Loose Ends

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155 Responses

  1. DavidM says:

    I applaud the board for choosing a man who is a known quantity to CCFL and has been there for quite a while, not needing to spend a great deal of time with a pulpit committee or trying to bring in someone with a “wow” factor (although, Doug Sauder may have that). He needs lots of prayer – it is a tough job to step in where pastoral trust has been deeply shaken. May God bless him and give him strength and wisdom.

  2. Nonnie says:

    I read Sauder’s “bio” on the website before he was appointed and I was impressed with the guy. He seems to be a very caring and sincere man with a heart toward children in need. I pray every success for him. I just hope the “audience” at CCFL won’t insist upon an entertainer, rather than a teaching and caring pastor.

  3. RiBo says:

    Shared this on the other blog, and it will probably damage my hard-line vs. CC cred, but I’m getting to know some CC pastors better and some of these guys are decent guys, not perfect, not sinless etc, still humans like the rest of us…but decent guys trying to do the right thing.

    It is very encouraging.

  4. RiBo says:

    It also helps hearing that there are a lot of CC guys who believe me/us. There is certainly a human element to all of this and it helps on a human level to know that some believe us and agree that it’s wrong and that it should’ve been dealt with better by the church.

  5. RiBo says:

    I am personally also encouraged to see CCFTL name a home-grown non-celebrity like Sauder as their new pastor. I hope this is a sign of a good transition at CCFTL away from celebrity pastor construct toward something better.

    I am sincerely rooting that things go well there, not quantified in butts in seats, but quantified in transparency, accountability and trying to do the right thing vs. falling in love with a celebrity pastor and being manipulated to his particular whims and desires and lured into lax accountability.

  6. covered says:

    OK, someone has to step up and ask the important questions so I will be the one to do it.
    1) Does Doug wear Hawaiian shirts?
    2) Does Doug wear skinny boy pants?
    3) What is he going to do with his hair?
    4) When is the first prophecy conference scheduled?

    Of course I jest. I truly hope that he’s the guy God called and that healing can begin.

  7. filbertz says:

    Sarah’s post is powerfully true, especially when considered in the light of Michael’s prayer post yesterday, “What do you want me to do for you?”

    Lord, rescue & restore those girls!

  8. Mark says:

    Should let the ten “Campuses” be autonomous. There is no biblical authority for having a mega church simulcast to ten “satellite” churches. Creates two much reliance on the Senior Pastor and we know what happens there, unfortunately.

  9. Ricky Bobby says:

    Geez, unfortunately, I already have a report from a long-time CC Abuse participant about Sauder and a specific issue (not moral failure or anything like that, just typical CC leadership crapola regarding a conflict and then how it was handled etc).

  10. Ricky Bobby says:

    This person has been very credible so far, even found an email where they said Sauder would be the guy to replace Coy…and this was awhile ago. I didn’t report it, but turns out this person was right.

  11. Because we don’t like the way conflict was resolved – does that make one party wrong? Does that necessarily mean that one party has a right to be offended?

    This is as bad as being recorded in your own home.

  12. Ricky Bobby says:

    MLD, I’ve got a pretty good idea of what is and isn’t legit inappropriate conduct. This isn’t criminal or moral, but certainly isn’t a good practice if you are promoting yourselves as emissaries of Jesus and “doing God’s work!” etc.

    It’s not a Bob Coy level issue or a child abuse level issue, but if I was CCFTL leadership and if I wanted to set a new tone, I’d hear the matter and try to resolve it in the hopes of setting a new tone and demonstrating a willingness to be more humble and more like Jesus in dealing with issues.

  13. Sarah says:

    Thank you, Michael.

    Fil…yes! Michael’s post the other day had me thinking. I came across the post with the names of the girls and it gave me something clear and specific I could hang on to and a name I can speak and pray for.

    The ability to pray specifically…added a vehemence to my prayers, and an intimacy.

  14. Ricky Bobby says:

    But, they could certainly dig in and not take any responsibility for not treating a regular schmuck church-goer poorly and causing these folks to be disillusioned etc…that would be the typical business-as-usual approach to things and much more the norm.

  15. RB,
    You know, some people are only happy with conflict resolution if you throw money at them. in lieu of that, you risk sometimes having people unhappy with your resolution.

    Knowing only one side of the story limits you.

  16. “and causing these folks to be disillusioned etc”

    Sometimes you need to learn to be disillusioned and live with it – life is tough and not fair.

    3 of my grandkids were over last weekend and they were arguing back and forth – so I settled the problem. They all piped in “Not Fair” – I told them to learn at least on thing from their Pop Pop – “Life is not fair”

    If I can tell this to my grandkids (5, 7, & 10) – you can tell it to your informant. 😉

  17. Ricky Bobby says:

    MLD, I agree to a degree with some of that. Sometimes guys are just jerks and there’s no fixing it. The person doesn’t really want to address this issue publicly and it isn’t nearly at the level of child abuse or “moral failure” or financial stuff…but the person is still hurt over it just the same.

  18. Ricky Bobby says:

    MLD said, “Sometimes you need to learn to be disillusioned and live with it – life is tough and not fair.”

    Well, yes, which is why I can be a big ‘ol a-hole 🙂

    I’m not a victim, I fight back…and hard 😉

  19. Ricky Bobby says:

    MLD, I just still expect more out of self-promoted “emissaries of Jesus!”…which I guess I shouldn’t expect them to be any different than any of the heathen jerks out there?

