Since 400 AD, the Church has insisted that men who make their living dispensing God thoughts get to speak without challenge, without scrutiny, without debate. As if once a man becomes a pastor, or a teacher, or an evangelist, the Spirit behind the office is hostile to scrutiny.
Christians have fallen mightily with the assumption that intellectual disagreement is equal to divine rebellion. History shows the utter disaster of this perspective.
When leaders obtain power by manipulating our spiritual affections, when leaders sustain power by manipulating our earthly fears, when they hide their failures by exploiting our prejudice, their actions are pure, simple demagoguery. Demagoguery is the exploitation of moral certainty. We are inclined to accept that men are imperfect but government is what God intended. This loose logic lets us evade an overt fight while at the same time accepting a theme circulating pulpits. The theme assumes that our primary Christian responsibility is to avoid all appearances of conflict and unify under the banner of a man in authority. Curiously enough, the men in charge of defining unity are the very people demanding to control without question.
Immel, John. Blight In the Vineyard: Exposing the Roots, Myths, and Emotional Torment of Spiritual Tyranny. Presage Publishing. Kindle Edition.
The truth is that all men having power ought to be mistrusted.
James Madison – Tribune, London
A few days ago, as I was surfing the internet to see what’s trending in the Baptist world I came across a Tweet by Matt Smethurst that aroused my curiosity.
For those of you unfamiliar with Smethurst, he is a disciple of Mark Dever, having attended Dever’s Intern program in the Fall of 2008. He is now a rising star in the 9Marx world. He “planted” a new church in Richmond, VA in 2021 and is also an editor at The Gospel Coalition.
I figured if Matt Smethurst was promoting the new church plant it was a safe bet that Trinity River Baptist Church was a 9Marx Church. So I did some digging. Here is the Twitter account of Trinity River.
As you can see, they are scheduled to have their first church service on April 9th. The “Core Team” meetings begin this Sunday, February 5. That gives them 9 Sundays to “practice” church. Perhaps they will teach from 9Mark Dever’s book, “Nine Marks of a Healthy Church.” Hopefully, they will all be reading from the same edition. That would be the 4th edition with the Foreword written by H.B. Charles. The 2nd edition Foreword was written by Joshua Harris, but once he abandoned the Faith a 3rd edition was published with the Foreword written by David Platt. As the head of the SBC IMB (International Mission Board) Platt made a total mess of things and he has faired even worse at McLean Bible Church, necessitating the 4th edition. Hopefully, H.B. Charles will have a bit more staying power than the other 2, but let’s just say if 9Mark Dever was a General Manager in the NFL he would have been fired for being such a poor judge of talent.
When I checked who was following Trinity River’s Tweets I wasn’t surprised to see 9Mark Dever’s name on the list.
I imagine the readers are wondering who the latest Talent selected to lead Trinity River Baptist Church are. (Who makes the selections, anyway?) Your wait is over, here they are:
You will notice that Lead Pastor Ben Lacey served some time at Prestonwood Baptist, so I guess it’s understandable that he was “burdened to return to the Fort Worth area to see more healthy churches established.” If you are unfamiliar with Prestonwood Baptist Church I suggest you read this post by Amy Smith.
Before you read Ben’s bio, I wanted to share just a little of my bio with you. I am married to the lovely and talented Sharon (pronounced “share-uhn”). That’s all.
One positive note about Ben – he actually spent 8 years as a software engineer – so he has spent a good amount of time in the real world, which I believe should be a requirement for anyone who desires to join the clergy class.
Note that Ben Lacey was an intern at 9Mark Dever’s church. 9Mark probably had to correct all the poor teaching Ben received at Liberty University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. (By poor I mean non-9Marxist.) After his internship, Ben was judged worthy by Dever to be an assistant pastor at Capital (SIC) Hill Baptist Church. I note that he even was a speaker at a CrossCon event. Ben’s father-in-law, Ray McHenry, is a Baptist Pastor at Westgate Memorial Baptist Church. He has a Master of Divinity and a Doctor of Ministry both from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He and his wife reside in a northern suburb of the DFW area.
Ben’s father, Steven Lacey was Minister of Worship for a short time at Gilliam Springs Baptist Church. He was also a singer with The Gold City Quartet, The Kingdom Heirs, and The Lacey’s. He and his wife have lived in both Alabama and Texas, including Flower Mound, Texas. I am uncertain if they now reside in Alabama or Texas.
Ben Robin interned at Del Ray Baptist Church in 2019. The lead pastor at Del Ray is Garrett Kell. Kell attended 9Mark Dever’s intern pogrom in the Spring of 2011. Ben Robin obtained his Master of Divinity at Southern Seminary and is currently working on his Doctorate there.
So, with a thorough indoctrination to the 9Marx doctrines, Ben and Ben have been blessed and sent out to plant another installation of the One True Church!
You will recall that Ben Lacey stated in his bio that he was “burdened to return to the Fort Worth area to see more healthy churches established.”
Ben (ben) Robin said that he and Anna (uh-nuh) “are eager to see healthy churches established elsewhere, particularly in areas of great need, such as Fort Worth.”
Hold on there, Ben and Ben. Are you guys serious? I did a search of a 50-mile radius of the DFW metroplex to ascertain how many Southern Baptist Churches there were. The result? 1,800!
Great need, you say?
Reducing my search to the “one true church” (9Marx) in the DFW area yielded 110 churches! There look to be 9Marx churches about 5 miles north and 5 miles east of where Trinity River Baptist Church will be meeting. (On the eastern shore of Benbrook Lake.)
Take a look at the organizations putting up the money to “plant” Trinity Church. Capitol Hill Baptist, 9Marx, The Pillar Network, and the North American Mission Board of the SBC (NAMB). NAMB has been under intense scrutiny of late. More will likely be coming out on that arm of the SBC in the future, but right now they are not transparent on where they spend their millions of dollars.
Just a thought, but I believe I could think of a few places in North America that could use a Baptist church more desperately than the DFW area.
I am not knowledgeable about the Pillar Network, but they seem to be very similar to 9Marx. They train pastors and offer assistance to them as they are starting out. I welcome any comments from those with a deeper knowledge than I have of this.
You will see below that Trinity River Church will be forming a “Gospel Partnership” with Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. I’m not sure exactly what that means, but I would guess there is some cash exchange in the partnership. I didn’t think SWBTS was a supporter of the 9Marx Gospel, but maybe they are taking that Seminary over as they have Southern, and to a lesser degree, Southeastern.
Here is a map showing the location of Trinity River and its proximity to SWBTS. Talking to Dee, a former resident of the Dallas area, I am told any area around water in the DFW area is pricey. So it would appear that Trinity River has done its homework on where to locate. It never ceases to amaze me how so many churches seem to find the greatest need for the gospel in upper-middle-class neighborhoods. Ahh, the Lord works in mysterious ways!
