story. The people who know Perry best are going to great lengths to get away from him. That should tell us something.

    I’ve always found it interesting that the qualities we should look for in leaders are all character-related. Paul never told Timothy to look for leaders who were powerful speakers, or good sermon-writers, or could do signs and wonders. It wasn’t about preaching.

    And really, if Perry were simply riding off into the sunset to do a job and work on his issues in privacy, I don’t think he would show up here. He insists on keeping himself in the spotlight, starting a new church and holding these preaching workshops. I was reading the page on his preaching workshop, and it seems that preaching creates lots of pressure for “P.” Maybe he needs to take a break from that pressure.

  39. dee wrote:

    Please help Noble. Do not blow his problems off because it seems like “the Christian thing to do.”

    Bears repeating.

    Is it more “Christian” to correct and rebuke or to ignore and enable a preacher who has demonstrated a long behavior contrary to Scriptural qualifications for that office? Putting Noble back in the pulpit is not helping him or the Body of Christ. Lord knows that the Church needs desperately to return to the old paths where holy living was expected of its leaders. The reason we don’t have much holiness preaching in 21st century American pulpits is because few preachers pursue holiness themselves, and thus don’t exhort others to live holy lives. The standard hasn’t changed; we have. The Church of the Living God is not experiencing a revival of righteousness which brings the power and presence of God into our midst because we are satisfied to live without it.

  40. GSD [Getting Stuff Done] wrote:

    keeping himself in the spotlight, starting a new church and holding these preaching workshops

    Establish a following… with godly character, or, as a con? That’s what puts this below the line. It’s not about finding a job, being productive, providing for his family (child support).

  41. The saddest part about all this is that based on my observations, divorce is almost certainly the best option here. But the toxic purity culture of Evangelicalism ca’t even recognize divorce as a viable option that may in fact be the healthiest choice for all parties.

  42. Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:

    The saddest part about all this is that based on my observations, divorce is almost certainly the best option here.

    And I sincerely hope that Lucretia (that’s Dr. Lucretia, isn’t it?) isn’t catching any flack from her well meaning friends.

  43. JYJames wrote:

    Apparently Jesus did not have the personality

    “He made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant … He humbled himself by becoming obedient to death — even death on a cross” (Phillipians 2:7-8).

  44. dee wrote:

    Please help Noble. Do not blow his problems off because it seems like “the Christian thing to do.”

    Help him? This guy has earned more paydays with his shenanigans than anyone has a right. And the damage him and his merry men have done? Sorry no sympathy here. For him or his supporters. The best you can do is put warnings out and give them a wide berth.

  45. Max wrote:

    “He made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant … He humbled himself by becoming obedient to death — even death on a cross” (Phillipians 2:7-8).

    Jesus’ platform for ministry.
    How often is this featured at seminars and seminaries?

  46. Jack wrote:

    Help him? …
    For him or his supporters. The best you can do is put warnings out and give them a wide berth.

    So much altruism is reciprocal in nature, both parties benefit. Your suggestion is certainly the best help for yourself and likely the best help for Noble also.

  47. JYJames wrote:

    “He made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant … He humbled himself by becoming obedient to death — even death on a cross” (Phillipians 2:7-8).

    Jesus’ platform for ministry.
    How often is this featured at seminars and seminaries?

    Are you kidding?! How many American preachers do you know that live humble servant lives who pick up their cross and carry it daily? That doesn’t sell to 21st century American pulpiteers! Preach to us soothing things … give us tips to grow a church … don’t challenge us to live like Jesus!!

    “He gave them their request, but sent leanness into their soul.” (Psalm 106:15)

  48. Max wrote:

    “He gave them their request, but sent leanness into their soul.” (Psalm 106:15)

    Another Wow! verse, Max. Thanks.
    It’s in there, the Bible, the Truth to guide us into the Light. Nothing going on is new to God. He’s got this covered and in Him, we can live in the Light, set apart from the nonsense.

  49. @ Shauna:

    “Until then I will look for the underground church because that is what it’s coming to.”

    “The church goes underground when a government prohibits freedom of religion.”–JYJames
    +++++++++++++++

    hmmmm… the govt. isn’t prohibiting freedom. so, who is prohibiting freedom? (honestly asking)

    i’d say it’s church career christians (we can call them pastors), and those under their influence. it may be explicit, but more often implicit, implied with fear tactics.

    Weaving a message of fear that one will die a slow spiritual death without participating in the institution (which really means being ‘participated upon’; plus your nickels and nose).

    A message of fear that God will no longer look favorably upon you, and your crops might die, you might get fired, your kids will go astray, and the queen mutha of all gospel intimidation the sky will start falling and you’ll start becoming “worldly!” (which means absolutely nothing, but still causes many a christian to gasp and clutch their pearls).

    …and God will start tapping the eraser end of the pencil as he begins deliberations on whether or not to start erasing your name from the Lamb’s Book of Life.

    none of this is true.

    it strikes me that ‘the underground church’ may think of themselves and be referred to by others as “underground” because of totalitarian church culture.

    of course, boiling it down to the brass tacks in the bottom of the pot is money, power, and sentimentality.

    (*BONUS QUESTION*: is ‘brass tacks’ singular or plural?)

  50. I took far too many words to say There is no need for an underground church in America. There is no such thing. It’s all pretend. Which i imagine Shauna and JYJames would agree.

  51. Ken G wrote:

    It’s not clear who filed for divorce. Did Perry file for divorce, did his wife file for divorce or did they mutually agree to end the marriage?

    Article in “Pulpit & The Pen” says Perry filed for divorce.

  52. Shauna wrote:

    Pretty soon the church will not be a church but rather an institution.

    It’s already there! Jesus came to redeem and work through individuals, not institutions! The thing we call “church” is OK if it is winning souls to Christ, equipping them to do the work of the ministry, and being engaged in the Great Commission. If it’s not, it’s just an institution doing church without God.

  53. @ Clay Crouch:
    Today our pastor opened up, with his wife’s encouragement, about answers to prayer in their family. Bottom line, they petition, but don’t always get what they want. Humility. Reality. God is God. They are human like the rest of us.

  54. After the way that Perry Noble and his minions treated James Duncan and his family, I find him to be extremely hypocritical to ask for privacy during this time, though it doesn’t surprise me.

  55. @ Martha Davis:
    I think I read somewhere that his wife left him with her daughter around the time of the firing. Then, there was some talk of the church leaders trying to counsel them on their marriage. I was irritated. Noble was the one who needed counseling if he was the one who was drinking. She was the one who needed support for putting up with a drunk for a husband. I did not read anywhere that she ever returned to the marriage.

    If what I read was true, she was the one who left and I say that was a darn good decision. It looks like she decided not to return. Again, that was a smart decision in my book.

  56. Jarrett Edwards wrote:

    James Duncan and his family,

    The James Duncan saga is the reason why I have always felt that Noble should not be a pastor. I think. that situation showed the poor judgement on the part of Noble. Perhaps he was drinking at that time as well. Alcoholics are know to be liars so I don’t trust one thing Noble says.

  57. Clay Crouch wrote:

    What compels a person to spotlight his and his family’s personal life?

    A man desperate to get back in the limelight and receive adulation and $$$$$

  58. Jack wrote:

    Help him?

    Reread what I meant by this. I meant to stop mollycoddling him with “he got treatment so he is fine* codswallop. I mean tough love. Tell him to take a leap, go serve in a prison or homeless shelter and shut the heck up for a good long time.

  59. GSD wrote:

    And I sincerely hope that Lucretia (that’s Dr. Lucretia, isn’t it?) isn’t catching any flack from her well meaning friends.

    Thank you for this perceptive comment.

    We all support Dr Lucretia in her wise decision to stay apart for her husband. I suspect this poor women went through hell at home with Noble.

  60. Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:

    But the toxic purity culture of Evangelicalism ca’t even recognize divorce as a viable option that may in fact be the healthiest choice for all parties.

    Agreed! Can you imagine what went on behind closed doors with Noble and his bizarre personality filed by alcohol (or even poly substance abuse site we can never know for sure what Noble was consuming.) I never trust an unrepentant and attention seeking drunk.

  61. Max wrote:

    celebrity preachers who dilute the truth to suit the culture would have no stage to strut on if it weren’t for an audience willing to keep them there

    1 Samuel 8: God tells Samuel to give the people a king, as they have demanded, though they are rejecting God Himself – replacing God with a king like other nations.

    Celebrity pastors replace Jesus today, as some people today likewise demand.

    God then tells Samuel that they will later regret the king who takes their money and makes them serve him, the king.

    How many church goers today bear the financial and volunteer duties that their celebrity leadership demands – supply the private plane, run the programs, etc.?

