Todd Wagner, the Controversial Pastor of Watermark Church, Steps Away *for a Season.* For What? Did You Know This Church Is Closely Aligned with 9 Marx (sic)?

Aurora on Jupiter-NASA

“And men go abroad to admire the heights of mountains, the mighty waves of the sea, the broad tides of rivers, the compass of the ocean, and the circuits of the stars, yet pass over the mystery of themselves without a thought.” St. Augustine of Hippo, Confessions

Todd and I wish to thank a reader who, as usual, sent us good tips on Watermark. I don’t know if he wishes to have his name out there. So, for now, he will remain anonymous.


Watermark Church has been accused of controlling behavior

Watermark Church is purportedly a nondenominational church in Dallas. They have about 11,000 attendees and have invested heavily in expensive buildings in and around the Dallas area. Here is where to find the covenant. It has the usual stuff like submission, gossip, blah, blah, blah. For those of you who have signed this at Watermark, did they tell you that it is a legal document? It is there to protect the church leadership and it does not protect you. If you need assistance in this situation, I can tell you how to remove your name from a covenant.

For those of you who don’t know Watermark Church, Dallas, here is some background. Our good friend, Anna runs the blog No Eden Elsewhere which is referenced in this Wikipedia article. It was her website that drew public attention to the controlling nature of Watermark which has also been recorded in Wikipedia.

I lived in Dallas for 10 years and still have contacts in the area. I was told that one woman was not allowed to take on a new job by her small group. Sadly, she did what she was told.

Todd Wagner’s *I ain’t saying nothing to you pew-sitters while stepping away for a season* talk.

Here is a link to his talk. I cannot embed it. Here is my synopsis of his talk. I am quoting him except for my sarcasm which should be evident.

  • He is intentionally powering down to go to war with sin.
  • He is discussing *radically dealing with sin.* (He will not be successful for those of you who read your Bible because he hasn’t really specifically confessed any sin.)
  • He says he follows Paul with a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith.
  • He asks for forgiveness for not being attentive to his own needs. (See how hard he works for you shlubs.)
  • He was supposed to slow down but he just sped up.
  • He claims he is not burned out or out of energy. In fact, he has more energy due to the challenge of this update.
  • The problem is that he is *not full of Jesus.* (Huh? What does that mean in a specific manner?)
  • He is not burning out but he is burning up *leadership capital.* (ROFL- Whatever that is.)
  • There were numerous expressions of my flesh. (Do tell, Todd. Do tell.)
  • It’s called sin. (What sin is he talking about? Leadership capital burnup? Is that even in the Bible?)
  • It appears he was saying that he was working so hard he wasn’t hearing from those who couldn’t keep up. (See how hard he works for you.)
  • He claims there is no hidden or disqualifying sin. No sexual immorality or financial issues. No physical altercations. No foul language. His wife and kids are doing fine.
  • He has not been leading in the usual grace that he shows his friends. (So, he’s usually the most grace-filled man you know.)
  • He’s been impatient. (And everyone else is not? Get specific.)
  • He was dull to hear the admonishment for the *not so bad* sins.
  • He needs a faithful brother around him to speak up.
  • That’s it. Nothing more.
  • He wasn’t asked to step down and doesn’t need to step down.
  • He just needs to step away or step back.
  • He has to do the hard work of the heart.. (Let’s define this as opposed to Christianese.My husband’s a cardiologist. Can he be of assistance? )
  • Don’t look for a scandal. (Then why is he stepping away?)
  • He was overlooking *respectable sin.*
  • Pride kills. Pride is the sin. (Ummm-everyone deals with this. So why step down?)
  • He claims he doesn’t act prideful since he is not over-impressed with himself. (See, he may have pride but it’s a not-so-bad kind-of pride.)
  • He wants to live in a constant state of repentance regarding pride.
  • The elders helped him to see his issues.
  • He (Todd) is going to *shepherd me.* (Good night! Is this in the Bible? Shepherd me?)
  • Forgive him for his inattentiveness to the pew-sitters. (All mega pastors deal with this. You guys are giving units to be controlled.)
  • He needs more time to listen and to see. (What, exactly?)
  • He agrees with the elders.
  • It’s not a paid leave (But it really is, isn’t it?)
  • Claims he won’t write books during this time. Keep an eye on this one.
  • He says he wants to be there for another 20 years.
  • “I love you all and serve you.” (He doesn’t know most of your names.)
  • Everyone claps but not enthusiastically. (I was a bit surprised by this.)

Elders now join in…

  • The elders repent together every week.
  • We make war against our sin.
  • We love Todd and his humility.
  • Elders really shepherd one another.
  • He’ll be around for another 20 years.
  • They are bringing back two elders *for this season.*
  • We are adding a new elder but it has nothing to do with all of this. This guy is good. Wrote a book…(Watch how this develops.)
  • Todd is repentant.
  • Do not gossip, assuming the worst, and sowing seeds of discord and division. (So, nothing is wrong and everyone better be quiet or discipline will descend.)

Todd and the elders are *cooking the books.*

Let’s be frank. No one steps down for some innocuous sin. There is no one who does not struggle with pride and other sins. Read Martin Luther. I had a pastor once who talked about *cooking the books* when it comes to sin. I think that is what is happening here. By cooking the books, we delude ourselves that our sins are really better than the sins of others. We’re OK. Nothing to see here.

Think about what he said.

  • There is no disqualifying sin.
  • He works harder than anyone else at his job.
  • His sin is not being attentive to his own needs.
  • He used up his leadership capital. What in the world does that mean? Did Jesus talk about this?
  • He’s not going on a paid vacation but he really is.
  • He is going to shepherd himself??? A scripture verse, please.

He has presented himself as the guy who didn’t really do anything bad. In fact, he loves you all so much that he worked himself to death. The elders don’t want anyone to gossip. There is a good reason for saying this. I believe that something really bad happened and they are not going to tell the church what it is. Also, keep an eye on that new guy they’re bringing on.

Here it is summed up. “Nothing to see here folks.

Do the people of Watermark know that they are a 9 Marks Church? Be forewarned.

Can someone can let me know if 9 Marks material is well known amongst the members?  Todd and I have been writing about the inherent problems in 9 Marks churches for years. They use heavy-handed authoritarianism to beat up the unsuspecting members. Have you ever heard of retroactive church discipline? They practice this. You are not allowed to leave the church without their permission. If you do, they punish you. They put you on a discipline list until you do what they ask. And you must join another *acceptable* church immediately or they will add you to the punishment list of you don’t. They will also send letters to the next church.

