Christian Celebrity – An Oxymoron

"It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” 

Matthew 20:26-28, Mark10:43-45 (NASB)

Julius Caesar – from the bust in the British Museum

(Public Domain. Courtesy of Wikipedia)

Where are the servant leaders Jesus described in Matthew 20:26-28?  Mark includes an identical description in his Gospel, which leads me to conclude that servant leadership is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT to God. 

Where are today's servant leaders?  Pastoral authority is on the rise in Christendom, while servant leadership appears to be on the decline, based on my observation.  As pastors elevate themselves and their colleagues, the flock is being trampled on and injured spiritually, emotionally, and sometimes even physically.  Jesus instructed Peter "Feed my sheep".  Tragically, God's flock is often being neglected by those who have been charged to protect them.

The rise of Neo-Calvinism over the last decade seems to be a huge contributing factor to the scourge of Christian celebrity we are currently experiencing.  To illustrate this dangerous trend, let's take a look at a two hour extravaganza that took place at Covenant Life Church in September 2004.  At this leadership event C.J. Mahaney was exalted by colleagues and family members prior to handing over the reigns of CLC to Joshua Harris. 

Perhaps this Broadway skit will give you an idea of the kind of hero worship that took place.

There were quite a few leaders in Sovereign Grace Ministries who aggrandized Mahaney, but none topped Al Mohler, President of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.  Here is Mohler's pre-recorded message that was shared with the audience:

"It is a great honor to add these words about C.J. Mahaney. To think of C.J. is to think of a man whom God has so greatly used and raised up in this generation. When I think of C.J. I think of the word passion, but remarkably, C.J. is one of those Christian leaders whose passion is matched by conviction. This is a man of great faith, deep beliefs, a deep commitment to the passion for the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and to see Christ glorified in his church. C.J. has been a great encouragement to me, and not only that he has been an impetus the Lord has used in my life to do greater things for God and to be even more passionate about the things of God in his church. C.J. is a man who equips other men. He is a man whose vision has been realized in a magnificent ministry and in untold numbers of lives into which he has invested himself. He’s a man of remarkable humility and proof positive that it is a man of that kind of Christian humility whom God uses in such a magnificent way as a vessel not only for the gospel but for his own glory. I appreciate C.J.’s commitment to Biblical truth. How I admire C.J.’s determination to see the Bible translated into faithfulness in the everyday lives of Christians. I admire the ministry of the church, of the whole community of churches. I admire C.J. as a leader. Rare is the leader in Christian life who has around himself the quality of men whom C.J. has called together and whom God has used C.J. to equip.  This is a ministry for the LONG TERM to God’s glory because of the faithfulness of all those who’ve made this possible whom God has used, but particularly of C.J. Mahaney.  Let me speak personally for just a moment. To know C.J. is to love him and to be encouraged by him. These are things I always know about C.J. Mahaney. He will tell me the truth. He will tell me exactly what he thinks. He is not a man of calculation, but he is a man of candor. He’s a man who sees himself as one whom God has set loose I think to encourage others, and he certainly does that.  I have never been with C.J. Mahaney when I have not left just feeling a little bolder, a little better, and even a little more commitment to what God has called me to do.  I am thrilled and greatly honored that the Lord has given me a personal friendship with C.J. Mahaney. I’m thankful that I’ve had the opportunity to observe this ministry and get to know so many of the outstanding men around him.  I’m thankful that the Lord is not finished with C.J. Mahaney, and I’m looking forward to seeing what the Lord is going to do through him and through the expansion of this ministry in years ahead. This is a man whose personal gifts are so many, but he gives them away. This is a man whose pastoral gift is so apparent, and he shares that with so many others who are now pastoring and tending the flock of God. C.J., I am so thankful God has given you to your church, to your movement, to His church, and to me as a gift. What an honor is mine to serve alongside you, and I hope to encourage you as you have encouraged me. God bless you. To God be the glory."

Mark Dever also pre-recorded his adoring remarks about his buddy C.J., which were played for those in attendance.  Dever exuberantly said:

"When I think of C.J. I think of a smile, I think of wonderful generosity, concern for other people, a real passionate concern for Covenant Life and Sovereign Grace churches but also other churches like our church. I’ve seen him take time at conferences to talk to pastors that he wouldn’t have known before then to care about them and their churches, and of course, to care for pastors that he’s known about for twenty and thirty years.

