He’s Baaaack! Dustin Boles Starts Vintage Church, Ocean Springs, MS. After a History of Bizarre Behavior at Mosaic Church.

Jewel of the Solar System
Jewel of the Solar System NASA

“You and I, Sam, are still stuck in the worst places of the story, and it is all too likely that some will say at this point: ‘Shut the book now, Dad; we don’t want to read any more.” JRR Tolkien: Lord of the Rongs


When we last left Dustin Boles, he had resigned from Mosaic Church and was attempting to buy a house in the same neighborhood of the woman who said he had been stalking her. He had decided to start a website called True Skeptic and started working for a laboratory company. There was also some talk about helping him undergo *restoration*(whatever that means) in another church.

Boles will start Vintage Church, Ocean Springs, on September 15

Here is a link to his Facebook video announcement.

Here is a link to Vintage Church website.

Here is a link to Vintage Church on Facebook.

Here is a screen shot of his announcement on Facebook.


This is his explanation why he is starting this church.

Why am I so worried about this?

  • He doesn’t say anything about his rather worrisome behavior in the past. His stalking like behavior was so worrisome, one woman made a police report.
  • Last I heard he bought a house near one of the women who complained about his behavior. Is he still living there?
  • There is no discussion about receiving intensive psychiatric/psychological intervention.
  • There is no discussion about repentance.
  • There is no discussion about the disappearance of his website True Skeptic.

Here is how he describes himself on the new Vintage Church website.

There appears to be no mention of his stellar fall from the pastorate a few years back. There is no mention about why he decided that now was the time to lead a new church. There is no mention that he has received any sort of real counseling. There is now discussion of how things worked out with the lady who made a police report. It looks to me like he is simply *going on.*

Something doesn’t smell right here. I will report when I learn more.

A review of the backstory of Dustin Boles in 2016.

My first post about Boles:

 The Allegations Against Dustin Boles Former Pastor of the Acts 29 Affiliated Mosaic Church.

In this post, I cover Boles’ resignation from the Acts 29 Mosaic Church. A church members allegedly witnessed inappropriate behavior on the part of Boles with other women. He resigned from his position and began working for Avix Labs. Both Boles and his wife made comments on the Facebook page of one of the women who was allegedly hurt by Boles. Boles accused her of assaulting him in an Uber car while he denies assaulting anyone.

My second post about Boles.

Mosaic Church and Dustin Boles: Resignation Announcement and a Recent Email

In this post, you will see a letter sent from Boles to the the church staff. In this letter, he claims to be a deist and also says he had no plans to return to church ministry. He says he had started a website called True Skeptic.

Spiritually I have struggled and felt mostly mostly like a deist (believe in God just not His involvement in creation – Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, Voltaire, Etc.) I am not a deist but have felt like one. I am working through it all but I am even more skeptical of faith than I was before.

I have absolutely no plans to ever return to church ministry. That could change one day but I seriously doubt it. I will likely do some type of teaching ministry way down the road that mainly is web based. My opening series will be called “Epic Fail”. Ha. I have been offered the opportunity to go through a “restoration” process with ARC and Oasis church beginning in January but I may or may not do it since it is geared toward church ministry and that is just not my interest. I am also starting a skeptics web site called True Skeptic

In this post, you can also read the resignation letter from Boles and the church leadership in which the accusations against Boles were confirmed by the leadership.

From Mosaic leadership:

Dear Mosaic Family,

Sorrowfully, we need to share with you some very disheartening news. In recent days, serious allegations of pastoral misconduct arose against Pastor Dustin Boles and were quickly confirmed by our elders. This required that the elders begin a formal process of thorough investigation. The findings of this investigation and further confession from Pastor Dustin has led us to the heart-breaking decision to accept Pastor Dustin’s resignation from office at Mosaic Church and president of Mosaic Ministries effective immediately. We did not arrive at this decision lightly but rather agonizingly, with deep consternation for our brother, praying diligently together and seeking scripture for guidance.

The initial and now confirmed accusations violated the high standard of personal conduct for elders and pastors of the church. (I Timothy 3:2). Please understand that we are not withholding details to protect Dustin. We are protecting those who were hurt by his sin.

From Boles:

have struggled with sin all my life and have won the battle many times. But, now I have lost in significant ways that have hurt some families and innocent people. I have also hurt Natalie and my family. My sins are in direct violation of scripture and the covenant I made with Natalie in marriage. I have no excuse for what I have done. Each sin was selfish, prideful and cannot be justified.

I ask for your forgiveness and that you would pray for Nat and me and the whole Mosaic Family.  I will be in an indefinite period of repentance and healing as God works on my heart and mind. I will always feel that being your pastor has been one of the great privileges of my life. Our elders have been gracious and kind to me and will make the right decisions along the way and for the good of the church, the good of those I have hurt, and for the good of me and my family.

My third post about Boles

Why Is Dustin Boles Moving Into a House Near His Alleged Victim?

This is rather odd, especially since it seems Boles’ son would be in the same school as some of his victims.

It has come to our attention that Dustin Boles and his wife are allegedly moving a couple of doors down  several houses (correction)away  from one of his victims. His child will switch schools and be in the same school as a couple of Boles’ alleged victims’ children. Here is what he said to the Mosaic Church in the letter posted yesterday.

(Boles wrote:)We are currently selling our house and getting tons of interest. We are hoping to sell it soon at full asking price. We already have a house locked in to lease just a half mile away in the Promenade neighborhood in OS. Half the price of our mortgage and a lot bigger house! (By the way, if you ever plan on failing epically like I did make sure you have your FPU crap together first. It really helps.

Note that he does not mention the proximity to one of his victims. TWW finds this behavior on the part of both Boles and his wife disconcerting. This appears to demonstrate an utter lack of concern for the alleged victim as well as his own family.

My fourth post about Boles

Police Report Filed By an Alleged Stalking Victim of Dustin Boles

Here is one part of the report. You can see the whole thing on the original post.

My final post on Boles

Bizarre Happenings With Former Acts 29 Leader and Mosaic Pastor Dustin Boles

This post covered Boles’ website TrueSkeptic.com which no longer exists. However, it got some great screen shots so we can see what he was thinking about back then. The following is from that post.


1. A new website called True Skeptic was set up and it allegedly belongs to Dustin Boles.

As people allegedly began to contact Dustin Boles about this website, it was removed. However, if one searches Google this entry comes up, even though the link no longer works.

