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60 Responses

  1. Linn says:

    So many great links…where to start?
    Keswick theology-the first years of my Christian life were steeped in it. My church preached the “higher life” and there was a yearly spiritual life conference, always with an altar call of dedication to a deeper spiritual life. What I eventually came away from is not so much the “higher life,” but much more about living in a consistent relationship with God.
    A LIfe Written in the Margins-as the Greatest Generation continues to fade away, it’s so important to remember their stories and what they fought for. They really did tear down an evil empire that might have consumed the whole year (and almost consumed the entire Jewish race).
    Last comment on Julie Roys (although so many of the other links were really good)-I’m not sanctioning the relationship she had, and how it ever got to print boggles my mind. But having had one discipling relationship in my own life almost get our of hand due to my own emotions and sense of responsibility towards that person running amok, I think that churches need to take more responsibility for helping volunteer staff deal with difficult situations. You are told to “care” for this person, and not much other guidance is given. The concerns you have for that person begin to take over your life, and no one is there to talk about boundaries, enabling, or needing to let natural consequences (for that person) take their course. i work with my church’s lay counseling program, and I’m responsible to document sessions, which are then submitted to my supervisor (and then kept confidential). The director is as concerned about me as he is concerned about the person I am helping.

    I also wonder if Watchkeep has some other kind of hidden agenda against Julie given that she doesn’t support the LGBTQ movement or the ordination of women. It just seemed strange to me that those comments keep coming up from the blog writer. I’ve always respected Julie for her excellent reporting on church issues. Her book does need to be addressed, but i don’t think it warrants the end of her writing/blogging career, either.

  2. Michael says:

    Linn,

    I think that Watchkeep thinks anyone who doesn’t fully support LGBTQ is abusive.

    I have some differences with Julie Roys, but her reports aren’t dependent on her character, but whether she gave the facts.

  3. Officerhoppy says:

    Speaking of theology, after several years of wrestling with sovereignty vs responsibility I have finally found a place where I am comfortable with the tension. As I move forward in life, making decisions, not knowing their outcome; I am Arminian. But as I turn around and look back on my life, where I am, and how I got here—I am a Calvinist!

    How’s that..hahaha

  4. Michael says:

    I’ve found that every attempt to systematize God fails….I let most things reside in mystery.

  5. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    For a, ahem, more affordable book for Kindle readers on sacred hip hop that’s already out …

    Holy Hip Hop in the City of Angels
    https://www.amazon.com/Holy-Angels-Music-African-Diaspora-ebook/dp/B077N83TBQ/ref=sr_1_1?qid=1651020857&refinements=p_27%3AChristina+Zanfagna&s=digital-text&sr=1-1&text=Christina+Zanfagna

    I admit I have only started into it and it’s way, way out of my wheelhouse as what I usually do is more contemporary chamber music and solo guitar music but some of my most enjoyable online exchanges have been with a music theorist advocating for hip hop who’s named Ethan Hein. So even if it’s not my favorite style I want to be as musically ecumenical as I can manage.

  6. Michael says:

    I don’t consider hip hop music…just a cultural scourge.

    I’m old…

  7. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    Decades ago when I or another relative complained about how bad some music at church sounded during a service my grandmother once smiled wryly and said “The Scriptures do talk about making a joyful noise unto the Lord”. She was more a fan of Duke Ellington than rap so we had that common musical bond even if my parents still can’t get what Grandma and I hear in Duke.

  8. bob1 says:

    DeRose is a heavy hitter, for sure.

  9. Steve says:

    The July Roy’s crosshairs is deeply concerning. I suspect there is more criticism to come for some of the other celebrity victim advocates as well before the Restore conference next month.

  10. Shaun says:

    Did anyone else find this section of the CHM article weirdly out of place?

    “While CHSMs may not have the same impact on our society overall as homeschooling and Christian schools, they nevertheless provide a preview of the kind of society the Christian Right seeks to remake America into if given the chance: one nation, under God, where white supremacist patriarchy reigns, public schools are gone or Christianized, and the “blessed” decide who is worthy of health care.”

  11. Michael says:

    Shaun,

    I haven’t read the article…just looked interesting.

  12. EricL says:

    Decent article on the Anaheim Vineyard disassociating with Vineyard USA. This week the church purged their website, taking on the name Dwelling Place Anaheim. The Scotts succeeded in taking over a huge facility- I hope they use it for the Lord and not their own glory.

