Things I Think

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100 Responses

  1. Kevin H says:

    Along the lines of some of these thoughts:

    “If we wear a mask, we have to constantly scheme, plan and pretend to keep the deception going. But sooner or later the truth will catch up with us, and the mask will start to crumble, and our inner emptiness will be exposed…… We very much need grace from our brothers and sisters in the Body of Christ. Our double life not only hurts them personally, but they also have to pick up the pieces we left behind and face the dishonor we brought to the name of the Lord.” – K.P. Yohannan

    (from the current publication of the GFA magazine)

  2. Michael says:

    Kevin H,


  3. Pastor Al says:

    The Corporate Church Inc. is largely a sham. It’s as false a facade as that “reality show”.

    When push comes to shove, it’s a Small Biz entrepreneur professional public speaker, on a stage, at a podium…who entrepreneurially builds a loyal, adoring, money giving “following” to fund his “ministry”.

    When push comes to shove, the “literal bible!” means nothing. It’s just an excuse to con people out of their money fund the lifestyle and biz which is all about the pastor/franchisee.

    It has nothing to do with Jesus. Very few get any real help with all the millions given “For Jesus!” over the years.

    Don’t believe in the church or in a sect or in a pastor. They are corrupt. They are human. Don’t buy in. You don’t need a church to be a Christian. You don’t need a pastor to validate your “official Christianity!” and Hell-status.

    You won’t find Jesus in “church”….you’ll find an anti-christ construct.

  4. filbertz says:

    I never watched Alaskan Bush People…thought they were relatives of George W.

    your observation in #10 hits closest to home–feeling bombarded with things and situations that cause me to withdraw and hide or lash out in anger and frustration. Keeping the fires of charity, kindness, humility, and love stoked is a staggering chore.

  5. Michael says:


    If not for my church and the faithful ones I know here and in person (like yourself) I think I would sink into cold cynicism.

    It’s a struggle not to even with that advantage.

  6. Pastor Al says:

    Had this same discussion with a local friend at my store just earlier.

    There’s a growing Group of the “Others”…not the “Nones” but the “Others”…long-time Calvary Chapel and similar folks who are waking up to the con and scam.

    It’s all about an entrepreneur growing his Franchise and “ministry”…up on a stage, people adoring him, money spent like it’s their small biz slush fund, sycophants kissing their arse…and not much money goes to help anyone in real need….most goes to the pastor, his family and the overhead of doing business and taking trips and entertaining the givers/”sheep”.

    It’s a waste of time and money and is idolatrous and when push comes to shove those same pastors don’t follow the bible, not nearly, unless it benefits them.

    The message is getting out, folks are waking up. It’s a good Trend. I’ve had more discussions lately back in California and here locally in Idaho…more and more former Calvary Chapel folks and similar who now see it for what it truly is.

    The bloom is off the rose and people are tired of being lied to and are tired of fakeness and being used…and they are tired of the bull***t.

    I’m an Evangelist to those “Others”. May our Tribe increase.

  7. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Seriously does anyone really think any of the reality shows are real?


  8. Pastor Al says:

    BTW, I am very encouraged by the level of skepticism toward Calvary Chapel that I encountered on my recent trip to California…as well as the outpouring of support here in Idaho.

    It’s making a difference. It would amaze you at how many people are tuned in to all of this stuff and how many are sick of Calvary Chapel’s b.s.

    Calvary Chapel has a terrible reputation which is self-perpetuated because of who they are and what they do and what they don’t do.

  9. Michael says:

    This isn’t just about CC.
    I’ve got a series coming up on another non denom that makes most of the stuff we’ve seen look tame.

    Despite it all, I still believe in what the church can be and have complete faith in the God that it is supposed to represent.

    We see the worst here…but I don’t believe that the worst is the norm.

  10. Pastor Al says:

    CC is the mountain that fell on me and they are the 4th largest non-Denomination the Nation.

    They are representative of what’s wrong with modern-day evangelicalism.

  11. Pastor Al says:

    Your blog and this community is directly linked to Calvary Chapel.

    You aren’t the Phoenix Preacher b/c of the Lutherans.

  12. Michael says:


    I am old and wary…Trey, not so much.

