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99 Responses

  1. Dan from georgia says:

    Looks like a great collection! Looking forward to reading some of the links when I get off the road.

  2. Rob says:

    I believe a lot of folks have erred in treating Gospel for Asia as a legitimate mission organization that simply needed to correct its path. The continued calls for Yohannan to repent are equally naive. Yohannan has shown himself to be a conman.

    Because a person, organization, pastor, evangelist, or politician, claims to be Christian, or to be operating Biblically, does not make them honest and legitimate. Self-serving gain, and using donors, is all too often the norm.

  3. Brandon says:

    Nate Sparks’ letter to TGC is fantastic. Wish he’d get a real answer.

  4. covered says:

    The Wheaton college issue is interesting to me. Our daughter attends Wheaton and all she knows about what is happening is what we tell her or what she is reading in the social media. Apparently to many of the students, it’s much ado about nothing.

  5. Em says:

    Gospel for Asia ought to be a lesson for the churches that, if you don’t clean house, God just might do it for you and embarrass you in the process, eh?

  6. Cash says:

    Ah, the lawyers are involved. Wonder how GFA is going to finance it’s legal bills.

  7. Em says:

    i wasn’t perplexed by atonement until i read the link… for instance: was it all the work of a man just like us? just like us? hmmm…

  8. Papias says:

    Wenatchee – Happy 10 years buddy!

  9. Em says:

    “I want you to understand that being a part of the universal church without submitting to a local church is not possible, biblical, or healthy.” nuts!
    it may not be the healthiest of ways to live in Christ – a good church with strict membership requirements built on and provided by sound teaching IS the plan of God, but our churches have a lot of house cleaning to do before the link’s premise is valid IMHO

  10. Pastor Al says:

    SWEEEETTTT! LOVE the Class Action Lawsuit!

    Hey, Calvary Chapel LOVES to sue folks. What’s good for the goose as they say LOL

    This is a Trend….and the Trend is your friend.

    Someone may be filing a lawsuit….eventually (hint, hint)

  11. Lindon says:

    Comments aren’t available for the prayer thread. Is that intentional?

  12. Michael says:

    My mistake…I’ll fix it.

  13. Michael says:

    It’s good to go now.

  14. EricL says:

    Em @9, I found the article on church membership awful. He kept conflating the Body of Christ with the local 501(c)(3) organization. To be saved is to be a member of Christ’s body; they are synonymous terms. Being on the membership roll of a local congregation is not the same thing. Do you cease to be a Christian when you go on the mission field to an area without any congregations? What about the elderly or infirm who can no longer get to a meeting? What about those who must work on Sundays?

    We ought to be in fellowship with other believers, but this fellow makes it sound like we earn our salvation by joining the church.

  15. dswoager says:

    EricL, the term “church membership” has become a giant waving red flag for me. More often than not anymore, when you see it, someone is in the process of trying to manipulate you.

  16. Jean says:

    Regarding the article “The heart of the atonement”, the author may be on to something focusing on reconciliation. I am currently reading a similar argument summarized as:

    “Reconciliation with God can occur only through God’s coming to us in Jesus to die and be raised. The necessity for the cross roots in God’s decision to be a God of mercy in spite of our bondage and rejection. To be true to that decision, God must come to us and bear the rejection concretely and actually. God’s wrath is the obverse side of God’s mercy: God will not be known other than as a God of mercy. The cross is the price God, in mercy, pays to be concretely for us, to put to death the old and to raise up the new. When faith is created, God has reached the goal and is ‘satisfied.'” – Gerhard O. Forde

  17. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    “Do you cease to be a Christian when you go on the mission field to an area without any congregations? What about the elderly or infirm who can no longer get to a meeting? What about those who must work on Sundays? ”

    Why do any of these impede church membership? A church body sends out missionaries – the home-bound do not give up membership and people who work on Sunday — well, they come to the church some other time.

    People join a gym membership or the auto club with no issue, whine about church membership. I don’t get it.

