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272 Responses

  1. Steve Wright says:

    I could use that “Christians should speak up against the surveillance state” article as a template – change a small percentage of the content, probably less than a third, and could write an article that the majority of believers on blogs (including this one) would dismiss as right-wing partisan garbage.

    Of all the things to be upset about at our government, I find this low on the list.

  2. jk says:

    How to protect children in your church point #3:
    “Emphasize membership.

    A big front door to your church is obvious to sexual offenders. Membership is a self-conscious commitment to the congregation that allows the church to define who is “in” and who is “out.” No membership process (or a minimal process) means people too easily flow in and out of the congregation without any clear definition of who is the church. Think for a moment. Where do you think a sexual offender is going to go—a church with a ten-week membership class plus an interview, or a church where you can join right away without any questions? The lower the membership hurdle, the more likely they will jump over it.”

    Wow. Very encouraging, and insightful. And soooo true from the cheap seats that I observe things from.

    And I may NEVER understand people who lie like Ergun Caner is accused of doing.

  3. Michael says:


    I’m very concerned about the issue as an American first and secondarily as a believer.
    I would also note that while the host of this blog leans hard left, the majority of our readers would find themselves on the other side of the spectrum.
    The left side is just louder here… 🙂

  4. Michael says:


    I found that to be a compelling reason for membership that I’d never thought of before…

  5. Steve Wright says:

    Membership per se is not the issue. But rather who does the church allow (yes, ALLOW) to serve – especially among the children. Churches with memberships still have plenty of non-members that come and worship each Sunday and to my knowledge, these churches do not typically kick people out who refuse to become members. Yes, they are likely limited in their participation by staying non-members.

    So too a church can be restrictive as to who is allowed to serve – even without formal membership. The larger point is certainly valid though – a predator is going to usually look for places with the easiest access to children and the shortest wait.

  6. Kevin H says:

    I had seen that article on Caner earlier today and got irked. Now you have to go and remind me about it. 🙂

    I’m not sure why Caner irks me so much as I’ve never even heard the man speak nor do I have any other kind of personal connection to him. But I guess it just comes down to my personal pet peeve of arrogance (not that I can’t be guilty of it myself sometimes). Here is this man who has been shown to be a liar and deceiver in his work to build up his own resume and prominence. Yet, he was never fully held to account by those who could have done so. Consequently, the man continues to hold some significant sway in the Christian culture and ministry without ever having to repent of his lies and deceptions. And then the arrogance peaks when Caner decides to sue those Christian brothers who exposed him to be the liar and deceiver he is. And lastly to top it all off, as this article suggests, if Caner is somehow successful in his lawsuit, it could end up having a detrimental effect to our freedoms as Americans. Ugh!

  7. Michael says:


    I had to edit my language on that link…twice.
    He’s a despicable piece of work.

  8. Kevin H says:

    I think when you settled on “bleep”, we were all able to use our imagination. 🙂

  9. Steve Wright says:

    Doesn’t matter who it is, what their resume might look like, whether one may be born again and on the way to glory – when one is living in lies, and refusing to repent of them, they are squarely in Satan’s world.

    Lies versus truth is maybe the clearest demarcation in the Bible.

  10. Steve Wright says:

    Either way, part of the role of Christians in any society is speaking up against wrongs committed by their government– and to be wise to discern the potential for such wrongs.
    I’m really not banging on that article’s main point, as much as to point out what seems like glaring inconsistency. WRONGS as here defined and supported by the author seems to point back to our Constitution and Founding Fathers – not absolute standards found in Scripture. But good luck doing that if the topic is something else. Then the shout is that we are Christians and not flag-waving nationalists.

    Likewise the writer dismisses so-called conspiracy theorists on privacy issues, yet tells us here that Christians should be wise to discern the potential for such wrongs – which most conspiracy people have been shouting about for decades. So which is it.

    Sounds to me like the writer’s personal ox is being gored – and I get it. Most people don’t care about bad politics that hurt others as long as their little world is untouched. Then when THEY are affected, they choose to get involved – rather than shouting first “the government is wrong” when the damage is only done to others.

  11. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    Royal Baby-insert finger in mouth

  12. Scott Barber says:

    Caner irks me an unusual amount as well… I think it’s because of all the absurd liars my faith has had to survive, and the absurd lies that I was trained to repeat (moon-dust comes to mind!).

    I wish more people would read Fundamentalism and the Word of God. It’s so freeing when you realize that being a faithful Christian thinker doesn’t mean being a faithful conservationist of certain words. “This word has lost its meaning?” “Well, let’s throw it out then, and try a better one.” How long, I wonder, until men like Caner kill the word Evangelical? I am a little surprised the word has survived as long as it has.

  13. Andrew says:

    “Membership per se is not the issue. But rather who does the church allow (yes, ALLOW) to serve – especially among the children”


    Steve, you missed the point. “The church?” Who is “the church” that decides who can serve-especially among the children? I can only assume its the “leadership” in your church since you have no membership. And when the leadership is corrupt which it often is what good is this? So the lower the membership hurdle, the more likely they will jump over it especially when the hurdle is so low that even a corrupt pastor or elder can jump over it.

  14. Anne says:

    A bigger issue the GC article avoids is that statistically it is not the stranger or newcomer who accounts for most (though not all) child sex abuse in this country, but rather, trusted members of families, neighborhoods, schools & churches that are the most frequent offenders.

  15. Michael says:


    It’s amazing that book written in 1958 still speaks so clearly today…

  16. Steve Wright says:

    Andrew – I hit “the point” as to the linked article. Now, if you wish to discuss a different point, that is fine too – but prefacing your remarks as if what you wish to discuss is the same as what was discussed in the article is likewise “missing the point”

    Bottom line – you make it so it takes multiple months before anyone is allowed to serve around children. That is one aspect of the many additional aspects listed in that article – and I agree wholly. Those multiple months do not require membership though…

  17. Steve Wright says:

    , but rather, trusted members of families, neighborhoods, schools & churches that are the most frequent offenders.
    Anne’s point is spot on and I would add that often innocent folks (like schools and churches) are blamed for the sins that take place within a family – once the abuse is known.

    Mom and Dad either already know or have strong suspicion that Uncle X might be doing something – but when the doctor brings it all out in the light and starts an investigation to find the abuser, the parents may want to blame someone like the church or school or coach first.

    So as to churches, not only do good rules and procedures help protect children in the church, but they also help protect the church itself from possible false allegations that may come her way too.

  18. Ixtlan says:

    Carl Trueman is one of the few that really understands the depersonalization and homogenization of evangelicalism. I doubt any of us understand the real dangers if this trend continues. It sounds like Carl has paid a price for speaking out.

    from his article:

    ” The fear of missing a true movement of God would ultimately keep them from actually doing anything to upset the PR strategy. Finally, those who could not be ignored or internalized could be rendered irrelevant through linguistic demonization: they would be decried as ‘haters’, ‘ivory tower academicians’, ‘ranters’ and ‘envious.'”

    Some young kid who is currently making some waves made the comment last year that
    “those who can, do, those who can’t, blog”. Rather than consider that a critic may actually be attempting to warn and correct, he is too busy making his contribution to the Evangelical Industrial Complex and reaping the benefits.

    So much for the Kingdom .

  19. uriahisaliveandwell says:

    To the Pastors:

    Instead of defending the church and schools from being blamed, why not educate to be able to identify and to provide intervention to stop the abuse that may be taking place in families and among those who attend.

    Every Counselor, Teacher, Pastor, and church leader should have a copy also of:

    “Why Does He Do That?” by Lundy Bancroft

  20. Andrew says:

    “Andrew – I hit “the point” as to the linked article”

    No you didn’t. Read it again. This fell under point 3 and you say membership is not important.

    3: Emphasize membership.

  21. Loved a lot of the links. The first Trueman one was great! I wish I was as smart as that guy.

    The leaders of Liberty have needed to kick Caner to the curb fo a while now and it is disppointing that they haven’t.

    One of the guys from my squad in the last Iraq deployment, his wife gave birth to a baby girl this week. He was so excited about it, it was contagious. FB posts galore! Sorry, the royal baby couldn’t match that level of excitement.

  22. uriahisaliveandwell says:

    Steve and all,

    “Bottom line – you make it so it takes multiple months before anyone is allowed to serve around children. That is one aspect of the many additional aspects listed in that article – and I agree wholly. Those multiple months do not require membership though…”

    A predator will take whatever time it takes to get others to trust them. It is all part of the chase, the game, and the satisfaction thay gain from knowing not only were they able to penetrate the walls of the church, they also worked their way into a trust and authority position.

    Meaning, waiting a few months to “allow” a person into the children ministry is hardly is not very effective for those who sexually abuse. Understand this, while they are waiting for that wall to fall down and the keys to the kingdom is given to them, you can be assure that they are already acting out with someone else outside the church, in their own home, at work, in the park, online, etc. It’s just a wait game for them to see how long it takes for you to open the door giving them the keys.

  23. Steve Wright says:

    Good grief…..I give up.

    Seriously, I just give up. Life is an either/or I guess, and some of us will always be on the “or” side of things….

    Dialog is almost impossible anymore. And it’s a shame.

  24. uriahisaliveandwell says:

    The Church includes all members who has a voice, a vote, and is able to be held to an account, responsible for their actions for or against another member in the church. When only the Pastor and his selected board, elders, deacons are hand chosen by him to oversee the affairs of the church, it is not the welfare, best interest, and benefit that they are looking after, but rather to their own welfare, benefit, and best interest instead.

    For as in any family those person who are not considered members will experience inevitable harm, simply because who ever had the power and control over them did not and could possibly know what they needed and what was doing them harm as a result of this person (s) inability to listen, to validate, and to include them in the process of making decisions that affected the individuals that made up the “family.”

    So too, without church membership, those who attend are merely objects that can be moved about depending upon the needs of the Pastors—not the need of the CHURCh placed in their care.

    Membership ups the ability to protect the church and decrease the ability to shelter and attract those who would abuse and rape, using a false image while manipulating the truth, exploiting, and practicing corruption in many different forms including misrepresenting the Lord and His Word.

  25. Michael says:


    My apologies.
    If you posted under a fake name and claimed to be a Baptist they would make you a moderator.

  26. Michael says:


    The numbers simply don’t support the idea that membership cuts down on abuse.
    Sovereign Grace churches had membership as do most IFB churches.

  27. Michael says:

    I would be completely confident sending my son to Steve’s church.
    Now I’m going back to taekwando class…

  28. uriahisaliveandwell says:

    I was not personalizing this towards Steve, as a Pastor. From what I can see and have read on the way he pastors, he is doing things a bit differently than some of his colleagues. I was addressing the merits of membership having in mind that the members also were able to freely express their concerns on many issues that concern them.

    IFB does have membership—but in name only. Meaning the structure is based upon an extreme authoritarian position that does not permit or recognizes the need of individuals, but rather takes an extreme view that includes rigid rules of patriarchy. When this happens, then 2/3 of the people who attend, although consider to be members are not seen, nor heard, but rather subjected to being subjugated to the will of the hidden agendas wrought in the heart of those sole aim is to contol by power and the misuse of authority.

    Membership is not to be passive or voiceless. It is to be seen and heard from a position of being fully equipped and encouraged to speak forth and to exercise all that God has given each member to enable the Holy Spirit to work in the Church as a whole and within each person.

    IFB did not have this type of membership, so essentially it was nulled and voided by token of being censored and dismissed when these issues were brought to the light, but fell upon deaf ears and hardened hearts.

  29. uriahisaliveandwell says:

    If a man is married, he has a wife, but if he treats her as an object, as one would treat a whore or a prostitute, then what is she.

    Being one’s wife does not necessarily insures that she will have a husband, but only that she, in name only is his wife. So too, in the church without membership or with membership in name only the body of Christ will be treated far less than what God intended and therefore, will invite and attract those who sole purpose is to hunt, prey, seduce, and then use according to the power and control that is given them.

  30. Michael says:

    I’ve been in both kinds of churches…and that generalization doesn’t hold up nor is it fair.