2. Boles claims appears to deny orthodox Christian faith.

The god of the Bible is not good.
The god of the Bible is not the god of reality.
He claims to be a modified deist (whatever modified means.)
God is kind and brilliant.
God does not normally intervene in the affairs of humans.
God is not maternally or paternally loving.
God does no reveal himself in sacred books.
God does not reveal himself through prophets.
God reveals himself thru the created order
God reveals himself through common sense and reason.

3. Dustin Boles seems to be setting up a skeptic speaking and debating *ministry.*

4. His coming book blurb appears to claim god is a deadbeat dad.

5. He seems to have some serious issues regarding God’s relationship with mankind.

In discussing Boles and his former position as pastor with a member, I was told that he never expressed anything like this in any venue while pastor. Apparently, a number of people have contacted Boles about all of the above. He denied it was him but the website was promptly deleted. However, people who are in a position to know, claim that the website has been checked it out and it is registered to Dustin Boles.


Where does that leave me?

Someone needs to explain to me how a guy with this much baggage ends up starting a church 3 years later. Also, I’m starting to get really annoyed with Christians who blithely use the word *restoration.* It appears to imply that it is just fine for a guy who used his pulpit to have some weird *relationships* with women, including accusations of stalking, followed by a time as a resident skeptic, should get his pulpit back.

Let me state this loud and clear, restoration means restored to the body of Christ. In other words, he did something wrong, he needs to repent and then maybe he can become a communing member of a church fellowship again. Since when does restoration mean he gets to skip all of that stuff and go straight away into the pastorate. From what I can tell, Boles hasn’t repented in any visible way. And yes, his repentance needs to be visible since he hit rock bottom in a most visible way. He loved the public eye back then. He still does but he doesn’t want the public looking. to closely at his lifestyle.

Prediction: Hang on tight, Vintage Church. You are in for a ride. Whoops- almost forgot. His new church is in Ocean Springs, MS, where Mosaic Church is located. Kind of in your face, isn’t it?


Comments

He’s Baaaack! Dustin Boles Starts Vintage Church, Ocean Springs, MS. After a History of Bizarre Behavior at Mosaic Church. — 129 Comments

  1. Not surprising. Boles joins a long line of failed “pastors” who fooled enough folks to support unrepentant comebacks (Driscoll, Noble, etc.). What else are they going to do to make a living? They know how to work a crowd with a little charisma, a gift of gab, and a gimmick or two. “If” they genuinely repent, forgive them? Certainly! Restore them to ministry? NO!

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  2. It’s pretty brazen to lead a congregation in the same town as the group from which one was removed in disgrace.

    IIRC, “elders” are supposed to have a good reputation with outsiders.

    One can envision a public-service informational service — call it “toxic pastors” for present purposes — that would “crawl” through publicly accessible databases, collect, organize and present evidence of criminal conduct.

    It would have to be an outsider effort as the institutions appear to prefer to conceal this kind of information.

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  3. Boles waited those THREE years!

    “http://thewartburgwatch.com/2016/09/12/the-allegations-against-dustin-boles-former-pastor-of-the-acts-29-affiliated-mosaic-church/”

    “Kaminky said that Boles was allegedly told that as long as he stayed out of the pastorate for 3 years, then there would not be any *repercussions.* As far as Kaminky knows, the church leadership did not report Boles’ behavior to any authority outside of the church.”

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  4. The name of the game is re-inventing yourself – branding a new image that will be the most profitable. Dustin has re-entered the Christian Industrial Complex hoping to cash in. He knows which side his bread is buttered on.

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  5. Erp:
    I suspect he found the atheist circuit doesn’t pay as well.

    I would agree with this. Reading all these posts really makes me question his mental health, Dee. As Linn said, I sincerely hope no one gets hurt. (Including Mr. Boles.)

    (Also, a Bachelor’s degree in “Bible”. What? Also, a Master’s Degree in Religion – that reads like an advanced degree in religion in GENERAL, not Christianity, Theology, or Religious Instruction.)

    All of this just leads to a good old fashioned “WHAT in tarnation…?”

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  6. Max: What else are they going to do to make a living?

    Good question, Max! I have a couple of suggestions:

    -clean out hog stalls;
    -Telemarketer;
    -Timeshare salesperson; or better yet,
    -become a crash-test dummy!

    If you can’t already tell, I’ve got absolutely no use for these guys! They are frauds, hucksters and snake-oil salesmen preying on peoples’ trusting nature and naivete. I hope their attendance for their first service is -0-!

    Wise up, folks–these guys are playing for keeps! The Good Shepherd wisely warned us in John 10:10–“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”

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  7. Darlene: The name of the game is re-inventing yourself – branding a new image that will be the most profitable.

    Unfortunately, few of these characters discover the reality of Jesus during the reinvention process. Instead of repenting and searching for Him during forced “sabbaticals”, they strategize their next deception to get in the pockets of gullible church goers. American “Christians” are easy targets; Boles will do alright in his new venture.

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  8. Max: What else are they going to do to make a living?

    Good question, Max. Let me toss in a suggestion or two:

    -clean out hog stalls;
    -Cold call telemarketing;
    -Timeshare salesperson; or better yet,
    -become a crash-test dummy!

    I have absolutely no use for these guys! They are nothing but frauds, hucksters and snake-oil salesmen. They spend their entire lives despicably preying on people’s trusting nature and naivete. I hope the attendance for their first service is -0-.

    Wise up, folks–these guys are playing for keeps! The Good Shepherd wisely warned us of them: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” -John 10:10.

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  9. Acts 29 leaders who “fall from grace” never really just go away, they keep coming baaaack “restored” and with a new gimmick. Former Acts 29 founder/President Mark Driscoll committed a host of transgressions and now enjoys a new ministry in AZ; Darrin Patrick, Vice President of Acts 29, had a bout with moral indiscretion but is now teaching pastor at a mega-church; Boles failed, then dabbled in skepticism about the things of God, and now reappears as a pastor; etc. etc. New Calvinism – particularly the Acts 29 flavor – if left to itself will lead to antinomianism.

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  10. there aren’t many barriers to starting a church, but all those people starting it with him need to be informed, if they haven’t been already. They may not care though.

    I wonder if that woman was ever able to get a restraining order? Apparently they are quite hard to get in some jurisdictions. The lady from Dirty John wasn’t able to get one, iirc, and that was California not Mississippi where I bet it’s more difficult.