From the Ben Lacey bio: “a five-month internship where he read over fifty books and wrote over sixty-three papers on what a healthy church is.”
Am I reading this right — 63 papers in 5 months???!!! That could be a life’s work (depending on the depth of the papers…and the topic of “healthy church” would seemingly require depth).
Why does this feel like “if we keep saying ‘healthy church,’ then that makes it so”?
Good thing he only has 4 kids, otherwise when would he find time to sleep!
Meanwhile, you may recall the story of a “church plant“ by a guy from Texas who reportedly saw opportunities in DC (in the comments section):
How many times does a purported burden / vision / what have you now come with asking people to finance projects (often under the heading of “missions“) that may seem to have as a primary non-negotiable giving young trainees assets, financial security, and power / control (starting at the top, staying at the top)? How many times is that a “mark“ of “church planting“ in North America?
What I’d really like to know is how many of those books (and papers) were about systematic theology, and how many were about identifying and avoiding spiritual abuse?
It looks like a grand total of zero books about identifying and avoiding spiritual abuse.
As David Platt was mentioned, brings to mind what was discussed hear about the sinner’s prayer etc., and what Lacey has to say about it appears to carry some similarities:
Here’s a 2014 (near the start of his IMB tenure) article with Platt’s comments as one described as “a leader in the so-called New Calvinism resurgence in Southern Baptist life”:
“I’m convinced that many people in our churches are simply missing the life of Christ, and a lot of it has to do with what we’ve sold them as the gospel, i.e. pray this prayer, accept Jesus into your heart, invite Christ into your life,” Platt said. “Should it not concern us that there is no such superstitious prayer in the New Testament? Should it not concern us that the Bible never uses the phrase, ‘accept Jesus into your heart’ or ‘invite Christ into your life’? It’s not the gospel we see being preached, it’s modern evangelism built on sinking sand. And it runs the risk of disillusioning millions of souls.”
Let’s have a look at the New Testament and the gospel message that we see being preached there. Whether it’s Acts 2 with Peter and those who were pierced to the heart at Pentecost, Acts 8 with Philip and the Ethiopian, Acts 10-11 with Peter and the Gentiles, or Acts 16 with the jailer and Paul and Silas, the gospel was preached, and there was a response. Notably, the responses appear to be paired with references to being saved, evidently right then and there. Did everyone say and pronounce every word in a special way that was exact and down to the letter and syllable? Perhaps not. Were they said to be saved only in conjunction with further works or further knowledge such as keeping the law of Moses (cf. Acts 15:1-5), or were both Jews and Gentiles “saved by the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same manner” (cf. Acts 15:11)?
Did you also notice how those who were sharing the gospel were often asked by the hearers what the hearers should do? Do you think the response might have included confessions of faith corresponding to what Paul referenced in Acts 16:31 as well as Romans 10:8-13?
Weren’t these like those whom Paul described in Ephesians 1:13-14 as “having heard the word of truth, the gospel your of salvation, in whom also having believed you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise”? As such, didn’t baptisms follow soon after as it did for the Ethiopian in Acts 8:38 as well as the jailer in Acts 16:33, the Gentiles in Acts 10:47-48, and the thousands in Acts 2:41?
And while cautioning against emotion-based insincere commitment seems advisable, is it also advisable to caution against Pharisaical man-made constraints being added on to the process of sharing the Gospel, including clamping on Bibically-questionable shackles from top-down authorities from that point on? Does the latter caution seem to be emphasized much as a “mark“ of a healthy church and as something to be paired with evangelism?
Thanks for the great comments, JDV.
It brings to mind to a convo between 9Marks’ Mark Dever and Paige Patterson:
The discussion gets to easy discipline targets, which appears recommended by Patterson over someone caught in some “heinous iniquity because you’re going to have sympathy problems there.” Before that bit of arguable illogic (notably inconsistent with Paul’s perspective on dealing with heinous iniquity in 1 Cor. 5), Dever inidicates to Patterson: ”We don’t need to spend this time talking about the abuses of church discipline. Boy, we understand they’re there, but they’re nowhere near that’s the main problem in most of our main churches (sic). It’s not personal vindictiveness, it’s so many things it’s not…” Priorities, don’t you know…
The priority of anything but top-down authority exercising seems to be dangerously and unacceptably low. For example, check the 9Marks ‘mission and theology’, the marks themselves, and Together 4 the Gospels Affirmations and Denials, each one IIRC listed as requiring “full agreement” if one wishes to be a 9Marks church. See if any of those discuss in detail the priority of overseers being above reproach (cf. 1 Timothy 3, Titus 1), or even discipline commensurate with the priority of discipline for the sheep (sic).
As a bonus, note who’s in the header and the signature line for the active link to T4G’s Affirmations and Denials, which like the list of “9 marks of a healthy church” may not seem rife with emphasizing transparency, accountability, and oversight priorities that focus on leadership: “In 2006, at the inaugural Together for the Gospel conference, Ligon Duncan, Mark Dever, Albert Mohler, and CJ Mahaney adopted a series of theological positions in the form of affirmations and denials. Read the complete document below.”
(Notably, the current link is edited to say “In 2006, at the inaugural Together for the Gospel conference, we adopted a series of theological positions in the form of affirmations and denials. Read the complete document below.” Might some have concluded that who constituted “we“ hasn’t aged well as far as public acknowledgement?)
I note the process is here described as “planted AND revitalized”.
I noted that also. Sixty-three papers on one topic in five months is excessive. BTW according to the link https://www.capitolhillbaptist.org/internship-description/ on the internship, he was slacking; they expected 100 papers. The list of books as far as I could judge were solely written by men, a quarter were written or co-written by Dever.
That’s not an internship, that’s brainwashing. Writing about one paper every working day would include having no time to weigh the quality of the arguments you read in your source material or consider alternatives, to do your own library research beyond the source material you are given.
He was not writing papers – his task was “Read those papers and book excerpts by others, summarise their content and give reasons why Mark Dever’s judgement about their correctness or wrongness is the best.”
I assume “over sixty-three papers” means 64 papers. Figuring 20 weekdays per month – low, but some Mondays are holidays – five months would be 100 weekdays, so 64 papers is less than one per weekday.
This seems reasonable. I write a little newsletter about animals Monday through Friday. The length is one page in Word, including links to pictures or videos.
I’ve never tried to write a paper on “what a healthy church is,” though. Maybe it’s harder than writing about animals.
“Humility” by C.J. Mahaney is one of the books.
Why is it that these guys never see a need in the inner city. I promise that the suburbs are well taken care. In Knoxville Tn where I live there are over 900 churches to take care of less than 500,000 people. It is also arrogant to assume that a lot of the other churches are unhealthy. Not giving communion to shut ins and those who can’t make it to church is unhealthy.
In NeoCal lingo, “healthy” = 9Marx indoctrination, pure and simple.
