“Follow the Leader”

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76 Responses

  1. Josh the Baptist says:

    “Adopt to the “culture” or leave is the inference given.”

    People should just take him at his word and leave. Problem would be solved.

  2. Jean says:

    One of the major contrasts to the church model Ortiz paints and the one painted by Paul is in Paul’s case (1) all his boasting was in the Lord, (2) all his thanksgiving was to the Lord, and (3) he actually believed that the power is in the Gospel. On each of these points, Ortiz directs his listeners to the senior pastor. God is pictured as detached at best.

    It reminds me of something the Pope might have said in the 15th century.

  3. Michael says:

    I hope people actually take the time to listen to what was said and hear all the ungodly inferences that are, in my opinion, anti-Gospel.

    The last thing I need in life is another round of conflict with these guys (or anyone else ,for that matter).
    However, this sort of teaching needs to be addressed.

    That crowd didn’t leave with absolution ringing in their ears, but with a new set of obligations.

  4. Josh the Baptist says:

    Honestly, I take your word for it. Sounds just like the stuff that Perry Noble does with his assitants. Not shocking at all. Shocking that people stick around.

  5. Bob Sweat says:

    After listening to that teaching, I have good news and bad news to share. First the bad news. The teaching sickened me! But the good news is that it made me so angry, that it took my mind off feeing embarrassed by who will represent the Republican Party for President.

  6. Michael says:


    I think some of this is adopted from the Noble/Furtick playbook.

  7. Michael says:


    I’m here to help in any way I can… 🙂

  8. I watched the whole video – Neil Ortiz is a very good speaker and knows how to engage his audience. Now a message like this happens when folks feel free to preach the Christian instead of the Christ. Another example of sanctification preaching where it is your actions (in this case obedience to the pastor) that matters and there is no need for Jesus to be preached after salvation. (except for mention in the historical / narrative passages.)

    I would like to think that the speaker here was under orders to preach this message rather than to be forced to consider him an idol worshiper.

  9. Michael says:

    I could be wrong…but I’m starting to believe that the only defense against this stuff is a liturgical church.

    It wouldn’t break my heart if after I’m gone Trey joins the Lutherans or the EO…

  10. Josh the Baptist says:

    Well, I skipped around through about 20 minutes of that…yeah it’s garbage, This poor guy. This is clearly a message the senior pastor wants to give, but turns it over because it would sound crazy coming out of his own mouth.

  11. journeyman says:

    Any thoughts on what prompted such a message? Surely there is something going on behind the scenes where the “authority” is being questioned??

  12. Pam Kulwiec says:

    I’ll take your word for it Michael. I couldn’t get passed his opening line:
    “Well friend, if I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting you my name is…” ?

  13. Michael says:


    Based on past experience, either there has been some questioning of the leadership or he’s planning something that will potentially be unpopular.

    I haven’t paid enough attention to know which…

  14. Nonnie says:

    His definition of “good news” (having the privilege to follow Skip) is a lot different from what I’ve always thought was good news.

    I only listened to 8 minutes but it appears to be a pep talk for the masses to get behind the vision of big stadium outreaches.

  15. Michael says:


    I don’t blame you… 🙂

  16. Pam Kulwiec says:

    *past ?

  17. Rob says:

    Rambo Syndrome: Men who’ve never served in the military portraying themselves as heroic leaders. Always as top generals, admirals etc, and most certainly as genius level winning strategists.

  18. Michael says:


    I didn’t know there was an actual term for that…

  19. Mr Jesperson says:

    No wonder Skip was on board with KP’s scam of a ministry. They are both cut from the same anti-Christ, Narcissistic mold. Let me keep pointing out that the origins of this personality is none less than our adversary: Satan. Satan pointed to himself instead of to God while rounding up a following in heaven. Hence why Jesus said, “Call no man father.” Our Father is in heaven. The head of the true Church is in heaven. The “shut up and get on with the vision” talks given by these men and others like Mark Driscoll our straight from the pit of hell. It is blatant false teachers leading sheep astray to be slaughtered. Glad you pointed this out today, Michael. But focus on the Prince of Peace who specializes in repairing malfunctioning hearts. He is “The Life” and boy how we all need Him.

  20. Lisa says:

    Classic CC elevation of the leadership over the too-willingly submissive congregations. :/

  21. Crusader says:

    I’m currently watching the video and have some observations…

    There’s a mixture of truth and error in Neil Ortiz’s message, and it’s the errors that disturb me in how he presented them. For example, at 32:45, after he talked about the body having different parts and how each part has a role in the body (from 1 Corinthians 12), he said this…

    “Friend, you don’t get to choose where you go to church. I don’t get to choose where I go to church. You know what that means? That means that there’s some people hearing this message that week in and week out are sitting in the wrong sanctuary.”

