EChurch@Wartburg 4.8.12

Welcome to Our Gathering of EChurch@Wartburg

Enhanced Rainbow by Barb Ver Sluis

Here is our order of worship

Christ is Risen: The world below lies desolate
Christ is Risen: The spirits of evil are fallen
Christ is Risen: The angels of God are rejoicing
Christ is Risen: The tombs of the dead are empty
Christ is Risen indeed from the dead,
the first of the sleepers,
Glory and power are his forever and ever
Hippolytus of Rome (AD 190-236)-Creative Commons

Oh God, by whose power Christ was raised from the dead, so that the worst that men could do had no dominion over Him,
Lay your hand in loving tenderness on all who needs this message most. 
Because the Son of Man came to seek and to save that which was lost, we pray –

For those who have lost their dear ones and whose hearts are sad;

For those who have lost their health and vitality;

For those who have lost their youth;

For those who have lost their livelihood;

For those who have lost opportunities;

For those who have lost patience;

For those who have lost their faith;

For all, we pray, who are wounded in the battle of life and are nigh unto despair.

Give to us all such a vision of Christ's risen glory that we, too, may trust his power; 
That we, too, may know that nothing can separate us from your loving purposes or finally defeat your will.
So we may rise up from all of our distress and despair and take heart again;
Walk with Christ, the companion of our souls, to whatever lies in store for us,
To find at last that faith has its own reward, that we have not missed our way,
That the Son of Man came to seek and to save that which seemed lost forever.
We ask it through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Leslie Weatherhead, 1883-1975 Book of Christian Prayers, p.405

If you are new to EChurch, please click on this link for an explanation

Scripture Reading:  Genesis 50:20  (NASB Bible Gateway)

As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.

We are excited about our upcoming EChurch post which will feature Wade Burleson's Easter message "The Tomb Was Not Empty"(Reminder – we are on a one week delay.) Yes, our Lord and Savior has risen from the dead, but Wade will recount the five things that were left in the tomb after Jesus' resurrection. 

On Palm Sunday, one of our pastors delivered a powerful message reminding Christians that we are to be the hands and feet of Jesus.  In response to Christ's saving work on the Cross, we should be compelled to share the Good News of His love with those whom we encounter.  On this special Sunday, we are honored to feature an inspiring message – Saved from Hell in a Cozumel Jail.  Wade shares with his congregation a harrowing experience which occurred in March 2011. The heart of Wade's message has everything to do with the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  May you be inspired to share God's love with those who do not know Him!

Wade wrote about his experience here.

Lord Jesus, risen from the dead and alive for evermore:
Stand in our midst tonight as in the upper room:
Show us your hands and you side;
Speak your peace to our hearts and minds;
And send us  forth into the world as your witnesses;
For the glory of your name.
John Stott-Book of Christian Prayers p.404

Have a Joyous Resurrection Day! 


EChurch@Wartburg 4.8.12 — 36 Comments

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    Your description of this “divine appointment” with Allen is truly inspirational! I remember reading your blog post over a year ago about this horrific experience, not having any idea that I would ever have the opportunity to meet you much less post your sermons in this forum.

    I pray that I will recognize those “divine appointments” that Almighty God orchestrates in my life.

    Happy Easter to you, Rachelle, and your family!

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    Eagle – Fasten yer seat belt, ’cause SGM services are long and tomorrow will be even more so, what with music, etc.

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    Don’t forget to add EChurch to the total. 🙂

    Let us know how it goes. Still praying for your dad.

    Happy Easter!

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    Thy Peace,

    Thanks for the links and Happy Easter!

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    “The Son Of Man, Did Come To Seek And To Save That Which Was Lost, Your Perl, Oh! Lord!


    Happy Easter 🙂

    These misty covered mountains are a home now for me,
    But my real home is with you, Lord!
    Some day you’ll return for me,
    Until that day, I will wait, faithful..

    Through these fields of religious destruction
    Baptisms of proverbial pyre
    Christian, I’ve witnessed a suffering
    As the battle raged, dark  N’ higher

    Now the church has gone to hell?
    And the serpent’s riding high?
    What’s to become of Your Bride Lord,
    When lost to the earth, faith becomes?