  62. @ elastigirl:

    sometimes i’m not sure how lucid my comments are.

    what i mean is that one who seeks after God/Jesus/Holy Spirit (a christian) is a viable member of Jesus’ church, whether or not they attend a local congregation. if one chooses not to attend, there is nothing to be fearful of, no reason to hide, no need to feel like you have to justify with explanation.

    i observe some of even the best pastors manipulating their church attenders/members into being fearful of leaving. (in fact, manipulating with fear or contrived concern to do or not do a number of things for the sake of their career and image as church pastor.) i’m not certain they even realize it — i think one can manipulate without complete awareness that they are doing so.

    it is using people — using the concept of God to use people for one’s own needs and desires and to assuage one’s own fears and insecurities. taking advantage of the trust people have in them in so doing.

    it is sick, slimy, and oily, and the sweet smile or righteous conviction with which it is done bothers me to the moon and back.

  63. Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:

    The saddest part about all this is that based on my observations, divorce is almost certainly the best option here. But the toxic purity culture of Evangelicalism ca’t even recognize divorce as a viable option that may in fact be the healthiest choice for all parties.

    Unfortunately, so very true. Divorce is viewed in some circles, as the one sin which can’t be forgiven. Such a view allows toxic, abusive, dangerous behaviors, to grow and flourish. Pity the spouse who is counseled to put up with the offending spouse, could be risking their own sanity, or very life.

  64. Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:

    …the toxic purity culture of Evangelicalism…

    There are several ways to inflect/punctuate that phrase, all of them equally instructive! But consider, for a moment, the concept of “toxic purity” (cf “whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean”).

    It’s easy enough to maintain an ideological stance that divorce (and homosexuality – mustn’t forget homosexuality) is wrong. You [generic – and so on throughout this paragraph!] can do this with or without any help from any God; and it makes you look pure. It’s not easy, or not easy in the same way, to address the much more complex fractal boundary between “pure” doctrine and a fallen world with fallible and flawed * human beings. The only way to do this in practice is to bury the victims in a whitewashed tomb of “We Were Faithful To God’s Law” whilst washing your hands of their suffering.

    This creates a toxic purity: it looks pure from the outside, but it ain’t.

    * By coincidence, three adjectives in a row began with “f”. This is accidental; I wasn’t trying to come up with a snappy epigram.

  65. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    This creates a toxic purity: it looks pure from the outside, but it ain’t.

    So what is your suggestion as to how a church or a denomination should handle the divorce issue?

    BTW, I used to be a baptist fundamentalist (FWB) and I am divorced as also there were divorced and remarried people among us, so I take this rather personally. I will be careful not to go ballistic at other people’s opinions however.

  66. JYJames wrote:

    Celebrity pastors replace Jesus today, as some people today likewise demand.

    “Celebrity” is a word most often used to describe an entertainer. Religious entertainment in American churches has darn near replaced the serious things of God. In such an atmosphere, the pulpit becomes a stage, the pew becomes an audience, and the pastor becomes a celebrity. Welcome to the American church, where you will find plenty to applaud but little to satisfy your soul.

  67. As I have said before about others, one good explanation for Noble wanting to start another church so quickly is his narcissism. Narciccistic people crave attention and thus when they aren’t in the limelight any longer such as Noble they miss it. . Thus are quick to want to return.

  68. dee wrote:

    Alcoholics are know to be liars so I don’t trust one thing Noble says.

    dee wrote:

    I never trust an unrepentant and attention seeking drunk.

    If you allow someone’s weakness to control your strength, they own you. Perry Noble owned ‘his’ church for a season; only the gullible would allow him to do that again.

  69. Jack wrote:

    Like with Driscoll, I feel bad for the kids and spouses being shanghaied into this man’s orbit.

    Jack

    You bring up an issues which Is absolutely heartbreaking. Guys like Noble and his enablers come between people and God and separate families to gather a following.

  70. A few important questions:
    1. If someone makes a profession of faith, aren’t we called to forgive them and support them when they publically apologize and repent? (Assuming of course that this has taken place in this case, as it appears that it has)
    2. Aren’t Christians called to forgive even the unrepentant?
    3. Aren’t Christians called to put the best construction on everything?
    4. Where is the love in all of the comments here?
    5. If Mr. Noble is a false prophet / apostle / Christian then what is the proper stance for a Christian to take toward such a person?
    6. How does discussing his divorce and making assumptions about his home life fit into what Christians are supposed to be doing?

    Disclaimer: I am not one of his supporters or a member of one of his churches, so I honestly don’t know anything about him other than what I have read here and another blog.

    My initial reaction is disgust, and the whole post and most of the comments have added to that disgust. Also, not accusing, just asking.

  71. Max wrote:

    If you allow someone’s weakness to control your strength, they own you. Perry Noble owned ‘his’ church for a season; only the gullible would allow him to do that again.

    “There’s a sucker born every minute.”
    — P.T.Barnum

  72. Max wrote:

    “Celebrity” is a word most often used to describe an entertainer. Religious entertainment in American churches has darn near replaced the serious things of God. In such an atmosphere, the pulpit becomes a stage, the pew becomes an audience, and the pastor becomes a celebrity. Welcome to the American church, where you will find plenty to applaud but little to satisfy your soul.

    “WELCOME BACK MY FRIENDS
    TO THE SHOW THAT NEVER ENDS!
    WE’RE SO GLAD YOU COULD ATTEND!
    COME INSIDE! COME INSIDE!”
    — Emerson Lake & Plamer, “Karn Evil Nine”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IwSTe9uit48

  73. dee wrote:

    Jack wrote:
    Help him?
    Reread what I meant by this. I meant to stop mollycoddling him with “he got treatment so he is fine* codswallop. I mean tough love. Tell him to take a leap, go serve in a prison or homeless shelter and shut the heck up for a good long time.

    “TOUCH NOT MINE ANOINTED! DO MY PROPHET NO HARM!”
    — Benny Hinn’s favorite go-to Verse

  74. Clay Crouch wrote:

    What compels a person to spotlight his and his family’s personal life?

    “LOOKIT MEEEEEEEEE! I’M FAMOUS!!!!!”

  75. Kal wrote:

    I’ve heard Mr. Noble speak on a few occasions at Elevation. Why the disdain for him because he’s getting a divorce? He’s had treatment for his substance abuse issues and apologized profusely.

    Translation:
    “O Come Let Us Adore Him,
    O Come Let Us Adore Him,
    O COME LET US ADOOOOORE HIIIIIM —
    PAS-TOR PEE!!!!!”

  76. Overseas Worker wrote:

    I just shook my head and then took a look at the Seminar site.
    $159 to $240 per person; for nine hours of teaching….

    NICE. RACKET.
    Guess the “Get Rich Overnight by Flipping Houses” scene got too crowded.

  77. Deb wrote:

    @ Ken G:
    It seems unclear to me as well from most of what I have read; however, this article indicates that Perry is the one pursuing divorce.

    Trading in the old-model wife for a new one?

  78. Something about Pastor Pee:

    For years, in every picture I’ve seen of him behind the pulpit he looked like he was straining on the can with terminal constipation. Straining hard enough to red out his vision.

  79. @ A.Tumbleweed:

    (1) No. Not until sufficient evidence has been shown that the repentance is genuine. Just saying something is not sufficient. Because it is ‘public’ means nothing.

    (2) Not necessarily; it depends on what you mean by ‘forgive’.

    (3) No. People, Christians included, must boldly deal with reality and resist the tendency to white wash over the mold on the fence, so to speak. Cowardice in dealing with issues must not be confused with compassion.

    (4) That depends on how one defines love. The tough love that Dee calls for, yes. Some misguided sentimentality which excuses everything, no.

    (5) Exclude the person from publicly sanctioned ‘ministry’ and eventually and if necessary withdraw fellowship. And during this process get off their case and give them space to either repent or heal or both, while accepting nothing less that repentance and healing as necessary for restoration.

    (6) That is a good question.

  80. A.Tumbleweed wrote:

    My initial reaction is disgust, and the whole post and most of the comments have added to that disgust. Also, not accusing, just asking.

    Ufda, those are two contradictory sentences.

  81. A.Tumbleweed wrote:

    6. How does discussing his divorce and making assumptions about his home life fit into what Christians are supposed to be doing?

    Let me try to answer your question. Answer: IT DOESN’T.

  82. @ okrapod:
    I can see warning people about a false teacher, and using information about their past and present lives to make the case as to why someone is not qualified to preach or teach, etc.

    I guess I am having a difficult time seeing the personal connection between anyone here and his announcing their divorce. Is his sin against anyone here? And I am not sure how their divorce is really relevant to anything other than as one more check mark against his qualifications as a pastor/teacher.

    Why not just say that Perry Noble proves once again that he is not qualified to be a pastor/teacher & here are the Biblical reasons why without speculating on his home life?