    As for the many Vineyard congregants left behind, they have scattered to some Vineyard church plants nearby. Sad event, more so for those of us who are middle-aged and above who remember that congregation’s hehdays.

  13. Michael says:

    Churches that embrace progressive theologies about sexuality are going under…this is just the latest example…

    https://julieroys.com/latest-presbyterian-church-usa-declines-reflect-decade-long-trends/

  14. Dan from Georgia says:

    Michael,

    So when I click the link for this faith healer…the image I was confronted with immediately confirmed who it’s really about, and it isn’t our Lord.

  15. Michael says:

    Dan,

    Exactly…

  16. Reuben says:

    Having been a student of Winber for a long time before I burnt out and ran to a worse dumpster fire called Calvary Chapel, I know for a fact he is spinning at 1000 rpm in his grave.

  17. Michael says:

    Reuben,

    I would guess so…although toward the end he was desperate to see the stuff too…

  18. Reuben says:

    Here is the thing though. Wimber emphatically believed in the work of thee Holy Spirit, which clearly did not happen here. This was simply payback for drawing members away.

  19. Dread says:

    The Anaheim Vineyard was an independent church in the free church tradition as per local governance. Vineyard has been in the process of routinization for 30 years. Even John Wimber noted that the ‘revival’ years had 10-15 years of life. After that he knew tradition would outpace mission.

    When a denomination is getting birthed it is on mission. When it gets established survival becomes the mission. Anaheim had been in decline for 25 years. Alan Scott was called in to ‘revive’ it. He did. Now he has ventured out on mission not to establish more denominational hubs.

    John did likewise in 1982. When he went out from CC he took the heart of the up and coming music ministry/industry. He was considered a villain. Scott and Riddle once again filled the church. For whatever reason they led an autonomous church to dis-align.

    Bless him and them and bless Vineyard USA — the model they use allows this step.

  20. Reuben says:

    Dread,

    The music was not ever the only thing. Chuck could not stand outbursts of the Holy Spirit, Wimber welcomed it. You have mechanized something that simply did not happen. Vineyard Music was a byproduct of leaving CC.

  21. Reuben says:

    For the record, I was a “Son Of Thunder” according to James Ryle, the baton was literally handed to me in his church, I am more than close to this. I led worship at Anaheim more times than I can remember.

  22. Dread says:

    Rueben

    The music came straight from those that Gullicksen had gathered. Wimber received them when he received the lead of the churches that Gullicksen named.

    I am very well aware of the charismatic divide between Chuck and John. Lonnie Frisbee was the catalytic spark in both groups. It was 1980 that Frisbee exploded a bomb at Anaheim the way he had in Costa Mesa a dozen years earlier.

    I’m not making the music to be the issue. But the music as a cash cow was indeed the offense that was raised later by Fromm and others.

    And John was considered a pirate for the conference he had in 1982 right after the infamous split at the April gathering at Lake Arrowhead convened by Smith.

    One year later Smith wrote Charisma vs Charismania. So I know what the fight was over. And I know that ultimately the battle coalesced over other things.

  23. Reuben says:

    I also had the anointing lifted from me in the same church. It caused more trauma than ten years of therapy can resolve. I merely asked why a pastor claimed the anointing had lifted from the church, why he felt god had left. Literally, I was blacklisted on the spot.

  24. Dread says:

    And Rueben

    You’d have a hard time distancing from the “son of thunder” moniker.

  25. Reuben says:

    Charisma vs Charismania was an outright McCarthyism of Communism, you know this.

  26. Dread says:

    *Sorry Reuben

  27. Dread says:

    Reuben

    Im not sure what you mean other than it was an intentional smear by Chuck.

  28. Reuben says:

    I mean it was a smear to justify lies, wars, and absolute separation. A further division of Christianity, which Christianity does…

  29. Reuben says:

    I literally submitted to EMDR over the “Sons Of Thunder” prophesy. I would have gone even further had it not subsided the pain.

  30. Dread says:

    Reuben

    EMDR is a gift of God for healing and quite a blessing. But thou thunderest and trembling follows. I don’t mean that as a criticism.

