Linkathon 4/14, part 1
Trevin Wax reviews In the Land of Believers by atheist Gina Welch, then interviews the author.
Jeff Dunn reflects on Michael Spencer.
Also, the release date for Spencer’s book Mere Churchianity has been moved up to June 15.
McLaren on why evangelicals dislike him so much. HT to Denny Burk, who discusses the article on his blog.
Former CCM star Jennifer Knapp has come out of the closet, in an interview with Christianity Today.
Michael Patton on doctrinal disagreement to the glory of God.
Trevin Wax and Adrian Warnock on the Piper/Warren controversy.
The Deep Church guys from Britain discuss John Wimber’s “everyone gets to play” philosophy here and here.
Wondering who will be first…
Mr. McLaren does not understand, they do not dislike him, they loath him with an eternal God ordained loathing. They want his soul to burn for all eternity, and I would wager that some want to watch. They cant wait, they need a napkin to wipe off the drool of expectation of his eternal suffering. Some may say this is an exaggeration, I would say it is rather restrained. If they could inflict the stake they would, with great glee. I think history would bear me out. Mr. McLaren these people hate your guts, the very atoms of your soul. they loath you. But they loath you in Jesus name, I guess that makes it ok. We do have a rather silly religion, we really do.
I found Jennifer Knapp coming out rather interesting, it was always made clear, through the snide remarks, the looks and the constant quips that the worst thing to be in the evangelical Church was a single celibate older adult. You want to get a roar show up at a singles group being one of those types of “Christians”. Where sexuality is concerned I dont even discuss it with those of the faith, I grew tired of the mocking looks and snide remarks. Personally they / we need to grow up. Being gay is not a sin, imo.
I don’t like McLarens writings because they are heretical and rob people of the hope of heaven and give false hope that there is no hell.
I further dislike his twisting of church history and imposition of false paradigms on the church that sound so intellectual, but are really so much crap.
I’d never heard of Jennifer Knapp before yesterday, I enjoy CCM about as much as a rousing case of bronchitis.
The story we’ve heard before and will hear again.
We have no clue yet how to speak to the issue of homosexuality in the church.
My best theological understanding at this time would mean that I would have to put her out of the church until she repents…though my heart would be to extend “grace” despite what I believe.
I stopped reading Wax when he jumped on the NPP bandwagon but that article is a gem…we might steal pieces of it later. 🙂
Together For the Gospel started yesterday here in town.
I stopped listening to current CCM more than a decade ago. Much of it musically was an overhyped ripoff.
brian said that, in his opinion, being gay is not a sin… ok, but i’d take it a step further and say that it is a handicap – not God designed
Some years back I was a volunteer leader in the youth group at my church and we went to a DC Talk concert where Jennifer Knapp was the opening act. Being single at the time, my youth pastor was joking with me all night that he was going to try to hook me up with Jennifer. I guess it would have never worked out. 🙂
Jennifer Knapp is an incredibly talented singer and songwriter, and a really sweet girl. Her song about the woman who broke the Alabaster flask of ointment and anointed Jesus makes me cry every time I hear it, because of the incredible way it expresses God’s love for those who are devalued by everyone else. The first time I met Jennifer I knew she was gay. Sometimes I meet someone for the first time and know they are gluttons, or that they have a problem with anger, or that they are vain and prideful, or that they are full of anxiety. All of these people are welcomed at my church, as long as they understand that as I teach the Bible I will be faithful to what it teaches, no matter what topic comes up as we go through the Word. As another “former Christian musician” (Leslie Phillips) once sang, borrowing from the Apostle Peter: “It’s your kindness that brings us to repentance oh Lord; knowing that you love us, no matter what we do; makes us want to love You.”
I would want to do that…but wouldn’t living in an openly homosexual relationship demand church discipline?
Where’s my loophole?
I never met JK, but even way back in the 90’s…I had a strong hunch she was gay. Seriously. It must be a “gaydar” thing.
How funny Rolph brings up Leslie Phillips…I remember being at a concert in which I thought to myself. “I don’t think she’s too long for the restraints of the CCM world.” Not soon after she broke ties with CCM and went mainstream as Sam Phillips.
I don’t see a major responsibility to do “church discipline” taught in the New Testament. The only example we have, that I can think of, is the case of incest in Corinth, and in that case it was by special order of an apostle that he was put out of the church, whereupon he was later reinstated by the same apostle. I would think that the more normative example is the one Paul exhorted in Galatians 6, where personal ministry and restoration in humility was the mandate.
I know I am probably in a minority when it comes to my views on this. Today those of certain theological perspectives have hijacked church practice by taking the apostolic exception in 1 Corinthians, combined with a ridiculously out-of-context twisting of Matthew 18, and have come up with a way to make pastors and elders the gatekeepers of an exclusive holy club. When they start “doing church discipline” on pastors who are filled with pride and greed maybe I’ll give it a second look. For now, I’d rather be accused of keeping company with sinners, as was my Boss.
You just made my head explode. 🙂
I’m wondering if I’ve accepted tradition without real examination…
Church discipline is considered the mark of a true church in my sort of, but they don’t want me tradition…
I certainly understand your question to Dave, but here is my problem. Why do we (myself included) want to discipline a openly homosexual relationship, but not those in the church who are openly sinning in other ways. There exists a double standard among many Christians. When I read the desires of the sinful nature in Galatians 5, right there with sexual immorality are selfish ambition, envy, jealousy, etc. Homosexuality and adultery are wrong, but selfish ambition can be overlooked.
I know I have said this before, but I served at a church where the pastor refused to acknowledge my ordination before the congregation because of the adultery that I committed years before. But his sin in the back hallways of the church were no less greater than mine. Again, double standard.
So, I struggle with the same question you asked Dave. I do believe consistency needs to be practiced.
The Boarshead Tavern is having a lively discussion on the whole Knapp/Gay christian topic. Love reading all the different perspectives. Imagine that’s what church councils of old must have felt like! Appreciated Rolph’s input here.
Sarah Palin would call you a maverick! 🙂
We all come from traditions…I am steeped in Reformed thinking, though not really (truly) Reformed.
That tradition says you don’t think twice on these matters…you follow Matt 18 until you break em. 🙂
I’ve never heard the 1st Cor passage labeled an apostolic exception and I need to think on that and research it.
The problem I have is as Dave and you point out…she probably loves Jesus more than the people who would do the disciplining wearing their holy masks.
I told the story earlier about my youth pastor jokingly saying he was going to hook me up with Jennifer Knapp. Although he obviously wasn’t going to do this as he didn’t know JK nor did he have any connections to get to her, the ironic thing is that at one point I almost joked back to him that I’m not sure how good of an idea that was because I wasn’t even sure she we straight. I had never met JK either, nor did I know about any of the rumors about her, but I had my suspicions, too.
Dave Rolph…then how do you recommend handling a pastor / elder who is in sin and unrepentant…Sola Scriptura style?
And, if Scripture is your sole guide…as you argue regarding Church Discipline…then how do you explain the “Church as a Business” argument?
Why a Corporation? Why a Church Building? Why CCOF? Why are you OK with all of these things within CC…that aren’t backed by NT Scripture…yet regarding Church Discipline…you are a Strict Scripturalist?
Get Gordon Fee on the phone! 😉
He’s the expert on the Corinthian epistles…
I may stop coming to this website. I learned Ray Boltz, Jennifer Knapp, and the lady who wrote my FAVORITE youth group song when I was in youth, “For Those Tears I Died” are all homosexual. Stop it Michael and BrianD, you’re screwing up my faith. For Those Tears I Died and Boltz especially have influenced me. Do we separate the art from the heart? Or the music from the character? Is this akin to blessed by Skip H’s preaching yet apalled at his (alleged) character? BTW, somebody thank me for working Skip into this.
But this really is where I’m at on this–some of these people’s works have been used by God. I know what the Word says, and I agree with Michael’s point of view regarding Knapp as a church discipline issue. Yet, I can’t accept that Ray Boltz’s “I Pledge Allegience To the Lamb” shouldn’t be sung in church because of what Boltz has since done. Then again, Bathsheba helped David produce Psalm 51.
I will say this–in my pre-Chrsitian days, I hated the Pat Boone’s and other Christian artists due to their squeaky clean images. I felt like they couldn’t relate to my life. Well, now for some we’re at the other end of the extreme. We’re all filthy failures. But then if I shun Jennifer Knapp, yet rock out to Led Zeppelin on the classic rock station, am I not hypocritical for going along with a bunch of hedonists. OR–DOES THE DEVIL REALLY HAVE ALL THE GOOD MUSIC?
Although I have become more disinterested in the CCM scene the last 5-10 years, I had found JK’s music to be deeper and more profound than most other “Christian” artists. So I’m definitely left feeling conflicted by believing that she is living a lifestyle that is not pleasing to God, while also seeing more Godly attributes in her music than most others.
Gordon’s retired for the most part and he rarely answers his home phone 😉
I was kidding…kind of. 🙂
I’ve got his commentaries here somewhere…
Kind of odd that I’m looking for a biblical loophole to extend grace…
Skip is no longer at #1 on my diss list.
Jim Kempner is now the PP poster boy for everything that makes me retch.
Please adjust your posts accordingly. 🙂
The JK story confirms yet another example that God can raise up stones to spread his Word.
Even the Mormon Church is used by God to save some people…they do read the real Bible along with their Book of Mormon…and the Gospel saves some.
Should JK be a pastor or elder in a church if living in active sin? No.
The last time I checked, a Recording Artist is not a church leadership position.
Should homosexuals be barred from church or discouraged to participate at our churches? No. All of we lay-people constantly struggle with our own sin issues…many of us with little success. There is no Hierarchy of Sin…one sin is enough to separate you from God.
Can JK be a Christian and a practicing homosexual? Sure she can. Look at all of us.
“Should” she not practice the homosexual act? Yes, she “should” not.
We are all extremely selective with Scripture and can twist it to fit any of our purposes. All of us.
We are strict Scripturalists in some areas…and then allow for lots of grace and license in other areas…with all kinds of excuses and arguments.
We are really screwed up. God have mercy on me.
Corporations, denominations, organizational structures are all extra-Biblical, for the most part. I would include in this the modern traditions of church discipline as well as worship style, altar calls, etc. There is nothing wrong with doing extra-Biblical stuff, if it doesn’t go against the clear teaching of Scripture. I would only object to the extra-Biblical when it comes to pretending that it is in fact Biblical. I don’t object to any church or denomination having a defined process of church discipline. I just wish they would call it “our club rules” instead of pretending like it is based on the clear teachings of Scripture.
To throw in my 2 cents, I believe the NT is very clear that the end result of any & all discipline is not punishment, but repentance & reconciliation. From Matt 18 to 1 Tim 5…that’s the overriding theme.
For the person who struggles with their sin, Galatians 6 is the obvious passage. There is no reason to condemn; the condemnation has already been dealt with at the cross. And besides, every single person in the church has enough sin in their own lives to forbid casting any stones. Thus we come alongside in meekness & fear, taking heed lest we fall.
For the person who justifies & rationalizes their sin, what other recourse does the church have other than to follow the example of Paul with the Corinthians? Paul did not instruct the church to cast out the incestuous man because the other individuals in the congregation were sinless. Not even Paul was sinless. Would we throw the charge of hypocrisy at Paul? Surely not.
No – Paul had the church cast the individual out for the destruction of his flesh…so that he would repent & be reconciled back to God. And praise God, that’s exactly what happened, as we see from 2 Cor.
When the church ignores & glosses over sin that the individual has justified or rationalized away, we’re not doing that individual any favors.
Today…I find myself understanding more of X’s “Biblidolary” or “Biblioidolatry” argument.
Maybe many of us have missed the whole point of Scripture.
We are so focused on the jots and tittles…and so confused and conflicted regarding every last Greek and Hebrew word…such a complex mechanism…so “un-childlike”…hermeneutics, exegesis, transliteration…my gosh!
Jesus. Child-like Faith. The Gospel. Belief. Repentance.
Everything else may be a complete distraction and a trap. Wrestling.
Who was it that Canonized Scripture? Man.
Paul was a man.
Matthew, Mark, Luke and John recorded Christ’s Words. Christ’s Words…God’s Word…”THE” Word.
All this Doctrine and Theology and interpretations and theories of complex Spiritual Issues that we will never understand with certainty.
Sola Scriptura? How about Sola Jesus.
OK Rolph, you’re shaking the foundations! 🙂
The issue to me in 1 Corinthians is the public sin and what it was doing to the congregation. I have homosexuals in my congregation, as well as heterosexual fornicators, alcoholics and addicts. To my knowledge, only I and maybe another pastor happen to know this. They are welcome and I believe they all are seeking victory.
The Knapp thing is different as to the celebrity as well as apparently the boasting now in sin. She is the classic example of a little leaven that would leaven the whole loaf if the pastor stayed quiet.
Yes, Jesus hung out with sinners. I hang out with sinners and the church I pastor is filled with sinners. I am not a big ‘church discipline’ guy either, but in Knapp’s case of celebrity, it would have to happen.
Dave Rolph…I agree with you.
Our Modern Churches and Denominations and Non-Denominations are all Extra-Biblical.
CC is Extra-Biblical.
The way we have the position of Pastor and Boards, etc. is Extra-Biblical.
“Church as a Business” is Extra-Biblical.
We are light years from the Early Church.
Why are Paul’s teachings Canon?
“Who was it that Canonized Scripture? Man.”
Actually, the church recognized the Scripture that had been given by inspiration of God.
At my Acts29 church, this is how by my understanding it would handle JK.
if she were a member she would be subject to discipline with the goal of her repentance and restoration.