  13. Pastor Al says:

    I’m stronger than ever and feel great. I’m ready to run through brick walls.

    The fight has made me a BEAST…no fear and sharper and more motivated than ever.

  14. Michael says:


    I’m aware of that…but I’m also aware that the problems go beyond those borders.

  15. Pastor Al says:

    Agreed. Lots of bad Sects in Evangelicalism besides the Chuck Cult.

  16. Pastor Al says:

    Well, I can now say I’ve seen a lot more of “Jesus” outside the “church” and outside of Calvary Chapel…than I ever saw inside those expensive walls.

    If you’re honest, it’s largely b.s. and a career and/or christian entertainment and doesn’t really help anyone in a practical manner.

  17. Francisco Nunez says:

    If we would be ashamed to put our name behind our words or if our identity were revealed………………. then we simply shouldn’t be saying such things. If we think about this for a second hammering someone anonymously only demonstrates to others that we fear the object of our harmful words more than Christ Himself, who sees all things when we think no one else is looking. As Shepherds one of our responsibilities as part of our calling is to disciple members of His flock to fear only a Holy God, not mortal men whether its Michael or others.

    Whether it is a marriage or shepherding a flock, the feelings and emotions will come and go like the seasons so at the end of the day it is a choice to continue to love whether we feel it or not.

    Happy Thanksgiving Michael.

  18. Pastor Al says:

    Heck even the “good guys” in private explain why they don’t stick their neck out publicly to speak against wrongs in their own Sect:

    “I have a mortgage and a family and bills to pay”

    ^^ That’s your tip of the Priority Pyramid right there. That’s what it’s all about when push comes to shove.

    There’s your “god”

  19. Pastor Al says:

    I know the Truth hurts, I think it’s supposed to. Quit fooling yourselves.

  20. Michael says:


    There are too many cases where you are correct.
    I still will not throw the baby out with the bathwater.
    There are many excellent churches and most pastors in this country aren’t getting wealthy off the flock.
    We’re trying to deal with the wrongs, but can’t and won’t believe that all is corruption.

    The balance must be struck, lest we lose something that is very valuable to our culture and society.

  21. Michael says:

    Happy Thanksgiving, Francisco!

  22. filbertz says:

    MLD–Bruce Jenner apparently thought “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” was reality…

  23. Em says:

    gotta say that i love watching the Alaska Bush family, they’re Browns, BTW, not Bushs … the old dad just reeks of con and the kids are scrambling to make sense of themselves and of their family mission – yes, kind of like the church today – and mom is? not sure, but she seems to like the excitement and seems to see great virtue in surviving … she and dad against the cold cruel world? i love trying to figure this clan out – hope some of the kids pull out and make honorable lives for themselves – even up in the bush – they did live up there as kids, for how long i don’t know … i love people watching, used to like to watch the little people, but can’t stand most reality shows, including those southern bearded bird call (or is it fishing lure?) guys

    just sayin, cuz i can

  24. Em says:

    “There are many excellent churches and most pastors in this country aren’t getting wealthy off the flock.” amen … and worth repeating IMHO

    maybe the Phoenix Preacher needs some kind of mission statement in its banner…
    something like: in defense of the integrity of God and His people yada, yada….

  25. Chris Long says:


    Just a note from one that doesn’t hardly ever post but reads pretty regular to just say this is one of the best “Things” columns I’ve seen from you. Right on! 🙂

    On a side note: I must say tho it gets really tiring reading comments on most every thread where Alex hijacks with his bitterness. Sorry, but that’s what it is. I’ve been reading here for I think 6 years, and I’ve watched his transformation from one that was hurt (but still looking to God) to one that was hurt and wanting vengeance to one that seems to grow more and more bitter with each passing day (both towards the church and God Himself). He only has one drum to beat, and the only person he is really hurting by beating that drum is himself. It actually really saddens me deeply (for him personally). I have always been very inclined to believe him (and I find the recent recantations by others very suspicious) and who knows, maybe he will one day end up seeing some justice here on this earth in regards to his dad, but IMO, he would have been FAR BETTER personally served to just commit it to God and move on with his life. He’s gone the other way and the fruit of that approach has been obvious to anyone that’s been observing for the last several years. In essence, the abuser has still been able to hurt and define his life. And he’s letting the actions of other imperfect men (but many of whom did/do genuinely care and want to help) to create way overblown and generalized beliefs on Christians and even God as a whole. I guess I’m ranting myself now, but if Alex can do it, so can I. 🙂

  26. brian says:

    “..and most pastors in this country aren’t getting wealthy off the flock.” I know that is a big problem that should be addressed. 🙂

  27. brian says:

    I loathe reality tv it is one reason I got rid of tv altogether because I hate to see people humiliated and belittled even if they are making money, which is always good. I know that is pathetic of me but what can I say.