  31. JimmieT says:

    Dread-Reuben-Michael,
    It seems to me that each of you know “some” of the history of the Vineyard/Calvary Chapel/Wimber/Smith story but not nearly enough to be quoted. Don McClure knows more than anyone about this history so he would be your best resource.

  32. Michael says:

    JimmieT,

    The fact is that I was close friends with the only man who was there at the beginning of both movements and we were in the process of putting the whole history down on tape…Tom Stipe forgot more about the beginning and end of both movements than Don McClure ever knew

    I believe Dread did his doctoral dissertation on this subject and I know for a fact that he interviewed all the major players…because I talked to a couple of them right after he did…

  33. Dread says:

    The 1982 meeting called by Smith has been an area of fascination with me for many years. I allowed that interest to fall silent. Chuck Fromm wrote about it extensively in his Doctoral Thesis on the Routinization of Charisma he’s gone now, Stipe told me about the meeting he is gone too. Bill Ritchie and a couple others indicated that Wimber attempted a coup of Smith at that meeting. I have not been able to verify it. What we know for sure is that Wimber and Stipe left in separate cars but noted to one another that their take on the meeting was that a new denomination had been born.

    The history of these things is filled with intriguing details. I am now wondering with no small amount of interest as to exactly why Scott and his elders left Vineyard USA.

    I know this, it has unleashed a torrent of scorn check the letters on this link

    vineyardanaheim.wordpress.com

  34. Michael says:

    Dread,

    I’ve never heard the palace coup theory…any damn fool knew that palace was impenetrable…

  35. Dread says:

    Michael

    🤔😆😆😆😆🤣🤣🤣😂

  36. Bob Sweat says:

    Wimber also caused division in the Friends Church. He was dismissed from Yorba Linda Friends Church. Several Friends pastors left with him. Bob Fulton was one. I know that Bob was still at the Vineyard on La Palma when I was living in Yorba Linda in 2004.

  37. EricL says:

    With Anaheim Vineyard it is sad that the congregation had no voice in the decision and not even a warning. They weren’t told until after the Scotts severed the Vineyard tie completely. The pastor, acting like he rules it all, made the decision and his handpicked board (controlled by the Scotts and Riddles) concurred. That is the way of pastor-warlords and I don’t think that’s healthy at all.

    I think the Lord can do good things from this mess, especially in freeing Vineyard USA of a past that they can never relive. It might just spur them into far greater growth like what has been happening with the Vineyard overseas.

  38. Dread says:

    Yeah I don’t buy into that at all. There was not much of a congregation when the Scotts arrived. Anaheim was in decline for 25 years. Correct me if you have other info.

    There is nothing sad about the absence of congregational rule. What’s sad is it’s presence. The congregation had a say for all those years of decline. They left. They can leave again.

    Building centered churches build cathedrals. Free churches occupy spaces. There’s a whole issue to debate. It’s not that simple of course I know.

    I think the Scott’s acted just like Wimber did in his day. The congregation did not “have a say” then either.

    I know this is poking the bear —

  39. EricL says:

    Dread,
    You’re not wrong about Vineyard Anaheim’s decline in numbers. With the Scotts arrival that turned around, and that was a good thing. (The Vineyard presence here in SoCal has almost vanished over these last few decades- unlike its growth in the Midwest.)

    Nonetheless, the Scotts showed immaturity in how they handled their maneuvering. I don’t think it was done just like Wimber because at least Wimber sought to be blessed in his leaving, where the Scotts just walked out. They are alike in not consulting the people- but it is one thing to do that with a new congregation that only knows you as their leader, and its another thing to do that with a congregation that was already established and had its own history apart from you. Unfortunately, they are hundreds who were hurt by this, but I’m not one of them. I hadn’t visited that particular church in almost 30 years.

  40. Dread says:

    The people who look worst are those who rushed to condemn and to call them thieves and robbers. The existing leadership of the Vineyard movement wasted no time letting us know how evil this is. This is nothing but the pure reality of a church tradition that favors independent autonomous entities voluntarily aligning. It is the game of mergers and acquisitions. It may be intrinsically ugly but for my taste it is not uglier than the opposite…

    Churches align with denominations that over time abandon the moral codes and theological doctrines that molded them together. When local churches dissent they are controlled by title deed reversion clauses. The local people paid for the buildings, kept their faith, kept their moral codes and got abandoned

    If Anaheim were anything other than the Vineyard flagship church this would be a blip on the screen.

