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144 Responses

  1. This link would be better for the Issues 24 – it will just stay on the programs where your link will add new shows and eventually push them off the page.

  2. Michael says:

    I’ll change it…thanks.

  3. Xenia says:

    I am a big fan of both men in the first link. I love ’em both.

    A little background as to why this article is a break with the past. Until recently, the Orthodox Church used to dialogue with other churches that in olden days seemed to be the closest in belief and practice. That would be the Anglicans and some Lutherans. But as these groups fell into apostasy, there wasn’t much point in continuing the conversation because certain things just aren’t up for grabs and there’s no point in dialoging about them.

    The Evangelicals were never really on the Orthodox radar for a long time because they are just too too different (and there’s still a vast ocean of differences between us that are not up for grabs) but in the area of morality, the Russian church believes it has found common cause with evangelicals. So, they are talking. They aren’t talking about doctrine, they are talking about joining forces in the battle against immorality. I can’t tell you how surprised and delighted I was to see that photo of Billy Graham and Met. Hilarion (of Russia).

    Met. Hilarion, by the way, is a genius. He is the face of Russian Orthodoxy, probably surpassing Patriarch Kyrill in his influence. He composes classical music, writes books about Orthodoxy, and is a regular energizer bunny. I had the privilege of meeting him a few years ago. He is a very small man, physically.

    Right now in Ortholandia there is a scandal involving an essay a priest in Boston wrote on a semi-official diocesan blog dedicated to youth. It was a study in ambiguity but *seemed* to be saying that the Orthodox Church needs to “rethink” its traditions on marriage, beginning and ending of life, human sexuality, etc.” Since this author has some history behind him, everyone knew was he was hinting at. The response was strongly negative, to put it mildly. The comment section of that blog immediately filled up with over 70 comments, mostly from priests who signed their full names, critical of the article. Next day, the offensive article was removed and his bishop wrote some mush in its place. Sure, he linked to a page that affirmed the traditional EO teaching on homosexuality but the rest of his essay was pure mush, at a time when young people need to hear the truth proclaimed loud and clear, not obfuscated.

    Then all the comments were removed.

    This caused another uproar. On the whole, the entire debacle was heartening because EO priests all over the country stood up and said NO WAY! So darkness has been beaten back for a while and the Episcipalization of the American Orthodox Church has been avoided, at least for now.

    Then Met. Hilarion spoke very clearly on the topic, without the ambiguity that liberals love so much. God bless him.

    I bring all this up for the sake of fairness. On this blog I’ve said some negative things about other religious groups but we have our troubles, too and it only seemed fair to take the opportunity of the first link to make mention of it.

  4. Steve Wright says:

    I will be interested to read part two on the corporate church. However, it should be noted (and maybe he will in part two) there is absolutely nothing stopping anyone from organizing as “a church” and not a 501c3. I did just that in my first church, (after serving with CC Costa Mesa), said church being a new plant.

    There is much to say on the issue, and I have plenty of input in that regard from personal experience, but simply put for now – why would one handwring over something that, for lack of a better term, is optional….but again, maybe I need to read part two first.

    Don’t like the connection to a so-called corporate model…then don’t do it. Problem solved.

  5. Andrew says:

    Steve, if you weren’t a 501c3 were you organized as a for-profit organization or something completely different?

  6. Steve Wright says:

    We were “a church”….and there are a lot of problems and issues being organized simply as “a church” but not the ones most people usually think of (i.e. deducting tithes or liability)

  7. Andrew says:

    What were the issues and problems?

  8. Steve Wright says:

    The issues and problems for the most part did not arise in our case because we began and remained very small for the 3 years of our existence. However, if for example we were the size and scope of the church I pastor now, there would be all sorts of issues when it comes to the business dealings of the church in order to keep individual people separate and/or irrelevant to its function (i.e. there needs to be someone in the office of President, but that person can change at the will of the church, as opposed to that particular person being essential when it comes to the non 501c3)

    Now, if there is a reader who pastors or serves in a large church, that is not 501c3, I would be interested to hear of some of their solutions/experiences in dealing with such things as owning property, getting loans etc.

  9. Andrew says:

    Steve, you point out one very good reason why I think smaller is many times better when it comes to church life. I’m not knocking large churches but the church growth movement of the last few decades is fraught with problems.

  10. Steve Wright says:

    Smaller may be better, but I don’t know that renter is ever better than owner.

  11. Andrew says:

    Depends. Reality seems we are all renters. Even when you own out right, you still end up paying property tax or at a minimum maintenance costs. I have come to the conclusion, I don’t own anything. It all belongs to God. We just a steward of various things He entrusts to us.

  12. Jonathon Merrit’s Double Standard article, was whiny, self-serving, and heavy on playing the victim. Other than that, it was OK 🙂

  13. Steve Wright says:

    Churches don’t pay property tax, but I see your point. My concern is that any landlord at any time can decide to sell his property, or he dies and the heirs sell it. Or he keeps raising rents, his insurance company tells him he can’t rent to churches anymore etc.

    Ownership is control. Yes, it all belongs to God. HE is the One in control. But I like not having a 3rd party as the middleman too. 🙂

  14. Andrew says:

    Steve, I always liked this quote from Brother Yun the story of the Heavenly Man that was a house church leader in China. I don’t agree with him on everything but I think he has a lot of insight with this that is worth noting:

    “When I’m in the West I see all the mighty church buildings and all the expensive equipment, plush carpets and state-of-the-art sound systems. I can assure the Western church with absolute certainty that you don’t need any more church buildings. Church buildings will never bring the revival you seek… Jesus truly stated, ‘A man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.’ Luke 12:15”

  15. Jean says:

    I thought the article about the corporate model of church was more about the mentality of the organization than its legal structure.

  16. Steve Wright says:

    Again, Andrew, I hear you. We support work in Romania. Our missionary family has reach in three different villages. One of those villages they own land, and they meet under the trees on Sundays….until of course they have to basically shutdown for several months during the freezing winters. (They usually stick it out when it rains during the spring or summer and get wet)

    They need a building. I hope one day for us to build it for them.

    A building does not need plush carpeting and expensive equipment. Walls and a roof and a door works pretty good. And I don’t know a pastor yet who looks to his building as the source of revival. I see ours as a place for Christians to get out of 105 degree heat and worship God.

    And again, I would rather own, than rent that building.

  17. Steve Wright says:

    Jean, what would that mentality be?

  18. Jean says:


    The author made these points:

    “The corporation does not work very well for purposes that are unpopular, unprofitable and impractical. The corporate blueprint has pushed us toward treating the gospel as a product, turning our ministries into businesses and people into consumers.”

