A Few More Items Prior to The Chapel’s Town Hall Meetings

In my ongoing efforts to provide the proletariat of The Chapel with some transparent truth, I felt it was important to get a few more things out in the open prior to the Town Hall meetings. In case you forgot, here are the locations and times. I am told that there are still many available seats, so if you are interested in hearing from your leaders you may want to attend.

Friday, October 8 | 6:308:30pm | Akron Campus Worship Center
Saturday, October 9 | 9:3011:30am | Green Campus Worship Center
Saturday, October 9 | 24pm | Akron Campus Worship Center

First, I have some breaking news. In the 7-year reign of former Senior Pastor Tim Armstrong 78 employees of The Chapel were fired! That is not counting people like Mike Landis, who saw the writing on the wall and decided it was time to resign. In my opinion, there is no way the men on the Board of Trustees would not have known this was taking place.

Next, I have been provided a copy of the 2019-2020 audit of The Chapel. You will find it in its unaltered state below. One item of note, Julie Roys is not impressed with the firm that does the outside audits for the Chapel, and if she is not impressed, you should not be impressed either.

Below is the actual report. Note – it’s possible for you to download this document.

The Chapel 2019- 2020 Audit… by Todd Wilhelm

 

Next I will share email exchanges I had with Chip Weisel, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, and Mellisa Trew, the Public Relations Director for The Chapel. I was simply attempting to find out who the Treasurer for The Chapel was. The position is mandated in their Constitution, but as I have been researching The Chapel it has become apparent that leaders routinely ignore the document.

I was basically given the California Howdy.  I know, I know, you are thinking how does an organization committed to transparency be so un-transparent.

O.K., you weren’t wondering that. Neither was I.

 

Next I want to raise an issue that caught my attention. It is an add for the job of Finance Director. As you saw from my email exchange above, Melissa and Chip weren’t very helpful, but I discovered that the Finance Director is a fancy title for Treasurer.

What caught my attention is the fact that the Finance Director (Brian Miller) reports to the Senior Pastor (formerly Tim Armstrong) and works directly with the Executive Pastor (formerly Jim Mitchell).

From the early days of this scandal I was wondering why Jim Mitchell resigned/was forced out of his position. Was it simply because he was good friends with Tim Armstrong? Doubtful.

You may recall in my article about Tim Armstrong attempting to “buy out” Mike Castelli  I raised the issue of how much money was Castelli offered and where was this money coming from?

I have zero proof and no source that has told me this, it’s purely speculation on my part, but I say again, I would want to thoroughly check the finances of the Chapel going all the way back to when Tim Armstrong was hired. I would hire a firm that specializes in this, and it would not be CapinCrouse. I could make other suggestions, but I am sure there are members in the Chapel that are picking up what I am putting down, and are financially sharp. They are who I would turn to for advice.

One more item and then I will be done. How many of you know Tim Knight?

Knight is a former member of The Chapel’s Board of Trustees. He is a current member, along with Tim Armstrong, of Cedarville University’s Board of Trustees. He graduated from West Point and has held many distinguished positions over the course of his life. So, I imagine members of The Chapel hold him in high regard and listen to what he has to say.

Tim Knight submitted the following question for leadership to answer at the Town Hall meetings:

 

How does Tim Knight know that Tim Armstrong was not permitted to “respond to the consultant’s survey to provide context as Mike Castelli was permitted to do twice?”

Were any of you aware of this, or is it privileged information provided to a select few?

This question made it through moderation, even though it appears to violate the condition below:

“Refrain from making accusations, and do not presume guilt or wrongdoing that hasn’t been
publicly clarified. We will not approve questions that accuse staff members, church attendees, or
their families of improprieties that do not appear in the Summary of Findings.”

“All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others.”
-George Orwell, Animal Farm

And therein lies your problem.

My prayers are with the pure in heart that want to right the ship. May God bless your efforts.


Comments

A Few More Items Prior to The Chapel’s Town Hall Meetings — 111 Comments

  1. Mr. Wilhelm, I noted that your emails to The Chapel staff were in a professional, “business letter” format, such as we were taught in secretarial classes in my young days. In contrast, The Chapel staff’s responses were much more informal.