  18. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Even Costco has a membership — and people line up and pay to be on the rolls

  19. Em says:

    2Cor. 5 is a wonderful chapter … the all things that are reconciled to God are the things of a new creation in Christ… as i read today i seem to be getting a clearer and starker picture of what it means to be a lost soul… to miss the love of God and what it cost Him to offer this reconciliation… oh, how tragic and sad (sounds a bit affected, i know)… it must be as one gets to the obvious end of their days that the reality of going into eternity without reconciling to one’s Creator becomes a very relevant fact of our existence… dunno, but a lost soul? how very, very sad to have missed the whole point

  20. Em says:

    not first, not two… let’s see if this works… 2 Cor. 5

  21. Josh the Beloved says:

    Those denominations that practice the church membership. The we are in club and you are out club, I never really felt comfortable with the idea as its not in scripture. The fact that im born born again and believe in the tenants of the historic Christian faith qualifies me already to be in the “Members Only” club in the kingdom. Incidentally, I personally think its just a way for the leaders in a denomination to keep track of the tithers and non tithers. And in the church creed document that outlines what it takes to be a church member. Youll always see tithes and offerings sneaked as part of the what is expected to be part of a member. So it basically puts the members under the law by making a slight vow to tithe.

  22. Josh the Beloved says:

    #18 So even MLD admits the church is big business, and to be pattern the model after Costcos. And it is Big business cha ching $$ Very rare these days do i not see money changers behind the pulpits of America. Oh that Jesus would once again, make a whip and drive out the Costo model peddling ministers with a whip out of the churches. And CRY with a loud voice. MY FATHERS HOUSE SHALL BE CALLED A HOUSE OF PRAYER!!!

  23. Josh the Baptist says:

    Beloved – Do you think there is anything in the Bible that says Christians should give their money?
    2 – Do you think church discipline should ever take place? You know, child abusers and such. Without membership there is no way of doing that.

  24. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    So Josh the Beloved – not to be confused with Josh the Baptist – admits that the reason he will not join a church through membership is because he is too cheap to give any money.

    Now, there is probably nothing wrong with being too cheap to give to church, after all there are dinners to be eaten, movies to watch, fast and fancy cars to own.

    How that get’s tied to membership I will never know. btw, I don’t tithe … it’s not biblical.

  25. EricL says:

    It is a shame that “church membership” has become disliked so, but after decades attending non-denoms that don’t allow it and now encountering Neo-Calvinists/ YRR groups that create draconian membership rules to control people… well I kinda miss my old Baptist congregational-rule days. Sadly, that church has gone neo-cal now…

  26. Pastor Al says:

    I got a solution: Stop going to church

    Jesus didn’t go to church

  27. Steve Wright says:

    Observation FWIW

    The pastor who wrote the membership article is part of Acts 29 church planting.

    He planted this church in 2006, in Tulsa, which has more than a couple churches preaching the gospel and in fact now has THREE churches that are PCA.

    I’m all for planting churches but not too big on guys insisting being a Christian is submitting to the rule of flawed elders when that same guy chose a different path for his own Christian walk so he could be the top dog in a new start.

  28. Josh the Baptist says:

    Jesus always went to church.

  29. Pastor Al says:

    “church” as in what we call whatever it is you guys do today.

    It ain’t what Jesus did.

  30. Josh the Baptist says:

    True. We have AC.

  31. Pastor Al says:

    You have a lot more than that LOL

  32. Josh the Baptist says:

    We know they sang, prayed and shared from the scriptures.

  33. Pastor Al says:


    What else did they do?

  34. Pastor Al says:

    Jesus shared from the scriptures?

  35. Josh the Baptist says:

    Some churches have AC AND DC.

    They are bad.

  36. Pastor Al says:

    Was he using the KJV?

  37. Pastor Al says:

    “Some churches have AC AND DC.

    They are bad.”

    LOL that made me laugh

  38. Josh the Baptist says:

    Of course Jesus used the KJV. What else was there?

  39. Josh the Baptist says:

    “Jesus shared from the scriptures?”

    I missed that one. Actually, yes, he did.
    Like 4:16-17

  40. Pastor Al says:

    Here’s what I read in the “bible” as how Jesus did “church”

    He healed folks, he fed folks real food not just talk, he helped them in a tangible practical way.

    He didn’t collect an “offering” or “tithe”. He didn’t build buildings, didn’t erect stages with lights and sound systems, he didn’t stand at a podium etc.

    He kept his messages very simple. He eschewed a “following”…it wasn’t about “him” it was about his love for the regular folks.

    When Jesus got pissed….he got pissed at Religious Leaders. When he got violent, he got violent with those who made money and enriched themselves from selling “God”

    What you guys do resembles nothing like the church of Jesus.