I think there are a number of things about C.J. that come to mind that the Lord has used in my own life. Humility is a striking one. I think of the way that humility is something that C.J. is so deliberate in cultivating, and I think for people from outside Sovereign Grace who don’t know him and who hear he’s the leader of a movement of churches that may seem a surprising thing, but when you get to know C.J. you see he really does cultivate that love for God and as he’s shown himself in Christ and on the cross, you see it in everything from his singing to what tears him up to what he reads to what he spends his time meditating on, so that’s provoked me hugely, the humility and understanding of authority sits very well with that humility. Also his generosity. It seems like he can’t find enough things to give to people. He’s just always wanting to encourage people, younger people in the faith, older people, people from elsewhere. He’s somebody who’s marked as a person who’s known God’s generosity to him and therefore seems clearly to want to be generous to others, and we’ve certainly been the recipients of that generosity. In fact, C.J. has said that Covenant Life will pay for our new sixteen million dollar building project. Isn’t that great? Sixteen million dollars – a gift from C.J. and Covenant Life to our church. That is just wonderful. Thanks C.J.

(Leadership/Care) In C.J.’s leadership he definitely is somebody who invests in individuals; he certainly prays, counsels, gives advice, asks pushy questions and then gives very direct advice. I don’t know if some of you have ever been in a conversation where C.J. wants to talk about something and you don’t want to, you can just write off the next thirty minutes I mean if you last that long. You won’t be able to resist his continuing to desire to pursue a particular line of questioning. It’s done in humility and love and often in wisdom, and I’ve certainly benefited from that, so he has a very deliberate care and a great concern of love and wisdom from his years of experience and his knowledge of the Lord and His Word that has certainly benefited me and I know other pastors as well.

(A Pastor’s Heart)
Well, I think his pastoral gift is very much a part of his leadership. It’s a part of God’s calling on him to know the word and teach the word. I’ve seen him understand things and put things across well, so when I preach and he’s around I love to get his feedback in how I could illustrate better. I think that’s a part of his concern pastorally as a shepherd. He’s thinking how will people hear and understand. How can I more effectively take this great truth in God’s word that so inflamed my own heart and how can I bring that into other people’s lives and their hearts, and he’s gifted in that in teaching and obviously it flows out from his own heart and his own life."

John Piper followed Mark Dever with his own words of praise (also pre-recorded).  I am so grateful that this TIME CAPSULE has just been posted on YouTube for all of us — not just a select group of people — to see.  Is it any wonder that we are facing a terrible crisis — the rise in celebrity pastors

The problem is so serious that a special session has been planned for the upcoming Together for the Gospel conference. 

Here is a clip of what will be discussed:

Celebrity Pastor: Indecent Exposure? from Together for the Gospel (T4G) on Vimeo.

What is so sad is that these celebrity pastors didn't place themselves on a pedestal.  They had LOTS of help, as you can see from Mohler and Dever's comments about their buddy C.J.  They should have known better…  Here we are a little over seven years later, and Mahaney will be one of the celebrity pastors who will be rightfully scrutinized during this session.  It certainly appears to be a problem these Christian leaders helped to create!

Again, I have to ask, where are the servant leaders?  If you have the stomach to watch some of the segments of this C.J. Love Fest, I would encourage you to do so.  What a spectacle!

The turn of events is truly mind-boggling!  Mahaney no longer attends the church he pastored for so long, and he is no longer the hero in SGM that he used to be.  Had Mahaney been a servant leader instead of a leader of servants, I believe he would still be loved by most of the members of Covenant Life Church and other Sovereign Grace churches. 

Here at TWW we are praying fervently for those who have been hurt in some way by celebrity pastors.  May they heal both emotionally and spiritually so that they can exercise their gifts to build God's Kingdom. 

In recognition of Valentine's Day, your blog queens will be making a special announcement tomorrow that you will not want to miss!


Lydia's Corner:  Isaiah 51:1-53:12   Ephesians 5:1-33   Psalm 69:19-36   Proverbs 24:7


Christian Celebrity – An Oxymoron — 51 Comments

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    There were quite a few leaders in Sovereign Grace Ministries who aggrandized Mahaney, but none topped Al Mohler, President of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.


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    That video is sickening. Who gets on stage and does a skit about their pastor? I can see getting up and saying kind words to him but to have a skit devoted to singing his praises? Well that is beyond bizarre. C.J is charismatic in every sense of the word and since he threw in some reformed doctrine and some heavy handed authority Voila, all the Calvinistas love him.