Members will be forced to undergo a healthy beating in reformed theology, healthy bondage to a membership contract, healthy toxins of aberrant belief and practice, healthy subordination to the beauty of complementarity, and healthy discipline if they question any of the above.
Surely, there are genuinely healthy established churches in the DFW area, where Jesus is on the throne and not a Deverite, where love is the foremost mark of a healthy church.
Folks in the inner city don’t have much money.
He’s obviously trying to outdo Al Mohler’s big stack of books.
Education does not produce one ounce of revelation.
You’re not supposed to state the obvious, Max!
The only way to raise money for these churches is to show that they can be monetarily successful. Its a scam for pastors to make 6 figure incomes and then they can join the NAMB and still make large incomes.
Wouldn’t you like to know what prompted this one??
“Interns become members of Capitol Hill Baptist Church during the time of their internship in order to best fold them into the life of the congregation. (Yet we do have a policy that single interns cannot initiate a dating relationship during the internship—the folding only goes so far during these five months!)”
DEE, ‘internship’ sounds more like a time of cult-membership formation . . . so much ‘control’ and ‘manipulation’ involved!
Is this for real??? God have mercy on the unsuspecting and trusting sheep.
What’s obvious is that folks in the inner city need Jesus, too. But if the NeoCal’s set up a church there, they would hear more about Piper than Jesus.
I have a suggestion for all called to plant a church: get a real job. Get a real mortgage or rental contract. Live in THAT neighborhood. Get to know the people. Share Jesus. Live Jesus. If you do both of those, folks will be willing to hear when you attempt evangelization. Once enough new believers are born again, start a Bible study. If THEY, not YOU prefer a new church over attending one available, start a church with THEM, not YOU, in charge.
Where I live there are very few SBC churches, but lots of churches, mostly evangelical. I don’t know of a healthy one. So yeah, maybe we need a new church.
But do it right.
From the main article up-top:
Hold on there, Ben and Ben. Are you guys serious? I did a search of a 50-mile radius of the DFW metroplex to ascertain how many Southern Baptist Churches there were. The result? 1,800!
That many huh?
In a market that saturated, the competition has gotta’ be fierce.
Todd, Pillar Network is based out of Raleigh’s own Open Door Baptist, whose pastor is an adjunct professor at SEBTS. My wife and I went there a few times in the late ’90s; it’s exactly what you’d expect it to be. PN is in friendly
competitioncooperation with Greaer’s Summit Network, I think.
This dilemma isn’t unique to the DFW Metroplex. My daughter and son-in-law found the same scenario in Atlanta/ Marietta, to their great chagrin.
Interesting observation… WE academics also track papers, and we now evaluate them partially on how those papers are subsequently cited.. I wonder if any of these papers have been cited (other than by himself). I routinely find that the clergy class like act like they are “academics”, but then they, and their followers get in a huff when people like me start asking questions… sigh..
….is like a student being punished and told to write lines.
Yes. There are likely several colorful stories that 9Mark Dever has kept a lid on.
How many times is church planting actually just adding a new brand into a tithe-rich neighborhood that is already full of churches? But our brand is best.
Yup, got to control there life, including their “dating life”…. Sounds real Christ-like to me!
Thanks for the information, Burwell. Speaking of Greear, he released a new book on Feb 1 titled “Essential Christianity: The Heart of the Gospel in Ten Words.” The irony of a book written about the ten words making up the heart of the gospel is not lost on me.
I’m not a fanboy of Greear’s and have never read a book authored by him, nor do I see a compelling reason to start now! But I imagine he has received a healthy amount of cash up front for his “labors.”
Yeah…… and that’s only the SBC churches.
How many churches are there of other faiths in or near Dallas/Ft. Worth?
But they don’t prohibit organic moments…
Revitalized = stealth takeover?
Name it, call it as it is.
From the post: “You will recall that Ben Lacey stated in his bio that he was ‘burdened to return to the Fort Worth area to see more healthy churches established.’”
First of all, we don’t believe there are these three distinct classes in the church: dreamers, doers, and donors.
That being said, when a clergyman or leader shares a dream he wants working people to finance or support, it would behoove each working person to discern what’s going on.
Perhaps the clergyman or leader wants to go in a certain direction but God is not sharing this desire, so the clergy/leader circumvents Where God Guides, God Provides, and is simply campaigning the working class disciples to fund their clergyman-but-human desire (grift).
It behooves the working person to discern anyone reaching for wage-earners’ pocketbooks. Perhaps God is not guiding the reacher, and therefore not funding the reacher, so why should the rest of us jump on board with our money down a wild goose chase path – the clergyman being the wild goose running stray down a godless path at this point?
One would do well to refrain from circumventing God while supporting human initiatives where the sun don’t shine.
Join God, and God only, always. Go where God is, and ghost where God is not.
In the NT, in prayer men were seeking God and God answered. In Acts 10, Cornelius the Centurion sent for Peter, and Peter was already prepared with a message from God. In Acts 8, God sent Philip to meet an Ethiopian on the road, to explain Scripture: “an angel of the Lord said to Philip, ‘Rise and go toward the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.'”
God is every bit capable to meet us today where we are, without institutions, orgs, patriarchies, hierarchies, committees, legacies, leaderships sanctioned by God knows what … etc. From Genesis to Revelation, men called on the name of God and were answered, no fee, no Board, no filter, no gatekeeper save our Savior Jesus Himself.
Speaking of the benjamins, listening to:
Gangster Capitalism: S3: Jerry Falwell Jr. and Liberty University | EP 4: Bust to Boom: building up the endowment to the billions while gutting the integrity of the institution.
Question: “What does it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his soul?”
Answer: Luke 16: 19-31. Fun ride, until the final destination for Eternity.
9Marks dedicated a whole journal to it. Of course, they are not doing any harm, because they are only bringing healing to sick and dying churches…
They can’t initiate it, but exceedingly fair maidens ensnared by intern winsomeness can?
The comment at the end of questionable taste etc. also brings to mind a recent podcast with Lacey, Leeman and Dever entitled On Humor (sic)
Many apparently see the trends and ways to maximize getting their careers financed while the getting is good
So, … marketing and sales of a better (more pure? modern? new revelation? user-friendly? seeker sensitive? more hip? holier? blessed? inner circle? back-to-the-Bible? more biblical? WWJD? more theologically correct? more intellectual? more successful? better eye-candy? more beautiful people? more popular? bigger? more programming? kid-friendly? more youth activities?) Gospel. (I’m not sure Jesus presented any of these in His day – except He was “more” God – He was/is God. What does Jesus look like in church today?)
With all of these brands presenting, what are God-seeking, God-fearing people looking for when they land in church? Who wins being “the” local church?
I agree, Ava. Beware the grifters.
The poorest neighborhoods here have a lot of churches, in the town where I worship and in the nearest city. This is also the case in my home town.
The closed-down churches tend to be in middle-class city neighborhoods and rural areas—although there’s absolutely no shortage of churches.
