Things I Think

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83 Responses

  1. Em says:

    1 – 10 … amen
    just occurred to me as i read #1 (i think this is the first time it has crossed my mind) the Church is one single body – our Lord doesn’t have a harem

    just sayin

  2. Y’know how at The Harvest Crusade where the “people streaming down, leaving their seats & coming forward to ‘accept Christ'” are overwhelmingly crusade counselors calculated to give the impression that hundreds are responding?

    Yeah, the first time I realized that was the last time I ever attended a Harvest Crusade.

  3. Pastor Al says:

    I love Jesus…but “the church” is not the Institution or the Pastors or the building or Movements or Denoms. That is the flaw of your premise IMO.

    f you start with an incorrect definition of “the church” and “the bride” then it makes the rest of the premise false.

  4. Pastor Al says:

    Jesus railed against the Religious Institution or your definition of “church” and Jesus railed against its Leaders who were rich and powerful.

    Jesus spoke against making the Gospel and Institution and Organization etc. and Jesus spoke against a Hierarchy of Leadership.

    And of course we humans did the opposite of what Jesus taught…beginning with Paul the Apostle.

  5. Pastor Al says:

    “DO NOT be called Teacher…you are all brothers”

    “DO NOT emulate the World and do Leadership like the World does…be SERVANT OF ALL…the Greatest need to be the LEAST”

    Then humans go: “Ya, whatevs Jesus. We’re going to do the opposite and then justify it b/c Paul the Apostle opened that door…and we like Power and Money and controlling people and we need Man-Idols to worship in your place and we don’t like the uncomfortableness of not knowing for sure what to believe…and we NEED men/pastors to tell us what to believe so we can be ‘officially saved'”

    That’s the troof of the matter.

  6. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    My only concern with crusade evangelism as I said yesterday is that it is a failed system that makes people think they are saved for the wrong reason – and they may have reason to be concerned.

    If 8 or 10 people on the field are making re commitments it is because they think their 1st committment has failed. If it was their committment that saved them (as they are taught) then it surely will fail them time after time – and if it keeps failing them, they are not saved — simple as that.

    So why teach a ‘you must get off your butt and do something salvation? It kills faith. Now, as an annual Superbowl for Christians, I am sure it is a great event.

  7. Brandon says:

    I wouldn’t necessarily mind “crusades” if they actually made a serious intentional effort to disciple. Instead, all of the ones I’ve seen care about everything but that. While claiming to care for the soul, it’s been all about the numbers. How many came forward? How many raised their hands? And no one checked in on or made an effort to followup with in any way any of those numbers in any significant way. Living in Africa, I’ve met folks that have repeatedly “prayed the prayer” but nothing changes (the running joke in my sphere is that enough people have prayed the prayer in Africa to fill up 5 Africas). Meanwhile the folks continue on in African traditional religion, beating their wives, etc. Now I *passionately* say, “no more crusades. If you aren’t willing to walk with someone then you don’t stand in front and lead a ‘prayer’ only to ignore what matters.”

    I was honestly pleasantly surprised at 8 as well. I half expected to wake up to a slaughter house in the news/blogosphere.

  8. JTK says:

    I wondered why I hadn’t heard about ANY, much less 400, pastoral resignations over Ashley Madison.

  9. Papias says:

    #8. We haven’t heard yet…there could be a few reasons for this:

    1. Not one pastor used AM. Unlikely, but OK.

    2. Some pastors used AM, and are sweating over being caught. They haven’t been caught yet and have no plans to admit to it until they are caught.

    3. Some pastors used AM and are debating whether or not to confess and repent.

    4. Some pastors did not use AM and may be in adulterous relationships. They didn’t need it in the first place.

  10. Papias says:


    Last time I attended a harvest crusade was when I was an usher. I wanted to help out, but not collect the offering with the Large popcorn containers. The leader was OK with it, but I caught lots of flak from the other ushers.

    That was enough for me.

  11. Em says:

    i see no reason for any of us to know WHO availed themselves of AM

    does Ephesians 5:12-16 apply here?

  12. DavidM says:

    #5. “That’s the troof of the matter.”
    Not really. It sounds as if you have had some bad experiences in church. Haven’t we all?? But, the “troof” is that the church IS the bride of Christ. While it is not an institution in the corporate sense, it is unfair to be so dismissive of local churches that have leaders. And, implying that Paul got it wrong??