  41. Pastor Al says:

    You can pretend you’re righteous all you want.

    Today’s “church” sucks. Sucks big donkey you-know-whats.

  42. Josh the Baptist says:

    Odd thing Steve, and I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before:

    My county has 100,000 people, and over 200 Christian churches. I’m guessing that’s more than a lot of countries.

  43. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    The (K)ing (J)esus (V)ersion

    I don’t know why folks think that membership is all one sided to the leaders keeping track of the pewsters.

    Look, I will bet that the Calvary Alb. folks wished they had a membership to protect their assets back on 2006 – instead the leader owned it all.

  44. Pastor Al says:

    Jesus referenced the Septuagint a few times. Most of the ‘scripture’ he taught was the Logos of God….his own utterance.

  45. Pastor Al says:

    Are you folks teaching the Septuagint?

  46. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    “Most of the ‘scripture’ he taught was the Logos of God….his own utterance.”

    The same words my pastor preaches. So what’s the big??

  47. Pastor Al says:

    “The same words my pastor preaches. So what’s the big??”


    Much of what your guys teach is Martin Luther’s crap.

  48. Josh the Baptist says:

    A – I’m not even remotely righteous.

    B – Church would obviously suck if people like me go to it. See that’s part of the whole thing. One has to humble himself, submit, and realize that all those guys in church who are scumbags are no worse than me.

    C – Wait…I forgot what I was gonna type.

  49. Pastor Al says:

    I am reminded how clueless you folks are.

    You live in an interestingly delusional world. You can’t even see your own bullcrap you are so immersed in your own dogma and fog.

  50. Josh the Baptist says:

    “Are you folks teaching the Septuagint?”

    Why would we? We speak English.

  51. Pastor Al says:

    Sometimes I wish I could be that inane and delusional and simply cling to a delusional dogma….but unfortunately, my mind sees the idiosyncrasies and contradictions and bullcrap like big blowing neon signs every time you guys open your mouths through your keyboards.

  52. Pastor Al says:

    But, I won’t beat that mummified horse any longer today. Have a good one.

  53. Josh the Baptist says:

    Other than the KJV joke, everything else I’ve said is verifiable fact.

  54. Josh the Beloved says:

    MLD by not denying that church is big business $$$ and endorses churches to be runned like a big Costsco corporation. Because we are just consumers, and the goal of the CEO pastor is to get into the back pockets of its members. Follow the $$$ and that is the reason behind church memberships. Incidentally MLD, I go church every Sunday, and Tues of every week. I’ve contended, if the pastor cooked up a hot meal every Sunday and was truly called of Jesus. There would be bucks coming into coffers and no need to rely on carnal money raising techniques to get money to pay for the pastors salary etc.

  55. Josh the Beloved says:

    I thought I’d never say this. But in some waya have more respect for guys like Creflo Dollar. Because in there efforts to get there Jesus $$ from the consumers, I mean sheep. I have to give them a point for being honest about there intentions to get your money. Instead of hiding the vow you will take and the expectation that you will be a tithing member as part of the “church membership”.

  56. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Josh the Beloved. So you are saying that the better job your pastor does the more you would give.? Odd.

    “if the pastor cooked up a hot meal every Sunday ” So you object to the Costco idea – but you recommend the MacDonald’s model? Odd again.

    You sound like the Pharisee when you brag how often you go to church and how you don’t miss church. Odd once again.

  57. Josh the Beloved says:

    Need to make a correction to the last post. It’s the denial, (I wrongly used the word hiding) by the CEO pastors that one of the motive behind this business tool called “church membership”. Is about $$ money.

  58. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    And Josh you show the weakness of non membership churches – no one is responsible to do anything – only the pastor.

    And look how pastor centric your thoughts on church are. You didn’t say anything about what the “attenders” (and you are nothing more than that – no different than your relationship to the theater you may attend once or twice a week — “here’s my 10 buck, entertain me and make sure the popcorn is hot.”) should do to grow a church – you lay it all on the hot shot pastor.

    I’ll bet you even wish your church seats had cup holders.

  59. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    A question – is your pastor the CEO of the church?

  60. Jean says:

    A lot of good pearl swallowing going on today. Any arms getting tired yet?