Meanwhile, in Christian Dinosaur Adventure Land, AKA, DAL:
The interns get no time to themselves, to prays, think, read independently, talk with family at home – based upon the requirements: “ In addition to the reading and writing assignments mentioned above, the intern’s week includes mandatory attendance at staff meetings, elders meetings, all public services of the church, staff prayer times, intern discussions, weddings, wedding rehearsals, funerals, weekly service reviews, intern accountability and supervision times, and any spontaneous meetings that arise in the course of a week. Interns can expect to serve once a week in general office administration.”
Every service, wedding, rehearsal!, funeral, staff meeting, etc, etc.
The schedule iis like a cult – total control.
Bahahaha! “Humility” by C.J. Mahaney is still on the list.
Yes, “revitalize” is a codeword used by SBC’s New Calvinists for takeover of traditional (non-Calvinist) churches. They give the appearance of wanting to help a struggling church, but are really after the church property and its resources to add to the New Calvinist movement. They promptly set up shop with elder rule governance and force older members out who won’t conform to reformed belief and practice. Yep, they revitalize them right out of the picture. Stealth and deception are NeoCal modus operandi.
Short papers can actually be the hardest to write because you have to really know the info in order to distill it into its essence. When I was in grad school (Master of Social Work program), one of my profs had poor eyesight (complication of lupus). Our papers had be in large font (i forget what size) and could be no more than 3 pages long so that she could read them. I really sweated every word and took my time to show my prof the courtesy of meeting the criteria she set for her health while also demonstrating that I had a good handle on the material.
Honestly, I don’t see how you could say much of substance with 63-100 papers due in a 5-month period. Maybe if you are professional writer…
And who says that this type of work really prepares you for founding/leading a healthy church anyway?
Too true Max. Too true.
“Knowledge puffs up but love builds up.”
These 9Marks men are beyond the pale puffed up.
Don’t recall Jesus asking his disciples or apostles to read books or write papers as evidence of their faith, or proof of their qualification to serve as leaders in his spiritual movement.
Never commanded anyone to study him either.
He just said follow him and put his words into practice.
It doesn’t, does it. Just proves he can communicate the “company line” to his new church attendees.
That’s the big question.
It’s easy (at least for me) to write a short paper that summarizes information. Here’s an animal: where it lives, what it looks like, what it eats, what eats it, how it breeds, conservation information, whether it reminds me of any of my kids.
However, real education isn’t about summarizing.
Pool boys and thong-bikini lasses?
9Mark Dever & his interns…
Mounting each other:
9MarkDever’s #1 intern:
“Name: Carl Slezacek
Season/Year: spring, 1998
Current Information: Working with Sovereign Missional Movement, Eastbourne, UK”
But be careful googling this guy, apparently he’s a bivocational minister, and his side/main? hustle is photography, much of it quite racy [in the ‘boudoir’ genre, I guess is the nicest way to describe it].
Advertising copywriter? After all, they claim that their all too effective dominionism / secular theocracy which has so backfired on the rest of the world was only advertising and we knew all along this is supposed to be lies so why was everybody stupid enough to fall for it? (What they bound on earth like sorcerers’ apprentices, has been locked up like brass in heaven. The world already knows who that was.)
It’s the business of each child and adult to make their own openness to any revelation (even if they don’t know what that is). Proper logic is about honesty about relations, and proper ontology is about respect for identity: the ought from the is.
I never thought at any age that what I was told at any school, college or pulpit (or in hobby books or on TV) was the whole picture or 100 % coinciding with a most true one. But I was enthusiastic because I hoped it gave me usable springboards for my exploration (diligence) and degrees of inference (initiative), and I tried to be sceptical of anyone that was sceptical of me (but still sometimes got hoodwinked).
Knowledge is personal as well as a sum of conceptions of what is out there: one can’t have the basis if one is denied either half of that (Russell’s argument against Dewey, and the actual lesson in relativity and the quantum). To learn formally or informally is to consciously exercise responsibility in one’s gift, whether one was fortunate to come across decent books / teachers or not. The programme at this institution is clearly designed to prevent any of these beneficial processes occurring.
“Fold”, like we used to squash weeds in our scrapbooks? And “life” may be overstating? Blaspheming Holy Spirit in long standing hierarchs, long standing minions, and newcomers to every rank alike.
Michael in UK,
“The power of intuition” by Gary Klein is about using both intuition and inference. It’s an ideal companion to Capt. Marquet’s book. By revising and abandoning “our” assumptions about others, we bring the best out of them and ourselves.
In those days, to study rightly was to follow, but not slavishly as Paul did in his first phase.
The young Jesus in the temple astounded by His questions (not answers as in new fangled mistranslations).
Thomas of the spectacularly bad timing asked Jesus the best questions, and Jesus gave him the best answers of anyone.
Their craving was not sinful! It was of faith!
Jean Vanier sacredly enforced in the world’s eyes disdainful “othering” of people with specific (as well as general) learning “differences”, as I noticed from his writings many years before “reports of sexual impropriety surfaced”.
The book of Daniel tripped up RZ – browbeaten in hospital at age 17 – in the excellent Banjo Atheist’s eyes (and in mine, but I was too quiet).
“Differences” are really only samenesses with variety. Even many leaders of bad churches are ashamed that though functionally literate they haven’t been helped to find their own right way of evaluating written information, leading to panicky “compliance”.
There is a world of difference between who used to be called the plain but thoughtful man, and those who vaunt sour grapes.
(A proposed support plan for me at school fell through.)
So called “conservative” politics and its identical lookalikes with the “opposite” label, both of which people of religion adhere to, devalues initiative. Are the so called “different” easier to hoodwink, or harder? Think Peter and the dyke, and Hans left behind in Hamelin.
Study the lilies of the field and the birds of the air! The heavens proclaim – only not in the proselytising sense.
Dee’s John Immel quote (at top) is about those who place themselves above honesty and respect.
Is there going to be providence for all, and will christians re-include it in their prayers?
My point being that even the least educated can be in touch with God as he reveals truth to him, while the most educated can miss divine revelation altogether if he has not the Spirit of God within him. I’m not opposed to education … I even have a lot myself, having spent a career as an environmental scientist. “It’s by the Spirit, thus saith the Lord” that we know the things of the Spirit. Knowledge may position someone to receive truth, but only the Holy Spirit can teach Truth. Knowledge about the word and revelation of the Word are two different things. Pulpits are full of folks who prepared for the ministry by study, but not necessarily equipped for the ministry by the Spirit.
Puts a whole new perspective on “Al’s Little Playgroup” … hmmmmm
The easiest discipline targets, of course, are “members who are dead”. Next are members who’ve already moved on or away and forgot to get approval. I wanted to link the podcasts where Leeman Schmucker and Dever detail how CHBC disciplined 256 members for failure to attend. Sadly, they’re now 404 not found.
And nowhere in them do they affirm that their god is in any way benevolent, or deny that he’s evil.