    Many have been hurt real bad,
    But In the fear, and in the alarm
    You, Jesus, did not desert us,
    Your brothers & sisters in arms…

    Time dancers, majestic blast
    I gaze through the dark looking glass
    feeling just beyond my tiny grasp is heaven…

    All things work together good,
    Those who you love and call 
    Ever upwards Your purpose true,
    Even finished, always sure.

    Thanks Lord! for doing all of this…

    Sopy ㋡  
    Jackie Evancho – “Dark Waltz”

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    What a blessing this Easter service has been for me! Thank you, Dee, Deb, and Pastor Wade for making it possible.

    Happy Resurrection day to all!

    Because He lives, I can face tomorrow…..

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    The Apostles had all bailed on Jesus. Afraid for their own skins they holed up and hid out. It was the women who first learned of the empty tomb and that Jesus had risen from the dead. Messiah was promised through the seed of the woman, not the male line. How fitting that women would be the first to hear the good news!

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    Anybody here like old Papa Bach’s “Saint Matthew Passion”?

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    Blessings to all on this day as we remember where Christ is now seated!

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    I love anything Bach!

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    Happy Easter everyone!!! Gee, Eagle, I’m proud of you for attending church. I couldn’t muster up the courage yet. You are my inspiration!

    What an inspiring message Wade.

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    scooter’s mom,

    It’s wonderful to hear from you, and I”m so glad you were inspired by Wade’s sermon. I was, too!

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    Eagle – I don’t believe that God ordains things to test us – doesn’t sound like Christ to me.

    But we definitely *do* face illness and death and other suffering in this life.

    As for that testimony…. yikes! Sounds like he’s given it a few times before; refined it and polished it and tweaked it and… well.

    The less said of SGM (by me, at this moment), the better.

    About the kids in suits: Eagle, I think that was because it’s Easter and an occasion where people dress up their little kids and take pics. There’s something about small boys in suits and ties that’s almost insufferably cute!

    The pregnant women: yep, I’ve seen that, and not just at SGM. (I have a dear friend who’s been a member of a D.C.-area SGM church for close to 30 years and who repeatedly tried to coax me into joining, or at least attending. I’ve been to a sum total of 2 services there and… did NOT like them. Good music, yes, but everything felt so contrived.fwiw, this was long before their turn toward neo-Calvinism.)

    The SGM people that I met in the mid-late 80s scared me. There was a Stepford Wife feeling to them; almost a Borg-type vibe going on! : (

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    First of all, I’m really proud of you! After the difficult experiences you have had, it took guts to attend those church services.

    Your description of the Easter service (oops – MEETING – gotta get the lingo right!) at Redeemer Church of Arlington was excellent! Nothing you shared surprised me. Sounds like these SGMers are following Collin Hansen’s edict Be Fruitful and Multiply…Or Else quite well. Of course, he’s just the mouthpiece of the Calvinistas as he so clearly demonstrated in his overly-publicized Christianity Today article – “Young, Restless, Reformed”.

    I knew the name of the pastor at Arlington before you mentioned it. Eric Simmons. Whenever I hear his name, his infamous quote immediately comes to mind:

    “I’m also concerned because at this point in time, we are at the pinnacle of the Information Age. You can in an instant find tons of information on any subject you want on Google. Do you realize that Google allows you to be one step away from a lot of heresies?

    There are a lot of heretics out there with a lot of false teachings that have blogs. And it’s phenomenal to me in our age now, that what is represented on the Internet is now seen as fact, and authority, and truth! And the reality? Most of these guys who are writing blogs are 24-year-old guys living in their moms’ basement, sitting there in their underwear! That’s what they’re doing! They’ve got a robe on, and they’re just typing away. And they’re typing away their false teaching, which is honestly a bunch of garbage. It’s out there! It’s just one click away.”

    I want to encourage you to listen to the MP3 of Eric Simmons’ message here This comment is around the 13 minute mark (although the minutes and seconds are not displayed).

    Carolyn McCulley is a member of this church, as indicated on her website She also has a blog

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    I liked your come back labeled 1,2, 3. Here is one possible point to consider. James, the half brother of Jesus, believed his brother was crazy in the early Gospel. He ended up being a leader of the church and was martyred. What occurred to change his mind? The difference is spelled out by Paul. He claims that if the Resurrection did not occur, we would be fools. Paul laser focused on the Cross and Resurrection. In fact, he barely acknowledged the other miracles of Jesus. In the narrative, it specifically mentions that Jesus appeared specifically to James after His resurrection. James was transformed by the Resurrection and went to his death because he witnessed this event; not with some pie in the sy promises. he saw the miracle of Miracles.