She isn’t a member so if she walked thru the door hopefully we would love her and encourage her to repent. The leadership would, but I’m not sure it could protect her from the culture warriors, soccer moms and theological police who would be more interested in her conformity to their values than in her truly repenting and following Jesus.
Or: abstain, plus be our spokeswoman. And get a husband, and see Beth Moore’s stylist.
Didn’t the Pharisees bring the prostitute to Jesus demanding that He rule by the book?
MLD isn’t around, so I thought I would throw that out. 😉
Tim, “The Church” recognized that Scripture had been given by the inspiration of God.
“The Church”….who made up “The Church” that made this determination?
Who is the Predominant “Christian” Church in our History…and in the world? The RCC.
Tim, my point is, Men make up “The Church”…just wrestling.
Actually, different church fathers showed various listings of the NT canon long before the RCC (as we know it today) was ever really around.
In any case, the difference between your statement & mine is where the authority is placed. Men (in the generic sense) do not determine or vote upon what is or what is not the word of God. The best men can do is simply recognize the authority of what God has already spoken.
Oh what a great conversation! I read Rolph and now I am looking for the boot disk to reformat my brain!
A class on church history would be helpful…
The books we believe are the inspired Word of God have been passed around as a collection since the late 1st century.
The council of Hippo affirmed the canon in 393.
This was affirmed by other councils as well.
There was no such thing as “The Roman Catholic Church” at the time.
There was a church in Rome with a bishop, but Alexandria and Hippo were more influential.
God inspired, then preserved the canon through men by the power of the Holy Spirit.
The church has had it’s offices since apostolic times as the apostle Paul outlined them under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
We are “light years” from the early church…which was a bigger mess than the one of today.
The only people that long for the “early church” are people who have no clue what it looked like.
I know how you feel! 😉
I thank God we have a place to knock around these ideas without fear…I really do.
Wasn’t it the ‘early church’ that was so soundly rebuked and ordered to repent by the Lord in chapters 2 and 3 of Revelation?
Even a non-preterist like myself sees the historical value in those chapters.
Jesus referenced OT scripture…so we know that is the Word of God.
The Pauline Epistles…have to look into those…and the Jewish Epistles…have to look into those.
I guess I would have to disagree with Dave at #14, maybe I’m just old school. Interestingly, I just read, and posted (on another blog) something from Alan Redpath on personal righteousness and the church. From Victorious Christian Living: “My fellow believers, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ I bid you, with all the love I have in my heart for you, either get right with God or leave His house. Maybe some subtractions from the membership roll would be the first step toward victory in many a church, I pray God that, whatever it may cost you in terms of personal humiliation before Him and before men, you will search out any Achan in your own life- don’t bother about other people- and get right with God. In the presence of the Lord Jesus give up your sin and claim the cleansing of His blood.” Page 110
If the church fails to have a standard of righteousness, who will?
if i was a preacher 😎
and i had homosexuals in my congregation, as well as heterosexual fornicators, alcoholics and addicts – my stand would be ‘welcome,’ sit down, shut up and listen. if you’re caught promoting or even justifying your sins to the sheep, we’ll have a talk. i won’t judge your struggles, we all have our own brand of besetting sins that the devil plays on and that’s what we call them here because God does. After we talk you can decide if you want to sit down, shut up and listen and learn of your wonderful Lord or, if you prefer, you can take your agenda and depart in peace. (as MLD’s noted previously) OT discipline was for civil order (think i’ve got that one right), so we won’t stone you or throw you in front of the church ‘naked in your sins.’
The idea of “keeping company with sinners,” has to do with either non-christians, or those young in the faith. As for the church,… “But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints… Ephesians 5:3
Not that it does not exist, but we should not tolerate it where it is known. What else could Paul mean here?
Em…exactly. That is how it is done , and how it will be done, as long as I have some say in things…Unlike the opinions often stated by others, there is no ranking of sins..
So Jim, when was the last time you heard a church kicking someone out for greed?
The reason the Bible’s authority is so important is that it is objective. Our interpretation is subjective, tradition is subjective, but the Bible is an objective standard. Without the authority of Scripture you have no basis for epistemology. The differences are radical enough among those who adhere to the inerrancy of Scripture. Throw that out and anything goes. (Right MacClaren?)
Never. It would be refreshing in some cases.
“so we won’t stone you or throw you in front of the church ‘naked in your sins.”
Back in the 70’s I shared an apartment with a few guys. One night they thought it would be funny to get naked and run around the building. So did I. As they were doing their lap I locked them out and turned on our porch light! I guess you could say they were naked in their sins!
Just for the record, I don’t object to anyone deciding on a set of standards for kicking someone out of the church. I just think they should admit that they made them up arbitrarily, or borrowed them from someone who did.
Based on 1 Corinthians, any time there is incest going on openly among my members I kick them out.
The idea of “keeping company with sinners,” has to do with either non-christians, or those young in the faith. As for the church,…
JIm, what do you see as the distinction between someone in ‘the church’ and those ‘young in the faith’
I ask this in all seriousness, do you see church discipline as varying depending on one’s time walking with the Lord? I’m trying to imagine that in practice..we kicked this guy out for sin X, but these other guys doing the same sin X are cool for now since they are young in the Lord.
Erunner, 😆 bet that won you lots of love… now maybe the discussion can turn to the question of whether or not it is sin to run around outside in the dark of night – naked
I think most churches have a “don’t ask don’t tell” policy. Some of the guys who have posted hear have expressed just that. “If you are famous you are out. If enough people find out about it you are out. But I really don’t want to know about your personal life.” This breeds a culture of deception and dishonesty. “We don’t really want to know what you are doing. Speak the truth and you will be in big trouble.”
I think the reason there is no much cognitive dissonance on this issue is because the theologians (most of whom don’t pastor churches) have told us what we have to do, but intuitively we just don’t feel right about it. So we only enforce it when we have to, as we are forced by public opinion.
Dave, is that discipline (1 Cor. 5) about the sin, or unrepentance over the sin? Doesn’t verse 2 give us the idea that the church was A) Tolerant of the sin and B) unrepentant.
“You have become arrogant and have not mourned instead, so that the one who had done this deed would be removed from your midst.” 1 Corinthians 5:2 NASB
“But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler–not even to eat with such a one.” 1 Corinthians 5:11
The discipline had to do with tolerating sin within the church, they actually celebrated their tolerance. Like the church is doing today.
Reading about church discipline here really underscores the abuses I have seen in my experiences along the way. It seems those instances were more along the lines of a spiritual mugging than anything else.
Dave,”Based on 1 Corinthians, any time there is incest going on openly among my members I kick them out.”
anytime? does this happen often 😯
OK, so we’ve got the Apostolic Period 35-120
* 35 b. Ignatius. His letters to churches and to Polycarp are widely quoted in the early church
* 51 The Jewish persecution of Christians in Rome becomes so disruptive that the Jews are expelled from the city
* 60 b. Papias, Bishop of Hierapolis in Asia Minor. “He was a man of long ago and the disciple of one ‘John’ and a companion of Polycarp,” according to Irenaeus
* 64 Emperor Nero blames the fire that destroys much of Rome on the Christians. He persecutes the church ruthlessly, and uses Christians as candles to light his garden. It is likely that both Peter and Paul were executed during this persecution
* 68 The end of Nero’s reign
* 69 b. Polycarp, in Smyrna. He was a strong defender of the faith in Asia Minor combating the Marcionites and the Valentinians. Irenaeus reported that Polycarp had communication with John the Apostle and ‘others who had seen the Lord’
* 81 Domitian becomes Emperor. As Emperor, he persecuted both Jews and Christians
* 96 The end of Domitian’s reign
* 96 d. Clement of Rome. He wrote influential epistles to Corinth
* 98 Trajan becomes Emperor. Trajan eventually instituted a policy toward Christians that stayed in effect until the time of Aurelius. His policy was not to seek Christians out, but if they were brought before the authorities they were to be punished, usually executed, for being Christians
* By the end of the first century it is possible to document congregations in almost every city that Paul visited on his three missionary journeys. There are also a few churches in Egypt and along the coast of Northern Africa
* 107 Ignatius led to Rome and martyred
* 115 b. Ireneaus, the first great Catholic theologian and author of Against Heresies, a treatise against the gnostics
The Early Church in the Period of the Apologists: 120-220
Justin Martyr, Marcion, Clement of Alexandria, Polycarp, Tertullian, and Origen
* 130 d. Papias
* 130 Conversion of Justin Martyr. Justin loved philosophy, and had studied many philosophies and pagan religions in his search for truth. He was an apologist, and taught that the seeds of truth (logos) could be found in all religions, but that only Christianity taught the whole truth
* 144 Marcion excommunicated for rejecting the Old Testament, rejecting most of the New Testament, and teaching that Christ only appeared to be human (Docetism). His challenge helps the church realize the necessity of formally recognizing the canon
* 150 b. Clement of Alexandria. He was an apologist who used Plato to support Christianity, and tried to reach gnostics by showing that only the Christian had real “gnosis.” He helped establish the allegorical method of interpreting scripture. His works make up a large proportion of The Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. II
* 155 Polycarp was martyred in Smyrna by being burned to death. Polycarp declared, “Eighty and six years have I served Him, and He never did me any injury: how then can I blaspheme my King and my Savior?” The only known writings to survive are parts of letters he wrote to the Philippians
* 156 Possibly the beginning of the Montanist movement. They were an aescetic movement with apocalyptic visions. They claimed the Spirit spoke directly through their prophets and prophetesses
* 160 b. Tertullian. He objected to Justin’s use of philosophy to defend Christianity, saying “What has Athens to do with Jerusalem?.” Late in life he became a Montanist and wrote Against Praxeas, which helped the church understand the Trinity
* 161 Marcus Aurelius becomes emperor. He abandoned Trajan’s passive approach and actively sought Christians to persecute them throughout the empire
* 165 Justin is martyred
* 180 The end of Aurelius’s reign
* 185 b. Origen. Pupil of Clement of Alexandria, he further develops the allegorical method. This and his desire to relate to the Neoplatonists in Alexandria led him away from orthodoxy in some matters. But he is still important to the church. On First Principles is the first systematic theology
* 202 Septimus Severus tries to unite the empire under one religion, the worship of the Unconquered Sun. Both Jews and Christians refuse and are vehemently persecuted
* 202 Irenaeus is martyred(?)
* 202 Clement of Alexandria flees to Syria until his death in 215
* 216 b. Mani, founder of Manichaeism. He fused Persian, Christian, and Buddhist elements into a major new heresy
The Early Church in the Third Century: 220-305
Anthony, The Novatian schism, Eusebius, and Athanasius
* 225 d. Tertullian
* 245 Conversion of Cyprian
* 247 Cyprian becomes Bishop of Carthage
* 249-251 The reign of Decius. He ordered everyone in the empire to burn incense to him. Those who complied were issued a certificate. Those who did not have a certificate were persecuted. Many Christians bought forged certificates, causing a great controversy in the church
* Cyprian went into hiding during the persecution and ruled the church by letters
* 251 b. Anthony. One of the earliest monks. He sold all his possessions and moved to the desert. Athanasius later wrote his biography
* 254 d. Origen
* The Novatian schism develops concerning the treatment of the lapsed. (The Novatians, or Cathari, last until about 600. Read the Catholic view of the schism.) Cyprian refuses to accept the validity of baptism by schismatic priests. The church in Rome is critical of Cyprian’s view, and sends him scathing letters. Carthaginian Councils
* 258 Cyprian is martyred before the issue is settled
* 263 b. Eusebius of Caesarea. He was the first church historian. Many works of the early church survive only as fragments in Eusebius’s writing
* 284 The beginning of the Diocletian persecution
* 286 b. Pachomius, Egyptian pioneer of cenobitic (communal rather than solitary) monasticism
* 297/300 b. Athanasius, the defender of Orthodoxy during the Arian controversy of the fourth century.
The Imperial Church: 305-476
Apollinaris, Constantine, Council of Nicea, Athanasius, and Augustine
* 305 The end of the Diocletian persecution
* 310 b. Apollinaris, the heretic who said that Jesus had a human body but not a human mind; He had the divine mind. Gregory of Nazianzus’ reply: “What has not been assumed cannot be restored”
* 311 b. Ulfilas
* 312 Constantine defeats Maxentius at the battle of Milvian Bridge and becomes Emperor of the West. Constantine had had a vision, and used the letters chi and rho (the first two letters in “Christ”) as his symbol during the battle
* 312 Caecilian elected bishop of Carthage. He was lax toward the Traditores, who had saved themselves by handing over scriptures during the Diocletian persecution. And he seemed unenthusiastic about the martyrs. A group in Carthage rejected Caecilian’s election on the grounds that he was ordained by a traditore. They elected a rival bishop named Majorinus
* 313 Edict of Milan gives Christians equal rights. It is issued by Constantine in the West and Licinius in the East, but Licinius soon withdraws his committment to it
* 314 By this date, there is a significant number of Christians in Britain
* 315 Majorinus dies, Donatus is his successor. This party becomes known as the Donatist party
* 316 The Donatists appeal to Constantine, but he rules against them. Then he outlaws them and banishes them in an effort to unite the church
* 324 Constantine defeats Licinius and becomes Emperor of both East and West. Constantine favored Christianity, which effects the face of the church even today
* 325 Council of Nicea condemns Arianism. Arius, in Alexandria, taught that Christ was the first created being, that there was a time when He was not. The council declared that Jesus was begotten, not made, and that He is Homoousios, of the same substance as the Father
* 328 Athanasius becomes bishop of Alexandria
* 328 Constantine revokes the sentence against Arius
* 329 b. Basil the Great of Cappadocia, the monk who created the basic Rule for the Eastern Orthodox monks that is still in use today. Basil taught communal monasticism that serves the poor, sick, and needy. One immediate effect of the disappearance of persecution is the rise of monasticism to replace the old martyr witness
* 335 b. Martin of Tours, a great monk who is famous for his compassion for the poor
* 337 d. Constantine
* 339 b. Ambrose the Churchman, who fought Arianism and the revival of paganism, and promoted the power of the Church.