  83. A.Tumbleweed wrote:

    Disclaimer: I am not one of his supporters or a member of one of his churches, so I honestly don’t know anything about him other than what I have read here and another blog.
    My initial reaction is disgust, and the whole post and most of the comments have added to that disgust. Also, not accusing, just asking.

    Disclaimer: I’m not a Christian.

    Disgust goes both ways. These guys get massive tax free paydays while I pay my taxes and give to charity. I’m tired of supporting a religious culture of entitlement. I look at these corporate, self serving megas while my city has a burgeoning drug problem leading to law and order issues and rampant homelessness. Where is Jesus in all of this? I am accusing and I’m asking.

  84. A.Tumbleweed wrote:

    Why not just say that Perry Noble proves once again that he is not qualified to be a pastor/teacher & here are the Biblical reasons why without speculating on his home life?

    Yes. I dare say that his wife and child do not appreciate speculation. And I dare say that Dr. Noble would have professional and business reasons to not have her personal life/ marriage speculated about. Reputation in medicine goes way beyond just credentials and degrees. The last thing that people need to think about a physician is that their personal lives were out of control. And how does it help the child to grow up knowing that her presumed childhood life was splashed all over for the whole world to see. I am totally with you on that point.

    Now if Dr. Noble chooses to go public, that is her choice. I probably would not agree with her doing that, but none the less it would be her choice.

  85. @ Jack:
    For every mega that functions as you describe I’ll bet there are Christians who are working to solve those problems and showing the compassion of Jesus as part of their vocation. They are just unknown and do not seek out the spotlight.

  86. okrapod wrote:

    Now if Dr. Noble chooses to go public, that is her choice.

    The problem is that her husband has gone public and is public. He announced that a divorce occurred. Some of the reasons are already public. I’m not sure where speculation fits in…at a basic level it’s just wondering what happened, which I think is very human. We cannot turn off our brains so easily. Now, we can not talk about it, which most churches seem to highly encourage. If I were her friend, I would probably say nothing or very little unless she wanted to talk about it. But online? IDK.

    I don’t at a basic level think there is anything wrong with speculating about things. The way it becomes wrong is if it is malicious, I suppose? A.Tumbleweed wrote:

    6. How does discussing his divorce and making assumptions about his home life fit into what Christians are supposed to be doing?

    1. How is discussing a true thing wrong, though? Is it wrong to discuss any bad thing that happens in life, or merely divorce of a pastor?

  87. Lea wrote:

    1. How is discussing a true thing wrong, though? Is it wrong to discuss any bad thing that happens in life, or merely divorce of a pastor?

    I suppose it would be wrong if in violation of the commandment: You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. As it has been interpreted in the church, that would include speculating or making assumptions about his home life or his relationship with his wife and children that would be detrimental to his character, spreading those speculations, without regard to the consequences.

    I don’t believe that it is necessarily wrong to discuss when bad things happen to me, or to someone I know and have a relationship with, between us that is. But to discuss what happened to that sinner over there, as an example, and to speculate on what his home life must be like, how bad it must be, in a public forum would be, in my opinion, a sin against that person and the Lord, because it would be in violation of God’s law prohibiting such behavior.

    To discuss the divorce of a pastor, or any other person, beyond simply informing people of the public nature of his actions and how that disqualifies him from the office of pastor/teacher – the speculation about his homelife, his mental state, etc – strikes me as being wrong. I would like to know about his divorce in case I was planning to buy his latest book on marriage, for instance. A lot of what I read above sounds an awful lot like gaslighting. I would prefer a more Biblical analysis and Biblical discussion.

  88. ___

    “Venture A Church Wirwind, Perhaps?”

    hmmm…

    When morally bankrupt religious official(s) start giving growth advice it is time to get out of the 501(c)3 church market.

    Venture a religious hurricane?

    Yep.

    Take care —You all might just have one.

    (sadface)

    …His little ones rejoice not in unrighteousness, but rejoice with the truth.

    ATB

    Sòpy

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Ps2CMcyditQ

    😉

    – –

  89. A.Tumbleweed wrote:

    You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. As it has been interpreted in the church

    I mean…you lost me with that ‘as interpreted’ bit. Because I think that interpretation is wrong.

    It is not false witness if it is true. And ‘speculation’ is merely asking what may have happened. If you say ‘I was there, X happened’ and it isn’t true? That’s false. Absolutely. If you say ‘I wonder what happened’ that is clearly not false witness to me.

    A.Tumbleweed wrote:

    the speculation about his homelife, his mental state, etc – strikes me as being wrong.

    His homelife is not great, because that got divorced though? And he admitted to being an alcohol and lost his job for it and other things. So…all of these things are things we know. I don’t see anything speculating beyond much of that. Even saying he’s doing it for the money, iirc he said he needed money at some point but it’s possible I’m mixing him up with one of the many, many pastors that have gone off the rails and immediately hung that shingle out again.

    The larger thing, that this happens all the time, is what we are really discussing, imo, with all of these stories. What has gone wrong that this is so common and that these men are so accepted?

  90. A.Tumbleweed wrote:

    I’ll bet there are Christians who are working to solve those problems and showing the compassion of Jesus as part of their vocation. They are just unknown and do not seek out the spotlight

    Sure & I support their endeavors. Literally as I give to those charities. But their operations pale in comprison to our local minimega whose pastor has a nine bedroom mansion. After reading about Driscoll & Noble and others, i’m ready to call it as I see it. Whether it’s the opulence of the Vatican or the cha ching of the mega down the street. It’s time for the tax free ride to end. Worship how you feel but don’t expect the rest of us to support your social club.

  91. @ Kal:
    Yes, having his “band” play highway to hell on Easter Sunday??? Talk about bad judgement……

  92. @ Jack:
    I agree with you. There is no God given right to a tax free existence. I find it hard to believe that they haven’t been prosecuted thus far, as they are anything but non-profit.

    Btw, I was talking about the people who serve as part of their vocation, and also pay taxes just like the rest of us.

  93. @ Lea:

    I am not thinking about this bible verse or that sin or the other curiosity. I went through a divorce in a small town as a more or less public figure-doc so and so over at the hospital. There was talk and there was speculation and there was choosing sides. And there I was and there were my two children increasingly publicly humiliated by talk and speculation and never ending opinions. We were not the culprits, but there was our pain running down the gutter like so much road wash on a rainy day. And there were those who loved to see it happen-said so. Enjoyed it.

    That is where I am coming from.

  94. Jack wrote:

    Where is Jesus in all of this? I am accusing and I’m asking.

    I think that maybe, like Elvis, Jesus has left the building.

  95. ION: Some better news

    It seems that red squirrels (crowded out of most of Britain by grey squirrels) are doing well in the north-west Highlands.

    cue Flower of Scotland…

  96. I read II Cor. 8 last night at 3 a.m. and thought maybe this was/still is Perry’s goal:

    “18 With him we are sending the brother who is famous among all the churches for his preaching of the gospel; “

  97. Muff Potter wrote:

    Jesus has left the building

    … but the beat goes on. Much of America is doing church without God, not realizing that the glory has departed (Ichabod).

  98. @ Max:
    American Evangelicalism? Yes. But I know where Jesus is located in my church body: in Word & Sacrament.

  99. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    ION: Some better news

    It seems that red squirrels (crowded out of most of Britain by grey squirrels) are doing well in the north-west Highlands.
    cue Flower of Scotland…

    In our part of the NW of the USA we have the pine squirrels, which are a kind of red squirrel but small and dark. And we have snow-covered pines for them to scurry about in. IHTIH

  100. Having grown up with a alcoholic father and having known other alcoholics I generally don’t trust them. My father denied having a problem even though he was drunk every night. He eventually went through 3 rehabs but thought he could still drink “just a little”. Growing up with him was hell as he was abusive. Mr. Noble needs stay away from teaching/preaching until his personal issues are resolved and an added plus would be when his former church agrees h e has met his obligations. Divorce itself is very stressful so Perry is in a perilous place for an alcoholic.

  101. When a preacher decides to become more than a preacher and to become a “celebrity” pastor, then they have to accept that they will be treated like a celebrity, which includes speculation about their private life. Perry Noble is no different than the Kardashians, in that regard.

  102. Muff Potter wrote:

    I think that maybe, like Elvis, Jesus has left the building.

    Well, if Jesus does not live in hearts in the building, then Jesus is not in the building.

  103. Quick question.

    If salvation truly is by faith alone in Jesus and not by ANY of our good works then that means once we have faith in Jesus our bad works, (our sins) cannot make us lose our salvation yes? Ron Noble has not renounced Jesus so why are fellow Christians in here talking about a fellow Christian who is SAVED? Really I need a good biblical answer as to how any of you sinners who also need redemption are worthy to make posts about another Christian? Is Noble saved by not divorcing his wife? Is Noble saved by being a Pastor in good standing? Is Noble saved by being a “good” Christian or is he saved by faith? If he is still saved what does all of your gossiping profit? So lets have it you brood of vipers, is Ron Noble saved or not?