    I do not believe that God engineers pain and suffering in this age of grace. This is where I diverge from the Calvinistas. It is clear to me that we live in a fallen world. We bear the consequences of that Fall. So, my daughter suffered with a malignant brain tumor because even our cells do not function as planned. However, because I am a Christ follower, I learned lessons from this that carry over to this blog. Also, in the midst of pain, I had hope that this world was not the last time I would enjoy my daughter’s love.

    I also view new conversion experiences with a grain of salt. I am more interested in how it works out in the long run-when push comes to shove. For example, in one of Josh Harris’ (SGM) dating/courtship books, he uses some couples as examples of why we should all do this because it results in happy marriages. Well, it is now well known that several folks in that narrative have gone through divorces or separations. I think we do a grave disservice when we hold up new converts as examples. Remember the old Bob Dylan is a Christian deal? How did that work out?

    Eagle, you never cease to amaze me. One day, I predict you will write a book. I want an autographed copy. I am still praying for your dad.

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    Dee, you wrote

    Remember the old Bob Dylan is a Christian deal? How did that work out?

    How do we know he’s not?

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    “Do you realize that Google allows you to be one step away from a lot of heresies?”

    I have been praying that God would help me to learn discernment. One of the things he seems to have highlighted in yellow (and circled, and added asterisks to) is FEAR. If people teach fear I should step away for a minute, pray, and try to sort out any legitimate teaching they have from the fear they try to slip in with it. If their whole message and methodology is fear-based, I have permission to walk away because it’s not from God.

    I haven’t bothered to listen to that sermon but that sentence, at least plucked out and left squirming by itself, is a perfect little morsel of fear. And the kicker is, we are all heretics. We all have a little heresy in us somewhere. If we stand under the heat lamp of God’s love long enough, he will sweat it out of us. We don’t need to worry about the heretical bogeymen out there in Google-land, we just need to sit still under God’s love. We need to learn to recognize his voice so that we can also recognize the imposters.

    And the imposters love to use fear.

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    Eric Simmons delivered his message of FEAR to the singles at Covenant Life Church on March 14, 2008.

    Here is the link to Simmons’ message entitled “Protection” on the Covenant Life Church website.

    Covenant Life Church has come a long way since then. I pray that they can get back to authentic Christianity.

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    On Bob Dylan,he said quite distinctly and i will try to find it “Oh, we all go through that becoming Christian stuff. It was thing to do.” He then got into some mysticism stuff. I was a Dylan fan and followed him before, during and after his dalliance with the faith. Still like his music.

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    Eagle –

    Wowser! You had quite the experiences this weekend. Isn’t it funny how things can work out sometimes. You, the self-proclaimed agnostic, go to three services; and I, who have not missed an Easter Sunday in probably 32 years, went to no services. It was probably good for me. We have much going on in our household at the moment, some good, some bad, some sad, some confusing, so not sitting at a meeting/service (whatever it is called) was probably better. We have been visiting colleges as well.

    It sounds like you made it through the weekend unscathed, so to speak 🙂 Good for you. God is really good at meeting us where we are at. No need to put on any airs for him. He takes us as we are . . . don’t forget about the murderer on a tree next to Jesus.

    The whole large family thing is what it is. We have maybe 120 families in our church and have three families with over 5 or more kids. In other parts of the SGM world the numbers differ. In the east and south there seems to be more large families. But some people really want large families. We can’t assume that women are forced. I was one of nine myself, so I don’t find large families odd. And, no, I was not brought up SGM. We were brought up Catholic, my mom was brought up Methodist and converted to marry my father. She always wanted a large family, so it was what it was — no underlying religious weirdness there. Other weirdness later on, but that is another story.