    This is more of a mentality than something intrinsic to a non-profit corporation. So I think a church could be organized as a non-profit corporation and still maintain a Kingdom focus. However, I can see how the “corporate” mentality may have infiltrated the thinking of some churches.

  19. Jean says:

    In a letter by one of the board members of Mars Hill Church recommending a raise for MD, you may recall that one of the justifications for the raise was that under his leadership membership increased by X% or X# of people. This is an example of a corporate blueprint running a church.

    On the other hand, for all but the smallest churches, responsible stewardship might dictate a non-profit corporate legal structure.

  20. Em says:

    over time i have come to the view that the achilles’ heel of the corporate model – in any context – is that, in order to keep your position, you must make the person immediately above you look good (unless you’re extremely sneaky and smart and planning to take his place over his dead body)… the result is that at the top of the heap are a small, exclusive group of deluded people who think their plan is being carried out successfully until the bitter end… pretty soon your product is junk… and then? the government has to bale you out… BUT churches don’t get baled out…

  21. Steve Wright says:

    Jean, I see that quote but the whole tenor of the article to me was the structure aspect…but as I said earlier, admittedly the article is very short and there is second part coming.

  22. Em says:

    perhaps i should have been clear in #20 that my understanding of the corporate model is that it is a way of doing business – not the same as, and distinct from, using incorporation as a legal tool
    so my comment, while applying to large, expanding churches, IMV, may not have been relevant to what is being discussed here…

  23. Jtk says:

    Steve Wright,

    Thanks for sharing.

  24. Jtk says:

    So I made the mistake (?) of looking up Mark Driscoll’s brief speech post-resignation in Texas….about the stones being thrown at his family, helicopters, death threats.

    Is that true?

    WtheHatchet (or others), do you believe that is a lie? A misrepresentation?

    I’ve read some of posts from that website but couldn’t get through that much.

  25. Concerning the “dones.”

    Most of you in here ( and the eyeballs that also come here but do not comment) are done in my opinion.

    That is why your here, your done and this is about as much church as you want or can handle.

    And even some who come in here every-so-often are really done.

    They check out this place to see if anything interesting and/or new is brewing like in the days of the inception of this place; hoping to read something that can un~done them.

    A lot of the “Jesus People” are done and were done a long time ago.

    I myself was done a very long time ago.

    Yes there are a handful here who are up front and very engrossed in where the dones’ came from, but even they can see that your truly done.

    The power and the manifested presence of the full essence of the complete Almighty God Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit can abolish the “done” in all of these people in one split second of time!

    This is what is missing.

    This is what must be sought after.

    Man’s structures and parameters don’t cut it anymore, the “dones” need the real of God…or else they are done…

  26. Jtk says:

    I’m undone:

  27. Jean says:

    That was a powerful message!!

  28. david,
    “The power and the manifested presence of the full essence of the complete Almighty God Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit can abolish the “done” in all of these people in one split second of time! ”

    I have never been ‘done’ (and that is not of my own doing) and I don’t doubt some have been – but where was the “the full essence of the complete Almighty God Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit” in the interim?

    I assume in your “Jesus People” time you had it and then at a time of for the lack of a better term when you were no longer ‘done’ you had it again … where did it go in between?

    Now I am 65 and did not become Christian until I was 32 – so I never did the Jesus people stuff and I don’t have my 40 yr hash marks yet – is it like a spiritual mid life crisis that I need to watch out for?

    I am guessing that when you say done you are talking not about leaving the faith, but ‘done’ with the church shenanigans – am I close?

  29. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    Jtk, it’s true the Driscolls moved three times in the last fourteen years but Driscoll used the word “season” in a rather broad way. He collapsed a series of events that longtime members could identify as having happened over the course of a deacon into a “season” that people in Texas would probably inferentially collapse into the span of just a few months in their hearing of the stories. The rock throwing incident was reported but evidence of the event was not obtainable by the time the police report got filed so it’s a little open-ended. Given the level of animus Driscoll managed to inspire in his William Wallace II days, however, it’s not impossible to imagine someone got really upset or that maybe some people played an unfortunate and juvenile prank.

    The media did not publish the Driscoll address to the best of my knowledge. Driscoll would have to establish which member of “the media” published the address and by his own historic definition a blogger doesn’t count. Publishing that Driscoll bought a house in Woodway is not the same as publishing the actual physical residential address but the crowd Driscoll was addressing may not have cared about those distinctions.

  30. Q says:


    I think Tony may have embellished his story, he went to K-mart and purchased kray paper…

    I do get the point, God loves us more than we can even come close to comprehending, but probably should reject embellishing for the sake of social issues, or any other, Paul rejected it, maybe I’m wrong about Tony embellishing.

    It did pull on my heart.

  31. Q says:


    I re-watched. I think he may have made up most of this story.

    Will the real Harry and 39 yr old Agnes please stand up?

  32. Q says:

    Campolo kind of told that story like Rodney Dangerfield, except Rodney Dangerfield would look at his audience once in a while.

  33. Andrew says:

    The consubstantiation talk on issues ect. was very good. I have been a Christian a long time but I never heard this stuff explained this way before.

  34. JTK says:

    Thanks, WtheHatchet.

    What motivates you to stay on this story, to chronicle all these minute details?

  35. Jim says:

    In 21st Century America, there’s nothing wrong with being a “done”. The author did a good job of explaining what we are done with, and why.

  36. MLD,

    Am 63 received salvation at 17.

    Been walking with God ever since.

    Slipped and slided a bit early on until I got throught that initial period of getting to know what God’s will is for us as explained by the various Bible teachers I sat under.

    I used to find myself looking at my watch and wondering when the guy up front of us was going to finish at times because he was boring me.

    Then I hit a period of wondering why we were always made to feel as if all of us were really messed up and the guy up front would always tell us what we needed to be doing to fix it.

    If anyone is familiar with Raul Reese (CC) then you would know exactly what I mean here.

    After having attended the same church for decades I came to realize that inspite of all of the teaching from the pulpit no one was actually changed or changing.

    Eventually the pastors son confronted me because I felt his dad was only giving lip service to the gifts of the Holy Spirit but would never actually allow them to be exercised in the church.

    The son told me that perhaps I should leave, ( standard line by the inner circle to anyone who questioned how they operated) , and go start your own church.

    So I left and never looked back.

    I do visit a church every now and then, (not that church), but nothing there seems to resonate with me.

    I think I come here because people are actually allowed to open up and share what is important to them without reprisal.

    MLD, if you read the article about being “done” that the link lead us to, you would understand the definition of being done as used in the article.

    The “Done” have not left faith in Christ, only the churches and organizations, they are done with them and not Christ.

    Most of the original people who got saved around me so long ago are still walking with God. Greg Laurie being one of them.

