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  1. FIRST!!!

  2. g2-da3ef6f47ce131adb5a9c10374b87f88 says:

    “Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.” Ephesians 6:18

    QUESTION: “How much time should we spend in prayer?”

    Perhaps the most important thing to recognize is that the amount of time spent is not as important as the fact of prayer itself, that it takes place. Martin Luther once commented, “I am so busy that if I did not spend two or three hours each day in prayer I could not get through the day.” C. H. Spurgeon, on the other hand, when speaking of lengthy prayer said, “I could not do it if my life depended on it. It’s like going to the bank with a check: I don’t loaf around the premises after I already have my money.”

    An intense, short prayer, prayed with one’s whole being can be as important as a two-hour prayer. The one-word cry of “Help” to God from a dying man has as much meaning as a lifetime of lengthy perfunctory prayers. Luther and Spurgeon would probably agree that the attitude of submission and obedience is far more important than the amount of time. (Terry Muck, LEADERSHIP, pp. 34-35, Winter Quarter, 1982).

  3. oops! um…Michael?

  4. Sounds like Matt Redmond has been hanging around the Phoenix Preacher! Great post, but I think he neglected to mention legalism. 😉

  5. Reuben says:

    “Here is what I think, you wanna be like Luther? Set your aim on all the silliness with evangelicalism. The legalism. The celebrity. The concerts disguised as worship. The worship disguised as concerts. The marketing ad nauseum. The legalism. The calls for radical living from pastors with iPads and iPhones who live in the suburbs with 3 bedrooms and 2 baths. Set your aim on the cover-up of sexual abuse. The legalism. Set your aim on a theology that questions everything and stands for nothing. The pastor as CEO. The pastor as rock star. The legalism.”


  6. Michael says:

    Sorry,CK…had to jump in the shower. 🙂

  7. So I’m reading the article about the radicals and I am thinking, “I’ll believe them when they give up their “huge” mega churches, sell their homes and move away to live and work with the poor etc. When I come across this part of the article on what an industry these guys have build, publishing their (I would say crap, but as you know I am too polite) thoughts.

    “What’s more, the radical message comes packaged in the Christian-conference-publishing-celebrity-industrial-complex. While Platt warded off critics early on by donating his profits to relief and missions work, the popularity of his call for radical living requires the existence of a lucrative publishing culture that, by its nature, has to think and act with profits in mind. The really radical path for a megachurch pastor these days would be to refuse to publish, to take a smaller church, to not podcast sermons, and to embrace a more monastic witness. The irony is that if they tried, we’d probably turn them into larger celebrities and laud their humility. The desert fathers had a similar problem. But if the message is going to critique the American dream for the people in the pews, then we may need pastors willing to show us the path of downward mobility with their lives.”

    I don’t know any of the people spoken about except Stebve Furtick – since he is such a false teacher – I hope the others are not of his ilk.

  8. ““Here is what I think, you wanna be like Luther? Set your aim on all the silliness with evangelicalism.”

    I try to do this everyday here. 🙂

  9. Nonnie says:

    I like this quote at the end of the CT article: ” We begin to fulfill the command not when we do something radical, extreme, over the top, not when we’re really spiritual or really committed or really faithful, but when in the daily ebb and flow of life, in our corporate jobs, in our middle-class neighborhoods, on our trips to Yellowstone and Disney World—and yes, even short-term mission trips—we stop to help those whom we meet in everyday life, reaching out in quiet, practical, and loving ways.”

    I wonder how many of the “radicals” have books they are pushing? They write and preach for a living and I have no problem with that, but I do hope they will encourage the plumber in their church, the housewife, the bankers, the school teachers….I want to hear them speak of the holy ground God has called these folks to occupy, in His name. Are they telling stories of the cashier that stopped and spoke a good word to a burdened soul; that smiled and blessed him, to the glory of God. Or of the parents that don’t have a 2 family income so one of them can stay home care for their children. Stories of people who spend their Sunday giving others a ride so they can get to church. That too can be radical living for Christ.
    God has placed each one of us in different circumstances, with different gifts and abilities and we must allow one another the freedom to “live radically” as God calls us to….not necessarily like the author of the latest book.

    Let’s be careful when we look at other Christians and how we perceive them.
    Remember how some criticised the woman with the perfume and Jesus corrected them, saying “She has done what she could……” Mark 14

  10. Xenia says:

    Any Christian can be a quiet radical in there own lives, you don’t need to join a hip group of know-it-alls with a logo, speaking tour and book contract. The true radicals are people like my neighbor Susan whose radicalness in obeying the Lord far surpasses any celeb “radical,” yet no one knows her name except the Lord and those whose lives she has touched with her kindnesses and sacrifices.

  11. Xenia says:

    I never know what you people mean by the term “legalism.”

  12. Scott2 says:

    I had a thought this morning that might be relevant to why the church is so messed up. I woke up thinking that I needed to read Ephesians today. My second thought was about a friend who often talks about whether or not he is “being fed” at church. The difference between the two of us is that I go to church to worship the Lord (predominantly) and he goes to be fed, as if God is going to speak just what he needs every week. And maybe He does. (And more power to him if He does!)

    But that led me to the thought that without a personal passion for God, I might become nothing more than a pew sitter in church and get pulled into every “good thing” the church does and I might follow the pastor rather than follow God because it’s really much easier to just go, sit, listen, do what told (especially SERVE) while serving itself may be something greater than what happens in any church.

    And I came away from these thoughts thanking God that He never gave me any desire to follow a man, but He did give me a burning desire to know Him and I learned early that in order to do that, I had to sit at His feet, spend time in the Word and pray. It has honestly made my life easier and in some ways it made it harder because a lot of what we call “church” in America is very uninteresting to me because I don’t find God in it.

    I guess my point is that we all make a choice. Much as we can blame leadership for all their foibles and their cult of personality and publishing every success or having concerts and calling them worship, maybe it also comes down to each of us making a personal decision about what Christianity is and how to live it. That requires thought, study, and determination and I’m not sure that a lot of people give it that much time.Jesus is big enough to teach us what is and what is not of Him, but we have to be looking and asking and desiring holiness or we may never find it. The Christianity we have today with spectators in the seats and personalities at the front of the room is nothing like what Jesus left us and for the most part I’m not so sure that the majority of people care.

  13. Xenia says:

    Lent begins Sunday night so I will bid you all a fond adieu until sometime after Pascha. I am just recovering from the flu so I will be entering the Great Fast in a debilitated condition which I am sure God can use!

    Tomorrow is Forgiveness Sunday (which I will not be robust enough to attend) but I would like to take this opportunity to ask everyone’s forgiveness for hurtful things I have said and thought over the past year, those things typed and untyped.

  14. Scott2,
    God gave the church and works through the church, so I don’t know why you think that going to church is following a man. Just like your friend, you follow a man – who ironically is YOU. Scott2 gets to determine what God wants for Scott2.

    Being “fed” at church – an age old concept that you now take issue with. I rail against American Evangelicalism because they DO NOT feed their people. I look to tomorrow (Sunday) and how many pastors will withhold the communion from their people just by their own decision – the largest example of “closed” communion is in evangelicalism when one person decides “no communion for my church today” like the soup nazi in Seinfeld.

  15. skimming this a.m. forgive me if i misunderstood Scott2 – expect to be ‘fed’ in church meetings by our pastor/teachers? of course, we should expect to be fed and fed good sound nourishment for our souls’ prospering – strong, sound teaching (for some that’s called doctrine and, i guess, for some that’s sacrements) – if your life in Christ feels hollow, you’re possibly on a bad diet – of course we must be fed

  16. sacraments, not sacrements – sorry

  17. covered says:

    Feeding the sheep was not a suggestion. I can’t think of a more important function of a pastor than to teach God’s Word on the Lord’s day.

  18. Alex says:

    Love Redmond’s article and commentary.

    I was on Google News Site “God Discussion” internet radio podcast last night. It went well, great opportunity to speak to the issues of abuse and corruption in the church and the first amendment etc. Great hearing from others like SNAP etc who advocate for abuse victims.

    There was a technical glitch part-way through the show, I’m guessing it was the devil trying to impede the work of the Lord! (he says in best CC pastor voice, 🙂 😆 )

    I think it’s going to open some more doors, we’ll see. I think God for the continuing opportunities to speak out.

  19. Alex says:

    I (and Jezzy B the “Rebel Egalitarian Jezebel Prophetess Whore of Babylon” makes an appearance) come on in the 2nd hour of the show…around the 67-68 minute mark. First hour is a discussion between Atheists about Separation of Church and State. Judy from SNAP (they help sex abuse victims from the Catholic Church) was on the last hour with me and Jezzy B.

  20. Sounds like the crazy line up from an old Art Bell Coast to Coast radio show

  21. In most churches, I would rather be fed the body and the blood of Christ in the Supper than by the preaching that get’s passed off as the word.

  22. Chile says:

    Xenia, this will show you one form of legalism: (warning, don’t drink coffee while watching!)

  23. Scott2 says:

    I’m not saying you should not get fed at church. I’m saying that you have to be able to hear from the Lord, first and foremost. To sit back and think that you’re going to get all that you need from a Sunday sermon is, to me, foolishness. What about the rest of the week?

  24. Nonnie says:

    Chile, love it!!! Wonderful!!! I’d seen it before, but it is just as funny each time!!
    And I know just what you mean!! Thankfully, most of the men I know are NOT like this!

  25. Xenia says:

    I see.

  26. A Believer says:

    Xenia, I think legalism used to mean any attempt to have a righteous standing before God by obeying the law.

    It has come to mean something else in popular evangelical jargon. The accusation of legalism usually comes when someone tries to advocate holy living nowadays and it’s interpreted as trying to impose one’s own standards of godliness upon another.

    In today’s licentious christian culture, an accusation of legalism often gets used to ward off any attempt at externally imposed boundaries…. 😉

  27. Nonnie says:

    What is legalism for one may be love in action for another.

  28. Alex says:

    The word “legalism” has so many different meanings to so many different people. I think Redmond’s use of the word is in the context of Selective Fundamentalists within Evangelicalism.

    It’s incredible how many different perspectives there are on particular words.

    If I were to say “Christian Fundamentalist!” it could be viewed as a positive or a negative…and in more flavors than Baskin Robbins’ 🙂

    So hard to achieve mutual understanding due to the diversity of “meaning” we each hold for particular words or terms, etc.

  29. Nonnie says:

    Alex, I agree !

  30. Nonnie says:

    I used to think of myself as a “fundamental Christian.” Now I would never want to be called that. However, I still hold to the fundamentals of Christianity. It’s all in the perception of terms…and those terms can be so misunderstood.

