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32 Responses

  1. Nonnie says:

    A new year has begun, but I want to say, “Thank you” to Michael and the Phoenix Preacher community. I have learned so much from you all and appreciate the friendships I have made here. I have actually met 2 of you “face to face” and many of you on FB. I believe my life has been enriched by you all. God bless you!

  2. Disillusioned says:

    I just wanted to say Thank You. This forum has provided such a valuable safe place to speak the truth. I pray it continues and that God will continue to give us boldness to speak the truth in love.
    When we are dealing with preachers/teachers who are base hypocrites, that’s not easy.

    More and more, I am running into people who’ve been gravely wounded by those whom they trusted with the care of their souls…

    We are unfortunately a growing community.

  3. The Dudel says:

    It’s the day after the holiday season.and I’m burned out.To much food and activities.Now comes the long stretch of long cold gray days.Time for my stack of books …

  4. Michael says:


    Thank you…we keep on keeping on as God gives us the strength.

  5. EricL says:

    Michael @2, I predict the pastor of North Valley Church will be one of the first to experience Driscoll’s “bus ministry”. He is playing in traffic by inviting Driscoll to speak at his church, since MD wants to start his own church nearby, and soon the Driscoll Express will flatten him.

  6. dusty says:

    Hi everyone, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!

    Hope everyone is well.

    Hugs to Nonnie
    Hi Big brother

  7. Michael says:

    Happy New Year Dusty!
    Blessings to you!

  8. “More and more, I am running into people who’ve been gravely wounded by those whom they trusted with the care of their souls…”

    Jesus let this folks down? Heresy!
    Oh, you meant they entrusted the care of their soul to the someone other than Jesus.

  9. Disillusioned says:

    MLD, I didn’t ask for anyone to care for my soul – except Jesus.

    But you have people in the pulpit every Sunday telling you that that is their job. If you have dared to trust them, the thought gets into your mind whether or not you wanted it there. The whole “spiritual father” thing and all that. Do not Lutherans call their priests “Father”?

    I am not looking to man for anything — well, except for those who claim to speak for God to actually tell the truth.

  10. Disillusioned,
    I wasn’t talking about you but those you were speaking of.
    I have only heard of cult leaders like David Koresh etc asking people to entrust their souls with them. I have never heard a CC pastor ask for that.

    The fact that some Lutherans may address their pastor as Father does not equate to abuse — it’s a title. Just like if you get pulled over for speeding, you don’t address the cop as Bob, but probably ‘Officer’.

    Here is a question – when you have run into such people who misdirected their faith, did you encourage them the right way in Jesus and and tell them to get their butts back into a church?

  11. Michael says:


    I have heard many pastors speak as if they were the oracle of God…and all the other voices were wrong.
    To question them is made tantamount to questioning God.
    When that trust is broken, the last thing anybody wants to do is get their butts back into another of the corporate American churches.
    You don’t get this, never have.

  12. Jean says:

    If pastors want to care for souls, in addition to preaching Christ crucified for our sins and raised for our justification, they can hear confession and loose sins in the name of Jesus. What other “soul” care is there?

  13. “When that trust is broken, the last thing anybody wants to do is get their butts back into another of the corporate American churches.”

    But they always do – and that has been my point all these years. These folks do not know how to let Jesus care for their souls – they only want the big guy with flesh.

    You have read it here also – so many times. The guy abused me, I went to an identical church and was abused again (repeat 5 times) so I gave up. They never trusted Jesus.

  14. “I have heard many pastors speak as if they were the oracle of God…and all the other voices were wrong.”

    They can say this but is that the equivilent to requiring folks to entrust them with your soul instead of Jesus?

    Just as there is an emotional profile for those who join cults, the same is true for those who continue to flock back to what you call “corporate American churches.”

  15. Cash says:

    I’ve decided to return to the name I used when I first began interacting here on the Phoenix Preacher, years ago. I have been posting as dustmyblues but decided to change when I saw the great and venerable Dusty post here. 🙂

    Perhaps it is nothing, but perhaps it may be the beginning of a return to my first love. I hope it is that, as I have allowed myself to wander from my first love because of being caught up in a horrific church conflict with people I dearly loved and who I thought loved me.

    Throughout it all, this community has been a mainstay for me, something of a “church anchor” I could hang onto, though I seldom posted I read the blog quite often.

    I’ll forever be thankful for Michael and all the others here, some of whom I know, some I don’t. One thing this blog has shown me is that there can be real disagreement, but still a respect among people. This is important, especially in our current political environment, where people who disagree are often haters of one another.

