Francis Chan warns church members not to criticize *anointed* spiritual leaders like himself on social media

“Joy is the serious business of Heaven.” C. S. Lewis

Recently, Francis Chan was quoted in an article in The Christian Post. In Francis Chan Warns Against Criticizing Church Leaders: ‘Be Careful With the Lord’s Anointed’, Chan

invoked Scripture in warning Christians to be careful of how they criticize church leaders.

Chan is well liked by The Gospel Coalition and Mark Driscoll who ironically appeared to chastise him for his simple living and his willingness to give up his mega church to become a missionary for a period of time. Here is part of his bio from Wikipedia.

He is the former teaching pastor of a Church in Simi Valley, California, a church he and his wife started in 1994.[1] He is also the Founder and Chancellor of Eternity Bible College[2] and author of the best-selling books, Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God, which came out in 2009,[3] and most recently, You and Me Forever: Marriage In Light of Eternity, which came out in 2014.[4] He released his second book Forgotten God: Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit in August 2009. His other works include Erasing Hell in 2011, Multiply: Disciples Making Disciples in 2012, and the Basic Series by Francis Chan, a DVD series started in 2010. He also sits on the board of directors of Children’s Hunger Fund and World Impact.

Chan is known for speaking at major national and international events and conferences. In December 2016, he spoke at the Chinese Mission Convention in Baltimore, Maryland.

There is much to commend Chan in how he views money. He gives much of it away.

He is the former teaching pastor of a Church in Simi Valley, California, a church he and his wife started in 1994.[1] He is also the Founder and Chancellor of Eternity Bible College[2] and author of the best-selling books, Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God, which came out in 2009,[3] and most recently, You and Me Forever: Marriage In Light of Eternity, which came out in 2014.[4] He released his second book Forgotten God: Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit in August 2009. His other works include Erasing Hell in 2011, Multiply: Disciples Making Disciples in 2012, and the Basic Series by Francis Chan, a DVD series started in 2010. He also sits on the board of directors of Children’s Hunger Fund and World Impact.

Chan is known for speaking at major national and international events and conferences. In December 2016, he spoke at the Chinese Mission Convention in Baltimore, Maryland.

Chan has never been one to fit into the typical mold of the Calvinists. In fact, here is a post written about him titled Francis Chan the Bud-Light Calvinist. Back in 2010, TWW wrote a post David Platt and Francis Chan: Two Calvinistas I Could Grow to Love. Although we have changed somewhat from our early viewpoints, there is much to admire about Chan. Both Platt and Chan believed that people should sacrifice their lifestyle to live radically for Jesus, which caused some Calvinistas to claim that Platt and Chan were developing a new form of monasticism. Ed Stetzer wrote Radical Christianity: A Call to Legalism or a Cause to Live? 

Touch not the Lord’s anointed: What does it mean?

As Chan ages, he seems to be channeling the old time Southern Baptist preacher who refuses to listen to criticism because one must not *touch the Lord’s anointed.* A decent explanation of this saying comes from a portion of an article in Charisma News: Be Careful When You Touch God’s Anointed.

Psalm 105:15 is one of the Scriptures most taken out of context in the Bible. Many have invoked the passage, “Do not touch my anointed ones, and do no harm to my prophets” as a means of skirting accountability for false teaching and for sin.

Unwittingly, I have been guilty of callously spewing this scripture in the past to defend certain preachers. I didn’t do it because of defiance or an attitude of superiority, but because of my own biblical ignorance. I simply did not know the Word of God. Recently, I have repented and taken great steps to correct this.

…When studying Psalm 105:15, Hux says you will see that it has nothing to do with questioning the teachings of church leaders. In this context, rather, the words “touch” and “do no harm” refer to inflicting physical harm upon someone. Specifically, the phrase “touch not the Lord’s anointed” refers to David’s hesitance to kill King Saul when the opportunity arose. Previously, David indeed had rebuked Saul publicly, and he had done it more than once.

Although Saul was referred to as “God’s anointed,” Saul still needed to be accountable for his actions and his words.

This past weekend, I had a sad conversation with a men who attended a church plant. Over the course of a couple of years, he found much that he did not agree with in his church. He decided to resign. However, he was not *allowed* to resign because he was put on retroactive church discipline. He left the church that he disagreed with but the church would not let him leave. He was told he needed to come back to his church in order for them to excommunicate him for leaving without permission!

It is often hard to know what you are signing up for when you join a church.

Most Christians seek out and join churches. In many churches today, joining a church is a formal step. One signs a church membership agreement or allows their name to be placed on a church membership roll. However, how many people actually know their pastors or how their church actually functions prior to joining?

I would contend that most people have no idea what they are signing up for when they join a particular church. Sometimes, that lack of knowledge leads to unexpected conflict.

For example, at TWW we have written about a fair number of “secrets” that churches hide from prospective members. They hide these in order to attract members. Once they get the person on board, they then start the indoctrination process. Here are a few examples.

  1. Certain core doctrines such as Calvinism or complementarianism
  2. Denominational affiliation. In particular, many churches now hide that they are associated with the Southern Baptist Convention
  3. Authoritarian leadership
  4. Church affiliations with groups such as The Gospel Coalition, Acts 29 or 9 Marks.

I remember talking with one pastor. I asked him why the church didn’t alert prospective members regarding their belief in 5 point Calvinism. He said that he didn’t want such an issue to prevent people from joining the church. I pointed out that all of the classes in the church were centered around that doctrine and that it seemed to me that it was a bait and switch. That one issue caused difficulty for couple in my Sunday school class who suddenly found out, after several years of membership, that the church would be moving in that direction. They quit and were quite upset since they had devoted time to building relationships that went by the wayside when they realized that they could not, in good conscience, continue to attend.

This sort of frustrating experience by the members will inevitably impact the leadership of the church. Conflict is inevitable. The conflict is avoidable with up front, carefully defined doctrines and expectations. If these expectations are kept hidden, the ensuing expressions of discontent are the fault of the leadership. If those concerns spill over onto social media, the leadership needs to look in the mirror.

The problem is compounded by a 9 Marks rules enforcing quick church membership.

If you read the church contracts in 9 Marks’ associated churches, you will find that members must tell the church if they decide to resign. They must resign without being *under discipline* and they must immediately start attending a 9 Marks approved church and join said church quickly.

As we have demonstrated in previous posts, many people realize, after joining a 9 Marks church, that they disagree with certain *essentials* of 9 Marks membership. We documented this in My, My Dubai. 9 Marks Played Hardball

Our good friend, Todd Wilhelm, did not initially realize that his 9 Marks church in Dubai sold books by CJ Mahaney and touted Mahaney’s ministry. Todd, a victims’ advocate, took exception to this and resigned from the church. However, he did not immediately join another church. This is against 9 Marks rules. He was placed on a publicly discussed church discipline list within the church.

Todd, on the other hand, wanted to carefully investigate all of his church opportunities before proceeding with membership to avoid finding himself in another church with which he disagreed. UCCD didn’t give a hoot. All they wanted was for Todd to follow their silly rules. Did it ever occur to 9 Marks that Todd wanted to really understand his next church before joining? Yet it was Todd who was blamed for his *disobedience.*

Would Chan say that Todd was to blame for expressing his frustration on social media? In fact, was not the *anointed* UCCD leadership to blame for their ill defined and authoritarian gamesmanship?

Would Chan say that he has no problem with Todd Wilhelm’s name being placed on a *church discipline* list to be read by the *anointed* leadership before the entire church on a regular basis? Why does the church get a pass for being mean spirited and unnecessarily cruel?

Most people want to help their churches and pastors; not harm them

Sadly, there appears to be a *them versus us* standoff developing in many churches. is it really the *anointed* us (leadership) against the great non-anointed them?

I actually believe that most people want to help their churches and pastors, not to cause them harm.

I am so grateful to belong to my church. I love and respect the pastors, vicar, Director of Christian Education and the interns. My pastors have been kind to me as I continue to put myself in the public eye dealing with abuse issues. In return, I try to be a support to them. For example, I was asked to help with a group of children. It was not something that I had considered prior to being asked. I agreed to do it out of respect for my pastor and am so glad that I did. I made a new friend in a fellow volunteer and I enjoy seeing the kids around the church and in the community.

However, my husband and I attended the church for almost two years before becoming members.Why? We watched for red flags. We tried to figure out if we could support the ministry and make a positive contribution. We had no wish to join a church with which we had significant disagreement. That time of observation was well spent. We have finally found a church home in which we can be at peace and the church is also comfortable with us.

However, had I been previously a member of a 9 Marks church, I could have been place *under discipline* for not immediately join another *approved* church. The rule is foolish and could leads to further church conflicts by forcing people to join churches that they know nothing about.

Just because a pastor has written a book or has spoken at the *right* conferences does not mean that they are good pastors. In fact, some can be pretty bad or even abusive pastors.

Sometimes Christians in churches must speak out against church leaders gone wrong.

Here is what Chan said according to The Christian Post:

He said the culture of relentless feedback and criticism in which pastors work today has made it much more difficult for them to lead.

“We live in a time when people are quick to criticize church and leadership, with this assumption that they know better. It’s just a very, very difficult time for Christian leaders to lead,” he said.

Unfortunately, Chan misuses the Scripture when he says:

He urged Christians to be like David, who modeled a spirit of humility and submitted to Saul because he knew that God would fight his battle for him.

David did not kill Saul but that doesn’t mean he overlooked Saul’s sins. In fact, David spoke out against Saul’s sins. This was a good thing and should serve as a standard for us today. None of us intend to *kill* a person by bringing forth legitimate problems. Many church leaders are shocked when “narcissistic nobodies” (Matt Chandler called a critic that name ) suddenly find a voice and critique *narcissistic somebodies* in the pulpit.

The Lutheran store has a coffee mug that has the word *saint* on one side and *sinner* on the other. Every single Christian has the propensity to sin. That doesn’t mean just the church members. It includes the pastors.

  • Should we have given an anointed Andy Savage a pass for his assault of Jules Woodson? Should we have let him go on being a mega church star while Jules continued to suffer from the aftermath of his sin against her?
  • Maybe we should have just kept silent about the number of child sex abuse cover up allegations against Sovereign Grace Ministries? Should the *anointed* pastors involved get to continue with their *anointed ministry* without criticism while the victims and families are denied justice?
  • Does Bill Hybels get a pass because he is somehow anointed? Does that mean he is more important in God’s eyes than those who have been hurt?
  • What about the *anointed* Frank Page? Is he more important that the other half of his ill defined *inappropriate relationship?”
  • Does UCCDubai (9Marks) get to embarrass Todd Wilhelm by keeping him on a stupid church discipline list because he wouldn’t join an approved church immediately upon leaving the hallowed anointed halls of that church?

What does anointed really mean anyway?

Forgive me but I am having trouble understanding what makes someone anointed these days. I get someone being called to the pastorate. I get someone being ordained into the pastorate.

Chan appears to link the word *anointing* only with leadership in The Christian Post article. In this, he misses the boat.

But let’s remember the story of David with Saul. Where’s that spirit in the church today? I just want to be careful with the Lord’s anointed. We’re surrounded by a culture that tries to reserve the strongest words to bash leadership

According to What is the anointing? What does it mean to be anointed? at Got Questions it seems like all Christians are anointed in one way or another.

The New Testament Greek words for “anoint” are chrio, which means “to smear or rub with oil” and, by implication, “to consecrate for office or religious service”; and aleipho, which means “to anoint.”

…Another meaning for the word anointed is “chosen one.” The Bible says that Jesus Christ was anointed by God with the Holy Spirit to spread the Good News and free those who have been held captive by sin (Luke 4:18-19; Acts 10:38). After Christ left the earth, He gave us the gift of the Holy Spirit (John 14:16). Now all Christians are anointed, chosen for a specific purpose in furthering God’s Kingdom (1 John 2:20). “Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee” (2 Corinthians 1:21-22).

It would seem to me that there must be mutual respect between those *anointed for religious office* and those *anointed to further God’s kingdom.* I have been fortunate in my life to have been a member in several churches in which that mutual respect was in the forefront. I still love those churches and pastors.

Given the  Chan’s tirade, I would steer clear of any church in which he was the *anointed one.* He seems to believe he is on a different plain than the rest of us.


Comments

Francis Chan warns church members not to criticize *anointed* spiritual leaders like himself on social media — 270 Comments

  1. Anointed or just plain old wolves? Oh yes, and let’s not forget thst false teachings were called out publicly in the New Testament by Paul.

  2. Second…

    There’s a warning in the New Testament that brings into sharp relief something that is much more subtly hinted at in the Old. Namely:

    Insofar as you did it for the least of these brothers of mine, you did it for me.

    The second half of the article – actually, more than half – wherein Mr Chan explains why he left the megachurch model, I find to be very encouraging. I’d like to ask him more of what he means by the first part; this isn’t likely to happen because I’ll almost certainly never meet him, but he does have at least some point about social media. Not all of it is about victims. (I often think of the fictitious Sirius Black’s observation to Harry, Ron and her Maya-knee – “The world’s not divided into good people and death eaters”.)

  3. ION: Cricket

    At the time of writing, New Zealand have 4 wickets remaining with one more session to bat out before stumps on the final day. They’re almost certainly not going to score the 184 runs they need for victory, but with no breakthrough in sight for England, the Kiwis have also almost certainly saved the draw, and have won the 2-match series.

  4. This “touch not God’s anointed” is one of my pet peeves. When did killing a king with a sword become conflated with pointing out a leader is wrong? There’s way too much authoritarianism in the church and maybe if those church leaders would listen when concerns are brought to them in person, there wouldn’t be a need for social media.

    I personally believe a large part of the problem is that leaders have become used to controlling the microphone and thus, the narrative. Social media removes the monopoly on the narrative and that freaks them out.

  5. @ one ae’ the wee folk:

    That’s why I’m conflicted over this one. Chan has a point, insofar as social media gives a microphone to everyone and not everyone uses it responsibly. (English comedian Dave Gorman does some really funny skits based on quotes from what he calls “the bottom half of the internet”.) But as you say, the verse has been grossly misused for many years and there is an entrenched leadership culture in the church that is destroying the lives of believers in real time.

  6. Shawn Akers (with Clete Hux) in the Charisma article is taking the verse out of context when he says Ps 105:15 is about David and Saul.
    David never mentions Saul in Ps 105. It’s about the patriarchs and their wives. Per Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers:
    “Psalm 105:14
    He suffered no man to do them wrong: yea, he reproved kings for their sakes;
    (14) Wrong.—The allusion is doubtless to the incidents connected with Sarah and Rebekah at the courts of Egypt and Philistia. (See Genesis 26:11.)
    Psalm 105:15
    Saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.
    (15) Anointed.—In the plural, “my anointed ones.” As referring to the patriarchs, the expression is not technical, since they were never, like priests, prophets, and kings in later times, actually anointed. But the terms being sometimes applied to the covenant people as a whole (see Psalm 89:38; Psalm 89:51), its application to the founders of the race, especially those to whom the “promises came,” is very just.
    As to the term “prophet,” the poet found it expressly conferred on Abraham in Genesis 20:7.”
    And in verse 6 God had just told Abimelech not to “touch” Sarah.
    Later Abimelech (Jr?) threatens anyone who “touches” Isaac or Rebekah with the death penalty.

  7. There are often hidden rules–even within the Missouri Synod Lutheran church which requires you to be a Member! before you can take communion there.

  8. @ Nick Bulbeck:

    You not sleeping Nick or did you stay up for the match?

    I think there can be a conversation about addressing problems in the church on social media and how it can be done responsibly. Unfortunately, Chan loses me at “anointed”.

  9. Very disappointed about Chan’s comments. I don’t see any special “annointing” in respect to a pastor with exception to their gifting as it is found in Ephesians 4. If they are truly gifted by the Spirit they won’t be abusing anyone and they will desire to protect their flock. Sadly there are too many Nicolatians in the pulpits of America. A swamp draining is needing of them not a “fear” that they might be somehow annointed.

  10. Somebody please explain to me how a bad relationship between a pastor and a parishioner could even remotely be
    compared to David and Saul???? Has Chan even read Samuel and Kings I & II?

