How Not To Make “Disciples”

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37 Responses

  1. Josh the Baptist says:

    “Then…they wonder why young people and older people with sense…are leaving these churches.

    They’re just following Jesus…who left a long time ago.”

    Sad and true.

  2. Michael says:

    Josh,

    I think we’re at the point where we need to speak that truth out loud.
    This stuff is not of God…

  3. Steve says:

    I hope these young people and older people with sense that are leaving these churches have some place to go in regards to a good church. If you are following Jesus, I think eventually you’ll find a decent church to be part of.

  4. JD says:

    I visited CCSB years ago once. The ushers acted like a bunch of thugs is what I remember.

  5. Michael says:

    Steve,

    Why would they want to?

  6. Michael says:

    CCSB also put James MacDonald on stuff for a while…after informing me that my research and that of everyone else who exposed the bastard was in error…

  7. Em says:

    Michael. @10:01. 👍👍🙏

  8. Xenia says:

    These groups are trying to teach the kids to be outrageous for Jesus, and to learn to endure all kinds of humiliation for His sake. Milder forms of this include youth groups sending kids to the local mall in their pajamas, naming the youth group edgy names like “Dirt,” etc., with the idea being “if you are too embarrassed to wear pajamas to the mall, how will you ever be able to withstand the atheist college professor when he starts talking about evolution?

    Or it might be the idea that missionaries must endure humiliating experiences, hunger and discomfort so you need to learn how to learn how to endure or you will be a failure as a missionary. So even the basis for this treatment, which might sound, at first, like teaching kids how to deny themselves, is flawed because the Second Commandment is “Love your neighbor,” which is most certainly NOT being taught in these camps/groups.

    Genuine discipleship would need to be modeled by humble leaders, with the aim being to teach people, not just teenagers, to be humble and to love one’s enemies, turn the other cheek, go the extra mile, etc. These “discipleship” camps, and many youth groups, teach the very opposite of the Sermon on the Mount but look to be a good training ground for Right Wing extremists, for those who accept the premise.

    Turns out, humility is the most outrageous trait a Christian can acquire.

  9. Michael says:

    Well said, Xenia.

    “Genuine discipleship would need to be modeled by humble leaders, with the aim being to teach people, not just teenagers, to be humble and to love one’s enemies, turn the other cheek, go the extra mile, etc.”

  10. Duane Arnold says:

    Michael

    From what you describe, in what way does this have anything to do with the gospel or the Church?

    Asking for a friend…

  11. Xenia says:

    Don’t look to the “cool” extroverted guy with the tattoos, trendy clothing and a knowledge of all the current music and Hollywood offerings to teach discipleship. Look to the quiet guy who sets up the chairs, cares for the poor, is respectful to authority and older people, and doesn’t wear trendy clothing.

  12. Michael says:

    Duane,

    Absolutely nothing…which is why Jesus went elsewhere.
    Interestedly enough…no one noticed.

  13. Muff Potter says:

    It’s hard to believe that Papa Chuck started all this horse manure all those years ago in Costa Mesa.

  14. Linn says:

    I was a missionary, with hot and cold running water and a washing machine (albeit a rather primitive one). I lived in a big city and took taxis and buses to the places too far to walk. I did go to places where these things were not available, but I was usually in the city.

    There are missionaries in the jungles mucking it out, but for the past 30 years laptop missionaries have been much more common. I think the leaders of some of these “programs” just like to see people suffer.

  15. Xenia’s comment reminded me of this video that came out a decade or so ago. It’s called “Ignatius: the Ultimate Youth Pastor.” A reminder that “cool” isn’t really in the job description of a disciple

  16. Nathan Priddis says:

    On the other hand…
    Some of this stuff can be pretty cool. Like, Greg Locke’s recent Sunday service. Give the guy credit for turning a figure of speech, into a real life triple witching hour.

  17. jtk says:

    I cannot reach the conclusion that Jesus left..

    yet.

    Can someone walk me through that?

    Not justifying anything, just I don’t get there in my conclusions.

  18. jtk says:

    I get how someone could be a full on Biblically disqualified from leading and ministering hypocrite, read about (but don’t really get) how certain churches wont take any action to remove a leader (and get told stories of the same), but see Jesus still at work.

    “The gifts and callings of God are irrevocable” being both a true statement and with gross hypocrites a perplexing reality..

    But use small words and help me if you can.

  19. Nathan Priddis says:

    JTK.
    Perhaps you might start by considering the concepts of estate, inheritance, heirs, etc. I name these because they are irrevocable. Something irrevocable is likely not a concept that Christians are comfortable with. (Outside of Calvin’s eternal security)

    We are more performance based in our thinking. Unknowingly, we have a sort of Karma system. If I do good, God will do something good to me. Do bad, God does likewise. God is more of a force, and less of a person.

  20. Michael says:

    JTK,

    It’s really pretty simple to me.
    Maybe too simple.
    Would Jesus spare the lamp stand of a church that engages in child abuse?
    I say no.

  21. Josh the Baptist says:

    God is at work all the time, everywhere. This is true.

    Jesus was not honored at the Trump celebration at First Baptist Dallas a few weeks ago. Jesus is not honored at Greg Locke’s church as he increasingly goes off the rails.

    Could God work on people in those places? Sure, He can do whatever He wants. It seems to me, though, that He’d be easier to find in a pool hall than those places.