  31. “So hard to achieve mutual understanding due to the diversity of “meaning” we each hold for particular words or terms, etc.”

    Is it any different in any other discipline of life?

    That’s why we have conversations – to clarify our meaning.

  32. Nonnie says:

    Here in the UK the words “husband, wife, spouse,” are rarely used. Instead, the word, “Partner” is used. I always correct whoever is speaking to me and tell them that he is my HUSBAND or my spouse. “Partner” is too vague a word for me. Of course they think I am quite old fashioned or a bit goofy to make the distinction..but to me it is an important one.
    Words are important.

  33. A Believer says:

    Mutual understanding only works if you agree with me.

    If not, …obfuscation rules! 😉

    -Believer in Confusion

  34. Alex says:

    AB, LOL, no doubt we all struggle with that one, except me! 😆

  35. Xenia says:

    AB, that has been my experience.

    >>>Xenia, I think legalism used to mean any attempt to have a righteous standing before God by obeying the law<<<

    Well, here's the thing: what is meant by "the law" in a Christian context?

    MLD may reply 🙂 but I know his answer and strongly disagree but I am always willing to hear it again. For the non law vs gospel people, what is "the law" that you are talking about?

  36. A Believer says:

    “…what is meant by “the law” in a Christian context?”

    Well, off the top of my head…

    It could be a reference to the law of Moses, or it could be a reference to any set of rules or regulations one must keep in order to be loved, approved or accepted of God apart from grace freely given and received.

  37. Alex says:

    Michael, I’m so sorry for how I acted on here sometimes. I think God has a funny way of giving one a taste of his own medicine. We’re having similar issues of frustration with commenters at the CC Abuse site. I don’t know how to handle it. I can’t really speak to anyone about it, due to my own actions on here and I have a pretty hands-off philosophy when it comes to blogs (except with MLD and my bro, which was personal in nature to me). I guess I’m saying (again) sorry, and it is tough to know how to handle things the “right” way. Tough to be the person to draw the boundaries. I understand the position I put you in more clearly now and again I’m sorry.

  38. Nonnie says:

    Well done, Alex. Good for you! I am continuing to pray for you and your family. I know so many others are also!

  39. Chile says:

    Different definitions for sure …

    Legalism in IFB 30 years ago meant:
    Only KJV
    Men must have hair cut above ears and no facial hair
    Women must not wear pants
    No mixed bathing
    No alcohol ever
    No tobacco ever
    Must have daily quiet time
    Must never speak one word of disagreement of the pastor, or any negs about the church
    Never eat in restaurant where alcohol is ever served
    Never ride in a car with a person of the opposite sex unless you are married or chaperoned.
    Etc …

  40. Jim Jr. says:

    Methinks I smell crocodile tears

  41. Nonnie says:

    Jim Jr. back to your corner for time out.

  42. Jim Jr. says:

    “That’s why we have conversations – to clarify our meaning.”
    I agree, MLD. And if clarification of meaning is not the goal, it is not communication. You could call it salemanship, or character assassination, or hate campaigning…

  43. Chile says:

    forgot to add …

    no movies
    no non-traditional Christian music (Keith Green, Sandi Patti & Amy Grant were blacklisted.)

    The BJU crowd even decided which hymns were more spiritual and which ones were less, or not allowed.

  44. Chile says:

    “… character assassination, or hate campaigning …” –JimWho

    You are referring to what you do on here, no doubt.

  45. Xenia says:

    Yes, in America our motto is “Ain’t nobody gonna tell me what to do.” (Not even Jesus.)

  46. erunner says:

    This was posted on FB today. Do the folks who put this out overstate things as the video plays? Or is what we’re seeing here misrepresented in any way??

  47. Xenia,
    Here is a good opportunity to “clarify meanings” by conversation.

    I don’t oppose telling people to look good, do good, act good etc.

    My opposition comes when people preach the law to people and expect that it will make them good people. The only thing the law does is cause despair and hopefully to drive people to Christ

    Look at the rich young man – Jesus preached the law to him and it did nothing for him except to make him walk away sad and still unsaved – and I might add, that was Jesus’ purpose… he wasn’t trying to save the guy, he was driving him down in his sin.. Not once do we see the law preached and someone gets saved – that comes only after the gospel has been preached.

    Now, when it comes to Christians, why do we want to take away the gospel and bring them back to a point of despair? If we preach law to a Christian it is to break him – but he still needs to hear the gospel to get back up.

  48. A Believer says:


    I think (or at least hope) that we would all agree that Jesus did not leave us without rules for Christian living.

    You are seasoned enough in your journey with God from Protestantism into Orthodoxy to already know the standard Protestant answers to the question you were asking. You just disagree with us!

    As a synergist, you reject the notion that righteousness in imputed through faith, and is rather infused though a life of obedience. Talk of being “saved” in the eternal sense (not temporal) is premature in your view as long as you are still alive and capable of getting off track.

    Again, as you know, we Protestants, for the most part, separate the doctrine of justification which is solely by faith from sanctification. Therefore we can keep rules and regulations in the process of our progressive sanctification without necessarily linking them to our ultimate salvation. Our disobedience is met with correction rather than condemnation.

  49. Nonnie says:

    Erunner, your 47…..creepy. I wouldn’t want to be at that “church.”

  50. Anne says:

    Alex – I think your experience as a recovering blog hog ( I say this in love), gives you even more insight and power to address it skillfully – as one who understands the temptation but also the need to overcome it 😉 You’ve come a long way!

  51. erunner says:

    Nonnie, The video is four years old. I realize those folks are into some strange stuff but to suggest they aren’t saved…… I’m not so sure.

  52. A Believer says:

    And lest MLD jump all over my use of sanctification…

    I agree with him that I was completely set apart unto God at the moment of faith and in that sense am completely sanctified by the merits of Christ applied to me forensically.

    I’m referring to the outworking of that imputed status progressively, in other words, a realization of that truth practically as I yield to the Holy Spirit.

    If I was all I can be in Christ practically from the moment of my conversion, then growth would be a meaningless concept or experience.

    And we know the NT talks a lot about christian growth.

  53. Xenia,
    One last note. I have no problem telling a Christian “you are acting like a jerk” or “get off your butt and help us down at the church.”

    And when people here talk about they want a church that shows love, I think one of the best ways to show your love to your Christian neighbor is to help him live a righteous life.

  54. Nonnie says:

    Erunner, I wasn’t questioning their faith in Christ, I was just saying I would not want to attend a “church” service like that. God’s grace is deep and wide. I won’t put Him in a box.

  55. Alex says:

    Anne said, “…as a recovering blog hog”

    LOL, guilty as charged 🙂

  56. Alex says:

    JJ said, “You could call it salemanship, or character assassination, or hate campaigning…”

    Or you could call it the Truth or what the judge from the bench called the “evidence” he saw…”appalling”

  57. erunner says:

    Nonnie, I apologize for not being clear. The makers of that video seem to suggest these folks aren’t saved. I become uneasy when those type of statements are used.

  58. Xenia says:

    The “church service” is no different from the jungle animism (witch doctor dances) I used to see on old Nat’l Geographic documentaries. Not even remotely Christian. Missionaries have given their lives to rescue people from this kind of thing and now here’s a “church” embracing it.

    To AB, yeah, you’re right, I don’t agree w/ Protestantism’s imputation doctrine and I am a synergist. I kind of regret starting up this discussion on my last day here (for a while) since I am too feeble (the flu) to continue w/ my half of the the conversation with any vigor.

    MLD, thank you once again for you explanations, some of which I agree with.

    Alex, good job.

    Mr.Tundra, I am happy to see you again.

    I am going to take a nap.

  59. Nonnie says:

    God bless you, Xenia. Get some rest, heal and have a blessed Pascha.

  60. Alex says:

    Sorry to hear you’re sick, X. I hope you feel better soon.

  61. Anne says:

    Yes, Xenia! Agreeing with Nonnie & Alex that you may find rest, healing and blessing! One of my fondest memories still is sharing Pascha with you and your husband one year. I will treasure that time always!

  62. Reuben says:

    Good interview, Alex.

    Since it is open blogging, and I don’t want to make another article to attract any more of the attention I have been getting, I have to get some trash off my mind.

    I had an epiphany. This is rehashed stuff, but made more real by the fact that people warned me that I would get pounced on for discovering such things, but experience speaks louder than just about anything.

    When I read the books about the history of CC, the distinctives, the assisting pastor, and so on, I saw things through a different lens. The lens was good experience. When I wrote the paper on one of those books, I questioned the idea that Chuck would tell a pastor to fire his entire board. Even then, it seemed odd to me that the wisdom of many would not outweigh the ideas of one. If I recall correctly, the pastor in question was told by his board that he needed to go full time into ministry. The pastor was a doctor or something, and did not want to give up his full time job. He asked Chuck what he should do, and the response, was, “Fire your board.” I wish I could find the book now, because there was another detail in there that bugs me to this day, that Chuck himself had laid hands on these board members prior to telling the pastor to fire them all.

    Fast forward almost 15 years, and that story hit me again, in the midst of my personal epiphany.

    Calvary Chapel was not, in my view, the brain child of Chuck Smith. It was rooted in deep rebellion. Chuck did not like his board telling him about chair arrangements, and teaching styles. So he left the church to start his own, one that he could run his way. Kay prayed for a way to reach out to the dirty shoeless hippies, and the answer to that prayer came in the form of a hippy named Lonnie Frisbee, a homosexual. It was the work of that man, not Chuck, that led to the tents and beach baptisms. Chuck raised the original disciples though. He handed off the DNA, so to speak. The DNA was simply my way or the highway. You surround yourself with defenders, not thinkers. Romaine. Larry Taylor. These men defended a system of protection for the pastor that was replicated throughout the movement.

    So if you came from the original disciples, you likely started your own church because you were not a protector/defender, and more likely a thinker. Those guys obviously had the call on their lives to be pastors, or, as reality dictated, could not be controlled by the SP, and were told, “Its time you went out on your own.”

    The funny thing is that as a youth pastor, I knew of countless heavily shrouded stories of the youth pastors or associate pastors reaching a point of disagreement with the deeply rooted SP in the CC system, and they were asked to find a place off the potential market area map, and plant their own damn church. What sucks is that they are all by default affiliated with CC.

    They all made poverty level wages as a youth pastor/associate pastor. They all worked for churches that were in the millions of dollars budget range. They could have learned lessons, but they did not.