    I wonder if this shift – from “Dear Mr. Weisel,” to “Good morning, Todd” – reflects an official style guide. If so, I wonder if all The Chapel’s correspondents were satisfied with a chummy tone rather than a response to questions as simple as, “Who is The Chapel’s Treasurer?”

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  2. Todd most excellent article again thank you for working on behalf of the chapel. I believe that you have been the voice of the people. I know you strive to be accurate and it’s very difficult when the truth is being hidden as it has been. The majority of the staff and people at the chapel at least the ones I’m most familiar with the chapel in green are outstanding people they want to serve God they want to serve the congregation they are selfless. I know it’s been really hard to get information and I am glad that I have been able to share a few things that I hope were useful in letting the congregation know through your blog. I understand people wanting to stay in their comfort zone and just attend Church feel good and go home and do it again the next week. There’s more to being a faithful follower of Christ then being a financial supporter and attending. We have a responsibility through our faith in Christ to not be religious system Pharisees. And we have a religious system at the chapel. That is why I hate religion. If we love God and love people and love the church, where sick people can be healed, where our hurts can be healed, where abuses can be healed where, all people can have an opportunity to find Christ and be loved on by parishioners, staff and is a safe place to work and strive for excellence in our Lord. You’ve worked tirelessly to communicate I believe much more than our board of trustees. Through this process I believe they have created an environment of us against them I think they see it is them against us that we are not capable of understanding. I don’t think they think we’re going to simply accept an apology that says yes we made some mistakes and here they are where we all could come together put our arms around each other and pray for each other and God will hear our prayers and heal our church but humbleness has to come into the picture. I’m a sinner saved by grace I don’t have all the answers or any maybe but I have been through this same kind of stuff in my job as I run a non-profit organization 501c3 and have had to deal with board members that have had their own agendas and have used the organization itself to promote their resumes or prestige to be on a particular board I’m not saying that’s the case here but it looks a lot like what I’ve seen in the past with some of our tough moments in our business. Todd thanks for continuing to dig and you have been transparent you have explained yourself thoroughly blessings to you.

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  3. “In the 7-year reign of former Senior Pastor Tim Armstrong 78 employees of The Chapel were fired!”

    Oh, good Lord!! OK, I’ve heard enough … all Trustees need to go! Tim the axe-man should have been shown the door years ago. Don’t give me “You don’t know the whole story” baloney. The misery these employees and their families experienced as their lives were turned upside down is all I need to know. Nothing Christlike about how this mess was handled.

    Chapel members: You have an opportunity to do the right thing with leadership there. Do it! Forget the failed elder-rule system in place … stand up, take your church back for the Kingdom or just settle back in you pew and do church without God. The Holy Spirit has been grieved and quenched at The Chapel … so don’t expect God and His Son to be hanging around much longer.

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  4. Again. 78. Let that sit. I was a congregant. I was spiritually abused by the “king”. God told me to leave The Chapel a couple years ago and the more I learn the more I am thankful for that. July 18, 2021, He told me to “check their website” and that is how I found out what was going on as I am in another state now. What has appeared to me is that TA was a vastly different person on and off stage. My heart is breaking for so many people, including Mike Landis and the others who are not included in this number, 78….. It was like a slaughter there, a butcher would have done less damage….

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  5. Those who have been involved with that entity who are now checking with blog seem likely to be either eager to learn more that it has not been made available, or perhaps to see what exactly is emerging and prepare to raise issues with the messenger.

    The bottom line to whoever is reading this: is someone blogging about the situation the central problem in the situation or even an ancillary one? If someone suggests that it is and/or that it is dangerous, what might that tell you about where they want your attention, especially if you can’t get straight answers to pertinent questions?

    (And just because somebody says that they can’t discuss something because they say it’s not relevant, it’s a matter of personal privacy, it’s being investigated, and so forth, prayerfully consider whether that’s likely the case or whether that may be just excuse to avoid confirming things.)

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  6. Chapel Member: There are 2 different Tim Knights. The one on the Chapel board is not the one in the picture.

    Thanks for your comment. I think perhaps my blog isn’t clear enough in this area. That picture is actually of Cedarville President Thomas White and his family. I shall put a photo up of Tim Knight and try to make it clearer. My research shows Tim Knight was a member of the Board of Trustees at The Chapel, but no longer is and he is a current member of the Board of Trustees.

    I appreciate you taking the time to bring your concerns to me as I desire to get the facts straight.