  31. uriahisaliveandwell says:


    I think that if you would talk to those who have been victims of domestic violence and child abuse of either of these type of church structure and administration, they would say that this is being quite fair and accurate.

    By the way, it wasn’t meant to be a generalization but rather offered as a vehicle to understand what type of environment enables an abuser and what type of environment is able to have and to insure more safeguards. Even in 1 Corinthians 5 and 6, Paul speaks to us about all members being able to be held to an account and that no member is without the ability to judge these types of things in order to protect the church, as well as, give a warning to those who would perpetrate, practice, or even tolerate such things. We, as Christians are the body of the church, therefore, how is it possible that we can be this if we are not considered to be members or to be members in name, only. To say we are members, spiritually, is not being members in the body of Christ’s church. It is another way of basically telling your wife that you love her, but pragmatically must now attend to your own needs, wants, and desires instead. It’s lip service and it puts the Pastor in the position of turning the tables with the bride of Christ serving him instead.

    I have spoken to many who have attended these churches and have left who would say that I am being rather generous given what they have experienced and nearly lost their faith had it not been for the faithfulness of God and others who have shared similar experience.

  32. Michael says:

    Like I haven’t received literally thousands of emails and testimonies here over the last decade…like one of my closest friends hasn’t been a specialist in this field for the last thirty years… Like I haven’t been a pastor for two decades…no, I have no clue what I’m talking about.

    So many of you have such idyllic notions of some place that only exists in your imaginations…and you have no patience for the poor fool who actually dirties his hands doing the real work of God but can never measure up to the fantasy standard.

    No wonder people leave the pastorate in droves.

    Abuse and abusive leaders are in every group…religious or otherwise.

  33. Michael says:

    What do the SBC, IFB, RCC, and SGM all have in common?
    Child abuse scandals and membership rolls.
    Next magic bullet, please.

  34. Steve Wright says:


    Do you support a church with full voting membership, voting to not have criminal background checks on those who work with the children – no matter the reason. Cost, invasion of privacy concerns, overall hastle, assumption they aren’t really needed, we all know each other, we have membership which weeds out the predators etc.

    Just having a long meeting, both sides stating their cases, and the vote coming up about 52-48 against background checks?

    It’s a simple yes or no. Do you support the right of the members to dictate how they run their church as long as the democratic process is fair. Yes or no.

  35. Jim says:


    On membership- back in the AoG, my pastor called me to tell me that I had been nominated as a deacon (ruling lay elder). He said that there was just one problem, as I wasn’t a member. I went to his office and signed a card and became a member.

    We left that church in 1996, and started what would become a SGM adopted church. I was one of the original board members. When we were adopted by SGM in 1999, I had to attend a 12 week membership course, complete a questionnaire, be interviewed by a pastor, and sign a membership agreement. This was the practice nationwide.

    Seems like a high bar, but it obviously didn’t keep the wolves at bay in some of their churches.

  36. Michael says:


    In my opinion,the single most important factor in all the abuse issues is the process and procedures in place to deal with them.
    There has to be a way to file and follow charges up an ecclesiastical ladder…and even that fails too many times.
    You joined the AoG the same way I did… 🙂

  37. Steve Wright says:

    Hi Jim,

    What does it mean to be an adopted SGM church? I’m clueless.


  38. Jim says:


    Occasionally, and established church will want to join SGM. If accepted (there are a ton of hoops to jump through), they call the process adoption. SGM’s usual model is to send a team to plant a church in an already church-infested suburb, and grow by poaching.

    Since I attended Calvary Chapel Merritt Island for 7 years, I was assigned to visitors from local CC’s. 🙂

  39. Steve Wright says:

    Thanks, Jim. The “adoption” term threw me at first.

  40. uriahisaliveandwell says:

    As a clinician I have worked with clients who have shared and with colleagues who have clients who have also shared what goes on in the pastorate in various congregations. What Michael is true in that: “Abuse and abusive leaders are in every group…religious or otherwise.” However, in some churches given their governing structure and lack of accountability the number of persons, including children being abused appears to have much correlation.

    It would seem to me that there appears to be some defensiveness going on in justifying not recognizing those who give so much of their time and money as legitimate members of the church.


    Please bear with me for a moment here.

    1. What church would vote not to have background checks?

    ” Cost, invasion of privacy concerns, overall hastle, assumption they aren’t really needed, we all know each other, we have membership which weeds out the predators etc.”

    This is precisely what I have heard from Pastors led, non-membership and members, by name only state. I have never heard this by those who are bonifide fully involved members. So, my guess is this is projection that Pastor led churches make upon others when in fact this is of there own making instead.

    2. As for me, personally, I would not attend a church without active membership that included men and women, active participation in the educating, training and intervention of domestic violence and child abuse.

    3. Sorry, Steve—democratic has nothing to do with this. Scripture tells us that we are to protect the sheep, and to hold to an account those who practices certain things, including all manner of sexual immorality, adultery, corruption, exploitative practices, and many other things. In order to do this, you better make darn sure that the congregation and the pastorate is able to hold one another to an account and to be able to be as transparent in its decision making processes that includes the body at large and on behalf of everyone that attends.

    4. Background checks—are not reliable, nor nationally tracked and cross checked. However, they are public information and for those that have something to worry about–or that’s it’s a hassle–for whom, except hopefully for those that have something to worry about.

    5. Membership provides a continuity in being able to vest oneself in a community of believers while also enabling a degree of balance in the decision making processes that take place concerning the affairs of this community, be it financial, administrative, governing, or any other need that the church body as a whole determines is relevant to assuring that all is done to protect and to serve even the least of these.

    Steve, your question is closed ended and answers itself. Likewise, do you support the right of the Pastor and his self appointed board/elders to dictate how they run their church as the the domocratic process is fair?

    A democracy represents everyone’s ability to protect the community welfare and safety as a whole. It is able to hold those who need to be held to an account when such are violated in order to sustain and to assure a peaceful, safe, and productive existence for all. A majority vote does not necessarily mean that a domocratic process has taken place. Unless that vote is fairly represented and is representative of all interests in a transparent and accountabile manner, then the vote is most likely corrupted and serving political purposes rather than operating within the spirit and guidance given to us by Scripture and by the Holy Spirit.

    I would caution anyone in the church to look at those who are in Christ, as being members in this way. For if these members were to conduct themselves under the guise of “voting” for that which does not look out for the very best that the church as a whole can offer to their weakest and most vulnerable member, then I would say the church is not a church at all, any more than if there were no members and only the pastors and a self apppointed board/elders were doing the same things for the same reasons. For isn’t this much like what took place when Jesus was taken from the garden into the midst of those in authority then offered up by those who were zealot for turning the tide in having Him beaten, scourged, crowned, and crucified? Democracy had nothing to do with this, yet the majority ruled and the priestly leaders and their cohorts were first in line to prevent Jesus from continuing in the midst of them. Had they listen to the majority of what they were being told by the least of them—who knows where we would all be today.

  41. Michael says:


    When you find the address of this First Church of Utopia, pass it on.
    Pastor led, elder led, congregational…all have issues.
    The real issue is whether there are good accountability structures in place.
    I know CC’s with great ones and mainlines with the appearance of them that were in reality a sham.
    I also know just the opposite in both cases.
    Do I think traditional Moses Model and IFB structures are more prone to issues?
    But not all of the churches in those movements use the same structures…we have to look at each individually if we are to be honest and fair in our evaluations.

  42. Julie Anne says:

    I tried to post a comment on the Gospel Coalition’s article on child abuse. It was stuck in moderation and then they removed it. I’m a little familiar with how they work with people who challenge them in any way so I grabbed the screen shot. Here it is: Is my comment so bad?

  43. Michael says:

    Julie Anne,

    Looked good to me…someone at the GC is very, very afraid of anyone who might disagree with the group think.
    As a Reformed Christian, this is a shame to me.

  44. Steve Wright says:

    A majority vote does not necessarily mean that a domocratic process has taken place. Unless that vote is fairly represented and is representative of all interests in a transparent and accountabile manner, then the vote is most likely corrupted and serving political purposes rather than operating within the spirit and guidance given to us by Scripture and by the Holy Spirit.
    Translation – As long as the vote goes your way, it is Spirit-led.

    Not exactly a yes/no answer – but I guess dismissing the intent and the question itself – and then bloviating for a few hundred more words is always option three.

    Once more, in all your arm-chair, online psychoanalysis of projection, defensiveness and so forth – I’ll remind our non-membership church has a written, public, accountability procedure for the Senior Pastor on down, and we require background checks for all who serve in ANY capacity, after they first wait six months before applying.

    I’m just showing the inconsistency of your argument, and the bias which drips from most of your posts.

    You can’t go on and on complaining for months online that churches today are blind and ignorant to the dangers of child abuse in their midst, and THEN suggest that no church could ever actually vote such ignorance if the opportunity presented itself.

    And in a world where the Roman Catholic Church still remains the king in sexual abuse cover-ups, you can’t simply give them a little nod of recognition while saying there is correlation (with no statistics provided) of greater abuse in the churches who have a governing structure you oppose.

    Now, as to the crack about not recognizing people who give time and money as “legitimate” members – you might want to rethink that one. You see, in a church like ours, there is no caste system – there is no “members only” benefits. ALL are equal. Nobody is treated differently based on member “status”

    Non-members of churches give time and money as well (note Jim’s example with the AoG) to their churches, but are still second-class until they jump through whatever hoops the circus overlords blowing the whistles demand. Why should that be? Why isn’t membership in the Body of Christ enough?

    (How’s that for bombast? 🙂 )

  45. Anne says:

    Julie Anne – I posted the same comment I made above at #14 and it did not make it out of GC moderation either. I too was astonished – but guess I shouldn’t be.

  46. uriahisaliveandwell says:


    I agree entirely in what you stated, that is why I stated that I was not generalizing. And went on to say that membership per se is not the solution, but rather the type of membership and the structure inherent within it that would afford, enable, and promote accountability, transparency, and protection the most vulernable in a patriarchel system.

    Also note: those who affiliate with other of the same name and do not hold one another to an account for corruption and abuses perpetrated, particularly among leaders are as guilty as those who perpetrate and attempt to silent the victim (s).

    This petition that has been posted: Most who have signed are women and few are leaders in the churches. How come? And why, if there are so many who claim to be saved, are not stepping up to the plate and putting their name to it? What possible excuse can there be to use to do otherwise?

  47. brian says:

    I had a long rather sad diatribe and I must say it made me almost weep, I did not cross that line thank God. But I left that aside, it is not easy being a pastor, you are confronted with many issues and having to try to navigate murky waters for yourself and the souls in your care. As someone way outside in the parking lot of the faith, it is hard being a fringe believer as well, we fear hell, way more then the love of God, His mercy and grace I fear God’s eternal wrath and hatred of my immortal soul. An honest confession I have never really expected God to love me, I considered that far to presumptuous, even borderline blasphemy. I hope God will tolerate me at best. Its hard being a follower as well. I hope Pastors understand it, I dont want a Utopian church, just a place where one does not fear the gutting if one makes a mistake.

  48. brian says:

    Im still trying to figure out when ever I watch videos against the faith and movies like Religulous I have more faith in God. I cant even get that right.

  49. uriahisaliveandwell says:


    With all due respect, you are being condescending and disrespectful towards me. I took time in sharing my viewpoint. And you decided to counter it by being demeaning towards me. That is not acceptable behavior for a Pastor at all and reminds me very much of how CC responds to those that do not support them and the Moses model way of doing things.

  50. uriahisaliveandwell says:


    “in a church like ours”

    Perhaps, this is the problem—what I am addressing is churches that, perhaps is not like yours, whereas, you are personalizing what I am saying. Although in all sincerity and no ill-will in my heart at all, your response did come across as being that of a typical Moses Model with all bells and whistles that have sent many into the arms of a therapist or on a blog with others who have experience church abuse.

    As for using psychoanalytic terms, I called it as I saw it. It was a projection and you are being overly defensive. You took my opinion of “membership” personally and then sought to discredit it by distracting from the topic and then belittling my intelligence and expertise in abuse and human behavior.

