Things I Think

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345 Responses

  1. I love my church … I opened Romans 11:11-25 yesterday. More than that we had testimonies from the people who stood on the streets of Mardi Gras. Afternoon we went to a public hall and had five bands put on a benefit for the homeless. Last night 3 groups of people gathered in homes. 20+ young adults came to my house the conversation turned to glossalalia and we had a blessed time praying for the whole group.

  2. j2theperson says:

    Re: #9, at least in part, that seems like one of the prices people pay if they believe in sola scriptura. It’s really easy to argue about those sorts of issues if all you’re looking at is the Bible; one can parse the meanings of words endlessly and argue about the historical and cultural context etc….

    The doctrine of the Orthodox or Catholic churches is pretty clear, but what the Bible means can be endlessly debated.

  3. Michael says:

    BD,

    We were in Mark 3…and I’ll write more about that later this week.
    It’s the interaction with each other that makes it rich for me…and it sounds much the same for you.

  4. Michael says:

    j2,

    My only reference for what the Christian faith is about is the Bible.
    The more I deconstruct it to affirm my culture, the less it has to say that I can hold in faith.
    I would love to be convinced from Scripture that women can be pastors, but I don’t see it.
    That doesn’t mean I agree with it, it means I have to obey it… while being as careful as possible to not be biased or sexist in other areas.

  5. j2theperson says:

    One can make arguments supporting the idea of women as pastors or leaders within the church. Just based on what is written in the Bible, there were women who were arguably pastors, there was a woman who was arguably an apostle, there was a woman judge, there were women prophets. You have to discount all of those things in order to claim that the Bible makes an across the board pronouncement that women can never and should never be pastors.

    There are good and reasonable ways to interpret the Bible that would leave open the possibility that women can be pastors or have a greater role in the church. The book “Slaves, Women & Homosexuals” by William Webb offers one of those perspectives (while also, it is worth noting, coming down against homosexuality).

    http://www.amazon.com/Slaves-Women-Homosexuals-Exploring-Hermeneutics/dp/0830815619

  6. Steve Wright says:

    BD

    Romans 11:11-24 for us yesterday 🙂

  7. Sarah says:

    Such a great Sunday for us. We are going through the book of Judges right now. We also had a great art show by a dear friend in the church…she is master calligrapher and did a show based on “prayer”. Thankful for the community…all that that means.

  8. Kevin H says:

    As to #5 and demonic encounters, I attended a funeral this weekend of a past friend who succumbed to overdose. I don’t know if he ever wrestled with real demons or not, but I’m sure it at least felt like it at times as he battled his addictions. Who knows how often there are real demonic influences in cases like these, but I would imagine it could happen sometimes and we would be foolish to think otherwise.

  9. Josh Hamrick says:

    J2 – that’s my line of thinking as well. Plus, if a woman tells me that God has called her to pastor, and she’s preaching the gospel and loving people, I’m gonna tell her to stop? Nope. I’m fine with people interpreting scripture in a different way, but there is no way it should be such a primary issue.

    I am sorry to hear about Steve Hill. There was something different about the Brownsville Revival. I don’t know what, but could get chills watching those services right now.

    Yesterday at my church was amazing. I taught a little on the end of Proverbs 1 and the beginning of Proverbs 2. That went really well, though I miss my marathon journey through John. After that, we had an amazing, spirit-led, service. I led the choir in a Brooklyn Tabernacle song about Heaven, which inspired my pastor to dump his sermon, and preach about heaven from the Scriptures. It was incredible. Two people came forward to testify that they have been saved. 1, a young, tough, urban youth. No real family involved in his life. He’s 13 and been arrested several times. Nobody cares. Yesterday, he wanted to let us all know that he was going to follow Jesus. The other was a young lady, early 30’s. Has a few kids, but doesn’t have custody. For the 4 years I have been at this church, her mother has prayed for her every week. The young lady is an addict, and has been in jail most of my tenure at the church. Yesterday, she told us that Jesus has saved her, and that she has been completely sober for a year.

  10. Michael says:

    KevinH,

    I’ll be blunt…I think that when we are praying for people suffering under anything that seems intractable that we should be praying against demonic forces as well.
    I think that’s informed praying…

  11. Michael says:

    I love the testimonies of what is happening at the local church…we should celebrate these things more than we rail against the opposite…

  12. Ixtlan says:

    How many major —-ups does this make for Driscoll? The guy appears to be untouchable. I have to wonder about the vicarious ignorance in the seats of his many auditoriums that fill up to see their demigod.

    It is a sad day when the world has more stringent ethical standards than the church.

  13. Kevin H says:

    topic, but one other thing to share from the funeral that is both heart-wrenching and displays the amazingness of God at the same time is regards to my friend’s daughter. The heart-wrenching part is that a precious 3 year old little girl is now fatherless. The amazingness of God’s mercy is what He apparently did for this little 3 year old girl. On the morning of his death, before she knew anything had even happened to her father, she was in the car with another family member and said there was an angel on the hood of the car. She soon fell asleep on the car ride and when she awoke, she told the family member that the angel was Daddy.

    My friend, even though he struggled with addictions and often times wasn’t living for the Lord, had a professed faith and I believe is now walking joyfully and pain free with his Savior. And in the terrible circumstances here on earth, God had the mercy to send a message to his little daughter in the most loving and compassionate way possible.

  14. Kevin H says:

    Somehow, the beginning of my comment got cut off, but this is what it was supposed to say:

    It may be a bit off topic, but one other thing to share from the funeral that is both heart-wrenching and displays the amazingness of God at the same time is regards to my friend’s daughter.

  15. Michael says:

    KevinH,

    That’s intense…may God be with that child for the rest of her life.

  16. I never heard of Steven Hill – but there are many folks I never heard of. I must be too local.

    Driscoll – no one calls him on the carpet because no one cares – the man is irrelevant and continually becoming so.

    I will ask this bluntly – Has Mark Driscoll ever had any influence in your Christian life? Open question to all

  17. Josh Hamrick says:

    Uhh, everybody is calling Driscoll on the carpet. Its just that his church is not doing so publically, right now.

    I was helping a church plant 5 years ago, and that pastor was big on Driscoll. I googled him and found the infamous Song of Solomon sermon, and that was plenty for me.

  18. Jtk says:

    I read Driscoll’s book on marriage; there were helpful parts, honestly.

    Many of the younger generations are asking questions that no one (I know of) publicly is answering. That was helpful to me.

    But Driscoll did and does answer some of those questions.

    I’m no Mars Hill guy, and I certainly don’t agree with everything in his book. And my lawyer thinks I’m foolish for even answering your question, MLD, in this current environment.

    Oddly enough, responding to Michael’s #5, I can’t imagine how video venues like mars hill would deal with a Mark 5 type demoniac who came into their physical building broadcasting. I don’t know about y’all’s meeting places, but those types are just outside the door of our services regularly.

    If someone isn’t equipped enough locally to preach, what are the odds that they are ready to deal with the local demoniac? They don’t appear on video venues (other than the music award shows).

  19. filbertz says:

    It is also difficult to have a gender-related discussion when fools like Bill Gothard use submissive teaching to promote and enable his own abusive practices.

  20. Jtk says:

    …like I have a lawyer…ha

  21. Michael says:

    fil,

    There’s the problem. So many have used the Bible as a weapon that they have made it an enemy of joy and a symbol of oppression.
    The Bible didn’t do it…

  22. Michael says:

    jtk,

    His sex manual has kept me in counseling appointments for a year.
    I don’t think all demoniacs show the same symptoms as Mark 5…

  23. Kevin H says:

    MLD,

    In response to your #16, I don’t think it’s a matter of how many here have been influenced by Driscoll. The percentage is small, just like it would be if you took a poll of Christians all across this country. But the thing is, he still has a far wider range of influence than most. Including all his multi-sites, he probably has tens of thousands who call him their pastor. He has probably influenced many more tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, with his books, videos, and conference appearances. There are probably plenty of pastors and church leaders who have never even met the man who have been influenced by him.

    Now, many of his followers may be more concerned with the opportunity to admire a celebrity pastor than they may be with the misdeeds of said pastor. But that does not change the fact that the man has had and continues to have a wide range of influence and that is not a good thing if the man is carrying himself in a manner not worthy of the office he is holding.

  24. I probably need to get out more. In the past 3 weeks, I ask my Christian friends
    1.) do you know who Mark Driscoll is – about 50% will say yes
    2.) Have you read any of his books – 100% have answered no.

    He seems to come up in blog life but not real life. 🙂

  25. Jtk says:

    Agreed and agreed, Michael.

    What do church’s, especially video venues, do when visibly and outwardly disturbed demoniacs act out? THAT is my query. Mark 5 being scripture’s most (?) extreme example of a troubled individual.

  26. I have heard of MD
    I have never read an MD book
    I have an MD satellite 1 mile from my front door. They own the town for young adults.
    None of these little controversies are going to ‘stick’ to him.
    MD has influenced me by becoming the elephant at my door and pretty much no other way. He has no influence on my faith life.

  27. If Driscoll’s book sales support the church why do we care about the matter of book marketing? Obviously I have not written a book.

  28. Michael says:

    BD,

    He may not influence your faith life…but he is affecting your community.

  29. More than that Michael. Driscoll has influenced my church in that he has received some of my members. Painfully I have lost families to his church. They are very very good at making connections with people.

  30. Jtk says:

    We have a troubled sex culture. I don’t see any other pastor addressing sex in a public forum.

    WHO else is?

    I don’t agree with lots in that book.

    I also think these issues are best handled in private, in LOCAL churches. That is me.

    Driscoll is the opposite of a private man. And THAT is contributing to EVERYTHING surrounding MH.

  31. Jtk says:

    I knew I should’ve kept my mouth shut. MLD, I hope you like that at least one person answered your question.

    I hate when people don’t answer mine.

  32. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    Mark Driscoll is just one of many charlatans

  33. Steve Wright says:

    I don’t see any other pastor addressing sex in a public forum.
    ————————————————————
    I address sex when the Bible addresses sex as we teach through the books of the Bible.

    I then archive those teachings so anybody else who is reading that portion of the Bible can click for free and see what was said.

    I don’t see what additional responsibilities fall to the pastor when it comes to a public forum.

    Of course, I address issues concerning sex in private forums with individuals on a regular basis – but it’s not like Christians don’t KNOW what they are supposed to do and not do in this area…..it’s a matter of the will and of obedience. Which is why most of my counseling in this area is summed up by “Stop doing that”

  34. Michael says:

    JTK,

    I’ve dealt with some of the damage from that book…and there has to be a better way to address these issues.
    As to the demoniac…I have been present when demons were cast out of a person and I’ve also prayed for people who were oppressed.
    It’s not good TV…and it takes maturity and discipleship to deal with.

  35. jtk,
    “We have a troubled sex culture. I don’t see any other pastor addressing sex in a public forum.”

    Well if my pastor knew about this he would address it – he would tell people to STOP having sex in public forums!!! 😉

  36. Josh Hamrick says:

    Pastors for the most part are not sex therapists, and shouldn’t feel like they have to be. When a guy speaks loudly about something he is unqualified to speak about…you get Mark Driscoll.

  37. filbertz says:

    if you’re not forum, you’re aginum. 😉

  38. gomergirl says:

    MLD #16
    I used to listen to MD a lot. I listened to his teaching in podcast form while commuting. I liked him and his teaching. He had a refreshing style that was nice to listen to. He seemed to be a little more “in your face” and talked about things in a frank and open manner. He talked like a real person. His personality seemed a bit much and I thought I probably would never be friends with him, but that was not why I listened. I was between churches and really looking for teaching that would keep me going. As I stopped commuting, I stopped listening, not over controversy. I then read a book of his and started hearing disturbing things on blogs and the internet about his church…. and you know the rest. That is all. I have friends who know him, from school, not his church, and they think he is a stand-up good guy. I have no other references and tend to believe the bulk of what I hear. The one thing that struck me from the beginning, was I thought it odd that they only ever sang music that was from their own church. No popular worship songs, no old hymns…. I thought that was weird, but hey, whatever floats their boat. It was not a big enough issue to matter to me.
    Does that answer your question enough.

  39. gomergirl says:

    I just want to add, that as the topic of sex has come up, most pastors and churches in general, have no desire to do any real counselling on the matter. Issues that have come up in my marriage, and in the marriages of my friends, have largely been reduced to nothing, leaving a really big open wound that may just be there forever. I think that even men’s groups that claim they want to be places where men can share and feel safe are not. Unless it fits within their comfort zone, they don’t want to hear it. And with so many “christian” counselors who are right in line with secular psychology norms, there i no place to really turn. At least in my experience. Just sharing. At least MD approached sex like it really existed, not a taboo hush-hush subject.

  40. Michael says:

    GG,

    I have unfortunately dealt with too many men who used Driscolls book and teachings as a weapon to try to force their wives into sex acts that for one reason or another they were uncomfortable with.
    Those sessions rarely turn out well as I usually lose my temper.
    I know what I can handle and what I can’t…and there’s more I can’t handle in counseling than I can.
    We get people into qualified counseling and support them through the processes…like a family should, in my opinion.

