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  1. PJay says:

    Good day,
    Love the illustration. This is my first post to the site as not being annon. and I’m delighted to have read so many wonderful post.
    I recently left pastoring a CC to lead a ministry in Co. and I’ve tremendously blessed by the change. I have a many friends in CC and I’m very appreciative for all that is behind me (well, most of it that is).
    I’m delighted to see a community that can speak it’s mind, wrestle through topics, ideas and the like.
    I’ve recently boarded the ‘moving on, moving forward’ train and I’m hopeful for what the future holds.
    Okay, this sounds like a petty treatise but I want to say ‘hi’ to the community and I look forward to sharing with you more.
    Michael, thank you for what you do. As an outsider, it really looks as if you provide a healing door for many. That’s a good ministry.

  2. Em says:

    here’s a ponder without eternal significance, i suspect 😉

  3. Nonnie says:

    PJay, welcome! You are absolutely right. This is a place of healing and fellowship. Quite a good sense of humor here as well when Filbertz is around! 🙂

    God bless you!

  4. PJay says:

    Thank you.

  5. BrianD says:

    Welcome, PJay!

  6. Believe says:

    PJay, welcome aboard the Moving Forward Train…last stop…eternity with our Father in Heaven! 🙂

  7. Believe says:

    …unfortunately for me, there seem to be lots of stops on the way.

  8. Buster says:

    Re. the 6-story statue that was hit by lightning:

    “The 4,000-member, nondenominational church was founded by former horse trader Lawrence Bishop and his wife. Bishop said in 2004 he was trying to help people, not impress them, with the statue. He said his wife proposed the Jesus figure as a beacon of hope and salvation and they spent about $250,000 to finance it”

    I could think of better ways to help people with $250,000…

  9. Buster says:


    Without revealing too much, can you tell us something about why you left CC?

  10. Babylon's Dread says:

    Finally a post I can endorse 100%… I will keep you posted as to my ever revised specs.

  11. PJay says:

    thanks for the question. I have left CC for two main reasons:
    1) Personal weakness. I have a number of close relationships and just couldn’t handle the conversations any longer… ‘hey, did you hear about _______! They just _______.’ I do realize there is an unbelievable lack of proper oversight amongst the CC leaders and that’s a conversation that has been tackled well here. For me, I just had to remove myself.
    2) Positional. I have a strong conviction that the scriptures overwhelmingly support a plurality of Elders for a leadership model. I was working with a friends to develop this structure within a CC and it was more than welcomed by all. One problem! Other CC leaders discovered it and helped my ‘old’ buddy switch positions. This turned into WWIII with me being label a ‘spreader of heretical teaching’ and ‘trying to take over the church.’ Let’s just say ‘U-G-L-Y, you ain’t got know NO alibi, your just UGLY!’
    I experienced just about every emotion and response possible and I’ve since recovered, healed and now I’m moving forward with some scars and great lessons.
    So, I think I can honestly say I really am not bitter. But perhaps time will tell.

  12. PJay says:

    Great point and focus. Let’s move forward together.

  13. Buster says:


    So you repented of using The Message? 😀

    I’m glad you’ve gotten past it. Hope things go well on his new effort.

  14. PJay says:


  15. Michael says:

    For those interested in the border crisis I spoke of Saturday….

  16. culprit says:

    hi y’all. i have been an observer here for quite some time (4-5 years maybe) and have commented sparingly under a different name but am choosing to fly a little more under the radar this time around. I seek advice.

    i am currently in a situation that may easily become what many have described here as abuse. i attend a cc (although not “officially” affiliated). i am involved. the pastor has admitted publicly that other than his wife, he has known no one in the church longer than me. what that really means i’m not sure but it goes to show that the relationship is long enough to hurt if it ends.

    my situation is this:

    a lively church of 100 is now a church of 45-50 and continuing to decrease. the people who left all left quietly. maybe 1 or 2 gave a brief explanation but that’s it. nothing that encouraged change.

    the time has come. i need to say something. but i am very hesitant. i certainly resonate with esther’s thoughts in her interview regarding the “fear of man”. the last thing i want is to cause division. however, i realize division is natural in these circumstances. i’m hoping for a supernatural result not natural.

    i’ve intentionally left out many details. i am hoping that by posting, i can receive your prayers and suggestions. perhaps i may be able to communicate with a few of you more intimately and privately in order to gain some counsel and wisdom through this difficult trial.


  17. Buster says:

    I’m assuming that it’s the senior pastor who is primarily the problem, right? God will help people change, but he won’t force them. Most of the time, I think he wants us to be agents of change.

    Obviously things can’t continue on the current trend. Either it will turn into a revolving door church, or he’ll try dramatic changes to keep attendance up, or there will be some other crisis. The changes will hurt, either way.

    Outside of that relationship, why do you feel compelled to stay?

  18. DriveBy 8-) says:

    God is working even when we stop. Haven’t spoken to anyone of Him for a while (adrift pastor and all), yet today I was presented with an opportunity to speak with a co-worker whose husband is effectively living on borrowed time as he is riddled throughout with cancer. I asked her how her church was helping her out, prayers and such, and she said that the hardest part is that people keep saying that they are praying for him to get better. She stated that she KNOWS that God could heal him if He wished, but that He had told her that He would not, and that she would be okay when her husband passed.

    I informed her that through a similar situation I had experienced, that when people pray for one another to get better, this sometimes leads to healing, and sometimes leads to them being taken home. We (those that pray) sometimes take it for granted that God will answer our prayers as we want them to be answered, not as He sees fit. She found solace in this, allowing for her husband to perhaps find some peace from the constant pain.

    I felt that my response was a bit harsh, but the look on her face stated that she wanted no pat smooth response and truly deserved none. Regardless, God gave me words today that reminded me that even when we struggle, He is there waiting.

    Ramble, ramble… 😎

  19. culprit says:

    yes, the sr pastor is the problem. there is no other “leadership”. no elders. no deacons. no assistant pastors. nothing.

    other than the relationship (although we really are not very close), i believe God is telling me to stay. God has given me a heart for the people there and for the surrounding towns. so why leave? i’d be like all the others who abandoned the body. i don’t want to be like jonah.

    which is worse? staying while being frustrated and disagreeable or leaving while doing nothing to provoke a better way?

  20. Michael says:

    Drive by,

    That was an intelligent ramble…

  21. james t kirk says:

    I’m watching “John Adams” the HBO special, and doing research.

    Would anyone here be averse to some good, godly Adams family quotes?

  22. DriveBy 8-) says:


    Thanks. I hoped it came out the way I intended. That’s why I like open blogging… 😉

  23. Em says:

    Michael, just came from the link in your #15 and i’m thinking right now that this is not Mexican orchestrated – these massacres are truly from that “pit of hell” mentioned elsewhere

  24. PJay says:

    I want you to know that I will pray for you and I also offer myself to you. If you are interested, I can supply an email address and we can begin to talk off-line.
    You are in a very precarious situation. If you believe God has you to stay I want to encourage you to write down all you see. If possible, try to have another ‘mature’ individual in the church read what you have documented and encourage them to sign it along with your signature.
    Next, I would take your friend out to lunch and have a heart to heart. Please do not try to isolate him but offer yourself to come alongside and carry the burden.
    Remember, if God has you to stay… change will be inevitable! Change hurts Culprit! So, prepare for the pain and prepare others for it as well.

  25. Michael says:


    In my opinion there is a huge supernatural, demonic element to what’s happening in Mexico.

    The country is imploding…and hell has no borders.

  26. DriveBy 8-) says:

    When did it become “our’ church? Did He issue an edict abdicating His right to be Lord? This is one that grinds at me, and is probably central in keeping me pulpitless…..if that’s even a word.

  27. PJay says:

    DriveBy 😎
    ‘When did it become “our’ church?’

    God will allow any man or group of men to have ‘their church!’ Let them do it brother!

    As for us, let’s stand fast for God and humbly serve as members of ‘His Church.’

    It’s a huge difference and I pray you step back into the pulpit.

  28. PJay says:

    DriveBy 😎
    One of my friends has said, ‘God has paid too high a price for His Church to give it to any man!’
    I like that! It’s true and very important to share.

  29. Buster says:

    I’ve been there, but let me challenge you:

    Is this the only avenue for God (and you) to minister to the people in that area?

    Could the pastor be exaggerating the closeness of your relationship, just to keep you from leaving?

    Are you really leaving “the body” if you leave this church?

    Is there a “calling” to serve at a particular church organization, and is it unbreakable?

    Are you running from God? How is your situation like Jonah? Are you sure you aren’t the victim of manipulative Bible teaching?

    How do you know that the ones who remain want to see any change?

    What legal standing do you have to force a change?

    Are frustration or apathy the only choices?

    Have you been in contact with any of the ones who have left? Are they talking? Are they happier?

  30. james t kirk says:

    “I dare not express to you, at three hundred miles distance, how ardently I long for your return…and whether the end will be tragical, Heaven only knows. You cannot be, I know, nor do I wish to see you, an inactive spectator; but if the sword be drawn, I bid adieu to all domestic felicity, and look forward to that country where there are neither wars nor rumors of war, in a belief that through the mercy of its King we shall both rejoice there together…”
    -Abigail Adams in a letter to John Adams on October 16, 1774
    “Letters of Abigail Adams to Her Husband” (Old South Leaflets, No. 6, Fourth series, 1886), pp. 1-3.

  31. DriveBy 8-) says:


    “As for us, let’s stand fast for God and humbly serve as members of ‘His Church.”

    Amen….pulpit or not, I want to serve as HE sees fit.

  32. Em says:

    since this is an open blog – this sheriff has something to say to us all, i think

    linked off of Michael’s #15 link (hopefully):

  33. Sister Christian says:

    just saw this weird article
    and wondering what the thoughts here might be surrounding this:

    God striking down an idol or the devil destroying inspiration?

  34. Em says:

    nope, didn’t work – just a repeat of #15 link where it is located – scroll down about 2/3 to find it; we all need to listen to the youtube report (Arizona sheriff Paul Babeu – he’s a very good looking young man ladies 😉 )
    IMO – even if we think we know the problem, this needs to be heard

  35. Em says:

    SC, as Buster mentioned, i think – what a waste of God’s resources … and also … wasn’t it possible to ground such a thing ? this old lady accuses somebody of irresponsibility… of some kind… dunno, tho… it would be nice if there was more Jesus statements out there of some kind

  36. Em says:

    JTK, i’m not thinking deeply today… skimming and i thot you were going to offer some quotes from that old TV series… had me wondering 😆

    beautiful quote BTW – now that’s love – horizontal meets vertical – just beautiful IMO

  37. Buster says:

    I remember that letter from the PBS Civil War series…very moving…

  38. Not Alone says:

    BERLIN (Reuters) – A German student created a major traffic jam in Bavaria after making a rude gesture at a group of Hell’s Angels motorcycle gang members, hurling a puppy at them and then escaping on a stolen bulldozer.

    Could they possibly have fitted more into this story?

  39. iPhone says:

    “God striking down an idol or the devil destroying inspiration?”

    3rd option and probably the best explaination

    …lightning rod. 😉

  40. culprit says:

    PJay, thank you for the prayers and the encouragement. i appreciate it! i have taken most of the steps you suggest and things have not gone well to this point. things are not “ugly” yet but seem to be approaching. the core group is growing restless. i would welcome a way to contact you directly and be able to communicate privately. i appreciate the counsel and the accountability.

    Buster, thank you for the challenge. and o what a challenge!!! is there a way i can answer those questions off site?

    i just made a gmail account to be able to correspond with you both. its please email me.

    thank you

  41. Another Voice says:

    Without specific commentary on the statue – I remember the first time I saw that huge white cross in Texas after long, long hours of driving – how it refreshed my spirit at the time, and how I looked forward to seeing it whenever I might be driving by there years later.

    I’m sure it cost some bucks to build and maintain.

    And without offending anybody (i.e. AV called me Judas!) – remember the lesson of Jesus’ words to Judas when asking why this waste, we could take care of the poor with this money?”

    Just a different perspective.

  42. Sister Christian says:


    Im glad a couple of the guys have come alongside you to help you work through this difficult situation. Its not an easy place to be.
    praying for you

  43. Sister Christian says:

    “and then escaping on a stolen bulldozer.”

    Not alone,
    sad about the puppy… MB will not be too happy about that!
    yet, i wonder how does one escape on a bulldozer?
    They arent all that fast are they? and not very nimble either…
    they kind of stand out too…

  44. culprit says:

    thank you sister christian! your prayers are appreciated!

  45. Sister Christian says:


    yes the means was the lightning rod…
    so was it pure coincidence: or Does God allow/ordain all things…
    oh, in deep thought today

  46. PJay says:

    I emailed you from a different address but left all my details for you to contact me.

  47. Sister Christian says:


    you are very welcome!
    No doubt others here will join in prayer for you
    keep us posted

  48. Na'amah says:

    #43 SC lolol my thoughts too! and making rude gestures at bikers in general is not demonstrating functioning thought processes (probably explanation for the ‘escape’ on a bulldozer)…only thing worse would be touching one of their bikes w/out permission

    i have to say though…the bikers i interact w today and interacted w when i used to ride were LOTS of fun…very colorful, tell incredible (and probably true) stories til they find out my profession and i am Born Again…

    okay… i need remedial emotioncon directions…. i put the spaces in like jlo and em instructed… will the emotioncon appear before i hit send or only show up once my comment is posted i just get rows of colons, parenthesis other symbols! : (

  49. Dusty says:


    there is no spaces between the code symbols for the smiley you are making…the space goes between smilies…

    ; no space ) space : no space )
    😉 🙂

  50. Buster says:

    Not Alone,

    Sounds like like some kind of Adam Sandler movie…

  51. Another Voice says:

    Brave whistleblower or disgruntled employee looking for 15 minutes of fame and a paycheck?

    This is the question I ask myself all the time, and rarely ever get an answer.

    Since Abby’s rescue I have listened to a former member of “Team Abby” state that he left because Dad was pushing too hard to sail despite bad weather at that season and going cheap on equipment. He said Abby told him “My Dad is making me do this”

    From other sources I read the Dad was pitching THREE (count ’em 3) different reality TV shows.

    From other sources I read that the son in this family held the record for a short time, was beaten by someone younger, who was beaten by a girl even younger – all within a short period of time. And the clock was ticking if Abby wanted to still be young enough to claim this record.

    I also listen to a spokesman for Team Abby give a VERY unconvincing argument for sailing at that time of year down there.

    Finally, I read multiple experienced sailors stating how dangerous those waters, at that season of the year happen to be, especially in such a small craft.

    We had quite a debate on here last Friday. IF (and it is a big if) it ever comes out that dad was pressuring Abby to do something against her will to beat the clock, there would be no debate. We all would be in agreement the dad should be shot (OK, maybe we wouldn’t all agree on THAT 🙂 )

    My point is the Scripture’s point, echoed often in the Proverbs. Wait before judging, get all the information possible, hear both sides. We can apply this OFTEN in our lives, and we should.

    God’s Word guides us in all things…

  52. Another Voice says:

    For the record – I was one of many who watched while also praying fervently, that somehow a little boy floating out of control in a homemade balloon would be delivered safely to the ground and into the waiting arms of his loving father and mother.

    I would do that (watch and pray) again in a second.

    I do not want the evil lure of the spotlight that beckons so many to do so much wrong, to end up hardening me to a point of constant doubt and skepticism.

    But it is a battle to not let it do so…

  53. Na'amah says:

    🙂 😉

  54. Na'amah says:

    yea…. we have ignition! 🙂

  55. Believe says:

    😈 😆

  56. DriveBy 8-) says:

    :mrgreen: 😛 😀

  57. Em says:

    Uh oh, Na’amah can use emoticons now and not only is Dusty a dear soul , Dusty can teach! 😀

  58. ShowMeWhere? says:


    I have heard nothing that suggests that although the church you attend is decreasing in attendance that it is the pastor’s fault that this is occurring, or that he is doing anything for which you need to correct him. Just because he doesn’t have elders right now does not mean that appointing them will solve any problems. Appointing people to leadership to whom the Lord has not raised up to leadership is a very bad decision. Sometimes it takes many years for leaders to be raised up in a church, God has to build them, and we need to wait upon God in those times. I am leary that you could become part of the problem if you jump in thinking that you know what is best and you are wrong. Also, I have acted upon counsel from others that was not from God and the result was destructive. Be careful what you act upon and know God is leading you before you do so.

  59. ShowMeWhere? says:

    One other thing, a blog where people disgruntled with CC tend to hang out is not “always” the best place to go for counsel, if you know what I mean…

  60. ( | o )====::: says:


    Culprit is welcomed to speak, mind, spirit & soul, without censorship

    ( | o )====:::

  61. Sister Christian says:

    “and making rude gestures at bikers in general is not demonstrating functioning thought processes”

    Not much wisdom in that, Na’amah! 8)

  62. Sister Christian says:

    “a blog where people disgruntled with CC tend to hang out”

    Thanks for thinking the best…

    There are exceptional people here who love the Lord, who love Gods people
    have much grace and wisdom, are balanced and mature in the Lord,
    who have been through much
    and genuinely care to help hurting people
    navigate sometimes turbulent waters in a Christ like way.