Gross. Gain the whole world? That’s what’s to gain? That’s what the whole world has to offer? Nothing to see, actually.
As someone wrote: “Narrow my bed, wide my world.” That’s living a full life. Rather than the grip on the soul of bed hopping, or even fantasizing such, … going out into the world as an adventure of God and His Creation, including meaningful relationships (a far cry from ogling and scoring).
In SBC news:
Baptist News Global reports that Johnny Hunt’s successor to the NAMB VP position bites the dust—
And this pastor made it to Baptist Standard news (I read the sermon……. basically: Tithe? No! Give ‘til it hurts!)
Now, why in the world would a person (a female especially) walk away from the SBC?..
Michael in UK,
Every animal, from the smallest to the largest, is spectacular. Blue sea slugs, radiolarians, glass sponges, turkey vultures …
The purity movement should have been the relationship movement.
Cuz’ the big honchos in Baptist land are outta’ touch with reality.
Not much distance between that and Holy Nincompoop Syndrome, where the more stupid and ignorant you are the more Spiritual and Godly you must be.
I had aphorisms like that weaponized and used on me all the time during my time in-country. Learned to play dumb as a matter of survival. For years after I had to push God completely out of my thoughts to be able to learn or create.
The Hipsters Ironically displacing them do.
No $$$$$$$ in it.
“Why do you rob banks?”
“That’s where the money is.”
With liveried flunkies blowing long trumpets before him to announce how HUMBLE he is.
“ABRACADABRA!” = “I Speak and IT IS SO!”
Headless Unicorn Guy,
I suppose a person could write a book about a quality he knows himself not to possess, but it would take a lot of self-awareness, which religious Big Cheeses tend not to have.
Beyond the issues of book reading and writing papers, I appreciate Todd’s focus on the planter’s “healthy churches” “focus” and the number of just SBC’s in Dallas Fort Worth area… let alone all of the other churches there..
After 55 plus years in churches, I am SO TIRED of each “flavor” of church thinks they have the “secret sauce”..
Yep, there are millions of the only one true church in America! In all the religious hype, the Gospel of Jesus Christ is falling in the street.
I had so much fun seeing a small octopus in the “wild” while searching tidepools in Southern CA while visiting our son over Christmas. The creature slithered into another pool, then promptly hunkered down and changed its color to blend in with the speckled rocks in that particular pool…
Yes, God’s creation is awesome.
That’s the key. Go where Jesus is present via God’s Holy Spirit. The Spirit of God needs neither celebrity nor money nor an extravaganza of a staged show.
Hard pass. And yes, the irony of a book length discussion of 10 words is exactly what one would expect. I wonder who the author is.
It’s as true as the properties of arithmetic.
The evidence is overwhelming, which is why the Psalmist wrote:
“The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.”
“Given the unusual nature of an executive being simultaneously employed in two full-time jobs by two Baptist entities, BNG asked Crawford in October if he was, in fact, being employed by both BCMD and NAMB. He replied: “I don’t have to tell you that, but yes I do receive a salary for my role with NAMB.”
“Crawford’s position at NAMB was created after the resignation of Executive Vice President Johnny Hunt, who was named in the Guidepost Solutions report on sexual abuse allegations. Crawford had been named BCMD executive director just seven months earlier.
“Before, his role as the Maryland-Delaware executive. Crawford served eight year as a church planting director for the state convention, along with being senior pastor role at Freedom Church in Baltimore. He was the founding pastor of that SBC congregation.
“BNG reached out to NAMB for comment but has not received a reply.
“NAMB’s relationship with the BCMD is complicated. In June, a trial will begin in federal court based on allegations of the convention’s former executive director, Will McRaney, was defamed by NAMB officials because he opposed a church planting and funding strategy demanded by NAMB.”
Here is a two minute or so video where with both McRaney and Crawford, where Crawford invites those watching to “resource us“:
It is occulted by muddle headed teaching of how to combine both set theory of Plato (when you allow for his irony) and category theory of Aristotle, reinforced by the fallout from centuries of wrong propaganda given religious force.
Thus whether we “lump” people or cast them out, or give right respect. These are the same two eyes Russell (an agnostic) insisted we should see through, lambasting the “cosmic impiety” of those now dominant, who have instead cut down the vision as religion abandoned prayer.
Garrigou-Lagrange on the last page of his two-volume snappily titled book “God” (which I gave away) stresses how this occulting which has occurred is not to be denied. Hence I continually stress that nature doesn’t proselytise like some apologetists claim: it just invites the same respect as any of us do.
Here is a comment on the book by John Immel (quoted by Todd at head of this page):
(Immel might have added “political” to the list of torments in his subtitle: secular leaders have found themselves trapped – by dominionists – in theocracy.)
Another version of the same article names Plato as a bad influence. But neither Augustine nor Calvin had access to research highlighting Plato’s guardedness in his political context (hazards that Socrates and Aristotle knew).
Kierkegaard’s first book was “On Irony” with focus on topics in Plato. The historian Peter James notes heavy irony in the Atlantis stories: the vices of Athens being attributed elsewhere (similarly that occasionally some Persian atrocity may have got blamed on a generic “Nebuchadnezzar” though emperors used native titles from each country among their many names anyway).
An image of “Plato” was in fact distorted by centuries of gnostic monists (the same kind of sophists that Plato had struggled against and whose notions St Paul describes as “vain” philosophy).
Russell in his early phase stressed relation as concomitant OF existence (to counter Hume); hence in my opinion a Trinitarian God stacks up from Scripture.
Holy Scripture is focussed on christian co-leadership which includes prayer by all of us that in God’s mercy pastors / elders will remain enlightened so that “healthy” ministries may grow.
How many seminaries teach that The Holy Trinity models making space for ministering by the orphans and the widows?
… respect and awe …
Ah yes, the old “blame the interviewer” tactic.
I found the book on Amazon and saw the cover where, helpfully, all 10 words are listed. I was hoping it would be an exposition of a 10 word verse, but it appears he’s trying to be creative with the subject matter. For instance, one of the words is
Religion(sic). I would imagine that this book doesn’t say anything different, or in a different way, than his other books on “the gospel”.
However, someone titled the book “Essential Christianity” which implies authoritativeness. I would imagine that it falls short of this lofty ideal.
Jerome, an occasional commenter on this blog, sent me information that showed Michael Crawford was a frequent speaker at Covenant Life Church in Gaithersburg, MD. Readers will recall that Covenant Life was the flagship of the Sovereign Grace Ministries (now Churches) denomination. Mahaney was the senior pastor, followed by Joshua Harris. During the exposure of the sexual abuse of children coverup by those in authority within Sovereign Grace, CLC withdrew from the Sovereign Grace denomination and Harris resigned as Pastor. This led to PJ Smyth being hired as Pastor, a disaster almost from the first week he was on the job. Kevin Rogers is now the lead pastor. Rogers has had Michael Crawford speak at CLC 19 times since January 2019. I don’t know what CLC pays guest speakers, but honorariums are generally between $500-$2,000. Were I a member of CLC I would want to know how much money was paid to Crawford and what was Rogers’ connection to Crawford? It seems highly unusual to have any guest speaker preach so frequently at your church, and last time I checked CLC is not an SBC church.