  20. I have spent a good amount of this morning reading through 4 sets of divorce decrees and settlement statements for clients (I can’t believe how many divorces there are).

    I wonder how many thought the judge was unfair, that the conflict was not resolved correctly and they feel this “right to be offended”? “All the judge did was read the briefs – he didn’t give me enough time to explain or he ruled against my explanation.”

    But some of these are funny, what property the divide up. 🙂

  21. Ricky Bobby says:

    It’s too bad, it could have been fixed with simply some humility and grace by the leadership…but it’s much easier to cast the folks off, mark them as of the devil, get them shunned and then just keep moving. The Biz as Usual is often much more important than slowing down and trying to resolve things in a gracious manner with regular schmuck sheep. Sad, but that’s the way it is in Church Corp.* mindset.

  22. “MLD, I just still expect more out of self-promoted “emissaries of Jesus!”

    Solomon was pretty wise – his decision “cut the baby in half” – some how that would not be ruled the Godly decision today – and people would complain that he did not take them seriously.

    No win for a person in charge of conflict resolution.

  23. Ricky Bobby says:

    MLD, I think that’s valid to point out. Sometimes, though, the stuff is pretty clearly wrong…but I agree in general that there’s always going to be someone unhappy with a particular decision that is made…and I agree that you can’t nearly please everyone. I have just thought for years, maybe wrongly, that the Church* should be different and should err on the side of graciousness.

  24. Look what you just accused Doug Sauder of – you should be ashamed of yourself

  25. Ricky Bobby says:

    Hey, it’s the Church* that promotes itself as different and sold me a bill of goods. I just bought what they were selling…and come to find out it isn’t really true. No difference when push comes to shove. Very much the same as business disputes I’ve been in and seen, same as politics, same as all others.

  26. I want to teach from the pulpit in my church and they keep saying No!

    Shouldn’t they “err on the side of graciousness.” just for me?

    Now I could complain and raise heck with the congregation to get my way – or go on a Church Abuse blog etc. … but life is not fair and it wasn’t created for me.

  27. Ricky Bobby says:

    Not nearly analogous to the specifics of this situation.

    Apples and Martin Luther.

  28. Ricky Bobby says:

    I can’t post specifics b/c the party alleging the situation is sure CCFTL will know who it is and come after them further…which is sad and telling in and of itself.

    I’ll just leave it at that. The folks don’t want a public fight with CCFTL but they are hurt and not completely over it just the same…and that’s a sad and sobering commentary on Church* IMO.

  29. Ricky Bobby says:

    I personally cannot imagine Jesus acting in a similar manner with the info I have…but again, that’s my bad for expecting a Church* to act like Jesus would.

  30. “CCFTL will know who it is and come after them further…”

    I must plead ignorance in this area of church action. What are they going to do, send out thugs to break knee caps?

    You described these people as “a regular schmuck church-goer” – my experience in a mega churches of 20,000 is that the “regular schmuck church-goers” are not even known by church staff completely invisible – so how could there be repercussions? … unless he is the loudest “regular schmuck church-goer” 🙂

  31. “but again, that’s my bad for expecting a Church* to act like Jesus would.”

    Everytime I saw Jesus in church in the Bible, he was turning over the tables, yelling at someone, breaking the rules or reading condemnation to them.

    What is it you were hoping to see?

  32. Rob Murphy says:

    @MLD’s 31 question, “what is it you were hoping to see?” is a great question and lately I’ve been looking at the book of Acts with a more critical, not so much influenced by the Peace-Love-Dope-Hey, Jesus filter that many of us have grown up under the aging Jesus Movement folks.

    Did you notice it is within a lifetime in the book of Acts where we go from ‘they had everything in common, sold and gave as there was need’ to ‘hey, remember that famine God told us about?’ then “oops, probably should have kept some property for a rainy day. Hey, ask the Corinthians for help, won’t you?’

    Also, we’re cruising along, everybody in one accord but then (again, within 20-30 years) Paul and Barnabas have a sharp disagreement as to who is and is not useful in the mission field (hint: John Mark; Paul says ‘nope’ Barnabas says ‘yep’) and they decide they can’t work together. Between Paul, Barnabas and the Holy Spirit in both of them, they can’t work together. Hmph.

    But you know, Paul’s kind of a pushy guy, he needs to mellow, we should err on the side of grace and be more like Barnabas. You know, Barnabas who was caught up in the Judaiser thing and had to be rebuked – just like the first pope, Peter – by Paul.

    Also, we read that Paul thought Apollos should go and minister in one place while Apollos said “Nope”.

    And another thing, at least they didn’t bad mouth anybody back in the early church. If someone did something wrong, they let them vote with their feet and didn’t bring it up again. Unless your name was Alexander the Coppersmith, who was probably a strong proponent of congregational government and who also goes down in history as being a big old jerk to Paul.

    Feel like shipwrecking your faith? Don’t do that around Paul, your name will get out.
    At least John, the disciple whom Jesus loved and who REALLY understood love knew how to keep a smooth surface among church leadership. Unless your name is Diotrephes.

    I think maybe the Hippie Stoner version of the expectation we have of the church is too much Kum-baya and light on Get Ye Gone.

    What do we hope to see when we look at the church?

  33. Ricky Bobby says:

    Will this particular couple became known b/c one of them stuck their neck out and called attention to something….then got dealt with in a manner very similar to what Michael and I have seen a number of times in CC’s history.