  41. Steve Wright says:

    I don’t believe most pastors have the qualifications to do serious counseling, on sex or any other matter – and thus, unless a church has the payroll and size/need to put a fulltime counselor on staff (and some do), then the alternatives are to reference people outside the church or to likely do far more harm than good in a pastoral attempt at something he is unqualified to do.

    In seminary, one of my counseling professors who was not a pastor but was a licensed, professional therapist told us how he had just gotten a call from a pastor who finally was giving up on helping some guy who was a “sex addict” – he asked the pastor how long he had been working with him and the answer was “two years”

    That is insane. He asked the pastor if he had any training or experience in helping such a person and of course the answer was ‘no’

    I know I would not think much of a therapist who thought himself a theologian and presumed to tell someone in my congregation the right way to understand the Bible….and so I in turn respect those who have made the investment of time and money, and have the years of experience, to actually know what they are talking about.

    Of course, another reality in this discussion is that some people (not all) would rather keep their money rather than go to a professional who could reasonably be expected to help them. As long as it is free, sure they will chat with the pastor as much as they can….especially if it gets their spouse or parents off their back…which is usually the greater motivation than actual victory over the problem

  42. Michael says:

    Steve,

    Those last two paragraphs should be framed.
    Amen and amen.

  43. Scott says:

    Here’s something I’m thinking about. Now that my life is finally normalizing after 5 years, I’ve begun to search for direction from the Lord about getting plugged into a local church again.

    The previous church is out of question. So, I feel like I have to be so cautious. You know, with all of these online ministries bringing this thing and that thing to light and providing a plethora of scandalous information about every Tom, Dick & Harry out there, I almost don’t know who or what I can trust anymore.

    It’s a sad state affairs too be honest and somewhat paralyzing.

  44. Josh Hamrick says:

    Yep, amen to Steve’s whole post. Being a pastor does not make you an expert on everything.

  45. gomergirl says:

    Michael, this was in no way directed toward you or anyone here (as far as I know) . It is just my experience, in churches and groups. and never did I experience the ” We get people into qualified counseling and support them through the processes…like a family”
    So that was all I meant.
    As for his teaching on sex…. I did not read his book, I was speaking about his teachings from early on in his timeline. I think (without having read it) his book is not appropriate and i was in no way defending it. It came out long after I stopped paying attention to him.

  46. I think the reason I don’t read the common books of the Driscolls etc is that I NEVER shop in the “Christian Living” aisles of a bookstore … those are the most dangerous places in a Christian bookstore – worse than the end times aisles.

  47. Mike DeLong says:

    The NDA makes for fascinating reading, and I recommend reading it and Googling the officer who signed it on behalf of Mars Hill.

    I don’t object to a church asking employees to sign an NDA; some of the stuff listed there that is subject to the NDA probably should go without saying but it is always helpful to list items that should not be disclosed.

    On the other hand, it is always a warning sign if you can’t find out what the pastor’s compensation is. It should be two items: salary and and optional housing allowance. Anything else should be subject to detailed explanation (e.g. life insurance) or should be a warning sign.

    If the pastor’s compensation is subject to an NDA that’s a bigger warning sign.

    One question that springs readily to mind, however, is whether employees had to sign a similar NDA when they hired on, or whether this was a surprise part of their exit interview.

  48. I don’t know if I am for openness about the pastor’s salary etc. I think this leads to a lot of gossip, and back biting in a church

  49. gomergirl says:

    MLD… I don’t shop at those places either. they make me want to scream. I got mine from the public library… go figure.

  50. Mike DeLong says:

    If your local church had to file the IRS Form 990 like a normal tax-exempt organization it would have to disclose compensation for anyone in an executive position. If your pastor is a regular employee and does not make compensation decisions that’s different.

    You should still be able to find out, but that’s a different argument.

  51. Steve Wright says:

    Hi Mike.

    Curious…why did you call housing allowance “optional” ? Seems to me from any sort of stewardship perspective even a partially paid pastor should be paid first in housing allowance to the extent the law allows.

  52. Mike,
    The pastor of our church is not an executive of the non profit. the board are the executives , and unpaid.

    The pastor is a paid employee,

  53. I always wonder when someone says “You should still be able to find out…” – why are you looking for this information?

    Rarely is it because the inquiring party wants to make sure that the church is not taking advantage of the pastor and paying him too little.

  54. Josh Hamrick says:

    Usually stuff is hidden when there is something to hide.

  55. Mike DeLong says:

    Steve regarding your #51

    The housing allowance is tax exempt because it is in lieu of a parsonage. If the church has a parsonage (or the pastor owns his home outright) it’s hard to argue for an additional allowance.

    The last time I read up on this there was no maximum allowance on a first residence, but there had been some clarifications regarding a second home. So I would disagree that a pastor should be paid to the maximum allowed.

    Senator Grassley led an investigation into IRS treatment of pastoral compensation a few years ago, and the final report makes for interesting reading, especially the case law regarding IRS treatment of ah unusually large allowances.

  56. Steve Wright says:

    Mike, you are out of date on that. The amount allowable is the actual expenses spent on the housing OR the fair rental value plus utilities – whichever is LESS (and of course it has to be declared in the prior year by the church and can’t exceed what the church formerly declared)

    So if the pastor owns his home outright, he will be quite limited on what the law allows (which is why I said, the extent the law allows)

    However, such a one would still have expenses that must be paid, that the IRS allows to be seen as housing. Why encourage a church to pay more taxes than required by law? That’s what I meant by stewardship.

  57. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    “Pastors for the most part are not sex therapists, and shouldn’t feel like they have to be. When a guy speaks loudly about something he is unqualified to speak about…you get Mark Driscoll.”

    Sex isn’t Rocket Science, doesn’t take a Therapist to know about it

  58. Josh Hamrick says:

    Exactly Solomon. So why do we need some blow hard Pastor making public statements on it.

  59. Steve Wright says:

    As an aside, an this is an honest question for those of various denominations, are there any churches today in America that pay 100% of the housing expenses for their pastors directly by the church. In other words, not only do they provide a house, but pay all the utilities directly, pay for all the upkeep, pay for the lightbulbs, linens, paper towels and cleaning supplies and all the other items that the IRS properly calls allowable expenses under housing allowance?

  60. RiBo says:

    “We had a wonderful, soul renewing time in our church yesterday. If you did too, tell us about it.

    Yes, had a wonderful soul renewing day as well yesterday spending time with my wife and kids…much better than any “church” lecture.

  61. I don’t know the details of our housing allowances but I do know that we went through an IRS audit last year that we were sure they were trying to bust us on exactly that point … with a different twist.

    some of our teachers in the day school are rostered ministers, by training and license (they teach the kids Bible etc) and we give them a housing allowance. What the IRS was trying to do was figure out who, how and why we differentiate between teachers. The guy was around for 6 months nosing around. When he wanted to sit in on some classes we called him into a board meeting and told him no.

  62. “much better than any “church” lecture.” Because they discuss right and wrong – good and evil which you deny as a relativist.

  63. RiBo says:

    MLD, false. I don’t deny “good” and “evil”…you redefine it by saying genocide (God commanding the slaughter of all the women, children and infants) is “good” while I believe it is “evil”

  64. RiBo says:

    I also believe it is “evil” and not “good” to torture a sentient being or human in hell forever with no end having not even presented them with the gospel message therefore they couldn’t have a real choice in the matter…which describes the bulk of humanity throughout human history and 2 billion humans today haven’t heard the gospel.

  65. RiBo says:

    I also believe that Martin Luther’s anti-semitism and his treatise calling for Jews to be burned out, etc. in his infamous “On Jews and their Lies” is evil as well and not good.

  66. RiBo says:

    Any other issues you’d like me to weigh in on with regards to my take on something being “good” or “evil”?

    I don’t find your trolling good or evil, just inane.

  67. RB, you are a confused relativist. Whenever it suits you you say “we can’t know.”

    So, I can toss it back at you and say all of the above are just your opinions, but not set in any kind of reality – it is just the consensus (your favorite term) that you have garnered with others – but wrong or evil on it’s own??? … how dare you (me regurgitating you)

  68. RiBo says:

    MLD wrong as usual but you know that already you’re just trolling.

    I have said often you can know that Gravity exists and is universal…etc etc.

    Conscience and Reason dictate issues like “good” and “evil” and are more relative, though most of humanity (other than some of the Christians* and the Nazis and Luther) believe that genocide is “evil” and not “good”

  69. All of your statements say that you “believe” something is right / Good or something is wrong / Evil.

    Did you notice that you did not say that they were in actuality right and wrong etc – just that you believe…
    The mind of a confused relativist.

  70. RiBo says:

    I know 1+1=2

    I know Gravity is a universal reality we all deal with here on earth.

    I know you are an old man who lives in SoCal.

    I know that you and I will die a physical death someday.

    I know that taxes will be due again this year.

    I know the seasons will change.

    I know a lot of stuff and I don’t claim you can’t know some things to be fact.

  71. “and are more relative, though most of humanity…”

    There you go back to what you believe and your consensus with others …

    tisk, tisk – can’t say something is right or wrong on it’s own.

  72. RiBo says:

    Not at all and you lack the intellectual acumen to understand the nuance. It is like talking to a 60 year old man with a 7 year old brain.

  73. You know that we are not talking those items … or you lied every time you said “we cannot know” or “we cannot know for sure.”

  74. RiBo says:

    You don’t realize that you are actually agreeing with my position LOL b/c you lack the understanding of the terms you are throwing around. I thought you took philosophy in college? You’ve either forgotten it or you pulled a Patrick Ewing.

  75. Michael says:

    RiBo and MLD,

    The only two people interested in your daily urination competitions are the ones writing them.
    Take it elsewhere.

  76. RiBo says:

    I’ll stop feeding the troll as I’ve got some real work to do, much bigger fish to fry these days between 3 busy stores, Brian Brodersen stuff and now Rob McCoy stuff.

  77. The fact that you cannot detail your points and must revert to calling me names shows who lacks the intellectual acumen.

    Have you ever had a conversation where you did not call me a name or blame Luther for killing all the Jews in WW@ … which you have now done twice?

  78. RiBo says:

    It’s not a competition, I get feedback from many and MLD only makes himself look really stupid and ill-informed but does provide a foil to lay out some of my positions which are well thought out and consistent.

  79. RiBo says:

    That’s my last word Michael. BTW, I have some info I want to discuss with you that’s important. Heard back from a source today on the BB stuff.

  80. G. Lindy says:

    “I’m teaching through the book of Mark on Sundays and there are demonic encounters on every page. What makes us think that such conflicts ended with the closing of the canon? The enemies biggest victory has been to convince us that he doesn’t exist…”

    My response to this would be, if all the gifts ended with the canon, I guess demonic encounters (tongue-in-cheek) have also. At least that’s what the “pastor” at my church teaches.

  81. dusty says:

    hi everyone!

    big brothers lifting you up in prayer today. Hoping your load is lite and your joy is full. love ya!

  82. dusty says:

    Big brother

  83. Found this article that is right up Xenia’s alley.

    Orthodox Churches Will Hold First Ecumenical Council In 1,200 Years In Istanbul

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/10/orthodox-church-council_n_4931391.html?utm_hp_ref=religion

  84. Mike DeLong says:

    Steve regarding your #56:

    You’re right; there’s been some clarification regarding fair value.

    This is one of those things that would best involve some numbers and some explanation. I’d be apprehensive, for example, if the pastor were doing something explicitly to maximize the housing allowance (like refinancing a nearly paid-off house and taking case out of the house), but stranger things have happened.

    The church we currently attend mentioned in its annual report that they have a strong desire for the senior pastor to live close to the church; unfortunately house prices nearby are really high, and it presents something of a dilemma. I have no idea if it is reasonable for a church to make a priority of providing a multi-million-dollar house for the senior pastor.

  85. “urination competitions”

    LOL!!!
    I love following a wordsmith. Reminds me of my daughter, the editor.
    Michael N, you are awesome! =)

  86. Steve Wright says:

    Mike,

    Multi-million dollar house? How far away from that church neighborhood would the pastor have to live to not have to have such an expensive house?

    And I agree with your point about refinancing, but even there, the law has limitations and he still won’t get more than fair rental value. At the same time, as long as the total compensation package is equal, why would the church care about the balance between housing and salary?

    And I always feel a reminder to add that whenever we talk about the tax advantages of housing, the IRS still treats pastors like self-employeds and requires double the payroll taxes on 100% of salary and housing.

  87. Al says:

    Just like the Pharisees of old called Jesus a heretic. Though Steve H. Isnt Jesus, but he sure preached His message to the ends of the earth, without compromise. So its no surprise that he was labeled by the religious and guys like MacArthur a heretic.

  88. Steve Wright says:

    I want to clarify my response @87 a little. About the refinancing question.

    First, we are obviously in agreement that the pastor does not treat the church as his own personal bank account to tap whenever his personal poor planning results in a need.

    So we assume the church has a compensation package of X dollars per month, which is decided by others and not the pastor – why should the church care how that is split, as long as it is legally supported?

    Maybe the pastor refinanced his home to pay college tuition for his children. Maybe he refinanced his home for any number of good reasons…or…maybe he did so and wasted (in the eyes of others) the money.

    At the end of the day, it is the pastor’s debt – in his name, not the church’s.