  28. Jean says:

    How about the Long Island Medium for such spiritual reality TV?

    Or for you athletic types, you can’t beat Naked and Afraid. These couples are thrown into a jungle somewhere where they have to fend for themselves for 21 days with nothing on but their birthday suits. Of course, I only listen.

  29. Nonnie says:

    Chris, I understand what you are saying and often times I agree. Like you, I too, hope the best for him and that the truth will come forward and he will get justice.

    Like you, I also pray he will turn back to Jesus, who loves so much more than we ever could.

  30. Worse than reality TV, evil pastors and robber charities – I came home tonight and 3 houses on my street had Christmas lights up.

  31. brian says:

    Speaking of scholars Kent Hovind and Gail Riplinger were discussing some of her literary works where she delves into biblical textual differences and the Titanic. Talk about nutz.

  32. Babylon's Dread says:

    Good work Michael,

    Very challenging Things…

    Let’s start a Samaritan Party and see if it will be ‘good’

  33. Ellie says:

    “9. Free Saeed”

    As long as you mean extradite him so he can be tried for assaulting his wife.

  34. Babylon's Dread says:


    Seldom have I seen a post as sickening as yours.
    A. There are no charges of assaulting her
    B. The man has suffered horrifically in prison for over 3 years
    C. You do not decide a matter before you hear it if you are a believer
    D. Innocent until proven guilty is the law

    Careful how you judge another, I heard that somewhere.

    Your post is sickening

  35. Larry says:

    i>Reports came forth this weekend that the “reality” show “Alaskan Bush People” was almost entirely fraudulent.

    Weren’t similar accusations made about “Breaking Amish” several years ago?

  36. Larry says:

    “..and most pastors in this country aren’t getting wealthy off the flock.”

    One of my uncles was a pastor for many years. At one point he took a second job, not to get rich but simply to feed his growing family.

  37. brian says:

    Speaking of ironclad recommendations.

  38. Josh the Baptist says:

    BD – According to the Christianity Today article, she has accused him of physical, emotional, and sexual abuse.

  39. Disillusioned says:

    Wow, Michael, you’ve really laid bare some stuff here. #3. HUGE.
    When the sin involves leadership, the non-specially-anointed person might as well pee in the wind.
    And #6….well, I know one thing: my family doesn’t kick me to the curb when I disagree with them. So…yeah.
    I don’t even know what the solution is, honestly. I only know that even walking into a church now makes me sick to my stomach.
    I think about Jesus and his whip and wonder how He’s feeling about these jokers using His name to build their little empires and I shudder for them.

  40. Pastor Al says:

    Ellie, agreed.

    Unlike folks in Calvary Chapel who always side with the Male Abuser, I believe Nagmeh and I think Saeed needs to be held accountable for his abusive actions.

    Calvary Chapel has a lot of this sort of abuse and domestic violence and it perpetuates it by always defending the Male Calvary Chapel Pastor or leader or missionary and then behind the scenes and even in public demonizes and attacks the Victims, even to the point of helping the Abuser sue their Victims.

    Very evil non-Denomination. Have no part with Calvary Chapel.

  41. Pastor Al says:

    Calvary Chapel is the church of Domestic Violence. They teach it in a form, they support the Abusers, they cover up abuse and they give license to their Male leaders to abuse by not dealing with many many attempts by many many people over the years to deal with the Abusers in a biblical manner.

    It is insidious and evil and Calvary Chapel couldn’t care less. It is telling to their true “fruit”. They are corrupt and evil. Don’t give them support or money or your time. There are other better ways to do the Jesus thing w/o participating in that Corrupt org.