  11. Never been a fan. His leaving his mega church lifestyle to pursue where God would lead him always smacked of manipulating his audiences to follow his lead. Yet he still continued making mega bucks from his book and appearances. The average person would not be able to do that.
    The article explained this “touch not mine anointed” issue well. Aren’t we believers anointed by the Holy Spirit? Kind of levels that playing field, doesn’t it? All of this pride at the top is sickening.

  12. Mercy wrote:

    Aren’t we believers anointed by the Holy Spirit? Kind of levels that playing field, doesn’t it?

    Romans 12, 1 Cor. 12, Eph, 4. All annointed and gifted, level ground at the foot of the cross, at various stages of growth.

    What Dee wrote: “I have been fortunate in my life to have been a member in several churches in which that mutual respect was in the forefront.”

    If there’s trouble in Social Media Land, why wouldn’t Chan preach mutual respect? His message seems one-sided.

  13. JYJames wrote:

    Mercy wrote:
    Aren’t we believers anointed by the Holy Spirit? Kind of levels that playing field, doesn’t it?
    Romans 12, 1 Cor. 12, Eph, 4. All annointed and gifted, level ground at the foot of the cross, at various stages of growth.
    What Dee wrote: “I have been fortunate in my life to have been a member in several churches in which that mutual respect was in the forefront.”
    If there’s trouble in Social Media Land, why wouldn’t Chan preach mutual respect? His message seems one-sided.

    It IS one sided. This is all too common amongst those who stand in lofty pulpits. It is a false humility. Hypocrites.

  14. one of the little people wrote:

    You not sleeping Nick or did you stay up for the match?

    I woke up and needed to pace a bit. And/or check on the cricket.

    The match has now ended, and New Zealand did hold on for the draw – 2 wickets remaining at stumps.

  15. JYJames wrote:

    If there’s trouble in Social Media Land, why wouldn’t Chan preach mutual respect? His message seems one-sided.

    It’s the key message of TGC. And Chan has become as swayed by them as many of the others. Or maybe he was pretending all along.

  16. “We live in a time when people are quick to criticize church and leadership, with this assumption that they know better. It’s just a very, very difficult time for Christian leaders to lead,” he said.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    complementarianism has fumigated christian culture with leadership gas. makes many christian men real loopy. all they can talk about is their leading as they lead in their leadership because they are leaders. many pastors closest to the fumes are especially fixated.

    it’s as if we’d all be sitting around staring were it not for them.

    while they are high on the belief that their manhood and spiritual virility depends on them leading, quite frankly, since when do I need a leader?

  17. Well, I may have made up my mind on conversion. We were in St. Fin Barre Cathedral in Cork, Ireland for Easter. Church of Ireland ( Anglican, Episcopalian) for Easter morning services.
    Was one of the best services I have attended in years…..and the Bishop’s sermon….” Christ came for all, and we have ignored the talents of women in the church too long.”
    And the usher was very open about us taking the ” body and blood.”
    It will kill my 87 year old mother who is SBC to the core. But I will start classes to convert when we return. ( I wonder how much I’ll learn in the denominational history? My thesis was on ” The Oxford Movement and, ties to the American Espicopalians .”

  18. Apologies for repeating the very quote fae the The Christian Post article that elastigirl has just cited (with a well-made point, incidentally) but I’m going to take it in a slightly different direction:

    “We live in a time when people are quick to criticize church and leadership, with this assumption that they know better. It’s just a very, very difficult time for Christian leaders to lead,” he said.

    I suspect I’m going to bore the Land of Wartburg with a whole string of comments all saying basically the same thing here. (Feel free to skip them.)

    But if Mr Chan has taken these two observations to heart, and given also his stated disaffection for the celebrity-guru-oriented quasi-christian organisational model, he may be well on the way to grasping something very important.

    That is, he may be starting to know how it feels to be part of a church that practices heavy shepherding. How many other Wartburgers could tell much the same story as this? Quite a few, I think.

    For years, I was relentlessly criticised and judged by the same leaders I was bending over backwards to honour, serve, and submit to – based on the very notions Mr Chan has taken from the Psalms. Those leaders always, always, always thought they knew better than I how to live my life. And even when events proved conclusively that they did not, they scoffed at the idea that they were accountable to me for it. I let one leader in particular stand in my house, in front of my wife, and revile me, curse me and rip me to shreds until Lesley was reduced to tears, and I stood there quietly and humbly and took it because I honestly believed I should. (To this day I hate myself for that.)

    When we finally left the church, the CEO denounced me as divisive and, predictably, commanded them to have nothing to do with me – and certainly not to approach me to find out my side of the story or weigh any of his accusations against evidence. This was a “social medium” to which I had no access and in which I was given no voice. And during all this time, I wasn’t paid a penny in wages, nor did I receive a penny in expenses for the thousands of miles I drove around Glasgow transporting people to meetings I didn’t call and that, on comically many occasions, they didn’t even want to be at. Nobody offered me a book deal or invited me to speak at their conferences. And I wasn’t alone.

    I commend Mr Chan for at least being able to relinquish one facet of the luxury and privilege that a select few are given in church. He might describe them as an “anointed” few. But with the greatest respect, he’s only halfway there.

  19. @ Forrest:
    P.S. Please don’t beat youself up over actions or inactions that took place while your eyes were still in the process of being opened. There are many positives you can take from that same time in your history.

  20. Quite by coincidence I’ve been reading through William Perkins’ Exposition of the Apostles’ Creed and was struck by the following passage last night. He is speaking on the meaning of the word “Christ”. He says “Now we come to the second title of the Son of God, whereby He is termed Christ; which title is as it were the surname of the second Person, as some do think; yet according to the opinion of some others, it is no name at all, but only a mere appellation, as when in the like case a particular man is called a duke or a king. It is all one with Messiah in Hebrew wherewith the Redeemer was named in the Old Testament, and both signify Anointed.

    Among the Jews before the coming of Christ, three estates or orders of men were anointed with oil: First of all, kings, as Saul, David, and the rest of the kings of Judah. Secondly, the priests that served in the tabernacle and temple before the Lord, when they were ordained, and as it were, installed into the priesthood, were anointed with oil, as first of all Aaron and his sons, but afterward the high priests alone. Thirdly, prophets were thus anointed, as Elijah.

    Now this legal anointing was a type and figure of the anointing of Christ; which was not with bodily oil, but by the Spirit, and it was more excellent than all other anointings were. For David saith (Psa. 45:7) He was anointed with the oil of gladness above all His fellows, signifying that neither king, priest, nor prophet was ever anointed in the same manner as He was.

    Christ’s anointing is according to both His natures; for in what nature He is Mediator, in the same He is anointed; but according to both His natures jointly He is a Mediator; the Godhead is no Mediator without the manhood, nor the manhood without the Godhead; and therefore His anointing extends itself both to His Godhead and to His manhood……..Now the benefits which we receive by His anointing are two:

    1. The first is that all the elect when they are called to the profession of the gospel of Christ, are in and by Him set apart and made spiritual kings, priests and prophets, as St John saith (Rev. 1:6), He hath made us kings and priests unto His Father. And St Peter (Acts 2:17), out of Joel, I will pour (saith the Lord) my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and daughters shall prophesy.

    2. The second benefit is that all the faithful receive the same oil, that is, the same Spirit of God in some little and convenient measure, which He received above measure, as St John saith (1 John 2:17), The anointing which ye have received abideth in you, and teacheth you all things; where by anointing is meant the Holy Ghost. And hence it is that men are called Christians of the name of Christ, that is, anointed with the same oil wherewith Christ was anointed (Psa. 105:15). And the holy oil might not be given to a stranger (Exod. 30:33), to signify that to have the Spirit of Christ, and to be guided by it, is peculiar to them that are Christ’s.”

    Christians are God’s anointed. It is not a term reserved only for self appointed leaders.

    Now then let us all lay these things to our hearts, and extol the unspeakable goodness of God, that hath advanced us to the dignity of kings, priests, prophets before Him, and hath given His Spirit unto us, to enable us to be so indeed.

  21. I find very interesting how these “preachers” love to go to the Old Testiment verses to justify their “authoriarian positions/opinions”, especially when under fire. The core of Christainity is the “good news” of the reserection… the “new covenant” … and the protestant concept of the priesthood of the believer as demonstrated by the torn curtain in the Holy of Holies…

  22. And as for “do my prophets no harm”…..that doesn’t give them a pass either. You have to remember that Aaron and Miriam were both criticised and punished for their wrongdoing.

  23. molly245 wrote:

    There are often hidden rules–even within the Missouri Synod Lutheran church which requires you to be a Member! before you can take communion there.

    That is not true in every Missouri Synod church. I know that from experience.

  24. @ K.D.:

    You will find that there are many variations among parishes even when they share the same official name. They told us that up front, that can be seen from online research, and I have found that to be true. That said, I hope you find among ‘us’ a place which will benefit your life as much as the place I found among ‘us’ has benefited my life.

  25. Lowlandseer wrote:

    all the faithful receive the same oil, that is, the same Spirit of God in some little and convenient measure, which He received above measure, as St John saith (1 John 2:17), The anointing which ye have received abideth in you, and teacheth you all things; where by anointing is meant the Holy Ghost. And hence it is that men are called Christians of the name of Christ, that is, anointed with the same oil wherewith Christ was anointed (Psa. 105:15). And the holy oil might not be given to a stranger (Exod. 30:33), to signify that to have the Spirit of Christ, and to be guided by it, is peculiar to them that are Christ’s.”

    Christians are God’s anointed. It is not a term reserved only for self appointed leaders.

    Thank you, this is lovely.

  26. In the OT, prophets and certain Jewish leaders were anointed. This was only among God’s chosen people, not the gentiles. Now as children of God we are all anointed. Pastors are supposed to be servant leaders, not a special class of “anointed”.

  27. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    Chan has a point, insofar as social media gives a microphone to everyone and not everyone uses it responsibly.

    I agree. However, I would far rather all people have access to say something as opposed to only a few. Here is how I approach the Internet. I have been accused of all sorts of things online. I try not to take it personally unless I believe I am being threatened which is exceedingly rare. If I don’t like what someone says, I just move on. I do not need to read anyone’s comments if I don’t wish to do so. Sometimes, I eve stop and pray for the person.

  28. @ dee:

    Don’t be surprised when you do find it. The LCMS church of which the Lutheran school was part and where two of my grandkids went did limit the eucharist to members, with exceptions. The printed material in the pew at the time said that if someone was an LCMS lutheran but not of that congregation they could speak to the pastor beforehand and ask for permission to participate. I got the ‘feeling’ that they were saying just make yourself known to avoid embarrassment.

  29. @ Mark:
    I agree. I believe that there needs to be mutual respect. I have been so glad to be in a number of churches where this is practiced.

  30. okrapod wrote:

    The printed material in the pew at the time said that if someone was an LCMS lutheran but not of that congregation they could speak to the pastor beforehand and ask for permission to participate

    Again, I know, from personal experience that this is not the case in all LCMS churches. I think it is important to look at each church individually. Had I to done that throughout my Christian walk I would have missed a couple of really great churches.

  31. How about including ***don’t touch the kiddos*** ***don’t touch the secretary*** ***don’t touch the counselee*** ***don’t twist the Scriptures in a self-serving way***

  32. @ Nick Bulbeck:

    I am so sorry that happened to you. May I tell you a story with a bit of’ ‘at least’ in it?

    There was a cardiac surgeon whose name I have forgotten but who had established himself at the top of the heap in his field. His accomplishments were remarkable for the day. Wannabe cardiac surgeons competed to learn from him. He had the reputation of being a tyrant in the OR. One story is that a young man there to learn from the master displeased him in some way in the OR. The great one then pulled an IV stand over (the sort of thing that wheels around and has hanger points for IV fluid bottles) and he proceeded to take tape and tape the young man’s hands to the IV stand and leave him like that while he berated him in front of one and all in the OR. There was much indignation expressed, and the old coot did himself no favors with that behavior.

    Or so the story went at the time. Gods in the flesh have no idea about God in the Spirit and they can be the worst of the worst to deal with. But not all of them are preachers.

  33. “Both Platt and Chan believed that people should sacrifice their lifestyle to live radically for Jesus, which caused some Calvinistas to claim that Platt and Chan were developing a new form of monasticism. Ed Stetzer wrote Radical Christianity: A Call to Legalism or a Cause to Live? “

    I haven’t kept up with Chan but Platt taught sacrificial living (a few figured out you couldn’t sell enough or give enoug away to ever to compete as most sacrificial) and then he blew it off to take a cushy six figure job as figurehead of the SBC IMB. Funny how that works since he or his church were involved in the cooperative program. He was a celebrity and the young followers need their celebrities. So he was going to encourage them to do what he never did. Give to CP. Oh, the irony of charlatans.

    Platt’s words upon accepting the IMB presidency, “I now see the beauty of the cooperative program”

    You can’t make this stuff up.

  34. dee wrote:

    Again, I know, from personal experience that this is not the case in all LCMS churches. I

    I believe you. I have experience with only that one parish.

    When we were considering converting to RCC, and when the assigned potential sponsor filled out papers to submit before we were due to be admitted to the church, the one who was my daughter’s potential sponsor added that my daughter objected to the fact that protestants were excluded from receiving the eucharist. The thing was that RE had never expressed that opinion, did not in fact hold that opinion, and apparently she was being ‘used’ in an ongoing quarrel among some catholics on this issue.

    Personally, in the absence of specific guidelines in scripture, then I think that the various strains of christianity are at liberty to make their own rules as long as no scriptural specifics are ignored.

  35. “He urged Christians to be like David, who modeled a spirit of humility and submitted to Saul because he knew that God would fight his battle for him.”

    No, no, no! Be like Jesus. David would be in prison today. 🙂

  36. @ Nick Bulbeck:
    Who gets to decide what is “responsible” except those who own the platform? And right now a ton of censoring/shadowbanning is going on with big platforms. The answer? More competition. 🙂

    If the peasants don’t communicate to some code, it’s easy enough to turn off.

  37. My husband and I were college ministry leaders in one of Chan’s church plants 10 years ago. This kind of authoritarian leadership and using scripture out of context happened to us and other families and nearly wiped out our faith altogether. It’s been a long road of healing. We left the church when the whole incident happened…it was so awful. Restoration took place between us and the pastor after nine months… when someone finally agreed to listen to our side of the story. This article by Francis was hard to stomach. I was hoping he had grown some in this areas since stepping away from Cornerstone. Sounds like the same old song and dance which threw so many of us under the bus and into a deep depression. I should say, finding this website was so helpful to me… just seeing there were others who love Jesus and had gone through similar situations with the leadership of their church. Ugh. I’ve been through counseling for it… we have found a non-9 marks church, and things are better…but this article brought back some major PTSD.

  38. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    Somebody please explain to me how a bad relationship between a pastor and a parishioner could even remotely be
    compared to David and Saul???? Has Chan even read Samuel and Kings I & II?

    Perhaps he has a giant specially anointed filter he is reading it through? I had same thoughts as you. Context is everything!

    But it’s sort of comical to me he admits teaching it wrong for years and repented of teaching thousands wrong, I guess. But NOW he has it right. Oh dear. I suggest people study on their own. Or maybe seek an older lady former SS teacher like us to discuss it with —for another view. We have nothing to gain or lose. We can actually have “discussions” about meanings.

  39. Apologies for the off-topic insertion, but I knew this would be of interest to some here. This was in the CultNews 101 newsletter today:

    SGA Study
    If you identify as someone who was born or grew up in a high demand religious organization, a high intensity faith group, or a cult, and had counseling while either in or after you were in that group, we would like to invite you participate in the following short 20-25 minute survey. https://unt.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_0wuUIwXSPshTnE1

    If you have any questions, please let Dr. Cyndi Matthews know at cyndersm@verizon.net or Ashley Allen at AshleyAllenICSA@protonmail.com or Elisha Cox at ElishaCoxICSA@protonmail.com.

  40. Lydia. wrote:

    the peasants

    It would be very odd to take their (the peasants’) money and their agency at the same time. Some trick.

  41. Mark wrote:

    Now as children of God we are all anointed.

    So if we are all anointed we should treat the pastors well as being fellow anointees.

