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47 Responses

  1. Michael says:

    If you want a preview of end times government…look no farther than Putin the murderous anti-Christ and the apostate Russian Orthodox Church as the demonized false prophet.

    No, I don’t give a damn who I offend…if you support either, you need offended.

  2. Captain Kevin says:

    Michael, regarding Putin and “his” church, I absolutely agree.

  3. Captain Kevin says:

    Driscoll…online influencer – I’m influenced to throw up right now.

  4. Captain Kevin says:

    A lover of cats and liberty. RIP Shep.

  5. Janet Linn, BrideofChrist says:

    The first article on ‘Middle Spaces’ is very good. It describes the exact process my husband and I experienced over a 5-year period as we slowly broke away from Calvary Chapel after 30 years of attendance there. The problem is, when some of the less extreme, less fundamentalist church members leave a church (or are driven away), the church is left with only the most extremist members and the church slowly becomes more and more rigid and legalistic. I started attending Calvary Chapel in 1975, at Mike McIntosh’s North Park Church, which was near SDSU. Calvary Chapel seemed less rigid and legalistic in the seventies, and it looked a lot more like the church portrayed in the recent Jesus People film starring a young Greg Laurie. We left Calvary about 8 years ago for a less rigid, less political Evangelical Church in our North Coastal San Diego area. My husband and I both voted Republican for 30 plus years, though I’ve always been a registered Independent voter. We’ve often remarked that the same thing seemed to happen to the Republican Party over the last ten years or so, with the most extremist Republicans driving out what they call ‘rhinos’ ( the more moderate Republicans) The result is a Republican Party today that looks nothing like our fathers’ Republican Party.

  6. Michael says:

    CK,

    That story of Shep did me in this morning…I follow a lot of the animal rescue people in Ukraine and they are overwhelmed.

  7. Michael says:

    Janet Linn, BrideofChrist,

    Mike Leake is a good writer…I like his pastoral heart.

    We are at the mercy of extremists on both sides…these are days of much noise and little governance…

  8. bob1 says:

    Really appreciate Mike Bird and this article. Wish I could read the whole thing. A very sobering yet necessary piece.

  9. Pineapple Head says:

    Driscoll is doing what I am often tempted to do (and fall into time to time). Rather than learn and grow from mistakes, he’s going back to the well of what he believes works. It’s just a retread of Mars Hill all over again. The governance structure of the church is a pretty good clue that he’s functioning from a place of protection. Every once in a while his short videos show up on some of my social media platforms. He’s in search of brand new audience using the same old tricks.

  10. Em says:

    Michael @9:am
    then there’s Joe Biden and his crew – another evil…… IMNSHO

  11. Officerhoppy says:

    For me the “Middle Spaces” speaks to my present state in my journey. Mike, the author, and I could have a very fun conversation on the subject

    Michael
    I really appreciate you posting the article

  12. Linn says:

    Driscoll-I don’t know why people look him up, see what a disaster Mars Hill was, and still want to give his current iteration a try. I almost think they get what they deserve. If they go in unknowingly, that’s a bit different.

    Nice vs. Kind-I appreciated this article. I spend time with my students distinguishing nice vs. kind, emphasizing that true kindness takes more self-sacrifice and thought. These are 4th and 5th graders, but I still see a difference in their actions when I talk about kindness with them.

    Chuck Smith-I never attended Calvary Chapel. I liked their music. As I found out more things about Chuck Smith (his infidelity), it concerned me. My local CC has a pastor that is pretty much a despot, so I’m still not interested.

  13. Kevin H says:

    I’ll copy and paste what I wrote about the Driscoll article on Facebook:

    A charismatic speaker… verse by verse teaching… entertaining music… fun and games for the whole family… a place to belong… a culture warrior… a macho man in the image of macho Jesus… a defier of masks and the government…

    A bully… an abuser… a narcissist… no accountability (one man over all)… intimidation and control… spirits and morale destroyed… a cult… family members cut off…

    We love that first list, so much so that we’re willing to overlook the second list, at least until those things on the second list come to get us, at which point it is too late.