    He got saved , in our Bible fellowship out on the lawn on a Friday at Harbor high school when Lonnie Frisbee was our guest speaker that day.

    Billy Graham has said that most people who get saved at 17 years old remain saved for their entire lives.

    I think in our case he was right, only I am done with church, and not the Church.

    I love God’s people.

    I love walking in the Spirit and I love divine appointments, but I don’t love church.

  37. Xenia says:

    After having attended the same church for decades I came to realize that inspite of all of the teaching from the pulpit no one was actually changed or changing.<<<

    That is EXACTLY the reason I converted to Orthodoxy.

  38. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    jtk, I guess the simplest explanation is that I was there for ten years and living in Seattle has meant there’s no way to not be around people who go there or have gone there. It seemed necessary for someone to document things as accurately as possible so that there was a chance to see what was going on. Throw in three years of no job and a journalism degree collecting dust and it providentially seemed as though what I could do to “redeem” the time was preserve as accurately and as thoroughly as possible what had gone on and was going on at Mars Hill and ask questions.

    Not sure if that explains it more but I’m a little under the weather lately and will probably sign off for now.

  39. Ah…so I guess my statement resonated with you Xenia?

    It takes a very honest person to look at reality and to throw off the conditioning to pretend all is well.

    So Glad Orthodoxy resonates with you!

  40. david,
    Thanks for your story, but … I guess I was more interested in your statement ““The power and the manifested presence of the full essence of the complete Almighty God Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit can abolish the “done” in all of these people in one split second of time! ”

    If the ‘done’ are described as not left the faith but only the church – how is the Holy Spirit going to abolish the ‘done’ in all of these people in one split second of time! ”?

    Wouldn’t that mean that the ‘done’ would no longer be done and be back in the church?

  41. Steve Wright says:

    Imagine a person who is so hungry that he steals, only to get caught, arrested and booked.

    If someone had offered that man some food, all of that would have been avoided.

    My point? This notion that anyone can judge the “change” of a person, and from that judgement make a further judgement that all the teaching of the word of God was in vain.

    Because the simple fact is that nobody except God (and maybe though not always the individual) knows the sort of life choices that might be made if the person was not regularly sowing to the Spirit through the listening and reading of the word of God, through the worship of God in the fellowship of the saints.

    I know this, while certainly not a guarantee, we can agree that the person who backslides and even apostasizes from the faith at some point stopped going to church and got out of the word.

    But no clue how many people DON’T go back to the old life of drugs, booze, imprisonment (surely you know many folks delivered from such things by the Lord..that’s quite a change right there) How many don’t abandon the wife and kids etc. – even if some people who do go to church each week also end up doing those things (or some who are “done” still keep the faith and live a good life) How many people don’t give that Mormon or JW at the door any serious consideration because they have been taught and they know the truth.

    But most of all, where does it say the church service is the place designed by God to “change” people in any visible noticeable way? I believe in progressive sanctification, growing in Christlikeness. But how exactly is that quantitatively measured when the terminal cancer patient in the congregation is encouraged through God’s word in the love of God and the purpose and plan of God, and that the grave is conquered thanks to our Savior? What change should we expect to see? And how would we mere mortals know it is a change at all if we don’t have the omniscience to know what the alternative would have looked like?

  42. Xenia says:

    Davidsurfer, yes, your post definitely resonated with me.

  43. Xenia says:

    For myself, I was at the point that when my old pastor announced to the congregation that he was going to spend the next few years taking us through the book of Romans again I almost stood up and screamed “NOooooo!”

    Not that there’s anything wrong with St. Paul’s Epistle to the Romans, mind you!

  44. Steve Wright says:

    Xenia, a sincere question I’ve been meaning to ask you for awhile. Asked with respect.

    Do you ever learn anything at your Orthodox church these days?

    (I know you are an incredibly studied woman, who often gets book recommendations and sits under Orthodox teachers and/or priests. I know you learn under Orthodoxy.)

    But I mean just on the average Sunday. Is there anything that takes place as part of your worship service that is actually a teachable moment? And not a moment of God speaking to you about your life or person.


  45. Q says:


    Most of what I hear on Sundays is a teaching moment to correct what was said. I didn’t listen to your teaching posts on here so not talking about you.

    Xenia, probably has a different experience.

  46. Steve Wright says:

    Q, I guess the idea behind my question is that when we eat, we do not always eat something we have never tasted before, but we still are nourished. And the longer we have lived (and eaten) the rarer it will be to dine on something we have never tried even once in our lives. But someone who has not walked as many years on earth, or maybe has only been exposed to a very limited diet served by others, will find a lot more variety.

    And of course one can also “eat” and not take in anything nourishing at all.

  47. Q says:

    Steve Wright,

    I do not oppose what you are saying at all.

    You need to realize there is another thing going on. If you gave rice to a starving person they might think they are eating steak, much of the teaching out here isn’t even rice.

  48. Xenia says:

    Steve, I learn new things all the time at my church. I am rather surprised you would ask this.

  49. Xenia says:

    It wasn’t that there was nothing to be learned from another trek through Romans. I am probably like you, Steve, in this regard: every time I read a book in the Bible again I see things I never saw before.

    My dismay came from my dawning realization that just studying the Bible is not enough, that I was desperately sick and needed a different kind of spiritual medicine than more Bible study. I needed a different prescription.

  50. Xenia says:

    As far as Bible teaching goes, I think my old CC pastor did a workmanlike job. His teachings weren’t frivolous or shallow, it was real meat and potatoes (as he himself liked to say) CC teaching.

    But there comes a time in one’s life when one has to do what the Scriptures say, not just study them.

  51. Q says:

    I have watched people being served rice and thought it was gourmet food, and watched people served trash and thought the same, and some given steak and thought it was junk.

  52. Q says:


    You can do what the scriptures say, without EO.

  53. Xenia says:

    You can do what the scriptures say, without EO<<<

    Very true!

  54. Steve Wright says:

    I agree with pretty much all that was said above by both of you since last night. I guess my one comment to Xenia would be who is it that is saying only studying the Bible is enough or that one does not have to be a doer of the word (or there are no opportunities to be a doer of the word through the typical church)

    (Q – good point about the rice/steak thing. I agree with you 100%. Usually it comes from limited exposure – when someone only has had one or two pastors, they are far more likely to gush about how special and awesome their pastor is at the messages)

  55. As one who thinks that the main purpose of the divine worship service is to come and receive God’s good gifts of grace and forgiveness, I would equate the liturgy as being the steak given by God and the message being the rice side dish.

  56. Jean says:

    I would say that the Holy Spirit is the steak, but, then, many churches are vegan.