  13. Reuben says:

    Straight Outta Compton is a true story. The planned parenthood videos are not. So there’s that.

    Let me say this outloud and twice so that there is no confusion. Hacked up baby parts are not being sold. Hacked up baby parts are not being sold.

    This is a hacked up video series edited to make you believe something that is false. Just like when the teen sex trafficking fake went into planned parenthood and hacked up a story there. Nobody tells you that they were on the phone with headquarters in 15 minutes to report what had just happened, and that it went to the FBI from there. Nope. Wilful ignorance to support your cause is what happened here. And you bought a lie.

    Lies like crusades. They are staged events. The vast majority of people who go there are quite the hell white saved republicans. There is no tens of thousands being saved at these events. It’s smoke and mirrors, old friend.

  14. Josh the Baptist says:

    Exhibit – A : The slippery slope IS actually slippery.

  15. sarahmorgan says:

    Sigh. As one who has experienced spiritual abuse, that verse and your interpretation drive me to despair.
    We use the generalizations “the corporation”, or “the government” all the time, without thinking of the individual people that make up those large conglomerates — even being discouraged from thinking of them (re: the mockery at the statement “corporations are people, too”). In general, corporations and government tend to be known more for their damaging incompetence, their cold, unfeeling cruelty, and their preservation-at-all-costs mentality. My experience with “the church” hasn’t been much different. And it’s difficult for me to see beyond the idea that if “the church” is the most important thing, then the reality is that I was expendable (the pastor of one of the churches even stated in a newspaper interview regarding their move to a new building, “God pruned out certain people so I could have this church”), and that my pain didn’t matter (individuals don’t matter, but The Church matters), and as a result, I struggle to maintain that God really loves or cares about me as an individual. Whenever I try to speak to people about it, I am informed that it’s all my fault because I don’t love and support The Church, but I just can’t bring myself to support an institution full of people (leaders, even) who, as a group, acted like a family member’s mentally-ill, emotionally abusive spouse — the one that the whole family keeps trying to get everyone who’s been in her line of fire to just shush up about it, so as not to rock the boat and make the family look bad. I have also long struggled with the idea of why God would allow these kinds of churches to exist and continue hurting people. And in the end, the implication is that I’m the one who is an enemy of Christ. Again, sigh.

  16. Michael says:

    The horror of the procedures themselves are not smoke and mirrors.
    The smoke comes from people focusing on the legality of the carnage instead of the carnage itself.
    Are we so numb we no longer can see this?
    This isn’t a “Christian” issue, it’s a human issue.

  17. Michael says:


    I’ve probably paid a higher price for a longer time than most standing up to abuses in the church .
    I have never either excused or justified abuse, nor have I ever diminished its existence or impact.
    Still, Christ loves the church.
    It’s often a hot mess and a shame to Him, yet He loves it.
    There are days when I don’t.
    I’ve had lots of those days lately.
    Gods heart is for those who have been wounded in His house…but it’s still His house in a universal sense.
    Hating something or someone will eventually result in indifference .
    Loving that which is broken will result in steadfast hope for change.
    Sometimes, I’m a wicked hot mess myself.

  18. Scott says:

    It’s obvious to me that Reuben is “comfortably numb”. All I can say to that is wow, man.

  19. Pastor Al says:

    DavidM said, ” the church IS the bride of Christ.”

    Support your claim.

    Define ‘the church”…what is it? The Denoms? The Buildings? The Orgs? The Pastors/Gurus?

    Give me a truthful definition of what “the church” is.

    You use that term (as do others) all the time. What specifically does it mean? What did Jesus mean when he used such a term?

  20. Pastor Al says:

    “the church” is not the Religious Institution, it is not the Denominations, it is not the Pastors/Gurus and Sects. All of those are actually often-times obstacles and idols.

    “the church” is comprised of all those who hear the Shepherd’s voice…and that is hard to quantify.

    You say I am attacking “the bride of Christ!”…no, I speak against what I know is not the bride of Christ…the Institutions, the Denoms, the Sects, the Pastors/Gurus…they are not “the church”.