Here is a link to a Tweet that shows all the dates Crawford spoke at CLC:
Thanks for the information on JD Greear’s book, Burwell. I don’t feel JD Greear is a deep thinker, he is more of a political hack within the SBC. He has name recognition so book publishers are confident his book will make them some money and, unfortunately they are likely correct. The book industry is, in large part, just another arm of the Evangelical Industrial Complex. Whenever a Christian Celebrity wants to get extra cash he can write a book or speak at a Conference.
If they don’t, it’s not pure & undefiled religion before the Lord (James 1:27).
and vice-versa … don’t go where Jesus is not present. In my humble, but accurate, opinion (based on a 70-year snapshot of doing church), I don’t believe that Jesus attends most American churches on Sunday morning. Christ has little authority and influence in the average American church these days. We have substituted theo-mumbo-jumbo, pulpit celebrity, and entertainment for the presence and activity of God. And we love it so.
I cast my fly in an eddy created by a large rock in the stream, a hefty rainbow trout consumed it immediately, the fight was on, a bald eagle sat in the top of a cottonwood tree watching the battle. God was there.
A New Calvinist icon in SBC ranks. His legacy will be the recalling of 1,000 career non-Calvinist foreign missionaries while President, SBC International Mission Board. That will be a sad chapter in the “What happened to SBC?” book that someone will write someday.
It’s Dallas/Fort Worth.
Setting of GCB (“Good Christian B*tches”) for a reason.
From list of GCB episodes on Wikipedia, they definitely based one on Grinning Ed Young’s “Seven-Day Christian Sex Challlenge” for one episode. From this I conclude that (like WKRP Cincinatti and Slap Shot) they based some episodes on actual people & events. You could NOT make up the craziness that actually happened.
i.e. A Good Little Inner Party Member.
Once when I was on the East Coast (rural PA), my writing partner showed me one of the older One True Churches in his area. KJV1611 ONLY, between one and two dozen strong, the youngest being well into his seventies. But they were the ONLY True Church in existence! All others were Apostate Counterfeits!
Out where I am, the type example of the ONLY True Church is Calvary Chapel.
And A.W.Pink managed to achieve the ultimate expression of this, the theoretical End State:
The One True Church Of One.
Population of Fort Worth: 918,915.
1800 SBC churches in the DFW metroplex…….. if the only churches in the metroplex were SBC churches (not a chance) and every single person in Fort Worth attended church (figure the odds), that would be an average 510.5 Fort Worth residents per SBC church in the metroplex.
No, this isn’t about spreading the gospel. It’s the beginning stages of an invasion, a takeover attempt.
Of course, we all already knew that.
And further irony is that their “Bible”, “Nine Marks of a healthy church”, can not seem to have a consistent “intro author”… sigh….. as Todd has pointed out..
My personal theology is not that “hung up” on the importance of “intro endorsers”, nor am I “worked up” that these “endorsers” are “falling away”. BUT given the hyper authoritarianism of 9 MArks, this should be a FLASHING RED LIGHT that they are NOT qualified to decide who is “in” or “out”… sigh
A post from Julie Roys’ blog: Opinion: Pastoral Restoration Is Possible, But Challenging Says Seminary President
From the “Opinion” piece:
If you read through the rest of the Seminary President’s “Opinion” piece, it’ll be readily apparent there won’t be any peace for those affected by his “teachings”.
Read the whole article for a perfect example of the usual “Pastoral Restoration” (etc.) playbook.
Within the NeoCal tribe, book endorsers and conference speakers are worshiped more than Jesus. It’s a strange kingdom where Piper, Dever, Mohler et al. trump Christ.
All counterfeit churches eventually end up there. Someday, Piper will be left staring at himself in the mirror as the last survivor of the New Calvinism movement he fathered.
Platt has done so many radical things for the NeoCal movement that he surely sits in the Inner Ring at this point.
control of the milieu.
This is the same type of training program that my ex-church uses, base on marine training model – “out of many one” value & character. This is spreading like gangrene. As far as I know, beside internal church training, my ex-church is in cooperation with golden gate seminary and and Northwest Baptist in BC, canada.
Engineers like things not people. They like to systemize in whatever field they are good at. Unless the pastor did extend work in a people oriented environment such as a chaplin, I would not want to attend a church with a young pastor with an engineering background esp. one who wrote so many paper on a “healthy church”.
SW Xtian school is in my neighborhood.
Land is still relatively less expensive in SW Fort Worth to build a “mega church”.
North of the school is SW Fort Worth’s hospital area. Further south is Tarleton State University.
Life Church bought a large property sw of the school a few year back and currently in full operation.
Formerly known as “The Church of Me and You and I’m not too sure about you.”
I’ve never seen an octopus outside an aquarium. They are very smart and even creative.
What’s even more obvious is that the ‘inner city’ is primarily African-American.
And I can assure you that they have no desire for white evangelical luminaries to show them how to do ‘church’.
What a great description of a great experience in nature!
I have many sunset experiences, moon-watching experiences,…
…and a great one where a baby owl spent the afternoon on a ledge right over our front porch taking a nap.
I took some video of him/her
I love to watch the red-tailed hawks circle on the thermals in my area.
Thanks for the information, Sowre. I always appreciate hearing from someone with current, first-hand knowledge.
Once, I watched a red tailed hawk sweep down and scoop up a wiggly snake ……… 20 yards away from me, at most. I just hope that snake was one of the bad kinds of snake.
“I love to watch the red-tailed hawks circle on the thermals in my area.”
…sort of like watching figure skating, and you almost feel like you’re doing it, too (gliding forward and in swirls and surging in spinning jumps…)
but watching majestic birds…. perhaps we feel like we’re soaring and gliding along with them. relaxing on forces that are sure. an altogether different category.
It has a subtle beauty (underneath the obvious beauty) all its own.
Only a fool would say there’s no God.
Minority churches have their own authoritarians, their own thieves, their own abusers. They don’t make the news quite as much, especially if they are non-English speaking.
This will be your occasional reminder that healthy churches exist too.
What do Christians want to happen to churches in the US? Should we abandon them all? Hint: houses of worship from other religions would still stand and even flourish. I do not believe that abandoning churches would lead to widespread repentance and renewal.
As always, local conditions vary, and participation is voluntary.
I thank this site for discussion on 9Marks. I ran across their you can’t resign thing. I resigned from a PCA church 16 Years ago. The Pastor accepted and I got an e-mail from the Elder over me. Inquiring and stated they take membership seriously. I explained they decided to go the hip vapid emotional evangelical route. My wife at the time and I had very bad experience with such things. He acknowledged and wished me the best.