    Personally I think that the two ideas about anointedness are not identical ideas, but either way under what theory can we at the same time have the opinion that we can expect more and better behavior from pastors and other religious professionals than from pew persons without resorting to some sort of differential in the behavior requirements based on some theory or other.

    What is the rationale behind the idea that more is expected of pastors, something I seem to have repeatedly heard in comments here, if in fact we are all identical in the church?

  42. I’m starting to think the problem with churchianity is that it combines a specific doctrine with community. It’s the coupling that causes all the problems.

    What if we were focused instead on being a loving community of Jesus followers and left all doctrine and dogma open for lively discussion? What if we didn’t have any such thing as a “teaching pastor” but instead everyone pastored and everyone taught in turn? What if there was no centralized leadership, but rather elders/deacons who carried out specific decentralized ministries instead of forming an all-authoritarian junta?

    Isn’t that what the plan was all along?

  43. The New Testament is replete with warnings against false teachers (not just teachings) in the churches. The New Testament, of course, did not envision the modern, trans-denominational charismatic (lower-case ‘c’) leader who derives all the benefits of a national ministry, but often without the ordinary accountability/supervision of local church life. These men (they’re still typically men) are valuable commodities in a church where the number of followers and the amount of money that they generate are considered the mark of true …, well, anointing.

    But how can the rest of us know who is who? We often learn–after a terrible amount of damage has been done–that these invaluable ‘leaders’ were, in fact, false. And given New Testament warnings like this one (II Peter 2:1-3; 14-15),

    “But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep. They have eyes full of adultery, insatiable for sin. They entice unsteady souls. They have hearts trained in greed. Accursed children! Forsaking the right way, they have gone astray. They have followed the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved gain from wrongdoing….”

    then Christians must indeed be alert, cautious, and even skeptical about men who become famous simply because they are pastors. If you live by social media, then you may have to endure social media’s scrutiny. Francis Chan is echoing Benny Hinn, who has used this exact same argument to insulate himself from any attacks. If men want to write books, build non-church organizations (e.g. 9Marks), build a YouTube following, etc., then, if they have any integrity, they should welcome sincere Christian push back from believers who have taken Peter’s words (and Paul’s words and Jude’s words and John’s words) seriously.

  44. Questions 31 and 32 from the Heidelberg Catechism:

    31. Why is He called “Christ,” that is, Anointed?
    Because He is ordained of God the Father and anointed with the Holy Ghost to be our chief Prophet and Teacher, who has fully revealed to us the secret counsel and will of God concerning our redemption; and our only High Priest, who by the one sacrifice of His body, has redeemed us, and ever lives to make intercession for us with the Father; and our eternal King, who governs us by His Word and Spirit, and defends and preserves us in the redemption obtained for us.

    32. But why are you called a Christian?
    Because by faith I am a member of Christ and thus a partaker of His anointing, in order that I also may confess His name, may present myself a living sacrifice of thankfulness to Him, and with a free conscience may fight against sin and the devil in this life, and hereafter in eternity reign with Him over all creatures.

  45. One other aspect on David and Saul. Saul was anointed as king and he also was the one sitting on the throne. David had also been anointed as future king. When David respected the anointing of Saul even when it appears that it would have been to his advantage to terminate the man on the spot, he obeyed and illustrated a principle which could be to his own (David’s) advantage also. David had his own issues, but he was not dim-witted, and perhaps this is one example of that.

  46. @ Estelle:

    Quite so! If only it could have been under better circumstances… nevertheless, on the pitch, it was a fine win.

  47. @ okrapod:
    “What is the rationale behind the idea that more is expected of pastors, something I seem to have repeatedly heard in comments here, if in fact we are all identical in the church?”

    Because they are paid by the donors to be Christians? :). (I think Paul had it right as a tent maker)

    Perhaps it’s a natural riff off from James 3 that talks about being held to a higher standard if one teaches? . But that should also be balanced with other scripture such as Pauls warnings about such as wolves in Acts 20?

  48. okrapod wrote:

    What is the rationale behind the idea that more is expected of pastors, something I seem to have repeatedly heard in comments here, if in fact we are all identical in the church?

    I did not say your comments particularly, but rather I am saying various comments over time.

  49. JYJames wrote:

    Lydia. wrote:
    the peasants
    … are paying the bills, and are, in fact, the employers, the overseers.

    I don’t think they received that memo. 🙂

    None of it works without money.

  50. Soooo … does Chan have a list of the “Lords’ Anointed” in America? Is ‘he’ on that list?
    Not every one titled pastor – even “lead” pastor – is anointed … they keep reminding us of that as they fail one by one.

    Must church leaders control every jot and tittle of our lives?! Now, we can’t read and comment on social media?! Chan joins a list of other Christian celebrities warning folks to get off the Internet:

    Don’t gossip on blogs – they are Satan’s hit list (Robert Morris)

    Take a fast from the Internet (Chris Conlee)

    Could it be that these folks don’t want the pew to see the underbelly of organized church in America? Is there more going on behind that “hole in the wall” (Ezekiel 8) that we should not gaze upon? Should Christians stop socializing on social media when it might be the only source of truth about what’s going on in our churches?

    Praise God for truly anointed men of God. IMO, you never find them subjects of watchblogs.

  51. drstevej wrote:

    How about including ***don’t touch the kiddos*** ***don’t touch the secretary*** ***don’t touch the counselee*** ***don’t twist the Scriptures in a self-serving way***

    ROFL!

    Wish I’d thought of that… 😉

  52. @ okrapod:
    Oh, I knew that. I was just musing with a response. It’s an interesting question.

    I remember reading somewhere about the Protestant Reformation making the “message” front and center over sacraments which had the effect of elevating the preacher as front and center. I had never thought of that aspect. But it’s interesting to consider as part of the formula.

  53. hoodaticus wrote:

    I’m starting to think the problem with churchianity is that it combines a specific doctrine with community. It’s the coupling that causes all the problems.

    What if we were focused instead on being a loving community of Jesus followers and left all doctrine and dogma open for lively discussion? What if we didn’t have any such thing as a “teaching pastor” but instead everyone pastored and everyone taught in turn? What if there was no centralized leadership, but rather elders/deacons who carried out specific decentralized ministries instead of forming an all-authoritarian junta?

    Isn’t that what the plan was all along?

    There is (outside the Calvinist versons of Baptists), a Baptist distinctive/doctrine known as soul competency. That is a partial separation of doctrine from the church. Only partial, because 1) it is itself a doctrine and 2) it has always been tied to the rest of the baptist doctrine package (church of professing christians, adult baptism, local congregational self-governance, core Christian beliefs, etc…).

    I don’t see a way to achieve a complete separation of docrine and church – you need some doctrines to know who is part of the church and who is not yet a part. But I think most American churches that I hear about could do with a lot more limited set of doctrines in both theory and practice. The practice appears to often be narrower than the theory.

  54. I have the same question, re anointing. Who ‘anointed’ you? And even if you were ‘anointed’ you can still be dead wrong about something. Let’s look at every sinning pastors favorite, David. His being chosen or king or what have you didn’t stop Nathan from calling him out, nor should it. All of this line of thinking is nonsense.

    It’s just a very, very difficult time for Christian leaders to lead,” he said.

    Could I also ask…who called you to ‘lead’? Are you even a ‘Christian leader’ if you aren’t ‘leading’? What does *this* mean?

    What you should be doing is teaching. Stop ‘leading’, and teach truth. Truth isn’t afraid of someone calling it out.

  55. elastigirl wrote:

    complementarianism has fumigated christian culture with leadership gas. makes many christian men real loopy. all they can talk about is their leading as they lead in their leadership because they are leaders. …
    while they are high on the belief that their manhood and spiritual virility depends on them leading, quite frankly, since when do I need a leader?

    So. Much. This.

  56. I stopped reading Crazy Love when he said that anxiety was sin because you weren’t trusting God enough. Yeah, no…that was enough Francis Chan for me.

  57. Mercy wrote:

    Never been a fan. His leaving his mega church lifestyle to pursue where God would lead him always smacked of manipulating his audiences to follow his lead. Yet he still continued making mega bucks from his book and appearances. The average person would not be able to do that.

    Maybe he just wanted more free time.

  58. Lydia. wrote:

    Who gets to decide what is “responsible” [context: use of social media] except those who own the platform?

    I can’t speak with authority for all of humanity, but I think there are one or two things that can be said about responsible usage.

    If someone deliberately posts something on social media that they know to be false, that’s not responsible use. This is true whether they are an unwashed, pyjama-clad sponger living in his mother’s basement, a useless phuqwitt working an entry-level job at 50, a head of state (though God forbid such a thing would ever happen) or an influential clergyman.

    Or, someone posts some rumour somewhere that generates a strong temptation in me to agree with it – broadly speaking, a rumour that someone I really dislike has done something tomato-throwingly terrible. If I respond to that as though it were proven true, and express my disgust and outrage at what they’ve done (when they might not actually have done it) then that’s not responsible. As I touched on above, this happened to me and Lesley in Glasgow. The CEO denounced us, and because of it, someone who was very anxious to please him sent us a hate letter condemning us for all of the stuff he said we’d done. Except we hadn’t actually done any of it.

  59. elastigirl wrote:

    complementarianism has fumigated christian culture with leadership gas. makes many christian men real loopy. all they can talk about is their leading as they lead in their leadership because they are leaders.

    +1

    Stop all this endless *talking* about leadership. IF you are leading, people will follow. That’s it.

    That tells you nothing about where you are *going*!!! Leading people in the wrong direction is not a virtue.

  60. Methinks we could use some prayer cover. We recently made yet another long distance move. We knew it was coming and began researching churches. With so many sermons available online or podcast, and with whole services livestreamed, we had previewed quite a number. So we felt most of our prescreening was done. We began our round of visiting the several contenders. Got it down to 2 and made our choice. One of us has not “followed in believer’s baptism by immersion” although is definitely a born again believer. That one decided this is the time to do so. Attended for a while, talked to leadership, thought everything was good to go as in “come forward at the invitation on Sunday” and usual procedures would be followed. Only they were not. No reception into formal membership. A promise to call to meet and go forward re baptism. Never happened. No reason why, still cordial and not cold shoulder but noticeably frozen out of membership. Others in the church voicing questions now as to why. We have no clue.

    I seriously doubt that person will every go forward again to request baptism, not anytime or anywhere. Not bothered about it, just puzzled and waiting. Me, I am bothered. I’ve been through a MacArthurite church once before and this is beginning to smell like one to me.

    Pray we have wisdom and discernment. Could be a thousand good explanations, or could be we stumbled into Calvinistas and Lordship Salvation that is hidden except to those “in the know.”

    We need to know. Straight answers are in short supply. We had been told if the leadership didn’t think we believed right we would be told to go elsewhere. We did agree with what we were given to read. But going elsewhere is starting to appeal.

    Pray! Advise!

  61. Lydia. wrote:

    “Both Platt and Chan believed that people should sacrifice their lifestyle to live radically for Jesus, which caused some Calvinistas to claim that Platt and Chan were developing a new form of monasticism. Ed Stetzer wrote Radical Christianity: A Call to Legalism or a Cause to Live? “

    I haven’t kept up with Chan but Platt taught sacrificial living (a few figured out you couldn’t sell enough or give enoug away to ever to compete as most sacrificial) and then he blew it off to take a cushy six figure job as figurehead of the SBC IMB. Funny how that works since he or his church were involved in the cooperative program. He was a celebrity and the young followers need their celebrities. So he was going to encourage them to do what he never did. Give to CP. Oh, the irony of charlatans.

    Platt’s words upon accepting the IMB presidency, “I now see the beauty of the cooperative program”

    You can’t make this stuff up.

    Thank you. Yes. Platt. I was just telling my husband this morning about Radical. I saw it being read by our church leadership about ten years ago. After that the pastor, who was very young and who had earned a recent PhD left for the circuit and a NewCal pastor took over. Of course, he came in under the radar. When the church found out they fired him. I’m no longer in church these days but as I look back I clearly see the steps taken. Chan is part of this group. He flew under the radar for years. Hindsight is a helpful thing but boy do I wish I had proof for my discernment early on.

  62. JYJames wrote:

    Lowlandseer wrote:
    all the faithful receive the same oil, that is, the same Spirit of God in some little and convenient measure, which He received above measure, as St John saith (1 John 2:17), The anointing which ye have received abideth in you, and teacheth you all things; where by anointing is meant the Holy Ghost. And hence it is that men are called Christians of the name of Christ, that is, anointed with the same oil wherewith Christ was anointed (Psa. 105:15). And the holy oil might not be given to a stranger (Exod. 30:33), to signify that to have the Spirit of Christ, and to be guided by it, is peculiar to them that are Christ’s.”
    Christians are God’s anointed. It is not a term reserved only for self appointed leaders.
    Thank you, this is lovely.

    Verions of anointing — aleipho — appear to apply to a physical anointing (the woman with the perfume, about ones head with oil before fasting, the post-crucifixion burial anointing, the one in James associated with praying over the sick.
    Versions of to anoint — chrió — in the NT are not numerous. In Luke 4:18, Jesus speaks the words of Isaiah 61, referring to what the Spirit of the Lord had anointed Jesus to do. In Acts 4:27, the whole company spoke on prayer about Jesus being God’s anointed, having referred to just referred to OT Messianic Scripture (Psalm 2:2). In Acts 10:38 was when Peter was preaching the Gospel to Cornelius and the Gentiles, referring to “how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power”, and describing His earthly work (cf. Isaiah 61). Hebrews 1:9 refers back to messianic prophecy of God anointing Jesus (Psalm 45:7).

    The other variant of chrió appears to be 2 Cor. 1:21-22: “Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us (hemas) is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.”

    There is also a NT reference to an anointing (chrisma) written to the ‘little children’ in the ‘last hour’: 1 John 2:20 “But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things.”
    1 John 2:26-27 ” These things I have written to you concerning those who try to deceive you. But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.”

    This anointing is from God, and as with 2 Cor. 1:21-22 brings to mind the new covenant sealing with the Holy Spirit (Jeremiah 31, Hebrews 8-11, 2 Cor 3, etc.)

    So, we see much on the on anointing of Christ and on believers.

  63. @ Nick Bulbeck:
    I get all that. I do. My concern is how we FORCE people to be responsible? By censoring? My only solutions are either a legal challenge or free competition of social platforms. Its why I despise over reaching regulations. Adults fact check.

  64. I find it interesting that New Calvinist leaders who used social media effectively to mobilize the young, restless and reformed now want folks to distance themselves from the cyberspace of information because their followers are finding out things about them!

  65. Pingback: Linkathon! - Phoenix Preacher UNITED STATES

  66. drstevej wrote:

    How about including ***don’t touch the kiddos*** ***don’t touch the secretary*** ***don’t touch the counselee*** ***don’t twist the Scriptures in a self-serving way***

    I teach my my future teachers in my classes that the two sure-fire ways to be fired in education are touching the students and touching the money.

    Given the news coming out of the church in the past several weeks, it sounds like this lesson needs to be learned by pastors.

  67. Lea wrote:

    Mercy wrote:

    Never been a fan. His leaving his mega church lifestyle to pursue where God would lead him always smacked of manipulating his audiences to follow his lead. Yet he still continued making mega bucks from his book and appearances. The average person would not be able to do that.

    Maybe he just wanted more free time.

    Lol. Yeah, , and to continue to be paid great big bucks at the same time.

  68. @ Nick Bulbeck:
    I know that I come off unempathetic. Not true. I had this happen to me before social media exploded because I was not a ‘team player”. It’s a nightmare. If I had to do all over again I would have filed a lawsuit. When influential and respected people in the spiritual Realm decide it’s ok to ruin you, there was little recourse except legal– before the explosion of social media.

    That is one reason why I am so reluctant about any censoring or deciding who is a responsible poster or medium. I never assume those responsible for censoring have the right intentions. I prefer chaos over that.

  69. In Chan’s case, touch not the Lord’s annointed means don’t even try neet him for a latte.
    “Can I schedule a coffee meeting with Francis Chan?

    Due to the number of requests Francis receives, he is not available to schedule personal meetings.”

