"The original seed money for 9Marks was given by a non-Christian neighbor, who had seen the things CHBC was doing in the surrounding area and wanted them to replicate it elsewhere."
In our post – Mark Dever's 9Marks Ministries – Initially Funded by a 'Generous Neighbor' – we were duly corrected in the comment section, and we wanted to inform our readership. We speculated in that earlier post that the initial funding for 9Marks may have come from Mark Dever's BFF C.J. Mahaney and/or Covenant Life Church/Sovereign Grace Ministries since they have been known to dole out cash to individuals and entitles outside of their 'denomination'. Here are three comments posted by someone who claims to be in the know.
A number of our commenters reached out to 'anon' for some additional information, but so far there has been no reply. Dee had a great response to anon (see below).
This has to be one of the weirdest anonymous comments we have ever received. Obviously, it is someone who is involved in CHBC or 9 Marks. Here they are.
1. Expositional Preaching
2. Biblical Theology
3. Biblical Understanding of the Good News
4. Biblical Understanding of Conversion
5.Biblical Understanding of Evangelism
6.Biblical Understanding of Membership
7. Biblical Church Discipline
8.Promotion of Church Discipleship And Growth
9.Biblical Understanding of Leadership
I had no idea that by promoting such things, we could get the nonChristian world to ante up. Good night! The world is looking for the 9 Marks solution.
It is absolutely remarkable that a non-Christian would fund such an endeavor. Capitol Hill Baptist Church is having a far greater impact on the D.C. community than we ever imagined! Of course some of our commenters scoffed at anon's remarks, questioning his/her credibility.
We have decided to take 'anon' at his/her word since he/she claims to know Mark Dever and Matt Schmucker. That being said, here's our bottom line… We are grateful that someone in the 9Marks camp is keeping up with what we are writing. Three years ago I (Deb) misquoted Jonathan Leeman, who quickly pointed out my error. That online correction served as confirmation that the guys at 9Marks are monitoring what is being said about them on the internet. Here is our apology post. We do try to own up to our mistakes. It just goes to show that the 9Marks staffers are definitely earning their keep. Here is what Jonathan Merritt over at Religion News had to say about Mark Dever's ministry.
9 Marks, for example, hosts conferences around the globe, has published dozens of books, operates on a nearly $1 million annual budget, and maintains a staff of five full-time and one part-time employee. Between 3,000 and 4,000 congregations nationwide are affiliated with the ministry. Many similar ministries to IX Marks—including pastor John MacArthur’s $19 million-a-year “Grace to You” ministry and the 500+ church Acts 29 network—promote similar teachings and are also thriving.
Jonathan Merritt doesn't quote his source for this information, but as the son of a former SBC president, we would assume he has done his homework. Jonathan shared this information last year, and we would imagine that 9Marks' revenue has grown in the wake of T4G2016. Let's not forget that Together for the Gospel operates out of Capitol Hill Baptist Church (CHBC), as the address on its website indicates.
And, of course, the 9Marks Ministry shows the same address as above. Looks like the seed money from that non-Christian is bearing much fruit.
We would be remiss if we didn't give C.J. Mahaney some of the credit for what his BFF has accomplished because he has contributed to Dever's ministries on at least two occasions. Here is information about those donations.
As we have been doing more digging about the Mark Dever/C.J. Mahaney connection, some more interesting information has surfaced. For example, the year that 9Marks began – 1998 – was a pivotal year for Mahaney's organization. Not only did Larry Tomczak finally sever his relationship with C.J. Mahaney, but the church planting network established by Tomczak and Mahaney underwent a name change. Here is the announcement in Christianity Today.
This blurb appeared on April 27, 1998. A mere seven months later, 9Marks was launched. Of course, PDI Ministries went on to change its name to Sovereign Grace Ministries in 2002. In recent years, it has morphed once again and is now called "Sovereign Grace Churches". Are all these name changes 'divine providence'?
We have spent very little time researching PDI, but when we did a search, something interesting showed up. It was a book review of The Five Star Church by Greg Gilbert, one of Mark Dever's former interns. He finished the CHBC internship program in 2000 and currently serves as pastor of a church in Louisville, Kentucky (see screen shot below).
Here is a portion of what Greg wrote: (see screen shot)
None of this surprises us. Mahaney is the conference planner extraordinaire and has taught his buddies, Dever, Mohler, and Duncan, well! Greg Gilbert's commentary just goes to show that Mahaney has mastered the art of putting on a great conference, beginning when he and Larry T. were 'People of Destiny". (see screen shot below)
Gilbert's statement regarding Mahaney / PDI – "the effect was to make us feel incredibly loved" – must ring hollow to those who supported him at Covenant Life Church, and
PDI, SGM, Sovereign Grace Churches through the years.
We remember reading testimonies about how CLC members made HUGE sacrifices in order to contribute to the building of Covenant Life Church. We'll never forget those comments over at SGM Survivors divulging how Mahaney (and Tomczak) wanted more $$$ to build a multi-million dollar gymnasium, and some CLC members sacrificed by eating oatmeal for dinner to make their leaders' dreams come true. 🙁
We are planning to do a follow-up post on 9Marks next week, and in preparation for that piece, we want to pose the following question to our readers:
What are the three most important things you wish your church knew about 9 Marks?
Feel free to comment here or by email – firstname.lastname@example.org
I think it’s interesting that even after talking with Jonathan Leeman on Twitter, 9Marks has my former suing church as a “9Marks church.”
Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised.
Whoa, blow me down. First. Neener neener!
Dear Wealthy Non-Christian Benefactor of 9 Marks (aka 9Marxist/Hotel California),
So we’ve heard from Anon you made an investment to fund the authoritarian, abusive, toxic, dysfunctional 9Marks.
Mark Devers’ abusive practices have spread to churches across the U.S. and around the globe. That also includes brutal excommunications and shunnings of godly Christians, all ages and professions (including the elderly and conservatives) for the slightest dissent. Churches have been destroyed, believers’ reputations, friendships, families. You can’t undo this kind of damage.
Are you now willing to fund psychotherapy, medical care, and vacations for all of those that 9Marks harmed?
You funded destruction. And it’s NOT funny.
Interesting to think how the influence of the Shepherding movement winds its way through Mahaney into 9Marx and then into the SBC and YRR.
@ Julie Anne Smith:
@ Bill Kinnon:
Yes it is. Do you remember these posts we did mere weeks after launching TWW?
It’s eerie to look back and read our concluding paragraph:
Deb, I can barely remember what I had for breakfast. 🙂
That is why I refuse to tithe, taken once and never again. Using my kingdom money on healing me and my family from PDI abuse. And I think God couldn't (ed.) care less, as long as my family is healthy.
@ Bill Kinnon:
I can relate. In all seriousness, we need to revisit the shepherding movement and how it has been adapted by the YRR crowd.
I just read the TWW articles that The Deebs wrote when you started this blog. Wow. So good. A friend and I were just talking on the phone today, we both live in different states of the U.S., about how grateful we are for The Wartburg Watch, all of the issues that are discussed that we lived out at our abusive churches but couldn’t articulate at the time (and didn’t know the history behind the things we were taught), and the help and comfort we’ve found among others here. Ditto for Julie Anne’s Spiritual Sounding Board.
Thank you internet and Biblical (TM) Watch Bloggers for helping set us captives free. You mean the world to us.
You are so kind.
Can’t answer your question. Am too GRIEVED and ANGRY seeing how money was spent at SOVEREIGN GRACE CHURCHES while so many single parents and families STRUGGLED in those churches while I was there. I am FURIOUS. GOD WAS NOT GLORIFIED WHILE PEOPLE IN THOSE CHURCHES WEPT AT NIGHT IN FEAR OF LOSING THEIR HOMES AND SPENT SLEEPLESS NIGHTS TRYING TO PUT FOOD ON THE TABLE. CJ MAHANEY WAS GLORIFIED.
As a former member of a SOVEREIGN GRACE CHURCHES church, I am enraged.
We fed the shepherds on the backs of the sheep. GOD WILL NOT BE MOCKED.
(Interesting that my spell check repeatedly wanted to change SOVEREIGN GRACE CHURCHES to Sobering Grave Churches.)
My heart breaks for all of you. You are so right, God was not glorified.
Dear Greg Gilbert, glossy gift boxes filled with candy and bubblegum are not expressions of love. They are bids for your attention and buy-in to the program. Swag bags are not optional at trade shows. It is not personal. You were flattered by the detail and attention lavished upon you, and you mistook that as being loved.
I am sad that you remembered a glossy box a year after you received it at the trade show. It just seems that a glossy box filled with bubblegum is a pathetic proxy for real Christ-like love.
You are known for your little Gospel book. The Gospel has nothing to do with the things you guys have loaded it up with. The Gospel has nothing to do with female subordination, for example. Or church membership covenants or coercive church discipline. That does not produce confident disciples. It produces cowed pewpeons who cannot move without permission from their leaders. It does not produce leaders who look like Christ but rather leaders who are comfortable in themselves and their bubble. It creates in-breeding, and that rarely ends well.
Were you, by any chance, part of the process that brought Mark Dever and CJ Mahaney together? We have been trying to figure that out.
Our family lost our shirt in 2000. We didn’t know our giving was being spent that way. I always thought the conferences paid for themselves?
The “excellence” teaching many would say was the most spiritually harmful teaching they received. CJ taught a six tape series on Pursuing Excellence in the late 70’s or early 80’s. As usual, he used mockery to shame people who were not excellent.
His standard of required excellence was perfection. Many a servant had their livelihood snatched from them for making a mistake while serving. EVERYTHING had to be perfect. Many souls sat idle because they could not attain perfection. When someone failed, they were privately and/or publicly rebuked for their mistake or “lack of gifting”. That had nothing to do with their spirituality. Worship leaders, secretaries, care group leaders…all were required to be perfect.
That’s why you often hear CLC people today somewhat dumbstruck that they were rebuked for minor offenses and Nate Morales got a pass.
Somehow, one leader’s “excellence obsession” was equated with “holiness” and being perfect became a spiritual pass or fail.
The most damaging teaching to the children raised in the church would be the “perfection teaching”. Perfect obedience. Immediately. Willingly. Cheerfully.
Excessively honor the models. Shun those who fell short.
Requiring perfection from others is a primary characteristic of a cultic leader.
True addict behavior, as C.J. Mahaney was. Put the “plug in the jug” as they say in 12-step programs and just switch addictions. Never deal with the addictive, bad behaviors.
a non-Christian ‘neighbor’
well, good to know it was about money all along, but what was ‘replicated’ and how did the favor get repaid?
oh gosh, Flannery O’Connor was right all along that sometimes people have hold of the wrong horror
I’m terrified of what the pay-back may have included, and I hope it wasn’t the first thought that came into my mind. God forgive me my judgmental ways. And God protect the children from the greed of those who shelter predators. So much wickedness . . . and all for money. God have mercy.
Very strange. Since this person’s motivations were apparently not religious, were they political?
I just read through these and I am sick to my stomach. This is satanic, there is no other description for it.
How pathetically insufficient CJ Mahaney’s system was in terms of his personal life.
I feel sick to think of the sincere believers caught in this trap and pray that God would set them free.
OK, I’ve calmed down (a tiny bit.) Mr. Gilbert, your words above seem to indicate that with your experience of the fancy box and the professionally designed products, you believe SOVEREIGN GRACE CHURCHES to have been an example of an excellent church.
Gift baskets and lavishing gifts is NOT what an excellent church looks like. Here’s what an excellent church looks like:
It doesn’t spend a penny unnecessarily so that MORE money can go to the lost and the broken. An excellent church is feeding the homeless. An excellent church is in the hospitals visiting the sick. An excellent church is in the homes of the elderly tending to their broken hearts. An excellent church is clothing the needy, tutoring in after school programs, in the prisons, at courts loving victims, etc.
How you think any of what you experienced could even begin to compare what excellence in the church equates with makes me worry for your time in the word and for your church. I pray that in the last 14 years your views have changed and your church sees you setting the example of an excellent church by being out on the street with the homeless or working with prisoners or working with victims or working with people the world would step over. Not stepping over yourself to be fawned upon.
The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
and his ears are attentive to their cry;
16 but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil,
to blot out their name from the earth.
17 The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them;
he delivers them from all their troubles.
18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
Here is a post I did on the history of Eric Simmons Redeemer Arlington.
That book review is clutch. It proves that Mahaney was intentionally reaching out to CHBC as early as 1998 or 1999.
I also do not see why an unbeliever would fund IX Marks. I am not sure CHBC has had any impact on its neighborhood. That story by “anon” sounds made up.
Yes, this was the “first-time obedience” teaching. I think it was Growing Kids God’s Way – by the Ezzos.
” We are grateful that someone in the 9Marks camp is keeping up with what we are writing.”
I can’t speak for other churches, but Gateway Church in Southlake most certainly does monitor both your blog and your Twitter. They do react and make adjustments based on what is written here. Sadly, their typical reaction involves simply concealing their bad behavior better. But even that is a victory as it slows them down and forces them to spend time and resources altering their more visible, blatant bad behavior. People may think this is a “small blog” written by a couple of moms, but the reach of this blog is very real and has a far greater impact than many people realize. The posts here show up on Google searches for years to come and people continue to find them. Shining the light of truth is what these unethical megas who make their hundreds of millions off the gospel fear most.
I am so grateful and proud of what is accomplished here weekly. I pray for the day it is no longer necessary, but in the mean time pray for you both. What you do makes a huge difference. If it didn’t, these monoliths wouldn’t be following you and making their PR adjustments. Go TWW!
Park your brains at the curb, and enter into the “fellowship” or “brotherhood”.
Put people in their place as sheeples. A cheap form of social engineering.
Deb and Dee first thanks for giving voice to the voiceless and letting people find the voice they do have. The second thing is I have always respected your ability to say we were wrong and apologise and retract / correct any mistake. I am not so sure you are wrong but that is another post, there is still massive one hand washes the other back-patting that goes on. Those people do not do the same, in my opinion, they misrepresent many differing views and seem to dismiss most criticism. They also seem to discipline those that disagree in their congregations. I can’t imagine families, friends, churches splitting up over such utter nonsense but they do from what I have seen. That entire Church Discipline concept as portrayed in their books and articles is just an excuse for passive-aggressive retaliation.
They have made a cottage industry on the Spiritual James Dean YRR crowd rebel without a clue. What is funny is they come off with this Im not politically Correct standing against the “persecution” of the world yet cant tolerate even a little bit of pushback.
Sadly, this is what predators do. Hiding in plain site. Adjusting the image to maintain the image that covers up a subtext of evil. Yes, predators are adept at this. Note: the cover-up as illuminated in the film, “Spotlight”.
The industrial religious complex.
As someone who attended CHBC a decade ago, my sense was the neighbor who gave the money was Matt Schmucker. He was literally Mark’s neighbor. And there really is no reason for Matt to have taken on the role that he did with 9 Marks. Given Mark’s past of only using people who can help him, it would make sense if Matt gave the money and then became director of the organization using Mark’s connections in the church world.
Julie Anne Smith wrote:
http://bit.ly/1OFdt7y regarding the Ezzos.
So that’s what the Nine Marks are? Biblical this and Biblical that? What does that even mean? The Bible is a big and complicated book. If you cherry-pick it cleverly enough, you can find a “Biblical” rationale for just about anything, from slavery to polygamy to holy war to genocide.
I’ve been battling to understand how it’s possible to keep on maintaining the cognitive dissonance necessary to keep drinking the 9 Marks type kool aid.I think I understand one part of it. Throw the adjective ” Biblical” around enough times and you buy into the consequent lie that any opposing view is “unbiblical”. In other words, “heresy”.
I am of the opinion that adamant rhetoric and invective tend to mask insecurity – fanatics shouting down dissent by threat to life and limb are probably insecure about their ideology and seek to mask that with aggression.
It makes me wonder whether you really are secure in your faith if you have to yell and pick a theological/doctrinal fight at every opportunity. You may simply have bought into the lie that anyone not part of your group is damned and dangerous and the existence of such implies your position may not be the truth since everyone should be of your camp otherwise.
Sorry apologies for any incoherence. Lack of sleep last night and standing in the pouring rain from 7.30 this morning to watch my son play soccer.
Thought this was a good one:
And I had the same thought…..
Christiane, would you be willing to share what your first thought was? I haven’t a clue what it could be.
THAT makes much more sense than some “anonymous non-Christian” giving money out of the blue to what was intended to be one of the most blatantly super-theological congregations of all time…
From the OP:
I left in 2001 and the name had changed from PDI to SGM a few years before that, although I’m not exactly sure when. I noticed Wikipedia states the name change happened in 2002 as well,so I don’t know if they were able to go by the new name “Sovereign Grace Ministries” before it became the legal,trademarked name, or what the story is there. When I first read “2002” it was an error, because I know it was known by everyone as SGM before that.
I hadn’t considered Matt Schmucker because I knew he had been on staff at CHBC before Dever arrived in D.C., as this Southern Seminary article indicates. I guess it’s possible…
There was no accountability for how the money was spent. Members were not informed. Mahaney set it up that way and led everyone to believe money was given to help support the local church you were supposed to be married to, and the larger Family of Churches that we all supported generously at Celebration. I’d be surprised if anyone knew the whole time Mahaney preached against parachurch organizations (the local church is where it’s at, people) that he was investing heavily in parachurch organizations.
My guess: This neighbour was hoodwinked. He might have heard words like “discipline” and “leadership” all strung together, and figured that a church was finally interested in holding its leaders accountable, and making sure that they assume some responsibility for failures and bad decisions. All good-hearted people, no matter what they believe, knows how badly churches need that, to keep kids and others safe. Maybe that’s what he wanted to fund and support.
If so, that donor had no idea what Dever was really up to. How could he know that Dever’s idea of “discipline” is only for the serfs, and not for the lords?
@ Paula Rice:
I'll try to do some checking on when the name change actually happened. I assumed the Wiki article was accurate. It appears Mahaney was trying to ditch the People of Destiny label not long after his friendship with Dever began. Based on remarks Mahaney made in a sermon at CHBC, I believe he and Dever first met in 1996. Dever began his pastorate in D.C. in mid-1994.
@ Paula Rice:
Paula, I left my SOVEREIGN GRACE CHURCHES church in 2001. We were not CLC. My recollection was that we were still PDI. Maybe at CLC it was known that the org was SGM but I don’t think I heard of it while I was there and only after I was invited to go elsewhere.
Reference the Mahaneyites:
Jen Grover has composed a great resource – a timeline documenting all the nuttiness.
According to this timeline People of Density (sic) became PDI in April 1998 and PDI became SGM in 2002.
Until I started reading this blog, I had never heard of CJ Mahaney, Mark Dever, 9 Marks, Sovereign Whatever-they-call-themselves. In my day to day secular life (I don’t attend church so I don’t have a “Christian life”), I never come across this stuff. I did an informal poll of people I know (christian & non). Everyone draws a blank on these people/groups.
I guess my point is, that a non-christian would have little reason to become involved. There are some christian missions that I’ve given money to in the past (like Salvation Army) but they do some truly great work in the poorer areas of our community and are not there to convert.
When I did attend church, one of the books touted as “proof” that Christ was real was the “Case for Christ” in which Lee Strobel claims that it’s what convinced him to abandon atheism. Based on what I read later, Strobel was already a committed christian when he wrote the book.
There was a testimony in our church by a young lady who claimed she was converted from a non-christian background. That she had never been exposed to Christianity. Later I found out the family had been involved in the church for years (her brother became a pastor). I have no doubt the conversion was real but it’s a little disingenuous to say you had no christian background and just came to christ.
It seems to me that when evangelicals claim that non-christians are supporting or converting without any reason. They just “see the light” – there’s usually more to the story. Just sayin’
My former SBC church is now a member of 9 Marks. When we worshipped there, I was always amazed how they could ask us to sacrificially give to new church buildings and other things while wasting money on expensive marketing material (kind of like shiny boxes). As an accountant, the obvious waste of money on non-essentials was maddening. They also dropped the word “Baptist” from the church name while we were there, which I thought was so odd at the time. After reading TWW, it makes perfect sense. Fortunately, my family left before things got really bad & they hired a fresh out of seminary 30 year old as their senior pastor. We are now proud United Methodists.
@ Todd Wilhelm:
Why is the name change so confusing? The SGC website indicates that PDI became SGM in 2003.
Bill Kinnon wrote:
It blows my mind. It is incredible to me that one man was the Catalyst for the the SBC’s huge investment in this cultic racket: Al Mohler.
On the one hand, I have no difficulty believing that the leadership of IX Marks told a story like the one anon shared. On the other hand, I have great difficulty believing it is true in any way. The hilarious bit about a “non-Christian” neighbor being remotely interested in 9Marks or CHBC or anything else reads like bad Christian fiction attempt.
Maybe you missed the part where his wife became a Christian and challenged him to investigate the matter while he was still an atheist. He wrote the book years later, but he really did do the investigation. There are other famous authors who did the same, including CS Lewis and Josh McDowell. It’s good to have a healthy sense of skepticism. But when it gets to the point of doubting everyone’s testimony the skepticism has gone too far. I don’t find any reason to disbelieve Strobel’s testimony just because he wrote the book years after it happened, which is exactly how he described it in the book.
One important point about apologetics is that there is no airtight case for Christianity. There is also no airtight case for atheism. Or any other religion. Any belief system must be accepted by faith, even agnosticism. The real question is which one makes the most sense.
Agreed! With this crowd, can there be any doubt that there is more to the story?
Ron Oommen wrote:
Yes. Actually, this is an old marketing/propaganda trick that has seen several faces in the last American century. The theory works like this:
1) Begin with a binary “in group/out group” paradigm.
2) Make the stakes for binary identity very high (so that it matters).
3) Create social rules to empower and benefit the rulers.
4) Create and use language that implies that those who don’t follow these rules are part of the out group.
We can see this in play in medieval Catholicism, but we also see it at play in neo-fundamentalism. The term “biblical” is actually passe now. The new ingroup identity language is “gospel”. This is why you hear truly bizarre claims like Mohler claiming that anyone who believes the gospel will basically end up reformed. He is using this tactic to try and get weak minds to believe that if they are not in his theological camp, then they are against the gospel, and most likely in the outgroup. This is also the best framework within which to view the 9 marks. It explains the authoritarianism as well as the curious fact that not one of these supposed marks of a healthy church have anything to do with Christian ethics, or what Paul seemed to think mattered for churches.
Glad I missed this since I started attending in 1989, but its interesting to read this. I hadn’t known about this Excellence Series, but like with everything they taught, it became part of the fabric.
I lived in a neighborhood where a whole group of CLC leaders lived, who had all gone in together and purchased plots and built new houses in a small subdivision in Gaithersburg. They were all Ryan Homes, as I recall. I believe this took place in the early to mid 80’s when a lot of people migrated out to Gaithersburg, having before that been concentrated in areas closer to DC. So, at the time we relocated from State College, PA, the neighborhood there in Gaithersburg was established and all the houses (54 in all) were built. I didn’t know what I was getting myself into, that’s for sure. It had been my ex-husband’s idea to move and I thought it seemed like a good idea, but he hadn’t informed me of what had happened behind the scenes back in church in State College. The night before we moved, at our going away party, the Pastor whispered to me, “Your husband isn’t who he appears to be” and I had no idea what to do with that, so I just kept it to myself. I thought maybe it was sour grapes or something, I didn’t know. But that’s another story!
Living in Ricucciville, as it was referred to because Gary Ricucci lived there, provided me the opportunity to get a very good sense of how things ticked in CLC. It was one of the nerve centers. I was never looking to find problems, but certain things happened that raised red flags, starting soon after we moved in. At that time nobody from outside these core group of CLC leaders and their associates had lived there among them as your average CLC member. Little did I know the Lord had strategically placed me there because now, years later, I speak as a legitimate witness to how things functioned, and the Lord trained my senses. I thank God that the work of the Spirit within me superceded the pressure to become a Pod Person.