    I am often amazed at how quickly a Calvinista will back you if you just throw out some Calvinist speak. Did John Piper not mentor Driscoll because he was a Neo-Calvinist? Did you see him also interview Rick Warren and praise him once Warren promised he believed in some for of Calvinism? Heck Warren went to Desiring God to speak.

    I think that it would be easy to get in with these guys. It seems there are three things that they all have in common

    1. Loves the TULIP
    2. Male authority over wives and other women central issue
    3. You have to be a man, man!

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    I cannot bring myself to watch that video, and I could only skim the remarks you posted above.

    Just too sickening.

    Did I hear someone say “pyramid scheme”?!

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    Hmmm .. if we ever did a skit about our pastor (and I can’t imagine such a context) it would be to poke fun at his idiosyncrasies. It’s one thing to hear about this kind of idolatry, it’s another thing to see it full-throttle like this. I was shocked and sickened; there is no way I could endure to see any more of it!

    Now, I may be weird (this is entirely possible) but I had a feeling of terrible spiritual darkness as I watched that; it was as if I was watching people embracing the occult, or deliberately giving themselves over to porn or mind-altering drugs. I suppose the commonality is that people are trading away their precious blood-bought, spirit-given freedom for another form of spiritual slavery.

    It’s tragic. Do they not know that for freedom Christ has set us free?

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    Gay-bashing churches staging musicals…

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    What kind of a pastor would ALLOW such idol worship…seriously, has the man NO shame? And what’s all those references to humility?!?! This production of “Mame” SCREAMS volumes about his EGO!! What a FRAUD!! Allowing his ‘followers’ to put on such a production screams that the man has an ego the size of Mame herself!! And invalidates all those references to his ‘humility’. What a hollow shell of a man!

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    It’s no longer surprising to me that all these pastors seldom mention Jesus. They are recreating the concept of son of God and putting themselves in that role. Here where I live, more and more megachurches advertise themselves as places where worshipers can feel good and Jesus is never mentioned. Who are they worshiping? Too often it is the pastor. Why has Jesus disappeared?

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    If you read the SGM Survivors or Refuge, you will find that many of them did not experience freedom until they left SGM.

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    Kinda leaves a sick taste in the mouth doesn’t it?!

    Why doesn’t he just get up at the end and admit; “I LOVED it?!”

    How far we have traveled from Jesus Christ, the Son of God, kneeling and washing His disciples feet.

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    I’m reduced to letting Weird Al summarize my reaction to the skit:

    Seriously–I couldn’t get more than halfway through it. Although chapel services at SBTS were completely devoid of levity, they sure laid the praise thickly on the visiting preachers (and the visiting preachers often did the same for Al Mohler if he was there). I stopped going after a couple of weeks. This is just sickening.

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    What kind of a pastor would ALLOW such idol worship… — Jack Allen

    The one being worshipped, of course.

    Now for a bang-up sequel to that musical number — a great image of CJ is wheeled onstage, comes to life, and commands that all who do not bow to CJ and SGM shall be killed.

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    Dan said:

    “How far we have traveled from Jesus Christ, the Son of God, kneeling and washing His disciples feet.”

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    Dan –

    Some leaders and churches have come quite a distance from what Jesus intended. Leaders and people alike have fallen prey to another Gospel. I’m sure there are good and kind pastors who want good for their congregations by way of the finished work of Christ. I pray that God would strengthen them and bring the broken to their doors. Unfortunately, our attention is often drawn to the “big names” who are making themselves known for various reasons, often for not so good reasons. People crave belonging and being a part, and many churches today are willing to fill that need, but not necessarily with Jesus. It is often years before the person realizes that their worship has been misplaced. Most are devestated when they suddenly see what has ocurred. They lose all trust in leaders and some walk away from the Lord because of what they see. The Lord is not at fault, though, and He has not left nor denied any of us. He allows us a new choice every moment of every day as to who we will worship 🙂

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    Mohler and Dever’s comments? tl;dr I fear if I had read them, my blood glucose would go through the roof.

    When I think of these men (and others who are not so much of the Neo-Calvinist stripe such as Ed Young Jr. and Mac Brunson) I wonder if they ever feel embarrassed by such adulation. Somehow, I doubt it.

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    Hopefully we’ll have a follow-up article on the rise of Celebrity Christian bloggers. dryly.