    My opinion stands as it is. At the same time, please know that what I have shared is what so many already knows to be true from those who have sat in the pews under the Moses Model longer than you have been a pastor. You can either ponder these things and take note or you can dismiss it entirely. That is your choice to do. I hope that, at the very least, that you would prayfully consider these things.

  51. brian says:

    I have to admit people actually think a “Church” is theirs, I always and I mean this , I was a visitor and that was on a good day, I never claimed membership, at times some folks were thankful for that because it made it easier to write me off. Which I fully understand and expect if I stop having a utilitarian use. I always saw myself at best a guest more likely a parasite of some type. I will admit I wont ever become a member, to much baggage.

  52. uriahisaliveandwell says:


    Curious–what does “church” mean to you.

  53. brian says:


    Curious–what does “church” mean to you.”

    Honestly a place where I cant make a mistake and be what people expect secondly that would sum it up. Basically a place you never ever no matter what ever cross the line, a place where you never need, ever. That about sums it up for me.

  54. uriahisaliveandwell says:

    Are you saying a place where you can be yourself with having to be molded into someone else’s expectation of whom they want you to be.

  55. uriahisaliveandwell says:

    I mean “without having to be molded”

    Also please explain what you mean by “crossing the line.” What and whose line?

  56. brian says:

    No you get me wrong, where I can be a human, this is not an option one must be well what ever one must be to be excepted, only. The one thing I can say the Christian religion is based on utilitarianism alone, anything and everything should be based on ones ability to overcome, move on and get over it. What ever it is. No where I will be molded into what is effective, efficient and that overcomes. Basically one should repent of being human and be born again into being well not a human being. I dont get it but that about sums it up.Crossing the line, having a need, asking for help, leaning, etc. Anything that makes a mess. That is crossing the line. Hope that helps.

  57. Andrew says:

    “Why isn’t membership in the Body of Christ enough?


    Steve, now you switch gears to talk about the church universal. That is fine but not pertinent about the local church and the topic at hand “ABUSE”. Membership in your church is based on some unwritten subjection perception of how well you know the individual although you don’t call it membership for all practical purposes it is. For instance if you see and say hello to a guy 2 or 3 times a week in church for 6 months you may give him a heads up for some serving role however if you only see him 1 time a month regardless of how many times he went to church or not you would give him a thumbs down because you haven’t noticed him. Sorry but this kind of favoritism given to someone based on a subjective experience of the pastor is no way to determine membership.

  58. You guys are funny.

  59. David Sloane says:

    Michael, your “prophetic thinking” must continue. The Church needs men like you to course/correct and keep the vessel from the shoals of life. I praise God that your voice is heard in the land. Justice~Righteousness are evident in your thinking, how can anyone come against that?

    “Truth is that which delineates that which is.”

    You are hereby named a delineator of our times.

    So let it be.

    I think.

  60. covered says:

    Josh is it me or are there three (Andrew, Uriah & Sol Rod) guys all who have a problem with Steve? To watch is both funny and sad. None of them are pastor’s yet they all seem to be experts. Is it because Steve is a CC guy? As a pastor, I pretty much keep my mouth shut because we obviously don’t know near as much as the experts. When does the water boarding start?

  61. Covered – yes, my observations precisely. Andrew only posts in opposition to Steve. He should change his screen name to Anti-Steve.

    Yes, experts. All of them.

    Of course, a little real-life experience would show any of us that if there were any easy solutions, we would all be using them.

  62. Andrew says:

    “As a pastor, I pretty much keep my mouth shut because we obviously don’t know near as much as the experts.”

    I never claimed to be an expert. I have no personal problem with Steve but he sure does appear over and over again to defend and uphold the Moses Model in every which way to Sunday although I agree with Uriah that he is much better than most of his colleagues but he also sure was condescending to Uriah to say the least.

  63. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    I’m not anti Steve, we just disagree a lot. I am anti Royal Baby coverage tho

  64. 1. Define Moses Model.

    2. Explain what is bad about it.

  65. Sol, you are kinda anti-everything.

  66. Kevin H says:

    Steve could say that the sky is blue and there would be those here who would attack and nitpick his statement to death and accuse him of using Moses Model tactics.

    I don’t always agree with everything that Steve says or the manner in which he says them, but man, the amount of unbalanced criticism he receives here is probably far more than anyone else. I give credit to Steve for continuing to regularly participate here. It’s no wonder the participation of CC pastors has dwindled here over the years.

  67. Nonnie says:

    Kevin’s 66….Exactly!!! I started to type something like that a while ago, but thought I might be rude and held back. Thank you for saying it so well, Kevin!

  68. erunner says:

    Steve has taken more shots here than everyone else combined. Maybe it’s because he has chosen to stick around and be a part of this community as opposed to leaving. A few who really had issues with him aren’t even in the mix now. Moses Model and CC are the issues at times. Because Steve has opinions that he holds firmly and won’t be swayed he has evidently made some unhappy.

    But attacking him does seem like fun. Hey Steve!! You’re ugly and your wife dresses you funny!! :mrgreen:

  69. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    As fat as CC goes I’m over all that, in fact the whole CC conversation bores me now, only so many times you can beat a dead horse

  70. Andrew says:

    1. Define Moses Model.

    2. Explain what is bad about it.


    Moses Model is using Moses as your model to pastor the NT church. Moses was a type of Christ, not a model for a NT pastor.

    Moses Model puts pastor above the congregation with accountability only to God and not one another.

  71. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    I’m anti almost everything but not everything

  72. Andrew at 70 – Good. STeve has proven over and over that he doesn’t conform with your two answers. Now move on.

  73. Michael, I haven’t read past your #32 yet, but just have to stop and AMEN that one!

  74. Sol @ 71 – That’s right. You were pro-beer. I forgot about that one.

  75. uriahisaliveandwell says:

    As for attacking Steve, if you mean be expressing my opinion on membership, this somehow is also expressing my opinion on him as a person or even a pastor, I have not don this at all. And neither has Andrew. Quite the contrary, Steve took what we express about a non membership model such that CC employs and made it personal then became quite sarcastic instead of separating himself from the topic to remain more objective and able to discuss the how abuse can be a by product of such a model.


    Appreciate your response, but have to say it would be easier for me to understand you if you would not write in riddles. I know you are able to do this and that you do express yourself quite well, while having much to share and to shed light upon various concerns regarding Christianity, the church, and the Christian’s life, not just from your own experience, but also as person that can empathize with others, be it in a pastoral or leadership role or otherwise. Again, thanks for your response.

  76. covered says:

    Andrew, you are a work of art. The one good thing that I like about you is that you are consistent.

  77. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    Seems to be a double standard here at times, if your a regular and stand your ground your lauded but if your an outsider and you stand firm your labeled.

  78. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    As far as Caner goes its really no suprise that institutions allow this guy to continue his sharade I mean can we really depend on the 501 3 cs to be discerning

  79. Andrew says:

    “Andrew at 70 – Good. STeve has proven over and over that he doesn’t conform with your two answers. Now move on.”

    Its too many times to count to even mention how many times Steve has been questioned whether he subscribes to the distinctives where this is spelled out. I haven’t seen him once says that he disagrees with the distinctives and everything to defend those that uphold them.

  80. covered says:

    You are wrong Sol, you are considered a regular here. Your problem is that you talk trash and while you ask questions of people here, it isn’t to learn or to communicate it’s to knock people down. You are a bully.

  81. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    The Caners and Boykins of the world are treated lile touring rock stars, the more outlandish the testimony the better

  82. Nonnie says:

    Josh’s 72. Yes!

  83. Nonnie says:

    I’ll agree with you on that Sol (your number 81)

  84. Sol, everyone in this conversation is a regular,

    Andrew, I was just going by your own definitions in # 70.

  85. Ricky Bobby says:

    Sol, they label regulars as well. I was a regular for a long time and was a lightening “rod” 🙂

    But, I agree that there is some truth to your statement above sometimes.

  86. Uriahisaliveandwell says:

    If abuse and corruption is going to be adequately addressed, meaning it will not be tolerated and that it will be identified, and the victim (s) of such behavior will be supported while the perpetrator is held to and account and church discipline that also maintains the long term goal of reconciliation, then any governing structure must be changed in order to implement what is need to acheive these things. And when those who are in authority refuses to listen and to implement them, then like any system that dysfunction are reflected through those who are most vulneralbe will eventually be found out. How that church chooses to react or to respond to those harmed is the barometor or plumb line to determine just how healthy, balanced, and biblical those who are in authority may be. When the leadership uses silence or silences it victims or attempts to distract having to make changes, then it only makes the system even more corrupted and enables and attract perpertrators of abuse and thus the governing structure becomes the vary venue that is used to perpetuate these abuses. As scripture tells us, a little leaven destroys the entire loaf. Keeping those who have been harmed is not the answer. It only revictimizes them and thus, the system becomes as wicked and evil as the perpetrator themselves. And this is why Paul tells us to hold one another to an account on particular behaviors. This includes the Pastor and those who serve along side of them in leadership roles. None are exempt from doing this. For we are all part of the body of Christ and the head is no better than the toe, nor are they exempt from these things that Paul has stated. We are all under the headship of Jesus, He being our high priest, and we all who are in Him, possess the Holy Spirit, therefore we are also capable of discering and behaving wisely in determing these things that concerns the affairs of the church, paticularly when it comes to corruption and abuses done against another, when we use all the gifts, talents, and skills that are available within the universal body of Christ to enable us to provide remedy for such issues that goes on within our particular felloship which we gather together and commune, hopefully, in a healthier and safer community that we refer to as being the church of Christ.

  87. Andrew says:

    Josh, how is my definition different than what is in the disctinctives?

  88. Ricky Bobby says:

    “I confess…this has never troubled me, nor does it trouble me today.”

    It is fact whether it troubles you or not. There are several versions of God presented and you gloss over the fact in a cavalier manner, probably more as an apologetic technique than a sincere truth-telling conclusion of wrestling with the underlying issues.

  89. covered says:

    Andrew, re: your 79, so what? So what if Steve believes in the distinctives? You just assume that this makes him the target and he’s not. It’s the guy who wrote them. Now, if you agree that the guy who wrote them is wrong, bash him or go to CCA and bash him. Alex has graciously set up a blog just for this purpose.

    Steve may learn that there are serious flaws in the distinctives but he is entitled to his conclusions as are you. To throw the baby out with the bath water is ignorant because if you listen instead of constantly re-loading your gun, you will hear someone who loves the Lord and who loves the people he is called to pastor and someone who loves God’s word. As far as I’m concerned, those things bring more to the show than your constant antagonizing, belittling and your reckless comments about what “church” needs to look like to fit in your tiny box.

    I hope that you don’t find out what church I pastor because you wouldn’t like it. We worry more about the lost and the broken than how much money I make (which is around 3k a month).

  90. covered says:

    Gotta go hang out with about 65 kids at VBS. We will probably do silly things like talk about Jesus and sing His praises which doesn’t compare with learning how manny, moe and jack think we all should do church.

  91. “Moses Model is using Moses as your model to pastor the NT church.”
    Steve has shown no sign of this. He was educated at a non-CC seminary and has never once mentioned to me anything about the way Moses would have done things.

    “Moses was a type of Christ, not a model for a NT pastor.”
    Where do you get that “type of Christ” talk? Certainly not from the bible. Besides, if that is true, and Christ is the Good Shepherd, wouldn’t we then want our pastors looking to “a type of Good Shepherd” for guidance. So, while I’m not convinced that the “Moses Model” is the proper form of church govt, I am also unconvinced that Moses should not be looked to for wisdom by all Christian leaders, pastors included.

    “Moses Model puts pastor above the congregation with accountability only to God and not one another.”
    Steve has a board and others that he is accountable to, along with, as he said earlier, being a member of “the Body of Christ”. He does not fit the stereotype that you put forth.

    Now, you can move on.

  92. Steve Wright says:

    When discussion moves from difference of opinion to what looks like consistent unfair (or untrue) personal criticism and stereotype, we all appreciate it when someone comes to our defense. And I appreciate the many of you.