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  7. Max: For the life of me, I can’t figure out why some folks decide to stay in churches with abusive authoritarian leaders.

    They have friends.

    We visited a mega church with friends who are active in their Sunday “small” group (100 families?) while ignoring pastor & leadership et al. Soon, the head pastor was caught in his affair with his secretary and had to leave anyway. Our friends are outlasting many leadership turnovers. They don’t care but stick with their church comrades.

    An acquaintance says her family endures their mega’s pastor turnover (another mega) while doing choir, Wed. night Bible study, etc. Couldn’t care less about whatever pastor (it changes) and his sycophants.

    Not all Evangelicals tune in to the pastor. The pastor is not a thing with them. They ignore him and his minions.

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  8. Ava Aaronson: mega church with friends who are active in their Sunday “small” group (100 families?) while ignoring pastor & leadership et al

    Yes, the only way for many folks to survive mega-mania is to carve out a church within the church with others. In our long tenure of doing church in America, we always found a group of like-minded folks we could fellowship with while church leaders and others did their thing. It’s not supposed to be that way, but it worked for a season.

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  9. Ava Aaronson: Not all Evangelicals tune in to the pastor. The pastor is not a thing with them. They ignore him and his minions.

    Yes, that’s typical in the 21st century church for many believers. But you would never hear that testimony in the 1st century church! We have lost so much over the past 2,000 years in our feeble attempts to do church. Going forward is not the answer … we need to pause, reflect, repent and go back in a lot of ways.

    “Does not wisdom call out?
    Does not understanding raise her voice?
    On the heights along the way,
    where the paths meet,
    She takes her stand” (Proverbs 8:1-2)

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  10. Ava Aaronson: Wave of authoritarianism is to eliminate agency

    Historian & researcher @ruthbenghiat in her book: Strongmen, documents the pivot to authoritarianism in a free society. It happens. History. Playbook. http://ruthbenghiat.com

    “Stand fast therefore in the liberty, wherefore Christ has set us free, and be not entangled again in the yoke of bondage.” Galatians 5.1

    BTW, IMHO, this freedom in Christ is in no way the “freedom” to deny reality or engage in conspiracy theories or lawlessness or any such nonsense. “Freedom” to let ego & vice run wild is definitely not freedom in Christ.

    Evidence of freedom in the Spirit of Christ: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, self-control.

    Evidence of the clutch of sin, satan, and the devil’s world: sexual immorality, impurity, vice, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, discord, jealousy, rage, rivalries, divisions, factions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and the like.

    Galatians 5.

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  11. Ava Aaronson: Weed out those that maintain their direct line to God

    That’s exactly why the New Calvinists tossed out long-standing Baptist doctrines of soul competency and priesthood of ‘the’ believer when they took over the SBC. They don’t want you talking and walking with Jesus nor the pew thinking they are just as important as the pulpit in the Kingdom of God … they want your complete attention on them.

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  12. Max: For the life of me, I can’t figure out why some folks decide to stay in churches with abusive authoritarian leaders.

    I had a friend to whom this kind of environment was completely normal.

    Stuff John Piper wrote to new moms to “encourage” them in their walks made me want to throw a poppy diaper in his face (I was so sleep deprived, I probably would have missed). But she couldn’t get enough of the guilt and shame he ladled out.

    It was so incredibly sad. Like she was so focused on the “who am I” part that she completely missed out on the joy of “that you called me by name.”

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  13. After attending the townhall meeting today. It is clear that as early as February 2021 Tim Armstrong intended to force Mike Castelli out as lead pastor at Green and place himself in that more desirable position. I doubt it was a buy out. Tim meant to either force Mike to return to Akron or fire him outright.

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  14. Connie Gould: What has appeared to me is that TA was a vastly different person on and off stage.

    I think the “on stage” part is the operative phrase here. A person who performs on a stage is an actor, and a large part of what gets people recognised as gifted preachers is their ability to do exactly that.

    Jesus warned us against being actors (in Greek, “hypocrites”). I kind of wish we could lose the loan-word “hypocrite”, and translate it instead. If we did, it might be slightly less easy for christians to seek out and promote people for their ability to perform.

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  15. Cynthia W.: Have a “stage” as the focus of one’s church seems misguided to me, a conceptual error from which many others may follow.