  61. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I googled pearl swallowing – came up with nothing.

  62. Cash says:

    Throwing pearls before swine?

  63. Pastor Al says:

    I think the pearl swine thing might be more overused than ‘grace covers a multitude of sins’ in the pastorate LOL

    Gotta love the cliche-christianianeze-jesus-juke-machine

  64. Pastor Al says:

    Whatever makes you feel holier and less stupid LOL

  65. John The Beloved says:

    Its interesting seeing CEO Pastor MLD squirm when confronted about the unsanctified practice of church membership. Because he like the rest of Corporate Church America know the real agenda under the cloak of church membership is about securing tithe money $$$. So like every CEO, come out and discredit the opposition and get a lil nasty at doing so.

    I love this quote by Thomas Aquninas.

    Entering the presence of Innocent II., before whom a large sum of money was spread out, the Pope observed, “You see, the Church is no longer in that age in which she said, ‘Silver and gold have I none.’”—“True, holy father,” replied Aquinas; “neither can she any longer say to the lame, ‘Rise up and walk.’” Vide Acts iii. 2–8.

  66. EricL says:

    Well, we’ve beaten that topic black-and-blue. Now, who wants to go to the men’s event at Southwestern? “Pastor Al” should go to strike up some business. Not everyone is going to win the guns they’re giving away. 🙂

    Even better, one gun has been autographed by Ted Cruz. Gotta win that one. Who wants to carpool to Texas?

  67. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Hey Josh – thanks for the promotions – both to CEO and Pastor.

    But I will bet that all the early churches had names written on a roll for both security and who had been properly catechized to take the Lord’s Supper.

    I know in my church, the membership church, my pastor is not the CEO, he has no access to the money and sits on boards as a non leader member

    But hey – don’t join a church – Joel Osteen doesn’t have members either.

    We can be done.

  68. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    This is kind of cool – would anyone here object if you lived in this city?

  69. Steve Wright says:

    Incidentally MLD, I go church every Sunday, and Tues of every week
    Just curious on a point of clarification. Is this to be interpreted as normal – like a place with people and a service…or are you speaking of going off to the woods with a Bible and calling that church.

    I’m assuming the former, but did not want to assume you were referencing something else…

  70. Josh the Beloved says:


    It’s just a data point.

  71. Pastor Al says:

    EricL, LOL!

    I’d go. I am big old redneck when it comes to guns.

    But, even those guys don’t like me when I start discussing my Populism with regards to Macro-Economics or when I start talking Religion/Philosophy.

    I fit nicely in zero boxes. Goes with the Intellectually Honest territory.

    Not sold on Ted Cruz. I get the “really creepy” vibe….

  72. Michael says:



    I don’t want or need that kind of junk here.

    You can also stop insulting my readers.

  73. Pastor Al says:

    Busted haha.

    “Grace covers a multitude of sins”

  74. Pastor Al says:

    Pretend we’re Calvary Chapel and I’m a Senior Pastor 🙂

  75. Pastor Al says:

    Steve, c’mon buddy, make all sorts of excuses for me and tell everyone how it’s not your problem and how great you are at “your” franchise LOL

  76. Michael says:

    If you want to discuss something on Linkathon have at it.

    If you want to discuss each other go to email.

  77. Steve Brown video – 2 thumbs up!

  78. Pastor Al says:

    This has to do with Linkathon:

    Nothing on Saeed and his arrest and conviction for Domestic Violence?

    It was “Save Saeed!” this and “Free Seed!” that….when it was popular.

    Now, it’s like the a-hole doesn’t exist.

    Where’s Franklin Graham when you need him? Jay Sekulow? Where are you?

    Oh, money dried up, he’s tainted goods now.


  79. Pastor Al says:

    Oh, cool. Phil Aguilar of Set Free Ministries commented on my blog about Bob Grenier.

    Love it.

    You may want to “link” the forthcoming article I’ll do on that one….

  80. Michael says:


    I thought it was excellent too.
    We need more encouragement like that.

    You should start sending me a Lutheran link of the week…

  81. Michael says:

    Phil Aguilar isn’t exactly a great character guy himself…

  82. Michael says:


    That’s not appropriate for this venue.

    if you want to post it on your blog that would be appropriate.

  83. Michael says:

    I’m going to try and be as clear and gracious as possible.
    As I’ve already written numerous times, I only have so much to give here.