* 340 d. Eusebius of Caesarea
* 340 Ulfilas converted to Arian Christianity. He takes it to the Germanic tribes, gives them an alphabet, and translates the Bible into their language. Most of the Germanic tribes became Arian Christians
* 345 b. John Chrysostom, “Golden Mouthed.” He was a bold and reforming preacher, who used the Historical-grammatical method of exegesis. This was unusual, because exegetes had been looking at the allegorical interpretation ever since Clement of Alexandria and Origen
* 346 d. Pachomius
* 347 b. Jerome, the great Bible scholar and translator, author of the Vulgate
* 353 Emperor Constantius releases his pro-Arian campaign and drives Athanasius from Alexandria
* 354 b. Augustine
* 356 d. Anthony, at a very old age
* 361-363 Reign of Julian the Apostate, who converted from Christianity to paganism and restored paganism in Rome
* 361 Julian the Apostate removes the restrictions against the Donatists
* 369 b. Pelagius
* 367 A letter of Athanasius names the 66 books of the canon
* 373 d. Athanasius
* 379 d. Basil the Great of Cappadocia
* 379-395 The reign of Theodosius, who establishes Christianity as the official religion of the Roman Empire
* 381 Council of Constantinople. The Nicene position becomes dominant again, and the legal religion of the Empire. Jesus Christ is truly human, contrary to Apollinarianism, which held that Jesus had a human body but a divine mind. The Great Cappadocians are the inspiration behind the defeat of Arianism at this council. They are St. Basil the Great, St. Gregory of Nazianzus, and St. Gregory of Nyssa
* 382 A council in Rome affirms the authority of the New Testament canon. It is important to remember that the content of the canon was not a conciliar decision. The church recognized, or discovered, the canon. The church did not determine the canon
* 383 d. Ulfilas
* 386 Augustine was converted in a garden in Milan after hearing a child saying “Take up and read!” He took up Romans 13: 13-14.
* 387 Augustine baptized by Ambrose
* c. 389 b. St. Patrick. He was a British Romanized Christian who established Christianity in Ireland
* 390 d. Apollinaris
* 390 b. Leo the Great, an outstanding pope. He was influential in Chalcedon. He also argued for papal supremacy and showed political leadership in his negotiations with Attila the Hun
* 391 Augustine ordained a priest in Hippo, North Africa
* 393 The Council of Hippo recognizes the canon. To be recognized as canonical, a book had to be Apostolic, fit in with the other scriptures, and have been of fruitful use throughout the church up to that time
* 395 Augustine becomes bishop of Hippo
* 397 d. Martin of Tours
* 397 The Council of Carthage agrees with the Council of Hippo
* 397-401 Augustine writes Confessions
Rome reaffirmed the New Testament Canon.
At Efest we will now have to do church discipline on you, for running around with a bunch of naked guys. 😉
I’m being moderated?
The Early Middle Ages: 476-1000
Benedict, Columba, Columban, Gregory the Great, Islam, and John of Damascus
* 480 b. Boethius, a significant thinker who influences the Middle ages. In The Consolation of Philosophy he tries to find comfort in reason and philosophy. He doesn’t quote scripture
* 480 b. Benedict of Nursia, who wrote the normal Rule for Western monks to the present
* 521 b. Columba, Irish missionary to Scotland working from the isle of Iona
* 540 b. Columban, Irish missionary to the continent when it was struggling with a resurgence of paganism
* 525 d. Boethius
* 529 The Council of Orange approves the Augustinian doctrine of sin and grace, but without absolute predestination
* 540 b. Gregory the Great
* 550 d. Benedict of Nursia
Erunner, ‘sp[iritual mugging’ may not be a new term, but it is to me and it is very descriptive of what goes on waay too much IMO
now i will leave this blog to the mature and go answer my oven’s chime
The High Middle Ages: 1000-1299
Anselm, the Roman/Eastern split, the Crusades, Waldensians, Francis of Assisi, and Thomas Aquinus
* 1014 Pope Benedict VIII officially added filioque to the Nicene Creed. It means that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son. He did this to insist on the equality of the deity. But the Eastern Church insists that the Father alone is the origin of both the Son and the Spirit. They are offended that the West altered the Creed without an ecumenical council
* 1033 b. Anselm, father of scholasticism. He proposed the ontological argument for the existence of God. He argued for the necessity of the Incarnation and Redemption of Christ
The Late Middle Ages: 1300-1499
John Wycliffe, John Huss, and Thomas a Kempis
* c.1300-c.1400 The Black Death. 1/3 of the population from India to Iceland is wiped out, including about 1/2 of Britain
* 1309 The beginning of the “Babylonian Captivity of the Church.” For 70 years the papacy was in Avignon and under the thumb of the King of France. The papacy was pro-France, and Britain was at war with France
* 1316 Raymund Lull stoned to death
* 1330 b. John Wycliffe, the most important theologian in Oxford, the most important university in Europe. He taught that we must rely altogether on the sufferings of Christ. “Beware of seeking to be justified in any other way than by His righteousness”
* 1337 Beginning of the Hundred Years’ War
* 1349 d. Thomas Bradwardine, who influenced Wycliffe to adopt Augustine’s doctrine of grace and to reject the Semi-Pelagianism of the Roman Catholic church
* 1371 b. John Huss, Bohemian pre-reformer. He was greatly influenced by Wycliffe. He rejected indulgences and said Christ is the head of the Church, not the pope
* 1377 The end of the “Babylonian Captivity”
* 1378 The Great Schism. Pope Gregory XI moves the papacy back to Rome. France declares Clement VII pope in Avignon. There are two competing popes for close to 40 years
* 1380 b. Thomas a Kempis, author of Imitation of Christ
The Reformation: 1500-1599
Martin Luther, John Calvin, Ulrich Zwingli, and John Knox
* 1504 b. Heinrich Bullinger
* 1507 Luther is ordained as a priest at Erfurt
* Henry VIII becomes King of England in 1509
* 1509 b. John Calvin
* 1510 Luther sent to Rome on monastic business. He saw the corruption of the church
* 1513 Leo X becomes Pope
* 1514 b. John Knox
* 1515 While teaching on Romans, Luther realizes faith and justification are the work of God
* 1517 Luther nails his 95 Theses to the door of the church in Wittenburg. It is the first public act of the Reformation
* Zwingli’s reform is also underway
* 1519 Charles V becomes Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire
Dave, I don’t think your 12:33 is a fair representation of my remarks.
As I said, the issue in 1 Corinthians 5 seems to be the public nature of the sin, and the effect it was having on the congregation. I think I am on at least SOME Biblical authority in my understanding of what is being classed as arbitrary discipline.
I encourage people to talk to me about their struggles with sin. I keep confidence and I also feel that confession (though not in an absolution, priestly sense) is quite helpful in breaking the power of that bondage. We pray and keep in touch. I feel blessed that so many in my congregation are comfortable enough to share with me their struggles – which is the opposite of your point above.
The Puritans: 1600-1699
Richard Baxter, John Owen, Blaise Pascal, John Bunyan, and The Westminster Assembly
* 1603 Arminius takes the position that predestination is based on fore-knowledge
* 1603 James I becomes King
* 1604 The Puritans meet James at Hampton Court. Their hopes are dashed
* 1609 d. Jacobus Arminius
* 1610 b. Brother Lawrence
* 1610 The Arminians issue the Remonstrance containing 5 articles
* 1611 The King James Version, the most influential English translation of the Bible
* 1615 b. Puritan Richard Baxter, author of The Reformed Pastor
* 1616 b. Puritan John Owen, called the Calvin of England
How things change. This is a short clip from a Russian soccer match. The opposing fans are shouting at each other. What are they shouting (in Russian)? Christ is Risen! Indeed He is risen! 20 years ago, would anyone believe this could happen?
So don’t despair, fellow believers. Things can change- even for the better!
No, Jim. I don’t know why it fell in moderation.
The Great Awakening: 1700-1799
Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield, Moravians, Methodists, William Wilberforce, and Charles Hodge
* 1703 b. Jonathan Edwards
* 1706 Francis Makemie founds the first Presbytery in America in Philadelphia
* 1714 b. Immanuel Kant, a leader of the Romantic movement. He said knowledge is not what is, but only what our minds can grasp
* 1714 b. George Whitefield
* 1727 “The Golden Summer.” A revival broke out among Count Nikolaus Ludwig Zinzendorf and the Hussite Moravian refugees he had taken in. Many Moravian missionaries were sent overseas
* During the 1720’s, revival breaks out as Theodore Frelinghuysen preaches in New Jersey. Revival spreads through Gilbert Tennant to New Brunswick. It is the first stirrings of the First Great Awakening
* 1734-1737 The Great Awakening continues as Jonathan Edwards preaches in Massachusettes. Revival spreads to Connecticut
The Second Great Awakening: 1800-1899
Princeton Seminary, Abraham Kuyper, D.L. Moody, John Henry Newman, B.B.Warfield, and C.H.Spurgeon
* 1800 The first camp meeting in Kentucky is presided over by Calvinist James McGready
* 1801 William Carey’s Bengali New Testament published
* 1801 The Cane Ridge Revival in Kentucky is an early stirring of the Second Great Awakening
* 1808 Henry Martyn publishes the New Testament in Hindustani
* 1809 Harvard having been lost to Unitarianism, Andover Seminary is founded
* 1812 Princeton Seminary founded
“1809 Harvard having been lost to Unitarianism, Andover Seminary is founded”
Interesting that even Church History has Man’s taint all over it…man’s particular bias and world-view.
Em and Dave, At times I tend to think out loud! Now I’m facing discipline. 😯
Em, My brother and I were talking today about a very difficult situation that has come up in our lives. We got to sharing about church discipline as we had seen it through the years. When you realize that all discipline/confrontation should have at its core the hope of restoration it makes you wonder what motivated leaders in certain instances. Realizing you sensed something was wrong but kept quiet is very sobering.
Hasn’t happened yet but we have a policy in place just in case.
Whoops, I meant to post that on the Linkathon thread. Sorry ’bout that.
Well never mind. Both threads are about the same thing and I got ’em mixed up.
Church history is more than dates and a catalog of events.
The struggles, the debates, the politics, and the personalities God used are where the story is and where wisdom is found.
Those take time and work to study and learn from.
Copy and pasting takes seconds, being informed and educated takes years.
Dave Rolph said, “we are forced by public opinion.”
That is what I believe is the most important dynamic in play…throughout history…church or otherwise.
Believes posts take me back to the Rich Abanas days. 🙂
When people are “convinced” and a majority are motivated…things get done.
Is God at work behind all of this? Sure He is.
Look at Church History. So much “evolution”…look at the Reformation…they challenged the Status Quo…and then it became the Status Quo…and so on.
For those interested in learning church history Dr. Frank James, formerly of Reformed Theological Seminary, is hard to beat for a teacher.
All three of his courses on church history can be downloaded here;
He makes the subject fascinating and engaging…these are treasures if you choose to mine them.
Michael…I know that.
I am attempting to make a broader point. Some will get it, some won’t.
You are a person who is steeped in the minutia of Church History and Theology…and you deeply believe in a perspective that is from John Calvin.
That’s great and I admire you. That is your conviction. It can also be a stumbling block…not saying “you”…but for some.
I know you don’t over-emphasize Calvinism…as we’ve had private discussions where you point to Christ and not a Theology.
I’m wrestling with this…who determines who is right? Throughout Church History and History…how is something Canonized and determined to be right?
I have my theory on the issue…and it is part of a broader point.
What happened to Rich (and his M & M avatar)? I forgot about those lenghty fact-filled responses he would often offer up…
Homosexuality is always a topic that has the potential to go nuclear as it can be so polarizing. These days when the topic is brought up I have the image of folks from Westboro Baptist Church holding signs at funerals that are disgusting. They just did this in relation to a young woman who was kidnapped, raped, and killed.
Sadly I believe there are those in the church who aren’t too far from these people in their feeling towards gays. And I am NOT intimating this about anyone who has ever posted on PP. It’s the same with racism. I’m surprised at what I hear from people at times.
The idea of homosexual sex has always bothered me. It always will. If all I base an opinion on is just one facet of a complex issue I don’t know that I’m doing myself any favors. When you are face to face with a homosexual you are standing with a flesh and blood person just like anyone else. Not some sort of monster. When I recognized that my issue with the act seems to almost vanish. When I further recognized I’m not so different I can have a heart for that person.
I posted a link about TBN and how they despicably treated a homosexual employee to show how ugly the church can be. At the same time a lot of the church that has never been guilty of any type of sin against homosexuals gets lumped into the stereotypical box.
It seems difficult nowadays to hold to the belief that homosexuality is a sin and to be seen as a loving person. I believe it is very possible but the actions of some drown out what some very decent people might be trying to communicate.
“Believes posts take me back to the Rich Abanas days. :smile:”
The Ten may take offense at that comment! 🙂
My point…and one that I’m not afraid to make people angry about…is that until you study the subject, you don’t have anything valid to base an opinion on.
For instance… your insistence that my view came from John Calvin.
Did anyone in history prior to Calvin teach the same things?
The answer is yes…
Calvin simply systematized and clarified what had been taught before him.