When you signed the membership covenant, which I call a contract, you have given them permission to go after you. Courts stay out of internal church politics wehile you are still a member.  I’m sure you are thinking it’s only applied if you do something really bad. You would be very wrong. Todd Wilhelm, who helps write this blog, was the recipient of such punishment when he was a member of UCC Dubai. (That is a 9 Marks church and the lead pastor is BFFs with Mark Dever.) Todd’s sin? Well, he spoke up against the church selling CJ Mahaney books. When they wouldn’t, he decided to leave the church. He didn’t want to be a member of any church which supported CJ Mahaney. He used to be a member of one of those SGM churches. For those of you who don’t know him, Mahaney is a close personal friend of Mark Dever. Do you know what Mahaney is accused of doing? Here you go.

Since he refused to join a church immediately,(Taking time to investigate new churches is somehow a discipline issue), he was placed on their discipline list. They call it something silly like “Member Care” list.  In this group of churches, the pastor is king and the people are to be ruled.

Your pastor and the elders appear to be good buddies with the 9 Marks’ Mark Dever-the lead big cheese. Be forewarned. Read their literature and be careful if you try to leave your church. If you need help to get out or help to understand the legal contract that you signed, let Todd and me know. We can help.

PROOF:

Today I saw a tweet from a guy who said he forgave Pastor Todd. I asked him “For what?” He didn’t answer because there is really nothing to say. He forgave him for something but cannot clearly express what that was for. he muttered something about Todd should be * kinder.*  Everyone needs to do that. If that was the case, there would be few megachurch pastors left in the pulpit.

We are planning to discuss the Regeneration program shortly now that it is used for kids. (Seriously?)


Comments

Todd Wagner, the Controversial Pastor of Watermark Church, Steps Away *for a Season.* For What? Did You Know This Church Is Closely Aligned with 9 Marx (sic)? — 138 Comments

  1. So, in other words:

    “I’m stepping down because I have issues, but let’s not call it sin?”

    This beats the pastoral resignation speech I heard several years ago (I had warned one of our pastors it might not be a good idea), which was a screed on how it was all the elders’ fault that he was being asked to leave-20 minutes worth. It took quite a while for the congregation to recover from his presentation.

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  2. “The elders don’t want anyone to gossip. There is a good reason for saying this. I believe that something really bad happened and they are not going to tell the church what it is. Also, keep an eye on that new guy they’re bringing on.”

    I absolutely 100% agree with this. Something happened because there is no way that this guy would step away from a church that he basically created. It doesn’t make any sense. And that gossip comment? Why even bring that up?! That comment is going to do the exact opposite of what was intended. By telling everyone to not gossip and not assume the worst, they have planted the seed of doubt.

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  3. “He is not burning out but he is burning up *leadership capital.*”
    +++++++++++++++++++

    shock & awe words and all the people said, “whoooaaaa!”

    not unlike this:
    “How to sound smart in your TEDx Talk” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8S0FDjFBj8o
    .
    .
    I think my ship’s come in! TODDTALK.com. Todd’s talk will be the first one, “How to sound repentent in your TODD Talk”.

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  4. Nik:
    “The elders don’t want anyone to gossip. There is a good reason for saying this. I believe that something really bad happened and they are not going to tell the church what it is. Also, keep an eye on that new guy they’re bringing on.”

    I absolutely 100% agree with this. Something happened because there is no way that this guy would step away from a church that he basically created. It doesn’t make any sense. And that gossip comment? Why even bring that up?! That comment is going to do the exact opposite of what was intended. By telling everyone to not gossip and not assume the worst, they have planted the seed of doubt.

    If he were dealing with, say, a serious illness (him or his family), almost certainly he would at least state that there is a health issue (maybe not be specific, but at that point the church would pray for the matter).

    If he were retiring that would be made clear too.

    I wonder if there are WAY MORE than the limited instances that Anna has posted over on No Eden Elsewhere, and the elders are doing “damage control” by telling Todd “look, these bloggers are getting intense, why don’t you pull a Bill Gothard and agree to ‘step down due to pride’? We’ll pay for your time off, then when the coast is clear you can return to the pulpit and say you’re ‘healed’.”

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  5. “Everyone claps but not enthusiastically.”

    Hmmm … doesn’t sound like the standing ovation these guys usually get for confessing how bad they’ve been. The un-enthusiastic applause may be a sign that the members would just as soon he stay on an indefinite leave of absence; they may be ready to try a new pastor.

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  6. dee,

    By the way, I’m the one that added much of the information on Wikipedia, taken from No Eden Elsewhere and other sites. Which, like with Bill Gothard’s Wikipedia article, has been “creatively edited” (likely by Watermark members if not leadership) to downplay the seriousness. (For example, in your clip above, the phrase “encourage the woman” was originally “threaten the woman”.)

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  7. Mark R,

    The “Pursuing Authenticity” was also edited to add that last sentence in the first paragraph (I’ve since deleted it) as well as parts of the second paragraph were edited to completely restate what the church demanded (they demanded that a “spiritual authority” from her church speak with a “spiritual authority” from Watermark — even though she has never been told what she has done to cause the family rift).

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  8. Only those outside a system can accurately assess a system.
    This is a self congratulations fest, without peer.
    These men realize that if this group of pew peons accepts this PAP, they’ll accept ANYTHING. How about, speak to us as to adults you respect! Say it plainly or not at all. Good grief, this video nauseated me. How profoundly sad.

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  9. elastigirl: “He is not burning out but he is burning up *leadership capital.*”

    This made me wonder if he’s driving important people (read: pastors who do the heavy lifting and/or giving units) away and it’s became noticeable.

    I’d also like to point people to Anna’s blog “No Eden Elsewhere” and particularly to her comparisons of Watermark Church to Scientology. She has several posts; here is one of them:

    http://noedenelsewhere.com/the-aftermath-stories-from-former-watermark-church-members/

    And yeah, folks, it’s bad when your church is being compared to the gold standard in cults.

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  10. Thank you, Dee, for taking the time to include your synopsis on Todd Wagner’s talk in the OP.

    I followed the link you provided to Todd Wagner’s talk, but could only stomach listening to slightly past the two-minute mark.