    My initial experience with CC was “tainted” by the fact that my SP was not a direct descendant of the movement at all. The church did not even start out as a CC, but affiliated later in life. My secondary CC experiences were carbon copy of the descriptions above. Someone said, I want to do my own thing, and they were told to plant elsewhere, and they did.

    CCBC amplified this mentality, spreading the DNA, fixing in the minds of prospective young pastors the idea that they were the masters of the ship, and they would dictate the course of the church.

    I was recently cornered for lumping all CCs together. A mistake I won’t make twice. I pointed out the fact that Alex has had to nail the entire movement, because the entire movement has been built on a system that breeds tyrants and sociopaths. It protects them. I believe that with every fibre of my being. I loathe it for that very reason. Still, there are those who did not come up through the system. My favorite senior pastor being one of them.

    However, he did hand me the books, and ask that I read them, and write the papers on them. I still struggle with that. Maybe he believed the best of these propositions. Maybe he knew I would see the same. I may never know.

    I am faced with a conversation in the not so distant future, in which I will be asked about my online tirades. I will be asked why I condemn a system that saved tens of thousands and resulted in churches around the world. I will have to answer. I will answer that it is because the entire system is rooted in rebellion. The entire system breeds rebellion. The system is based on man. God has no control. The results of that system are only now coming to light through the internet. The system failed so many, and the more stories that are told, the more people are exposed to how they were manipulated.

    As I was listening to Alex’s interview, I was again reminded at how common the stories are. Everyone hit the same walls. Everyone saw the same problems. It has always been bad, but only now are people realizing that they are not alone.

  63. Chile says:

    I appreciate your desire to be honest with yourself and others, inspite of the cost.

  64. Fly on a Wall says:

    Reuben: I’m so sorry to hear that you are going to be questioned for voicing opinions on the internet. Now I understand why you are stressed.

    But if your current church doesn’t promote love, encouragement and grace, I dunno, maybe it’s time for a new church.

    IMHO: you haven’t said anything awful about anyone/anything that needs disciplining. And I agree with almost everything you have written above about CC. Anyone who has gone to CC for a long time know that everything you’ve said is true.

    But I do think CS did some amazing things when the church first started. He started those communes with Lonnie Frisbee. He had taken in some of those thieving, stinky, hippies into his home. Back then, it was ground-breaking to lead church as an intimate bible study (people forget because it’s so common-place now) and you could “come as you are” beach thongs and shorts and all.

  65. “the entire system is rooted in rebellion”

    The same has been said of the Unites State of America, and was said by my pastors and elders of the Shepherding church I was “submitted to” in the ’70s.

    Yeah, I jammed out of there soon after, and found freedom, guess where, CCCM in ’78. Sadly, first the artists and musicians were mocked, then the charismatics were told to leave, all done in the name of “decent and in order”, but as defined by one mans sensibilities.

    Fast forward a few decades, the CCCM devolution takes place because what is missing are the checks and balances like those established in our constitution to keep tyrants from demanding blind allegiance, plus another missing element is that the constitution positions government as the servant of the people, not the other way around. In the Calvary Movement the people are dumb sheep, to be taught, shepherded, but rarely listened to.

    Rebellion is needful for change to take place. Overthrowing tyrants can be as simple as removing oneself and influencing others to understand why you did it. Remove their money and you remove their power.

  66. Fly on a Wall says:

    MLD: just a thought, my own idiotic gibberish… You criticize new Christian radicals that have created a culture of publishing and marketing…. well, you think they get a sadistic pleasure in seeing their yuppy followers give money to fund their ministries in poorer?

    Didn’t Francis Chan have his original church in San Jose or some affluent place in NorCal? Then he left because people were worshipping him, not Jesus? Weren’t they throwing money at him like it was nothing?

    If I was in that position, I couldn’t resist taking it, then using it to bring a smile to a needy family. I would think that would be the greatest guilty pleasure available to a pastor.

    Hey, it’s open blogging. I’m only doing a ham bone today. 🙂

  67. Reuben says:


    My current church is so far removed from CC, it is unbelievable. I attend an Anglican church. A little one. I was elected Vestry at that church a while ago.

    G man,

    The split with John Wimber, I dunno. It splits me up. I wish I had the power to write on that extensively. I have thought a ton on that over the past couple of years.

  68. Reuben says:

    Vineyard does not even mention papa Chuck.

  69. mrtundraman says:

    Carol Wimber’s books deals with the split between papa Chuck and John. Good book for her view of the behind the scenes showing Chuck Smith’s ability to take down the dove (which he’s now denying he can do).

  70. mrtundraman says:

    Reuben I’d love to hear some of your thoughts on the Vineyard/CC split. I was attending both Calvary Chapel Yorba Linda (it was at the high school) and CCCM when the split happened. I was a fairly new Christian at the time and liked both so I really didn’t have a framework to understand what was going on at the time.

  71. mrtundraman says:

    I wrote a wiki page a almost 7 years ago on the differences between John Wimber’s death and Chuck Smith’s own choices on how to handle his mortality. Odd how nothing has changed in that much time.

  72. Reuben,
    There was too much risk to allow such freedom as contemplative “waiting on God” or “experiencing God”, or any kind of spontaneous worship because “experience” is shunned for a single point of reference, the pastor/teacher as the mouthpiece of God to the congregation. I remember when the Maranatha! Music concerts were increasingly marginalized, remember the weekend when, after Daniel Amos played Saturday night, ChuckSr. got up and mocked bass player Marty Dieckmeyer by pretending to play bass in a lively fashion. I think the disapproval quick spread and it was soon after that things changed, music tightened up, the “afterglow” meetings immediately following the main Sunday night or midweek services were rolled back.

    Do you recall if Lonnie was still around CCCM in that timeframe?

  73. MTM,
    Yep, Yorba Linda, I remember the services in the high school!

  74. MTM,
    Got any links to Carol’s books?

  75. Nonnie says:

    At G’s 74…yes, we also used to go to the Sunday night services at Yorba Linda with C Smith Jr. and a group from his church.

  76. Small tribe here!

  77. Thanks for the link!

  78. Chile says:

    Thanks for the link, Tundra.

    I interviewed Wimber for Christian Radio piece in the late 80’s. He was suspicious of us, but I did my homework and got a lot of the questions from the seminary profs and pastors in town. People just wanted to know what was going on and if it was really of God or not?

    There was a Vineyard in town that was wild in comparison to the norm of that place, but many Christians seemed to get a new lease on their spiritual life there for a few years, before that place blew up.

  79. mrtundraman says:

    I think that more than once I got up and left Anaheim Vineyard during a church service or teaching seminar. One of the last times was a prophetic (not end times, but the “gift” of the spirit version) seminar. The speaker said that prophets can make mistakes. Led me to write a paper on the subject.

  80. mrtundraman says:

    Interesting to me how far off Wimber was with Paul Caine. Turned out he was living a homosexual lifestyle. I think my father may have called that one after hearing Caine give his “testimony” of singleness by choice…

    Seems like there wasn’t much faddish that Wimber didn’t fall for. Almost had to like him for his lack of trying…

  81. covered says:

    Nonnie, did you go to CS Jr’s church in Capo Beach?

  82. mrtundraman says:

    I’d really like confirmation of the legend that Chuck Smith himself came down and took down the Calvary Chapel dove/sign at CCYL. I don’t believe it, but it had some sticking power in the day.

    No secret that Smith wasn’t happy with John, but that John had a love for Chuck – another one of those “kids” who saw Smith as their dad…

  83. Nonnie says:

    Covered, yes, we went from 77 to 83, when we moved away.

  84. Nonnie says:

    Actually, at the time we went to CS Jr.’s church, it was CC Dana Point. (it hadn’t moved to the bowling alley in Capo Beach yet.)

  85. Reuben says:

    I take that back, they point to CC quite a bit here.

  86. covered says:

    Thanks Nonnie. I was there from 93-96 and we enjoyed it.

  87. Reuben says:

    I really want to read that book, Tundra.

    When I was listening to Grudem speak on Church Government Structures, he sharply criticized Vineyard for its almost futile leadership structures. However, he always spoke very fondly of Wimber throughout all of his topics. It made me search out more of Wimber’s story. I found a speech by Wimber on the whole history of things from his point of view. It floored me. CC never really presented the story from an unbiased perspective. They obviously hated the “weirdness” afoot there, and wanted nothing but to distance themselves from it.

    “Almost had to like him for his lack of trying…”

    True indeed. I felt a real connection to Wimber for his efforts. He pushed things. Maybe too far? But he pushed things.

  88. Reuben says:

    Listen to that if you get a chance. Very interesting.

  89. mrtundraman says:

    Reuben, I don’t think they’ve ever hidden the link to CC in their history although they describe the split as amicable in some places I think they’re wearing rose colored glasses for that part.

    The story of the split starts around page 156

    “Don McClure tried to warn us that we were crossing lines [signs and wonders in the church] but we didn’t know what to do. John had, on a few occasions, gone down to Costa Mesas to talk to Chuck [Smith] and check with him to make sure everything was kosher, and came away assured that everything was fine.”

    “It wasn’t too much longer until John received the call “inviting” him to meet with Calvary leaders, and he knew better than to think that it meant that they wanted to hang out with him. Chuck said he appreciated John’s worship songs, but he wanted no part of John’s teaching in any of the Calvary churches. He was very clear about that. One of them succinctly expressed their problem: ‘When someone goes to a Calvary Chapel, they know what to expect. But the Yorba Linda church is different. It’s like going to a McDonald’s, expecting a hamburger and getting a taco instead.’

  90. mrtundraman says:

    I wrote “Almost had to like him for his lack of trying…”

    Reuben wrote “True indeed. I felt a real connection to Wimber for his efforts. He pushed things. Maybe too far? But he pushed things.”

    What I wrote didn’t come out right, but you got the gist of what I was trying to say. I did admire John for his desire to “do the stuff”.

    What bothered me most there was that one day the Kansas City folks were the way the Vineyard needed to go and the next they were on the outs. There wasn’t enough discussion of how things changed but I think that all came out of their Moses Model style as well. It just wasn’t nearly as heavy handed with the Vineyard as CC. (Now that I write that maybe people will come out of the wood work telling me that there was abuse of authority there too but it seems like the abuse there was more of the what they didn’t tell you sort.)

  91. Chile says:

    Abuse of authority in Vineyard? I saw some, but from a distance. I was not on staff, but I remember the entire staff being fired in one day. Seems it may have happened more than once.