Fast forward 1,000 miles and almost two decades. And I live outside DFW metro. And was shocked all of these places. In the Midwest I had to drive near an hour to find a PCA or RBC church. They didn’t use the manipulation business the Pentecostals, Wesleyans and Baptists used.
I was going to stick my head into a Reformed Baptist Church up the road. Oh its 9Marks. I may still do it, because I am curious. Did Reformed/Calvinist what used to be the sane view go when Sproul died? Now that’s good question. Book by Sproul. Has gotten replaced with the Oneness Pentecostal you shall not criticize the “man of God”.
20 years ago John Mc. was a baptist not a Calvinist. I like his team’s LSB
translation. Not been a huge fan of his. The Neo-Calvinism seems to me to reject the old Reformed concept of appropriate roles for different parts of society.
Walk away for 16 years and stick your head back in. Whole thing has gone insane. I am going by the 9marks site itself not even this site. I feel old. Suddenly Neo-Calvinist, I question that term, are suddenly everywhere. Must be the 2020s Purposeless Driven Lie.
Whew. R.C. Sproul was a hyper-Calvinist who was embraced as a father figure by the New Calvinists. He was an icon of the movement before he died. His DNA is embedded in Dever’s hardcore 9Marx church discipline, which is anything but a “sane view” of doing church.
Heartbreaking. You are wise to see what’s happened and to stay away.
Welcome to TWW! There are daily posts and comments on this site which document the lunacy in many corners of the American church. Churchgoers have become so open-minded to shifting belief and practice that our spiritual brains have fallen out.
I read a lot of Sproul and well as listened to some of his talks. Was he perfect? No. He stated physical assault in a marriage is the same as adultery. Clearly John Mc. and others didn’t see it that way. Maybe he went off the reservation in the last few years of his life. He always welcomed questions and taught churches has a sphere to operate in and should not step out of it. He had grace and humor to those who disagreed. These 9Marks folks show neither. People thump the bible more than they read it too. Nothing new there, either.
I get it you don’t like Calvinism. I have no interest in arguing about it. I have seen the worst excesses of Arminian Free willism. A lot of the churches on the map from where I used to live were nowhere near Calvinistic, they are the worst of Evangelical or Fundie baptist types. Again 20 years ago the few Calvinistic churches were lightyears better IME. Experiences vary.
My main point is these folks have gone past all sanity, it is like stuff I saw in KJO Baptist and Oneness Pentecostal views, I am seeing here. Reformed have had a official membership, so did Disciples of Christ, IFBs and Wesleyans. It (PCA) wasn’t any different than other churches. You professed faith etc. They assigned an elder to us to answer any questions, that was one difference. A very nice man. Then they decided to go Evangelical modern emotionalist method you know to attract young people. We have seen that and both had issues of abuse esp. my ex-wife. Nope. The pastor accepted and wished us the best. The elder sent an email explaining you understand you just can’t rejoin after this. And asked why. I politely explained. Basically I think it got their attention that the attempt to get young people backfired. At least with us. “Frozen chosen” and high church was a selling point after dealing w/ the emotionalistic manipulation nonsense. He said he understood and wished us well. That is the way all churches from mainline, evangelical, some fundie to Reformed all operated this same in that way. A polite note and well wishes. I never darkened the door of a church since that wasn’t a wedding or funeral. I was done after years of trying (mind you not a perfectionist), I wasn’t about to let my kids get pressured and abused like me and their mother were. I also now understand why my dad has generally not been a member, but regularly attends. Being a member puts you in a different place.
15-20 years ago RBC and PCA churches tended to be fairly chill, Sunday school classes covered really interesting stuff like systematic theology, Greek and Hebrew and textual variants. Discussion and polite disagreement was welcome. “Sir. I don’t agree with you on this and here is why.” Friends over coffee type thing. Was the order of the day. Frozen chosen meant logical and reasonable. Again my exp. almost 2 decades ago.
Thank you for the welcome. I appreciate everyone’s comments. Sorry for the lengthy reply.
I watched some sermons on the internet from that local 9Marks RBC. Not the worst thing I have heard. Seemed more SBC or IFB than any reformed baptist or similar. Seemed shallow. I might stick my head in at a PCA or OPC. I think the OPCs are still doing the same things as 100 years I would be ok w/ that. If I go it will be on occasion more to listen than anything. Just curiosity. This is Texas not Indiana so things might be different.
Thank you again for the welcome.
It’s been sad to see how the New Calvinists have used people, drawing them into their tribe to give it credibility. The movement was launched with stealth and deception as modus operandi and continues to employ that strategy as it spreads through the American church. The Wartburg Watch has documented its ungodly journey. It has some of the most arrogant authoritarian church leaders on the planet, who have mobilized a generation of young reformers to plant aberrant belief and practice across America … young folks who will be left confused and disillusioned when the NeoCal bubble breaks (and it will).
I have been reading in shock. Even dropped in at aomin.org (James White) it seems some of them are even giving what is left of the old school Calvinist crap. I never saw so many posts or videos talking about other “Reformed” must be the new school. He doesn’t take on the 9marks thing. That isn’t in his wheelhouse. But Textual Criticism, transmission and translation of it is. He has a lot to say about some of things rising in “house”.
Apparently (Textus Receptus) Greek New Testament, TR onlyism is now a thing in some of these circles. We are talking the TR that was revised to match the KJV readings. King James Onlyism traditionally was Fundie Baptist and Pentecostal.
All these 9Marks I have found places I have been were never Calvinist before. In fact had issues w/ me being one. A lot of law not an ounce of Grace or kindness before it just seems they started a movement.
It might have been better to have never known. I am thankful to the 9Marks blog to posting what they really believe. And to this site to pointing the various fruits of it. This will pass too, but with what damage to real lives?
The New Calvinists are ESV-Only.
The New Calvinists talk a lot about grace-this and grace-that, but true Grace is missing in their churches. Kindness? … no one will ever accuse the New Calvinists of being a loving bunch – it’s not in their DNA … arrogance is the primary identifier of this tribe.
In a lot of ways, church was better 100 years ago, but the big issues in my family’s church back then were Demon Rum and gambling. Zero tolerance all around.
As a married woman, my grandmother was horrified when she ended up hosting a party for whist or bridge or something—and not betting. She was surprised to see that all the cards were different. Think of that: in her thirties before she ever saw the front of a playing card!
I did some searching. I only found jokes about that “ESV onlyism”. ESV uses the same GNT as all the other modern translations save NKJV and WEB. All Nestle-Aland/UBS text. NKJV uses the Textus Receptus like KJV, World English Bible uses one of the two Majority Texts and the rest use the Nestle/UBS critical text.