    I LOVE little boys in suits! That’s not odd. The world is so casual these days that I think some people just like to dress up for the holidays for fun. I did it with my boys – not complete suits, just nicer clothes 🙂

    The testimony . . . well, I think they do have most people right out what they are going to say. I always thought that it was just so people would know what they were going to say and know how long it was going to take. I don’t know how much editing or changing goes on, and that probably varies by church/pastor. I really don’t like feeling like a testimony is for the purpose of manipulation, though. A testimony is, IMO, to share what God has done so that people can rejoice with you, not for the purpose of wanting some result out of the people you are sharing with. It sounds like you sensed some manipulation in the what and why of the sharing. We have never had people share testimony more than once on a particular subject. A repeat would be really strange . . . but it is SGM.

    As far as Eric SImmons is concerned, I know nothing about him. I do know that SGM pastors, as a whole, are not always very good preachers. They seem to preach more towards a purpose, rather than opening up scripture to people for understanding. They definitely preach with a Calvinistic bent. Seeing as most of the pastors have only been to a 9-month pastors college, I wouldn’t expect them to be great at really unfolding Truth in an orderly, factual (meaning checked their facts) sort-of way. This is not to say that I think everyone needs to go to seminary either. You can go to seminary and be an awful preacher. Some preachers are naturally good at this and some are not. But a 9-month pastors college doesn’t an orator make (IMO). Preaching isn’t mentioned in the Bible, so I don’t give much ear to preachers these days. In my experience, I have found that they can be helpful AND harmful. I am a Berean these days and the rest of my days!


    Last week you asked me about SGM being a cult. I think many of their churches are cult-like. I don’t know if I would call any of them an actual cult. We really have to look at each church separately with SGM. So much of what an individual church is like in SGM is tied to the “head” pastor. (I don’t believe in a “head” pastor myself.) But since the head pastor (who is an elder) and any other elders are not accountable to anyone in their own church, there can be many unseen issues that arise that go unchecked. The congregation of a church are the only people that know and see what elders are really like – the good, bad, and the ugly. Much also depends on the heart of an individual man, along with his particular church doctrines. There is a lot that comes into play in anyone church.

    Here is another questions I have been pondering —

    Can a group be a cult without intentionally being a cult?

    I don’t think SGM set out to be a cult. I believe that a culmination of many factors came together to create what is known as SGM. Many of the pastors, as you know from your own reading, are pretty much fine with how SGM is running things but would make a few adjustments (CJ believes this), otherwise they would leave or would be highly considering leaving.

    The people are the same way. Some are not even batting an eye over all the issues, while some have left, and still more are on the doorstep. I can’t possibly know the hearts of these people, except to say that some may be a little hardened because of the doctrines that are taught. When you are inside the organization and “your” life is going well, you naturally think all is good for everyone. Because of the doctrines, if all is not well, you have been taught that it is just the Lord’s sovereignty, or God’s purposes, or God’s pre-determined will for your life. When you look at others pain with this perspective, you don’t always see the need to DO anything to show compassion, care, comfort, instruction, etc. To me, this equals “not loving” people where they are at the moment. This is not how Jesus interacted with people. There is something wrong with the doctrines. I see it in many of the Calvanista organizations. It comes across as unloving and cold (i.e., some of Piper’s comments).

    Don’t know if any of this is helpful, but I wanted to interact with some of your questions – cause I like talking to you 🙂

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    Dee – Dylan’s right that it was “the thing to do” for a while. Trendiness is just that; I don’t think we can judge someone’s soul on that basis, do you? (In other words, only God knows.)

    Am still a fan (though mainly of his older work), and still like the LP Slow Train Coming.

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    He did say that he doesn’t believe and blew it off as a phase he went through. So, unless he is going covert, I tend to take him at his word. Although, who knows, there are a few people who claim they are awesome Christian who give me pause. So, you may be right.

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    Deb, as a fear junkie I may have to gird my loins (so to speak) before I listen to that sermon all the way through.

    “Covenant Life Church has come a long way since then.”

    In which direction?

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    You helped me to see something. From now on, when I speak of it, I shall call it the Eagle Principle. If a church does not cherish the fact that you attend a service even if you are not a member, then you should not become a member of such a church.

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    Could it be that you were not “love bombed” because your friend warned them that you see through such nonsense?

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    I think Dee is right about why you weren’t love bombed.

    That recent blog post was written by Collin Hansen, who is revered by SGMers. That quiverfull approach has been promoted by others as well.

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    This old nurse would say that your dad wanting to go back to work means he is doing better. It is a positive sign!