    While I am fully supportive of others having say and control on what the amount of compensation is going to be, in what other line of work do others at the job site have the right to THEN, after the agreed upon compensation is made, tell the person how he can spend what is his now own-earned-money?

  89. Michael says:

    Dusty,

    I had to step out for a while…I’m ok. 🙂
    Hope you’re doing better!

  90. Mike DeLong says:

    Steve —

    Here’s the language: “budget increases 12.6% over estimated actual FY12 spending. The Advisory Board’s view is that Pastors should live within a reasonable distance from the church. In that light we are trying to bring the Pastors salaries up to where they can live near the church. We started salary adjustments in FY12…”

    Trulia says there are 9 recent sales in the neighborhood (our county is legally divided into neighborhoods) with an average sale price of $1.144m, and 25 recent sales averaging over $900k. The surrounding county is less expensive with the average house sold in the last week at about $740k.

    I will be interested to see how the board’s view becomes a reality.

    These numbers look pretty stark, especially given that for FY13 total pastoral compensation was about 62% of the total budget, and more than twice what was spent on Missions.

  91. Mike DeLong says:

    “So we assume the church has a compensation package of X dollars per month, which is decided by others and not the pastor – why should the church care how that is split, as long as it is legally supported?”

    That’s a good question. It would trouble me if I were attending a church and I found out there was a conflict of interest in how the decision was being made. E.g. if the board had members of the pastor’s family on it, or if it were apparent that either the pastor were trying to maximize his compensation (or the board trying to minimize it).

    I am under the impression that having 50% of the total budget go to pastoral compensation is fairly common but I have no idea how the percentages are distributed. The church we’re attending is at 62% and we still go there.

    There are published guidelines for compensation negotiation for pastors, but I haven’t read any of them. I’d love to know how different churches decide things like how to negotiate a pastor’s initial compensation and adjustments year to year.

  92. Steve Wright says:

    Mike, that is quite the nieghborhood. Living in So Cal my whole life (though in 3 different counties) I have always been about 15-20 minutes away from both multi-million dollar homes as well as impoverished, broken down neighborhoods – and so something in between would always seem available to a church. I get not wanting the pastor to have a long commute and also that when ALL the homes are that expensive then likely many of those homes are not necessarily very special. My understanding in dealing with banks is that pastoral salary as a percentage of the church’s total expenses is expected to be higher when the church is small and there is only one or two pastors, with significant decreases the larger the church happens to be.

  93. “E.g. if the board had members of the pastor’s family on it,…”
    Our church excludes employees of the church and / or school from being on the board. Also excluded are not only the pastor’s family but family members of those who work for the church or the school.

  94. Andrew says:

    Curious, is there a way to know who is on the church board if you can’t get someone to tell you?

    Also, if a church is non profit, how are things like book stores, cafes, publishing houses, radio broadcast stations and schools (clearly profitable to someone) that are part of the church separated from the non profit part which is actually pretty profitable as well. (the donations).

    And how is a multi-million dollar book deal with a pastor treated when the pastor used his non-profit church to advertise it?

  95. Reuben says:

    The historic positions of the church have shifted faster than an F-1 car on a road course. It is ignorance to believe that our interpretation of “gender rolls” or Homosexuality look a damn sight like what they did 2000 years ago. All of the Bible was written in a context completely foreign to us.

    There is no “simply believing” the historic positions of the church. We have no frame of reference. None.

    If Mark and his UFC smack down Jesus is not proof of this…

  96. I don’t know much about it, but I will bet the homosexual act was the same 2,000 yrs ago as it is today.

    UFC smack down??? I was just watching Hul Hogan, back in the ring with the WWE. 🙂

  97. Reuben says:

    You are cute. So stoning to death a homosexual is cool with you? Do you lock your wife up in a shed that special time of the month?

  98. Michael says:

    Reuben,

    Nonsense.
    Utter nonsense.
    Please show me a time pre twentieth century where the historic position of any Christian denomination favored homosexual relationships.
    Now that you’ve declared me ignorant lets deal with facts.

  99. Michael says:

    Where in the NT are we commanded to stone homosexuals?
    Where in the NT do we lock up menstruating women?

  100. “Do you lock your wife up in a shed that special time of the month?”

    As if you don’t also. 🙂

  101. RiBo says:

    Reuben’s right.

  102. RiBo says:

    “Where in the NT are we commanded to stone homosexuals? Where in the NT do we lock up menstruating women?”

    Matthew 23 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, 2 “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat, 3 so do and observe whatever they tell you…

  103. Michael says:

    No, he’s not right and I’m sick and tired of this constant misrepresentation of the faith.
    I’m sick and tired of both of you trying to break down the faith of others because you’re pissed off at the church.
    I’m sick and tired of the constant cheap shots and arguments.
    If you don’t want to believe in Christianity, then don’t.
    But this isn’t your playground anymore.
    Period.

  104. RiBo says:

    Michael, you state that canard as if it is fact…yet what bible was Jesus and the Apostles teaching from in the New Testament if not the Old Testament?

    The New Testament had not been written yet, correct?

    When Jesus and the Apostles read from the bible, was it not the Law and Prophets?

  105. Michael says:

    RiBo,

    I’m not arguing with you anymore and I’ll moderate anybody who wants to.
    Take your crusade against the faith to your own blog, take Reuben with you, and have a great time.
    I’m done with it.

  106. RiBo says:

    What you stated above is not true. You’re angry and misdiagnosing things and projecting your opinions onto the reality of my participation.

  107. “No, he’s not right and I’m sick and tired of this constant misrepresentation of the faith.”

    It’s not a misrepresentation – theirs is a flatout denial. But if I say it, I am in a pissing match.

  108. RiBo says:

    If you disagree, then present facts that address the claims.

    I am not aware of any books of the bible that Jesus and the Apostles taught from that aren’t the Law and Prophets, are you?

    You repeat a canard that somehow the ugly things in the Old Testament were not in the New Testament while ignoring the fact that you claim Jesus and the Apostles endorsed and affirmed the Old Testament.

    Which is it? Did they reject the OT or did they embrace it and validate it and endorse it and teach it?

  109. Michael says:

    I’m done with it.
    I don’t even like this blog anymore…everything I write turns into another bunch of anti-Christian crap and you and whoever arguing about it.
    I love the church.
    I love the Word of God.
    I’m sick and tired of seeing what I love mocked and misrepresented.
    I don’t fight the corruption because I hate the church, but because I love it…and believe it is the hope of us all.

  110. Michael says:

    RiBo,
    Buy a good study Bible…I’m not entertaining this stuff anymore.
    Period.

  111. RiBo says:

    That’s fine, I’ve had enough of the troll MLD and enough of you (Michael) nuking me for sharing my honest opinions. Lose my number. I’m dropping you from facebook and ending communication. I’ll tackle the CC stuff w/o you and will stay off your blog which is what you’ve stated you want many many times.

  112. RiBo says:

    You can read the Calvary Chapel news on my blog. I’m not confiding in you any longer.

  113. Michael says:

    That’s your choice.
    I’m not nuking anyone, but I’m done with this constant ripping of the faith that I live for.
    This isn’t a game for me, it’s life and death and heaven and hell and hope for something better.
    You don’t have to believe it, but I don’t have to promote tearing it down either.
    I’m going to bed.

  114. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    Was considering sharing a few things about my time at MH but have reconsidered.

  115. brian says:

    totally different and off subject what is your favorite story in the Gospels, mine is where Jesus is meeting in Matthew’s house telling the story of the prodigal son. Though not exactly “biblical” it is one of my favorite scenes in the Movie Jesus of Nazareth.

    http://youtu.be/pgODzUMscZ8

  116. Troubling

  117. Owen Wells says:

    Hi all….
    I realize I’m entirely new here, and I’ll confess I’ve been reading this blog for awhile. I was actually referred by Erunner, I’ve gained wisdom from his blog also.

    Michael, if I may be a little bold here as the newcomer…….I find myself impressed by your faith and the way you uphold it, and I could learn from your example.

    What does not impress me (for whatever that’s worth) are the posters who, as you stated, appear to be here solely to argue against the faith. Having honest questions, coming from a heart that is seeking answers, is one thing – but petty arguments that appear to be simply for the sake of argument are of no value.

    It saddens me to hear you say “I don’t even like this blog anymore”, and I hope that’s not a continuing trend. You are doing a great work here, and I’m sure your regulars are far more aware of that than I.

    I hope I’ve not imposed or offended you, or anyone in this community of faith. Just felt moved to finally comment.

  118. Michael,
    I apologize for my activities on the blog that cause commotion. After reading your comments, I realized that I am the only one who responds to RBs anti christian / anti Bible comments anymore. Everyone else has wised up and walked away and just ignores his comments and I plunge along.

    I vow to not address those issues any longer with him as it shines a bad light on me.

    Now you can enjoy your blog again … I do. 🙂

  119. Ryan Ashton says:

    Michael: Here’s a video my church at Redlands posted… John Crowder is a hyper grace preacher, and used veiled terms to teach universalism. I don’t want to create an argument among the diverse group of believers here, but I am increasingly concerned that this heresy is gaining traction.

    Is there a way — whenever you do have time to get a hold of me — that we can talk about how to handle this too, please?

    gospelshodfeet@gmail.com

  120. Nonnie says:

    Welcome, Owen! Thank you for your comments! I think you just spoke for many of us. Speak up some more! You are appreciated.

  121. brian says:

    ” I am the only one who responds to RBs anti christian / anti Bible comments anymore. ” Actually Michael I must admit I agree with RB in some of what he posts, I admit I lack the intestinal fortitude to follow up in some of the discussions because I do not wish to hurt folks. In my many years as an evangelical and no I am not one, I am not even an orthodox Christian, but I lack the spiritual maturity to gut people, I want to see everyone restored. It sort of shows my reprobate nature. I mean this it is a very strange religion it really is.

  122. Al says:

    @Ryan: You know more about this guy then I do. But overall I liked the message I saw on this video.

  123. Al says:

    Ribo, from ive read, isn’t here to get prayer, fellowship in the common faith in Christ, or even deal with his inner conflicts, so he can fully better serve Christ. But is so hunkered down in his agnostic rebellion. I just don’t see the fruit in allowing someone to spoil the joy in Christ which is what we have in common…just sayin

  124. Frosted Flake says:

    Ding Dong!! Could it be true that Ricky Bobby is gone. It is a new day in the light this wonderful morning. May many flood the blogoshere and return to fellowship and intelligent commentary on the things and people we love.

  125. I must confess ignorance on Steve Hill.
    What are the reasons some consider him a hero?
    Why do some consider him a heretic?

  126. Ryan Ashton says:

    @ Al : I would love to talk to you too! I can point out the subtleties that, if examined closely, would make what seems like a good message actually quite frightening.

    Arguing that all of creation is already reconciled, perfected, transformed — and that all dogmatic certainty and declarative statements is diminishing the mystery of God — and that orthodox teaching is denigrating Jesus…

    …Not to mention he forgets Ananias and Sapphira, the angel of the Lord striking Herod with worms, or Revelation 19 in order to argue Jesus is now ALWAYS loving…

    Well… it’s worrisome. He’s denounced Heidi Baker, Bill Johnson, Mike Bickle, and many people the Renewal likes because 1) they in turn have expressed concern about hyper grace, and 2) Crowder has said “the prophetic age is over!” because we’re already perfected, there is no sanctification, etc.

    For those not already aware, hyper grace is the reason Exodus was shut down. Whitten from Grace Orlando (a hyper grace teaching church) befriended Chambers from Exodus and (if memory serves) strongly encouraged them to shut down.

    Chambers did, apologizing for Exodus’ work over the years, because he had a change of heart and thinks everyone’s fine now, basically.

    That’s hyper grace.

  127. Josh Hamrick says:

    Derek he was the evangelist who started the Brownsville revival…I think back in the 1990’s. Those meetings went on for at least 10 years, and millions of people attended.

    He’s pretty run of the mill Charismatic, which is why some would consider him a heretic. He was in the line of the Toronto, but not nearly as whacky.

  128. London says:

    I couldn’t get past the first two minutes if that video because of the guy’s snark. He seems pretty passive aggressive himself.
    Too many cliches and labels for me to take him seriously.

  129. Josh Hamrick says:

    John Crowder is such a phony, its hard not to be entertained. He’s the guy who does all that “smoking baby Jesus”, “tokin the ghost”, “drinking godka”…you know, good ole blasphemy like that. I can’t imagine that anyone takes him at all seriously.

  130. Michael says:

    Welcome aboard, Owen.
    MLD,
    The bottom line for me is that my “real” life is so stressful right now that the last thing I want is more strife here.
    I don’t believe anybody has ever been argued into the kingdom and these arguments every day don’t build anyone, don’t help anyone, don’t enable anyone to think more clearly about the faith.
    I’m very tired and hanging on to promises at this point…and I have a lot of company.
    We’re looking for hope and reasons to believe, not another argument.

  131. Ryan Ashton says:

    @London and Josh: I’m of a mind with you, but I endure those videos and read their materials because people I love and care about are sucked in by the facade.

    I think it’s a facade at least. It’s hard to imagine anyone taking spirituality expressed like that seriously, but then again, I don’t know what Al thinks when he saw that video. I’d like to pick his brain on it sometime. :/

  132. Michael says:

    Ryan,

    You have mail.