  63. Sister Christian says:

    Thanks for thinking the best 😯

  64. Not Alone says:

    Buster says:
    June 15, 2010 at 12:57 pm
    “Not Alone,
    Sounds like like some kind of Adam Sandler movie…”

    I agree Buster. As soon as I saw it on a news wire I had share it.

    Believe it or not, this is a true story….lol…stranger than fiction

  65. Nonnie says:

    Your number 53. I say AMEN to that. I know sometimes I tend to become jaded to things going on and cynical, but when I stop at look at myself, it is ugly. I don’t want to be that way.

    I would much rather error on the side of love and grace, hoping for the best in people, than living a life of cynicism skepticism. I know we need to be wise but I don’t want to be hardened. I can handle the mistakes I make in love but the times when I judged wrongly as a cynic…wow, those really hurt.

    Oh, to be like Jesus.

  66. Not Alone says:

    “German police said on Monday that after making his getaway from the Hell’s Angels club, the 26-year-old dumped the bulldozer, causing a 5 km (3 miles) traffic jam near the southern town of Allershausen, local police said. He then fled to his home nearby where he was apprehended by the police.

    “What motivated him to throw a puppy at the Hell’s Angels is currently unclear,” said a spokesman for local police, adding that the student had lately been suffering from depression.

    The puppy was now in safe hands, the spokesman added.

    (Reporting by Max Chrambach, editing by Paul Casciato)”

    and that’s the rest of the story.

  67. Dusty says:

    ShowMe, we are not disgruntled with CC….we are disgruntled with abuse.

  68. Not Alone says:

    Ya ShowMe, don’t make someone throw a puppy at you 😉

  69. ( | o )====::: says:

    Ok, follow this for a moment…

    Lightning strikes new Amway Center

    6-story Jesus statue in Ohio struck by lightning

    BP Ship Catches Fire After Lightning Strike, Causing Halt to Oil Retrieval

    PhoenixPreacher NOT struck by Lightning


  70. Believe says:

    I agree with Dusters.

    I love CC…I have some good friends that are in CC…some pastor friends. I’m even considering going back to CC.

    Abuse is wrong. There needs to be more accountability. Corruption is wrong. There needs to be a dialogue.

    I’d have no problem sitting under Dave Rolph, Gene Pensiero, Centy, Steve H, Stupar probably many others. I watch many of the sermons online…and get a lot out of them.

    Analogy Alert: I love the Patient…but the patient has bronchitis and needs some strong antibiotics…as the immune system isn’t functioning that well (or is reluctant to).

  71. Dusty says:

    Not Alone… haha

  72. Not Alone says:

    ( | o )====:::

    Way to connect the dots, it is so obvious, isn’t it. 🙂

  73. Believe says:

    ….sometimes the medicine doesn’t taste very good.

  74. Believe says:

    Hey, maybe Michael is one of God’s anointed? 🙂 8)

  75. Dusty says:

    Believe…’just a spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down…..” 😉

  76. Not Alone says:

    Dusty says:
    June 15, 2010 at 2:40 pm
    “Not Alone… haha”
    Trying to break my “serious comments only” streak. I think that means you have to end everything with smiley faces. 🙂

  77. ( | o )====::: says:

    Ok, we’re just a bunch of fun loving folk.
    Please stick around and interact.

  78. Lutheran says:


    Welcome to PP!

    My suggestion: put on your running shoes. This type of situation rarely works out well — often, quite poorly or worse.

    Realize that there are other good churches out there — many better, in fact.

    It will be really hard — but there are others who’ve been through it and came out much better and much stronger.

    You have friends here on PP. I’m praying for you.

  79. PJay says:

    Showmewhere shares a truthful opinion and I’d do two things:
    1) cautiously heed his/her counsel, and
    2) follow their name (Showmewhere) Titus 1:5 ‘This is why I left you Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you.’ (ESV)

  80. PJay says:

    PS. A church without a formal leadership is oftentimes a Home Bible Study. Perhaps keep it as that! As it may take years to see God develop the Leaders, don’t sacrifice leadership for the sake of the church… you’ll appoint people and burn them out and you’ll get yourself into trouble without ever intending to do so.

  81. BrianD says:

    Funny, how a short respite from the same ol, same ol does wonders for one’s mental health.

    I’m asking myself some tough questions, hard questions, and am wondering what my next steps in life should be.

    I’ve written things in this comment field that I’ve already erased twice, because it would give too much away. I’m happy that people whom I’ve known from here for sometime knowing what’s going on and giving me support. That helps when you think you are alone in a certain situation…and knowing that you are not.

    I believe I know now the first part of what I want to do. What I don’t know (yet) is the final part of what I want to do….how to transition to it….and if it should be the means to whatever it may be God wants to do through me.

  82. Na'amah says:

    SMW you said @ #60,
    “One other thing, a blog where people disgruntled with CC tend to hang out is not “always” the best place to go for counsel, if you know what I mean…”

    🙄 (thank you Dusty, jlo, em 🙂

    how come? i am not affiliated w CC (…it was a tent in Costa Mesa, CA w GREAT music where my bf took me on dates b4 & after i was a Christian… and Greg Laurie had hair…lots of long hair last i was even ‘aware’ of CC)

    and i do not find the counsel, education, info, exchanges here unduly undermined or focused on issues specifically pertaining to CC administrative constructs but more experiences and suggestions from peeps here are involved in an organization that happens to be made up of at times confused, frail, faulty, sinful aka human people who also happen to be in positions of power.

    and these issues certainly do not exist only in CC churches… hey, i’m involved in arbitrating one very large administrative dustup w a Jewish temple right now

    🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  83. Not Alone says:

    BrianD, sounds like some pretty heavy thinking and soul searching going on…hope you figure it out soon.

  84. Michael says:

    “Today, when I had a great spiritual need, the priest I met with was an amazing example of God’s love and tenderness. Even though as a RCC priest I must have seemed to him to be like a “Samaritan half-breed,” he still welcomed me and was the picture of Christ in his interactions with me. Full of patience (it was a LONG appt), kindness, forgiveness, and graciousness — a picture to me of what we should ALL be like with one another, regardless of our differences.”

    Back in the day….the parish priest cared for all the souls in a geographic neighborhood regardless of doctrinal affiliation.

    Today we’re all supposed to be parish priests…

  85. Em says:

    Michael,”Back in the day….the parish priest cared for all the souls in a geographic neighborhood regardless of doctrinal affiliation.

    Today we’re all supposed to be parish priests…”

    Holly,”Whatever happened to those days? Church as Big Business has taken over…”

    your comments above made the two ‘threads of the day bearable’ – i really thank you both

    and, even tho there isn’t a bigger business than the RCC, down on the street level it has many wonderful people who understand discipline and grace and walk in it

  86. Em says:

    shoot – shall i waste a comment box correcting a typo? usually i don’t, but i meant – ‘threads of the day’ not ‘threads of the day bearable’…. 😕

  87. Na'amah says:

    Church as Big Business has taken over…

    oh… especially here in CA my SO is a PK so he intentionally avoided church’s w fewer than a regularly attending congregation of 400 or more (as a new Christian , i was so amazed at how crowded the sanctuary was on my 1st Holiday and required explanations from the church raised kids as a teen)

    our church does support a large number of established missionary’s throughout the nation and world and schools to build the future leadership in each country which we could not do so w/out the mega church budget

    i am slowly moving to an alternative SBC supported church rather than the non denominational one i have been a part of for so long… i miss the quiet worship of hymns and time in the sanctuary w piano/organ prior to all of the video,w/out the plethora of music leaders on stage to cover it’s expanse, and well all the other stuff in smaller churches… especially not having to ‘stop’ cause the next service needs to begin…..

    always wanted to move and support my out laws smaller churches they ministered in maybe just how i got ‘brought up’ in that SBC as a newbie

    lol okay, i also attended courses at the RCC for conversion/return to the ‘church’ last 2 yrs too discussions here confirmed my non verbal resistance to it i guess also worshipped at the local synagog (so reminiscent of the RC service) never returned to Buddhist temple…think the darn gong is just too weird 😉

    big business it does cover the costs of those things that appeal to lots of the ‘non churched’ though

  88. Lutheran says:


    That was beautiful. Thanks so much for sharing!!

    I don’t have much to add. I haven’t done confession much, but when I have, it’s been life changing. There’s something about the grace and kindness of a real life person that’s something — and as you said, they’re speaking in Christ’s stead.

  89. culprit says:

    you’ve been significantly “addressed” already so i don’t feel the need to add my thoughts other than to say that i’ve intentionally left specifics out of my previous posts. thanks for your thoughts and concerns. i hope you’ll pray for me and the church i’m involved in. we’d appreciate it!

    thank you the encouragements and prayers! just got me some new balance runners…so i’m ready!! LOL!!

    all others…thanks for the support and protection…its almost as if you care….who would have thunk it??? the body cares!!!

    thank you all!!

  90. puzzletop says:


    I’d trust you with my life but sometimes friends disagree. Maybe I just don’t understand all the details or maybe because being a father and having a father that failed me a lot of the time I am not so thrilled about the Bryson article. I just wish we could confront with the truth on a different front other than with the kids and parents. I’ll trust your judgment.

    Press on.

  91. BrianD says:

    So do I, Not Alone.

  92. Dusty says:

    Hey BrianD ((hugs)) from me and Buster

  93. BrianD says:

    Hey, Dusty. How are you and Buster doing?

  94. Dusty says:

    we are good …been praying for you

  95. Michael says:


    We’re good.
    Always. 🙂

    By the way, two of your offspring are on Facebook with me and you have much to be proud of.

  96. Buster says:

    My basement is leaking. But I can go fishing from my back yard, so I don’t mind the trade-off.

    Learning to play the guitar, but it’s harder now, since I have have my windows open, and I’m not that good yet.

    Finished reading Jeremias’ “The Parables of Jesus” and also the “Jesus Manifest.” Just started, “Rich Dad, Poor Dad,” which I think you might like.

  97. Buster says:


  98. Dusty says:

    Buster plays guitar better than he says….

  99. Dusty says:

    now you can go fishing in your basement too. 😉

  100. Em says:

    MB,”but by and large, Christianity today has become too casual, too loosey-goosey. There is a wholesale loss of the transcendence and other-worldliness of God.” agreed and yet, what Believer can sing or hear Jack Hayford’s hymn of praise without feeling it?

    “Majesty, worship his majesty
    Unto jesus be all glory, power and praise
    Majesty, kingdom authority flow from his throne
    Unto his own his anthem raise
    So exalt lift up on high the name of jesus
    Magnify, come glorify christ jesus the king
    Majesty, worship his majesty
    Jesus who died now glorified
    King of all kings.”

    God keep all close and in awe of His love and grace and majesty this night…

    we could all use a dose of awareness, eh?

    P.S. watch out for those priests – they’re a lot tougher when they’re not courting ya 😉 God love em… and He does… most of them, anyway

  101. Lutheran says:


    Have you read any of Jeff VanVonderen’s books? If you haven’t, I’ll bet you find them a tremendous encouragement right now. Especially great, IMHO, are “The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse” and “Tired of Trying to Measure Up”. I have an extra copy of the latter — if you’d like it, I’d be happy to send it to you.

  102. filbertz says:

    well, I’m applying for an administrative position in a local school district, submitting the paperwork this week. It is a big step to entertain the idea of leaving the district I’ve been with for nine years, especially because it is so dysfunctional. I feel a bit like a rat jumping ship before it sinks, but on the other hand, I’ve worked hard for the past two years to complete this program and need to move on with in my career. Obviously I may not even get an interview, but it is an initial step in a new direction. My current district has not been helpful in completing my program, in fact, frustratingly so. It would be great to be in a role where I might actually be valued! One can only be beaten down for so long.

    I sound like I should be on the other thread! “There’s a bully in my school, and its the Superintendent!” 😉

  103. Michael says:


    I hope it’s close to us…

  104. filbertz says:

    thankyou, that is kind. It is actually in my home community since I currently commute. At least it won’t be further at this point. I will entertain a move if necessary, but that’d be a year or two away since my youngest still has two years of high school to go.

  105. jlo says:

    filbertz, praying.

  106. Phil
    my wife just completed the same program but thru Portland State. She didn’t have too much support from her Principal. She didn’t even acknowledge it…I think she is very threatened by my wife or anyone really

  107. filbertz says:

    some principals are fine examples of the Peter Principle. Sometimes the cream doesn’t rise to the top, it curdles.

    So is the Mrs. Hoppy looking for a switch?

  108. I hear admin jobs and teaching jobs are hard to find in your neck of the woods…good luck my friend

  109. Phil
    Yes…like you she is looking for admn jobs. She completed the course work but needs to take the test. I have begun to talk to her about getting her Ph.D. She did two years of research using data from a multicultural school district that in my mind is dissertation worthy. Right now she is pretty tired of going to school

  110. filbertz says:

    teaching positions are as rare as an uncooked steak. Admin jobs are opening up, three in the district I’m applying in. Have her take a look at GP’s homesite and look them up. At least we could get her down here! 😉

  111. filbertz says:

    I’m taking the ORELA on July 14th.

  112. filbertz says:

    I’d be heading back to the classroom almost immediately to get my “grownup” license. It is expensive, time consuming, and required. PhD…couldn’t fathom that at this stage.

  113. centorian says:

    An educator that doesn’t acknowledge another educator’s advancement in education…. hmmmm…..

    Cold outside, already mid 30’s. just watching the last of the day’s light as it goes dim behind the mountains.

  114. Paul says:

    “$250,000 spent on a styrofoam and fiberglass statue of Jesus isn’t how I would prefer a church spend money. But setting aside that whole issue this gives the most literal meaning possible to the phrase “burn your plastic Jesus”. Steve Camp, I’m sure you don’t read my blog but you couldn’t ask for better footage than the burning Jesus statue if you ever felt like making a music video. Paul wrote to the church in Corinth that teachers must be careful how they build upon the foundation laid by the master builder. Some use stone and marble and gold and fine materials. Others use wood and straw and each builder’s work will be tested by fire…”

    Great commentary on the lightning strike and the burned plastic Jesus:

    : )

  115. Na'amah says:

    #124 M*B

    yes, i was raised Buddhist

    at 6 yrs i informed my mother i knew there was a God and it is not Buddha (Buddha is not taught to be God, just Enlightened) oh, this went over really well 🙄 my religious ed intensified at that point…. found the gong during the service to be interuptive

    bf @ 16 yrs was a Christian and attended a SBC…i went along, at 1st cause he was cute and a musician lol

  116. Na'amah says:

    just as a note… one of the reasons i entered into study w the RCC i really love the Mass i like the ‘concept’ of Believers all over the world worshiping together and i’ve worked w the local diocese designing community programs and enjoy the priests and nuns in their ‘different’ authenticity of worship

    also, before coming here, i couldn’t identify what was transpiring w/in the fellowship i’ve attended for 20+ yrs now ODM disease!

    if i choose to move to another church it will have significant church political ramifications and family unintended consequences will abound

    and M*B, i do not know if you recall or not, but your offered description of ‘despair’ in a May post is my life/walk now for the past decade or so… improving by being here though

  117. Culprit says:

    I have not read those books. If you don’t mind, email me at and I’ll give you my info.

    Thank you!!

  118. Not Alone says:

    I am very sad for Michael. From my perspective, every time he stands up for the little guy he gets slapped down by the big guys. It hurts the most when its from the ones he trust. Makes me so angry. Why can’t pastors be good guys anymore? What happened to the days when they were the humble ones, when they were the ones you trusted? They stand up and preach “turn the other cheek” but spin and give us the backhand when it’s their turn to be quietly humble.

    I’m sorry Michael, not sure how you think you messed up. You are still my hero!

  119. Sleuth says:

    I did a Google search on George and Debbi Bryson. I think I quite a bit about him. In the process I discovered some interesting and hard to explain things if his daughter Esther is painting a true picture of him. First of all, I found out that Mr. Bryson wrote an Article against the very kind of behavior that Esther seems to be accusing him of. The Article was published by The Word For Today in 1980 and titled (of all things) “Excuse For Abuse.” From what I have read it almost sounds like Esther used what Mr. Bryson wrote against as a guide to identify what he was guilty of. He says he is against it and she says he is for it thirty years later.

    For me, it would be like a kleptomaniac writing an article against stealing. Everything is possible and I am sure stranger things have happened but it does make me wonder. There seem to be plenty of accusers but few if any witnesses. If Mr. Bryson is guilty of what she says, admittedly that would add hypocrisy to his already serious sins and make his abuse all the more inexcusable. Just out of curiosity, has anyone observed the behaviors that Mr. Bryson is allegedly guilty of? There seem to be a lot of people who say they know Esther and her father on this blog. Up until she was fired or quit (and am not certain which it was) did anyone notice this cult-like leader in his interactions with his supposedly abused daughter?