  70. @ Melissa:

    “I stopped reading Crazy Love when he said that anxiety was sin because you weren’t trusting God enough”
    ++++++++++++++++

    these christian speakers and ‘writers’…. their “nuggets of wisdom” are worse than fortune cookies.

    anyone seen all the quotes advertised on #t4g18? pure nothing-isms.

    it’s like a comic strip, really — the funny part how serious the speakers are. and all the furious, face-contorting conviction it takes to say absolutely nothing.

    i think i’ll pursue a syndicated comic strip. i’d never be without material. “The Shallow Deep End”, i’d call it.

  71. Hmmm…”authoritarian gamesmanship”. I like that phrase.

    “When studying Psalm 105:15, Hux says you will see that it has nothing to do with questioning the teachings of church leaders.”

    I didn’t think that was General Hux, but I had to check.

  72. @ Nick Bulbeck:
    Take a look at the website for Chan’s house church network.
    http://wearechurch.com
    I suspect they totally miss the Biblical conception of local churches and are just one more splinter group with some pretty strict rules.
    But the photo of the back of Chan’s head proves he’s a humble leader, I guess.

  73. These guys who supposedly take the scripture so literally and have such high regard for it! If I or someone else handle another verse of scripture the way he handles this one we would be chastised for taking it out of context, reading into it what we wanted to see and if they could, discipline us for our miss use of scripture. Unfortunately this is all to common with these authoritarians. A glaring example of scripture twisting.
    Yes David said this. Saul had been Anointed by God. God told Samuel to anoint Saul as King. It is a real stretch to make that apply to pastors. But, yes you should not kill a pastor who has been unfaithful to his calling and who has abused his power. Don’t kill him. That would be wrong of you. These guys amaze me.

  74. Jeffrey Chalmers wrote:

    I find very interesting how these “preachers” love to go to the Old Testiment verses to justify their “authoriarian positions/opinions”, especially when under fire.

    Very true, Jeffrey. I’m always cautious of churches that spend most of their preaching time in the OT, turning the stories into allegories of how we are to live today. If one gets loose enough with the allegories, it’s possible to justify almost anything.

    I still recall the ARC training video, where Chris Hodges explains how pastors are accountable to their “Overseers,” and not accountable to the “sheep” who pay for everything. Because, parents aren’t accountable to their kids, are they?

    In other words, pastors=parents, and church members=kids. With that mindset, it’s understandable how they would see any correction coming from the “kids” to be as inappropriate as a toddler giving their mommy a spanking.

  75. elastigirl wrote:

    these christian speakers and ‘writers’…. their “nuggets of wisdom” are worse than fortune cookies

    I read the wrong side of a fortune cookie message once … it said “Chicken” (the word in Chinese was under it). Much of the Christian celebrity gospel comes across like that.

  76. Frances Chan seems locked in a personal and very public struggle. He whipsaws back and forth, acting like a fraud sometimes, just another abusive church leader so-called, a malignant narcissist, then just as quickly will see the horror of what he was and repent of it and step back from the ledge, and criticize the system he’d supported, only to get tempted by the trappings of faux authority and plunge in again. He seems to be in plunge in mode at the moment.

    Have been watching it for years, from the first time I watched a Chan video in men’s group and thought: “This guy is 100% about promoting his own false goodness, Jesus isn’t even in the picture except as a vehicle to promote Chan.” Swear that’s exactly what I thought of the guy initially. He does not seem well-grounded. He may well be a genuine Christian, he may even mean well (at least as far as he knows), and in fact, I think he generally does mean well, but he’s a man in a wrestling match with the Lord or his inner demons or whatever, and it’s getting a bit tiring to watch a middle age guy with about as much idea of what he believes as the average 15 year old boy.

  77. @ Law Prof:
    My first introduction to Chan was him as “surfer guy walking a beach path with profound teaching”, video. I had seen so much of that sort of production in the mega world it was an immediate turn off.

  78. elastigirl wrote:

    @ Melissa:

    “I stopped reading Crazy Love when he said that anxiety was sin because you weren’t trusting God enough”
    ++++++++++++++++

    these christian speakers and ‘writers’…. their “nuggets of wisdom” are worse than fortune cookies.

    anyone seen all the quotes advertised on #t4g18? pure nothing-isms.

    it’s like a comic strip, really — the funny part how serious the speakers are. and all the furious, face-contorting conviction it takes to say absolutely nothing.

    i think i’ll pursue a syndicated comic strip. i’d never be without material. “The Shallow Deep End”, i’d call it.

    They are very good actors.

  79. Lydia wrote:

    @ Law Prof:
    My first introduction to Chan was him as “surfer guy walking a beach path with profound teaching”, video. I had seen so much of that sort of production in the mega world it was an immediate turn off.

    I was immediately turned off also. Everything in the video series I saw, which was something about fatherhood, seemed just another humble brag. He had this sing-songy voice that called attention primarily to Frances Chan, this was of talking even about his “failings” that made him, in the end, look better. It was overwhelmingly insincere but carefully calculated to tug the heartstrings of a sufficiently-numbed follower or draw in a new follower who wasn’t paying too close attention. It was something akin to that horrific “apology” or whatever it was that Andy Savage did up under the spotlights before Highpoint. The series could’ve been entitled “The World: Featuring Frances Chan”.

    Later, when I heard the guy had left it all behind and allegedly repented, I figured there was hope for the world of mega leaders—but now, here he goes right back into the foul, ugly stuff. And this hasn’t been his only back-and-forth. It’s something like watching Oprah turn alternately thin and heavy through the 80’s and 00’s. The topsy-turvy world of Frances Chan.

  80. My opinion, any Christisn leader who believes Christian leaders (who call themselves the anointed) should not be called out when they are wrong or leading people astray, should be considered dangerous and spiritually abusive. Chan, in this case, and others who do this, are abusing believers plain and simple. They may cause believers to believe that leaders are in a leaue of there own, and that is not true.

  81. elastigirl wrote:

    “I stopped reading Crazy Love when he said that anxiety was sin because you weren’t trusting God enough”

    Was Jesus, in severe anxiety the night before His death, in sin?

  82. Law Prof wrote:

    Frances Chan seems locked in a personal and very public struggle. He whipsaws back and forth, acting like a fraud sometimes, just another abusive church leader so-called, a malignant narcissist, then just as quickly will see the horror of what he was and repent of it and step back from the ledge, and criticize the system he’d supported

    My perspective as well, after watching him for years. The New Calvinist movement latched onto him as one of their own … but I think he saw through the smoke and mirrors that Driscoll was serving up and started distancing himself from it. Now, he’s back in the pack.

    Law Prof wrote:

    it’s getting a bit tiring to watch a middle age guy with about as much idea of what he believes as the average 15 year old boy

    The following Scripture comes to mind: “We are not meant to remain as children at the mercy of every chance wind of teaching and the jockeying of men who are expert in the craft presentation of lies” (Eph 4:14 Phillips).

  83. GSD [Getting Stuff Done] wrote:

    I still recall the ARC training video, where Chris Hodges explains how pastors are accountable to their “Overseers,” and not accountable to the “sheep” who pay for everything. Because, parents aren’t accountable to their kids, are they?
    In other words, pastors=parents, and church members=kids. With that mindset, it’s understandable how they would see any correction coming from the “kids” to be as inappropriate as a toddler giving their mommy a spanking.

    Really? What does he think happens when the parents grow old and feeble, no longer able to take care of them selves properly? Is turnabout fair play?

  84. Max wrote:

    The following Scripture comes to mind: “We are not meant to remain as children at the mercy of every chance wind of teaching and the jockeying of men who are expert in the craft presentation of lies” (Eph 4:14 Phillips).

    Exactly

  85. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    GSD [Getting Stuff Done] wrote:

    I still recall the ARC training video, where Chris Hodges explains how pastors are accountable to their “Overseers,” and not accountable to the “sheep” who pay for everything. Because, parents aren’t accountable to their kids, are they?
    In other words, pastors=parents, and church members=kids. With that mindset, it’s understandable how they would see any correction coming from the “kids” to be as inappropriate as a toddler giving their mommy a spanking.

    Really? What does he think happens when the parents grow old and feeble, no longer able to take care of them selves properly? Is turnabout fair play?

    Funny thing is, the Hodges guy’s wrong even if he’s right, because even if there is such a role as “pastor” in the Bible which means head honcho in charge of administration, casting the vision, teaching up on a stage under the spotlight each Sunday and meting out discipline (by the way, you will not find that role in the NT and “pastor” isn’t even defined there except, perhaps, as teacher and humble under servant, not leader, but I digress), and they are like parents and we like children, A PARENT IS ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY ACCOUNTABLE TO THEIR CHILDREN.

    My kids hold me accountable all the time, as they should, because I am fallible and selfish and struggle on an ongoing basis with sin that will destroy both my family and me if it is not checked by those around me, who know about my struggles, having suffered under them, can often see right through me.

  86. GSD [Getting Stuff Done] wrote:

    Jeffrey Chalmers wrote:

    I find very interesting how these “preachers” love to go to the Old Testiment verses to justify their “authoriarian positions/opinions”, especially when under fire.

    Very true, Jeffrey. I’m always cautious of churches that spend most of their preaching time in the OT, turning the stories into allegories of how we are to live today. If one gets loose enough with the allegories, it’s possible to justify almost anything.

    I still recall the ARC training video, where Chris Hodges explains how pastors are accountable to their “Overseers,” and not accountable to the “sheep” who pay for everything. Because, parents aren’t accountable to their kids, are they?

    In other words, pastors=parents, and church members=kids. With that mindset, it’s understandable how they would see any correction coming from the “kids” to be as inappropriate as a toddler giving their mommy a spanking.

    That certainly does stop the *leaders* from being accountable to the flock.

  87. @ Law Prof:

    “Have been watching it for years, from the first time I watched a Chan video in men’s group and thought: “This guy is 100% about promoting his own false goodness, Jesus isn’t even in the picture except as a vehicle to promote Chan.”

    I think you nailed him right there. He hasn’t changed.

  88. Melissa wrote:

    I stopped reading Crazy Love when he said that anxiety was sin because you weren’t trusting God enough. Yeah, no…that was enough Francis Chan for me.

    I’m so tired of this crap. Life is real. Things happen in life that produce anxiety. I’ve been really wounded by the denial of reality that is sometimes preached in Christianity. I want to treat this life is real. When good things happen, I want to be happy. When tragic things happen, I want to be distraught. I want to be afraid of the things I should be afraid of. God became human in Christ. I want to live like the world we live in is so important that Jesus Christ came down to redeem it.

  89. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    Really? What does he think happens when the parents grow old and feeble, no longer able to take care of them selves properly? Is turnabout fair play?

    So true. Later in life, the roles often reverse. My spouse has been buying Depends for an aging relative, and gets some odd looks in the check-out line. There should be a sign you can stick on the packaging, which says, “These aren’t for me.”

    We start in diapers, we often end in diapers. Is that poetic, or tragic?

    I don’t think Hodges had really thought it through. That sentence went by really fast, and I can recall thinking, “Wait, did he just say that?” This was back when the 8-class intro series for new ARC planters was posted on Vimeo. Now it’s secured on their website, and they may have updated the video since then. Just wish I could post a link.

  90. I should add one important fact you left out. Francis sits on the board of Gospel for Asia. He was placed their after other board members resigned once the fraud and scandal over there went public. If he is now getting pushback and complaining this is certainly a legitimate source of fair criticism. He has said and done nothing even though their is a mountain of evidence that likely naive Christians all over the world have been bilked out of a Billion dollars in donations to a conman building a church where he has all power and is the center of the worship over Mammon instead of Jesus Christ! Time for someone to update his Wikipedia account…

  91. Law Prof wrote:

    Funny thing is, the Hodges guy’s wrong even if he’s right…

    So true. We’ve created the job description of “lead pastor,” and then we wonder why the job seems so… toxic.

    And you’re right about how accountability is mutual. My kids are really sharp, and I try to listen to them. Even a toddler can be very perceptive. I get the feeling that Hodges had a really small child in mind, and that’s the way he sees his “sheep.” Dependent, stupid, needing to be told the simplest things to cope with life. Certainly not worth listening to.

    To get back to the original post, Chan is certainly a mixed bag. Sometimes I’m impressed, sometimes concerned. For example, I really like the idea of planting house churches that multiply, and in that situation, finding and training new leaders is a big deal. But in Chan’s world, only males can lead.

  92. @ Lydia:
    I’m not very familiar with Chan, but his WeAreChurch network, with the number 1 value of “family” reminds me a bit of a certain “family of churches”. The rules are different (meet in homes only, 2 pastors per church training young padawans) but a pyramid authority structure seems to be in inevitable if not already in place. What if a church had a gifted apostle (missionary) and a gifted evangelist but no pastors? How well would they fit in? What if they wanted to meet in a bar, as we did one house-church? That group, as with Chan’s churches, gathered with others in a larger room once a month. Will Chan split up the family of churches as well when it reaches a certain size, rather than personally presiding over all?
    I’m seeing the influence of Gene Edwards’ “A Tale of Three KIngs” in the David/Saul reference, and the influence of both Edwards and Viola in the whole WeAreChurch network. I think both had some valid criticism of traditional Christianity, but failed miserably in the whole “anointed leader” arena. Viola allegedly failed in an inappropriate relationship incident as well, but that’s another story.

  93. Nathan Priddis wrote:

    Sarah and Rebekah both where drafted by other men.

    Who happened to be kings– and God told them, as paraphrased by David, “Touch not my anointed ones!”

  94. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    Why is their website called “Wear e-church”, I wonder?

    Good ? I should have called it a parachurch organisation or one of the other terms you use.

  95. @ Mr. Jesperson:
    Your point is key to possibly understanding Chan, and his career.

    I recall from the GFA scandal a sense that Chan inadvertently became emeshed with Yohannan. There would be no way know other then Chan’s public statements.

    I suspect he was in a midlife crisis, and therefore vulnerable to influence, on his first India trip. I accepted Chan’s statements at essentially face value, and concluded the description he gave was of near emotional collapse.

    “Touch not the Lord’s..” would seem consistent with reported Yohannan teachings. It’s logical to assume a student becomes like the teacher.

    There has never been a public repudiation of GFA. Considering the massive plundering of the North American Church, it would seem to be vital to make public confession. An apology to the many Calvary Chapel congregants would be honorable.

  96. Law Prof wrote:

    elastigirl wrote:
    “I stopped reading Crazy Love when he said that anxiety was sin because you weren’t trusting God enough”
    Was Jesus, in severe anxiety the night before His death, in sin?

    Great point. Thanks.

  97. There is also another factor to consider. Saul and David were kings. They were NOT priests. This is an argument that I ad with some folks from Highpoint Church. David was the king when he assaulted Bathsheba. (I am sticking to my belief that Bathsheba was a victim of a coerced relationship with David.)

    David was a political leader. God had warned the people they would not like having the kings they demanded. They didn’t. Most *did evil in the sight of the Lord.* God did not remove the political leaders. However, He had a separate standard for the priests who served in the Temple.

  98. kin

    We do not allow discussion of moderation decisions within post comments. We do our best to notify people who are running afoul of our rules. However, we are not perfect. We rarely kick someone off the blog or place them in permanent moderation. When we do it, it has nothing to do with a simple disagreement with the blog moderation. There is far more involved.

    Please get back to commenting on the post. Your comment was not approved.

  99. ishy wrote:

    I’m just going to decide who I think is anointed and who is not.

    Solid policy!

    I deem Chan ‘not anointed’. There.

  100. dee wrote:

    There is also another factor to consider. Saul and David were kings. They were NOT priests.

    David also pointed out Saul’s sin against David. Hmm.
    I also don’t think that the office of pastor can be equated with the OT office of priest. A priest was someone who was a mediator between God and the people before Jesus. We don’t need a priest now. The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top (from God) to bottom. All can come directly to God now because of the work of Jesus. In fact the book of Revelation says we are “a kingdom of priest”. A major point made by Martin Luther and other reformers was that there is a priesthood of believers now. My pastor doesn’t represent me before God. Jesus did and does that. We have one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus.