One of my first experiences with my neighbor involved her giving me a tour of her home. This would be the first of many incidences where it was clear to me her intention was to instruct me in the ways. She emphasized how their wedding vows were proudly posted in a big frame in their bedroom, right above the bed.
Some time afterwards, I attended some event in the Ricucci’s home and there, too, I was given a little tour, and it was emphasized to me how their wedding vows were prominently hung over their bed, and I remember thinking, “That’s where K got her idea.” But what struck me at this time was when I needed to retrieve my pen from the couch cushion I was sitting on. I had five young children all close in age, Betsy Ricucci had four. When I moved the couch cushion it startled me that I didn’t see a single crumb – no pennies, no scrap of paper, nothing. I thought, “Wow, I know my couch would tell a different story!” and remarked about it to others in the room. I wondered how a woman with young children had such a spotless, crumb-free couch!
I guess it’s because she was excellent and I was not. And no, I never hung my wedding vows above my bed or started vacuuming my couch everyday.
The parallels to similar abuses of OT religious leaders is incredible.
One would think in the NT Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, would be hard on the Roman Occupiers. But He wasn’t. He was hard on the religious leaders from His tribe.
A lesson CJ, AL, Mark and others miss. Instead, they use His Name for personal power.
Oh dear. Mahaney’s son was arrested here for reckless (or was it drunk) driving in Oldham Co. Would Mahaney’s teaching mean he is responsible? Shouldn’t he be degifted according to his own rules?
Had the same thought. But still think the story of a neighbor was planted.
Yes, I’m a bit curious about this know because I know it was SGM when I left. I was there when it changed from People of Destiny to PDI and then to SGM, and I’m certain it was named SGM before I left, and I don’t recall it being something that had just taken place, but I’m fuzzy on the month/year it took place!
Yes. An entire generation of young evangelical boys and girls have been socially engineered from the seekers, charismatics to the YRR. This is why it is hard to find a decent church if that is not your normal. I feel for my kids in this one.
Matt Schumuker had big money? Daddy’s trust fund?
Ron Oommen wrote:
In Geneva they had the legal right to fine, imprison, banish, burn or drown dissenters. That is, of course, illegal today so they have other tactics that are more mind numbing and rhetorical. Lifton’s “Thought Reform” is a good place to start to understand. There is a reason they target the young in youth groups and college campi.
@ Velour: What!! We aren’t gospel bloggers???? I’m crushed
It was refreshing to read your comment! Thank you.
Because the pew sitters had no part or say in anything. Was there a vote on the name change? Were the pew sitters, who were paying for it all, part of developing the budget and voting on it?
@ brian: Love spiritual James Deans!!!!
@ Anon: Fascinating
Ken F wrote:
Knowing the Hybels machine as I did, I doubt that is the full story but it makes great PR.
I don’t know who Anon is, and I missed commenting on the last post where the speculation was that Mahaney provided a seed gift for 9Marks.
But I did read the post, and I asked someone who told me about 5 years ago what he had heard about 9Marks’ start.
He told me that same information that Anon provided. That an older, non-Christian, man, in the Capitol Hill neighborhood appreciated what CHBC had done in the neighborhood. Back when my friend heard this, he heard it from Matt Schmucker – and it was told in the context of 9Marks needing to change its business model because the older man was no longer in a position to give.
But this time frame also coincides with the collapse of Mahaney’s empire so that Mahaney would also no longer be in a position to give.
I seriously doubt [edited by blog moderator for clarity] that Anon (whom I don’t know) or my friend would lie. They got the same story from Schmucker.
But it is impossible to verify any of this.
Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:
Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:
Notice it is just a list of demands to be made upon the church members with no promises to them? Nothing of benefit for the church members whatever!
@ Deb: Remember Head Apostle. CJ? ROFL
This was a corporate management fad/theme in the early 80’s. That might tell us something about CJ. IMO he is a master marketer, and by the 90’s he had a track record of selling his product and then franchising it. What CJ did *not* have is academic respectability. Dever has that.
These New Calvinists know how to flatter and how to be flattered … how to promote and self-promote. To listen to them lay on praises for each other reaches the sickening point after a while. The introduction of NC celebrities at YRR conferences, like the recent T$G gathering, are laden with adulation and the brown-nosers love it so. I still remember a piece by Al Mohler on his radio program promoting Gilbert’s book “What is the Gospel?” In his interview, Gilbert said things like “Oh, Dr. Mohler, what a sweet question” while Dr. Mohler pushed Gilbert’s book as a must read for all the YRR listening in. Gilbert, in his own sweet flattering way obviously in-turn stroked the good doctor who asked sweet questions. A man like Dr. Mohler with so many books in his library must surely be both smart and sweet. I keep waiting for the millions of non-Calvinist Southern Baptists to eventually wake up and find out that Dr. Mohler’s Calvinization of the SBC has been anything but sweet.
For clarification, I think you mean you believe they are telling the truth. The way it’s worded, it sounds like just the opposite to me.
After hearing me read your comment, my wife just commented “The Gospel is Good News for ALL men … and women!”
With wisdom like that, I often tell my dear wife that she is one of the most godly men I know! ;^)
Wonder what CHBC did in the neighborhood to attract the attention?
But this is confusing:
“But this time frame also coincides with the collapse of Mahaney’s empire so that Mahaney would also no longer be in a position to give.”
The start up and funding of 9 Marks coincides with the collapse of SGM?
Oh yes, ‘In Search of Excellence’.
The entire mess has ruined my son on religion. He trusts Xtians as far he can throw them. As he told me, most bad things that have happened to him from people who are SBC.
He became so disgusted with religion in America he now lives in China and teaches at a university. He probably will never come home…
Ron Oommen wrote:
I share your battle to understand this.
I have found that a great many believers do not actually read the Bible, they delegate that responsibility to others, or they study it in a fragmented way (looking up a verse on this or that) and never get an understanding of how the whole narrative proceeds, from beginning to end. As a result, they are not able to discern error.
When false teachings came into our church, I found that only a few people noticed it. Some people I talked with about the strange statements popping up in the messages had not heard them (what were they thinking about during the messages?) but most responded with, “what I think he really meant was…” Every single person had their own idea of “what he really meant” and, in the end, they all were wrong.
But I found it is really common for people to give their own meaning to what’s being said, instead of recognizing the speaker has his own absolute meaning to what he is saying.
Another thought is, the different maturity levels for reasoning (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lawrence_Kohlberg's_stages_of_moral_development) and critical thinking skills (like Bloom’s taxonomy).
I think many believers are at an immature stage. Others are intellectually lazy. They have a tendency to put their trust in persons, to lead and guide them, rather than using their own reasoning abilities. They imbue these leaders with the qualities they want to see. If you point out errors, they are offended and threatened because the anchor of their faith is in that other person. They have not trained their own reasoning to be able to recognize truth and error, they are dependent upon this other person (Hebrews 5:14, “But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.”)
I do think most believers want to do what is right and please God. They have a heart for God but not a mind for God. These leaders come into the picture with persuasive words and phrases and enough truth to ensnare the unwary. Slowly they guide them away from the truth, just like the byways in The Pilgrim’s Progress that appeared to travel along the main path but slowly diverged until the path could no longer be seen.
The shepherding groups also remind me of the “encounter groups” that were popular during the same era, in the secular psychology world, which also had a lot of destructive results.
“Built to Last” was another big one. It kind of cracks me up that the Neo Cals took on the Leadership Network guys marketing strategies of visionary leaders. Bob Buford, Peter Drucker?. Anyone remember? “Finishing Well”.
A lot of the change in Christendom we see go back to Druckers influence in the 70-80’s on non profits becoming entrepreneurial with mass marketing machines and visionary high paid leaders. He was a huge influence on Rick Warren and other seeker mega guys.
True. Another phrase to watch is “missional.” There is now a lot of spiritual abuse going on in the name of “missional.” “Missional Communities” tend to be authoritarian and performance-based. “Low control and high accountability.”
I can’t help but think of
“Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!”
Cook and his fellow victims, now all grown men, are also upset with former church elders at Covenant Life Church who, investigators say, tried to cover-up Morales’ sexual abuse for decades. Cook tells ABC 7 News their concealment is something they’ll have to live with the rest of their lives.http://bit.ly/1WIKat6
Looked up Nate Morales and found this. Regarding the church leaders/elders’ “concealment is something they’ll have to live with the rest of their lives,” hate to say it, but they don’t give a rip. “They’re not livin’ with nothin'” to put it crassly. In hell or the afterlife, if I dare say so, it will matter. Like the rich man and Lazarus, they will be begging for water that they cannot have. Here on earth, they are oblivious.
Ron Oommen wrote:
Very true. No one wants to be called a heretic. For those who have not seen this, the Together for the Gospel, their Affirmations & Denials page plays on this fear (see http://t4g.org/about/affirmations-and-denials-2/):
“We are convinced that the Gospel of Jesus Christ has been misrepresented, misunderstood, and marginalized in many Churches and among many who claim the name of Christ. Compromise of the Gospel has led to the preaching of false gospels, the seduction of many minds and movements, and the weakening of the Church’s Gospel witness.”
They then use sophistry, histrionics, extreme-think, false-dichotomies, and misleading interpretations of the Bible to show that anyone who does not agree with them is a heretic. And people buy it, probably because they don’t have the time or inclination to dig deep enough to expose the falsehood.
http://bit.ly/1s15gWn The Dones and the Nones. Rather than lose their faith, they leave their church to save it.
Yes, leave the church and save the faith. Sound reasoning. The “church” is not the church anyway. Perhaps the wheel in Ezekiel has left “the church”. So, follow the wheel, the presence of God Himself, and leave the industrial complex in the dust.
Good intentions and lacking in substance and action.
Paula Rice wrote:
That is super creepy. I’m glad that the pastor said something to you so that when the time came, you could look back on it and know it just wasn’t you when things went wrong. At least I would have found comfort from that.
Paula, do you now know what was happening back in PA? Was it A PDI church or another church?
It says that they sold 3 million copies in the first four years of publication. I can tell you how that happened, at least from my vantage point. It became required reading at business schools everywhere. I worked in a university bookstore and we had a skid (a specially stacked endcap) of “In Search of Excellence” because we sold so many of them to undergraduate business students (who made up 25 percent of the undergraduate student body at my alma mater).
Thank you for sharing. CJ’S things didn’t start changing until 2011 or 12. Maybe I’m confused at what you are saying but I thought the financial gift was given at the height of his financial strength (mid 90’s through 2011.)
CJ had a history of drug addiction… I wonder if he or the others involved had any exposure to Synanon?
Ok. Now I think I understand you. Correct me if I am wrong, please, but I think you’re saying money was given by someone and this kept 9Marks going for a while but around 2011 or so 9Marks wanted to change their business model because their benefactor could no longer give and it was this time frame which coincided with Mahaney no longer able to provide as his financial situation had alerted significantly.
I am so sorry! You know, one quick event in a parking lot made such an indelible mark on my then 14 year old, that if I could find the young man I would thank him.
My 14 year old struggled horribly in a worldview class in private Christian school. It was a nightmare. She honestly thought they were going to study different worldviews of religion. But it was nothing of the sort. It was total indoctrination from a determinist slant. And there was no real Calvinism in the school, it has just permeated everything including textbooks on biblical worldview. Most of the quotes were from historical and recent Calvinist theologians. Not sure why they could not quote Jesus, instead. (Sigh)
She struggled to answer the questions on the test as they were expected to be answered but then would write in what she thought was the right answer next to it. Oh dear! I had to admire the spunk! But what to do? I did talk to the teacher that our “worldview” differed but it was a waste of time.
On the very last day of school (she would not be going back) parked right next to us was a senior guy she knew and liked. He stood in front of his car and screamed back at the school: I am now officially an atheist and you can’t do one thing about it!
And this was not a legalistic school except that one class.
My daughter was stunned at his outburst. She said, ‘mom, that might be me if I stayed here.’
So, I thank that young man and pray for his journey in this world. I will include your son, friend.
To quote Anon – and it was told in the context of 9Marks needing to change its business model because the older man was no longer in a position to give.
But this time frame also coincides with the collapse of Mahaney’s empire so that Mahaney would also no longer be in a position to give.
So, I think they are saying the giving and then the cessation of the giving both coincide with Mahaney’s fortunes?
Yes. I saw the same. Tom Peters was everywhere. The question is who funded the bottomless pit of research out of McKinsey all those years.
Any church that claims to be a IX marks church is publicly stating that it has missed the most important mark that Jesus taught and that Paul encouraged: LOVE! So they either need to become a X marks church, making love the first mark, or become a I Mark church, that mark being LOVE. Too much unloving discipline, etc. And the word Biblical is misplaced, because most of what is taught is not, Biblical that is.
I think it is being reframed for confusion.
Jesus said that people will know that those who follow Jesus are his disciples by their LOVE! No LOVE implies not a disciple of Jesus, ergo not Christian.
My kids feel the same way. Though they are closer to home. And to think it was for them that I joined my SOVEREIGN GRACE CHURCHES church.
Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:
Mark Dever fancies himself as a wonder boy. He personally (along with a few other equally arrogant men) discovered ‘Biblical truths’ and ‘Biblical basics’ that ‘had been lost.’ Examples of this egregious proof-texting include the fact that when the Scriptures say that the church was increasing in numbers that had to mean that they were actually counting new converts. This meant attendance (done at 9Marks’ churches) and Membership Covenants.
9Marks pastors are rude, arrogant, and smarmy. They are an uncouth lot in my opinion. They arrogantly announce from the pulpit that how do they know if you are one of their sheep, if you didn’t sign a membership covenant? (I was so embarrassed by this rudeness at my former 9Marxist church.) I would sit in my pew and say to myself: “Because they showed up, that’s why.” Attenders were told from the pulpit point blank not to return to church if they weren’t willing to sign a membership covenant. The senior pastor arrogantly said he didn’t know you thought of him as your pastor if you hadn’t signed the membership covenant and it was news to me. How immature. They showed up. They got dressed up. Found the location. Drove here. Arrived on time. And this is the *welcome* they get for their efforts. To be treated to this level of immaturity and incivility, to not be warmly welcomed by the Body of Christ. A disgrace!
A whopping 200,000 living members left the Southern Baptists last year, fed up with NeoCalvinism, authoritarianism, and patriarchy/complementarian teachings.
Great comment, Gram. I wonder how starved Greg must have been for real Christian love, that he would go all starry-eyed over flattery from the likes of Mahaney. And in the form of a bag of goodies, too.
An Attorney wrote:
Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:
It’s Scientology’s playbook, too. To a “T”. And that frightens me.
Ken F wrote:
The church we’ve been attending is planning to bring in a program called “Authentic Manhood” (groan/eyeroll) and we started researching it. Watching the videos is like a training course in logical fallacies, just like you’ve pointed out. “Authentic Manhood” looks to me like a Trojan horse for shepherding. What a coincidence with this thread.
Is there anywhere a believer can get away from this stuff? I’m right on the verge of “done.” Maybe past the verge, to be honest.
Thanks for this info Velour.
Come on folks! Stop signing these ridiculous membership covenants! There is nothing 'biblical' about them.
From Greg Gilbert’s fawning line of drivel:
Speak for yourself, Greg. I know his name, and when I read it, I snarled.
Serving Kids In Japan wrote:
When your church’s behavior reminds people of “Just like Scientology!”, that’s NOT a good sign.
I guess that’s the new ‘in’ word. OK, The Deebs are now Gospel (TM) Watch Bloggers.
Gotta love the internet! Here you go…
Oh look, some of the contributors are Matt Chandler, Paul Tripp, and Jefferson Bethke.
@ Paula Rice:
Yikes, Paula, that framed-wedding-vows shtick. The spotless couch. That’s what they meant by excellence? Stepford Christianity?
And all this time I thought it might have something to do with the Sermon on the Mount.
It's definitely one way to narrow down one's choice of churches to attend. TGC and 9Marks churches are NOT possibilities for me.
Ditto. I am so out of this loop, it’s a wonder I can even follow the discourse. Every name and every acronym has to be looked up and researched.
However, that being said, when I do the research, a light bulb goes off with, “I know that guy!” or “I get it! I’ve seen that before!” and in the end, everything has already come up in the Bible. There are biblical references everywhere for the individuals and movements mentioned on TWW.
Moreover, the issues are extremely important and universal: helping the oppressed, connecting the marginalized, speaking truth to power, etc.
That’s why everything here relates to, for example, the film Spotlight, even though it seems most references are to protestant churches.
Finally, in the global political economic sphere, there are connections.
For example, in the book, Why Nations Fail by Acemoglu and Robinson, they point out that the second in power is never really vetted until they become the top dog. In other words, despots are latent until they take the top position. This seems to also be true in religious culture.
Total Blind Loyalty for the price of ONE SWAG BAG?
His price came cheap.
I am not sure how to interpret this. Many SBC churches don’t identify with the SBC anymore and don’t report numbers, etc. Many don’t cooperate with the CP yet their leaders are often promoted by the SBC. Platt and J.D. Greear come to mind.
It is all very convoluted and confusing. As if Mohler and co want to use the OPM non cal money flowing to entities but want to change the model at the same time. Many YRR churches don’t give to the SBC but are promoted by SBC leadership. It is truly bizarre.
A long (if hardly noble) tradition.
In his Inferno, Dante Aligheri put one Pope (Peter) in Heaven, one in Purgatory, and all the rest in Hell.
Wow, now that you mention it…it reminds me of the toxic culture in many mega-corporations: all stick, no carrot.
Does anyone know when the SBC will release the numbers this year? And you know, most SBC churches don’t take people off the rolls, even if they’ve not been in church in years…..so, the number of people who have actually left is larger than what they are telling us….
Btw, slightly off-topic, but is anyone familiar with Providence Baptist Church in Raleigh. The “Internet Continuum” brought me to their site. Is it Neo-Cal? It seemed to me to have a few of the signs, but maybe I’ve become overly sensitive. They talked about God’s sovereignty, complementarianism, etc. Plus, they had a humongous ministry and staff team. Does that mean they are a mega? Or just top-heavy?
In addition to that criteria to eliminate churches, I will also eliminate churches that:
*are affiliated with Acts 29 (same old authoritarianism)
*are affiliated with CBMW (Biblical Manhood/Womanhood; Patriarchy-teachings; the ‘Eternal [a lie] Subordination of the Son’ semi-Arian heresy used to justify Patriarchy/Comp teachings
*Nouthetic Counseling/The Bible is sufficient for all things [this should be called what it is…malpractice, practicing medicine without a license, in which pastors/elders
with ZERO education and training about serious matters run their mouthes and render opinions about things, getting them wrong, doing damage
*Young Earth Creationism. A rejection of science by people who are untrained. Their insistence that the earth is 6,000 years old and that you are a heretic for believing otherwise.
These people lack love. Clanging bells. Majoring in minors. Close your wallet and don’t donate a dime to fund this authoritarianism.
Yes. My friend would not lie. Sorry.
The authoritarian church I escaped from went through a name change also. The staff started using the new name and slowly the church was rebranded without discussion or consent of the supposed council. Years later when the name was officially changed, who could object? The new name had been in use for years. The overlords have many techniques to get their way.
No. The start up of 9 Marks would have been at the same time SGM and its predecessors were doing well.
SGM began to crumble what – 5 years or so ago? That was right around the time, or it was shortly thereafter, that 9Marks became more prodigious in fundraising, whereas before they gave away most of their stuff. The explanation was the need to change the funding due to the loss of the donor.
My own personal suspicion is that it’s not Mahaney. I am sure he has given to 9Marks and CHBC, but I seriously doubt he would have funded 9Marks heavily in the beginning. If he had, his name, brand, etc. would be all over the 9Marks stuff. Nobody’s that humble. Not even Mahaney.
The 9 Marks of A Healthy Church
hmmmm… 7 out of 9 of these all-important marks defined by being ‘biblical’…. by a matter of interpretation…. defining an absolute term by relative term….
I guess in Christian culture repeating the word biblical that many times means it’s obviously true. Case closed.
😐 (i’m shooting for the ironic look i have on my face. is this doing it?)
I know a ” former” youth minister, now teaching science in a Dallas-Ft Worth at a public school. Yes, he is YEC. Yes, he is YRR, and his B.A.? It’s from one of the SBC seminary colleges in religion. Texas is so desperate for math and science teachers ( and just about any core subject) if you can pass the subject exam, you can become a teacher…..makes you wonder just what he’s teaching to his high school kids?
An Attorney wrote:
The irrefutable bottom line right there!
Man, I am confusing today. It seems that the time frames possibly line up. SGM is strong in the early years of 9Marks and before, but in recent years, SGM is weak and probably does not give as much. And it is during this time that my friend hears the story about the benefactor and 9Marks’ need to raise money.
I’ve heard of Mens Fraternity, but have never participated. I’ve noticed that many churches seem to have lots of ministry attention focused on the women and youth but very little focus on the men. That seems out of balance. But the CBMW stuff takes it to the other extreme. I don’t know enough about “Authentic Manhood” to know where to place it, but the trailers come across as a bit histrionic, and the connection with Acts29 and Matt Chandler raise some flags.
I share your frustration with church options. The “conservative resurgence” created a mess.
Not just Head Apostle(TM), Head Apostle of the People of Destiny(TM)?
Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:
Just take press releases from Soviet-era Pravda or TASS (or Mao-era China) and just substitute “Biblical” for “People’s”.
So it was CJ after all.
All it takes is a little leaven, eh!
That conference Greg Gilbert spoke of is oozing with the same sort of “hospitality” gospel that Mary Mohler pushes in her “Ministry of Hospitality” Seminary Wives class. Someone I know well took the class and was appalled at how shallow it was. Nothing about the theology of hospitality, God’s hospitality of strangers, etc. All about the fancy and superficial details of entertaining.
I found this. CHBC was not well-liked by the neighbours as you can read here.
These guys who went to these insular Bible colleges/seminaries and were force-fed and expected to believe this drivel. If they & everyone around them says it enough times than it must be ‘true’. There is no reasoning with them.
There were plenty of Christians in my family, including women, who were in the sciences (Physics, Chemistry, Biology) who got their university degrees 100 years ago and believed in an Old Earth Creation. Not even they believed this YEC drivel. I look at the mountain ranges and know that they are older than 6,000 years. (Even the words these guys are using from the Bible have multiple meanings and not just the one they claim to justify Young Earth Creation.)
Isn’t it Francis Collins that Dee has mentioned who is a Christian and believes in an Old Earth?
Todd Wilhelm wrote:
It is quite possible that the name change was not legal until 2002. CJ could have easily started using it earlier at CLC as in HIS mind it was a done deal.
Ken F wrote:
I was actively involved in the early days of the missional conversation in North America — an outgrowth of Lesslie Newbigin’s Gospel & Our Culture Network. It really was quite simply described through Peterson’s rendering of John 1 — “He took on flesh and moved into the neighbourhood.” A call to us to become missionaries to our culture.
There was a real battle to take the word and the conversation over by the New Reformed. Sadly, as a result “missional” means virtually nothing today.
Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
What's frightening is – that's the truth.
Hahaha! You must be mad to ask those questions 😉
That's what I thought. Wanted to be sure your thoughts were being represented accurately. I'll edit the comment for clarity.
I found The Deebs’ definition under the top of the page.
“The Flintstone Doctrine
The heavens and earth were created in 6 literal 24-hour days.
Yom must only be interpreted as a literal, 24-hour day although it has around 58 meanings.
The earth is 6,000 years old. (Radical Young Earthers may stretch the age of the earth to a whopping 10,000 years old!)
Death of animals is a moral equivalent of death of men. Therefore, animals couldn’t die until Adam let sin enter the world.
All dating methods are flawed and are off by billions of years.
Satan probably planted the fossil evidence.
God created the universe to look old. Despite the obvious, God is not trying to trick us.