    The ugliness heaped upon the church leadership is its own poison.

    Time will unfold this but everyone knows that John Wimber would not recognize the family he birthed. His kind is unique and they carry charisms that make it virtually assured the future will not preserve the past.

    Frankly none of us knows what has fostered this step. I have waited a couple months for some clarifying word. None is likely to emerge. It will be interesting to watch the outcome of this bold and yet, offensive move.

  41. Em says:

    Wasn’t Sridhar Nixon a Quaker? ? ? 😁

  42. Em says:

    Srichar? Richard! ! ! Someday ill remember to proofread before hitting “post.”

  43. EricL says:

    Dread,
    I’ll have to disagree with you about the Vineyard leadership. I don’t know what they might have said behind closed doors, but what they’ve posted at Vineyard USA’s site has been open and reasonable.

    I did hear claims of theft from some of the old-timers of the movement, especially from those who were part of Anaheim’s original congregation. Folks like John’s widow Carol and the Fultons. They aren’t part of the movement’s leadership anymore, although they are still respected by many.

    You are right that if this had been any other Vineyard church, it would have been a mere blip on the screen. Instead, it is somewhat comparable to Costa Mesa’s break with the Calvary Chapel Association.

    Wimber would recognize the family he birthed, but after 25 years, they do look different from before. Some are thriving, some not. But 25 years isn’t that huge a gap. There are still many in Vineyard ministry that knew Wimber personally, including my own pastor who was a kid during those early years.

  44. EricL says:

    Em,
    Richard Nixon was a Quaker. There’s a strong community of them in Yorba Linda, where Nixon grew up. That city has the only mega-sized Friends congregation in the country. It is the same church that the original Wimber group came out of.

  45. Babylon's Dread says:

    Eric

    My comment about leadership included those you mentioned. When I heard this in late Feb the online Vineyard pastor chatter was vitriolic including some blogs. Pathak has been measured but the articles are pretty unanimously casting aspersions.

    None of us knows what has happened so I am not defending Scott on other than principle.

    Why do you think that Vineyard resembles its pre1995 self?

    I think it is fair to say that Vineyard began in a charismatic renewal then recoiled from another charismatic renewal in Toronto.

    Since 1995 the efforts to return to their roots have all fallen short of hopes… Vineyard is mostly an evangelical church with a charismatic beginning. Is it not? That’s what I mean about Wimber. This Vineyard is not what he founded it to be. But he was cognizant of those inevitable processes.

    What am I missing?

  46. EricL says:

    Dread,
    I was involved with the Vineyard in the late 80s and early 90s and was even an elder at a Vineyard church plant. I attended quite a few Sunday evenings at Anaheim, since they were 1-2 hours away, depending on traffic.

    I didn’t return to the Vineyard until about 6 years ago and now my wife and I are in the process of becoming a church planters with them. So obviously, we’ve found things we like about this tribe.

    Is it different from my first round with them? Yes, but I would still call the Vineyard charismatic evangelicals. Some churches are more charismatic than others, but all at least claim an allegiance to the “radical middle” as Bill Jackson called it.

    My wife and I feel there is room for us under this tent which sits at the overlap of “charismatic” and “evangelical”. They are accepting of us and are eager to see us succeed.

    We’ve joined with them because we wanted support and accountability in our desire to church plant, and we have that with them.

  47. Dread says:

    That’s a good word. I wish you every blessing.

  48. Officerhoppy says:

    Just caught. (By accident—I was driving) a piece of a sermon by Jack Hibbs. What a fear monger!

    Then I caught a piece by the Wretched Radio guy. What a piece of work he is. Several months ago, he used a piece of art on his TV program in a negative way that was painted by my brother for a dramatic piece called “The Faces of Easter”. It was without my brother’s permission. He is a devoted Christian who often donates his gift to further the gospel and promote justice. I wrote the Wretched Radio guys several times about the matter—no response. All I wanted was a simple apology. But nothing. Not a damn thing.

    I love and serve the Lord as best I can, but it’s his followers than make it difficult.

  49. Dan from Georgia says:

    Officerhoppy…

    Man, so sorry that happened with you and your brother. I paint and I would HATE for someone to hijack my art for their own dumb narrative. Art is a very personal creation and activity and is held dear to the creator.