  57. Xenia says:


    who is it that is saying only studying the Bible is enough <<<

    You might be surprised.

    My husband is one of the humblest, most cheerful men you'd ever want to meet. He's always the one working in the background who never complains or expects praise. Yet at my old CC, he was disdained. No, I am not exaggerating, he was disdained because he was not able to lead a Bible study and was not much for personal Bible study, either. And that was pretty much all that mattered at that church: Bible study. If you were a real Christian man, you taught the Bible. It didn't matter that my husband quietly set up all the chairs, etc,. for other men's studies, he was ignored and considered a non-entity. The things that were said about him…. God forgive me for going along with that as long as I did.

    In our current situation, he is well-loved and appreciated. Since humility is the most valued virtue in Ortholandia, not one's prowess in teaching the Bible, his Christ-like qualities are valued by everyone. Our pastor said to me recently, "Xenia, your husband is a good man." I never heard that at CC where he was belittled for not studying/teaching the Bible.

    So yeah, there are those who say studying the Bible is all that really matters.

  58. Xenia – my wife was the mirror of your husband. For 25 yrs she was an outsider because she was not one to study the Bible. The women in the groups didn’t scorn her, but she was definitely a 2nd class participant … a lesser. If you weren’t at all the Bible studies, you might as well accept exclusion to anything else – you were never just recognized for being a nice, quiet soul.

    Back in 2010 (I think) I wrote an article here about my ‘conversion’ to Lutheranism and one of the points I made was that I had noticed that for 25 yrs how uncomfortable my wife always was and with her return to the Lutheran church, that stress all melted away on the first Sunday back.

    Bible study is a lot of pressure to put on people.

  59. Bob Sweat says:

    “But there comes a time in one’s life when one has to do what the Scriptures say, not just study them.”

    Love that!

    As my son-in-law once said, “To many churches, their god is a Bible teaching.”

  60. Xenia says:

    Thanks, MLD and Bob.

    My husband is not an illiterate, by the way. He has a BA in Spanish literature as well as a MA in another field. He is a retired college professor and still lectures part time at the local university. He just doesn’t enjoy studying.. He *went* to all the studies and listened but had no desire to lead one himself or to pursue study at home.

    Like Mrs MLD, he felt so relieved at the EO church where his gifts (which came to him from God) are welcomed and appreciated and there was no pressure put upon him to “share his insights” on a passage of scripture.

  61. Steve Wright says:

    All you guys are doing is the same as the atheist pointing to the divorce rate among professing Christians and indicting the faith in general, refusing to note that the Scripture certainly teaches otherwise.

    I do not deny your experiences or the hurt caused you by others, but you see, anyone who actually HAS studied the Bible knows the importance of being a doer of the word and that not all are called to teach.

    So basically, I put those sorts of folks (and I don’t care if they are a CC pastor) in the same category as those who say God wants you all to be healed or rich, because the Bible says so.

    No it does not.

    It is a constant frustration to have random anecdotes spoken of here as the norm. Anyone want to hear my anecdotes about a few Romanian orthodox, or for that matter the Lutherans who pop by our place on occasion?

    Didn’t think so.

  62. Xenia says:

    Same as an atheist.


    Talk to you later.

  63. “or for that matter the Lutherans who pop by our place on occasion?”

    Did he bring his martini kit?

  64. Xenia says:

    Steve, you said:

    “who is it that is saying only studying the Bible is enough ?”

    I regarded this as a sincere question so I answered with an example of one who is saying only studying the Bible is enough.

    Which you dismissed as anecdotal and compared me to an atheist.

  65. Anne Kohut says:

    I flinched when I read Steve’s response to, yet I sincerely believe he has no idea how defensive and abrasive his responses can sometimes come across. Whereas, when MLD’s responses may cause me to flinch, I think he often stirs the pot quite intentionally. Odds are I may be wrong on both counts, LOL! What a motley crew we have here at PP! Grateful for each one as you all help me reflect on so many parts of my journey, past & present!

  66. Steve Wright says:

    A thousand apologies. If I had added the words “here in this thread” instead of assuming they were understood, then my question, while just as sincere, would have been clearer.

    For the record, we can assume that every single despicable, false, misguided, or innocently foolish action, teaching or thought can find a represenation somewhere or sometime in the name of Jesus by one of His professed followers, or even His leaders.

    And that many of us will have a run in with such an example at some time.

    Bad leadership is bad leadership. And I am sorry for any and all that have sat under bad leadership, that declared that which God has not declared – and made people feel guilty or otherwise second class in the faith.

    (Sort of thought this was old ground after all these years and our discussions were meant to be amongst us – again a bad assumption on my part)

    I assume that bad leadership examples likewise can be found in every denomination (thus irrelevant when we all chat here), but maybe I should not make that assumption either.

    And for the record, comparing one’s logic or fallacious argument to those used by those outside the church is never intended as a personal comparison of insult.

    Forgive me.

  67. Xenia says:

    Oh, all right, I forgive you, if you insist. 🙂

    Peace to you too, Pastor Steve.

  68. Andrew says:

    I’m new to this but are Lutherans know for their martini kits? 😉

  69. I remember once we were having a pot luck after a unity service (one service for all instead of the 4 separate services) – and we don’t mind having beer in the house. So the head elder comes in with what looked like an old typewriter case, set it up, opened it and it was his martini kit … olives and all.

    I know – some are disgusted. 😉

  70. Andrew says:

    MLD, it makes me want to become a Lutheran. I started drinking this last year with a glass of red wine every night and I thank God for that.. I’m glad I am no longer in bondage to this legalistic prohibition that alcohol is some how of the devil that has been indoctrinated into many of the fundamental churches.

  71. Mark says:

    C’mon stop picking on Steve. Xenia posted essentially that she left CC because it was time to be a doer of the Word and not just a reader of the Word. The clear implication was that her new church EO were doers and her old church wasn’t. Of course her old church was CC. She then told a story of her husband being rejected because he didn’t read his bible. C’mon now. I think we would all agree we are called by God to be both doers and hearers of the Word. That is a scriptural command. And I’m sure we would also agree that most evangelical churches and most liturgical churches are populated by folks who do both, do only one or do none at all. It’s not the church that is failing to follow Gods command (in most instances) it’s the individual heart

  72. Jean says:

    I think the point was that in some churches, the only means of grace is through the Bible. So preaching and teaching the Bible are seen as the sign of a grace filled person, as compared to other forms of service.

  73. Babylon's Dread says:

    Reading the Bible is a great thing but once you do it you will never have another minute of being unperturbed by something. It is a pot stirring read for sure.

    Loved the article by Sider and was shocked to read it. I didn’t expect his defense of revealed covenantal marriage. I really expected a liberal justice position from Sider.