All science research done by YE (Young Earth) is true. All scientific research done by anyone else is part of a vast conspiracy to suppress the truth.
Christians who are part of the scientific establishment are doing it for money and tenure and are sell-outs and cowards. They know that YE is true and are actively involved in deceiving their Christian community.
Dinosaurs boarded Noah’s Ark two by two and survived the flood.
Dinosaurs played with children while mom did the dishes (See example in creation museum)
Prior to the fall, all carnivorous dinosaurs were herbivores, even though God created them with GYNORMOUS teeth.
Wives are strictly “helpmeets” to their husbands. They must role model Mrs. Ham who is not only submissive, but very, very submissive. When dinosaurs roamed the earth (prior to their extinction) they may have been domesticated to help with household chores (aka the Dino theory).
Men are not merely men but patriarchs.
One is a heretic and most likely not a Christian unless all criteria above are met.
All evolutionists are atheists. Therefore, Francis Collin is not a Christian no matter what he says.”
This site is pretty interesting: http://www.godandscience.org/. It’s got so many links that it’s sure to have something to offend nearly everyone. But they do a pretty good job of showing the fallacies of YEC. Click on the “Creation” link.
@ Catholic Gate-Crasher:
Here's a clue… The pastor who started the church decades ago and recently retired is one of the original Council Members of The Gospel Coalition.
That's all I'll say about that…
@ Velour: All in jest. 🙂
“…Mary Mohler… her “Ministry of Hospitality” Seminary Wives class. … how shallow it was. Nothing about the theology of hospitality, God’s hospitality of strangers, etc. All about the fancy and superficial details of entertaining.”
you mean all the fluffy stuff? that comes down to culture and style? how to drape a tablecloth and swags? how to bunch up a table-topper? fold napkins? when to put the sherbet in the punch bowl?
i hate that stuff.
i mean with a passion.
I’ve perused Southern hospitality and decorating magazines — not my style. i can’t imagine spending how much money? on something like that, because it’s necessary for godliness. please.
Lydia, You're not keeping up! 😉 J.D. Greear's church is a big contributor to the CP now that he's running for SBC president!
We wrote a post about The Summit's current giving.
@ Ken F:
Thanks, Ken F., for that link. Good stuff.
I love “The Flinstone Doctrine”, because that’s what it is. The Christian scientists in my family – who got their degrees some 100 years ago at university (even worked on Nobel Prize-winning research teams, and that included women in my family) NEVER believed this Young Earth Creation drivel. The link that Ken F. posted about a website that explains the meanings of various words, and that Young Earth Creation came about in the 1950s, is quite helpful.
Hah!! My Neo-Cal Meter is becoming more accurate, it seems.
Next I’ll ask about the Worldview Academy that convenes this summer at Wake Forest University (where older son just graduated with his MA in Management).
As I can understood it, the neighbor gave start up money to Dever for CHBC or 9 Marks. 9 Marks needed funds long before, as did CHBC. I cannot figure out where you are coming from.
Yes there would be a time that 9 marks would ramp up their fundraising activities later that might coincide with SGM crumbling but that does not mean they did not need startup seed money to get going years before to pay salaries, etc.
I don’t think we can rule out Mahaney at all.
But that’s not fair! Platt got to be IMB Prez without his church giving to the CP! Now, Summit is ponying up?
I know someone who went through it about 7 years ago. She said it had a big part on modesty and dressing appropriately. Later the Mohler daughter showed up in a mini skirt and spiked heels. :o)
Dever was the Savior of not only CHBC but the neighborhood! Too bad his membership contracts and church discipline are ruining lives elsewhere.
all I can say is that you must be a better person than I am . . . I sometimes ‘connect the dots’ in the worst possible light, and I am ashamed of what I come up with . . . too much latitude for being wrong, and God forbid I injure anyone wrongly who isn’t in enough trouble already over their greed for money and for power over people
I hope my first thought is wrong. I pray it is. God Himself sees what I cannot, and I accept that.
Yes, the fluff.
It’s always nice to make people feel comfortable as guests and there are many different ways culturally to do so, but the superficiality of so much of these things I see, from the posh environment of T4G to the fancy campuses of many churches… Why can’t church be more about what church is, believers sharing the good news with others and opening our modest homes? Why do our churches need to spend money on larger speaker systems and expensive projectors instead of caring for the oppressed and downtrodden? Endless questions… Modern American churchianity has a lot of baggage. We need to pray for revival.
Yeah, the class evidently involved students allowing and being prepared for Mary Mohler to pop over anytime during the week. An exercise in making sure you can host someone unexpected, have a clean home, and have baked goods to offer. Welcome to unreality for a large portion of families with small children or illness, grief, etc.
I think its more important to be a biblical Mary at Jesus’ feet than to be fussing with entertainment details (Martha).
Mary Mohler lives in a free mansion with lots of help.
Whoa! You are kidding??? Right? I can’t keep the house clean now and I am retired and a professional ” house-boy” now…..and after the weight loss, forget me having any ” baked goods ” around….
@ Lydia: PREACH IT!
It sounds like what some from former SGM churches were talking about with "excellence". Didn't Mary Mohler's mom teach her to call before dropping in on someone?
Wait, I forgot. They are just the peasants. They will view it as a visit from the Queen.
DEFINITELY those groups I mentioned specifically get marginalized by that kind of obsession with super-household-management but also the rest of us who spend more time worrying about other things than dust bunnies. Good clarification. 😉
Platt was appointed. Greear wants to be elected at the upcoming SBC gathering. Pretty sure that's the difference.
When it comes to the Almighty Dollar, I would never rule Mahaney out. It seems to be his love language.
This is one of many things that drive me nuts about these churchoids. It’s impossible to verify because secrecy is the norm, or because the key people don’t want to account for their own actions or reveal their allegiances and intentions.
If my church suddenly got a shiny new building, and I asked where the money came from, I’m sure I would get a plausible answer–even if the funds were an anonymous gift. Moreover, I’m sure that the congregation would have a voice in the purpose and use of the new building, and that it would fit with our established ministry. The YRR message always seems to be “we don’t have to tell you.” That does not inspire trust.
Mary Mohler may be well-intentioned, but if instead of employing the ancient Church definition of ‘hospitality’ into to classes, she is trying to teach good manners, it might be nice to set an example by calling first, even if it’s a five-minute heads-up . . . a home with small children should place the children first, not graciously receiving guests who are rude enough to be un-announced. I suppose Mrs. Mohler is a very nice person but she might want to re-think her technique and what is at the heart of REAL Christian hospitality.
If a house is spotless, and everyone is well-groomed and presentable at all times, something is not quite as it should be. Give me the clutter of children’s toys and the joy of their noises and the sound of their play. They will be grown up soon enough. ‘Graciousness’ is no reason to put the children lower than trying to impress a grown person who should know better than to expect perfection from any mother of small children.
secrets like that lead people like me to think the worst sometimes . . . secrets about such things usually imply something to be ashamed of or kept hidden from examination
I wonder if she arrives donning her white glove. I find this extremely disgusting! 🙁
I am so sorry. It sounds like he might well have a better grasp of authentic Christian behavior than many of the Christians he encountered. (To be clear, I respect his choice to join the Dones, and am not trying to foist an unwelcome label of Christian on him.)
I think the Seminary Wives’s Institute program at SBTS is probably a nice way of ensuring that relatively unlearned soon-to-be pastor’s wives are on the same theological page as their husbands. But of course, not as or more learned than their husbands.
My mom had a magnet on the fridge:
Dull women have immaculate houses.
Try mainline denominations that ordain women.
I started hunting for some evidence and only thing I discovered was a picture of a magazine cover dated September/October 1997 and at the top its called “Sovereign Grace” and in the tag line below it says “The Magazine of PDI Ministries.” Maybe someone knows more about this, but the name of the magazine usually reflected the name of the ministry and for many years it was “People of Destiny Magazine.” I seem to recall a time period when the magazine went dormant, then it was relaunched as “Sovereign Grace” magazine – which may have been due to all the doctrinal changes that had been going on.
Wikipedia states, “Sovereign Grace Ministries was known as “People of Destiny International” until 1998. But like I said, this magazine cover I’m looking at is from 1997 and it says on the cover “The Magazine of PDI Ministries.”
I somehow missed this last summer. Not horribly surprising. I’m assuming Chad is still an intern at SBTS?
I’m hearing Voices still in in my head telling me that it makes no difference at all, NO DIFFERENCE AT ALL, that Platt’s church was not big on CP giving because PassionForMissions! Are there still that many open votes at the SBC? I thought all the young YRR staffers are now attending and voting in which case it makes NO DIFFERENCE AT ALL. 🙂
Paige and Dorothy went all the way and instituted a homemaker program at SWBTS complete with new kitchens.
We kept telling them about YouTube and DYI sites but I guess there is a special way to make Christian biscuits?
C’on Gram! You know Platt put himself in harms way for Gospel missions at the Dubai Marriott.
But you are right about the convention. A big drop in numbers.. Mainly church staffers now voting how the gurus tell them.
@ Paula Rice:
That is fascinating! Do you have a link? I'd love to look into this. It gives more evidence that Mark Dever had a significant impact on Mahaney and therefore SGM very early in their friendship.
The Mahaney entourage that fled to Louisville… their jobs and internships at SBTS are a verboten subject. Everyone is mum here.
Kauflin’s son has some band that plays everywhere and Kauflin seems to have made out well with his music at SBTS.
There was a bit of grumbling about their special treatment over SBC applicants but that got squashed quickly. It is a sin to talk about it, you know.
This is just about enough to make me scream.
Honest to Pete, our tiny church committee can feed and comfort 100 mourners with food prepared in home kitchens. Cost to church: maybe two pounds of coffee and four hours of electricity. And I guarantee you that those people will leave feeling loved and filled, having seen something of God’s heart and mind.
We have done exactly the same thing for conferences. Why, oh why would anyone replace this kind of hospitality?
Yes, there is! They’re the ones that have risen.
LOL! Oh dear. I should be worried then….
I have a dear friend, an author, who says that ‘house cleaning is a second-rate passion.’ (sounds good to me) 🙂
Christiane, No way I’m better. Just waaaaayyyy to naive (to the point I say stuff and have no awareness how others may misinterpret it.) Thanks for responding. I appreciate your sensitivity and desire not to hurt someone else.
The idea that their way is more excellent
Connecting a few more dots, I think it is nearly irrefutable that Mary Mohler and/or Carolyn Mahaney is responsible for the glossy boxes with cool foil stamped logo and breath mints and gift baskets on the beds. Not sure about the bubble gum, however. I certainly hope that it was wrapped in a logo wrapper–preferably foil stamped with excellence–in any case. 🙂
But, seriously, here’s the thing. From what I have heard, Greg Gilbert is a good guy. What this book review illustrates is the depth of the fanboy infatuation that is rampant. You simply cannot reason with this level of adoration. There is hope because I know of some other men who were CJ fans who no longer are after seeing behind the curtain.
Immaculate houses, your praises we sing!
You reign now in splendor with Jesus our King
Sorry, couldn’t he’p myself.
The Stepford Gospel. Ugh!
I just emailed you the picture!
The article, written by an adoring Mark Dever/9Marxist fan boy, could address problems neighbors had with parking but not the theological problems with Dever’s heavy-Shepherding teachings/authoritarianism. The fan boy trumpeted elder-led churches (more authoritarianism) omitting that Baptists have congregational votes.
And the corollary: A clean desk is the sign of a sick mind.
There is another issue. Third Avenue is surely not existing off tithe money. My guess is NAMB church plant money even though an old church. They have paid elders for such a small place near the University. Matt Smethurst, the obsequious YRR Tweeting extroidinare, is an elder there. Gilbert most likely owes his salary and position and those of the elders to Mohlers good graces.
From what I understand, they are 9 Marks influenced. They are big on home groups, comp doctrine and one on one discipleship so you don’t just come when you want. I would not recommend the church to any independent thinkers.
Was there a biscuit rapture? Is it ongoing? Are they on plates? Does that explain the shape of UFOs?
Yes, I know of several myself.
I do believe that God is moving to help pull the blinders off people’s eyes. Many will remain enamored with the big names and book deals, but God loves his church and his sheep will hear his voice.
I think it is the responsibility of those who know what is going on to continue to expose the truth in as loving and humble a way as possible (thanks to the Deebs and many others for their faithfulness in this), and we all must not neglect to pray for revival, to pray for the LOVE in our churches to grow, to pray and champion for the least among us, to live and walk in the Spirit. God is moving– we must not grow weary in doing good even when things can seem so bleak!
I had lots of dust bunnies until they tried to eat my biscuits.
If this is accurate, that is classic shepherding! I had no idea this insanity was happening outside of Sovereign Grace Churches.
( And house-boys)
but the superficiality of so much of these things I see, from the posh environment of T4G to the fancy campuses of many churches… Why can’t church be more about what church is, believers sharing the good news with others and opening our modest homes? Why do our churches need to spend money on larger speaker systems and expensive projectors instead of caring for the oppressed and downtrodden? Endless questions… Modern American churchianity has a lot of baggage. We need to pray for revival.
Oh, my! This is what my heart truly longs for the church in this country and for the most the world to look like.
This is what church is about. Helping those who need it. Orphans, widows, oppressed, down-trodden, forgotten, abandoned.
Bea, your lips to God’s ears.
You have seen the cry of my heart for so long. I am tired of another man-made sermon which just beats the pewsitters up.
After many years I think I have found out what troubles most of us in this country and esp. in churches. We all long for that purpose. Madison Ave. no longer fills us. Everything seems shallow.
Well, here it is. God wanted us to all serve, in the good way, love your neighbor as yourself, and stop chasing the world. It really is about loving God and your neighbor as yourself.
Granted, not everyone is having that issue and we all have some of it to different degrees. The problem in our society and church is that so many people and institutions are and that is really causing stress among many of us.
I know I may be projecting, but I find that when I am looking out for others whenever and wherever, it seems that I don’t worry so much about me and my wants. Notice I didn’t say needs. It is just that my fulfillment comes from helping.
Unfortunately, it is hard to break the hold that the system has and it has crept into the church and has a stranglehold there as well.
I’d imagine the new title was bandied about for years to get you all ready for it before they actually made it official. Frog in the water and all that.
Amen. Amen. Amen.
Heavy Shepherding (cultic, authoritarian) has spread across the U.S. and around the world via 9Marks, Acts 29, Southern Baptists, John MacArthur (and his seminary and network of church plants) and countless other groups.
@ Catholic Gate-Crasher:
Providence Baptist in Raleigh is where my East Coast Mom was a Sunday School teacher. You can read about Providence in the Wonderland series at this blog.
One of these days I would like to write David Horner a blunt open letter.
Amen….when I was on church staff, well it’s right at 35+ years ago, I questioned new gyms, replacing carpet that was 18 months old and looked brand new, new furniture in the parsonage because Mrs. Preacher thought it should be replaced, the ” old” preacher’s family had bought it for the parsonage out of their own pocket and left it as a gift, when he retired. New Mrs. Preacher didn’t think it was ‘ nice’ enough and convinced the WMU leadership to bring it up to their spouses…
Mine could be weapons. Armageddon.
May God give us all strength to imitate Christ the way we have come to know Him, a Savior who takes burdens off our backs, who sets the captives free, who heals with word and deed, who offers mercy to our enemies, who loves unconditionally and serves humbly.
There is hope in Jesus!
I actually found the seriously best recipe for biscuits: http://www.orgasmicchef.com/bread/best-fluffy-flakey-buttery-biscuits-ever/
I am really wondering how old this guy was when he thought that and if he’d ever been to…literally any other convention.
That kind of thing quite often means someone is trying to sell you something. Apparently this could be bought for a pack of gum and some candy. Pathetic.
I pay attention to gateway stuff as I have a friend that goes there. ive visited a couple times too, but not sure that Robert Morris was ever preaching when I went.
I went to chbc for a couple years so I remembered mark dever as an interesting pastor because his sermons were full of history notes and so on. I had never heard of this other stuff but I have some familiarity with some of the churches mentioned and now that I’m looking for it I can see this stuff has infested some of the local churches by reading their websites (not that I do that all the time or anything but if one is in the news I might check them out).
I think knowing its out there makes it easier to pick up on.
I don't think he had been out of college very long.
They may be lighter than air, but the name ain’t gonna fly with Gospelly crowd. Suggest renaming them Pre-Dispie Biskies.
Ken F wrote:
I read Case for Christ about 10 years ago or so. It was promoted as Mr. Strobel being an atheist and converting as he was writing the book. That wasn’t the case. He wrote the book as a Christian, and I do recall he did not interview any skeptics, only those who reinforced his own belief, so it was hardly the unbiased opinion advertised. I don’t question everyone’s testimony, only when they aren’t fully open about their real agenda (including quasi-truths & lies by omission).
The church I attended had another great example when there was a Franklin Graham Crusade coming to the city. “Operation Andrew” had cards handed out to the congregation. You were supposed to write the names of “unbelieving” or “unchurched” people and pray for them. Ok so far. Then you were supposed to befriend the people on the list (invite them for coffee, or dinner to your house) with the express purpose of encouraging them to go to the Crusade. Needless to say we didn’t participate.
I agree with your last statement but apologetics & faith have nothing to do with my comment. I didn’t ask for an airtight case for Christianity – I freely admit that I don’t know if Christianity is real or not.
Leaders not acting above board, hiding their agendas (in some cases – hiding crimes), keeping up false fronts, manipulating others, playing shell games with tax exempt money (hard earned by other people, I might add) & laughing all the way to the bank while doing it That is what is at issue.
And thank you for the compliment. Much appreciated.
I’m always looking for something new to read. I’ll check it out.
Forewarned is forearmed – thanks to the gang here, if I ever do return to church, I will be aware of “red flags” to look for.
Oooh, must try!! Thank you!
A good biscuit is hard to find. 🙁
Dave (Eagle) wrote:
Thanks!! Will do.
Did you actually read the all of the book? The back cover says, “Retracing his own spiritual journey from atheism to faith, …” Page 14 says, “In effect, I’m going to retrace and expand upon the spiritual journey I took for nearly two years.”
I don’t know how he could have written more clearly that he was retracing an earlier investigation. How was he dishonest about the timing of his conversion?
It’s true that he only interviewed believers, but it was pretty clear that he started as an atheist, so it would not add any value to the book to present the case for atheism when the title itself says it’s the case for Christ. He built the case like a prosecuting attorney would build a case, not like a neutral historian trying to lay out a balanced discussion. I would be surprised if a prosecuting attorney tried to take both sides in a balanced way. I fail to see how his approach was dishonest.
One can argue about how effective he was, or whether or not he used the best facts, or whether he twisted facts or relied on bad sources. But was he was purposely dishonest in his intent? There does not seem to be compelling evidence that he was. I look at is as a fairly decent book on apologetics that can be used as a launching point for more serious study.
This whole ‘learning how to be the sex you already are’ thing is so so weird to me! I’ve never felt the need to read a book or join a program that teaches me to be an ‘authentic’ woman.
How bout just be ‘authentic’ period. If you have to learn from a program how to be a man, how could that possibly be authentic???
Here’s an interesting blog article from cult expert Steve Hassan and an interesting 18-minute video from a former White Supremacist who helps people get out of violent groups:
Many of the mind control techniques and authoritarianism will sound familiar to those of us who are no longer at heavy-Shepherding churches (SGM, 9 Marks, Acts 29, John MacArthur-ite churches, etc.). “Unexpected kindness” of outsiders, formerly deemed ‘enemies’, played an important role in the healing process.
Wondering if my wise crack about Mary Mohler, slaves and Yankees got permanently chucked into the trash bin…
@ Ken F:
Ok. It was 10 years ago & the book didn’t leave that much of an impression. It went to the library book sale as soon as I finished it so I no longer own a copy. Since you do, I’ll concede the point. I remember it being promoted at church as convincing and unbiased. It was neither. It played to the house (ie those who are already Christian).
I’ll admit I was wrong regarding Mr. Strobel’s intent but if you “twist facts and use bad sources” while promoting yourself as just “gosh honest” journalist – is that not disingenuous?
That alone reinforces my point
Oh man. I want biscuits now. So bad.
Side note, pleas tell me this pastors wives program does not mean that you can go to seminary to get a literal Mrs degree!
That makes sense.
My fondest memory of chbc were the awesome old school church potlucks they used to throw, which I as a college student majorly appreciated!
I’d LOVE to know more about The Summit Church; I have friends that attend the North Raleigh campus and I’ve visited the Chapel Hill campus. I work in Raleigh and see Summit stickers on 540. I almost bought into the hype but didn’t join.
This cracked me up! Great point.
I have been searchng for my “biblical womanhood” role midel to emulate but all I can find is my Savior, Jesus Christ.
The book was heavily promoted in the seeker mega world by the Hybels machine.
I love a good sermon which ties history into verses!
This is very interesting. I can think of a few now that rode in on coattails and when promoted, became tyrants.
Good! Frightening to think one has to worry about that, but I suppose there’s nothing new under the sun.
Well said, Lea!
On the other hand, SBC-YRR church plants in my area are busting at the seams, attracted by coffee lounges, cool bands, easy church. I suspect the SBC members who are “done” are in the 50+ age range … the YRR are in their 20s-40s. It’s good to see young folks back in church, but sad that they are being pulled into the New Calvinist mess.
Ken F wrote:
Try being a single, never married, childless adult above, say, 30 in a lot of these churches. We pretty much don’t exist. And considering how many of these churches run ladies’ Bible study during the day (when I have a job, yanno), it’s clear who they want as members.
Shining light into true darkness always has an effect…. Unfortunately, like any whistle blower, there can be blowback…
But, we all need to keep asking these questions… And exposing the corruption… G$d gave us brains to think and ask questions, and call perversions and cover ups of perversions what it is! Not just the Mega churches, but all human organizations need inpendent accountability…. It is quite obvious the YRR’s and company, do not have independent accountability..
Yeah, very true. Of course, there are plenty of churches where that is not true, but almost every conservative church I have been a part of was built around and to serve younger families.
Square biscuits? I am so behind the times! I bookmarked the site. If I ever try again, it will be this recipe.
Since you asked…
My older daughter attended the main campus of The Summit for the majority of her college years and beyond, and she did so with my blessing. I’m the one who highly encouraged her to go there. That was before I ever knew anything about the Neo-Cal movement. Now that she’s married, she and her husband have found another theologically conservative church which they enjoy.
I have attended the Summit twice at different locations. The second time I went with my younger daughter, who also attended for a time while in college. She has found another church in Raleigh that she enjoys.
I know quite a few people that go to the various Summit campuses. It has been interesting to see them leave the churches where they had been members to join the Summit. In my ever to be humble opinion, that’s where a lot of the growth has come from. I’m sure there have been some new converts, but those whom I know who attend The Summit have been Christians for a while.
J.D. Greear is running for SBC president. I have no doubt that he is Mohler’s choice since one of Mohler’s lieutenants nominated Greear. That should tell you about where he fits in the grand scheme of things – squarely in the Neo-Cal camp.
There was a time when I might have gone to The Summit; however, I now know WAY too much about what the Neo-Cals are doing, so I couldn’t in good conscience attend there.
Oh how quick it goes. They will soon be 50 or 60 and not relevant spiritually anymore.
One cannot help a bit of Schadenfreude when the former inner ring finds themselves outside. I run into them now and then …adrift from their mooring of the seeker mega. Nothing serious mind you, just the let down of becoming irrelevant to the new young gurus who could care less that you were in the inner ring once and someone important. But I also remember all the people they once thought so unimportant.
There is wisdom in looking ahead at what can’t last and sticking to the true path. I welcome them and tell them how blessed they are to be out. Most of them don’t get it….yet. They are still caught up in how glorious it used to be because they cannot admit their part in making things the way they are. That is the hardest thing. Facing ourselves and our part in what is.