    As much as such unfair, untrue personal criticism may sting, in the end it is just words and the Lord knows the truth and we answer to Him. HOWEVER, when the people I pastor are unfairly and falsely maligned, then I get fired up. Who will defend THEM, if not their pastor.

    And that has happened. And Michael Newnham stepped up at personal cost and defended a Calvary Chapel church. Frontlines – taking the hits. Because he cared about truth and about the Lord’s work. Not simply because of loyalty – for that would make him little better than many of the pastors he criticizes who put loyalty ahead of integrity and what is just and true. Loyalty is a great virtue, but not at the sacrifice of truth and integrity.

    I can count on one hand and have a couple fingers left over the number of fellow CC pastors that bothered to even write me, much less defend our church during those days – when a CC church (not just me) was being unfairly and improperly maligned.

    However, many of you who are a part of this community expressed concern. And I appreciate that very much.

    So yeah, I participate in this online forum. I don’t post on any other internet sites with rare exception. But this is a nice family of believers that cares for one another. They have shown it towards me and my CC church offblog. Hopefully more will feel comfortable and join or rejoin the community here – and realize that a few hits from time to time by people with longstanding grievances is a relatively small price to pay.


  93. This discussion also highlights another stark reality for me: Equating sexual abuse of children with “spiritual abuse” of adults is ridiculous. The two conversations should never intertwine. It is insulting to the children who were abused, and actually is DAMAGING to the cause.

  94. Andrew says:

    “Equating sexual abuse of children with “spiritual abuse” of adults is ridiculous. The two conversations should never intertwine. It is insulting to the children who were abused, and actually is DAMAGING to the cause.”
    WOW! You demonstrate your complete ignorance. Children grow up to be adults. Those abused as children get a double whammy when they are spiritually abused as adults.

  95. So, Andrew, do you think it is worse to rape a child, or for a pastor to yell at an adult?

    You tell me.

  96. Nonnie says:

    Josh, I agree. An adult’s feelings get hurt, a pastor doesn’t give a hoot what his congregation thinks about decisions he has made, etc, etc….not even close to a child being sexually abused.

    However, there are “spiritual abuses” are are darn close to child abuse. Women told to go back to an abusive husband, people cornered and told they are worms, they don’t deserve to live in a Christian community, etc, etc,……I’ve heard some nasty stories that have devastated lives.

  97. Ricky Bobby says:

    It is difficult to take Trueman’s take on “authority” with any sense of serious intellectual honesty, b/c the context in which it is presented is based on the fact that he presents his world-view from the Anglican perspective and tradition…which “rebelled” against the established “Church Authority” of its day.

    My question in response to Trueman’s article: If we are to take your position seriously, Mr. Trueman, was the act of rebellion by the Anglican Church “childlike” or “childish” and should that act of “childish” rebellion be repented of?

    That point above deconstructs and unravels his whole argument as it is built upon and from his Anglican Tradition which self-violates the standard he is presenting in the context he presents it.

  98. Nonnie, I agree that there is no excuse for the way some pastor’s treat those around them. However, in this thread, that is in some way intertwined with the sexual abuse of children. The two should always be considered separately.

  99. Isn’t Carl Trueman Presbyterian?

  100. Andrew says:

    Josh, You just don’t get it. Those abused as children grow up. They become adults. If your father happens to be a pastor that has abused you growing up, just think how much it must hurt if you are now spiritually abused by the same father that physically abused you growing up. You just don’t get it. This is completely linked and should not be separated at all.

  101. Andrew, you are not making sense.

  102. Michael says:

    I’ve been offline all morning and will be offline most of the rest of the week.
    Carl Trueman is a church historian and pastor of an Orthodox Presbyterian Church.

  103. Ahh, that’s what I thought. I know he’s a professor at Westminster.

  104. uriahisaliveandwell says:

    In defense of Andrew, as far as this post is concerned, I would like to say that I don’t see one statement he has made has been a personal attack on Steve.

    As for the distinctives, it’s my understanding that all CC pastor are require to agree with them.

    As for Steve, as much as I have joined this group, except for his recent comments to me, I perceived him to be a very loving, compassionate, and thoughtful person who wants to serve the congregation, doing it the CC way, but has difficulty at times to listen to any thing that might be of value in enabling him to do this. Overall, I think that Steve has much to offer in his role as a Pastor and as a person who is in Christ, like the rest of us.

    The distinctives is what sets up the structure of CC and those who agree to affiliate with it also model their governing system after it. This is their choice to do just as it is their choice to listen up when people attempt to voice their concerns regarding how it may be impacting the flock that are corporately viewed as non-members. In this, those fruits become evident, and it is the Pastor, who have adopted these distinctives to governed the church in the way that they are structured, choice to either step up to the plate to modify these or to defend them, not the creator or author of these distinctive. That in essence is a mechanism used to distract and to avoid holding to an account any pastor who made the decision to hold to the distinctives while avoiding any accountability and responsibility that may foster the corruption and abuse found within there own congregation or to even stand against that which breeds or invites or attracts such people who have and does commit such wrongs against those who seek and who are in Christ, Jesus.

    This is not a personal attack upon Steve. He just happens to be a CC pastor. How he decides to handle the distinctive and how he decide to defend it will however reflect the parameters that he is able to protect and to lead his flock.

    This still does not address the reality that all who are in Christ, jesus are, in God’s eyes members of the body of Christ. Being so, to say they are not in practical terms concerning the affairs of the church and treating them as such by token or evident of such governing structure that does not enable them to voice their concerns and to be able to gain an audience to establish their complaint of being abused by someone in the leadership or in the congregation is not scriptual at all. Therefore, when a either of the church structures that I mentioned earlier is in place, it is inevitable that much harm will done sooner or later. To not be able to discuss these concerns, leads me to the conclusion that such a system is very closed and rigid towards its congregation as well, thus abuse is in all likelihood will be, if not now be inevitable in the future.

    It is to Michael’s credit that he does post various topics that gets us to thinking and discussing these things within respectable boundaries. It is also to his credit that those boundaries are not so rigid that it does not make allowance for the human emotion that are often triggered in these processes that take place. I would hope that each of us can grow and learn and consider from the merits of what each has to share, taking in the whole counsel of God along with it to discern and to behave ourselves appropriately with one another.

    Michael, thank you for permitting me, to be a part of this group and for stirring the waters that provokes thought and consideration what it means to be a Christian and as a member of the church universal.

  105. Michael says:

    Thank you for the kind words.
    You earned the right to be defended.
    I’m glad you are a member of this community.

  106. Michael says:


    This is a place where hopefully all the different traditions can be fairly represented.
    There will always be a variety of church governments in this country and there will be those who flourish in and some who abuse all of them.
    That is the cost of religious freedom.
    I take each person individually…I like Steve and will defend him…some others I’d like to toast on a spit.

  107. Ricky Bobby says:

    “Isn’t Carl Trueman Presbyterian?”

    If he is, same difference, Presbyterians rebelled from the one-time Church “authority” as well. I assumed he was Anglican, he comes off that way (and isn’t he British?).

    I’m certain he’s not Roman Catholic, so my point is not dependent on which flavor of rebellion he’s in.

  108. Is your point that in order for his article to be valid, he would have to accept as “authority” anything which calls itself “authority”?

    Cause his point is about the authority of Scripture.

  109. Ricky Bobby says:

    Every flavor of “Christian” is in current rebellion of structural “authority” as defined by Carl Trueman…except the Roman Catholics and maybe the EO (but the East-West Schism was a rebellion against structural and positional authority as well).

    This is the underlying fact of Trueman’s ironic position. He is in rebellion by his own definition of structural/positional authority.

    Now of course there is all manner of spin and explanation to the contrary, but if one takes an intellectually honest approach to what Trueman is stating…he has hung himself (and his Tradition) with his own rope.

  110. Ricky Bobby says:

    “Cause his point is about the authority of Scripture.”

    No, his point is about a particular Group’s interpretation of the Scripture as authoritative, which throws the whole argument back to who has the positional/structural claim to the authority of the “church”…and the Presbyterians can make no such claim.

  111. Ricky Bobby says:

    What Trueman is essentially chastising folks for is “rebellion” against a particular “authority” that interprets the Scripture the way he thinks it should be interpreted.

    It’s a lame argument and self-contradictory…but it doesn’t surprise me that Michael is impressed by it.

  112. Michael says:


    Trueman sums up his thesis in this paragraph:

    “In the Christian world, one might add that it involves an acceptance of the power and authority of God, of the sufficiency of his revelation, and of the full adequacy of the salvation he has wrought in Christ. It also involves being involved in the local church, looking to the elders and the deacons for support and for nurture. It involves realising that one does not stand apart from, or above, the body of Christ: one is part of it and under his authority as the head.’

    The RCC accepted neither the sufficiency of God’s revelation, nor the adequacy of the salvation wrought in Christ.
    Rebellion was necessary and biblical…and is in any case where those two things are not practiced.

  113. Alright, you didn’t like the article. All good.

  114. PP Vet says:

    Some of us who comment here are like Solomon son of David.

    We have been around a long time, and all is vanity.

    The repartee here is interesting. MN is a fearless original thinker with a passion for truth.

    Oddly enough, in that way he is very much like Rick Joyner, a man for whom he has no respect.

    MLD has not been carrying his weight around here for a while – wassup wit dat?

    Uriah, type all you want, friend, but really, 4574 characters? Do you really think anyone reads past character 500?

  115. Ricky Bobby says:

    “Rebellion was necessary and biblical…and is in any case where those two things are not practiced.”

    that statement undoes Trueman’s whole argument…as “rebellion” and authority are entirely subjective.

  116. Ricky Bobby says:

    Trueman is essentially presenting his definition of what is proper exercise of authority and then chastising (nicely) folks for rebelling in a “childish” manner against what he defines is the particular authority…and it is all based on his completely subjective opinion about what he reads the Scripture to mean and is not based upon a legitimate structural/positional authority.

    The position he states is entirely subjective and self-contradictory. It is a very poor article from a philosophical logic and critical thinking perspective, but if it makes you ‘feel’ good then by all means.

  117. Michael says:


    It’s the standard Protestant statement of faith as held by many divergent traditions.
    We note that you do not agree.

  118. Andrew says:

    “Moses was a type of Christ, not a model for a NT pastor.”
    Where do you get that “type of Christ” talk? Certainly not from the bible

    Josh, I am not sure what Bible you are reading. Do you self a favor and do a google search for “Moses is a type of Christ”. I got 5,780,000 hits. As a pastor to pretend you have no clue is just ridiculous to the core.

  119. Ricky Bobby says:

    It is not as you stated Michael. You presented it as “Sometimes, my limitations as a thinker and writer are made glaringly obvious.

    Such is the case today when I open with two articles by Carl Trueman that basically say everything I’ve tried to say every day for the last five years.”

    and that just isn’t true. He is not a good thinker if this article is the evidence of such.

  120. So you got it from google, but “type of christ” is not in the bible.

  121. Andrew says:

    Josh, neither is the word trinity in the Bible but the concept is there and that is what we are talking about.

  122. Ricky Bobby says:

    Trueman is the typical “sound and fury signifying nothing” using big words and fancy delivery…while presenting a poorly-thought-out argument that self-contradicts.

    He’s a very poor thinker by most of the rest of the planet’s standard when it comes to philosophical logic (which his position is essentially a presentation of a philosophical argument).

  123. Michael says:


    That is your opinion and you’ve stated it.
    I find him to be an excellent and important observer of both church history and current trends.
    Your thinking that I’m an idiot doesn’t impact that opinion.

  124. I’ll take Carl Trueman over Ricky Bobby as a “thinker” every day of the week.

  125. Michael says:


    Let’s summarize your argument.
    You hate Calvary Chapel and all it’s pastors.
    Point made.
    Thank you.

  126. Ricky Bobby says:

    You’re not an idiot, but you make statements that are factually untrue when measured against the standard you claim like “thinker” which has context under the umbrella of well-established philosophical logic.