    Mr. Bryson could have done all the things he is accused of but someone should have witnessed it besides Esther and her husband. If he is guilty it would also mean that he took a very public stand against authoritarianism and then until the Esther/Michael revelation was able to get away with it. From what I am reading and hearing, it almost seems that not even Esther was very aware of his abusive ways (judging by the way she describes much of their relationship) until years after she separated her husband and grand-children from him. I have heard of counselors helping “victims of abuse” discover the abuse many years after the fact. Was Mr. Bryson always a cult-like leader or did he only become one (in Esther’s mind) after they parted ways?

    If I have the story right, her insights to his and his wife’s abusive ways, did not come until around the time she was either fired or quit working with her Dad. Interesting! I know that no one blogging on this website would accuse an ex-employer (after being let go) of doing something the ex-employer did not do. Never! Still I think even the most skeptical among those who want to believe Mr. Bryson is a devil and Esther his merely his victim, have to stop and think a bit. In the brief and, I hope productive sleuthing, I did on Mr. Bryson, I also discovered that he is the author of a booklet called “Legalism, License and Liberty,” written for distribution on Brian Brodersens’ Back To Basics radio program.

    Mr. Bryson is so convinced that Legalism (in all manifestations) is scripturally wrong that he even has a webpage dedicated to challenging what he considers (rightly or wrongly) the Legalism in The Way of The Master evangelism methods. To cap it off, his contribution to Calvary Chapel theology on the doctrine of salvation is called “The Biblical Doctrines of Grace,” which I was told was originally titled “The Case For Grace.” As it turns out, he has also written an expose’s on The Elitism of Localism (think Witness Lee), as well studies on Mormonism, Jehovah Witnesses, 7th Day Adventism and The Church of Christ and Mouth Over Matter a very critical examination of the Health and Wealth Gospel. At one time, he even worked closely with cult-experts Ronald Enroth as well Bob and Gretchen Passantino. I have to admit that these associations and this kind of stand would make a good “cover” for a cult leader. Still even those who told me they do not like his theology see him him more as an antinomian than a legalist.

    So let me see. He is all for grace, even if the Reformed among us do not agree with his definition of grace. And it is grace that Esther is now discovering after separating from him. He is against legalism (of all kinds) and that is what Esther has escaped from once she got away from him. He is openly (and it seems) aggressively opposed to authoritarianism (of all kinds) and that is what Esther says he is guilty of but was evidently not aware of when she worked with him and was close to him. He is a cult-leader or a cult-like leader, whichever you prefer, but has written extensively against cults of both the theological and psychological kinds. Something does not add up for me. Or maybe it adds up to the wrong things for Michael. For if these accusations are not true – and who among us knows that are – it would mean that it would be alright to accuse anyone of anything“ without proof” or “evidence of guilt,” even Michael. Think of it! After nearly 700 posts in the post which is now closed to comments (many of them accusations of wrong doing, without evidence or proof of that wrong doing) all Michael can say is “maybe I should not have done this.” Ya think? No way was this was allowed by Michael because Mr. Bryson refused to come on his website. How petty would that me? I cannot start thinking this way. I could lead to thinking that “Believe” may have (for whatever motive he might be hiding) manufactured all of the slander against his Dad? Let us not go there. The next thing someone might dare to think is that the purpose of this website is to do Michael’s dirty work, no matter who is hurt in the process. Michael does not have to make a case against someone like Mr. Bryson because he can use his “troubled” daughter to do it for him. Let us all “pause for a moment of silence” for Michael. It must have been a torturous 5 seconds for him while he struggled over the decision to accuse (without evidence) someone he does not like and disagrees with. Poor Michael!

    I am truly sad for Esther, Matt, and especially their children. Undoubtedly she is troubled. Her family has evidently lost a lot and their loss is still adding up.

    Michael, I am disgusted with you. You should be ashamed of yourself. Whatever the pain Esther has faced in the past and will face in the future, what you are doing is not intended to help Esther or anyone else heal. It exploits her and everyone else involved to serve your wicked ambition. It was meant to vicariously hurt Mr. Bryson. What a piece of work you have become? Although this “lynching” was meant to teach Mr. Bryson a lesson. I think he will survive. It is Esther and her family that will suffer the most for what Michael has done. You get to be the crusader and expose the bad guy. You get to defend a victim and then you get to show how humble and spiritual you are by apologizing for the “wickedness” you have committed. And everyone is supposed to sing “Oh Michael, what a wonderful and gracious man of God you are.”

    So now I understand the doctrines of grace you are so proud of!

  120. Believe says:

    Sleuth….thank you for your post.

    You have energized me like no other.

    I’ve copied and pasted it so I can refer to it any time I am tempted to be discouraged.

    May God bless you.

  121. London says:

    wow…that post was like going back in time…only the names have been changed.


  122. Sister Christian says:


    so much grace emanates from you… how do you do that?
    By the Love of God?

  123. Not Alone says:

    You are a detestable ahole “slueth”. The very things you try to point out are the very things you are guilty of. Your accusations speak volumes to your credibility. Did anyone see you do this sluething, no. Must be another CC pastor protecting his job.

    We’ve peeked behind the curtain, Mr Wizard and you are no better than the rest of us. No matter how many people sit and admire you behind your pulpit. You are still nothing more than a man. Get over yourselves.

  124. Believe says:

    Sleuth said, “He is all for grace,”

    Words…blah, blah, blah.

    Show me. Tell me, but make sure you show me.

    (Rewrite of Jerry Maguire): “Show me the grace. Show me the grace. SHHHOOOOWWW MEEE THEEEE GRACE!”

    Talk is cheap.

  125. Sister Christian says:

    Sleuth, … I’ll pray for you

  126. London says:

    “Why can’t pastors be good guys anymore? What happened to the days when they were the humble ones, when they were the ones you trusted? They stand up and preach “turn the other cheek” but spin and give us the backhand when it’s their turn to be quietly humble.”

    Here’s my translation of that Not Alone- why can’t pastors fit into the neet little box I’ve created for them in my head? What happened to the days when I believed everything they said and trusted them? Why do they get to say what they want and then have the audacity to stand up for their friends or say something I disagree with when I think they should just sit down and be quiet.

    Really??? You don’t get to make up the rules about how people should talk and behave based on their job title. People are people. Some of them are trust worthy and some are not, some are consistant, some are not, some get vocal when their friends are maligned and some do so in private.

    Put away the broadbrush and deal with people on an individual level, not based solely on the role they fill.

  127. came2pass says:

    Sleuth…First: I have been a victim of abuse by a leader in the church. Never once was it done to me in front of witnesses. When someone else was present every thing was hunky-dory. Nuff said.

    Second: Micheal gives a very humble (and humiliating) public apology and you slam him?
    Is this the “doctrine of grace” you adhere too?

  128. Sister Christian says:

    Why its, so very interesting,

    There are many who think and have shared:

    This should all be kept quiet, not to be spoken of
    If there is any grievances, take them to God and not out in public
    Allow God to correct, its not for us to do..
    Show Grace, Mercy, Kindness, Love to the ones who have been accused of offenses

    Forgive them and forget, and let God deal with the situation.
    God works all things together for good,
    He will discipline His children in His time,
    so keep your concerns and critiques to yourself,

    yet, thats not often too well demonstrated by those who issue such edicts

  129. Not Alone says:

    That was the wordiest vomit I have ever seen.

  130. Another Voice says:

    Sleuth – consider me (a CC pastor) Abishai to your Shimei while Michael plays the role of David saying “let him curse” (as your post will be allowed to stand there until the Lord’s return while Bryson will not even allow comments)

    If the passage reference fails you, find it at 2 Sam. 16:5-13

    Michael – rest yourself in verse twelve.

    I will rest myself in verse nine.

  131. Sleuth says:


    If talk is cheap, as you insist, I notice you spend a lot of time here…

    Just an observation

  132. Sister Christian says:

    Not Alone
    You might want to reconsider your first sentence.
    It detracts from the rest of your point,,, and you are above that

  133. Believe says:

    Sleuth, I was talking about Bryson living out the grace…instead of just talking about it.

    Don’t trip over the obvious there Sherlock.

  134. London says:

    Enough already….

  135. Not Alone says:

    London, maybe it was a neat little box, maybe it was youthful perception, maybe it was just a different time. I don’t want to argue with you, but i think you are wrong. It only takes a few posts for someone to start defending these guys, almost instantaneous slap down for someone who has been wronged by them.

    Really, people are people?
    People change with the times. I think it was a better time when they weren’t idolized on multiple media outlets, daily blogs, emails, newsletters, texts and their pictures attached to every book on the shelf. They are like rock stars now. No wonder they protect their own. Hell, I’ve talked myself into it, sing me up for one of those 2 year CC commitments. It’s glamorous.

    I know some of them are good. Can we talk about them for a while, please please please. I’ve forgotten who they are. My little box is empty. It’s sides are broken and the lid is missing.

  136. Dusty says:

    Oh great…he’s back…

    Sleuth….by any name you are still really messed up. I can’t even bring myself to pity you…sigh…shoo

  137. London says:

    Who are “they”? I don’t know any “they”and not only that…I don’t care what “they” do!!

    I care what “we” do!

  138. Dusty says:

    Believe, you have to not be so quick to accuse someone when you don’t know for sure who it is…it is not right.

  139. London says:

    and I love the “I don’t want to argue with you but you are wrong” comment.

    I guess it’s good for assuring you get the last word.

    You can have it….

  140. BrianD says:

    Let’s not assume who Sleuth is or isn’t. I’ve moderated a few posts with that in mind, and in trying to leave open the door for a redemptive, Christ-honoring end to this ordeal.

  141. London says:

    Well stated Dusty. I was thinking the same exact thing but you put it much better than I would have today.

  142. Eric says:

    I’ve lived with the parent everyone loves but who we were terrified of…slueth, you couldnt investigate your way out of a paper bag

  143. Sarah says:

    ENOUGH! I’m not Michael….but ENOUGH!

    This is what it looks like when we try to fix things ourselves.

    Our hearts may be pure in motive, as pure as we can be, and our desire may be for health and for God’s glory…..

    But we end up here.

    Slinging truth from our perspective at each other as if the words were stones.

    Choosing our words to cut and pierce and expose.

    Choosing our words to break.

    We start with motives pure, and when we are challenged….whoever we are….we recoil. That’s how we’re wired.

    ONLY by the Spirit of God do we respond with grace and with mercy.

    Only by the Spirit of God do we respond with true truth.

    Only by the Spirit of God do we listen.

    Pastors……we plead with you and yell at you and kick at you because you are the ones we are to look to to lead us in the way of Truth!

    We need you, don’t you see? If we didn’t we wouldn’t be so angry when we feel you aren’t paying attention.

    There are hurting ones here who are exposed and vulnerable. They may not say things well, they may not do it the right way….but they need you. They need the guidance that you can provide as you have seen God work and you have immersed yourself in His Word.

    They need to know from you that God loves them. That may be a heavy burden, but it is what they need. They need to know that you are paying attention, and even if you cannot step in and sweep away the boogey man, that you will stand beside them when they weep and wipe away their tears. That you will lift them back to their feet and in love and gentleness and strength point them back on the walk and stand beside them as they grow in strength.

    Brothers and Sisters….the pastors are trying. Remember that we are not their flocks!!! They minister here in graciousness, but they are carrying the burdens and weights and fears and hurts of their congregations. They can help here, yes, but they are called to minister to those under their care.

    Be gracious and patient with them, even in your pain. Listen to their rebukes even when it hurts. Give them the chance to minister.

    Those who are walking in falsehood and deception and arrogance… careful. God will not be mocked. Those who have been entrusted to you are precious in His sight. You may have alluded the eye of your peers, but you have not alluded His eye. The weight you feel, the anger and the fear that burns within you will not be gone until you have dealt with Him.

    FATHER! Please….make beauty from the ashes that have been spewn around these rooms of words the last few days.

    Forgive us for our arrogance and selfishness…..all of us have exibited it.

    Forgive us for not hearing our brothers and sisters well.

    Forgive us for getting caught up in drama and having our say.

    By Your Spirit…..please….quiet our hearts. Still these waters and speak peace and healing.

    By Your Spirit renew. Refresh.

    By Your Spirit help us to start again in this discussion. The goal was to help, not to hurt. The goal was to carry some closer to You.

    We have not done it well. Cover our words, cover our hearts and turn the tide of these conversations.

    Father, have mercy.

  144. Believe says:

    You’re right London and Dusty. I apologize and repent.

    I just feel bad for Esther and Michael.

    But, no excuse. Forgive 70 times 7. What happens after 490? (Just kidding 🙂 )

    Sleuth, stick around. Let’s discuss it like people who have been “saved”…

  145. BrianD says:

    Sarah, you have said it well.

  146. Believe says:

    …and just read Sarah’s post…amen.

  147. Believe says:

    I do feel bad for Esther. She’s having a rough day. Praying for her.

    If anyone needs grace and forgiveness for perceived wrongs or otherwise, it’s her.

  148. Not Alone says:

    London, I’m going to stop talking before I go on a rant. I hate that about myself and am trying not to get to conspiracy theory nutted up here. But I see a clear distinction of expression by pastors on this blog and every other I come in contact with. Pastors are untouchable unless it’s something sexual. Everything else is instantly hands off. “They” are like cops, firemen, soldiers—a brotherhood. You call out one and the rest line up to defend them. That’s very cool for the other 3 professions, because it’s usually bad guys or the elements that they stand together against, but with pastors (in this situation and Believes) “they” stand together against their fellow saints when threatened.

    IMO, which is not worth much at all.

  149. Dusty says:

    wow…should have stayed away….i’ve learned my lesson…very well.

  150. ( | o )====::: says:

    From the mouth of babes…

    the birthday boy has spoken rightly! 😉

  151. Not Alone says:

    Sorry Sarah, I love your post, I will stop also. I would have stoped my last if I had seen this first.

  152. Sister Christian says:

    “I do feel bad for Esther. She’s having a rough day. Praying for her.

    Believe, So sorry to hear that, joining in prayer for her

    If anyone needs grace and forgiveness for perceived wrongs or otherwise, it’s her.”

    Too bad there hasnt been much example of that God have Mercy.

    my heart and prayers go out to you

  153. centorian says:

    I don’t care who sleuth is other than some one who doesn’t know their backside from a hole in the ground

    AV #142 good comments…….

    I’m still not sure that posting this book was such a bad thing. What becomes evident when things are controversial to this level is that sobriety is usually the first thing that is thrown out the window. People become so indignant….. on all sides……. and very few, very few looked good in this discussion.

    As one CC pastor told me this morning, if this was Bentley’s kid writing this book, he wouldn’t have cared………

    I have a tendency to believe the abused before I believe their abusers. Perhaps that’s just the way I’m weird, or possibly experience has brought to there.

  154. Not Alone says:

    London, I care what “we” do also. I hope I’m part of a “we”. Most of the time just a me. I don’t play well with others, never been good at a pecking order.

  155. Not Alone says:

    I have a tendency to believe the abused before I believe their abusers. Perhaps that’s just the way I’m weird, or possibly experience has brought to there.

    Nice one Centy, weird experience has brought me there!

  156. centorian says:

    make that wired ……. or not! lol! 8)

  157. London says:

    Again…I’m not worried about what “they” do. I see that kind of defend your “brother” in plenty of other professions and work environments all the time.

    My point was that you took out a HUGE broadbrush and in your very first sentence proclaimed that pastors were not “good guys”. After that, where is there to go but to defend themselves?? Your own words put them on the defensive (or would have if it hadn’t put me in the defensive in their behalf first).

    What if a pastor gets on and says “hey wait, I’m a good guy”?? Then, because you’ve already stated that there’s no “good guy” pastors left and none that can be trusted…you have to defend that position. Then the circle just goes on and on and on…

    People (and ya, pastors are people too) need to be related to and dealt with as individuals. It does no one any good to start labeling groups of folks as “untrustworthy” or “bad guys” or whatever the label du jour is.

    As far as Believe’s story. I’m sorry he had a rough go as a kid..really I am. The reality is though that lots of people (and many of them on here) have had a rough go as kids. We could all say stuff about how poorly our parents treated us at some points in our lifes and…I’d go so far as to say, some of those stories – way more than I’d like to imagine- are just as bad if not worse than his. Parents some times do horrible things to their children. Children, sometimes do horrible things to their parents. But..we can’t all just stop everything to try to “fix” something that happened to us when we were kids. Otherwise we get “stuck” in a never ending cycle of blame and immaturity. We can not blame everyone in a given profession; plumber or cop, or fireman, or pastor or teacher or anything else for what happened to us a children.

  158. Sister Christian says:

    Not Alone,

    probably due to experience,
    experience tend to make us a bit more cautious.