When my pastors/elders ordered church members to shun a godly doctor in his 70s (faithful husband and father) and they excommunicated him before all on some trumped up charge, I knew my days at my ex-NeoCal church would be numbered. I couldn't abide with lying about a saint. That was my *tipping point* along with all of the other things that built up (Patriarchy, coddling sex offenders, authoritarianism, Young Earth Creation, yes-men elder/nepotism). Many families quietly fled at that point. Others stayed and became part of the problem (ed.) and thought nothing wrong with it.
^should read “became part of the problem”
Any suggestions for evangelical denominations outside the neo-cal mess that are not theologically liberal?
So much of Christianity today is a veiled attempt at supporting the Christian publishing industry. You can’t be a real man or real woman without reading a book by (insert celebrity pastor name), or if you have whatever problem, then read the book by (insert celebrity pastor). These churches have become vehicles for marketing.
Ditto for a large segment of Christian radio programming, pushing books, etc.
There’s the Evangelical Presbyterian Church. Many of the churches have women ministers. There’s also the Assembly of God denomination, although I don’t know much about it other than it’s charismatic. There are also the various flavors of the Orthodox church. There, women can hold many offices except being a priest. You can also try individual churches of the mainline denominations. I know there are many Methodist congregations that are conservative even if the denomination leadership is fairly liberal. Oh yeah, there’s also the Cooperative Baptists.
I’ve also heard some good things about the Nazarenes, theologically conservative but they also ordain women ministers.
In Texas, there’s Dee’s former church Bent Tree Bible Church. They also have a church in Wisconsin. http://benttree.org/index.php?nav=p-524949&clickpath=
They certainly are prolific, aren’t they?
what a beautiful comment, and in the spirit of praying for the ‘enemies’, I found a poem to share, a prayer for lost shepherds:
“When so much shepherding has gone so wrong,
So many pastors hopelessly astray,
The weak so often preyed on by the strong,
So many bruised and broken on the way,
The very name of shepherd seems besmeared,
The fold and flock themselves are torn in half,
The lambs we left to face all we have feared
Are caught between the wasters and the wolf.
Good Shepherd now Your flock has need of You,
One finds the fold and ninety-nine are lost
Out in the darkness and the icy dew,
And no one knows how long this night will last.
Restore us; call us back to You by name,
And by Your life laid down, redeem our shame.”
Yes, in Christ we can hope to find healing for all in need, even for the ones who have injured us
Hmmm. Maybe this non-believer considered the funding to be seed money for the destruction of the modern church.
Thank you for mentioning Francis Collins- I looked him up and found an interview he did with PBS, it was fascinating and very enjoyable!
Perhaps it is possible that, just as the religious leaders from His tribe, they don’t believe in Him.
Can you post the link, please. In case others are interested. Thanks!
I feel your pain. Sounds like my kids. (Except the part about China.)
If the men just need an excuse to get together, why not do something constructive together? All this gender stuff gives me a headache.
For my part, I would like to say that I’m sorry for ever judging people who didn’t go to church. Now I understand why so many are so wary, and I agree.
Oh sure, here you go! http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/questionofgod/voices/collins.html
“I went to chbc for a couple years so I remembered mark dever as an interesting pastor because his sermons were full of history notes and so on”
i love the history notes, but let’s be clear — he was an interesting speaker.
a good speaker does not necessarily a good pastor make.
(& pastor schmastor…. what’s a pastor anyway? who invented the job description? how did it all become this way? i can think of many other ways, more efficient and productive)
I could tell that Mark Dever was also a history buff. But the man lacks LOVE. He’s puffed up and full of pride. Full of himself. He lacks Christian love for others and humility. He drones on and on about these insufferable details instead of doing the real work of being quiet and showing Christian love and humility. He’s done so much damage. And he’s never said he’s sorry, wrong, or repented. He can’t undo that kind of damage. He won’t even acknowledge it.
Thanks for that PBS link on Collins.
^Correction: Lea’s quote about Mark Dever, not elastigirl’s.
Lea wrote: “This whole ‘learning how to be the sex you already are’ thing is so so weird to me! I’ve never felt the need to read a book or join a program that teaches me to be an ‘authentic’ woman.”
Patriciamc wrote: “So much of Christianity today is a veiled attempt at supporting the Christian publishing industry. You can’t be a real man or real woman without reading a book by (insert celebrity pastor name), or if you have whatever problem, then read the book by (insert celebrity pastor). These churches have become vehicles for marketing.”
it reminds me of commercials from my childhood, which invented a problem (where no problem existed), creating something (false) for people to worry about, be concerned about, be afraid of, then the wonderful product is ushered on to the scene to solve the problem.
silly examples are sticky rice when the in-laws are coming over for dinner. But thank God for Minute Rice! Separate, not sticky!
or spots on drinking glasses. again, i think, when the in-laws are coming over. but wonder of wonders Cascade comes to the rescue!
but it’s not so silly when Christians do the same.
After all the CBMW progaganda threats on ‘be a man’, ‘you’re a man fail’ (matt chandler), better make sure you’re a ‘manly man’ or else… it’s sick. cruel. i’m sure men are nervous wrecks now, thanks to you, CBMW and Matt Chandler and your friends. and how convenient, you just have the answer, don’t you. which i suspect are quite burdensome. you’re using them — for your agenda, and for revenue.
and then lo & behold other ‘christian’ opportunists come along and capitalize on the fears of inadequacy you created in men, and we have the likes of authentic manhood stupid books and workbooks and seminars and conferences. to take their hard-earned money with the promise of an answer that is really just part agenda-driven invention, and part common sense.
men, don’t fall for this. you’re doing just fine.
“…those of us who are no longer at heavy-Shepherding churches. … “Unexpected kindness” of outsiders, formerly deemed ‘enemies’, played an important role in the healing process.”
oh yes. the tapestry woven and embroidered with all manner of implicit and explicit messages that only in the local church are you safe, there is all manner of wickedness on the outside, only amongst Christians in the local church will you find true kindness, support, honesty, healthy relationships, happy marriages.
what bull! (ed.)
none of that is true. not even close to being true.
Jonathan Leeman warned recently of the dangers of the Shepherding movement when he was answering questions in his mailbox. You can access it from Challies.com.
Ken F wrote:
The irony is they seem blind to the weakening of the church’s gospel witness as a result of their Mahaney lovefest and attendant circus.
There in a nutshell is the essence of 9Marx….
I second this.
It’s a great point. Now that I’m over 50 and all the kids are out of the house I’ve fallen into the irrelevant category as well.
It depends on whether or not he knowingly published bad information. One would first have to do the research to find out if there are any errors in his books. If yes, then one would need to find a way to find out if he purposely included errors. If yes, that would be disingenuous. If it was not intentional, then it would be due to incompetence. Not that incompetence is acceptable in such weighty matters, but one needs to be careful in judging someone as disingenuous if in fact they are merely incompetent. But if editors, publishers, distributors, promoters, etc., don’t take the time and effort to verify the facts,then that’s another issue. I personally found the book interesting, but I read it as a Christian. I did not have the time to fully investigate it. I would not be surprised if there are some errors.
A better book is “I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist” by Norman Geisler and Frank Turek. Norman Geisler considers himself to be a moderate Calvinist. He has been called an Arminian by the strong Calvinists for writings such as “Chosen but Free.”
Lydia I make square biscuits when I’m making for me and my family scoffed at me but it is so ridiculously more practical than round! No re rolling required and you use all the dough.
Yeah, that wasn’t meant to be an endorsement or anything. But I loved it at the time because I love history! And I was in college and had little need of anything else from church really. Of course, now I wonder what theological underpinnings there were that I maybe didn’t pick up on.
Sounds like something the Breadmaster would bake. 🙂
I’m sorry but I could NEVER be part of a church that had their own bumper stickers. Beside the obvioius pretension, is the world really so rich that church money should be spent on bumper stickers? Are there no single parents, elderly people who are poor, younger people who are poor or hungry people in that area who could use the money more? How about in the world? Have we run out of poor people where it makes sense for a church to market itself with its funds? I know Jesus said we’d always have the poor so Him being anointed with oil ONCE was cool. I don’t think we can equate a marketing tool with Jesus getting anointed by a broken hearted woman sacrificing what she had to honor him. Besides, bumper stickers ain’t going to save anyone, it’ll only draw one Christian from A church to flashier B church. How is that helpful to anyone? It’s got unhealthy written all over it.
🙂 You’re clearly missing out. If only you had the latest Christian woman around you, you could be more pinterest-worthy as a woman.
Others have already provided some good recommendations in this regard. When it comes to mainline denominations, I’ve lived long enough to witness the pendulum swing from orthodox/conservative to liberal in most of them. While the New Calvinist movement claims to be orthodox and a restorer of the true gospel to the church, they move along the margin of liberalism as they stretch “culturally-relevant” belief and practice (TWW has documented their failings).
I’ve been a Southern Baptist for 60+ years, but consider myself a Bapti-costal … I still believe that Jesus is alive and well on planet earth and can move in power in the life of a believer. The key is not to try to find a church of certain denominational flavor, but ‘the’ Church with the fragrance of God on it. What do you look for? Is the pastor anointed to preach the Word of God with passion, power, and urgency … does he ‘really’ pray and get a fresh Word from God … is the old rugged Cross still the center of his message … are folks being saved and delivered with regularity … are believers in the pew being equipped as disciples to do the work of the ministry … is the fruit of the Holy Spirit evident in that place throughout its entire fabric? Anything else is to do church without God … and, sadly, that would be most places you would walk into on a given Sunday morning. We might call it “liberal”, but God calls it “dead.”
My advice: get alone with God for an extended period of time, discipline yourself to read your Bible in large doses, pray that the Holy Spirit would lead you to Truth as you read and reflect. He might lead you to a Church where the genuine resides; or He might lead you to be the Church wherever you find yourself.
A half cup of butter? Wow! That’s a lot!
I do my grandma’s biscuits – super simple. Just milk, lard, and White Lily self-rising flour (White Lily is THE best.). And, yeh, I use a round biscuit cutter. My husband (born and raised in Maine) loves biscuits, fried chicken, gravy, and mashed potatoes. They don’t do biscuits or fried chicken in Maine.
Everyone – please say a short prayer for my husband and me. My husband broke his jaw in a fall and it is wire shut right now. He is a big eater, and consuming food through a straw is very frustrating for him right now. He isn’t “eating” nearly enough.
Great way to deflect attention. 😉
I was going to make a kind of lemon/caramel sponge in a biscuit base for pudding (or “dessert” if you prefer) tonight, but thought better of it as a) we’ve got rather a lot of puddingy stuff in the house just the noo, and b) there’s important prep to do in the garden for the start of the concreting season this week.
Nick Bulbeck wrote:
Sounds good. Lemons were one of My better ideas, actually.
The other thing that seems to make this fit is that at the time Matt Schmucker was part of (maybe th ly person) in “the Center for Church Reform.”
What I think is going here is that Mark Dever likes to make it seem like God’s providence when in fact he was much more calculating. I’m mean, look at the men he has as interns — it’s not just random that he takes Owen, for example, and there are a lot of examples like that with the internship program.
(Don’t get me wrong, God is still sovereign, but the mealy mouth of Mark in describing what happen is something he does a lot when asked questions.)
As far as the neighborhood, just go to Jimmy T’s and ask the neighbors what they thought of Mark. In fact, the neighborhood was very upset with him for buying certain properties and tearing one of them down for the church. And they don’t really have an active ministry with other churches in the neighborhood. Just ask the African-American church one block away (where Frederick Douglass once went).
The point is that Mark is very calculating and people who know him get it.
Well, I just got done “knocking and rolling” with the Traditionalists over at SBC Today….it seems they are all into ” discipline” with no rhyme or reason over there too…Anglicanism keeps looking better and better to this old Baptist seminary alumni….
And all of God’s children said AMEN & AMEN! White Lily flour is THE best – also try their corn meal mix for the best cornbread in the world. We make “drop biscuits” to go with sausage gravy. Our grandson loves “gwavy.” Lard is the secret to good biscuits – Southern style. My mother and grandmother kept a 5-gallon can of lard in their kitchens – it’s what made fried food fried. Even with all the warnings about high cholesterol, heart problems, etc., they both lived well into their 80s.
(Deb, since I have drifted off topic with this comment, I’ll throw this in about the subject of your article: God don’t like it and I don’t either!)
Good Lord! God looks like Nick Bulbeck!!
I think it’s no secret that God is Scottish….or at least some form of British. 🙂
And people in the tribe will believe they aren’t because they say they aren’t. It is that easy for them. It is amazing what sort of gravitas these folks have with people.
Challies also taught it was more spiritual to be ignorant about Mahaney. Leeman teaches there are human mediators between us and Christ, who hold the keys.
They aren’t exactly credible for me. I was reading Challies back when he first started. I think he has serious issues.
In fact in the early days, his blog was the first place I read comments declaring God is glorified when He throws babies into hell.
No one thought anything of this view over there. It was weird as if I had wandered into a foreign land and could not stop watching a train wreck. There are people out there who think this way about God and day it out loud!
Differing views were allowed but not typically from women. But the baby burners insisted the others views could not be proven from scripture. It was a creepy place. And then he became a famous blogger, minister, publisher and promoter of Reformed gurus.
Yikes. And now deflector and apologist extroidinaire.
Mr. Strobel was a journalist at the Chicago Tribune for 14 years. I have a pretty high standard for a journalist of that caliber, but I don’t have any desire to reread the Case for Christ to pick it apart. So the charge of misrepresentation would lie with the pastor who endorsed the book as unbiased (I won’t charge him on the “convincing” aspect as he may well have found it convincing).
Getting on with the “christian trends” motif (and I’ve brought this up before) is the insistence that the bible is absolutely true, word for word, completely inerrant. It seems that if the bible contains any errata then the whole Christian exercise is a failure, Christianity must be false.
Anyone can share their faith, faith is unquantifiable. To believe something to be true (allegorically or literally) is fine. Hey, theology is the church’s business but when they start to promote untruths about biology, geology, cosmology then I have problems.
My wife still goes to church & I wound up attending as we had errands to do after – I sat through a creationist sermon that used volcanism on the Jovian moon Io as proof the universe (not just the earth) was around 6000 years old. I mean if things in space are dead and cold we CAN’T have volcanoes on Io. Io’s volcanism is well understood as gravitational friction due to Io’s eccentric orbit around Jupiter. This level of misleading, I can’t stand (I’m not debating YEC in this forum, I’m just using this as an example of academic dishonesty used to promote an agenda)
And this segues into the current post. Most fundamental evangelical denominations have heavily promoted the inerrant bible for years if not generations. Such boundaries are stifling as they discourage free thinking outside the bible sandbox. Many neo-cals seem to have come from within this strict fundamentalist worldview. It’s a cycle so they are even more fundamental than their forebears. This leads to leaders being followed without question (the bible says so), leaders feeling entitled (the bible says so), women & children are dehumanized (the bible says so – MAN is the pinnacle of creation).
As I read back on the posts & comments, it makes sense that the older generation feels blindsided while the younger generation embraces the strict, anti intellectual worldview that they were taught.
The irony is it will eventually lead to long cycle of attrition. The YRR will maybe get their own kids on board so the bus will clunk along for a few generations but I suspect new converts from outside the faith (at least in North America/Europe) will be thin on the ground, and those fed up with the controlling authoritarianism – the spiritually abused grow in number – leave (taking their families with them).
HUG always explains this better than I can. But first, at least Today allows differing views, contrary to Voices/Pravda, and many are Calvinists trying to shame the Trads.
Back to Hug: what happens when the educated sincere wanting unity “Mark” is Conned? And I mean conned by very clever cons?
Church discipline was first introduced years back by the Neo Cals in the SBC as a resolution to clean up Church rolls so there were more accurate numbers reported. Everyone agreed and went along.
The subject of church discipline expanded from there. Who can argue with disciplining an unrepentant adulterer who brings his bimbo to church with wife and kids there?
They put every single church discipline scenario into terminology like that. As if SBC churches all over America were doing that.
They were using the binary system that dr. Fundystan mentioned earlier. If you don’t agree, then evidently you have no problem with unrepentant adulterers parading the bimbo in church.
It worked. And now, the Marks that got sucked in can’t admit they were conned so they waste time defending the concept instead of focusing on what it isn’t.
The Trads are simply not as diabolically clever as Dever or Mohler who strategize long-term. The Trads only respond. That is a dead position when dealing with cons.
And they dig the hole deeper because they want Unity with cons.
Will do. Prayers and this advice: try offering him some home-made pea soup . . . it will fit through a straw, but will still fill him up. It’s very nourishing, too. God Bless you both.
There is an old playbook called Quiet Revolution written by Ernest Reisinger. It is free online. Pay attention to chapter 4. Then tell me how it does not teach it is good to deceive the ignorant pew sitters in the Name of God.
The young followers are not familiar with the book, they dont need to be, but the older guys are. It was the playbook for the SBC Founder’s movement early on.
So sorry. It is so frustrating! When my friend had to have her jaw wired shut she got so sick of protein shakes that she made a salad, put it in a blender, and sucked it through a straw.
Nick Bulbeck wrote:
That sounds good, although I’m guessing you mean British not American biscuits 🙂
Which reminds me, I need to take another stab at the shortbread recipe a hotel in Scotland sent me that I loved.
Bingo! And one cannot even discuss with these typed the process of how the Canon was formed in the first place.
They end up ruining an absolutely beautiful and amazing collection of books they turn into a weapon!
You make an excellent point about truth in allegory, metaphor, etc. One thing I learned with Hebrew poetry is the normal use of hyperbole as a literary device.
@ Serving Kids In Japan:
My family once referred to my attempt at biscuits as the Ellie Mae Clampett recipe for biscuits.
Obviously Jonathan Leeman and 9Marks (ixsts) are feeling the heat. If Jonathan truly believed what he said, he would resign from 9Marks and Capitol Hill Baptist Church, since they are purveyors of heavy-Shepherding. Whom does he think he’s kidding?
For those not familiar with this, the book and its strategy are the products of the “Old” Calvinists within SBC, who refer to themselves as the “Founders.” Their by-line indicates that they are “Committed to Historic Baptist Principles” … meaning Calvinism, of course. There is a loose affiliation of the old guard with the Neo-Calvinists, who are accomplishing what the old boys could not … Calvinization of the largest non-Calvinist Protestant denomination in America. The Founders’ “play book” that Lydia refers to can be found at http://founders.org/library/quiet/. I suspect it was the inspiration behind Dr. Mohler’s rebellion to wrest the denomination away from millions of good people who would not agree with reformed theology.
Ken F wrote:
This is so weird. Jesus was single and completed his ministry. Family is fine but most of the actors in the NT are presented in their work and calling sans the entourage of a family. Where did this cultural paradigm originate? It is not in the Bible.
I am a newbie to to ” Today” and in truth, I am not shocked. ( I gathered there were people over there who were Calvinist infiltrators.)
The people who were “purged” back in the 1980s were naive and acted Christ-like to a group of people who I can see Christ saying to in the end…” I never knew you.”
And even people who don’t know Mark Dever personally have figured out how calculating he is and destructive as we’ve lived through the insufferable 9Marks abuses/heavy Shepherding, authoritarianism, and brutal excommunications and shunnings of godly Christians in the name of ‘church discipline’. Mark Dever has no shame.
Hindsight is 20/20. My ex-NeoCal church (abusive, authoritarian, heavy-Shepherding, church discipline/excommunications for dissent, Patriarchy, Young Earth Creationism) also had, sigh, bumper stickers. I didn’t put one on my car. I wouldn’t touch them. But I will avoid a church again that has its own bumper stickers.
“I think it’s no secret that God is Scottish….or at least some form of British.”
well, he can’t be Scottish because no one would be able to understand him.
Great observation. A few years ago I asked some questions about why my church had so much emphasis on children’s ministry and not so much emphasis on adult ministry, considering there is no mention of children’s ministry in the Bible. The response was like I touched the third rail. I’m absolutely not against ministering to children, but I’m wondering if the modern paradigm makes the most sense. I can think of all kinds of issues, but the question that hit me recently based on comments on this blog is whether a segregated children’s ministry makes children safer or puts them more at risk. On the one hand, if the volunteers are screened properly (big if) and if the right procedures are in place (another big if), it should be a safe place for the kids. But on the other hand, it’s also a wide open door for adults who have evil intentions. Background checks will not catch people who don’t have a record. So I can see how dedicated children’s ministries could potential put more children at risk. I’m not sure how to answer this one yet.
Ken F wrote:
If I may be so bold, it’s an issue of money. Most parents of minor children also evaluate churches based on their childrens’ ministries and will take their family (and weekly donation check) to another church with a better children’s ministry.
Just to note: I wasn’t really defending but explaining. It is weird but my interest in all this is more about group dynamics, movement tactics, organizational development, trends, paradigm shifts, thinking processes, etc. Add all above to Jesus Christ as the motivator or excuse for it all.
I had to do some serious soul searching myself. In a way, I was inside to a certain degree but now on the outside looking in. And it doesn’t help I am surrounded by such cons for Jesus in my own family.
Brad Sargent is the first person I have come into contact with that approaches it from a systems perspective which is much less personal. I find it fascinating and devastating at the same time.
However, I don’t think our Lord is amused at all.
The church marketing people know if you can get the children hooked, you get the family. People will literally stay in a church they don’t necessarily like if the kids are happy there.
I read that Gordon Fee (Bible Professor Dude) said of these types that they take the Bible literally, but not seriously.
I love it! Yes, so true.
Have you read his “How to Read The Bible for All It’s Worth…” book?
It was one of the the first “Christian” books I read after only reading the Gospels for 3 years over and over. I just could not do Paul anymore. Fee helped me with Paul and realizing we must read Paul through a Jesus filter.
I am from the ” Deep South” and when we were there, we found the Scottish very easy to understand….that bunch in Northumberland however….WHEW!
I understand…..this might be ugly, but some of the commenters on ” Today” ….well……I found to be a combination of alarming and disgusting at the same time…
I see quite a lot of the authoritarian stuff through the prism of my college group dynamics class, so I find those angles interesting too.
I am COMPLETELY on board with you on this. It made me sick to watch the Nye/Ham debate because of what it did to undermine a “Biblical” view of creation. The YEC crowd drank the wrong kool-aid. I know many decent people who have been led to believe that this is the only tenable belief. Very sad. Ken Ham spouts so many self-contradictory statements that it can make one’s head spin. It’s done on purpose.
I am in the same boat…one child, no grandkids, and we were lucky, so lucky to be blessed with the one. ( that’s another story) The church could care less about us now that we are pushing 60. We are just irrelevant, except for them wanting our money….
Ken F wrote:
If is also a great place to start indoctrination of young minds . . .at the funnest, coolest kids club in the city . . . If the kids are happy, the parents follow, paying little attention to the doctrines.
I call this “Churchianity.” It’s more about the club than about Christ.
“The church could care less about us now that we are pushing 60. We are just irrelevant, except for them wanting our money….”
do you still go? have you communicated this very thing to the leader(s)?
I’m too stubborn to give up. I stay with my church because 1) I don’t believe that I am supposed to leave, 2) the pastor is an outstanding teacher who has not yet gulped the YRR kool-aid, 3) the elders are not yet making a rush toward Calvinism. I keep asking he hard questions, and I encourage the pastor at every opportunity for not going down the YRR path. I also like the old adage, “Old age and treachery will always beat youth and skill.” If my questions get me excommunicated (which they won’t) I will insist that it be in a public service. Most of these YRR-followers are paper tigers.
There is so much wrong with this document on so many levels (beyond the fact that the links for chapters 2 and 3 don’t work). If this document is true, it means that true Christianity was founded about 500 years ago. I can concede that it took time for theological issues to be worked through over the centuries, but it seems impossible that the church got it completely wrong for 1500 years.