  101. @ Forrest:
    As a academic, my work is subject, both verbal and written, to peer review, as it should be. And with the internet, people in the auduence are reutinely checking what people say during semiars/presetations with respect to accuracy. While seminaries used to be part of “big universities” in which a range of independent disciplines interact, and question each other, most/all fundamentalism and evengelical seminaries are indepentent, or part of a “college”in which the other disciplines have to toe the specific docturnal “stantance” of that specific seminary. Consquently, many of the these “preachers”do not know what it is like to have to really defend themselves with intellectual rigior. While there are exceptions, the weak arguements that most of the targets of WW prove this point..

  102. @ Lydia:
    Would love to get more of your perspective on that if possible, Lydia. Guess there is no private message on this like Twitter, eh?

  103. OK, so, the thing about “anointing” and who is “anointed”.

    Famous pastors of large and/or growing churches have clearly had some success in their ministries. This is always down to one of two reasons:

     If their methods and teaching are distasteful to me, I know that their success is carnal and can be put down to their corrupting the gospel to pander to the masses.
     Otherwise: it’s the Lord’s anointing.

    I think the vast majority of Christians are agreed on this.

    (I realise that Christians don’t agree on who goes in which category, but hey. Many people are deceived when they read the bible, but I cannot be deceived because I read the Bible.) *

    Moreover: anointed ministers are always resented and criticised by carnal ministers who are resentful of their prominence and success. If the world hates you, said Jesus to his disciples, remember that it hated Me first; if the Master has been called the offspring of Stan, then certainly his servants will be.

    So, what would you expect from someone who’s anointed? They would be led by the Lord to start a ministry and, without striving or effort on their part other than normal faithful service, it would grow rapidly from nothing as the Lord blessed it and caused it to increase. The ministry blog, for instance, might have 40 million hits within a decade. More and more people would join it, and it would attract attention – including criticism and persecution. And throughout, believers would testify to the encouraging effect the ministry had on them – especially the poor and the downtrodden, who throughout the earthy ministry of Our Lord were the very ones who hung on his words. At the same time, many people – believers and unbelievers – would speak evil of it because of what was in their hearts. Or, perhaps, from simple misunderstanding or misinformation – not all its critics would be “bad” people as such.

    That’s what I would expect from an anointed ministry.

    Therefore, whoever attacks Deebs, touches the Lord’s anointed.

    * Regular Wartburgers will have spotted the parody here.

  104. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    * Regular Wartburgers will have spotted the parody here.

    This was meant to be a self-contained fragment of humour: of course I am as prone to deception as anyone else. The comment itself, though, was NOT parody. There is a reason TWW has become what it is, and it is not because Deebs have watered down the gospel to pander to rich people’s tastes.

  105. ishy wrote:

    I’m just going to decide who I think is anointed and who is not.

    Lol. Like private/internal fruit inspecting. Then you can avoid toxic or rotten fruit.

  106. Lydia. wrote:

    ishy wrote:
    I’m just going to decide who I think is anointed and who is not.

    Lol. Like private/internal fruit inspecting. Then you can avoid toxic or rotten fruit.

    Now I’m thinking of putting ‘approved by ishy’ stickers on people in ministry 😉

  107. @ elastigirl:
    “We live in a time when people are quick to criticize the church and its leadership…”
    The only two churches I have attended in my 45 years as a believer where the pastors expounded heavily on not touching the Lord’s anointed were churches where both senior pastors were bedding women outside of their marriages. I flee when I hear anything about touching the Lord’s anointed!

  108. Lea wrote:

    Now I’m thinking of putting ‘approved by ishy’ stickers on people in ministry

    LOL!

    The easiest way to start would be to eliminate anyone affiliated with TGC.

  109. ishy wrote:

    I’m just going to decide who I think is anointed and who is not.

    I would trust you to construct that list accurately, ishy.

    See my comment upstream in this regard … @ Max:

  110. dee wrote:

    @ one of the little people:
    No, but neither am I!

    For one brief, shining moment, I was one of the chosen 😉

  111. @ Mercy:
    I would leave, quickly, before they pull church discipline on you because they think you have been attending long enough to be “members”, or you suffer the indignity if being asked to leave. They sound like they only want members that are just like them.

  112. Mercy wrote:

    After that the pastor, who was very young and who had earned a recent PhD left for the circuit and a NewCal pastor took over. Of course, he came in under the radar. When the church found out they fired him. I’m no longer in church these days but as I look back I clearly see the steps taken. Chan is part of this group. He flew under the radar for years. Hindsight is a helpful thing but boy do I wish I had proof for my discernment early on.

    They actually take a class in deceiving church members, at least at SBTS, but I suspect at SEBTS now as well. They keep changing the name of it, but currently it’s called “Introduction to Church Revitalization”. They were using Andy Davis’ book Revitalize as a text. I am betting they also teach 9 Marks in it, too.

  113. I should note that the current version of Revitalize has had some of the more extreme parts taken out. I read an earlier version.

  114. ishy wrote:

    They actually take a class in deceiving church members, at least at SBTS, but I suspect at SEBTS now as well. They keep changing the name of it, but currently it’s called “Introduction to Church Revitalization”.

    SBC’s North American Mission Board prefers to use the term “Replanting” rather than “Takeover.” In addition to funding New Calvinist church planters, it also funds New Calvinst replanters. It’s really all about planting theology, more than planting or revitalizing gospel churches.

    https://www.namb.net/church-replanting

  115. @ MPA:
    Law Prof wrote:

    My kids hold me accountable all the time, as they should, because I am fallible and selfish and struggle on an ongoing basis

    Yep. Nothing like kids to keep you honest. They know you really well.

  116. one of the little people wrote:

    This “touch not God’s anointed” is one of my pet peeves. When did killing a king with a sword become conflated with pointing out a leader is wrong? There’s way too much authoritarianism in the church and maybe if those church leaders would listen when concerns are brought to them in person, there wouldn’t be a need for social media.

    Very good point.

    I have heard that story of David refraining used to suppress questioning a leader. David certainly was afraid to physically harm Saul but that didn’t constrain David from saying certain choice words about Saul. Sad so many twist the scripture like this.

  117. dee wrote:

    T David was the king when he assaulted Bathsheba. (I am sticking to my belief that Bathsheba was a victim of a coerced relationship with David.)

    I agree. It’s not like she could say no.

  118. “TOUCH NOT MINE ANOINTED!!!!!”
    — Benny Hinn’s favorite go-to SCRIPTURE when he gets caught

  119. Max wrote:

    SBC’s North American Mission Board prefers to use the term “Replanting” rather than “Takeover.”

    “Use proper Code Words: ‘Relocation’. ‘Resettlement’. ‘Delousing.'”
    — Holocaust (1977 miniseries)

  120. GSD [Getting Stuff Done] wrote:

    In other words, pastors=parents, and church members=kids. With that mindset, it’s understandable how they would see any correction coming from the “kids” to be as inappropriate as a toddler giving their mommy a spanking.

    And we all know Ezzo & the Pearls teach direct from God’s lips about the parent/child relationship…

  121. drstevej wrote:

    How about including ***don’t touch the kiddos*** ***don’t touch the secretary*** ***don’t touch the counselee*** ***don’t twist the Scriptures in a self-serving way***

    “NOW YOU’RE MEDDLIN’!”

  122. Sheep skins and hallowed 501(c)3 shingles are no match for those who examine the scriptures.

  123. you have to be careful who you accuse and what you say. I believe that wholeheartedly. I know I am sitting under judgment now because I fought some people on what they were doing, even though I believe I was right in what I said. it wasn’t my place to say. When a relative of mine was on staff at a church, some people chose to attack me to get to him, and they succeeded, and everything they said was a lie. How do i know? cause it was about me. I don’t why it is, but you have to be very careful what you say. That being said, God usually finds a way to bring things to light in the end. I don’t know what to say about it all. Even when you are RIGHT, things happen. Just telling the truth here as I’ve learned it.

  124. GSD [Getting Stuff Done] wrote:

    Linn wrote:

    http://biblethumpingwingnut.com/2017/07/08/francis-chan-tosses-his-old-church-under-the-bus/

    An interesting on Francis Chan.

    Good, short read. I didn’t realize that Chan was a Masters College AND Seminary grad. It would take me a couple of decades to recover from that much JohnnyMac.

    Goodness gracious, six years of JMac education? Cannot fathom what that would do to a person. Having served side-by-side as elder to a pastor from TMS who’d also served on the staff of Grace, this explains a great deal.

  125. Ct wrote:

    you have to be careful who you accuse and what you say. I believe that wholeheartedly. I know I am sitting under judgment now because I fought some people on what they were doing, even though I believe I was right in what I said. it wasn’t my place to say. When a relative of mine was on staff at a church, some people chose to attack me to get to him, and they succeeded, and everything they said was a lie. How do i know? cause it was about me. I don’t why it is, but you have to be very careful what you say. That being said, God usually finds a way to bring things to light in the end. I don’t know what to say about it all. Even when you are RIGHT, things happen. Just telling the truth here as I’ve learned it.

    Perhaps you need to enter the age of grace if you think you are sitting under judgment for something you once said. Perhaps the judgment you are under is self-imposed and based on a lack of understanding of the grace that we have in Jesus.

  126. Ct wrote:

    you have to be careful who you accuse and what you say. I believe that wholeheartedly. I know I am sitting under judgment now because I fought some people on what they were doing, even though I believe I was right in what I said. it wasn’t my place to say. When a relative of mine was on staff at a church, some people chose to attack me to get to him, and they succeeded, and everything they said was a lie. How do i know? cause it was about me. I don’t why it is, but you have to be very careful what you say. That being said, God usually finds a way to bring things to light in the end. I don’t know what to say about it all. Even when you are RIGHT, things happen. Just telling the truth here as I’ve learned it.

    Perhaps you need to enter the age of grace if you think you are sitting under judgment for something you once said. Perhaps the judgment you are under is self-imposed and based on a lack of understanding of the grace that we have in Jesus.

  127. For anyone in the vicinity of Harvard University, Rachel Denhollander will be speaking at Harvard University’s Sanders Theatre on Thursday evening at a Veritas Forum event. The event title is “Can We Reconcile Justice and Forgiveness?” A Veritas worker in the area who also is a former attender of my former church advised getting tickets in advance, as there has been media attention. The tickets are free, but the Box Office charges a $3 handling fee if you do reserve a ticket in advance.

  128. Ricco wrote:

    I’m so tired of this crap. Life is real.

    I got so tired of it shortly after the turn of the century I left it behind.
    I left it behind because that’s exactly what it is.
    Crap.
    These guys, the whole lot of them, the Neo-Cal rogues gallery, Calvary Chapel honchos, it makes no difference, they all hate and despise their own humanity, and insist that you (generic you) do too.

  129. Steve240 wrote:

    I have heard that story of David refraining used to suppress questioning a leader. David certainly was afraid to physically harm Saul but that didn’t constrain David from saying certain choice words about Saul. Sad so many twist the scripture like this.

    Not to mention the reason we know so much about Saul’s wickedness is that David reported it. He certainly didn’t keep it private. You could call it the Social Media of its time .

  130. @ Ct:

    “I know I am sitting under judgment now because I fought some people on what they were doing, even though I believe I was right in what I said. it wasn’t my place to say.”
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++

    i reckon you standing up for what was right had impact and influence in ways you would never guess, for the good. while i don’t know the circumstances, i have a hard time believing it wasn’t as much your place to say something as it was anyone’s.

    how could you possibly be under judgement for standing up for what is right? i’m sure it took courage. beyond that, over-analyzing one’s motives leads to leads to manufactured guilt.
    ——————–

    “God usually finds a way to bring things to light in the end.”

    in the meantime, children were sexually abused at SGM. speaking out and challenging leadership and challenging them again & again would surely have prevented some of it and allowed for justice.

    when leadership lies, swindles, betrays, when people are being abused, especially children, it is everyone place to say something.

  131. elastigirl wrote:

    when leadership lies, swindles, betrays, when people are being abused, especially children, it is everyone place to say something.

    – Say something.
    – No funding.
    – No collaborating, membership, partnership, support, fanclub, applause, fellowship, bro-hood.
    – No spin, cover-up, finesse.

    Christians love what God loves. Hate what God hates.

  132. Pingback: Wednesday Connect | Thinking Out Loud UNITED STATES

  133. dee wrote:

    molly245 wrote:

    There are often hidden rules–even within the Missouri Synod Lutheran church which requires you to be a Member! before you can take communion there.

    That is not true in every Missouri Synod church. I know that from experience.

    However, if you look at the official pages of the LCMS, you will find much proof that that is indeed their practice and opinion.

    See: https://www.lcms.org/about/beliefs/faqs/denominations. here and also in other places on their site.

    My point is that there is often a disconnect between what a denomination believes and sometimes requires of individual churches, and the individual less rigid views of a specific pastor.

    It behooves us to look at doctrinal statements and official positions closely before joining any corporate church body.

    I am a lifelong Lutheran myself (50+ years), although not LCMS, and have seen more than a few heartbreaking “have to leave the church I love” scenarios when a LCMS synod church gets a pastoral change and suddenly—you can’t stay…

  134. ION: Stuff that’s happening in Scotland

    A vicious easterly wind is what’s happening, which has resulted in two days of continuous horizontal sleet. There have been interruptions to rail services due to flooding – in the Winchburgh Cutting, by the sound of it, which wouldn’t be the first time. The forecast is better for tomorrow, and as I’m off work this week I quite fancy doing a moderate length walk in the Ochils, but we’ll have to see how much snow has accumulated. It’s likely to be powder snow, and above a certain depth it’s next door to impossible to walk through.

    On the plus side, I’ve made an apple cake. Haven’t tried it yet (only just out of the oven) but it looks OK.

    Further south, Liverpool and Man City contest the first leg of their GiveUsYerMoneyCup quarter final at Anfield. The last meeting between the two, in the League a few weeks back, saw a dramatic 4-3 win for the Reds. Realistically, City will be favourites to go through, but I’ve no doubt all civilised Wartburgers will be hoping Liverpool can overturn the odds. Given our defensive frailties away fae home, we’d need to take a very big advantage into the second leg – 8-0 should do it.

    Even further south, the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games is underway in Australiashire. Hurdler and world indoor 400m bronze medallist Eilidh Doyle (formerly Eilidh Child, or Eilidh Wean as I used to call her) carries the flag for Scotland. Gold Coast is on UTC+10, so it won’t be easy to follow the events… men’s gymnastics begins tomorrow morning local time.

    IHTIH

  135. Ricco wrote:

    Melissa wrote:
    I stopped reading Crazy Love when he said that anxiety was sin because you weren’t trusting God enough. Yeah, no…that was enough Francis Chan for me.
    I’m so tired of this crap. Life is real. Things happen in life that produce anxiety. I’ve been really wounded by the denial of reality that is sometimes preached in Christianity. I want to treat this life is real. When good things happen, I want to be happy. When tragic things happen, I want to be distraught. I want to be afraid of the things I should be afraid of. God became human in Christ. I want to live like the world we live in is so important that Jesus Christ came down to redeem it.

    Exactly. He said something along the lines of looking at Christ instead of your problems, and I’m thinking, when you have real problems, it’s not like you can just pretend they’re not there, or somehow not think about them! Of course I pray and turn to the Lord, but as you say, life is real, and problems don’t magically disappear.

    It is much more helpful to me when people talk about how Christ is with us through the valley, that he understands because he has experienced it, and things along those lines. You know, “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.” Oh yeah, and practical strategies for handling anxiety from “evil” psychology have helped too.

  136. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    On the plus side, I’ve made an apple cake.

    That sounds great. I found a recipe for apple cake a while back but haven’t made it. (I am partial to carrot cake, though, and one can only make so many cakes…)

  137. @ Nick Bulbeck:

    “A vicious easterly wind is what’s happening, which has resulted in two days of continuous horizontal sleet.”

    The weather is a bit o’ a scunner. The cake sounds good – even better after a walk in the hills.

  138. @ Molly245:
    I don’t believe anything they “publicize”, especially. Saw that with too many churches. I would ask to see by-laws, charters, budgets, , etc, but have seen even by laws re interpreted to take over a church.