    Trust then is not freely given, its something that has to be built and tested over time

    Test all things,
    Hold fast to that which is good

  159. ( | o )====::: says:

    Agree with your 165, especially “I have a tendency to believe the abused before I believe their abusers.”

  160. Believe says:

    This is an excerpt from someone’s testimony…a testimony that has been shared with tens of thousands…if not hundreds of thousands. Heck maybe millions:

    “Even as my parents loved each other, my father had a very bad habit; he had a drinking problem. He had started drinking when he was nine years old. Because of his drinking, our home was not a normal home. As far back as I can remember, there was yelling and cursing in our home. I can remember my father physically abusing my mother and my grandmother, his mother. As little kids we would scream and yell because we were so scared.”

    CC pastors, some of you were chastising over “honoring your father and mother”…and saying there’s two sides to every story…. is this honoring his mother and father?

    Have any of you asked this pastor to not use this in “his” testimony? Do you question his statements?


  161. centorian says:

    I’m not a good guy…. and I have references.

  162. London says:

    NA- that’s exactly part of what I’m trying to say. No one here wants a “pecking order” either.
    There’s not a “pastors on one side of the room and everyone else on the other” mentality here, except when it gets brought in. If a pastor does it, people are pretty dang fast on the draw to set them right.
    That needs to be the case when the “non-pastors” are doing it too.
    Many times, what I’ve seen be the case is when people use a broadbrush or start labeling, that’s when the “pecking order” or walls start happening.
    Here, it doesn’t matter what a person’s job title (or in my case at the moment, lack of job title) is..everyone is treated on their own merits, on their own words and actions.

    Hope that makes sense

  163. Believe says:

    Centy…LOL! Me neither. 😈

    If it weren’t for grace…I’d be crispy for certain.

  164. Another Voice says:

    Sarah wrote this: “Pastors, we plead with you and yell at you and kick at you because you are the ones we are to look to to lead us in the way of Truth! We need you, don’t you see?”

    If that is the case, then allow me one small teaching moment concerning our brother, PASTOR Michael.

    Michael began his Bryson apology by writing “After much prayer, much input, many tears, and little sleep I have a few things to say.”

    I admire such a man. And so when many of you express frustration that Michael has caved, been beaten down by the CC pastors, you are insulting him. Frankly, if I was Michael, such comments would be more hurtful from the friends here, than that nonsense spewed by Sleuth.

    Why is it insulting? Because what are you saying about the man’s walk with our God? About his ability to listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit?

    Read those opening words he wrote once more.

    Ask yourself if you agonized in a similar fashion before choosing to express your disappointment.

    A leader makes tough decisions, sometimes the wrong ones, and reverses course as the Spirit leads.

    Pastor Michael has showed that to the full here.

    That is all….may it be received…

  165. Not Alone says:

    I get you London. It’s the broad brush thing. If a pastor did say “hey I’m a good guy” I’d say “hey I’m sorry You are not who I was addressing” Here good guy have a hug. I’m sorry.

    I don’t think that is going to happen, unless he has a little church with a small budget. IMO not fact or biblical, just a life experience.

  166. Believe says:

    The “testimony” I quoted is from one Raul Ries, Calvary Chapel.

    Raul is very graphic in the description of his parents and especially his abusive father.

    I don’t think Raul was “dishonoring” his parents…I think the abuse was part of who Raul is…and it is valid to share it. Raul uses the abuse to point people to Christ.

    Pastor Dave…do you disagree?

  167. London says:

    Not Alone-

    Not quite what I was saying, but closer.

  168. Not Alone says:

    That makes sense London, but I didn’t see that the last few days. I want to see it like you do. Really I do. I hope to someday.

  169. Believe says:

    AV…I am in agreement with you. Michael needs to do what he believes he should do based on what is Biblical (to him through the Holy Spirit). I have told him so myself. He shouldn’t care what I think or what you think. He’s the one who has to stand before God at the end of his Vapor and answer for his Talent.

    He could take the whole thread down and never bring it up again and I’d still be his friend.

  170. Sister Christian says:

    “Believe makes good and valid points, but he wraps them in turds and I don’t feel like sorting through the crap to find gems. “ Shaun Sells

    If this was directed at a prominent pastor,
    this kind of talk would not go unchallenged,
    and would be harshly dealt with
    why is allowed to be directed from a Pastor to a lamb?
    How is this appropriate

  171. London says:

    But yes, it’s the broadbrush thing.

    Look, I’m not the biggest pastor fan in the world, just ask any of them that know me :mrgreen: but, even I, when I read your first couple sentences, felt defensive and indignant on their behalf. I’m not surprised at all that most of your encounters off blog with pastors are not positive if the filter you’re looking at them through is “pastors are not good guys”.

    It’s prejudice. Just like any other prejudice really isn’t it? I dunno for sure, but I think so.

  172. Michael says:

    I only have a moment…today is Treys graduation day.

    Nobody beat me down but the Holy Spirit.

    I am not in any way making a negative statement about Matt and Esther…I love them dearly and believe their hearts are for God and people that need their ministry.

    I am saying I sinned…and when you’ve made a reputation for talking about others sins you damn well better own the ones you commit.

    What is being proved here is that there may be no biblical way to do this…that grace and mercy cannot manifest alongside the wrongs…and that all I’ve done is draw others to sin themselves.

    This is a difficult and terrifying day…you’re all good people, you all have chosen to follow Christ as best you can

    If I am any kind of a leader then I ask that you follow me in finding a place of quiet reflection upon where you are with Christ and each other…and listen for His voice.

    We have to find a way to always be moving toward hope and grace…or we need to end this forum.

    In the end, that will be my responsibility, but I plead with you to take a breath and pray things through.

  173. Not Alone says:

    I think your point is excellently presented Believe. Good luck getting anyone to buy into that very simple logic. There is no difference, except for the boys club. Raul gets a pass, because it comes from one of the anointed. Do you still have that picture of the boys club?

    Taking a break now. Sorry to stir the pot to much.

  174. Pardon the Interruption says:

    Seriously, with no hidden agenda here, I’d like to get some of your reacts to the story of Noah and his sons. You know where he was naked and drunk in his tent and Ham walks in and then walks out and mocks him to Shem and Japeth, Ham’s brothers. Then those two walk in backward as to not see their father’s nakedness, Scripture says, and cover him. As opposed to Ham who exposed him. And so Noah sobers up and curses Ham and blesses the other two.

    I know I have some opinions on that story in Genesis 9, but I ‘d like to also get your feedback in light of this conversation. Seriously, these are things many of us are trying to work through and work out, I’m sure.

    My first reaction to this story is that love covers multitudes of sins and nakedness rather than exposes. And in this case, it has to do with what goes on in the tent of one’s own homelife. Now, I am sure this only goes so far, but…

  175. London says:

    Well NA, I have been around here alot longer than you have I guess. I have had alot more encounters with these guys, I know who is friends with whom off blog, who I engage with and who I don’t based on their responses to issues etc.

    But, what I see is that many times, the ones putting up the pastor vs non-pastor walls and applying the labels are the non-pastors. It’s a 2 way street…

  176. London says:

    NA- you missed the point entirely 🙁

  177. London says:

    I give up.

  178. Believe says:

    NA…let’s listen to Michael. He’s earned my respect and I want to submit to good leadership…and I’ve finally found some.

    Let’s try our best to keep it constructive.

  179. Not Alone says:

    Sister Christian says:
    June 16, 2010 at 3:37 pm
    “Believe makes good and valid points, but he wraps them in turds and I don’t feel like sorting through the crap to find gems. “ Shaun Sells
    If this was directed at a prominent pastor,
    this kind of talk would not go unchallenged,
    and would be harshly dealt with
    why is allowed to be directed from a Pastor to a lamb?
    How is this appropriate”

    Another wonderful point. I’m just not as good at it.

    London, when you get bit by a pit bull, you look at them differently then before. But that fades in time. I hope mine fades. I hope my way of describing my thoughts stops offending people, people like you.

    I’m really going now. Really

  180. Believe says:

    PTI…my opinion is that it is like a Parable…it isn’t a proof text.

    You can pretty much interpret it to defend or argue any premise you want.

    If you are one who wants to argue for kids taking their “family secrets” to the grave…then you’ll read a lot into it and it will be a proof text for you.

    If you are one who thinks it’s just one example from the OT…like when in Deut. it says if you rape a girl, you have to marry her…then you don’t give it much weight.

    That’s my take.

  181. Not Alone says:

    Ok, almost gone. I hope I can write this fast enough. I get your point London. I hope to agree with you someday. Please forgive me that I don’t I’m sorry.

  182. Pardon the Interruption says:

    Believe, yeah, I see that, too.

    Sometimes we can overspiritualize an OT text and make it conform to whatever we bend it into.

    With the rape deal, that was actually to protect the woman in that era and believe it or not was advocating women’s rights!

  183. Believe says:

    PTI…yes…it was actually revolutionary at the time. In our Vapor it is twisted to say they were advocating rape…when in reality it was putting some accountability on the dudes that if you make a deposit…you bought yourself a wife.

  184. ( | o )====::: says:

    Have a great time with Trey!!!!! How fun!!!!

    In a few words, every father must take to heart the lesson “show your *ss to your family and there is nothing good that comes of it.”

    He behaved like the typical alcoholic who blames his family when he behaves like a jerk.

    Noah had some stones to curse his kid. He was dead wrong for what he did and could not see beyond his drunken hungover rage. He also kept a grudge going for the life of his family (the story says 350 years) and he couldn’t find it in himself to sometime repent and tell his family, “hey, when I cursed the kid, I was wrong because if I wasn’t drunk Ham wouldn’t have walked in and seen me stoned, passed out and nekkid and the whole thing would have never happened”. This “curse” obviously got perpetuated and carried on into the Noah & sons family culture and it vilified Ham and his family for centuries and beyond, according to the text. Thankfully we don’t live in such an arcane culture that we must perpetuate “family curses”.

    The takeaway for Noah and his family was that they had great faith in God, were used as positive examples in one part of the story, but were quickly shown to be horribly flawed and were negative examples in the other part, the legacy, because of arrogance and shortsightedness on the part of the father

  185. Pardon the Interruption says:

    ( | o )====::: ,

    Very nice! Never thought of it that way. Thanks.

  186. Another Voice says:

    Grendal, so I take it you don’t buy the “fermentation was new after the Flood and this was an accidental drunkenness as alcoholic wine was unknown pre-Flood” theory…

  187. Pardon the Interruption says:

    I do know this, wine is not a product of the fall!

    “The Lord has made the wine that gladdens the heart of men”. 🙂

  188. Pardon the Interruption says:

    …I also think Shem and Japeth did the loving thing. And it shows that love covers.

  189. Another Voice says:

    Any comments on Noah better square with his being included with Job and Daniel as three examples of exemplary righteousness – Ezek 14:14,20

  190. Another Voice says:

    A word study of wine vs. strong drink would be helpful too.

    Likewise the cultural understanding of how wine was diluted – No, I am not one of those who think Jesus was drinking Welch’s grape juice…but a glass of wine at the time of Jesus was far less intoxicating than in our day.

  191. ( | o )====::: says:

    Not on your life. Fermentation was, is, and shall always be part of how the universe was created. One of those good old laws of thermodynamics, bacterial action, and science.
    Noah wasn’t solely in the raisin business.

    There’s also a fanciful presentation that Ham “took advantage” of his dad. I don’t buy that either because the text doesn’t say that. Bottom line, whatever happened, Noah perpetuated the destruction in his family.

    As patriarch, we men can either solve problems or compound them.
    Think about it. The writer of the text notes the “post flood” story of Noah and his family and tells the story of that tragic event with the result of the man cursing his child, then the writer makes sure we clearly understand that Noah and his sons had 350 years, three and a half CENTURIES to keep the curse on Ham going. Not good PR for that family.

    Would Noah have been considered weak to “forgive” Ham? Where’s any example of Noah stepping up and showing Ham how to be a good dad to his kids?

    Is that one of the flaws of the primitive culture he lived in, a flaw that he was too cowardly to stand against?

    Sadly there is no record of reconciliation, only servitude, slavery, the horror of the unjust ownership of one human being by others due to familial unforgiveness.

    I am thankful that the bible is such an honest collection of stories because though it reports it, it does not support it.

  192. Pardon the Interruption says:


    For effect, here’s the KJV, Deut. 14:26:

    “And thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatsoever thy soul desireth: and thou shalt eat there before the LORD thy God, and thou shalt rejoice, thou, and thine household,”

  193. Pardon the Interruption says:

    …drinking strong drink and wine before the Lord!

  194. ( | o )====::: says:

    Let’s not get sidetracked on wine, getting drunk, or any such foolishness. Every bible character except Jesus is flawed. In the case of Noah, he gets the high 5 for one part of the story but a penalty flag for the rest. That doesn’t mean God sent him to the showers but it does mean we’ve got a lot to be careful for as men, husbands and especially dads.

  195. London says:

    PTI- I’ve heard it told that what they did wasn’t just about seeing him naked and covering him with a blanket, but rather perpetrated an act of violence on him. That’s why the story kept getting told over and over. Because he had been physically ummm changed or violated.

    Not sure that story can be used as a good example of how to treat your parents if that’s true.

    ya know?

    btw- hi you

  196. ( | o )====::: says:

    Like Dread said, I too would be really sad & upset if my kids wrote stories about me that were unflattering. Who do you think wrote the story about Noah? Um, probably his kids, don’t you think?

  197. Believe says:

    Grendal…excellent points, IMO.

  198. Pardon the Interruption says:



    Now THAT is one I haven’t heard before. That Shem and Japeth mutilated their father. So he responds by blessing them? I don’t think I’d respond in that way. 😉

  199. Pardon the Interruption says:


    Noah was a drunk. Abraham was too old to be used. Isaac was a daydreamer. Jacob was a liar. Leah was ugly. Joseph was abused. Moses had a stuttering problem. Gideon was afraid. Samson had long hair and was a womanizer. Rahab was a prostitute. Jeremiah and Timothy were too young. David had an affair and was a murderer. Elijah was suicidal. Isaiah preached naked. Jonah ran from God. Naomi was a widow. Job went bankrupt. Peter denied Christ. The Disciples fell asleep while praying. Martha worried about everything. The Samaritan woman was divorced, more than once. Zaccheus was too small. Paul was too religious. Timothy had an ulcer. AND Lazarus was dead!

  200. London says:

    I hadn’t heard it either until recently. But…stranger things have happened. 😉

    At least google the sotry that way and check it out. I thought the person who told me (the day after he had a colonoscopy btw) was just still high on pain meds and making stuff up…but nope..that’s one of the interpretations of the story that is out there.

  201. Pardon the Interruption says:

    I really…really hope that’s not the true interpretation!

  202. London says:

    Would change a lot of people’s sermons huh? 😉

  203. ( | o )====::: says:

    At the risk of being indelicate, there are some christians that say Ham s*xually assaulted his dad, but no credible bible translation is willing to say that.

  204. London says:

    it’s not so much about mutilating as violating though.
    mutilating was more the Daniel story. Apparently quite common thing for Babylonians to do to prisioners.

    Stuff they don’t teach you in Sunday School 😉

  205. London says:

    Yeah…that’s what I’m saying too G as delicately as possible

  206. ( | o )====::: says:

    Your #211 shows we’re of a great lineage, beset by flaws, yet how we navigate our personal landmines will determine the legacy we leave our children. All I hope is my family will put “He was a lovable goof” on my headstone

  207. Pardon the Interruption says:


    Okay. You said covered in a blanket so I assumed you meant Shem and Japeth mulitated their father and he responded by blessing.

    But I think you meant HAM mutilated his father, right? That would make much more sense. And his reaction more understandable. 😉

  208. Another Voice says:

    Fermentation was, is, and shall always be part of how the universe was created. One of those good old laws of thermodynamics, bacterial action, and science.
    Grendal – simply put, do you think mankind lived regularly to the age of 900+ pre-flood like the Bible says?

  209. London says:

    yeah. I was caught up in the “how do I say this nicely” bit and didn’t clarify who did what to whom.

    and not mutilated, violated.

  210. Pardon the Interruption says:


    Then, yes, I have heard that interpretation. Talmudic,Rabbinical stuff…

  211. Another Voice says:

    Job went bankrupt
    Say what?

    I guess I see the point of Ezekiel differently in mentioning the 3 he mentions.

    The point about God using flawed vessels is obviously right on, but unrelated to the point at hand as I see it.

  212. Pardon the Interruption says:

    Jesus didn’t serve watered down wine. 😉

  213. London says:

    I had never heard that.

  214. Pardon the Interruption says:


    It speaks to one person’s (Grendal’s) gleaning of the story here.

    Noah was drunk.

    Job went bankrupt.

    From our perspectives, those are downers, no?

  215. Another Voice says:

    PTI – I do not know one scholar in writing about the wine of the New Testament age that does not mention dilution. The percentages vary, but wine was most certainly diluted.

    People go too far in trying to eliminate the alcohol issue of course…that is equally as historically ignorant.