  127. Andrew @ 121 – I asked where you got the notion of “type of Christ”. That is all. I’m not sure what you are arguing about here.

  128. Andrew says:


    I love Calvary Chapel people.
    Point made.

    Thank you.

  129. uriahisaliveandwell says:

    Yelling at an adult or molestin of a child is stil abuse and if done by a Pastor it incorporates spiritual abuse. child abuse does not take place in a vacuum, but is perpetrated by one or more persons and those who ignores those things that does not provide the safety, protection, and intervention that is necessary to identify and to protect these things from taking place. Child abuse can only happen in system that does not have boundaries in place that also respects the its “members’ in that abuse of any type, be it towards an adult of child in place. More children are abused by those who are known by those in the child’s immediate care and supervision. If the system does not permit an open exchange of opinions, thoughts, and feelings, then the tolerance for such abuse will also include that which is spiritual abuse which means the things of the Lord will be used in such away that promotes such tolerance and leave those who need defending or are able to defend, defenseless and unable to discern what does and what does not constitute abuse. Thus the entire system becomes corrupted unable to discern and to identify the red flags that are easily identified at a much earlier stage of any type of abuse, be it towards an adult or a child. The abusive person depends upon this type of system. They are especially skilled in knowing how to exploit and to make things appear as thought they are not. The are chamelions and they are Jekyl and Hydes.

    Part of the problem with child abuse is the myth that it is or it can be separate from the abuse that is being perpetrated upon an adult. It can not be separated simply due to the exploitation of a child and the exploitation that takes place using adults to perpetrate such things. When one exploits a person, it is abuse. In order to abuse a child, one must used corrupted, abusive, and treachery to get to that child. When churches refuses to understand that child does not happen in a vacuum and that it is a whole process or endeavor upon the part of the abuser to not only abuse the child but also to see themselves as superior in that he or she was able to seduce and prey upon the child by way of using a whole system that fell for their ruse and buying into this false image they created to get them to think they were something they were not. It is about attention, power, and control—-not just of the child, but also those adults that represented that which they could never be and certainly are not.

  130. Ricky Bobby says:

    “I’ll take Carl Trueman over Ricky Bobby as a “thinker” every day of the week.”

    Yes, that doesn’t surprise me in the least, LOL and I love the irony in the expression of your own ignorance on the subject of what constitutes “good thinking” that aligns with the universally accepted definitions and structure of philosophical logic…which theology and expressions of opinion regarding metaphysics and religion etc is under that umbrella whether you recognize it or not.

  131. Uriah – I’ll ask a question, and I don’t need an essay answer. Just a quick one sentence response:

    Which is worse – raping a child, or yelling at a different adult(one that was not raped as a child)?

  132. Andrew says:

    Josh, You came across as rejecting the concept that “Moses was a type of Christ”. If you reject this concept that is fine. But to play word games is less then genuine.

  133. That’s cool Ricky Bobby.

    You are the smartest man alive. We all get that.

    I don’t care at all about philosophical logic or any of that…so there ya go.

    Now, when you write an article that expresses you viewpoint as clearly as Trueman is able to do on a regular basis, let me know.

  134. @ 132 – I never rejected it. I asked where you got it. Period.

  135. Gary says:

    Communchurchism= An argument inside a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. I grew up in an argument so I’m right at home here.

  136. Andrew says:

    Josh, Yuu asked me where you got because its not in the Bible. You later said the phrase is not in the Bible. But originally you led us all to believe that the CONCEPT was not in the Bible. This is your word games.

  137. I even put “type of Christ” in quotes. It is not in the bible. Where did you hear it?

    I don’t know what you are fussing about.

  138. Andrew says:

    Josh, instead of playing this symantic word game and sitting on the fence why don’t you try to address the content. Is the concept of “type of Christ” in the Bible? We are not talking about the exact phrase. We are talking about Christ foreshadowing and being a type of Christ. Do you find this in the Bible at all? I certainly do.

  139. Sure, but I was actually asking about the exact phrase. Where did youhear that Moses is a “type of Christ”?

    That’s all I am asking. You seem to assuming some different motivation from me, but that’s all I wanted to know.

  140. Ricky Bobby says:

    “You are the smartest man alive. We all get that.

    I don’t care at all about philosophical logic or any of that…so there ya go.”

    No, not nearly, I just have formal training in a discipline that you all appeal to often (which is part of my thesis on Selective Fundamentalism) and you violate the principles of “logic” all the time in your own self-contradictory arguments or lauding of a self-contradictory argument.

    It is what it is as they say. Doesn’t make me smarter, it just exposes your lack of understanding of a subject you appeal to regularly.

  141. @ 140 – Cool. But I don’t often appeal to the principles of logic. So… OK.

  142. Andrew says:

    Josh, You got your answer. Now answer mine. I have told you now at least 3 times that I don’t find the exact phrase “type of Christ” in the Bible. As the trinity, I don’t find that word either in the Bible. We are talking about content and not exact phrases. Do you find the concept in the Bible?

  143. Michael says:

    I am a “fundamentalist” and I believe that the Bible is God’s true revelation to men.
    I am ignorant of philosophy and science…foolish in the eyes of some, perhaps many.
    In the life time I have left I will not seek to become wise in the eyes of men, but continue to seek the word of God.
    My hope is in Christ and His work and words and wisdom.
    Paul spoke to those of us scorned by smarter men.. and for me, his words will be my answer.

    “For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.” Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.”
    (1 Corinthians 1:18–2:5 ESV)

  144. Ricky Bobby says:

    “But I don’t often appeal to the principles of logic.”

    Yes, you do. When you agree with a comment that states “he’s a good thinker” you are asserting the person (Trueman in this case) has applied sound critical thinking (which the authority is the principles of philosophical logic to define and judge such)…you have in fact appealed to the principles of logic (as they are universally expressed and accepted).

    The problem is not in my critique, it is in your contradiction and lack of understanding of what you are essentially appealing to.

  145. Ricky Bobby says:

    Michael, then why do you appeal to logic all the time and call someone a “great thinker” and encourage people to develop a theological belief system that claims logic in developing its argument?

  146. Andrew, yes, I find the concept in the bible. Do you know where you heard the phrase? I was just curious. Sorry.

  147. Ricky Bobby says:

    This is the Elephant in the Room.

    In one breath you appeal to ‘logic’ and in the other breath you appeal to foolishness.

    It is self-contradictory. I am merely being truthful and intellectually honest and pointing that out.

    If “logic” is an appeal to support your theological box, then by all means…apply the Standard you are appealing to to your entire belief system and don’t pick and choose.

    If you do what I’ve stated above, you will end up in the Liberal camp of theology.

  148. See Ricky, we are again talking about speaking from different definitions. When I call someone a great “thinker”, I am talking about their ability to navigate issues and then to also be able to express them adequately. Carl Trueman easily fits that definition. I am also using the the term “great” as a relative qualifier. Carl Trueman is a “great” thinker in comparison to me. (or you, for that matter).

  149. PP Vet

    Appreciate the feedback on using more words than you can handle. If I thought it would be able to said if fewer, I would do this. Abuse is a complicated subject and there is so much misunderstanding about it and even less being done to stop it, including the simple task of signing a petition to stand for those who are and will be abused. Be it an adult or a child within what we frame to be the church.

    Ironically, I think it very interesting that it is given the least of consideration in managing the affairs of the church. Yet at the same time, understand that church does not do relationship very well, but will dwell on and spend hours in books and discussion arguing or debating the intellectual points of theological thinking. But the reality is, the flock is being fleeced and the children and those who loves them are being abused and exploited. In turn, there is an apostasy that is taking place and we, as a church as being in the world, but not of it have lost the ability to discern what is and what is not the heart of the Lord.

    In my opinion, it is about relationship and loving one another as He has loved us, far more so than these other things that are given preeminence over those things that are swept aside, often to maintain the image of a pastor or of this or that particular church or denomination, at the cost and future of those who are considered, by evidence of such myths that are perpetuated in setting its priorities on things that don’t make a hill or bean of difference to those who suffer such things.

    And quite frankly, I believe Jesus has also told us this as well.

  150. Ricky Bobby says:

    Trueman’s article is about “authority” and rebellion and as i’ve stated many times, every issue boils down to:

    Absolute/Objective vs. Relative/Subjective Truth and Authority.

    as such, Trueman’s appeals to logic (implied) to articulate his position about “authority” and “rebellion” are self-contradictory and not logically sound.

    He is not a good “thinker” by that Standard. He picks-and-chooses his way into that position without applying a consistent Standard, which is a rebellion against the authority of sound “thinking” and “good” thinking.

  151. Ricky, the problem is that some of us believe that true wisdom comes from God, and that God has spoken through the scriptures. Therefore, we don’t feel the need to apply an outside judge on the content of the scriptures.

  152. Michael says:


    I made no “logical” argument.
    I (and many others) believe Trueman is a prophetic voice for this age.
    You don’t.
    We get it.
    I share a common faith with Trueman and that faith is where I live and breath and have my being.
    You don’t.
    We get that.
    You will be unsatisfied with any answer that doesn’t fit your current belief system.
    I can’t help that…my faith is all I have.
    I’m sorry you disagree, but it’s obviously beyond my aptitudes to convince you otherwise.

  153. Andrew says:

    “Andrew, yes, I find the concept in the bible. Do you know where you heard the phrase? I was just curious. Sorry.”

    Now, we are getting some where. I heard the phrase by many theologians. Many pastors. Many authors. And as I mentioned already, I got over 5 million hits on google when I looked it up.

  154. Ricky Bobby says:

    “See Ricky, we are again talking about speaking from different definitions.”

    Yes, this makes my point and illustrates the conundrum well and is another example of contradiction and subjectivity and a rebellion against “authority” in the area of universally accepted definitions of what constitutes “sound” or good thinking.

    Those who agree with Trueman’s box will laud him and call him a ‘good thinker’ despite the errors in his logic and his pick-and-choose application of ‘good thinking’ in his argument.

    It is not, in fact, “good thinking” measured against the universal standard of “good thinking” as it applies to philosophical logic which is the science and the measure that defines good thinking.

    Trueman has a disjointed argument, that’s a fact.

  155. uriahisaliveandwell says:

    Sorry, I had a distraction.

    “PP Vet

    Appreciate the feedback on using more words than you can handle. If I thought it would be able to said in fewer words, I would do this.

  156. Ricky Bobby says:

    Michael, Trueman might be prophetic, but he doesn’t measure up to “good thinker” agains the Standard that is universally accepted as “good thinker” in the context of philosophical logic which is the authority and definer in that regard.

    Again, you appeal to logic in stating your positions, then run from it when the rules are applied and show a guru or argument to be disjointed and self-contradictory.

  157. Andrew, at #153, now that we’ve got that out of the way, my follow up question is:

    Why should Moses NOT be a model for New Testament pastors? Please, just make your case without trying to infer anything from my question. I may agree with you, I may not. You made the statement that Moses is not a model for pastors, and I’m asking you to back that up.

  158. Ricky Bobby, noone is talking about philosophical logic, accept you. If that is the “universal standard” that you adhere to…have at it. It is not the box through which I process all information.

  159. Michael says:


    You have given your opinion of Trueman and I have given mine.
    We don’t agree, nor are we persuaded by the other opinion.
    Many of our readers appreciated his thoughts that I linked to.
    You didn’t.
    That’s ok.
    If you want to raise a victory flag over your intellectual superiority to both myself and a Christian academic, feel free to do so.
    I have a bunch of other stuff to do today.

  160. Andrew says:


    Moses was never mentioned as model for a NT pastor in the NT. That is for starters. Moses was one individual ruling over one Nation. The only possible equivalent would be Jesus ruling over the church unless you somehow think we should have a pope. These are just some issues I see but I know there are many more.

  161. LOLROTF—Gary How precise and how very true.

    Josh, understand what you saying—however, abuse still constitutes abuse. It’s not an either or, when it comes to abuse.