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  11. Anna: “Kaminky said that Boles was allegedly told that as long as he stayed out of the pastorate for 3 years, then there would not be any *repercussions.*

    This is the most disturbing thing to me. Men in these churches and church ‘planting’ organizations telling dudes who have actively hurt women that if they just wait a few months, a year, 3 years in this case…they’ll hook them up with a new church. Full of new potential victims. That was one of the most disgusting things I read at SBC Voices: that men were actively told if they ‘messed up’ with one of the youth group they would get them another job somewhere else!!! Is it any wonder churches are full of predators?? They don’t get more than a ‘time out’ for it.

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  12. Lea: there aren’t many barriers to starting a church, but all those people starting it with him need to be informed, if they haven’t been already. They may not care though.

    Ocean Springs, MS – where Boles previously “pastored” – has a population of only 18,000 folks. You would think most of the church folks there, of various religious flavors, would know about his misbehavings (it was only 3 years ago). I would say that his supporters have either bought his restoration story or just don’t care. I don’t know anything about Ocean Springs, but in some communities across America, pew-sitters prefer pulpiteers who aren’t any holier than them – it makes them feel better about themselves.

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  13. Lea: This is the most disturbing thing to me. Men in these churches and church ‘planting’ organizations telling dudes who have actively hurt women that if they just wait a few months, a year, 3 years in this case…they’ll hook them up with a new church.

    The Acts 29 dudebros take care of each other.

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  14. Max: Acts 29 leaders who “fall from grace” never really just go away, they keep coming baaaack “restored” and with a new gimmick.

    Like Jim Bakker — Once a grifter, always a grifter.

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  15. Darlene:
    The name of the game is re-inventing yourself – branding a new image that will be the most profitable.Dustin has re-entered the Christian Industrial Complex hoping to cash in.He knows which side his bread is buttered on.

    A Made Man in the Jesus Rackets, in too deep to ever be able to go straight.

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  16. Magistos: (Also, a Bachelor’s degree in “Bible”. What? Also, a Master’s Degree in Religion – that reads like an advanced degree in religion in GENERAL, not Christianity, Theology, or Religious Instruction.)

    Like a Saudi degree in “Islamic Studies”?

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  17. SBC’s International Mission Board revokes hiring of marketing/communications Vice President?

    https://www.instagram.com/p/B1FBUlNgOYR/ (Aug. 12)

    Mark MacDonald: “#ANNOUNCEMENT…I’m so excited to join the worldwide efforts of the International Mission Board #IMB and their ~4000 employees – the world’s largest #missions agency of its kind!…we move to #RichmondVA…very excited to work with Dr. Paul Chitwood”

    https://www.instagram.com/p/B1mvH3TAgA6/ (Aug. 25)

    Mark MacDonald: “Keeping it real: IMB has withdrawn their job offer. An anonymous source informed IMB of an embarrassing failure from ~10 yrs ago (after which I had a yr restoration with my church). Out of an ABUNDANCE of caution, IMB didn’t want to proceed”

    Mark MacDonald: God “loves me with forgiving grace, and wants me to continue ministry”

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  18. [had been given a farewell ordination by his Florida church]

    https://www.instagram.com/p/B1KtPQiB8pO/ (Aug. 14)

    ‘Chets Creek Church’: “honored to convene an Ordination Council tonight for our friend Mark MacDonald to acknowledge and affirm God’s call on his life.”

    Page that ‘disappeared’ from IMB website:

    https://web.archive.org/web/20190814112659/http://www.imb.org/2019/08/12/macdonald-elected/

    “International Mission Board trustees voted to elect Mark MacDonald as the mission organization’s vice president of marketing and communication during a virtual meeting Monday, Aug. 12.”

    “MacDonald currently serves as strategic communication catalyst for the Florida Baptist Convention in Jacksonville, Fla.”

    “‘We’re delighted to welcome Mark MacDonald to our senior leadership team,’ said IMB President Paul Chitwood.”

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  19. Jerome: Mark MacDonald: “Keeping it real: IMB has withdrawn their job offer. An anonymous source informed IMB of an embarrassing failure from ~10 yrs ago (after which I had a yr restoration with my church).

    ’embarassing failure’ is code for…well. I have my guesses. Restoration seems de rigueur for certain ‘sins’ but I never hear of anybody being restored for stealing or something.

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  20. Max,

    Driscoll and Patrick both left A29 for ARC (or similar) churches and friends. They’re clearly not welcome in New Calvinist/A29 circles, so they found a new circle where they ditch the Reformed flavor for the semi-Pentecostal flavor.

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  21. Jerome: SBC’s International Mission Board revokes hiring of marketing/communications Vice President … Mark MacDonald

    Yet another example of a ministry not doing due diligence on job candidates. I have a feeling, however, that some search committee members knew. There’s more to this story.

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  22. Erp: I suspect he found the atheist circuit doesn’t pay as well.

    Yes, he now markets himself as “A DUDE TRYING TO ENCOURAGE OTHER SINNERS TO KEEP TRUSTING JESUS” on his website: https://www.dustinboles.com/

    Good Lord, I’ll be glad when the American church gets over the dudebro stage! Problem is, some of these dudes never grow up … they just keep reinventing themselves, prolonging their lives as immature dudes.

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  23. Samuel Conner:
    One can envision a public-service informational service — call it “toxic pastors” for present purposes — that would “crawl” through publicly accessible databases, collect, organize and present evidence of criminal conduct.

    You mean, like Google?

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  24. ishy,

    Good for them. This story shows the kind of man getting a routine pass from patriarchal types like Patterson, who routinely discount the safety and word of women like Roe – who unlike this man displayed no such poor behavior.

    As you said, he’s a piece of work. There is no way some of this wasn’t obvious from his demeanor. This is the end result of putting men first. Poor Roe.

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  25. Lea: Hubris?
    I think half these guys are so used to gaslighting everyone, they’ve effectively gaslighted themselves.

    He’s definitely got oodles of hubris. That is evident when you met him. He’s got just enough charisma though to make you think he’s on your side. But now we’ve seen what he does behind closed doors.

    But, I think you’re right that they convince themselves they can do no wrong after the whole world already sees who they really are. Chantry is another perfect example of that.

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  26. Lea:
    ishy,

    Hubris?