  216. ( | o )====::: says:

    What does the story say?
    And what does that have to do with the discussion about legacy and how we treat our kids, other than there was a lot more time to make peace?
    Help me understand what’s important to you, OK?

  217. London says:

    Gren- I’ll make sure that gets on your headstone!
    But, you better be sure and leave me some $ in the will cause right now…all I can afford is “He was a goof” :mrgreen:

  218. Another Voice says:

    Grendal – it is a tough story and I really am not going there now.

    But whether you see Noah as a drunk who unfairly blames his sin on his kid, or as a victim of a new process to the earth (by new I mean much more rapidly, not NEW in that sense of the word) – well, it does influence one’s interpretation of the other.

    Thus, my age of mankind question…

    I have to run very soon..maybe one more

  219. Shaun Sells says:

    Many have asked why pastors sit back on this blog and let these things happen. I will attempt to answer that on two fronts – individual situations, and Calvary as a whole.

    I have been letting the idea of how to deal with these sin in the church/pastor’s family issues ferment in my mind for the last few years and come to a very sobering conclusion. I have never posted it because I don’t think it will be well received, but here goes:

    Obviously Mt. 18 is the beginning – and almost everyone who did that here with a pastor got shut down by the leadership in their church or movement. So, the question becomes what do you do after you get shot down. Simple answer – go elsewhere (easy to say miserable to do as Esther described in her interview).

    Problem with that scenario is justice isn’t served on earth. This is the point that some have decided the next step is to broadcast it to the world. You see, that lack of justice hurts, and for a long time, but I believe justice is served in heaven. Vengeance is my says the Lord. Unfortunately there is another problem with that – if they confess Christ as Lord, then they are forgiven…but, justice is still served – Jesus takes the vengeance upon Himself.

    Problem with that is that the sinful pastor gets to continue his violence on his flock. It seems unfair – why has God abandoned them? The truth is He hasn’t – he gave each of them His Spirit and His word to lead them out of the abuse. You can say it doesn’t happen that people who are abused leave, but Believe and Esther did. If God can be trusted to lead them He can be trusted to lead others.

    I don’t like the answer, but it is the only thing that matches what I see in the Word.

    So, let’s run that idea through some scenarios shall we and see where it gets us…

    The only difference for Believe and Esther if they skip the broadcast it to the world phase is that there parents sin is not posted on the internet. Neither repented even after exposed, and some would say they actually were able to strengthen their position.

    Now the question remains why doesn’t Calvary Chapels pope get involved? The answer is simple to me, but unacceptable to others, Chuck does not see himself as a pope. He takes no authority over the churches under him. He does all he can to model Godliness in his own fellowship and teach it to the pastors, but stops short of getting involved in local church decisions. I know you don’t like it, but the reality is most of those pastors are Calvary Chapel for the very reason that local control is maintained. They would be Calvary if Chuck tried to be their pope.

    All we are left with is what myself and many other pastors here have tried to do – change the way we do business at our local church. Now, that seems small to some, but I have sent out two pastors in two years to plant churches, and my hope is they have applied the lessons I taught them hear – don’t fear accountability, embrace it as a way to prevent you from sinning and loosing the ministry you so love.

    I know that doesn’t heal wounds. I know that doesn’t fix problems. But, as others have said today that is God’s job, not pastors.

    Grace and peace tonight – I get to teach 3rd John tonight – imitate good behavior not evil. kind of ironic I think.

  220. Pardon the Interruption says:


    “Best for last” certainly does not indicate diluted wine or grape juice. And what of Deut. 14:26 and “strong drink” and Psalm 104:15 that the Lord “makes wine that gladdens the heart of men”?

  221. Pardon the Interruption says:

    …in the end, it really doesn’t matter to me. So peace!

  222. Another Voice says:

    PTI – OK..I give. Every scholar I have read on the New Testament. Every cultural and historical encyclopedia and reference book,…they are all mistaken.

    Water was never added to wine..never…never..never..

    If I repeat it long enough, I am sure it will come true.

  223. Another Voice says:

    In the end it matters greatly to me..since I have to teach it and so I study to find out what life was like 2000 years ago…

  224. Pardon the Interruption says:

    So if was a wine cooler rather than a Merlot that makes a difference?

    It really is neither here nor there as far as I’m concerned.

  225. ( | o )====::: says:

    There are a bazillion bunny holes to fall into, and a mad hatter at every one
    I prefer to stick with the story and not get caught up in details which are not important.

    If there’s wine, wine is fermented. The story is that someone got sloshed, got too hot in his tent, stripped, his kid saw him, told the family, dad got upset, cursed him, didn’t ever revoke the curse for 350 years.

    Home run on the ark.
    Strike out on the forgiveness.

    Wine? Let’s not be silly here and get sidetracked about grape juice that is fermented and can knock you down.

    Jesus made the stuff, strong enough and of a sufficient quality for the guests at Cana to pay attention when Jesus made it… probably a fine pinot noir just to confuse them because no one there was from Burgundy 😉

    Guess I’m a simple guy.

  226. Pardon the Interruption says:

    Well, I hope you enjoyed my perspective as much as I yours…

  227. ( | o )====::: says:

    What’s your actual name? Just today

  228. ( | o )====::: says:

    Count on the fact that the stories are timeless and for the truth to be evident we don’t need some unprovable idea about pre-flood fermentation. That is the kind of thing that causes your hearers in the seats to lose their faith if you spend time trying to get them to follow Jesus because of that stuff. Stick with what is clearly observable, with what you have to deal with in the real world, and what you can read from the point of common sense.

    If a kid showed up in your office, devastated because he walked in on dad who had unintentionally drank too much grape juice that had suddenly become fermented, but the kid tells you his dad was in the upstairs bedroom, it was hot, he walked in and dad was stoned and naked on the bed, he split ‘cuz he was grossed out, tells his family what he saw, then dad gets upset at being in an embarrassing state and reassigns his will and family finances so that the kid is forever on the outs and the kid keeps trying to reconcile with dad and it’s now been months and he’s afraid it’ll be years
    …see what my point is? Who cares if dad accidentally got stoned? it’s about how dad handled his embarrassment. The huge real thing you will be faced with is “is there any story in the bible which has something to say about such a sad state of affairs?”

    Go there, forget the wine thing. it’s not helpful.

  229. Believe says:

    Shaun I disagree.

    There is a Scripturally correct way to bring proper accountability….and a mandate to do it, IMO.

    And proper accountability is good for the bad pastors. It helps them to repent of sin and not remain in it.

    Proper accountability helps the flock. It shows a proper handling of Matt. 18 and 1 Tim. 3 and 1 Tim. 5. and helps in fostering reconciliation and restoration.

    In my case, Bob denies Matt. 18…so even that isn’t followed…and no one will make it happen within CC because there isn’t a mechanism.

    “Go your way…” is not responsible and does not fit the Greater Truth in Scripture.

    I’d like to go through this with you Shaun in a responsible civil manner using Scripture as our guide…if you’re willing. I’ll try to exercise self-control and dialogue and not wield the sword.

    We’ve discussed authority…and most have referenced the Word as authority…not Church and not Individual. Let’s go to the Word and discuss the issue…

  230. ( | o )====::: says:

    “All we are left with is what myself and many other pastors here have tried to do – change the way we do business at our local church.”

    That is HUGE. Thanks for being a great example and summing up the reality as you see it.

  231. Scott says:

    Wowsers! I guess I should have listed discernment as one of the things I have lost in the past couple of years. I can’t imagine what Esther & Matt are going through today after that.

  232. Michael says:


    There’s nothing wrong with your discernment and as I stated I support their ministry completely.

    Frankly, they are very disappointed and upset with me so they would probably appreciate any words of support on their site.

    I affirm that they have a calling and a ministry…just as I affirm I did a poor job of introducing them.

    I still believe that their hearts are in the right place, but I should have never mentioned her father and just let people make any accusation they wanted to.

    For me to speak any more just will compound the grief in many quarters.

  233. Shaun Sells says:

    Believe –

    I just popped in, I start service in 10 minutes so our civil discussion on uncivil behavior of pastors will have to be delayed until tomorrow if don’t mind. I will pop in later tonight, but will only have my iPad and don’t like typing long stuff on it…

  234. Na'amah says:

    my PP friends…

    our minds all want to turn away/argue/reject any form of abuse of one weaker than another over them by someone we ‘know’ in a different manner, setting, role… but it only takes 30 seconds for a child’s life to be altered by a relative’s inappropriate contact

    we also all fear… what if i were accused of such things/behavior… how could i defend myself against such reputation destroying things… (but wouldn’t at least your 2nd response of false accusations be ‘how/what do i do to help my child i love that believes such things and is saying such things?)

    and for some, they realize the exposure of their abusive, ungodly actions will destroy work they’ve diligently done for our Father as well…the innocent are wounded in the fall out and it will impact their relationship w God so they humanly opt for the ‘cover up’ and enjoin others who ‘know’ them in a different way.

    most abusers i’ve worked w have some history of their own abuse, undealt w PTSD (identifying w the ‘power’, their abuser/fought in a war) in their past or a characterlogical disorder untreated professionally and with our Father’s healing power.

    Michael, thank you for your open heart to our Father… praying for you

  235. Na'amah says:

    #237 ‘Guess I’m a simple guy.’

    🙂 oh there may be many you’ve convinced of this… i am not one (: and i suspect few here as well!

    ‘gazillion bunny holes’ ‘probably a fine pinot noir just to confuse them because no one there was from Burgundy’ 😀 too fun

  236. Scott says:

    Michael, I will try and get over to their site and support them. I love and respect you. however, I am very torn on this matter, borderline pissed at the way this was handled too be honest with you. Hopefully, you learned something through this. You just can’t afford to be all in one day and out the other, it causes too much confusion for those who follow your lead. I admire your vulnerability, but in this case, my sense is you should have been more pragmatic and patient before issuing a public apology to Bryson. Just my opinion and what is done is done.

    One other thing, I hope the CC apologists who badgered Esther regarding the title of her book and it’s content, will just leave them alone for awhile. You extracted your pound of flesh, now take a hike.

  237. dansk says:

    What in the world happened here – did MN become a Christian? Cool.

    The PP crowd is the most vicious, hurtful, gossipy group I have ever encountered.

    For four years I have been coming here as a friend of the people you slander – from BennyHinn to SkipHeitzig to ToddBentley and every Renewal leader to GaryChapman and the poor girl who put “hairball” and “Phoenix Preacher” in the same sentence.

    Google this: “Phoenix Preacher” heretic

    More people have been called “heretic” on this site than perhaps any other site on the Internet. Not to mention “demonic” and every other name in the book.

    But would I have kept coming back if I did not myself struggle with that same anger that was spewing out in the accusing words that I feigned to oppose?

    Now if we’ve gotten that out of our collective system – Let’s press on.

    “Mama, put my guns in the ground. I can’t shoot them any more.” Bob Dylan

  238. Lutheran says:


    The Lutheran church.


  239. London says:

    Dansk – how about “pompous ass” how many times as that been mentioned here??
    At least once more than 5 minutes ago that much is certain 🙄

  240. Bob says:

    History does show they diluted wine, but not to lower the alcohol but to make it go further. They didn’t have the corner store to go and get the box or jug of wine.

    There was one occasion Jews got drunk/drank too much wine, the wedding feast.

    They also mixed wine and water in a ceremony on the last day (8th) of the Feast of Booths.

    But what really is the point? Wine was and is alcoholic. Drunkenness is considered a sin. So know your limit and get a designated driver.

    Also that lamp shade is not a feature we want to remember.

  241. Na'amah says:

    #258 London


  242. Shaun Sells says:

    I thought I would come here and “wine” a little before I head home for the night:

    Wine as a sign of God’s blessing:

    GENESIS 27:28
    Therefore God give thee of the dew of heaven, and the fatness of the earth, and plenty of corn and wine:

    PSALMS 104:15
    And wine that maketh glad the heart of man, and oil to make his face to shine, and bread which strengtheneth man’s heart.

    PROVERBS 3:10
    So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.

    Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart; for God now accepteth thy works.

    ISAIAH 25:6
    And in this mountain shall the Lord of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined.

    Not only does God approve of wine – He provides it as a sign of His blessing. As with all things, it is the misuse of wine that is sin, when we turn what God meant to be a blessing into a curse. The greater issue with wine in American churches is cultural and rooted in the fundamentalists that brought us prohibition – and the thought hangs on today with little thought to what the Bible says.

  243. Michael says:


    I receive your rebuke in the spirit I know it was given.

  244. Believe says:

    Hey Shaun…tomorrow’s good. Thanks for responding.

  245. Na'amah says:

    #231 shaun sells

    thoughtful response that addresses on of the most difficult i need to address in my professional life that involves pastors

    it really is God’s problem

    treat peeps who want to go “public” w their accusations and i always ask them “what do you want, what is your purpose, bound by law if abuse is current and person has access to minors though

    CA laws are NOT constructive/healing working on changing this so people receive help and not greater ‘abuse’ and/or negative consequences to their partners and children.

    and i must tell you… CA social services, consciously/unconsciously targets evangelical systems/members…some w excited glee

  246. brian says:

    I think I will be taking some time off and get some rest in God. Thank You all for your kindness. God Bless. brian

  247. victorious says:

    Michael, you are the “foolish” one submitting to the “foolish” wisdom of God. Perhaps many wise in their own eyes will become foolish.

    You are making room for the Lord. Not for vengeance but for redemption.

    I pray for Esther and Matt. Ministering healing to the wronged is front lines work that treads with the shoes of peace where Satan was once given a foothold.

    That is why their is conflict and you are wise to model for all of us in the fields of redemption that we must stand strong in the power of His might clothed daily with the full armor of God.

    In your humility by the power of His grace you gain authority to carry out his work and your the desires of your heart.

    It does not make sense often in the moment but it is part of the faith that believes that God is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him diligently.

    Therefore He is pleased.

    Continue on with eyes to see Jesus who gives us all endurance to continue the race . . .

  248. ( | o )====::: says:

    just heard this song
    apply as needed wherever it hurts…

    When I am down and, oh my soul, so weary;
    When troubles come and my heart burdened be;
    Then, I am still and wait here in the silence,
    Until you come and sit awhile with me.

    You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
    You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas;
    I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;
    You raise me up: To more than I can be.

    You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
    You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas;
    I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;
    You raise me up: To more than I can be.

    There is no life – no life without its hunger;
    Each restless heart beats so imperfectly;
    But when you come and I am filled with wonder,
    Sometimes, I think I glimpse eternity.

    You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
    You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas;
    I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;
    You raise me up: To more than I can be.

    You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
    You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas;
    I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;
    You raise me up: To more than I can be.

  249. Na'amah says:

    thank you can you also refer me to a link that includes the music?

  250. ( | o )====::: says:


  251. Erunner says:

    What a difficult time for so many right now. I pray God would bring good out of all of this.

    I believe in what Matt and Esther are doing as they seek to minister to the hurting. In my small way that is what I have been doing for two years. If Matt and Esther choose to continue on I am willing to use my blog to promote the work they are seeking to do. I am convinced this can be done in a God honoring way.

    The wrong thing to have take place is for there to develop an “us vs. them” attitude. Time will need to pass and wounds will need to heal. God is still God.

    Michael. You have done a very difficult thing. I will always be your friend. I love you very much.

  252. Eric says:

    I forgot I had SMP access, wish i hadnt discoved it while searching for my wordpress API. But at least they seem quite satisfied, gotta figure out how to remove that site from my account (although im sure they will have removed it by now, lol)

  253. centorian says:

    The reaction and then subsequent apology over the latest Bryson thread has really gotten me to think. I’m still not seeing where this is so unbiblical, perhaps I need to read this entire thread again, and perhaps I will. I don’t remember any other thread having such a strong opposition from some of the guys who are regulars here, guys who express a feeling of empathy and understanding. So if this thread was so wrong what makes it any difference than the many other abuse situations we have discussed here over the years? Is it? And where do you draw the line? And what of the people who have been steamrollered in the process of building the kingdom (notice little k, not big K).

    Perhaps the ideal of a child exposing their parents is just too threatening to our own lives. But in reality, how many times have we as pastors dealt with this in the past? If a man’s home is his castle, is this too great of a violation of privacy and what we have is really a vicarious form sympathy for the Brysons rather than a solid biblical admonishment against it? Personally I don’t know, but I question the biblical admonition against it.

  254. ( | o )====::: says:

    In honour of open blogging, this is an amazing piece of art…

  255. Sister Christian says:

    “So if this thread was so wrong what makes it any difference than the many other abuse situations we have discussed here over the years? Is it? And where do you draw the line? And what of the people who have been steamrollered in the process of building the kingdom (notice little k, not big K).”

    Great post Centorion!
    I share much of your concern here and appreciate your thoughts on the matter overall.

