Playing the Dove

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49 Responses

  1. Disillusioned says:

    Amen, Hallelujah and Bravo.

    Now, let’s see some MEN stand up for the truth to their brethren.

  2. Kevin H says:

    As I had stated over on Warren’s blog, the explanation given to me on this by GFA is that they’re not kissing his ring, but rather touching their forehead to his hand. Supposedly some kind of cultural sign of respect.

    Regardless of what they are doing in exact nature, it’s all about K.P. It’s all about a showy display of submission and veneration to K.P. He could stop the practice all together if he wanted. He obviously has not wanted to.

    He also says in the recording that they only do this practice because that is what the church wants. It’s the church’s fault. Yeah, you know, the church that he founded and installed himself as the supreme leader.

  3. Kevin H says:

    I am glad for the few Calvary Chapel pastors that I have seen speak out publicly in some form or fashion to draw attention to these issues and to say that their church has dropped support of GFA. It would be really encouraging to see a couple of the big shots do the same as that may really have an influential impact within the movement. But I’m not holding my breath.

  4. Michael says:

    Kevin H…amen and amen.

  5. Kevin H says:

    The existence of this practice (ring kissing and/or head-to-hand touching) is problematic enough. What’s even worse is the way K.P. and GFA top leadership lie and deceive and manipulate about it.

  6. Michael says:

    Kevin H,

    This is just the latest easily proven lie.
    Stack it with the rest and how anyone can support this is a mystery.

  7. Kevin H says:

    Some may continue to support because they are truly ignorant of what is going on. My suspicion would be that many others are intentionally ignorant because they would rather not know. Others may be in the process of learning things but just haven’t gotten to the point of pulling support yet. And yet others may know enough but choose their loyalties to K.P. or GFA or old-school Calvary Chapel ways over doing what is right. Probably the same reasoning for many in the intentionally ignorant camp.

  8. Michael says:

    Kevin H,

    You’ve got this down… 🙂

  9. Tim - Doulos says:

    FWIW, I’m hearing from more guys who are dropping support. It’s happening…just a bit under the radar of what most people hear.

  10. Michael says:

    Tim,

    I hope so…but that word really needs to go far and wide.

  11. Disillusioned says:

    Why under the radar?

  12. Michael says:

    Disillusioned,

    Being under the radar is deeply ingrained in CC culture.

    We’re seeing that slowly change…and we need to encourage people like Tim more than we castigate the others.

    Change, especially cultural change inside an institution…takes time.

  13. Donn says:

    The kiss, or whatever it is, is an issue, but even if it is not a kiss, there were enough other issues there with GFA for our CC to drop them. We informed our congregation after church on Sunday, and covered the reasons why. Simultaneously, we encouraged them to check it out for themselves online, and also told them that we would work on finding another ministry in that area of the world. By the way, that has been one of the main things for me all along, in that if it is true that a switch to the type of church pictured above is necessary to minister there, why aren’t all of the Christian organizations switching to that style?

    The one thing we did not do was tell our people to stop supporting the kids they currently support through GFA. We shared our opinion that we thought they should, but they need to work that out with the Lord.

  14. That Guy Over There says:

    “Being under the radar is deeply ingrained in CC culture.”

    Agree to disagree.

    GFA isn’t the biggest issue for CC. I’m not negating it. Michael, you can ask some of our mutual friends that behind the scenes I’ve been livid over the GFA thing. But is it our number one priority it and should it be? someone will say that it is and they have the right to their opinion.

    But to say that being under the radar is ingrained? It’s been on the radar of many CC pastors. We had a meeting for GFA supporters at our church letting them know what was up, and letting them make up their own minds about it (gasp, a CC let people think for themselves?) and there are a lot of CC’s evaluating the evidence, praying, discussing and yes, dropping support if that’s what they feel led to do, and a lot of us do feel led that way.