    “the church” is the spirit of the particular age that hears the Shepherd’s voice…and sometimes those folks don’t fit the Religious profile of Dogmatists.

  21. Pastor Al says:

    Man has taken a statement Jesus made in spiritual terms and only quantifiable in spirit…and done the typical human-nature thing…made an Idol out of it and built an altar to an Idol made of human hands.

    It’s what we humans do.

    I am convinced it is not what Jesus, the Logos of God…said or intended.

  22. Pastor Al says:

    Man will argue to protect his Constructs, his Power, his Money is Position…and followers want their Idols. They want a Denomination and a Guru to tell them what God is and who God is…b/c much of their “salvation” is simply assurance from those gods that they have earned their way in by following their particular teachings and supporting their particular “ministries”.

    It’s a symbiotic relationship between Idol and Idol worshipper.

    It’s not what Jesus taught.

  23. Pastor Al says:

    ..and that IS the troof.

  24. covered says:

    Scott, I couldn’t agree more. It’s very sad.

  25. Em says:

    it also occurs to me as i read these comments now that the church is NOT the Bride because it, the church as referenced in the New Testament, encompasses both wheat and tares… yes, we have sheep who know the shepherd’s voice as someone pointed out up there AND goats and wolves, too… has there ever been a book written on how to survive; to stand and hold the ground for Christ in a church? i’m not thinking denominationally, but as pertains to individual congregations… i don’t care how sound one may think their denomination is doctrinally, every denomination or non denomination has toxic congregations… they creep in, ingratiate themselves and dominate or just lurk – like trap-door spiders… we need a book on survival skills of the Faith… or so it seems to me this afternoon

  26. Pastor Al says:

    an assembly and congregation is not a church.

    Where two or more are gathered together in my name, etc.

    The words Jesus and the NT used are not “the church” you define at the church today. Man has created its own “church” and redefined the term.

  27. Pastor Al says:

    What Man did was take something Jesus said in a spiritual context and made it into their typical b.s.

    They mimicked the Synagogues of the Jews…right down to the Hierarchy and prominence of the rich and powerful as well as the “Moses Seat”…just like Jesus said not to do.

    “Synagogues continued to be a focal point for Jewish life during the first century. By the time Jesus’ ministry began, a synagogue was found in most towns of Galilee. The Gospels specifically mention those of Nazareth (Matt. 13:54) and Capernaum (Mark 1:21). Archaeologists have found scant evidence of these early synagogues, although later synagogues left substantial remains. Only one synagogue dating to Jesus’ time has been uncovered, in the town of Gamla.

    Typically, synagogues were placed in prominent places, on an elevated platform or high place, symbolizing the importance of living in God’s presence. In some cases, the front facade had three doors. And outside each synagogue was a mikveh (ritual bath), where worshipers symbolically cleansed their hearts before entering the synagogue.

    Inside the synagogue, important people sat on benches, called chief seats, which lined three sides of the room (Matt. 23:6). Common people sat on the floor, which was usually made of dirt or flagstones (or elaborate mosaics in later synagogues). Speakers and readers would stand on a small platform, the bema. And a small menorah, like the one in the Temple, probably stood there as well.

    Torah readers sat in a special place called the Moses’ Seat (or Seat of Honor), so named because they were reading Moses’ words (Matt. 23:2). Torah scrolls and the writings of the prophets were either kept in a portable chest that was brought to the synagogue for worship or were stored in a permanent Torah cabinet (called the Torah closet or holy ark) inside the synagogue”

    Jesus didn’t want you to create an Evangelical and Mainline version of Synagogue.

    Jesus “ekklesia” was simply an assembly or congregating of fellow Jesus-followers in spirit who were all equals, all brothers and sisters and none were “specially anointed” or held more prominence than the next.

  28. Em says:

    no, pastor al, i think you are wrong on this one as pertains to “church” … there are just too many references in the N.T. to congregations gathered in the name of Christ Jesus that were a mixed bag… even some who were truly His sheep, headed for glory 🙂 who were bad actors in need of rebuke

  29. DavidM says:

    Pastor Al, do you take the entire NT as the word of God, or just the words of Jesus?

  30. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Pastor Al does not believe any of it.