    Later on, he said this at 35:51…

    “It’s not an accident that you’re connected to whom you’re connected to within this church. It is no accident that you’ve been placed under the leadership that the Lord has placed you spiritually. But when we make changes, we betray a truth that the Bible tells us and that is that the body of Christ was made up in the image of Christ Himself. He is the head. But when we just say, ‘You know what? I’m kind of done with that. It’s not really working for me. I’m gonna go down the street.’ In effect, what you’re doing is you’re attempting to remake the church into your own image because you’re not content with the image that God has made it in Christ.”

    Based on 1 Corinthians 12, Neil Ortiz is making the assumption that each part of the body of believers in Calvary Albuquerque is relegated to within that body and that body alone. But that’s a twist of 1 Corinthians 12. In 1 Corinthians 12:27, Paul referred to his readers in Corinth as “the body of Christ, and members individually,” a broad term that isn’t limiting them to just a body of believers in Corinth. Furthermore, Paul’s letters were circulated among other churches, so they read the same content as well which they could learn from and also make application from.

    There’s another significant difference between the church in Corinth and what exists today in Albuquerque that needs to be brought up. The body of Christ located in the area of Corinth was one church. The body of Christ in the area of Albuquerque is composed of many churches, a different situation from Corinth. Scripture does not condemn any believer leaving a body of believers in one fellowship and joining with another body of believers in another fellowship. In fact, if it opens a door for such a person to exercise his/her gifts in the other fellowship, it’s a good thing. The body of Christ isn’t just Calvary Albuquerque.

    I’m still watching the video, but what Neil Ortiz brought up was very disturbing, and i just wanted to point this out.

  22. Michael says:

    Mr. Jesperson,

    Skip and KP go way back…and they employ very similar methodologies.
    I doubt that is an accident…

  23. Michael says:


    Thank you for contributing…well said.

  24. Judy G. says:

    Well, he’s talking about vision casting. So, they’ve moved into that. Yuck. I suppose if you cast a vision, you need only those who are loyal to you so you can get your vision fulfilled. It’s a really good way to cull out the “weaker” or “unbelieving” members of the church. Maybe they could plant a new church and send those weaker people there!

    And people wonder why older Christians are leaving the church and want nothing to do with this garbage. Man, are people deceived.

  25. Captain Kevin says:

    Ortiz, Heitzig, and others like them should be grateful for the mercy of God. If they were leaders under the old covenant, they would have been struck down and either killed or taken into captivity, along with their families. This teaching is just an abomination on so many levels.

  26. Mr Jesperson says:

    #22 Michael, it is no accident. It is Satan working to reproduce his own image with a false label that reads “Church.” As I grow older, I am becoming more aware of how large this false church is. That fact would be quite discouraging except for the wonder of the work of Christ that I see in my own life. Jesus really is THE RESURRECTION and THE LIFE! Speaking those words are one thing, but really understanding them is something else…

  27. Kevin H says:

    Aye Aye Captain!

    (Of course, this response of mine was probably what Skip was looking for from his cultists, er, I mean congregation.)

  28. Lutheran says:

    It’s been many years since my family and I were involved in an authoritarian CC.

    I was reading these comments and mentally contrasting them with our Lutheran church and pastor.

    Like Michael alluded to, in a liturgical setting, the church and worship really aren’t about the pastor. Christ is at the center.

    When we come to the front of the church to the altar to receive Holy Communion, he says, “The gifts of God for the people of God.”

    I often feel like crying. I guess it’s because God is so good in so very many ways, including at that moment, our receiving the Lord’s Supper. And I’m thankful for a local church where the pastor points us to Jesus.

  29. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I think it funny that we follow the article on the Mark of the Beast with an article on Skip.

    As I said yesterday, the reference to a mark of the beast is a call to go back to the 1st commandment – and to have no other Gods.
    Neil Ortiz has taken the mark of the beast.

  30. Glen says:

    Reminds me of the sermon I heard back when the pastor preached his way through The Purpose Driven Life. I was already thinking of leaving that church for other reasons, but that was the final push I needed. He said he was the leader and we all needed to follow him and his vision without question. Some left then and more the next couple of years, but it still was the biggest and most popular church in town. Many who left went to the Nazarene Church and many of them later ended up at the local CC.

  31. Jim says:

    It’s sad guys can’t just teach the bible.

  32. Em ... again says:

    haven’t time to read the comments right now – but i have seen this scenario played out before in a large “successful” church… it is toxic and doesn’t have a good ending… one thing i’m fairly certain of, if past scenarios are indicative, God has His eye on Heitzig right now and the man is one decision away from the hammer … time for the rest of us to pray for that church (at least a little bit)

  33. Nonnie's Old Man says:


    Just couldn’t resist.