    But ingrained? I beg to differ

  15. That Guy Over There says:

    Not sure why that appeared twice. sorry michael

  16. RS says:

    As a church, we supported GFA for a little while about 10 years ago. Then I saw Yohannan speak at a pastor’s conference, and he was just filled with what felt to me to be lots of pride and arrogance. There was also a lot of the “American churches are worthless” stuff in his message (read: American churches weren’t giving enough money to GFA). And I felt a “red flag” about the whole thing, and ended support.

    There’s still something to be said for the Holy Spirit’s “red flag” should He choose to give indication of one to a believer.

  17. Michael says:

    TGOT,

    Under the radar in terms of speaking up publicly.

    These articles (particularly Warrens) should be running on calvarychapel.com instead of here and on Patheos…

  18. That Guy Over There says:

    Michael,

    again, agree to disagree.

    CC dot com has a different purpose. Additionally, as you well know, there’s large personalities involved in the leadership of the moment and guys like BB are trying to navigate those. I think CC dot com being an effective Switzerland is the most reasonable thing right now (again, i understand that it’s just my opinion).

    But you can’t have it both ways. For years people (many on this blog) have bemoaned a ‘heavy-handed and top down’ approach to CC leadership, then when the new leadership doesn’t act in that manner we bemoan that there isn’t enough ‘heavy-handed, top down dictation.” again, my opinion, but even if you disagreed i think you could understand my POV.

  19. Michael says:

    TGOT,

    And one of those large personalities is on the GFA board…
    I understand…but wish there was more noise being made about an “alleged” wolf amongst the flock…

  20. chainsbroken2x says:

    When the Diaspora group became a little more vocal KP and David Carroll took a short 1 and 1/2 day trip to meet with Skip Heitzig. Most of the GFA staff had no clue. When they returned, KP put in place a huge internal PR push to get current staff, volunteers, pastors and any friend of the ministry with “influence” to provide positive testimonies about KP, GFA and the leadership at GFA. These were used on the GFA web site and I personally believe it was ammo for the Reputation Management Consultants. KP shared with a few leaders that Skip said GFA needed to combat the negative with floods of positive to drown out the negative noise. I don’t know personally but I’m guessing this type of thing is familiar territory for Skip.

    Leadership at GFA viewed (and probably still does) the CC movement as their bread and butter when it comes to fund raising. One of the key senior leaders commented more than once that if the speakers could get the women in the churches engaged emotionally through stories (particularly of the BOH children) then the sponsorships would follow and eventually the men of the church would come on board too. KP’s wife Gisela was to come behind and “close the back door” by sharing at CC women conferences.

    KP does not have a high opinion of the worship style and dress of western churches and that includes CC. He believes their primary attitude is one of irreverence. Its ironic though that probably more than 95% of the prayer support and funds over the last 35 years have come from that same western church that he at times openly shared his disdain for. This was hurtful to staff at GFA too since we had all come from that same western church.

  21. Michael says:

    “I don’t know personally but I’m guessing this type of thing is familiar territory for Skip.”

    Trust me…that was a hell of a good guess.

    When Heitzig had his own difficulties he hired a top end PR firm to handle them…

  22. Tim - Doulos says:

    Sorry for any confusion. For my words, “under the radar,” all I meant was that they are not nationally-known churches. In other words, it’s under the radar because these are low-profile congregations to begin with.

    I was not referring to anything clandestine, or the like. Just referring to regular Joes who pastor regular churches.