  31. covered says:

    How can Al be a pastor and yet not believe in the church? This is a serious question.

  32. EricL says:

    #8 on your list. CT reports that RC Sproul Jr is suspended at Ligonier Ministries for Ashley Madison. Sad, but 1 is better than 400.

    Also an SBC college president, though this wasn’t due to the AM site:

  33. Steve Wright says:

    “First, I felt the grace of fear. Second, I felt the grace of shame. I was there long enough to leave an old email address. And within minutes I left, never to return,”
    I don’t care what your theology is, if you can’t own sin without couching it in language like this then a one year suspension ain’t gonna cut it. I’m sure Sproul was just trembling in shame as he typed in an (old of course) email address.

    What is the suspension for lying through his teeth about not knowing of the site…or for that matter chiding others of sin he was guilty for (when the news broke) (per the article)

    And where was the “grace of repentance” to bring him to confess it all before he got caught? Holy Spirit out on a coffee break??

  34. Eric says:

    Perhaps the 400 estimate was based on the number of names, not considering factors like:
    – some of the AM database were not real people
    – maybe some were non-identifiable
    – pastors are less likely than the general population to sign up.

  35. Em says:

    #31 – “pastor al” is a non de plume – plume as in smoke screen 🙂

  36. Josh the Baptist says:

    Didn’t read EricL’s link, it may clarify, but Jimmy Epting resigned as president of North Greenville University much earlier in the year. Maybe January? I live close to NGU and have many friends who attended there, so this has been big news around here for several months. Come to think of it, that’s where Furtick went to school. Good school. Shame about their president.

    Sproul, Jr?!? Wow. That is surprising. It doesn’t sound like many of these accounts ended up in actual hook-ups. If you are in a ministry with someone who had an address on the site, do you still treat it like an affair? Or maybe something a little less? Don’t know.

  37. Josh the Baptist says:

    “Pastor Al” is a name someone uses to get into more trouble, I’m afraid.

  38. Steve Wright says:

    Josh, using Sproul as the example, I’d get the best computer tech in the church to go over the guy’s computer history. When I read he used an “old email” (his words) I didn’t think in terms of a guy not really serious…but a guy not wanting to be easily caught. So have the techie check that “old email” and see how many times he logged on to that old email. Did he engage any emails he might have received. While at it, check the entire internet history.

    It’s just very strange. As a widower, why not just create an account at eharmony or some legit matchmaking site? On the other hand, did his curiosity lead to a p*rn fascination at other sites.

    I do not know how anyone can pick an amount of time out of the air and say “suspended for one year” unless there has been a serious investigation to see how ongoing the sin might be…and even with such an investigation, how does one predict today that a guy is going to be repentant in a year from now??

    I would be far more disappointed that he did not come clean to his overseers the moment news of the hack broke, instead of lying about ever hearing of such a site and THEN feeling the need to preach to others who sinned in visiting the site. Sounds like multiple levels of disqualification to me…

  39. EricL says:

    Josh @36, thanks for the clarification. Christianity Today reported it today, but did mention it happened earlier. Not sure why the chose to feature it now, except as an adultery tie-in to the Sproul story.

  40. Muff Potter says:

    Is ‘Pastor Al’ also an aka for Ricky Bobby?

  41. EricL says:

    Steve @38, excellent points. I really do hope Ligonier Ministries treats it that seriously. Uncover it all to make sure all of it is dealt with. That’s best for RC and for the ministry.

  42. Muff Potter says:

    G-man @ # 2 :
    If what you say is true, and if the the ‘Harvest’ promoters have to resort to such chicanery, what does that say about getting ‘saved’?

    Remember Oliver Stone’s film The Doors?

    In the seance the shaman leads…
    Neecha (Nietzsche) said all great things must first wear a terrifying
    and monstrous mask in order to inscribe themselves on the hearts
    of humanity…
    Listen my children to the sound of the Nuremberg night…

  43. Josh the Baptist says:

    Muff – yep.

    Good points on the Sproul thing. I guess this is gonna be what ethics in ministry looks like going forward.

  44. Steve Wright says:

    As bad as being a voyeur of p*rn and the disqualification that certainly brings…for a ministry leader to seek an ADULTERY website is especially heinous. To desire to interact with a married woman, to aid in the destruction of another marriage, likely with children of some age….