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    Deb–>”The rise of Neo-Calvinism over the last decade seems to be a huge contributing factor to the scourge of Christian celebrity we are currently experiencing”

    I don’t think you can blame the problem of celebrity pastors on any particular theological viewpoint…there’s as much of it in all the other circles. It seems to me that it actually started with Jimmy Swaggart, Jim Bakker and Pat Robertson with their TV shows.

    I do totally agree with you that CJ’s retirement ceremony was “over the top”. I think people should email the links to it to the other men on the Celebrity pastors “panel” at T4G.

    Covenant Life Church has always been cutting edge with the media stuff and has a lot of musical talent..way beyond most churches. I can see how something like this event happened in 2004–just a bunch of people wanting to use their talents. I wonder who put the whole thing together. Bob K’s song was very strange indeed.

    Although there are men that obviously promote themselves (like Ed Young) don’t you think that at least part of the problem is that we (the pew sitters) let this happen? I think the internet, availability of instant sermons, instant books, Youtube, etc has greatly contributed to pastors becoming celebrities. We don’t get as grounded as we should in the Word, and start looking to these men to answer our problems for us.

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    Might you be referring to Kevin DeYoung and 9 Marks…humorously.

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    Think about it. The new Neo-Calvinism movement (Calvinistas) did not get going by itself. It needed the mouthpieces and all too many of the Reformed guys were willing to fill that role. John Piper was actually autographing Bibles at some conferences if reports are to be believed and there have been no denials. Every word that proceedeth from the mouth of Mahaney, Mohler, Driscoll, et al is to be believed without question. This is how it happened in other groups as well. But, for a group that sees itself as “really understanding God’s word”, it is a bit amusing that it is producing Popes. See tomorrow’s post on another weird post at 9 Marks.

    Now funny thing about all of this — polls seem to indicate that there has been 0 (zero) shift in those evangelicals who identify themselves as Calvinists. The only thing i can think of is that people, upon examination of some of the more strident secondary positions of some of the stars, reject the entire Reformed concept. Now, I have no problem with Reformed theology, although I take a different approach which is not Arminian or Reformed. So something is not selling. The seminaries are putting out the pastors who are preaching, and the people ain’t changing. Curious…

    As for musical talent, there are many churches which have incredible talent, including Ed Young Jr’s, Mark Driscoll’s church etc., though it galls me to say it. Churches have always attracted musically inclined individuals. Some of the finest choirs and orchestras around are found in some of the more liturgical churches. In fact, i know some people who disguise themselves as Christians in order to sing in church. Strange, huh?

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    Yep, there are quite a few “celebrity” Christian bloggers out there, and they have attracted quite a following. Those bloggers tied to The Gospel Coalition certainly come to mind… 🙂

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    Eagle – curioser and curioser. I remain skeptical of anything MH has to say… especially given the fact that things are phrased in such incredibly vague terms.

    Damage control, maybe? (Even if some of it is true.)

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    The first to plead his case seems right,
    Until another comes and examines him. (Prov.18:17)

    “While being discreet to protect the identities of those involved, and avoiding many of the gory details, my friend laid out enough evidence to satisfy me that the initial accounts given by ANDREW and those promoting his story are at best incomplete, and most likely deliberately misleading. Large parts are left out, including the majority of action taken by the church to reconcile him….”

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    It is Extremely Hard if not downright impossible to know the FULL OBJECTIVE TRUTH of any situation.
    God, of course, knows the full details including motives of the heart. They rest of us simple don’t. Basically we view incidents thru the template of our own biased experiences.

    But it’s hard not to present stories or scenarios that validate our template.

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    HOW TO BE A BLOG QUEEN – just released ($ 29.99 hardcover)
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    FIRST ANNUAL CONFERENCE on how to be a successful blog queen(s) – April 1, 2012.
    Seminars include:
    Why John Piper isn’t a real Calvinist
    Why Al Mohler isn’t really Intellectual
    Why you can never trust Mark Dever
    Why C.J. Mahaney is a total putz

    Key Note Speaker: Wade Burleson “Doing it my way.”

    The conference will take place April 1, 2012 at the Super 8 motel ballroom in the glittering Metropolis of Durham N.C. Early-bird special reservation $99.99. At the door reservation $98.99. -:)

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    jimmy — Can’t quite tell if this is nice or nasty. Afterall, the emoticon is a cyclops with a big nose.

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    Why would we trust “the friend pastor” over Andrew?