KJO and TRO are cult or near cults. I have heard literally this is your God one holding up a KJV. They KJO will lie and accuse all modern translations of being demonic or peversions. This includes the NKJV that uses the same Greek and Hebrew that the KJV uses. The notes are of the devil. They will make myths about the Alexandrian texts. Dry and sand preserve papyri. I have a TR from Trinitarian Bible Society that in the preface says they corrected the Greek w/ the KJV. New Age Bible Versions by Gail Riplinger is an example of the terrible stuff. Now Jeff Riddle is one of these TR Onlyist. I listened to his debate w/ James White.
Yeah the Neo-Calvinist like the ESV. I don’t they are not onlyists that I have seen. That doesn’t mean preferred. It means this KJV or TR is the only word of God in English or even superior to the originals. ESV is another modern translation with a publisher that has been very flexible.
Awana and Gideons dumped the NIV for the ESV, over the disappearing and forbidding of the 1984 version by Biblica. Crossway has been very tech savvy and very accommodating. The ESV is #3 behind the NLT and NIV2011.
Despite my concerns over the 9marks etc. From I have read they (9mark/Baptist/Neo-cal) are pikers compared to the KJO and Oneness Pentecostals. The difference is the other two aren’t nearly as internet savvy so don’t gave to see their nonsense.
I challenge you to walk into any New Calvinist church in your area. You will see that the pastor uses ESV as his sword of choice, quoting from it almost exclusively. He most likely will be carrying an ESV Study Bible, a popular version of the ESV among the young reformers. The NeoCals support Crossway Publishers, publisher of the ESV and the leading publishing house of books by their icons.
Show me an example. Where they would condemn someone from pulpit for carrying KJV, NASB, NET etc? I have experienced that at IFB KJO church. Like the devils Bible.
But, there are far far worse things. They just don’t have near the internet presence. King James Onlyist are not ones that only use the KJV. It is those who think it is or is superior to the autographs. I have had my translation NASB called the work of the devil from the pulpit.
What I read here and from the 9Marks folks is greatly troubling. It is the same reaction I had to Purpose Driven Life. It was the same concern it with that book and thinking infecting all of the Protestant churches. Like I said previously I went through the 9marks map. Looked at churches I attended none were Calvinist and one or two were very Anti-Calvinist. This seems to be a Baptist/fundie/evangelical list more than anything. Those groups vary like the colors of the Rainbow. Many following the “latest” thing. This seems to be that. Horrible and damaging as it is.
Having said all of that these guys are pikers and babies compared to the Oneness Pentecostals and King James Only churches I have personally been to. They are what you criticize here on crack. Virtually none are Calvinist. I have known of divorces and suicides involving these groups. The mental anguish and damage is the rule and not the exception. Before any of these people. These groups may get to that point enmass before they implode. My guess is the internet/social media is double edged sword for these new groups. Old groups rightly limit their interactions online. The leaders understand what the spotlight brings. These folks aren’t that smart.
As for you other comment. I have an ESV digitally and dead tree, I have no inclination into getting my UBS4 and BDAG to go through each passage. Not the only thing I have. It is not a Calvinist Bible if that is what you are after. Translations are all generally done by committee. And they all reflect that. My point is you are confusing preference even exclusive preference with onlyism. Onlyism is an article of faith in many cases equal to the gospel.
I condemn all controlling groups. Regardless of degree and regardless of creed. I am trying to keep perspective. I have seen things said and done by those in power at churches and church orgs, that were terrible and reprehensible, and that most Christians and Atheists would rightly condemn.
Oh no, the NeoCals don’t do that … they aren’t that mean-spirited (yet). They just fell in love with the ESV since J.I. Packer was the general editor of the translation and all of the who’s-who in the New Calvinist movement promote it.
Whew! Talking about a mean-spirited bunch! I’ve known some of those in my 70+ years of doing church in America … they can get ugly with “KJV alone is truth.”
Oh no, the standard issue ESV reads much like the NIV. It’s harmless enough. However, the ESV Study Bible is loaded with marginal commentary by New Calvinists (Piper, etc.) that is intended to indoctrinate.
Then keep a close eye on NeoCal ministries in your area. They are out and about to control the living daylights out of the Body of Christ.
Don’t forget the KJV1611 ONLY! churches where even the KJV is the devil’s Bible and only the 1611 First Edition is SCRIPTURE.
If it’s any consolation, my writing partner showed me the local KJV1611 ONLY! church in his area — the Only True Church, a full DOZEN strong, the youngest in their Seventies. Another 10 years and you won’t have to worry about cure that one.
Because the Kynge Jaymes Version IS the original Autograph, dictated word-for-word from the very lips of God through Verbal Plenary Inspiration (just like the Koran!)
During my time in-country, I encountered this attitude about the KJV OUTSIDE of the KJV Only bubble/echo chamber. Apparently it want viral and metastasized through Evangelicalism some time ago.
Was that another 67th Book of the Bible, Superseding All the Others?
Like Late Great Planet Earth?
Like Left Behind (67th to 88th, actually)?
Like I Kissed Dating Goodbye?
Like Watchman Nee?
Like Atlas Shrugged in November 2008?
“THE EAGLES, MR FRODO! THE EAGLES!”
At which point it’s “Everybody’s out-of-step except My Little Johnny”.
The irony the ESV Reads with KJV, NKJV Matt 18:15 as “If your brother sins against you…” NIV2011, NASB95 and NET leave off “against you.” The reality is Codex Aleph, B (circa early-mid 300s) and a 8th century one omits against you. All the others of 5th century and later includes it. Even the UBS and NA greek new testament include in the text itself w/o the O footnote detailing the split.
I find it amusing they love that verse so much and the ESV narrows it to being personally sinned against not broadly sin in general. Sides with the majority and traditional reading. Their entire premise is based on a relatively uncertain textual variant. If there was an early papyri that read one way or the other there would be more certainty.
The ESV standing against most of the other modern translations specifically on this passage is amusing to me.
Headless Unicorn Guy,
Which Bible? I never saw so much scripture twisting, prooftexting and translation selection to make it say what he wanted. Also Warren went to WEF this year to my understanding. Tells you a lot about him.
But, yeah same crap different year.
Headless Unicorn Guy,
It spread all over the place. And now it has new “more educated” cousin called Textus Receptus Onlyism AKA TR onlyism. Basically the Greek with the revision to match the KJV. You can’t make this stuff up.
In my time in-country, it was the Dake’s Annotated.
Nobody read the KJV in the center column, just Dake’s commentary in the two outer columns.
And that commentary was just… TRIPPY. Or OCD. Or both. Bad Craziness.
JUST LIKE THE DAKE’S ANNOTATED BIBLE!
“THere’s an ASV
And an RSV
And a Paraphrase or two,
All these new ‘translations’
That Say What You Want Them To…”
— “Gimme that Old Kynge Jaymes Version” (novelty song credited to a “Pastor Ron” in Tulsa)
“More Educated” as “let’s use a lotta Latin to show How Educated WE Are”?
I thought Latin was ROMISH…