Rich seems to have fallen off the face of the earth.
I have tried to contact him as a concerned friend and haven’t received a reply.
He hasn’t updated his website in ages…
Dave Rolph is speaking wisdom on this thread. It is good for us who are younger to recieve this gold that he has no doubt mined from years of experience in the quarry and trenches of ministry. Dave reminds me of other “giants” of the faith in our time that have grown in grace over the years because of their experiences to supplement their doctrine. Billy Graham, John Stott, J.I. Packer, and now it seems, John Piper, are examples of this. Lions in their youth and with the passing years also exhibiting the Lamb. Those that cannot or do not seek to embark on this path grow into crumudgeons of Christianity. I hope I travel the path of truth, with greater grace, as I grow older.
I liked Rich a lot. I tried a few times to contact him but received no reply.
Quite often when I have refreshed a page here in the last several days what I get is a white background and tons of script that seems to include comments and tons of stuff that is technical. Am I the only one experiencing this??
I was thinking the same thing…
Thats not good…
“crumudgeons of Christianity” 🙂
May I copy and paste your statement @14 on SMP? I think that is worth a serious bit of discussion!
I’ve never seen that, ERunner. Could it be an issue with your computer’s operating system, or your web browser (or both)?
Erunner, it happened to me today as well. White page with all the comments.
Good post! I means a “giant of the faith” but I spent a number of years in the trenches. I am not the same man I was when I came out of college to take my first church. While my stand on the essentials of the faith has not wavered, my dogmatism about the non-essentials has lessened considerably.
I sat down with a pastor friend for coffee the other day. I shared with him my journey, which at times has caused me concern as to where it might take me. His advice still resonates, “Hold tight to what’s important, let loose of what is not”.
I am by no means a giant of the faith.
Wish I could type1
I see that Xenia has experienced the same thing. I wouldn’t know if my computer or browser is involved. I use Firefox. It seems a few times in the past I would notice something and then the site would be gone. Hope that is not the case.
Speaking of Abanas, what happened to Dread? Did I miss something?
“…which at times has caused me concern as to where it might take me”.
I hear ya’.
“Hold tight to what’s important, let loose of what is not”.
That is wise counsel. I would only add, “Hold tight…”
Church discipline is important, sometimes the only way to protect the church, but I think especially when it comes to those not in leadership, and those young in the faith, we need to use a little patience and love, and see if through showing God’s love and praying for the conviction of the Holy Spirit the person will come to repentence before they get that famous “left foot of fellowship”.
Years ago I was involved in a weekly Bible study. I was a discussion group leader, and didn’t know all of the young adults when the study started. There were two young women, brand new baby believers. I didn’t know their stories, but loved their curiousness about the faith and about God and His love. It was all so new to them both. About a month or two into the study one of them was reading her Bible, and discovered the shocking fact (to her) that she was living in sin by living with her boyfriend. She called him, and pointed it out in Scripture. Within a few days they went down to IDO chapel. She also called her friend, who was living with her boyfriend too. The other girl was equally surprised so see that she was in sin, because this was so common in her upbringing, and they too arranged a quick marriage ceremony. They’ve both been married for years now, both grown a lot in the Lord.
I’m really glad that I didn’t know that first day I met them, or I might have lectured them and hardened them. It was so much cooler to get a phone call letting me know that they had discovered this in the Word, been convicted of their sins, repented, and were choosing to live right. It was a lesson to me. I try (sometimes I fail) to take some time and pray and make sure that I sense the Lord is leading before offering up “discipline” or correction.
PTI your number 91
Yes! Amen to what you said.
“Lions in their youth and with the passing years also exhibiting the Lamb.”
Can someone tell me what exactly is being ‘taught’ concerning Ms. Knapp and hypothetical local attendance at a church one of you might pastor.
The woman is saying she is actively involved with a lesbian partner/girlfriend. She is telling this to the press and doing so proudly. She seemingly is abandoning her Christian musical roots to more mainstream material.
Not that she comes and visits you one Sunday. Of course, the doors are open to all who peacefully want to attend. She attends for weeks and weeks and decides she wants to be a member in your church, and as many other members, wants to hopefully get involved with the womens ministry there, maybe teach in the youth group or children’s Sunday school.
Am I alone in saying that such a situation is far, FAR different than someone who comes to me after service and privately talks about his/her same-sex attractions and failings on occasion to live a Christ-honoring life. Someone I pray with, keep confidence with, and keep fellowship and encouragement with.
When Dave Rolph talks from his experience about the right way to pastor, I shut up and take notes. However, I stand by my 12:39 in response to his 12:33
So again I plea, what is it that is being ‘taught’ as to someone living in an open and publicized homosexual (or for that matter heterosexual, non-married) relationship, to which most of the congregation is privy to, and in which there is zero shame or desire for repentance..
I think it’s a legitimate question and one I’ve been struggling with for some time.
I should add that in over a decade of pastoral ministry I have never once exercised church discipline in the public fashion being discussed..
But for the love of God (literally) I certainly reserve the right to and think I have SOME Biblical instruction in doing so.
Dave, I was hoping you would respond to my #60. If 1 Cor. 5 is a guide to how we would handle an unrepentant brother or sister, how do you reconcile that with the “tolerant” stance that you seem to be taking? i think this is a critical issue to both understand and resolve.
We will no doubt face this more frequently in the days ahead.
Dave, I meant what I said about the respect I have for your ministry and experience. I’m not just saying that because that’s what people do here at PP to guys like you, Oden, DMW and others. I am sincere.
So I probably should not have publically challenged you above. I should have disagreed silently.
I did feel it needful, largely because of your respect, to say to the rest of the forum that at least some of us do not have a ‘don’t ask don’t tell’ ministry. I look people in the eye privately, especially our youth, and ask if they are staying clean, or sexually pure. I share with them my struggles when I was their age as an unbeliever. I want them to know they have a sanctuary with me for honesty and trust – and most importantly, they have a Savior to give them victory. I don’t want them to ruin their lives with sin.
So the accusation that instead a breeding ground of deception was being formed sort of rubbed my nose the wrong way.
I have had to exercise church discipline all the way through in only one case…a guy in the church so divisive and angry that his presence caused fear and disruption constantly. All along the way the invite was to come back in the fold – just to leave behind his harsh words and threats – but he wouldn’t do it. Whatever pain was rolling around him kept causing him to justiffy his infliction of pain on others.
This is usually what our sin is all about. The holes in our hearts cause us to grasp ungodly practices, and we justify it because we think we are making progress in becoming whole, when the truth is we are digging deeper holes.
Proudly? I don’t think Jennifer Knapp was boasting about being gay. Being honest about her thoughts is much different than the ACT UP guys showing up at church and screaming their heads off at people.
Absolutely, the hypothetical situation involving this type of person wanting to be involved in your church is much different than her merely showing up and checking things out.
I just listened to a recent sermon by Francis Chan on this subject. “When God Doesn’t Listen”. A powerful message on how throughout the Scriptures, there are times when the Lord will not bless His people due to unresolved sin by someone in their midst. Achan’s sin was the example he used, then humorously added, “A Chan’s sin”. He also referenced Ananias and Sapphira in the NT.
Then he told the congregation that he and the elders had to follow 1 Corinthians 5 and deliver a certain congregant to Satan. In other words they kicked her out. And he said it was because she was an elder’s wife who was divorcing him with no grounds to do so.
Personally, I found myself torn when I heard that. On one hand, I admire his (and his elder’s) courage in their understanding of Scripture. On the other hand, whenever I hear of these kinds of accounts, something just doesn’t seem right. It doesn’t feel right.
I’m not sure that 1 Corinthians 5 is necessarily a guide to how to handle an unrepentant sinner. My contention is that just because something happened once in church history, and is recorded in Scripture, doesn’t mean we have to turn it into a program or ritual and codify it as the rule in every case. And again, if anyone chooses to do that, more power to them, but they’d better enforce it evenly, and for all sins. Don’t just cherrypick the sins you are disgusted by.
So AV, I would disagree with you in your perception of her boasting – I think she came across more humble than arrogant – and agree with you in regards to church discipline.
Church discipline is a necessary evil – you can’t just let anything go. I don’t think that’s what Dave is arguing here. Neither should it be used as the keys to unlock the doors of the holy club.
Dave is right, though, about Knapp being out in the wilderness. I might also add that one who knows her well and has built up trust with her might be the only one to speak God’s truth into her life.
I would obviously have different standards for leaders than I would for attenders. I wouldn’t have JK speak at my church, or even sing, until we had a long talk. But I would welcome her to the church with open arms.
But one could make the case, using the example of Jesus and His selection of His disciples, that I would be wrong to keep her out of ministry. I’m not ready for that though.
Most of the people I know who are living in a homosexual lifestyle are really struggling with it, whether they like to admit it or not. I wouldn’t want to push them away at a critical time when I might be able to help them escape that pain and misery of poor lifestyle decisions. I feel the same way with alcoholics and egotists and legalists.
Feel free to post anything I’ve said here at SMP. I would prefer that you just refer people to here, so they can see the whole discussion in context. I would come to SMP myself and discuss it but since they went private I can’t get there.
I want everyone to understand this correctly, I feel there are some valid questions being asked. I also believe there are times when church discipline will need to be exercised. Having said that, and I believe Dave raised the same question, What about discipline for the errant pastor? Homosexuality has raised eyebrows here today. Does the Bible call it sin? Yes! We are all concerned about how the church should deal with homosexual behavior in the church. Again, valid questions. But in the last days, a pastor appears to be getting away with sinful behavior, and that is a real problem, not a hypothetical one.
I’ve been reading this blog for 4 years. During that time the abuse and sin of other pastors has been documented. And to my knowledge, every one of them are still a pastor! Again, those are facts, not something hypothetical!
So when Dave Rolph comes along and says, “When they start “doing church discipline” on pastors who are filled with pride and greed maybe I’ll give it a second look. For now, I’d rather be accused of keeping company with sinners, as was my Boss”. I have to shout amen.
These comments are not aimed at anyone in particular. I hear what you’re saying. I think everyone has even said that they have never had to exercise discipline. I’m just talking about what we know has (is) happened, not what might.
I am surprised with the things in my church that I tolerate. What makes it bearable at times is that some of these things are not well known. But part of my motive to tolerate some things is the hope that I people would repent and have a fresh walk with God. Too often it doesn’t seem to take hold, but I try to be patient. I cannot extend such patience to those who are blatant about their sin, and refuse to recognize it as such.
As for 1 Corinthians 5, I do think you can interpret Paul’s admonition across the board. In that situation, he was addressing a specific case. This is an area that would be careful in either direction. It just depends on how you interpret the passage.
When “don’t ask don’t tell” seemed to be the norm for the churches there were fewer problems. Now that secular society is pushing a gay agenda, the church is presented with a new challenge. Someone comes “out” and the church shuns and does not lovingly accept nor condone the gay lifestyle. From a secular point of few, the church looks judgemental and unloving. What to do?
Should the church adapt to the popular and current trend of society or fall back on the Bible and what the confessing church has believed and taught and what constitues the mind of the believing church, everywhere, always, and by everyone. Let’s not throw out Tradition and what scripture and the authority of the Church has always taught.
Read The Rebirth of Orthodoxy by Tom Oden
This is how I have come to peace with the these issues.
I’ve been reading this whole thread with great interest because these are important issues (and I’d like to get them straight in my own head and heart!). Thought I’d share a little story FWIW. Stay with me here…I have a point. 🙂
I became a Christian at 15 (am now 29). While much about me changed (anger replaced with peace, etc.), one area of my life didn’t – I was already steeped in pornography at this juncture, and although after becoming a Christian I had the DESIRE to change that because I knew it was wrong, I found that I did not have the strength to do so.
Friends, that put me on a battle that didn’t really resolve until about a year ago (i.e. the Lord has brought me victory). I can’t tell you the depths of utter despair I went to. I would sin, resolve not to do it again, beg God for forgiveness, then find myself “doing what I don’t want to do” again – this went on for years. Led me to the utter depths many times where I at times even despaired of life itself.
One time I listened to a CC pastor on the radio (won’t name him), who all but condemned me (and every time I heard him, seemed to imply the same thing – that I wasn’t saved and was damned to hell). Rather than encouraging me, it depressed me further and if not for Jesus, could have been the breaking point to push me over the edge into taking my life!
What I needed during these years was encouragement to repent, but then go forward in confidence in God’s grace. If I sinned again, then I needed to repent again. God is gracious – grace not a license to sin, but we all can struggle with sin, and we do fall on God’s grace.
Had a church tried to use “church discipline” on me (as I was actually concerned about a bit at a church I was at!) because I struggled with an ongoing pornography problem, it would have been wrong IMO. The reason why is that I was repentant. Sometimes it took me a week or more, but I knew what I was doing was sin and I strived to get right with God (from my heart) each time.
If we truly believe that when a person repents and asks God to forgive that He does indeed do so, then the slate is “clean” again. Thus, once forgiven, I’m no longer a constant sinner in the area of pornography – I’ve been washed clean by Christ. Now if I sin again, then I have to repent again and continue the fight. Because my heart attitude was generally one of repentance and wanting to eradicate the sin from my life, what I needed was grace extended to me and encouragement to go forward, not condemnation and to be shut out of the church.
But here’s the rub: When a person is NOT repentant, that is EXACTLY what they need. If a person won’t acknowledge sin as sin (they won’t agree with God about what they are doing is sin), then they are not in an OK place with God and can be harmful to others. Thus church discipline not only can be used, but should be used, not out of anger or condemnation, but out of love – love for the person, so that they might see the error of their ways and get right before God. It is the most loving thing that can be done because the end goal is to restore that person to fellowship (with God first and foremost because sin separates us from God! and then with one another).