  42. Pastor Al says:

    Some of you ‘christians’ are so full of bull***t that you have become caricatures and cartoons. What a fog and dis-reality and delusion you live in. It is no wonder you are losing ground in massive chunks and losing trust and credibility on a massive scale.

  43. Pastor Al says:

    The “bitter” card is simply Christianeze and apologetic for “the Truth hurts really bad”

  44. Pastor Al says:

    Folks are feeling safer to voice their distrust and concerns about organized evangelical “religion” like Calvary Chapel and others. It is good to see.

    I am getting inundated with emails and messages and even in-person convos as people feel more at liberty to express their concerns as I and others take a stand in calling out the garbage and inconsistency and lies and frauds of Calvary Chapel and others.

    It’s good to see and very encouraging actually. There are a LOT more folks than you think who are sick of the b.s. and don’t believe you guys anymore and are waking up to the Truth of things as they are.

  45. Em says:

    thing is, Pastor Al … the most important thing of all, people do come to Christ and find their soul’s redemption for eternity in Calvary Chapel. The main thing is saving souls – that just might/maybe be the reason that so many wolves thrive there also… it looks like someone needs to take away your tar bucket and brush and make you sit, take a deep breath and think (know you like to think you can think 🙂 )

  46. Em says:

    “Folks are feeling safer to voice their distrust and concerns about organized evangelical “religion” like Calvary Chapel and others. It is good to see.” amen … yes, it is and they need to come out praising, not griping

  47. Pastor Al says:

    “people do come to Christ and find their soul’s redemption for eternity in Calvary Chapel. ”

    How do you know this?

  48. Pastor Al says:

    I call bull**t, you’re telling me an “omnipotent” deity needs a Corrupt organization to “save” people and isn’t the one who really saves them or whatever it is?

  49. Josh the Baptist says:

    The omnipotent deity, in-fact, exclusively uses corrupt organizations to save people. That my friend is the Gospel.

  50. Pastor Al says:

    Yes, then preach it that way.

    “God” doesn’t need Calvary Chapel, Calvary Chapel needs “God”

  51. Pastor Al says:

    The pursuit and lust of Calvary Chapel and its Pastors is to promote and defend their Brand and to make excuses for their Corruption and to make excuses for “God” needing their System.

    They preach a false gospel and they turn everything on its ear that Jesus taught and exampled.

    If they truly cared about Jesus and the Jesus narrative, they’d act a lot differently and they wouldn’t care about their position, how they’ll pay their mortgage with Jesus-money and wouldn’t be concerned about making waves in their own Org/Group.

    Oh, the CC guys will wave all manner of fingers at the Outsiders…but nary a finger publicly at their own Camp b/c of their False Gospel and Corrupt man-made Construct and System.

  52. Josh the Baptist says:

    “God” doesn’t need Calvary Chapel, Calvary Chapel needs “God”—

    Of course, and if you find one CC pastor who disagrees with that statement, let’s tar and feather them.

  53. Babylon's Dread says:

    @38 Josh

    If true then that is also sickening no one advocates abuse of women…
    CT used personal email for a source.
    Accusations of abuse from alienated spouses are as rare as feathers on birds
    We are not arbiters of those facts…
    To advocate that a man who has been beaten and tortured in Iranian prisons for his faith be turned over to us so that we can punish him for unproven accusations still sickens me.
    Let everyone play their role…
    We are not the court.

  54. Pastor Al says:

    Calvary Chapel is a “god’ unto themselves. Their System and their Gurus and their ‘individual ministry!” are their god, truth be told.

  55. Josh the Baptist says:

    BD – I said from the start that something was screwy about the accusations. Unfortunately, it is heinous enough that it can’t just go away. At some point it will have to be refuted or verified.

  56. Josh the Baptist says:

    “Calvary Chapel is a “god’ unto themselves. Their System and their Gurus and their ‘individual ministry!” are their god, truth be told.”

    If true, I would just avoid them, then. Lots of loonies out there. CC is just a blip. Best just to seek peace for self and family.

  57. Pastor Al says:

    ” Best just to seek peace for self and family.”

    That is the crutch and excuse used by the so-called “good guys” in Calvary Chapel for not doing anything about the Corruption and Abuse they know is going in their own Group/Denomination.

    It’s a cop-out.