  23. Michael says:

    From 2006…

    “Garrity, president of the Garrity Group LLC, said he was hired last week by Calvary Associate Pastor Chip Lusko, who normally handles media inquiries for the church.
    Garrity counts as recent clients the Albuquerque Public Schools, Intel, New Mexico Senate Democrats, Furr’s Supermarkets and the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.
    He said his salary is being paid by the Calvary board of directors but declined to say how much.
    Garrity’s role, he said, is to manage “crisis communications and public relations” for Calvary.
    “The church is in the midst of a transition, and the pastoral staff more than has its work cut out for it,” he said. “That’s one of the underlying reasons I was brought on.”
    Zanetti and Ackerman have criticized Calvary’s hiring of a public relations firm.
    “I find it revealing that Skip Heitzig and Chip Lusko are using Calvary Albuquerque funds to pay a public relations firm,” Zanetti said in an interview. “Using hard-earned tithings and offerings in this manner is deplorable. Truth does not need spin or packaging.”
    Ackerman said Sunday that none of his group’s concerns have been addressed so far.
    “Our principal concerns continue to be a governance process and behavior that lacks accountability, transparency and truth,” he wrote in an e-mail response to Journal questions. “P.R. firms are hired to improve image. The best way to improve the church’s current image is to adopt accountability, transparency and truth. It is cheaper than a P.R. firm, and may even be biblical.”

    http://www.abqjournal.com/news/metro/443484metro03-20-06.htm

  24. Michael says:

    The next step will be the release of a carefully edited “audit’…and open fire on all the “enemies”.

    I lived through it, covered it, and this is deja vu all over again…

  25. chainsbroken2x says:

    I am hearing that GFA leadership is working with a mainstream Christian media to explain and answer questions once the ECFA finishes their “review”. Obvisously they are carefully scripting their deceptive responses and using the media folks in the process. Unless the media speaks with former staff and former leaders from GFA then the context of their responses will not have validity. In essence, the so called main stream Christian media ends up being part of the “reputation management” of GFA. That would be my guess about what may happen over the next several weeks. I know there are a number of former leaders who would be able to provide true context and bring real transparency to any future “puff” stories. It wouldn’t surprise me if the ECFA, GFA and whatever media group they may have promised the “exclusive” story (it will probably be a whopper) are not all working through the wording of the answers together.

  26. Michael says:

    “It wouldn’t surprise me if the ECFA, GFA and whatever media group they may have promised the “exclusive” story (it will probably be a whopper) are not all working through the wording of the answers together.”

    Of course they are.

    That’s why what Warren has done by asking specific questions with specific evidence is vital.

    We all have to be prepared to make the “mainstream” media regret the day those chose to ignore the oppressed and serve the oppressor.

    We also need to keep Warren Throckmorton in prayer….these are not nice people he’s exposing.

  27. brian says:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2015/09/23/martin-shkreli-a-new-icon-of-modern-greed/

    Now I admired and wished I could emulate the folks that had the moxie to boot out those elderly folks causing trouble and even more the one that would have a funeral for the one person that had stopped giving because they were really sick and could not tithe anymore. This guy is really someone I admire and wish I could be like, he really truly does not care and he makes money, the best of both worlds. I will admit that he said he would lower the price and was a bit disappointed that he is wimping out a bit, but it still will increase and he still will make profit. Good for him.

  28. Disillusioned says:

    Even pastors of small congregations can be a mighty voice if they band together.
    I am asking if there is not a ‘fear of man’ underpinning any of these pastors’ reluctance and/or apathy to doing so.
    Anyone who has examined GFA knows the leadership stinks to high heaven. I applaud those who have revealed the truth to their congregations. The next step is to link arms with the similarly-minded to press a ‘disassociation’ of the CC name from GFA, knowing full well how intricately the two are woven together.
    To say this isn’t a big enough problem to address is to disrespect everyone who trusts their pastor when they tell them an organization is worthy of their hard-earned dollars. In other words …. You got the sheep into this, and you should be the one to get them out.

  29. Ms. ODM says:

    The video is actually obscene.

  30. Scott says:

    Now if KP was working on a climate change initiative or wanting to ban air conditioning usage worldwide, there might be some justification for this display of homage. As it stands, it looks like a bad Catholic High School play to me.

  31. Jim Jacobson says:

    I spoke personally with a GFA board member who told me that “there was some ring kissing, but we put an end to it.”