In the big picture, counterfeits (money, clothing, watches, etc.) only have value because the real products exist. The new Calvinists are pushing counterfeit theology that has some of the same look and feel as the real stuff, which is the only reason they are successful. This new theology is dangerous because it makes it tempting to throw out the real stuff along with the counterfeit. That is what is happening with the “Dones.”
No, I am a done. Have been since I turned 50. The local churches are all ” pro-youth” and they have told me as such. I would change to be Methodist or Anglican, but my 86 year old mother would never understand. She’s been Baptist forever and just doesn’t understand why anyone doesn’t go to church. She has problem enough with me not attending. Change to Episcopal? Pretty sure it’ll kill her…
I just read the first bit of that article, and was struck by this:
Since he began ministry in 1994, God has moved, and CHBC has developed a very different name, a name that’s transcended the hill and spread across our entire Evangelical subculture. They are known as the church that’s all about *the Church*—church polity, church government, doctrine of the church, church membership, church discipline, the works.
The church that’s all about the church — internally focused. Nothing about caring for the widow, the orphan, the downtrodden. (And this is true faith… http://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/True-Religion)
Also, What makes CHBC so shocking? They stand behind the historic Baptist principles that made our denomination so strong. Some of those principles are: a strong view of membership which leads to a dedication to church discipline. Both of which come together to create a discipling community that extends from pulpit-to-pew in expositional preaching, which is tailored to teach not only the Gospel but also a fully-orbed Biblical Theology, and from person-to-person in intentional, covenant relationships. All supported and led by strong elder leadership that delegates tasks efficiently while still fulfilling their covenant obligation to the body by spending time to stay in touch with every member. All of these things are very ordinary, but all together, when done properly, they are shocking. In a word, what’s shocking isn’t the idealism of the church, it’s its realism.
Again, totally inward focused. There’s not even any reference to Matthew 28 and the Great Commission.
The article references “Orthodox growth” but it appears to be focused on making the local church grow in power and strength and study of the Law (not so much in grace and love, from the way it reads…)
I’m in my 40s and feel over-looked.
I’ve read of churches on other blogs that have asked women age 35 and older to step down to make way for the perky, 23 year old woman to take the stage on Sunday mornings instead.
This also gets into other possible factors though, as a few others upstream mentioned:
I am a woman, I have never married, never had kids.
Many (most?) conservative churches only care about young married couples who have kids living at home.
If you are never married, childless, child free, divorced, widowed, or ‘married no kids’ or ‘married empty nesters,’ you simply don’t exist in many churches.
I’ve seen so many stories by many of those same categories folks on other sites and in books about church decline.
Most churches, though either continue to live in denial and keep ministering to ‘Ozzie and Harriet’ / ‘Ward and June Cleaver’ type people…
Or, they might notice this shift in culture, but instead of actually meeting the needs of society as it is, where it is (which is, IMO, what they should be doing)…
They buckle down even more and try to entice teens and 20 somethings to show up.
So, they start doing hip, relevant stuff such as auditioning for worship leaders who have goatees, and wear skinny jeans and plays electric guitar,
they play rock and roll songs that name drop Jesus during Sunday morning services (and blast it to ear splitting levels) and set up a few fog machines,
and they slap a coffee shop into the church foyer.
I’m in my 40s. I don’t need to be enticed to attend with a rockin’ happenin’ worship band, or with a shop in the lobby that sells lattes. I actually find that stuff super lameo.
The Biblical Womanhood role model for women, as described by gender complmentarians, happens to closely resemble –
The Stepford Wives, crossed with the “Fem Bots” from Austin Powers movies,
and several dashes of June Cleaver, fictional 1950s TV housewife to husband Ward.
Maybe this would be good for a laugh: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3RJBd8zE48A
My ex-NeoCal church (9Marxist, CBMW patriarchy nonsense, John MacArthur-ite) started a Bible study at the elite Stanford University to attract (high-income earning potential) undergraduate and graduate students. The poorer state university, San Jose State, was bypassed by the church. By getting Stanford students, they then invite their friends to the Bible study and church.
Additionally, my ex-NeoCal church rents churches from the established Seventh Day Adventist churches in high net-worth neighborhoods with multi-million dollar homes. The SDAs worship on Saturdays and many of them rent their churches to other groups for Sundays. My ex-NeoCal church never rented church space in a ‘poorer’ neighborhood. It’s all about catering to the elite, high-income earners. (And to think Jesus started out with a bunch of blue-collar fishermen.)
Several people have mentioned this and it is absolutely appalling to me! I wonder if there is something about the showmanship of this style of church/worship that makes the leadership so focused on trivialities like looks?
Makes me even more grateful for this old school choir/organ church I’m at, even if does mean I had to listen to a climate change lecture in Sunday school.
I never thought of it that way. I hold to the tenets of The Apostle’s Creed, its claims about the person of Messiah, and especially its supernatural components as axioms. From there it has afforded me a wide latitude of human and intellectual freedom regarding the Bible and theological constructs.
If there is errata in Scripture it doesn’t force me to chuck the whole kit and kaboodle, I no longer need the 100% linearization that some believers insist upon and that causes other believers to convert to atheism.
The Center for Biblical Manhood Womanhood blocked all men and women on Twitter who asked hard questions and presented real-life scenarios that blow apart their bizarre teachings.
By the way, aren’t *Biblical men* supposed to wear dresses and sandals? After all, Jesus did.
Ken F wrote:
I have been to (visited) churches that have merry- go – rounds in them (for the kids). We’re talking honest to goodness, full scale, working merry go rounds, complete with the horse sculptures that have empty saddles that you can sit on and ride on as the thing spins round.
If I remember correctly, Driscoll’s and /or Furtick’s churches had elaborate kiddie entertainment areas for the kids, with large video monitors, play area pits filled with lots of foam balls, and stuff like that.
I have read in several studies over the years that heavily entertainment based youth programs ends up causing a lot of kids to later leave the faith. I don’t remember all the in’s and out’s of why that is, but you could probably find those same studies online somewhere.
I listened to a Christian radio show where the host interviewed a guy who wrote a book or something about Sunday School and its history.
My memory on it is rather hazy, but if I recall correctly, he said that yesteryear’s Sun. school model does not work for today’s kids. The times have changed, and just sticking some rock bands, laser shows, and big video screens into a room for the kids isn’t going to make things better or reach them – according to the guy I heard anyway who wrote a whole book on the subject.
@ Ken F:
I like the ‘how to write a worship song’ one. Explains everything I hate about contemporary worship!
@ Ken F:
HILARIOUS!!! and on point…
Prayers for your husband from a fellow Ex-New Englander (Boston in my case). Had biscuits for the first time many years ago in Chattanooga when we were moving down to Loozyana. I said to my Kentucky-born husband, ” Where have these been all my life?”
Now it’s camo and guns.
I read somewhere recently (but can’t remember now — it might even have been a comment here at TWW) that the whole patriarchal/complementarian mindset comes from the Roman paterfamilias tradition.
How strange. My parents didn’t give a flip if I liked the church they went to or not when I was a kid. I had no choice in the matter.
I found their church totally dull, the one we went to when I was a kid. I hated going most of the time.
My mom’s attitude was kind of, “tough luck, get your church clothes on and get ready to go. We’re not church shopping around for you.”
Scottish Bat Man comic strip:
Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:
I was talking to an older cousin a number of years ago and she said my grandmothers advice to heron getting married was 1. Make biscuits every day and 2. Never gain more than ten pounds from your wedding day! She was like ‘I think that advice is contradictory’. Heh.
Side note: my grandmother made the best biscuits I have ever had.
I think H.U.G. has written about that. When I was searching for the history of the word “obey” in some wedding vows, said by the bride (and being insisted on by many NeoCalvinist pastors to wed a couple) it turns out that it’s from pagan Roman marriage contract law and has NOTHING to do with Christianity. It’s not even used in most Christian countries.
And now they preach that ‘Jesus died for the Church’. In my local church magazine, an article this month asks the question ‘Can you love Jesus and not love the church?’ The author, a young 30-something youth pastor, sternly states NO. Why? Because Jesus died for the church, and if you don’t love the church you don’t love Jesus.
Nowhere does he actually define ‘church’ – but it’s implied that it’s the local church.
I grew up believing that Jesus died for sinners – the righteous for the unrighteous. But now we’re taught that Jesus died for the Church. When did this change take place?
Ken F wrote:
What is happening with the Dones?
I feel like I need to dig up the video of that preacher saying Jesus wore pants because of some passage about covering your nakedness to your knees (for priests I think?).
I mean, guy clearly never took…any history at all.
There was an earlier discussion here about people who leave the church never to return. They are “Done.”
Ken F wrote:
The Dones being committed Christians, many who have given a great deal of time and money to their local churches (including many older Christians, conservatives, the elderly, couples) fed up with the problems of the institutional church. They are “Done” with church. The term is used as opposed to The Nones (those who aren’t believers and didn’t go to church).
But I think Nones could also be those who went to church, and were so harmed by it, that they rejected all belief in a god and became atheists or at the most agnostics. Not just unbelievers who didn’t go to church.
Two of our kids were raised in the church and are now Nones, not Dones.
Has she been to a church lately?
If not, start taking her around to various mega churches in your area, and expose her to the circus that is supposed to pass for church these days. The impersonal nature of it, the zoo atmosphere, the shallow preaching.
If you could drive her to a few of these trendy Baptist churches, and let her walk in alone ahead of you, then don’t sit next to her during the service.
She will most likely be ignored by everyone (other than a quick “hello” from one greeter at the door).
Then she can sit there and go deaf with the super loud rock music and sit dazed as the show starts, with the lasers, big monitors on stage and screeching band.
If she’s subjected to something like this video (by the way, I like most of Prince’s music just fine, this is not an indictment of his music)…
Cover of Prince’s ‘Purple Rain’ during Church Service at Church by the Glades:
(I a not sure if that is a Baptist church or not, but there are some Baptist churches doing equally bizarre, idiotic things as well.)
If she witnessed all that lunacy in person for herself, I think she would start to understand why churches aren’t what they used to be and why they’re a turn off to people now.
Ken F wrote:
That does pretty much nail how a lot of churches are these days. They could’ve stuck a few lasers in though, and a fog machine.
You might enjoy this:
How to Write a [Contemporary] Worship Song in 5 Minutes
This happened when visiting a satellite of the largest church in my state. Talked with a young pastor in the lobby; he literally walked away from me mid-sentence.
Stopped by Trader Joe’s on the way home. My check-out cashier looked EXACTLY like the pastor. Same demographic. The cashier was over-the-moon friendly, asking about my day, etc.
The contrast was shocking.
Ken F wrote:
Thanks, I know about the Dones. I was just referencing the comment and wondering about the context in this case. Sorry, if I am slow in catching the drift sometimes.
You can find more on this page:
In Which They Are Overlooked In A Sea of Hipsters
On occasion, such (similar) views are directed at males:
Via wenatchee the hatchet’s blog:
That reference reminded me of –
“Pastors in Drag, Russell Moore, & Biblical Manhood: The Fruit Test”
this page might get into that:
Submission in Context: Christ and the Greco-Roman Household Codes mindset comes from the Roman paterfamilias tradition.
About being ignored at churches. I did a post about this at Julie Anne’s blog the other day (and it is one reason why some people stop going, in conjunction with other issues):
Rating Church? ‘Secret Shoppers’ Helping Pastors
Snippet from that page:
I’ve been ignored, excluded or overlooked at churches, even ones I went to for several months in a row, and I’ve read many anecdotes by others for whom this is true – usually those who walk in all alone, such as a never married adult, newly widowed or divorced, etc.
That was really good, Daisy. I had heard of Grudem behind Comp doctrine/heresy. I didn’t realize it was John Piper too. Ohhh, now I get it. That explains everything. Piper is a nut case. Say no more.
This is a great comment that really deserves some attention as a topic.
When I was growing up there was never this sense of plural collectivism as we see today when talking about the local church. There was more of a sense of individuals who come together ‘as individuals’ and make up a body of Christ.
There is now this whole focus on total Conformity to the group and the groups identity. And you can’t be saved unless you are a member of a local church. (Not all identity is bad so this gets confusing. The real problem is authoritarianism)
It can really be frustrating. People seem more likely to map their salvation to a building/ group. Not Jesus Christ.
The thinking is “The Dones have left us so they are not saved like we are”….paraphrasing the Scripture they usually quote on this issue.
Yes I have. He’s a famous Titan in terms of Biblical interpretation & a famous non-Calvinist.
I can relate. I had no choice. My mom always had a key to the church!
Ken F wrote:
I did some more searching on the Founders’ website. I saw the word “winsome” in a post so I did a search and found numerous hits (this is an interesting new-Calvinist word that makes no sense to use in the way they do, but I digress). Here’s what one of the posts said about Southern Baptist editors: “Editors and writers who attack central doctrines of the faith, such as penal substitutionary atonement, must be called into account and, if they will not recant or clarify in a way that is squares with Scripture, such journalists should be asked to resign their post for theological malfeasance.” How gracious. Time for another inquisition?
On May 15th I posted two items on the open discussion. One is a list of questions about penal substitution, and the other is a list of links to articles that refute if from different theological traditions. The bottom line is penal substitution does not square with scripture. So the Founders are forcing good people to accept, in the name of squaring with scripture, doctrines invented only 500 years ago that have been rejected by the vast majority of Christians throughout history and that do not square with scripture.
If there are any advocates of penal substitution out there I would very much like one of you to answer the questions I posted on May 15. I don’t think you can, but I could be wrong.
We live and learn, don’t we Velour.
Yes, Stunned, we do. At least there were those here who’d been through it, knew the players behind all of these things, and helped deprogram me of this nonsense. They truly saved my sanity and gave me hope, realizing that I am not alone. (Ditto the folks over at Julie Anne’s Spiritual Sounding Board.)
Ken F wrote:
Many of us liked your indepth questions (and the list of links) on this topic. I copied both and put them at the top of the page here under the Interesting tab, the Books, Movies, etc. tab for those that would like to easily find them.
Jesus wore sandals ams a dress. Love it.
That’s great, Velour. Knowing you’re not alone goes far in the sanity department, I’ve found.
The Deebs did a good thing in launching this blog years ago.
I felt very fortunate to stumble upon it and to have so much help from so many people who could help unpack the whole sorry NeoCalvinist church experience I’d been through. Gram3, Lydia, and others know how it came about. (And I got additional insight into the whole marketing of churches angle as well. Of course my ex-church rented a Seventh Day Adventist church on Sundays in a high net-worth neighborhood with multi-million dollar homes. Smack head on table. I can be so dumb…So naive.)
@ Ken F:
It is a whole other world over there. I had a complete- by accident- run in with one of their acolyte young pastors that blew my mind.
Have you ever been totally innocent of something and have a total stranger come out of nowhere and accuse you of thef that was actually a coincidence concerning something I posted online he did not own but was public use? It was bizarre!
This young pastor was so over the top and off the rails histrionic and hot headed I was actually afraid he might find out where I live or something. I realky feel sorry for his wife! He did not even give me a chance to fully understand and ask questions.
You have no idea how grateful I am we have no state church today. And no thinking.
He still pastors. I really think there is a dark strain there.
Thanks. I posted a similar list of links refuting Calvinism on May 12 at 07:41 PM on the post about “God Caused My Lymphoma, Not the Raw Hot Dog: A Sermon From Bethlehem Baptist Church”
If you think it’s worthwhile, can you post that list as well?
Winsome: “generally pleasing and engaging often because of a childlike charm and innocence” (from merriam-webster.com).
I searched John Piper’s website for this word and it returned 72 items. John MacArthur’s site returned 103 items. The Gospel Coalition site returned 572. This word is obviously very important to them.
My wife and I were discussing what they really mean by it. I’m thinking it’s a euphemism for “phony” but my wife thinks “castrated” works better.
Ken F wrote:
I found it, copied it, & it should post in awhile (since it’s got all the links). It will be at the top of the page under the Interesting tab, Books, Movies, etc. Tab.
The ‘Quiet Revolution’ how-to manual was never updated to clarify what soon happened to the subject of the experiment, North Pompano Baptist Church. Ernest Reisinger clashed with a fellow elder, a “1689 Reformed Baptist” partisan who left the church taking with him many members. The test case church for implementation of Founders dogmas went belly up not long afterwards.
I understood the name “People of Destiny” had raised questions outside the ministry. The new name “PDI” contained the sense of the original “People of Destiny, International” in abbreviated form, but it was renamed as an acronym and not an abbreviation. The “P” didn’t stand for “People” or the “D” for “Destiny” as many first thought. the Letters, we were told, represented something new like, “Proclaiming the Gospel, Developing Churches, Intentionally on a Mission,” or something like that. I don’t remember what it stood for, do you?
When the new name of “Sovereign Grace” was introduced, I really didn’t think too much about it, because “PDI” had seemed kind of an awkward transition away from “People of Destiny” anyway. Plus, I didn’t really care that much about the name because I wasn’t included in the decision. I was never involved so I didn’t feel invested at all in it after the fact. It was just a name to me. I hadn’t known how much thought had gone into the new name or what it represented. It seemed pretty generic to me.
But now, I’d say, for those who were involved in the process, the name change held great significance. The word “Sovereign” had real implications, but who knew? I seem to recall some kind of explanation being given, but again, I really didn’t pay attention. I hadn’t been invited into the process, or the changes that were happening, so I wasn’t really paying attention. Plus, asking questions about decisions that were already made was regarded as a sign of distrust. Things in that department changed for me, however, when I realized I was being subjected to a variation of the Gospel I didn’t agree with. That’s when I spoke up. Mahaney was distorting the Gospel and turning it into something that was causing people to become sin-obsessed. That wasn’t the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
I’m getting the impression, based on your comment and some others, that the name “Sovereign Grace Ministries” already in use in other PDI churches. If this is correct, I can’t help but feel curious about this. I didn’t know the name wasn’t officially registered at the time, but I know it was in use at CLC well before 2002. Maybe it’s because Mahaney jumped the gun, and wanted to move things in his new direction as quickly as possible. He certainly scoured CLC’s history of Larry Tomczak as quickly as his athletic legs could carry him.
The “Sovereign Grace Magazine” cover I came across, from 1997, serves as a strong indication the new name and new direction was already in play. A magazine serves as an advertisement intended to promote a business. The change in the name of the magazine would have carried a message, and was likely used to open doors in the new market Mahaney was targeted, that looked kindly upon something named “Sovereign Grace.” The name undoubtedly proves Mark Dever’s (the new Larry Tomczak) involvement in CJ’s life during this time, who became his mentor. Dever gave Mahaney the new scripts, and all the blueprints he needed, but Mahaney still butchered it. He planned to bow out of CLC and pass things on to his protégé, but there tensions there. Also, the Mahaney’s could never sustain the charismatic dimension the movement had been founded on, because neither of them possesses a spiritual gift and are both as scripted as the nightly news. Plus, CJ ran into trouble with legitimately gifted charismatics who prophesied against him – the late Simon Pettit is just example.
All this to say that the name change was put into effect and wasn’t something bandied about, at least not that I was aware of. But the new name was indicative of the change in doctrine that was taking place, and that was certainly introduced to everyone like they were frogs, sitting in cold water, that was slowly heated, and who didn’t perceive the danger and jump out, but stayed in and were boiled to death.
I can tell you they tried to cover up a child abuse scandal. Shamefully, my brother was a deacon at the time. One of the youth leaders was taking pre-adolescent and adolescent boys off church grounds and sexually abused them. The church did nothing to help the boys and tried to keep it hush hush from the congregation and outsiders. It was horrible. The Deebs know more. Ann@ Catholic Gate-Crasher:
@ Catholic Gate-Crasher:
Tears. This is devasting for the victims. Originating in a church of all places. Spotlight on the Catholics. Evangelight on the Protestants. Unimaginable. Sick. Evil.
Tears, tears, tears. Rage.
Ken F wrote:
Winsome. The Neo-cal’s version of “Keep Sweet”.
Many thanks to everyone who brought up the Founders. This was a source I had not yet found. I did a bit of searching on that site and found connections to all the usual suspects. Most importantly for this particular thread, there are many articles praising 9Marks and Dever.
I was wondering what was the linkage was among these various organizations and movements. This seems to be the manifesto. Reviewing this material has been very eye opening.
One time I was in a discussion with a guy and said something along the lines that God saves individuals and that the church is made up of individuals.
This said, no, that God saves families and builds the church with families, NOT individuals. He stated it as some undeniable fact though he didn’t bother to support it scripturally.
God doesn’t save individuals anymore. He saves blocks of people, herds of sheep, or something now.
And the king neo-cal loves winsomeness way more than justice or protecting the oppressed.
I noticed that section also. It seems like you could substitute the word “organization” for the word “church.” He’s not talking about the actual invisible body of believers, he’s talking about an organization in a building.
And, most importantly, “the works” doesn’t include the spiritual welfare of the believers. How are they doing? Are they encouraged? Are they comforted? Are their needs being met? NOTHING about that.
Movements move on the charisma of their leaders, rather than their wisdom. They implode when leaders vie for position, battling for the throne. The same will happen with New Calvinism after they’ve done their damage.
40 year olds and older are much harder to flatter, buy or hoodwink. Ideological movements always target the young.
Correct. Let’s take it one step further and call it what it is: “NeoCalvinist franchise”.
These guys go to seminaries to learn how to become franchisees. It’s about money & power (sometimes sex too). It’s not about Love.
Red Flag Alert: There is an “Authentic Manhood” bible study making the rounds with Matt Chandler on the teaching team. Chandler is a New Calvinist celebrity/idol, an SBC pastor, and President of Acts 29. The “beauty of complementarity” and authoritarian leadership will surely be embedded in the curriculum … propped up by reformed theology, of course.
Isn’t identity by group part of the postmodern paradigm?
We're looking into this and will probably write about it soon.
Ken F wrote:
And whose plan would that be? The enemy of the Church is a master of the counterfeit. If he can cripple us with half-truths and teachings that drift from keeping the Main thing the main thing, he can get us off-course from fulfilling the Great Commission in our generation.
@ siteseer: So true.
Off topic, but another one bit the dust.
Is anyone keeping count?
Good. It will be interesting to see what you find out about the Dudebros in this regard. There are so many veins of New Calvinism, I can’t keep up with them!
Does anyone know the version of the Bible, it has to be ordered from the United Kingdom, that doesn’t contain the Complementarian word changes/translations? (Apparently Comp backers and publishers have tried to quash its sale in the U.S.)
I know I can see various versions of the Bible and interlinenars online.
He still “pastors”, is that what they call it? Maybe there is a connection between such “pastoring” and “dones”. Nah, dones are just slackers, better off without them. /sarcasm off
Same here. For me it was Lutheranism in the Southeast corner of Wisconsin. There was no pressure to conform to a group identity or knuckle under to the whims of some strong man in the pulpit. You went to church, followed along with the liturgy, took communion, and that was that.
I also think that adults have jobs, kids, lives, and don’t spend 40 hours a week studying obscure theological references–and those references eventually snowball & overtake their lives.
Yep. Did you see Barnabas Piper’s article on “When is Evil Good?” I just about puked—and then I private-messaged it to every watchblogger I knew. 😛
@ Headless Unicorn Guy:
And you win the internet today.
@ Bill M:
Apparently frequent name-changes are common for cults. I don’t remember my source on this, but I found out *after* we left our church, which we later found was listed in a spiritual abuse textbook by it’s old name. /headdesk. I’ll have to look that up.
Bill Kinnon wrote:
Ha! We should remember this when we feel like we’re not doing any good in our ministries!
I met Mohler once, nearly 20 years ago. He weirded me out.