    I’ll take responsibility for the stress that my own writings cause.
    I’m not going to allow anything that causes me unnecessary stress.

  84. Pastor Al says:

    I know you’ll nuke that comment LOL

  85. Pastor Al says:

    Just letting off a little steam.

    You’re doing “ministry” by keeping other people alive 😉

  86. Pastor Al says:

    You should read that thread. Good stuff.

  87. Andrew says:

    Calvary Chapel does have membership. However the only members are the senior pastors. They make it to the directory that you can find on the CCA website. Its apparently a very elite group of men that have their own churches. And those on the board or leadership counsel of CCA are even more elite. Their names and photos are also on the website. They are very very special men. Does Jesus approve of this kind of membership that excludes the majority of the body of Christ? You decide.

  88. Steve Wright says:

    Andrew, today when I looked up the homepage for the PCA, to find how many churches they had in Oklahoma – each church listed had the name of the Senior Pastor next to it. For fun I just now did the Orthodox church (parish) search from their webpage and the same is true.

    Same with the Lutheran directory (though you do have to click on the church name link)

  89. Josh the Beloved says:

    AL, looked for the post you mentioned earlier. Unable to find it.

  90. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    Papias, thanks.

  91. Andrew – to be fair to Steve Wright and Calvary Chapel, I don’t think I am a member of the LCMS – in fact the pastors and the rostered workers may be the only ones.

    What I am is a member of a church that has membership in the LCMS

  92. Steve Wright says:

    MLD – I know it is a wild hypothetical, but is it not true that if somehow, I became the pastor at your church, without becoming a Lutheran pastor myself, that your church would no longer be considered a member in the LCMS? If your congregation said, We want this guy as our pastor, then the LCMS would say, find a different pastor or be removed from the LCMS.

  93. The district president (our version of bishop) would probably make the move. But I think the church would remove itself first, then call you as pastor.

    If I as the congregation president made the move to hire you, well then I would be assassinated and the call process would need to begin all over. 😉

  94. Steve Wright says:

    Thank you…point being there would be no expectation or attempt to stay a Lutheran (or CC) church but not have a Lutheran (or CC) pastor.

    I’m guessing that is a pretty constant policy throughout the Body of Christ.

  95. Xenia says:

    When I was received into the Orthodox Church (by chrismation) I became a member of the Eastern Orthodox Church at large. I have a certificate to prove it. I am also a member of my local parish. This entitles me to vote in parish elections. We haven’t had an all-parish election the entire time I’ve been there. There’s nothing to vote on, really. The parish council does a little voting about minor things (“shall we trim the trees?”) and I guess somewhere in the mists of time that group was elected. I think other parishes are more on top of these things…

    I am also a member of our parish’s Sisterhood, which gives me the privilege of washing the dishes.

    Orthodoxy is conciliar by nature.

  96. Steve in Canada says:

    My kids soccer team has membership. They want to know who’s going to show up, who’s signing up to be a committed part of the whole thing. It can’t work without it.

    To me church membership is just a practical reality. To deny it, or conversely to say that the Bible is clear on exactly how it has to be done, seems a bit “overstretching” to me. It’s just a practical reality for any group of people who do something important together…

  97. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Church membership is not required at all, but it is a good system to have in place. I usually wonder though why folks reject it. Obviously CC doesn’t do membership but I doubt the reason is “well, we might abuse it.”
    No, it’s usually because they don;t want the people to have a voice or a stake in what’s happening – and that is fine. If people want to be the anonymous Christian, they are entitled to have a church where ‘nobody knows your name.’.

    But its like crosses in churches – nothing requires that you have one but I get plenty suspicious as to what a church is saying or doing when they remove it.

  98. Andrew says:

    Steve @ 88. I have no problem with the PCA having a list of churches with the senior pastor listed. PCA churches have real membership. My problem is that is all CC has is pastor membership.

  99. Andrew says:

    The issue I believe is about family. MLD is absolutely correct with what he wrote in 97. Whether or not you have voting rights in a church is secondary to whether or not there is a directory where folks can find each other. Gosh even my neighborhood has a listing of all the folks that live on my street. But only in CC can you be anonymous with a bunch of other anoymous people where ‘nobody knows your name’, where you live, your contact info etc.. Its really the non-family family.

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