  133. erunner says:

    John Crowder lost me with his reference to Evangelicals withing the first minute. I also don’t like the term pi**ed off Jesus. Maybe one day some Christians will be looking for ways to address the Evangelical danger that has crept into the church. I’m so over the attitude I see towards Evangelicals with the broad brush approach that we’re all a bunch of _________.

  134. Thanks, Josh.

  135. Kevin H says:

    Michael,

    I am glad you put an end to endless arguing. To be honest, I hope it’s a permanent move, not just a temporary one. While I rarely wasted my time reading through the arguments, the presence of them would often stifle other conversation that could have been taking place instead. Conversation that probably would be much more enriching and productive.

    And, of course, that’s not even mentioning the strife that the arguing would often bring. There’s one thing to have honest curious questions and/or to disagree with something written in an objective respectful fashion. Then there’s another thing to come with an attitude that seems to be more concerned with seeking out an argument than it is concerned with having a constructive discussion. There has been way too much of the latter and it takes away from the blog. (And no, I’m not pointing fingers at just one person, although I think the large majority of the community members here are not guilty of what I’m speaking of.)

    And I know there are a lot of dynamics at play which make it difficult to moderate what goes on here. God bless you in trying your best to run this bedlam, er, I mean blog. 🙂

  136. Owen Wells says:

    Thank you, Nonnie and Michael…… it’s always nice to be welcomed! 🙂

    I’m also having a hard time taking John Crowder seriously – makes a couple good points, but I’m curious as to which “Evangelicals” he’s referring to…..the ones I know already believe in Jesus Christ being the same yesterday, today, and forever, so I don’t know where he’s coming up with his assumptions. And is he actually trying to say he’s got God all figured out, or am I reading that into it?
    And why do I feel the urge to go all James 3:1 on this character?

  137. Michael,
    Wishing you a season of liking your blog again. Thank you for patiently enduring my musings these many years and being a gentle coach with me when I need to step away and do my own work with God in silence.

  138. Reuben says:

    LOL, really the point is that we all are so far removed from the mandates of scripture that nobody even believes half of it, or they do and they hide it well. We pick out the “where in the NT” argument when it suits. We were not there. We are not there. Jesus is here. But we deny that too.

    Look, all the abuse comes from the pattern of scripture. Whatever we don’t like, we use scriptures to beat the living snot out of people. Then we trash Mark for going over the edge, but he is more faithful to a historical biblical position than anyone here. That is fact.

    But it is apparently also cool to take it personally when I bring it up. Reason number whatever why this is clearly not the place for me.

  139. covered says:

    Wow how things have changed.

  140. Josh Hamrick says:

    I really think there could be a way forward for all of us together. It would take some self control from all of us, not to always jump to fight, not to always take the bait, not to always repay aggression with harshness. It would be difficult, but I truly think it is possible, and that in doing so our resulting conversations could be even more beneficial, while still disagreeing.

  141. erunner says:

    Josh, In the many years I’ve been here what you envision has never really been a reality. There’s always been bickering and sniping to one degree or another. There comes a time though that it becomes clear that what you are hoping for isn’t going to happen. What the future holds here I don’t know but I suspect RiBo will be back at some point and we’ll see what happens.

  142. Josh Hamrick says:

    I know e, it’s a little pie in the sky, but i do think if everyone could take some personal responsibility and just say “I’m not going to act like that” we could do better.

  143. Michael says:

    Reuben,

    I try not to be abusive, I try to follow what I believe, and though I fail miserably I only try because I’m following the whole counsel of Scripture.
    I have allowed discussions here that most conservatives wouldn’t think of and will continue to do so.
    At this point, I don’t think you want to dialog, you want to let us all know how angry you are and how ignorant we are.
    It’s not real conducive to thoughtful conversation.
    I’m tired of catching it from both sides.
    I’m always open to dialog, fresh starts, and forgiveness.
    I’m not open to nothing but conflict anymore.
    For a blog like this to work, everyone has to compromise and everyone has to have respect for the rest of the group.
    We all have to self moderate to a degree.
    As the person responsible for this, I have enough stress in my personal life that it necessitates not having avoidable stress here.
    We all, including myself, can do better…but I have to keep things between the ditches here.

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

    I’m at TheEffect tonight.
    This is a word for someone here at PhxP as well…

    “Even though you rejected me, I loved you from afar “

  145. covered says:

    Josh, I have only been here a little over 3 years and have seen many changes. What gets frustrating is when someone gets a bit off the rails, they come here and try to blow up the faith of those who are trying to stay on the rails.

    I had the pleasure of meeting our host and the tears in his eyes when he described his calling to provide a safe place for us to think, speak, vent and learn is real. He tolerates a lot and asks very little so when old friends come here and pee on everyone’s cheerios, it’s hurtful knowing how it bothers him. Again, to come here looking for a fight rather than encouragement just seems like a selfish thing to do. It’s especiallty hurtful knowing how much our host cares.

  146. erunner says:

    I hear you Josh and would like to see what you hope for take place. I wonder if the PP is something we might chat about when we all pass into eternity? No arguments then! 🙂

  147. London says:

    Wish I was at TheEffect.

  148. London,
    =)

  149. PP Vet says:

    I have only seen John Crowder in person once – spoke with him very briefly. Gave a wonderful word on the finished work of Christ.

    John is weird. Not near as weird as Isaiah and Jeremiah, but weird nonetheless.

    I love his work.

  150. Bob says:

    I’m courious way up in the thread someone called it the ” Evangelical danger. ” I’d like to know what the “danger” is many are speaking of. Are they teaching a false Jesus, does a passion for spreading the Gospel somehow end up hurting people or is it pushing morals into politics that is the danger?

    While I don’t like the mega church thing and have no respect for the new crop of Furtick type of people, Jesus loving people come in all sorts of groups and we need more of them (Jesus lovers) not less.

    So help us out and explain the danger of those pesky Evangelical people.

  151. Bob,
    “So help us out and explain the danger of those pesky Evangelical people”

    What the hell – I’ll take a stab. Listen to just about any evangelical sermon / Bible study and the focus is on the Christian and not on the Christ. It’s about what you do and not about what Christ has done.

    If I were in a pesky mood, I would say the evangelical message is – “look, Jesus did his work 2,000 yrs ago – that is so far in the past. But what are YOU going to do today?”

    But I am in a mellow mood, so I won’t say that. 😉

  152. Bob says:

    MLD:

    Yes I agree Jesus did His work 2000 years ago, but I would also offer the Author of Hebrews points out that He still does His work today. So doesn’t what we do today actually count for something? Does Jesus have to work “overtime” for more than a few of us?

    Ok before you get too pesky I fully understand Lutheran teachings about the rest Christendom and I get how this, “Listen to just about any evangelical sermon / Bible study and the focus is on the Christian and not on the Christ…”, is taught in the Catechism.

    But MLD I don’t think that is what the “danger” is that many are speaking of. What you are saying are just differences in doctrines and perspective.

  153. London says:

    One “danger” I see is that they sometimes tend to be interested in you only as a “project” or a “donor”
    They either want to fix you or convince you to join their club (church) to get time or money out of you.
    If you refuse to participate in this plan if theirs then you get shamed and or rejected
    Or, if you do participate, you get used as either a number – either of “people saved” or $ in the coffer.
    I think that us one of the things that makes people think that evangelicals aren’t “safe” but dangerous.

  154. Andrew says:

    I would have to agree with MLD. I go to an evangelical church but I am keenly aware that some center the preaching around the Christian and not Christ. Bible verses tend to be interpreted in a narcissistic way instead of in context. The gospel gets blurred from one of proclaiming the forgiveness of our sins to a gospel about a transformed life. When the gospel gets blurred from good news of forgiveness to how you can have your best life now is a serious distortion. I think this is the danger in the modern evangelical movement.

  155. Bob,
    “is taught in the Catechism.” Well, I know someone who has never picked up the Catechism.:-)

    Since you seem to agree that “He still does His work today.” Why would a Christian message be about anything else – the person and works of Jesus Christ? Why use that message only on the unsaved – it is still transformational for the Christian.

    Let me tell you how I see the issue. Christians are taught that after salvation it is all about the Christian life etc. So, we have people like Reuben and RB who have looked to others living the Christian life and seeing all the failings, that they go into a rage and deny, well, you decide what they deny.

    All evangelicals do this and live in a strange world of disappointment with the Church in general and the Mark Driscolls in particular.

    Instead, they should hear a steady, constant, weekly diet of Jesus did this for YOU! The sermon should make people focus on Jesus – not themselves and not other Christians.

  156. Josh Hamrick says:

    I’m always glad to find out that I am not an Evangelical.

  157. Bob says:

    Thank you for the comments about the danger of Evangelicalism. I especially like the one about the “projects.” That one reminds me of many Mormons who like a person until they find out no conversion will happen.

    MLD I didn’t “pick up” the Catechism because I don’t agree with a few doctrinal parts in the teachings and as you said, why would I be a part of an organization I don’t fully embrace.

    I also like what Andrew says about contextual teaching. But that isn’t a failure of Evangelicals alone, it is a historical failure of the church in general. But why Andrew can’t a life following Jesus be “your best life now?” I live in the now, the today, and look forward to the tomorrows and eternity. But my today has the reality in my life.

    MLD, Yes I am disappointed in the people of the church, but that isn’t limited to Evangelicals I include Lutherans in that pot as well. 😉

    Keep em coming, because I find a broad brush statement like the dangers really strange.

  158. erunner says:

    The question for me is who are the Evangelicals? Are we talking CC and other non denominationals? Who else might this include??

  159. Bob says:

    MLD

    I actually find Mark D fascinating as a person and a leader. I ask myself things like, “How did this man get so popular,” “What’s so special about his teachings,” “how come he has to control with such an iron hand,” and “Why doesn’t he see what others (God) are trying to tell him?”

    I don’t find disappointment in Mark D at all I just wonder why he pipe keeps playing so long and people keep trailing after him.

    Oh well my question was about making a list of the “dangers” in Evangelicals not Mark D.

  160. Josh Hamrick says:

    “Christians are taught that after salvation it is all about the Christian life etc.”

    E – according to MLD, it is people who believe the above quote.

    I’ve never met an evangelical, apparently. But its always easier to fight the enemy that doesn’t actually exist 🙂

  161. Andrew says:

    But why Andrew can’t a life following Jesus be “your best life now?” I live in the now, the today, and look forward to the tomorrows and eternity. But my today has the reality in my life.
    ___________________________________________________________________

    Best life now, means its not going to get better later. As Christians we will go through many heart aches in this world that will challenge our faith. A theology that doesn’t recognize that things will be made perfect some day in the eternal state is flawed at the core.

  162. Bob,
    “MLD, Yes I am disappointed in the people of the church, but that isn’t limited to Evangelicals I include Lutherans in that pot as well.”

    Bob, I didn’t say people were disappointed in evangelicals – I said evangelicals live in this state of disappointment with the Church because they were taught that Christian life does something and these guys are not doing it right.

    The point of a Christian sermon should no be about what a Christian does, but about what Christ has done.

  163. Josh,
    I will just ask this – in last Sunday’s message, was Jesus Christ the sum and substance of the message – the message to the Christians? If that is what you are hearing each week – God bless your pastor..

  164. Bob says:

    E, josh and MLD

    Just a random thought, a while ago a few conservative friends (not all were Christians) and I were sitting around talking about gun control and being a bit sympathetic to some sort of education requirements one of them asked who these murders were that were using guns to kill. Another one popped up and made the statement, “Haven’t you noticed they aren’t conservatives or Republicans!”

    The statement about the dangers of Evangelicals reminds me a bit of that gun conversation and trying to define who the “dangerous” people are in this world. I guess it depends on what the dangers are. Maybe we should define that about Evangelicalism, what are the dangers?

  165. erunner says:

    Andrew @ 162 “Best life now, means its not going to get better later. As Christians we will go through many heart aches in this world that will challenge our faith. A theology that doesn’t recognize that things will be made perfect some day in the eternal state is flawed at the core.”

    Andrew, I haven’t come across any theology that doesn’t recognize things will one day be perfect in eternity. That’s my only hope as it’s clear the world is not getting better and better and we recognize we are but pilgrims passing through and will soon be gone.

    Are you talking about folks who through political involvement want to see a theocracy set up before Jesus comes back or those who might be referred to as “Kingdom Now” people. Thanks. I’m getting ready to step away but I look forward to your answer.

  166. Josh Hamrick says:

    “The point of a Christian sermon should no be about what a Christian does, but about what Christ has done.”

    Were all of Jesus’ sermons that way? What about the apostles?

    Why do you get to decide what every preacher should preach?

  167. erunner says:

    Bob, your 165 describes SOME people. It doesn’t describe me at all.

    My concern is the world hates those believers who are on the right and see them as the problem that needs to be squashed. When I read of other believers attacking the right/evangelicals it makes me a bit nervous. After all we are brothers and sisters in Christ and we all know there are all sorts of differences among everyone in the body.