    How far from God does one have to be to get “curious” about such things.

  45. Scott says:

    I believe Stetzer should of never made such a public prediction on the AM fall-out related to Christian Leaders.

    Secondly, he never said 400 pastors would be exposed. However, that’s exactly how the media and it’s minions ran with it, for obvious reasons.

  46. Scott says:

    I’ll bet most people familiar with his prediction repeated the 400 pastor mantra. However, this is what he wrote:

    “Based on my conversations with leaders from several denominations in the U.S. and Canada, I estimate that at least 400 church leaders (pastors, elders, staff, deacons, etc.) will be resigning Sunday. This is a significant moment of embarrassment for the church—and it should be.”

  47. ( |o )====::: says:

    Nothing kills enthusiasm like getting hassled by well meaning minions 😉

    Yes, indeed, what I say is true, I recognized it for the first time after many years and it left me disillusioned, which is a good thing, because i prefer not being “illusioned”

    Give me a sincere group of addicts who just want to stay clean and sober and call their higher power by the name of “Jesus” and it doesn’t get much more real than that!

    I’ll have to look into the film. Thanks, looks interesting.

    I know you are anything but “comfortably numb”

  48. Scott says:

    Late to the party Brian. That story was linked already at #32

  49. Steve Wright says:

    I was googling the guy and see Julie Ann has quite the story on her blog archives. Since she is still linked her from this website, I assume it can be shared. (This general topic too was once discussed here at PhxP a few years ago…)

  50. Scott says:

    If I tried to spank my wife, she’d probably smash me upside the head with a baseball bat.

    That linked article, if true, is really disgusting and twisted.

  51. Ixtlan says:

    Re: Straight outta Compton

    no doubt it is embellished, but aren’t all movies? Glorified BS.

    I grew up on a gang turf on a short, dead-end street in Southern Cal. Four died before their 20th birthday, another died before his 21st birthday and my childhood friend who lived next door, himself both a victim of gang violence and a perpetrator, didn’t see his 30th birthday. One died in ‘Nam, two OD’d, the rest were murdered.

  52. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    Reuben, over at Old Life D. G. Hart has been commenting about what he considers the wildly unethical and deceptive game at the core of the PP videos.

  53. Scott says:

    Whether the PP videos are exaggerated or not, who gives a crap? What happens in those killing mills is atrocious and damnable. Would you like me to post links with the way babies look after they are burned to death with saline solution and removed from the womb?

  54. I just wonder if these guys feel the same way about organizations who ‘lie’ about who they are and go in and do exposes about mistreatment in cattle slaughterhouses or penned up chickens or child sweatshops.

    I have yet to hear a single complaint when a undercover ‘liar’ goes into one of those areas. Why is it journalistically wrong to expose Planned Parenthood – who unlike the slaughterhouse, chicken farm of sweatshop, gets federal funding?

  55. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    THe PP advocates have already said the whole series of videos is a shame gained under false pretenses to make claims that aren’t true. Since abortion advocates have already decided the fetuses aren’t even human no videos will move them.

  56. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    MLD, in my experience and that of others in Seattle, the dishonest or lazy investigative journalism’s more likely to be about controversial churches.

  57. Bob says:

    It’s often easy for me to miss something but did I get this right; the abortionist are saying the Christians are equally immoral because they deceived the doctors by posing as buyers in the PP videos?

    Wow! Blow the trumpet today!

  58. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    Bob, more or less, which is why I would say the shift in the discussion can be that if people who read and write Salon pieces want to defend abortion to compare how they spent a decade objecting to the use of pre-emptive lethal force to defend a consumer lifestyle choice as being wrong for a nation-state going to war in the Middle East but an inalienable right for an individual wanting to terminate a pregnancy because it seems like it’s still the same category of activity where the use of lethal force to preserve a consumer lifestyle choice goes.

  59. Bob says:

    I was asked by a conservative non-Christian what I thought of the PP revelations and my answer was, “the conservatives will turn their heads and ignore it.”

    He seemed shocked of such an answer coming from a staunch no abortion advocate as my self.

    I asked,” who do you think are the biggest proponents and users of abortion?”