  256. Sister Christian says:

    Oh my mama told me
    ‘Cause she say she learned the hard way
    She say she wanna spare the children
    She say don’t give or sell your soul away
    ‘Cause all that you have is your soul

    So don’t be tempted by the shiny apple
    Don’t you eat of a bitter fruit
    Hunger only for a taste of justice
    Hunger only for a world of truth
    ‘Cause all that you have is your soul

    Hunger only for a taste of Justice,
    Hunger only for the word of truth
    Cause all that you have is your soul

    A hope to dream, a hope that I can sleep again
    And wake in the world with a clear conscience and clean hands
    ‘Cause all that you have is your soul

  257. Sister Christian says:

    Thats from Tracy Chapman,
    all that you have is your soul

    Theres much to be said for her words.

    Think about it, and many may do well to ponder also this:

    Do you hunger for truth and justice?
    Are you able to sleep well at night?
    Is your conscience clear?
    Are your hands clean?
    Is your heart pure?
    Do you defend the weak?
    Or mow them down to defend the indefensible?

    Do you encourage people or slam them with projectile missiles plastered with scripture to keep them reigned in to your paradigm?

  258. Sister Christian says:

    All that you have is your Soul
    Tracy Chapman

  259. Sister Christian says:

    Shaun Sells:

    You write

    “Problem with that is that the sinful pastor gets to continue his violence on his flock. It seems unfair – why has God abandoned them? The truth is He hasn’t – he gave each of them His Spirit and His word to lead them out of the abuse. You can say it doesn’t happen that people who are abused leave, but Believe and Esther did. If God can be trusted to lead them He can be trusted to lead others.

    I don’t like the answer, but it is the only thing that matches what I see in the Word.”

    It may very well be the only thing You see that matches in the word
    but does that mean thats absolute truth?

    What you are demonstrating here seems to be a case of seeming to be scriptural while tossing out good old common sense… and being a passive conduit of support for the staus quo.

    This just trust God and dont speak up and dont warn people of unruly, abusive, unrepentant, impenitent men is sheer, utter nonsense.

    Granted, people also have the same liberty if they have been warned to stay and support such men once they have been warned… but woe unto them. and Woe unto those who know the truth and dont warn and seek to protect the sheep

    “If you love me,
    Tend to my sheep”

    Pretty sure “tend” is strongly connotative of protect, warn, move away from harm,
    and stuff like that.

  260. Sister Christian says:


    They seem quite satisfied about what?

  261. Sister Christian says:

    For fear of ones deeds being exposed,,,
    all who walk in truth do not need to fear:

    Jesus words,, John 3 :20-21

    “but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.

    20Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light
    for fear that his deeds will be exposed.

    21But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.”[a]

  262. Sister Christian says:


    do you see the conflict of your position:

    You say:

    “he gave each of them His Spirit and His word to lead them”

    and so do you trust that God by the guidance of His Holy Spirit is leading them now to speak UP?

    Or do you feel that you have to speak out to stop them from whatever you see is wrong?
    and Not leave it to the Holy Spirit to guide them?

  263. victorious says:

    Eric is talking about what he read on the discussions about this issue on the SMP blog.

    He is Norwegian so you have to remember his ramblings can be a bit incoherent at times. :mrgreen:

  264. victorious says:

    Centy there remains a stronghold in dealing with situations like this. The tradition is to remain passive and parse out words from the Bible to others in order to get them to do the same. The fraternity holds the power of social acceptance to label you biblical or unbiblical.

    Their biblical arguments do not sway me one bit. I see poor logic and comparison in examples and poor exegesis in understanding their passages in context.

    The command to honor parents appears alongside the equally binding command to not provoke children unto wrath but to bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

    However, I support Michael, when bringing down strongholds; the weapons of our warfare are in the hands of the Lord as He directs people involved to use them.

  265. ( | o )====::: says:

    good stuff

  266. Joe Marino says:

    Please pray for me, as I am going to be writing an article on my blog that may cause a storm for me, but it is necessary to clear the air, so a tornado is probably appropriate.

  267. ( | o )====::: says:

    Write it offline
    Cut & paste
    Breathe deep
    Say the word “courage
    click on “submit comment”



    we’re praying

  268. Nomans says:

    Everytime I scrolled down the book thread, and saw your first post I have been prompted to pray for you. Didn’t know why, but I will continue.

  269. Another Voice says:

    One other thing, I hope the CC apologists who badgered Esther regarding the title of her book and it’s content, will just leave them alone for awhile. You extracted your pound of flesh, now take a hike.
    WOW. I thought Esther and I had a civil discourse. She acknowledged my point on multiple occasions, and expressed her point of view back to me. Is it really imagined that I am stalking her on their other website, or sending vicious emails? Really?

    CC apologist
    extracted pound of flesh

    Maybe it would be helpful to note that I supported her book with simply a different title and a focus more on her unique relationship as daughter and not just congegant.

    But the take a hike advice is good. I think I will take a day off. Have a good one to all.

  270. ( | o )====::: says:

    Another Voice,
    Just because one person here expresses strong feelings does not mean you have to do what they suggest.

    I’ve been told “go to hell” and I stick around. 😉

    Think of it this way, if you stay you will force them to deal with your point of view and perhaps everyone will learn something and be enriched.

    BTW, how did it go teaching about Noah?

  271. ( | o )====::: says:

    have fun peeps
    back to digital art projects

  272. Bob says:

    “The command to honor parents appears alongside the equally binding command to not provoke children unto wrath but to bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”

    True and while one is a commandment the other is a practical teaching that balance those who mess up the first.

    I have use this scripture in my years of parenting, especially since most children have no clue how to “honor” their parents until they are parents themselves. Preaching to myself here.

    So who is Paul talking about? To adult people with children, not little children whom normally get the “honor your parents” speech at Sunday School.

  273. Another Voice says:

    Hi Grendal! 🙂

    You and I had some SERIOUS miscommunication, but it is all good brother. I wasn’t teaching on Noah in the first place – that was somebody else. Believe me, I might spend hours discussing a small Biblical point online that I would not give 30 seconds to in a message or ever use in counseling. The Bible is my pasion and every detail or bit of trivia is interesting to me. Rest assured, I can differentiate the important stuff to the flock and know the pulpit is not my private place to share my own interests. Been doing this awhile. People are hurting. They need the Lord. He is the answer and the focus is always on Jesus, not trivia.

    Second, I KNOW wine is given by God to bless the hearts of men. I am aware of the Scriptures. I know you are also aware of the equally as long list of verses that are critical of the effects of too much wine Isa 28:7 Hab 2:15-16 Prov 20:1 As always the balance of teaching is important (I know a guy who justified getting high on pot regularly by the God giving the herb of the field excuse).

    I think it is so stupid when a pastor gives the tea-totaller interpretation of the positive wine verses as if they are simply grape juice. I most certainly was NOT saying that.

    And I know this was not your point as much as elsewhere, but one can read in the Mishna that the wine of Passover MUST be mixed with water because it was too strong to drink alone. Remember, the Passover involved 4 cups of wine, and they were meant to be drunk from liberally, and not just baby sips. The Gemara commands that the up of blessing NOT be drunk until it is mixed with water.

    Balance is always the key, as you no doubt know. And keeping the main thing the main thing is essential.

    As to today, I was thinking strongly of walking away from the computer anyway. This is my day off and so I often post a lot on Thursdays as the family runs their errands and I can hold down the fort. A day away would likely do me well.

    But I did want to connect with you on this other stuff, especially the teaching aspect. Rest assured, I am not a ‘take my ball and go home’ sort of guy. 🙂

  274. ( | o )====::: says:

    Sorry for any miscommunication on my part. Hey, it can happen, probably will again.

    You asked if i believe that people lived 900 years pre flood.
    Straight up reply, used to, not so much anymore, I haven’t decided.
    All I know is if they had that much time they certainly had more challenges in a lifetime than we 99 year types and for me it’s “carpe diem”.

    Anyhow, wishing you the best, have a great thursday & day off.
    I’m gonna be away so I’ll be one less burr in people’s saddle today.

  275. Another Voice says:

    The only reason I asked about the 900 year thing is that IF you take that literally, it does show that the aging processes increased dramtically post-flood. You too enjoy your time away!

  276. centorian says:

    Did you post on the SMP? I could not find anything recent. I am not sure you made the impact over there that you alluded to. If you have been given access over there as I have, then you are entitled to your opinions and the blog owner is just as willing to allow the voice of dissent there as Michael is here. What goes on over there is private, and for some very good reasons, but I don’t see the reason why you have to come over here and try to poison the well about the place. If you no longer want access to that blog, you’ll need to request that from one of the moderators.

  277. Shaun Sells says:

    Sister Christian –

    You are right, believe and Esther do have the Holy Spirit to guide them and I failed by using them as examples in my write up.

    My simple point was that I don’t know what should happen when you have tried to follow all of the Biblical guidelines in Matthew 18, 1Timothy, etc. and repentance doesn’t come. You can seek justice, but it rarely happens on this earth. I do however believe that justice comes in eternity. I apologize to Believe, Esther and anyone else here who feels as if I was their pain of situation.

    I think I will take Michael’s advice on today’s thread and let this subject lie for awhile.

    Believe – shall we postpone our discussion?

  278. centorian says:

    one more thing Eric, refresh my memory please. How long were you involved with Calvary Chapel? How many churches? How many were you on staff at?

  279. eric says:


    didnt post, saw it listed in my blogs and peeked, the reference to how bloodthirsty wounded sheeple are caught my eye and pissed me off.

    Never involved with a CC except the one time when they locked sherry out because she was on her period and had to change her tampon

    Wasn’t on staff cause I wasn’t involved, never ever said or implied i was.

  280. Erunner says:

    eric, I wouldn’t be happy to read that comment either. Sheeple!!%^*&(

    As I am the resident prude I might have said that sherry had to use the potty. 🙂 Just an unsolicited and random observation……

  281. eric says:

    Sorry, probably should have, but I wanted to stress the urgency of the situation…it wasnt that she couldnt hold it.

  282. Believe says:

    Hi Shaun, yes…I agree…let’s postpone it. The PP family needs a break.

    The issues will still be around at a later time…so we can discuss then.

    Have a good day.

  283. Na'amah says:

    Eric i am NOT a prude and must proofread my words religiously, that was definitely an example of TMI 🙂

  284. Dusty says:

    I think the perpetual postponement of discussion is at least partially to blame for some of the frustration in some of us.

    I want to respect Micheal’s wish to not talk about this ….but I have to say this one thing…

    I am very disappointed and very angry at some of the pastors….it is not ok to talk of the hurting as it they were rabid, soulless animals – sharks, sheepole(sp?), ect…nor is it ok to accuse them of disgusting criminal acts as an illustration or to drive home a point… I have not read for myself what has been said of us at SMP, but I can imagine based on what some have said here…what about boycots…by your example would it be ok if I boycotted praying for you whenever I did not agree with what you said, or everytime you made me angry? This is just not right.

    It just isn’t…it is far beneath your character…and if in your anger you don’t care about that…it is far beneath the calling you hold so dear…I am beginning to lose respect for a few…not because it happened once..or even twice…but it is the first gut reaction you have…it would seem that is how your heart truly feels about the people you say you are ministering to…. our walk is not conditioned on what others do…our response to them should reflect Who we truly serve….

    humbly, tearfully submitted in love

  285. Shaun Sells says:

    For what it is worth, the word “sheeple” was not used on smp. Eric has changed the quote ever so slightly. Eric also forgot to mention that the quote was questioned by another pastor, and he forgot to mention that the post was a snippet that the original poster intended to delete as he thought better of it, but inadvertently posted it.

  286. London says:

    But Shaun, really does it matter that the word was “sheeple” or “sheep” or whatever?
    The fact of the matter is that some of you guys do come over here and post for all the world to see and respond to and then go over there behind locked doors and talk about people over here instead of dealing with people out in the open.
    It’s happened quite a few times over the years and I would think that you guys would be used to folks being offended by it.

  287. Michael says:


    You are free to express yourself as you wish.
    This is and has been a no win situation for pastors for a long time.
    It’s become a no win situation for me as well.

    My only concern at this point is that all concerned remember the One they belong to and we close this chapter with hope…

  288. Dusty says:


    you know I am not angry at you…right? I am not.

    you said, “This is and has been a no win situation for pastors for a long time.”

    yeah I know that…it is a no win situation for me as well…I knew that when I willingly allowed God to use me…I am not in ministry to win…for me…but for God’s gain…

    but I am not talking about winning I am talking about our response as leaders…as ministers…we should not be quick to lash out at others.

  289. eric says:

    Shaun, I know how to prtsc… the fact you guys banned me doesnt make it go away, or untrue and at the point I was there it had been up for over an hour and unchallenged. the EXACT quote was “it amazes me how blood thirsty wounded sheep are” . None of Shauns facts at all were there until AFTER i pointed out the sheep comment, CYA all you want but the truth remains. And your boys trying to play the heavy handed card on my blog aint got the same effect as here, i wont quote scripture and ask you to play nice and act like pastors, ill just call you on your bs

  290. Sister Christian says:


    This does NOT have to be a no win situation. It all depends on how much love and effort and care are put into this from ALL sides.

    i Know that took alot of courage for you to post
    I hope there are some who kindly take heeds to your words and observations and meet you in Christian love and kindness

    I wrote this earlier in the thread:

    Sister Christian says:
    June 16, 2010 at 3:37 pm
    “Believe makes good and valid points, but he wraps them in turds and I don’t feel like sorting through the crap to find gems” . Shaun Sells

    Could this not be said of others as well,
    maybe so: but its not kind and its not wise…

    If this was directed at a prominent pastor,
    this kind of talk would not go unchallenged,
    and would be harshly dealt with
    Why Then is it allowed to be directed from a Pastor to a lamb?
    How is this appropriate?

    Shawn I do appreciate your response to me earlier, about also trusting the Holy Spirit to lead and guide Esther and Matt as well as George.

    To all
    Its doubtful I will be able to add value and much in the way of edification at this juncture
    So, Stepping away for a season or rest and prayer and continuation of the work God has called our family too

    I leave you in the Hands of the one who sees all, knows all
    and Trust You in His care,
    Peace and grace

    and above all
    Be kindly affectionate one to another.
    Esteem others more highly than yourselves.
    and teach, Patiently
    Comfort those who are hurting,
    encourage one another.
    Be an example to all, In word, deed and conduct

  291. Michael says:


    I love you and the community here.
    After years and years of these threads, we mostly still line up in camps and end up in worse shape than when we started.
    Most of the pastors are here because they care, otherwise they would have better things to do.
    As pastors, our first response is usually “what is the biblical answer”?
    Our first reaction probably should be to let people vent and then move on to solutions.

    Because this is a limited media we never get past first reactions…and the pain goes on.

    I have no answers anymore…just a prayer that somewhere, some way, some how…we all get on the same road to healing and home.

  292. Not Alone says:

    Searching for my finite brush in which to make a stroke, but continue to grab the can and want to throw the whole thing. (What can you expect from a bloodthirsty sheeple?) So I will remain silent, while others continue to prove my points better than I could.

  293. Dusty says:

    Michael said, “Most of the pastors are here because they care, otherwise they would have better things to do.
    As pastors, our first response is usually “what is the biblical answer”?”

    I am here because I care…I would have better things to do…my first response is usually ‘what is the biblical answer’…

    I am not the one drawing a line…nor am I the one creating a me vs them line….that is not to say you are…but rather to show that I think we are all the same….one body…in Christ….I don’t ask any more from them then I ask of me…

  294. Dusty says:

    Michael, I know you love me and the community…you have demonstrated it a number of times in a number of ways. I love you too.

  295. Michael says:


    You’re right…but would you deny that we are as a group deeply suspicious of clergy?

    There is such intense pain on these pages that simply can’t be resolved…so many who have been wounded by people who were probably wounded by someone else and who knows how long that cycle has gone on?

    We’ve never discovered the means to break the cycle…and now at the end of many years of trying we’re in worse shape than when we started.

    I’m excited that other ministries have come up to hear and to heal…even if they now consider me part of the problem.

    I’ve walked both sides of all the aisles…abused and abuser, clergy and lay…friend and foe.

    At the end of my journey all I can see is a cross and I’m headed in that direction.

    Time to take Trey back to the skatepark.

  296. Bob says:

    You know I was involved at the highest level of church for decades and really never heard the call for Matt 18 or 1 Timothy until I ran into CC pastors. Why is it that it seems to be your mantra?

    Hey, probably just the churches I was involved in weren’t doing things, “right.”

  297. Dusty says:

    Michael asked,”but would you deny that we are as a group deeply suspicious of clergy?”

    Yes I deny that is truth…not we as a group…some here, yes….but the responses of some of the pastors just solidifies their feelings…suspicions…

    you can’t say that we’re in worse shape than when we started….that is insulting…I am better off…I am stronger….I am bolder…I am wiser…I am not the only one…

  298. filbertz says:

    empathy is the ability to feel what another person is feeling. For quite awhile, my local teachers association has been in a rather bitter struggle to get a new contract. We worked without one for two years, have been treated rudely and disparagingly by the Superintendent and School Board, disrespectfully by students, and with hostility by many parents. It was easiest to circle the wagons and fire back. But instead, we had to work hard to listen, inform, and respond with grace. If a bunch of secular teachers can do this, I would expect leaders in churches could too.