    Mark Driscoll is the poster child, but it goes far beyond just him.  So much of our Christian culture loves the charismatic, entertaining, powerful leader that it’s willing to let such desires trump (pun intended) many things of greater importance.

    Mark Driscoll, John MacArthur, James MacDonald, and the list goes on and on from the worldly famous to sometimes even the pastor of the little church down the road who domineers his congregation.  So many stay in power, even grow their power, because it is what we want.

    “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions,” – II Timothy 4:3

  14. Steph says:

    Chuck Smith had a private pilot? Doesn’t fit the mold.

  15. Michael says:

    Em,

    The whole system is evil…broken.

  16. Em says:

    Michael, AMEN, AMEN< AMEN

  17. Eric says:

    Another angle on Christian leaders who hurt their flocks:
    https://stephenmcalpine.com/hey-leaders-lets-do-hard-christianthings/

    Looks like Christians on my side of the ocean have different attitudes to environmental issues than those in the US:
    https://www.ncls.org.au/articles/churchgoer-views-on-the-environment/
    https://www.ncls.org.au/articles/what-do-church-attenders-think-about-climate-change/

    We also don’t see the Church led astray by politics as much here, although we have plenty of our own problems.

  18. The New Victor says:

    Civil War at the grocery store. I agree that conservatives have gone off the deep end (and I needle and challenge my conservative friends such that they call me a Librul), but I’m also concerned that the mainstream thought is that the left hasn’t, despite the past few years. Robspierre met his end on the guillotine to which he sent many. Che Guevera similarly. I think that revolution doesn’t mean what you think it means. Right or Left.

  19. Pineapple Head says:

    Some thoughts on the Mars Hill debacle from the land down under. https://au.thegospelcoalition.org/article/enduring-lessons-from-the-rise-and-fall-of-mars-hill/?amp

  20. Terry says:

    That Middle Spaces article… I have friends whose teenage son came to them saying he was having doubts about his faith. So they grounded him. Needless to say, he went off to college and as far as I know never returned to the church.

    One other thought. When I was going through my “middle spaces”, I didn’t run around telling everyone about my questions. I quietly endured them, or shared them only with the safest, mature people I knew.

  21. Terry says:

    I know most people who find themself in a middle space handle it wisely. But its the ones who randomly tell everyone, or go on social media and make it their new cause, that make it troublesome. The draw to leave the faith, or become a far left progressive, becomes almost irresistible.

  22. Michael says:

    Terry,

    Lot of truth in what you wrote…I’ve seen lots of both.

    Hopefully, this is a safe space to ask those questions…

  23. Officerhoppy says:

    For some reason, I feel safe sharing my struggles with folks here. I have found both encouragement and exhortation from the folks here. I have also found like minded fellow travelers here. We are a body of believers not individuals

  24. bob1 says:

    The comments and links from our Australian brethren makes me hope we American believers will learn from and imitate them.

  25. Michael says:

    Officerhoppy,

    I think this is a good space.
    Sadly, some of that has been addition through subtraction…

  26. Michael says:

    bob1,

    I enjoy their comments also…usually very thoughtful…

  27. Terry says:

    Michael – This place is pretty safe, but my communicating skills might need finessing at times.

    After a decade of wrestling with “middle spaces”, it takes effort to extend grace to those who have never asked any questions of what they believe. Some of them never have and never will. They would hate me calling them “the weaker brother” from Corinthians, but there it is. I’m to love them and not cause them to stumble in their own walk. I’m forbidden from looking down on them.

  28. Dan from Georgia says:

    OfficerHoppy,

    I usually feel safe here sharing also, but then I don’t know everyone here personally so there is always a risk. Though I am glad a few individuals no longer post here…there I said it.

  29. Michael says:

    Terry,

    I could have written exactly what you wrote…that’s a good word and I’m glad you brought it.

