Update: On Reports That Wes Feltner Has Resigned From Berean Baptist Church


The Horsehead Nebula-go to link for some videos. Hubble

“Truth is always about something, but reality is that about which truth is”.”― CS Lewis


Update 11/26/19. This comment was from a reader who was present.

Two elders read two statements, one from Wes and one from the Elder Board. Wes said he was resigning for the good of his family and, especially, the church.The elders said the investigation would continue and that Wes was fully cooperating. This was followed by a most appropriate sermon by retired, long-term pastor Roger Thompson from Lamentations 3. If it’s posted online, you may want to hear it.

For those of you who are newly turning into this story, read Update 11/10/19: Wes Feltner, Longtime SBC Pastor and Former SBTS Adjunct Professor, Accused of Sexually Abusing Two Women 17 Years Ago

The announcement of Wes Feltner’s resignation

Well, it supposedly took place during a Saturday evening service on 11/23 but don’t quote me. This is all based on second hand information.

 

This is further, unconfirmed information.

Here is a link to the about page for Nuevest.

NeuVest® conducts neutral workplace investigations by finding facts to help employers find solutions.

NeuVest® consultants are experienced, licensed attorneys. As a neutral third-party, NeuVest® consultants provide:

Prompt, thorough fact-gathering investigations
Preventive and remedial training
Facilitated dialogues
Coaching
Our clients are businesses (small to Fortune 500), health care organizations, school districts, colleges and universities, cities, counties, state agencies, religious institutions and non-profit organizations.

I know nothing about this organization since it has not been involved in any situations of which I’ve written. I’ll be curious to see how this progresses.

Once again, my heartfelt prayers to the two women who have come forward to shine a light on the abuse that they suffered.

Finally, and this is hearsay (which seems less like hearsay when I get almost identical reports from people who say they were present on Saturday evening when the leadership said Feltner resigned) Feltner said his resignation was in response to the pain that his family and church were enduring. Apparently, he said nothing about the women.

My guess is that we will hear more in the near future but this should get you up to date.


Comments

Update: On Reports That Wes Feltner Has Resigned From Berean Baptist Church — 125 Comments

  1. Lois: don’t show back up a few months from now touting a new ministry

    A 12-18 month disappearance appears to be the magic time period before fallen pastors are restored to the pulpit. The New Testament, of course, contains no examples of pastors who failed morally being restored to ministry (probably because they were spiritual enough to keep their pants on).

    I repeat, the Southern Baptist Convention needs to seriously rethink its youth ministry model. When you put young flesh-baby “pastors” in charge of flesh-baby youth, hormones are waiting to happen! The Biblical model is for mature saints to mentor young folks in the faith … and for senior pastors to mentor young pastors for a season before they are turned loose on the church.

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  2. …at least they’re continuing with their investigation. So that’s promising! However, his lack of remorse is very disturbing. Sadly, he will probably ‘re-invent’ himself and be all about ‘grace’ and ‘forgiveness’ and find some other bunch of all-day-suckers to exploit. Churches need to find a way to keep these wolves from re-appearing in the pulpit! Lather.Rinse.Repeat. 🙁

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  3. I’m a 27 year member of Berean and accusations of a slickster on the prowl are simply not true. On the contrary, his sermons stepped on a lot of toes at Berean, especially those of the dispensational mindset, and there were several people who quit attending because of this. Talk to ANYONE who is a recent attender, and they will all say the same thing – they were tired of milquetoast sermons and finally found a preacher who would not back away from hard truths. There were no gimmicks in his sermons, but a LOT of challenging admonitions.

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  4. Max,

    On a related note, if it is “gossip/Deviceness/name your sin” that us evil blogs are doing, why don’t these “preachers” stay and defend themselves. In my fundy background, I was constantly taught how I should “stand up” to all the evil in the world…. in fact, they there is a hymn, “ Stand up, stand up for Jesus”

    Instead, we see time and again, the “poster boys” of TWW run away with their tails between their legs, and then pop up somewhere else! My favorite is potty mouth, “tough guy” Mark Driscoll, that was wining about the helicopters over his house…

    As has been stated before, if they “preachers” really came “clean”, and worked some mature “leaders”, I bet some would be able to make some sort of “comeback” that people could respect… In contrast, we see who they really are…

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  5. Hi Doug
    This man hurt two women and he kept it concealed from your church. And he was on the prowl at one time in his life. Read the narratives and look at the pictures. So his supposedly in-depth sermons were superficial, weren’t they? Sounded really deep theologically but it wasn’t deep enough to touch his soul.Sounds like he challenges lots of people but stopped short of challenging himself to do the right and hard thing which was to admit his past and deal with it.

    I am sorry that your church had milquetoast sermons prior to his arrival. However, I can reassure yo9u that there are tons of good churches out there with thoughtful and in-depth sermons who do not have pastors who have a history like Feltner.

    So, get on the stick and get a good pastor. And next time, as him about his pastor before you hire him. Put a clause in his contract that states if he has lied about his past, then he gets the boot. None of these long and drawn out situations.

    Whether you like it or not, Feltner had a past and I don’t care if he could preach like Billy Graham.

    PS You have violated my prime directive. You said nothing about the tow women who we harmed which means you are only interested in complaining about losing your fearless leader.

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  6. Doug Swanson,

    Doug Swanson: Talk to ANYONE who is a recent attender, and they will all say the same thing – they were tired of milquetoast sermons and finally found a preacher who would not back away from hard truths. There were no gimmicks in his sermons, but a LOT of challenging admonitions.

    Folks who knew convicted pedophile and former ARBCA Pastor Thomas Chantry said he was a mighty fine preacher too.

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  7. Todd Wilhelm: Folks who knew convicted pedophile and former ARBCA Pastor Thomas Chantry said he was a mighty fine preacher too.

    Too many church folks mistake oratorical skills with anointing to preach. A lot of mighty fine preachers have fallen in recent years (Driscoll, Hybels, MacDonald, etc.).

    I’m not a big fan of The Message version of the Bible, but it contains an interesting interpretation of Matthew 7:21-23:

    “‘Master, we preached the Message, we bashed the demons, our God-sponsored projects had everyone talking.’ And do you know what I am going to say? ‘You missed the boat. All you did was use Me to make yourselves important. You don’t impress Me one bit. You’re out of here.’”

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  8. Max: The cheap grace message of the New Calvinists … grace-this and grace-that … will open a door for his return.

    The timing of TGC can be amazing. This article by Kevin DeYoung was posted today:
    https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/kevin-deyoung/can-give-thanks-flawed-heroes/

    While offering no concrete guidance or examples, it does a good job of setting the stage for restoring “repentant” savages to ministry.