  299. Jim Goodman says:

    London go here and read

    You show me godly character… I’ll even quote him verbatum, which he couldn’t even do for me…

    “You guys crack me up…sadly prtsc and facts overrule your screaming loudly it aint true. my glasses are just fine, and I dont give a rats ass what you or the other “Pastors” think you can do to CYA, is Jim Goodman gonna post a retraction and appology for HIS sin?? I think not, that my friend takes balls, not hiding behind a locked blog hoping you can talk shit about the sheeple and get away with it”

    Eric I will do better than post a retraction:

    “An ungodly man digs up evil, and it is a burning fire on his lips.
    A perverse man sows strife,
    And a whisper separates the best of friends.”

    Your venom furthers my point. I asked you to address me on SMP, but you had to take it public and then mis-characterize it for you own gain.

    London, is this who you are going to let influence your judgement of my comment?

  300. filbertz says:

    Jim Goodman,
    I’m not seeing much difference between you and Eric. Both of you are behaving in a less-than-stellar fashion. Neither one of you is listening, but reacting. Your proverb verse cuts both ways.

  301. eric says:

    Jim, you didnt ask me to engage you on SMP, that is an out and out lie. Jim Jacobson stopped by my blog and made it clear the comment was from SMP, I never mentioned SMP on my blog at all. Then Reuben got me banned, no one ever asked to to engage them on SMP at all because I didnt post anything on SMP AT ALL. Now your just lying to cover you tucus. and the only thing added to your post was an l in sheep.

  302. Jim Goodman says:

    Eric you said SMP above and you referred to it in so many words with a “wink” on your blog- I called you out there since you copped my comment there, I wasn’t going to do it in the open forum – I wanted an opportunity to clarify what I said openly in the context of the discussion but you didn’t afford me that you only had to go on and trash me in the open.

    Sorry filbertz you see it that way – funny how as long as pastors being downed its one way, but as soon as someone comes along and calls someone on it then there is a reverse ethic.

  303. Reuben says:

    Uhhh Eric, Jim did call you out on SMP. Time stamped 10:14 a.m. today. I can read it plain as day. I know when Chad pulled the plug on you, so what is the real deal here?

    It makes no difference how you frame your beef, you violated the simplest rule SMP has. Thats why I requested you be banned. Fact of the matter is that by the time I got on the phone with Chad to make the recommendation, you were already removed from the blog.

  304. jlo says:

    The first rule of Fight Club is, you do not talk about Fight Club.
    The second rule of Fight Club is, you DO NOT talk about Fight Club.

  305. Bob says:

    Wow! Even being “simple minded” isn’t so simple after all.

  306. Dusty says:

    I’m with filbetz on this jim

  307. Believe says:

    This discussion proves my premise further.

    Jim Goodman, from one who has had a front row seat to pastors…including CC big boys…and heard much dialogue behind the scenes for years…the sin is common on both sides of the pulpit.

    Pick any verse in the Bible and it applies equally to you as well…and me…and Eric and everyone.

    One of the most sobering things I’ve learned is that pastors indeed are fallible men and struggle greatly with pride and believing they are specially anointed and prophets of God…when in reality, many do not measure up to 1 Timothy 3 and should be on the other side of the pulpit with the rest of us.

    The Emperor Has No Clothes.

    The fruit is evident. You can’t spin me. I know the Truth. I devour the Bible myself…and I pray to God and ask for Him to empower me with the Holy Spirit daily. I’ve seen too much, know too much. I hear the words…and then see the actions.

    Jim, you want to be greatest in the Kingdom (big K)…be the servant of all…and forgive Eric 70 times 7. When the rubber meets the road…many of the pastors I’ve crossed paths with do not measure up to the Standard.

    Matthew 23.

  308. Dusty says:

    jlo, 🙂

  309. Dusty says:

    Jim, there is no reverse ethic coming from filbertz…it is coming from you. YOU…your response to eric’s breach in SMP code of honor was as bad as if not worse to said action…so filbertz was pointing out…civilly to you to look at the verse you were spewing(btw, not a good way to deliver the Word of God)

  310. Believe says:

    “but would you deny that we are as a group deeply suspicious of clergy?”

    For me…yes.

  311. Believe says:

    …meaning yes, I am deeply suspicious of clergy.

  312. London says:

    Jim Goodman-
    first of all, welcome.
    Second of all…I know Eric and have known him from his many years here on PP. Met the dude in person and consider him a friend…kinda like an annoying kid brother. 😉

    I’m not saying I agree with the way he’s handling himself, but, I’m used to his style of communicating so I tend to take it with a grain of salt and occassionally, recommend he switch to decaf.

    I read the comments on the blog right after he posted them and then went on my way cause he knows what I think about it even before he posted it.

    Having said all that, I don’t know you at all…but I know the SMP guys and I know the history of the SMP and the way they have treated many people both here and there, myself included. I have very little respect for the blog and unfortunately, for alot of the guys that frequent there. Some of them I do have respect for but will refrain from naming names for the sake of the community.
    There’s been a sore spot here ever since SMP opened up and then slammed the door shut to anyone except a select group of boys. It wouldn’t be so bad except sometimes they wander back over here, make some driveby post and then head back to the locked doors where they can freely talk about folks here.
    Pretty much no one that’s been around this blog for any length of time at all will be surprised that I say this, so I’m not worried about shocking anyone.
    The guys I respect are the ones that, even if they do post over there, don’t do so as a way to talk bad about people here. Instead, they come on here and have an open conflict with the person which usually gets resolved pretty quickly with the group’s help.

    Hope that helps answer your question.

  313. Dusty says:

    I fully agree with London on her comment of the SMP

  314. jlo says:

    me too.

  315. Reuben says:


    I am probably the most frequent author at SMP. I can recall starting one thread in my years that originated here at the PP, and it was actually a thread that was in response to a poll taken by a CCBC and I was interested in seeing what the guys at SMP who do not ever read PP thought about the poll.

    Further, I have the deepest admiration for Michael Newnham. Thats a guy I would gladly drink a beer with. I have bugged him about joining SMP before, and will do it again.

    SMP is no group of elite guys. I am sure not elite and only given an ounce of respect because Chad is my pastor, and I serve as an elder and youth pastor at CCCVille. Heck, I was eliminated as an administrator on SMP by my own pastor not too long ago! (Long story, don’t ask)

    PP rarely comes up at SMP, and rarely in a negative manner. As you have stated, a number of people who frequent SMP are frequent here as well.

    My personal history in church abuses draws me to PP quite a bit. I read quite a bit here, but seldom post because the perception exists that I am Chad’s golden child, and Chad is somehow the anti-Newnham.

    London, I really don’t get most of your 4:49, and I am as close to SMP as one can get, often posting on my laptop 2 feet away from Chad who is also posting on his laptop, and who also happens to be the origin of SMP.

    Yeah, I know the animosity, and where it started, and how it ended, but I don’t care, my brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus post here, right or wrong, and I sure don’t report back to SMP all the gooey junk like we are some gossip blog. It really is a mischaracterization of SMP entirely, and I can’t agree with you at all.


  316. Xenia says:


    I’m glad that Michael backed away from the Kitchen/cult project. Just as I was appalled when Franky Schaeffer wrote those thinly veiled autobiographic novels about his parents (and then came out with the non-fiction book), so I was appalled about the book that was being championed here. For you “Bible Only” folks (that’s all of you), Honor your parents means…. honor your parents. You don’t get to massage the commandment to mean what you want it to mean to justify doing what you want to do. Not if you are going to claim to be a Bible-believing Christian, which you all claim to be.

    Over the years here I have been alternately irritated and amused by the way people who yell “Bible Only!” the loudest abandon it the soonest when it’s convenient.

  317. Reuben says:

    I think a load of your perception, London, stems from years ago when things were not so nice. SMP has evolved as a whole quite a bit over the years, and really has become much more of a support system for pastors, discussing quite a bit things that have absolutely zero to do with anything even remotely being discussed on PP.

  318. Bob says:


    Good post!

  319. London says:

    Agree or not Rueben, that is clearly the perception of people. It’s a closed door boys only club where you guys run off to and talk about the stuff that happens here.

    And that’s perfectly fine if you don’t agree with me. That’s the whole point of discussion.
    I’m entitled to my opinion, and you’re entitled to yours. We don’t have to agree and we don’t have to hate each other if we don’t agree. We’re cool…

    I’m not sure what you mean about being “Chad’s golden child”. I for one didn’t even know you guys knew each other and I certainly never had any impression like that about you.

  320. Pardon the Interruption says:

    It seems to me that the idea of a closed blog that is open to certain Calvary Pastors Only does no real favors for anyone, especially those pastors, because justified or not the perception is what you are seeing here. At least Newnham has the cajones to post what he posts for all and not just a select group, ie “preaching to the choir”.

  321. Believe says:

    From Matthew Henry:

    6:1-4 The great duty of children is, to obey their parents. That obedience includes inward reverence, as well as outward acts, and in every age prosperity has attended those distinguished for obedience to parents. The duty of parents. Be not impatient; use no unreasonable severities. Deal prudently and wisely with children; convince their judgements and work upon their reason. Bring them up well; under proper and compassionate correction; and in the knowledge of the duty God requires. Often is this duty neglected, even among professors of the gospel. Many set their children against religion; but this does not excuse the children’s disobedience, though it may be awfully occasion it. God alone can change the heart, yet he gives his blessing to the good lessons and examples of parents, and answers their prayers. But those, whose chief anxiety is that their children should be rich and accomplished, whatever becomes of their souls, must not look for the blessing of God.

  322. London says:

    Could be Reuben. I have a very bad taste in my mouth from my one encounter over there before being tossed out and told only the boys who were pastors were allowed to post there. That didn’t and still doesn’t sit well with me.
    I’m glad you guys can support one another. But, clearly, from the statements by both Eric and Jim G, there’s still a level of “gossipy gunk” that happens in regards to what people here are talking about. There’s really no reason to deny it cause even the author of the statement agreed he said it.

    I’m not even sure why I’m involved in this discusion except that Jim wanted me to somehow just believe what he said even though I’ve never even heard of him before.

    and for the record, yes, I think Eric needs to chill out a bit…but he already knows that from the about 100 times I’ve told him in the last 5 years. 😉

  323. Xenia says:

    Regarding SMP: Who cares? If a group of pastors want to have a place of their own, why would this bother me in the least? I am a grown up. I can know that there’s people talking about their own private business without including me. Do they ever talk about the PP? Who cares! Have you ever had a private conversation with anyone about something said here on the PP? I know I have, plenty of times.

  324. Michael says:

    I have access to the SMP.

    I read there occasionally.

    There are some folks there that don’t like the PP and with one exception they all said so here before retreating.

    The rest give us respect, somewhat grudging at times, but respect none the less.

    I have very good friends that participate there regularly and I have no issues with them at all.

    It’s actually pretty quiet most of the time…

  325. Erunner says:

    I would ask that you pray for Kobe’s jump shot and the Lakers defense tonight. Priorities people! Priorities! :mrgreen:

  326. London says:

    Xenia- I only care because they asked me what I thought. Otherwise, I couldn’t care less.
    None of those guys is, or ever will be, “my pastor” so I don’t care what they do.

    I’m still “bitter” about being treated so rudely there though I guess so felt like if they were gonna ask…I was gonna tell them.

  327. Believe says:

    The Greek is Tima meaning “honor”.

    The definition of “honor” is respect…some commentators say it is to obey.

    Is calling sin, sin…necessarily not respecting or not obeying one’s parents?

    No, I don’t believe so.

    I seek to obey my parents where it does not conflict with the Greater Truth in Scripture.

    My parents have asked me and my brothers to lie about the abuse that occurred in our home. I did not obey that request…as that dishonors God my Father…over my parents.

    The Greater Truth trumps the command to obey parents when they ask me to sin.

  328. Reuben says:


    What I am saying is simple. Your perception has to somehow line up with some semblance of reality, and I am afraid it does not. Are you a member of SMP? I would think not if you believe our objective there is to post followup topics to things that happen here so we can seethe with hatred over the posters here. It is simply not even remotely close to true. It is so far from truth that I fear you are either horridly misinformed or intentionally weaving lies to shape perceptions on this blog. In either case, the most references to PP I have seen on SMP in months happened today, and it was all over Eric…

  329. Believe says:

    In Esther’s case…I believe her.

    I do not believe it is “not respecting” or “not obeying” her parents…assuming she is telling the truth about her experiences…and I believe she is.

    There will certainly be disagreement…as with any number of issues.

    She is using her negative experience to point people to Christ.

  330. London says:

    Uh Rueben – Duh! no I am not a member at SMP.
    I’m a girl…girls aren’t allowed.

    and…again….Jim asked me a question, I answered it.

  331. Michael says:

    Just for the record…Reuben has been totally cool with me on and off line.

    He’s also one of the guys who read here and changed is mind about some things…so some grace would be good.

  332. Another Voice says:

    Frogive my ignorance…what exactly is the website SMP? I mean, what does it stand for?

    I feel like I’m reading someone else’s mail. 🙂

  333. Reuben says:

    London, since when are girls not allowed to post on SMP? Again, a mischaracterization of SMP entirely! There are a number girls on SMP. Stop the spin, it does no one any good.

  334. Michael says:


    Simplemindedpreacher…started a number of years ago by CC pastors for CC pastors… kind of in response to us.

  335. Na'amah says:

    i keep writing and deleting… because i know i cannot make this short and succint

    i am a ‘newbie’ here and one of the qualities i value so much is where each person is allowed to express their POV and respected enough to be challenged/confronted by other members that disagree w them or their choice of words or their theology

    we all bring so many different (and similar) life experiences to this special place, as well as our temperments and how we process information.

    sometimes it is okay to let things/thoughts/feelings “sit on the back of the stove” i am a ‘feeling based” type of peep and learned it is never a good idea for me to make decisions based only on feelings, especially when the level is intense (and my profession is often teaching people to feel) My husband would not be anymore, several times in the past 3 decades if i did, and then, oh 30 or 60 minutes later my ‘feelings’ will have changed and i’d say, what oh, i changed my mind?

    psychologically it is healthy for people in professions and personally to have a confidential place to discuss, vent, even perhaps express and discuss content/impressions that would be interpreted as inappropriate should one not of their professions or do not know them intimately overhear them… it does NOT indicate their lack of empathy, love, and concern.

    Too many in positions of service are so isolated emotionally/psychologically within the ministry… they NEED someplace they can just ‘be’ off the cuff and not constantly having to censor themselves…vulnerable…and it is none of our business.

    i facilitate a support group for pastor’s wives… they are human, they need someplace to talk and process… who can they do this w as they are also part of the ministry of their husband’s pastoral position? Anyone they may speak of the man in their life is the other person’s pastor. And he is still a man…

    I say all of this because i professionally and spiritually support the privacy of the alluded to closed site…just knowing a few of those on this site, by their words here, the intelligence and thoughtfulness generally present in their posts, assures me if it became a venue supportive of abuse or ungodliness they would be soundly address it.

    My Father covers my sin, my imperfection and well my Existential Guilt… i never can nor measure up to all i the gifts and abilities He has bestowed me with i am frail, self serving and will speak wrongly, self servingly and need to rethink and apologize..


  336. London says:

    and Rueben, I don’t appreciate your insinuation that I am lying. What I said and have been saying if you would take the time to read it before defending that blog is that the PERCEPTION of many people here is that SMP is a boy’s only club where you guys go and one of the things that happens, as was evidenced by both Eric and Jim’s statements, is that folks here are talked about in a negative manner.

    In business there’s a saying….Perception is Reality.

    That’s what I am saying and have been saying. That is not a lie as evidenced by both Dusty and Jlo’s stating they agreed with my original post on the matter in response to Jim’s question.

  337. Reuben says:

    Michael, I love you brother, and you are welcome to pick through SMP any day. I wish we had your input there, and you know that.

  338. Xenia says:

    Even if you can find a commentary that appears to offer a loophole, the greater good for one’s own soul would be to deny oneself, pick up one’s cross, and follow Jesus.

  339. Michael says:


    That’s your first PP classic…good word.

  340. Michael says:

    There are strong opinions on both sides of the “honor your parents” issue.

    There is validity on both sides…and we aren’t going to settle the issue here.

  341. Believe says:

    I am legitimately curious…if grace covers us all…I hear that a lot from the pastors…we need to forgive…extend grace…honor the parents…move on etc.

    Then, why when someone in your church causes what you perceive to be trouble…why do you have to discipline them? Doesn’t grace cover them, too?

  342. Scott says:

    Another Voice, sorry I couldn’t respond to you earlier. Typical Spreacher, you took my pithy comment and turned it into a 3 point sermon 🙂

    It’s all good. The Lord has everything under control in Matt & Esther lives and I am confident He will complete the good work He has begun in them.