  104. @ A.Tumbleweed:
    A.Tumbleweed wrote:

    My initial reaction is disgust, and the whole post and most of the comments have added to that disgust. Also, not accusing, just asking.

    Please see Jack’s comment about the family members who are pulled into the orbit of men like Noble. Even thought I may not agree with the context or tone of every comment, this blog will is a welcome refuge and source of consolation to innocent family members when they need it. It absolutely broke my heart for Perry personally to see his tweet about filing for divorce and I hope that he would go to his private place and let God change his heart. He has never been a pastor in the Biblical sense and show little fruit of the Spirit.

    I do tend to agree with your point about his home life. I read Perry Noble situation differently than most in the following ways.

    1. Alcoholism wasn’t the root of his problem, but was viewed as a means to gain sympathy and be “restored” as quickly as possible.

    2. Independent of the first observation, but supported by it, I think their was a dysfunctional home dynamic where both Perry and Lucretia were complicit in the lie they were living. Their marriage would have laster as long as the lie remained intact. I think it is possible that she’s just as interested as him in damage control. Even in make dominated churches, the pastors wife is often subject to a different set of rules.

    3. The primary victims are the people who thought they were getting a church.

  105. A.Tumbleweed wrote:

    But I know where Jesus is located in my church body: in Word & Sacrament.

    Well, OK. I met a gathering of believers in Stirling in which a laddie there stated Jesus to be located in what he called the “worship” (by which he meant, the background music and singing).

    I love it when we meet a group where Jesus is located in the people.

  106. @ Nick Bulbeck:
    Which “Jesus”? (There are so many different versions in Evangelicalism, what with each enthusiast crafting one for themselves.)

  107. A.Tumbleweed wrote:

    Which “Jesus”? (There are so many different versions in Evangelicalism, what with each enthusiast crafting one for themselves.)

    Ahem. In evangelicalism?

    My church is a church of Word and Sacrament, but among us there are many ideas about Jesus. We have some who have the Jesus of ‘coexist’, and then there is the Jesus who can’t seem to extricate himself from bread and wine and the Jesus who is a more or less interesting historical figure. Our rector even wrote a thing about how it is okay to actually talk about Jesus in church-people will not really be offended if you do that, so let’s all do that. Bless him; he is a good man, but he has a difficult job.

    Sigh. I much believe that the problem of many Jesus personas is not limited to evangelicalism.

  108. @ A.Tumbleweed:

    I’m sorry, Tumbleweed, but I don’t fully understand your question, so I may not give a very good answer.

    I tend to steer clear of groups who significantly identify with Evangelicalism, for one thing, but it’s not just evangelicals (with or without a capital E) who believe they’ve got something of the living, risen Jesus, or at least that although they see in a mirror dimly, they’re seeking after him and growing in their knowledge of him.

    Beyond that, I suppose I’d have to reflect the question: which Jesus do you encounter in the Word and Sacrament? How do you know he’s the living, risen Jesus? I ask semi-rhetorically, of course, because every christian has to grapple with the same question. I have often stated here on Wartburg, and do so even more IRL, that I reject the “sufficiency of scripture”. But I do believe God gave us scripture and that, even though it’s not the only thing he gave us and it is therefore not sufficient, it is still necessary and of enormous value. So, the accounts in scripture of the historic (and living) Jesus are a pointer. Does the putative “Jesus” I’m meeting on a given occasion look like the one I’ve read about?

    Given that the “we see in a mirror dimly” quote came from the laddie who wrote half of the New Testament, I don’t expect to have a knock-down answer in this life.

  109. okrapod wrote:

    So what is your suggestion as to how a church or a denomination should handle the divorce issue?

    Sorry, Okrapod – missed this one.

    The only answer I can give is: on a case-by-case basis. We all know God hates divorce. But he also hates oppression. And lukewarm, everything-and-nothing attitudes. And so on… IOW, no matter what the Bible says, it says other things too. The responsibility facing any gathering of believers is to make a judgement that “seems good to the Holy Spirit and to us”. The Holy Spirit will always be the same Holy Spirit; but a different “us” may mean a different judgement.

  110. Jarrett Edwards wrote:

    When a preacher decides to become more than a preacher and to become a “celebrity” pastor, then they have to accept that they will be treated like a celebrity, which includes speculation about their private life.

    Exactly. When a preacher of the Gospel puts his focus on the spotlight and revels in the applause, he loses his anointing, forfeits his ministry, and is at the mercy of the ways of the world.

  111. Bubba wrote:

    Quick question.
    If salvation truly is by faith alone in Jesus and not by ANY of our good works then that means once we have faith in Jesus our bad works, (our sins) cannot make us lose our salvation yes? Perry Noble has not renounced Jesus so why are fellow Christians in here talking about a fellow Christian who is SAVED?

    I can see that you have been following folks like Noble a bit too long. There is the Law and there is Grace. You need to Law to break your heart and you need grace to forgive you.

    1. This blog never, ever, ever judges the salvation of another individual. That judgement is left to the One who is at a higher pay grade.

    2. The Bible is replete with examples of sin that what we are to judge. If someone is a thief, we can judge him. We do not judge his salvation but we judge his actions. If we didn’t judge actions that are sinful, we would be throwing away much of the Bible.

    It is not gossip to discuss a pastor who covers up pedophilia just like it is not gossip to discuss Noble’s many serious sinful issues. We say this over and over. If you hold yourself up to be a leader, telling the public to come and see what sot of church you run, you do not get to tell the public what they should see. If you play in the public eye, ask for money in the public eye, you get to pay in the public eye and you need to stand up and take it. Nope -it is not gossip and you need to do some deep Bible study here.

    3. Pointing out actions which are sin is not gossip. The Bible says we are to do this. However, if you are a member of a church which likes to brush sin under the carpet, you may have been ill taught. I think lots of people are drawn to such churches because they get to brush off their own sins as well.

    I urge you to get into a thoughtful Bible study that really looks at the Word for what it says. Sadly, I have heard way too many of these types of statements from people who follow Noble, Furtick, Tchividjian and others.

  112. Clay Crouch wrote:

    What compels a person to spotlight his and his family’s personal life?

    I think it has become common for pastors to drag their wives on the stage and discuss things like their sex life, issues at home, etc. Sadly, many who have done this have found it has come back and bitten them on the nose like Pete Wilson. We posted a link to one of his videos with his wife in which he is making cracks about her house cleaning. etc. This was presented to the church. It is embarrassing to look at it now because it shows clues that things were not going well. And the elders, etc. just ignored it. BTW-once we pointed it out, the video was removed….

  113. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    The Holy Spirit will always be the same Holy Spirit; but a different “us” may mean a different judgement.

    The Holy Spirit is on a mission to convict the world (and the church within it) about sin, righteousness, and judgement. Unfortunately, “us” prefer to insert our own standards by diluting the Truth, which does not line up with Holy Spirit judgement on various matters. With each passing generation, we have managed to justify more sinful and unrighteous lives (in and out of the church) … but the same judgement will prevail.

  114. okrapod wrote:

    Sigh. I much believe that the problem of many Jesus personas is not limited to evangelicalism.

    Agreed. Good point.

  115. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    I have often stated here on Wartburg, and do so even more IRL, that I reject the “sufficiency of scripture”.

    If this is the case, then my question doesn’t matter.

  116. A.Tumbleweed wrote:

    There is no God given right to a tax free existence. I find it hard to believe that they haven’t been prosecuted thus far, as they are anything but non-profit.

    As I understand the history, the IRS went toe to toe with Scientology in the early nineties and lost. So I think the tax folks are leery about taking on any religious group. The Canada Revenue Agency (our IRS) has followed suit. No one wants to infringe upon “religious freedom”. But at one time churches were in essence our social safety net, they ran the hospitals and homeless shelters and soup kitchens. Here that has largely a government exercise (hospitals anyway) so churches don’t hold that position so much anymore.
    Freedom of religion isn’t so much a problem, freedom from religion is a little harder to attain.

  117. Bubba wrote:

    So lets have it you brood of vipers, is Ron Noble saved or not?

    And I believe you wanted biblical answers.

    Is PN saved? Nobody knows. We are not to label people ‘saved’ or ‘not saved’ at least in part because we do not have access to that information. Believing on the one hand as compared with saying that one believes on the other hand, are not the same thing. When someone says that they believe while at the same time their actions are not consistent with that profession, then whether they do believe or whether they do not believe not only cannot be known but even also cannot be assumed or even guessed accurately.

    Hence those at the judgment who were amazed to hear ‘I never knew you’. The bible says that if you (1) confess with your mouth and (2) believe in you heart….’ ( Romans 10:9) We can watch people confess with their mouths, but we cannot know another person’s heart, and apparently we cannot even know our own hearts all that well (referencing the judgment statement by Jesus).