  139. ishy wrote:

    The easiest way to start would be to eliminate anyone affiliated with TGC.

    You know, I’m not on twitter but sometimes I read stuff and I’ll think someone’s interesting and then I see them sharing TGC or writing for it and pull back a bit. I think some of them just have giant blindspots, though.

  140. Steve240 wrote:

    David certainly was afraid to physically harm Saul but that didn’t constrain David from saying certain choice words about Saul.

    Amen! I read the “touch not my anointed” passage again last night – my Bible fell open there as I retired to bed. David had the opportunity to kill Saul, but chose not to out of respect for the “anointing” on his leadership … but proceeded to lecture him on his evil ways. So, essentially, he did “touch” God’s anointed with his rebuke … much the same way watchblogs inform and warn Christians about bad ministers and ministries.

  141. Mr. Jesperson wrote:

    Francis sits on the board of Gospel for Asia.

    Very significant! So although his own little family of churches flies under the radar, GFA is rightly under scrutiny. I wonder how being on the board fits in with his philosophy of ministry?

  142. Molly245 wrote:

    It behooves us to look at doctrinal statements and official positions closely before joining any corporate church body.

    Yes, if for no other reason than there is a probability that some pew persons totally agree with the official positions and do not totally agree with the current pastor, and it makes a huge difference come trouble just what percentage of the active membership agree with which position.

    Do I sound like I have been there and done that with church conflicts? Oh yeah-just not Lutheran though.

  143. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    A vicious easterly wind is what’s happening, which has resulted in two days of continuous horizontal sleet

    Not much weather right now, but Sunday our wee town had a sunrise service. All 6 protestant pastors made an appearance, as did a gorgeous sunrise over the mountains. Sunday night we had a wee blizzard.

  144. I’m not familiar with Francis Chan but I wonder if he’s got a skeleton in his closet that’s about to come out. This might precipitate a “don’t question the anointed” article. Someone mentioned there were issues with Gospel for Asia (a group have never heard of). The statement may be a pre-emptive CYA.

    So as I understand warning flags are:
    1) membership covenants
    2) Unquestioned authority by pastors/elders
    3) An inerrant bible – as interpreted by said pastors/elders.

    Got it.

  145. Max wrote:

    Good Lord! Why would anyone attend church there with that history?!

    After everything, Mark Driscoll still has a following. Never underestimate the power of group thinking.

    My guess is when they love bomb newcomers, for every so many misses they snare a hit – probably on someone or a family that’s vulnerable. Once you cut the outside off, the longer you’re in, the more the odd starts to seem normal.

    Maybe “Open Trap Door” is a more fitting name.

  146. Muff Potter wrote:

    hese guys, the whole lot of them, the Neo-Cal rogues gallery, Calvary Chapel honchos, it makes no difference, they all hate and despise their own humanity, and insist that you (generic you) do too.

    I guess that’s why they need all that cash. Overcompensating for their despised humanity.

  147. Jack wrote:

    Never underestimate the power of group thinking.

    Yes, critical thinking skills by most churchgoers in America appears to be in short supply. The folks at Open Door have been so open-minded about the ministry there that their brains have fallen out.

  148. Lydia. wrote:

    “Replanting” is very Orwellian.

    Well, if the mission is theology-planting by the New Calvinists, it is indeed destructive to the welfare of a free church.

  149. Not often you get an answer to prayer at McDonald’s, but I think we did this morning. There is someone who works there that we have become acquainted with. Ok, I’ll admit it, I’m always on the lookout for someone who doesn’t know Jesus and the chance to introduce the two of them:) Now, this person may be saved, haven’t gotten to know that yet. But it occurred to me as we chatted today: what if unsaved? What if I invite this person to church? Would I be comfortable doing so? Would that person, if they respond to the invitation, be led to the Lord?

    No, I would not be comfortable, they would be under scrutiny, and not one person would pray with them (including the pastor) or counsel them.

    Looks like we will still not be SBC BECAUSE once again you cannot be both truly Baptist and SBC.

  150. Law Prof wrote:

    Was Jesus, in severe anxiety the night before His death, in sin?

    I’d love to see the tap-dance Chan or any of Neo-Cal rogues gallery would do around that one.

  151. Muff Potter wrote:

    Law Prof wrote:

    Was Jesus, in severe anxiety the night before His death, in sin?

    I’d love to see the tap-dance Chan or any of Neo-Cal rogues gallery would do around that one.

    I’ve experienced what happens when questioning a leader over an obvious inconsistency and essentially been told “touch not…” or called an “accuser of the brethren” or told I was a contentious man or some variation on one of those themes. What I’ve never received is a straight answer, though.

  152. I have mixed feelings about whether or not it is okay to deliberately change the direction of a church.

    Our parish changed from, in the words of those who did not want change, a nice little liberal Episcopal parish, to an anglo-catholic Episcopal parish and did so at the instigation of the vestry with, it is rumored, the impetus from an especially influential person in the parish. Not everybody was happy with that. For those who may not know that is every bit as radical as going from traditional SBC to neo-cal SBC; only the issue are different.

    Some liked it and some did not. Nobody was forced to personally change direction and room was made for both opinions, but the impact of the church drastically changed, at least in what the older folks say. But, the church was drying up-people loss and financial loss under the old system and philosophy of church.

    So some people might see that as a hostile takeover or some sort, and certainly there are those who continue to grumble, but it rescued the parish from the terminal dwindles and established the catholic end of the anglican/episcopal continuum in this community.

    So, I am thinking that sometimes, just sometimes, a radical change in direction for a local parish may be a good idea, even if not everybody likes the idea. So here is a question for consideration. How many people, or what percentage of the congregation, does it take to make a change in direction a bad idea or even using my previous terminology a hostile takeover? On a scale from <1% to 100% at what point does the whole idea have to be scuttled?

  153. okrapod wrote:

    So, I am thinking that sometimes, just sometimes, a radical change in direction for a local parish may be a good idea, even if not everybody likes the idea.

    I think comes down to the fact that change can be good or bad, and people differ on whether specific changes are good or bad.

    Some people just don’t like change and will always be unhappy with it. I am of the opinion that churches always change to some extent, different leadership and people come and go. Music is one of the touchy things, that is really not ‘important’ but is very important to some. I can rant about how much I dislike a certain style of music, but that doesn’t make it wrong, just wrong for me.

  154. I found this very interesting and so will you. This is the first time I have heard of Francis Chan. So I listened to this sermon in full that he did a few weeks ago. I transcribed some of it word for word. It’s no wonder why he is in this article. He is fond of Rick Warren and John Piper!!!

    Francis Chan ” Are you Destroying the Church”?

    14:37 God I am so sorry, help me guard my lips. Because when I speak against that brother I’m taking a sledgehammer to the temple that’s why if someone is going to gossip to you and say something negative about somebody else in the body Man it is your job if you love that person to warn him saying put that sledgehammer down, are you insane???? Do you know what’s going to happen if you destroy God’s temple? Are you an idiot you’re seriously going to go after, that’s why?

    If you come from another church man don’t go telling me anything about what happened over there and how they mistreated you and ohh you poor victim man I’m sorry whatever you know (15:31) Let’s be very careful about our words that’s why people don’t come to me with that stuff!

    15:38 You know people boast, you know I’m a safe place. No, you’re an enabler. You’re an unloving enabler (crowd chuckles). You might as well put your hand on a sledgehammer with them. Say ya, ya, ya I can’t believe that ( as he’s motioning his hand as if he’s knocking something down with a sledgehammer) person. You are insane! Instead, if you love the person “dude put that down”. Don’t let those words come out of your mouth, look at what God says! And don’t let Satan get in your head “did God really say”? Did God really say he would destroy you? I mean is that really his temple? Read it! I’m a part of the temple of God be careful with our words and I hear people criticize leaders
    16:38 around our nation and I haven’t been quick to confront it but now it’s’ like I’m getting serious! ARE YOU CRAZY? ARE YOU GOING TO BASH RICK WARREN? This is a guy that loves the Lord! You may not agree with everything he does but man I’m telling you he loves jees (he didn’t even finish saying the word Jesus) he’s a supernaturally spirit filled man, are you going to attack Mark Driscoll, are you going to attack John Piper? Are you going to attack mike bickle? Are you going to attack some of these expressions in the body of Christ that may look a little different? Put that down, I have met these people and I see their hearts and I hang out with people in these different denominations and I’m like man they love Jesus it looks different for me but man I can see the spirit in them SO WE BETTER BE CAREFUL I’M READING THIS AND I’M THINKING GOD, HOW COME MORE PEOLE AREN’T DEAD? SERIOUSLY? I SERIOUSLY PRAYED THAT, GOD I DON’T GET IT YOU SHOULD HAVE STRUCK ME DEAD. And here’s what I heard from the Lord they haven’t been warned the church hasn’t warned people, we listen to gossip we listen to people talk about leadership and we don’t warn them we just think were being loving by listening and everyone comes as the victim and were like aww I’m just being compassionate. No! your being disobedient, you need to be warned. Warn a divisive person, warn them again and the Bible says have nothing to do with them. The bible says if you’re going to keep striking the temple then I just need to get away from you. Because I don’t want to be anywhere close to that. See some of you read that passage and think I would never say that to another person and I would never distance myself from another person. Well, I’m just telling you what the scripture says, have nothing to do with them.

    19:10 I know sometimes in our hearts we don’t want to give up on people so I know we warn them a whole bunch of times this isn’t like every other sin God doesn’t say this about adultery, God doesn’t say this about homosexuality, swearing drinking drugs but he says look with division I don’t play around you warn a divisive person once, you warn them again and then have nothing to do with them because it’s going to be the unity of the church to get the world to believe.

  155. Max wrote:

    SBC’s North American Mission Board prefers to use the term “Replanting” rather than “Takeover.”

    I came across an interesting scenario in Southern California recently. An established but declining congregation has partnered with a new church plant. The contemporary church plant meets in the fellowship hall while the traditional congregation meets in the sanctuary. Both are SBC affiliated. I sincerely doubt, however, that the established folks realize that the new work has Neo-Cal written all over it. I wouldn’t be aware that was the situation if I didn’t read TWW.

  156. Lea wrote:

    okrapod wrote:

    So, I am thinking that sometimes, just sometimes, a radical change in direction for a local parish may be a good idea, even if not everybody likes the idea.

    I think comes down to the fact that change can be good or bad, and people differ on whether specific changes are good or bad.

    Some people just don’t like change and will always be unhappy with it. I am of the opinion that churches always change to some extent, different leadership and people come and go. Music is one of the touchy things, that is really not ‘important’ but is very important to some. I can rant about how much I dislike a certain style of music, but that doesn’t make it wrong, just wrong for me.

    In the end, the only question that we should be asking is whether the change is likely to move us closer to or further away from Jesus. The answer isn’t always very clear at the outset.

  157. shauna wrote:

    Warn a divisive person, warn them again and the Bible says have nothing to do with them.

    Warn a divisive person, but don’t talk about Piper/Driscoll?

    What does he think we’re doing, if not warning??? This guy talks in circles and makes lots of assumptions about people’s spirit and heart, with a whole bunch of different assumptions for non-famous, non-male people.

  158. shauna wrote:

    his is the first time I have heard of Francis Chan. So I listened to this sermon in full that he did a few weeks ago. I transcribed some of it word for word.

    Well, that whole sermon is disconcerting, isn’t it?

    How would Jesus have fared in Chan’s estimation when he ‘divisively’ called out the corrupt religious leaders of his time?

    Matthew 10:34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.

    How does that sit with ya’, Mr. Chan?

  159. @ okrapod:
    Most change of direction is made for attendance/financial reasons. There was a cycle of it in Megas to maintain and grow. Play down this or that but play up this or that. Especially appeal to the young.

    I get the reasons and expect such from any church. People just aren’t attending like they used to and churches know if they aren’t there, the younger don’t give.

  160. Hi Lea,

    Yes! He talks not only in circles but I find this statement most disturbing.

    If you come from another church man don’t go telling me anything about what happened over there and how they mistreated you and ohh you poor victim man I’m sorry whatever you know (15:31) Let’s be very careful about our words that’s why people don’t come to me with that stuff!

    Ok so broken, abused, neglected members in the body leave a church because they have been spiritually and emotionally abused, suffered through a trauma with which the prior church provided no care or made things worse and this guy says don’t come to me from over there and tell me how they mistreated you! Ohhh you poor victim and this is why people don’t come to him? Does this sound like anyone who should be in any position to counsel another person in the body of Christ for anything? I wouldn’t let him near me with a 10 foot pole!!!

  161. okrapod wrote:

    I have mixed feelings about whether or not it is okay to deliberately change the direction of a church.

    In the general case, so do I. It can be done in very different ways, for very different reasons.

    In the cases generally referred to in Wartburg, the takeover is cynical and deceptive. It is driven by a personal agenda borne by an individual who invariably stands to gain a lot personally because it’s about making the church congregation subservient to himself. Individuals who don’t want the change are considered threats and are targeted personally, and forced out deliberately.

    The kind of cultural change in a church that’s more commonly heard of in the UK is different. That is not to say that hostile and unpleasant takeovers never happen here. But more commonly, a long-standing congregation has become moribund, it doesn’t welcome new members and has little or no engagement with the community. After many years of this, with an ageing congregation, it is heading towards closure. Then, by one cause or another, someone joins who recognises that the congregation needs to change and begin to reach out to the lost.

    In this latter case, what you tend to find is that there is a cabal of old-timers who consider the church their own, who’ve become quite used to things being exactly as they are, and don’t want change. They’re kind of the inverse of the young, carnal and ambitious neo-cal pastor who wants to make the congregation his own fiefdom, in a sense – it already is their own private fiefdom. (Oddly enough, there have been well-publicised similar problems with the Fitba’ Association and with the British Equestrian Federation – maybe it’s a culturally british thing.) The new people do NOT force these people to leave, and in fact they often bend over backwards to accommodate them, sacrificing a lot of potential growth – in other words, potential new people – to do so.

    I’ve described two scenarios above, and even that is crude and simplistic. There are many more scenarios. Also, there are many ways in which influential individuals (or small groups) can control a church, for better or worse.

  162. @ Shauna:
    Many are like that but just not as upfront about it. I wish they were so people would be advised before getting sucked in. Thanks for transcribing all that!

    You read it here folks. Stay away from Chan influenced churches.

  163. Lydia. wrote:

    @ shauna:
    Oh dear. The “divisive” person accusation. An oldie that still works, I guess.

    You’re divisive if you call them out, they aren’t divisive if they call you out.

    How does that work?

  164. FW Rez wrote:

    An established but declining congregation has partnered with a new church plant. The contemporary church plant meets in the fellowship hall while the traditional congregation meets in the sanctuary.

    Don’t be surprised to learn that the church plant has moved up to the sanctuary! If the “contemporary” gathering is a New Calvinist bunch, their leadership have takeover on their mind and are interested in the building rather than worshiping with the folks who paid for it (which I assume to be non-Calvinist). New Calvinists justify their stealth and deception as restoring the gospel that the rest of the church has lost. The established congregation may find that they are no longer established.

  165. Lydia. wrote:

    @ Shauna:
    Many are like that but just not as upfront about it. I wish they were so people would be advised before getting sucked in. Thanks for transcribing all that!

    Yes, Shauna, thank you! Very informative for this group. I’ve seen some stuff I kinda’ liked from Chan in the past, and some not as much. But this gives a lot of insight into his part in the “circle the wagons” or “good ol’ boy” network mentality of the religious leaders of our day.

    Not impressed. Not at all.

  166. Lydia. wrote:

    The “divisive” person accusation.

    Chan might be concerned that some folks have been keying on him, perhaps members of his own congregation.

  167. shauna wrote:

    are you going to attack Mark Driscoll, are you going to attack John Piper? Are you going to attack mike bickle?

    If they are hurting other people, isn’t this appropriate? Like for instance, when Jesus cleaned out the temple or confronted the Pharisees. The injustice and the hurt some religious leaders were causing lead Jesus to confrontation with them.

    This is really out of balance. It is always right to criticize? No. Is it never right to criticize? No. We should criticize when wisdom tells us it is appropriate. We will make mistakes, but that’s what it is to be human.