    Probably should follow the letters. His position though nuanced and generous of heart will never satisfy the opponents. Loving, support is not what is being sought from the church just now. Complete capitulation and subjugation is the goal.

    and — Mark: Common sense and generosity of spirit … nice

  74. Babylon's Dread says:

    Until Jesus is done the church is not… So we gotta grow change and go…
    As John Wimber said, take the best and go…

  75. JonnyB says:

    Bibliolotry is no substitute for God Himself.

    Jesus is standing there tapping the man talking about the Bible on the shoulder. “I wrote that, it is all about me.”

    The man tells Him , “sir please sit down Your disturbing my Bible study!”

  76. Steve Wright says:

    Bibliolotry as a word sits right next to Islamophobia in my dictionary….at least when anyone brings it up in a serious discussion.

    God Himself saved me through the Spirit at work through the Bible. No Calvary Chapel, Lutheran, or Orthodox Christian (pastor, priest or rank and file) involved at all…and certainly without stepping through the doors of a church building.

    But yeah, somehow I missed Jesus…got it.

  77. Dumbfounded Bob says:


    That’s one of the dumbest things I’ve read on PP lately. I guess you missed it somewhere that Jesus is a Jew and quoted bible constantly.

  78. Listening Bob says:

    So when Jesus taught at his adopted home, the Synagogue at Caperneum, He didn’t teach from the Bible? Ignorance is bliss.

    Ps I do get Xenia’s point, yes hearing yet not hearing is an universal problem.

  79. brian says:

    I did not feel this was appropriate in the other threads, my respect and admiration of this man has just gone through the roof. I am totally impressed as the utter gaulle and hubris he made bank for Jesus and still is. Good for him.

    I mean 4 K a year for cellphone use. That is so cool.


  80. Jean says:

    Brian, I’m sure this is what Jesus had in mind, when he said that a servant is not greater than his master.

  81. erunner says:

    “In 2013, Pastor Mark is scheduled to preach at Mars Hill Church 45-47 weekends,” wrote executive pastor Sutton Turner, describing Driscoll’s schedule as “unheard-of for a mega-church pastor.”

    Is there any standard for how often a pastor should be teaching each year? It seems some pastors go and guest speak at other churches, go overseas for weeks, have vacation, etc.

    Say you have a church of 300 and the pastor guest speaks three times, is overseas for another three weeks, takes another week or two for various retreats, and takes two Sunday’s off for vacation.

    Many times when the pastor is absent a guest is brought in who is paid an honorarium.

    So… do these things go into coming up with the pastor’s salary? If he’s out guest speaking it seems he’s making extra money on top of his salary and when he’s gone the church pays guest speakers which can end up meaning the church pays 50K instead of say 42K.

    On one hand the pastor isn’t the focal point but it seems that he shouldn’t be away all that often.

  82. Steve Wright says:

    Is there any standard for how often a pastor should be teaching each year?
    It’s an abomination, E-runner. The standard is to get yourself into the pulpit unless there is a very legitimate reason you can’t. End of story.

  83. Andrew says:

    Steve, I think the question is who’s pulpit? Some well know CC pastors including Papa Chuck seemed to make the rounds speaking at other CC’s, speak at pastor’s conferences, senior pastor conferences, men’s conferences, prophecy conferences, other conferences and churches all the time. The relevant question is how often should the pastor be at his home church?

  84. Steve Wright says:

    I think the question is who’s pulpit?
    The church you pastor. The church you serve. The church that (for most pastors) is paying you.

    Andrew, I went to Costa Mesa for eight years (1993-2001) and I can tell you that Chuck almost never missed teaching on Sundays at the home church. He spoke a lot on Saturdays at those conferences you reference, no doubt. But on Sunday mornings you could count on him being there…that is my personal experience of 8 years, almost never missing a Sunday myself (since I was leading Sunday services most of that time on behalf of the church at the local nursing home. Our service was at 9:00, then we would go get coffee next door until the 3rd morning service at Costa Mesa began)

    That’s a fault you can’t pin on Chuck. At least in those years I reference…

  85. brian says:

    “In 2013, Pastor Mark is scheduled to preach at Mars Hill Church 45-47 weekends,” wrote executive pastor Sutton Turner, describing Driscoll’s schedule as “unheard-of for a mega-church pastor.”

    Wow 11K + per sermon that is great, it is true that he worked real hard for this money. Good for him. I hope he makes more money at his next gig.

  86. erunner says:

    Thanks Steve. I think this is an area maybe some pastors should take a look at as some seem to be on the road quite a bit for one reason or other.

  87. Q says:

    “Good for him. I hope he makes more money at his next gig”

    Let their own table before them become a snare; and when they are at peace, let it become a trap. Psalms 69:22

    What should have been a blessing can become a curse.

  88. brian says:

    Q I use to believe that, I have repented of such “justice”, if he continues to make money he will always walk between the raindrops. That is more sure than gravity.

  89. Q says:

    Brian, isn’t that the point of the Psalm, ‘let them walk between the raindrops’ until justice comes?

    He should stop. Maybe it is to late.

    You’re the one who blessed him.

  90. brian says:

    “You’re the one who blessed him.” That is nice of you, thank you.

  91. Q says:

    ““You’re the one who blessed him.” That is nice of you, thank you.”

    Not necessary.

    brian, Have you ever thought there might be some shady going-on?

  92. brian says:

    an honest response from my personal experience in the Christian religion, it it produces revenue it is always holy and God honoring. If it uplifts the Pastor and generates a market for his books, cd etc, it is always holy, ALWAYS. I dont have any expectations from God other than He will kill me and mine and send us all to hell, and that is God showing us mercy. I learned that real clear.

  93. Andrew says:

    Steve, I am not finding fault just asking the questions. I forgot to mention all the trips to Israel as well. Maybe he flew out on Monday to Israel and made it back Saturday night in time for Sunday preaching. I don’t know. You would know better than me.

  94. Steve Wright says:

    Andrew, the annual trip to Israel is the one week Chuck would miss on Sunday. And I recall a missed Sunday for a vacation now and then – but my main response was that he did not go and speak in other churches on Sundays – at least in the years I was there.

    I guess I also found it laughable that Driscoll’s camp would say that somehow “only” missing 5-7 Sundays a year was “unheard of” for a mega-church pastor. The whole mindset is bizarre. Why would the church growing to a larger size necessitate the pastor going elsewhere to speak on Sundays?

    Your point is quite valid towards a lot of other guys. I don’t think much of guys who make other churches and speaking opportunities more a priority than the church they are supposed to pastor.