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  9. Daisy:
    Will John Piper now tweet,
    “Farewell, Wayne Grudem”?

    (Complementarian) Theologian Wayne Grudem Amends Position on Divorce During Cases of Abuse
    https://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2019/november/theologian-wayne-grudem-amends-position-on-divorce-during-cases-of-abuse

    I just came here to share this, too. And what Grudem has said about it is huge:

    “Most commentaries assume that ‘in such cases’ refers only to cases of desertion by an unbeliever,” said Grudem.

    “Examples led me to conclude that in 1 Cor. 7:15, the phrase “in such cases” should be understood to include any cases that similarly destroy a marriage,” said Grudem.”

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  10. Daisy,

    From reading both the CBN and the Christianity Today article, I get the impression he did this after listening to the women’s stories.

    Totally agree, if being abused, flee flee far away. But, in any interpretation from the original Greek, for any passage in the Bible, I want the translation to come from the Holy Spirit and the person’s knowledge.

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  11. dee,

    I would add that there is a huge difference between a pastor who succumbs to some temptation, and one who deliberately, over a long period, grooms and preys upon the weak and trusting.

    There may be a time and place for restoration of the former, but, IMO, there should never be a second chance for predators to regain a leadership position.

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  12. Daisy: Will John Piper now tweet,
    “Farewell, Wayne Grudem”?

    He is too busy right now tweeting stuff like this:

    Suppose you ask the Bride, “How do you know your husband loves you?“ and she says, “He loves all women. I am a woman. So I know he loves me.”

    This would be a sad answer.

    Truer and sweeter to say, My husband’s “great love” made me alive when I was dead. (Ephesians 2:5)

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  13. Doug Swanson: a preacher who would not back away from hard truths

    Unfortunately, the pastor did not subscribe to the hard truth of youth pastors respecting the youth in the youth group. Furthermore, he does not subscribe to the truth about what he did, i.e., owning up to this with the young women he violated. What he did was unlawful.

    It is not uncommon for the ones preaching the “hard truths” to not live what they preach. Jesus admonished regarding the teachers of his day, do not do as they do, but observe what they say, Matthew 23.3.

    Ted Haggard preached against what he practiced in private. As Jesus notes, this happens in real life.

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  14. TS00: I would add that there is a huge difference between a pastor who succumbs to some temptation, and one who deliberately, over a long period, grooms and preys upon the weak and trusting.

    Exactly – the latter will be recruited by the types of minstries highlighted by TWW.

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  15. Doug Swanson:
    I’m a 27 year member of Berean and accusations of a slickster on the prowl are simply not true. On the contrary, his sermons stepped on a lot of toes at Berean, especially those of the dispensational mindset, and there were several people who quit attending because of this. Talk to ANYONE who is a recent attender, and they will all say the same thing – they were tired of milquetoast sermons and finally found a preacher who would not back away from hard truths. There were no gimmicks in his sermons, but a LOT of challenging admonitions.

    Then perhaps it would have behooved him to heed his own messages! Frankly, I’d rather SEE a sermon any day rather than HEAR one! Abusing his ‘office’ and hurting these young ladies’ lives trumps any good sermon in spades. Actions speak louder than words.

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  16. Ken F (aka Tweed): The timing of TGC can be amazing. This article by Kevin DeYoung was posted today:
    https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/kevin-deyoung/can-give-thanks-flawed-heroes/

    Well, the New Calvinist camp certainly has a lot of flawed heroes … Driscoll, MacDonald, etc. While DeYoung is giving thanks for them, the rest of Christendom is trying to clean up their mess … the influence of these bad-boy heroes was far-reaching and caused much damage.

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  17. DougSwanson: I’m a 27 year member of Berean and accusations of a slickster on the prowl are simply not true. On the contrary, his sermons

    Doug, why do you think his sermons today have anything to do with his treatment of these women? Did he acknowledge/apologize for that??

    Many people who are privately awful put up a very public face of being wonderful. That’s how they get you.

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  18. Ishy: And what Grudem has said about it is huge:

    “Most commentaries assume that ‘in such cases’ refers only to cases of desertion by an unbeliever,” said Grudem.

    “Examples led me to conclude that in 1 Cor. 7:15, the phrase “in such cases” should be understood to include any cases that similarly destroy a marriage,” said Grudem.”

    I had not seen that latter part.

    Honestly, this has been a rather obvious mistake to me on these mens’ part, because it makes what they have been saying (no divorce in the case of abuse) is so obviously, on it’s face ridiculous that you cannot accept their judgement on these matters as rational or sound in any way. So good for him?

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  19. Brian: But, in any interpretation from the original Greek, for any passage in the Bible, I want the translation to come from the Holy Spirit and the person’s knowledge.

    I saw a thing the other day that said ‘honesty without tact is cruelty’. I think if your interpretation of a verse is actively cruel you need to seriously rethink it because you’ve missed something.

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  20. Max: Well, the New Calvinist camp certainly has a lot of flawed heroes … Driscoll, MacDonald, etc.While DeYoung is giving thanks for them, the rest of Christendom is trying to clean up their mess … the influence of these bad-boy heroes was far-reaching and caused much damage.

    Tim Challies, of course, could not avoid highlighting DeYoung’s article today. Challies remains silent on all the abuse cases, but was quick to jump on this.

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  21. Lea: Honestly, this has been a rather obvious mistake to me on these mens’ part, because it makes what they have been saying (no divorce in the case of abuse) is so obviously, on it’s face ridiculous that you cannot accept their judgement on these matters as rational or sound in any way. So good for him?

    Predictably, Pulpit and Pen accuses him of “shifting in the wind of public opinion” – https://pulpitandpen.org/2019/11/26/himtoo-wayne-grudem-changes-biblical-position-on-marriage/

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  22. Lea: Many people who are privately awful put up a very public face of being wonderful. That’s how they get you.

    “And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness.” (2 Cor 11:14)

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  23. Ken,

    Goodness Ken what did you think of this:

    Wayne Grudem has ordinarily been stalwart on the position of male and female gender roles and how the genders are to relate within the confines of marriage. However, Grudem is now changing those beliefs…

    So….thinking women (because that’s what we’re likely talking about here for them) should be able to leave an abusive marriage is not being ‘stalwart’ on gender roles. Do….Do Pulpit and Pen hear themselves at all?? How is this about roles, unless the ‘role’ is ‘the inability for an abused person to get away’. Is that a gender role? Or is the gender role that men should abuse their wives? Yikes.

    [SIDENOTE: What is this about “Relevant Magazine, which is owned and operated by a racist who is on a temporary time-out”]

    Also, this is exceptionally stupid thinking:

    “In cases of abuse, there should be (A) criminal prosecution, when it applies (B) church discipline, and (C) separation as it is required for safety….There is no reason for divorce

    Magical thinking is the only way you get no divorce for abuse.