    I think half these guys are so used to gaslighting everyone, they’ve effectively gaslighted themselves.

    Like “The Tragedian” in The Great Divorce, they have worn the mask of their Alternative Facts and Personal Reality for so long it has become their face. Permanently.

    Others who have done this include Elron Hubbard and Anton LaVey.

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  27. Magistos: The Paige Patterson Twitter army has (finally) gone silent and is no longer defending him.

    It is customary to drop a potato when it’s too hot to handle. Other notorious church leaders have also felt the snub of once-loyal followers when their liabilities exceeded their assets: “Driscoll who?” … “MacDonald who?” … “Hybels who?” … etc.

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  28. I wonder if Joshua Harris will do the same thing: wait until all the hubbub dies down from his divorce and “de-conversion”, then announce he’s “repented” and start a new church (likely with a “newer model” spouse)?

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  29. “A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.”
    ‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭18:2‬ ‭ESV‬‬

    MOD: I’m assuming this is a knock against the post and comments here. But then again it could be that the person posting it needs to look in the mirror. So I’m letting this through.

    But I strongly suspect this is what we tend to call a drive by comment. GBTC

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  30. This comment is totally off topic so please delete if deemed inappropriate. The hubs and I just found this little dying Methodist Church in June. We have been “dones” for 10 years. This church has a membership of about 60. 80%old. No worship team or fog machines thankfully, The Pastor only makes enough to afford a 1 bedroom apt for his family of 4. ( This is the Bay Area). He is Korean and young and different enough to engage our interest. We were drawn in by a post on Next Door that the Pastor was starting a bible study on the book of Revelation. We are enjoying the study very much. The study guide is by NT Wright. My question is to all you well churched(or not) and well schooled Wartburgers is what do you know of Wright, And is there anything amiss in the Methodist church.

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  31. Leslie: My question is to all you well churched(or not) and well schooled Wartburgers is what do you know of Wright, And is there anything amiss in the Methodist church.

    I like NT Wrights perspective very much. He is a retired Anglican bishop. That is a large and diverse denomination, so you will find all kinds in it. He has quite a lot of good into available on the internet and in books.

    When we left our SBC church last year we started attending a very large UMC church that has some people we know. UMC is an offshoot from Anglicanism, and is similarly large and diverse.

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  32. Leslie,

    Wright is one of the leading New Testament scholars of the present day, and arguably the most influential protestant scholar of our time. He’s writing from within historic orthodoxy (in the sense of the ancient councils and creeds) but some of his conclusions are a little uncomfortable to classic Reformed (but he also has defenders within Reformed circles).

    His basic “programme”, to the extent I understand it, is to read the New Testament documents first as history, and only then as theology. The predominant paradigm since (and perhaps before) the Reformation has been to use the Scriptures as source material for systematic theology and to be less concerned about the historical particularities of the events themselves. Wright is keenly interested to understand the biblical narrative as history. His historical approach leads him to ask questions that generally are avoided (perhaps not regarded to be important) in more traditional theological system. For example, a gripping section of Wrights “Jesus and the Victory of God” concerned the question of “Jesus’ intentions” and self-understanding.

    I think you will find him helpful.

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  33. Leslie: is there anything amiss in the Methodist church.

    I have very fond memories of attending UMC with my grandparents long ago and would try them again if needed. I don’t know of any major UMC scandals, widespread abuse, etc., etc. The worship is wonderfully recognizable.

    The UMC denomination is recovering from a disagreement about gay clergy and homosexual unions; the traditionalists prevailed. It sounds like that might not be a major issue in the congregation you are visiting. Every part of Christianity is facing this topic in one way or another. (My own denom went through a comparable struggle some time back, and our congregation recovered.)

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  34. Leslie:
    This comment is totally off topic so please delete if deemed inappropriate.The hubs and I just found this little dying Methodist Church in June.We have been “dones” for 10 years.This church has a membership of about 60.80%old.No worship team or fog machines thankfully,The Pastor only makes enough to afford a 1 bedroom apt for his family of 4. ( This is the Bay Area). He is Korean and young and different enough to engage our interest. We were drawn in by a post on Next Door that the Pastor was starting a bible study on the book of Revelation.We are enjoying the study very much.The study guide is by NT Wright.My question is to all you well churched(or not) and well schooled Wartburgers is what do you know of Wright,And is there anything amiss in the Methodist church.

    I like some of the writings of NT Wright, but be careful, IMHO he is off the mark on a new perspective on the Apostle Paul…….

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  35. Leslie: what do you know of Wright, And is there anything amiss in the Methodist church.

    I like NT Wright and have read his book about Paul. He is one of the few that I do not have any problem with. The Methodist church is big and there are very liberal camps within it that I would avoid, but it is like anything else, some parts are better than others. Some people have had positive experiences and others very negative. So it likely depends on which one you go to and what the personality of the church is.

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  36. Leslie: The study guide is by NT Wright. My question is to all you well churched(or not) and well schooled Wartburgers is what do you know of Wright,

    I really enjoy NT Wright and he is well respected by a number of theologians that I like. I got to see him in person when he came to Duke for their Christianity and Scholarship series. He is an excellent speaker and is as engrossing in person as he is when I read his writings.

    As for the Methodists, they are like any other church. Some get it right, others do not. We used to have a beach house a few years back and attended a great little Methodist church nearby on the weekends. I used to get depressed, going back home ands attending the SBC church that I would end up leaving over a pedophile situation.

    I say “Go for it.” Do me a favor and let me know how it goes.

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  37. Leslie: The study guide is by NT Wright. My question is to all you well churched(or not) and well schooled Wartburgers is what do you know of Wright,

    NT Wright is a Bishop of the Church of England who has a reputation as a thinker and scholar. I have seen some of his shorter presentations on YouTube and essays at BioLogos; like Steven Jay Gould with science, he has a way of making complex things easily understandable. I’d trust the guy and his works.

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  38. Leslie: what do you know of Wright

    While I haven’t followed N.T. Wright and his New Testament perspectives closely, I know that John Piper and other New Calvinists are at odds with some of Wright’s theological views … which puts Wright on the positive side of my ledger at this point.

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  39. Max: Ocean Springs, MS – where Boles previously “pastored” – has a population of only 18,000 folks. You would think most of the church folks there, of various religious flavors, would know about his misbehavings (it was only 3 years ago). I would say that his supporters have either bought his restoration story or just don’t care. I don’t know anything about Ocean Springs, but in some communities across America, pew-sitters prefer pulpiteers who aren’t any holier than them – it makes them feel better about themselves.