  32. Michael says:

    JJ,

    How long would it take you to stop somebody from kissing your ring? 🙂

  33. Jim Jacobson says:

    Ha ha, it would never happen. For the record, this cc pastor no longer supports or endorses GFA. I know many others who have dropped support or are considering that move. Most are trying to give the benefit of the doubt in grace. The whole thing is a shame. K.P. and GFA board members and leaders need to repent.

  34. Michael says:

    JJ,

    I know that wan’t easy for you…much respect and thanks to you for doing so.

  35. Nonnie says:

    Ok, I’ve never been a fan of GFA but I can understand there can be cultural differences.,

    In the Philippines, it is a sign of respect when someone takes the hand of an elder and touches it to their forehead. This is how adults will greet a grandparent or an older person they want to show respect to. It’s called “mano po.”
    So the “hand thing” whether a kiss or a touch, I could accept as purely a cultural gesture.

    **I’m distressed over the testimonies I read about how women are treated and the shunning that goes on.

    Here’s the wiki on it: Mano or Pagmamano is a gesture used in Filipino culture performed as a sign of respect to elders and as a way of accepting a blessing from the elder. Similar to hand-kissing, the person giving the greeting bows towards the offered hand of the elder and presses his or her forehead on the elder’s hand. Usually performed with the right hand, the person showing respect may ask “Mano po” to the elder in order to ask permission to initiate the gesture. Typically someone may mano to his or her older relatives upon entry into their home or upon seeing them.[1]

  36. Disillusioned says:

    The problem isn’t as much the gesture as the adamant denial of it.

    How many lies does KP have to be caught in before pastors will realize the “grace” they are showing is enabling this man to continue to defraud and abuse people?

  37. Sinner and Saint says:

    TGOT @18,

    I understand your POV however I think you may be confusing the issue a bit.

    The outrage over “top-down heavy handed leadership” was not from CC as a whole but the independent CC churches where there were tyrannical Senior Pastors. What Michael (if I can speak for him) was asking for was there to be a public outcry from CC as a whole. No one was asking for CC corporate to be “top down heavy handed” (don’t think that was ever a worry) they were asking for CC corporate to do what they should naturally be doing; not allowing any CC pastor to abuse the people entrusted to his care. Of course they can’t prevent this from happening but they can certainly deal with situations that are brought to their attention; like the GFA debacle.

  38. Em says:

    it occurs to me that the ring most worn is a wedding band … perhaps, some ring kissing of the left hand might be in order …?…

  39. Jim and others (CC pastors) – I hope you will consider going public with your changes toward GFA. If there are churches who have stopped supporting, it would be helpful for donors to know and encouraging to those former GFA staff who are trying to make sense of what they have been through.

    Staff have been through a very difficult challenge. They joined GFA with high hopes and strong feelings that GFA was doing ministry in the right way. Then they saw and heard many things that seemed to contradict their early optimism. Some held on hoping to make changes or unsure that they could trust their judgment. Some trusted that the CC acceptance of GFA meant that some accountability could be expected if things became obvious.

    However, following their conscience, many left GFA disillusioned and confused. Even though they hear rumors that churches and donors are asking for accountability, they see very little tangible evidence of it.

    The blackout from Christian media and the silence from many former donors/donor churches is confusing.

  40. Michael says:

    Well said, Warren!

  41. Jim Jacobson says:

    I’m not really sure how to be any more “public” about my feelings regarding GFA. I’ve commented here, and discussed the issues on another forum, as well as Warren’s blog. I’ve brought it up at our NW CC gatherings, and been met mostly with silence. I appreciate that many guys are slow to react and want to get all the facts etc. However, each bears responsibility if they choose to ignore these issues. Doing the necessary homework isn’t that difficult.