    All I could see and hear was a well-trained actor, speaking well-rehearsed lines, modulating his tone of voice, and matching hie physical actions to create just the right “drama” (downplayed, of course, for the greatest effect).

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  11. A thing about Watermark is that they don’t even fully approve of nouthetic counseling, because you should seek counseling from your community group instead, and the exception is your community group joins you with the biblical counselor. And of course if someone desires confidentiality, they must not be truly repentant.

    But for Pastor Todd, he has numerous expressions of the flesh, that’s it, now y’all better not gossip.

    http://realtruthrealquick.com/christian-counselors/

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  12. Stan:
    A thing about Watermark is that they don’t even fully approve of nouthetic counseling, because you should seek counseling from your community group instead, and the exception is your community group joins you with the biblical counselor. And of course if someone desires confidentiality, they must not be truly repentant.

    But for Pastor Todd, he has numerous expressions of the flesh,that’s it, now y’all better not gossip.

    http://realtruthrealquick.com/christian-counselors/

    It appear the people are expected to confess and tell all to everyone with nothing left out. Also I don’t think it’s a case of what is said in the community group stays in the group. On the other hand Todd’s sin is to be kept under wraps. I hope and pray that this glaring fact and the irony of it is not lost on the people and they think for themselves.
    It’s like they have resurrected the old heavy shepherding movement from the 70’s and 80’s

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  13. Mark R: (For example, in your clip above, the phrase “encourage the woman” was originally “threaten the woman”.)

    Mark, thanks for the explanation. I had to read that sentence in the article at least twice to make sure I had read it correctly because it just did not make sense. Why would Watermark want to encourage the woman? I was expecting to read that they were also attempting to discipline her for having an affair with one of their members.

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  14. Nancy2(aka Kevlar):
    “ He says he follows Paul”

    Paul who???

    The one referenced here in 1st Corinthians 1:12-13?

    What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas”; still another, “I follow Christ.”
    Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized in the name of Paul?

    I thought of that passage when I saw he said the follows Paul.

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  15. “We are planning to discuss the Regeneration program …” (Dee)

    If a person has truly been regenerated (born again) in Christ, do they need a 12-step program in their life when they have the Holy Spirit as helper? Is Christian psychology a good substitute for Christ in you, the hope of glory? Is a Regeneration Recovery program just another avenue to control, manipulate, and indoctrinate?

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  16. Nancy2(aka Kevlar): “He says he follows Paul”

    Don’t you know, Paul has moved up the ladder in some Christian circles in recent years! New Calvinism has particularly distorted his teachings – focusing on misinterpretations of Paul’s epistles rather than truth in the Gospels. I was young and now am old … in fact, I’m so old that I remember when preachers used to proclaim “Follow Christ!”

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  17. Pastor Todd tosses the word “authentic” around a LOT … authentic community, authentic confession, authentic repentance, authentic encouragement, etc. etc. It’s as if he wants to make sure Watermark members know that he and his ministry are authentic and that others in the area might not be! You might even be able to get a cup of authentic coffee in the espresso shop there … and only there.

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  18. Mrs Clatterbuck: It appear the people are expected to confess and tell all to everyone with nothing left out.Also I don’t think it’s a case of what is said inthe community group stays in the group. On the other hand Todd’s sin is to be kept under wraps. I hope and pray that this glaring fact and the irony of it is not lost on the people and they think for themselves.
    It’s like they have resurrected the old heavy shepherding movement from the 70’s and 80’s

    I watched this video and to put it lightly it is DISTURBING. It seems every direction I turn there is a new reason to sound the alarm on Watermark Church. ‘Pastor’ Todd does not endorse LPC patient/therapist confidentiality (bring your commmunity w/you to sessions!), thinks all mental health issues are spiritually rooted, and believes all Christians should be counselors. He even admits he won’t keep things told to him confidential!! There are LAWS Todd! (Clergy/penitent privilege). Anyway watch it for yourself. It’s so awful that I’m still shaking.

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  19. Nancy2(aka Kevlar): “ He says he follows Paul”

    There’s a well-known text, 1 Cor 4:3,

    (NIV) “3 I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself. 4 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; wait 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.”,

    that is sometimes cited by straying church leaders to justify the appearance of “inactive conscience” and to deflect criticism. The remark, in Dee’s summary (I don’t have the heart or stomach to listen to the recording) about having a clear conscience reminded me of this.

    Perhaps this is one of the ways that he “follows Paul”.

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  20. One of the key things I look for in a church is a pastor who holds the same or higher standards for themselves and how they should be treated as they do for others. This was something I almost never saw in SBC land, but particularly among the New Calvinists. New Calvinists nearly always expected others to treat them better than they treated others and to act like perfectly programmed robots while they acted like total jerks and did terrible thingss.

    I throw down the flag on this guy…

    MOD: Fixed email address

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  21. Hell Low everyone!
    Satin here— proud daddy of the daughters of Stan. Let be the first to assure you that Pride is a Reshpectobiggle-/ I mean a respectable sin! It’s nothing like foul language or anything! Nothing disqualifying about a little Hubris. Not like it’s one of the 7 deadly mistakes or anything, or caused anyone to lose their lofty position. Just means it’s time for a longer vacation!

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  22. Anna: thinks all mental health issues are spiritually rooted

    “DEMONS! DEMONS! DEEEEEMONS!!!!!”

    (Do you remember The Satanic Rituals hidden in D&D books? Demon-possesed D&D miniatures screaming as Christians melted them down? Jack Chick’s Dark Dungeons? I’m a gamer. I sure do.)

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  23. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes: Anna’s blog “No Eden Elsewhere” and particularly to her comparisons of Watermark Church to Scientology. She has several posts; here is one of them:

    http://noedenelsewhere.com/the-aftermath-stories-from-former-watermark-church-members/

    And yeah, folks, it’s bad when your church is being compared to the gold standard in cults.

    That was helpful; thank you!

    One of the things that stood out to me in that item was the difficulty of creating wholesome community by “synthetic” or “forced” means. Large churches can be problematic both with respect to the leaders — who are exposed to the temptations of great power over multitudes of people — and toward the flock, who may find it difficult to find meaningful community in a large group of commuters scattered over a significant geographical area.