    Is he ‘saved’? Who knows. That is not the issue. We can say, however, that PN has been functioning as part of the community of believers, and that makes the following applicable: ‘After all, is it my business to judge outsiders? You are to judge those who are in the community, aren’t you?’ (I Cor 5:12 ISV) That would be just the opposite of what you seem to be saying-that believers are exempt from criticism of their behavior. It is specifically believers and those who claim to be believers who are the ones to be held accountable, and held accountable by the church, which are the ‘you’ who are to judge in the text cited above.

    Which, BTW, the elders of his former church have done-biblically.

  118. Bubba wrote:

    f salvation truly is by faith alone in Jesus and not by ANY of our good works then that means once we have faith in Jesus our bad works, (our sins) cannot make us lose our salvation yes?

    What if you had faith in Jesus but no longer do? I’m talking actually declared that faith but apostatized from the Christianity. By most Christian standards that means you are not saved, however by your logic – once saved always saved, you’ve just given one more reason why church is irrelevant, by that logic prayer is irrelevant and faith is irrelevant – the whole religious experience becomes irrelevant.
    Guess I am going to heaven after all and I still get to sleep in on Sunday! Score!

  119. Jarrett Edwards wrote:

    When a preacher decides to become more than a preacher and to become a “celebrity” pastor, then they have to accept that they will be treated like a celebrity, which includes speculation about their private life. Perry Noble is no different than the Kardashians, in that regard.

    “Flee as you would the plague anyone who by becoming a cleric has become rich, or from a nobody has become a celebrity.”
    — St Jerome, 5th Century AD (from memory)

  120. Jack wrote:

    As I understand the history, the IRS went toe to toe with Scientology in the early nineties and lost.

    And has caused a LOT of Megachurch Pastors/Head Apostles to turn livid with envy wishing they could do the same. To be the next Elron or David Miscavage…

  121. Niteowlalways wrote:

    Having grown up with a alcoholic father and having known other alcoholics I generally don’t trust them. My father denied having a problem even though he was drunk every night. He eventually went through 3 rehabs but thought he could still drink “just a little”.

    “To an Alky, the Constitutional Right to My Next Drink can never be interfered with.”
    — Steven King, recovering alcoholic

    Mr. Noble needs stay away from teaching/preaching until his personal issues are resolved…

    And step out of the Pulpit and Out of the Spotlight?

    To a CELEBRITY, the Constitutional Right to Being FAMOUS and Constantly In The Spotlight can never be interfered with.

  122. A.Tumbleweed wrote:

    If this is the case, then my question doesn’t matter.

    Hmm… I wouldn’t say that. Well, OK, I know what you mean, but still, your question’s an important one, and I had to think before answering, which is always appreciated.

    Incidentally, I assume the “A” in “A.Tumbleweed” is intended as an indefinite article rather than an initial – it struck me a bit belatedly that addressing you as “Tumbleweed” may have looked unfriendly (though it wasn’t meant to be)>

  123. Bubba wrote:

    Trick question.

    If salvation truly is by faith alone in Jesus and not by ANY of our good works then that means once we have faith in Jesus our bad works don’t count and we can do what the **** we like without anyone telling us what to do, yes?

    Ig Noble has not renounced Jesus so why are fellow Christians in here talking about a fellow Christian who is SAVED? Really I need a good biblical answer as to how any of fellow Christians who have suddenly morphed into sinners are actually a brood of vipers, so I can pretend to corner you with an irrelevant yes-no question.

    So let’s have it you perfect SAVED fellow Christians (or whatever, I’ve no idea) does Ig Noble wear glasses or not?

    Finally, somebody’s talking sense. I cannot possibly improve on Bubber’s eloquence captured above. Quite frankly, a good biblical reason is beyond you heap of gossip-vipers, he should’ve asked for a rubbish biblical answer. Because that’s all he’ll get here.

    You’re all rubbish.

    Up Yours,

    Roger Bombast

  124. Jack wrote:

    I’m talking actually declared that faith but apostatized from the Christianity.

    You keep saying stuff like that but you do not sound like an apostate-whatever exactly that is. Do you mean to say that you turned your back on christianity or that you turned your back on Jesus? It seems to me that there are those who claim adherence to christianity but ‘blush to speak His name’ while there are lots of disaffected people who cannot stomach christianity but for all the world sound like they are followers of Jesus.

    I know that one or more groups preach that this is not possible, but they are mistaken, in my opinion. Jesus, of course, not having been a christian.

    FWIW I do not use sentence fragments out of some lack of knowledge but rather in order to just bug the mess out of all the English majors here. Or something.

  125. @ Roger Bombast:

    You show an unusual interest in Bubba’s comment there. Do you by any chance know Bubba? Does he live in the same attic dormer with you and the Arnold boys?

    You can trust me. I won’t tell.

  126. Max wrote:

    The Holy Spirit is on a mission to convict the world (and the church within it) about sin, righteousness, and judgement. Unfortunately, “us” prefer to insert our own standards by diluting the Truth, which does not line up with Holy Spirit judgement on various matters. With each passing generation, we have managed to justify more sinful and unrighteous lives (in and out of the church) … but the same judgement will prevail.

    Almost correct, but you are missing the definitions of sin, righteousness and judgement as provided in the verses you quoted. The Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin and NOT sins. The sin is lack of belief in Jesus. Righteousness and judgement have their own definitions, too.

  127. @ okrapod:

    It strikes me as significant that, whilst Bombastic comments sport a Union Flag, Bubba’s has a the Stars and Stripes. I don’t suppose WordPress’s locating technology is foolproof, but they’re probably different folk.

    IHTIH

  128. @ Nick Bulbeck:

    I don’t know. Some people with union flags are pretty clever. The could have international connections, though one must always think it may be the Russians.

  129. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    Incidentally, I assume the “A” in “A.Tumbleweed” is intended as an indefinite article rather than an initial – it struck me a bit belatedly that addressing you as “Tumbleweed” may have looked unfriendly (though it wasn’t meant to be)>

    Yes, you are correct. No problem here.

  130. okrapod wrote:

    You are to judge those who are in the community, aren’t you?’ (I Cor 5:12 ISV)

    This verse should probably be repeated more frequently. We are supposed to, when appropriate, be watching Christians, not people in the world. We tend to do the opposite.

  131. Jennifer Bobic wrote:

    As someone who knows Perry (I attended the church where he was youth pastor prior to starting Newspring), I have to say that I find these articles to be nothing more than idle gossip, and that’s just as bad as anything you are accusing Perry of doing. I can understand reporting the divorce so that others can make a decision about whether to seek Perry’s teaching, but this “analysis” is nothing more than gossip about people you don’t know. I suggest we just pray for Perry and his family.

    There is always someone that still wants to quote the “gossip” card.

    Maybe one day more people’s eyes will be open to how this broad definition has allowed leaders like Noble to remain in place longer than they should have.

    Besides Noble getting divorced he also has a drinking problem that people need to be aware of.

    Since this drinking problem has continued unrepentant for a significant period of time Noble should (as Paul clearly instructed) should as a leader be rebuked in the presence of all.

  132. @ Steve240:
    I have always thought of gossip as confined to smaller groups, with people talking about other people behind their back. Like everyone in the same church or organization.

    I could see gossip as extending in concentric circles, to a town, or even a large group like a large corporation or synod, I suppose. That does seem possible. And I do remember reading somewhere in the Bible that gossip was considered an abomination, therefore a serious sin.

    And then there is the definition to consider. Doesn’t rumor or innuendo play into that? I wonder if, even if we have “facts”, if talking about a person can be considered gossip. Then there is the commandment (8th, depending on how you could) about bearing false witness against your neighbor and the implications of all that.

    Where is the line between a healthy discussion of the facts and gossip? Curious.

  133. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    A.Tumbleweed wrote:
    But I know where Jesus is located in my church body: in Word & Sacrament.

    Well, OK.

    That just means Tumbleweed comes from a liturgical church background.
    And there’s quite a gap in understanding between liturgicals and non-liturgicals.

  134. A.Tumbleweed wrote:

    Where is the line between a healthy discussion of the facts and gossip? Curious.

    In practice, probably “If I do it, it’s Healthy Discussion of the Facts; if YOU do it, it’s Gossip.”
    Yet another variant of Christianese One-Upmanship and Jesus Juking.

  135. @ Ken G:
    Beyond the sin of unbelief, the Holy Spirit brings conviction of individual sins. The world is a sinful place – the Holy Spirit attempts to cut through the darkness to convict the world (and the church within it) of its sin. Regarding righteousness, there is an unchanging righteous standard we are all held to, despite the prevailing denial of absolute truth. Regarding judgement, there will be day of reckoning in which Holy God will deliver His justice to rid the world of sin.