    Many churches in my area have constructed platforms (stages) over what were once prayer altars. Those were places where believers gathered to pray and intercede for various things (lost family and friends, for healing, the nation). Pulpit actors came along to construct stages over prayer altars to provide more room to strut their stuff where folks once cried out to the Lord. And, of course, more room was needed for loud bands and their sound equipment so that “praise and worship” teams in tight pants could join in the performance. Yep, church ain’t what it used to be … wonder what it will look like in a few more years?!

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  16. Wild Honey: John Piper … she couldn’t get enough of the guilt and shame he ladled out … It was so incredibly sad. Like she was so focused on the “who am I” part that she completely missed out on the joy of “that you called me by name.”

    She was a victim of Piper’s “worm theology” in which he had a particular knack for inducing guilt and shame to the point that faithful followers were ensnared by remorse and self-revulsion. It’s a spiritual sickness.

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  17. Max: Pulpit actors came along to construct stages over prayer altars to provide more room to strut their stuff where folks once cried out to the Lord.

    Some day, a real-deal man of God will be called to a church like that. He will learn what happened to the precious prayer altar and demand that the stage be removed. Believers will start praying again, revival in the Body of Christ will break out, the congregation will become engaged in the Great Commission, the community will be awakened spiritually … “Church” will happen again! (at least I dream things like that)

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  18. Friend: A friend’s mother served as an SBC ordained pastor until the SBC forced all such women out of the ministry. I think she’d do a fine job of locating the altar and pulpit.

    Praise God for your mother’s friend. I hope she found another place to fulfill her calling. I have personally benefited from SBC’s women of God in times past. Sad to see them so oppressed now.

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  19. Cynthia W.: I think it was around the year 2000 when I became aware of churches’ building theater-like auditoriums with stages, professional lighting and sound, and so on. It’s a really different approach.

    There is an unconscionable attachment to every form of entertainment in the 21st century … so it’s no surprise that the Great God Entertainment would be on the throne in the American church. You wouldn’t be able to convince the masses to do church without a little show biz. Things like anointed preaching of the Gospel, singing from hymn books, praying at the altar, etc. are just too fuddy-duddy for modern “worshipers.”

    I was young and now am old. I’ve never had a big problem with form, as long as there is some substance to it. So, I’m not complaining about “contemporary” church … after all, Jesus is the eternal contemporary! But some of this stuff is just too way over the top, without the fingerprints of God on it … “And my people love to have it so” (Jeremiah 5:31).

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  20. Ken F (aka Tweed): I searched on “worm theology” and this dangerous site showed up in the results:
    http://thewartburgwatch.com/2017/04/14/a-good-friday-reflection-you-are-not-a-worm-you-are-the-joy-of-jesus/

    I just got upset all over again when I reviewed that post afresh. It’s amazing how much of the New Calvinist “gospel” has so little to do with Jesus. When will this madness end?!

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  21. Max,

    That’s what I appreciate about traditional liturgical church services – you can still have more modern music but no fog machines or laser light shows, please. It’s more timeless than “old.” It’s not hurry, hurry, hurry, distraction, distraction, distraction. You can hear yourself think, pray, and even hear the Holy Spirit, who probably isn’t shouting at you like a used car salesman.

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  22. Jacob: You can hear yourself think, pray, and even hear the Holy Spirit, who probably isn’t shouting at you like a used car salesman.

    “Stand by the roads and look; ask for the ancient paths,
    Where the good way is; then walk in it,
    And you will find rest for your souls.” (Jeremiah 6:16 AMP)

    (a used-car-salesman-pastor doesn’t seek the ancient path, where the good way is)

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  23. Max: You wouldn’t be able to convince the masses to do church without a little show biz. Things like anointed preaching of the Gospel, singing from hymn books, praying at the altar, etc. are just too fuddy-duddy for modern “worshipers.”

    “Step inside! Hello!
    We’ve a most amazing show
    You’ll enjoy it all we know
    Step inside! Step inside!

    “We’ve got thrills and shocks,
    Supersonic fighting cocks.
    Leave your hammers at the box
    Come inside! Come inside!

    “Roll up! Roll up! Roll up!
    See the show!

    “Left behind the bars,
    Rows of Bishops’ heads in jars
    And a bomb inside a car
    Spectacular! Spectacular!