    Going back decades, the “church growth” movement has responded to the 2nd problem through “top-down” implementation of one or another form of “small groups” as a way of preserving intimacy of “small church” while attaining the scale economies and other perceived benefits of “large church.”

    In my time in a medium sized wanna-be/would-be mega in the ’90s and ’00s, we went through a series of these small group programs in succession; it became something of a byword among the members and while people followed the leaders’ instructions to participate in these things, I don’t think they (the members) had high expectations, and the programs did not exceed those expectations.

    My interpretation is that the “top-down” agenda is near the heart of the problem. Relationships/friendships that arise spontaneously among members are more likely to be genuine and trusting. But they don’t facilitate reporting “up the chain of authority.”

    “Dunbar’s number”, the maximum number of stable interpersonal connections that human cognition is able to manage, is thought to be about 150, and I suspect that it would be better if congregations aimed to grow to about that size and then intentionally divide into smaller congregations when they significantly exceed that size. Then let the interpersonal relationships and community develop on its own, rather than by executive command.

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  24. The video of him “confessing-kinda” reminds me of the Pharisee praying in the marketplace, “Oh Lord, I thank thee that I am not like these other men….” whereas Jesus recommended that we be more like a tax-collector in going into a closet and praying, “Lord have mercy on me, a sinner.” True repentance and humility doesn’t have to have attention of anyone but God.

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  25. Samuel Conner: “Dunbar’s number”, the maximum number of stable interpersonal connections that human cognition is able to manage, is thought to be about 150…

    I know that number as “The Troop-Size Limit”, i.e. the average size when they cease to be people and become only numbers.

    …and I suspect that it would be better if congregations aimed to grow to about that size and then intentionally divide into smaller congregations when they significantly exceed that size.

    But then how could Pastor Yertle the Turtle get a bigger Mega than all the otehr Superapostles?

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  26. I think Mr Wagner has been reading too much of Jared C Wilson’s reasons for resigning the ministry (TGC “I Love the Church and that’s why I resigned., October 6 2014)

    Does this sound familiar?
    “But I eventually realized the problem was much deeper than that. It wasn’t entirely out there. It was in here. The truth is that I reached my capacity in leading the church well. I’d come to believe that I’d brought the church as far as my gifts would allow. Now, nobody else was saying that. But I knew it was true. And I didn’t know what to do with it.

    I am not one to run. Especially since things have been going so well on the growth front. We have more than tripled in attendance the last five years, but even more importantly, we have seen an increase in souls saved by Christ and baptized, in young families and mature leaders moving to our area to join us on mission, and in forward-thinking vision, culminating largely in our efforts to plant a church in downtown Rutland, Vermont. So there’s nothing to run from, really. Nobody’s mad at me. There’s no conflict pushing me out or great sin disqualifying me. There’s just me. There’s just me realizing, “I don’t think I’m the right guy for what comes next.” It’s as if God has led me to the brink of the promised land and said, “You can’t go in.”

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  27. You know what? Even if pastor Todd was being completely sincere in everything he said (which is laughable, I know), but just for the sake of argument, the best case scenario is that he hasn’t got a clue what being a Christian is all about and he hasn’t got a clue how one lives the Christian life. He has no understanding! The best case scenario is that he is a blind guide. He’s playing a role, playing a part that he doesn’t even understand. What is he doing leading?? More to the point, what are people doing following him??

    The church has drifted so far from the teachings of Christ, so far from understanding who Christ was or what he accomplished. The name of Christ is used but all the teachings and understandings are foreign to him, they all seem to grow out of a current Christian culture that is making stuff up as it goes along.

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  28. Most church attenders don’t know whether or not their church is aligned with “9-Marx” because, just like our former pastor did, he signed us up for it with no one else’s knowledge. They’re a sneaky bunch, if you haven’t already noticed! They DON’T want you to know, because the cat’s already out of the bag of what kind of heavy-handed tactics they employ to keep us sheep in line. And to top it all off, he then lied to the congregation about what it meant to be on 9-Marx’s ‘church search’ site when we finally confronted him about it!

    Do yourselves a favor–go to their website and find all of the 9-Marx churches in your area.
    Avoid them like the plague. And if YOUR church happens to be on it–LEAVE and never turn back (remember Lot’s wife!)

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  29. Samuel Conner: “Dunbar’s number”, the maximum number of stable interpersonal connections that human cognition is able to manage, is thought to be about 150, and I suspect that it would be better if congregations aimed to grow to about that size and then intentionally divide into smaller congregations when they significantly exceed that size. Then let the interpersonal relationships and community develop on its own, rather than by executive command.

    And if the Bible is accurate in saying that it is God who provides the gifts to meet his peoples’ needs, then what is happening to all of those pastors, teachers, etc, whom he has provided to meet the needs of local groups of believers. i.e., are a lot of gifted persons being shoved aside so that one man can stand on a stage and feed his ego by looking out at one huge group?

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  30. SiiteSeer,

    And here we have the words laid down by Mark Driscoll, addressing Mars Hill – Part 1 of Real Marriage
    Pastor Mark Driscoll | January 15, 2012“
    “The truth is I would’ve never been fired from ministry, because there was no disqualifying sin: no pornography, no emotional adultery, no physical affair. There was no disqualifying sin”

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  31. Lowlandseer,

    And finally, from the great Mr Piper on September 11th, 2018
    When I was sixty-four years old, I took an eight-month leave of absence from my pastoral ministry. The primary reason that I gave to the leaders and to the congregation was that I wanted to step back and do a soul check.

    “I wondered if the pressures of ministry might be blinding me to the state of my own soul as it related to worship and family and marriage and personal holiness. There was no great marriage crisis. I was not walking in any ministry-disqualifying sin, as far as I knew myself. But the stresses of family and marriage and ministry were enough to make me think that I should temporarily remove the pressure (and rewards) of preaching, and leading the staff, and all writing and social media.l

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  32. Today I saw a tweet from a guy who said he forgave Pastor Todd. I asked him “For what?” He didn’t answer because there is really nothing to say. He forgave him for something but cannot clearly express what that was for.

    It seems like he is comfortable pre-forgiving him for the unknown. To me that seems more like giving him carte blanche, rather than forgiveness.

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  33. SiiteSeer: To me that seems more like giving him carte blanche …

    Willow Creek gave Hybels carte blanche … Mars Hill gave Driscoll carte blanche … Sovereign Grace gave Mahaney carte blanche … Harvest Chapel gave MacDonald carte blanche … Liberty University gave Jerry Junior carte blanche … etc. etc.