  168. Bob says:

    MLD

    I have time this morning, I’m sitting here at this “liberal” Starbucks store (they actual demonstrate a care for their employees) enjoying a cup of expensive and satisfying joe, so I will respond some more. Yes I get it about being disappointed in the “church” organization stuff. I think we can both agree that is a fault of personal expectations, teaching and the human condition. We never have enough and need our “buzz” (thank God for coffee) every moment of the day.

    However, you broad brush all those outside your organization we call Lutheran and that is why I ask the question about Evangelicals and their danger or menace to others. How is this so and what are those dangers?

    Oh and this past weekend what I heard about was the man Abram and how he trusted God and followed by a comparison of how Jesus walked in His complete trust of the Father. One and earthly example another the eternal example of how His followers should walk. Not quite “the Law and the Gospel” but close.

    So far my dangerous list isn’t very big.

    I like what josh said about meeting one.

  169. Steve Wright says:

    Remember that in MLD’s world he gets two sermons, whereas many evangelicals only get one. 🙂

  170. Bob says:

    Erunner:

    “When I read of other believers attacking the right/evangelicals it makes me a bit nervous.”

    Now we’re getting somewhere! I like this!

    E BTW I wasn’t pointing anything at any one from 165. I don’t get your comment on it.

    Andrew:

    If this is the only life why not make it “your best life now” (yes we are poking at our Houston friend)?

    I get your point but too many followers of Jesus think the Kingdom of God is coming and they are praying for the last days, when the scriptures clearly indicate it arrived with the Messiah Jesus, his death and resurrection. Yes troubles abound and Jesus taught each day has them. I don’t buy the idea that some day when Jesus returns or I die and go to heaven is what our faith is all about.

    Abram had to live his entire life walking with God and knowing it was his descendants who would inherit the promises. Being “grafted into” that promise how are we going to live, like Abraham without a land or as inheritors of the promises made to him?

    Oh well, I still have a small list of dangers. Walking into a group of Evangelicals isn’t like walking at night through a seedy part of town with half the street lights burned out, or is it?

  171. Bob says:

    Thank you all for the conversation and sharing a cup of joe with me. I have to go and get some work done so my life will stay at least Ok. (I mean that in jest and not as a critique BTW)

    Thank you!

  172. Bob,
    “However, you broad brush all those outside your organization we call Lutheran”

    You are in error right from the get go. First Lutherans were the original evangelicals. The official name of the Lutheran churches worldwide is The Evangelical Church. Over time we have stepped away from the name because of what it has come to mean, at least in American Pop Christianity.

    But I do not limit or broadbrush everyone who is not Lutheran – a great majority of the Chruch would not identify themselves as evangelical.

    Amongst them, Josh the Baptist, the EO, the RCC, the Anglicans and a host of others.

  173. Josh Hamrick says:

    Have a good one Bob! I enjoy your thoughts.

  174. Steve, in most cases evangelicals get no sermon and only get a Bible study. 🙂

  175. Josh Hamrick says:

    “because of what it has come to mean, at least in American Pop Christianity.”

    That’s the problem though. None of us are agreeing on what it means.

  176. Josh Hamrick says:

    “Steve, in most cases evangelicals get no sermon and only get a Bible study.”

    Ahh, there’s a good comment. What is the difference? Where do you learn this?

  177. Andrew says:

    Are you talking about folks who through political involvement want to see a theocracy set up before Jesus comes back or those who might be referred to as “Kingdom Now” people. Thanks. I’m getting ready to step away but I look forward to your answer.
    ____________________________________________________________________

    Erunner, it could be both, either or something different. I am not singling out one particular motive. I think the “best life now” is something that Joel Olsteen has stated. I don’t think he fits into either polical or “kingdom now” philosophy. His message seems to be just a positive message on how to live a good life. This is more in line with a Tony Robbin or a Norman Vincent Peal and centers around a positive outlook on life and the message of Jesus’ sacrifice for our sin and forgiveness can sometimes get blurred and at times forgotten.

  178. Josh, you don’t recognize something a prevalent as uniquely American Popular Christianity?

    We talk about it every day.Mars Hills, Saddleback Church and the satellite churches – Steve Furtick – the Jesus People – Calvary Chapel. the rock bands and the Hawaiian shirts etc.- and their message matches their American style.

    Hey, I included you in my list of non evangelicals – wasn’t that good enough? 😉

  179. Josh, Steve knows what I am talking about.

    I am surprised though that you see no difference between a sermon / homily and a verse by verse Bible study.

  180. Josh Hamrick says:

    Well, its a very loose definition. I guess maybe some Sundays I am evangelical, depending on my wardrobe?

  181. Josh Hamrick says:

    “I am surprised though that you see no difference ”

    I didn’t say I don’t see a difference. I asked what YOU are talking about. I thought the conversation could be beneficial.

  182. Andrew says:

    “Bob, I didn’t say people were disappointed in evangelicals – I said evangelicals live in this state of disappointment with the Church because they were taught that Christian life does something and these guys are not doing it right.

    The point of a Christian sermon should no be about what a Christian does, but about what Christ has done.”

    _________________________________________________________________

    MLD, Agreed, but it sounds like you are a bit disappointed that all these evangelicals are preaching Bible Studies (~sermons) about what a Christian does and not about what Christ has done. I don’t think its possible to not be a bit disappointed now a days when you see this happening.

  183. Well, would you not agree that in these churches that do verse x verse that they get no sermon? You made the snide remark “Where do you learn this?”

  184. London says:

    Bob, it’s not just Mormons that do it.
    Christians do it too.
    If they can’t get you to commit to their way of thinking or their church, they move on to the next person.

  185. Andrew, I am not disappointed at all – it’s a reality. I was just answer the question about the dangers. It wasn’t my comment and I didn’t ask the question.

  186. Andrew says:

    MLD, Well, I am disappointed in the reality. However, I am learning to accept it for what it is cause trying to change it is futile. I’m hoping this is God’s maturing process in my life.

  187. Josh Hamrick says:

    “You made the snide remark “Where do you learn this?””

    That wasn’t snide. I was simply asking the question. Should we not have some basis for our beliefs. SHould I just go forward saying “Well, MLD says…”

  188. Steve Wright says:

    I recognize a difference between preaching and teaching. However, many pastors are capable of combining both in one message, centered around a passage in God’s word which is certainly capable of expressing both. I would hope that whenever one preaches or teaches that it is done with the authority of God’s word.

    We can also walk and chew gum at the same time. I can’t comment on the Lutherans though.. 😉

  189. “Should we not have some basis for our beliefs”

    OK, I don’t know what to say. There is a difference between a sermon and a verse x verse Bible study. So, if they are getting a verse x verse Bible study on a Sunday morning, they are not getting a sermon.

    I guess I learned this though observation.

    “SHould I just go forward saying “Well, MLD says…” – you would be on safe ground. 🙂

  190. Mark says:

    Read the entire thread and I have no clue what MLD is trying to say. I’ve been attending CC for almost 20 years- verse by verse bible study very week according to MLD. Yet I also hear Jesus preached every week. What I dont hear are some “feel good” platitudes nor do I hear about the lives of so called “saints” who somehow are elevated above the regualr Christian. And I ask MLD what does he find so wrong with what CC is doing?

  191. Josh Hamrick says:

    Well, that’s not very helpful. Maybe you could tell us what you think a sermon is, and how that differs?

  192. Andrew says:

    Mark,

    Every CC is different but I have noticed Israel replacing Jesus in some of the verse x verse teaching. If you don’t interpret the O.T. in light of the new testament than this is bound to happen. This was my concern I mentioned on the other post regarding the Sabbath that Steve was talking about.

  193. Mark, go back an read. I started off – in response to a question, that evangelical tend to preach more about the Christian (call it sanctification, the victorious Christian life or just good old, this is how a Christian should live) as opposed to w weekly teaching of the life and works of Jesus Christ and what he has done for the Christian.

    Steve Wright has leveled the charge that if we do that (preach the works of Christ weekly) we are getting resaved each week – and Christians don’t need that each week. So I know that he acknowledges that preaching Christ is for the unsaved and not the saved.

    I on the other hand think that the Christian needs to hear the good news of Jesus Christ each week – just because Jesus Christ is for the christian and not just the unsaved.

    Mark – attach a copy of last Sunday’s message – let’s see if it was about Jesus or if it was about the Christian … and I don’t just mean that Jesus was mentioned, but that the sermon was about him … which I guess you would be in luck if the pastor were preaching out of one of he gospels.

  194. Steve Wright says:

    MLD, that is false and I think you know it. What I have said is that Christians do not need to hear a wholly evangelistic message of “Come to Jesus and get saved” each week, when they have already been saved…usually for many years.

    That is FAR different than your description of preaching the works of Christ.

    And I have specifically said many times there is great value for Christians to hear the gospel weekly too.

  195. But I have never advocated preaching an “evangelistic” message.(in fact Lutherans do not)

    This gets frustrating because i know that the vast majority of evangelical messages are of the sanctification category – living the victorious christian life or as I said “just get out there and be a better Christian.”

    I don’t know why people deny that is the focus of the preaching? Are you agreeing with me that it is wrong?

  196. Andrew says:

    What I have said is that Christians do not need to hear a wholly evangelistic message of “Come to Jesus and get saved” each week, when they have already been saved…usually for many years.

    _____________________________________________________________________

    What I have heard in many CCs is that we need to get you “unsaved” before you are “saved”. It is an overly pious message that implies you are not saved until you do it the Calvary way.

  197. Ixtlan says:

    @197
    Really? That hasn’t been my experience. I would shudder to think that any Christian would preach the gospel, requiring people to get saved “their way”.

  198. Josh Hamrick says:

    “I don’t know why people deny that is the focus of the preaching? ”

    Because it is not. Occasionally it has veered that way, but the vast majority of the time the focus is squarely on Jesus.

  199. Steve Wright says:

    MLD – A large amount of the Bible is telling Christians how they are to live. Otherwise known as “living the Christian life” – you even remarked about if someone was “lucky” enough that the pastor was in the Gospels. So what sort of opinion does that express from you about the worth of the rest of the New Testament. Oh man, our pastor’s going through Ephesians, what a bummer!

    Now, those epistles also tell us what Christ has done for us. In fact, usually both subjects are contained in the same book.

    So a person who teaches from an entire book will in the course of weeks involved cover all of God’s word, as God chose to give it.

    You see the value of this too, as you have a secondary Sunday service where you encourage people to study and learn from entire books of the Bible. Although since you guys just throw a layman like yourself to teach that class and not your pastor (whose credentials and education you always brag on 🙂 ), maybe you don’t see any significant value.

    Yet you diss on churches that only have one service where the pastor does the same thing as you do.

  200. Steve Wright says:

    What I have heard in many CCs is that we need to get you “unsaved” before you are “saved”. It is an overly pious message that implies you are not saved until you do it the Calvary way.
    ——————————————————–
    I’ve never heard that in my life from any CC but that is what MLD expresses here regularly. The Law kills him each week and then Jesus saves him each week.

  201. Andrew says:

    lxtlan,

    I don’t think this is always intentional but you bring up a good point of exactly what the gospel is. Calvary relies heavily on alter calls and Harvest crusades which can come across quite manipulative that if you don’t come down the isle when they give their invitation then you are missing out on this very important decision that you need to make now. If you don’t do it right then and there, it could be all over. That is manipulation to me. I’m not against alter calls but rather the manipulation that goes with it.

  202. Steve, I have never doubted the importance of Bible study. I have taken on a very large responsibility in my church to be the Sunday morning point man for adult Bible study. i think it is of the utmost importance.

    So, yes we do offer both sermon and Bible study … that was my point.

  203. Steve Wright says:

    Calvary relies heavily on alter calls and Harvest crusades which can come across quite manipulative
    ——————————————————-
    Andrew, I don’t doubt that altar calls are the case with many Calvarys – but a crusade is different than a Sunday service also.

    FWIW – Chuck never did an altar call on Sunday in the 8 years I worshipped there. And we don’t do them at our place.

    And for those who do…they are just doing what has been going on in Baptist churches and those similar for many years before Calvary even existed. It is hardly a CC criticism.

  204. Steve Wright says:

    So, yes we do offer both sermon and Bible study … that was my point.
    —————————————–
    As do we. Just more efficiently. 🙂

    Take care, brother.

  205. Andrew says:

    Steve,

    I followed the conversation you had with MLD. I believe you both over generalized each others views but you are the one making the charge. Regarding the re-saved thing that really falls into the Arminian theological camp. I don’t put Lutheranism in that category but rather Arminians which is basically CC soteriology in a nutshell. So your charges really don’t make any sense.

  206. Josh Hamrick says:

    SO what is the sermon, MLD? Should it have any bible at all? Only passages that directly relate Jesus? I’m being serious here, not trying to have an argument.

  207. Andrew, I don’t think was saying “resaved” the way you are taking it. I think he was just saying that the “saved” do not need to hear a continual “come to Jesus” sermon as if they could become resaved.

    But then again, I don’t think that the unsaved need to hear a “come to Jesus” sermon either. Saved or unsaved – God’s word continually works on people – saved or unsaved.

    Jesus loves you – Jesus has forgiven your sin – Jesus saves – all of this is equally valid for the saved and unsaved.