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    I have seen it. Why would we trust a Mars Hill pastor over Andrew?

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    Wish I could say we make money. This blog is a losing proposition monetarily and a winning one spiritually.

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    SGM : The ‘Christ’ Centered Life?

    HowDee YaAll,

    When your afraid to leave you favorite stuffed Teddy bear in the room with your SGM leaders for fear they will ‘pull’ it’s stuffin, there is some’thin very, very wrong…

    …Later on that day…

    …It was a beautiful day, the sun beat down
    I had the radio on, I was drivin’
    trees flew by, me and my gal were singin’ “Little Runaway”

    I was flyin’
    SGM was in the rear view mirror…
    It was a good day!

    SGM had run over it’s own dream
    So I hit cruise control and rubbed my eyes…
    CJ, Thirteen years up in smoke? 


    …I rolled on as the SGM sky grew dark
    I put the pedal down to make some time
    There’s something good still waitin’ down this road…
    I’ze keeps on say’in… (as I looked in the rear-view mirror)
    Some’thin got to be bedder den dis. (You betcha!)
    Lord, sweet Jesus…bedder den dis.

    I keep on hear’in dis here say’in:
    “I am the way, the truth, the life, no one comes to the Father but though me…” -Jesus

    Every buddy else are just wolves and thieves?


    Then why oh’ why is anybudy listen’in to dem?!?

    Some peoples no never learn…huh? ;~)


    Sopy ♥,† 
    Runnin Down A Dream

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    Thanks, Jimmy, for providing an excellent illustration of why conferences like Together for the Gospel are so LUCRATIVE.

    Sadly, it’s not just about the Gospel…

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    Dee, you mentioned that the polls aren’t shifting concerning Evangelicals becoming reformed. That really isn’t surprising. I mean take this blog for instance. If a Calvinista appears and tries to “reason” with you or Deb or anyone else on the blog that isn’t Calvinist, does anyone say “Oh my goodness! Calvinista, you are right!” I think that blogs are wonderful tools to be able to discuss what is on your mind but, I don’t think they are good tools to try to influence others to your viewpoint. Plus, most Calvnista’s seem to want to return to the time of the Puritans and that honestly freaks lots of people out. So, I am sure there are some that flock to this within Christendom but there are others who exit the door after entering in. In the end, some adore it, some hate it. And that brings us back to a small margin of growth. There probably are lots who enter in say in 2012 only to run away screaming in 2015. Part of the reason that there isn’t a noticeable growth in this is there are celebrity pastors yes but, the local congregation to gather together in the prayers and breaking of bread is deemphasized at times. Many of these Calvinistas live for the conferences but, very few towns have the dynamic celebrity week after week in their local congregation. I think you are less likely to stay with that type of hype if you only get it two times a year at a mega conference. I could be wrong, it was just a thought.

    However, I would like to know one thing though. Are the people coming into this movement already churched or unchurched? I would think with MH they are unchurched because MD tends to go after that group right? I am in general curious to find that one out.

    One other thing. Everyone on this blog may know about Calvinistas but honestly most people at your local baptist church aren’t even aware of the argument Baptist have between Calvinism and Armenianism. It’s not that they don’t care, they just don’t know what you are talking about.

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    @Numo & Eagle,

    I am also skeptical. If any of the other people, besides Andrew and Lance, had been mentioned, contacted, apologized to….I would take it seriously. Maybe this has happened to everyone but me and my husband? At our final conversation we did not get an apology for the awful message we received, we were told that we overreacted as did the CG leader. So no culpability or responsibility taken. And we haven’t received one now. They are only addressing the two stories that are giving them the most “trouble” image wise, the sensational ones. Even if everything they say is true, it does not justify the treatment of countless others. My blog was linked in the Slate article, so I know they have seen it.

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    “I have seen it. Why would we trust a Mars Hill pastor over Andrew”

    Exactly. And we are supposed to ‘take the MH guys’s word there are developments we don’t know about”? Please. This is right out of the playbook. Chaplin Mike was snookered and fell for it. There is too much long standing evidence of how these MH guys play to win. This is nothing but PR spin. The book, the interview with Brierly, the discipline stories are hurting MH and this is damage control.

    OOOOOOOOhhhhh there are things you all don’t know about Andrew or how we handled it. We can’t tell you of course…even though we put out all that info on him and advice on shunning him on our inhouse facebook…..