    Clearly, these are not days to give preachers carte blanche!

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  34. Samuel Conner: In my time in a medium sized wanna-be/would-be mega in the ’90s and ’00s, we went through a series of these small group programs in succession; it became something of a byword among the members and while people followed the leaders’ instructions to participate in these things, I don’t think they (the members) had high expectations, and the programs did not exceed those expectations.

    That was my experience with them as well. In megas, most people end up being grouped by location and/or age/marital status, and that didn’t always create natural relationships. Along with a lot of inconsistency, as leaders came and went as fast as groups did. My last SBC church had some really terrible small group leaders, because it got to the point that they were so desperate for leaders that they took anyone who was willing.

    The really good leaders had such big groups that they turned people away, and sadly, sometimes by how much they thought you would tithe, but then new people never really felt at home anywhere.

    Most of these groups never really did anything that deep, either. I remember one group did Beth Moore and most of the group nearly revolted over how much work Moore’s studies require. Megas attract a lot of people who want their church experience to be very passive or “fun” and that doesn’t result in meaningful relationships, either.

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  35. Max,

    From my very short perusal it appears they are trying to compete with Celebrate Recovery. Yes all needs, including addiction aren’t automatically solved at the moment of Salvation. I am concerned that they don’t use professional counseling and apparently not even “Biblical” counseling. Who do they think people should talk to? It may be a way to control without counselors

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  36. Sarah: Max,

    From my very short perusal it appears they are trying to compete with Celebrate Recovery. Yes all needs, including addiction aren’t automatically solved at the moment of Salvation.

    Problem is, a LOT of Christians have bought into that. Which (when all your needs didn’t magically go POOF! after the Sinner’s Prayer) leads to despair, depression, and pretending you ARE a Perfect Christian like all the others (who are probably pretending just as hard). Until one day you flip out, kill yourself, walk away from Omelas, or keep the lid on until one day everything just blows sky-high (ask Ted Haggard if you can get a straight answer from him).

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  37. ishy: That was my experience with them as well. In megas, most people end up being grouped by location and/or age/marital status, and that didn’t always create natural relationships.

    Ask anybody who’s been on the receiving end of High-Pressure Clueless Matchmaking.
    (“You have so much in common! You’re Single! He/She’s Single! It’s a Perfect Match!”)

    Or (in my church’s urban legends) the parish busybody who KNOWS God is calling YOU into the Priesthood/Monastery/Convent. (“She’s single at 25, so Holy, and NEVER dates! She’d make a WONDERFUL Nun!”)

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  38. Watermark still has up Andy Savage teaching on ‘Marriage Ministry Made Simple’:

    https://www.watermark.org/message/3576-breakout-marriage-ministry-made-simple

    Andy Savage: “Me and a really good friend named Chris Conlee started [Highpoint] church…We have a long relationship with the folks at Watermark and love this church”

    Godith: Is the re:engage marriage renewal program the church started actually useful? If so, how?

    Andy Savage: “About four, five years ago…we came here to figure out how to do RE|ENGAGE”

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  39. Jeffrey Chalmers:
    Max,

    Nobody should have carte Blanche, nobody!

    But how else to fulfill one’s “vision” that one has been “shown”? (As we’ve seen, buzzwords like this are often used to imply that gong against whatever “leadership” wants may well be going against God, especially if you aren’t have ing visions and being shown things like those are who are said to set apart for service etc..”

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  40. Sarah: I am concerned that they don’t use professional counseling and apparently not even “Biblical” counseling. Who do they think people should talk to? It may be a way to control without counselors

    From what I know, the people who attend Re:Gen are expected to counsel each other. I don’t think any professional or licensed people are involved with it, which is quite scary to me.

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  41. Max: Is a Regeneration Recovery program just another avenue to control, manipulate, and indoctrinate?

    Most likely. From my past experiences the worst churches I attended were the ones that had church related activities to keep you busy nearly every day of the week. “Doing life together” was the oft quoted term in Sovereign Grace.

    =============================

    “In abusive groups, you can be considered out of the Body of Christ for a trivial matter. For example, if you don’t agree that the group should purchase property, or you don’t agree to participate in church activities, you could be labeled “out of unity” with the Body of Christ. As long as you don’t agree when the leaders think you should, you can be told that you are out of “unity.”

    Here is a concise understanding of Non-Biblical and Biblical Unity: NON-BIBLICAL UNITY Agreement with leaders and actively participating in all group activities.

    BIBLICAL UNITY Is not an earthly bond. It is a commitment to Christ, His values, virtues, love, and mercy. You may disagree with leaders; you are not expected to participate in loads of church activity.”

    Chrnalogar, Mary Alice. Twisted Scriptures (p. 62). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.

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  42. Ken F (aka Tweed): SiiteSeer: It’s amazing how many words a person can use to say absolutely nothing concrete!

    The Piper cult has his followers convinced that his writings and speaking are so deep that a common person will have great difficulty understing it.

    Deep as “Deep Thoughts” on Saturday Night Live.

    The Speshul Sekrit Knowledge (“Occult Gnosis” in Koine Greek) available only to those Illuminati who KNOW the Speshul Sekrit Code. Kinda like Q-Anoners.

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  43. Max,

    Jerry Snr the Manifest Destiny Segregrationist Scofieldist gave Jerry Snr the Manifest Destiny Segregrationist Scofieldist carte blanche to pose before society (internationally) as what his ideology and personality didn’t suit him to, namely impose it worldwide. He redefined “christian” as devilishness, decades ago, and no-one noticed.

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  44. Ken F (aka Tweed): The Piper cult has his followers convinced that his writings and speaking are so deep that a common person will have great difficulty understanding it.

    New Calvinism has its share of “intellectuals” who aren’t very smart. Their pursuit is mental not spiritual. The YRR groupies jump out of bed every morning to search cyberspace for the latest Piper Point, Mohler Moment, Dever Drivel, etc. … which they then retweet to others … none understanding fully what the masters are trying to communicate, but they are wowed by the words nevertheless. It’s a cult.

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  45. Headless Unicorn Guy,

    In proper 12 step groups, there are 12 traditions, 12 principles for service, etc. They are for random members of the public who told themselves without reference to anyone with a spiritual hold over them, that they were at a rock bottom, to freely gather and all help is done rotatingly, and people of experience are equal with newcomers who have just as much to offer. All responsibilities are short term only.