    He got it right, the middle class late 20s to mid thirties women who can’t afford to have a child right then.

    Sadly abortion (and the use of the parts) is part of the fabric of our culture. We would rather defend the rights of animals, champion not de-clawing cats, raise money for homeless dogs on late night TV and simple think of killing a child as a necessary medical procedure.

    Blow the trumpet!

  60. Bob says:

    A quick look at abortion stats from 2010: (I don’t want to be misleading)

    Women 20-24. 32.9%
    Women 25-29 24.5%
    Women 30-35 15.3%

    During the period abortion rates decreased in 20-29 years and increased in women 40 and older.

    “2010, women aged 20–24 and 25–29 years accounted for 32.9% and 24.5% of all abortions, respectively, and had abortion rates of 26.7 and 20.2 abortions per 1,000 women aged 20–24 and 25-29 years, respectively. In contrast, women aged 30–34, 35–39, and ≥40 years accounted for 15.3%, 8.9%, and 3.4% of all abortions, respectively, and had abortion rates of 13.2, 7.6, and 2.8 abortions per 1,000 women aged 30–34 years, 35–39 years, ≥40 years, respectively. Throughout the period of analysis, abortion rates decreased among women aged 20–24 and 25–29 years, whereas they increased among women aged ≥40 years.”

  61. Bob says:

    One more thing:

    Middle class is misleading because the term is different for many people. Sorry.

    Single women are most likely.

    And the combined 25-35 percentage is 39.8% compared to younger women 32.9%.

    It’s easy to mislead with statistics (or by listening to Trump. 🙂 )

  62. Babylon's Dread says:

    As a sophomore in college I did a paper on the psychology of evangelism. The results jaded me for a very long time. I did not know that in that moment I entered a debate that is at least as old as the Great Awakening concerning the use of ‘special means’ to gain conversions.

    Each wave of revival is attended by new debates over these things.

    I just rejoice for people to know Jesus

    This blog thread shows you that not all who receive him continue with him

  63. Babylon's Dread says:

    How do we write about “hacked up baby parts” to argue over whether they are being sold and how did the moral issue move to whether someone showing those parts is telling the truth about them being sold?


    “Wilful ignorance to support your cause is what happened here. And you bought a lie.”


  64. Nonnie says:

    63 and 64…..Babs speaks wisdom once again.

    Thank you.

  65. Pastor Al says:

    Thus sayeth THE LORD!

    “But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. And don’t let anyone call you ‘Teacher,’ for you have only one teacher, the Messiah. The greatest among you must be a servant. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”–Jesus Christ.

    Or, basically the direct opposite of the Institutional Church Construct that puts “Pastors/Gurus” up on a stage…at a podium…as man-idols in the place of God…with their worshippers in the “audience” telling them how wonderful they are…while being solicited for money constantly to support the Pastor/Gurus lifestyle.

  66. Josh the Baptist says:

    Context might help ya a little on that verse Al.

    I hope none of you who profess to care about Pastor Al are supporting him in his new attempt to be sued.

  67. Josh the Baptist says:

    I’ve been watching (and participating in) online criticism of the church now for at least 15 years.

    So far, no one has offered any better way, just more criticism. I was on board at first, because I thought we were working towards something. Now I’m convinced that the good in the Church far outweighs the bad. I’ll work to change it locally, from within. The internet mobs aren’t making anything better.

  68. ““But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, ”

    So it looks like your beef is with the Jews. Go take it up with them as they are the only ones I know of who still call their guy Rabbi.

  69. Babylon's Dread says:

    #68 Josh


  70. Bob says:


    “So it looks like your beef is with the Jews.”

    I would say you also have a beef with CC and many other denominations who call their pastors “teachers.”

    It did say, “for you have one Teacher,”


    Maybe it doesn’t mean what you are implying.

  71. Josh the Baptist says:

    Or public schools. Don’t they have teachers? I mean if we are gonna rob these verses from any context, lets just condemn a whole bunch of them.

  72. Babylon's Dread says:

    I believe the criticism of the institutionalizing of the church will ultimately have a salutary effect. Institutions are entities with compelling self interest. Like government or business these entities exist only as they provide means of sustenance to their adherents. Once ‘instituted’ they have survival and self-existence as their main objective.