    MLD, I agree with your “Jesus was turning over the tables” part. Agreed on that.

  34. Ricky Bobby says:

    Rob asked, “What do we hope to see when we look at the church?”

    My expectations are pretty simple and pragmatic…I don’t really care about the doctrine or teaching style or worship etc.

    My concerns are very practical: Is there transparency? Are the finances known and accountable to the congregation? Are there child protections in place? Does the senior pastor have all the power or is the power shared? Is their recourse for the regular “sheep” if they have a beef with the leadership?

    If those things are in place, there is a structural guarantee that things won’t be able to go off the rails too far.

  35. Ricky Bobby says:

    In CCFTL’s case, while there is some measure of financial accountability…there is much that was hidden and not know…like how much money Coy made from being a “servant” of Jesus…and how much money was spent on some pretty questionable items. While not criminal, certainly not morally right if you are collecting money in the name of Jesus and claiming it’s “all about Jesus!” and helping folks etc.

  36. Ricky Bobby says:

    To me, Jesus was largely about helping the Weak vs. the Powerful.

  37. Ricky Bobby says:

    Rob makes some good points. I’m sure Alexander the Coppersmith felt pretty bad about Paul calling him out publicly like that and I’m sure he had no idea he would be canonized as an a-hole for the rest of human history LOL.

    But, again, I don’t think Paul or any of the “apostles” were Jesus….but we still expected them to act like Jesus…or at least that’s what Paul and the other Apostles sold us, “be like Jesus!”

    Jesus never seemed to rebuke the regular folks, always gracious.

    Jesus seemed to only rebuke the “Apostles” and the religious leaders etc.

    Why is that?

  38. Ricky Bobby says:

    I think the assumption is that since Paul the Apostle did something…it wasn’t sin.

    Well, let me remind you that Paul was not Jesus and Paul was not God and not perfect. A lot of what Paul did was sinful and a lot of what he said was not perfect and not God.

  39. Jesus rebuked his home town folks. Jesus seems to have rebuked the plain old folks of Jerusalem as he sat over the city in Luke – “O Jerusalem…”

    He also was not kind to the planet as he rebuked the tree and it died.

    Are you sure you even know who this real Jesus is? You should read his biographies. 😉

  40. RB,
    You amaze me – “A lot of what Paul did was sinful and a lot of what he said was not perfect and not God.”

    Read Romans 7 – Paul is the 1st one to tell you he sins … even when he tries to do good. Paul at one time even called himself the chief of sinners.

    Hey, perhaps you need to read his biography.

  41. Ricky Bobby says:

    MLD, Jesus was gracious to the individual sinners, the publicans, the adulterers, the tax collectors etc.

    Jesus was very ungracious to the religious leaders and often times to the Apostles…”you snakes!” to the Pharisees….”get behind me satan!” to Peter etc.

    Those rebukes you mention above are pretty weak 🙂 and not directed at an individual.

    Quite a contrast that is pretty consistent when I review the Gospels.

  42. Ricky Bobby says:

    MLD, my point about Paul is that it seems a guy like Rob assumes that since Paul rebuked Alexander the Coppersmith publicly in the bible, that it must have been righteous and good…when it very well could be that Paul was sinning and his pride and temper got the better of him instead of being more gracious.

  43. Ricky Bobby says:

    Again, it’s about Power and who is in the more Powerful position.

    Paul, an Apostle vs. a coppersmith.

    “He who is greatest is to be least…Servant of all…” etc. Jesus turned things upside down. Paul seems to have exercised his Power as the world does…at least in that situation.

  44. Ricky Bobby says:

    MLD, Paul claims he was a sinner….do you really believe it? Did every word of Paul’s in the “bible” come out as sinless and perfect?

  45. “MLD, Paul claims he was a sinner….do you really believe it?”

    I wrote it – why would you ask if I believe it.

    I think you missed Rob’s point – it took less than a generation for the church to run downhill … even in it’s sin.

    You are barking up the wrong tree trying to engage me in this. I am the one who says no one acts right – no one follows the commandments – no one goes without continual sin.God’s standard is absolute perfection – anything less is sin and deserving of nothing less than temporal and eternal punishment.

  46. All that Paul wrote were God’s words. Somehow, and I don’t know how – God superintended the writing of his word so that it would come out right.

  47. Ricky Bobby says:

    God wrote this? “I wish they’d go the whole way and cut their testicles off!”

    Hmm, God sounds like me! 🙂

  48. Why wouldn’t God have that written? My goodness, he opened up the earth and swallowed up a whole bunch of people.

    God is not a tame God – my teacher for 5yrs wrote this book


    You my friend are looking for some metro sexual Jesus – who does not exist.

  49. Ricky Bobby says:

    MLD said, “You my friend are looking for some metro sexual Jesus – who does not exist.”

    No, I just observe the duality and dual narrative in the bible and can’t resolve it.

    The same “god” that said “love your enemies!” also supposedly commanded Saul to slaughter all the Amalekite women, children and babies.

    Makes no sense. “god” would be considered evil today for commanding such…as well as for commanding slavery as OK and concubines and mistreatment of women and children, etc.

  50. Ricky Bobby says:

    The “bible” presents “god” in a couple vastly different examples. It is what it is.

    Love, grace, mercy, forgiveness, love your enemy, turn the other cheek, servant of all!


    Smite the enemy, torture the enemy in hell for eternity, kick the enemy in the gnads, slaughter the enemy with the sword, rebuke the enemy, call those who go against your authority enemies, etc.