    Ocean Springs is part of the Gulfport-Biloxi Metropolitan Statistical Area and there are well over 200,000 people nearby. I suspect not everyone has been paying attention if he thinks he can set up another church.

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  40. Headless Unicorn Guy: P.S. Even if it’s on the Book of Revelation (which did a number on my head during the Age of Hal Lindsay). In Wright’s hands, I very much doubt you’ll be getting Pin-the-Tail-on-The-Antichrist or Scare ’em into the Altar Call.

    Oh my, I can definitely second this. Wright is considered a commendable scholar by pretty much everyone. They might not AGREE with what he’s saying, but nobody is going to deny that he’s done his work. I’d trust Wright on Revelation over a stack of the “OMG Jesus is coming real soon now read this book and I’ll show you the reasons Jesus is coming back.” I had a stack of those books in the 1970s and 1980s. I wish I had the money I spent on those books.

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  41. Thanks to all of you for your input. Your comments have confirmed the “gut feeling” we have about this church. We are in fact feeling excited that we may be able to help “ strengthen that which remains”. I am surprised that after 20 years of Bible Study Fellowship and Precept upon Precept, that I had not heard of NT Wright, I am eager to learn more. Dee, I will indeed let you know how this journey goes. After 10 years it is a little scary, but also exciting to get involved in church again.

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  42. Back to Larry Norman: Clinical Psychologist suggests that Larry was a case of textbook Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Interesting commentary, which is that people like this, and many of the scandals we write about are very similar, who have this disorder try very hard to believe their own lies. What was said could equally be applied to Mark Driscoll, Tullian T. and others. Have a 90 sec. listen yourself: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IHkgRNFZvEQ&list=PLaSmYOhNPYIS9HwSI96S-x1Z2uMCpdEBQ&index=18&t=0s

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  43. Leslie,

    BSF and Precepts are fine but over time I found myself becoming weary of fill in the banks, pencils, canned lectures and stringent rules. I knew a lady whose child had special needs which would necessitate her being consistently 15 minutes late for BSF. She was told that God must not want her to be in that group. I concur. She needed to find some people who are more into grace than a set of rules.

    NT Wright is one of those people who demands that you think out of the box. I will be curious to hear what you think after you’ve been at it for awhile.

    BTW, one of my blogger friends left the SBC. She grew up SBC and got tired of the reports of abuse, etc. She attends a Methodist church which she loves. No stupid membership contracts. No young guy who introduces the latest by John Piper. In fact, most don’t even know who he is!

    I wish you well.

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  44. Leslie: I am surprised that after 20 years of Bible Study Fellowship and Precept upon Precept, that I had not heard of NT Wright

    Simple. He was from one of those Apostate Lukewarm MAINSTREAM churches (Church of England), NOT Our One Real True New Testament Bible Church.

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  45. Leslie,

    “I am surprised that after 20 years of Bible Study Fellowship and Precept upon Precept, that I had not heard of NT Wright, I am eager to learn more.”

    At my former church, the youngish Mark Driscoll wannabe pastor wouldn’t permit the young adults to use a NT Wright study on Mark because of John Piper’s disagreement with his work. Instead, they were given a Matt Chandler study to use. Since leaving that church I have done several NT Wright studies and have found them to be wonderful and refreshing. I have lately been listening to his podcasts “Ask NT Wright Anything”. They, too, are balm to my soul after years in the TGC/9 Marks world.

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  46. Maybe we need to start a ministry in which we print up and hand out the available information on these schmucks outside of their new ‘churches’? Honestly, who would go to a brand new non-denominational church startup without seriously checking out the backgrounds and history of the people running it? I believe there may be a hint in his desire to be a stand-up comedian. Is that all people are really looking for in a pastor?

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  47. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes: 200,000 people nearby. I suspect not everyone has been paying attention if he thinks he can set up another church

    Oh well, Boles will have little trouble rebooting his ministry there. A nearby multitude, plus a touch of charisma, a gift of gab, and a gimmick or two assures success … if he can keep his pants on.

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  48. Dee Holmes: Ocean Springs is part of the Gulfport-Biloxi Metropolitan Statistical Area and there are well over 200,000 people nearby.

    Yeah..it’s a beach town in a string of beach towns that blend into each other and have a heavy tourism base i’m guessing, not a tiny rural community lol. And honestly, who pays attention to every random church that opens in the south? I sure don’t.

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  49. TS00: I believe there may be a hint in his desire to be a stand-up comedian. Is that all people are really looking for in a pastor?

    Christianity Lite looks for entertainers. These actors would have no stage if it wasn’t for a gullible audience willing to buy tickets to see the performance. The Great God of Entertainment is on the throne in much of the American church and the masses love it that way.

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  50. As a regular reader of the Banner of Truth, and purchaser of their books, I offer one of their contributor’s succinct critique of N T Wright.

    https://banneroftruth.org/uk/resources/articles/2018/nearly-everything-wrong-n-t-wright-summed-one-chapter-heading/

    There are other critiques out there – Albert Mohler and Ligonier Ministries – but I thought referencing them might lead to howls of protest (Max’s idea of “he must be alright if John Piper doesn’t like him” being a case in point, albeit a dangerous one).

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  51. Lowlandseer: (Max’s idea of “he must be alright if John Piper doesn’t like him” being a case in point, albeit a dangerous one)

    Max noted in his comment that he had not been following N.T. Wright closely, but Lord knows there is enough wrong with the Pied Piper’s brand of reformed theology that anyone who opposes him needs to be given the benefit of the doubt.

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  52. Lowlandseer,

    From the article: “He speaks, here and in his other works, of ‘Paul’s use’ as if Scripture is mainly the work of the human authors. ”

    I mean…Paul himself references stuff that comes from him and stuff that comes from god, but we’re supposed to discount the fact of human authorship entirely?? This does not make me think poorly of *wright*.

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  53. Leslie,

    I notice everyone commented on Wright and Methodism. Let me comment on “Korean”. I know many Korean pastors and missionaries. They have a distinct cultural print that generally involves working hard, emphasis on prayer (usually where everyone Prays all at same time) and high committment to community. Different than your average American pastor. Might work well for a first step back into “church”.