I really do believe the Scriptures are pretty clear on this – they paint a pretty clear picture. The picture to me is clearly this:
– Welcome all into fellowship as long as they will agree to the Scriptural standards (including issues of homosexuality, lust, greed, pride, etc.)
– If a person sins, we extend grace, we don’t condemn, we encourage them and help them to go forward
– If a person is unwilling to agree with God (as revealed in His word) that their sin is indeed “sin” and is thus unrepentant – it doesn’t matter WHAT the sin is, whether incest, lust, homosexuality, greed, pride, anger, lying, cheating, backbiting, blah blah blah…they are putting a stumbling block up between fellowship between them and the Lord – and can easily poison others into their way of thinking (cause problems and division within the Body) Just because one person wants to think their sin is OK, doesn’t mean the church should lower their standards. And by ignoring them and allowing them to continue to fellowship with them, they are indeed doing that in a sense – by leadership remaining silent and not addressing, they are giving what amounts to “silent approval”. This is a dangerous place to be IMO. The most loving thing to do is to confront such a person (in love, not hate or as the “super righteous judge”) but in humility and meekness, but with authority of the Word of God, and give them an opportunity to repent – but if they still refuse, then we are not to associate with them…it is as much for their good as the rest of the body! It is the most loving thing to do.
And by the way, this should be applied regardless of who it is in the church, even a pastor! An unrepentant pastor who is living in willful sin should be removed from fellowship just as anyone else in the congregation who is unrepentant and living in willful sin should be.
I understand where Dave Rolph is coming from (and I highly appreciate and respect him!), but…there is a place for church discipline for the good of every one, including for the individual themselves. And yes, this should be applied evenly for all sin, for all people in the church. It isn’t about a specific sin (i.e. “incest”), but all sin! By singling out “incest” or “homosexuality”, those sins gets placed on a different standard as other sins. And the Scripture to my eyes does not teach this – all sin is an afront to God, regardless of how “acceptable” it may or may not be to man (our “sin ranking” scale).
Not sure if anyone will care, but this all reminds me of an article I wrote at the start of the year that I believe the Lord had me write – a message for the church in 2010 and beyond called “Purify Yourself” (there’s more info too in it about my own personal struggle). If interested, see http://www.laughandlift.com/personalarticles/purifyyourself.html
Sorry for the long message! 🙂
Jumping in … please pray for my mom … I’m waiting for the ambulance … her breathing is just too labored to keep her home. She soooo hates going to the hospital … please pray … Thanks you all!!!
Different standards for leaders — of course — kind of like the pastor is the designated driver
One thing this shows is that there are advantages to a formal membership structure in a church. Whether those advantages outweigh any disadvantages is open to debate.
Ms. Knapp could come week after week, hear the truth, be loved, and not be allowed to become a member while choosing that lifestyle. This would largely shut down the critics.
At most CCs with no membership, there is a de-facto membership that comes based on weeks of attendance, and not on any commitment to the teachings of Scripture as to what we should believe and how we should act as understood by that particular church. The only time those come up then is when someone wants to serve and then, as Dave pointed out, we can deny them.
Does that strike anyone else as troubling?
I read the whole article and I agree with you as to her humility in one sense.
When I say ‘proudly’ I mean in the sense that anyone who professes a lifestyle against Scripture without any sign of remorse or desire to repent. That is what I meant by proud.
She says, when I made the choice to invest in a same-sex relationship, and she says ‘I am happier than I have ever been’
So the message is: giving in to your sexual desires in opposition to the teaching of the Bible has made at least this one young lady the happiest she has ever been.
There is a little justification thrown in by bringing up the shellfish and mixed thread arguments too.
But on the whole, she does not come off as ‘in your face’ by any means. I will grant you that.
Then again, she is also trying to sell a new album too. And most of the ones who might buy it are likely Christians who know of her from her earlier work. While I do see her as sincere, it would be naive to think that this isn’t at least a little part of the puzzle. She seems very private and yet she gives this interview in the context of a new album – not sometime during the last few years when her fans were wondering what happened to her as she traveled the world with her partner (to quote the article).
Nancy, Praying. May Jesus be your peace.
Praying for Nancy and her mom.
Chris Long…I can relate to your recent post more than you will ever know.
I also agree with much of what you posted in addition to your personal struggles (which I entirely relate to).
Joining in prayer, Nancy.
oh how I wish I had been here from the beginning of the debate – oh well, next time. We just had this debate on SMP.
Dave Rolph said, “I’m not sure that 1 Corinthians 5 is necessarily a guide to how to handle an unrepentant sinner. My contention is that just because something happened once in church history, and is recorded in Scripture, doesn’t mean we have to turn it into a program or ritual and codify it as the rule in every case. And again, if anyone chooses to do that, more power to them, but they’d better enforce it evenly, and for all sins. Don’t just cherrypick the sins you are disgusted by.”
If you’re going to have a CCOF that protects the Pastor from the flock…and gives the Pastor the autonomous “authority” to hand-pick a board and mete out justice and remove people in “his” church…and the people have to leave…and leave behind their money they’ve donated…and the church they helped build, whether they’ve done anything wrong, or not…then you better be consistent and apply the same strict standards to yourself when you are in serious unrepentant sin.
But, this often doesn’t happen.
From my experience, it’s OT Justice when someone disagrees or is perceived to have “sinned” or is being used as cover to protect your own sin…and then God is Love, Grace, Forgiveness and Mercy when the shoe is on the other foot.
“Shouldn’t” have it both ways…but the “reality” is so…in some cases…too many within CC, IMO.
….but that can be what happens when you don’t have consistency and clear leadership on these types of issues…instead you have a “Moses Model” and CCOF…which can lead to a free-for-all…and too much power in the hands of the Pastorate…which can lead to a Kempner running off with the land and assets that aren’t his.
AV you are right, she is promoting her new album. And her status as a CCM star of some note will be of interest to interviewers.
I don’t buy your argument about privacy because 1) doing interviews is part of promotion for any newly released album by an artist 2) we don’t know what was going on with her three years ago! We don’t really know her heart now. Only God does. Maybe she hates Him and loves perversion. Or…perhaps she loves Him and is trying to deal with her brokenness that you nor I can ever fully understand, in a way that when you get to the bottom line conflicts with Scripture.
Dave Rolph said, “The reason the Bible’s authority is so important is that it is objective. Our interpretation is subjective, tradition is subjective, but the Bible is an objective standard. Without the authority of Scripture you have no basis for epistemology. The differences are radical enough among those who adhere to the inerrancy of Scripture. Throw that out and anything goes. (Right MacClaren?)”
Yes, I totally agree…Moral Relativism is false (part of my greater point)…Scripture is an Objective Standard. So who holds the authority to be the “decider” on what Scriptures are applicable and how to interpret what Scripture says about Church Discipline, Church Government, Church Organization…within CC?
Truth and Belief intersect at Wisdom (Knowledge).
Michael…how has your pursuit and accumulation of knowledge of Church History and Theology helped you be more like Jesus Christ? Has it increased your Faith? Does it help you do the Two Most Important Commandments?
Serious question…I sincerely want to know.
God bless you man but your continual haranguing on CC and CC pastors ran me off a long time ago!…My friend I am sorry for your experience but your experience doesn’t equal everyone else’s nor is it an accurate reflection of every CC. I know you know that; you’ve said as much But you are like a dog on a bone with this Moses Model thing…As Indian Jones said to the girls after the chalice in The Temple of Doom..”.let it go Elsie”. If you don’t it will kill you. You’ve hung on to it far too long
First of all, the history of the church is the history of our family.
We are part of something two thousand years old and God has poured out His Spirit in wisdom on His people since Pentecost.
It’s in church history that I learn why we believe what we believe, how our dogmas and doctrines came into being and why we don’t believe other doctrines or dogmas.
It’s in church history that I find examples of faith lived out and faith in action…and mistakes and misjudgments to avoid.
There is no greater science than that of theology…for it is the study of God.
As I study I learn and can be transformed while gaining wisdom and growing in grace.
My faith has been sunk in bedrock as I read the stories of the martyrs…my work ethic encouraged and defined by men like Calvin who literally worked themselves to death for the glory of God, my heart warmed by the words God gave His servants over the millennia.
I learned I’m part of an ancient and noble family whose Father reigns in heaven.
I learned far more than all of that…as I daily learn more about Him through the lives of others.
BrianD, I didn’t know I was making a point about privacy for you to buy! 🙂
And I agree I don’t have any right to a claim to know her heart or her inner struggles. I think that is why when Jesus spoke on church discipline he said to let the unrepentant be unto you as a publican – their standing with the Lord is between them and the Lord. But there is a point where one’s sins open them up to be treated by the church as if they are an unbeliever.
my work ethic encouraged and defined by men like Calvin who literally worked themselves to death for the glory of God,
Matthew Henry too in his devotional commentary on the whole Bible..it killed him.
AV,” But there is a point where one’s sins open them up to be treated by the church as if they are an unbeliever.”
i agree (FWIW), it might be helpful to be clearer on that ‘point.’ – just how to recognize the ‘point’ and, mebbe, what to do then
Steve H…I do need to separate CC from CC pastors…and not broad-brush ALL the pastors…many of you are really good guys.
However, CC is a System. The Dove is a Brand and there is a “Franchise” perception…people have an expectation based on Chuck Smith and CCCM…and believe there is integrity and a “warranty” if you will…when they see the “official” Dove hanging on the Church Building.
There’s a group of CC pastors on the PP. There are many in the Movement who read here.
There are many who have been hurt in the Movement who read here.
There are many former pastors and kids and staff and attenders of CC who read here.
I’m literally a product of the CC family…still consider myself a part of it.
Our “family” has issues that need to be dealt with.
There have to be standards…the Objective Standard Rolph references…otherwise you have Moral Relativism and you end up like McClaren…and you have thrown out the Baby with the bathwater.
Someone has to make subjective interpretations of the Objective Truths in the Bible….on all issues…including Church Government, Church Discipline, etc.
When you are a denomination in certain practices while pretending not to be one in other areas…there are issues that arise.
With CC, you have quite a hodge-podge…which is unwise. You have a System that gives guys Doves…without much vetting (if any)…and puts them in authority with a powerful Brand…you then have a stated philosophy articulated as the Moses Model for Church Government that gives a lot of authority to the local un-vetted pastor…and you set up an office called CCOF with an attorney in charge of it…whose job it is to protect the Pastor from the Flock. Then CC says it is not a “denomination”…
The Scriptural Justification given is the Old Testament example of Moses.
Chuck Smith made the subjective determination based on his interpretation of Scripture that this was the way the church should be governed…and that is the Model my step-dad employs…and others in the System employ…Kempner being one of those others.
More things I’ve learned…
I don’t always have to be right because nobody has ever been entirely right…
I learned to read primary sources instead of taking others word for what was said or written by someone…
I learned humility because the more I learn, the more I find I don’t know…
I learned to never be dogmatic about things God has not spoken directly to…
I learned that my family is a lot larger than the boundaries of any tradition…and God loves them too.
Michael…your 5:01pm…that gave me goose bumps. Awesome.
Have I mentioned that many of us really appreciate what and how you bring things to the table?
Seriously…you make this a better place.
AV said, “But there is a point where one’s sins open them up to be treated by the church as if they are an unbeliever.”
Yes. Which means then we should reach out to her as if witnessing to an unbeliever.
Pastor / elders found to be in unrepentant sin should be rebuked publicly so others take warning and they should be removed from their position (with the opportunity to be restored in some capacity after confession and repentance).
A church-goer / member should simply be a ministry…as if they were an unbeliever attending an Outreach. Isn’t that how the Church is to treat an unbeliever?
coming off of Michael’s observation concerning what AV contributes here – amen and i didn’t mean to imply that AV was on the hook to define the ‘point’ – i meant that we seem to have trouble defining the point at which we (you pastors, to be more specific) have to put the foot down
“Yes. Which means then we should reach out to her as if witnessing to an unbeliever.”
Depending on the person, that or as a believer entangled in sin. Definitely with love.
I haven’t read the whole thread so I don’t know if this got cleared up (I read the first 55 this afternoon and just came back and read the last 10)
Dave Rolph when talking about expelling the immoral brother, said that it took a special dictate from the apostle to do it. I don’t think so. I think that the church was charged with church discipline and Paul in 1 Cor 5 is terrible upset with the church leadership because they had not followed through. So, Paul, taking charge ordered them to do so.
I think that church discipline is quite important, should probably be used sparingly and with the soul purpose of repentance and restoration.
Here is the question for those who have active homosexuals and heteros living together and you don’t discipline them – what would you do if you found a guy in your congregation sleeping with his father’s wife?
1 Corinthians 5:11 But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who calls himself a Christian who is sexually immoral, or greedy, or an idolater, or verbally abusive, or a drunkard, or a swindler. Do not even eat with such a person. 12 For what do I have to do with judging those outside? Are you not to judge those inside? 13 But God will judge those outside. Remove the evil person from among you.
MLD, would one ask the guy, “you gonna do that again?” – if he replies i don’t want to, but i can’t seem to help myself – seems to me the pastor would say “well then, you can’t fellowship here until you can solve this egregious sin…” so… two same sex people living together, but not admitting to ‘having carnal knowledge’ of one another, do you possibly insult them by asking? …or do you apply don’t ask don’t tell and pray? and if they say yes, but we need to seek the Lord??? wow! is there an answer?
then there’s 1Cor5:11 … praying for you pastors and the rest of us too … God will judge – in His time, He will judge
how does volition factor in? the things that i would not do, i do – to paraphrase Paul
I have a confession to make.
oh…maybe be I should tell you that this is off topic.
