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60 Responses

  1. Alex says:

    Mars Hill…listen up.

    If you want to stop the flow of info and the momentum of Wenatchee, you need to file a lawsuit against him and name “1-50″…that will stop the momentum cold and will effectively scare all the folks he is working with into silence.

    It doesn’t matter if the stuff he accuses you of is true…the strategy is to save your “ministry” and stop any accountability and justice from occurring.

    Trust me, 99.999% of humans will shut up and run for the hills if you do this…

  2. dswoager says:

    It would probably be in bad taste to offer to smack Benny Hinn in head with my blazer. I’m not sure that my wardrobe is as anointed as he is anyway.

    Matt Redmond’s Theses post is still one of the better things I have read lately.

    Also thanks for the link.

  3. Kevin H says:

    Adding a link for your edification (now what is the code for the sarcastic smiley).

    How rich – Hagee, WND, and others fighting over who is the rightful discoverer of the blood moons:

  4. Alex says:

    KevinH, Ha!

    False prophets fighting over their bizarre and nebulous prophecies. Very entertaining, thank you 🙂

  5. Dan from Georgia says:

    Cruz counting on evangelicals…

    Here. We. Go. Again.

  6. Dan from Georgia says:

    Point #4 lifted from “Why I quit the praise band”…

    “7/11 songs are shallow. Now not all praise and worship songs are 7/11 songs (where you sing the same 7 words 11 times), but many of them are. The chorus to one of the popular songs I used to lead back in my praise band days went like this: “Yes Lord, yes Lord, yes, yes Lord. Yes Lord, yes, Lord, yes, yes Lord. Yes Lord, yes Lord, yes yes Lord, Amen.” I’m not even kidding.”

    He is not kidding. In my $0.02 opinion, not only can I not stand that song, but I think it is one of the most repetitive and worst praise songs of all time, right up there with “I Can Sing Of Your Love Forever” ….and ever….and ever…and ever…and ever…..

  7. papiaslogia says:

    Thanks for posting that Redmond link.

    I could barely get to #20 without thinking “Where have I been the last two weeks?” 🙂

  8. Anne says:

    The irony of “7/11” songs is their popularity in churches that condemn chanting, LOL! Same mind numbing/consciousness -emotional manipulation at play, IMO.

  9. Paige says:

    I looked at the list….. and thought, ‘nah’, don’t want to ‘go negative’…. but chose “Path of The Cross”…and found myself looking at Steve Brown’s writings. Ahhhh! Good enough.

    It is Finished.

    Maybe I’ll read some of the other links later…after my three grandchildren leave. 🙂

  10. Dan from Georgia says:

    Good point Anne (#8)! I think alot of it is emotional manipulation.

  11. Anne says:

    Michael- Thank you for the link to “Embracing Faith, Accepting Ambiguity”. I could relate to her story on so many levels. I’m pretty much at stage of still trying to accept ambiguity, something my social work mentor in college pointed out was something I needed to work on over 20 years ago. Still hard for me, but making progress slowly but surely. Embracing faith, still scary and confusing on so many levels. For a long time I prayed that the real Jesus would stand up and reveal himself to me – so many different versions of who he is and how he wants us to respond to him circulating throughout christendom. Now I’m afraid if he did reveal himself, it would be a sure sign I lost my last screw, and would become just another person claiming some divine revelation out of my brain’s imaginings.

  12. Dan from Georgia says:

    Thesis 3 lifted from Matt Redmond’s post:

    “The great threats to evangelicalism are not the sins of those outside the faith but the swallowing of business principles, the alignment with political ideology, and reducing the faith to a means of materialistic ends.”

    Just where are the examples of evangelicalism swallowing of business principles…oh, that’s right.

    What about alignment with pol…oh. Okay….

    And how’z ’bout reducing faith to a means of materialistic ends….right.

    Contemporary Christian Music radio for the most part can be an example of using business principles over ministry principles…see “Becky” as their “target audience”.

    And websites like the Christian Post are basically just a political ideologue for the republican party.

    There Michael, I will take the heat for you on that last one.

  13. Nonnie says:

    Georgia Dan, I’m tracking with you on your number 6! Those 2 songs you referenced.
    Most of the time I hear them, the worship leader goes on forever and ever and ever and ever. Yes, yes, yes, he does!

  14. Michael says:


    The Christian Post is nothing more than gutless hacks who will do nothing to offend their celebrity preachers and advertisers.