    Jesus didn’t come to “seek peace”….he came with a Sword…and he supposedly is coming back with a Sword.

  58. Pastor Al says:

    ….at least one of the Jesus’s in the bible is Sword Jesus.

  59. Pastor Al says:

    “Of course, and if you find one CC pastor who disagrees with that statement, let’s tar and feather them.”

    They do disagree…in action and in inaction.

  60. Pastor Al says:

    Hey, if you think the bible is bull***t then OK. That’s what “christians” essentially profess when push comes to shove.

  61. Josh the Baptist says:

    I’m not one of the CC-good guys. I’m an SBC bad guy. My comment is what I would do myself. I would avoid the loonies and seek peace for me and my family. That’s what I do.

  62. Pastor Al says:

    Not meaning you Josh, speaking to the CC’ers out there in cyber-land and to warn those who are in CC or thinking about joining up there.

  63. Pastor Al says:

    For most the path of least resistance is their path.

    For some, they have a different path I guess.

  64. Josh the Baptist says:

    I think the Bible is 100% true, and my understanding of it is quite flawed. My acting out of those things I do understand is even more flawed. I suspect CC pastors (and everyone else) are in that same boat.

  65. Pastor Al says:

    Yes, agreed.

    We are all flawed. Our Systems are flawed. Our Gurus are flawed.

  66. Josh the Baptist says:

    You can’t change the world, only yourself. I would seek more edifying pursuits.

  67. Josh the Baptist says:

    “We are all flawed. Our Systems are flawed. Our Gurus are flawed.”

    Absolutely. So it would make sense for me to lend a little patience towards another with a flawed system.

  68. Pastor Al says:

    “I did not come to bring Peace, but a Sword…to divide families, to divide friends, to divide..a man’s enemies will be the people of his own household, I will turn families on each other. If you love your family more than me you are not worthy of me”–Sword Jesus, the Bible.

    You said you believe the bible 100%, correct?

    Explain that one LOL

  69. Pastor Al says:

    Josh, sounds like you aren’t worth of Jesus b/c you value peace and your family more than Sword Jesus in the bible 😉 🙂

  70. Josh the Baptist says:

    “You said you believe the bible 100%, correct?”


    I also believe my ability to understand it is quite flawed.

    I also don’t act on the parts I understand consistently.

  71. Pastor Al says:

    So much competing narrative in “the bible”

    So many Jesus’s

  72. Josh the Baptist says:

    Nah, just our inabilty to wrap our minds around the infinite complexity of God.

  73. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Pastor Al said “We are all flawed. Our Systems are flawed. Our Gurus are flawed.”

    So Al, who is your guru who is educating you in this?

  74. Pastor Al says:

    “Nah, just our inabilty to wrap our minds around the infinite complexity of God.”

    Agreed, but in a different context.

    I think most of “god” is a fabrication from those Gurus and churches professing their own imagination and that they have it all figured out and “thus sayeth the Lord! Listen to me!”

  75. Pastor Al says:

    “So Al, who is your guru who is educating you in this?”

    Well “God” of course!

  76. Josh the Baptist says:

    “I think most of “god” is a fabrication from those Gurus and churches professing their own imagination and that they have it all figured out and “thus sayeth the Lord! Listen to me!””

    Right, but that is you and your flawed logic.

  77. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    So Al sits under a flawed God.

    That’s all I needed to know.

  78. Pastor Al says:

    Not sure how you got that, but whatevs LOL. Don’t have the energy to try and untangle your illogic MLD. Not sure if it’s your age or simply your lower-tier thought-process (philosophically).

  79. Jean says:

    Some days it’s just a bad slice of pizza. #mldfanforlife

  80. Em says:

    yes, our Lord has armed His people with a sword, the sad thing is that very few of us know our weapon … let alone how to use it in battle … and “that’s the truth” (doesn’t rhyme with hoof, BTW :smile:) )

    do i know people who have come to know and serve the Lord thru Calvary Chapel? yes i do – folk i knew from childhood and they’ve stayed the course – is that church my cup of tea? it is not … but the words of wisdom from a Baptist preacher 60 years ago have stayed with me and proved true: every denomination today is a man’s interpretation and is therefore skewed to a greater or lesser degree, but every denomination that claims Jesus as God incarnate and as Redeemer has redeemed souls in their midst

    Earth isn’t heaven and we’ll pray “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done” until Christ’s return because of that … restraining myself here as i’m picturing flies and manure ‘n such

  81. Pastor Al says:

    Logic isn’t “flawed”…it’s like the Laws of Physics…and the Universe/Multi-verse…it is very orderly and non-flawed…to the point that even Chaos Theory has order and symmetry and there really isn’t a pure form of Chaos.