    “If you follow me
    There’s a special-i-ty
    Some tears for you to see
    Misery, misery,

    “Roll up! Roll up! Roll up!
    See the show!

    “Next upon the bill
    In our House of Vaudeville
    We’ve a stripper in a till
    What a thrill! What a thrill!

    “And not content with that,
    With our hands behind our backs,
    We pull Jesus from a hat,
    Get into that! Get into that!

    “Roll up! Roll up! Roll up!
    See the show!!!!”

    — Emerson Lake & Palmer, “Karn Evil Nine (end of First Impression, Part 1)”

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  24. Jacob,

    Great comment, and an intriguing set of questions.

    Our church building is very old. We do have a basic sound system to amplify voices of readers and preachers.

    In the 1800s, sound systems didn’t exist, so how did our church get by? The world was so much quieter then. No cars and trucks rumbling by, no ambient noise from the HVAC, no aircraft flying over, no sirens. It was much easier to hear the readings and sermon, but there was also no remedy if people could not hear the pastor.

    I guess our main source of excess (if we want to call it that) is preserving a historic building. That’s okay by me, especially when I consider the future of a church building that looks like a multiplex or corporate offices.

    Whether a church building is plain or fancy, it should be built to last, and to signify a lasting and beneficial presence in the community.

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  25. Max: It’s amazing how much of the New Calvinist “gospel” has so little to do with Jesus.

    I did a bit of research to find out who started worm theology. It looks like it is a Calvinist idea that was popularized in a hymn by Isaac Watts. This modern version of it by Founders Ministry sums it up well:
    https://founders.org/2017/02/21/the-depth-of-depravity/
    A sample:

    Jonathan Edwards preached that there is a “mutual loathing” between God and man. Calvin said we deserve to have the angels spit on us. Sinners make God nauseous. Christ will vomit lukewarm hypocrites out of His mouth (Revelation 3:16). Man is bad—very bad. And God is mad—very mad.

    It seems as if the way to exalt oneself in that crowd is to show you are the worst of worms. It’s a race to the bottom because anything else is somehow an attack on God.

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  26. More news:

    https://medium.com/@saintdymphna/the-lions-den-part-1-a-new-eden-ae264a5b4fe5

    “When Grace Christian Academy was founded in 2008, future headmaster Robbie Mason provided the academic vision for it. He later explained to a faculty member that ‘GCA is a new Eden. That’s why it needs to be pure.’ Behind this demand for purity, however, stood the institutional humiliation, degradation, and sexualization of students. In large part, this burden fell on the female students at the academy and it soon became a cornerstone of life at Grace Christian Academy.”

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  27. Max:
    “In the 7-year reign of former Senior Pastor Tim Armstrong 78 employees of The Chapel were fired!”

    Oh, good Lord!!OK, I’ve heard enough … all Trustees need to go!Tim the axe-man should have been shown the door years ago.Don’t give me “You don’t know the whole story” baloney.The misery these employees and their families experienced as their lives were turned upside down is all I need to know.Nothing Christlike about how this mess was handled.

    Chapel members:You have an opportunity to do the right thing with leadership there.Do it!Forget the failed elder-rule system in place … stand up, take your church back for the Kingdom or just settle back in you pew and do church without God.The Holy Spirit has been grieved and quenched at The Chapel … so don’t expect God and His Son to be hanging around much longer.

    Reminds me of the former CEO at the Humongous Apparel Company from which I retired five years ago. He was brought in to be a hatchet man (and to outsource everything to Asia). We had wave after wave of layoffs. I don’t know how I survived them. I guess I was just such a lowly peon that I wasn’t on anybody’s radar screen. As a colleague used to say, quoting the rabbi in *Fiddler on the Roof,* “God bless and keep the Tsar…far away from us!”

    It’s sad when any church behaves like a corporation, though. And good grief…78 employees fired? How many employees does this mega-church *have*? Seems kind of top-heavy for a local church, albeit one with branch campuses.

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  28. Jeffrey Chalmers: Throughout the Bible, followers of G$d/Christ are referred to as his “children”… most people do not think of their kids as “worms”…

    If you treat someone as if they already were what they could be, that’s what they will become. Treat them as a worm, they think of themself as a worm. Treat them as a child of God, they come to realize who they are in Christ.