    In a church the bosses will put people genuinely progressing down when they’ve no need to be put down, will manoeuvre the more neurotic to control others. Churches these days have no principle of principle. “Christian” ness is the fashion accessory of the neurotic in some countries. Bill W’s remark about vicars and rabbis should be taken ultra lightly, and then only by rare people lucky at church. This is a scheme to discredit the proper 12 steps (not the first time either). If they are all living out Wagner’s oversized life for him (and those of his hand picked successors) en masse then they are not at rock bottom they are just in an abyss! And this will do nothing for real addicts seeking recovery.

    Also, what they will now enforce is that none of the church members is getting anywhere and never is going to get anywhere, eternally “walking” backwards, Heidegger’s “becoming” nothing. I’m sorry but I’ve seen this and it has led a lot of people into some ultra serious things.

    My take is, it will get far far worse post Wagner.

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  46. Sarah: From my very short perusal it appears they are trying to compete with Celebrate Recovery. Yes all needs, including addiction aren’t automatically solved at the moment of Salvation. I am concerned that they don’t use professional counseling and apparently not even “Biblical” counseling. Who do they think people should talk to? It may be a way to control without counselors

    I’m rather freaked out that they’re bringing their Re:generation program to minors this fall. I emphasized “minors” when I told one of the other pastors at Watermark my concern. I don’t think *anyone* there is qualified to handle many of the issues teenagers can have–everything from anorexia and bulimia all the way up to the first stirrings of schizophrenia. There could be a very real tragedy with untrained people leading these sessions, extracting information from the kids and God only knows what happens afterwards.

    Watermark, I know you’re reading here and I hope you withdraw this program because there’s no protection for kids and the very real possibility that you will lead minors into trouble because your people are not trained to handle teenage psychiatric issues.

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  47. Samuel Conner,

    ishy,

    It may be partly because I’ve spent my life in a rural area, but I can’t understand “mega” churches.
    In towns/cities in the areas around me, when a church grows too big, it simply raises money and builds another church in another location if enough members agree to transfer to the new church.
    When there are 2,000+ people in the audience, that’s not church to me —- that’s a bunch of fans watching a performance. I don’t want to go to a church where I can’t even remember the names of 75% of my “brothers and sisters”!

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  48. Nancy2(aka Kevlar): When there are 2,000+ people in the audience, that’s not church to me —- that’s a bunch of fans watching a performance.

    And there are many excellent non-church performances that can’t draw that size of crowd, so the acting company, ballet company, symphony orchestra, choir, or whatever end up closing down for lack of money and / or attendance.

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  49. Nancy2(aka Kevlar): When there are 2,000+ people in the audience, that’s not church to me —- that’s a bunch of fans watching a performance. I don’t want to go to a church where I can’t even remember the names of 75% of my “brothers and sisters”

    “Whenever you meet, let everyone be ready to contribute a psalm, a piece of teaching, a spiritual truth … Everything should be done to make your church strong in the faith … should a message of truth come to one who is seated, then the original speaker should stop talking. For in this way you can all have opportunity to give a message, one after the other, and everyone will learn something and everyone will have his faith stimulated … Let everything be done decently and in order.” (1 Corinthians 14)

    That ain’t going to happen in mega-mania! Church as entertainment rules the day. Only those on the stage can perform. The audience must keep their seats and their mouths shut or be escorted from the theater!

    But, even in mini-church, we are far from the 1st century church model. I don’t see us ever getting back to doing church as intended, where the Holy Spirit moves among God’s people. The pulpit would never allow the pew to “contribute a psalm, a piece of teaching, a spiritual truth.” They can’t control that!

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  50. Max,

    “But, even in mini-church, we are far from the 1st century church model. I don’t see us ever getting back to doing church as intended, where the Holy Spirit moves among God’s people. The pulpit would never allow the pew to “contribute a psalm, a piece of teaching, a spiritual truth.” They can’t control that!”
    ++++++++++

    pulpit schmulpit… this happens in my prayer group every time. no pulpit required (whatever that is).

    it’s entirely a “we thing”.

    “the leader” is simply a facilitator, a moderator, providing the rough outline and making sure we start and end on time. all things we’ve decided on together beforehand.

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  51. Max,

    Max, what you describe as the ideal is very close to silent Quaker meetings today. Everyone is eligible to contribute when prompted by the Inner Light, and there is no steep hierarchy. There aren’t many Quakers, but they have been around since the mid 1600s.

    (There’s more to this worship form, but those are the basics.)

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  52. Friend: Max, what you describe as the ideal is very close to silent Quaker meetings today.

    When I first read about silent Quaker meetings some time ago, I wondered what it might be like to attend one….no pressure to speak or do anything other than be present….a person might actually have time to ponder about what someone else said.

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  53. researcher,

    I attended Friends meetings for ten years. A Quaker meeting begins with a time of silence, listening. Then someone, prompted by the Inner Light, speaks. More silence follows. Subsequent speakers are supposed to take up some aspect of the ideas introduced by the first speaker. If a collection of themes emerges, then it is good if an experienced Friend tries to draw the threads together towards the end of the hour.

    Quakers are not Trinitarians. The Inner Light is “that of God” which dwells in every person.

    Once in a great while the whole hour is silent, but I only experienced that on a single occasion.

    Quakers are egalitarian in ways far beyond male/female. They believe that all days and moments are equally holy, so there is not special behavior reserved for the sabbath. (In their records, days and months have numbers, not names.) They will affirm rather than swear an oath. Meetinghouses are plain in part because all places are equally holy. They are famously nonviolent. Decisions are made by consensus rather than majority.

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  54. Friend,

    Thank you for taking the time to add all the extra (and for me) interesting information you provided.

    I was particularly struck by your sentence If a collection of themes emerges, then it is good if an experienced Friend tries to draw the threads together towards the end of the hour.”, as (understandably enough) almost everything these days has the agenda set ahead of time.

    I imagine if a theme (or themes) emerged, the Friend drawing the threads together would definitely need to be experienced in a variety of ways. For me, I would be curious to find out if, in the silence of my mind, I had somehow reached (potentially) similar conclusions.

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  55. researcher: I would be curious to find out if, in the silence of my mind, I had somehow reached (potentially) similar conclusions.