    Your ability to understand Logic may be flawed, however…as well as your ability to demonstrate proper logic.

    There’s a double-meaning related to the bible and Gurus in there as well 😉

  82. Pastor Al says:


  83. Pastor Al says:

    “Jesus” is described, rather ironically, as the “Logos of God!” and is not the “bible” as “the word of God”…the Logos of God is “Jesus”…well at least that’s one piece of the bible narrative.

    Some very interesting considerations in that, if true.

  84. Pastor Al says:

    “And the Logos of God…or the “mind” of God…or the Logic of God…became flesh”

    “the word of God!” isn’t the bible. It’s the spirit of Jesus…or at least that’s what your bible says in big part.

  85. Pastor Al says:

    At the end of the day, the Truth is that ALL your Gurus and Sects and Denominations and “Church Fathers” are all guessing.

    They are ALL presenting to you that they “hear special from God!” about the proper interpretation of the “bible” that was cobbled together in a long process convened by the Roman Emperor Constantine.

    ALL are essentially their own gods telling you they have it figured out. ALL are applying a very incoherent form of terrible logic to a very incoherent very inconsistent “biblical” text…and then telling all of you fools (general you, not you you) what to believe and which other gurus and church’s to follow.

    The blind leading the blind LOL

  86. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    My logic is this;

    you said all gurus are flawed, you said your guru is god, hence your god is flawed.

    Even at my age my wits seem to be sharper than those of a young buck like you. 😉

  87. Pastor Al says:

    At least I’m a blind man that accepts the reality of my blindness…and the irony is…that in that humility…I am able to see a bit.

  88. Pastor Al says:

    MLD, I’ll explain that parable and social commentary a little…it was a back-handed point about your Gurus.

  89. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    “They are ALL presenting to you that they “hear special from God!” ”

    But you are the only one here claiming to hear directly from god – remember, he is your guru.

  90. Pastor Al says:

    No, that is incorrect, I was mocking your Gurus and your Systems.

    I don’t know shiite…muslim.

    I know what is likely bull****t though and I point it out regularly 🙂

  91. Pastor Al says:

    I was demonstrating or role-playing the mindset of your Gurus and how a guy like Luther or Chuck Smith or Joseph Smith for that matter comes to be and justifies their “new way!”

  92. Pastor Al says:

    You still don’t get my schtick after all these years? C’mon! LOL

  93. Michael says:

    My guess is that this line of conversation won’t end well…so lets move on.

  94. Pastor Al says:

    Well of course it doesn’t end well….in the evangelical view it ends with the vast majority of humanity from human history being created and then being tortured forever in a fiery hell with no end.

    How many get their get-out-of-hell free card? Less than 1% of humans throughout history?

    Yikes! 🙂

  95. Pastor Al says:

    …and THANK GAWD for Calvary Chapel and Greg Laurie or it would be like .0001%

  96. Pastor Al says:

    That Greg Laurie is a multi-millionaire all from selling “Jesus*” doesn’t matter b/c HE saves backsliders every year from hell.

  97. Pastor Al says:

    On a roll today, when the SPIRIT moves! 🙂

    Good day LOL

    Don’t get your panties in a cerfuffle or a ruffle. I’ve got much bigger fish to fry.

  98. Em says:

    trouble with being on a roll is that one can only roll down hill 🙂

    BTW – i don’t know anyone here who gives credibility to any other person who has a special revelation from God – including dear Pastor Al… we’re all in trouble when we try to “share” our special revelations… Chaos Theory? yes, it drives the AI people crazy, but God has no problem with it at all… that order that comes out of chaos? only God can pull that off IMHO

  99. Babylon's Dread says:

    Em… that was a classic blast.

  100. Em says:

    gotta say … 🙂

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