    BTW a few years back I was told by colleagues that historical orthodox Methodism was growing faster in Vietnam than in any other country.

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  54. Comment sent before I finished the thought…

    …which is to say that Methodist leaders from Asian cultural backgrounds are likely to be more like Methodists of generations gone by. Leaders from non-American cultural backgrounds can bring a freshness to “the old ways/confessions” of denominations which have drifted in North America. That to me is exciting and hopeful.

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  55. Max: Christianity Lite looks for entertainers.These actors would have no stage if it wasn’t for a gullible audience willing to buy tickets to see the performance.The Great God of Entertainment is on the throne in much of the American church and the masses love it that way.

    In the words of the prophets Emerson, Lake, and Palmer:

    “WELCOME BACK MY FRIENDS
    TO THE SHOW THAT NEVER ENDS!
    WE’RE SO GLAD YOU COULD ATTEND!
    COME INSIDE! COME INSIDE!

    “NEXT UPON THE HILL
    IN OUR HOUSE OF VAUDEVILLE!
    WE’VE A STRIPPER IN A TILL!
    WHAT A THRILL! WHAT A THRILL!

    “AND NOT CONTENT WITH THAT
    WITH OUR HANDS BEHIND OUR BACKS!
    WE PULL JESUS FROM A HAT!
    LOOK AT THAT! LOOK AT THAT!

    “COME INSIDE! THE SHOW’S ABOUT TO START!
    GUARANTEED TO BLOW YOUR HEAD APART!
    ROLL UP! ROLL UP! ROLL UP!
    SEE THE SHOW!!!!!!!!”
    — “Karn Evil Nine: 1st Impression, Part 2”, 1973

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  56. Max you nailed it re entertainment church.

    To the point I know some in leadership are now openly talking about having no message left, just pushing the method.

    One I know of is in the UMC. He just got promoted regionally. He did not care if a person taught old time Methodism–which was very much a holiness church–or was more liberal than the most liberal person you can think of, or was middle of the road. What he cares about passionately is “selling the brand through moving to black sanctuaries with fog machines, lights, and contemporary music.” Whoops–scratch that music they went to contemporary and then for those that find that sooo yesterday, “modern” music in another service.

    Digest for a moment: selling the brand. Not the product, the brand. I’ve known of multilevel marketers who really no longer care if you buy their cleaner/dishes/supplements/whatever as long as you take out the yearly discount card in case you do ever want to buy. In the same way these entertainment churches want to use lighting, music, temperature, ambience, whatever to get you to sign on. Not to be converted. Not to come to faith. Not to change your life. Just get you enrolled and get you to do the handy dandy auto charge for the tithe on your credit card or checking account.

    No real message, just popular method.

    Cannot really blame them, though. There is plenty of evidence out there how they are using brain chemicals to engender a “drug high” that is super addicting. Keeps you coming back for another fix. Causes howls of pain if somebody messes with their music or preaches the truth. Truth might lower my self esteem, ya know. God does say some things are sinful that we in our glory have “evolved past condemning.” Besides, if they preach against your sin today might mention mine next Sunday. We as a society want our drug fix, our ego stroked, and to look as cool as anybody else.

    We have quit trusting in the Holy Spirit to CONVICT, leading to REPENTANCE, and that to CONVERSION and instead think we can get by with using mind science to get “results”.

    Not working out too good for us, huh.

    Methodists are not the only ones coming untied.

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  57. Leslie:
    Thanks to all of you for your input.Your comments have confirmed the “gut feeling” we have about this church.We are in fact feeling excited that we may be able to help “ strengthen that which remains”.I am surprised that after 20 years of Bible Study Fellowship and Precept upon Precept, that I had not heard of NT Wright,I am eager to learn more.Dee, I will indeed let you know how this journey goes.After 10 years it is a little scary,but also exciting to get involved in church again.

    Wright is a brilliant author, and a tremendous speaker, but he doesn’t hold to justification by faith alone.
    He (imho) is a tinnie Winnie arrogant, to basically say that no theologian has gotten the Apostle Paul accurately since,let’s say Augustine.. But if I had to chance to see him in person, I personally would….

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  58. Headless Unicorn Guy: Let’s not.
    You’re demonstrating a one-track mind on the subject.

    I second the motion.
    With so many good artists and songwriters out there (and who really gives a damn if their stuff is ‘secular’), why obsess over Larry Norman, who isn’t even in the same league artistically (Muff’s opinion) as say Paul Simon?

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  59. linda: selling the brand … a “drug high” that is super addicting. Keeps you coming back for another fix.

    It should be noted that between stints as a pastor, Dustin Boles has been putting food on the table as a sales and marketing guy for the drug industry … think about it.

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  60. Benn: Wright is a brilliant author, and a tremendous speaker, but he doesn’t hold to justification by faith alone.
    He (imho) is a tinnie Winnie arrogant, to basically say that no theologian has gotten the Apostle Paul accurately since,let’s say Augustine.. But if I had to chance to see him in person, I personally would….

    Well, Sola Fide actually *isn’t* in the Bible, and plenty of rather famous theologians in both East and West have been saying so for quite a long time. Christianity really didn’t begin in 1517. But no, I’m not going there. I find it’s far safer when KenF goes there. 😉

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  61. linda: Cannot really blame them, though. There is plenty of evidence out there how they are using brain chemicals to engender a “drug high” that is super addicting. Keeps you coming back for another fix. Causes howls of pain if somebody messes with their music or preaches the truth

    Just like Smartphone App Development.

    For $1500 a seat, you can attend Silicon Valley seminars where doctors and psychologists – specialists in biochemistry and addiction – can teach you how to make your Apps as addictive as possible. Maybe even to the point of the Holy Grail of App development, the “Adult Diaper App” – so addictive the user will soil his pants rather than stop clicking/swiping his phone.

    In Los Angeles there’s actually an App development firm called “Dopamine Labs”.
    Dopamine… The brain chemical responsible for drug highs and addiction.

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  62. Max: Not surprising. Boles joins a long line of failed “pastors” who fooled enough folks to support unrepentant comebacks (Driscoll, Noble, etc.). What else are they going to do to make a living? They know how to work a crowd with a little charisma, a gift of gab, and a gimmick or two. “If” they genuinely repent, forgive them? Certainly! Restore them to ministry? NO!