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  29. Ken F (aka Tweed),

    Like Max, I was once young, and now am old…. I have observed/experienced the “hype” of the Industrial Christian Complex, which pushes “Come hear the latest “”Man of Gawd”” …. I have seen this for over 45 years…
    “Voddie Baucham” is a current example of this…. Call kids “vipers in diapers” sure gets “attention”! Come hear the lad test outrageous statement from the “Man of Gawd”…. Kind of like “deep throat” Driscoll!!

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  30. Jeffrey Chalmers: I have observed/experienced the “hype” of the Industrial Christian Complex, which pushes “Come hear the latest “”Man of Gawd”” …. I have seen this for over 45 years

    Sad, this stuff has been going on for a generation! After a while, mistruth and diluted truth become the prevailing message and churchgoers accept it as Truth … all they know is what the Christian Industrial Complex serves up. “Another generation arose after them who did not recognize and understand the LORD” (Judges 2:10). Sad, indeed.

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  31. Max,

    The whole “Promise Keepers” hype comes to mind… I remember well the pressure from “pious Christians” that “You should go!” I remember thinking this is just a bunch of “hype” because a Football coach that won the College Title is behind it… I guess if we are a “winning” football coach, you automatically have street creed in the “Christian Industrial Complex” if you say the correct “Christainese”??? But I do remember some people question the doctrines that he was preaching….

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  32. Jeffrey Chalmers: Come hear the lad test outrageous statement from the “Man of Gawd”…. Kind of like “deep throat” Driscoll!!

    Eventually, the only way to be even more over the top will be to return to normal. Sort of like the way I express my individuality by not having tattoos and piercings. Being articlate and polite could become the new edgy.

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  33. Jeffrey J Chalmers: I guess if we are a “winning” football coach, you automatically have street creed in the “Christian Industrial Complex” if you say the correct “Christainese”???

    FOOTBALL.
    Reminds me of the worst four years of my life.

    “They have never left High School.
    They will never leave High School.
    And they will NEVER let the rest of us leave THEIR High School.”

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  34. Ken F (aka Tweed): Good point. Voddie Baucham, one of the New-Calvinist stars, calls infants “vipers in diapers.” Calling them worms apparently isn’t degrading enough.

    Voddie “Beat the Shy out of Fluttershy” Baucham, former Football Jock?

    Voddie “When a man ages his eye turns to younger women, so God sends him daughter” Baucham?

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  35. Jeffrey J Chalmers: “Promise Keepers” … pressure from “pious Christians” that “You should go!”

    A big deal with PK was their men’s accountability groups. A group of PK followers met weekly in my area to be accountable to each other, confess their sins, sling snot, “repent”, declare that they would walk more worthy, and then go right back out to do the same thing … to be confessed again at the next week’s session. A PK leader in my area held an event at the local Christian college. He had his wife on stage with him who gave testimony of how PK involvement had changed his life and their marriage. Shortly after that, they were divorced. He remarried and divorced again. PK certainly wasn’t an avenue for victory in Jesus for his life. And where is PK now? “If this teaching or movement is merely human it will collapse of its own accord” (Acts 5:39). In the last 50 years, we’ve had so many religious movements come and go that I’ve lost count (New Calvinism being the latest) … we don’t need another movement; we need desperately a move of God!

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  36. Max: Sad, this stuff has been going on for a generation! After a while, mistruth and diluted truth become the prevailing message and churchgoers accept it as Truth …

    Like “Use Once, Throw Away” disposable bottles/cans/everything:
    * In 20 years, it becomes The New Normal.
    * In 40 years, it becomes “The Way We’ve ALWAYS Done Things”.
    * In 60 years, it becomes a Constitutional Right That Cannot Be Infringed In Any Way.

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  37. Max,

    You hit on another key issue with American Christianity….. the roller coaster ride of “revivals”… My independent fundamentalist Baptist scheduled “revivals”…
    As understand NT, if there is any examples of revivals, it is “Petticoat”?? That surely was not “scheduled”?

    Of course, I am being a “bad Christian” by question this..

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  38. Jeffrey Chalmers:
    Ken F (aka Tweed),

    If we are just “worms”, why did G$d “send his only begotten son”??
    Throughout the Bible, followers of G$d/Christ are referred to as his “children”… most people do not think of their kids as “worms”…

    The only way anyone would go with a God like that – who hates your guts, obsessed with Glorifying Himself, creating only to destroy, always about ending the world (any minute now) and destroy everything except His Speshul Pets in HIs Wrath, demanding constant Praise and Adoration for all the above – is by constant Threat of Punishment. God’s Hell-Gun constantly pressed to the back of your head with one up the spout, hammer back, and safety off.