    We were in a Vineyard in the 80’s, with the Kansas City prophets and classes to practice telling a prophecy … no kidding. We were from outside of the culture and stepped in to see what was going on. It was interesting, helped us to see lots of things from different perspectives and really kept us on our toes. But the practicing prophecy was a bit off the charts.

    It’s a bit vague to me now, but it seems we did get an explanation from the pulpit about the Kansas City prophets memorizing the guest list before they called out certain personal prophecies about people. Seems we were told two of the prophets were guilty of sexual sin, or something improper. Can’t remember what was said about the 3rd one.

    I’ve heard 2 of the prophets have reinvented themselves through I-HOP ministry in Kansas City again. Can anyone confirm this? People from around here drive there to be at I-Hop and get the “blessing” from the prophets. But I thought these same men had been church disciplined, and I’ve never caught wind of a public repentance, though there may have been one?

  92. Reuben says:

    At about 44 minutes into that mp3 link is one of the most profound things I have ever heard in my life. Go to about 51 minutes. He knew something.

  93. Reuben says:

    James Ryle was a part of I-Hop for a while. I am not sure where he is now.

  94. Reuben says:

    But James was not one of the KC Prophets. I met one of those. I should tell you that story some day.

  95. mrtundraman says:


    I know I’ve heard this tape before.

    Unfortunately my browser doesn’t display time….

    I am now at the part where he goes to his first church service. It strikes me how odd it all struck him as. I know that point stuck with me in my own ministry. I remember attending an Harvest Festival event at another church and viewing it as if I was not a Christian. The language was so much Christianese that I wondered how a person with no Christian background would respond. \

  96. Reuben says:


    He spoke about the time God asked him if he would attend his own church. It is one of the most powerful things ever. He explains why, and I was floored for weeks.

  97. mrtundraman says:

    When I listen to this I realize how much of what John taught became a part of me and what I believe and why I’ve had issues other places.

  98. Reuben says:

    Later, he explains why he resigned from Fuller, and went to Yorba Linda. Both, powerful statements.

  99. mrtundraman says:

    Praying that Chuck Smith would have a moment where he’d ask “What’s wrong with me?” of God and that he would hear.

  100. Reuben says:

    Tundra @100, Yes! My short lived time with Vineyard really left me with a pile of things to re-learn. I had swung so far on the charismatic side of things at one point, I had revered men, simple men, as literal hands of God.

  101. Reuben says:

    Tundra @102, YES Again!

  102. mrtundraman says:

    “We didn’t know that the presence and the power are the same thing”. Striking…

  103. mrtundraman says:

    Finished listening. Thanks for the recommendation.

    I remember the last time I saw John. I don’t think he preached but was sitting in the front row at Anaheim. He looked pretty sick. I looked at him and he said “hello”. Didn’t need to, but I saw a knowing in his eyes…

    Interesting guy. Hey, Carol’s book also has some great insights into Lonnie Frisbee and the formation of the Vineyard.

  104. Reuben says:

    I really have to read that book.

  105. Ixtlan says:

    The Vineyard/CC split is ancient history. However, those who forget the past……

    From Matt Redmond’s blog:

    “The calls for radical living from pastors with iPads and iPhones who live in the suburbs with 3 bedrooms and 2 baths.”

    Yes, it is a bit of a paradox, isn’t it…. while we talk about it on a blog…. Radical living is a moving target and it is contextualized based on the culture and times in which we live. I know some that are striving toward “radical living” particularly in the divestment of material goods. In a few short years, the status symbol for younger empty nesters in the church will be an 800 sq. ft cracker box, and they will look down their noses at those who haven’t followed their lead. The trouble is, they will do what they believe to be right, but not necessarily for the right reasons. It is based on a hermeneutic that is as much biased as any system of eschatology. The status of sacrifice for the masses might get them 15 minutes of fame, while there will be those laughing all the way to the bank.

  106. Chile says:

    Last I heard, Ryle was living in Nashville.

    His sermons were memorable. Never did hear how the Boulder church went down. Those were some strange days. I still scratch my head at things said and done in those days.

  107. Bob Sweat says:

    I shared this story about John Wimber months ago at PP. There are a few new people, so I will briefly share it again.

    I first met John in 1972. I was fresh out of Azusa Pacific College and was in my second year as pastor of a small struggling church in Inglewood. John was Assistant Pastor at Yorba Linda Friends Church. We were both at a pastors conference listening to speakers teach us how to grow our churches. I was sitting by myself when John came up, sat down beside me and asked how I was doing. I was ready to leave church work feeling as though I had failed. I opened my heart, and John graciously listened. I will never forget the prayer he prayed over me that day.

    We saw each other a few times at conference meeting and two years later I moved to Oregon to pastor another church. The last time I saw John was at a conference at The Inn of Seven Mountain in Bend, Oregon. That was 1976. I walked up to John, and his first words to me were, “I can see it in your face!” He knew things had changed, and I was experiencing the blessings of pastoral ministry.

    I would not be honest if I didn’t say that John created some problems at Yorba Linda Friends Church. The senior pastor at Yorba Linda was a close friend of mine. Barney has sense passed away, but I not sure if he ever got over the split in the church. Some young pastors in the Friends Church left with which caused some leadership gaps at churches. But all that said, the John I knew ministered to me that day in 1972, and I will always be grateful for that time we had together.

  108. Fly on a Wall says:

    The whole ipad, iphone culture doesn’t make any sense to me.

    Okay, okay, I’ll confess, I had an iphone at one time. I had more excess cash lying around back then. I got the newest model, which was obsolete in two years. It was the 4s (I think). I bought it because of peer pressure.

    It is the most unnecessary, decadent, piece of crap I had ever owned.

    The iphone is nothing but a fluffed up, over-marketed, piece of eye-candy, made to target the stupid, excessive American, consumer society. I can’t stand it when Pastors talk about their iphones, I mean, do they understand where the iphone was made? Do they understand at what cost to the Chinese people these unnecessary pieces of junk were crafted? And they’re proud to own one?

    I understand all cell phones must come from China, but when one reads about the labor-abuses happening over there and how Apple has exploited the Chinese AND dumb Americans, it’s shameful that Pastors brag about these pieces of eye-candy.

    Why don’t they go ahead and brag about their blue-diamond engagement ring from South Afrika?

  109. Fly on a Wall says:

    Okay, doing a double-bogey… I have a question for PxP… what is a Prophet exactly? Do different denoms have different definitions?

    Here is wiki’s definiton:

    But I take it the Charismatics have a different definition? Here’s a wiki link:

    So… is there a lot of respect for the title? Prophet? Why do some people get so mad when that word is used? Is the test of a Prophet a prophecy? Is the test of a prophecy that one can foretell the future?

    I’m asking… because I had a nasty fallout with someone over the word “prophet” so I never, ever used it again.

    But I do believe certain people have certain gifts and Paul Cain is one of them. You can’t deny that he could foretell the future and that he knew of situations that he had no business to know about. He was also a sinner, a homosexual and an alcoholic. So, my conclusion was (correct me if I’m wrong) that Prophet does not equal Pastor. Pastor is a role, Prophet is a gift. AND just because one is a dirty, rotten sinner, their specific gift is not taken away from them (just as a dirty rotten musician does not forget how to play once they sin).

    I think the problem most people have with the word “Prophet” is they have this surreal visions that angels came down to earth, lights shone, doves descended, and the person was revealed a great truth. When in reality, it could be the Holy Spirit, doing a body-slam into your conscience, asking why you are doing this?

    God talks to everyone, it’s called the Bible. Everyone can talk to God. It’s called prayer.

    I’m just curious. I never got involved in the Charismatic Movement, it always scared me. But I like to learn everyone’s thoughts.

    Please, discuss.

  110. Fly on a Wall says:

    Owwww… you gotta take my #112 out of moderation! Mods please!

  111. Nonnie says:

    A friend of mine on FB posted this from a sermon message: “The gospel is primarily news about what Jesus has done, not advice about how to live. “

  112. Nonnie,
    I wish that would be preached in every church today… but as we know, the majority will hear a “how to” sermon.

  113. Is everyone in Colorado crazy? Came across these guys “Toth Ministries”

    For the grand mystics on this blog, For those of you who have abandoned the Church – For those who are just “lovers of Jesus”. For those who think they have an unmediated experience with God. I think these guys have put your message on video. Watch this 7 min promotional video – I love the way the one guy separates theology from the theophany.

  114. mrtundraman says:

    “Yes we want to be great with our theology here but we are enamored with the theophany…” sounds fine to me.

  115. mrtundraman says:

    Bob, John spoke about the situation at YL Friends church on that testimony tape above. The pivotal event for him seemed to be when a woman came to him complaining that he had ruined their church by bringing in so many new people. I’ve seen that culture in churches before.

    I did attend that Friends church for a while circa 1981 or so. Even took the prospective member’s class but when they got to baptism and communion, they “lost me”. The pastor told me that if I wanted either of those things I could go to another church for them. I decided that was an invitation to not join their church.

  116. @ MLD’s 115, Oh well, not as strange as erunner’s #47, which looked more like demonic possession to me.
    I would say that in your 115, those people want to have that personal experience or they feel they are lacking in some way. I understand it, but I believe it is fraught with problems. Cause, sometimes we get erunner’s 47 as a result.
    God speaks to me, but He uses scripture to do it. And I don’t mean that He only speaks when I read the bible, but He brings scripture to mind in certain situations also. I find this to be a great comfort and I recognize it for what it is. I don’t go searching for more.

  117. ” For those who are just “lovers of Jesus”. For those who think they have an unmediated experience with God. ”

    Gee, are you aiming this in my direction, looking to bait me with some of my own phrases?

    I have more fruitful things to do with my time and life than to take your chum just to have you try to make sport of my faith again and again.

    I’m really tired of your blog theatre, MLD.
    I’m too busy doing my own improv of life and your comedy club isn’t on my circuit anymore.

  118. mrtundraman says:

    “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.”

    How dare Jesus draw a distinction between the heart and the mind.

  119. PP Vet says:

    G, I think at some level most of us considers ourselves just lovers of Jesus and lovers of each other. Those are the two commandments that sum everything up.

    What we have learned through years of experience is that love must be accompanied by truth and wisdom. What looks to be love often isn’t. Love is accompanied by something observable and even measurable. Love can be supported, promoted, and enhanced sometimes by order, structure, and liturgy. Love is often hard to detect even when it is really there, because we are blind.

    That is all I am, a lover of Jesus and His people. And all life is is a process of getting better at loving.

  120. PP Vet says:

    And, most days, we wake up and realize once again that we are just not very good at it.