    I found such beauty and surprise in the variety of things spoken, as well as the intertwining themes.

    If you are interested in Friends meetings, now might be a time to check them out. All three of the US meetinghouses I used to attend are currently holding First Day meetings online. An interested person needs to ask for access.

    On the one hand, this is REALLY not the same thing as quietly sharing a room for an hour. On the other hand, it might give you a sense of the worship form.

    Before you attempt this, find the mute control for your microphone. 😉

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  56. elastigirl: this happens in my prayer group every time. no pulpit required

    Some home gatherings come closer to “Church” as God intended it, rather than the organized thing occupying millions of buildings throughout America. It depends on a leader/facilitator getting out of the way and allowing the Holy Spirit to teach in the meeting. If it’s not conducted as a “House of Prayer” as priority, it’s not Church … indeed, many have become a den of thieves that Jesus warned about.

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  57. Estelle: Mark, thanks for the explanation. I had to read that sentence in the article at least twice to make sure I had read it correctly because it just did not make sense. Why would Watermark want to encourage the woman? I was expecting to read that they were also attempting to discipline her for having an affair with one of their members.

    That’s what they call “encouragement”.

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  58. Max: But, even in mini-church, we are far from the 1st century church model.

    I’ve been having a hard time trying to find historical evidence for a 1st century church that does not look sacramental and liturgical. I was hoping to find the model you describe, but if it existed the documentation did not survive. Maybe there is a reason Revelation has letters to seven churches. Perhaps this is to show they were not all cookie cutter copies, back then, and don’t need to be now.

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  59. Max: The YRR groupies jump out of bed every morning to search cyberspace for the latest Piper Point, Mohler Moment, Dever Drivel, etc. … which they then retweet to others … none understanding fully what the masters are trying to communicate, but they are wowed by the words nevertheless.

    I suppose it’s like reading one’s horoscope first thing in the morning. Also, don’t forget Challies Chaff – every day he pulls together all the latest YRR offerings to make it even easier to know what to believe for the day.

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  60. Todd is a disqualified pastor. He secretly and deceptively makes himself god over certain individuals who have light inside them that he will never have. He plays games with members lives and inserts himself between people and their families so he can control and manipulate all information; preventing Gods natural flow and order for these peoples lives. His sin of Pride does top the list, but if any enlightened person with open eyes sees the behaviors and actions the leaders of this place exert and Hide from the public, the place would come crashing down. Of course they have people sign oaths subject to fear of punishment if they are in the closed loop I am referencing. They built a shell of popularity and country club style church. Only people who get to the innermost core are allowed to see that this is really a cult pastor whose hidden motives and behaviors in reality mimic satans false church we are warned about in our bible. Even I was deceived by the populist social popularity of the place till I finally got a look at it’s hidden inner core of dominating and controlling people making them slaves to the mantra that places this “church” as the foremost authority over the lives of anyone fully ensnared by their core. What sort of FOOL believes The Real True God is more concerned about perfect following of rules over the Heart? Jesus would ask Toad who are you? This place throws people away like trash if they do not want to become one of their cloned versions of a Christian. They reward anyone willing to conform themself into the image of its leadership, while destroying Gods individual design and creation of each unique human. It is a blasphemous church at its core and Toad is in his soul evil masquerading as light deceiving even the elect. As the Bible warns us of.

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  61. You know it’s really difficult to lead a church as a false prophet. You do not have the advantage of The Holy Spirit writing Gods laws in your heart and guiding your conscience ~ assuming you have one to guide you at all. The plight of a narcissistic is not to be taken lightly. The liturgical churches with their flaws are appearing much safer than the Games and Schemes these men come up with making themselves god over their members. The story about satan trying to take on Gods role had a very clear outcome.

    I saw another article quoting him as saying he needed to “sharpen his axe” which if your in the business of Slaughtering Sheep makes perfect sense!

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  62. Ken F (aka Tweed): I’ve been having a hard time trying to find historical evidence for a 1st century church that does not look sacramental and liturgical. I was hoping to find the model you describe, but if it existed the documentation did not survive. Maybe there is a reason Revelation has letters to seven churches. Perhaps this is to show they were not all cookie cutter copies, back then, and don’t need to be now.

    I think so, too. Each one grew in response to its own people and conditions. Maybe if there was a model given to us, we would make the model into an idol and forget what the point of it was.

    “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, and you people say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.” Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

    “For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.”

    Years ago, my husband and I went to a Quaker service with some friends who were friends. There is something deeply calming about sitting in quietness in the company of others. Little children must likewise sit quietly. They seemed to have learned to do that. Our friend held her granddaughter on her lap and gently pinched her lips together with her fingers when she began to get antsy and make noise.

    One time in another city we visited a southern Baptist church that, to me, stands as the opposite example. Everyone was outdoing each other to prove how HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY Jesus was making them. The pastor could hardly say a sentence without a frenzied chorus of “amen!” The whole place was manic. They sang the hymns loud and so fast I could hardly keep up. Afterwards, they cornered us, trying to press for our address and phone number, and we beat a hasty retreat.

    Sometimes I reflect on all the churches we’d been a part of or visited. They all have a personality.

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  63. Max: But, I figure they conducted themselves similarly following the apostles’ instructions, with a common belief and practice as followers of Christ.

    Irenaeus affirmed this in the 2nd century. He said the practice and teachings were the same everywhere. If what he wrote is true, it means churches everywhere were liturgical and sacramental, with priests and bishops leading the liturgical services and administering the sacraments. That is not what I was hoping to find.

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  64. Ken F (aka Tweed): it means churches everywhere were liturgical and sacramental

    Doing church in the first century as recorded in 1 Corinthians 14 doesn’t necessarily imply it was ‘that’ formal. Seems to me that Scripture indicates that worship in the early church was more spontaneous as the Spirit led, rather than pastors controlling every move and holding folks to the jots and tittles of individual church law (like the 9Marxists do).

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  65. Ken F (aka Tweed),

    “I’ve been having a hard time trying to find historical evidence for a 1st century church that does not look sacramental and liturgical. I was hoping to find the model you describe, but if it existed the documentation did not survive. Maybe there is a reason Revelation has letters to seven churches. Perhaps this is to show they were not all cookie cutter copies, back then, and don’t need to be now.
    +++++++++++++++

    to me, this is the crystal clear summary statement of where things are headed. the status quo of the franchise-y evangelical church franchise is imploding (i think relatively fast).

    thank you for you research.