    However in saying this, not all yelling is abusive, so I guess you would have to define what was being stated and under what circumstances it involved. If a person was attempting to control or to demean or to rape you emotionally or psychologically, then that could be as traumatizing as a child be molested. Particularly if they did this to the adult over and over and over and over again.

  162. Andrew, but what about the idea of Christ as The Good Shepard? IF Moses is a type of Christ, don’t you think that there is something that could be gained from following his lead?

  163. @ 161 – Uriah, I’ll be clear: The type of abuse being attributed to Moses Model pastors in this very thread is not at all the same thing as child sex abuse. When we discuss the two things as if they are one, we lessen the chances of anything being done about the more serious issue.

  164. Steve Wright says:

    I just have formal training in a discipline that you all appeal to often
    Just for my curiosity – assuming you are using “formal training” in the way most define (i.e. an actual school/college and/or served under a trainer/teacher to learn the skill and probably received a degree or certificate at the end.)

    Is it your claim that John Macarthur’s school taught you to think this way about the Bible?

  165. Andrew says:

    Andrew, but what about the idea of Christ as The Good Shepard?

    Josh, Types and foreshadows are just that. Moses was before Christ. Why would a pastor model after Moses when they can model after Christ the “Real” deal. This is what is so bizarre about the Moses Model.

  166. Andrew @ 165 – So is Christ the only thing pastors should glean from the bible? Should they take nothing from the Old Testament or Paul?

  167. Michael says:

    Just my opinion…but using the “Moses Model” construct for a pastor led ecclesiology was a theological train wreck.
    Just call it “pastor led’ and be done with it.

  168. Andrew says:

    Josh, one of the main principals in Bible hermeneutics is that we should interpret the old testament in light of new revelation in the New testament not the other way around. With that said I am not a red letter only guy and Paul certainly has quite a lot to say about shepherding and being a pastor.

  169. MIchael – @ 167 – I agree. I’m just curious as to why Andrew feels that way.

  170. 168 is a good answer, Andrew. I don’t know that it is enough to rule out what you are calling The Moses Model, but it is a start.

  171. Andrew says:

    Michael is right that the “Moses Model” is a theological train wreck. And if you also agree Josh, I too am also curious why you feel that way?

  172. Steve Wright says:

    Just call it “pastor led’ and be done with it.
    And that is what the newly formed association has done. There is zero reference to an expression “Moses Model”.

    Of course, instead of credit for reformation from the critics……..

  173. Andrew says:

    “And that is what the newly formed association has done. There is zero reference to an expression “Moses Model”.”


    If you say so Steve but I thought each and every CC was completely independent and autonomous. So what is this association anyway? And what does it have anything to do with anything.

  174. Michael says:


    Nor is there any mention of the “distinctives’…they appear to have been replaced with a standard statement of faith.
    Not all in the camp are happy about this… 🙂

  175. Ricky Bobby says:

    “Is it your claim that John Macarthur’s school taught you to think this way about the Bible?”

    You’re mixing apples and oranges and not thinking congruently with this statement.

    I learned Logic, Critical Thinking, Rhetorical Criticism, Argument/Debate, Speech, Group Dynamics, etc at Master’s. I was taught directly by Dr. Larson (Phd from USC, yes that USC). She taught the same she taught at USC according to her (she was an adjunct there if memory serves. I do know for a fact she has her PhD from USC in the discipline).

    Dr. Larson taught the Subject sans religion. It was presented as it is presented at USC.

    I did not attend the Master’s Seminary which seeks to apply logic to the bible and comes up with its own Brand of Christianity*.

    Dr. Larson taught me “how” to think, not “what” to think. There was a time I agreed with MacArthur’s positions (or a lot of them) but that was largely due to the peer pressure and bias of the school and those around me. When I applied the skills of critical thinking and removed emotion and bias, I found the positions to have contradictions and to be full of errors in logic etc.

  176. Steve Wright says:

    every CC was completely independent and autonomous. So what is this association anyway? And what does it have anything to do with anything.
    Isn’t that old ground covered ad naseum here?

  177. Ricky Bobby says:

    Steve W said, “Isn’t that old ground covered ad naseum here?”

    Isn’t every position you take well-covered and heavily discussed? Everything you state has been hashed out and beat to death ad nauseam as well.

    Steve, you use this manipulative technique often to change the subject, yet you engage in your same-old same-old rhetoric and pet issues all the time. It comes across as intellectually dishonest and hypocritical.

  178. Steve Wright says:

    Question for the Board.

    Stats show pretty consistently that the average tenure for a pastor at a church is about three years.

    You guys think that is a good thing? Should churches be driving off men, or the flip side, should pastors be bailing out to different pastures every three years?

    Is that healthy for the Body of Christ?

  179. Ricky Bobby says:

    At least, IMO, the hyper-Charismatics are honest and throw logic completely out the window and don’t even try to appeal to it. They make up their belief systems and current theological/doctrinal positions as they go and appeal to feelings and emotions and “the spirit”.

    Most other Christian* Groups claim some sort of Logic and claim the bible is logical and some sort of math book…which it is not. When pressed, they are exposed as being illogical and self-contradictory, which usually ruffles feathers, but it is intellectually honest.

  180. Andrew says:

    “Isn’t that old ground covered ad naseum here?”

    So who is the president of this organization and what is its purpose? I think I must have missed that.

  181. @ 178 – I think it is a shame Steve, that pastors are only around for that long. I know it is one downfall of the congregational polity that I believe so strongly in.

  182. Andrew, see how you are changing subjects just to harass Steve again?

  183. I’ve never heard anyone say “The Bible is some sort of math book”.

    Anyone. Ever.

  184. Ricky Bobby says:

    I know the truth is uncomfortable. I resisted it for a long time…as long as I could.

    It is what it is.

  185. Steve Wright says:

    Forgive my ignorance, RB. I truly do not know much about Master’s Seminary. In the same post above you mention learning at Master’s this non-religion logic from USC professors, but you also say you did not attend Master’s Seminary – which I assume is the graduate level school.

    So your format training is as an undergraduate student? I only know of the seminary, but does Master’s have some sort of basic college where you take math, history, english and so forth, along with your stated major?

    so you had formal training with Dr. Larson who is also from USC.

    How long was this training? Did you have her over multiple years in a variety of classes, or did she teach you one class for one semester (or something in between).

    I’m just curious about your formal training. I’ll answer any of your questions in turn about mine.

  186. “I know the truth is uncomfortable”

    How do you decide what is truth?

  187. Andrew says:

    So if Steve responds to me, its viewed as correction. But if I respond to Steve its harassing. I see. Simple answer to a simple question.

    What is the purpose of this new association and who is the president and who formed it?

  188. Ricky Bobby says:

    “How do you decide what is truth?”

    I claim the same authority that you do…which is my underlying point.

  189. I think they have a website with all that information readily available?

  190. @ 188 – I claim that the Bible is the source of all revealed truth. Do you agree with that?

  191. Ricky Bobby says:

    “@ 188 – I claim that the Bible is the source of all revealed truth. Do you agree with that?”

    No, that is not true. You claim your interpretation and your own opinions of what the words on the page “mean” etc as part of your incongruent “truth”. That is fact.

  192. Ricky Bobby says:

    “the Bible is the source of all revealed truth”

    There is nothing true that isn’t specifically referenced in the bible? Wow, that’s a poorly thought out statement.

  193. @ 192 – Nope. It is quite possible that some of my interpretations are very much wrong.

  194. Ricky Bobby says:

    Hey, stick to your incongruity if it makes you feel good. Fortunately, I think God is truly loving and merciful and will redeem the whole mess so it really doesn’t matter, just try to help folks where you can and try to be a good dad and husband etc.

  195. “There is nothing true”

    How do you define what is, or is not, true?

  196. Ricky Bobby says:

    …unfortunately, my conscience and my knowledge of seeing the contradiction and incongruity and untruthfulness of particular statements doesn’t allow me to agree with what isn’t true when measured against verifiable universally accepted Standards.

  197. Steve Wright says:

    RB, I took my own advice and googled Master’s undergraduate school.

    I see there are 13 majors offered. Which one was yours?

    I also see this quote. Do you agree with it? God of truth etc.

    Whatever you choose, you should know that you’ll be receiving a Master’s College education. By that, we mean that all of our majors and every one of our classes stand on a biblical foundation. We serve the God of truth, after all, and your pursuit of it here will ultimately point to Him.

  198. “There is nothing true that isn’t specifically referenced in the bible? ”

    For the record, I never said that.

  199. Michael says:


    The Christian faith has survived attacks from many smarter than you and support from those dumber than me.
    It will survive until He returns.
    I’ve never heard the Bible described as either logical or a book on the sciences…I certainly don’t view it that way.
    It’s God’s revelation of Himself to men…an incomplete revelation because men can no more completely understand God than my cat can understand blogging.
    I love it…and I cherish it.
    I believe it and by faith I try to live by it.
    I fail, but it tells me that a Savior has been given to forgive those failures.
    You are free to reject it…but in doing so, allow others the freedom to believe it by faith.

  200. @ 197 – “doesn’t allow me to agree with what isn’t true”

    Again, how do you know what is true and what is not?

  201. Ricky Bobby says:

    Steve, I can’t speak of what the school’s emphasis is now in it’s Speech Comm. department, I can only speak of my direct experience in the early to mid 90’s with Dr. Larson. She taught the discipline and not the religion. The religion part was left to Chapels and was interwoven in bible classes etc, but wasn’t a part of math or science type subjects and Logic, Critical Thinking, Rhetorical Criticism were all subjects in the Speech Comm. major and weren’t presented in a religious manner but were taught as they are taught at a secular school.

    Is there such a thing as Christian* math or science? (well, I guess there is pseudo-YEC science, but I’m talking science in general).

    Is there such a thing as Christian* addition and subtraction? Christian* phonics etc?

  202. Michael says:


    However RB reached his current conclusions is irrelevant and further inquiry will only lead to more strife.
    I grant him his right to believe as he desires and hope he does the same for us.

  203. Ricky Bobby says:

    Michael, do you think Calvin’s positions are logical and reasonable? If so, you embrace and appeal to Logic.

  204. Michael says:


    It is utterly irrelevant to me whether Calvin was “logical”.
    It matters whether or not Calvin was biblical.
    We believe a dead man got up and walked and because He did we will too.
    That’s not “logical”.
    I don’t care.
    I believe it.

  205. Michael @ 202 – I think Steve’s line of questioning is fair since RB promoted his authority, being that he is formally trained. I don’t believe that we should have to accept that statement on faith, especially since he is using that formal training to attack the Faith.

  206. Ricky Bobby says:

    Michael, it is untrue to frame my statements as “an attack”. I am stating my opinions and refuting your statements which are not sound and not factual when measured against the universally accepted Standard of philosophical logic…something you appeal to often and then say you don’t appeal to it.

  207. Ricky Bobby says:

    “I think Steve’s line of questioning is fair since RB promoted his authority, being that he is formally trained. I don’t believe that we should have to accept that statement on faith, especially since he is using that formal training to attack the Faith.”

    So ironic, I love it.

    What would make my statements true? Pedigree/position/title or conclusions based on sound application of a universally accepted framework and discipline?

    If I added 1 + 1 to equal 2, and a tenured Math Professor came up with 3, would my answer be untrue?

  208. “universally accepted Standard of philosophical logic”

    Where is this standard found, and was it voted upon by everyone ever?

  209. Ricky Bobby says:

    There is so much gold in this discussion. It will be the subject of my next article. Thank you for the discussion.

  210. “What would make my statements true? ”

    You tell me. I’ve asked you several times, but you have yet to give an answer, other than the mythical “universally accepted Standard of philosophical logic”.

  211. “Pedigree/position/title or conclusions based on sound application of a universally accepted framework and discipline?”

    Speaking of ironic…you are the one who touted your “formal training”.

  212. Michael says:

    I’m off to pick up Trey…and pretty much off for the rest of the week.

  213. You have a great time Michael!

  214. Ricky Bobby says:

    “you are the one who touted your “formal training”.”

    Didn’t “tout” it just stated the fact I have studied the subject and am knowledgable of the principles and metrics etc. and that is not an example of irony.