  121. Posted to enrich all who are celebrating the day…

  122. And everyone except Derek just blows right past the “unmediated experience with God.”

  123. PP Vet says:

    Fly 112, the Internet is full of clueless wannabes who will happily tell you what a NT prophet is. Many of them comment here.

    If you are serious about finding out, you have a lot of work to do.

    Apostle prophet pastor teacher evangelist – you can call yourself three of those, try to call yourself one of the other two and you will be stoned.

  124. I have a question…what do people think was going on in erunner’s 47?

  125. mrtundraman says:

    Charismatic excesses?

  126. mrtundraman says:

    Gotta say I am digging on the bongos though…

  127. Derek,
    I think Xenia quite accurately identified the what and the source of the activities in erunner’s video.

  128. Oh, I agree…it does not even remotely resemble anything christian to me. Either a show put on to sucker in the rubes or something more insidious.
    To me though, videos like you posted in 116 (was 115) just lead to things like that. None of that is about Jesus, it is all “look at me, look at what I can do”. It is all about finding out “my” potential or “my” calling….my, my, my…me, me, me. Sad is what it is!

  129. Reuben says:

    I distinctly remember one day while practicing with some Vineyard worship leaders. It sticks out in my mind because there was nobody there but the sound guy. The guitar player was strumming something, and all of us were pinned to the floor with blinding light. The guitar player started to sing/say that he saw the Lion of Judah. I looked up and saw a 20 foot tall, maybe 40 foot long lion.

    There were a ton of “experiences” with Vineyard, but that one, for whatever reason, stuck out. My guess is because nobody was there. It was just practice.

    Fly, a prophet is one who speaks the Word of God. So if you open up your Bible and speak those words, you are a prophet.

    Sure there are different denominational definitions. In Vineyard, James Ryle was a prophet in a different sense. He spoke of things to come, or he spoke of hidden truths. To be sure, a prophet in that context was revered as the very hand of God. The problem with that is obvious.

    Tom Stipe wrote a forward to a Hank H. book years ago that almost described my experience to a T. Of course, he was somewhat tied up in that mess around the same time. If I recall correctly, he spoke of a transition he witnessed, where people stopped showing up to church with their Bibles, and started showing up to church with their notebooks. This happened because a shift in focus occurred, from the Word of God, to the new revelations given from the prophets of God. We would furiously write these revelations down in the notebooks, hoping that we could capture every precious word. (Sorry, Tom, if I misrepresented that, I lost the book years ago) I think it was Counterfeit Revival.

    Some of the stuff got outrageous, like “prophets” walking up and down isles, saying to one person, “You will have a child in 11 months, and call her Mariah!” Further down the isle, “And you will be diagnosed with cancer, but the Lord shalt deliver thee, and make thee a sign unto the nations!”

    I think a lot of it is garbage. I think some of it is true. Some of it was built up to other things, like prophetic worship. That was where I got really tripped up. The idea was God would take your hands and voice, and play a song to us. We would send up these little feeble songs of worship, and God would in turn send down these massive healing spontaneous movements of musical bliss like nobody had ever seen or heard. Many believed that David Ruis was gifted this way. I personally believed that Kevin Prosch was “anointed” in this way. Of course I doubt most of this stuff now.

    There are times when God speaks directly through people. It happened to me. There was no dim lights or music playing. A man told me flat out that I had come to Virginia, and I had no idea about what a mess I had walked into. He told me to go home. I wrote him off. Things started to get bad, and he told me again that I needed to pack my family up and go home. I believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that he spoke for the Lord.

  130. mrtundraman says:

    Looks more like what I read in Acts 2 than what I see in the typical Lutheran church…

  131. MTM,
    How would you know? Listening to your church hopping journeys, it sounds like you have been sucked in by every wild eyed group around.

    God birthed you into the Lutheran Church – you should have stayed put.

  132. mrtundraman says:

    14 years as a Lutheran and nary a Christian I met along the way. That convinced me to this day that the system doesn’t hold anything for me. Your mileage may vary but that was a mistake I don’t need to make again.

  133. PP Vet says:

    Well it is certainly not reasonable to think that no Lutherans are Christians. I think that guy “Lutheran” who comments here might be. 🙂

  134. Reuben says:

    I wish I could pour you all a glass of Irish Whiskey!

  135. Chile says:

    Reuben, in the decade I was there, we saw some of what you describe; but the excesses were becoming obvious. Stipe found out the sin issues with the “Prophets” which included them doing research of sorts to get info to “prophesy” … That’s what we were told by Stipe, anyway. The Prophets were then fired, so to speak.

    Many still remember very significant experiences that seem to have produced good and lasting fruit. I have a long term fruit producing experience. Others are just embarrassed when they look back. I don’t know how objective any of us are, but some of what happened seems too precious to just throw it all out. Simultaneously, I became convinced that psychosociomanipulation does exist.

    To Stipe’s credit, he declared there would be no more Spirit until there was more of The Word. It was a radical change in the church’s culture, lost a lot of people; but it had to be done.

    Unfortunately, some of us working in ministries could not make decisions without meeting with Stipe but we (along with others) could not get appointments with him over an entire year. Many who were involved have their own negative stories of the unintended consequences of the Moses Model structure.

  136. Fly on a Wall says:

    Reuben: You got an interesting testimony. I’d like to read it someday. It seems you’ve seen it all.

    I completely believe your experiences at Vineyard. At the same time, I feel it’s these experience (not just you, but everyone) that CS made the right choice to distance himself from Vineyard (ok, stone me now).

    I had the Pastor’s wife from Friend’s church speak at a retreat one time.She did exactly what everyone in this post is commenting about, she was prophesying to complete strangers, she would interrupt herself to tell something to a specific person in the group.

    Was she a “Prophet”? I have no idea. Just as I have no idea if the CC Pastor’s wife was a Prophet.

    Alls I know is that her message was one of the most uncomfortable, unnerving experiences I’ve ever had.

    Here’s the problem with Prophets or prophesy: we can hear the voice of God (most of us hear it during Quiet time) BUT we take it and add our own interpretations then say, THUS SAITH THE LORD! Do you know how frightening, unnerving and uncomfortable that is?

    Because of this, I agree with CS, do away with it. It’s too easy to be abused. If one can prophecy, then they need to do it through a different venue, a different tactic, not say, THIS IS WHAT THE LORD TOLD ME, THEREFORE YOU MUST LEAVE THIS CHURCH.

    i do know one thing: you can’t fake this gift. The easiest way to test if one has the gift of prophesy is if the prophesy comes true.

  137. MTM,
    Wow, I admire you. At 14 I had not yet developed the spiritual capacity to pass judgement on my own spiritual status, let alone a whole congregation – who were you at 14 – Marjoe Gortner?? 🙂

  138. mrtundraman says:

    From an Eastern Orthodox webpage:

    “This is a very interesting – and very human, understandable – concern: the desire to have certainty on religious matters. However, this assumes that this is the way God actually works; with a rational, reliable, permanent answer on questions pertaining to God’s revelation. In other words, that spiritual truth is revealed rationally (a very Western / Scholastic leaning) in contrast with theoria (the vision of God in the Holy Spirit – the Eastern Orthodox tradition).”

    Interesting how similar this quote is to the video link posted earlier.

  139. I notice one thing about these so called prophets (and I can’t believe any of you actually fell for their act) – but none of these guys / gals ever come out with a “Thus saith the Lord – hey you guys are doing great – keep it up.”

  140. ( |o )====::; says:

    For Xenia
    A tiny Russian Orthodox church in Antartica…

  141. Chile says:

    I was Lutheran from cradle till end of high school when I had a radical conversion. I had been baptized, gone through confirmation classes for two years, attended Sunday School and church; yet I had no clue what the gospel was. I only knew one family that showed signs of being Christians.

    I’m not saying that the gospel was not there, but that it was not clear to any of us who came through the system in that church. This was the 70’s when the mainlines were in bad shape.

  142. Reuben says:

    Fly, the stuff I could tell you. It all adds up to something. I have no idea what yet.

    I had a couple “prophets” prophesy over my life twice. None of that came true. Or maybe it has not come true yet…? 😛

    Did someone want to give me a trailer and a blue guitar? How about a chance to speak to thousands a revolution in the church?

  143. mrtundraman says:

    Chile – sounds like we both have a similar background. There may have been Christians in the Lutheran churches I attended but if there was I don’t recall them ever presenting the Gospel in a way I could grasp. I went back later and saw the Gospel presented in the service but it didn’t seem like it impacted people like I saw elsewhere.

  144. Chile, and was that “radical conversion” at that IFB church that you now curse? 😉

    Look most kids come out of high school and do not recognize the grace God has placed in them – I don’t care which church it is – their frontal lobes are not yet fully developed (in other words we were all mush heads at the time.

    But God still did the work in MTM and Chile … it manifest itself later in some.

  145. “I went back later and saw the Gospel presented in the service but it didn’t seem like it impacted people like I saw elsewhere.”

    You mean the way the people in the video at #47 were impacted by the gospel? LOL

  146. Ixtlan says:

    I’ve always found the Vineyard stuff in the 80’s really interesting. I wasn’t around the Vine, Back then, I would spend most mornings before work drinking Irish coffee in one of the local watering.

    I can’t count how many men have either gotten the vision or prophecy of speaking to thousands and being a intregal part of a new work of God. I’ve been thinking about that lately. What would make any part of the church so arrogant to think they were uniquely blessed and chosen to be a part of a new work. The Jesus Movement was predominately white, yet a few years earlier the white church by and large missed an opportunity to involve themselves in Social Justice ministry aka the Civil Rights Movement. Something to think about…..

  147. Reuben says:

    “I can’t count how many men have either gotten the vision or prophecy of speaking to thousands and being a intregal part of a new work of God.”

    Sure made us feel important.

  148. @148 I was thinking the same thing. How is that video any different than the “new radicals” looking for an experience. I have read some of those books. People just aren’t content with being mundane people. They want ,as Alex says a lot, to be specially “anointed” It just manifests itself in different ways. And if you aren’t like that, well then you “must not be a christian” is implied if not said by both groups. Wow…what does that say?

  149. Chile says:


    True that we want God to be rational and fit our Western mindset. He constantly sticks out of my boxes, though.

    I’ve been in very rational Bible churches, legalistic churches, charismatic churches and liturgical churches. I wanted to force myself to see things from different perspectives. Learned lots.

    I loved and disliked much. Some good parts were above and beyond other good parts. Some bad parts were simply destructive above and beyond the others.

    Even in a totally liberal dead Episcopal church, I saw God in the liturgy. That was an eye opener.