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  24. Daisy: (Complementarian) Theologian Wayne Grudem Amends Position on Divorce During Cases of Abuse
    https://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2019/november/theologian-wayne-grudem-amends-position-on-divorce-during-cases-of-abuse

    From the article:

    “”But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so. In such cases, the brother or sister is not enslaved. God has called you to peace” (1 Cor. 7:15 ESV, italics added) … Now, Grudem asserts that the phrase “in such cases” should be understood to include any cases that similarly destroy a marriage, and abuse is such a case.”

    IMO, “in such cases” also includes women who find themselves enslaved in New Calvinist culture; they suffer “abuse” in a variety of ways … the oppressive subordination of women is tough on a lot of marriages. Jesus set them free, but New Calvinism puts them back in bondage.

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  25. Max: “And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness.” (2 Cor 11:14)

    I long ago concluded that the Rabbi from Tarsus was describing Psychopaths and Sociopaths long before the term was coined. Same with “Consciences seared with a white-hot iron”.

    I remember once describing the Christian version of a Demon as “an Angel who’s also a Psychopath”. And that this description was well-received outside the Christian bubble.

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  26. Lea: Many people who are privately awful put up a very public face of being wonderful. That’s how they get you.

    It’s the mark of a Successful Sociopath, master of camouflaging what they really are.
    I know because I grew up with one.

    We only hear about the ones dumb enough to blow their cover and get caught.

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  27. Max: “And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness.” (2 Cor 11:14)

    Amen Max! Excellent Scriptural reference. Churches are the best place for the wolves to hide in presenting themselves as “angels of light” due to the fact that we have all been led to believe that church people never sin. And women especially, targeted by the complementarian false belief system, are brainwashed into believing they are second class citizens who need a “covering” or need to be led by a “man” in order to be saved.

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  28. Max,

    dee,

    Hello Dee,

    My mistake for not mentioning the two women – of course they are to be acknowledged for their pain (and yes, Wes did the same in his video, stating that he deeply regretted the pain he has caused). I do not pretend to defend his actions, especially if the pattern has continued to today. The current investigation will tell.
    BUT….there have been assertions here on this blog that anyone who defends him has succumbed to his slickness and are a

    “congregation that is more gullible than spiritual … where a touch of charisma, a gift of gab, and a church growth gimmick are more important qualifiers for ministry than Christlikeness.”

    To THAT end I will defend him and our church. No such ‘gimmickry’ or hucksterism existed in his preaching or teaching, and I challenge anyone to listen to his sermons which you can find on the Berean website, and discern whether or not this is true. BTW, Berean has never had ‘milquetoast’ preaching going back decades. The growth here is due in part to those who have tired of those sermons and salesman-esque tactics.
    Again, NO I will not defend any of the things he has been accused of or admitted to. I WILL defend our congregation for loving the content and directness of his preaching and teaching.

    Kind Regards

    Proverbs 18:13
    “He who answers a matter before he hears it, It is folly and shame to him.”

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  29. HeadlessUnicornGuy: We only hear about the ones dumb enough to blow their cover and get caught.

    On the most recent Mindhunter season, Ed Kemper told them they were only looking at the SKs who got caught. They also featured BTK, who we know the details of now but they didn’t at the time…he of course was a deacon and active church member.

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  30. Brian:
    Lea,
    Genesis 7:18-24 could be considered cruel too.

    I would question anyone who was telling the congregation that their interpretation of the bible said they should flood a town full of people on purpose too. (also, that was basically a natural disaster) There are a lot of things described in the bible that we recognize we should not do.

    Are you pro cruelty? Because otherwise idk why you’re arguing.

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  31. Doug Swanson: I WILL defend our congregation

    Read my comment again. I’m referring to a future church which opts to appoint Mr. Feltner as pastor, if they ignore the cries of his victims.

    There is no doubt that Mr. Feltner possesses charisma and oratorical skills, which are gimmicks if they are not anointed. Many churches have been deceived in this regard; TWW has chronicled such ministers and ministries. God’s anointed do not do what he did, abusing his authority, and moving forward in ministry without confession and repentance. To my knowledge, the Berean Baptist search committee which recommended him were not aware of his past.

    “Whoever speaks the truth gives honest evidence” (Proverbs 12:17)

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  32. Max said:

    //There is no doubt that Mr. Feltner possesses charisma and oratorical skills, which are gimmicks if they are not anointed. Many churches have been deceived in this regard//

    Are you then saying he DID use gimmickry to deceive Berean, regardless of the search committee’s lack of knowledge?

    AGAIN, I will defend our congregation, and AGAIN, I will state that no such gimmickry existed. Yes, he’s got charisma and oratorical skills, but it was the CONTENT of the sermons and classes he taught that are the reason for his having been being chosen to lead, and the reason, in part, for so many joining Berean.

    Kind Regards

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  33. Brian: Cruelty can be defined differently from person to person. His Word is supposed to winnow out those differences.

    ‘His Word’ is frequently interpreted by cruel men, into cruel edicts like ‘stay with your abusive husband because god says so’. I’m not worried too much at people trying to err on the side of kindness over cruelty.

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  34. MuffPotter: If it hurts, it’s cruelty, no nuance involved.

    Thanks Muff. Not to go all dictionary but cruelty has a definition. ‘Willfully causing pain or suffering to others, or feeling no concern about it’ would describe a lot of actions from the church over the years.

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  35. Max,

    “All you did was use Me to make yourselves important.”–Jesus
    +++++++++++++

    yes, i can think of a number of christian leaders who fit this description.

    amazingly, i think most of them are oblivious to it.

    it’s like, using Jesus for self-importance, the acquisition of power and money, and a bigger and bigger and more impermeable local institution is the gold standard of “gospel leadership”.

    i see through it.

    i see through you, christian leaders.

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  36. Lea,

    W.G. and his contemporaries made the women go back into the abusive homes. He had the option of advising I Cor. 7:11. So, I do agree they abused verse 10.

    Listening to Chuck Swindoll, he said to what’s clear in the Bible, follow it. What’s not clear in the Bible, hopefully we get it right.

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  37. Doug Swanson: Are you then saying he DID use gimmickry to deceive Berean, regardless of the search committee’s lack of knowledge?

    Withholding a crucial piece of his ministry experience from the search committee was a form of deceit; continuing to hide his past (which disqualified him from ministry) behind charisma and oratorical skill is to continue to deceive.

    It is well known that young New Calvinists enter churches by stealth and deception; it has become their modus operandi to elude and use those who trust them. The new reformers truly feel that they have come into the world for such a time as this to restore the “gospel” that the rest of Christendom has lost (Calvinism = Gospel to them) … thus, they justify deception to gain pulpits. If they enter a church by deceit, one has to question whether they continue to operate that way.