    They had to have their lips surgically removed from Driscoll’s backside only to reattach them to Greg Lauries.

  15. Anne says:

    #14 – I hope someone is keeping a catalog of your best insults, Michael! Also, filbert’s witty prose over the years. 😀

  16. Bob says:

    From the “failure…”/Driscoll link:

    “A 2011 study from University of Virginia and Johns Hopkins researchers found that monthly church participation among the least educated whites, those who dropped out of high school, has fallen from thirty-eight percent to twenty-three percent over the last four decades. Meanwhile, attendance among higher-class whites had barely budged at all, slipping only from fifty percent to forty-six. The same study found that people who have been unemployed in the last 10 years are also less likely to attend church services than their employed counterparts.”

    Could the study also point to the idea that higher educated people find more truth in their faith than the less educated?

    It is often pointed out by the most adamant atheist that belief in God and Christianity is for the uneducated and weak.

    Or could it say that HS drop outs are more rebellious and would naturally show less interest in reconciliation or even service to God, or any authority?

    Or could this just be another instance of making statistics say what the speaker or hearer wants them to say?

  17. dswoager says:

    For the swallowing business principles, though I liked much of the article in question, the first blog linked is usually full of that kind of nonsense.

  18. Em says:

    amen to #15’s sentiments on #14 🙂

  19. Em says:

    this is a day when i’ve actually sat here and read sequentially down the links thru the 12th one…
    it is clear (to me) that the Pharisees and the Sadducees are not a Jewish invention;
    most of the problems presented seem to result from the fact that we’ve had too many Timothy clerics and not enough Pauls;
    i did skip down to read the 61 theses – all of them – my reaction to most was along the line of “well, duh!” as i realized what a mixed up herd of sheep we are today … it’s a sign of the times we live in (perilous?), and not proof that we are nuttier than our ancestors in the Faith IMO

    how do Michael and Eric glean so much material to create this great site? … i’m going to try to finish the list before the day ends…

  20. Xenia says:

    I briefly perused the links and out of the 21 links presented, 16 were negative in tone or critical of Christians and churches.

    One was positive and 4 were neutral in that they just presented information, although the tone was still negative.

  21. Dan from Georgia says:

    Nonnie (#13)…can’t tell you how tired I am of faking spirituality by pretending to be “in the spirit” while “I Could Sing of Your Love Forever..” is sung. You know, eyes closed, head looking up at a 45-degree angle, hands raised…etc….Also I am an avowed hater of “Trading My Sorrows”…yes, I know that will earn me a ticked to h-e-double hockeysticks in some evangelical’s minds, but who cares what those talentless, cheap lyrical-loving bores think.

  22. Dan from Georgia says:

    Michael #14, also remember that the CP has swallowed the culture wars whole and chocked on it and vomited up a tiring and smelly load of crap of fear-mongering articles on gays, Muslims, and Democrats. In addition, they also worship at the feet of Franklin Graham, Ken Ham, and those persecuted-unto-death Benham brothers.

  23. j2theperson says:

    I was unaware Benny Hinn had a heart.

  24. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I like Praise songs, even the mindless ones … when I am driving in my car.
    Not in church.

    Most people think this is a guitar vs organ thing, but not at all. Most praise songs are developed to bring people into a certain mystical state.

  25. Erunner says:

    I happen to love praise songs and am slow to criticize any of them. Some songs I could never listen to as I don’t like the style but how am I to know that song wasn’t written by a person doing their best to glorify God? I think He would be pleased.

    So often the ones who criticize praise music the most will then let you know what it is that they like and all I can do is scratch my head wondering what the heck was that? 🙂

    It’s sad that we even need to discuss the fact Mormonism is a cult. Walter Martin must be rolling around in his grave!

    People like Benny Hinn all get old and sick. No avoiding it.

  26. Em says:

    “Most praise songs are developed to bring people into a certain mystical state.”

    is this good? 😯

  27. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    is that good?
    Not in my book 😉

  28. brian says:

    Just wanted to say thanks to all, my blood pressure is now down to 115/70 with 56 pulse resting. A far cry from the 237/135 with 140 pulse. It turned out to be some liver issues. I got help with some bad health decisions and am thankful for a good group to talk to. My back is even feeling better. Hope all is well wit everyone.

  29. EricL says:

    Brian @28, great to hear about your improved health. Wonderful.
    Xenia @20, I’ll try to do better in what kinds of links I send Michael’s way. Too easy to get caught up in all the negative news.