    (I don’t know about you, but I got beaten down enough growing up that there’s No Way I’m going to voluntarily sign up for More of the Same.)

    That kind of God makes Satan appear as the greatest Hero of all time, for he dared to rebel against That Cosmic Tyrant. During my time in-country, a common description of Satan was “a Spiritual Adolf Hitler”. Well, when God is preached as a Spiritual Josef Stalin or Chairman Mao, “a Spiritual Adolf Hitler” doesn’t look all that bad in comparison.

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  39. Headless Unicorn Guy: and destroy everything except His Speshul Pets in HIs Wrath

    Destruction would be too merciful because it means the torment has an eventual end. Rather, the god of Calvinism requires eternal conscious torment because his glory will be diminished if the saved don’t get to watch the unsaved suffer for all eternity. The god of Calvin requires eternal evil to satisfy his ego.

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  40. Jeffrey Chalmers: scheduled “revivals”

    Yeah, it’s humanly impossible to divinely scheduled a spiritual revival. God takes care of the calendar on that “IF” we humble ourselves, pray, turn from our wicked ways, and seek His face (2 Chronicles 7:14 requirements for revival) … but I don’t see much movement in that direction these days on either our part or His part.

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  41. Max:
    Bob,

    As Friend already noted, I was being a bit sarcastic since NDAs are being tossed around church so freely these days.I tried tossing in a little humor, lest we all break down and cry over this mess.

    So how did the meeting go?

    I thought it went well In my opinion there was plenty of transparency.I believe we’re now on the right track.I do understand we can use some hmor.It’s been a difficult situation.

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  42. Max,

    In 1946 the world leader of the biggest denomination committed humanity’s future to the USA, interferingly overburdening its Manifest Destiny; and eight years later their foremost doctrine teacher taught that Holy Spirit doesn’t help us overcome fatalism and that God is nasty enough to will “the west” to subject the rest of the world to the same oppression “the west” had thereby been “subjected to”.

    10 years after that, a lot of razz matazz in the media (like Marshall McLuhan advised against); before century’s end we had the alleged counter-Bolshevik pincer movement (within the pincer movement), with all the other denominations copying that.

    At one time “surplus” Our Fathers and Glory Be’s said in any church actually helped the other christians / agnostics be better within their own denominations / lack of same: prayer brimming over to all; that was better ecumenism than current contrivings (people used to say to us unselfconsciously, “say one for us”).

    If there had been genuine belief the sexual revolution, charismatic revolution, environment revolution would have all gone much better.

    In the folk movement God meantime inspired us to sing from Is 61 which thank God, we’ll remember when we eventually need.

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  43. I have a different view of scheduled revivals. My experience was that we started about 4 months before a scheduled one calling the church to repentance. Lots of prayer, lots of visitation to church members, lots of prayer, lots of strong sermons to the church members, lots of prayer. Once that seemed settled–and only if it was settled–we moved into a time of intense out reach to those that had left the church altogether (dones) and the lost. That time also was bathed in prayer, lots of it, lots of repentance as church peopled maybe fessed up to having treated someone poorly and went and apologized, lots of prayer, lots and lots of prayer. Was not unusual to see the church on their knees, separated a bit from each other so prayer could be private, weeping and begging for the salvation of lost friends and loved ones. Sometimes the scheduled revival would be pushed back until there was consensus the time was right. A time or two it was brought on early as God was clearly moving.

    Once the church had cleaned up its act, and once there was consensus it was time to move into harvest, the dates were finalized and then visiting and encouraging and reaching out and oh, yeah, lots and lots of prayer occurred.

    Not unusual at all to see some of the most hardened sinners, folks one would never think would ever enter a church much less get saved, would show up and practically run down those aisles.

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  44. linda: scheduled revivals … Lots of prayer, lots of visitation to church members, lots of prayer, lots of strong sermons to the church members, lots of prayer … lots of repentance as church peopled maybe fessed up to having treated someone poorly and went and apologized, lots of prayer, lots and lots of prayer …

    I remember those days well. They were genuine. They were times when God worked us into ‘His’ schedule.