Muff Potter wrote:
What do you suppose brought about these changes that we’re seeing? Neo-Calvinsim? Lack of denominational oversight and too many people planting their own churches? Lack of congregational vote? Wrong ‘mission statement’ for a church? (In reading the simple mission statement of Dee’s former church, Bent Tree Bible Fellowship in TX, I was struck by how plain & loving it was, focused on the Gospel. They also have women pastors and opened up elders to women as well, as was covered here. Totally different than my former authoritarian/9Marxist/John MacArthur-ite church with the whole 9Marx-ist/Hotel California
Any ideas about how Christians can avoid this? (People who used to go to my ex-NeoCal church said that they received many warnings from wise, older Christians in their families about our church, its structure, beliefs and ‘just no’ and ‘stay away’ and ‘don’t join’. I wish there were people in my life who had given me this warnings and different churches I could have tried instead that weren’t taken over by NeoCalvinism/heavy-Shepherding/Comp-Patriarchy/Young Earth Creationism/Authoritarianism.
. I’m going to use that with my boys!
Key words being “committed Christians”. There are several in my own circle who fall into the Done category. I may be headed there myself one day…can’t say now.
Yes, exactly! I heard Tim Bayly say almost the same words at a family conference. I asked our pastor, and he explained it away, sort of that I hadn’t heard it right, or he hadn’t meant it the way I received it.
But I had written it down, word-for-word, because it sounded so wrong. The exact quote. There was no mistake.
According to Tim Bayly & the other authoritarians/Patriarchists because God is now saving entire families, not just individuals, the Patriarchs must “take charge” of the whole family, because obviously the Holy Spirit can’t do anything right in our lives and needs mortal men to do the task. And women can’t think on their own. And the Holy Spirit is fully functioning in men but the Holy Spirit is defective and can’t function properly in women.
Just your usual insufferable tyrants.
What are they afraid of? Seriously?
I think the TNIV (Today’s NIV) and 2011 NIV both translate in a gender-neutral way (i.e. accurately). So instead of ‘brothers’ it says ‘brothers and sisters’.
Oh yes. CHBC was *all* about that when I was there. VERY rules and obligation-focused. A traditional Lutheran (I was raised as such) would walk into CHBC and after observing it, come away saying “All Law – no Gospel.” (In the Lutheran sense of “Law” as our obligations to God, and “Gospel” as God’s mercy towards us in Christ)
To Deeb’s and regulars
How about we come up with our “10 fundamentals” of a healthy church"?? We can be positive by listing what think are good!
Some thoughts to get it stated (no specific order intended)
1. Church demonstrates sacrificial love as JC did
2. Church has a healthy balance between the two revelations: 1. The physical universe and 2. The scriptures
3. Church recognizes the fallenness of all mankind, including leadership; therefore the church strives for independent accountability of all members, including leadership
4. Church strives to protect/defend “the least amount you”
5. Church believes in justice AND grace, and recognizes the these two concepts are fundamentally linked.
6. Church realizes that the content in which scriptures was written, and realizes that societal changes influence how we read the scriptures. This results in complex situations which require significant efforts of praying, dialogue and contemplation. Much in the same traditional Jewish rabbi’s have.
7. Church holds to the reformation doctrine of ” priesthood of the believer” . This means individual believers do not need a pastor to intercede between them and G$d.
8. I need to let the rest of you chime in!!
I have been glancing at the blog. Is this YRR movement a perverted manifestation of the church growth movement that has been splitting churches? Part of this church growth movement is the signing of church covenants by church members. Neo evangelicals appear to be going the extra mile to try stopping the loss of church members in an increasingly secular world, and this includes the use of church discipline to bully people into staying in church? It has morphed into an authoritarian lock step group think system . A couple years ago there was news about a mega church pastor at a baptist church in Germantown who was ousted because of church growth ideas. People who ousted him did not feel that church growth movement is biblical? Just asking? I don’t count myself a neoevangelical. Years ago I decided they were too gimmicky. And this YRR is one more of their gimmicks, but a gimmick with disastrous consequences.
“Amount” not “amount”
“Context” not “content”
I have no idea what “post modern” means. It was a huge buzz word in the 90’s but I heard a lot of different definitions.
I do think collectivism, in a varied form for our culture, is making a comeback from its 20th century cousin across the oceans. It scares me for my kids.
The “individual” without power or wealth won’t have much to offer our society except as a group drone.
How on earth did bold get in there?
Ken F wrote:
Also sounds like a good way to condition people to want to be childlike so they don’t stand up to you.
Sunday school when I was a kid actually taught bible lessons, it had no rock bands. Maybe I’m old, but I thought that was the point! That’s why it’s called school…
That’s my view with a few variations. The seeker megas of the CGM also had sort of quasi church contracts but not usually with such a heavy hand. They might have new member classes with what looked like to many the basic employee handbook you read and sign. It would have a clause about speaking positive of the church and leaders. A mild pre curser to the current Hotel California membership covenants. The CGM could not afford to alienate non members. A big portion of money flowed from those just attending but not joining.
The signing or pledging to the church is not new– just enforced with the newer focus on “church discipline”.
I find it amusing the current crop of YRR make the argument they are the biblical response to the unbiblical seeker church as they use so many of the same hip cool strategies from that earlier movement –right down to the children’s ministries.
First time obedience for adult followers?
I live in a very rural area. Some Calvinists are starting to infiltrate, or the have maybe, just maybe some Bible College training. Seminary? Some do, but many do not, and for the most part, the biggest Baptist mega-church is miles away. Most ” Magas” if you can call them that, are associated with Pentecostalism and Grandma ain’t going near the place.
There is a Methodist church nearby, and there is an Episcopal Church within driving distance, and they do have a Rite I at 8am on Sundays, and if I were to attend church EVER again, those two would be my only choices…
I feel odd criticizing church growth, but the YRR movement within SBC ranks certainly has a perverted slant to it. Under its current Calvinist leadership, SBC’s North American Mission Board has an aggressive agenda to plant 1,000 new churches per year. It’s clear in my area that the strategy is more about planting reformed theology than churches; the New Calvinists accomplish that by channeling mission offerings from the pockets of millions of SBC non-Calvinists to fund their aggressive mission. Coupled with new plants, young Calvinists are lying their way into traditional church pulpits and splitting long-standing SBC non-Calvinist works. Both strategies by the new reformers are about as heartless and perverted as you can find in ministry models.
I don’t. I think this kind of church growth is not the healthy kind that occurs naturally but a cold blooded attempt to garner cash and plaudits from others for having a big church.
There are benefits to a larger church, more people ‘like you’, whether you are single, married, teenaged, elderly, etc..(although maybe not elderly at some of these churches). But you can’t have a real church community beyond a certain size. You can have small groups only. I can’t see how a church that can’t even fit in its building would work properly though. And I hate the satellite church model. I do not want to watch the pastor on tv at church. I can do that from home in my pjs.
I don’t either, when it is actually a ” power-play.” I am convinced these guys could care less about the folks in the pews.
I wonder if “Authentic Manhood” has any lineal connection to The Leadership Network which birthed Mark Driscoll into prominence. At that time, his statements like the following inspired a generation of Dudebros that the church is having to deal with now:
“Here’s what I’ve learned. You cast vision for your mission, and if people don’t sign up, you move on. You move on. There are people that are gonna die in the wilderness, and there are people that are gonna take the hill. That’s just how it is. Too many guys waste too much time trying to move stiff necked, stubborn, obstinate people. I am all about blessed subtraction. There is a pile of dead bodies behind the Mars Hill bus (chuckle), and by God’s grace, it’ll be a mountain by the time we’re done…. You either get on the bus, or you get run over by the bus. Those are the options. But the bus ain’t gonna stop.” (Mark Driscoll)
Well, we know that the pile of dead bodies behind Drisocll’s bus was indeed a mountain by the time he was done at Mars Hill! It was an agonizing hill to die on for multitudes impacted by Driscoll’s “ministry.” If that’s an example of “authentic” manhood, we could use less of it!
Paula Rice wrote:
Paula, I had no idea of this. What was it that was said? Do you recall?
Over at SGMsurvivors a gentleman once posted a vision he had regarding Sovereign Grace Churches (then SGM.) If memory serves correctly, he posted it about 9-12 months before Jim released Brent’s documents. I believe he sent the vision to CJ Mahaney and a few of the other top brass at Sovereign Grace Churches (then SGM.) What he told them was that God was calling CJ and Sovereign Grace Churches to repent. (Of all the many sins done to God’s people which can be found here and at the other survivor sites.)
This man’s vision concerned what would happen if CJ, et. al. would not repent and come clean. He saw an ocean which appeared calm on its surface but deep, deep beneath the surface of the ocean, on the bottom of the floor, he saw an earthquake. This caused ripples which in turn caused waves which continued and built and eventually became a tsunami (I don’t recall if he used that word or not.) I think the man was saying that the eruption had already happened and the waves were speeding toward Sovereign Grace Churches (SGM at the time.) And that if they didn’t come clean and repent of what was happening /had happened beneath the surface of the church, this huge wave would hit and Sovereign Grace Churches would be changed. It would break, etc.*
At the time I wondered if it could be a true vision from God. How could it be? Sovereign Grace Churches was so strong and growing. CJ and Josh were best friends. They had over 100 churches and thousands upon thousands of followers, most of whom didn’t seem to give two hoots what happened to the children, women and men who had been used then tossed aside or trampled under foot when they began asking questions. How could anything happen to break the growing momentum of the movement?
Little did I know that this prophecy was true and that Sovereign Grace Churches would break apart, even changing its name once again. That within about 18 month’s time, Jim would anonymously post the documents for the world to see, more than a third of Sovereign Grace Churches would leave SGM, sadly CJ and Josh would no longer be best friends (or the world would see maybe they never were), thousands and thousands of people would leave Sovereign Grace Churches, stunned, shell shocked, their faith blown apart, blinking as they walked into the sunlight, scared, hurt, shaken. They would begin learning more and more of the truth of the organization they had been in for five, ten, thirty years. They began to see that the suspicions or little inklings they had had over the years but suppressed because they were convinced they were in sin for ever thinking such things, had been right, or were real and not just the sinful lures of their “darkened” hearts. Or they began to repent for not listening to the cries of their fellow Christians when they TRIED to tell them something wasn’t right and that they were hurting.
People outside of Sovereign Grace Churches started hearing the truth, too. They became aware of the problems. Some chose to bury their heads in the sand. “It’s not my problem because it’s not my church,” forgetting that when one part of the body hurts, we all hurt.
Some went so far as to call the truth tellers, liars. Sinners. Gossips. Bitter. Revenge seekers. They stood behind CJ, publically extolling him as virtuois, righteous, innocent, fit to lead, a victim of these horrible people coming against him. Even in some cases, a victim of those who sought to extort from him. Ironic in the face of CJ’s alleged blackmail of Larry Tomczak.
But others heard and cared. Others showed love and kindness to the broken and bleeding. They didn’t throw rocks or hurry along, too busy doing “God’s work” to tend to the beaten and robbed on the side of the road. They listened and loved. In short, they did the work the rock throwers should have been doing. But God was in that, too, revealing who was who and their hearts in the process. (Painful, but truly a gift from God in the long run.)
It appears this man’s vision was truly from God after all. It was tested and it appears to ring true.
*If you’re curious about the prophecy, I’d look it up. I am sure I didn’t do it justice.
Authentic Manhood: Just like Jesus!
Agreed! The mega-model is a long way from first century church where believers met in homes. When the homes became full, they multiplied their numbers by the creation of more home churches. They did not round up all the believers in an area into a mega mother ship and its satellites. Of course, there were reasons for this – they were persecuted if they worshiped more openly … but going mega is a 21st century pursuit, not the Biblical pattern for doing Church. Indeed, if we had some real preaching going on – I mean real, anointed leaders in place – they would probably empty churches instead of grow them, until all that was left was the genuine Bride of Christ that has become mingled with all the counterfeit for years.
Muff Potter wrote:
I remember both the Apostles & Nicene creeds being read as part of the liturgy when I grew up as an Anglican. The evangelical church I attended was affiliated with Pentacostal Assemblies of Canada (I think Assemblies of God). In my time there liturgy was looked down on & there appeared to be no creed espoused. I found it to be “make it up as we go along” sort of worship. I don’t know about Baptists or other evangelical denominations but it seems that there is much focus on the Pastor. Perhaps this is why there is strict adherence to a literal bible. I always found it hypocritical that they would put down liturgical worship and yet buy canned programs like “Purpose Driven Life” and follow them to the letter. BTW, Purpose Driven Life is what put the nail in the church coffin for me. I knew it was not for me with “covenant” you were supposed to sign at the start of the book. After that program the church implemented a covenant for members to sign, though it appears to no longer have one.
It appears though that liturgy is not a panacea for neo-calvinism. There was an Anglican church on one of the lists of neo-cal churches (not sure if it was TWW or Eagle’s blog)
Jeffrey Chalmers wrote:
Now that’s a doctrine you don’t hear much about in SBC ranks any longer! This Biblical truth, and its sister doctrine “soul competency”, were long-standing doctrines of Southern Baptist belief and practice … until New Calvinism came along. In 2000, as New Calvinism was beginning to raise its head in SBC, the Baptist Faith & Message was revised. The “new & improved” (not) BFM2000 essentially diminished priesthood of the believer and soul competency for a more rigid set of doctrinal propositions, rather than individual Christian experience. If you can change ministry focus from preaching the necessity for a personal direct experience of grace (surrendering to the Cross of Christ for ALL people), you can herd the “elect” better under doctrines of grace.
I have seen NeoCal churches in working class neighborhoods, but overall I’d say it’s a brand that doesn’t sit will with blue collar or relatively poor and uneducated people.
“Yes, exactly! I heard Tim Bayly say almost the same words at a family conference. I asked our pastor, and he explained it away, sort of that I hadn’t heard it right, or he hadn’t meant it the way I received it.
But I had written it down, word-for-word, because it sounded so wrong. The exact quote. There was no mistake.”
refugee, do you still have it?
“According to Tim Bayly & the other authoritarians/Patriarchists because God is now saving entire families, not just individuals, the Patriarchs must “take charge” of the whole family, because obviously the Holy Spirit can’t do anything right in our lives and needs mortal men to do the task. And women can’t think on their own. And the Holy Spirit is fully functioning in men but the Holy Spirit is defective and can’t function properly in women.
Just your usual insufferable tyrants.”
Velour, do you have a source for this? I know these guys are off the rails with their patriarchalism, but I hadn’t heard of that one before except within Family Integrated Church circles. Perhaps the Clearnote churches are FIC, and just don’t advertise it? (I know that’s the case with they’re being quiverfull.)
A genuinely Christian theology of the family must include the reality that ultimately, we all relate to God as individuals, and that He is of supreme importance over any biological relatives and spouses. Downplaying or ignoring this eventually leads to imbalance and perhaps abuses. I think that sometimes pastors will take unbiblical stances because of what they see as rampant individualism in our culture. The pendulum swings all the way over.
Gag me. I’m too old to worry about my masculinity but if I were I’d have a hard time modeling mine off men who seem so insecure about theirs.
@ Bill Kinnon:
“I can relate. In all seriousness, we need to revisit the shepherding movement and how it has been adapted by the YRR crowd.”
Deb, whether it’s you ladies or not, somebody needs to write a comprehensive history of the 1970s Shepherding Movement, including tracing its descendants. It is creepy how many individuals and organizations I’ve read about where people have pointed out the links and similarities. I understand the original founders disavowed it years ago; if their mistakes are being repeated in the YRR subculture, then such exposure is needed all the more.
After doing some background research, the book I picked as probably the best one for overall history and analysis is *The Shepherding Movement: Controversy and Charismatic Ecclesiology* by S. David Moore.
It would be really helpful to have a summary of key activities and indicators that demonstrate the presence of an underlying pro-Shepherding/authoritarian discipleship paradigm, and what contemporary groups function from that paradigm, and the history of the who and how that system got into those groups. I don’t yet know of any books that cover those details. Maybe a group can take that on sometime …
Exactly! PDL has been a disaster nobody noticed.
“I CAN BEAT YOU UP! I CAN BEAT YOU UP! I CAN BEAT YOU UP!”
And naturally Tim Bayly puts himself in the Patriarch category, along with Tywin Lannister.
Thank you for the link. That looks like an interesting book.
I like the idea of coming up with a list of jargon and especially practices that would indicate the presence of Shepherding theology, whether the leaders themselves know its origin or not. The words they use may be changed at any time, but the practices undergo cosmetic changes at most.
So far, the two biggies seem to be multiple cell groups under the authority of one leader (with much sin sniffing going on), and signed membership covenants. I wonder if any of the leaders in Acts29 and 9 Marx have a clue as to the origin of things they may have picked up from C.J. Mahaney and others in SGM.
I did find in Steven Lambert’s website further details about the men behind this movement and the ideas they were working from. Shepherding appears to be a hot mess of Amway-like pyramid organization and marketing, along with Bill Gothard’s chain of command and spiritual covering doctrines.* All of it operating under the radar of established charismatic denominations.
* I don’t know for sure if Gothard influenced them or not, but some of his terminology was used, and the Fab Five really got things going after BG had already been conducting his seminars for years.
You can tell when programs like this fall out of favor in the church when books show up at yard sales. I run across Warren’s book “Purpose Driven Life” at yard sales all the time now. I keep hoping for a bumper crop of Piper books to make their way to garage sale tables soon!
As a young man venturing out on my own, my father provided me another option about riding on buses. He said “Son, if you ever get on a bus and find out that it is going the wrong way, get off at the first stop.”
I am praying for an outbreak of common sense in New Calvinist ranks that thousands of young folks will get off that darn bus at the next stop, get in the Bible themselves, and get it right.
Jeffrey Chalmers wrote:
That is not a Reformation doctrine. It was around well before the Reformation.
The Babylon bee has a mark Driscol post. The facebook comments are interesting. Some people think he’s weally weally sorry, plus who are you to judge, plus grace!!! Oy.
Being weally weally sorry is not the same as repentance. Bill Clinton was weally sorry about his Lewinsky fling, but the choir-singing Southern Baptist was not repentant. Driscoll has launched a non-repentant comeback; it is godly sorrow that worketh repentance the Bible says … has anyone seen any evidence of a godly sorrow in Driscoll’s life since his fall?
I am not even remotely any kind of historian so I may be way off, maybe someone wiser can chime in…
Roughly speaking, the modern era was marked by rationalism and confidence of the ultimate triumph of science and progress to solve the ills of mankind. The rise of the machine and all that. Liberalism and fundamentalism were 2 reactions of the church to that age.
I think postmodernism describes the fragmenting/reordering of society resulting from the failure of that paradigm, so it ends up being kind of a fluid and changing list of attributes.
Gene Edward Veith (of Patrick Henry College) has written a lot on postmodernism as relates to Christianity. I read his book “Postmodern Times” (a play on the title “Modern Times” by Paul Johnson, I think?) in the early 90’s. Many of its predictions have been accurate.
The church seems to be in a state of flux where it can’t decide whether to embrace postmodernism and use it to achieve church growth, or whether to react against it and tightly grasp the traditions/social mores of the past. It seems like we’re seeing strange mixtures of both, i.e., ironclad insistence on yesterday’s social constructs wrapped in a hip, non-traditional (appearing) – even fiendishly outlandish – exterior.
My personal feeling is that truth and faith simply need to stand firm through all the ages and changes of human thought; they are always relevant, they don’t need to accommodate to or react against popular thought, they just needs to be there, doing what they always do.
I notice the new testament often pictures the believer as “standing,” though popular leaders like to picture the believer “running hard,” “on fire” filled with “passion” or the like. For instance, in Eph 6, we are told to take up the full armor of God for the spiritual battle, but having outfitted ourselves, we are told to simply “stand.” “Stand firm” as opposed to being “tossed to and fro by every wave of doctrine.”
But those who are building a business enterprise have to ride the waves of popular culture! We live in the time of “stories” “visions” and “brands.”
One comment not approved for being really off topic.
This is a great idea. When you realize something is not right and you start looking up information, there is a lot that comes up but it’s piecemeal and complicated, it takes a lot of time and diligence to start putting it all together.
Not an easy or pat answer to arrive at. On the one hand we can say yeah, it’s cuz’ of no denominational oversight, and we’d be partially true. But on the other hand, a denominational bureaucracy can be stultifying, and that’s also in the realm of not good. Either way, it’s the parishioners who bear the brunt of misbegotten programs and the bad decisions of their leadership.
I’m with you in a vote of confidence for Bent Tree Bible Fellowship. If there’s a way forward for conservatives (even though I’m not a conservative) who don’t care for the trappings of the liberal mainlines, Bent Tree’s model is probably the way to go.
Rest assured, we will be writing on this topic soon. We have done several posts on shepherding here at TWW, which can be accessed by searching the blog.
I so agree. You know there is a reason why I cringe at the word postmodern as it was used by so many churches in the eighties and nineties to rally people. It had a very anti-science feel to it. Oh, and anti logic.
Nothing worse than encouraging people not to think through problems/issues, is there? Isn’t that a bit how wisdom works?
There was good/bad in modernism. There was good/bad from the enlightenment. There is good/bad in science. And so on. As you mentioned, I think truth should be the goal.
I just get weary of pastors/ churches using this stuff to rally troops or make a name for themselves.
Exactly. Priesthood of the believer and soul competency were professions of faith by the Anabaptists … which were persecuted by magisterial reformers (including the Calvinists). The Anabaptists were considered heretics by the Calvinists because they emphasized that the real church is comprised of baptized “believers”, rather than a predestined elect. They weren’t heretics at all – they were the real deal when you consider their tenets of faith with the whole of Scripture. In my way of thinking, the Anabaptists were the true “reformers” of the 16th century.
Of course, that business in munster was a bit of a mess.
Yeah, within every religious group there is a radical fringe that messes up a good thing. Sort of like what’s going on with the YRR movement in SBC ranks. The Munster Rebellion was an attempt by the radical Anabaptists to establish a theological center in Munster, similar to what Calvin did in Geneva. Combining theology with politics, when it is birthed in rebellion, always ends in disaster.
Well, as far as I can tell it was around long before the Anabaptists, too. I see it in the teachings of Jesus and the disciples.
AMEN!!! The Anabaptists attempted (with their blood) to restore that Truth to the Church which had been lost through centuries of Catholicism and missing from the reformation teachings under Calvin.
The NeoCalvinists use of membership covenants serves several functions. First, it’s just a form of authoritarian control of church leaders over members (disguised by a whole bunch of Scripture verses on page after page to catch people off guard and make it seem ‘nice’).
The first woman I saw get *disciplined before all* at my ex-NeoCal church was a middle-aged professional woman and wife has left our church for a saner, more stable denomination. She wasn’t present for the *discipline* session. The senior pastor said that she “hadn’t been submissive to her husband” and that they had “worked with her for a long time”. Hundreds of church members, in a meeting after the church service, were ordered to “pursue her”, in other words to harass her. She responded to this by disconnecting her cell phone, email, and moving out of the family home to an undisclosed location that even her husband didn’t know.
When I later interviewed her she said the pastors/elders had repeatedly threatened her and screamed at her for wanting to leave the church. She said the senior pastor had come to their home and screamed at her in person!
Others were disciplined for any reason. Any critical thinking skills gets one disciplined, threatened with not being one of us, threatened in pastors/elders meetings, by phone, etc.
It was horrible. Many families, couples, and singles quietly fled. Others were excommunicated and shunned.
Whew! What a story! So, that poor woman’s pastor & church effectively used Scripture on her: “She went out from us because she was not a part of us.” Well, from what you described, they would be right!!
Mark Driscoll has never gone back to Seattle to make amends for the damage he did to Paul Petry and his wife, and children (fired, excommunicated and lied about Paul for opposing Driscoll’s consolidation of power which was un-biblical), all of the other people that Driscoll harmed. The Joyful Exiles blog (the Petry’s blog) has noted that Driscoll has never apologized to them.
Yes, Max. That’s precisely what the NeoCal pastors/elders/thugs did to that dear sister in the Lord, a woman who was so sweet and kind (helping adults who were mentally ill and living in special homes, carrying The Gospel to them; helping the elderly in convalescent homes and taking to church to them with a special organization).