    It’s partly where CC guys and other Church* guys get their permission to be jerks.

  51. Ricky Bobby says:

    I just choose to have faith in the “god” presented in the bible who is the good and loving one…not that other guy.

  52. Ricky Bobby says:

    …now I fully expect the Church* and men to be like that other guy…even though the good “god” told them they were to be different than the world.

  53. Ricky Bobby says:

    MLD, truth be told….all humans are the good and bad “god”…some feed their good “god” more and are generally good folks…some feed the bad “god” more and are generally bad people…most are a mix of the two and capable of good and bad from the same tree.

    That’s the macro-bible narrative in a nutshell.

  54. You have to take the whole package – all of God or none of God. If you split God, then you are saying you are God.

  55. I take back my #54, if you are going to make the claim that we are all God.

  56. Ricky Bobby says:

    I used little “g” on purpose….we are all eternal beings and “like god” as the metaphor of “eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil” states.

    Man at some point in the evolutionary process became sentient, intelligent, conscious as humans…and eternal souls or so it seems is possible.

  57. Ricky Bobby says:

    The big “G” God is likely the force that holds the Universe and existence together, the uncaused Cause, the “creator” if you will…eternal, no beginning, no end…and remarkably we’re learning that describes the Universe/Multi-verse itself.

    I am a believer that the reality is somewhere between Science/Reason and biblical metaphor and typical Christianity*.

  58. Ricky Bobby says:

    MLD, remember the warning in the parable/metaphor of the Tree of Knowledge…”they will be like us!”

    …and we do in essence “live forever” as goes the bible narrative of eternal hell or heaven…unless annihilation is true.

  59. Ricky Bobby says:

    MLD, “God” is in all of us…or so the bible says…even in the so-called heathens or “all” doesn’t mean “all” 😉

    “one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”

    “He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”

    We get some scant clues and Science observes some of these realities.

  60. Ricky Bobby says:

    BTW, humans are essentially made up of stardust.


    bible metaphor: “Then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.”

  61. Ricky Bobby says:

    more evidence our physical bodies are essentially composed of stardust: http://www.livescience.com/32828-humans-really-made-stars.html

  62. Ricky Bobby says:

    “We are a way for the universe to know itself. Some part of our being knows this is where we came from. We long to return. And we can, because the cosmos is also within us. We’re made of star stuff,” Sagan famously stated in one episode.

    A lot of truth to that, I think…and strangely, the Christian* narrative, if you view it more as metaphor and not literal…seems to agree with this.

    “God” is in all, and through all…all in all…and we are made of the dust of the ground, etc.

  63. Ricky Bobby says:

    “for dust you are and to dust you will return.”–the bible.

  64. Stardust is even sillier than your claim to be even a little “g” god.

    How does anyone know what stardust is made of? Who went to the star and collected it?

  65. Your new religion is called Pantheism

  66. Ricky Bobby says:

    No real lack of Consensus regarding the stardust claim. Humans are made up of elements if you break us down to our smallest pieces and parts.

    You aren’t a Science guy so don’t have the depth to understand how the claim is likely true.

    Meteors are made up of space dust, space dust from exploding stars, etc.

    We have the ability to determine what elements and molecules make up humans and compare them to the stardust.

    Read the two articles I linked, they should discuss those things as well as other reasons we can know.

  67. Ricky Bobby says:

    No, disagreed. Pantheism is quite a bit different. I don’t really have a religion, I just observe some of the scant facts we can establish and I don’t throw the bible out as not ‘of God’…I think it contains some big macro-truths and may have been inspired though not perfect and not w/o mistake as is self-evident and well documented.

    I think there is “God” and I think there is Jesus…I just don’t think you or any religious Sect fully understands the metaphor and the anthropomorphism of the bible narratives.

    Bible isn’t a Science book, it’s a literary medium and a story that largely through metaphor and anthropomorphism imparts a glimpse of the physical and the spiritual truth regarding our Universe/Multi-verse and existence and origins etc.

  68. Ricky Bobby says:

    Man has tended to make the bible one of two things: either an idol in the place of “God” or man throws it out as a complete myth.

    Both are mistakes, IMO.

  69. We are just having conversation here. Anyone can say anything. Can you tell me the name of the science guy who took a meteor back up to a star to compare it’s composition? I want to know this guys name. Without a side by side comparison, how do you know that meteors are made of collected stardust?

    See, I can say that people are made of ice cream – but then you would take some human tissue and compare it side by side to a bowl of ice cream for chemical content. I am just asking who did this with a star.

    Look, you are the show me guy – don’t tell me you are going limp and just taking these claims of faith or someone’s word. Sad.

    Demand the first hand evidence.- perhaps we are just made from meteor dust.

  70. Ricky Bobby says:

    MLD, the moon isn’t made of cheese like your generation once thought 🙂

  71. “either an idol in the place of “God” ”

    I asked earlier for you to name one person who holds the Bible up as God. You keep throwing it up as truth, but do not back it up.

    Give me a couple of names – you bring it up often enough, this should be a common type of thing that many do.