I went to the store to get some lotion…I got to the car and was looking over my receipt and discovered that I was not charged for it. I….without even thinking…. put the key in the car and started it up…..yikes!! I had to scold myself…walked myself right back into the store and paid for it. don’t even know what I was thinking…wasn’t thinking… 🙁 I just know I feel terrible.
Michael…your thoughts on the impact of study on who you are as a believer and as a person truly blessed me tonight.
I have pointed SMP folk to this thread. We are discussing it. I started a new topic on 14, because I think you are on to something. I would send you the sign up link, but I don’t know what the link is (I really should) and Chad is off on a fishing trip, so I don’t think it wise to call him while he is knee deep in a creek of bliss. I will get back to you on that asap. Thanks!
Thank you…I tend to get excited about the topic. 😉
Dave Rolph said, “My contention is that just because something happened once in church history, and is recorded in Scripture, doesn’t mean we have to turn it into a program or ritual and codify it as the rule in every case.”
Kind of like the Moses Model.
“Calvary Chapels are independent and self governing churches. They do not employ congregational polity, believing that congregations made poor decisions in the Old Testament, citing Exodus 16:2 as an example. They believe that the New Testament clearly ordains the presbyterian and episcopal forms of church government, looking to Acts 14:23 and 1 Timothy 3:1.
The majority of Calvary Chapels have adopted models of government based on the theocracy that God established in the Old Testament—sometimes called the “Moses model”. In this system, God was head of his people and under God’s authority was Moses, who led the Israelites as God directed him. Moses also had a priesthood and seventy elders providing him support. Calvary Chapel has adapted this schema so that their pastors have a role like Moses and their boards of elders function in supporting roles.
The Calvary Chapel Outreach Fellowship (CCOF) has the responsibility of affiliating churches with Calvary Chapel. A church that affiliates with Calvary Chapel often (but not always) uses the name “Calvary Chapel”. Three requirements for becoming affiliated exist:
1. the pastor must “embrace the characteristics of the Calvary Chapel movement as described in Calvary Chapel Distinctives”
2. the church must have the characteristics of a church (as opposed to a less-developed home fellowship)
3. an applicant must express willingness to spend the time to fellowship with other Calvary Chapels
The requirements do not include a seminary degree. In accordance with Calvary’s interpretation and understanding of the Bible (see 1 Timothy 3:2 and 1 Timothy 3:12), Calvary Chapel does not ordain women or homosexuals as pastors.
Regional lead pastors exercise a measure of accountability. Since no legal or financial ties link the different Calvary Chapels, only disaffiliation can serve as a disciplinary procedure.”
I’m considering doing a thread on animal husbandry or radish farming to see if you could relate the “Moses Model” to that as well…
There comes a point where people just turn you off…
I’m reading a book for the first time this evening. It’s titled “A Tale Of Three Kings” by Gene Edwards. As I’m reading it seems this is an excellent little book for all of us in dealing with unfair leadership in the church. Chapter 15 discusses what kind of man Saul was. There’s some very sobering stuff in this book.
Michael. LOL. Literally
Erunner, great book I’ve read it several time, get something new out of it each time I read it.
That said, Believe, I feel for you. I was burned in a CC that was not blood family and it took a long time to move past it. I can only imagine what you go through.
Keep moving through it.
Believe, I don’t want to see you do anything that would damage your legitimate concerns. Not every Calvary Chapel pastor, staffer, attendee is evil and corrupt.
You won’t change everyone in this lifetime. I won’t, Michael won’t, no one will. So seek to be heard by the influencers God brings across your path, and perhaps the Lord will use your story to stir those men to help make changes that you would not be able to in and of yourself.
And, don’t allow your frustrations to turn others away from you.
In my own way I have struggled with the same thing. You speak out, and speak up, and end up turning other people off and alienating them. Sometimes it’s best to speak up anyway, and let those people cut themselves off from you; sometimes, it’s best to pick and choose where and how you speak to them about the things that concern you. It sucks, but that’s humanity. Don’t do damage to your cause that doesn’t have to be done.
have it your way…you wore me down…you win
You’re relentless…every thread…you’ve succeeded in chasing many of the “good” pastors away or a least discouraging them from posting and interacting here
Re: 1 Cor 5 — I firmly believe there is an objective principle there. The details may vary. but if you have a situation like theirs was, with a person in gross moral sin, it was widely known and the leaders were in essence giving approval to it by their silence. Remember silence is consent. And the sin is such that even the unbelieving world in general looks down on it, then is some form that person needs to be dis-fellowship. The goal in the situation was bigger than the restoration of one individual, it was a church being put at great risk of having an outbreak of unmoral sexual license that would bring huge shame on the Name of the Lord, and would destroy more than just the one man in the sin. I believe is all that criteria is met, then action must be taken. even though in this age, the church down the street will be happy to let them in and hear terrible stories about how unloving that other fellowship is and how mean the pastor is. If Local churches would back up each others discipline problems, then we would see repentance. But sometimes you need to take action to save the whole fellowship.
I once had to remove a woman from fellowship, and she went to another Calvary, I called the pastor there and told him he had a new couple coming, but the problem was that her male lover was married to a wonderful Christian woman who had come to me pleading with me to do all I could to help get her husband back. Well the other CC pastor said we are a loving fellowship…. That’s when I lost it, and I told him we are a hateful fellowship and we are not finished making her miserable yet, and would he please send her back.. then I got really sarcastic — In any case, our fellowship learned a lesson and his fellowship learned a lesson. My fellowship learned that Adultery is wrong, his fellowship learned that it’s no big deal, and in the years to come the fruit became clear.
Yes restoration of the sinner is important, but there are times when the saving of a whole fellowship supercedes that, and you have to stand up and do what is right. By the way, the cost to me was 2/3 of our church left, and I am still painted as a villain to this day, and that happened over 25 years ago. You see her version was told freely, while I didn’t choose to keep it alive. I just obeyed the word and moved on regardless of the cost to me.
It is the principle not the details that we need apply.
I loved reading A Tale of Three Kings. I highly recommend it.
Erunner, I hope you find as much insight in what I think is Gene Edwards best work. Over the last few years as I have grappled with how to handle bad leadership and betrayal, I have found his insights into David very helpful. I have often been reminded that I can’t control the actions of others, but I can choose my response.
That’s ok Hopkins, you guys have your own little club going anyway. The “good” pastors can just take ideas from here and go talk to each other about them over there anyway…that way ya’ll don’t have to bother with the riff raff 😛
I know I come off as way to joyful and not serious and often just look at the sunny side of the street. Um oops wrong personality. Actually I have been a stick in the mud and a rebel with out a clue. It has just been such an awful few weeks from a spiritual stand point so I decided to go dig up all the skeletons again so I can rattle them so I might feel better. Problem is I dont when I do that I feel like I am just spitting in the face of Jesus. I hate that when I do that. You folks have been so patient with me and all my spew. It really is not who I am but its like I just want to scream. But that is not how one treats friends, or anyone for that matter. God be with you all. I hope to repent, and I am, through His grace trying to change, well actually He is changing me. I wish you all the best.
“That’s when I lost it, and I told him we are a hateful fellowship and we are not finished making her miserable yet, and would he please send her back.”
DMW, you are priceless.
Michael…late just to say I saw your kind words above. Thank you.
jlo and Isaiah 56:1, I’ll finish the book today and it’s quite good and seems to have so much to offer in the way of leadership issues in the church. Seems to me like something we could all learn from by going through it together. I picked it up on the way out of church Tuesday as it was on a cart of books that are offered for free. God bless you both.
I came late to the party, but I’d like to add some reasons to Michael’s excellent list about “why church history.”
1 — Quite simply, nothing comes from nothing. Church history is often flawed and ugly. But there’s also a great deal of wisdom to offer from those who ran the race before us.
And it’s always struck me as arrogant to think we modern Christians are so enlightened that we don’t need the experience and wisdom of those who came before us.
2 — You’ll find there really isn’t anything new under the sun, especially when it comes to theology and the church vis-v-vis the world.
3 — It gets you out of the “just Jesus and me” mindset that’s so common. As Don Matzat, the original Issues Etc. host used to say, “This Christianity — it isn’t about you!”
4 — If you want to broaden your view of God, try reading folks like Calvin, Augustine, Luther, Athanasius and Ignatius, as well as other Church Fathers. There’s nothing on the contemporary scene that comes close.
5 — If you’re part of a group with a history, you’ll appreciate how it is that your group came to believe as it does
On the negative side, lack of knowledge of what’s come before us in church history can be a contributing factor when a church, doctrinally or otherwise, goes off the tracks and becomes cultish. I was involved in a CC where there was a real haughtiness about other churches, especially ones who’d been around longer than 50 years. But the pastor just didn’t have much exposure to other traditions.
i think i’ve heard the sentiment below expressed here a time or two 😉
“Blogs, to me, are not repositories of conclusions, but places to grow and develop” Ed Cyzewski
we’re in your debt, Michael
“I was involved in a CC where there was a real haughtiness about other churches, especially ones who’d been around longer than 50 years. But the pastor just didn’t have much exposure to other traditions”
I could tell you several stories about the Lutheran church I was confirmed in….but I won’t!
DMW…your 10:35pm…you are a man of principle. What character! No wonder you had a difficult time within the Movement.
To the many Calvary Chapel pastors that I have met through this blog:
Thank you for your integrity. Thank you for your patience with me (then Ex Calvary) when I was spewing venom 4 years ago. I appreciate each one of you! 😉
Pastor Steve’s #184 that right on the money – but how do we decide when to vent or share here?
It can happen in any “tribe” in Christendom. Human nature being what it is. It’s ugly when any group in Christendom thinks only they are the ‘anointed.’
But I contend that all things being equal a broad knowledge, understanding, and appreciation for church history is a good thing.
I have no problem with venting! I appreciate the fact Michael has provided a place for people of any denomination or the Dove to share their hurts here. I know too that people feel deeply wounds that have been inflicted upon them. I am sad to say, I have inflicted a few myself.
It’s the failure to take responsibility to move on that discourages me. When every thread becomes a platform for spewing venom about the same issue over and over again, I truly get discouraged. BTW I’ve been here for 4 years.
I think I represent the larger body of CC pastors. Some fly the Dove; others like me,don’t. Some follow to the letter the distinctives, others like me ascribe more to CC’s method of teaching the scriptures. Most are good men, who make mistakes but don’t have a platform or the time to defend themselves. Most like me, take the approach of Nehemiah in chapter 6 and simply keep working “on the wall” when an accusation comes, choosing not to leave the good work they are doing to fight a battle for their reputation hoping instead, that the Lord will exonerate them.
So it’s not the airing of hurts or the problems with CC, or Todd Bentley, or Kempner that’s the issue…thank God for a place that allows that….but some how we need to find a better way to move on. From my end and others who post here, we’ve given, I believe good reason to believe there are some integrous men within the movement and good cause for hope! But some want to keep going backwards. I understand that people have some deep wounds and it takes time to heal…but at some point, we’ve got to take responsibility to move forward and it may just being by making a choice to forgive, and move on.
I know too that even after making that choice, memories will flare up and we stall out…I think the PP family understand that…but the obsession with anger and revenge or what ever is sometimes oppressive…and well, discourages me from posting here.
I, like a lot of guys here want to be part of the healing process, but none of us can help with that unless there is a commitment to move forward.
That’s where I stand..That’s my “heart” .But Im just one voice among man here.
You see, this is what I love about this site. People have fellowshipping with one another, discussing very difficult issues, agreeing and disagreeing, challenging one another out of the Word and from the Spirit of love. Others have been complimented and some corrected, some have become frustrated, but haven’t given up looking for the best in the brethren.
In the midst of it all we have communion, love and a desire from each one of us (I presume) to grow in the knowledge and grace of God.
I love it!
I have learned alot here!
Much wisdom in your post.
I pray that we won’t pile on CC or any other group and I pray we can keep learning from one another. This place, I believe, is unique in that respect.
Great words Steve! Sorry I missed you on FB this morning.
Steve H, thank you for sharing your heart. I had a conversation last night with someone who knows you a whole lot better than I do…and they affirmed that you are a good guy, a man of integrity as far as they know…and that you have had a generally good experience in the Movement.
And I want to “move-on”, I want to “get over it” and I pray I get there. I can’t help but caring deeply and I can’t help the open wounds that injustice and unaccountability bring with them. It’s the “fruit”…the “reaping” part of the “sowing” of others and myself.
I’ve got a lot of “points” (from recent discussions) dangling out there that require some closure.
1. The Bible was Canonized by a work of the Holy Spirit, through Men. I wanted to have more discussions and draw people out and test the ridiculous ends (in both directions) of that argument…from Super Strict Literalist on one end…to It’s A Bunch Of Allegorical Stories…on the other end….but for the sake of time (and Michael’s sanity)…let’s all agree that the Bible is Canon for a reason and contains in it an Objective Standard. There are Subjective interpretations, Subjective applications, etc….but that doesn’t remove the Bible as the Objective Standard…the “absolute truth”….that we should strive for…without it becoming an “idol” and without the pursuit of literalism becoming our “god”. There’s a balance there somewhere.
