"Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point." C. S. Lewis link
We are holding on the developments with Highpoint Church and Chris Carwile because some info is about to break. We shall post in the next 24 hours or so.
This story from New River Fellowship Church gives us something to talk about but it is not what the church wants us to talk about. TWW believes that if the pastor is in the public eye than the pastor gets both glory and dishonor in the public eye.
Another pastor, Scott Crenshaw, bites the dust, at least for now. It seems he was viewing pornography on the church computer or at least that is what the church is claiming. They denied that it was *child* pornography in a tweet to Amy Smith earlier today.
New River Fellowship Church's statement:
Shortly after this exchange, Humphrey denied it was child porn and promptly blocked us. Don't these guys know we can still see their tweets? The church released a statement here. The following are some relevant excerpts.
In accordance with our governing bylaws, the Board of Directors has unanimously arrived at the difficult decision to remove Scott Crenshaw as the Senior Pastor of New River Fellowship. While this is the most difficult and painful decision we have had to make, it was necessary.
Scott has made some unfortunate choices that have caused us much concern. Leadership confronted him and discussed at length the concern, the nature of which was related to inappropriate images on his church office computer. The Board then confronted Scott and went through the steps of dealing with sin as outlined in Matthew 18.
Because Scott chose not to properly address this issue, he is not qualified to lead as outlined in 1 Timothy 3 and the church bylaws. We spent hours with Scott praying diligently about seeking outside counseling, to which he has agreed. It is our desire to see complete restoration for him and hopefully return as our Senior Pastor; however, that is the Lord’s call not ours.
…(We will) provide personal and financial support for them in the days ahead.
…For complete healing for Scott and his family we want to honor the man and woman of God they are, and not give into gossip.
…You will not see Pastor Scott and Renee at church and will not see much of them on social media. Please understand, their marriage is strong and Renee is walking at Scott’s side through all of this.
Did you know that many will be come free because of Scott's submission to the Freedom Ministry?
Pay particular attention to this part. I will get back to it shortly.
Many of you have experienced the power of God in this house through Freedom Ministry. Please understand that as Scott “submits to this process” many will become free because of his submission. Leadership starts in the house of God.
Scott Crenshaw's statement
Crenshaw was recently operated on for a mass on his kidney. As of now, he is cancer free and for that we are grateful. The following are excerpts from Crenshaw's complete statement.
Recently I have fallen into areas of temptation that sicken and embarrass me. Please hear this: I am not embezzling or having an affair, but I have found myself viewing inappropriate images that are not in line with what God calls me to be.
I have watched the crowds come in and encounter the healing hand of our God. No one is exempt from sin and no one is exempt from God's healing grace, including me.
For this reason, I am stepping to the side for a season of healing and restoration. I am submitting to the leadership of our Board of Directors, as well as other qualified leadership, who will be walking me through counseling and restoration.
What is the Freedom Ministry?
I found the following on the Church's website. It reminded me of some of the stuff coming out of Chris Hodges' Church of the Highlands and Robert Morris of Gateway Church. The church is not a member of the ARC as far as i can tell but I will be looking at this a bit closer.
We define Freedom as the ability to respond fully to God out of who He created and redeemed you to be. Core lies, soul wounds, demonic oppression and life patterns are all obstacles that can stand in the way of the life of freedom Jesus has made available to every believer. New River Freedom Ministry is kingdom-focused and designed to help you learn to hear and respond to God’s voice. We’ll help you identify and remove those things that are currently hindering your growth, enter the life you were made for, discover your identity in Christ and learn how to be an influence in the lives of others.
Dee has this crazy idea that there should be some sort of double blind, randomized controlled study to prove if those who go through the Freedom Ministry are somehow more free than those who are garden variety Christian who read the Bible and pray. But, I digress…
As many of you know, Robert Morris has spoken about the fact that he believes everyone is demon oppressed on regular basis, including the Apostle Paul. Church members need to go through their freedom ministry in order to get rid of said oppression.. I have some serious concerns with this theology since I think it can be misused to make "problems go away" by simply renouncing the demon(s).
Will there be a quick return of the de-demonized™ Scott Crenshaw
It is my opinion that it would be quite easy to rapidly restore the porn viewing pastor simply by saying that he has been de-demonized.™ The devil made him do it and the devil is now gone. I often wonder how many exorcisms one must receive in order to be guaranteed demon free™? And how frequently one must go back for re-treatment? Robert Morris seems to say that one needs regular demonic cleansing.
It looks Scott's wife and kids who were all allegedly employed by the church are no longer on the staff.
His wife was the pastor of the women's ministry and we assume that she was reimbursed for her role.
However, she is now gone from the staff. Why? Was she responsible for Scott's porn viewing habits? It was reported that both of his sons were employed by the church but I cannot find their names anywhere. So, did they fire the whole family because Scott was viewing porn or was something else amiss? Oh yeah, I am not a great fan of pastor's hiring their family members but that is neither here or there.
The final statement was from the executive pastor, Jeff Humphrey, who wants to give us something to talk about.
I think it is a motto of some churches that no good crisis should be allowed to occur without asking for money. I have to admit, I got a good laugh out of this one. In this statement, he said:
So in the midst of a world that likes to talk about things they know not of… I would like to quote the great theologian… BONNIE RAIT. (sic)
Using large font he went on:
Here is the problem for the church universal. You cannot demand that people talk only about what you want them to talk about. They will see the good, the bad and the ugly. If we really understand the gospel, then we should be as comfortable when people see our sin as well as our good deeds.
Given Humphrey's statement
So in the midst of a world that likes to talk about things they know not of
I wonder how much he knew of Bonnie Raitt and her song. It's meaning is rather interesting, given the context of this church situation. Here is an explanation. Dee can't stop giggling.
This song is about small-town gossip and the effect it has on the singer and the guy she's secretly in love with. It turns out that they're rumored to be having an affair, and since the rumor-spreaders already think that the two people are involved, the song asks, why not have an affair anyway, thus giving them "something to talk about."