    I am still experiencing the afterglow of the Lord’s presence while listening to her testimony during Michael’s interview.

    I have spoken my mind and and opened my heart on this matter and I really don’t have much else to offer except an assured confidence that the Lord is at work through all of this.

    Now, as I was thinking today, if the shoe fits, wear it and take a walk on the wild side. If not, go find the nearest hammock and chill out. Which is what I will do tonight. 🙂

  343. Reuben says:


    If you believe even a shred of that perception, I hope I can stand as a witness to SMP, being as close as a guy can be to SMP, that perception just aint true.

    I apologize for the insinuation.

  344. London says:

    Reuben..again, I don’t care what you guys do. I was speaking directly from my own experience of being treated rudely and told I was not welcome because it was only for the male pastors.

    If you’ve changed the rules then good for you.

  345. Another Voice says:

    Scott…it’s all good brother. I think my posts over time show I’m not a CC apologist, but I plead guilty to being a CC pastor.

    Heck..I just found out 5 minutes ago what the SMP was 😉

  346. London says:

    Rueben..the perception of that is true for many people though.
    The comments recently did nothing to alleviate that. Unfortunately, instead of the 2 people who were primarily involved in the conflict dealing with it in an adult manner, the two of us are left here trying to discuss it.

    Personally, I don’t think it’s a bad thing to have a place to discuss things privately. I do, however, believe that there’s still old wounds that have never been addressed and so there’s still the residual distrust of that blog and the guys that frequent there by many people here.

    I haven’t thought any thing about SMP in a really long time until tonight because you guys have no direct influence or impact on my life except for still being ticked off about that one time. 😉 Now that I’ve said it “outloud” about 9x, I think I’m over it…

    Regardless..the perception for many people here remains the same. Not sure what, if anything, you guys can do to help with the PR for yourselves…but I think PTI makes a good point.

  347. Scott says:

    I guess I do have one more thing to add 🙂

    A good Pastor friend of mine from Long Island sent this to me today. He follows PP but does not interact and thought the following exhortation might be be applicable. The more I chewed on it, the more I was convinced it was a timely word:

    I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche
    to agree with each other in the Lord.
    Philippians 4:2

    We have absolutely no idea what these two women were quarreling about. The possibilities are endless. Their disagreement might have been theological; it might have been about church politics. There is never a shortage of controversial questions and tough issues to cause strife in the church—all seemingly justifiable reasons for Christian people to get out of sorts with one another. The problem might have been jealousy, or rivalry, or competition; it might have been about their children, or about their husbands’ affairs, or about any number of other things. But, although we do not know the cause of their disagreement, what we do know is that two thousand years after the fact these two women, who had the potential for being remembered for so much more, will be known throughout the annals of salvation history as the two women who were fussing and feuding! The legacy left by Euodia and Syntyche is not their good works, but rather the embarrassing fact that they could not get along with one another!

    These two women could have been held up as participants in the work of God’s people, excellent examples of what Christian women can do in the kingdom of God. We are told that they had “contended at Paul’s side for the cause of the gospel.” At a time when women were treated like second class citizens, Euodia and Syntyche had labored side by side with Paul, teaching and preaching, ministering and witnessing, organizing and running the church. (Philippians 4:3) These were two exceptional, gifted women who had made significant efforts on behalf of the church at Philippi, and now they were at odds with each other. Looking back at church history, we have to wonder if the fight between them, whatever its root cause, would have been nearly as important to them if they had know that this “disagreement” was all that they would be remembered for. Was the source of their quarrel truly of significant magnitude to be remembered throughout eternity?

    We can be quite certain that these two women had no idea that Paul would dare to mention the quarrel between them in his public letter. But Paul made it the first thing he said to the Philippians when he began to give his summary instructions. Paul was not timid; he didn’t hem and haw and beat around the bush. Instead, he said it boldly, right out loud, in front of everybody. Paul firmly believed that being agents of God’s reconciliation is an important part of the work of the church, part of the responsibility of the people of God, and part of the mission of the people of the Way. Paul mentioned the conflict publicly because it is the public work of the people of God to live at peace with one another. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” (Matthew 5:8)

    The story of Euodia and Syntyche comes with a lesson—and a question—for all of us, too. Are the differences between us large enough to be the issues that define our place in the body of Christ? Are the quarrels and squabbles we engage in of significant importance to be remembered throughout eternity? Or are we willing, as people of the Way, to take a different path that leads to peace? As God’s people we are called to be reconciled to God—and to one another—through Jesus Christ our Lord.

  348. London says:

    Ok “Golden Child” 😉 I gotta go put together a slide show by tomorrow morning.
    As far as I’m concerned we’re good even though I’m not an SMP fan nor favorite.

    Some how I think we’ll all manage to survive just fine anyway yeah?
    Glad you hung around and worked out some stuff.


  349. Reuben says:

    Chad really just assigns me lots of tasks. I respond by doing them. In exchange, I get to teach his kids about Jesus. There is no gold. I am 35, so the child thing is out.

    We are good. 🙂

  350. eric says:

    Reuben said:
    “In either case, the most references to PP I have seen on SMP in months happened today, and it was all over Eric…”

    Must say, im both honored and touched, thank you

  351. Believe says:

    X said, “Even if you can find a commentary that appears to offer a loophole, the greater good for one’s own soul would be to deny oneself, pick up one’s cross, and follow Jesus.”

    The Greater Good for one’s soul would be to submit to the prompting of the Holy Spirit.

    Matthew 10:34-39

  352. Believe says:

    34(AZ) “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth.(BA) I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35(BB) For I have come(BC) to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. 36(BD) And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household. 37(BE) Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38And(BF) whoever does not take his cross and(BG) follow me is not worthy of me. 39(BH) Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

  353. ( | o )====::: says:

    Love ya, bud, but what is your point in posting this? Jesus was speaking about the choice between Him and family, sure, but it’s not normative to be faced with such an extreme and the concept of honoring is still in tact.
    Help this old guy understand

  354. ( | o )====::: says:

    Hey michael,
    Where’s the picture that went with this thread?
    Could you at least replace it with a fluffy bunny? 😉

  355. Xenia says:

    Believe, the Scriptures say to honor one’s parents. You have found a loophole, you think.
    Jesus said to deny oneself, pick up one’s cross, and follow Him. You have a better idea.

    Good luck.

  356. BrianD says:

    Some sort of problem with the website we get it from, Gren. That’s why the pic isn’t up right now.

  357. filbertz says:

    Jim Goodman,
    regarding your #325, of course you’re sorry I read it that way, because I didn’t “side” with you. I called you both out, gently, reminding you both you weren’t listening, which is the foundation of understanding and empathy. Please don’t play the ‘pickin’ on the pastor’ card, for you are assuming things of which you have limited knowledge. If there is such a disconnect between the ‘sheep and shepherd’ whose role is it to bridge the gulf?

  358. Believe says:

    Yes Grendal…it’s not normative.

    However, there is evil. And when confronted with evil…one must do what the Lord prompts them to do…even if it conflicts with people’s perceptions regarding “honoring your parents”…

    It goes to preeminence. God or man? When push comes to shove, who are we to obey?

    The “honoring your parents” command is a truth. But, it comes into conflict with a Greater Truth in Scripture with regards to my situation.

    A child should report abuse…I have confirmation from pastors that reporting abuse is not dishonoring one’s parents.

    Is there disagreement on that? Should a child who is being abused report abuse? If the position of the Church is no…there are serious implications.

    Think about that. If reporting abuse is not in conflict with the command to “honor your parents”…and telling the truth is not dishonoring one’s parents…and evil is going on….and one is aware of it…and the church elders have left the post and aren’t performing their Scripturally mandated responsibility because they are in opposition to Scripture

    …and people continue to get harmed…and God has prompted one to fill the gap in their dereliction of duty…

    …and in doing so, people are being warned and leaving for healthier fellowship avoiding abuse…

    …and the heat and spotlight in itself is bringing a level of accountability and keeping others from being abused further (i.e. my mom)…

    …and the long list of abused are feeling vindicated and are going back to other churches and seeking the Lord again and thanking God that they are being shown to not be necessarily evildoers and liars…because they were painted as such by a corrupt pastor in sin and the community believed him over them…etc etc.

  359. Believe says:

    It’s not a loophole X. It’s doing what’s right. I honor my parents by obeying God.

  360. Believe says:

    X…should a child report abuse to someone…against their parent’s wishes?

  361. Believe says:

    Should a child abuse victim or Child Sexual Abuse victim speak out? Should they not become an advocate for other victims…since by doing so they out their parents by default as perps?

  362. ( | o )====::: says:

    Thanks for the explanation.
    I don’t see what you are saying is a loophole at all.
    When any child is abused the authorities must be called.
    In the case of your mom, sadly, if she chooses to stay in her relationship, there isn’t anything you can do other than assure her that you and your household will always be a safe haven.

    More widely, creating a network of safe relationships will bring healing to anyone who struggles with what you have experienced.

    Go hug your family and never, ever stop praying for your mom & stepdad.

  363. Another Voice says:

    Believe – four posts in 6 minutes. When you post a short sentence or two each minute, it is likely you are letting your emotions take over.

    Brother, take a breath – stop, think, reflect (pray) and then post a comprehensive statement.

    You will find more people willing to engage – but few want to wade in when elbows are just flying around in the paint (a little NBA lingo there 🙂


  364. Believe says:

    Thanks Grendal…will do. I pray for them all the time.

    I get called all kinds of things here and elsewhere…I don’t care. I’m committed to doing what’s right…and it is having a practical effect.

  365. BrianD says:

    I’ll probably comment on Michael Spencer’s book tomorrow, the first part anyway.

  366. ( | o )====::: says:

    Just be sure to leave space for other dialog as it is “open blogging”


  367. Na'amah says:

    Believe… absolutely should abuse of a child be reported

    i also guide my adult survivors, if the perpetrator now has no contact w children, to look to their own needs in going “public” about the abuse they’ve suffered. They will be targeted by other family members creating a situation of them being reabused.

    i also make certain they clearly can state what it is they are wanting with/from the confrontation of their abuser…. and what will they feel when this is not what is achieved.

    For those who have not walked the recovery path, they do not comprehend the language, the rage, the powerlessness…. the GRIEF they cannot, they do not understand

    although there are many of compassion that do hear and want to support and aid in healing

    the art of communication is saying things so the other who needs to hear may hear (tell adolescents all the time the F bomb shuts many others ears completely, even if their following words are TRUTH)

    and the statement that you felt you needed to protect the other adult in your life, your mother, who was to protect you is an entirely other aspect of the loss of your childhood.

    i pray for you and Believe i’ve expressed this to you before….please be protective of yourself… people reject/deny that there is the possibility of abuse of others at the hands of those they admire, respect…love

    and they will abuse you for destroying their illusions

    🙂 pray for you i have learned so much in my life from the courage of individuals like you

  368. Believe says:

    Thank you Na’amah. You are in a unique position to understand me. I appreciate your input. 🙂

  369. Jim Goodman says:

    @381 not even close to sorry. There is nothing for you or anybody to agree with me on or see my way. I didn’t take something out of context that was said in a closed format, violate the standard of trust we have with one another by agreement as members and go posting it for some imagined point and purpose with malicious intent. If one wants to make judgments based on prejudicial postings and assumed reasonings without consideration for the ethic or substantiation of the facts that is certainly a choice each one of us can make.

    What stinks is I have been following PP for a long time, though never posting. I have never talked about PP or its people, nor have I spoken ill of what Michael has tried to do in this format. One time I want to discuss the divergent reactions (not specific people) to Michael’s apology and a quote is copped out of context and run with and now it has become a blanket indictment of the good ol’ boys of CC club that happens to be made up of women, men, pastors, leaders, cc, presby, aog, emergent-esque, closet Catholic or two and more than one extraterestrial – all painted with one single brush stroke.

    While I am called on the carpet, mis-represented and wrongly accused I am somehow equally guilty for defending myself and calling what was done exactly what it was. Eric’s act of posting the quote was of malicious intent by all evidence and it is extremely interesting to see how that act of maliciousness is overlooked, excused, glossed over and even coddled by some.

    I didn’t post a response to change anybodies mind only highlight the prejudice in which some of the judgments here are being made.

    I have nothing more to say on the matter – it is what it is.

  370. ( | o )====::: says:

    Jim Goodman,
    Hi there.
    Since you have been a long time lurker but a first time poster, all I can say is I hope you do engage, dialog, connect.
    I’m the token “emergent” around here, I post musings, get into trouble, but all in all, this place and it’s people are unique and wonderful, and by your continued participation, it will be better, not worse.
    Wishing you all the best and more as you patiently enjoy the free-for-all. 😉

  371. eric says:

    Funny thing is, you guys, according to rueben are having a field day with me on SMP where no one but those who agree with you can respond, and your having a field day on my blog where everyone can respond and see, and its being discussed here on the PP where, once again everyone can respondso we got a singular conversation and two dialogues going on…and your post wasnt taken out of context all I did was change sheep to sheeple other than that it was verbatim.

    Im just glad I could become infamous that fast, took Al Capone years and I accomplished it in a few hours. Tell the guys at SMP I said hi, acuz I cant

  372. Believe says:

    Eric, you are hilarious.

  373. Believe says:

    Is Jim Goodman a pastor?

  374. ( | o )====::: says:


  375. Bob says:


    The button which have been pushed and seem so far from the heart of the original issue. If I have it right the original issue was how a grown married daughter of a high level pastor/minister was treated by this man.

    Should she have published this for all to see? Was she abused enough and she sought peace enough for this to be brought to a public position?

    Personally, as I said before, I believe it should have been kept in the family, but I think God has a greater purpose for this.

    It would seem the CC people are very very sensitive to the term “cult,” and where there is sensitivity maybe there is a festering wound. So CC guys maybe, just maybe God is calling you out a bit on this issue.

    But what do I know I’m just Bob, a nobody, someone with out a following and nothing to loose.

    Oh and CC guys God has called out Michael and he has done the right thing, a public confession and repentance before God. Go Michael!

  376. London says:

    Beleive does it matter if he is a pastor or not?
    Try relating to the person instead of to the job title. It works pretty well in most places. Ya know? 😉

  377. Na'amah says:

    London? one more day? 😉 and have you developed a set of play skills you were hoping to gain? lol

  378. eric says:

    Today almost felt like the good old days… thank you to everyone who helped make this day possible.

    Today, I consider myself the luckiest man in the world!!!

  379. ( | o )====::: says:

    you were part of the old night crew too, yes?

    definitely night crew

  380. filbertz says:

    Jim Goodman,
    I’m sorry if my words sounded judgemental. I was trying to get two people to see a way up and out. I have high regard for pastors and high expectations, too. Having been on that side of the lot, I know it is often difficult, isolating, and easily misunderstood. On the other hand, I’ve been on the other side of the equation and understand the frustrations many Christians feel dealing with their pastors. That is part of why I’ve stepped off the playing field for awhile and simply don’t attend church. So I’m not the resident emergent, I’m the resident sideline observer. I probably should have stayed out of the scrum and remained slowly shaking my head on the sideline.

  381. eric says:

    G-dawg, yep the good ole days when we could be real and just be for a second, ive missed them ever since

  382. ( | o )====::: says:


    the night crew is back.

  383. eric says:

    Gdawg, I only wish that were true. It was more a feeling than a place, you knew you were with friends and you were safe to bare your soul without judgement. the night crew has splintered

  384. ( | o )====::: says:

    hell no

  385. ( | o )====::: says:

    you ARE NOW safe to bare your soul without judgment

  386. ( | o )====::: says:

    you on facebook?

    friend me

    Grendal Hanks

  387. eric says:

    Appreciate the offer g, but ill save it for private confession. Never know who might take it and post it somewhere out of context 😉

  388. London says:

    I wasn’t really hoping to gain play skills as much as trying to find a way for my brain to absorb the trauma of dealing with millions of screaming children running around IN A CHURCH 😯 I have spent every day this week there 😯 again.
    So far…no one has died, so it’s an ok thing.

    We did have two kids in our group who cried their heads off when their mom’s left them. One could pull himself together with a little bit of comforting and redirection. The other one, a little girl…was a terror from the word go. I nearly needed therapy yesterday when she started stomping her foot (no joke) and telling me “I just want my mom! You won’t let me see my mom!!!) I wanted to say ‘uh yeah! you’re right! now go over there and play with the rest of the kids would ya already!? But, I didn’t….

    This is scary funny…the gal that runs the thing asked me if I’d help her organize the whole thing next year. hahahahahaha ummmmmm NO!

  389. ( | o )====::: says:

    then just be a goof with the rest of us, keep it light

  390. ( | o )====::: says:

    ok, good night everyone of the newly constituted night crew

  391. Na'amah says:

    London… oh my goodness your description is so funny! and, well, i’d probably of would of told the girl… mom wants you here…go play now the kids won’t put up w criers usually

    uh…the director obviously thinks you are a VBS natural! 😉

  392. Na'amah says:


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