    Doug, I know it hurts to lose a pastor who you trusted, respected, and loved. I sincerely wish the best for you and Berean Baptist in the days ahead.

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  38. DougSwanson: Are you then saying he DID use gimmickry to deceive Berean

    I think this is impossible to know without knowing what the search committee asked…

    I am QUITE curious if churches in general but most especially after he left his youth pastor position asked the simple, and common in most businesses, ‘why you left your last job’ and if so if they received a truthful answer. I know someone on a blog mentioned calling his new employers to warn them and being ignored.

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  39. Ava Aaronson,

    I remember the Ted Haggard controversy. He was “restored” to the congregation. Unsure if he went back to the pulpit. The man he was having sex with and who procured the drugs, no one from the body of Christ reached out to him as far as I remember from the press coverage. The man himself admitted having a drug problem. The not reaching out the man was a big mistake.

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  40. elastigirl: “it’s biblical” mitigateth not ‘cruel’.

    According to them (Piper, MacArthur, Sproul, Mahaney, the list is long), God engineers and orchestrates all manner of human suffering and misery so that he can ‘bring glory to himself’.
    ‘Cruel’ is never an issue, only ‘Biblical’ is.

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  41. Lea: ‘His Word’ is frequently interpreted by cruel men, into cruel edicts like ‘stay with your abusive husband because god says so’. I’m not worried too much at people trying to err on the side of kindness over cruelty.

    Yes This!
    one thousand times.

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  42. jojo: Don Carson. Excellent:

    The article itself is not bad. But why does Carson coontinue to remain silent when TGC-related pastors either fall themselves or cover for those who fall? It seems like he is all words and no action.

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  43. Max,

    I have a copy of Wes Feltner’s Ph.D. thesis, which was written AFTER the situations with the three ladies and the trip to Los Vegas. In his thesis there is a VITA, and during this period of time that these incidents happened he has not job; even though he had preacher jobs before and after this window….?????

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  44. Jeffrey Chalmers: I have a copy of Wes Feltner’s Ph.D. thesis, which was written AFTER the situations with the three ladies and the trip to Los Vegas. In his thesis there is a VITA, and during this period of time that these incidents happened he has not job; even though he had preacher jobs before and after this window….?????

    “As soon as he (Pastor Don Moore, FBC-Evansville, at the time) found out, he said he fired Feltner and gave him a few weeks worth of salary to put toward counseling. Feltner eventually removed Moore’s name from his resume, Moore said.”

    https://www.courierpress.com/story/opinion/columnists/jon-webb/2019/11/10/evansville-women-who-made-pastoral-abuse-claim-feel-shocked-empowered/2531955001/

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  45. Max,

    I love (sarcasm) Pastor Moore’s reason for not telling the entire church was to protect the girls and protect the churches reputation. And, his intentions were not to hurt the girls not realizing how much hurt they were in. He needs to step down from the pulpit. He has no spine to protect the sheep.

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  46. Doug Swanson: Yes, he’s got charisma and oratorical skills, but it was the CONTENT of the sermons and classes he taught that are the reason for his having been being chosen to lead, and the reason, in part, for so many joining Berean.

    Dear Doug,

    One woman who attended your church for a while listened to Feltner’s sermons — and it was partly the content of one that drove her away. His reaction to being questioned and criticized was another factor in her decision.

    For your perusal: https://flyingfreenow.com/berean-baptist-wes-feltner-exposed/

    Based on his e-mails to Natalie and his comments regarding the accusations against him, it doesn’t seem that Feltner’s changed much since he manipulated those two girls years ago. Please consider Natalie’s account as you assess the character of this man.

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  47. Serving Kids In Japan,

    A sermon I hear today on the radio a lot today is that youth leave the church when they turn 18 is that they were not taught the Bible in Sunday school. In general that may be true. Myself included, some leave wondering where God was when they were abused. It turns me off now when they preach sermon.

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  48. Brian: youth leave the church when they turn 18 is that they were not taught the Bible in Sunday school. In general that may be true.

    Teaching the Bible is not automatically going to make kids keep going to church.

    And crime is not the only reason kids leave church. A lack of kindness at the church is enough to convince kids that church is not worth it. A power struggle every Sunday is enough. Crazy talk about who is going to H E You-Know-Where can easily backfire, and it’s not the best selling point.

    So what will keep kids in church? Love and kindness. Honesty. Respect for who they are. Flexibility. Yes, they do need to learn about sin, but in my opinion, churches spend too much time telling people what not to do, and don’t bother telling them how to live a genuinely good life (see: Sermon on the Mount).

    Happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrate today.

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  49. Max: preaching law not life … legalism, not peace and joy in the Holy Ghost. … When will this madness end?!

    It will end when people stop buying the sales pitch that clear rules will prevent and solve problems.

    Jesus healed people on the day of rest. That’s a better starting point than “Oooh, look, we have a dress code!”

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  50. dee,

    Pastor Feltner needed to resign and needs to find a way to true repentance. Praying for the healing for the two women and any others if they are out there. But Dee has not read closely. Dee has conflated two thoughts and stated the prior preaching was milquetoast. I’ve listened to all forms of evangelical preaching in the Twin Cities from former pastor Doug Pagitt to retired pastor Leith Anderson. The former preaching pastor is anything but milquetoast so please be more careful. Please listen to the sermon from last week from Lamentations from the former preaching pastor. And please, everyone realize these sites breed some truth and some misstatements regardless of intent.

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  51. Oscar,

    Please reread my comment. I was responding to Doug who used that word. I believe he was saying that Feltner was an upgrade from the previous pastor. So your beef is with him, not me.

    I’m sure that Feltner was theologically sound in what he said. At least that is what some have claimed. However, sometimes, as Wade Burleson has said, love must trump one’s theology. (Wade is a pastor in the SBC.)He never contacted the women he hurt until he was outed. Then, all of a sudden, he quotes Matthew 18 and insists they need to meet with him. He is shockingly naive.

    So, I will contend that his theology didn’t reach into his soul. A few years ago, I covered the suicide of a famous theologian in Scotland-Iain Campbell. This man was offered all kinds of positions but prefer to stay on the Isle of Lewis, traveling to conferences and special teaching engagements.. This guy was considered nothing short of brilliant bu conservative theologians from all over the planet. The Reformed community loved the guy.

    Except…he stayed because he was a predator and was discovered to have had relationships with a bunch (@20-25 or more) of women on the island. Here is a link to one of the posts I wrote on the matter. http://thewartburgwatch.com/2017/09/29/blindsided-the-true-story-of-the-circumstances-surrounding-the-death-of-iain-campbell/

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  52. Oscar: I don’t know how else to read Dee’s November 26 post. 5:56 pm. How do you read it?