  42. Kevin H says:

    Since Warren’s blog is the go-to site to find out about the issues surrounding GFA, I think it would be good if he could post a listing of Calvary Chapels that have stopped supporting GFA. This would work well if the pastors/churches who have pulled their support would contact Warren and allow their names to be used.

    I see this being good for a couple reasons. One, as Warren mentioned in his comment, it would give tangible evidence to encourage the former staff (and maybe even some current staff) that righteous action is being taken on the wrongs they witnessed and experienced. And two, it would help to encourage other pastors and churches who are currently trying to learn about the GFA issues (and may in some cases have hesitancies), that other pastors and churches have already learned enough and have had the courage to pull their support.

    I think it could go a long way in providing support and encouragement if Warren could post a listing of pastors and churches who have pulled their support. All the more so if any of those pastors and churches would be willing to give testimony as to the reasons why they chose to do so.

  43. Steve Wright says:

    If you want to make a difference in the lives of the least of these in India for the sake of the Kingdom you can divert your funds from GFA to our fellowship if you so desire. I have a personal, 16+-year relationship there and if my reputation and integrity means anything around here then I place all of it on the line in saying your funds will be in good stewardship in India and that 100% of those funds, with zero overhead, will make it to the mission field there if you are so inclined.

    I am available to answer any questions but the size alone of GFA, and their use of money for huge buildings and the like, even without any scandal brewings whatsoever would be enough for our church to not give them a dime. With all the smoke and deception added to the mix….well, nobody answers to me but it is a grief to me to know what great needs are in that nation and to see the misplaced priorities.

    pastorsteve (at) calvaryle (dot) org
    Calvary Chapel of Lake Elsinore

  44. Disillusioned says:

    Jim Jacobsen, (and other CC pastors who know the problems with GFA),
    While I appreciate the steps you’ve taken, and fully understand that you are not responsible for others’ actions or lack thereof, I find myself wondering what exactly you’ve presented to your fellow CC pastors…? It makes me think that a summary of GFA offenses should be compiled by someone like yourself who has very good reasons for pulling support (unaccounted-for millions, sneaking money into India in the backpacks of innocent students, blatant lies, spiritual abuse of staff, etc!!!)
    While you may think you don’t have time for this or that it doesn’t fall into your job description, I would ask you to consider countless families who are still sacrificially giving their hard-earned money to an organization that, right now, seems accountable to no one.
    Who will care for the people?? Will you?

  45. Michael says:

    They reach more people speaking here than they could through almost any other venue. There isn’t a better way that I know if available.

  46. Jim says:

    This is also an excellent India ministry that I have been involved with: http://serveindiaministries.org

  47. That Guy Over There says:

    Disillusioned @46

    JJ’s done a lot to give a full picture to the CC pastors in his area.

    S&S @39

    agree to disagree 🙂

  48. nathan priddis says:

    @42 Jim Jacobson
    @44 Steve Wright

    Thank you both. You have my respect for putting your names on a public post. Since this makes two CC pastors, I may be retracting some of my comments about CC at this rate.

    Jim, I made some less than favorable comments directed at you on Warren / Patheos when you attended the CC conference. I don’t remember all I said, but I take it back now.
    I wouldn’t hazard a guess if you purposed to do so, or it just progressed over time. But, both of you have crossed the GFA / CC Rubicon. There is no point in being cautious from this point forward.

    Specifically to Jim, you mentioned that you don’t know how to be more public. You can.

    Please. I’m asking you to take the next step. Address an open letter to the supervising agent of the GFA complaint. Since you are in WA and so is CC Olympia, send it to Seattle not Dallas. Seattle.fbi@ic.fbi.gov and CC’d to CC NW / Regional Council and CC Olympia.

    If you believe GFA warrants investigation, then say so. If you do not believe there is the appearance of illegality, then say so. If you are willing, state that you have brought the issue to the attention of the Regions leadership and describe the response.

    Then post your letter here and over at Throckmortn’s.

    Nathan

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