Next up, they excommunicated a godly doctor in his 70s (faithful husband and father), gave of his time and money, and is a personal friend of Pastor John MacArthur’s. The doctor’s “crime”, he disagreed in private with how they were running the church and based it on the Scriptures. The senior pastor said that they had “worked with the [doctor] for a long time but to no avail”. They accused him of false teaching, even though he never taught!
The senior pastor told us all to “pray for the [doctor’s] wife.” Very manipulative. When I interviewed the doctor and his wife they told me about all of the threats given to them. The doctor’s wife had ALWAYS hated that church, that senior pastor, those elders, and warned her husband there was something terribly wrong with this church and they shouldn’t go there. Wow, the senior pastor never told us what the doctor’s wife really thought!
Then it was my turn to be excommunicated and shunned, told that I wasn’t “one of us” at a pastors/elders meeting for discussing, brace yourself, the safety of children at church since the pastors/elders brought their friend a Megan’s List sex offender/child pornographer to church, gave him membership, leadership position, access to children, invited him to volunteer at a 5-day sports camp and told no one! The senior pastor said he was coming “off Megan’s List”. His supervising law enforcement agency and the CA Attorney General called my pastor’s stories “all lies” and “total lies”.
I thought about some key indicators, and remembered that a lot of them are in the lists for this post I wrote on “Calvinistas” a few years ago. Although Shepherding-type authoritarianism isn’t only in Neo-Calvinist/Neo-Puritan or Pentecostal settings, there is a common paradigm of thinking that always separates things into classes and categories, and that similarity goes far deeper than the doctrinal differences.
FWIW, here’s a bullet list of some of the items on those lists, and I’ll leave the descriptions of them over there.
* Totalism and Authoritarianism
About the only other thing I think I’d add to this is something having to do with the ways these groups tend to “collaborate.” If they engage in ministry partnerships at all, it’s like to be where there is high overlap on those other essential approaches to thinking processes, systems, personal growth or behavior modification, authority and subservience, and stance toward culture. And the rest of the churches-theologians-Christians are labeled as either non-gospel, heretical, etc.
Whew! To stay on topic, your former church would not even pass Dever’s 9Marks of a healthy church … but probably thought they did. There’s so much junk in the system, it’s getting increasingly difficult to find the real Church out there. Actually, I see more genuine at work in para-church organizations than in the organized church these days. I know I’m not supposed to grow weary in well doing, but I might have to start doing my well doing outside the church and be the Church myself.
You’ve been reading Bill Estep’s books? 🙂
Back to the homework assignment, “What are the three most important things you wish your church knew about 9 Marks?”, I chose to address it more from what I want my grown children and their friends to know as they step out to choose churches for themselves:
1. As believers, we are under no authority except for Christ’s authority. Signing a membership contract that puts an individual under the authority of the local church legal entity or, worse yet, a limited subset of church leadership makes no sense. This is not how the body of Christ should work.
2. Saying something is Biblical doesn’t make it so. There are many organizations, 9 Marks being one of them, that exist outside the sanctions of organized denominations that have their own agendas such as pushing a certain theology or practice, frequently focused on authoritarianism. These organizations seek to impose restrictions/limitations on the body of Christ that go far beyond the scope of scripture and are often contrary to the gospel of grace. Quite frankly, a lot of these organizations are more concerned with what used to be referred to as “keeping women in their place” than they want you to know. Creating a theme of authoritarianism is a means to an end for them.
3. Concerning expository preaching, declaring that their way is the only correct way to “rightfully divide the Word of Truth” is arrogant, extra-biblical and reveals a heart of “do it my way or hit the highway” mentality. There is nothing wrong with expository preaching – except when it is not what a preacher/teacher is led to do under the Holy Spirit.
No, haven’t read Estep. Calvinist Leonard Verduin made a strong scholarly case that the Anabaptists should be given more credit than the Calvinists as the true reformers in his book “The Reformers and Their Stepchildren.” As I’ve studied their belief and practice, I find them more in-line with the early church than the magisterial reformers.
In my opinion, Mark Dever/Capitol Hill Baptist Church (Wash D.C.)/9Marxist has no clue what a healthy church is and someone like him, so lacking in Christian love and humility, has no advice or pearls of wisdom to offer. Dever has harmed many people at CHBC, according to reports, those who tried to leave, and those around the world.
I wonder too about finding a healthy church. And I, and many other Christians, join you in believing that we are called to be the Church and do good to our neighbors without the institutional church/building.
@ FW Rez:
Sorry about confusion… my comment ended up in the middle of the post:
“Some historians…. how convenient”
I don’t think I’m qualified to answer the historical questions about the River of Patriarchy and its tributaries flowing through homeschooling, Rushdooney, Bill Gothard, Doug Philips, Grudem, the Eternal [a lie] Subordination of the Son heresy, Council on Biblical Manhood Womanhood, Al Mohler, Southern Baptist Seminary,
NeoCalvinism, Acts 29, 9 Marks, T4G, John MacArthur & his The Master’s Seminary). I just lived through the nightmare of it at my former church, its oppression, abuses, and lack of logic. It was when I stumbled on this blog that people like Gram3 told me its history and the main players, which I still don’t entirely understand but I’m starting to.
Perhaps Gram3, Brad/FuturistGuy, Max and others can give a more cogent answer.
This is not a movement I’ve studied much, just noted bits and pieces of the Patriarchy patterns.
I’d note, though, that this all seems to fit the problem pattern of trying to reproduce Old Testament culture and live under the Law with the patriarch functioning as a pedagogue who covers every under his tutelage and thus acts as the mediator between them and God, like a family priest. However, a theological problem here is that there is only one mediator between God and humanity, the man Christ Jesus.
Pettit said something to Mahaney, and while I wasn’t given the details of what he said, I was told Mahaney didn’t receive it, and that was the main point. Apparently it had created a stir, though. I don’t recall a time when Mahaney was known to be receptive to criticism, which was a distinguishing characteristic of everyone in SGM I knew, no exaggeration!
We never heard any criticisms, instead, this is the kind of thing we were routinely subjected to.
I’m quoting Robin Boisvert speaking at CLC on 1/31/99, explaining CJ’s frequent absenses, remarks he said he had prepared in advance:
I’m sure everyone in SGM was kept incubated. We weren’t informed of outside criticism or of any “words from the Lord.” It’s my contention that Mahaney isn’t motivated by any spiritual gift – he only pretends to be in possession of one, two, or three, or four. The list goes on! I knew he regarded himself as an Apostle, a Leader, a Pastor, a President, etc., but did you know he was also a Prophet!? No wonder Robin Boisvert thought he was such a great man! We all saw how effectively he used his pastoral gift when he told Sovereign Grace Baptist Church of Louisville to use their talents and protect him from the slandering slanderers out to get him.
Scroll to the bottom and read Jon Sidnell’s comment:
Oops, forgot to add this link to my last comment.
“Robert Lewis has been a pastor, writer, speaker, and visionary for over forty years. Robert founded the original Men’s Fraternity and developed the Men’s Fraternity curriculum in 1990 while serving as Teaching Pastor and Directional Leader at Fellowship Bible Church in Little Rock, Arkansas. Robert was named Pastor of the Year by the National Coalition of Men’s Ministry in recognition for his efforts to help men discover Authentic Manhood.
Today, Robert is still very involved in local church ministry and serves on a number of boards including The Bob Buford Institute. He is also a senior advisor to Leadership Network. ”
Don’t be so sure. The book might be old but the game plan is still being followed. Most of the new Calvinists that I have looked up have connections with Founders Ministries. The connections are very easy to find by typing names and ministries into the search boxes of the sites that have them. If you cannot find a direct link then look up Tom Ascol on the various sites. He seems to be one of the links gluing these various ministries together. I am sure there are other names, but this was the easiest connection I could find in the short amount of time I had.
Ken F wrote:
Yet, Tom Ascol is not sharing in all the glory of New Calvinist successes. He is writing no popular books, not appearing on stage with NC celebrities, the YRR never tweet his name. I suppose he might be the movement’s wizard behind the curtain – perhaps Mohler’s inspiration – but Ascol is not on the radar within NC circles. I doubt that most YRR even know his name. The New Calvinists are accomplishing what the Founders could never do … Calvinization of the Southern Baptist Convention. Perhaps the old guard was just waiting on the energy of youth to pull it off. When the new reformers secure the throne, Ascol and Mohler might tip a glass, but Ascol and his band of Founders will fade into obscurity.
Bill Kinnon wrote:
Charles Simpson (of Shepherding/Discipleship fame) is the Grand-daddy of church covenants.
Simpson was also the only one of the five who continued with little change in direction or focus. He was ordained as Southern Baptist in the late 50s and continued pastoring a SB church until the early 70s. His current church is COVENANT Church. And after the shep/disc movement blew up, he basically continued the movement renaming it ‘Covenant Movement.”
It is the same theology of covenant that came out of the shepherding/discipleship movement that is growing and producing the same fruit in today’s ‘movements’.
The current ‘covenantal’ issues are identical to the ones from the 70s.
Young men placed (or taking) places of authority, hyper-authoritarianism, emphasis on submission of women and no-ranking men, emphasis on obeying the man o’ God, emphasis on patriarchy, emphasis on large families, emphasis on women not working outside the home, finally getting church & relationships ‘right’, emphasis on discipline (lower levels only), young men in authority teaching about submission who really were not submitting to anyone themselves, anyone questioning or expressing concern were quickly determined to be proud, arrogant, disobedient (the only sin that mattered was “tone” of the low-levels).
The following article has several good points. Note the date – 2004.
“The Shepherding Movement Comes of Age
By Lynn and Sarah Leslie
“There is a new twist in the old Shepherding Movement and it is coming soon to your church, if it hasn’t already. This new twist is presented to pastors wrapped in silver gilding, and looks quite reasonable and rational. Should a discerning pastor, or one who steeps himself in the Word, take a second look, the gild disappears and in its place will appear rust and corrosion.
Across the country, parishioners are now being challenged to take oaths, perform vows and sign covenants. These things would have been unheard of in generations past for one simple reason. These things used to be forbidden, or only permitted under the gravest of circumstances.”
More at the link.
And now we know that the only proper tone is “winsome.” This is an extremely rare word among normal people, but extremely popular among the YRR crowd.
I hope you are right, but I saw enough today to be convinced that Ascol is one of the big players because his name appears everywhere. He might enjoy pulling the strings in the shadow. Piper seems to be the visible ringleader, but I’ve never understood how this can be because he does not appear to have enough intelligence to pull it off. The proof is in his numerous self-contradictions in his various teachings. I think Piper is playing the role of “useful idiot” while others are doing all the real work out of sight. Or Piper could be playing the role of Pulcinello – making the audience wonder whether he is a fool trying to be wise, or a wise man pretending to be a fool.
So if a man disagrees with what they’re teaching, then apparently he’s not an authentic man. Must be a fake man.
I wish she could have taped some of this.
Hi, newbie poster here but have been reading TWW for a few years. I found the site after googling CJ. Mahaney.
I was trying to put together in my head the brainwashing I endured in YWAM between 1980 and 1982, in Crawley, England. We had many visiting speakers and the one that really creeped me out was CJ Mahaney, and I wanted to see if my instincts back then were correct.
In 1981 CJ Mahaney came to speak at our YWAM “church”. I think maybe Larry Tomczak had travelled with him to be there as well.
He was treated like royalty by the leaders. All I remember about his speaking was that he was extremely articulate, humorous and emotionally charged, and he said no one should have as much fun in the bedroom as the Christian. It felt quite creepy, especially as most of us were in our twenties and single. I was 24 at the time.
Also Derek Prince came to speak and Loren Cunningham, also treated like spiritual royalty.
Authority and Submission teaching was huge in YWAM.
Each of us was to be discipled by a “mature” believer who was given the right to know us at a deeply personal level. Again I felt deeply uneasy about it but did not trust my gut instinct. I barely knew myself in those years.
So CJ was clearly influenced by the shepherding movement very early on, which must have carried over to SG.
I thought it might help to add my own little bit of history. My experience with heavy shepherding still traumatises me now as I write this I am physically shaking. 35 years later.
Before there was a ‘written’ intact Bible, there was a ‘liturgy’ in the early Church, where portions of the Holy Gospels were read and where the letters of the Apostles were read aloud. It’s a good thing that the Councils of the early Church did not hold the active liturgy of the people in contempt, but instead examined the liturgies of all of the main centers of Christianity which had been established out of Jerusalem,
and finding the parts of the liturgies that over time and in all these places had been consistently read aloud from the Gospels and the Letters, the early Councils were able to find and form a CANON that today even those fundamentalists who embrace ‘inerrant literate-ness’ draw from.
It’s strange how the beauty of the early Church is cast aside by some as ‘not needed now’ or ‘in the way’ or ‘meaningless in our modern time’;
when so many Christian people understand that there was a pledge made by the early Church and followed over time to take the teachings of the Apostles and preserve them and hand them down to those who would carry them into the world in the future.
Many evangelicals and almost all fundmentalists have little understanding of ‘the liturgy’, but they can thank our ancient practices of worship for providing a major source of confirming the earliest copies used throughout Christendom of the Gospels and the Letters. That ‘Service of the Word’? It always has been based on the reading from and praying from the treasured writings that make up the canon.
Ken F wrote:
I find it very strange that the young reformers are so enamored with the Pied Piper. He’s just not cool! They anxiously await the next word from the master, retweet one-liner Piper Points across cyberspace, scramble for his latest book, bow at his feet at conferences. There’s no doubt that he is THE man in New Calvinism. Perhaps they like his syrupy demeanor or the words he makes up … I just don’t get it! When the young reformers come to their senses as they age, they will surely reflect on Piper and say “What were we thinking?!”
Ken F wrote:
I suppose that once New Calvinism conquers all of Christendom, they might drag Ascol to the front and crown him king of all. Those who pull strings in the shadows give me the heebie-jeebies. This whole movement has too much darkness in it.
I have NEVER understood the appeal.
@ The Low Sparrow:
Welcome to TWW! Yours has to be one of the most fascinating comments I have ever read regarding C.J. Mahaney. Would you consider writing a guest post sharing more details of your experience so long ago? Writing about difficult experiences can be therapeutic. I am so grateful you had the courage to comment here.
The Low Sparrow wrote:
Thank you for sharing your story of the traumatic Shepherding Movement, CJ Mahaney creeping you out and the rest of the movement. It is very traumatic and I am sorry for the pain they caused and others, including all of these years later. I imagine the Lord is seriously ticked off with these guys and all is not well.
Thanks Brad for adding what you know about modern-day Patriarchy (heresy). Yes, that sums it up nicely: trying to replicate Old Testament culture and law, law, and more law.
Paula Rice wrote:
Could that feel any more manipulative?
BTW, I was in the Philly church at the time, and we were not seeing CJ there regularly AT ALL, so if he did come up to Philly and miss church with you guys, he sure as heck was not in our church service, either, despite what you were told.
@ Paula Rice:
PS. Who is Pettit?
Me too. I think she was too stunned.
But others who left, men who worked in tech in Silicon Valley, secretly turned on their i-phones and taped their disciplinary meetings.
When the doctor in his 70s was ordered to be excommunicated and shunned, on some trumped up charge that the “pastors had worked with him for years to no avail” and that he was “teaching heresy” (he did no such thing and he NEVER even taught any classes or Bible studies), other men secretly taped his excommunication and shunning on their iphones.
Thank goodness for today’s technology with phones.
I found the NeoCalvinists at my ex-church to be immature and arrogant. They dismiss all other denominations as not being “true Christians” and “they don’t know the ‘real’ Jesus”. And NeoCals like Al Mohler, Mark Dever, and the rest of ’em think they have have discovered ‘long lost Biblical truths’ that everybody else missed…for hundreds of years. Just arrogant. Every last one of them. Not a single shred of Christian humility is exhibited by them. Brotherly love? Never.
And denounced by others who also dared to dissent from the Protestant/Catholic state churches. Anabaptists were not monolithic. They were mostly hunted like animals and drowned for daring to practice adult baptism. Both men and women.
Has anyone here read Jerome D. Frank’s book Persuasion and Healing?
(He was a professor of Psychiatry at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.)
It was recommended to me post-bad church experience/heavy Shepherding. (I bought a used copy online.)
I’m reading the chapter on Thought Reform right now, and it’s what we’ve also been discussing
about these cultic practices that the NeoCalvinists have embraced. I’m looking forward to reading the chapter on Non-Medical Healing, which from what I’ve skimmed reminds me of Nouthetic Counseling (“Bible is sufficient counsel for everything”, aka malpractice, the unauthorized practice of medicine by untrained pastors/elders).
Of course, we would love to discuss that here at TWW. Who can fill us in on the details? If the audio can be provided, I would be happy to transcribe it. 🙂
BULL! So grateful Almighty God is watching.
Checking into this. I just ordered a book on Shepherding. Looks like I need to get this one too. Wonderful resources out there!
The Low Sparrow wrote:
These people have issues with sex. Clearly. They can’t quit talking about it!
The Low Sparrow wrote:
I’m glad you did. The whole thing is creepy.
Oh sure. I don’t know scads about the Anabaptists but I listen to a podcast called ‘hardcore history’ and they did one on the munster deal (prophets of doom). Fascinating.
One of the things they said was the drowning that killed them was referred to as the ‘third baptism’ as a sort of dark humor I suppose.
The Low Sparrow wrote:
That was spiritual discernment kicking in! It was the Holy Spirit saying “No!” in your soul to protect your spiritual health. If you consider the big dogs in the New Calvinist movement, they all have a creepy slimy aura about them. All I can say about the great multitude who are falling for the likes of Mahaney, Mohler, Dever, Duncan, Piper et. al. is that they have zero – absolutely zero – discernment.
They can’t help it … it’s their “authentic manhood” kicking in! Macho Man Driscoll’s “Real Marriage” book is essentially pornographic and Piper’s occasional one-liner tweets with sexual innuendos only add to the creepy aura that floats about him. A strange bunch, indeed, for young folks to be hanging out with (even if they are restless and reformed).
I would add to BradFuturist that Rousas Rushdoony was the fount of Reconstructionism (the Reformed version of Dominionism) which led to Federal Vision which plagues many PCA churches to this day. Federal Vision is Doug Wilson’s theology, though it is taught by Peter Leithart who is still inexplicably tolerated by the PCA.
Dominionism was also promoted heavily in charismatic circles via TBN and other outlets. The connection between the charismatic form of Dominionism and the Reconstructionist version was Gary North who is Rushdoony’s son-in-law.
Reconstructionism is a perversion of standard Covenant Theology. Some consider it merely an extreme form of Covenant Theology, but I disagree. As Brad said, they wish to establish a theocratic state modeled on the OT theocracy. They take that as a pattern for how we should do government and church and family. This includes the idea of Patriarchy.
Federal Vision shifted the focus from establishing a theocracy to establishing a church that is the center of everything. There is much talk of priests, fathers as priests of their family, etc. Rather than a focus on individual conversion, the FV focuses on baptism and communion. One becomes a Christian by being baptized and one is baptized because one is born into a family headed by a Christian man.
The word “covenant” is plastered all over a lot of different things, and I think it is important to keep those things separate lest we blame people who hold to standard Covenant Theology for the weirdness.
I think a lot of Reconstructionist baggage got ported over to the YRR by guys reading Greg Bahnsen who was an affiliate of Rushdoony. He was a brilliant guy who was highly respected as an apologist in the Van Til school as was Rushdoony.
Gothard is another thing entirely, as far as I know. Wheaton in the 60’s was not a Reformed stronghold. I believe that Gothard’s views were primarily shaped by a fundamentalist mindset in reaction to a liberalizing culture. The answer was more laws and rules rather than an emphasis on regeneration and the internal work of sanctification in the individual believer. He began his work helping parents who were frustrated with their teenagers’ rebellion. Any of us who have raised teenagers can identify with their desperation for answers, and Gothard offered a System for that just like our current Female Subordinationists offer a System which supposedly produces happy marriages and families.
I think there was a lot of cross-pollination among these various streams of thought back in the 60’s and 70’s to get us where we are today. The Christian homeschooling movement is another place where ideas crossed over. Rushdoony decreed that homeschooling is the only Biblical way.
The bottom line is that people will use whatever means works if what they desire is to rule over others. We have all been useful idiots, but typically in the present it is much easier to see when other people are being useful idiots. Retrospectively, some of us have been able to realize that we were useful idiots.
That’s enough for a comment box. If you Google these names and movements, you will find a wealth of information.
Ken F wrote:
Ha! I just posted a comment with “useful idiot.” Piper and Ascol are not directly related. Ascol does his work behind the scenes, but he was part of the “unity” panel in the SBC which was supposedly about bringing the two sides together. I do not see that happening except for those who are strictly pragmatic.
A preacher who emphasizes laws/rules over regeneration/transformation in the individual leader is a good sign that he has not been regenerated and transformed himself. The current wave of reformed theology has an over-emphasis on rigid doctrinal propositions; they preach/teach a determinist God rather than life in Christ. It’s as if the new reformers mistrust those who profess an encounter with the living Christ. You won’t hear much about personal Christian experience in reformed works … it’s all about doctrines of grace (law) rather than a direct experience of grace (life).
That panel essentially told non-Calvinist SBC members (the denominational majority) to sit down and shut up about Calvinism, agree to disagree, get along to go along, and make room under the big tent for theological diversity. That message was more about harmony, than unity. Signing Kumbaya together won’t fix the mixture which is in the camp – God doesn’t bless mixture, especially when there is a strong disagreement about His plan of salvation.
Where Successful Church Plants Get Their Money
Thanks Gram3, that’s a great summary.
My name is Lydia and I have been a useful idiot
The first step.
Boisvert indicated it was a covert operation the Mahaney’s were involved in, none of which would have been “appropriate to share” at the time.
How many other situations did the Mahaney’s have full knowledge of, that everyone else knew nothing about, because the details were “inappropriate”?
I’ll tell you: ALL OF THEM. EACH AND EVERY INCIDENT. THEY KNEW ABOUT EVERYTHING GOING ON IN SGM!!!
And you should hear Boisvert’s voice as he speaks. It’s so regulated and controlled, delivering his message like he’s some highly learned man speaking to a bunch of idiots.
Here’s the thing. No one felt about Mahaney the way he described. No one cared about Mahaney like this! He wasn’t regarded by everyone as though he were some super beloved guy who everyone pined for when he was gone! Heck, Mahaney didn’t even make himself available to people when he was there! He didn’t greet people, shake hands, or invite you over for potroast! Boisvert makes it seem like just saying this made it true!! It’s not true! He’s lying and he knows it! Mahaney didn’t miss anyone when he was gone. He only said this to flatter CLC because it was his cash cow!!
Here’s the deal. And this happened all the time. It was part of the scam. What you were really supposed to hear is this, “CJ isn’t here because he’s off doing super significant things, serving the Lord. He’s a great man. Don’t ask questions regarding his whereabouts or what’s he’s up to. A lot of it is top secret – stuff that’s inappropriate for anyone to know about – but trust that what he’s doing is EXACTLY what the Lord is leading him to do.”
See how that works? I’m telling you, this is pure manipulation and lies. And all those guys are CROOKS.
Which is precisely why I’m glad that the old dead white men who founded our nation were humanists, free-thinkers, and heretics. And who also took measures to make sure that these kinds of men can never accrete the kind of power they so desperately covet.
Thanks Deb. I haven’t been in touch with the former members for a couple of years, since the doctor’s excommunication and shunning ordered by the senior pastor and elders. I was there, however, and don’t need a tape at all to recall it. It was horrible.
I’m not surprised. That was the plan of the Neo-Calvinists who took over the major seminaries. Indoctrinate seminarians and send them out to take over churches and spread Neo-Calvinism.