    Dee was responding to Doug Swanson. It was Doug who wrote, “Talk to ANYONE who is a recent attender, and they will all say the same thing – they were tired of milquetoast sermons and finally found a preacher who would not back away from hard truths.”

    It looks like you argument should be with Doug, not with Dee. Did you not read Doug’s quote?

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  53. Ken F (aka Tweed),
    I believe he stated recent attenders which would mean they wouldn’t have heard the previous pastor in my view. I don’t see how six years is “recent”. I believe the comment made conflated those two thoughts. If not, I’ll amend but again, I don’t know how else to read the comment.

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  54. Oscar: I don’t know how else to read the comment.

    This is the real problem – you did not read carefully enough before you accused Dee. Doug made an assertion, and Dee said she was sorry that it was the way Doug described it. The milquetoast comment started with Doug. If you are not able to see that then I cannot help you. But I do think you owe Dee an apology.

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  55. Well you have a point, and I mean this sincerely. He did make an assertion. The comment started with Doug but it may have been inferred incorrectly by me or by Dee. If I have inferred incorrectly then I do apologize sincerely now to Dee. I’d simply note that he did not state it was his own church that had milquetoast preaching prior to Feltner. Perhaps I’m inferring too much with “recent attenders”. And perhaps not.

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  56. Hi Oscar,

    Like you, I’ve heard Wes Feltner speak and concur that he is gifted in Scriptural exegesis and application to the contemporary context.

    Like you, I agree that Wes Feltner needed to resign. After listening to Pastor Thompson’s sermon from Lamentations 3, I have every hope the Berean will conduct a thorough investigation and take the right next steps.

    It’s balanced comments like yours that give me hope for the evangelical church.

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  57. Oscar,

    “I’d simply note that he did not state it was his own church that had milquetoast preaching prior to Feltner. Perhaps I’m inferring too much with “recent attenders”. And perhaps not.”
    ++++++++++++++

    In Doug’s first comment he mentions that he’s been at the Berean church for 27 years. He’s seen people come and go. 6 years is very recent in the big picture. I’m kind of perplexed how you missed that.

    Seems you’ve come here to defend Mr. Feltner’s preaching. I’m sure it was compelling.

    so what?

    There’s something very wrong with him. you were taken in by him and taken for a ride.

    i’d take a simple & sincere message from a sincere and decent human being any day over a shyster with compelling oratorical skills.

    wouldn’t you?

    actually, my observation is that christians tend to make too much of the preacher & the sermon, using it kind of like a drug — rating both by the strength of the spiritual/psychological fix they get.

    do we really need someone telling us what to do and how to do it? why not simply take ownership of our own faith, & make our own decisions on how to best live a productive life of kindness, decency, honesty, generosity, integrity, with God as our partner.

    it’s very unglamorous. but it’s personal responsibility, on a spiritual level.

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  58. elastigirl: you were taken in by him and taken for a ride.

    This, this, a thousand times this.

    HYPOTHETICALLY: I do not care how spellbinding a preacher is, if he empties the offering plate into his pocket after every service.

    It’s even worse if he uses his spellbinding oratory to 1) attract me to his church, 2) encourage me to give $$$$$, and 3) rise to his stout defense when his theft is uncovered.

    “Oh, but he’s such a great preacher!” my Aunt Fannie.

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  59. elastigirl: Seems you’ve come here to defend Mr. Feltner’s preaching. I’m sure it was compelling.

    so what?

    Some of us are getting weary with “OK, Pastor has been a bad-boy, but man he can sure preach!?” We heard followers proclaim this about Driscoll, Hybels, MacDonald, Chantry, Savage, (the list goes on). A touch of charisma and a gift of gab do not cover a multitude of sins; the cries of victims negate anything these unrepentant messengers have to say. There is a vast difference between the kingdoms of men where where charisma and oratory skills rule, than the Kingdom of God where the pure and holy preach.

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  60. Max: Some of us are getting weary with “OK, Pastor has been a bad-boy, but man he can sure preach!?”We heard followers proclaim this about Driscoll, Hybels, MacDonald, Chantry, Savage, (the list goes on).A touch of charisma and a gift of gab do not cover a multitude of sins; the cries of victims negate anything these unrepentant messengers have to say.There is a vast difference between the kingdoms of men where where charisma and oratory skills rule, than the Kingdom of God where the pure and holy preach.

    “My preacher is a silver-tongued devil!” bragged no one ever.

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  61. I think what it sounds like a lot of you are forgetting is that these are still allegations, not convictions. Is it possible what the women are saying is true, sure, but is it possible it is false, also yes. That is why there is an ONGOING investigation. The investigation will help determine what, if anything, actually happened. As a woman with an abuse history I certainly do not want to minimize the pain of abuse if that is what happened, but I also do not want to slander a man who has given his life to serve God. Being falsely maligned is also painful. Additionally, even if he did abuse women 17 years ago, the Bible teaches that EVERYONE sins and falls short of God’s laws. We cannot kick people out of the church for sinning, and in God’s eyes there are not levels of sin where this sin is kinda bad but that one is really bad. Perhaps if we truly do follow Christ we ought to take our role as imitators of Christ seriously and forgive.

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  62. Ken F (aka Tweed): He is too busy right now tweeting

    (Chuckle) Oh My! Sorry for the delay— I was too busy tw… er.. preparing sermons. Let me unpack my tweet. I’m pushing limited atonement. You see, if God so loved the world means Everyone in the world then you’re not really so special. But if he loves a few special elect in all parts of the world, then you can be really really thankful Jesus died for you and not for that other poor schmuck, and you’re one of the special elect! Unless you’re not. In that case you can just go to L (limited atonement) already and, as Diana Ross sang, there ain’t nuthin you can do about it.

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  63. Friend: “My preacher is a silver-tongued devil!” bragged no one ever.

    Some of the best preachers who have ever lived were working for the wrong side. Jesus himself warned us about them:

    “In ‘that day’ many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we preach in your name … Then I shall tell them plainly, ‘I have never known you. Go away from me, you have worked on the side of evil!’” (Matthew 7:22-23)

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  64. Friend: It’s even worse if he uses his spellbinding oratory to 1) attract me to his church, 2) encourage me to give $$$$$, and 3) rise to his stout defense when his theft is uncovered.

    There are many “talkers” in the American church, but few “preachers.”

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  65. KZ
    Ummm, OJ Simpson and Casey Anthony were not convicted. I think they are guilty. If you believe they are innocent, then you are in the minority. WE did not forget this. In fact, it is you who has overlooked the fact that in the US, we can believe what we believe to be true, no matter the outcome of a jury trial.