  215. You appealed to “formal training” as the reason you were more knowledgeable than us in said subject.

    When asked to clarify “formal training”, you said

    “What would make my statements true? Pedigree/position/title or conclusions based on sound application of a universally accepted framework and discipline?

    If I added 1 + 1 to equal 2, and a tenured Math Professor came up with 3, would my answer be untrue?”

    Which means, “Ahh formal training doesn’t really matter…”

    I found it hilarious.

  216. uriahisaliveandwell says:


    “@ 161 – Uriah, I’ll be clear: The type of abuse being attributed to Moses Model pastors in this very thread is not at all the same thing as child sex abuse. When we discuss the two things as if they are one, we lessen the chances of anything being done about the more serious issue.”

    When it comes to abuse of any type within the church community it is a huge error to think it has nothing to do with the governing system that is unable, or unwilling to address it in such a way that enables changes to be made that will insure the protection, safety, and sanctity of all. To think for one moment that one can separate the two out is what lends to the abuse and fosters it.

    As for the Moses Model, it does not reflect Moses simply because there is no accountability of the leadership, except what the Pastor decides will be exercised with him being only accountable to God.

    No pastor can ever put himself in the place of Moses, for Moses had the ability and the privilege of hearing directly from God.

    Jesus came to set us free and to be able all hear and understand His word by being led by the Holy Spirit. He told us that we are all of the priesthood and that we each have the ability to judge and to hold one another to an account while existing side by side with one another, if we walk in His way and not think that any one of us is better than or less than the other.

    No Pastor, nor is the Pope, capable of taking on or even emulating Moses—for it is written that there is and there will never be one, such as Moses—-ever again.

    From Chuck Smith to every pastor who has placed themselves in this mindset of them being accountable only to God, they have lifted themselves up to be an authority figure speaking as though they are the voice of the Lord on all matters pertaining to the church, and that the church community does not have a voice or the wherewithal to discern the things that pertains to the church affairs, as they do.

    Moses had been given for a time the task of leading the people through the desert and to dictate or to govern over the civil matters of the community. But event then, he was taken to task by his Father in law, telling him, to delegate and to stop this nonsense that made him think that others could not also discern and judge these things.

    But of spiritual things Aaron and the Levitical tribe was given the things necessary to oversee the spiritual and to carry out those things that would threaten the moral fiber and survival of the Jewish people. Moses worked hand in hand with his brother, Aaron, but it was Aaron the high priest that once this was established that could go into the holies of holies.

    I disagree with those who say that Moses of a type of Christ as scripture tells us he was a prophet and a Levite, but not of the High Priesthood, for that was given to Aaron and His lineage.

    Today as a Christian, we each have access to God that enables us to go beyond the veil that was torn when Jesus gave His blood and His life for us.

    The Moses model does not acknowledge this, but instead maintains that only the Pastor is given this and in this, therefore they are only accountable to God and not accountable to the church community at all. Therefore, the Moses model is ripe for corruption and will attract those who seeks control and power and when you have men like this in the pulpit and leadership, then abuse will not only be fostered, it will be enabled. Scripture will be interpreted and taught to fit the model, instead of Him who gave His life to for His bride.

    These things I don’t see how anyone can respond to using one or two short sentences. And to say that the system that God has determined is there to provide a safe shelter and protection while nurturing and feeding the community of Christ is not to be associated with what is permitted or is perpetrated is precisely what enables it to take place is totally missing the point and the reason that God has told us to gather together as one as a community of believers in the first place.

  217. “When it comes to abuse of any type within the church community it is a huge error to think it has nothing to do with the governing system that is unable, or unwilling to address it in such a way that enables changes to be made that will insure the protection, safety, and sanctity of all. To think for one moment that one can separate the two out is what lends to the abuse and fosters it.”

    Nope. Child sex abuse is illegal and should be reported automatically to authorities.

    “Spiritual abuse” is something that no one can define. You should probably just leave the church and blog about it.

    The two HAVE to be handled separately.

  218. Steve Wright says:

    Michael, I’m done with that discussion now that RB answered. I was asking RB out of genuine curiosity, as I likely would ask anyone who touted formal training in a discipline. I have a lot of respect for formal education.

    However, it is a very broad term and it helps to clarify what the person who is doing the touting means by it. Now we know. RB has an undergraduate communications degree from a Christian liberal arts college. As part of that degree he took certain classes as he has listed for us.

    I respect RB’s education, and commend him for the pursuit.

    I happen to have formal training in the law. A true statement, but if you dig deeper what that involved was taking as many law classes as I could as a business major in undergraduate school at my University. But I have a Business Administration degree, I was not pre-law, did not go to law school, never have practiced as an attorney.

    So to avoid misrepresenting myself as if I was a peer of Jeff Sheckstein, I would never use my “formal training” in the law as part of an argument. Sure, I took classes with other students who went on to be lawyers. I was taught by lawyers (and one judge). We took the same tests etc. But my “formal training” since it was just a handful of classes, was really too brief to do justice to the term.

    However, the one thing that always cracks me up on the subject of education – is how formal training in a field, ANY field, is supposed to put the Bible proponent in his/her place.

    And yet, people with no formal training in study of the Bible, (the genres, figures of speech, systematics, languages, history and culture) don’t hesitate to place themselves as educational equals with those with such formal training – all because they too own a Bible and can read English and a few websites and commentaries. They can say with assurance and authority that the man or woman with formal training in the Scriptures is wrong, though they have no such formal training themselves.

    Quite a double standard. But one we all can gladly live with, for I love the fact that our Lord put His Word out there so it could be read, studied, and received clearly WITHOUT the need for formal education.

    Like the saying goes, The Father put the cookies on the lowest shelf so all His kids could enjoy them. 🙂

    Have a good trip, Michael.

  219. Gary says:

    And may God bless you richly, my beloved.

  220. uriahisaliveandwell says:


    ““Spiritual abuse” is something that no one can define. You should probably just leave the church and blog about it.

    The two HAVE to be handled separately.”

    There is no cause for you to respond to what I have shared in this manner. What more spiritual abuse can and has been defined just as all other types of abuse.

    To usher me me out the door because you disagree with what I have shared, what is that about? It’s a form of bullying and has nothing to do with understanding and enabling those who perpetrate and enable the abuse of those in the church community.


    So relieved to hear that the distinctive and Moses model has been shelved. Nevertheless am wary because it would be my guess that many will hold onto it in practice.

    Sort of like, Rick Warren who posts the statement of beliefs, but practices those things that are in the postmoderm camp instead. Likewise, I would hope that when you say that the distinctives and the Moses model has been shelved, it would be my hope and prayer that this not in referencing it, but in practice as well.

    As for education being of value it can, but when we leave out God’s Word as part of what we learn, being that it supecedes all logic and reason that contends with it or revises it, we find ourseleves comprominsing who He is and who we are in Him.

    I am also glad to see you noted: “the fact that our Lord put His Word out there so it could be read, studied, and received clearly WITHOUT the need for formal education. Like the saying goes, The Father put the cookies on the lowest shelf so all His kids could enjoy them.

    In all the education I have been privy too and it is much, I have constantly been reminded that truth is found solely in His Word and everything else can be traced back and referenced by what Scripture alone tells us. What more, I am constantly reminded that although milions of books have been written to teach us this or that regarding the nature and limitation of humans and the knowledge that can or should be retain can also be found in the Bible. It is through my education—all in secular schools that made God more real and the Bible more true in my own quest to understand the world and myself more effectively. But it was the 3 years training in direct apologetic ministry that strengther my walk and my ability to integrate all that can also be found in scripture, including the concepts of what abuse is and what it is not.

    My days are numbered and in a little while no one will hear from me again. I will meet each of you, however, face to face, when you too leave this earthy vessel that has been given to you. I hope with all my heart that each of you will consider the things that I have shared and do all that you can to make changes in the church structure to enable all to feel safe and protected from the leaven that is used by the enemy to break the spirit and to rob the soul. As Jesus said, to the least of these, you have also done unto me.

  221. You know, one of my good qualities is reading comprehension.
    I started reading in the adult section of the library when I was in 5th grade. I picked up LOTR.
    I love reading. Always have and always will.
    I consider myself a good judge of written material.

    I dare any reader here to take any of RB’s long winded disjointed diatribes at his blog and compare them to any of Trueman’s articles or books.

    The difference is obvious as to who is the better thinker and writer.

    How many books have you sold and written there RB?

    Some people love to blow their horn, RB is one of them.

    RB gave me a good laugh today.

  222. Gary says:

    I quit reading RB’s posts a while back. When I’m feeling masochistic I’ll read a few. I tried reading LOTR in high school cuz the Hobbit was popular. It was hard reading and I skipped a lot. Everybody was Tolkien back then.

  223. Anne says:

    Uriah: what does “practices those things in the post modern camp” mean in your comment re: Rick Warren? Short answer, if possible, as age and disability make it hard to follow long posts, esp if they lack white space or sentences run on too long. Of all the things I’ve lost or am losing with my “drain bamage”, I am missing reading comprehension the most. Reading is sadly, now more often a chore than the pleasure it once was. Thanks!

  224. Anne says:

    BTW, U – I understand the concept of post modernism re: philosophy, literature and art etc. Just not in context of pastoring/church. So don’t need a full primer 😉

  225. uriahisaliveandwell says:


    Here’s a link on the Emerging Church Movement that includes Post Modernism which you can click onto. From there just go to utube and search, “Rick Warren and Post Moderism. Please keep in mind I am not saying at all that CC is going in the same direction as his church.

    My focus was upon whether or not the CC leadership had truely shelved the distinctives and Moses model in practice as well as using as a reference point in their conversation.

  226. Michael says:

    To be blunt, those links were a large load of crap.
    Rick is an orthodox Southern Baptist…he is about as far away from being emergent as I am from being Methodist…and that’s a long, long way.

  227. Anne says:

    Oh, I get it now! I’d completely forgotten the postmodern element of thought that is assoiciated with emergent theology. Thanks for the clarification of what you were referring to, and toggling my brain cells, U.

  228. uriahisaliveandwell says:

    Sorry Anne, here’s the link for a simple description these terms used in the faith communities.

    As I mentioned RW is baptist and his statement of belief, we would probably agree with, but he endorses and integrate that which are consider to be false teachings from many religions and philosophical positions. He tries to be all things to all people, not offending anyone and widening that narrow gate that leads to salvation.

    As I understand it is a mid point between evangelical fundamentalism and liberal christianity (lower case c intentional).

  229. Michael says:

    Rick Warren is also one hell of a nice guy and he’s put his money where his mouth is.
    He may have a different methodology and ministerial emphasis than I do, but I won’t belittle or insult him and I consider him an esteemed brother in Christ.

    This is the same crowd who hates Eugene Peterson…who I consider to be one of the greatest theologians of our time.

  230. Anne says:

    Thank you, Michael. That’s kinda what I was getting around to figuring out. Just wanted to be clear if U was really saying what I thought was being insinuated. Nice to know some of my brain cells still firing on a few cylinders.

  231. Michael says:


    Typical ODM stuff…if you don’t fit in the box, to hell you go.

  232. Anne says:

    Are you ill, uriahisaliveandwell? Though we are probably poles apart on many issues, I admire your heart on behalf of abused children. My thoughts and prayers will be with you.

  233. Michael says:

    Poles apart…same God. 🙂
    Blessings on you both.
    I have to pack…I hate to pack.

  234. uriahisaliveandwell says:

    Postmodernism christianity

    Since you are familiar with the tenets of postmodernism you are also aware that all experience and truth is relative to one’s experience and how they interpret that experience. Therefore, truth may be different from one person to the next. Biblically speaking, your truth and experience determines how you should understand God, rather than understaning your experience in terms of what the Bible has stated. What more, since culture changes, therefore, the Bible also needs to adjust to it in order to accommodate and validate one’s truth and experience.

    Problem is, God tells us that He never changes it is we that must submit to Him instead, regardless of what we think, feel, or believe.