    Is Chaplain Mike really that naive? Or is it because his “friend” talked to someone at MH. Boy oh boy, the MH guys know how to work it, don’t they. What a better place than I monk to cast aspersions on Andrew. I am very disappointed in I monk and see where this is going.

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    I thought the Super 8 in downtown Durham was a nice touch.

    As for Andrew and the MH boys; we’ll never really know will we.

    God knows the objective truth; the rest of us are lost in the cosmos taking educated or un-educated guesses.

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    A group of us have a recording of a pastor admitting to participating in something that he denied at first. Get this. A committee chose to overlook the recording, saying “No comment.” They then claimed that said meeting most likely never took place. But in the recording the pastor admitted to it! We have kept the recording which was played for everyone concerned. From that moment on, i no longer trust any pastor over a member.

    Mars HIll plays hardball. Remember the licensing deal with the California church? How about Driscoll’s threats of punching one of the pastors (Bent who testified here) in the nose? And what? I am supposed to believe them? Not a chance. I will need to see the cold, hard evidence and even then I would first talk to Andrew.Why do people trust a phone call from a “friend who is a pastor?” Until then, this blog sticks up for the little guy.

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    Deb –

    Looks like you didn’t need to write-up much on this article. The Celebrity Christians pretty much did the talking for themselves! It will be interesting to hear what the “Celebrity Pastor” session has to say and what one can learn from it 🙂

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    Loved your comment that inspired this post. 🙂

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    I, too, am disappointed about how Chaplain Mike and Imonk are treating the extra info from Mars Hill.

    Where is the grace toward Andrew? Where is there an acknowledgement that bad things can and do happen in church, by pastors.

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    Of all the celebrity preachertainers, Mohler offends me most.
    Mark Driscoll and CJ Mahaney are odious, but as entrepreneurial nondenominational Protestant showmen, they are as familiar as Elmer Gantry.

    Mohler, on the other hand, is chief theologian of the leading seminary of America’s largest Protestant denomination. The office he holds was not designed for a demagogue a rock star … At least, not until the SBC putsch by Nelson Bunker Hunt, Paul Pressler, Adrian Rogers and company.

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    I will address this tomorrow. I have seen pastors be sinful and lie while a kid told the truth. There is nothing “gospel” about believing that a pastor is any different than anyone else when it comes to truthfulness. Also, we ARE discussing Mark Driscoll’s church here. Need I say more?

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    In the MH statement on the “discipline” situation, posted on 2/13/2012 and linked above, the writer keeps referring to “We” such as “We love people.” But who is “We”? It is a fantastic piece of damage-control PR. Slick. And it is apparently working. Even the iMonk has been snowed. It almost makes the reader feel guilty for even questioning what happened – as if one has entered the Twilight Zone…

    “There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call ‘The Twilight Zone.'”

    To keep one’s sanity amidst the deceptive spin, one must not forget what that letter and “discipline contract” that were only supposed to be shared with “15 people” contained. The text of those documents evidences a systemic pattern of control, extra-biblical authority, and “lording over” that is not supposed to be. Most “humble followers” of that sort of hyper-authoritarian leadership just knuckle under and play along. We have been given a glimpse into the inner-workings because one young man dared to question. It’s a good bet that we are seeing only a tip of the iceberg.

    In the MH statement referenced above, the mysterious writer who keeps referring to “We” and “Our cental leadership” said, “Much responsibility is placed on our lay leaders and local pastors to faithfully administer discipline.” Discipline. Submission. Submit. Could this denial of responsibility and blaming the horrible treatment of a church member on an isolated small group be what is sometimes referred to as “control by proxy”? Google it.

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    I am finding it incredible that Imonk’s chaplain Mike is believing a friend of a friend who follows a WOLF over Andrew. Amazing! How can “Pat’s friend” have ANY credibility when Driscoll is his leader?

    I agree with Turner who said Andrew IS the other side of the story. We have known Driscoll is a wolf for years and years. Evidently, Chaplain Mike does not agree OR he thinks being nice to Driscoll is more important than supporting victims of spiritual abuse. He just wants someone else to deal with it….not him.

    Mars Hill is doing damage control and are smart not to use official staff to do so. Imonk bought into it.

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    I will address this topic today. I am in agreement with you. I am tying it in with another piece from 9 Marks which has never met a Bible verse that they can’t turn into a treatise on authority.