  208. Andrew says:

    Jesus loves you – Jesus has forgiven your sin – Jesus saves – all of this is equally valid for the saved and unsaved.
    _____________________________________________________________________

    Amen, however, I do have one caveat. I believe church is really a special place for believers to gather. It is the ecclesia (called out ones) primarily composed of believers. If there are non believers present they should hear the same message proclaimed to the believers. This is the way I believe evangelism was intended. This is completely opposite to seeker sensitive churches that tailor the message to non believers.

  209. Josh, you will need to research it – but do you honestly not know the difference between preaching a sermon and teaching a Bible study, especially a verse x verse.

    Actually, Chuck Smith knew the difference. His Sunday morning message was always more in line with a sermon as he would pick a verse from the passage that would be the VxV for that evening and make a sermon using that one verse as a jumping off point..

  210. Josh Hamrick says:

    MLD, I am asking you what you think. You are the one saying Evangelicals don’t have sermons (except Chuck Smith, I guess). I’m trying to figure out what you mean by that, but I guess you can’t let me know.

  211. Mark says:

    I stil do not understand you MLD. What is the differecne between sermon and bible study? In my experience in a Methodist Chruch for several years (which was probably a sermon in your vernacular) I heard all about the Christian life and little from the Bible. So I am confused by you stating that somehow a sermon is about Jesus and CC Sunday teaching is not about Jesus. I can’t remember a single Sunday at my CC where Jesus wasnt somehow brought into the message- whether by referring to a “type” of Jesus- directly teaching Jesus- or (especially in the OT) talking about looking ahead to Jesus. Again- I’m very confused here. Also- I think CC is beng unfairly stereotyped in this thread. The CCs Ive attended over the last 20 years hardly ever “repalced Jesus with Israel” or tried to “unsave you” so you could be “resaved”.

  212. Mark says:

    Sorry for all the errors. When I type Im in a tiny little box and cannot see what Im typing.

  213. Andrew,
    “This is completely opposite to seeker sensitive churches that tailor the message to non believers.”

    Yep –

  214. Josh Hamrick says:

    Well, Mark, he just said that Chuck Smith did preach sermons on Sunday morning, so maybe CC isn’t evangelical? I honestly don’t know what he is talking about either.

  215. Mark, you are mixing 2 points.
    1.) I am just making a distinction between a sermon and a V x V Bible study – the differences are obvious.
    2.) If a sermon is not about Jesus – then it is wrong
    3.) Whether it be a sermon or a Bible study, the subject – as I call it the sum and substance of that message must be Jesus.

    I am teaching through Daniel – I taught a good piece of Daniel 2 last week – I deconstructed the usual Daniel 2 message you hear and made it all about Jesus – then, now and in the future. The vision, the image made of different metals etc – nothing more than backdrop to the Jesus message.

  216. Josh Hamrick says:

    So a church should never teach Ecclesiastes or Proverbs?

  217. Josh,
    “So a church should never teach Ecclesiastes or Proverbs?”

    Of course – just find Jesus in the passages and preach away.If you can’t show Jesus in those books, what makes your message Christian?

    The Bible is about Jesus … even those 2 books. Preach Jesus from Ecclesiastes & Proverbs

  218. Josh Hamrick says:

    See, that’s a faulty hermeneutic. But now I see what you are saying. All good.

  219. What is faulty?

  220. Steve Wright says:

    “This is completely opposite to seeker sensitive churches that tailor the message to non believers.”
    ————————————————————-
    Is the new charge now that Calvarys are seeker sensitive? I’m getting dizzy. It’s bad enough we get blamed for altar calls. 🙂

    Good grief the whole premise of the Bible teaching at a CC, as seen in the history of Chuck prior to getting to Calvary, was the importance of teaching through the BIble to those already saved and NOT to continually give “come to Jesus and get saved messages” (and then bash on the saints who are there for not bringing unsaved visitors to the service)

  221. Andrew says:

    So a church should never teach Ecclesiastes or Proverbs?
    _____________________________________________________________________

    Quite the contrary, Ecclesiastes taught with gospel of Jesus as center is awesome.

  222. Steve Wright says:

    The real problem is few churches care about exegesis, which is why few churches care about the Old Testament.

  223. Josh Hamrick says:

    The only wat to teach Ecclesiastes as being centered around Jesus is the old “this is what life without Christ is like”.

    Now, a sermon, yeah, I might take a passage from Ecclesiastes, and make a b-line to the Cross. But now, MLD is saying even Bible study should be all about Jesus. I prefer to teach what is actually in the bible. And some passage from Ecclesiastes just simply aren’t about Jesus.

  224. Andrew says:

    Is the new charge now that Calvarys are seeker sensitive? I’m getting dizzy. It’s bad enough we get blamed for altar calls. 🙂
    ___________________________________________________________________

    Alter calls go hand and hand with being seeker sensitive because they are both tailored specifically for the unsaved.

  225. Steve Wright says:

    . I prefer to teach what is actually in the bible.
    ————————————————
    You and me both, Josh! 🙂

  226. Andrew says:

    The real problem is few churches care about exegesis, which is why few churches care about the Old Testament.
    _____________________________________________________________________

    Exegesis is all about Jesus because Jesus said so. And when a church values Israel over Jesus in teaching the O.T without the N.T interpreting it, they really don’t care about exegesis at all.

  227. Wait a minute. Perhaps Andrew was more right than I gave him credit for in the beginning.

    Josh and Steve – are you saying that the OT is NOT about Jesus Christ. Is Jesus only just one of many players on the stage? Is he even there?

  228. Josh Hamrick says:

    The whole bible is about Jesus. Not every passage is explicitly about Jesus. That much is obvious.

  229. Andrew’s #227 says it all.

  230. Josh Hamrick says:

    Andrew’s #227 is incoherent.

  231. “Not every passage is explicitly about Jesus. That much is obvious.”

    Wrong, every passage in the OT is there to support something about Jesus. If a passage is talking something about Israel – in the end it is not about Israel for Israel’s sake- it is about Jesus

  232. Josh Hamrick says:

    “Exegesis is all about Jesus because Jesus said so.”

    Where does Jesus say this?

  233. Josh,
    It’s funny that you stumble over Andrew’s #227. His key point was reading the OT through the NT (because Jesus said all scripture was about him) – so you are stumbled.

    Hosea 11, the beginning of the Chapter – about Israel or about Jesus?

  234. Josh Hamrick says:

    “Wrong, every passage in the OT is there to support something about Jesus. If a passage is talking something about Israel – in the end it is not about Israel for Israel’s sake- it is about Jesus”

    That’s the story of the whole bible. It all leads to Jesus. There are passages in the Ecclesiastes that aren’t about Israel or Jesus. “Everything is Vanity.” Jesus is vanity? That is what you are saying MLD that every passage is about Jesus. It’s just poor hermeneutics.

  235. Andrew says:

    Josh,

    First, The only reason I believe and trust in scripture in the first place is because Jesus believed it and He said they speak of Him. If Jesus said it, I believe it.

  236. Josh Hamrick says:

    Andrew’s @227 was talking about churches valuing Israel over Jesus. I knowof exactly none of those. Is that really what you, MLD, are accusing Steve of? Because, you know, that is damnable, right?

  237. Josh Hamrick says:

    Andrew, where did JEsus say “Exegesis” is all about JEsus. That was your claim. A false one, at that.

  238. “That is what you are saying MLD that every passage is about Jesus. It’s just poor hermeneutics.”

    I never said every ‘passage’ (I don’t know how you define a passage – I think you are looking at a verse). You need to expand your passage and find Jesus.

    But let me ask this – If you can’t find Jesus in a passage (1) why are you preaching it? (2) what is Christian about your message if Jesus is not in it? (3) wouldn’t you just be better to skip over it? (4) or are you just giving a history of the Bible lesson?

  239. Andrew says:

    Josh, I don’t believe in teaching any book in the OT without the NT interpreting it. Unless you are somehow doing a study in progressive revelation, its not really valuable. Our pastor is teaching Ecclesiastes now and I would say its Christ centered. You could also talk about the book of Ester. God is not mentioned in that book but His signature is all over it. Using your theory we should conclude that God doesn’t exist when we teach the book of Ester?

  240. Josh,
    You left out a key phrase in Andrew’s #227 – “…in teaching the O.T without the N.T interpreting it,”

    That is my accusation also. Many dispey teachers will not use the NT to interpret the OT in the prophecies for Israel – which we see having been fulfilled in Jesus.

    I have examples if you would like.

  241. Josh Hamrick says:

    (1) why are you teaching it? Because it is in the bible
    (2) what is Christian about your message if Jesus is not in it? The whole bible is christian while not every passage is about Jesus. Have you ever read Ecclesiastes?
    (3) wouldn’t you just be better to skip over it? A lot of people do. I prefer to go after the entire bible instead of just the little parts I like.
    (4) or are you just giving a history of the Bible lesson? Sometimes, absolutely.

  242. Josh Hamrick says:

    all the prophecies are fulfilled in Christ. The wisdom literature is a little outside the narrative of scripture.

  243. Steve Wright says:

    Here is the trouble I have with this discussion..with all due respect.

    I have actually taught through entire books of the Bible to a public audience – seeking to teach the text faithfully as pleasing to God. If you go through the entire book of something like Jeremiah – all 52 chapters – where you have to not only explain, but also seek to bring out application, encouragement, exhortation to a public audience.

    Exegesis, by its definition, means the original author’s intended message to the original audience. So obviously it is folly to say that every OT verse in every chapter of every OT book is “all about Jesus”

    Serious question. Why can’t we say the Bible is all about God?

    Why can’t we teach the Bible from what God was doing in the lives of His people. That’s what it is about, and that’s how I teach it.

    And it should be noted that at our place, and frankly at a lot of other churches, the Sunday message will be from books like the Gospels and the Epistles, where Jesus of course is at the center (but where how we should live as followers of Him is also described)

    OT books are typically for the midweek study, where Christians (rarely any unbelievers) come to sit and learn for an entire hour to know their Bibles better. It is a different kind of service, for a different purpose, with a different sort of audience.

  244. Steve Wright says:

    Since I posted my #244, my #223 has shown itself true.

    MLD: If you can’t find Jesus in a passage (1) why are you preaching it? (2) what is Christian about your message if Jesus is not in it? (3) wouldn’t you just be better to skip over it? (4) or are you just giving a history of the Bible lesson?

    Andrew: I don’t believe in teaching any book in the OT without the NT interpreting it. Unless you are somehow doing a study in progressive revelation, its not really valuable

    So there we have it. We come at this from two different perspectives. I’ll leave it to you guys to argue 2 Timothy 3:16-17 with the Lord. I’ll choose to believe it means what it says.

  245. Does the OT have a future land promise to Israel? or was the promise to Abraham for the whole world. The NT tells us.

    Are we waiting for Jesus to return to sit on David’s throne as prophesied in the OT or did the NT clear that up?

    Israel to make a 2nd entrance into the land – the nation Israel or Jesus? The NT tells us.

    It goes on and on. So, if you read the OT through the lens of the NT – you will see Jesus.

  246. Josh Hamrick says:

    You are changing the subject, MLD. Ecclesiastes says nothing about those things.

  247. Steve Wright says:

    MLD just changed the discussion..by dramatically narrowing the issue from all we have been talking about to yet another argument against dispensationalism, which of course neither Josh or I have been talking about.

  248. Andrew says:

    So obviously it is folly to say that every OT verse in every chapter of every OT book is “all about Jesus”

    Serious question. Why can’t we say the Bible is all about God?
    —————————————————————————————————————-

    Steve, here you go. This is for Mark and others wondering why we have a problem with CC teachers at times. You are contrasting Jesus with God in the next statement. Is not Jesus God in the flesh? But the way Steve says it, it makes me wonder if he understands that Jesus really is God. Remember it was Jesus himself who said, “Before Abraham was, I AM”.

  249. Steve Wright says:

    Here’s an example. In the NT book of Hebrews we are told God disciplines His children. That applies to us who are in Christ.

    Now, in Jeremiah (to keep that example alive) we read chapter after chapter about God disciplining His children. We also get to look at the interesting and somewhat challenging fact that God uses evil wicked men like the Babylonians as His tool of discipline. There is a wealth on information for the Christian, and a good message will tie in some important truths that apply to the believer today.

    Now, if you are going to read through each verse, you might get 2-3 chapters max done in one night, and that is going quickly. And I guarantee you that you can find a 2-3 chapter chunk of Jeremiah with no dispensational, Messianic promises, and no legitimate teaching to shoehorn Jesus into.

    MLD has in the past mocked the idea of teaching such passages and then tossing Jesus onto the end. So I assume he has not changed his mind about that, therefore it sounds like he is saying there is no purpose in teaching such chapters….even though 2 Timothy would seem to challenge him on that view.

  250. I didn’t change the topic nor the scope. Josh made a false charge about Andrews statement in 227 by leaving out the defining and qualifying phrase. i was addressing that.

  251. Serious question. Why can’t we say the Bible is all about God?

    Because we are not Jewish

  252. Andrew says:

    2 Timothy talks about all scripture being taught correctly not incorrectly forgetting that the story is all about Jesus. Its unbelievable the nonsense you are propagating here. Jesus is God and all scripture is breathed by God. Why are you making a dichotomy between Jesus and God?

  253. Josh Hamrick says:

    I made a false charge?

    Geez.