    You are an excellent addition here…

  30. Michael says:

    Dan,

    The herd has thinned considerably…but I like the direction we’re headed…

  31. Dan from Georgia says:

    Michael, i am not sure how long i’ve been around here, but yes there has been ALOT people that have gone, but I still see a few here from the (my) beginning!

  32. Michael says:

    Dan,

    Since 2016 beginning with Trump, through Covid, to the present day we lost about three quarters of our readership.
    Many of them were people I called friends…many had supported us financially and prayerfully.

    It has hurt…not because of the numbers and support lost, but because of the fractured relationships.

    There were times I could have communicated with more clarity and grace…but the things we said, still had to be said.

    I thought we could have real conversations…but that day has passed.

    It looks like I’m going to do this as long as I’m able…but I won’t compromise on things that matter.

    I’m glad you’re here.

  33. Dan from Georgia says:

    Thank you Michael, and thank you for taking a hard and narrow path with this site and the folks here. I TOTALLY agree that some things needed to be said. Sadly, those same things still need to be said, but sometimes it seems like “throwing pearls before swine” (like my experience on another site).

  34. Michael says:

    Dan,

    I get it wrong a lot…but that’s why we need community.

    If we can strengthen a few folks that are trying to follow Jesus, it’s worth way more than having a bunch of people to argue with.

    I’ve had a bunch of positive feedback over the last couple of weeks offline…I’m good to go for a while longer and I enjoy sharing the ride with you and the folks we have here.

  35. Dan from Georgia says:

    That is what a good community does…sharpens us but also has a sense of really belonging and comfort. It leaves you feeling glad.

  36. Captain Kevin says:

    “It looks like I’m going to do this as long as I’m able…” Yay!

    “…but I won’t compromise on things that matter.” I wouldn’t expect anything less.

  37. Officerhoppy says:

    I was part of PxP in its hay day. We had a group here called “the night crew”. We posted long after Michael went to bed. Man it was one post after another til about 11:00.

    We were all pretty angry back then. I left for several years as the rigors of the ministry demanded my attention.

    I have been back a couple of years now. We get “riled up” once in a while but not like the early days

    I was an idiot back in those days! I’m still an idiot but not as much

    Michael has been and stays pretty consistent in his approach to things. He really wants accountability from Christian leaders. But I think he has become a little more balanced.

    I like all you guys and enjoy interacting and receiving from you as well as hearing different perspectives.

  38. Linn says:

    I’m not quite sure how I ended up here in the middle of COVID and conspiracy theories, but PP was an island of sanity in the midst of the chaos. I have felt safe and welcome here.

  39. Michael says:

    This is something like my 23rd year here…there were years during the “hey day’ that we had eight moderators at any given time and it was busy 24 hours a day.

    I don’t miss those days.

    It’s an honor to have people find some respite here and thoughtful conversations.

    I want to quit about every other day…but as in everything else, I’m not the boss.

    If the Lord can still use this site and me, I’m in.

  40. Dan from Georgia says:

    Linn,

    Well said. It seemed most Christian media outlets “jumped the shark” and went head on into the insanity, so coming here to PP has been refreshing…to know that there are others like me out there.

  41. Linn says:

    Dan From GA,
    I find it absolutely appalling how quickly Christians jump on conspiracy theories! I have friends who still haven’t returned from the dark side.

  42. Officerhoppy says:

    Those in the cult of Trump are impossible to reason with.

  43. Captain Kevin says:

    Hoppy, there were definitely some very heated exchanges back in the day. The Night Crew was a bit more light-hearted as I recall.

  44. Officerhoppy says:

    Kevin
    We had fun. But we also had a few heated discussions.
    Be cool if we could get the night crew together for an online reunion

  45. Captain Kevin says:

    That would be cool! Some of the crew would be hard to locate, and of course, Costco Cal is no longer with us.

  46. Dan from Georgia says:

    Linn and Officerhoppy. I didn’t want to delve to far into the garbage can, but I agree. There is something almost demonic (there, I said it) with how some are so far down the rabbit hole.

  47. Captain Kevin says:

    Dan, demonic for sure.

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