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    I had the pleasure of showing the CJ “Mame” video to a devout father and his 14 year old son today. The father knew the skit was wrong: “This was in a church??? And Cornerstone is their branch here???”

    The son told me why it was wrong “They should be worshiping God, not a man.” (That was in a restaurant just a few doors down from the laundromat where Driscoll’s Acts 29 candidate, Legacy Church,recruits every Friday)

    Thanks for giving this young man the evidence he needs to dissuade his friends from joining SGM or A29.

    Unlike the neo-Calvinistas who speak of their “passion” as something “gifted” from God, I will not blame God for my emotional connection to the mission of TWW. My devotion to this cause comes in part from losing several of my best childhood friends to the neo-Calvinist Presbyterian Church In America (PCA).

    My whole high school experience was tainted by Reverend Don Hoke, who resigned as Billy Graham’s top aide to take Cedar Springs Presbyterian into the PCA, a denomination that was in the vanguard of the New Christian Right and that has harbored some o the most prolific Calvinista advocates of Theonomy (aka Christian Dominion, Christian Reconstruction, Biblical or Christian Worldview.) Cedar Springs rapidly poached members from a variety of established denominations and has became a local center of political and financial power. (A sitting governor, Congressman and county Mayor, for starters). Its current affiliation is slightly more moderate than PCA, but it appears to be a sponsor of several pods of “emerging” neo-Calvinists in our area.

    Kent Johnson

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    We have been doing a lot of reading on the Christian Dominionism movement, which I, erroneously, believed had died. I, too, have been guilty of discussing a Christian worldview, which, once again, I believed meant understanding the world through the eyes of Scripture. Instead, each of these terms mean far more. I hope to do some stuff on the dominionism movement and how it sucks people in. Many of these groups are mired in authoritarian behavior because they know what is best for advancing God’s kingdom-not in humility, love and sacrifice, but with bombastic pronouncements and political power. There are many people who have been hurt by this movement and, if I can get my act together, I plan to write on the history of the movement and show how it is entrenched in the theology of today.

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    Dee, I look forward to your work on Dominionism and would be glad to assist in any way.

    Several of my friends were sucked into the PCA ministry by Don Hoke, a key Religious Right organizer of the Lausanne Conference and drafter of the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy.

    Yes, “Christian Worldview” and “Biblical Worldview” are terms of art which are equivalent to “Theonomy”, “Christian Reconstruction”
    and of course “Dominionism.”

    Yes a disproportionate usage of “Kingdom” and “King Jesus” are dead giveaways.

    Chuck Colson, “Nixon’s Evil Genius” is suspected by Jeff “The Family” Sharlet of being the High Priest of Worldview, based at his
    Biblical Worldview Institute.

    I think the “Worldview” concept derives from the presuppositional theology of Cornelius van Til, which Rushdoony, Francis Schaeffer, and Gary North all cite as a major influence. (Though Van Til did not reciprocate)

    Presup says essentially that people of faith accept the Bible as the sole source of TRUTH agaianst which all other ideas from every branch of knowledge must be measured . All valid thoughts must have a specific premise in specific verses of Scripture.

    This fits with the thinking of Calvin, who placed great faith in his powers of deductive reasoning (he was trained as a lawyer, not a theologian, and wrote his magnum opus, Institutes, before he had a chance to test his ideas in the real world.

    Calvin was deeply suspicious of empiricism, and inductive reasoning, though he acknowledge the growth of scientific knowledge by conceding that The Genesis Creation story is “not an astronomy lesson.”

    Worldview’s goal is a complete intellectual regression to the mind of Calvin himself.

    Politically, the movement is deeply anti-democratic. Its models are Geneva, the Mass Bay Colony, and Cromwellian England.

    Gary K North seems to be the pivotal figure who vectored the obscure philosophy of his father-in-law RJ Rushdoony beyond the extreme Calvinist sects into a variety of denominations and the political Religious Right. (SEE: Council for National Policy)

    You might find some useful resources on my little blog above. I’ve got a lot more stuff I should add.

    I highly recommend the blog Talk 2 Action for unrivaled coverage of Dominionism.

    Their “worldview” is liberal, but like you TWW, they are so highly focused on revealing their chosen “bad guys” that it’s hard discern any other “agenda”

    Happy Hunting!


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    Kent Johnson,

    We appreciate all your information on dominionism. We have done quite a bit of research on this since the inception of TWW, although we haven’t written much about it.