    The link that was the most thought-provoking for me was the one on Transhumans, but then I like to write sci-fi.

  30. Em says:

    brian, good news was good to hear today… glad there’s support there for you

  31. Andrew says:

    Most people think this is a guitar vs organ thing, but not at all. Most praise songs are developed to bring people into a certain mystical state.

    How does a praise song do that? Is it the words? chords? repetition? Is it the motive behind the music? I’m not buying this….. I Love Larry Norman’s lyrics, “why does the devil get all the good music”. 🙂

  32. Xenia says:

    EricL, thanks. Christians aren’t the bad guys! 🙂

  33. Shaun Sells says:

    Saw this and thought you would get a chuckle out of it Michael:

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

    ““Most praise songs are developed to bring people into a certain mystical state.””

    ALL music brings us into a mystical state.
    It’s merely in the hands of who is in front of you while you listen and hopefully participate.

    Music springs from the human soul, becomes inspiring, or motivational, or infuriating, all of this :: apart :: from lyrics.

    Lyrics are optional.

    As a musician who crafts worship space, my job is to help myself and others return to a mindfulness of God’s abiding presence, to moment by moment be less distracted, to calm fears and dispel worries, to remind of and reinforce the fact that God is with us.

    My opportunity is to bring music and sometimes lyrics which tell stories, give ascent to the human condition… joy, sorrow, hope, disappointment, empowerment, all drawing on God and community to move and be moved into something deeper, something lasting which lets us all communicate soul to soul.

    If by the end of 5 songs, basically a 1/2hr, if I’ve been sensitive to God and the group, we’ve come from stress to peace and encouragement, affirming God and His work in our lives.

    …with a piano
    …with an organ
    …with voices
    …with drums & percussion
    …with bass
    …and yes, even with a guitar
    ( |o )====:::

  35. Alex says:

    Can’t really get around Servetus for the Calvins….can’t really get around “on Jews and their lies” for the Lutherites…can’t really get around all the non-accountability and corruption in Calvary Chapel for the CC guys.

  36. Alex says:

    But, every Group has its very ugly parts and pieces. No Group is immune, except maybe the Amish.

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

    Q: Why don’t the Amish water ski? A: Because the horses would drown.

  38. The Dude says:

    Martin Luther…. Donkey farts… just have to love the guy.

  39. pstrmike says:

    This is a good list. There are times that we have to wade through what we consider negative in order to develop a positive response. How much of the early father’s writings were titled “Against. _____________” ?

  40. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    Xenia, I would get why Michael didn’t link to the analysis I did of Sor’s charming Op. 29, etude 10 in E flat major as a fine example of sonata form in early 19th century guitar literature. 🙂 It’s not that I don’t have positive things to say, it’s that it tends to not get linked to in the Christian blogging world because it’s too esoteric.

  41. Personally, I think if someone had publicly used Luther’s language and insults against Mark Driscoll (insert the name of any pastor) early on, instead of using Wenatchee (insert the name of any investigative blogger) articles and tactics, the Mars Hills (insert the name of any impotent ministry) situation would have been settled years ago.

  42. Alex says:

    G, those memes are HILARIOUS! 🙂

  43. Kevin H says:

    Re: the Amish @ 36, they are not immune to problems either. While I have expressed before some admiration towards the way they live and conduct themselves, there are stories of corruption and the cover up of horrific crimes and abuse in their ranks. And I would also say the extent that is often taken on their accepted practice of shunning is evil in and of itself.

  44. “Most praise songs are developed to bring people into a certain mystical state.”

    A comment on my comment;
    Evangelical churches are more and more shifting towards mysticism. This is a religious movement that teaches it’s adherents that they can attain an immediate. direct, internal experience with the presence of God – this is done through the Praise songs … not just the music but the luring repetitive words.

    So when you go to an evangelical church, they are moving you towards this experience, this unity with God. It’s all about the experience, it’s all about the feel, the jumping, the swaying, the arms in air.

    And then this brings on pride, as the participants leave the service, the have the words on their lips – I was really moved / touched by God – God really took it to the next level. (I never figured out the different levels, but hey)

    One point to note – when they speak about being moved / touched by God or the part of God taking it to the next level – it is always about the music – I have never heard it about the preaching, but I think this has to do with the separation between worship time and teaching time.

