Things I Think…

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21 Responses

  1. Em Wegemer says:

    Once again, good thoughts! ! !

  2. Alan says:

    Feel free to correct all the churches you planted. I’ll support it.

  3. Michael says:

    Alan,

    Is that the standard now?
    Unless I planted it, I’m prohibited from critiquing it?

    If it makes you feel any better , it appears all my efforts and those of every other person who cared enough to fight for the church have gone for naught.
    You guys can blame the culture for what happens after this…

  4. Michael says:

    I’ll always be amazed and dismayed by the last 20 some years I’ve spent online…my thesis from the beginning was that there was nothing more important than preserving the holiness and safety of the church… and I believed that surely every Christian believed the same.

    I was right on one hand and dead wrong on the other…

  5. Alan says:

    Paul clearly loved the church. I have no doubt about that.

  6. Michael says:

    You aren’t the first to doubt me, Alan…but I will go to my grave wondering why all you lovers of the church were so quiet when the Lord of the church was being defamed and His people abused.

    I can tell I’m getting old and my fighting days are passing…this doesn’t offend me nearly as much as it should.

    It saddens me greatly, though.

    It’s better this way…

  7. Alan says:

    Haven’t ever attacked you Michael even once. Even now. But you insist that it’s personal. You have the last word. Grace to you.

  8. Idahoan says:

    How can we dissociate ourselves from sexually immoral church planters if there is no one to “correct” them? Let’s say I’d been part of the Jesus revolution back in the 70’s and a prophet arose and corrected a famous Moses-like planter— not just of churches but a whole association— for adultery. I might have wanted to dissociate myself. If I found that other leaders knew about it and covered it up, I might have dissociated myself from the movement. Such a prophet would have been greeted with “How many churches have YOU planted? How many souls have YOU saved? Look at all the good his teaching is doing!” As it is, no prophet arose. So some 50 years later, many of my friends who revere this man have no idea that he had some indiscretions and an inappropriate relationship. And I wouldn’t know either except for happening upon an article in this blog. So I know a secret, but if I said anything, I’d just be speaking ill of the dead, and there’s absolutely nothing I can find anywhere else on the whole world-wide web to back me up.

  9. Michael says:

    Idahoan,

    All the older generation know and most have known for a very long time.

    I was told in 2004…by someone still in power and verified dozens of times since.

    There is a reason they never challenged me about the facts…the reason is I told the truth.

    These men will never speak that truth out loud…

  10. Rob Murphy says:

    I agree with Alan. And I will add my personal opinion that I see the difference between Paul’s method and yours is that you consistently and repeatedly state admiration of those who are not believers – by their own words and life testimony, and consistently offer that you would rather keep company with them.
    Paul – at the same time he tells (for instance) Euodia and Synteche to settle their differences also clearly states that they are believers who share the true Gospel. Paul repeatedly says to those he offers correction toward that they have the evidence of the Gospel in their lives. Paul says that we all need more of God’s holiness in our lives. Yours says we’re all condemned from holiness in our lives if we are not bothered by things that bother you. Your method does not feature saying holiness can look like that little old lady that makes casseroles for the sick or reads Jesus stories to little kids in the nursery and Sunday School. You never seem to see her. And if she loves God and country, yikes, she’s an idolater.

    My impression through decades of observation is that you don’t even like people who simply want to read about Jesus in the morning, share love with their neighbor and serve Jesus sitting and reading a Bible story to a kid in the nursery because they don’t ‘huzzah’ when you do what you say the Lord called you to do. You historically put the onus on ‘the folks in the pew’ and you have created a caste system here where ‘the folks in the pew’ are the deliberately obtuse idolaters – all of them – because they dress, vote, drive the same lifestyle as ‘the folks in the pew’ at some church you revile.

    After decades, my belief is that you don’t like the kind of people who need saving, and you cultivate an environment here that says it’s not just okay but noble to hold a grudge against Jesus for the fact that the people he saves do dumb stuff, sinful stuff, even evil stuff that COULD eclipse Jesus if we fixate on the people instead of the Savior. Deliberately living in a Jesus Eclipse, sitting in a place where all that is visible is the people who need saving instead of Jesus is applauded.

    The irony is that this kind of environment is the exact same thing you lament about others creating in their ‘conflation of politics and faith’.

    Quoting you:
    “You aren’t the first to doubt me, Alan…but I will go to my grave wondering why all you lovers of the church were so quiet when the Lord of the church was being defamed and His people abused.”
    Look at the venom: “You lovers of the church”
    Look at the believing the worst of others – when you KNOW it’s not true: “were so quiet when the Lord of the church was being defamed and His people abused”.
    Alan has for decades been anything BUT silent about the need for holiness in the church. Lumping him of all people into that chasm of indifference and inaction is ridiculously offensive. You know his story! How dare you impugn his obedience to Christ!!!

    You violate your own 9th commandment lecture, you make in that one statement as holding affection for the body of Christ into a byword.