    You mentioned the Council for National Policy. I spend considerable time looking over the list of members, and it was quite revealing. It was an old list that somehow got posted on the internet. It appears the lists are now kept under wraps.

    1996 Council on National Policy Membership List

    It was interesting seeing several names from North Carolina on that list. Of course, there was Paige Patterson (who was president of SEBTS at the time) and Coy Privette, a Baptist pastor and politician here in North Carolina (not a good combination!).

    In 2007 Coy (who was 74 at the time) was arrested on prostitution-related charges. Here is how the news broke. News Coverage on Privette’s Arrest

    I was particularly interested in Privette’s position at SEBTS (see excerpt below).

    Baptist morality activist arrested on sex-for-hire charges in N.C.

    “Privette, 74, is a former trustee of the Christian Life Commission (now Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission), the Southern Baptist Convention’s moral-watchdog agency. He is a former trustee chair of the SBC’s Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C.”

    I find the whole movement pretty scary, and it must be exposed! Thank you for being such a staunch supporter of our efforts in this forum.

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    Apropos to TWW, Maranatha Campus Ministries founder Bob Weiner was a CNP board member when public universities across America were trying to evict MCM for authoritarian recruiting and disciplinary practices.
    Dominion/Wordview patriarch Gary K North praised “the most hardcore campus ministry” in dedicating his book “75 Questions” (1986).
    A decade later–after Weiner had been revealed to all of Christendom as a cult leader and had “dismantled” MCM Weiner still attended meetings of the elite CNP.
    (“CNP’s Robert Weiner & Maranatha

    Respectable members of CNP need to be asked why they have continued
    to associate with Bob Weiner.

    Just how scary is the CNP? Tighten your tinfoil hats:
    The existence of the secretive CNP was revealed in Iran-Contra testimony of Nelson Bunker Hunt. (Ollie North, CNP member, had used several “ministries” as part of his Contra-funding network The Enterprise.
    General Jack Singlaub, mastermind of Iran-Contra,connects CNP to Rev Sun Myung Moon through the World Anti-Communist League, a sort of global fascist fraternity. (Singlaub’s protege LTC Oliver North soon joined CNP and became a board member, although his lowly social standing should have disqualified him from this assemblage of titans.)
    Singlaub, as CIA Station Chief, Seoul, had built the Korean CIA. Singlaub’s protege was General Bo Hi Pak, who went on to become military attache to the Korean embassy, D.C., during Koreagate
    and chief operating officer of Moon’s vast business empire. Moon’s
    holdings include the perenially unprofitable Washington Times newspaper, where Jerry Falwell’s right hand man Ron Godwin spent a 12 year stint as Chief Operating Officer between stints as a senior Liberty University administrator.
    Moon, the Hunts, and the Coors family contributed heavily to the founding of CNP by Tim LaHaye, whose San Diego ministry was predicated on New Age psychology.

    The financial and institutional relationships among top-echelon Moonies, rogue intelligence operatives, fascist billionaires, and Dominionist clergymen of the New Christian right are strongly indicated by research what we already know about CNP.

    Was there a direct transfer of brainwashing practices from the Moonies to the militant Christian Right?
    We know that Moon himself was held captive by the North Koreans, whose thoroughly effective brainwashing of American PoWs scared the US intelligence community into expanding Mind Control projects that involved heavy doses of drugs, hypnotic regression, and elaborate audio-visual reprogramming.
    The CIA’s heavy promotion of involuntary Mind Control research (Code Name: MK Ultra) was revealed during The Ford administration.
    (“April 13, 1953: CIA OKs MK-ULTRA Mind-Control Tests”
    Weird religious and psychological research seems to have migrated to Pentagon Special Ops since the CIA Shut down MK Ultra in the 70’s.( SEE: Men Who Stare at Goats, LTC Michael Aquino, Maj Gen Stubblebine)

    Here is the Index to the Seek God site, with a trove of info on CP< Including all known member lists.
    I am not endorsing the Seek God agenda, but their CNP collection is priceless.

    Skip Porteous, who ran the Institute for First Amendment Studies from 1989-2001, also collected a lot of material on CNP.

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    … and completing the circle,

    >>The Unofficial Web Site Linking Friends and Former Members of MARANATHA MINISTRIES<<

    …demonstrates beyond a penumbra of doubt the support of Bob Weiner's Maranatha remnant for Christian Nationalism,neo-Puiritan revival, and Christian Dominion under Mosaic Law.