  150. mrtundraman says:

    “But God still did the work in MTM and Chile … it manifest itself later in some.”

    Such a viewpoint is unfalsifiable and thus can be rejected as illogical.

    Conversion is necessary for salvation.

    My experiences in the Lutheran church converted me into an atheist.

  151. Ixtlan says:

    Of course. How many young men were prophesied over with “you are gonna hand out bulletins at church all your days”? Who wants to do that? It was all about being the next superstar, which is not even sustainable.

  152. Reuben says:

    Ixtlan, that is the thing, isn’t it?

    I used to take kids to Acquire The Fire. Every kid in there was to be an earth shaker. Tens of thousands of kids. Same with Dare To Share. Where are those kids today?

  153. Who wants to be mundane? A good test of prophecy would always be does this make much of me or does it make much of Jesus? If it makes much of you then….oh well.
    LOL…as you get older you realize I am glad I live a mundane life!

  154. Chile & MTM,
    I will admit that Lutherans do live out the gospel in their lives differently than evangelicals. Take today for example – how would some 14 yr old in my church know that I was a Christian? For that matter, how would another adult other than they heard me confess my faith in the creed and saw me kneel for confession?

    Well let’s see. I took 2 of my 5 grandkids to church this morning so that their single mom could go to work. I later took them out and fed them, came home and played ball in the backyard.

    But an evangelical would ask “yes, but what did you do for God today?”

    Well, we live out the gospel in my life through my vocation. Mine today was as a father and grandfather. I might add that I stayed out of my wife’s hair this afternoon so I might add my vocation as a husband. 😉

    For the past hour or so I have been at my home desk carrying out my vocation as an employee working (on my own time) so that tomorrow I will be a better employee to the boss.

    Yep, I can see that if you looked around you may doubt my salvation.

  155. mrtundraman says:

    “Well, we live out the gospel in my life through my vocation.”

    And a Buddhist would say that they are living out their faith with the same laundry list of activities in their weekend. Or a Hindu, or a Jewish person.

    Except that a man be converted…

  156. Reuben says:

    Fhionnuisce Preacher is féidir, leat teacht ar gach bun do buidéal uisce beatha go buan, agus grá a aimsiú i do hearts do do fear eile. Lá sona Naomh Pádraig!

  157. Well then MTM, you have convinced me that in fact you learned nothing as a Lutheran.

    I assume you are already converted (although many evangelicals get converted every Sunday) So, what did you DO for God today? How did the gospel manifest itself in your life today?

  158. mrtundraman says:

    Jesus said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

  159. mrtundraman says:

    “So, what did you DO for God today?”

    I am proclaiming the Gospel to you now. That’s plenty for me for a day.

  160. Ixtlan says:

    Yep. If everyone is the superstar on stage, who is going to be left to be a part of the crowd? If you think about it, the whole concept is really about exploiting people as a means to an end. No masses – no superstar.

  161. “I am proclaiming the Gospel to you now. That’s plenty for me for a day.”

    Actually you are passing judgement on my salvation – so I would say that the gospel has not manifest itself today in your life, as that you are in sin.

  162. “Jesus said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.”

    And this is where your Christian life has ended – at your conversion? Sad

    Mine is robust as I interact with people daily.

  163. Chile says:


    I went back, too. It wasn’t clear to me, either.

    Circumstances had me living with another family, and I was in despair, when God showed up in my room. (Can’t describe it.). The Love was earth shaking!

    Without being able to articulate the gospel, without my understanding repentance, and with a view of God being an old gramps asleep in a rocking chair with no real activity in my life, I still had an unbelievable mindblowing experience with God! I floated for 6 months! All I wanted to do was read the Bible, talk with God, find Christians, and be nice to people.

    About 6 months later, I ended up far away in an IFB church. They explained the Gospel, opened the Scriptures to me, and with their excessive rules I was protected from making life-altering bad decisions for a few years till I got my bearings.

    I’m still in good relationship with the pastor of that church. But the legalism was bad. The lack of accountability for the pastor continues to be bad. Preaching how to be saved Sunday morning, night, and Wed. night was stifling. But I still love those people. They were small enough that pressures continue to be applied to the pastor by the people to keep him from going off the edge.

  164. Reuben says:

    Dia invented uisce beatha a choinneáil ar an nGaeilge ó rialú ar fud an domhain

  165. Reuben – you are out of order. No interpreter seems to be present.

  166. Reuben says:

    Google Translate, you genius!

    Although, one of them did not translate so well.

  167. 168 translated well, but I was left saying “Huh?” on 160.

  168. “Google Translate, you genius! ”

    So that’s what Paul meant when he said you needed an interpreter – Google. 🙂

  169. Reuben says:

    Is féidir leis an bóthar ardú chun bualadh leat,
    Raibh an chóir ghaoithe i gcónaí leat,
    Go dtaitní an ghrian go bog bláth ar do chlár éadain,
    Go dtite an bháisteach go mín ar do pháirceanna,
    Agus go gcasfar le chéile sinn arís,
    Go dtuga Dia a shealbhú tú
    I pailme a láimhe.

  170. Reuben says:

    The original was, “May you find the bottom of the whiskey bottle in peace… ” and the rest was right.

  171. Reuben says:

    I take Google Translate to all my Pentecostal worship services!

  172. Reuben says:

    Imagine my surprise when I typed in a “word from the lord” and found this…

    אני היה במכולת לפני כמה ימים ולא מצאתי קרקרי מצה. מישהו יכול לעלות על זה? תודה. כה אמר ה ‘.


    I was at the grocery store the other day and found no Matzo crackers. Could somebody get on that? Thanks. Thus says the Lord.

  173. Chile says:

    They will know we are Christians by our love.

    If love is lacking …

  174. Chile says:

    Derek said, “A good test of prophecy would always be does this make much of me or does it make much of Jesus?”

    Well put.

  175. Reuben says:

    The last service I went to, a man stood up and said boldly, “Is é an sagart anseo dÚsachtach. Tá mé ag bogadh isteach sa séipéal síos an tsráid. Thus says the Lord”

    Upon hearing this, A woman stood up, and walked out of the church…

  176. Reuben says:

    I crack myself up. Google Translate is epic fun!

  177. mrtundraman says:

    “I would say that the gospel has not manifest itself today in your life, as that you are in sin.”

    Speaking of passing judgment…

  178. “Speaking of passing judgment…”

    Was that your best Pee Wee Herman impersonation? “So are you, but what am I?” LOL 🙂

  179. Chile says:

    “Well, we live out the gospel in my life through my vocation.”–MLD

    I agree that often the message picked up in Evangelicalism is that to live for God is to work at the church or be in some ministry. It’s limiting God, me thinks.

    I don’t really grasp what “live out the gospel” means to each person who uses it. Seems the definitions do vary.

    If love God and love others sums it all up, then we should at least be characterized by love for others. That’s a minimum. Hard pressed to be satisfied with our walk if this is lacking.

  180. Chile,
    The point was that by age 14 MTM was able to judge everyone in his church as non Christian – his very words.

    My point in bringing up the difference in how the gospel manifests itself in our life is very different. So, as he looked back and realized that he didn’t see his old Lutheran neighbors “doing” what he was being taught to do in his new environment (I assume CC) that those folks indeed could not be Christians.

    After all , they did not stand up in church, sway back and forth with their hands raised to this new type of music. They did not speak in tongues, hug each other or sit around in circles. Those Lutherans did not “share” their testimonies.

    No, all those Lutherans did was go to work, take care of their families and try to get along with each other in their small parish, helping each other as they went along their way.

  181. But then again, Lutherans don’t teach their kids to sing Jacob’s Ladder – as Psalty used to.- to brain wash little evangelicals into works righteousness.

    We are climbing Jacobs Ladder
    We are climbing Jacobs Ladder
    We are climbing Jacobs Ladder
    Soldiers of the cross

    What an unbiblical song, but could be the anthem of evangelicals.

  182. Alex says:

    All this serious stuff. This will make some folks laugh (not all I’m sure, but those with a good sense of humor 😆 )

  183. Chile says:

    @136 Tundra said, “14 years as a Lutheran …”

    Not necessarily the same as being 14 yrs old. It looked like you read into Tundra’s statement more than was actually there. Just seemed like you were trying to pick a fight, which you are characterized by.

    But even if Tundra was 14 yrs old, I was only 17 and I had plenty to go on in my small town just based on how people lived their lives, what characterized them. Very few discernable Christians. I went back as an adult several times and talked with several Christians and pastors to get their view on the town. The consensus was there were very few Christians even in the churches. Can we KNOW? No. But we can judge the fruit of those inside the church. What my gut told me at 17, turned out to be probably true. Besides, if it’s that hard to tell if someone is actually a Christian by their love, then there’s a problem. That has nothing to do with charismatic displays or preconceived notions of how one should live the gospel daily.

    MLD, you won’t get me to defend Evangelicalism. I think it’s been affected negatively in many ways. But you won’t get me to defend mainlines that have also been affected negatively in many ways, either. I will defend a church with accountability system built into it, doctrine within the pale that is communicated in a way that the people can grasp, but most importantly examples of genuine love for others (which shows one’s love for God.) The rest is details.

  184. DH says:

    Hi all
    I have been reading here for several years. Lurking , thinking , identifying with what many of you have said and have experienced through CC. I have always been chasing after that new outpouring or fresh anointing , desiring to see God move or maybe even see a miracle. I used to go to see Wimber on Sunday nights at CCYL , never really saw anything. Went almost every Saturday night to see Brant Baker in Long Beach to see the healing service. Was a counselor at TBN maning the phone lines. but it wasn’t until I went to CCCM that I finally got to hear some good bible teaching I thought. Went to the Monday night studies with Greg Laurie, liked him then and still do. I used to go to the pastors conference every year , Loved it .
    Never really liked the way that the CC I was involved with made decisions, almost like they were made in the back room by the “club” . It bothered me then and bothers me even more now.
    I have only been to church a handfull of times in the last ten years. Tried the local CC in the area, and a few of the seeker friendly fellowships. This place has been one of the few places that has made me uncomfortable and comforting at the same time.
    Most of what I was taught while at CC is now being undone . Do you know how hard that is?
    Plus watching the people that you once looked up to ….. Maybe my eyes are just now being opened. Sad to see harder to admit at times.
    I came across this youtube video that I thought was funny but true.
    Thanks for listening

  185. incognedo says:

    It is interesting I live in a community where land is prime, as the economy heats up getting the dead wood off prime land is of prime concern. I understand it is a sin to be poor, it is also a sin (maybe the vilest) to be in the way of progress. I have lived here for decades off an on taking care of family members who were sick. But as they built up the community around us they looked at taking this land. Being a mobile home community we own the units but not the lots. Many can only afford this in this area, which to is a sin and a crime or should be.