  136. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    That just means Tumbleweed comes from a liturgical church background.
    And there’s quite a gap in understanding between liturgicals and non-liturgicals.

    True.
    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    In practice, probably “If I do it, it’s Healthy Discussion of the Facts; if YOU do it, it’s Gossip.”
    Yet another variant of Christianese One-Upmanship and Jesus Juking.

    Also True. And, if it’s about me, one of my friends, or one whom I worship, it’s gossip?

  137. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    That just means Tumbleweed comes from a liturgical church background.

    Well, yes, I’d gathered that much. But I must beg to differ on the void between liturgicals and non-liturgicals; for one thing, there’s a great deal of variety behind each of those labels, and for another, there’s more overlap between them than you might think. I spent over 8 years in the Church of England, for which I retain a great deal of affection, for instance. (And of which I am still technically a communicant member! – I’m not that excited about the technicalities, but I do love joining in with an Anglican Communion service.)

    Which is the main reason I didn’t want to assume too much about where Tumbleweed is coming from. That, and I’ve greatly appreciated (his/her?) contribution here.

  138. Bubba wrote:

    Quick question.
    If salvation truly is by faith alone in Jesus and not by ANY of our good works then that means once we have faith in Jesus our bad works, (our sins) cannot make us lose our salvation yes? Ron Noble has not renounced Jesus so why are fellow Christians in here talking about a fellow Christian who is SAVED? Really I need a good biblical answer as to how any of you sinners who also need redemption are worthy to make posts about another Christian? Is Noble saved by not divorcing his wife? Is Noble saved by being a Pastor in good standing? Is Noble saved by being a “good” Christian or is he saved by faith? If he is still saved what does all of your gossiping profit? So lets have it you brood of vipers, is Ron Noble saved or not?

    We don’t know if Perry Noble is saved or not. And yet he wants to be a teacher and claims to be a prophet from God. That is a very dangerous problem.

    Salvation is from faith alone. But if a person has faith in Jesus, he will also have love for God and love for neighbours. No one does this perfectly. But when we fail to love we always fell guilty and repent. And since we already know that God will certainly forgive we draw closer to God.

    However what if a person claims to have faith but yet hates God and hates his neighbours? Can he really have faith when he is abusive, wants to divorce his wife, addicted to alcohol all while being total NON-REPENTANT? No! The bible is very clear about this. If anyone hates God and hates his neighbours, he cannot possibly be a true believer. And if anyone claims to love God but yet hates his neighbours, he is a liar. (1 John 4:20)

    Many people undervalue the term “non-repentant”. This means nothing to them, but this means a lot to God. Non-repentant means that they view hating God and hating their neighbours as RIGHT. This means they have find an excuse to justify their hatred and hurtful actions toward God and their neighbours. So they delight and rejoice in evil. If someone knows about Jesus but yet delight and rejoice in evil, there is no salvation for them. In fact they will be throw into a deeper level of hell than even non-believers. At least the non-believers never lied and claim to have faith. At least the non-believers are not leading anyone astray.

    This goes for any so-called Christians who have no love. You can tell them apart by how terribly they treat their enemies. They might treat their friends very well. But when it comes to their enemies they are totally ruthlessly and disrespectful. So they pick and choose who they love and who else to hate, finding any excuse to hate and mistreat their enemies.

    These false prophets would “love” their mistress while hating their wife. These false prophets would “love” their alcohol while hating their family. These false prophets will “love” the Caucasians while hating the Blacks/Asians/Latinos. That is the clear sign of a false prophet, that they pick and choose who they love.

    So is Perry Noble saved? I don’t think so. But that would be up to Jesus the Judge.

  139. okrapod wrote:

    You keep saying stuff like that but you do not sound like an apostate-whatever exactly that is. Do you mean to say that you turned your back on christianity or that you turned your back on Jesus? It seems to me that there are those who claim adherence to christianity but ‘blush to speak His name’ while there are lots of disaffected people who cannot stomach christianity but for all the world sound like they are followers of Jesus.

    Well, here’s the definition as I’ve been using it:

    a·pos·tate
    əˈpäˌstāt,əˈpästət/Submit
    noun
    1.
    a person who renounces a religious or political belief or principle.
    synonyms: dissenter, defector, deserter, traitor, backslider, turncoat; More
    adjective
    1.
    abandoning a religious or political belief or principle.

    Either one fits me so take your pick.

    Now when it comes to sounding Christian, no surprise there. I was raised in a liturgical church and did 4 years “in country” at a Pentecostal church (though the Pentecostal version never really stuck) so I reckon I know the lingo well enough to get by.

    Since this is a Christian blog I try to take a “christian” perspective out of respect for peoples faith and I consider myself culturally christian (ie it is the faith I have most in common with).

    Do I believe the gospels are literal? – no. Do I think the resurrection actually happened? – unlikely. Do I think God/Jesus/Holy Spirit is active in the world? – I’ve not seen evidence of it. If you have then consider yourself blessed, just talking from my perspective. Do I think there are things science can’t explain? Yes, at least not yet.

    I don’t pretend to have all the answers – I just don’t think any of the world’s religions do either.

  140. Victorious wrote:

    If you’ve never visited Wartburg’s E-church, you’ve missed a blessing. It’s the only one I attend and have never been disappointed….smile.

    One of the safer places to attend…no need to conceal carry. Mr. Willeford seems like a really good, humble guy who loves Jesus and people. I feel badly and will be praying for him and his community.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B4HEchh0XD8

  141. @ Jack:

    Well, that is interesting. Thanks for explaining.

    I spent a number of years not so much disbelieving but more thinking that none of it mattered whether it was true or not. Then there is the issue that there is an Episcopal bishop who has quit believing, if he ever did, and writes books about it. And then there is what has been said about Mother Theresa.

    My former husband used to say he was a believer and then he started not believing, but I am not sure he ever did believe. None the less I never figured out what went on. Needless to say this impacted our lives greatly because he began ridiculing me and the kids-viciously and publicly-and I have never yet figured out what happened to him.

    Okay, enough of that.

    I like your comments. I am glad you are here. Thanks for the explanation.

  142. Max wrote:

    Beyond the sin of unbelief, the Holy Spirit brings conviction of individual sins. The world is a sinful place – the Holy Spirit attempts to cut through the darkness to convict the world (and the church within it) of its sin. Regarding righteousness, there is an unchanging righteous standard we are all held to, despite the prevailing denial of absolute truth. Regarding judgement, there will be day of reckoning in which Holy God will deliver His justice to rid the world of sin.

    John 16:8 the verse that mentions sin, righteousness and judgment is the ministry of the Holy Spirit to the unsaved world. The basic sin of the unsaved world is defined as unbelief. Jesus is the standard of righteousness because Jesus returned to the Father. And judgment has already begun because the prince of this world has been judged as demonstrated through the resurrection.

    I just don’t see how this verse can be applied to the church – “convict the world and the church within it of its sin” – because the sin of the world is unbelief in Jesus and not the church because the church believes. The church also believes in the righteousness of Jesus and the resurrection

  143. Ken G wrote:

    the sin of the world is unbelief in Jesus and not the church because the church believes

    Much of what we discuss on TWW are sins of the “church” within the Church. Not everybody that goes to church is the Church, including some in the pulpit. Much of the organized church is a sub-culture of the world … unbelieving “believers” occupy its pews. However, praise God for the Church within the church.

    Agreed, the overriding sin of the world is unbelief in Jesus.

  144. Kal wrote:

    I’ve heard Mr. Noble speak on a few occasions at Elevation … divorce … substance abuse

    Should he be speaking in church? Should we expect preachers to live more righteously? Should the pulpit be an example of pure and holy living for the pew to follow? Can Noble say as Paul “Imitate me, just as I imitate Christ”?

  145. @ Clay Crouch:
    Not at all. Your point about why would a pastor disclose personal details is well-taken.

    The point in my example was that there are pastors who share about their faith journey publicly only with their family members’ blessing, and with high regard for their family members.

    Whenever people share details about family members, there is the question of motivation and what does it do for the sharer and what does it do for the person being talked about. It’s possible the subject doesn’t want their situation talked about openly or for the benefit of garnering sympathy for the talker, and at the expense of exposing the sufferer to even more hurt.

    Munchausen syndrome by proxy (MSbP) is an example of a family member unnecessarily detailing, fabricating or exaggerating what another has gone through, for attention for themselves. Histrionics. Loudly, publicly parading suffering may not feel good to the one who has suffered.

  146. @ Jack:

    Even though I hold to the tenets of the Apostle’s Creed and especially its supernatural components as my articles of faith, I am still considered heretic and apostate in some circles because I may or may not believe this, that, or various other doctrinal items in the Christian religion.