    Sorry Andrew if that is true. Andrew’s 227 still doesn’t make sense to me. It took me about 100 posts to figure out what MLD was talking about. It was a little frustrating.

    .Well, gotta go guys. Have a good day.

  254. Steve,
    Your #223 – so Exegete the first coupe of verses of Hosea 11 for me and I will then let Matthew exegete the same verses.

  255. Josh,
    Good conversation – when you come back, your #237 made the charge against Andrew’s comment and you left out “…in teaching the O.T without the N.T interpreting it,”

  256. Xenia says:

    Every passage in the OT is about Jesus. We may not clearly see it, though.

    Remember Jesus walking with the disciples on the road to Emmaus, how He explained the OT in the light of His life.

    Remember how the Ethiopian eunuch was was reading a passage from Isaiah and how Philip was able to preach Christ from this passage. No matter what passage the eunuch had been reading, Philip could have preached Christ from it.

    Notice how the NT testament writers find obscure (to us) passages from the OT and apply them to Christ, passages that we would never have thought to use. St. Matthew is especially good at this.

    The early Church fathers (and the EO Church today) make extensive use of typology. In a sense, Esther is a type of Christ…. for such a season was she sent, etc.

  257. Steve,
    “MLD has in the past mocked the idea of teaching such passages and then tossing Jesus onto the end.” I have. 😉

    Because you (the plural you – not you personally) do not teach Jesus in the passage, you (the plural you – not you personally) will teach a whole message on David numbering his troops and then out of the blue finish up with – “if you would like to know this Jesus…” What Jesus??, you (the plural you – not you personally) never mentioned him in the passage.

  258. Steve Wright says:

    This is for Mark and others wondering why we have a problem with CC teachers at times. You are contrasting Jesus with God in the next statement. Is not Jesus God in the flesh? But the way Steve says it, it makes me wonder if he understands that Jesus really is God.
    —————————————————–
    Andrew, this is why discussion with you is so difficult for me. Nothing in this discussion about Bible teaching is about Calvary Chapel. Josh is not a Calvary guy. But you can’t look past that label, and you continue to try to find wild excuses to paint me a heretic. What you wrote here is about the silliest thing ever written about me on this blog.

    With all the complaints about CC, being weak on the deity of Christ is not one of them

    Now, I could repay you in kind. I could say “I wonder if Andrew really believes in the Trinity. Maybe he is a Jesus-only-oneness sort of guy” – But I don’t have any reason to think that about you. And it is a waste of time for you to take time defending what I am sure are perfectly orthodox beliefs, just as it is for me to somehow need to defend my belief in the deity of Christ.

    But a study of God is more than a study of Jesus As every systematic theology ever written in the history of mankind would attest.

  259. Xenia – said much better than me.

  260. Xenia says:

    For example, would you have applied this verse to Christ if Matthew hadn’t alerted you to the connection?

    “Nevertheless the dimness shall not be such as was in her vexation, when at the first he lightly afflicted the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, and afterward did more grievously afflict her by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations. The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.” (Isaiah 9:1-2;)

  261. Steve Wright says:

    A few more points that I thought would be obvious. Nobody is talking about rejecting the NT inspired interpretation of an OT passage, like the Hosea example mentioned. Or when Paul for example equated the rock with Christ.

    But I shudder to think I can make such claims where the NT is silent, and thus I will leave the manmade allegorizing to others and stick to the Spirit-inspired interpretations.

    Nobody is saying that Christ crucified is not the running theme of the entire Bible. To Xenia’s point about the Emmaus road, that was the issue. Their disappointment at the crucifixion and confusion over tales of the resurrection. Surely you guys don’t think we AVOID talking about Jesus when going through a book like Leviticus, or for that matter, preaching through Genesis. But is the claim being made that Jesus went through every verse of every OT book on that journey and showed Himself in each verse?

    As to the Ethiopian – it was not just “a passage” from Isaiah. It was chapter 53! If you know of a Christian pastor alive, in CC or anywhere else, that does not focus on Jesus when teaching Isaiah 53, I would love to hear the name.

    Now, we also have a verse like Rom 15:4 where we are told that the OT gives us patience and comfort and hope – and I would argue it does that in large part by showing us God’s workings with His people in this world throughout the ages. Of course, promises and typology of Jesus is throughout – nobody is saying otherwise.

    Look at the book of Jonah. Does it speak to Jesus? Of course. Jesus Himself made the connection. But is there not a larger point and purpose to the book then simply saying “Hey, guess what, Jesus was in the grave as long as this old dude was in the fish” and then just move on without dealing with the STORY of Jonah and God’s working in his life?

  262. Xenia says:

    But is there not a larger point and purpose to the book then simply saying “Hey, guess what, Jesus was in the grave as long as this old dude was in the fish” and then just move on without dealing with the STORY of Jonah and God’s working in his life?<<<

    No, frankly, I think the whole purpose of the Jonah story is that Christ was three days in the earth just as Jonah was three days in the belly of the fish. I think the connection to Jesus is more important than the story itself, although both are important.

  263. Xenia says:

    The only time the book of Jonah is read aloud during an EO liturgical service (that I am aware of) is on the Saturday before Pascha (Easter) when the whole book is read out loud because this book is all about Christ being three days in the earth.

  264. I agree with Xenia – I have said a couple of times, the stories themselves are a backdrop to present the main story of Christ. The stories, the people, the nations are all supporting actors with the sole purpose of being the vehicle in which Christ is manifest to us.

  265. Steve Wright says:

    And that is fine, Xenia. You have an opinion and I have one as well and we disagree.

    I think there is a great lesson for us…the whole “trying to run from God” all the details about Jonah’s bitterness. I think it also tells us a lot about the love and compassion for God, even to animals much less children and the pagans…teaches us about repentance (which I think is the theme of the book and found on every chapter)

    It’s a great book. And the connection to Jesus is certainly a large part when we read it today in light of the NT.

    However, I have a hard time thinking that God had this book written centuries before Christ and it would have absolutely zero value to His people that would read and would live and die during those centuries before Christ was born. If the “whole purpose” is that Christ was three days in the earth as Jonah was the fish.

    And all those lessons I mention in my 2nd paragraph here, are all lessons that those readers over the centuries could also glean as God’s people – even before Christ. We have the added benefit of the Christ imagery, but would God want us to jettison the other lessons of the book?

    I say no. So we agree to disagree.

    Peace

  266. Xenia says:

    the stories themselves are a backdrop to present the main story of Christ. The stories, the people, the nations are all supporting actors with the sole purpose of being the vehicle in which Christ is manifest to us<<<

    Absolutely.

  267. Xenia says:

    An historical way of looking at the OT involves three levels of understanding.

    1. The literal story, the facts of the story.
    2. Moral application
    3. Allegory and typology.

    All are important but #3 is where you will find Christ.

  268. Here is the question I like to ask – if Jesus were not the topic, would the book have been written – would God inspire a book just to tell a story or to give life advise?

  269. Xenia says:

    An example from the story of Noah:

    1. A literal telling of one small aspect of the story: Noah provided food for the people and animals.
    2. Moral application: obey God, plan ahead, count the cost, be kind to animals, etc.
    3. Topological/allegorical: Just as Noah provided physical food for the people and animals on his ark, so does Christ provide spiritual food for His people (the Eucharist) in His Ark of Salvation, which is the Church.

  270. Xenia says:

    * typological

  271. I just want to be clear on one issue – none of my comments are meant at Steve directly – he does a fine job with his Bible studies and in taking care of the spiritual needs of his flock.

    As much as I bust his … I use him as one of my sources in studying for my teaching – for 2 reasons,(1) i want a different perspective and (2) Steve does a very good job on the background, history and languages of a text.

    We just come to different conclusions 🙂

  272. Andrew says:

    But a study of God is more than a study of Jesus As every systematic theology ever written in the history of mankind would attest.
    ______________________________________________________________________

    Steve you looking at this the wrong way. Jesus is the Alpha and Omega. First and Last, the author and finisher of our salvation. Jesus was God, is God and to understand God Jesus brings us the best clarity because He walked with us. You must start and end with Him in exegeting the Bible.

  273. Xenia says:

    Pretty much every appearance of God in the Bible is a Theophany of Christ.

  274. Andrew, I think you are stretching here. If you do as Steve said and look at a systematic theology you will see a section on God, another on Jesus and another on the Trinity.

    No one here denies Jesus is God.

  275. Josh Hamrick says:

    Like, if i post a passage from Ecclesiastes, could you guys tell me how it is talking about Jesus? I’m not being argumentative, i just don’t see it there. for the most part, not in proverbs either.

  276. Xenia says:

    Well, in the Proverbs and other wisdom literature, Christ is the wisdom of God. (Not in the JW sense, though.)

  277. Xenia says:

    In my studies at the ol’ Ortho Institute we are doing a module on the Old Testament and it’s all about Christological typology. We are reading St. Gregory of Nyssa’s The Life of Moses. The first half of the book is historical/moral information and the 2nd half is how it all relates to the person of Christ. (Haven’t finished it yet so I don’t have examples to offer.)

  278. Xenia says:

    I don’t know if this book is any good or not but it’s called Preaching Christ from Ecclesiastes.

    http://tinyurl.com/omeblo8

  279. Josh Hamrick says:

    Xenia, i agree with your #277, but that doesn’t apply to individual passages. Overall, yes, Jesus is the point, but if you are doing a bible study through entire books, some of the passages aren’t about Jesus. They are still good and do everything the bible is supposed to do, and in a broader sense they point us to Christ. But every passage is not about Christ.

  280. Steve Wright says:

    It seems to me this leads to a rather low view of the OT saints when it comes to God and His love and concern for them, that they would know Him and walk with Him. God gave those saints these OT books, and other than direct prophecies about the Messiah, there is no way they would interpret most that is in these books through the lens of the Incarnate Son of God not yet come to earth. Was there ZERO message from God to them? These are just a backdrop to be ignored or misunderstood by centuries of God’s people until us Christians could figure it out from our perspective after the cross? As I said before, exegesis is a specific word that speaks to the original author communicating to his original audience. To approach the text to “find Jesus” is classic eisegesis.

    We hold to One True God in Three Persons, eternal. We recognize the Incarnation did not create the 2nd Person, nor did Pentecost create the 3rd Person (but both events are crucial as to the evolving relationship with God to His people.)

    Which is why I said before, how about just reading the OT through the lens of God? Yes, the Triune God – yes in recognizing theophanies of Christ – but let’s just look at God’s dealings with His people. People He loved no less than He loves any of us.

    Do none of you study the biographies of the OT saints? The life of Abraham, David, Moses. Do you limit such a study to just finding as many typologies as you can find? Or is there something God wants to teach His people when we read the details that led to David’s sin, and the consequences that followed. Abraham’s lack of faith in Egypt and so forth.

    It’s funny that in Hebrew 11 the lives of these OT saints are used not for their typology value but as examples to the NT saints like us – seems like pretty solid ground to study the OT at least to some degree from that angle.

  281. Steve Wright says:

    The Proverbs warns the reader not to go into debt. The borrower is slave to the lender.

    Now, was that only sound advice under the Mosaic covenant or would God mind if I repeat that to a congregation today?

    Or am I supposed to find Jesus in that warning.

    The Proverbs warns young men about sex. (Same questions)

    I think this is what Josh and I are getting at. (Your 280 is right on, Josh)

  282. Xenia says:

    Well, as I said earlier, the literal meaning and the moralistic meanings of the OT stories are important.

  283. Xenia says:

    Looking through Amazon I find quite a number of books on finding Christ on every page of the OT.

    Not necessarily every verse because versification of the Scriptures is not in the originals. Maybe we are quibbling over what we consider to be a passage of Scripture?

  284. Josh,
    ” but if you are doing a bible study through entire books, some of the passages aren’t about Jesus. ”

    I just read Kill Alex Cross. The whole book is about Alex but every scene is not about Alex Cross. But… every scene does build something that enhances Alex Cross and his story.

    It’s the same with the scriptures – you you need to look at a passage and ask, how does this relate to Jesus? How does this help move along the message of Jesus? How will Jesus use this scene / passage to his glory.

  285. Xenia says:

    I also think those OT Saints are honored beyond measure to have their stories used to tell the story of Christ. I doubt if they feel slighted!

  286. Steve,
    “Was there ZERO message from God to them? These are just a backdrop to be ignored or misunderstood by centuries of God’s people until us Christians could figure it out from our perspective after the cross?”

    They were the players in God’s actions.

    How many people today live normal lives and have absolutely no idea how God has used their life,their action, to move along the Christian story in other people’s lives. Does that mean that God had a low view of them?

    I can’t begin to think of the number of people who interacted in my life who were just players on a stage and have no idea that they contributed to me… and they didn’t even get a Bible book named after them.

  287. ” Maybe we are quibbling over what we consider to be a passage of Scripture?”

    That’s what I tried to tell Josh – maybe a passage is 3 chapters.

  288. I don’t know about Xenia or some others, but this was probably the most difficult hing to change in my Lutheran transformation. It wasn’t baptism or the Lord’s Supper – but how to correctly read the OT.

  289. Josh Hamrick says:

    “That’s what I tried to tell Josh – maybe a passage is 3 chapters.”