    It’s not the case, with people like this, that they deserve to have ministry opportunities removed from them. Rather, they have never been qualified for ministry in their lives, should never have been in it in the first place, and should be kept out of it for their own good as well as others’.

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  63. Nick Bulbeck: they have never been qualified for ministry in their lives, should never have been in it in the first place, and should be kept out of it for their own good as well as others’

    It’s amazing how many church folks don’t get this. Too many churches have mistaken charisma and oratory skills for a calling from God to preach. Unqualified church leaders are disqualified from ministry on day one when they practice to deceive God’s people.

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  64. TS00: Maybe we need to start a ministry in which we print up and hand out the available information on these schmucks outside of their new ‘churches’? Honestly, who would go to a brand new non-denominational church startup without seriously checking out the backgrounds and history of the people running it? I believe there may be a hint in his desire to be a stand-up comedian. Is that all people are really looking for in a pastor?

    People don’t want to know that they’re going to a church with problems.

    Trust me, I know all about this. People stay even if it’s awful. If you tell them that you know the way to salvation or that your eternity is in jeopardy if you leave, people will stay. Even if they’re abused. 🙁

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  65. linda: What he cares about passionately is “selling the brand through moving to black sanctuaries with fog machines, lights, and contemporary music.” Whoops–scratch that music they went to contemporary and then for those that find that sooo yesterday, “modern” music in another service.

    I went to a church that had just been taken over by an Australian church brand a couple years ago. Not because I wanted to, but because someone asked me if it were possible for the auditorium to seat 2,000 people. (Answer: Pretty darn close.) It was one of those dark auditoriums, the music was so loud, I was wishing for earplugs. And the preaching was so loud that when my phone rang (it was in my hand), I wouldn’t have known it was ringing except for the vibrating! Nobody heard my phone over the loud preaching.

    It’s not church, it’s a concert. Nope.

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  66. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes: It was one of those dark auditoriums, the music was so loud, I was wishing for earplugs.

    It seems counterproductive for a local expression of a religion that emphasizes the importance of “hearing” the Word of the Lord to conduct its meetings in ways that deafen people.

    But there you have it.

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  67. Samuel Conner: It seems counterproductive for a local expression of a religion that emphasizes the importance of “hearing” the Word of the Lord to conduct its meetings in ways that deafen people.

    I was young and now am old. I’ve had folks tell me “Max, you’re just not culturally-relevant!” I responded that I really don’t have an issue with contemporary worship – after all, Jesus is the eternal contemporary! When it comes to doing church, I’ve never had a problem with form as long as there is some substance to it. But the church as entertainment approach is a stretch with its stages, dudebro preachers with shallow sermons, loud drums and whining guitars, audio-visual effects, “praise and worship” teams in tight pants, etc.

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  68. Samuel Conner: It seems counterproductive for a local expression of a religion that emphasizes the importance of “hearing” the Word of the Lord to conduct its meetings in ways that deafen people.

    And the loud music doesn’t help either…

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  69. Fisher: Let me comment on “Korean”. I know many Korean pastors and missionaries. They have a distinct cultural print that generally involves working hard, emphasis on prayer (usually where everyone Prays all at same time) and high committment to community. Different than your average American pastor. Might work well for a first step back into “church”.

    Sorry, about to be a wet blanket.

    Just be aware, “working hard” can be taken to an extreme and lead to burnout and neglect of family. During my time in Korea, I was told that “B students get 5 hours of sleep a night,” with the implication that A students get 4 hours.

    The culture also tends more toward patriarchy than the typical American woman may be comfortable with. I was co-workers with a married American couple. When management had a problem with the wife’s work, they talked to her husband instead of directly to her. While there, I could have named a dozen Western ex-pat men who were romantically involved with a Korean woman. I knew of only one Western ex-pat woman with a Korean man, and he had been born in Korea, raised in America, then returned to Korea as an adult.

    That being said, there are obviously plenty of problems in American churches, too, including the ones above. I experienced burnout at one and sexism at another that my husband even picked up on. Just don’t think that “Korean” means “free from problems.” There are just different potential problems (with the emphasis on potential).

    I did find the communal praying very refreshing. I miss it.

    And who knows, perhaps this particular Korean pastor is at a church in America to get away from these kinds of things 🙂

    Good luck!

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  70. Headless Unicorn Guy: Just like Smartphone App Development.

    Talk about a contradiction in terms!

    “Smartphone”, now that’s a good one.

    Your whole comment dredged up a scene from the old film Soylent Green, the one where the old timey actor Edward G. Robinson weeps into his hands upon seeing some real beef on the table of a dystopian future in which such things are long gone:

    “My God… How did we come to this!…”

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  71. Catholic Gate-Crasher: Well, Sola Fide actually *isn’t* in the Bible, and plenty of rather famous theologians in both East and West have been saying so for quite a long time. Christianity really didn’t begin in 1517. But no, I’m not going there. I find it’s far safer when KenF goes there.

    Justification by faith alone IS, woven entirely throughout the Christian text.
    It’s just the glasses that we use to read the text with.
    If it’s faith plus something, then anyone would be dependent on men or man having to keep score

    We all hold to some form of Solas.

    I’ll take my chances with Sola Fide over Sola Ecclesia

    But my overarching point was, we should always do a deep dive when we read extra biblical writings.
    I try to read many different opinions on theology
    My favorite tv preacher has always been Life worth Living, with Bishop Fulton J Sheen
    The best speaker I have ever heard, period.. and for SBC baptist to rank anyone a head of Adrian Rogers would be sacrilege in traditional SBC life….

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  72. Jerome: Mark MacDonald: “Keeping it real: IMB has withdrawn their job offer. An anonymous source informed IMB of an embarrassing failure from ~10 yrs ago (after which I had a yr restoration with my church).

    “A year restoration” – it sounds like of like doing penance. Put in your year, you’ve done your time, the slate is wiped clean?

    “an embarrassing failure from ~10 yrs ago”

    It’s so ambiguous. A failure can mean just about anything. I mean, own it. What did you do? Who did you hurt? And of course, have to point out it was 10 yrs ago, time pretty much cancels out “embarrassing failures” I guess?

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  73. SiteSeer: an embarrassing failure

    TWW has covered a lot of failures by folks in the ministry. I’ve never heard anyone refer to their shortcomings as “embarrassing.” Moral failures would not be considered as embarrassing (or should not). Perhaps MacDonald just displayed poor table manners or something? Do embarrassing failures only require one year of restoration vs. three years as in the case of Boles’ transgressions of the flesh? Is there a book somewhere which details how long one should sit out of ministry per category of sin? Should a failure that is only embarrassing disqualify a rising star from ministry?