  147. okrapod wrote:

    My former husband used to say he was a believer and then he started not believing, but I am not sure he ever did believe. None the less I never figured out what went on. Needless to say this impacted our lives greatly because he began ridiculing me and the kids-viciously and publicly-and I have never yet figured out what happened to him.

    I’ve heard it said that a convert is more fervent than someone raised in a given faith. I think this can be true of those who leave faith as well as those who join one.
    My wife is a Christian and we’ve had conversations regarding our differences but we’ve always been talkers and I think that’s helped.
    Sorry about what happened with your husband. Ridicule is also a form of abuse. Not cool.
    Your opinions are appreciated as well. Peace.

  148. Muff Potter wrote:

    Even though I hold to the tenets of the Apostle’s Creed and especially its supernatural components as my articles of faith, I am still considered heretic and apostate in some circles because I may or may not believe this, that, or various other doctrinal items in the Christian religion.

    I’m a liberal and a universalist. I think there are many roads to the truth and if your road takes you on a path of respect and tolerance, peace to yourself & others then go for it. I think it’s the doctor’s edict that says “do no harm”.

  149. @ Root 66:
    Everyone I would much rather listen from someone like pastor Noble than people who have not been through anything. My prayers goes out to this family. Now when you go through the trails of life and you will I pray and hope yku will find a person who’s been through it to help you. Prayers are what’s needed for this family. And stop kicking when they’re down. You never know what you may have to go through.

  150. Jack wrote:

    I’m a liberal and a universalist.

    I’m wary of claiming either of those labels, if only because they mean different things to different people, but but certainly I don’t need anyone else to go to hell so that I can go to heaven. While it would obviously be disrespectful of me to put those words in your mouth too, there’s at least a common core of thought here. One reason I appreciate your being a Wartburger!

  151. Jack wrote:

    I’m a liberal and a universalist. I think there are many roads to the truth and if your road takes you on a path of respect and tolerance, peace to yourself & others then go for it. I think it’s the doctor’s edict that says “do no harm”.

    Oh, my. Let me elucidate about ‘first do no harm’ since your quote there is taken from my line of work. It does not mean ‘do no harm’ in what may be the usual way to understand that phrase. Doctors do harm all the time-knowingly and without hesitation. The treatments for cancer include doing harm. My own cancer has been treated with a modality that I know right much about and which does harm, yet I not only let them do it, I chose it over certain other modalities of treatment as one of the primary ways to treat the condition.

    How it plays out in medical practice is as a reminder to be careful, to only do harm if there is no way to avoid it, to minimize harm, to be sure that more good than harm is done. Here is a link to an abstract on PubMed about this. Note the last sentence.

    ‘Despite insufficiencies, it remains a potent reminder that every medical and pharmacological decision carries the potential for harm.’

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15778417

    It is not possible for either you or for me to preach or practice our own understandings of god/no god without the risk of doing harm to some degree and to some people. If there is no god and I say there is, then some people may get trapped in some toxic religious system to their harm. If there is a god and you convince them that there is not, then they may miss their road which they needed to get to the truth.

    So is there a way to believe something and never let anybody know such as to avoid any possible risk of doing harm? No, I think not. Because failing to identify truth, if that is what one has found, is also harmful because people need to hear that there is such a thing as truth, they need to find their path (to relate to what you have said). To hide some answer that one believes to have found is can be harmful-people search for answers sometimes seemingly in spite of themselves.

    If there is a way to avoid the possibility of harm I have not seen it.

  152. Just as I am. wrote:

    Everyone I would much rather listen from someone like pastor Noble than people who have not been through anything

    Wow! So, you would prefer to listen to a guy who chose to drink, who has personality issues, has hurt and his wife and daughter because ….why?

    I want to hear a guy who did all of that and spent years sweeping floors in a homeless shelter and humbling himself. During that time, he spent many hours making amends to ALL the people he has hurt. During this time he has worked on his sobriety and was sober for 5 years. We are talking about years.

    Right now, you have a guy who has done NOTHING except claim to be sober after a quick treatment in a substance abuse facility. In fact, he sounds like typical Hollywood superficial actors who go in for treatment and then try to make it about their *bravery.*

    Also, you do not seem to understand that his sobriety did not lead to reconciliation in his marriage. I bet this guy is seriously difficult to deal with behind closed doors. His wife sure as heck doesn’t want to live with him and hasn’t for a loooong time. You should try to figure out why.

    I am concerned that you have listened to Noble far to much. I do not think you understand the Biblical narrative which applies to pastors, churches, repentance. Add to that your naivety about substance abuse and that leads to a comment like this.

    Noble needs to personally apologize to many, many people. He should also apologize to you for teaching you so poorly that you think we should listen to a guy who is in the throes of a total implosion.

  153. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    Which is the main reason I didn’t want to assume too much about where Tumbleweed is coming from. That, and I’ve greatly appreciated (his/her?) contribution here.

    Thanks.
    RE: Liturgical vs. non-liturgical, I can’t speak for other locales, but around here there is a huge difference. The non-liturgical folks see the liturgical folks as their mission field, which, as you can imagine, leads to all sorts of problems.

    I like to think of myself as a former switch hitter, when it comes to the question of worship style, but one who has now settled on his natural handedness, which is batting right handed, which is liturgical. No offense to lefties out there.

    RE: The OP. Apparently Perry Noble considers himself a prophet of / from God, so I assume that means that God speaks directly to him. Is that correct?

  154. Just as I am. wrote:

    I would much rather listen from someone like pastor Noble than people who have not been through anything

    JAIM, since you are new to TWW, you don’t know that the regular commenters here have been through some stuff! We know a thing or two because we’ve seen a thing or two. We speak from our collective experiences to inform and warn others about ministers and ministries which are taking the church for a ride. When you have been ensnared by a cult of personality, it’s tough to see the red flags which independent and experienced observers do. You can’t help others out if you are still in; you should Praise the Lord that you stumbled onto TWW.

  155. Just as I am. wrote:

    Everyone I would much rather listen from someone like pastor Noble than people who have not been through anything. My prayers goes out to this family. Now when you go through the trails of life and you will I pray and hope you will find a person who’s been through it to help you. Prayers are what’s needed for this family. And stop kicking when they’re down. You never know what you may have to go through.

    Much of what you say here is true. We do not know what is on the horizon for us, we should not kick people when they are down, we should be praying for him and his family, and we should seek out people to help us through trials in life.

    However, you should really be seeking to listen to someone who preaches Christ into your ears, and compare what Mr. Noble says to the word of God. Assuming you value the word of God over the preaching of Mr. Noble that is. What he has “gone through” or “is going through” is of no real value against the indulgences of the flesh, as his own life story makes plainly evident.

    Somewhere along the line people who listen to or ar led by celebrity preachers have to stop and compare the teachings of these men to Scripture. If you were to do so, you might find that there is a huge disconnect between the two, and it may lead you to stop listening to or being led by the celebrity preacher and to begin to search for someone who can preach and teach Christ to you.

    Compare Mr. Noble and what he has “gone through” with Jesus Christ and what He did FOR YOU and I am sure you would agree that Mr. Noble is not fit to carry Jesus’ sandals. So really, your comment, while well intentioned, serves to reveal that your focus is on the wrong man. It should be on Christ alone, and not on Perry Noble. Maybe someday Mr. Noble will come to the same realization. To that end we can surely pray.

  156. A.Tumbleweed wrote:

    RE: Liturgical vs. non-liturgical… [etc]

    Fair point – thinking about it, we do get some extremes over here as well. I think the UK church culture has benefited from the fact that the evangelical and charismatic zones (for want of a better word) of the Church of England remain liturgical, so there’s a decent mix. Personally, I’m happy worshipping anywhere if it feels genuine (accepting that “feels” is not infallible!).

    I hadn’t registered that Mr Noble thinks he’s a prophet. If so… TBH, your guess is as good as mine what he means by that!

  157. @ A.Tumbleweed:
    Great comment, Tumbleweed! Your words fit so many other errant minister/ministry stories addressed on TWW. Much of the organized church is focused on a man, rather than Christ.

  158. Just as I am. wrote:

    @ Root 66:
    Everyone I would much rather listen from someone like pastor Noble than people who have not been through anything

    Did he ‘go through something’ or did he *put other people* through something?

    Key difference.

  159. @ Just as I am.:
    Regardless, he is not even ‘through it’ yet. I would give it a few years to see if he learns anything and really changes. How could you possibly trust him at this moment?

  160. A.Tumbleweed wrote:

    RE: The OP. Apparently Perry Noble considers himself a prophet of / from God…

    Had to proclaim himself Prophet; “Head Apostle” is already taken (chuckle chuckle).

    As my writing partner put it, “If you come across a preacher who claims the title “Apostle” or “Prophet”, RUN!”

  161. Lea wrote:

    @ Just as I am.:
    Regardless, he is not even ‘through it’ yet. I would give it a few years to see if he learns anything and really changes. How could you possibly trust him at this moment?