  72. Paige says:

    Rob Murphy, I loved your comment “I think maybe the Hippie Stoner version of the expectation we have of the church is too much Kum-baya and light on Get Ye Gone.” The Hippie Stoner version. WOW….. you have no idea how well that sums up my thoughts of late as I try to read the Bible withOUT that churchified-poetic-allegorical-background narrative playing in my head. At least now I know what to call it. 🙂

  73. Ricky Bobby says:

    MLD, you are aware that the big glowing thing you see in the sky everyday…is a “star”

  74. Ricky Bobby says:

    MLD, are you aware that the “star” that you see in the sky…emits “solar particles” that bombard the flat thing you stand on? …and the earth is round 🙂

  75. Ricky Bobby says:

    We have tangible evidence of meteors made up of stardust and we have the Sun’s solar particles which we can measure and test and verify etc.

    Same stuff we’re made of…

  76. “is a “star””

    Yes, so send the scientist up there to collect some of that dust. Since I believe that God spoke the universe into existence, why aren’t stars made of earth dust and man is made of earth dust just like the Bible says?

  77. Dusty says:

    Does every thread have to turn into the RickBobby/MLD show?

  78. Paige says:

    Amen, Dusty….. I thought RB had his own blog.

  79. Rob Murphy says:

    RB – what I am wrestling with is the word “disappointment”. I have been seeing in my own life that my disappointment is synonymous with deception. I was watching a show where a guy was speaking French and I heard him say ‘deception’ and yet the subtitle at the bottom of the screen said “disappointment”. I looked it up and sure enough, that’s an accurate translation.
    So I looked at my disappointment and realized that I had appointed faith, hope and trust in the wrong thing – I was deceived in my thinking and “mis” appointed my faith and hope. I sure don’t like being a sucker, I don’t like being deceived – even by my me. But I often blame God for my disappointment, for my deception.

    So as I look at the lionized figures of the first century church I see that they were more “miss” than “hit”, and these are my “Hall of Faith” guys. When they’re writing doctrine, it’s all neat and tidy and it works. When they walk around with that doctrine – even the guys that wrote it themselves – the practicum of living it out shows grievous misses.

    John the Baptist in Luke 3 chews out everybody that came to get baptized. “You snakes! Who even gave you the first clue that God is going to judge godlessness!” The crowd is peeved right back – “Well, what do you want from us?!” John comes right back and says “Stop being self absorbed, cheating, thieves”. John had been telling everybody that baptism was a sign that they had repented and turned to God for forgiveness.
    For a people showing up trying to look like they were being righteous, there was precious little righteous action happening. That was before Jesus.

    After Jesus, the church is established and we see that the process of being saved is no beauty pageant, even among the guys who wrote the doctrine with amazing precision and accuracy. When they gave their writing legs, it wasn’t always pretty. “How lovely are the feet of those who bring good news.” The rest of me can be just butt-ugly.

    I’m forgiven my sins, I am saved from death and am every day needing delivery from both sin and me. I cannot be disappointed that every believer is just like me.

  80. Sarah says:

    Hehe…I just couldn’t think of anything to interject 😉 I actually popped in a few times today, but never had the time to engage.

    That seems to be the motto of my life of late. Funny how times change…maybe the summer will allow more time to be online!

  81. Dusty says:

    Paige, that is what I thought. and last time he got got a bug up his nose and started insulting everyone on the PP….

  82. Dusty says:

    its the same arguments over and over…..your wrong, i’m right, your arrogant, i’m smart….blablabla

  83. Dusty says:

    who has time when you have to scroll though so many posts by these two on every thread? I would not mind if we had one thread dedicated to there fun and games, but not every one….

    I think more people would post if they had the place to do it.

  84. Dusty says:

    there! now it is the dusty show! how do you like those apples? 😉

  85. “its the same arguments over and over…..your wrong, i’m right, your arrogant, i’m smart….blablabla”

    Actually I don’t think we used any of those words. It’s called conversation. The first half I thought was gold as we discussed the nature of “calling out” people.

  86. Sarah says:

    Rob: “So I looked at my disappointment and realized that I had appointed faith, hope and trust in the wrong thing – I was deceived in my thinking and “mis” appointed my faith and hope. I sure don’t like being a sucker, I don’t like being deceived – even by my me. But I often blame God for my disappointment, for my deception.”

    Yes…I’ve been caught in this. We all have, I’m sure. Mis-appointed faith and hope, where we on our part have placed our trust, our hope and our faith in something / someone never meant to carry that…and then we are shocked when they fail. It is not that we do not ever trust, or ever hope in people, but that we have an expectation of them that is no what God has called them to.

    I know that I have done that. Expected others to heal me, others to do the work of knowing God for me…and have stomped my feet when it didn’t work out.

  87. Dusty says:

    Rob Murphy
    Hi friend, Long time no ‘see’.

    Your first paragraph had me thinking. As a pastor, (any pastor out there can answer this too) when you have a realization that you were wrong in your thinking, do you let your congregation know, ‘I always believed such and such but came to realize I was wrong?”

  88. Dusty says:

    Sarah, I have been guilty this week of that very thing….”Mis-appointed faith and hope, where we on our part have placed our trust, our hope and our faith in something / someone never meant to carry that”

    didn’t stomp my feet but did cry a bit. hit me harder than I expected. so I guess it is because i was doing as you said above…

  89. Rob Murphy says:

    Hi Dusty! at the risk of letting loose a ‘humble brag’, my wife actually praises my quick admissions of being wrong. I’m good at it because I’ve had much practice at being wrong. And it is so freeing to apologize, ask forgiveness and move toward restoring.