    It is good I have a place to go where the Name of Jesus is honored and lifted up high, instead of treated with scorn and disrespect.

    So this is a hello, even though I never really said goodbye. It’s a hello with tears. Blessings upon you all.

  16. Michael says:


    Welcome back, my friend.
    You always have had and always will have a place at this table.

  17. Welcome back Cash – it seems like years

  18. Cash says:

    Again, thanks Michael.
    MLD: you crack me up sometimes but I don’t want to encourage you. 😉

  19. Michael says:

    “Whenever the devil harasses you thus, seek the company of men, or drink more, or joke and talk nonsense, or do some other merry thing. Sometimes we must drink more, sport, recreate ourselves, aye, and even sin a little to spite the devil, so that we leave him no place for troubling our consciences with trifles.”


  20. Disillusioned says:

    MLD, the last thing I want to do is get into a back-and-forth with you.
    I think the intent of my original post speaks clearly, unless you are trying to misunderstand.
    I AM one of those folks, and yes, I heard such things at Calvary Chapel.
    I also think it’s not hard to believe that your priest or pastor should care for your soul. I mean, if that’s not their calling, what is??

  21. “I AM one of those folks, and yes, I heard such things at Calvary Chapel.”

    I went to 3 CCs and never heard a pastor say that they were the keepers of my soul and not Jesus. But I tell you one thing – if I ever heard that from my pastor, I would run.

    And you are right – you should look into what is the proper calling of a pastor. I can find mine written in our confessions, that have served us well for 500 years.

  22. Michael – you need to quote the whole passage
    “We are conquered if we try too conscientiously not to sin at all. So when the devil says to you: do not drink, answer him: I will drink, and right freely, just because you tell me not to.”

    As Michael Spencer – the Internet Monk said “Luther has an ability to make the Gospel as outrageous as possible, and to chase the rats of legalism out of the attic before they make a nest.” I miss him 🙂 Read his short article on the Luther quote.

  23. And speaking of pastor, because I do think highly of the Office of the Ministry as we call it – take this Luther quote!

    “”Not one of us is able to administer this office (Pastor) without many mistakes.” -Luther

  24. Cash says:

    The Luther quote perfectly describes Twitter to me. Especially the talking nonsense part.

  25. Linnea says:

    Dusty! Happy New Year to you! (This simple post had to be retyped 5 times because the cast on my dominant arm keeps hitting the spacebar 🙂 )

  26. Fred S says:

    I’ve been hearing a lot of “let it rain; open the floodgates of heaven” being sung lately. And I’ve heard the song accompanied by messages about an “open heaven.” Can anyone enlighten me as to why an “open heaven” is something to be fervently prayed for? And is this even a “classical” (lower case o orthodox, lower case c catholic) Christian doctrine?

  27. Michael says:


    It’s bs and I’ll speak to this more when I get home.

  28. Michael says:

    Fred S,

    As best as I can tell, this aberrant nonsense is another gift from Bill Johnson and Bethel, Redding, CA.

    I just lost a lifetime friend over it.

    The thesis is that there are times and places where there is an “open heaven” where the blessings and presence of God are easily accessed.

    The companion teaching is that there are ‘portals” where access to heaven is a piece of cake.

    My friend said Aimiee McPherson carried one with her…

  29. Michael says:

    Out of respect for our of our pillars here who is a friend of Johnson, I’ll refrain from further comment…but be assured they would be nasty as hell if I did.

  30. Em says:

    is this phenomena that Fred S refers to an attempt to guilt into giving using the O.T.?
    Mal 3:10
    “Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the LORD of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.” ?
    would one not be wise to question just what “house” God refers to? and to whom the promise was made?

  31. Surfer51 says:

    Actually the open heaven colloquialism or paralanguage has some sense in a very small way as it were.

    But not in the way Bethel likes to think of it and teach it.

    Bethel can be very frustrating about a lot of their erroneous beliefs.

    When Jesus came to His home town of Nazareth we are told that he could not do many works there because of their “unbelief.” The door was certainly closed to them.
    Matthew Thirteen:Fifty Eight.

    The Greek work “Apistia” is translated into the English word unbelief in this passage.

    That same Greek word is used again when we are told that the people of Israel could not enter into the rest of God because of their unbelief. The entrance door was closed to them!
    Hebrews:Three Nineteen

    Apparently when we collectively harbor unbelief we could hinder God from His works in a sense.

    And we are blocked from entering into the rest of God by unbelief.

    Anything Bethel believes goes beyond these two examples of “Apistia.”

    Michael is right…

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