  168. Shauna wrote:

    Ok so broken, abused, neglected members in the body leave a church because they have been spiritually and emotionally abused, suffered through a trauma with which the prior church provided no care or made things worse and this guy says don’t come to me from over there and tell me how they mistreated you!

    There is a huge divide in the church right now between celebrity pastors and everyone else. It’s like the feudal system. The lord couldn’t imagine the plight of the peasants because he is so extremely removed from their reality. I think that is how it is with celebrity pastors. I don’t think Chan can imagine being spiritually abused because he has never been on the loosing end of a power dynamic in a church. For the rest of us who aren’t making our living from donations from Christians, this scenario is much more easy to recognize. Some time humbling himself and listening would do him a lot of good, I think.

  169. Lydia. wrote:

    @ Shauna:
    Many are like that but just not as upfront about it. I wish they were so people would be advised before getting sucked in. Thanks for transcribing all that!

    You read it here folks. Stay away from Chan influenced churches.

    Yes! You are right, I wish there had been a warning label before billy and I had stepped into the church we came out of a few years ago. Soon I will take the opportunity to sit down with the pastor from our former church and ask him very direct questions. One of my first questions is why isn’t he up front about being 5 point Calvinist? I am curious as to how he will respond.

  170. Max wrote:

    Lydia. wrote:

    The “divisive” person accusation.

    Chan might be concerned that some folks have been keying on him, perhaps members of his own congregation.

    Ding ding ding I believe we got a WINNER!!! lol Max you nailed it! The only time I ever hear these stupid sermons when I find them is when they are trying to do damage control and shut the members up or keep the ones who leave from informing the rest. Remember it’s smart on his part to keep the sheep dumb and obedient.

    By the way I don’t believe people are dumb or are animals. Sheep are actually very smart. However sheep are also gentle and kind so when these morons compare us to sheep I take it as a compliment and at the other end of the spectrum they underestimate the body of Christ.

  171. Ricco wrote:

    Shauna wrote:

    Ok so broken, abused, neglected members in the body leave a church because they have been spiritually and emotionally abused, suffered through a trauma with which the prior church provided no care or made things worse and this guy says don’t come to me from over there and tell me how they mistreated you!

    There is a huge divide in the church right now between celebrity pastors and everyone else. It’s like the feudal system. The lord couldn’t imagine the plight of the peasants because he is so extremely removed from their reality. I think that is how it is with celebrity pastors. I don’t think Chan can imagine being spiritually abused because he has never been on the loosing end of a power dynamic in a church. For the rest of us who aren’t making our living from donations from Christians, this scenario is much more easy to recognize. Some time humbling himself and listening would do him a lot of good, I think.

    I disagree with you a little on this Ricco. Mr. Chan apparantly had an abusive father. In other sermons of his he compares his abusive father to God and vise versa. He go’s as far as saying as he fears God like he feared his father who by the way he had no relationship with or at least not a very good one.

    Our former pastor is not a celebrity pastor and i’m going to tell you his attitude towards abused people is atrocious. Even worse he attacks them when he felt his livelihood was at stake. It was the same attitude that chan exhibits and the same exact sermon except reworded.

  172. FW Rez wrote:

    The contemporary church plant meets in the fellowship hall while the traditional congregation meets in the sanctuary.

    At present, that sounds like space sharing which is an efficient way to use church space. Could end up a takeover situation, could not.

    My church actually has traditional and contemporary services, for people who prefer one or the other.

  173. @ Shauna:
    That’s interesting. What do you think it is then? Could it be a disconnect between one sort of abuse and another? Is it such a powerful sense of certainty and conviction that you are right that you can’t see things from another point of view?

  174. Shauna wrote:

    One of my first questions is why isn’t he up front about being 5 point Calvinist?

    During the Cold War, why did the Soviet Communist Party and KGB operate through plausibly-deniable front groups?

  175. Max wrote:

    New Calvinists justify their stealth and deception as restoring the gospel that the rest of the church has lost.

    From 1789 Paris to 1980 Phnom Penh, a Righteous enough Cause justifies any means necessary to bring it about.

  176. Lea wrote:

    Warn a divisive person, but don’t talk about Piper/Driscoll?

    Touch not GAWD’s Anointed…

  177. Jack wrote:

    My guess is when they love bomb newcomers, for every so many misses they snare a hit – probably on someone or a family that’s vulnerable.

    Like spammers.
    One sucker who falls for the spam makes back the expense of sending those millions of spams out.

  178. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    I’ve described two scenarios above, and even that is crude and simplistic.

    Thanks, NIck. We are scenario #2. Three different style services with the disgruntled meeting at 7:30 and the smells and bells crowd at 11:00 and the rest of us at 9:00. The story is, but I have not been up that early to see it, that some among the disgruntled go out of their way to be rude to Father S but he just treats everybody well in the meet and greet thing, and this has been going on for almost 10 years. The disgruntled are dying off and no more disgruntled are being added to the number.

    In our case, so the story goes, one person had an idea about changing the direction of the church, the vestry was convinced as was apparently the majority of the congregation, and they just did it. It is working out well but of course nothing is perfect. We are now in the first campaign to make some repairs to the building and expand the choir loft-reasonable and needed steps in my opinion. One thing that I like about how it is working out is that there are no doctrine police. For example, a few people who want to get into some group Marian devotional practice can do it while the rest of just don’t do it and nobody seems to feel a need to try to force anybody to do anything either way. People can participate in what they choose to, and basically ignore what they are not impressed with or convinced of, and stuff just putts along. So far so good mostly from my viewpoint.

    I never saw this done before. Mostly I saw some new preacher come in and develop a following and there developed a new in crowd and a new out crowd with serious divisions among folks. I always ended up distancing myself from the whole scene, missing Sunday worship with the excuse that I had to go over to the hospital-a half truth but handy.

  179. Lea wrote:

    At present, that sounds like space sharing which is an efficient way to use church space. Could end up a takeover situation, could not.

    We have a lot of churches that share spaces around here, but most commonly, a non-English speaking church and an English-speaking church. I kind of like that model.

  180. Shauna wrote:

    Hi Lea,
    Yes! He talks not only in circles but I find this statement most disturbing.
    “If you come from another church man don’t go telling me anything about what happened over there and how they mistreated you and ohh you poor victim man I’m sorry whatever you know (15:31) Let’s be very careful about our words that’s why people don’t come to me with that stuff!”
    Ok so broken, abused, neglected members in the body leave a church because they have been spiritually and emotionally abused, suffered through a trauma with which the prior church provided no care or made things worse and this guy says don’t come to me from over there and tell me how they mistreated you! Ohhh you poor victim and this is why people don’t come to him? Does this sound like anyone who should be in any position to counsel another person in the body of Christ for anything? I wouldn’t let him near me with a 10 foot pole!!!

    I agree. That is very concerning. Thanks for transcribing.

  181. ishy wrote:

    Lea wrote:
    At present, that sounds like space sharing which is an efficient way to use church space. Could end up a takeover situation, could not.

    We have a lot of churches that share spaces around here, but most commonly, a non-English speaking church and an English-speaking church. I kind of like that model.

    We do that. As I said, efficient use of space which I appreciate.

  182. Steve wrote:

    Wade Burleson just posted on his blog his take on Francis Chan’s statement … http://www.wadeburleson.org/2018/04/four-reasons-why-every-christian-should.html?m=1

    “Pastors should refrain from using “touch not My anointed” as the basis for squelching criticism of their words or actions. The truth is that verse is a warning to us pastors. We should allow the temple of God (the church) to often and freely criticize us.” (Wade Burleson)

  183. Lydia wrote:

    That was pretty much how my last Church operated before the yrr took over.

    Yeah, things do tend to fall apart. I figure that a church just like a job or a marriage or apple pie can be enjoyed while it lasts.

    My family had several seriously good years with the FWB before that situation fell apart, and the only time I heard young son in court he sounded just like the FWB pastor we lost to an early death. His opening remarks to the jury could have been straight out of our former pastor’s mouth. So sometimes even after things fall apart there can be some lingering and lasting good.

    Two kinds of things happen, positive things and negative things, did happen and are happening and will happen. I see no use in missing the good stuff just because there is bad stuff also. Missing the good just hands an easy victory to the bad stuff.

  184. @ Law Prof:
    That is so well stated, Law Prof. All talk, no clarity for the simplest question. Evidence and facts are treated as irrelevant. Very confusing and frustrating. Especially when you get smeared for trying to address facts. I wish the Lord would “touch” a few who claim His annointing!

  185. Lea wrote:

    You’re divisive if you call them out, they aren’t divisive if they call you out.

    How does that work?

    They are anointed and therefore they are right. You are not anointed and therefore you are wrong. As I’ve said before, there is no truth, no ultimate right or wrong, no ethical reality, that will ever supersede that maxim.

    This is why Mr. Chan, Piper, MacArthur, etc. can say whatever they want about anyone (and if you want to hear some vicious slander, just listen to Mr. MacArthur on those who believe in gifts of the Holy Spirit a la I Cor 12), they can do whatever they want, including inurement of the worst order, embezzlement, covering up child abuse, outrageous abuse, slander, defamation, self-dealing, money grabs, plagiarism, maybe even cold-blooded murder if they wish, and in fact if you dare to call them on it, telling the absolute truth about it, you will have the far greater sin.

    They are leaders, you are not. Ipso facto, they are right, you are wrong. It is illustrative to see the difference between what Mr. Chan preaches about actual authority and actual, biblical Christianity. I think a very wise man—and it’s not proper to call him a mere man—once said you will know them by their fruits.

  186. Ricco wrote:

    shauna wrote:

    are you going to attack Mark Driscoll, are you going to attack John Piper? Are you going to attack mike bickle?

    …Like for instance, when Jesus cleaned out the temple or confronted the Pharisees. The injustice and the hurt some religious leaders were causing lead Jesus to confrontation with them.

    There’s the problem. It’s Jesus. It’s always Jesus. Abusive people, especially abusive so-called leaders, always trip over the cornerstone. They just do not get Jesus.

  187. One minor correction to the story. Chan did refer to David and Saul to make his point, but there is no evidence he used Ps 105 (which is not about Saul at all) to do so. It is Leonardo Blair of the Christian Post who made that reference.

  188. Shauna wrote:

    Ricco wrote:

    Shauna wrote:

    Ok so broken, abused, neglected members in the body leave a church because they have been spiritually and emotionally abused, suffered through a trauma with which the prior church provided no care or made things worse and this guy says don’t come to me from over there and tell me how they mistreated you!

    There is a huge divide in the church right now between celebrity pastors and everyone else. It’s like the feudal system. The lord couldn’t imagine the plight of the peasants because he is so extremely removed from their reality. I think that is how it is with celebrity pastors. I don’t think Chan can imagine being spiritually abused because he has never been on the loosing end of a power dynamic in a church. For the rest of us who aren’t making our living from donations from Christians, this scenario is much more easy to recognize. Some time humbling himself and listening would do him a lot of good, I think.

    I disagree with you a little on this Ricco. Mr. Chan apparantly had an abusive father. In other sermons of his he compares his abusive father to God and vise versa. He go’s as far as saying as he fears God like he feared his father who by the way he had no relationship with or at least not a very good one.

    Our former pastor is not a celebrity pastor and i’m going to tell you his attitude towards abused people is atrocious. Even worse he attacks them when he felt his livelihood was at stake. It was the same attitude that chan exhibits and the same exact sermon except reworded.

    So many young men who were horrifically abused by their fathers are drawn to places like The Masters Seminary and belief systems like neocalvinism and other forms of authoritarianism. And it’s too bad, because these damaged, perhaps personality-disordered people, get a second dose of abuse in such systems and learn how to pass it on and set up systems that replicate their earthly father, rather than places that reflect the freedom of a heavenly Father whom many of them simply do not know and sadly never will know.

    And many of them zealously seek disciples and make them twice the sons of hell that they are. I’ve seen it happen before, it’s almost a cliche: the abusive church leader son of the abusive (often church leader) father. The #1 man at my former neocal, the one that disintegrated under heavy abuse, had a pastor father who was a serial philanderer and extremely emotionally abusive, he was eventually thrown out of the church when his multiple affairs with women in the church were uncovered. The #2 man had a staunch church-going father whom he described as “incredibly violent”. The main elder, a painfully young guy who’s now being groomed for senior leadership at another abusive church, had a childhood I heard described as “It was so horrible, don’t even ask him about it.”

    So these young guys who never had a chance growing up, who get a warped view of God, and perhaps seriously sociopathic tendencies, end up heading back to the church to try and make it all good, to sort of re-live the past that was so destructive so they can make it better, but of course, not knowing anything (or very little) about unconditional love, they botch it up badly and only repeat the cycle of abuse.

    Seen in this light, assuming that Chan’s upbringing was at the hands of a tyrant, he’s a pitiable character, who can jus=dge him all-in-all unless they’ve been in his shoes? God alone. But that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t still be called out for his delusions and destructive tendencies.

  189. shauna wrote:

    I found this very interesting and so will you. This is the first time I have heard of Francis Chan. So I listened to this sermon in full that he did a few weeks ago. I transcribed some of it word for word. It’s no wonder why he is in this article. He is fond of Rick Warren and John Piper!!!
    Francis Chan ” Are you Destroying the Church”?
    14:37 God I am so sorry, help me guard my lips. Because when I speak against that brother I’m taking a sledgehammer to the temple that’s why if someone is going to gossip to you and say something negative about somebody else in the body Man it is your job if you love that person to warn him saying put that sledgehammer down, are you insane???? Do you know what’s going to happen if you destroy God’s temple? Are you an idiot you’re seriously going to go after, that’s why?
    If you come from another church man don’t go telling me anything about what happened over there and how they mistreated you and ohh you poor victim man I’m sorry whatever you know (15:31) Let’s be very careful about our words that’s why people don’t come to me with that stuff!
    15:38 You know people boast, you know I’m a safe place. No, you’re an enabler. You’re an unloving enabler (crowd chuckles). You might as well put your hand on a sledgehammer with them. Say ya, ya, ya I can’t believe that ( as he’s motioning his hand as if he’s knocking something down with a sledgehammer) person. You are insane! Instead, if you love the person “dude put that down”. Don’t let those words come out of your mouth, look at what God says! And don’t let Satan get in your head “did God really say”? Did God really say he would destroy you? I mean is that really his temple? Read it! I’m a part of the temple of God be careful with our words and I hear people criticize leaders
    16:38 around our nation and I haven’t been quick to confront it but now it’s’ like I’m getting serious! ARE YOU CRAZY? ARE YOU GOING TO BASH RICK WARREN? This is a guy that loves the Lord! You may not agree with everything he does but man I’m telling you he loves jees (he didn’t even finish saying the word Jesus) he’s a supernaturally spirit filled man, are you going to attack Mark Driscoll, are you going to attack John Piper? Are you going to attack mike bickle? Are you going to attack some of these expressions in the body of Christ that may look a little different? Put that down, I have met these people and I see their hearts and I hang out with people in these different denominations and I’m like man they love Jesus it looks different for me but man I can see the spirit in them SO WE BETTER BE CAREFUL I’M READING THIS AND I’M THINKING GOD, HOW COME MORE PEOLE AREN’T DEAD? SERIOUSLY? I SERIOUSLY PRAYED THAT, GOD I DON’T GET IT YOU SHOULD HAVE STRUCK ME DEAD. And here’s what I heard from the Lord they haven’t been warned the church hasn’t warned people, we listen to gossip we listen to people talk about leadership and we don’t warn them we just think were being loving by listening and everyone comes as the victim and were like aww I’m just being compassionate. No! your being disobedient, you need to be warned. Warn a divisive person, warn them again and the Bible says have nothing to do with them. The bible says if you’re going to keep striking the temple then I just need to get away from you. Because I don’t want to be anywhere close to that. See some of you read that passage and think I would never say that to another person and I would never distance myself from another person. Well, I’m just telling you what the scripture says, have nothing to do with them.
    19:10 I know sometimes in our hearts we don’t want to give up on people so I know we warn them a whole bunch of times this isn’t like every other sin God doesn’t say this about adultery, God doesn’t say this about homosexuality, swearing drinking drugs but he says look with division I don’t play around you warn a divisive person once, you warn them again and then have nothing to do with them because it’s going to be the unity of the church to get the world to believe.