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  74. Max,

    “Do embarrassing failures only require one year of restoration vs. three years as in the case of Boles’ transgressions of the flesh? Is there a book somewhere which details how long one should sit out of ministry per category of sin? Should a failure that is only embarrassing disqualify a rising star from ministry?”
    +++++++++++++

    it amazes me, the selectively low standards christians have for moral integrity.

    my muslim, buddhist, & hindu friends have much higher standards, for themselves and those they associate with.

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  75. Max: TWW has covered a lot of failures by folks in the ministry. I’ve never heard anyone refer to their shortcomings as “embarrassing.” Moral failures would not be considered as embarrassing (or should not). Perhaps MacDonald just displayed poor table manners or something?

    Exactly what I was thinking. Embarrassing failure, like he left his shirt tucked in on stage or something. I’m guessing his ’embarrassing failure’ had something to do with a woman to whom he was not married . . .

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  76. TS00: Embarrassing failure, like he left his shirt tucked in on stage or something.

    Reminds me of an experience I had with the marketing director at a company I worked for. In a meeting with an important client, he excused himself to go to the bathroom, only to return with his shirt hanging out his zipper. Now that was an embarrassing failure!!

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  77. Benn: Justification by faith alone IS, woven entirely throughout the Christian text.
    It’s just the glasses that we use to read the text with.
    If it’s faith plus something, then anyone would be dependent on men or man having to keep score

    We all hold to some form of Solas.

    I’ll take my chances with Sola Fide over Sola Ecclesia

    But my overarching point was, we should always do a deep dive when we read extra biblical writings.
    I try to read many different opinions on theology
    My favorite tv preacher has always been Life worth Living, with Bishop Fulton J Sheen
    The best speaker I have ever heard, period.. and for SBC baptist to rank anyone a head of Adrian Rogers would be sacrilege in traditional SBC life….

    Well, first of all, there’s no such thing as “Sola Ecclesia.” 😉 The Catholic Church has what has often been called a three-legged stool: Sacred Scripture; Sacred Tradition (the unbroken witness of the Church, including the earliest Church Fathers who knew the apostles personally); and the Magisterium, the Church’s teaching and interpretive authority.

    Regarding this statement: “Justification by faith alone IS, woven entirely throughout the Christian text.”

    Well, now. If that is true, then this Woven-Entirely-Through-Scripture-Sola-Fide Doctrine somehow managed to elude virtually every single person in Christendom for 1,500 years. 😉

    None of the early Church Fathers held to Faith Alone. (That includes the Apostolic Fathers, who were pals of the apostles.) No major Christian theologian (before Luther) subscribed to Faith Alone. There is absolutely no evidence of widespread adherence to Faith Alone before 1517. That’s why Luther had to add the word “alone” to the text of Romans 3;28 when he translated the Bible into German. As even he grudgingly acknowledged, it’s not there in the Greek text.

    Meanwhile, there are numerous places where the Bible (including the NT) strongly indicates that we will be judged based on our works, not merely on our faith *alone.* Heck, Matthew 25: 31-46 — one of the most challenging texts in the entire Bible — does not even mention the word “faith.” It seems to make final salvation contingent on how we treat our neighbor. And if that’s not “works,” I don’t know what would be. 🙂

    That’s why we always need to look at the whole of Scripture, not just at cherry-picked, isolated verses. As I’m sure you would agree!

    Well, this isn’t a theological discussion board, so I won’t belabor the point, especially as you have been very gracious and irenic. But I do just want to point out that, while we Papists reject Faith Alone, we *do* firmly believe in *Grace* Alone. As St Teresa of Avila said, “Everything is Grace.” And as Augustine said, “In crowning our merits, O Lord, You are only crowning Your Own Grace.”

    We Kat-o-Licks believe we must *cooperate* with Grace — IOW, good deeds do not simply do themselves; we are not passive automata. But even our cooperation is possible *only* by Grace. So, finally, it’s all Grace.

    How does that work? I haven’t a clue. It’s a mystery!

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  78. Samuel Conner,

    I’m just trying to figure out why these guys even matter to anyone; except for exposing them for the frauds that they are to protect those they prey upon. To tell the truth, until I came onto this blog, I had never heard of any of these men or these churches, and I did not feel in the least diminished.

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  79. Catholic Gate-Crasher: But I do just want to point out that, while we Papists reject Faith Alone, we *do* firmly believe in *Grace* Alone.

    I have never heard it put like that. I quite like it. I can much more agree with ‘Grace Alone’ than ‘Faith Alone’. It is pretty hard to get around ‘Faith without works is dead.’

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  80. OK, so Boles’ embarrassing failure was manipulating his best friend’s wife into a threesome with him and his wife? Am I the only one who finds ’embarrassing failure’ an embarrassing failure at being even close to adequate? I am so disgusted and disheartened I honestly don’t know if I can read any more here.

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  81. TS00: Boles’ embarrassing failure

    We’ve been weaving Dustin Boles and Mark MacDonald back and forth throughout this thread. It was MacDonald that had the unnamed “embarrassing failure.” The allegation that we’ve now been made aware of about Dustin Boles is anything but an embarrassing failure! If true, it is a moral sickness of the worst sort which disqualifies him from ministry … permanently!

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  82. The saddest thing is that this clown didn’t really even take a break. He went off to be an associate pastor at a church in Gulfport (about 30 min. away) and then came back to Ocean Springs. Gotta have your own church, I guess.

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  83. TS00: until I came onto this blog, I had never heard of any of these men or these churches, and I did not feel in the least diminished.

    I hadn’t really been aware of a lot of these people but I’d heard the names referenced and as I read about them I realized my own church leaders had been influenced by them and we’re emulating them.

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  84. Max: We’ll see how successful they are. If The Vintage church launches next Sunday as planned after Jade’s revelation this week, those people have no power to stop Boles.

    They were successful in their first attempt! He was stopped! Praise God!!

    “But this kind of demon does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”
    (Matthew 17:21)

    Persistence will be required to keep Boles from trying again. Wartburgers, victims, and the Body of Christ in Ocean Springs need to pray while he searches for another venue … that his efforts will come to nought.

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