    Many of the people here have no other place to go or the economic resources to find another place, these too are sins, trust me they are. The idea is to move out the scum (people with low or moderate income) and move in the good people (those with money). I get that and that is a lesson I have learned well, both in and out of church. I castigate myself daily for not being in a profession that earns a really good income. I actually consider that the biggest, vilest, and most evil sin I have ever committed to God and man. I put all I had into this place, mainly because I wanted my mother to have a place to die in peace, how pathetic is that. Trust me it is pathetic and I have been told that on a few occasions. If I was a good son, which I was not, I would have had the money to support her and let her die at home, but I did not have that. She died peacefully at the hospital where she gave so many decades of service in a really good room with a view and a place where her family could be around her. Many of my neighbors around me fly the flag are survivors of several wars WW2, Korea, and Vietnam. If one has ever seen how vets are often treated one would understand this. We will give them a parade, some kind words but to support them long turn. They can burn, with a vengeance.

    A community is about concern and care, my mother, who was a nurse would help many people with their medication, she kept her license and insurance to be able to do this. She would grumble and complain but she would still do it because she cared. I care for these people as well, this little piece of land I have chosen to die in, a place to call home. Now in the modern apologetic that is disgusting even satanic, which I dont get why but I do get that it is. I have never understood why the non Christian community understands the Christian more then many who are Christians. I still dont get that. This kind of stuff happens all the time in community redevelopment, I have seen it when they carved up the state hospital I worked at, few supports were given to the people whom the land was given by the owner who gave the land to the disabled.

    I still hope, because hope always seems to overcome. I most likely could survive a move, it might even get me to move from being a teacher to a more lucrative vocational pursuit, which I understand should always be the focus of a true Christ follower. I plan on becoming rather loud on this so I am posting under a psudo name because of well you folks get it. I am not the only one, many have gone through this.

  186. Nonnie says:

    DH, that was good!!

  187. DH, – thanks for your comment, Your first paragraph crystallizes my purpose in posting the video @116. The chase after mysticism is such a by product of much of evangelical teaching and not your fault – but you, MTM, Rueben, Chile and many others have been sucked in.

    The common thread is the way people run from church to church seeking afyrt yjat “feeling and / or experience. So, the roller coaster ride of mysticism begins
    Now I feel close to God
    Now I feel far from God
    Now I am trying to get back in the presence of God
    Now I need to be more worshipful to get back into the presence of God
    All of this because we feel that it brings a level of comfort – but that is fleeting and then you feel like God has abandoned you.
    All who have had this mystical training know the struggle – and Toth Ministries is that example as I tried to point out.

    So, If I feel far from God, maybe I am far from God and I need to do something about it – something to get back into his presence;
    I need to worship longer
    I need to abandon things
    I need to surrender my own life
    A constant treadmill – so I run from place to place – conference to conference – speaker to speaker – experience to experience.

    Let me break this up on the next post.

  188. Let me point out that if you feel far from God, you are NOT – Jesus promises “I will never leave you or forsake you” Evangelical mysticism puts experience and feelings above the promises of Jesus.

    If you feel like a poor miserable sinner and that God has abandoned you – that is a false feeling because God has promised that you are forgiven.

    If you feel that God has left you on your own to die – that is a lie from your own sinful flesh and the devil – God has left us with promises in spite of our feelings – but the evangelical mystics that you had followed taught that feelings and experience were to trump God’s promises.

    I would hope that people would now watch again that 7 min video, in light of what I just said and see that what they are selling is what we used to label as mysticism, but is really just ordinary POP American Evangelicalism of Christian centered life and not Christ centered living.

  189. One last thing in hopes of having people stop chasing that experience, that feeling, that lie.

    Jesus is greater than our hearts, greater than our feelings, greater than our experiences. He is the one who said, you are my child, you are forgiven – and that is what we are really after … and we already have it – but many say, “no, it can’t be that simple! Yes it is. and this is what causes joy, comfort and peace that cannot be threatened by the ups and downs of our own sinful nature – or even the ups and downs of our life in a sinful world.

    This is what people need to hear in church – NOT what we need to do to better our experience with God – but to hear the promises over and over again. Promise that come from the outside – the word about the complete inability of Jesus to lie.

  190. Amen to the last 3

  191. Chile says:

    MLD, my story did not include my chasing mysticism. I note that YoungLife, IFB’s, Vineyard’s, CC’s, Episcopal turned Anglican and even my time in the Southern Baptists showed that each group chased after the next spiritual high.

    With YL it was always centered around the next trip or camp, because that’s when most kids made decisions, so it was a natural high … that some would try to manufacture later.

    IFB’s worked hard to demonstrate they were close to God with legalism and claiming how many one “brought to the Lord” while witnessing. Some were genuine and then there were the stories where truth was stretched stretched into lies. The focus was on one’s ego and the more it could be filled the better the high.

    Episcopal/Anglican even had a seeking of highs through several retreats of personal introspection and prayer. Again, some was valid and some was manufactured, so it seemed.

    Southern Baptists (my little slice) seemed to seek the next high in how they served and what adulation they received as a result. Again, the authentic would give way to fake.

    CC’s seemed to seek to be able to say, “God told me …” a lot more than I experienced elsewhere. There seemed to be a lot of one-upmanship. Read, pray, teach, experience, etc… more than the next guy.

    My time in the Vineyard showed me in a more blatant way how people sought experiences, chased them, for seemingly genuine desires to know God in whatever way available … but also how quickly it slides into chasing to fill one’s pride and causes one to lose good sense.

    I don’t think all highs are wrong, some are authentic God dealings with our heart that removes blinders and lightens our load. There are moments and seasons where intimacy with Jesus is so palatable that it can’t help but produce a type of high; real love of any sort will do that. But as with anything, once we seek the experience over seeking God for our own pride’s sake … anything authentic can turn ugly.

  192. Chile says:

    “Jesus is greater than our hearts, greater than our feelings, greater than our experiences.”–MLD

    I agree. After I chased feelings in my IFB, I learned I had to lean on truth even when my feelings were not in alignment. That is my starting point.

    But we are people made by God with feelings. In a healthy person, there will be highs and lows. The truth is an anchor; but highs are not to be avoided when they are authentic.

    To want to be intimate with Christ is good. To try and force God to initiate an experience is unhealthy.

  193. Chile says:

    More on the theme you are talking about MLD …

    When something works for one person and then they speak about it, write a book, do seminars and retreats, package it and sell … sell … sell … a one-size-fits all way to feel close with God.

  194. Chile,
    I think the point is that you were taught somewhere along the line to seek the experience and that is why you got involved in so many different groups – with each one you hoped to find it.

    None of it is legitimate or authentic – we are told to look to Jesus and his promises. But that seems kind of boring and it does not allow me enough room to DO for Jesus.

    Look, in no way am I telling people not to be involved in this evangelical mysticism … I just want people to recognize and acknowledge that’s what it is.

  195. “When something works for one person and then they speak about it, write a book, do seminars and retreats, package it and sell … sell … sell … a one-size-fits all way to feel close with God.”

    But that is what people chase after – why else would anyone go to a place like the Vineyard in the first place. Why would anyone chase after a Lonnie Frisbee. For that matter, why would anyone go to a Chris Tomlin concert?

  196. Chile says:

    “I think the point is that you were taught somewhere along the line to seek the experience and that is why you got involved in so many different groups – with each one you hoped to find it.”–MLD

    No. I naturally sought certain types of highs in my IFB as a young person. But through the course of my getting a theology degree in a non-denom respected school, I anchored on what I could know from Scripture. What I did after that was to try and see what was going on in other camps each time we moved and we had a chance to “look.”

    The desire to see other groups was not in seeking experience, it was a desire to learn/understand better where others were coming from. We have reason to be along side others who are in ministry from differing backgrounds. It’s good to have some clue what influences the people so working teams can function better.

    Our time in Vineyard was more like outsiders looking in. We were the only ones in our small group who knew much of what was in the Bible. Though they sought experiences weekly and swung high and low as a result, we still found authentic Christians who just desired to walk with God in an authentic way. It was great to see God working even amongst people who used Scripture out of context on a regular basis. It reminded us of God’s ability to still work with any of us even when we are chasing our tails in circles.

    Though we were on the “outside,” God still seemed to touch us a couple times in ways that we recall as miraculous. I can’t share details as it’s too personal, but our friends and family all attest to the changes they saw in us as a result. We have stood with a group of people with them in awe of what God had done. There has been longlasting good fruit.

  197. What’s your beef with Tomlin again?

  198. And I honestly don’t get the pushback against guys like David Platt and Francis Chan. Do you really think their words are more challenging than the things Jesus said?

  199. Chile says:

    MLD, I agree with your point that we must anchor our faith on the Word, the truth of our position in Christ that doesn’t need experiences for it to be true.

    I also agree that many people are chasing after experiences/feelings in a vain way that is unhealthy.

    But I hear you saying that all feelings and all experiences are wrong and to be avoided. This I do not see in Scripture. Jesus, the Disciples, and others had experiences and feelings (good and bad) and it was simply life. Seems that worship does involve feelings, often. Not necessary to feel in order to worship, but a lack of some joy in worshipping is not normal or healthy.

    Are you just focusing on your valid observation that forcefully chasing experiences is unhealthy to make a point? Or do you really avoid feelings believing that to be healthy?

  200. Chile says:

    Josh, Christianity Today mag did a push back on Platt and Chan. I need to read it to see what the beef is.

    My guess is that Chan’s audience is basically the mega wealthy of Silicon Valley and Platt’s is the Southern satisfied wealthy of Birmingham. Could be that the message is very appropriate challenge to their target audiences. It plays well here, too. But any message that goes national will have push back somewhere because the message may not fit as well with other groups.

    I’ll read that soon.

  201. Chile,
    “But I hear you saying that all feelings and all experiences are wrong and to be avoided.”

    You probably need to go back up and read my first 3 posts this morning (191 – 193). My beef is what people do with those feelings. As I said, if a person feels distant from God, the action to be taken isn’t, worship more, study more, give things up etc – but to just claim his promise that he is with you and will never leave you – and leave it at that.

    But the mystic has to climb the ladder of works or actions to find approval.

    This is why I brought up last night about teaching the kids to sing about climbing “Jacobs Ladder.” Jacob didn’t even climb Jacob’s Ladder – the ladder was for God to descend with his gifts – but evangelicals think we are to c;limb to God.