    Thanks for taking the time to share this. Wow. The usage of “attack” concerning the calling-out of the likes of Driscoll is as big a strawman as you can get. So calling out actions that are not above reproach equates to division? True, this guy says he hangs out with these guys, which we are supposed to take as some sort of character reference, but I can’t help thinking that addressing errant actions or teaching is neither an attack or an unbiblical version of division which he feels entitled to call out. (Note the absence of specifics, as citing them could show merit in the points raised.) I could write much more, but this excerpt speaks volumes.

  190. Lydia wrote:

    @ Shauna:
    I am trying to fathom going from an abusive father to the John McArthur world.

    Conlee had an abusive father too, iirc. I wonder how many people are drawn to pastoring because of that.

  191. Lea wrote:

    I think some of these pastors just need real therapy.

    And they need to stop being pastors as they understand the role. They are not pastors, not leaders, they are abusive, deluded people, they’re dangerous to themselves and anyone with whom they have much contact.

    The unbiblical systems they set up, with leaders as they understand the role, are not biblical, and even a decent human being, one not the product of a hateful, loveless upbringing like my former neocal church leaders, would in time become something of a tyrant when given the reins of an organization in which they’re held in awe, have no legitimate accountability and can dole out punishment capriciously, on a whim. Very few decent people would fail to be corrupted if left in charge of such a system, much less one who was profoundly disturbed to begin with.

  192. Lea wrote:

    I think some of these pastors just need real therapy.

    How can you “need therapy” when by definition You Can Do No Wrong?
    “TOUCH NOT MINE ANOINTED!”

  193. Lea wrote:

    Lydia wrote:
    @ Shauna:
    I am trying to fathom going from an abusive father to the John McArthur world.

    Conlee had an abusive father too, iirc. I wonder how many people are drawn to pastoring because of that.

    “As long as I’m On Top, No One Else Can Hurt Me Again!” Control Freakery?

    Abuse is what’s Normal and “Now It’s MY Turn!”?

    All by Divine Right?

  194. Law Prof wrote:

    So these young guys who never had a chance growing up, who get a warped view of God, and perhaps seriously sociopathic tendencies.

    Which growing up in that environment would have encouraged and developed.
    Like some speculation about North Korea:
    The only way to survive to adulthood in such a psychopathic system is to become a psychopath.

  195. Law Prof wrote:

    They are anointed and therefore they are right. You are not anointed and therefore you are wrong. As I’ve said before, there is no truth, no ultimate right or wrong, no ethical reality, that will ever supersede that maxim.

    “There is no Right, there is no Wrong, there is only POWER. And others who are too weak to have it.”
    — Lord Voldemort

  196. Law Prof wrote:

    So many young men who were horrifically abused by their fathers are drawn to places like The Masters Seminary and belief systems like neocalvinism and other forms of authoritarianism.

    Very true and a salient feature of Neo-Calvinism.
    But still, how doe it account for the hundreds if not thousands of their followers who never languished under cruel an abusive parents?

  197. Law Prof wrote:

    So many young men who were horrifically abused by their fathers are drawn to places like The Masters Seminary and belief systems like neocalvinism and other forms of authoritarianism.

    Could this also explain why they are so devoted to penal substitutionary atonement? Somehow, they are drawn to the angry Father. And anyone who suggests another theory is seen as a threat and a heretic?

    Really good observiations, Law Prof.

  198. GSD [Getting Stuff Done] wrote:

    Could this also explain why they are so devoted to penal substitutionary atonement? Somehow, they are drawn to the angry Father. And anyone who suggests another theory is seen as a threat and a heretic?

    The vast majority of evangelical protestantism is devoted to PSA, not just the neo-cals.

  199. Muff Potter wrote:

    Law Prof wrote:

    So many young men who were horrifically abused by their fathers are drawn to places like The Masters Seminary and belief systems like neocalvinism and other forms of authoritarianism.

    Very true and a salient feature of Neo-Calvinism.
    But still, how doe it account for the hundreds if not thousands of their followers who never languished under cruel an abusive parents?

    Some people are looking for a guru to tell them what to do. Some people want artificial “community” without having to earn it the actual way it comes: through years and years of getting to know people up close, seeing them at their best and worst, working through problems with them. Some people are just lazy and entitled and want it all. Some people are honestly looking for something good and willing to work for it, but because of inexperience don’t have the discernment to see through love bombing. And some people are weak-minded and won’t believe you unless you lie to them.

    The little tyrants to head up these corrupt, anti-Christian systems that they call “fellowships” and “doin’ life together” cater to all of the above and do their best to hide the ugly truth until it’s too late and the followers are already locked in. Of course realize that while these people are good at marketing to a certain type of credulous person and getting new butts in the seats, that they have to be good at marketing because the systems they create are revolving doors. A lot of people see through the lies and see the abuse, and a lot head for the exits. This is why the tyrants must concoct all manner of methods of making it extremely painful to leave. Hey, if North Korea had open borders, that insane little fellow in charge would soon be listening to the chirping of crickets.

  200. Muff Potter wrote:

    The vast majority of evangelical protestantism is devoted to PSA, not just the neo-cals.

    Yep, and it was the only theory of the atonement that was taught in SBC churches back when I was a child, as far as I was exposed to the question of why did Christ die.

    But when I look at the ransom theory, said to be the theory of the early church, it does not look exactly warm and fuzzy either.

    They both say that there was a price to be paid. One says it was a ransom paid to either Satan or God and that the theory dates back to the early church, and the other says it was the price of justice which enabled God to both forgive and exact justice at the same time and that it was at least mostly developed as part of the reformed tradition.

    For myself I have a really hard time thinking that God ever owed Satan anything. As to whether there was a need to satisfy justice, well I can see where that would be the better choice between the two theories. Any way one looks at it some form or substitution plays into the atonement theories.

    And no, I am not mentally unstable nor abused during childhood. IMO the jury is still out on this. And BTW, the Catholic church also uses the word substitution, but if I am correct they call it a mystery.

  201. @ okrapod:

    Sorry, Muff. I used your comment as a starting place. I certainly did not think that you said all that nor am I accusing you of anything.

  202. It seems to me that one of the attractions of the neo-cal movement is that they offer answers. They may be off base in some of their answers, but for people who want answers there are several choices, but for sure and for sure not all protestant traditions are emphasizing answers.

  203. okrapod wrote:

    It seems to me that one of the attractions of the neo-cal movement is that they offer answers. They may be off base in some of their answers, but for people who want answers there are several choices, but for sure and for sure not all protestant traditions are emphasizing answers.

    They definitely offer answers. They have THE system. Of course, it attracts sundry lunatics and abusers to leadership and it generally works, in my experience, to abuse members of the true church and make right bleeding atheists and dones and nones out of people who are initially seeking the truth and get drawn in by the glitz, but hey, it’s a system that offers answers.

  204. okrapod wrote:

    For myself I have a really hard time thinking that God ever owed Satan anything. As to whether there was a need to satisfy justice, well I can see where that would be the better choice between the two theories. Any way one looks at it some form or substitution plays into the atonement…IMO the jury is still out on this. And BTW, the Catholic church also uses the word substitution, but if I am correct they call it a mystery.

    The Catholics are right, it is a mystery. And if the Lord explained it to us straight up, we wouldn’t understand it, and it probably couldn’t even be translated into a human language. We are like cats trying to understand calculus. Dangerous, destructive people come to you telling you they have it figured out.I once was debating/discussing the Bible with a neocalvinist pastor one-on-one and he was absolutely aghast when I told him I did not believe everything in the Bible could be perfectly understood with human logic and reason.

    He truly believed that every word of it could be perfectly understood, all-in-all, if one had the right code—i.e., proper neocalvinist theology. He believed that certain leaders, such as himself, were the called members of the “local church” to reveal these absolute truths through expository preaching, which was undeniably the central point of the week and the whole point of church. He believed that he was the specially-called leader, and that any questioning of of his authority over us or rightness of his interpretation was the result of either an honest misunderstanding or a fiendish plot to destroy the local church.

    He did not believe in the competency of any believer other than himself and select others, the best we could do was submit, the best he could do was continue disseminating these irrefutable truths, this gnosis, to the local church and destroy any opposition to it. He really believed I was the dangerous one for even questioning him, and set about setting the church, especially the young men he’d gather round him, against me. He honestly thought this was God’s work.

  205. Law Prof wrote:

    . He believed that he was the specially-called leader, and that any questioning of of his authority over us

    Before the sermon section Shauna transcribed, Chan brings up Annanias and Sapphira, asking the flock if they ever exaggerated to him–um and the other leaders. Later he talks about how no one respects authority, trotting out Hebrews 13:17.

  206. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Lea wrote:

    Lydia wrote:
    @ Shauna:
    I am trying to fathom going from an abusive father to the John McArthur world.

    Conlee had an abusive father too, iirc. I wonder how many people are drawn to pastoring because of that.

    “As long as I’m On Top, No One Else Can Hurt Me Again!” Control Freakery?

    Abuse is what’s Normal and “Now It’s MY Turn!”?

    All by Divine Right?

    I see your point however our former pastor has good and loving parents. In fact they are members of his church here in Montgomery. Very kind soft spoken people. They have flaws i’m sure but he speaks about his upbringing a lot over the years and it seemed he lived a pretty good life with well adjusted parents. So not every pastor comes from an abusive situation and is drawn to MacArthur some just want power, prestige,money, and control. Our former pastor is a MacArthur seminary grad and he runs with these circles. he praises piper non stop among many others. Mr. Chan was at GCC and TMS the same time our former pastor was there going to TMS and a youth pastor at GCC. I have no doubt they may know each other or even be friends. I guess when you want to be in the in group you will comprimise I guess.

  207. okrapod wrote:

    They both say that there was a price to be paid. One says it was a ransom paid to either Satan or God

    Not to get off topic, but I like that idea that we were ransomed from the law.

  208. okrapod wrote:

    Sorry, Muff. I used your comment as a starting place. I certainly did not think that you said all that nor am I accusing you of anything.

    Not at all okrapod, you raise some excellent points regarding Christian theology in the West.

  209. GSD [Getting Stuff Done] wrote:

    Not to get off topic, but I like that idea that we were ransomed from the law.

    Yes. We were ransomed from the death the law brings. My family is somewhat Jewish: mother tells me it’s in the blood (presumably on my Hornung side from Germany), and we celebrate some Jewish traditions, i.e., the Passover Seder is a long family tradition, but Easter is not. At the Seder, by tradition the children always look for the Afikomen, which is a broken piece of matzah hidden in a cloth (shroud) somewhere in the house and the child who finds it gets to ransom it for a prize. It’s very much like Jesus, the broken one, who was buried in a shroud, and who, if one finds Him, gets quite a prize—He ransoms them from the death that sin and the law bring. Many Passover traditions, both straight from the Torah and those that developed over the last few millenia, point to Jesus and how He ransoms us from the curse of the law.

  210. Law Prof wrote:

    Dangerous, destructive people come to you telling you they have it figured out.

    Make that “ALL Figured Out.”
    (How Dare God do anything other than What I’ve All Figured Out!”)

    I once was debating/discussing the Bible with a neocalvinist pastor one-on-one and he was absolutely aghast when I told him I did not believe everything in the Bible could be perfectly understood with human logic and reason.

    Human logic and reason is a SUBSET of Truth, NOT the entire set.

    But no convincing the Richard Dawkinses of the world of that, even if they have a Christian coat of paint.

    Or their funhouse-mirror reflections (in both Christianity and Islam) who deny human logic and reason as the opposite of FAITH FAITH FAITH.

    He truly believed that every word of it could be perfectly understood, all-in-all, if one had the right code—i.e., proper neocalvinist theology.

    AKA Speshul Sekrit Knowledge (Occult Gnosis) known only to an Inner Ring of Illuminati (Gnostics).

    He believed that certain leaders, such as himself, were the called members of the “local church” to reveal these absolute truths through expository preaching, which was undeniably the central point of the week and the whole point of church. He believed that he was the specially-called leader, and that any questioning of of his authority over us or rightness of his interpretation was the result of either an honest misunderstanding or a fiendish plot to destroy the local church.

    And of course he counted himself as one of the Inner Ring with the Speshul Sekrit Knowledge — the actual definition of “Gnostic” (“He Who KNOWS Things”).

    Just like the one neo-Nazi I encountered during my college days who counted himself as a 110% member of the Pure Aryan Master Race.

  211. Muff Potter wrote:

    The vast majority of evangelical protestantism is devoted to PSA, not just the neo-cals.

    Just like the Sinner’s Prayer and The Rapture, during my time in-country I Heard NOTHING Else.

  212. @ okrapod:
    Don’t forget Christus Victor. That was another very important atonement theory in the early church. It’s very general. As I understand it, it simply says that Christ came to defeat death and free the captives in his death and resurrection. I find this one helpful because it is extremely broad. NT Wright sees Christus Victor as an umbrella under which parts of other theories can exist as well.

    That’s what these things are: theories. I really don’t like the caricature version of PSA preached today, but no one actually knows the answer to these questions. I think that, within reason, we use these as tools to help us understand God. If one particular theory isn’t helpful, there is no obligation to use it.

  213. okrapod wrote:

    But when I look at the ransom theory, said to be the theory of the early church, it does not look exactly warm and fuzzy either.

    I agree. From what I have found, the church has always had “big T” Traditions/Teachings, which have been captured in ecumenical councils and creeds, and “little t” traditions/teachings that are not considered essential. The big T’s are the must believe items. The little t items are where there appears to be quite a lot of differences of opinion throughout history. The fact of the atonement would be a big T, but the how of the atonement was always considered a little t. At least until the reformation.

    Ransom theory attempts to explain “how” Jesus ransomed us. It appears that Origen first proposed the theory and that it was more widely accepted in the West than in the East. But it was never considered a big T. Anselm reacted against it, and Calvin took it further by postulating PSA. The problem now is most PSA advocates have turned it into a big T when it never should have been more than a little t (if it should have been a t at all). The “how” of the atonement is not clearly described in the Bible and it was never a topic of ecumenical councils. But that is not getting in the way of the current PSA advocates. They seem to confuse a theory with the actual gospel.

    Interestingly, Origen was never canonized as as saint because of some of his erroneous teachings. He also taught ESS, and castrated himself.

  214. Law Prof wrote:

    They definitely offer answers. They have THE system.

    To New Calvinists, the essence of Christianity is contained in the tenets of reformed doctrine. They have traded the blessing for a bowl of stew, preferring doctrines ‘about’ grace, rather a direct experience of Grace … preferring to hear carefully crafted answers about faith, rather than an encounter with the living Christ.

  215. okrapod wrote:

    For myself I have a really hard time thinking that God ever owed Satan anything.

    Same here. That’ll be the day that I owe the head honcho of my hired help anything after he talked my kids into something that would mean their demise (death) over time.
    I think it’s one of those patent absurdities Voltaire spoke of.

  216. Pingback: Bad Press: The Circus Goes On | internetmonk.com

  217. “A recent YouTube video that has been viewed over 50,000 times thus far* of highly prolific and popular Christian author and speaker Francis Chan creates a very disturbing scenario of how the Body of Christ should operate. Speaking to a group at Bethel Church, he strongly implied that God will destroy (kill) anyone who questions or opposes the teachings of Christian leaders. Using fear to motivate his audience, he used for his basic text: “If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are” (1 Corinthians 3:17).”

    https://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=28116

  218. We left church 10 years ago…I think we made a good decision. Church is more crazier now than when we left it.

  219. Pingback: Francis Chan on the Untouchability of God’s Anointed – Everyone's Entitled to Joe's Opinion UNITED STATES

  220. Forrest wrote:

    Speaking to a group at Bethel Church, he strongly implied that God will destroy (kill) anyone who questions or opposes the teachings of Christian leaders.

    i.e. God is now nothing more than Christian Leaders’ Enforcer/Attack Dog. (Attack God?)

  221. Max wrote:

    To New Calvinists, the essence of Christianity is contained in the tenets of reformed doctrine.

    Purity of Ideology, Comrades.

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