    You can also find postmodernism in the 12 steps philosophy, which has been readily accepted on varying levels in the churches, simply because claims are that it works. Truth is: stats show that only 17% of addicts remain clean and sober without trading their addiction another like, pornography, food, work, attention and high adrenalin type activites.

    The Church has much to contend with and it is good to know what it is that they it is that they need to watch out for and to be careful they are not buying to or endorsing something that bring any type of harm and abuse into the church to leaven it.

  235. Wow, just saw this. Guess this is picking up steam from the SCOTUS ruling.
    Ohio doesn’t recognize homosexual marriages, but yet a federal judge has ordered them to.

  236. Uriahisaliveandwell says:


    RW might be one hell of a nice guy, however, that does mean he is not permitting false teaching to come into the church he is pastoring. We have to look at the evidence and everything I have seen and read while also attending his church, He is in dangerous waters, regardless of his stated doctrines of beliefs.

    Blessings to you as well, Michael. May you get the respite you need. Take care and thanks a million for so many things. This will be the last that anyone will be hearing from me. Can’t say why, but just know my thoughts and prayers and best wishes for everyone all around.

  237. Solomon Rodriguez says:


    Have you ever heard of a Life Coach? Well I’m a Life Bully, “its not what I do, its who I am”

  238. uriah,
    “RW might be one hell of a nice guy, however, that does mean he is not permitting false teaching to come into the church he is pastoring.”

    Can you name some of those false teachings that you know of?

    Would I be off base, following your lead, by saying he allows false teaching because he refuses to baptize babies? Is that what you are talking about?

  239. I never understood folks who rail against post modernism. It’s not like what preceded it was a biblical time of thinking.

    Modernism, which was pre post modernism (there’s a mouthful) was just thought / philosophy that came out of the Enlightenment – and believe me, that was no biblical or Christian era.

    People like uriah pick up a term, ballyhoo it around like it means anything – and then shoots at it.

    Post modernism is a totally neutral term when it comes to spiritual matters … in other words, the boogeyman.

  240. covered says:

    SolRod, you should be proud because you are good at it.

  241. brian says:

    Pastor Steve asked a question the statistics say an average pastor lasts three years at an assignment is that a good thing ? It depends, I have seen pastors come down to a church, make all sorts of promises about being in it for the long haul then the “spirit” moved which was usually coordinated directly to funding and following and split a church and start their own church. A singles pastor came down to work with a huge group of singles in this church. It was a nice church that had alot of ministries, paid for its buildings and school, and was really well respected in the community. He took over leadership and there were about 500 singles or so. This gave him a huge base to work from and allowed a great deal of ministry to happen in the community and in poor parts of the cities around our area. Once he was established you could see the changes like a train wreck, the development of a leadership team apart from the elders of the main church, meeting in a different venue for singles group, shopping around for meeting places.

    I know I mentioned it to him and reminded him that he made a promise not to break up the group. The reason it concerned me the most is the ministry I was in was tied to the singles group. Well in a few months the split came and about 75-80 % of the singles and many young married people left, of course the ministry I was in died without the infrastructure needed to support it. It was also funny that his move was also directly connected to him finishing his PhD which the church payed a large portion of the tuition.

  242. Gary says:

    I would rather have Uriah as a neighbor than MLD. The Uriahs of the world help people deal with the MLDs.

  243. Steve Wright says:

    Thanks for answering, Brian.

  244. London says:

    I’d prefer that MLD was my neighbor any day

  245. Uriah @ 221 –
    “““Spiritual abuse” is something that no one can define. You should probably just leave the church and blog about it.

    The two HAVE to be handled separately.”

    There is no cause for you to respond to what I have shared in this manner. What more spiritual abuse can and has been defined just as all other types of abuse.

    To usher me me out the door because you disagree with what I have shared, what is that about? It’s a form of bullying and has nothing to do with understanding and enabling those who perpetrate and enable the abuse of those in the church community.”

    1. I am sorry there is a bit of misunderstanding. I was not ushering YOU out any door. I was talking about the adult who was “spiritually abused” by a pastor. IF no law is broken, all that person can do is leave, and they are free to blog about it.

    2. What is the definition of spiritual abuse? I don’t think anyone knows.

  246. Gary – you just say that because you also have been brainwashed by the phrase post modernism.

    But that’s OK, I will just wait for uriah to list the post modern false teachings of Rick Warren.

    I have some significant doctrinal differences with Warren – but would never call him a “false teacher” like the kind and gentle uriah.

  247. Gary says:

    You miss it by a mile, MLD. It’s not just what you say but how you say it. Attitude is everything. You are a condescending know it all which your last post proves once again. It has nothing to do with post modernism or Rick Warren.

  248. Gary – how do you know “how I say it”? I differed with uriah’s statement and asked for examples of this so called “post modern false teaching of Rick Warrens” (which we all know he has none) I finished up by saying.

    “Post modernism is a totally neutral term when it comes to spiritual matters … in other words, the boogeyman.”

    But I can just see the hate dripping off your fingertips onto your keyboard. Let uriah speak for himself.

  249. Funny you don’t call your buddy uriah “a condescending know it all” He is the one making the charges against a fine Christian pastor – of whom there has never been a charge of abuse – spiritual or any other kind.

    It must just be pastors you guys don’t like.

  250. Nonnie says:

    I actually think I’d love to have MLD as a neighbour! His wife must be a kick, to have put up with him for so many years. They would be a lot of fun!

  251. Jackie says:

    Michael – The Moses model is a protection. If you started a home fellowship and it grew as you failthfully taught it and then someone came along a persuaded those who attend that he could do a better job than you – can they vote you out, and him in??? I don’t think you’d sit still for that, especially while they are meeting in your home or in the hall you found and rented.

  252. Bob says:

    “Would I be off base, following your lead, by saying he allows false teaching because he refuses to baptize babies?:

    But baptizing babies is a false teaching and could be considered spiritual abuse.

    What’s false? Nobody is saved through the act of baptism.

    Why spiritual abuse? Because the doctrine scares the parents into baby baptism.

    There ya go MLD


    Looks like what is a false teaching and spiritual abuse in one camp is OK in another?

  253. Bob says:


    “He is in dangerous waters, regardless of his stated doctrines of beliefs. ”

    I am with MLD here. You have to name the false doctrines, beliefs and why you think they are dangerous water when you make such statements.

  254. Bob, too bad the Bible says that baptism saves – but hey, that’s just for those of us who take the Bible seriously.

  255. Gary says:

    Here’s how you say it…
    “Gary – you just say that because you also have been brainwashed by the phrase post modernism.”
    “But I can just see the hate dripping off your fingertips onto your keyboard”
    “It must just be pastors you guys don’t like.”
    These are the words of a know-it-all. I can’t imagine a spiritual leader saying this to anyone, even a simp online.

  256. Gary says:

    I like you. You’re very protective. Will you be my mommy?

  257. Gary, you had already made your condescending comment @243 before I had said anything about you.

    The hate dripping of your fingers was a joke since you know”how I say it.”

    And if you do agree with uriah about the post modernism boogey man, you have been brainwashed … what can I say.

    But I will give you a 😉

  258. Gary,
    MLD can be a bit much for some at times.
    You have to take him how you see him and realize that he does have things to add to the conversation.
    I have learned a lot about Lutheranism from him and consider myself blessed to have made his acquaintance.
    MLD has his views and he is adamant about them. That is admirable.
    I have to agree with MLD and Michael, I think the portrait painted of Rick Warren is not a true portrait, nor a fair one.

    I relate to you sometimes, Gary.
    I understand the feelings of inadequacy in a conversation here, much like you profess.
    My smarts lie in different areas than theology.
    I have things in my life that I know that I have more knowledge in than people on here.
    Why, because my emphasis in life has been different.
    Mlitary topics and discussions of the finer points of quality assurance don’t often come up here. 😉

    But, I think you add to the conversation.
    I love your poems and lyrics.

  259. Gary says:

    You keep proving my point. I thought you understood what ‘condescending’ means. My bad. Here’s a definition: showing or characterized by a patronizing or superior attitude toward others. It’s what you do. When you stick to facts you’re informative and interesting but your attitude usually overshadows your information. Your attitude pretty much negates whatever else you have to say. In deference to Michael I’ll shut up now.

  260. Q says:

    Steve Wright asks

    “Question for the Board.

    Stats show pretty consistently that the average tenure for a pastor at a church is about three years.

    You guys think that is a good thing? Should churches be driving off men, or the flip side, should pastors be bailing out to different pastures every three years?

    Is that healthy for the Body of Christ?”

    It is a matter of ones understanding of Ephesians 4, are these gifts of offices?

    Some would understand these as gifts given to build up the saints so that they are then able to carry on ministry with functioning offices i.e. elders and deacons. So the goal would be to work toward the day the church would be established to carry on by itself leaving the men (Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors, and Teachers) to move on and strengthen others. Thus always working themselves out of a job, but not really because they are needed elsewhere.

    Others understand it to mean to settle in over a local congregation and having control over worship and services and preparing people to serve them in their ministry rather than carry on without them, with the effect of stunting their growth leaving them in immaturity, instability, and gullibility, hence this could be the cause of the spiritual abuse discussion and many other problems.

  261. Gary,
    And what is “I would rather have Uriah as a neighbor than MLD. The Uriahs of the world help people deal with the MLDs.” (up to that point I had not addressed you in a couple of weeks.)

    it didn’t sound like ‘come on over and we will have a couple of beers.” Yours, as usual was the first volley.

  262. Just got through putting up some photos and a few sketches on my blog.

    I am hoping I don’t have to work Saturday, but it looks to me like a distinct possibility.

  263. Gary says:

    Thanks, Derek. I needed that.

    I have learned some important things about Lutherans from MLD. The most important thing is don’t trust them. Stay away from them. (It’s a moot point as I don’t know any other Lutherans.)

    I am also adamant about my views. Isn’t everyone? MLD is the clearest example of a bible thumper I’ve ever seen. I’ve seen him get a pass here when he insults certain people and I think it’s simply because the moderator doesn’t see it. After all, MLD is like him in some ways. They are both well educated and well read. They are both of the same era of orthodoxy. They relate to each other academically. The moderator doesn’t do it intentionally, he just doesn’t see it. I don’t fault him for this. We all have our blind spots.

    Can I tell you a secret? Don’t tell anyone I told you this. Ok- here it is. I tend to agree with you about Rick Warren. I alluded to this in one of my posts above and I’ve said so before. My issue with MLD has nothing to do with Rick Warren, and it only has to do with Uriah by comparison.

    There’s a verse that talks about coarse jesting and one about someone who insults you then says it was just a joke. This is exactly what MLD does. Reread his posts to me above and on other threads and you’ll see. At first I didn’t take his bait. I didn’t respond to him. But then he insulted others and it riled me. (I’m not referring to his friends who joke back and forth with him.) That’s what this is about. I don’t care so much about what he says about me but when he does it to others that’s when I get in his face. Reread his personal remarks to Uriah above, then get back to me. Again, thanks for your post. I really appreciate it.

    One of my sons did QA for a computer game company. He made good money. Computers are mostly beyond me. If it does what I tell it to that’s all I care about.

  264. Thanks for the response, Gary.
    I am glad you found a job!

  265. So that no one has to look too hard for my comments to uriah, I will post them here – #239 & 240

    I don’t think that they were personal at all – and #240 was actually addressed to anyone who throws “post modern” terminology around as if it’s a bad thing.

  266. London says:

    Did you guys miss where Uriah said no one would ever hear from him again?

  267. London says:

    And as for Lutherans. They are my favorite people today.
    They have helped us out a couple times with projects when a) none of us are Lutheran and b) we didn’t ask. They volunteered to help us out.

  268. I totally missed Uriah’s sign-off. Hope everything is OK.

  269. I missed it – but hey, haven’t we all said that at one time? 😉

  270. His sounded a little cryptic.

    But yes, most of us have stormed of in a hissy fit at one time or another.

  271. Michael says:

    Uriah didn’t leave angry to my knowledge.
    This person is in the midst of a real life crisis and can use all of our prayers.

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