    As for slandering a man who has given his whole life to serving God…I don’t know about you but I have given my whole life to serving God and so have many of the people in my church and other churches. Do you think that one must be a pastor to give one’s life to serving God? Show me this in the Bible.

    You also misuse the word slander. Slander is the telling of a deliberate lie in order to bring malicious harm to another. I can well assure you, KZ, that I have not slandered your man of God. I just happen to believe the victims in this instance. So be very, very careful when you misuse the word *slander.* You obviously have not studied what it really means. Here is a post I wrote on the subject that might encourage you to do some reading. http://thewartburgwatch.com/2013/03/18/slander-or-an-inconvenient-truth/

    Finally, it is not up for us to forgive the man who allegedly did this to two women. It is not up to you, either. It is up to those who he harmed. You don’t get to play Ms. Forgiver in this instance. In fact, if you do, you are assuming a role you should not play and you are usurping the rights of the victims as well as the One who is at a much higher pay grade than you or me.

    Whoops. I almost forgot. Yes, you can kick someone out of the church for sin unless you reject 1 Corinthians 5 and Matthew 18. Perhaps you were not taught these verses by your pastor who may have overlooked them because they made him feel a bit uncomfortable. And there are levels of sin in God’s eyes. Read the OT and see what the punishment was for various sins. In fact, our judicial system has some connection to the belief that some sins which are called crimes are worse than others. If you kill someone. you will get longer sentence than if you stole a loaf of bread. By your reckoning, we must keep child molesters in the church and allow them to help with there kids because they’ve been forgiven.

    So, if you are a member of Berean Baptist, I will be sure to direct people to this comment of yours. Their children are not safe in your church and I sure hope you are not in charge of the nursery.

    You appear to be a believer in cheap grace and even cheaper forgiveness. Good night, woman! Read your Bible. Also, I suggest that you read The Cost of Discipleship by Bonhoeffer.

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  66. KZ: I think what it sounds like a lot of you are forgetting is that these are still allegations, not convictions. Is it possible what the women are saying is true, sure, but is it possible it is false, also yes. That is why there is an ONGOING investigation. The investigation will help determine what, if anything, actually happened.

    We shouldn’t forget that the pastor at FBC-Evansville (17 years ago) heard the claims of the young girls and felt he had sufficient grounds to fire Feltner. Pastor Moore even gave him a few weeks salary to seek counseling. Feltner chose not to include that church experience on his resume or list Pastor Moore as a reference. “Anything” happened.

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  67. Max: “Anything” happened.

    My case was far less severe, but the predator was silently removed from youth ministry. Silent removal gave him the freedom to stay in the congregation with his reputation intact, and to spend time with other kids.

    I had nothing to gain by reporting this, and in fact I divulged it accidentally.

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  68. Friend: the predator was silently removed from youth ministry

    IMO, this is far too common than we want to believe. Church leaders don’t sufficiently deal with these issues if abusers are allowed to easily move on to other congregations (either as volunteers or staff members). IMO, moral failures while acting in a church position are ministry disqualifying failures. Passing problems to other churches is itself a sin. While “shout it from the rooftops” may not be appropriate, posting a failed pastor’s name on an available search list would be. In Mr. Feltner’s case, the FBC-Evansville pastor didn’t advise Berean or any other church where he served (there were several on his resume) of his past.

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  69. Max: IMO, this is far too common than we want to believe.Church leaders don’t sufficiently deal with these issues if abusers are allowed to easily move on to other congregations (either as volunteers or staff members).IMO, moral failures while acting in a church position are ministry disqualifying failures.Passing problems to other churches is itself a sin.While “shout it from the rooftops” may not be appropriate, posting a failed pastor’s name on an available search list would be.In Mr. Feltner’s case, the FBC-Evansville pastor didn’t advise Berean or any other church where he served (there were several on his resume) of his past.

    https://www.courierpress.com/story/opinion/columnists/jon-webb/2019/11/10/evansville-women-who-made-pastoral-abuse-claim-feel-shocked-empowered/2531955001/

    “When Frey and Hendrickson found out about their simultaneous relationships with Feltner, they met with the lead pastor of First Southern at the time, Don Moore, and asked that he reveal everything to the congregation. Moore, who now serves as the pastor of Creekside Baptist Church, admitted on Friday that he refused to do that. He said he wanted to protect the girls, as well as the reputation of the church.”

    Supposedly protecting the reputation of the church, if just perhaps the public face while being subsidized by them?
    Priorities, don’t you know; rinse repeat.

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  70. KZ: We cannot kick people out of the church for sinning, and in God’s eyes there are not levels of sin where this sin is kinda bad but that one is really bad.

    A pastor can repent with words AND actions and be part of the church, BUT he should not be a pastor if he has abused anyone(.)

    So murder, sexual child abuse, and physical abuse are on the same level as stealing an apple? The law would disagree with you. They are all sin, but not equal.

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  71. dee: Read your Bible

    I do read my Bible. It is where I learn about sin, forgiveness, grace…the Bible tells me there is no one without sin, no not one. Let him who is without sin throw the first stone. For whoever keeps the whole law yet stumbles in one point is guilty of all. So if you think you are better than someone who has committed some specific sin because you feel like your sin isn’t as bad I think you are the one who needs to read the Bible and do some soul searching.

    And I am not a Berean member. I don’t even live in the area. I am simply a Christian, and as a Christian it is important to me to support my brothers and sisters in Christ. I’m sorry if you want to close your eyes and pretend God shares your degrading agenda, but unfortunately God’s only agenda is reaching the lost and turning their hearts toward him.

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  72. Bridget: A pastor can repent with words AND actions and be part of the church, BUT he should not be a pastor if he has abused anyone(.)

    The problem with your thinking Bridget is that it just makes too much sense! I continue to be amazed with the followers/defenders of fallen pastors who just don’t get what Christian leadership should really look like.

    Forgive him if he repents. Certainly. Restore him to ministry. NO!

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  73. KZ: I do read my Bible. It is where I learn about sin, forgiveness, grace…the Bible tells me there is no one without sin, no not one. Let him who is without sin throw the first stone. For whoever keeps the whole law yet stumbles in one point is guilty of all.

    The Bible also says, “He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much.”

    It also says, “Do not lay hands upon anyone too hastily and thereby share responsibility for the sins of others”

    The Bible also gives a lot of specific requirements for leaders in the church, in the book of Titus, for instance.

    So if you think you are better than someone who has committed some specific sin because you feel like your sin isn’t as bad I think you are the one who needs to read the Bible and do some soul searching.