  95. I have never counted how often our pastor has been in the pulpit – 50 – 60%?

  96. Andrew says:

    Steve, I think its the expectation that is set. It should probably be written down in some kind of contract what the pastor’s salary is and how many weeks he can get off.. Some pastors seem to be more missionary pastors and do the traveling gig. There is nothing wrong with that as long as the congregants have some say in the level of compensation and expectations for their pastor. Don McClure seemed to be kind of one of those guys who spent half is time in Philadelphia and half in California. I never got a satisfactory answer to how Don McClure was a pastor at ccphilly when I proposed it to leadership. In other words in a non member type church, the non members are not able to ask the questions or get answers. Its just the way it is.

  97. looked at the CC Philly web site – I don’t see Don McClure listed as a pastor

  98. Kevin H says:

    Don McClure is an assistant pastor at CC Philly. Some kind of arrangement where he specs part time in Philly and part time in California. I do no know the details of such. He has been on staff at Philly for at least a couple years now.

    And yes, he is not listed as a pastor on the website. Never has been. Until recently he was regularly listed as in the bulletin as a pastor. Now he’s not listed there either. But he is still a pastor. He preached on a Sunday morning just a couple weeks ago. I do not know the reasoning for why he has never been listed on the website and now also not in the bulletin. Read into it what you want.

  99. Kevin H says:

    *spends*, not specs

    *do not know*, not do no know

    *listed in*, not listed as in

    Sorry for the typos. I didn’t want to end up miscommunicating due to the amount of them.

  100. Matthew Harrison, the President of the LCMS the ecclesiastical head of 9,000 LCMS pastors is an assistant pastor at his church and listed on the web site.

    Undercover McClure is a mystery – perhaps he just needs to build up his Social Security? 🙂

  101. Mark says:

    Andrew pastors are not paid just to teach on Sundays. They r paid to comfort the wife who’s husband dropped dead or to counsel the parents who’s daughter ran off or to pray with the husband who’s wife has betrayed the marriage or to help the family in dysfunction or the addict trying to get clean. They feed the homeless on Saturday mornings and pray with the invalids on Sunday afternoon. They vist in hospitals speak at funerals and officiate weddings. Many are raising kids and leading families while trying to pay the bills on small church salaries. It is insulting to somehow equate a pastors salary with the number of Sundays they preach from the pulpit

  102. Mark says:

    Don’t understand the “mystery” regarding Don McLure. He was asked by Joe to come on staff at CC Philly part time. He has a defined role there. He also has a traveling teaching ministry. Reminds me of the circuit preachers of the Wesleyan tradition.

  103. Andrew says:

    It is insulting to somehow equate a pastors salary with the number of Sundays they preach from the pulpit.
    Mark, I never implied what you are saying. My only point is that the congregants (the non member members) should be informed and have a say to know what the expectations are for their pastor(s) and for that matter all the officers and staff in the church and it shouldn’t be a mystery.

  104. Oh No says:

    Mark, I agree with your 102; however, of the three CC’s that I have been part of, the only thing that the pastors did was teach on Sunday and Wednesday. They might have had an occasional wedding or funeral, but teaching was their primary gig. In 2 of the churches, you seldom even saw the pastor at the church. Now, this might be the case in all denominations. At least for me, the role of pastoral ministry seems to have changed.

  105. erunner says:

    Mark, I recently visited a church twice and each time the pastor was away. Once across the country speaking at a prophecy conference and then on vacation.

    My intent in asking the things I did was to try and determine if there should be a limit that the pastor is away on Sunday when not ill or on vacation. If a pastor is gonna go to Africa for a month, speak three times elsewhere I’m not sure that would be a church I would look to attend. I think continuity is good for all involved.

  106. Steve Wright says:

    erunner….in one of my seminary classes (and remember this was no connection to CC), the textbook used actually suggested that pastors who “need a break” agree to “switch churches” one Sunday will a fellow pastor, local, that they know who also “needed a break”.

    The main idea was there would be no need to prepare (i.e the break), because you each could dust off notes from an old message – making it an easier week from that point. Then some blah blah about a different environment, people, pulpit etc bringing a recharge.

    This textbook is used in seminaries besides mine. This is the sort of stuff being taught out there.

    Nobody can begrudge an occasional vacation, but that should be the way one takes a break. Otherwise it seems to me a mockery of the whole office and really does not even accomplish this goal of rest – since you still have to preach, greet, drive there and so forth.

  107. Why not just alternate each week with the assistant pastor. have every other week off from having to prepare a message so you can do pastor stuff?

  108. Kevin H says:

    I would think it would be fine if a church structures things so that assistant pastors would spend some significant time preaching in lieu of the senior pastor if they think that is what’s best for the church. However, the senior pastor should still be there and be a part of the church the large majority of the time an assistant is preaching. It shouldn’t be a free pass to regularly speak at other churches, conferences,etc. and not be a part of his own church on Sundays.

  109. Jean says:

    People should recognize that the role of the pastor varies greatly with the size of the church. Disappointment comes when members’ expectations of the pastor don’t align with the management model which fits the church’s size.

  110. Xenia says:

    You know Brian, you yourself seem to be the one obsessed with money. Scarcely a post of yours is without some mention of money.

    Why is that?

  111. Bob says:

    I think one thing forgotten in this thread is a defining of what the role of Pastor, priest, bishop is. A CC pastor’s role in the weekly service is far different from a Lutheran, RCC or Orthodox.

    Almost anyone can fill in for a CC or typical evangelical pastor; not so with the others.

  112. Xenia says:

    Well, any ordained EO priest can fill in for ours but not just any member of the congregation, that’s true. When our priest travels (to visit outposts of his huge extended family) the number 2 priest from a nearby parish comes and serves. Same exact service, of course, but different homiletic style. But you’re right, my husband (Mr. Assistant Warden) could not fill in as priest. But he could, I suppose, lead a Reader’s Service, which is what we would do if no priest is available. That’s a type of Liturgy that does not include the Eucharist because you need a priest for that. (Read St. Ignatius of Antioch to see that this was the case even in the first century.)

  113. Mark says:

    Oh no. I sincerely doubt your CC pastor at three different CCs did nothing but teach twice a week. I’m not calling u a liar but perhaps you were unaware of his other duties. Boy we seem to have quite a cynical attitude regarding Gods servants who tend His sheep

  114. Steve Wright says:

    Jean’s #110 is spot on. Very important point.

  115. Jean says:

    If anyone is interested in any elaboration of #110, let me know.

  116. Oh No says:

    Well Mark, were you there? I was on staff, so I know I was there. You are such an apologist!

  117. Oh No says:

    And BTW, I made a broad statement that included more than just CC’s.