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    Well, as we all know, “membership” is the big doctrinal stance among the NC at the moment. I think they feel like they have more control “biblically” when you are a member. Why would you talk about membership on Easter when you have more than a usual amount of visitors? Is that the plan . . . get a first time visitor signed up for a membership class. That would be foolish – no?

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    “Blind, But Now I Want To See?” An Invitation…


    Once, I took a pebble and cast it to the sea,
    Then I watch’d the ripples that unfold into Thee
    Your face spill so gently into my eyes,
    Disturbing the waters of my life, Jesus…

    Shread’d memories are lying in the past;
    Laughter, in the graveyards of the past?
    Like old photographs, grey and torn, scattered movie reels,
    Letters of  mem’ries that once were very real?

    Sadness on your shoulders like a worn out coat
    Pockets, creased and tattered, hanging rags: your once bright hope,
    The daybreak becomes your midnight; dimmed  colours, fade to black,
    Is Jesus disturbing the waters of your life, with His ‘Hope’?


    Jus fo’getz bout doze other folkz, K?

    Jesus : “I came that you might have ‘life’ and that ‘life’ abundantly!”

    Juz cup the hollow of your ‘soul hands’ n’ say: “Yes! …fill me Lord!”

    He will know what to do…

    ( Better sit down first, K? )

    Sopy ㋡ 
    Kari Jobe – “Come To Me”

    Rachel Flowers – “Take a Pebble”

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    Eagle – I’m not surprised about the pressure you felt; ditto for the relative value of women compared to men.

    The 3 services that I’ve attended (two at Fairfax; one at Cov. Life) *really* creeped me out.


    Dee – I’m kind of playing devil’s advocate about Bob Dylan. 🙂 (Though I do think that only God knows the disposition of our souls…)

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    Excellent reminder. The disposition of souls is above my pay grade even if I had a pay grade.

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    Mine too!

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    Let me commend you for this comment:

    “When I heard that guy’s testimony about his parents’ divorce, grandfather’s death and friends suicide…and how he was tested, I thought of something that was really sick. But I just need to say it. If God operates in that capacity maybe that’s why Sovereign Grace is plagued by sexual abuse and child molestation issues. If everything is a “test” then the sexual offender who rapes and sodomizes a 4 year old is a tool from God to “test” the family.”

    That is a good insight into where this line of thinking can go. I frankly do not know what Piper is thinking when he makes statements like a tornado was sent to punish the ELCA to repent or a bridge collapse happened so Piper would repent. Half the time, I think Piper is showing us how “godly” he is and what schmucks the rest of us are. I believe he sounds as if he is stuck in the Old Testament.

    I will say something here which will bring the wrath of Piper admirers down on me. I think Piper has no flaming idea “why” the tornado hit, and he is making this up to fit his peculiar worldview. He is wrong.

    Instead I see a world that is fallen, along with all of us who are fallen. We got a world in which we are in charge. And as I look around, I have come to the conclusion that man does not do a particularly good job at it. We could end hunger now if we set our mind to it. We don’t. Why?

    Eagle, I have come to the conclusion that we are the people that the Bible says we are. We live in a fallen world of our own choosing, and one day redemption will come. And that is how I sleep well at night. Then, during the day, I try to do some things that matter – like irritating the Calvinistas along with some personal things that I think have eternal value.

    Meantime, here is a piece of advice. Unless you want to start a blog and have lots to write about, ignore Piper and the rest of “I know what God is thinking” crowd. They don’t know anymore that you or me.And focus on decent pastors like Wade Burleson, Pete Briscoe and others who minster grace to all those they meet.And always, always, read about Jesus. He is worth it.And from what i can tell, he does not draw up discipline contracts. He sets you free.

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    Eagle –

    Hope the rest of your sleep time went better. Those are good words from Dee. Jesus has a lot more good and perfect things to say than Piper or any of the other Calvinista men.

    I wasn’t thinking that the sermon was on “membership.” Announcement time is when they would be pushing
    membership. I thought it was weird to talk about membership even at announcement time on Easter Sunday. New visitors don’t need to hear all that. Just welcome people on Easter Sunday for goodness sake. Be other oriented not “our church” oriented. Besides, there are plenty of other venues to get the membership word out. But, alas, I imagine that a women wouldn’t know much about hospitality (eye roll).

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