  202. Chile says:

    “My beef is what people do with those feelings. As I said, if a person feels distant from God, the action to be taken isn’t, worship more, study more, give things up etc – but to just claim his promise that he is with you and will never leave you – and leave it at that.

    But the mystic has to climb the ladder of works or actions to find approval.”–MLD

    Okay, I agree with you that the one must anchor their faith on the truth, regardless of feelings. I agree that it’s a false notion that the answer is to just read more, pray more, do more. Having said that, I’m sure that there are times when God does want someone to do more of those things for His reasons, but not for their striving to have a better relationship with God.

  203. Josh,
    Nothing against Tomlin. He is coming to town here in the OC on April the Verizon amphitheater. I know this because I pass the sign everyday for the past 2 months.

    My question is – why are people going? If they said “just for the entertainment” I have no issue, great night out. However, if they are going because they think they will get something spiritual that they cannot get at church or from living their own life, then I think we have a problem.

  204. Chile says:

    Do you know how much Tomlin makes every time a church in the world uses one of his songs in worship? And his songs are used the most often.

    just a side note …

  205. I think most going would say that they enjoy his music. I’m sure many will worship Jesus while they are there.

  206. He makes fractions of a penny for his songs being used in worship. A little more for play on the radio. His money comes from live shows.

  207. Chile says:

    Not what I read this week. I’ll check my source and give the facts when I find it. That tidbit may have been in CT also.

  208. Well, I’m a music minister who is in charge of paying CCLI for use of Tomlin and everyone elses songs. I also have songs listed with CCLI, so I know they royalty rates. Fractions of a penny.

    That being said, Tomlin is super rich, but mostly not from Sunday mornings.

  209. And for the record. I’m no Tomlin apologist. I’ve just seen MLD slam him a few times. He’s written some good songs, and some stinkers.

  210. I have to go to work now and make my buck for the day.

    I in no way begrudge people like Chris Tomlin making money – even lots of it. If he get 1/2 cent each time his song is used and a million churches sing his songs every week, God bless him. I just want it clear that if he makes $10 million a year doing his craft, that should not even be up for discussion.

    Now, some of his lyrics…? 😉

  211. MLD, you always pick on his lyrics…and he’s written some that are of no use. Look up “Jesus Messiah”. You’ll love the words.

  212. Nonnie says:

    Have any of you ever been in a “Christian” coffee shop when someone gets up with a guitar (or 2 or 3) and the group begin to play “worship songs.” (the same songs/hymns sung in church on a Sunday morning)? I have and I found myself very uncomfortable when people just kept on talking, chatting, laughing in conversation, drinks being brewed, milk being loudly steamed. I don’t know quite how to explain it, but I felt uncomfortable, carrying on about what I was going to cook for dinner that night, while someone 10 feet from me was singing (through a mic and sound projected through speakers) “Lord, I lift Your Name on High, ” “Here I am to worship.”, etc, etc. I just didn’t know whether to keep talking, drink my coffee, or stand and lift my hands. So I left. Any opinions??

  213. Oh goodness Nonnie. I was there everyday for about ten years. Usually with the guitar in my hands. 🙂

    It is a weird conundrum, and part of the whole mess of “christian” branded business. Whether that be music, or coffee shops, or whatever. Business and worship is just a weird mixture.

  214. Chile says:

    Thanks for the info, Josh. I need to recheck what I read. It caught my eye because I’d just read something about his “ministry” and that always hits me wrong when someone’s ministry is making him loads of money. At least Amy Grant called her music a biz.

    Just an opinion…

  215. Nonnie says:

    Josh, it just seemed so irreverent to me. My friends (who live in Calif) thought I was “silly” to be bothered by it. Perhaps it is a “cultural” thing or an “age” thing. 😀

  216. I was like 19 when I started playing at those places, totally burnt out but couldn’t quit by 25, and then finally got out of it at 29. I do think maturity has something to do with it. Sometimes the young and excitable don’t understand what sacred things we are stepping on. We’ve found something great and just want to share it all the time, not understanding that some times and places are more appropriate than others.

  217. Nonnie says:

    Well said, Josh!!! (your 220)

  218. Chile says:

    You make a good point, Josh. That may be true about venue. But I don’t mind if people want to do it.

    Nonnie, I do suspect it’s cultural at some level. If you are not used to it, then it would seem irreverent, but then so do most evangelical services and low church liturgical services to those who’ve known more reverent ones.

    I’ve loved both, just swinging back to reverent these days.

    Huge money makers and the title “ministry” is difficult for me on many levels.

  219. Chile says:

    The info I heard about Tomlin was on CNN online and can’t find it yet.

  220. Nonnie
    I was a worship leader at very large church before coming to Salem to pastor. I still lead once in a while. I love worship. Now, I play secular music in coffee shops, wine bars and clean taverns. Its a way for people to relate to me and me to them in a different context other than church. All that to say I am not certain that a coffee shop or restaurant where people are coming for the specific purpose of eating, drinking, talking, is the appropriate place for worship songs. We always and every where worship but a coorporate worship gathering for the purpose of glorifying God requires intent. Psalms says to enter His gates/ courts with the mental state of thanksgiving. To be in a conversation in a restaurant then ave a guitar player suddenly break into a worship song would most certainly create confusion! Thays cause you get what worship is about. Just saying that a coffee shop or bar where people congregate to eat or fellowship may not be the appropriate context for worship songs biut the responsibility fault may lie with a zealous, well intened but misdirected musician.

    Having said that I end every gig with Roby Duke’s version of Amazing Grace (and a few twists of my own added just for fun tor Josh its in DADGAD ) 🙂

  221. Very similar experience to what Steve just posted. That has pretty much been my progression as well. Played Friday night at a Winery here in town, and had a blast.

  222. For you who have not read my posts until recently they are almost always filled with typos. I use an ipad and type on the screen and not a keyboard. But I believe you guys are smart and can decipher the flubbed words

  223. Josh
    Same here. Did a restaurant/tavern in town. It was great. Brought up a guest vocalist from So. Ore. Did a set with here. Also gave the stage to a professional magician who does a Las Vegas, during our breaks. He was a hit!

  224. “Las Vegas act”

  225. Nonnie says:

    Steve, I agree! I think a Christian who is playing secular songs in a pub, bar, cafe, can and hopefully would, include some “story songs” testimony songs” that God could use to touch hearts. I think there is a difference.. Usually the performer is talking to the audience, introducing the songs. I was talking about a “worship team” getting on stage at a coffee shop and singing worship songs, singers with eyes closed, hands lifted….just like in church, and everyone in the coffee shop idly chatting, laughing, away. Just felt wrong to me.

  226. Nonnie
    I agree

  227. Interesting you chose the phrase ” story songs”. Jesus spoke in parables. He use stories to communicate deep truths and understandings. Stories are great tools but recently, there has been, IMO, a decline in story songs in church. Was talking to Bob Bennett about this just last month. Would love to see a “revival” in story songs and more musicians writing those type of songs. It is becoming a lost art

  228. DH says:

    In So Cal at the time you could go to many church’s and see some great teachers all within an hours drive. Plus the fact that I was a new believer in ’76 . Came from the “typical” 70s hippie culture and all that came with that. Now some one tells me about this Jesus and all that he was and did, plus he was alive today. It was awesome to me. Finally something in my life that promised hope , gave me understanding of where we came from and where we are going. That answered a lot of questions for me . So when I heard that the Lord was doing this and that over here and there I just had to see it for my self. Never did see anything publicly happen, but in my personal life thing did change.
    Now I am totally disgusted in the Pastors and teacher that are making tons of money. It has never set well with me seeing pastors or TV guys with multimillion dollar homes. Cars, Jets and the like. Then divorce their wife……. you all know the story. But the part that just kills me is they are allowed to stay in the pulpit, or just move away and start over again. It is a total joke and a mockery of the word. There is to much money at stake. They just can’t quit.
    It is sad.
    Thank God for his Word at least we have something in writing, LOL but it seems that we still have a problem there also. It is no wonder to me why it is almost a shame to be a christian these days. Just look at what the world sees when they think of church.
    By the way I have always wanted to ask what the reformed view of last days are. Since most of my teaching omes from CC, I have always wondered what others thought about Christs return and where we are in todays timeline. Rapture, Antichrist ……….
    Thanks again

  229. Nonnie says:

    Andy Gullahorn writes some nice “story songs.” Yes, Bob Bennet writes wonderful stories.

  230. Every song that I write is in some way revolving around faith, Jesus, love, family….all of that. I am a Christian, so that is my worldview. We cover a bunch of old soul songs because they are fun. I usually end up in at least one great conversation about God, faith, or church, and it is unforced. Just hanging out and talking.

  231. Josh
    Its great that you as a Christian with biblical world view interact with folks that way. My guess is you are pretty effective. Good on ya!

  232. Depends on your definition of effective 🙂

  233. Fly on a Wall says:

    Wow! Lets keep this thread going!

    MLD: you sound a lot like Brennan Manning.

    I agree with the gist of your thinking, but I offer a rebuttal: what if my sin is driving me away further from God? As God gets pushed back, the Holy Spirit rebuffed, God hardens the heart.

    King Saul comes to mind.

    But I do agree with you for salvation. There is nothing more/less one can do. It has already been done.

  234. Fly on a Wall says:

    I’m not picking on anyone here, but I do a double-take when anyone criticizes Chan or Warren on their decision to give their publishing profits away.


    I know it’s not like dying on a cross, but it’s pretty darn inspiring.

    Honestly, outside of their generosity, I don’t know much about either men, I don’t care for Warren’s emphasis on the purpose driven life, but I’m being nit-picky. But I do know both have a cult following and very wealthy congregants.

    Someone mentioned that Warren is still a millionaire, but to that I say, yeah, but his ministry is in the OC, where million dollars doesn’t stretch as far. AND having lived there, I can attest its very easy to get caught up in that lifestyle, where a million isn’t enough, ten million isn’t enough…. there’s still so many things one can buy and waste their money. It’s keeping up with the Joneses, except on overdrive.

    I have to praise these men for not giving in to the lie that is money. And that they can say, “this is enough” in a consumer-driven world where nothing is ever enough.

    That being said, still I would love to read criticism about Chan, as I have old college friends who think he’s second only to God. I’d love to smash their man-made pedestals, just cuz I love smashing things. 🙂

  235. monax says:

    Derek (157) writes: A good test of prophecy would always be does this make much of me or does it make much of Jesus?

    “The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy” (Rev 19:10b).

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