    As a clarification – we face some of this in some Lutheran churches as pastors get blinded by the largess of the evangelical churches and say -“we should copy this.” and they give up the truth of the external word and sacraments.

  45. papiaslogia says:

    I hope you guys don’t mind me asking a question about being a Christian in the workplace? If you do mind, then go ahead and skip the rest of this post. 🙂

    I try to be the most positive person I can be while at my work. I try not to waste time (besides this blog) and act like I care about what I do.

    Then yesterday something happened that made me think, “Maybe I care too much about what happens at work and my job. Maybe I just need to act like I care, but really not.” You know, be all smiles with everyone and act like this is the best place to work ever – but deep down not give a care in the world. It seems to be the way you get ahead in business. If you are having a bad day – cover it up and smile, because if you show that you are upset then someone may use that against you.

    Then I was reading Eph 6 this morning: 5 Bondservants, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ, 6 not by the way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, 7 rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man, 8 knowing that whatever good anyone does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether he is a bondservant or is free. (ESV)

    So that started working on my heart right away. I am trying to trust that God is going to work something out of this, or if He doesn’t, then he wants to teach me something.

    So I guess my question is this: How are we supposed to act at work when things go bad?

  46. ThePsalmist says:

    Long time lurker, millinieal, and love the new podcast.

    I would like to respond to “Martin Luthers” comment regarding worship music inducing a mystical state in Christians.

    It sort of seems to me that you are poo pooing the importance of worship music among believers. As a young adult, I can say with no doubt that God has used worship groups like Hillsong United, Passion, and others to really ignite a fire and love for God in this generation.

    I still remember the time I went to my first Passion Conference (gearted towards 18-25 year olds) with Chris Tomlin and Louie Giglio, and I will definetly say that God used that moment to ignite my faith. Both the worship and the teaching.

    It is about God, and not just the music. But I will give you this, we need to be careful not to let worship music alone dictate whether we feel close to the Lord.

    That is just my two cents.

  47. xenia says:

    What’s wrong with [genuine] mysticism?

  48. Babylon's Dread says:

    “So I guess my question is this: How are we supposed to act at work when things go bad?”

    Way too many variables n the question… but

    1. We work unto the Lord not unto men
    2. We work to provide an honest living for our family and that should be something we defend
    3. We do not work to make the owners successful at all costs … sometimes we have to quitter say no

  49. xenia says:

    My enjoyment of fault-finding of other Christians and their churches and practices has comento a closenfor me. I have an EO friend who takes the One True Church thing to the extreme and I am sick of it. He criticizes and mocks everyone and I have had my fill.

    On our meals on wheels route, most of the clients are devout Christians, either Catholics or Baptists. When I enter their homes in the projects I usually find the Catholics watching the mass on TV or the Baptists doing their morning devotions. My friend would mock and crticize these people and this attitude has run its course for me.

  50. Babylon's Dread says:

    Thank you Xenia

  51. papiaslogia says:

    Thanks BD!

    And thanks for the prayers – God is working on the situation.

  52. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    ThePsalmist – Welcome aboard.
    “I would like to respond to “Martin Luthers” comment regarding worship music inducing a mystical state in Christians.”

    I didn’t say what you said. The music is USED by the evangelical leader to lead folks into a mystical state (read above what I said that sought after experience is) . And I was not speaking of all music … just the Praise Song genre. I am glad you brought up Hillsong as I think their “jumping” music is the most obvious of trying to conjure up the spirit.

    Again, welcome

  53. dswoager says:

    As far as the mysticism in praise music, I often think of the example of the prophets of Baal jumping around and cutting themselves to try to get Baal’s attention. There was a recent article somewhere asking the question of wether our worship is pagan… which is another good descriptor. I usually say something like the music is emotionally manipulative. I think that they are all talking about a similar phenomenon.

  54. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    thanks for bring the prophets of Baal into the picture. I was going to do the same but I did not want to be accused of running to the extremes.

  55. Alan says:

    “Why I quit the Praise Band” is perhaps the best article you’ve ever linked to, IMHO.

    Pure gold!!

  56. Alan says:

    Regarding the “liberals among the Lutherans”, here’s what I just can’t get. If these are the things Rev Becker believes and wants to see in church, there’s a very easy solution: Leave and go to the ELCA. the LCMS is quite clear on what they believe and always have been. Why do guys like Becker insist on trying to change what everyone else in the group believes?

    I stopped believing many things that my former church taught. So guess what? I left and went to a different one.

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