  34. Steve Wright says:

    Great line in The Sting.

    “Not only are you a cheat, you’re a gutless cheat as well.”

    Of course, the guy who says that later gets escorted out of the building, while the one he says it to laughs all the way to the bank…..

  35. once a cc guru says:

    Same cc bull$hit different day…

    Let’s all sing-along… “We worship you almighty skip, there is none like you…”

  36. richard says:

    and skip is one of the featured speakers at his denominations’ senior pastors conference in a few weeks. what does that say about the whole denomination ? no accountability, no oversite.

  37. Cash says:

    This is so disgusting I couldn’t bring myself to listen to it, especially when I’ve seen these tactics used before, to my and many others’ great detriment. The bad thing is many people will leave the authoritarian church, not to find another church, but so fed up up with all the BS they may take years to recover and not go to church at all. They have an inability to trust the “servants” of Christ. This is sad indeed. And evil.

  38. pstrmike says:

    This sermon is an example of why those in pastoral ministry need a seminary education that will assist them in thinking critically. It’s obvious that Ortiz is an CofA inbred who has never had the opportunity to think for himself. This is shameful.

  39. Yikes…….

  40. filbertz says:

    they don’t know any better because they haven’t been taught better. anymore, I’m more saddened than angry.

  41. victorious says:

    For vision casting of this type to work it needs to be preceded by the casting of a spell .

  42. once a cc guru says:

    Yep, it’s witchcraft, the oldest craft mocking The Way!

  43. Em ... again says:

    #40- somethings shouldn’t have to be taught…

    but i watched a scenario pretty identical to this one play out in a church that did have a history of being well taught and grounded – a small group managed to turn the church focus from sound doctrine to a military model – do they truly believe that the very good reference to warfare in Scripture means that the church should structure itself in a military model? – you salute the uniform, no matter what you think of the guy wearing it?
    this is not Biblical Spiritual warfare …

    BTW isn’t this the model that our corporations use? worldly does = antichrist hmmm

    now i’ll grab the link and try to listen to this guy – this browser won’t let me play it

  44. Em ... again says:

    okay, i’ve heard about 5 minutes – can’t those people in that auditorium hear what i hear? EGO EGO EGO … and
    the guy’s cool pink gingham check shirt is a poor fit: button it up and put on a tie or undo a couple more buttons, so that it doesn’t bunch and what does he have in his left pants pocket that he has to grab onto? and that’s just my human reaction … maybe, he’ll get around to glorifying Christ … i’ll go back and listen some more


  45. Kevin H says:

    Totally off topic from the thread, but I’ll just leave this here: 🙂


  46. once a cc guru says:

    #45 WTF?

  47. London says:


  48. Em ... again says:

    i’m into minute eight and i think this fellow is telling us that their senior pastor is not a pastor but the Grand Ayatollah … i guess, i’d better stop commenting

    oh and FWIW the Seahawks pulled off what the Bears did and did it with a totally different approach… so even his plan for success is full of holes … (taking nothing away from Ditka and his team’s accomplishments)

    i’m done – God keep

  49. Just reinforcing the Moses Model.

    I’d be so embarrassed to think someone was preaching a message like that about me.

  50. The Philly Fanatic? Why not? He could probably start on any major philly sports team so why would anyone want to lose him to Washington?

  51. Linnea says:

    This was probably Neil’s tryout for a Senior Manager’s , I mean Pastor’s job. Most definitively, he describes a corporate/dictatorial model. The team captain I know doesn’t resemble the one Neil describes.

  52. Randall Slack says:

    Having gotten saved in the Tent in 1972, and attending CCCM for several years, it is disheartening to see it come to this. How the mighty have fallen. The concept of servant leadership that Jesus modeled is all but disappeared as men life themselves up above God.

  53. Theophilus says:

    Several CC pastors have elected not to attend the Calvary Costa Mesa leadership conference because Skip is on the docket to speak

  54. Kevin H says:

    Yes, Phil, the Phanatic would make a better candidate than the other two.

    He could even get Mr. Met to be his running mate. Then agai, if he actually wanted to win, maybe not. 🙂

  55. Maybe Team Skip should revisit Matthew 20:20-28.

  56. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Guys like Skip, and he is not alone by a long shot, are beyond the Bible. Information to them is direct. If a Pastor gives a vision casting sermon, none of it comes out of scripture. The vision caster is a peer with God.

  57. once a cc guru says:

    Several CC pastors have elected not to attend… (elected-haha)

    Yeah, Pastor Clem Kadidilhofer in cc podunk and his buddies…

    They are actually protesting that Chik Chikeles and Dwight Douville got kicked out of cc for not kissing bb’s a$$

  58. Linnea says:

    What prompted this sermon? A surrogate goes out to rally the troops. Is something amiss at CA?