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  66. I’m a psychologist in dallas specializing in spiritual abuse and yes this church is problematic. It’s heartbreaking the stories I’ve heard! Hopefully some change will come! It’s so “main stream” people often don’t realize how controlling it is! Thanks for reporting on this!

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  67. Max: Seems to me that Scripture indicates that worship in the early church was more spontaneous as the Spirit led,

    I agree. My frustration was finding much less of that in the early Christian writings than I had hoped. It appears to me that very early in Christian history the feared Judaizers won. I have not been able to find contrary evidence, just fairly modern wishful thinking.

    But given a choice between a highly liturgical model such as Eastern Orthodoxy and 9Marx, I would choose EO without hesitation because there is so little the priest can do with his short homily. It limits the mischief. And one will hear far more Bible in an EO service than in any New-Calvinist service.

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  68. Max,

    “there is so little the priest can do with [a] short homily. It limits the mischief.”
    ++++++++++++++++

    can have the rights to this?

    i’m thinking t-shirts, bumper stickers, a line of pot-shots-inspired postcards (if anyone is familiar with ashleigh brilliant)…

    although i need to know what the 2020 equivalent of a causy t-shirt and bumper sticker is…. anyone know?

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  69. elastigirl: how

    First, Google the word “meme” and take a look under Images.

    A meme is an image that works with a few words of text. A lot of the images are familiar but used out of context. Your new words play off the Star Trek picture or whatever. You can uses any image.

    I don’t know how to share a meme to TWW via link. (I usually upload memes, but that isn’t possible here.)

    I’ve created memes for free on Imgflip. It has copious examples too.

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  70. Ken F (aka Tweed),

    “Did 2020 win?”
    ++++++++++++++++

    oh, i read it wrong — i changed the “of” to “or” (“Is 2021 an admission or defeat?”). i don’t think clapping 3 times and spinning around would have helped.

    i think i’m sort of tracking now.

    i really like your, “there is so little the priest can do with [a] short homily. It limits the mischief.” it conveys a lot, with a dash of piss-&-vinegar.

    …but clearly i’m too tired for banter.

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  71. Godith,

    Watermark sells their ReEngage curriculum to churches in Austin. We were concerned with some of the ReEngage pages quoting scripture out of context to back up a point of theirs that is not at all what that scripture is talking about. Our ReEngage leaders eliminated us from the group for questioning the curriculum and called us “angry people” (exploiting what we had shared with them that we were angry our child’s rare disease was misdiagnosed). It seemed like a joke because they were much more angry than us. They were so aggressive and cult-like so we contacted Watermark Church (thinking they would be horrified). Instead, they chided us for being “all worked up” when they were calm, cool and more Christ-like. We had written a 6 page letter to them explaining the Spiritual Abuse we experienced at ReEngage and instead of trying to hear our story, they rebuked us for not using Matthew 18 again to address the problem (although I would argue it shouldn’t be used to report a leader in the church). I asked, “did you read our letter?” and they said “No.” So they don’t care how leaders are using ReEngage in controlling ways, perhaps they are just trying to sell their curriculum? After one brief conversation with the leaders of Watermark, I wrote in my journal “these are wolves in sheep’s clothing.” Powerful yet lacking compassion.

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  72. Karen: Instead, they chided us for being “all worked up” when they were calm, cool and more Christ-like.

    Are not abusers also known to be “calm, cool, and serene” with total self-control in public when their victims get “all worked up”? An integral part of a manipulator’s Angel of Light mask?

    From experience, I see that, I think “SOCIOPATH. MANIPULATOR.”

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  73. So none of you have heard of Francis Chan? He founded what became a mega church. He stepped down and sold much of his belongings. Now moved his family to HK.

    Nik:
    “The elders don’t want anyone to gossip. There is a good reason for saying this. I believe that something really bad happened and they are not going to tell the church what it is. Also, keep an eye on that new guy they’re bringing on.”

    I absolutely 100% agree with this. Something happened because there is no way that this guy would step away from a church that he basically created. It doesn’t make any sense. And that gossip comment? Why even bring that up?! That comment is going to do the exact opposite of what was intended. By telling everyone to not gossip and not assume the worst, they have planted the seed of doubt.

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  74. That talk by Todd was vague, self congratulatory, prideful, and misleading. Todd said this is no paid leave. I would guess he will still be paid. This was a direct omission of whatever specific they the elders and Todd are covering up. They have been in discussion about the “issue” since June. It is the end of September. Why did it take so long to address?

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  75. open your eyes: I saw another article quoting him as saying he needed to “sharpen his axe” which if your in the business of Slaughtering Sheep makes perfect sense!

    Better have an MP3 of this ready if he comes by:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NVU48bR74jE

    B/G: Around the time of WW1, there was a serial killer working New Orleans called “The Axman” for his choice of weapon. He’d break into a home in the wee hours and hack everyone inside with an axe. The above piece of music, “The Mysterious Axman’s Jazz”, was written in response to a taunting open letter from the Axman stating that on a certain night he would “pass over the city as the Angel of Death; any house in which a Jazz band is in full swing will be spared; those who do not will get The Ax.” They say that night the Big Easy swung as it never has before or since, and “Axman’s Jazz” was one of the most common.

    So keep it handy for when said ManaGAWD comes around.

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  76. Reading through this article, I am absolutely amazed at the incredible lack of accuracy in it. Wow.

    People love to gang up on watermark, but this is embarrassing. And all the comments….a bunch of crazies.

    Watermark wont let you leave the church….what? totally false. Just abject ignorance and the idiots on here just high five each other like star wars fans playing make believe.

    Pastors take sabbaticals all the time….yet the folks on here are convinced there is more to it.

    Weak. Pathetic. Embarrassing. Ignorant

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  77. J Utah,

    Bless your heart. If it makes you feel better to call people names, go fo it. However, really smart people who wish to defend their cause on social media do a far better job than calling those who see it differently “crazy.”

    This was not a typical sabbatical and you know it. All of the churches of which I have been a member, plan the sabbatical out years at a time. Did you know this? This was not a sabbatical and I’m afraid you are a fanboy of a pastor who has some serious problems.

    Thank you for demonstrating what true blue folks at Watermark act like.

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