    You have better things to say about Bowden, Jobs, Bud Grant and Jerry Lee Lewis than you do about Alan (for instance) and THAT should alarm you, but it does not. How do you revere with your own admiration those names and revile Alan?
    As per Paul, in Phil. 3.17 “Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us.” I must say that here in this response , you are not an example that follows Paul.
    And per the rest of the section in Phil. 3.18 and following, I will leave that to you because it has been an imperative caution in my own life after being ripped off, cheated, lied about and stolen from by those who say they are part of the church. I could become the same and I don’t want that for me and I don’t want that for you.
    I have lived among the craters of devastation in the church since my Dad became a pastor in 1979 and I’ve seen horror, but I won’t ever want the church vivisected ever because Jesus said to be his kid and live in his body. I can’t hate his body.
    As you walk off into the shadows of the broom tree I hope that you will take what the Lord is offering instead of a feast of bitterness.

  11. Michael says:

    Rob,

    I was waiting…

    My impression was that Alan was drawing a distinction between Paul who loved the church and myself…who he believes does not.

    Look at the venom, indeed.

    I am feeling a too great a need for vindication to be either wise or holy…so I will say no more at this time.

    I will trust that the Lord knows my heart and Alan does as well.

  12. Alan says:

    No Michael, I know you love the church- full stop.

    When we love we have authority to rebuke. You live in that grace when you aim direct and small. You transgress it when the attack is broad.

    You drew a correlation between your blog and Paul’s letters. I have simply answered to show the correlation does not fit well.

  13. Michael says:

    Alan,

    Thank you for the clarification.

  14. Idahoan says:

    The retired mega pastor from the big city around here probably knows – if I have the chance to talk to him I could ask. Maybe he’ll be invited to be a guest speaker. But likely no help, since he had an affair himself and suddenly retired before it could come out. I’m a bit concerned his friends may want to “restore” him. Once again there’s absolutely no info except what I’ve read here, which I believe.

  15. Michael says:

    Idahoan,

    Caldwell could tell you…so could that wretched heathen Kestler…

  16. Michael says:

    So, I’ll try to respond briefly to Rob.

    Yes, there are many unbelievers I have admired…and yes, I’d rather spend time with them than “some” Christians.

    Common grace gifts believer and unbeliever alike.
    I have also written glowingly about many believers, but that would ruin the cohesion of your narrative.

    If we’re going to cherry pick Paul, can we start with what I actually quoted from him?

    I don’t write much about little old ladies who cook, but I am fond of them, especially if they have cats as well.

    I do put the onus on the people in the pews because they are the ones who can stop supporting abusive and corrupt ministers and are the key to any healthy church.

    I make no apology for doing so.

    As to the rest of your comment I don’t understand much of it other than as a general condemnation of me and my work.

    That’s ok.

    What I won’t be quiet about is the accusation of eclipsing Jesus…at this stage of my life He’s all I’ve got and my one obsession is to point people to Him and away from all the other things that are being raised in front of Him, allegedly with His imprimatur.

  17. Michael says:

    Lets be clear about one thing…the ties that have bound or torn here are political, not spiritual…

  18. Reuben says:

    “We allow the media to define what our problems are…as our communities and institutions crumble into dust…”

    We agree on that 110%

    I quit listening to, or watching American based media entirely some time ago, but I am a news junkie. I just pay attention to news sources that have no vested interest in the US pretty much at all. Al Jazeera seems to do the best job. If there is any global news agency that cares less about America, it’s them.

    They view American problems as stupid. Utter foolishness. Global problems are far worse. Nobody stuck in the American exceptionalism mindset pays attention to the rest of the planet, and the rest of the world knows this. We just shoot each other and shoot our children while they learn, but we are looked upon as morons globally. It’s a perspective I appreciate because it begs the question, how important are we actually on this planet other than consumers enslaved to an end stage capitalist system?

    The fact is, we are not great, like the Trump says, but we will never be great again because we are self absorbed idiots, we can’t see past our noses.

    I am totally for our institutions burning down to the dirt. All of it. This nation values humanity only as a liability. Period. People hate everyone here. The world watches and laughs. We work for an end that is less every day. We are grinding ourselves into nothingness. America is ending.

    They watch and laugh.

  19. BrideofChrist, Janet Linn says:

    Rob and Allen, it’s obvious that you’ve never been at the receiving end of church abuse. Michael speaks for those of us who have, and there are many of us. Christ stood up for those abused by the Pharisees and He was sickened by it. He called them a ” brood of vipers”. Pretty strong rebuke there, but they deserved it, obviously. People are leaving the church in record numbers and it certainly isn’t because of anything Michael has posted here. Look to yourselves for the reasons why. Attacking Michael is “shooting the messenger” for stating a truth you don’t want to hear.

  20. Michael says:

    BoC…thanks for the support.

    I will say that I don’t think you would find issues in either one of their churches on that subject.

  21. Alan says:

    Who’s Allen?

    Everyone who follows Jesus signed up for abuse. It’s in the nature of the cross.

    Can’t follow that guy without getting splinters.

    Doesn’t mean it’s right or good and it doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be exposed.

    And Michael knows I don’t have to like what he says or how he says it to care about his wretched self. And vice versa …

    But it’s nice that you’re standing up for him to big bad bullies.

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