  59. Papias says:

    cc guru,

    Both Chik and Dwight are listed as CC pastors on their websites.

    Where are you getting your information?

  60. Papias says:

    I try to lessen the amount of stress in my life, and so I can’t stand to listen to this “sermon” by Neil Ortiz.

    The Gospel of Jesus is freedom.

    “If your preaching of the gospel of God’s free grace in Jesus Christ does not provoke the charge from some of antinomianism, you’re not preaching the gospel of the free grace of God in Jesus Christ.”
    ― D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

  61. once a cc guru says:

    Call and ask them…

  62. Theophilus says:

    I am not a psychologist but Skip seems to be (as noted by MN) a narcissist or at least has some narcissistic tendencies. And a narcissist only knows two kinds of people: those who are beneath him, or those who challenge them.

    But it seems to me that there are several narcissistic pastors who, like Skip, draw a crowd. In light of the obvious conflict with the servant mentality that the bible teaches and that Christ and even God Himself models, why is that?

    With such an abyss between what the bible teaches, why does even one person (and other narcissistic pastors I can name) attend his church?

    I can’t figure it out other than what PT Barnum once said “there’s a sucker born every minute”. Do the wicked prosper even among pastors

  63. Disillusioned says:

    Excuse me, I just barfed all over the screen.

  64. Tim - Doulos says:

    @57 – I haven’t a clue what you’re talking about.

  65. Disillusioned says:

    The wicked DO thrive “even among pastors” — and especially so in the whacked-out denomination that is CC.
    It was my refusal to blindly obey that got me booted out.
    And I am thanking God.

  66. Michael says:

    I have to be brief…having the morning from hell.

    I have no info on the two aforementioned pastors, but I doubt either one was kicked out for refusing to kiss Brian’s backside.

    My guess would be that they left as they are both radical traditionalists.

    Douville should have been kicked out twenty years ago as unfit to hold the position and if he is gone I will make much of the event and celebrate with profanity and a fancy drink.

  67. Michael says:


    In a consumer driven church the show matters.
    CA puts on one hell of a show.

    The wicked prosper among pastors because other pastors and the affected churches do not hold them accountable.

    In Calvary circles, I’m considered far more wicked than Skip or any of the others we have written of…

  68. no longer deceived says:

    I knew Chik and Dwight, and suspect that they didn’t get kicked out of CC. It’s hard to get kicked out. The only one I know of is Jesus Fellowship of Believers (former CC) in WI. But they were excited to get kicked out, because it made them more radical in their minds. And now on the outside of the CC fringe, they continue to grow as a brainwashing cult, with the head pastor demanding obedience, and banishment/shunning to commence if you do otherwise. You will see the use of military terms; talk of the vastness of their many ministries. So much talk in defense the ‘manmade’ kingdom. Christ is not with these “churches”.

  69. Please do not publish my name says:

    Watch a sermon first of November 2017 where Jonathan Laurie ((Greg Laurie’s son) was the guest speaker at Calvary of Albuquerque .He came on Wednesday night , the place was packed eagerly waiting to hear his message.
    Thinking that it was going to be a sermon straight from the Bible, it turned out to be a promotion for Nathan Heitzig. This emphasizes the position Pastor Pete Nelson was trying to convey.

  70. Denise Holman says:

    I was shocked and surprised to find this commentary,since I was just trying to find pastor Heitzigs teaching for this weekend.At any rate,I thoroughly enjoy his teaching style and have learned much from watching current and archived teachings,he is very concise and well educated in theology,his wife Lenya is a kind hearted gentle Christian woman and together they do the Lord’s work here on Earth ,they are selfless people who don’t fit into anyone’s mold of what a Christian family should be and since we shouldn’t be judging anyone but ourselves ,why don’t we mind our own business and leave the Heitzigs to mind theirs.Also,I have read 3 of skips books and one of lenyas,they are both good authors as well.

  71. Michael says:


    That’s the funniest thing anyone ever wrote here…

  72. Em says:

    Judging and discerning are not interchangeable terms, Denise

  73. Dave Ortiz says:

    Skip Heitzig has been leading a double life, assuming the identity of individuals that his crew of local criminals assist out of the picture through harrasment or “accidentsl” events. He then pushes properties into foreclosure to purchase and flip large areas for real estate investments. He is not what he says whatsoever and I have had the pleasure of meeting one of his latest identities. I know. I know. Sounds crazy…but when all other possible scenarios have been exhausted you are left with the highly improbable. Look into please. I don’t have the means without drawing more attention to myself and mu family.

  74. Michael says:

    Dave Ortiz,

    While I am legendary for my dislike of Skip Heitzig, what you wrote makes no sense…meaning I have no idea what you are accusing him of.

    You might want to explain in a private email.


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