    We may yet discover how to overcome these things, so far we struggle.

    When people run into the institution and have their own concerns laid aside in favor of the institution they become casualties of this system. Right now the casualty list is high. The free market churches do more to increase this list than any other phenomenon. Find a highly successful leader as a pastor and you will find a large body count in the wake. That is not always initially true but it tends to increase as the church becomes ensconced and more people are on the payroll.

    Josh is where I am … we must do better. But I sense there is a wisdom that can take us further. All of the fomenting anger will not do it, but wisdom from heaven can indeed take us there. Money is a cruel god. None of us live outside its influence.

  73. Pastor Al says:

    Josh, I hope Calvary Chapel sues me for using their name and licensed dove logo…it will be helpful for other lawsuits coming…

    wink wink

    It will force them to take some responsibility for their Franchise and System…or they’ll have to put up with it…and I’ll grow it large.

  74. Pastor Al says:

    I don’t do what I do for ease or for games.

    I’m as serious as a heart attack…and I hope they enter the Arena.

  75. Josh the Baptist says:

    I think I would ask your lawyer if that is a wise strategy.

  76. Pastor Al says:

    Josh, don’t sweat it brother. I’ll be fine. I know the Hills I choose to die on. I’d rather live and then check out off this rock having made a Dent than just logging time until I die.

  77. Josh the Baptist says:

    OK. At least I tried.

  78. Pastor Al says:

    Josh, I know your concern is sincere, and I appreciate it. You’re a good dude.

  79. Pastor Al says:

    Calvary Chapel is guilty of perpetuating a Big Lie.

    It’s wrong and more evil than much of what they rail about from their CC pulpits.

    Their System of making their Pastors as flesh-Idols in the way of God is also repulsive and their actively ignoring and even protecting bad Pastors is evil as well. They try to have it both ways in front of the Courts…I have court docs where Calvary Chapel argued they were a Denomination with Ecclesiastical Hierarchy and police their own and told the Court to stay out of the church biz…and I have Court docs where they argued the exact opposite…that they are all “independent” and there is no nothing…to avoid having to pay the victims of child molestation.

    It’s evil. It’s lying. God “hates” liars.

  80. Em says:

    old lady rant warning:

    i heard an old fashioned sermon on the radio early this morning… dealt with the redeemed ones stewardship of our physical bodies as … he focused on appetites and the current view that food and sex are equal drives…
    all the above angst (justified) about the abortion issue overlooks first cause – the fact that the two drives are not equal… and it seems to me that the churches have, somehow, bought into the modern intellectual conclusion that control and stewardship of our bodies is unnatural suppression resulting in damage far worse than what the free expression and experimentation leads to… i think we hand wring over the results of sin more than we do over the first cause which is a sin, itself… the first cause of most abortion is the first sin…
    sin – not “risk” – driving a car on the freeway is a risk, what can happen in the backseat of the car in the dark is a sin

    simple truth is that it isn’t easy in these times, but i think i’d rather blush or even have a facial tic than an STD or an abortion – dunno, tho … was going to insert a smilie here, but it isn’t really funny

    good bye August and good riddance!

  81. once a cc guru says:

    I once wanted to start an online “church” called, “Calvary Chapel Crap” No kidding… maybe I still will if Pastor Al will be the main guru 😉

  82. Pastor Al says:

    …and then I spend an afternoon working on a positive project with my friend who is leading a good social movement, who is a Uniter and always finds the High Road…and I second-guess my polemic and hard-line cynical approach.

    Two ways to approach the stuff I guess. We see one style in the Donald Trump’s and the Obama’s and Sharpton’s etc in how to make Dents. We see other examples in the MLK Jr’s and the Dr. Ben Carson’s and Rand Paul’s and Uniters who take a more positive less polemic less fire-brand approach.

    I observe a couple of my friends who make a Dent with regards to the Issues and I wonder if I should change course (again) and try to be like them.

    I have often thought some of my friends were being more political and bridge-building and les controversial out of weakness. I think they may be doing it out of strength after all. I think it might be harder to tackle tough issues and still be a Uniter and bridge-builder than to be a flame-thrower.

    Hmmm. Lots to consider.

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