    I can’t think of a recent example, meaning that I haven’t messed up recently, but give me a minute. But I shared nearly verbatim while teaching what I shared above about being deceived/disappointed.
    It’s tough to balance sharing my own struggles when many of my own struggles involve relational things in my family and I don’t want to violate my wife and kid’s privacy and sanctity. I want to avoid the “I have this friend…” illustration when my family is in the audience knowing I’m talking about us and they might feel slighted or exposed.
    I have three teenagers in my house now and they are amazing and precious and not rebellious or cantankerous but we are still learning how to grow into adulthood together, and much of my corrected wrong thinking comes from interacting with them. So I have to be careful sharing “our” stuff. Does that make sense?

  90. Sarah your Christianity is showing.

    Powerful post sister!

  91. Sarah says:

    It is so difficult not to, Dusty…we want to put our faith and trust in something tangible. God calls us beyond that, calls us to be comfortable with mystery and comfortable with silence sometimes. When there is someone charismatic and dynamic in our midst who seems to be so “able”, it is easy to think they can carry our trust. Sometimes we do it without even realizing. Obviously that is an undercurrent of our discussions of church abuse, and an awareness of that is so vital in a leader.

  92. Ricky Bobby says:

    Rob, agreed, which is why I continue to beat the drum that pastors are not special nor are they anointed…they’re men, capable of good and evil like all of us…and the one promise I can make to folks is that it’s not a matter of “if” a pastor will go off the rails at times and exhibit his humanness, it’s when…which is why we need shared-power, transparency, accountability etc as part of the Church* structure.

  93. Ricky Bobby says:

    Any Church* that doesn’t have those things in place essentially believes wrongly that their pastor/leader isn’t human and is specially anointed etc…which, of course, is false.

  94. Ricky Bobby says:

    Dusty, everyone argues the same things over and over and over (generally). Hey, at least I’ve changed things up over the years arguing from a more Calminian position to a hyper-calvinist position to a much more theologically liberal position 😉

    In fact, I’d argue I’ve changed things up the most on here in the last 5 years or so whereas others are more stuck in a dogma and don’t seem capable of consideration and change.

  95. Dusty says:

    Rob, I wasn’t referring to just messing up at home…we all do that…but teaching on something and then realizing you believed wrong about it -do you just let it go or do you revisit it and let them know you had been wrong but realize now….

  96. Ricky Bobby says:

    MLD said, “Actually I don’t think we used any of those words. It’s called conversation. The first half I thought was gold as we discussed the nature of “calling out” people.”

    I agree with MLD again 🙂

  97. Sarah says:

    Thank you so much, david! It is turning out to be the most shared post I have had…I think it struck a nerve. We needed something to grab onto in this situation…and the names were significant.

  98. Ricky Bobby says:

    “who has time when you have to scroll though so many posts by these two on every thread?”

    At least 7 out of the 10 threads on the front page have no conversation between MLD and me. Easily quantifiable. Not “every thread”…not even a majority of the threads…not even “most” of the threads.

    I have no problem with folks complaining about stuff…but let’s try to keep it fact-based.

  99. Dusty says:

    giving trust is difficult for me so when I realize my trust has been misled I feel so foolish, confused…it is hard to trust myself, my own mind at that point.

  100. RiBo says:

    “who has time when you have to scroll though so many posts by these two on every thread?”

    At least 7 out of 10 threads on the first page currently have no conversation between me and MLD, This is easily quantifiable. Not “all threads” and not even “most threads”.

    “All threads!” must be like the flood of “the whole earth!” when it was likely local and regional.

    Typical human exaggeration, very common, very human.

  101. Dusty says:

    so is this the part where you start calling me names?

  102. Ricky Bobby says:

    “so is this the part where you start calling me names?”

    Sure, how about I call you Dusty. I don’t think I’ve ever called you an offensive name, I called a particular position and idea you probably agreed with some names, but that’s not the same thing.

  103. Ricky Bobby says:

    Is “the bible says God HATES homosexuality!” the same as you saying you hate a specific gay person? No it is not.

    There are some on here I’ve called offensive names, but they are the personalities who dish it out and I return it in kind.

    I refrain from calling names to personalities who don’t engage in that behavior (or at least I try to keep it to that).

  104. Dusty says:

    last week you called the whole blog hypocrites…so with my admission of not knowing my own mind I was just wondering what you would come up with…

  105. Ricky Bobby says:

    I’ve been asked to cool it for the night so I’m gonna go now. MLD, I thought we got to discuss some fun things and I appreciate the discussion.

  106. Dusty says:

    i’m sorry

  107. Sarah says:

    RB…I thought you and MLD behaved yourselves well today. You just kept talking amongst yourselves and no one felt like jumping in today. Have a good night.

    Dusty…I hope your night goes well. Already dark here…waiting for my youngest to get home from soccer practice.

  108. Ricky Bobby says:

    Dusty, my personal take of you is you are a generally good-hearted person who is more emotionally-based. I think you’ve been disillusioned due to some circumstances that were wrong in your church experience, as many of us have, and I think it hasn’t jaded you nearly as much as me or some others. I personally think you’re fine and that if there is a hell, Dusters won’t be there (if that is your underlying fear). I think the fear-based stuff has affected you and causes you doubt and concern and that is unfortunate. All just my opinion since you asked. Now I’m done for the night. G’nite all.

  109. Dusty says:

    ricky bobby, you read me well. 😥

  110. Dusty,

    It is people like you who I have found; after earning their trust, make the best of friends.

    Also I have found that people such as yourself tend to be the most sensitive to the person of the Holy Spirit.