  22. Toni says:

    Several years ago we shared a little about the spiritual abuse we experienced and why we left a ministry we had invested over a decade in (one that we truly loved). When we spoke up we were basically excommunicated and told we weren’t even wanted on property of the church that we experience all this at. But we continued to do our best to push forward in what we knew we were supposed to, tried to be honest, and worked to do our best to heal and process what we experienced. Our priority continued to be to support our local skate community. When we shared, many people did not believe our stories, some people stopped talking to us and others slandered us. Over the next few weeks, a few other accounts of this abuse are going to be shared. Here is just one of the many stories. So many pastors continue this pattern and are never held accountable for there actions. I urge churches to listen to those sharing their stories, for the churches to take responsibility and help those who experienced abuse in the process of healing and for ministries to no longer give a platform to those who abuse others spiritually. -Toni

    PS – Years later we are still blocked any time there is a chance to be involved at the ministry we love. We are continually asked (over and over) to apologize (which we humbly did many times) but there is remorse, repentance, restoration, grace or love in Christ from the few that hold the keys.

    Rest assured that we do not find all responsible for the actions of a few. Thankful for a few great relationships that endured.

  23. Kelsey says:

    Wow! I had a very different experience there. Loved Patmos and wouldn’t change any part of my time. Still, sorry for those that have trauma from it.

  24. Eric says:

    I went to Patmos and it has forever changed my life. It was one of the best decisions that I’ve ever made. The training wasn’t perfect but I learned how to love Jesus with my heart, soul, mind and strength. It makes me sad to hear that others have had such severe spiritual and emotional trauma. Praying that the Love of God will cover over anything that the enemy meant for evil.

  25. Om says:

    It’s been over a decade and some of the lessons I learned/gained from doing Patmos I still utilize and carry with me to this day.
    Was it perfect? No. But I have no regrets taking a part in it.

  26. Honestly some of the most disturbing replies are from people who watched their friends be tortured, wounded (physically and mentally) and traumatized but walk away happy because they had a positive experience and their “walk with Jesus” is “stronger.” Just walk right around that wounded man in the middle of the road on your way to church. Don’t worry. The Samaritan will take care of him. Just fix your eyes on Jesus! Really shows what you guys learned at Patmos. Scary. And I will put my full name on these websites. How about you? More fruit of the lessons about courage from Patmos? I don’t expect victims to put their names. But the bold champions of this program that made them able to stand up to “persecution”?? Can’t even put their name on a damn blog. Please. That program produced self righteous people that victim blame and ignore abuse- or traumatized humans. There is no other option.

  27. Kelsey says:

    …you’re starting to sound like the oppressor you claim to rise up against. Careful bullying people for their humble thoughts and perspectives. When one party dominates the narrative it doesn’t allow for others to process their own experiences fully. It was helpful for me to know I wasn’t crazy or the only one that didn’t experience anything that’s been written about. I went to Patmos 4, in 2008. Seems to have changed over the years and the stories I’ve heard are horrific. But your logic is faulty. Please evaluate the damage you might be spreading in saying there are only two parties: the abuser and the abused. Making false arguments and assuming why some people chose just to type a first name…. makes you less credible as a beacon of hope and truth.

  28. Kelsey says:

    I’m not here for an argument. Just to read, hear, learn, evaluate, sympathize, and grow. If you decide to come at me with fists blazing, I won’t respond — this should be a safe place for everyone, with no division of lines, just humans finding healing. Though sadly, I have a guess as to what kind of response will be generated.. good luck on your journey!

  29. Michael says:

    Kelsey,

    After 20 plus years running this site, I have no need for anyone to instruct me on how it should be run.

    If any of these accounts of abuse are true…and they are….then the whole program needs shut down and investigated.

  30. Kelsey says:

    I wasn’t talk to you 🙂 I was replying to Laurens response to my previous comment.

  31. Kelsey says:

    *talking

    And I don’t disagree with what you just said. 1000% agree and think this is providing great discussion and light on something I had heard nothing about for yearssss. I was shocked when this first came out but grateful it did!

  32. Michael says:

    Lauren is expert in these matters…she carries much weight here.

    Like her, I have little use for anyone defending these programs.

    They come from common sources…Ft. Lauderdale and hell.

  33. Kelsey says:

    Oh my goodness…. 😅😂 well I hope people are able to learn from the pure heart behind what you’re sharing and parse out the generalizations. My fault for jumping in and thinking this was a safe place for me to share as well. I take no I’ll will from you though. Praying good and healing comes from what you’re doing!

  34. Michael says:

    There are no safe places…there are places where truth will be told.

  35. pstrmike says:

    I guess “the safe place” is the new card to play.

    Part of the definition of a “safe place” is to allow those who have been abused to express themselves without fear of retribution which includes refraining from telling them how they should express their pain…….

    When you establish the parameters for others to share their experience and express their outrage, you have made “the place” less “safe.” Doing so is construed as an attempt to reshape the narrative, something that victims of abuse—particularly in the church—encounter quite often.

  36. Heather Rotondi says:

    Om, Eric, Kelsey, when you come on and make your statements about how this was a great experience for you, it feels like you are trying to cast doubt on these traumatic experiences people had. Why do that here? It feels like gaslighting. Don’t rob victims of their moment.

  37. Officerhoppy says:

    I am sure this is old news to some but Matt Chandler has stepped down as pastor of The Village church.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2022/08/29/us/matt-chandler-village-church-leave.html

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