    Holding someone to a standard has nothing to do with feelings of superiority. If you were in the position of hiring a person to fill a job opening that had certain requirements, wouldn’t you make sure to hire someone who met those requirements?

    If someone wanted to become a physician but demonstrated that they could not be trusted with patients, would it be right to overlook that behavior and give them the job anyway, just because they’ve decided that’s what they want to be?

    How about if someone has served time for embezzling, would you hire them for the position of bank manager? Would declining their job application mean you were ‘throwing stones at them’ or ‘thinking your sin isn’t as bad as theirs’ or would it just be plain old sound judgment?

    What if someone wanted to be a therapist but they had used their position to seduce vulnerable clients, do you think their behavior should be overlooked?

    These are jobs that require a high level of integrity, and integrity is demonstrated by behavior. What about the future patients/clients/church members that you have a duty towards? Do they matter in your eyes? Or are they invisible to you? You seem to have a lot of grace to offer to one party but don’t seem to be aware of your responsibility to the other parties, or even fully aware of their actual existence as human beings.

    I really think you should re-examine your attitudes about this issue. The job of pastor has high standards for a reason. This is a position of much trust and influence. Don’t confuse impartiality with personal animosity.

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  74. KZ: I think what it sounds like a lot of you are forgetting is that these are still allegations, not convictions. Is it possible what the women are saying is true, sure, but is it possible it is false, also yes.

    Having read all of the statements, I really think that is highly unlikely. But, I don’t have a horse in this race so I have no partiality, and I’ve always been good at recognizing deception vs truthfulness.

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  75. SiteSeer: If someone wanted to become a physician but demonstrated that they could not be trusted with patients, would it be right to overlook that behavior and give them the job anyway, just because they’ve decided that’s what they want to be?

    Reminds me of an AT&T commercial “Just OK is not OK”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1YT3erQZoq4

    How many “pastors” are there in American pulpits who are just OK? Who meet most, but not all, Biblical requirements for the office? Who have hidden disqualifying failings? Who have charisma and gift of gab, but not anointing to preach?

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  76. KZ: Additionally, even if he did abuse women 17 years ago, the Bible teaches that EVERYONE sins and falls short of God’s laws.

    Isn’t this always what it comes down to?

    there is lip service towards maybe this isn’t true (it is)/maybe it needs to be investigated (it was – years ago?), but it always comes down to this in the end which is that people DONT CARE what their heroes did to hurt other people. Or to hurt women. They just don’t. It’s very sad to see.

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  77. JDV: “When Frey and Hendrickson found out about their simultaneous relationships with Feltner, they met with the lead pastor of First Southern at the time, Don Moore, and asked that he reveal everything to the congregation. Moore, who now serves as the pastor of Creekside Baptist Church, admitted on Friday that he refused to do that.

    Oooh, I hadn’t realized they *asked* him to reveal this to the church! All these ‘follow the MattWhatever process’ folks need to take several seats because they only like that process until they get to this tell it to the church part.

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  78. Lea: Oooh, I hadn’t realized they *asked* him to reveal this to the church! All these ‘follow the MattWhatever process’ folks need to take several seats because they only like that process until they get to this tell it to the church part.

    Every good pastor should know that what he hides from the church will eventually be revealed:

    “For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open.” (Luke 8:17)

    It’s in the open now … the failings of both Pastors Feltner and Moore.

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  79. Lea: it always comes down to this in the end which is that people DONT CARE what their heroes did to hurt other people. Or to hurt women. They just don’t.

    Gods Can Do No Wrong.

    “Morals are for men… Not… GODS…”
    — second Star Trek pilot, “Where No Man Has Gone Before”, 1966

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  80. KZ: So if you think you are better than someone who has committed some specific sin because you feel like your sin isn’t as bad I think you are the one who needs to read the Bible and do some soul searching.

    Dear KZ,

    I can’t see where Dee or any other believer here has claimed not to need Jesus (not all commenters here are Christians, btw). I know that I need Him, every day. But just because we all need His grace, it doesn’t follow that all sins are equal in severity. If that were true, then: A) Why weren’t all infractions in the Torah punishable by stoning? B) Why did Jesus say that offences against children in particular deserved a millstone necklace? C) Why did He also say that Pilate was guilty of a lesser sin than someone else (likely the Sanhedrin)?

    KZ: I think what it sounds like a lot of you are forgetting is that these are still allegations, not convictions.

    And they never will be. Even if Feltner’s misdeeds against these women are illegal in their state, the statute of limitations has likely passed by now. Does that mean we should just ignore their allegations, and come to no conclusion of our own on Feltner’s character? I think he’s revealed much about that character in his recent comments and emails — and they don’t speak well of him.

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  81. In looking at Wes Feltners story one needs to understand the reality. Pastor Wes was 24 and the girl was 18. He asked permission from her parents to date her. Should it had happened,NO but she said yes to the relationship, she could of said no.
    LET’S remember back at that age,24, 18, no one is married,just young and stupid. I would hope we are all different people today.

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  82. I’m rather surprised by your comment. So what you are saying is that this was merely an oopsy due to youth. In so doing you denigrate the vast majority of those professionals who have served their clients/charges with dignity and respect while being young. My daughter was an ER. nurse at 22. She didn’t do an *oopsy.* That goes for firefighters, law enforcement officers, teachers, etc. Did you know that they can get fired and lose their licenses for such behavior? They can also go to prison.

    Here is a story for you to consider. It was a 21 year old teacher who was having sex with her student. She was arrested and stood trial. https://reason.com/2018/02/08/22-year-old-woman-facing-sexual-assault. I bet if you had the time, you would have gone to the trial to support the teacher.

    In many states, his actions as a pastor could be considered a crime. I suppose you haven’t read the statutes. Maybe it doesn’t matter to you since it is all *forgiven.* I guess you believe you are in a position to judge how the two women would feel. Guess what? You can’t. It is their pain to bear and you are making it wordse be blowing off what happened. Your now older and supposedly less stupid pastor never made an attempt in all those years to reach out and apologize for his actions. Having read and listened to his statement, I think he doesn’t give a rip.

    I do not need your admonition to remember my 24 year old self. I was a visiting nurse in Salem, Massachusetts and cared for children who were abused in the home environment. I never once contemplated *getting it on* with any of my patients. How dare you say that such behavior is normal when one is young.

    I read his story quite carefully. He was seeing two other girls while dating his soon to be wife. Most people would consider that creepy. His actions included grooming which means he knew what he was going to do and proceeded to do so. He was a predator.

    You need to do some reading about sex abuse. You appear to be woefully ignorant. Please, for the sake of the abused in churches, wake up and figure it out.