    It could happen again … “IF MY PEOPLE, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; THEN WILL I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14).

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  45. Notes on Townhall meeting attended on 10/8/2021 from The Consulting Group:

    -The Center Consulting Group stated that several staff were afraid to come forward with their concerns about Tim Armstrong (TA), because they could lose their job or they knew Armstrong would make fun of the them behind their backs.

    -When given a survey, at least 60% of the staff had no faith in TA as their pastor. There was a small minority who thought that TA “was the best leader they ever had”.

    -When the Consulting Group approached TA about the investigation, he was confident, and told them if they found he had acted in error, he would resign.

    -When the Group met with TA to present the findings, the first thing he said was, “I know myself, I’m not changing”.

    -During the course of the investigation, it as revealed that in the spring, TA told the Green staff to be prepared for “big changes”. This led TA having a meeting with the Akron trustees that Pastor Mike Castelli was being placed elsewhere, but the plans were never completely fleshed out. When the trustees asked if Pastor Mike Castelli knew about this, TA said “no”.

    -TA thought Castelli was divisive. As an example, there was an idea at Akron campus to expand the prayer card ministry so all the campuses could pray for the people who submitted prayer requests. Castelli had the idea that each campus should receive the cards that corresponded with their locations. TA said, no. The Consulting Group didn’t see a problem with Castelli’s suggestion.

    – The Akron Chapel Campus sits almost in the middle of the University of Akron, and there is a college outreach ministry. Castelli had an idea to duplicate a college outreach ministry in Green, and TA again thought Castelli was being divisive with the Green campus. Once again, the Consulting Group didn’t see a problem with the suggestion.

    -A new leadership model is being developed for the 7 campuses. The Consultants thought that TA’s idea of the Saturate Movement and planting churches was well done and Camp Carl was doing well.

    -Jim Mitchell was TA’s right hand man, and if you were speaking to him, you were speaking to TA. TA put out rules that certain staff were not allowed to talk to to each other. He cut off lines of communication.

    -At one point, in a bid to resolve their differences, Pastor Castelli asked TA if they “could just start over?” TA said, “Maybe”.

    – Consultants said Pastor Castelli is a good man placed in a bad situation. Castelli had problems with TA 3 months after TA was hired. Castelli apologized for not doing something sooner, as he just tried to protect the Green staff from TA’s harsh leadership and not lose his job. However, he himself was in a position of leadership to put a stop to some things.

    -It was when Pastor Castelli finally went to the trustees with his issues with TA, that TA asked for his resignation.

    -The Consultants would not give out names or tell of some accounts to protect the identity of the people that came forward. Some staff needed outside psychiatric/counseling to help them deal with TA.

    That’s all I remember from the meeting. I was there for about 2 hours and left as the Consultants were answering questions about the leadership model for the campuses. They were more transparent than I thought they would be, but I still felt something was being left out. Who knows.

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  46. Chapel Attendee 1: When the Consulting Group … met with TA to present the findings, the first thing he said was, “I know myself, I’m not changing”

    Body of Christ beware! TA is preparing to launch an unrepentant comeback! … and he’s not changing!

    Chapel Attendee 1: Jim Mitchell was TA’s right hand man, and if you were speaking to him, you were speaking to TA

    Narcissist “pastors” could not operate without enablers. Every bad-boy church leader is backed up by yes-men.

    Chapel Attendee 1: Some staff needed outside psychiatric/counseling to help them deal with TA

    The thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy.

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  47. Chapel Attendee 1,

    Thank you very much for the information from the Town Hall meeting. You took very good notes as certain quotes were basically word for word what was just sent out in the Town Hall recap that was just sent out from The Chapel.

    https://thechapel.blob.core.windows.net/media/yvfniudq/townhallfaq_final.pdf

    As Max correctly replied, it clearly shows that TA wasn’t looking to repent. The leadership was hoping he would repent in his written statement in the July 30th update, but didn’t.

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  48. Chapel attendee: TA wasn’t looking to repent

    Repent of what?!! (the usual response of a narcissist). “I’m not changing” is not the attitude of someone who accepts the great harm he has done to the Body of Christ. Repentance is his only road back. IMO, he has permanently disqualified himself from ministry, but can find another place to serve in the Body of Christ if he gets honest with himself before the Lord.

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