    In a gathering of Christians, people like you seem to be the first to become aware that the Holy Spirit has manifested God’s presence in their midst.

    And I would presume that is important to you. A good thing indeed.


    Rick Bobby,

    Today I got to see a side of you that I like! In a sense you were some how different. I can’t really explain it or quite grasp what it was.

    But I found a compassion for you had developed in me. For what it’s worth.

    I can only hope that some day you find closure to some of the issues that trouble your soul.

    You have taken a lot of flack and endured much. May peace be upon you and may you find rest and placement around people who will be a blessing to you and not a curse.

  111. Ricky Bobby,

    My best friend from my high school days recently passed away.

    I sent the video, “Your cries have awoken the Master” to his wife. I believe and hope that she will take some comfort from it.

    Thanks for sharing it.

    I got dosed in the Holy Ghost when I listened to it.

  112. Ixtlan says:

    I’d like to see those campuses become autonomous churches with their own pastor. I doubt it will happen. I do have to give credit to CCFtL as they have handled this fairly well and to emerge with a staff pastor rather than some one who a is a celebrity on the national level is refreshing. I wish them well.

  113. Brian says:

    I read through the thread interesting discussion. I hope Doug Sauder help “heal” (I know that is an overused word) but it is appropriate. I hope his church prospers in a spiritual sense and fulfills the great commission. I know this is alot of I’s but I rant and rave often, it has always been my desire that all faith communities help build up and bless their members and the local community around them.

  114. Andrew says:

    I wish Sauder the best along with CCFL. He seems like a decent family guy. I also hope the 10 campuses become autonomous churches as well with their own pastor. That to me would be brilliant and what could potentially be the most healing and life breathing decision ever. Wow, that would be just awesome. And for those CC churches out there planning multi-site campuses in the near future, I sure hope you can pause and discern the real motives of why you would do something like this in the first place. Plant a real church instead. No need for another multi-site under another celebrity pastor.

  115. Ricky Bobby says:

    Andrew said, “I also hope the 10 campuses become autonomous churches as well with their own pastor. That to me would be brilliant and what could potentially be the most healing and life breathing decision ever.”

    Good idea.

  116. Ricky Bobby says:

    david, thanks for the kind comments.

  117. As per #115 the idea of planting churches has given way to the idea of income streams and franchises. Not sure if I would resist the idea since I have never been that successful and being a hologram pastor has appeal.

  118. I have resigned myself to the idea that these satellite campuses are really no more than offsite overflow rooms.

  119. For Easter my mother in law and sister in law went to a Saddleback screening room (I mean satellite church in Corona. They liked it.

    I didn’t get to ask questions, because when they said they went to Saddleback I thought they went to the big church, but I found out later that was not the case.

    I wonder if you can hit pause so you can get up and go pee? 🙂

  120. Andrew says:

    I believe it was Bob Coy and Greg Laurie at a recent senior pastors conference that touted the idea for multi-sites by saying Costa Mesa was really the first to do it with their overflow rooms where late comers and others could watch the service without disturbing anyone. But if that is their justifcation for not having a pastor at distinct sites, its pretty lame. If nothing else, I really just hope these celebrity pastors would put the breaks on their so called godly ambitions and really think through this before launching more and more multi-sites. With a church the size of CCFL, there should be no reason they can not find some godly men to commission and ordain to shepherd these multi-site campuses. The only reason I can see not to do this is because it would impact their revenue stream. I see no other benefits to these multi-site campuses not having a full time pastor.

  121. Ricky Bobby says:

    I don’t trust Greg Laurie any more. I used to think he was a good guy, but there’s something wrong there.

  122. “I don’t trust Greg Laurie any more.”
    I always get a kick out of these kinds of comments;
    What does that mean? You are not in any relationship with him that makes him responsible for your trust.

  123. Michael says:

    I like Greg.
    Greg is pretty sensitive to criticism in a good way and he does listen.
    I may not always agree with him, but he’s a decent person and I have no issues with him.

  124. Greg was led to Christ by Lonnie Frisbee so I automatically like him some… 😉

  125. To be fair to the satellite churches – they do have full time pastor’s assigned to them – they are not the Sunday morning preacher, but they do oversee the church and the congregants and do whatever a local pastor does do during the week.

    Those are the local church for the attendees – but to be fair again, every single attendee is there ONLY because the big guy is is on the screen.

    Out of a 100 churches in Corona, I am sure my mother in law and sister in law chose Saddleback solely because Rick Warren was on screen.

    If there is any wrong going on in these off site churches it is 100% on the attendee side.

  126. Satellite churches are unnecessarily expensive and inconvenient. Just tune in at home on the computer in your pajamas, no one asks you to keep the nursery, saves gas, no family fight on the way to church, no one sees if you skip the offering and you can mute the football game on another screen without stressing anyone out.

  127. Andrew says:

    MLD, So are you saying these Satellite pastors have as much authority as the normal assistance pastor has in CCFL? Were these satellite pastors part of the board that asked for the forced resignation of Coy?

  128. Ricky Bobby says:

    MLD, I knew Greg when I was a kid, spoke with him many times, hung out with him behind the scenes when he’d come speak in Visalia. Got to talk to him several more times over the years growing up, went to his church on some visits, etc. I didn’t know him as well as my brother Paul, but you act like I’ve never met the guy or known him more than watching a video of him.

    My comment is based on his affinity for being a mega-church personality and that mindset, not anything moral or abusive, to be clear.