2. Church History is important. Not just highlights like Michael pointed out, but a deeper understanding of what’s happened before us…and there is nearly nothing new under the sun…like BrianD and others point out…however, one man in his Vapor builds on top of what was left by another man. Michael points out he likes to go directly to the source…the context was straight to Calvin and other Church Fathers and their writings…which is wise…when wrestling with Theology and Church History. It is also good to go directly to the source and take an honest look at Scripture yourself…no preconceived notions…as difficult as that is…and struggle through passages…just you and the Holy Spirit, trying to block out doctrinal “boxes” and Theological “systems”…approaching the Word as a Child. Doing both, IMO, is wise. All one way, or all the other way leads to extremes and is unwise.
Church History is still being made. Another “Reformation” could be on the Horizon. God is God and if He decides to radically shake things up like He did during Luther’s time…then it will happen. While it is important to know the History…it is important to be open to the Holy Spirit and respond to God’s prompting. Had Luther and Calvin stayed silent and not challenged…we’d all be doing “Hail Mary’s” and probably been fondled by a priest or two.
3. Moral Relativism is a dynamic. Church History proves it. Read some of Luther’s writings about the Jews…it was accepted as OK in his day…doesn’t make it “right”. Even our great “fathers” were sinful jerks and Moral Relativists on some issues, while mining Objective Truth out of Scripture. This example should make us more humble about not putting too much emphasis on our “Fathers”…be they Calvin, Luther or Chuck Smith…while still learning from what they got “right”. Moral Relativism is prevalent in our Vapor. We have a “picking and choosing” of Sins and Scripture in our Church today. I choose to focus on CC, because I love CC…am literally a product of CC…and want to see it change…but much can be applied to all churches…and to my own personal life (which I try to do).
Chuck Smith stepped out in Faith and was raised up by God to reach the Hippies….at the time in our Society they were the “least of these”…the Outcasts…the Tax Collectors and the Sinners. God did a MIGHTY work.
The devil doesn’t like that very much.
A cult of personality began….and a Movement started. Something “new” in the Rigid Timeline of Church History.
That can be intoxicating and challenging.
A Work of God turned into a non-denomination Denomination…with a hodge-podge road map…much like the Early Church and all the examples of problems that ensued…because we are Fallen men and women…and the devil is a formidable foe and uses Man’s Pride as a powerful weapon. When a Man starts truly believing he is a “prophet of God” rather than “the Servant of All”…bad stuff happens.
Choices were made by the Leader of the Movement. A System was developed on the fly. Scriptures were used and interpreted Subjectively to support choices made from the Leadership of the Movement. Issues like Vetting a Pastor, Church Governance, Distinctives, Accountability and even a loose Theology (Balance in Scripture Position articulated by Smith). There were terms and conditions put in place for getting a Dove. Conferences that bring Affiliated Pastors together….and a Bible College to impart the Teachings of Chuck Smith.
The Movement has experienced some Growing Pains….and some issues as a result of a lack of wise Leadership and a hodge-podge Accountability Structure based loosely in Scripture.
Moral Relativism is prevalent in the decision-making process. Read Chuck’s writings. Again, he is a Man of God and God has used him mightily…however, when it comes to developing a Movement that has evolved into a System/Denomination…his Scriptural backing and his reasoning for why CC does what it does…contributes to problems and requires a Second Look.
“Church as a Business” is Extra-Biblical…Subjective. CC’s Accountability Structure is based loosely on Scripture…and is a Subjective Interpretation of Chuck Smith. At the Local Level, Subjective Interpretation and Subjective Application is even more prevalent and more egregious (in some instances, NOT all)…and the rationale used for Justifying the practices is the Model established and articulated by Chuck Smith. Often the Application is inconsistent, as Rolph warns in an earlier post. Strict Biblical Standards for the flock in terms of Church Discipline…and virtually no Standards for the Pastorate (IN SOME CASES).
My challenge to you Steve H and the other CC pastors is this: The Good Guys in the Movement need to take some ownership of the Movement and lobby actively for Reform. Going with the flow and worrying about your own business…and not taking vocal and active stand in the Movement is a choice. Organize and take a stand for Reform based on the Objective Truths found in Scripture. In Church History it was Councils who made the decisions that stood the test of time…not One Man (other than Christ himself). Our CC “Family” needs to have a Council wrestle with who we are, why we are, what we are, and how we are to “Do Justice and Love Mercy” and do things like Church Government, Church Discipline, Pastoral Accountability, etc. Theology is another issue. I don’t see “bad fruit” from the Theology of CC (in regards to Arminianism vs. Calvinism and Eschatology)…I see lots of “bad fruit” from the structure of the System and the current articulation of the issues above.
Praying about things is great. Chuck Smith stood up. He prayed and God spoke to him…and he took action. He didn’t pray and pray and say, “God will take care of it, I’ll just keep on praying and God will handle it”. God said, “Chuck, go do this”…and Chuck responded.
There has been Good Fruit and Bad Fruit. The Good Fruit is evident…so is the Bad Fruit.
4. 1 Cor 5 , 1 Timothy 3 , 1 Timothy 5 are all in the Bible for a reason. I agree with Rolph’s point about inconsistency in application, I disagree that that Scripture (1 Cor 5) possibly shouldn’t be looked to as an example to model. I agree with DMW that the Principle (in the context we’ve established that the Bible contains Objective Standards) is sound.
The Church cannot “tolerate” unrepentant sin. Confession and Repentance when confronted is one thing. Unrepentance after confrontation…quite another. It starts at the Top…the Leadership of a Church. When you have a Leadership that tolerates known sinfulness of it’s Pastors and Leaders…how are you ever going to have a Credible Moral Standard that can be applied to the Flock.
My step-dad used his “authority” that was handed to him directly by Chuck Smith…who received his “authority” directly from God. My step-dad believes he is a “prophet of God” and that the ends justify the means…as his actions support that supposition. He has exacted a very strict interpretation of Scripture in our home…and a very strict interpretation of Scripture at CCV in terms of Church Discipline and what he’s learned from Chuck Smith and CCCM. Does this mean all you CC pastors have? No. But, my step-dad has…and others have. One is too many.
There were opportunities over the many years for something to be done, that would have stopped abuse. That didn’t happen. Still hasn’t happened.
You can tune me out. No problem. I understand that. I don’t believe it’s wise, but I understand it from a human perspective. God will work regardless.
The problem, as I have expressed over and over again, is that you want to dominate every thread, every day with your issues.
It’s not helping, it’s wearing out the whole community.
We all understand the frustration, but this will not lead to a solution.
…agree with Steve’s 8:28 post, it’s time to move on, and that means ALL of us, not just you and your issues with your step dad & CCV but for me, I am looking forward to seeing Jesus do might things in each church and every person in my path!
Let’s inspire each other to healing, love & good works.
Create art, write books, make music, feed the hungry, finance the poor, give away bibles, whatever floats one’s boat!
Friday’s past, Sunday’s past as well, so it’s a new day and someone’s got to put on the coffee…
My heart hurts for you, but I have to agree with Steve. We have all heard you over and over again. We know and understand (limited understanding yes) what you are saying. We have affirmed you, loved you and prayed for you and continue to pray for you and all your family. But you really don’t need to keep going over and over this. I know your are hurting and may I encourage you that the next time you want (need) to go over the abuse issue again, rather than write several paragraphs about the abuse and your history all over again,…just ask for prayers. We are here, we care, but we don’t need to hear the gory details over and over again. I know that many here are praying for you and will continue to pray for you when you ask. Details need not be repeated.
I write this with a mother/grandma love for you. I am praying for a healing for your broken heart. Please accept this as written in love.
Take interest in the individuals who post here. Put yourself on a fast and force yourself to stop talking about CCV and your issues for awhile. Engage the hurting without retelling your story, bring some good news of projects that you see coming together.
For a long time I was processing the loss of my fav pastor at CBC. People here were kind and patient but even I earned an occasional “enough!” and rightfully so.
There is not one person here who does not consider you a friend, know that.
Just show us more of the rest of you, the beautiful child of God that you are, and know that we will continue to pray for you, for good, for blessing, for creativity.
Steve Hopkins says:
April 15, 2010 at 8:23 am
It’s the failure to take responsibility to move on that discourages me.
Steve — moving on is really hard when you were wounded by someone you viewed as being “‘Of God” because the person is often left with a combination of self condemnation and anger, and some deep inside feel that God did it to them, and perhaps they had it coming. It is the mixture that makes it hard. I was always in trouble when I was in school, but God was never brought into it. It was pretty simple, i broke the rules and paid the price. But when it is a man and you didn’t even break the rules, and they trash you, it get complex.
It took me 6 years after the first time I was “marked” by a Christian group before I could go back to church. It took a lot longer to get to a point that what they did to me was not the “main topic” in my life.
There is nothing I desire more than to see the wounded “move on” but I know it takes a lot of time for some.
Here I am almost 40 years later and abuse from those with Spiritual Authority is still a major topic in my life. Not because I still have any personal problems but because I can remember how it felt to be told I was lost and could never be saved. I was told I was a cancer, and reprobate. I was a very young Christian with no experience outside ministries in the sphere of Calvary and I didn’t have enough knowledge in the Word or friends in the Body of Christ to help me. They used Hebrews 6: 4* For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, 5* And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, 6* If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. 7* For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God: 8* But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.
and I left there believing I was going to hell and there was nothing I could do about it. When I learned enough to know they were wrong I hated them, and it took a long long time to stop hating them.
Michael, that will be my last post regarding the specific issue for a long time (here on PP anyway).
Pastor Steve, i so appreciate your #189 – what good words – i responded a while back but my comment went somewhere off into infinity and i’ve questioned whether to chime in again here – but having “been there, done that,” i will…
Believe has a valid grievance, an issue that is worth making public (IMO), but i also see something i’m familiar with: a compulsion… a compulsion to fix, to vindicate – even when it becomes evident that it’s something that isn’t going to be fixed by God in time… maybe not in Eternity either.
It is possible that grace is at work, God’s incredible patience. It’s possible that were He to bring down His hammer of justice, you’d wish you’d prayed more… I do think that God values our souls way more than He does anything else – just sayin … again
As Believe knows, I’m going to be working with a couple wonderful folks to set up a site that is dedicated to abuse issues and recovery.
I won’t be involved past offering whatever wisdom I’ve acquired over the years to help them get started.
I think such a site is needful and will be a great help to folks still raw from pain.
That will be a couple months down the road…
BTW – one of the most basic unspoken goals of PP is to get people to move on. But you can’t get them to move on by telling them to move on. We need to come along side and walk with this a while, and show them how to move on without ever telling them to move on — does that make sense?
To say “Move One” is like a command that exactly what their abuser would tell them — and if we would help someone, we must avoid sounding like their abuser. I believe the more you say “move on” the more you hinder their ability to move on..
anyhow – just my 2 cesnts on that one.
All of you are “right” in Principle…and I love you all (and like you). Michael, you very much as well. Steve H and all the CC pastors out there, as well.
Thanks for all the affirmation, the encouragement, the reproof, the patience and most of all…the “love”.
Grendal…some good things:
It has been over a year now since I have looked at any pornography. I hate the sin…I’m more angry at it than other issues I’ve railed against.
I love being a Dad. My daughter is such a sweetheart and so obedient and smart. My son is a mischievous little monkey…quite naughty and spirited…and smart…the naughtier he is, the more I show him patience and love and am responsible in discipline…and it works! I love them both so much…and thank God for them.
I can count on one hand how many times I’ve yelled at my wife in the last year. I used to be able to count on two hands daily or weekly. When it now rears it’s ugly head…I am angry at the sin and I turn away from it. Praise God.
I don’t have a spirit of fear anymore. I’m not afraid to die, not afraid to live. Praise God.
Those are some good things.
Believe,” not afraid to live. Praise God.” amen and that tug you feel is all of us grabbin atcha to make sure you don’t go out that virtual door
I don’t think one of my goals is for people to “move on”…that implies forgetting about the injustice and pain.
It is a pastoral goal to help people “move forward” toward healing and wholeness while acknowledging wrong has been done.
Let me encourage you to not go to the opposite extreme where you would end up always avoiding saying something about your past circumstances or your opposition to the CC system. However, the key is finding a balance, and for the past few months we all know towards which end of the balance you have been at.
You have a lot of good things to say. In fact, I often find myself agreeing with many things that you say. But of late, I, too, have found myself tiring of your posting because it is so often the same rehashing of the same general issues. Even though many of your ideas and points may be good, they start losing their effectiveness due to the overwhelming repetition.
I am a general newcomer to the PP. Ironically, I found PP right about the time you first showed up. But it took me a lot longer until I began posting, and even at that, I obviously do not post very much compared to many of the regulars. I do not personally know anybody here, but I got hooked because I found the blog fascinating. I have read over quite a bit of the history of the blog, however, and I have seen similar patterns to you with some others in the past. Since his name was just brought up the other day, one classic example was Richard Abanes. I think he had a lot of good points and thoughts in many of his posts. But he also became very overwhelming in a lot of ways, and for the most part, it did not seem that his time ended well on this blog. I hope RIchard is okay wherever he is and whatever he is doing. I just don’t want to see the same type of “burnout” happen with you, because you seem to be a good guy.
So do not feel that you shouldn’t ever say anything about your personal past circumstances or your issues with CC. But for the most part, we all fully know what you feel and believe about these things, so there is not a great need to repeat them very much. But I’m sure there will be appropriate times to say something from time to time. The “animal husbandry” or “radish farming” threads would probably not be one of those times. 😉
Michael — I like that — Move forward — it dies not have to tone of what the abuser would tell the person abused — perhaps when someone says move on, we can remind then of what you just said –
Kevin…well said. 🙂
That’s worth focusing on, my friend! I am proud of you that you love your family so much. How is that project that you and London were working on, getting supplies for the needy in her area?
About “move on”, it all depends on who is bringing those 2 words and the two hands, one behind the back and the other firmly grasping the hand and pulling up at the same time. No one’s pushing with both arms to the back, not here anyway.