  118. Mark says:

    Oh no. I am very surprised by that. Here on the east coast I cannot think of a CC pastor who does nothing but teach. No involvement in leadership? No involvement in church finances ? No visitations? No counseling? No board mtgs? No staff meetings? Doesn’t show up in his office at all during the week? Just unfathomable

  119. Xenia says:

    We used to have a joke at my old CC that if our pastor visited us when we were sick it must mean we were about to die. My neighbor was sick (he has a wasting disease) and one day I saw the pastor’s car out front and I panicked! He must be dying! Well, he nearly did die but thanks to the prayers of that pastor he survived.

    (I tell this as a humorous story, not out of malice. That pastor is a good guy.)

  120. Xenia says:

    AW Tozer once agree to take a position at a particular church if all he was required to do was teach and not do any other pastoring stuff.

  121. Steve Wright says:

    Xenia, that is what seminary is for. Guys with that mindset ought to go that route. Reminds me a little of Wesley when he first got married after many years, he did not see why that should change his schedule of a couple thousand miles on horseback a year going all over the land and rarely being at home.

  122. Bob says:


    Thank you for letting those who don’t understand the Orthodox role of Priest in a church. Most non-Lutheran Protestants have very little idea of the role of a priest in a church.

    Also your #121 about Tozer reminds me of the CC Distinctive and Chuck Smith’s testomony about how he came to CC, all he wanted to do was teach.

    I have often heard the position of Pastor and Teacher were the same and yet when I independantly went over the same text I found they weren’t. In the Torah there were two groups given the responsibility of teaching Torah to the masses, the Levites and the elders. Sadly by the time Jesus arrive bodily on the scene the Levites have all but given up that task to the Pharisees.

    The good news is the scriptures are very clear that not one man or category supports the whole church and builds the body towards faith and the “full knowledge of the Son of God…”

    BTW this is why I cringe and cry when I read or hear people say, “all we need is Jesus.” Normally this is a cover for, “don’t tell me how to live…” or something like that.

    We need each other!

  123. Steve Wright says:

    I believe the office of pastor/teacher is singular in Ephesians and I believe the instruction for overseers in 1 Timothy being able to teach supports that idea (and deacons not given that requirement though otherwise there is a lot of overlap).

    That is an interesting note about the Torah, but if that was not even the case when Jesus walked the earth, it sure seems a stretch for Paul to expect the largely Gentile church in Ephesus to revert back to traditional Torah roles in Judaism. And sure seems odd for him to write the Greek as such to lend itself to the one office position.

    Wallace summarizes the verse “All pastors were to be teachers but not all teachers were to be pastors” – since that is where I land anyway, and given Wallace’s bona fides (which is also the majority view among Greek scholars), I hold to the one office view too.

  124. Steve Wright says:

    reminds me of the CC Distinctive and Chuck Smith’s testomony about how he came to CC, all he wanted to do was teach.
    As an aside, this is laughable. Not sure what reference you are citing, but in the context of this discussion, nothing could have been farther from the truth.

  125. Oh No says:

    Mark, things must be different on the West Coast.

  126. Jean says:


    I understand there are basically 4 church governance models:

    1. Family;
    2. Pastor;
    3. Program; and
    4. Corporate.

    These models are not value statements; they are broadly reflective of how healthy churches govern themselves based on size, with 1 being the smallest and 4 being the largest.

    Problems arise in 2 different scenarios: (1) The church attempts to govern itself under a model which doesn’t correspond to its size; and/or (2) Members expect a certain governance model (perhaps based on past experience at another church) which doesn’t correspond to the size of the church they currently attend.

    For example, a “pastor” led church is one in which all of the church’s ministries, communications and activities tend to flow through or at the direction of the pastor. So, the pastor preaches, teaches, visits the sick and the shut-ins, leads the outreach and social ministries, conducts the baptisms, weddings and funerals, teaches new member orientation and confirmation, etc. The church is known in the community as “that’s Pastor Mike’s church.” If someone in the church wants to know how another member is recovering from recent surgery, he can go ask Pastor Mike and expect him to know. Members expect the pastor to be involved in everything in the life of the church, and if he isn’t available for something, people get disappointed or even offended.

    The pastor led church can function well as long as weekly worship attendance averages less than 100 adults. Above 150, governance is problematic. Members get frustrated because the pastor can’t keep up with everything and everyone (even their names, which he’s expected to know) and the pastor gets burned out.

    From 150-350 (but probably more like 100-250 average weekly worship, the “program” governance model is effective. In this model church programs/ministries are delegated to staff or lay leaders who “minister” to those within their programs/ministries. The lead pastor is primarily a teacher and leadership developer. He does a lot of the preaching, but spends a lot of time teaching and developing ministry leaders within the church to carryout the various church ministries. The church board are made up primarily of the various program leaders who report to the lead pastor. The lead pastor is not expected to do everything himself.

    If a person coming into a program church used to attend a pastor led church, or if a pastor led church grows into a program church, members might get confused if they incorrectly think they’re in a pastor led church. So, communication is always important.

    MLD and pastors, how do you manage expectations at your churches regarding what your members expect from staff and lay leadership? Have you run into the issue of managing expectations?

  127. “MLD and pastors, how do you manage expectations at your churches regarding what your members expect from staff and lay leadership? ”

    12 weeks of catechism classes for new Lutheran adult converts – 4 weeks of membership classes for Lutheran transfers

  128. Jean says:

    That kind of intentionality and communication is exemplary. If a church is a bus (to use an imperfect analogy), everyone needs to be on the same bus, all going in the same direction, in agreement on the course.

  129. Steve Wright says:

    Jean, that is an interesting layout. I appreciate what you wrote there. However, I might take issue with you on the numbers/size of the church.

    We have multiple hundreds each Sunday, and a larger number of course that consider us, home given few people never miss a week. We do not have official membership so I have no idea what the number might be (and unlike MLD’s church, whether one is a member or not does not determine whether they are worthy to be served by the church)

    I say all that because I get very few emails or phone calls each week. However, the people are doing the work of the ministry too. Which I think should be the purpose in even small churches.

    Got to run now…

  130. “whether they are worthy to be served by the church”

    nice shot 🙂

  131. Steve Wright says:

    Thought you might like that one 🙂

  132. Bob says:


    Let me stand corrected for embellishment of Chuck Smith and quote from his book:

    “Page 29 2nd Paragraph”

    “They (the Board of his church) called me the next morning and wanted to know just what I thought I was doing, and they let me know that they didn’t want me to do that again. At the time I thought, “Well I thought this might be my life’s ministry. But it won’t be. I’m not going to be under these kinds of restrictions. I must be open to be led by the Spirit.” (emphasis mine)

    Next paragraph:

    “We believe that God’s model is that the pastor is ruled by the Lord and aided by the Elders to discover the mind and will of Jesus Christ for His church. This in turn is implemented by the Assistant Pastors.”