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  83. D. K.. Swanson: LET’S remember back at that age,24, 18, no one is married,just young and stupid

    At age 24, I was a professional biologist researching environmental problems. At age 24, my youngest brother was a petroleum engineer discovering oil reserves on the North Slope of Alaska. At age 24, my oldest brother was a Journalism professor. At age 24, my sister was a certified accountant. All of us were married; we were all young; none of us were stupid.

    At age 24, Wes Feltner was entrusted with the position of youth pastor to mentor young believers to develop a walk with Christ. He failed. Young and stupid? Perhaps. Those who laid hands on him to ordain him to Gospel ministry while he was still walking in the flesh certainly weren’t very wise, that’s for sure.

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  84. D. K.. Swanson: In looking at Wes Feltners story one needs to understand the reality. Pastor Wes was 24 and the girl was 18. He asked permission from her parents to date her. Should it had happened,NO but she said yes to the relationship, she could of said no.
    LET’S remember back at that age,24, 18, no one is married,just young and stupid. I would hope we are all different people today.

    And can I assume that you are a grown man (and not really different) who writes a comment worthy of foolish teenager.

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  85. In looking at Wes Feltner’s story one needs to understand the reality. Pastor Wes was 24 and the girl was 18. He asked permission from her parents to date her.

    He also lied to them all about preparing to break up with his current girlfriend (now his wife). Are you failing to understand that reality?

    D. K.. Swanson: 24, 18, no one is married,just young and stupid. I would hope we are all different people today.

    Feltner was young, and foolish, I agree. But he was also manipulative. And based on his current behaviour, he still is. So no, he doesn’t seem any different to me.

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  86. Doug Swanson,

    As a former member and sometimes visitor when Wes was there…I disagree. I found his manner of communicating gimmicky and manipulative every time I heard him. He made a mockery of the virgin Mary and played snippets of “Madonna” on Christmas Eve one time. He opened up a sermon on Psalms where he stood like a rock star/comedian and sang through SO MANY secular and worldly songs to get us laughing. His sermon illustrations were far more memorable than his actual execution of the Word.

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  87. D. K.. Swanson,

    You appear to not be in full possession of the details of Feltner’s doings. He was dating 3 girls at the same time. I doubt that he told the parents about that when he asked for their permission. In fact, he allegedly led all of them to believe he planned to marry them. He was having sexual relations – I believe that is called adultery – with at least one of these young women, and appeared to be grooming the other. He lied. He took advantage of emotionally needy young women who came to him for counseling. He deliberately hid his actions from others in the church, convincing these girls to sneak around and not let anyone know what was going on.

    Other parties are aware of these events, including the pastor, who fired Feltner. These were not acts of immaturity, but acts of self-serving narcissism. Feltner never repented of his actions, never reached out to those he misused and traumatized, and never publicly owned his sin.

    For those who are naive and ignorant of narcissists and abusers, this guy meets all of the measures. It is so easy to put on a good show, to entertain and tickle peoples’ ears. No doubt Feltner is very good at such things. He is also a narcissistic, manipulative and abusive creep, and should not be trusted.

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  88. dee,

    To clarify,
    Pastor Wes was not an “upgrade” from the previous pastor, and that pastor’s sermons were not ‘milquetoast’. Quite the contrary on both accounts. What I meant is that recent attenders were coming from OTHER churches around the TC area BECAUSE of the milquetoast preaching at their former congregations. It is the content of pastor Wes’ sermons (and the former pastor, on occasion) that is the reason to defend him, and NOT due to mesmerization by any slick, salesman shyster tactics. I will state again, for the record – I DO NOT DEFEND THE ACTIONS ALLEGED OR ADMITTED TO BY PASTOR WES.

    Kind regards to all.

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  89. anonymous,

    I remember the “Madonna” Christmas sermon you refer to, and I was also uneasy, to say the least, with it. I agree with you and he certainly didn’t “nail it” that evening. There are, however, MANY more examples of his sermons that were NOT gimmicky like the ones you mentioned. The recent series on Revelation and being ‘victorious’ is one such example. Preaching about enduring tribulation until the end when Christ comes is not popular, and made a lot of folks uncomfortable…for the right reasons IMHO. His class on eschatology was also challenging and quite uncomfortable for more than a few ‘pre-trib’ adherents, and he made some enemies there.
    Having said all that, if he’s guilty, he should go, but remember…when we cry for justice, it will be served one day…to all of us:

    1 Corinthians 4:5
    “My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me. 5 Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God.”

    2 Corinthians 5
    “10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, WHETHER GOOD OR BAD.

    Kind regards to all

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  90. Doug Swanson: when we cry for justice, it will be served one day…to all of us

    A fact that most (if not all) Wartburg readers are aware of. In the meantime, the victims of clergy abuse are crying for justice in the here and now, especially in regard to bad-boy “pastors” who continue in their ministries without missing a beat.

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  91. Doug Swanson,

    “Having said all that, if he’s guilty, he should go, but remember…when we cry for justice, it will be served one day…to all of us”
    +++++++++++++

    pretty sure no one here thinks they’re perfect and have always been perfect.

    i’m sure not i’m not alone in saying i have never and would never do anything remotely similar to how WF deceived, tricked, manipulated, & used people for his own gratification.

    his conduct really is in an evil league. not garden variety at all.

    my tolerance is far, far spent for christian leaders whose character is shoddy & scummy and pales in comparison to that of the agnostics, atheists, moslems, buddhists and hindus i know and observe every day, everywhere.

    christians, drastically raise the level of your expectations for those in positions of influence. the ends do not justify the means.

    and i’ll echo what many have said or alluded to- sins and wrongdoing are not all on an equal plane.

    yes, i’m sure God will deal with me on having yelled at my kids, having driven 40 when i should have been driving 35. having been lazy when i should have been diligent. having felt jealousy. having felt resentment towards people now & then (although their behavior was obnoxious & worth resenting).

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  92. elastigirl: i’ll echo what many have said or alluded to- sins and wrongdoing are not all on an equal plane

    Sin-leveling is popular among the New Calvinists. They stretch text out of context to support this teaching … elevating minor offenses to the level of a crime, while minimizing actual crimes to the level of gossip. It makes them feel better about themselves.

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  93. Doug Swanson: There are, however, MANY more examples of his sermons that were NOT gimmicky like the ones you mentioned.

    When the Protestants broke from the Roman Catholics, they replaced the Eucharist with the Sermon as the highlight of the Sunday service. They essentially went from worshipping the elements to worshipping the sermon. In the Donatist controversy the issue was whether or not the Eucharist was valid if it was served by a corrupt priest. Today the issue is whether or not a sermon is valid if it is deliverd by a corrupt pastor

    Jesus did not seem to make such distinctions. He said the sheep and goats will be separated by how they love others, not by the sermons they preach.

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