Sometimes we gotta hear it. I know when members of this community said those words to me I felt their gentle nudge and their firm grasp as the hand of friendship to pull me up and pull me along, forward toward the light in this band of fellow travelers who are committed to leave none of their wounded behind. We’re all in this together and if you reread Steve’s post he needs this to be a safe place for him as well.
When you launch that site for the spiritually abused that will be a great day!
DMW & Michael,
Just saw your post about “move forward”
YES! You both nailed it!
I’m changing my vocabulary.
I’ll probably address this in more detail tomorrow.
We have to progress from victims to overcomers or the enemy wins.
That process looks different for everybody…but we have to help get the process started and moving in the right direction.
Believe, as you know, I am new here, so I can’t speak in the same way as some others here might be able to. For the record though, like Kevin H, I often (though not always) find myself agreeing with you and I have some of the same concerns even as one who has not been “abused” in the CC system per-se and highly love CC – I think there are legitimate points of discussion regarding structure and I’m trying to work through some of this myself (though I don’t have the same strong feelings you do about the Moses model, I understand where you’re coming from). In your 193 post, I understand and agree where you’re coming from in points 2 and 3 (I’ve had the same thoughts – including of simplicity/Scriptures and childlike faith). You say some very valuable things and give people pause to consider and are clearly an asset here as far as I can see.
But, just being blunt, part of the issue is probably that some people like Steve have been here for many years and have seen all these arguments and discussions I would imagine many times before. When I mentioned my own question regarding the Moses model on the .com, discussion wasn’t really forthcoming – but rather I was directed to search the archives. Which is worthwhile (haven’t done it yet, but I intend to when able), but at the same time *I* haven’t been here for years and these are new issues that *I* am working through. You also are working through some of these issues. But I imagine some of the regulars tire of hearing the same old things and perceived attacks at CC. This could be you or me in a few years too, so we want to be sensitive to that. At the same time…
Likewise though, as for the hurt/abuse, it is true that we do always want to be “moving forward” as Michael and others mention. Doing so is a process and takes time, but does require an active choice on our part to do so. I would echo the thinking of others on this – if you haven’t made that choice that you are going to forgive (even if it is just a mental assent at this juncture) and move forward with Jesus for what He has for you, then I would say that would be a great step for you to take – to make the mental choice that “I am not going to spend my life nursing my wounds, but by God’s grace, I will go forward”. I don’t say that callously at all – everything is a process – this doesn’t mean you forget or can’t discuss it as others have said, but it just means you make a decision to go forward.
The frustration as I see it, largely stems from the appearance that you want to take your hurt and abuse situation and apply broad strokes against the entire CC movement and pastors. Even though you say that isn’t the case and that you recognize there are good CC pastors, having read many of your comments in the last 2 weeks or so, I can see why that would be interpreted that way. Even just the sheer number of times that you have mentioned the Moses model in the last few weeks in relation to your hurt does showcase this.
In my own life, I have found it helpful to assume that all pastors are called by God and that their motives are pure, unless clearly shown evidence to the contrary. I don’t want to have an attitude where I’m constantly looking down on those in leadership. If they’re in leadership, while it may not be God, until I see information to the contrary, I should assume that it is – God establishes such things. Otherwise, I start dismissing people and their ministries. Even the pastor I mentioned earlier that was a real downer to me several years ago when struggling with my pornography issue, he is a very prominent CC pastor, and I have come to the place that even though his ministry has mostly produced what I would call “bad fruit” in my life, I clearly see that it has produced “good fruit” in others’ lives, so I don’t want to be judging or condemning the man.
Even though you recognize that not all pastors are bad, I think it would be helpful, with God’s grace, to move to a place where in your heart you can assume the best unless shown info to the contrary. In other words, shifting from a mindset of “many pastors in the CC are power-hungry, manipulative, control freaks, who only want to heap abuse on others, though some are good” to “most pastors in the CC are loving, caring men who, while making some mistakes, genuinely want to do the best they can to serve the Lord and others, but a few are bad”. That shift in mindset may take some time, but I believe will be very helpful.
None of the above is meant to diminish what you’ve been through or your own hurt, but hopefully will help you in the process of indeed “moving forward” (what we all want to do!) I for one am glad you are here and look forward to getting to know you better in the future! 🙂 If you (or anyone else) ever wants, I can be contacted direct via my website at laughandlift.com Love to you! 🙂
i was thinking of the pastors who take the time to give input here as being like the OT ‘elders at the gate’ and if they leave it would be Lamentations 5 f(?) all over again
I don’t know about you guys but I like he way this conversation is going. It’s healthy, productive, grace filled, and forward (Michael I chose that word just for you!) thinking. Good job family!
Good job Believe!
Re: “moving forward”…
Interestingly enough, I just returned from a counseling appt where that exact phrase was used to communicate a very similar idea. I’ll consider that a confirmation. 🙂
Frankly, I am amazed at my new-found powers as a thread-killer. I killed the Linkathon2 thread for hours today, and it appears I’ve started to do the same on Linkathon1.
Beware the next thread…I might just post & kill that one too!
I’ll consider your post a confirmation as well.
I’ve been struggling with how to communicate where my heart is and that was what came to me.
“Move Forward”….move forward…I like it!
Bob Wiley: [to himself] … baby steps get on the bus, baby steps down the aisle, baby steps…
🙂 🙂 🙂
Believe me if you have ever been deeply wounded by spiritual authority you might love and respect the person who says ‘Move On” but it;s the words themselves that hurt. I don’t know nay many times I was told to move on, and it never did anything but make me fell misunderstood or hurt or angry, if someone had come along side and showed me how to move forward it would have been a whole different reaction.
Again I like the full statement Michael made, and if we have someone who is just stuck and repeating their wounding over and over again, I think we all can lean from Michael’s statement in full — and not just say “move forward” But express understanding and encourage them we understand and long for their forward growth that includes not just the old forgive and forget — if the wounded could forget they would. They didn’t choose to have being a victim of abuse be a major part of their life, and they would love to be able to gorget it and let it go.
Somedays moving forward feels like hell…prayers appreciated.
BTW the deepest wounds I received were from young elders, too young to have the responsibility they were given, and I look back now with a different understanding, but at the time they were like 3 years old in the Lord, and unexperienced as they might have been, I knew nothing of such things, I was just taught that they were ‘God’s Anointed” and what they said had the Authority of God behind it. I totally walked away from the Lord for about 8 months, even ended up back dealing, but I thank God that He chased me every minute of every day until I surrendered again. And when after I surrendered, He revealed to me that coming back to Him didn’t mean putting myself back under the Authority of men, my heart began the process that took years. God had fellowship with me, even when I refused to have anything to do with His people. I told Jesus many times ‘Lord I love you, but I don’t love your people and won’t have anything to do with them.” Then I read Joh 13:35* By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. and realized I needed to repent of my attitude and find fellowship. At first it was not going to any Church, I just sought out fellow believers to be with, eventually went to a home study and the finally 6 years latter walked through the Doors of Calvary Chapel Riverside, known as Harvest today. I felt connected to Greg instantly. If you know Greg at all, the fact that there was something about him that made me feel like he loved me and he was safe is really kind of funny, but those are the facts..
And I would ad, move from victim, to overcomer, then to comforter — 2 Cor 1_ 3* ¶ Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort; 4* who comforts us in all our affliction so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
I have found the Word of God to be True. God comforts us in ALL our affliction — All of it, even the affliction that is the result of our own sin, our self inflicted affliction — God is so Good.
The thing is growing to where we will LET God comfort us. You know, I home you all know, there are times we don’t want to be comforted,
Anger gives us the illusion of power, and power gives us the illusion that we can protect ourselves. Most of the time anger is a secondary emotion. That is anger come after pain, or anger come after fear.
For some who have come out of abusive ministries there is a deep feeling of “how could I have been so stupid” that we cover with anger. To admit we are weak and stupid and to admit that we are vulnerable, and willing to be vulnerable again and take the risk of loving again, it is easier to be angry or to harp on what the other person did to us.
Love Hurts, we will not grow in Love unless we are willing to risk being hurt. It Hurt Jesus to love us. So again we come full circle to the Cross as being the only place of healing and growth.
When I look at those who wounded me I can still get angry, when I look at Jesus on the Cross I can never be angry at another. I might love someone enough to wound them in order to heal them, like a surgeon wounds to heal, but I really cannot Hold on to the sight of Christ on the Cross, and hold on the anger at the same time.
Deadman – at the foot of the Cross.
Michael: Agreed. 😉
Believe: Don’t know if anybody else recognizes that Bob Wiley quote or not, but I do… I’ve found myself saying the same thing… 🙂
In my life I came to see coming to surrender at the Cross as like stepping over a threshold, and it was a threshold that I was not allowed to take anything to the other side. I knew in my heart that I could not come and surrender with conditions. God only accepts unconditional surrender. I remember once, when the Holy Spirit had dragged me kicking and screaming to the altar of giving up my will, and finally I told the Lord I would do anything and go anywhere he asked, just so long as he never made me go to China — I know that sounds nuts, but I am a Schizoid and I pictured China as a place with so many people that you couldn’t take a deep breath from the crush of the crowd, and I had such a phobia about crowds that China was the one place on earth that I was not ever going to be willing to go. In 1985 I stepped of a plane onto the ground in China. I know my God has a sense of humor.
Jesus had a way of putting His finger on the ONE thing a person would not give, then He would ask for that one thing. He still does you know. We often want to be true living sacrifices and give 100% to the Lord, and somehow there is always some small corner of my heart, that I might not even be aware of, that he still puts Him finger on that one thing and says Give me that.
The Christian walk is a continues sacrifice, and if we are honest we all have our fears that God will ask for too much. But as we grow we discover when we give Him what he puts His finger on, it liberates us and heals us.
Believe – Jesus is asking for every corner of your heart. I know that to yield is a fearful thing, to let all your defenses down and step over that threshold not knowing what awaits on the other side, and if we put any conditions on our surrender, like saying I will if you will promise that I will not be hurt again, God just says Trust Me. Trust Me is the only reassurance I have even been shown by the Lord in those moments when I want a conditional surrender, and he say unconditional surrender or nothing – Trust Me — You can Trust Him.
China was not that bad and once I got that out of my system he let me come back. I guess you could say he allowed me to be disoriented.
Lots of wisdom, DMW.
“And I would ad, move from victim, to overcomer, then to comforter ”
DMW leaving China = disoriented – i hope that was intentional cuz it was funny
Got some great encouragement from my small group leader tonight.
Something like that can make a huge difference sometimes…
yes disoriented was intentional —
A word to Believe
1) you have to allow yourself time to think about and process all that has happened to you so take some time to set aside every week to spend on the problem
2) you need to do you best to take your mind off the subject all the rest of the time, remind yourself that you have an appointment with yourself and the Lord to work on it every time it come to mind, and change the subject on yourself much like changing the channel on your TV.
3) when you are processing it, ask yourself questions. a) has anything changed since my last time spent on the problem b) if not, then have you come up with any new course of action you should take. etc —
If I was you, and I’ve done this several times, I take my problem and write a letter to the Lord, then ask Him to take this problem and to take care of it for me and in my heart give it to him, then I remind myself that I gave that to the Lord and if I take it back it is wrong. I would then file it somewhere that only I had access to, and from time to time I would review my letter to the Lord. I would ask the Lord what His will was for me at that time. If I didn’t know, then I would put the letter back in His hands and leave it until the next appointment.
As God asnwers my prayers to show me His will, and helps me move away from My will, I would write and thank you note to the Lord.
oh Brian, I am sorry you are having a rough time…i’ll be praying.
DMW, thank you…been reading and pondering all you’ve said today.
DMW said, “The Christian walk is a continues sacrifice, and if we are honest we all have our fears that God will ask for too much. But as we grow we discover when we give Him what he puts His finger on, it liberates us and heals us.”
I thought I had given Him everything…Love of Money, Lust, The Pride of Life (position)…open that I have not given over the deep hurt…and that I desperately need to.
DMW, you’ll never know what a blessing what you wrote about surrender was to me tonight. Going through just that (not China, but same idea).
Unconditional surrender is what our God desires of us all. But in this age everyone wants a conditional surrender .. they will follow if ??? fill in the bland
I once had a young man ask me, that if he became a Christian would he had to give up rock and roll, I told him that I didn’t have to give it up, but I was petty sure by the mere fact that he asked the question that God would ask for it.
People seem to have an attitude today, where they kind of throw their sin in everyones face and the demand we accept them. And you know real surrender is just to give up that which is outright sin, sometimes it is to give up a good thing. Unconditional surrender means to give up all our rights to everything, and give up everything and step over that threshold and only then will we see what God will give back to us. But we must step through the door without expectations, without demands, without anything. Then when God gives us something back, there is no danger of that thing, be it good or bad ever being our master, instead we will enjoy those thing more fully when they no longer have power over us, and we have power over them. But God may not give anything back, again he just says Trust Me.
I trust that everything I don’t have, that it is good that I don’t have it. And what I do have I enjoy to the fullest because I know it is a gift from the Father.
Timely word from you. So much of the mess that we find around us is the sad result of attempting to serve God on one’s own terms.
Doesn’t work that way. Never has, never will.
But, boy, is it tempting. So many in leadership have no problem with surrender until they reach a place that is safe. Then, they do everything in their power to guard that place. And, as we’ve seen, I do mean everything.
Out goes trusting God at that point.
Oh, yeah, maybe this should be on the Kempner thread. Sorry!
We say to God show me and I will Trust you, God says to us Trust me and I will show you