    I have read the “Distinctives” many times, cover to cover and you can blame me for making the connection from here in these statements and others which point to the idea that Chuck was in supreme control and believe his primary position was teaching from the pulpit. Considering his early years was as an aid, manager and worship leader for Paul Cain Chuck’s continued emphasis on his role seems to me to be quite clear, it was where he saw himself, unencumbered by any man, denomination or organization who might give him direction he neither wanted or liked.

    Now can the pastor be both Teacher and Pastor? Yes, but as you point out not necessarily, they are two distinct roles or functions to the church. I know some really good teacher who just suck in the pasturing area and vice verse. So why would you want to limit it to one person?

    BTW I do admire and like the way Chuck Smith emphasized the teaching of God’s word to all who will hear. I just believe his model of leadership has brought pain to many. Additionally, in spite of all his verse wrangling in the “Distinctives,” it is not “the biblical” model of church leadership.

  133. Bob says:


    How can you say this:
    “And sure seems odd for him to write the Greek as such to lend itself to the one office position.”

    When this is what is written:

    “And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the bknowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.”

    Do you say all but the single/joint position of “pastor/teacher” is dead today?

    I don’t buy it.

    Oh and the failure of the Levites to teach God’s word to the people has a very extensive history by the 1st century. By abrogating their responsibility they were in sin.

  134. Mark says:

    I also take issue with Jeans numbers. I know several pastors at 300+ churches who are very involved hands on with ministries besides teaching. They know people’s names and thier circumstances. At my church we have weekly prayer lists with names and requests. They include updated info as well. Makes it easy to keep up with who is in need and thier status. I just sense here a lack of appreciation for the servant nature of the pastor. Our pastors, and priests and ministers are sacrificial selfless individuals who are serving God and tending sheep.

  135. Mark says:

    Let me add that I’m only referring to some of those on the blog not all who might seem to lose sight of the diversity of pastoral ministry. Pastors are not college professors teaching classes with grad assts doing all the real work!

  136. Steve Wright says:

    Bob, you asked how I could say my comment about the Greek, and then quoted English at me.

    How (why) can you do that? 🙂

    As to your question about the purpose of these offices, I believe the office of apostle and prophet were special for the early church as the Scripture was being written as both have connection to the authority and giving of Scripture in the name of the Lord.

    Now the Scripture is complete.

    And much as the apostles were “sent out with the message” so evangelists are today. And as prophets spoke forth the word of God, so do the pastor/teachers today. Both of course declaring what has already been declared and not giving new revelation.

    The verse has beautiful parallelism.

  137. Jean says:

    Let me clarify a few points from my #128

    1) The actual numbers are not sacred, and I’m sure there are pastors and churches which fall outside the ranges. However, the principle that every pastor will reach a ceiling in terms of numbers in the pastor centered church model is IMO valid. Keep in mind that if a church has 150 in worship weekly, the member roll ship might run 450. That’s a fair number of names to memorize.

    2) There is nothing inherently better or worse about a pastor centered church model vs., for example, a program church model, unless expectations or size is out of alignment. Leading a church through the teaching and training of staff and laity to do ministry is just as valuable (arguably more valuable) than leading a church by directly leading all ministries.

    If people are overly focused on the what the lead pastor is doing, where he’s doing it and why, those people might have an unhealthy devotion or expectations regarding the man. By the same token, if the pastor is promoting himself and not sharing in large measure the credit for ministry with not just the Lord but with all the staff and laity who are faithful week in and week out to make things happen, then the pastor might have an unhealthy self-image.

    3) Properly run, none of the church models imply that the pastor is not involved or lazy.

  138. Steve Wright says:

    Jean, your input here is solid on this issue. The biggest problem for me is names, especially last names. People introduce themselves with their first name.

    I WANT to learn everyone’s name. And it does not help I have a sort of phobia about calling someone by the wrong name. 🙂 So even if I am 80% confident, that is not good enough.

    Plus, there are many times I am shopping around town and someone yells out “Hey, Pastor Steve” and it is someone I have never even seen or met before.

  139. Bob says:


    I’ve heard this argument before and almost wrote it but my post was getting too long:

    “I believe the office of apostle and prophet were special for the early church as the Scripture was being written as both have connection to the authority and giving of Scripture in the name of the Lord.”

    I do not find it a compelling argument.

    However I do find these positions more difficult to define and demonstrate in a godly manner. You might also remember from your study of the text, the Jews of Jesus’ day also had difficulty with them. The Priests (Sadducees) denied the texts beyond the Torah, they (in general) did not believe in life after death. Additionally, If you’re up on the knowledge of the Samaritans, they also denied the text beyond their version of Torah.

    But in it all you, like all of us, pick and choose what you believe is true and worthy of teaching. It’s amazing that over the millennium the church can pick and choose what it wants to observe as its traditions and through it all He still loves us!

    Now as far as quoting English over Greek, what do you want me to do, get out my Wuest and follow through with his interpretation of the same scriptures? Get real!

    Have a blessed rest day!

  140. Steve Wright says:

    Bob, you took issue with the Greek. I quoted a Greek scholar. There is a division as to whether the construction is definite (i.e. it HAS to be talking about one office) or not – but the majority view I have found is that Greek scholars see it as best seen as one office. Not universally…a consensus. Of course one can find the alternate perspective or else there would be no debate. So the question then is whether one stays with the majority view or not, and whether that view seems to line up with other teachings in the Bible (as I already mentioned it so doing).

    One of the things about Greek exegesis that was forced into me in seminary, you better find affirmation and support from the guys who know a lot more than you do. I could not get away with anything less when doing my interpretive assignments.

    And my original point about the Greek was simply that Paul through the Spirit could have written it differently to eliminate the confusion if in fact it is speaking about two different offices. The fact it is written as it is, lends strong argument that we are to see something different here.

    As far as your other point. If you believe the OFFICES of apostle and prophet, as seen in the 1st century in giving revelation to the entire Body of Christ, are still alive and active today – we will simply disagree and move on. However, I think it is a stretch to say that in my opposition to such a teaching I am “picking and choosing” on the Scripture as to what is worthy of teaching. Line up those who think we have current apostles and prophets for the entire Body of Christ (and what else they teach), and then line up those who share my view and it would be quite the mismatch.Put another way, if I heard a teaching from a self-proclaimed apostle or prophet today, I would run the other way.

  141. Steve Wright says:

    And have a blessed day yourself!! 🙂

    (hit send too early)

  142. Mark says:

    Thanks Jean for the clarification. Makes sense

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