Me too, Deb!
Thank you, Gram3, for explaining the players in the Patriarchy movement. I really appreciate your knowledge. (You’ve helped me deprogram me of so much of that nonsense that they shoved down our throats at my ex-NeoCal church.)
Paula Rice wrote:
LOL it’s starting to remind me of the Idi Amin song http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MFeJJAQPiK4&t=0m47s
The problem with prophecy is it’s subjective. Which prophet is right, which one is wrong? He can just declare himself head prophet. The word of God, however, is clear, and he is in violation of it.
Max, I suspect that you have summed up right here why all of these individuals and groups keep gravitating towards the authoritarian control, and legalism they do. They do not understand grace, it’s foreign to them.
What year did Bill Patton need to step down, do you recall?
In this tape dated 1/31/99, Robin Boisvert says some interesting things, prompted by the fact Bill Patton had spoken at CLC the previous Sunday (1/24/99), and shared that CJ had been very involved in his crisis. But who knew this? You’re saying you didn’t know the Mahaney’s didn’t make their presence known up there at the time, and no one in CLC knew, which Boisvert admits. Boisvert goes on to emphasis, more than once, the reason for the cover-up is because “it would not have been inappropriate.” Really? Why? It’s not everyone needed to know all the details, so why the secrecy?? It’s not like Bill Patton had committed a crime.
So, Bill Patton shares with CLC how involved CJ had been in his crisis. Then, next Sunday, we have Robin Boisvert sharing a long explanation about CJ, and how his recent absences are related, in a sense, sharing that CJ is “often<i/" needing to be involved in "situations, perhaps not exactly of that nature, but that require his close attention.” Then, strangely, within this, Boisvert feels the need to add qualifiers, and tell everyone that whatever CJ does is important, and that in his opinion he’s a great man.
But why would he feel the need to tell everyone that?
Know what I think? To stop anyone from asking any questions about what CJ has been up to, where he’s been going, and why he’s been gone. Boisvert also inserted that CJ had the “great privilege at being invited to speak at John Piper’s Pastor’s Conference. A Conference for Pastor’s! Now how many of those men, do you suppose, were expected to miss preaching at their church that day (Sunday Jan 31st) because they planned to attend Piper’s conference that week?! The conference wasn’t scheduled over the weekend, and Mahaney didn’t speak until Tuesday, Feb 2nd http://www.desiringgod.org/series/1999-conference-for-pastors/messages Mahaney’s topic for the conference: “Preaching Today: The (Almost) Forgotten Task.” Maybe Mahaney forgot to preach at CLC that Sunday, and needed Robin Boisvert to tell everyone he’s rather at CLC instead, but had to miss church and go out to Minnesota two days early to put the finishing touches on his sermon. Or maybe he was in Florida.
But what interests me about this is that Boisvert shares Mahaney had been involved in a lot of things behind the scenes that no one knew about, and he shares this at the beginning of 1999. What had been happening recently, in the previous year, in 1998, that required Mahaney’s close attention, that no one knew about either?
Here’s a couple ideas: Noel and Wallace & Happymom. These are just two incidences of child sexual abuse that surfaced in 1998.
ps. I’ll include more of Boisvert’s opening remarks in my next comment.
A good article from Tim Fall’s blog about this Patriarchy nonsense/husbands-fathers the “pastors” of their families & that it’s not Scriptural.
Excellent synopsis, Gram!
The charismatic river of Dominionism that came through the shepherding/discipleship movement was via Ern Baxter. He had worked with William Branham from whom Dominionism came through the Manifest Sons of God, The Latter Rain, and the End-Time Harvest Movements.
This particular branch also flows through Mike Bickle (IHOP), C. Peter Wagner (NAR, & ‘Convening Apostle of the International Coalition of Apostles’), Francis Frangipane (River of Life), Che Ahn (former PDI pastor for 19 years, and one the NAR’s apostles), Kenneth Hagin & Kenneth Copeland (health & wealth quacks), Rick Joyner, Paul Cain, Lou Engle, James Goll, Chuck Pierce (Kansas City ‘prophets’), Jack Dennison (CityReach), Paul Cedar (Mission America Coalition), Ed Silvoso (Transformations), Tom White (City-Wide Prayer Movement), George Otis (Sentinel Group), Loren Cunningham (YWAM), Os Hillman (Marketplace Leaders), John Dawson (Taking Our Cities for God), Rick Warren (PDL), Bill Bright (Campus Crusade).
That’s not an exhaustive list. The above folks are connected and interconnected together in mulitple ways.
Finally, one pivotal man who connects the charismatic stream of C. Peter Wagner & the reformed stream of John Piper is Ralph Winter (US Center for World Mission, Perspectives on the World Christian Movement). Winter’s teachings on the Abrahamic covenant (as being the only covenant) – that this (the Abrahamic Covenant) is the ‘secret mission’ of the church.
So, there you have it. There is no new covenant. Just a ‘ratification’ and ‘enabling’ of the Abrahamic covenant…
Terms to search: City Transformations, Seven Mountains Mandate, Marketplace Movement, Prayer Marching, Taking Our Cities for God, Spiritual Mapping, Spiritual Warfare, Latter Rain, Manifest Sons of God, Coalition on Revival, Global Mapping Project, The Lausanne Covenant, The Lausanne Movement, Loving Our Cities to Christ,
CJ, CJ, CJ Mahane
Most amazin’ man, that’s ever been
He be Prophet, de Apostle, de President and King
CJ, CJ, CJ Mahane
Paula Rice wrote:
Wasn’t this the same time things were going on with Tomczak and his family as well? Didn’t CJ blackmail Larry about this time?
LOL. Me too.
No one can say, there’s ample precedent for the Lord changing the name of an individual. On the other hand, frequent name changes of a purportedly Christian organization is a strong indication of an abusive cult.
@ Paula Rice:
As long as we’re twelve steppin’….
I was once a useful idiot for the Calvary Chapel brand.
Appreciate your additional insights about Patriarchy’s history and the mess that our churches our now in because of it.
I took a look at Brent’s documents and the timeline of events:
The blackmail occurred in 1997.
Here’s are the events surrounding the blackmail and the dates:
On September 13, 1997, Larry Tomzcak wrote to tell the PDI leaders he was leaving, and stated the following three reasons:
1. The clear change in direction and doctrinal emphasis
2. The negative effect the Calvinistic/Reformed doctrine was having on his family
3. His disagreement with with their evaluation of his ministry
CJ Mahaney responded in a letter dated Sept. 18, 1997. In it he repeatedly warns Tomczak against leaving for doctrinal reasons. Here are a few excerpts:
Brent Detwiler said that the PDI leaders felt Larry was using doctrinal differences as an excuse for leaving, and that Larry strongly disagreed. He wrote to Larry and told him the whole issue was about his character, and that it had nothing to do with doctrine. p. 137 https://www.scribd.com/doc/59533268/Part-3-Concluding-Remarks
But Larry had come back and said that he knew the whole process, as he saw it unfolding, was “flawed.” The conflict then ensued over Larry’s stated reason for leaving. CJ wanted to hang Tomzcak out to dry, but Tomzcak was saying he felt it was God’s will for him to part company with PDI, and the reason was due to the doctrinal direction CJ wanted to go in.
On October 2, 1997 Mahaney tells Tomczak in a conference call, that involved Brent Detwiler, that it was wrong for him to present his leaving PDI as being due to doctrinal differences. Detwiler described CJ as not allowing Larry to explain his departure in terms of doctrinal differences. Detwiler then says Mahaney threatened Tomzcak.
The next day, October 3, 1997, Tomzcak calls Mahaney. Doris Tomzcak is on the other line, and the Tomzcak’s record the conversation. CJ threatens Larry again: (transcribed)
But in December of 1998 Larry had written a letter entitled, “An Appeal to the PDI Leadership for Repentance, Reconciliation and Closure” in which he said he and his wife felt the need to refute Mahaney’s “gross intimidation,” and that they had met with an attorney. So, this was all happening within the time frame of Boisvert’s remarks.
The shift in doctrine had already been determined, which was signaled by the change in the name of the magazine to “Sovereign Grace.” Maybe a lot of those absences and covert meetings Boisvert said Mahaney was off doing, those “important and significant” things, involved withdrawals of cash from the ministry’s stockpile to be invested lavishly outside the ministry, on his new association with Dever (the new Larry Tomzcak, hair and all) and then Al Mohler.
And come to think of it, this may have something to do with the problem CJ ran into with Simon Pettit. I’m speculating, but it wouldn’t surprise me, because the focus of Pettit’s ministry was on ministering to and remembering the poor! Which, of course, was not at all what Mahaney intended to do with all the money SGM had. He used it to expand his fame!
I’ve watched it before, people who have given up on rational thought and spiritual discernment (perhaps in some cases because they do not possess the Holy Spirit in the first place?), in the throes of idolatry of pastor or elder or bishop who seem to pay more attention to the rhythm of the leader’s voice, deriving great pleasure just from hearing their beloved guru speak, than from analyzing what is said. It is right because beloved leader said it, they’ll perform any number of tricks of rhetoric to make what the leader says fit within a Christian paradigm, and will become extremely hostile at the whistleblower who dares to make them confront the truth. The whistleblower becomes the problem because they’re the ones disturbing the leader-worshiper’s reverie. Any with a tendency towards Bereanism should consider such a place akin to Dante’s Inferno, might as well post “Abandon Hope All Who Enter” on the front door, because there is typically no way out without great psychic damage to the Berean and there is sometimes no hope of them effecting a change.
This is surely in large part why Jesus told us to call no one teacher, leader, father, etc. Also why John admonished a church of more mature believers that they are not in need of teachers, having the Holy Spirit to guide them. I have never heard a 9Marks or YRR church get anywhere near this verse, it’s as if it simply does not exist (and I’ve attended both and been an elder at a YRR).
Simon Pettit was a man who had a big impact in NFI before his sudden death of a heart attack in 2005. He shared a message with them at a leadership conference that was claimed to have caused a huge shift in the direction of the ministry. I’m only speculating, but I can see Pettit saying something prophetic to Mahaney, since, as it turns out, Mahaney was using using loads of SGM cash to advance his career, and didn’t invest a dime on ministering to the poor and needy. Simon Pettit was only 50 when he went to be home with the Lord. He was married with three children.
This contains clips from a longer message:
At one time I could’ve told you the story there but it’s faded from memory. I think about ten or twelve years ago, Ascol distanced himself from what became YRR because he was more traditional. Mohler at the time was more in line with the old guard like Patterson. I think the fiasco with private prayer languages and Wade Burleson’s fighting with the foreign missions board put blood in the water and Mohler seized on the opportunity to take the reigns.
A lot of the younger Calvinist guys were primarily motivated by hatred for Fundamentalism rather than Calvinism. Mohler reached out to them and forged an alliance that put him on the throne of the SBC beginning in 2008.
Wow, thanks for the info from the charismatic side. Numo and BradFuturist have provided some good information before on that aspect. I think that Wayne Grudem is also a connection between the two worlds of Reformed and Charismatic patriarchy. He was Vineyard before he was Mr. Systematic and Mr. Female Subordinationist. Ditto on your mention of Coalition on Revival. Lots of familiar names on their documents.
@Gram3 and BL,
And where does Bruce Ware fit in the picture of Patriarchy?
@ Paula Rice:
Thanks for this interesting information.
Ascol is definitely in the old-line Reformed Baptist 1689er ARBCA mold. I would not be surprised if Ascol’s church has a dual alignment with ARBCA and SBC. Do not get on the wrong side of somebody from ARBCA, and I say that as someone who has found myself on the wrong side of an ARBCA-ite. They are seriously rigid about the “Doctrines of Grace” and make the OPC look positively liberal.
Bruce Ware and Wayne Grudem were at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Which, not coincidentally is where Owen received his Ph.D. Ware was also at Fuller Seminary where he might have crossed paths with Peter Wagner, too. Now, of course, he is at Southern.
Owen Strachan, the young pup who heads Council on Biblical Manhood Womanhood, is Bruce Ware’s son-in-law.
Here’s an article that Dee wrote about Owen Strachan: http://thewartburgwatch.com/2012/10/04/owen-strachan-gods-glory-is-diminished-by-male-fails/
I think scripture is rather clear that if the prophecy comes true, then the prophet was right and if it doesn’t, it’s not. 🙂 I like clear things like that.
@ Paula Rice:
Thanks for all that information. Mahaney obviously had a lot going in those years, not necessarily ministry work, but certainly setting up his new empire 🙁
I ran across this interesting quote from Bruce Ware:
So, according to Ware, it appears that men have 2 choices when dealing with those evil cursed want-their-own-way wimmens – by abuse, or milquetoast acquiescence.
He goes on further to explain even more how “it’s all that woman’s fault…”
Complete article at:
Oh, and there’s one more from Ware:
Muff Potter wrote:
In their apathetic complacency and silence, millions of Southern Baptists have become willingly ignorant (useful idiots), as New Calvinism sweeps through SBC ranks largely unchallenged.
Lydia, thank you for your honesty ;^)
If millions of Southern Baptists ever come to their senses about surrendering the largest non-Calvinist Protestant denomination in America to the New Calvinists, they could insert each of their names in place of yours on that line.
Isn’t Bruce Ware the one who said that women aren’t made in the image of God to the same extent that men are?
Good for Tim! It amazes me how full of nonsense these neo-cals are.
Don’t know. I guess we don’t have enough *sanctified testosterone*. (We managed to embarrass them over on their hashtag at Council on Biblical Manhood Womanhood.
A man scientist tweeted that men’s bodies have estrogen and women’s have testosterone!
He shot down their argument.)
Thank you Max for your encouragement. It has taken me until last year to truly trust that the Holy Spirit DOES speak to each of us. For many years I always thought well the Pastor must be right he knows God more than I do, even though something inside seemed to be screaming Nooooo!!!
I was going to a church here in New Zealand which I loved, until late last year. I had never even heard of Neo- Calvinism and because of dreadful experiences in YWAM/ Vineyard church avoided charismatic independent churches like the plague and stuck with the Anglican Church until we moved to NZ.
I really thought my new church here was free of shepherding until one sermon that hugely triggering word “DISCIPLESHIP” came up in a sermon ( about discipling) and ran for the hills! And we have a LOT of hills here to choose from!
So I dug deeper, starting reading TWW again and was horrified to see shepherding back in full throttle via TGC and that my church was heavily into NC. The penny dropped. Especially when CJs book the Cross Centred Life was on their recommended booklist
What is so sad is that the TGC has a strong presence over here even in the Anglican Church as well and I haven’t been to church since until I find a TGC- free zone.
This is so terribly disturbing.
Hi Low Sparrow,
Good name. How tenderly he cares for us, even us lowly sparrows.
Only if you feel comfortable answering this: north or south island? I love NZ!
Good research, BL, on Bruce Ware and his espousing the whole Patriarchy nonsense.
Figures he failed to properly deal with domestic violence. That group always done.
I would guess that he also fails on other serious subjects such as sexual abuse.
The Low Sparrow wrote:
Yes, it’s made it quite hard for any of us to find decent, non-authoritarian, non-Patriarchy churches with a simple Gospel message delivered by humble servants.
There’s Wade Burleson’s sermons here on Sundays that Deb posts for E-Church.
Also, Dee’s former church when she and her family lived in Texas, Bent Tree Bible Fellowship.
Dee’s former pastor is Pete Briscoe her encouraged her to teach at the church.
They have sermons online: http://benttree.org/sermon/part-18-seventy-sevens/
Also Dee has spoken highly of Bent Tree Pastor Joanne Hummel. I need to find her sermons.
South Island. Actually the name comes from Game of Thrones of which I am a complete nerd. The opposite of the character The High Sparrow. Who reminds me of Piper.
And beautifully written, too. Gram needs to write a book!
Totally off-topic, but I just woke up to find a tick in the process of digging into me. I love the NC woods, but it sure is tick central around here right now.
Maybe I can relate this comment to the topic at hand by coming up with an analogy between ticks and neo-Cal infiltrators. Hmmmm….
Bruce Ware believes that men directly reflect the image of God; women reflect it “derivatively.” At least he’s honest.
@ Catholic Gate-Crasher:
I think it's an appropriate analogy.
Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:
You are onto something.
I pulled a tick off my ear last week. Thankfully it wasn’t burrowing in yet.
I love working in the great outdoors, God’s creation. But you’ve gotta watch those ticks.
Neo-cals trying to burrow into people’s ears. Neo-cals waiting in God’s creation to jump onto unsuspecting worshipers. Yep, analogy worthy stuff right there.
You are definitely onto something.
Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:
Do you think Jared Wilson would edit it for me like he does for Matt Chandler?
🙂 I think we would make an excellent team! If I “co-authored” with a male, perhaps that would be OK for males to read, but we would need to consult Wayne Grudem for a ruling. I am pretty sure it would not be sufficient to make it safe for John Piper’s delicate sensibilities, sadly. I promise it will be the most winsomely Biblical book ever!
Patty in Massachusetts wrote:
Yes. And it is about the worst teaching possible. As if Genesis 1 does not exist in his literal interpretation of creation. Or that Genesis 2 is the micro hierarchical caste explanation of Genesis 1. You cannot even make a case for hierarchy in creation without reading into their literal interpretation of creation.
This man calls himself a scholar but he is actually a propagandists of the worst sort. One who lies about God for a personal agenda.
@ The Low Sparrow:
I am proud of you! Most don’t make the connections until it is unbearable to do so. I have become a big believer in paying attention to my “gut” as some call it here. That sense we have that something might not be “right” but we don’t have conclusive evidence. I have learned to pay attention to that, pull back and turn on the radar systems. Some of us might call that the Holy Spirit or God given instinct for protection.
If one has been around it enough, the recognize patterns, words, etc.
Piper would be ok reading it up and until he actually learned something, and then he would throw it away in terror.
I just wanted to say how incredibly indebted I am to you both for making the huge sacrifices to inform us and give all of these precious people a place to heal and recover. Your efforts are reaching around the globe.
Thanks for asking me to do a guest post but now I have plucked up the courage to speak I am happy to chime in here and there where I can help. In the meantime I will put together my history in a more coherent way in the notes section of my trusty iPad. Especially the experiences I had of the shepherding movement in the UK.
One thing I would say is how influential YWAM was in bringing about Authority and Submission, shepherding and dominionism to the UK at that time. YWAM set up a church plant in another city which I moved to join and it was there that discipler/ disciplee relationships were introduced. It created two tier Christians.
YWAM started the ball rolling with Authority and Submission teaching drawn on heavily from Derek Prince as I recall. Also the no dating policy. It would be good to see YWAM included as one of the sources of these inerrant doctrines.
I truly thought shepherding had died a death until I encountered it again last year in my reformed church. Guess it grew another head.
Thanks again TWW and other forums like SSB, Wondering Eagle and Cry for Justice you are helping me immensely.
The Low Sparrow wrote:
It appeared that the shepherding/discipleship movement had been decapitated back in the 80s.
While the obvious s/d head that was sticking up did get cut off in the 80s, it is clear that the shepherding/discipleship movement was like the mythical Hydra.
But instead of having just 2 heads appear when the one shepherding/discipleship head was cut off, dozens of smaller, less conspicuous s/d heads just quietly appeared in multiple ministries/movements/churches.
Where they put down roots, spread their seeds like dandelions, and have continued producing toxic fruit that destroy wherever they grow.
Mixed my metaphors there.
Shepherding/Discipleship has been the Kudzu of churchianity.
Rapid growth, big tubers that keep it going when times are lean, will run underground for yards and erupt in your flowerbed, destroys everything in its path, and takes a mulitple-pronged time-intensive effort to eliminate it.
Just like unchecked Kudzu has taken over the south by covering everything in its vicinity, the shepherding/discipleship errors overlay a large portion of churchianity today.
For a quick overview of the effects of Kudzu:
I’d say that’s accurate, especially when “empire” is taken to mean “an extensive operation or sphere of activity controlled by one person or group.”
Muff Potter wrote:
The also had a healthy distrust of each other.
Wasn’t that the original/Jewish meaning if “Taking the LORD’s Name in Vain”?
Someone else who knows classic Dr Demento!
The Low Sparrow wrote:
The influence is probably via the Sydney Anglicans who are definitely Calvinistas. (And, with a Kiwi daughter-in-law, I do recognize the many kms between NZ and Oz. 🙂 )
Like Lord Voldemort and Comrade O’Brian of the Inner Party, they only understand POWER.
“There is no Right, there is no Wrong, there is only POWER. And those who are too weak to have it.”
— Lord Voldemort
“The only goal of Power is POWER. And POWER consists of inflicting maximum suffering upon the Powerless. The future, 6079 Smith W? A boot stamping on a man’s face. FOREVER.”
— Comrade O’Brian, Inner Party, Airstrip One, Oceania, 1984
The Low Sparrow wrote:
As a child of God, every believer has equal access to Truth via the Holy Spirit. Calvinism diminishes Biblcal doctrines of “priesthood of the believer” and “soul competency” in an attempt to convince folks that they are mere pew-sitters who must submit to every belief and practice touted by the pulpit. Every believer is in the ministry, but they don’t want you to know that! If their weakness can control your strength, they own you. New Calvinism is a leadership model failure; it is not the Biblical pattern of doing church in which each member (male & female!) has a part.
Sad to hear that New Calvinism and TGC have made their way to New Zealand. This darn movement has come in like a flood – I keep waiting for God to raise up a standard against it. In the meantime, individual believers must make a stand – even if it is a lonely one – and come out from amongst them. That decision is critical for your spiritual health and use by God in His Kingdom’s work on earth. Until you find a TGC-free zone, pray for God to show you where He is working and join Him there. Until you find that rare & endangered gathering of the genuine, avoid the counterfeit and be the Church yourself to the hurting and lost around you.
If you read the web pages that have exposed the inner workings of CJ, you sure get the feeling that power over others what what behind SGM and good old CJ…. But of course, according Al Mohler, we should just laugh at what we read on Internet and just follow them blindly..
Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
The theological term for his belief is BS.
Jeffrey Chalmers wrote:
BB is doubledoubleplusgood.
Bill M wrote:
Indeed they did. They knew human nature, its good side and its capability for evil all too well. They also knew that perfection is a fool’s errand and cannot be achieved by hook or crook. So they did he next best thing, they crafted a form of government which would restrain the worst abuses of human nature. So far it’s worked quite well.
You’ve hit on a key paradox of New Calvinism. They talk a lot about grace, grace, grace … they name their churches and their children after grace … they write books and deliver sermons about grace … grace, as they understand it, is a hill to die on … but they don’t really grasp Grace. When the NC bubble breaks, a great multitude of the confused and disillusioned will exit their ranks – they will be a great mission field ripe for the harvest to take Grace to.
John Piper was kind enough to adjust God’s standard for us in regards to prophets. 😉
They are evidently allowed to get it wrong and still claim to be a prophet.
The Low Sparrow wrote:
And I sense another Game of Thrones aficionado in your handle.
I believe you got a glimpse into the Wannabe High Sparrow/High Septon’s sexual fantasies. (Did he chuckle chuckle as he did so?)
You have had experience with the High Sparrows’ Enforcers. The guy who turned me on to GoT called the High Sparrow’s enforcers “CALVINIST Thugs”.
Patty in Massachusetts wrote:
Which makes no sense if one considers that woman was doubly refined (from Adam’s rib) rather than just assembled from the components of dust.
As the Masters of the city-states around Slaver’s Bay would put it:
“Hold the Whip or Feel the Whip. Nothing in between.”
That’s characteristic of viewing everything through a filter of Power Struggle.
The only thing the Pope, Luther, and Calvin could agree on was a Final Solution to the Anabaptist Problem.
Muff Potter wrote:
I feel like much of these church leader types that promote church discipline, husband in charge/pastor in charge/etc, believe that human nature does not exist. They discount it entirely, when the problems that will arise with these systems are so clear if you just know people.