  129. Ricky Bobby says:

    Dread, I like Lonnie Frisbee, too. He led my real dad to the Lord (whatever that means).

  130. Andrew says:

    MLD said “Those are the local church for the attendees – but to be fair again, every single attendee is there ONLY because the big guy is is on the screen.”

    I think your wrong with that MLD. Some people go because their best friend goes there or they like the people there or the music, etc… They may even like the satellite campus better because maybe they can be more easily distracted from the pastor because he is only on a TV screen and can be more easily ignored.

  131. Andrew, I could not tell you – but are all 20 pastors at CCFL on the board? I don’t think so.

    What do you think they are, the Maitre d’ of the church? 🙂

  132. Andrew says:

    Really? This amazes me. I have tried to ask for years who is on the board of CC churches and I get no answer. I then ask who are the elders and they look at me like I am dumb and say “all the pastors are elders”. So are you telling me there are elders in the church that are not on the board but most likely there are outsiders, businessman, accountants and lawyers that are on the board?

  133. Andrew,
    I am the only elder on our church board. Are you saying that all the elders in the church must serve on the church board?

    Our board is made up of 6 people, as I said I am the only elder and the rest are Church members

  134. Now all the elders are a part of our elder board, but out elder board is not the ruling board in the church.

  135. Andrew says:

    MLD, so how many elders are there and how big is your elder board and is this just for your local church or is this elder board made up of pastors from other churches in the denomination?

  136. We have 22 elders – our church attendance is probably 600 with a membership of 1,500

    Our elders are not pastors and they are all from out church. NO OUTSIDERS ALLOWED.

  137. Andrew says:

    So Lutherans make a distinction between elders and pastors?

  138. Apparently we do 😉

    Our elders exist to serve the pastor on the spiritual side (Word & Sacrament)

  139. But you need to remember, we don’t have any 20 yr old pastors who got there because they can play a guitar – to be a Lutheran pastor you need a college degree and 4 yrs of post graduate work and then be called by a body of believers.

  140. Andrew says:

    I’m seriously thinking making switch to Lutheranism. I’ve been watching Jonathan Fisk’s vlogs which are eye opening for me.

  141. Jonathan Fisk – perhaps he will become LCMS version of Greg Laurie. 🙂

  142. Andrew says:

    That’s funny. Cause he was the previous pastor of the church I am thinking of going to. Drove past it the other day and it looks like a one room Amish school house. Comparing it to Calvary, its a bit of a culture shock to me. That’s probably a good thing though.

  143. Are you in the Philly area?

  144. Andrew says:


  145. Did you look at the Small Catechism I posted the other day?


  146. Andrew says:

    Yes, I did. I’m still studying it a bit but so far so good.

  147. A Classic Jonathan Fisk – back when he was still in your area

  148. Andrew says:

    I wish I knew about him before cause I can literally walk to the church. And I also found this video about Philadelphia.

  149. I will watch the video later but if I remember right he was trying to get Lutheran churches to move back into the city.

    Does that church have a pastor right now. For some reason I am thinking that Joshua Gale who replaced Fisk went on a mission to South America.

  150. Andrew says:

    The church is walking distance to trolly that takes you downtown. I think the pastor is Rev Rob Kieselowsky.

  151. I have to stand up for Greg Laurie.

    He got saved at the Bible study all of us young people at Harbor High School had on Fridays out on the lawn while eating our lunches.

    I watched as Lonnie Frisbee asked him to step into the center of our circle on the lawn.

    Lonnie laid his hands on him and he fell over under the power of the Holy Spirit and came up speaking what sounded like tongues to me.

    He hung around with us at the Bible book store that we had started near the Newport Beach pier. I got to know him well from school and the book store.

    I can honestly say that he is one of the most sincere and transparent people you will ever know. What you see is what you get. Greg was the energizer bunny in a sense. Always pressing in to the Lord.

    Ya he wanted to be like Lonnie at first then gravitated to wanting to be like Billy Graham and finally settled into being himself. We all went through our phases.

    Greg has the Lord’s interest at heart and i would trust him fully.

    Having said that, there are a few posters in here who sat under Greg’s teaching for around 13 years. They felt that there was no real personal connection with him after all those years, even though he was their pastor. So one day they decided to leave and they did.

  152. PS
    So Greg and I have the same “spiritual” father…Lonnie Frisbee

    Might explain why we are evangelically oriented.

  153. Ricky Bobby says:

    Fisk is very talented. Love his wit and how he communicates. He’s my second favorite Lutheran 🙂

  154. a pastor says:

    Ricky Bobbie —
    “I don’t really care about the doctrine…”

    Wow… Just… Wow.

    Doctrine was a major prerequisite for ministry. It is talked about far more by Jesus and the apostles in scripture than church government. And you care more about the other, while not caring at all about doctrine?

    I think your priorities are all messed up, personally.

  155. a pastor says:

    Ricky Bobbie:

    “Jesus never seemed to rebuke the regular folks, always gracious.”

    He rebuked the rich young ruler, the crowds of regular folk who followed Him just for miracles. He rebuked His mother.

    “MLD, my point about Paul is that it seems a guy like Rob assumes that since Paul rebuked Alexander the Coppersmith publicly in the bible, that it must have been righteous and good…when it very well could be that Paul was sinning and his pride and temper got the better of him instead of being more gracious.”

    You obviously either don’t believe that scripture is inspired by the Holy Spirit, or you believe the Holy Spirit inspired Paul to sin. It’s either/or.

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