    I KNEW that Wretched Radio program sounded familiar. I am somewhat familiar with it’s host Todd Friel….going way WAY back to the late 1990s/early 2000s when Todd had a radio program locally in Minneapolis, MN. Actually spoke with him on the phone 2 times…once when I was working at a TV station in Minny, and he was trying to contact a local well-known personality to get said personality on his radio show for a bit called “Explain yourself mister!” – basically a bit trying to find out where someone stood spiritually.

    Back then I didn’t have much of an opinion either way about Todd Friel. I know one time they were raising money for building homes somewhere in Central America. I called in to donate money, and never heard from Todd or the radio program about where to send $ to. I know Todd eventually aligned himself with Ray Comfort for a time.

    That sucks when our fellow believers don’t make themselves available for correction when a complaint arises.

  50. victorious says:

    Re: Vineyard
    Think what you want or call me what you want but I am planting within the Vineyard and in the interim while Sunday mornings are open , consider it a privilege to and will drive 90 minutes to have hands laid on me and prayed for by those who are gathering in backyards and moving through the anger stage of mourning and rediscovering the blessing of Jesus among them.

    Bob Fulton may not be a part of the Vineyard USA National leadership but he is an 81 year old church planter sacrificing to see Jesus healing released among those precious to Him . It was a privilege to share a simple meal with him and a few others recently.

  51. pstrmike says:

    vic,

    I watched a portion of the last Vineyard conference in AZ last Fall, it seems to me that they are on a good trajectory. I would have preferred Vineyard, but I know my church was better suited for the SBC. Perhaps one day in different place, although I am also at peace if that never becomes a reality.

    Praying that you do well, are led and empowered by the Holy Spirit. Would love to hear of your progress, and you know how to contact me. Blessings……

  52. pstrmike says:

    Bob S,

    I didn’t know that Yorba Linda Friends showed Wimber the door, and that other Friends pastors followed him. That sheds some light.

    Years ago I was talking with a friend who was once a Vineyard pastor and then became CC. He told me about a conversation he had with Chuck Smith about Wimber, and he said that Smith told him, in essence, you have to remember that Wimber was Quaker before he became CC. I’ve always thought that while the Quakers could become similar in the expression as charismatics (hence the name Quaker), my experience is that they are much more contemplative and much less charismatic. Almost every video or writing of Wimber would tell me he was charismatic to the core, and there was very little of contemplativeness in his teaching. Of course, I cannot say what his personal practice was about.

  53. Dread says:

    Wimber’s Quaker beginnings are not altogether informative. He came into it as an adult in the natural processes of seeking God. His mentors happened to be Quakers. It was inevitable that Wimber would leave given his trajectory toward the gifts of the Spirit.

    There are few things more unrelenting than charismatic intrusion into bodies of faith and few things more guaranteed than institutional resistance to perpetuating the charismata.

  54. pstrmike says:

    But neither can you discount the Quaker influence either. What’s that old saying, “those who get a hold of you first have the most influence over you?”

    I had an interesting conversation last night with someone who knew Wimber (and some of the others) during his time at Yorba Linda Friends, but I will let him tell his own story. There is definitely a connection between what the Friends were about back then and a charismatic stream (one of many, but I don’t have to tell you that) that came forth from that group.

    Having spent time with Quakers and having a different experience with them than the classical charismatic charismata, I’d love to explore those connections and possibly see where the streams, if in fact they did, diverge.

  55. victorious says:

    @pstrmike and @pstrdread
    re:Quaker influences. Don’t forget Carol Wimber.

  56. pstrmike says:

    Speaking of Carol Wimber: An Open Letter to (what was then) Vineyard Anaheim board.

    https://vineyardanaheim.wordpress.com/home/carol-wimbers-letter-to-vas-board/

  57. JimmieT says:

    I remember Carol well- was sadden at the loss of John as so many were. Remembering all the taco salads we enjoyed after Sunday services.
    Remembering the day John was ordained by Don McClure as a Calvary Pastor. I was perplexed by a concern of should I or should I not extend my own pastoral call to a community about 20 miles away from my own church? John’s council was “go to where the people are”. So now I opened my church at 8:00am finished by 9:30 am; drove the 20 miles to Running Springs for my 10:00am service.

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