    What part of “Pastor Pee is LOOORD!” don’t you understand?

    This is a Harley Quinn who’s found her Joker.

  162. Just as I am. wrote:

    Everyone I would much rather listen from someone like pastor Noble than people who have not been through anything.

    This is a false choice. I agree there is value in life experience but that does not mean we should give value to someone’s teaching whose adversity stems from their continuing bad choices. Discernment is important and Proverbs supplies a good deal of wisdom on the subject of who to learn from and hang out with,”Walk with the wise to become wise”. Similarly Proverbs also provides warning following the wrong people.

  163. Kal wrote:

    Is there more to the story?

    Good grief yes, please read up on the story of Dr. James Duncan and get back to us.

  164. A.Tumbleweed wrote:

    Somewhere along the line people who listen to or are led by celebrity preachers have to stop and compare the teachings of these men to Scripture. If you were to do so, you might find that there is a huge disconnect between the two, and it may lead you to stop listening to or being led by the celebrity preacher and to begin to search for someone who can preach and teach Christ to you.

    I think the same advice would be applicable to any preacher, whether of celebrity variety or not. It can be very stressful to compare their teachings to Scripture and try to determine if there is a disconnect because if there is a disconnect it may not be very apparent or what may appear to be a disconnect is actually subjective. On the other hand, it seems then if we attend a church whose teachings are in accord with our understanding of Scripture we run the risk such teachings may be incorrect because our understanding of Scripture is incorrect.

  165. Just as I am. wrote:

    @ Root 66:
    Everyone I would much rather listen from someone like pastor Noble than people who have not been through anything. My prayers goes out to this family. Now when you go through the trails of life and you will I pray and hope yku will find a person who’s been through it to help you. Prayers are what’s needed for this family. And stop kicking when they’re down. You never know what you may have to go through.

    Your comment fascinates me. How could you desire to listen to someone who has no interest in living out the very message that he preaches? Frankly, I’m weary (and wary) of anyone who says, “do as I say, not as I do.” My Jesus did no such thing! He lived it out and encouraged us to do the same…as did Paul, Peter, James, John and everyone mentioned in Hebrews 11!

    Mr. Noble needs to quit preaching and get some much-needed help. I have no interest in his message and I’m not even able to hear it because his destructive life choices continue to drown it out. The fact that he is still given platforms in which to speak continues to baffle my imagination to no end.

    Think of it this way: if I went around eloquently preaching that 4+4=6, how many schools do you think I’d be allowed to speak in before somebody finally pulled the plug on me? Perry Noble’s message and lifestyle don’t add up either! I pray that he gets the help he needs and that his followers would evaluate what he says against the Word of God.

  166. Thersites wrote:

    I agree there is value in life experience but that does not mean we should give value to someone’s teaching whose adversity stems from their continuing bad choices.

    Are you saying that their teachings have led to or contributed to their continuing bad choices?

  167. A.Tumbleweed wrote:

    So really, your comment, while well intentioned, serves to reveal that your focus is on the wrong man. It should be on Christ alone

    Indeed. If church is merely meant to be ‘storytime’, well there are loads of people more interesting and who have ‘gone through’ more stuff than Noble. Really, his alcoholism is in many respects commonplace, sadly. Divorce as well.

    Church is not really supposed to be about us, it is supposed to be about God.

  168. Lea wrote:

    Church is not really supposed to be about us, it is supposed to be about God.

    maybe more like Christ in us?

  169. Pingback: Perry Noble Announces Divorce | 1st Feline Battalion

  170. Ken G wrote:

    Are you saying that their teachings have led to or contributed to their continuing bad choices?

    I wasn’t thinking of that implication but now that you mention it.

  171. Max wrote:

    Religious entertainment in American churches has darn near replaced the serious things of God.

    Good observation.

  172. Lea wrote:

    Church is not really supposed to be about us, it is supposed to be about God.

    If it’s not about us, why then did God leave his throne room to be born of woman and become one of us?

  173. Muff Potter wrote:

    Lea wrote:
    Church is not really supposed to be about us, it is supposed to be about God.

    If it’s not about us, why then did God leave his throne room to be born of woman and become one of us?

    It’s not about us in the sense that it’s not about the pastors personal journey.

  174. @ Loren Haas:
    A.Tumbleweed wrote:

    Apparently Perry Noble considers himself a prophet of / from God,

    No, you heard him wrong. He didn’t say “I am a prophet”, but “I wanna profit”. People just don’t know how to listen these days.
    🙂

  175. Either way, why doesn’t Pastor Pee just go on a reality show alongside Kim Kardashian and Honey Boo-Boo? And if he did, could anyone tell the difference?

  176. Gus wrote:

    He didn’t say “I am a prophet”, but “I wanna profit”

    The American church has become a non-prophet organization. Religious entertainment is the theme of the day; true prophets of the Lord won’t have anything to do with it.

  177. … this is the 200th comment on this thread! Hurrah.

    (Unless a deleterated comment is waiting in the wings to appear retrospectively!)

  178. okrapod wrote:

    If there is no god and I say there is, then some people may get trapped in some toxic religious system to their harm. If there is a god and you convince them that there is not, then they may miss their road which they needed to get to the truth

    Your comment gives much food for thought. This part seems to be a play on pascal’s wager.
    Thanks for the insight into “do no harm”. I was trained as a medical lab technologist so have some background in medical ethics.
    If God exists and he’s the master of the universe, he has not seen fit to provide me with a clear road map in this life.
    The folks at newspring church no doubt believe their theology (god has given them no reason not to). Noble runs amok with his defenders, so does Driscoll, and for that matter scientology still makes a mint. Paydays all around.
    If harm is being dispensed then ultimately the buck stops with the creator of it all. I just do the best I can.
    Hey, I didn’t write a divinely inpired book with edicts to put people to death. Edicts that are being used to great effect in Saudi Arabia and Iran.

  179. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    I’m a liberal and a universalist.

    I’m wary of claiming either of those labels, if only because they mean different things to different people, but but certainly I don’t need anyone else to go to hell so that I can go to heaven. While it would obviously be disrespectful of me to put those words in your mouth too, there’s at least a common core of thought here. One reason I appreciate your being a Wartburger!

    I’m a universalist insofar as I don’t believe in forcing my beliefs on someone else. My Hindu coworker is a standup guy. Hardworking, honest. He’s donated his time to charity and is a person of faith. We get along famously. I can respect his belief without subscribing to it. If I was Christian, to denigrate it would not bring him to christ. Much better to live your life as an example in harmony. People like Piper would tell us him and his family were created to be destroyed by god. I reject that. And I applaud TWw in its nonjudgemental stance as far as the wide disparity of beliefs even within Christianity.
    And i’m glad you and your many incarnations are here as well!

  180. Jack wrote:

    This part seems to be a play on pascal’s wager.

    I would need to check it out, but was it Pascal who thought that the safer bet was to bet that there is a god? I am not sure I can go that far, because then one has to bet on what that god might be like, and to phrase it one way who that god might be. One could end up with one of the Ba’al ideas I would think. Was he not trying to wager on the lesser badness of the bad result if one were wrong? Somehow for me that is too vague, since the proposed results of either way are based on presumptions and suppositions.

    On the other hand if somebody says that they themselves function better if they assume that there is a god, and assume who/what that god may be, then I am inclined to say that at least their approach is based on what they seem to actually observe or experience instead of just assumptions. They could of course be mistaken, but at least they are trying to be observational.

    I do not think that there is any proof for the existence of God, thought there are some good philosophical arguments for the conclusion that there might be, or even that there is a probability that there is. Personally I think that observed reality, or at least what we think is reality, is sufficient to sustain the probability, but there is also evidence of some stuff that would lead one to doubt the power or veracity or good intentions of god-if-there-is-a-god.

    I think that one is sometimes ‘converted’ to theism when one decides or perhaps realizes that one thinks that god-if-there-is-a-god is good rather than evil, involved rather than absent, and approachable rather than distant. Absent that, who wants to even consider the possibility that some evil, absent and indifferent god might even exist? Obviously, not I. One of my favorite apologists, William Lane Craig, says that he was converted and believes not because of the arguments for the existence of God which have made him successful and well known (okay, tell it like it Is) but rather one day he realized that God loved him, and he believed. One hears that sort of thing all the time, but not universally.

    I believe because one day I realized that I believed. Apparently I believed before I knew I believed. That’s it. Pro and con notwithstanding. Ideas, emotions, lightning from the sky-not even remotely that. I just realized that for better or for worse and even if I am mistaken, I believe. Now for me that is scarily close to some of the ideas of grace that one hears from calvinists, and I am not even close to being a calvinist.

    Nobody said that anything was easy to do, to explain or to understand. I rather like the saying that some things are rather like trying to run in a swamp. Well, sometimes anyhow.

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