    Ok, my point is that if I go through the entire book in my class, I can’t always go through three whole chapters. I only have an hour. I still think those other parts are important too, even if it takes us another week to get to the Jesus part. 2nd – If it takes 3 chapters to find the Jesus part in your lesson, there is gonna be a lot of other stuff that you will be mentioning, not just Jesus. So unless you avoid entire chapters and passages, we are basically doing the same thing.

  290. Steve Wright says:

    I also think those OT Saints are honored beyond measure to have their stories used to tell the story of Christ. I doubt if they feel slighted!
    ——————————————————-
    I meant the multitudes of anonymous OT saints who read the word of God that God loved. Not the ones who got included. Read my post again from that perspective please.

  291. Steve Wright says:

    MLD’s 287 and Xenia’s 283 are huge accomodations that were lacking in this discussion when words like “sole purpose” of the OT were being tossed around.

    Glad to see them come aboard… 🙂

    Have to run and teach the OT now.

  292. Josh,
    You said “Overall, yes, Jesus is “the point”, ” Well if Jesus is the point, then keep teaching and keep bringing up “the point” … in each passage.

    The point of the story is “the sky is blue” so if there is added mention in the story that the grass is green, does that at all take away from the point of the story that the sky is blue? So, we have acres of green grass … underneath the blue sky we talked about last chapter.

  293. Xenia says:

    Certainly the OT stories were beneficial for the Hebrew people. I have said all along that literal and moralistic readings of the OT are valuable. But we are Christians, not Jews and we have eyes to see what what these Scriptures are really all about, they are about Christ.

  294. Josh Hamrick says:

    Mld’s 293 – Yep, that is exactly what I do. I’m just acknowledging that the green grass passage is talking about green grass.

  295. Josh Hamrick says:

    I also want to quell any misconception. I never go through a whole hour of bible study without talking about Jesus. But that wasn’t the original issue.

  296. Xenia says:

    Steve, way back up in my 263 I said that literal and moralistic readings of the OT are important.

  297. “are huge accomodations that were lacking in this discussion when words like “sole purpose” of the OT were being tossed around.”

    Steve, you did that yesterday also in a conversation – you declared we changed our position – declared victory and walked away, even though nothing had changed/ Even though you are a Calvary Chapel pastor, this is one thing that you cannot just declare by fiat. 🙂

  298. Andrew says:

    Andrew, I think you are stretching here. If you do as Steve said and look at a systematic theology you will see a section on God, another on Jesus and another on the Trinity.
    _____________________________________________________________________

    MLD, I understand this. My point is that since Jesus lived among us physically and He himself is the creator and redeemer than He bares the best CLARITY in Bible interpretation. This is exactly what we are talking about (exegesis) In fact, Jesus teaches us how to Interpret the Bible and He himself reveals the Trinity and talks about the Father and the Holy Spirit. I love systematic theology but if you fail to recognize that the theology of God (the trinity) comes directly from what Jesus himself taught you are only fooling yourself. And this is the problem I see with Steve’s exegesis of OT texts when you don’t see Jesus in it. To me its a serious error.

  299. Josh Hamrick says:

    Andrew, you keep saying those things but you haven’t answered any questions. What did Jesus teach about Ecclesiastes?

  300. Andrew says:

    As I said before, exegesis is a specific word that speaks to the original author communicating to his original audience. To approach the text to “find Jesus” is classic eisegesis.
    _________________________________________________________________

    Oh my Steve. Is Jesus guilty of eisegesis since He read himself into the text? You do believe the Bible is inspired by God right? Ultimately God is the author right? The problem isn’t really finding Jesus in the text. Because He is there in one way or another as MLD has been stating. The problem usually is narcigetical eisegesis or otherwise reading and finding yourself in the text when it has nothing to do with you at all. This is what Furtick is really good at.

  301. Andrew says:

    Josh,

    Too much to write here but here is a decent link from your own tribe on how to preach Christ from Ecclesiastes.

    http://www.sbts.edu/resources/files/2013/08/Pages-from-SBJT-V15-N3_Greidanus.pdf

  302. Josh Hamrick says:

    Andrew, you can listen to all Steve’s sermons online. H e isn’t guilty of your new accusation (reading himself into the text), just like he wasn’t guilty of your last (denying that Jesus is God). Can’t we just talk about the issue at hand without making the crazy accusations? You can make your point about Jesus being in every passage of the Old Testament (though you haven’t yet), without having to call Steve a heretic on every other post. It really is bad conversation…and may be baring false witness.

  303. Andrew says:

    Josh,
    I didn’t accuse Steve of reading himself into the text. I accused Furtick. I am responding to Steve on OT interpretation and his accusation of me of eisegesis.

  304. Josh Hamrick says:

    Oh geez. He didn’t accuse you of eisegesis, he simply pointed out the difference between exegesis and eisogesis. Just being honest, you don’t seem to have a good grasp on the concepts.
    For instance, you said this : “Exegesis is all about Jesus because Jesus said so”. What does that mean, and where did Jesus say that?

    Did you read that link you posted? Because i agree with the author completely on that, but note that he is talking about sermons, not bible studies.

  305. Andrew says:

    Josh,

    Yes, I read the link. I agree with it. I’m not really sure why a bible study would have a different hermeneutic than a sermon. Do you? Maybe there is a difference between the too but the hermeneutics don’t change. Why would they?

  306. Josh,
    “he is talking about sermons, not bible studies.”

    LOL 🙂 – About 8 hours ago, I thought you couldn’t see a difference between a sermon and Bible study – and even requested me to explain to you what a sermon is.

  307. Andrew says:

    “Exegesis is all about Jesus because Jesus said so”. What does that mean, and where did Jesus say that?

    Jesus said, “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me”.

    Jesus didn’t say which scriptures bear witness of Him but rather that THEY DO bear witness of Him.

    So with this in mind, when I read an OT text I don’t forget what Jesus said about this. I take Him at his word. Jesus himself is referred to as the Word of God in Revelation 19:13. “He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God”. Also He is referred to as the Word in the logos passage in John 1.

  308. Josh Hamrick says:

    No, but the original argument by MLD is that they are two different things, though he never defined that. If I were preaching a sermon from Ecclesiastes (and I have to preach once in April and once in May so hey, I might 🙂 ) I would do exactly what the author said. Notice he didn’t find Jesus in the Old Testament text, and downright rejected some of the allegorical interpretations that squeeze Jesus in there. He takes particular passages from Ecc. and relates them to Christ. Note he doesn’t say “This passage is about Christ”, but he uses the passage as a way to point to Christ. I’m totally on board with that, and do that same thing.

    In an adult bible study, which i teach every week, we would focus more on what the text says, the historical context, how it applies to our lives, and how it fits in the bigger picture ( this would usually be the part where it ties to Jesus). But if I am just teaching a class through the book of Ecclesiastes, which i did a few months ago, I wouldn’t tie each passage to a related story about Jesus. I’d just teach what is in the text. I expect the links to Jesus to be made, but i largely leave room for the students to make them themselves. I teach the text and and believe that God speaks through the actual text. So even if I just read it verbatim, God could still accomplish his purpose.

  309. Josh Hamrick says:

    “Jesus didn’t say which scriptures bear witness of Him but rather that THEY DO bear witness of Him.”

    I totally agree, but that’s not what exegesis means

    Also, MLD does not know the difference between a question and a declaration. MLD, when i end a sentence with one of these “?”, that means I’m asking a question.

  310. Andrew says:

    And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
    ________________________________________________________________________

    hmmm, I see Jesus pretty darn important when it comes to the Word. Just saying….

  311. Josh Hamrick says:

    @ 311 – Do you think there is anyone disagreeing with that?

  312. Andrew says:

    I totally agree, but that’s not what exegesis means
    ____________________________________________________________________

    ok smarty pants, what does it mean? Because for me, I have to deliberately take Jesus out of the scripture to not somehow find Him when studying the Bible.

  313. Josh Hamrick says:

    I don’t even know how to answer that Andrew. Hey, I’ll tell you what. You want go to hell because you find Jesus in too many Old Testament passages. It’s not even that big of a deal, just a conversation among friends, all who love the Lord, and love His Word.

    I gotta go to bed. Have a good one 🙂

  314. Andrew says:

    Ok, I am seeing the difference between a Bible study and preaching a sermon. Any secular professor could probably teach a bible study or even just read the words on the page. That is pretty simple to do. Preaching a sermon however is true exegesis since the point is to understand what God is saying and not read anything into the text that God doesn’t want read into it. I don’t like cheesy allegorizing any more than I like a second rate cheesy movie. However, with that said, I truly believe exegesis begins and ends with Jesus ultimately and not in some cheesy way.

  315. Andrew says:

    Josh said, “You want go to hell because you find Jesus in too many Old Testament passages”.

    What a disturbing thing to say. I don’t even know where to begin to address you Josh. What makes you think I want to go to hell. But you know something, I suggest you take this up with Jesus and not me.

  316. Steve Wright says:

    How many people today live normal lives and have absolutely no idea how God has used their life,their action, to move along the Christian story in other people’s lives. Does that mean that God had a low view of them?
    ————————————————————-
    MLD – Earlier I wrote that the OT gives us a glimpse at how God has worked in the lives of His people and that is valuable for us. What you wrote here is an accomodation from what you have been saying, namely everything is about Jesus or else it is not a Christian message.

    Now, I only split because I had to teach a couple chapters from the OT tonight. But rest easy, it was almost all about Jesus because those chapters were Isaiah 49-50. 🙂

    Now I thought of an example for you. King David. On the one hand, we understand the importance of David as to Jesus. No doubt, he is as big a figure as any OT person when it comes to Jesus. We all would make a big deal about that when we preach his story.

    However, we have multiple chapters about David’s sin, then his trying to cover his sin with even more sin, then his thinking he got away with it only to have his sin find him out, then to have him repent, then to see him forgiven but also to experience earthly consequences.

    A whole lot of detail that has been used for centuries in many a good sermon to many congregations of Christians – plenty of lessons for us to learn about how even this great man of God went down this path. Learn from the mistakes of history.

    Now, I know you aren’t going to argue for David being a type of Christ while he was murdering and in adultery. I know you aren’t going to argue that Jesus would need to repent like David, or suffer for his own sins like David. Now, I suppose you could take all those chapters of detail and just sum it up and say ‘David was a sinner in need of a Savior just like all of us” and move on…or you can dig a little and see what lessons about living could be mined and applied to us, with appropriate NT references and give a solid sermon based on the text details that God chose to give us.

    Xenia – Yes, you did say those other things are important. I was thrown by your “absolutely” to the “sole purpose” comment about the OT. No, we are not Jews, but we are God’s people as they were God’s people under the prior covenant and as long as we don’t confuse the covenants we can still learn a lot about grace, repentance, justice, and all sorts of other issues as to God and His ways and His character towards His people.

    Andrew – Dr. Grassmick’s definition of exegesis in his textbook on the subject is as follows: The skillful application of sound hermeneutical principles to the Biblical text in the original language with a view to understanding and declaring the author’s intended meaning. That’s the definition I use. And yes, Jesus has every right to interpret any verse of Scripture as He sees fit. None of us do, but He does. Josh and I have stated repeatedly that the volume of the book is about Jesus. Christ crucified is the story. No argument with Jesus saying the Scriptures speak of HIm, or telling the guys to Emmaus all about Himself. The question is if those statements of Jesus mean that each and every verse of every chapter of every OT book somehow is about Jesus, and were written solely for the purpose of saying something about Him, to the exclusion of all the original OT readers, God’s people as well, who would read Jonah, Job, Judges and all the rest and be clueless as to any meaning since they would not be aware of Jesus’ coming centuries later.

  317. Steve Wright says:

    I’m out for now, but I wonder why would a Christian read Psalm 119 dramatically different than an OT saint centuries before Christ would read it – other than the commands are those under the New Covenant and not the Mosaic.

    It’s beautiful and frankly teaches itself. Why would a Christian NOT read this Psalm, but why (how???) would you shoehorn Jesus in each verse?

  318. ” What you wrote here is an accomodation from what you have been saying, namely everything is about Jesus or else it is not a Christian message.

    Steve, you err – I made no accommodation from my previous position. That was a standalone comment to your comment @281 – “It seems to me this leads to a rather low view of the OT saints when it comes to God and His love and concern for them,…”

    My point, and I do think that I stated it very clearly, is that God honored those saints by letting them be in the story about Jesus.

    Here is our difference, you think the OT is about Israel and the OT saints and that Jesus is dropped into their story. I think, and I am sure that Xenia thinks that this is Jesus’ story and that Israel and the OT saints are dropped into Jesus’ story

    But I said earlier – we come to different conclusions. Embrace the difference. 🙂

  319. To your #318 – 2 points

    1.) re: psalm 119 = “It’s beautiful and frankly teaches itself.” – I don’t believe you. I bet that when you come to that psalm … you teach through it. If you believed what you just said, you would just read it to your congregation and move on to psalm 120 😉

    2.) “but why (how???) would you shoehorn Jesus in each verse?” – this is why you are having such great difficulty with this conversation – you keep stating what we keep denying. We talk in terms of passages – not individual verses

  320. Andrew says:

    Its always about context, context and context. Take the verses before and verses after and ultimately the Bible as a whole to understand context. My point with emphasizing the NT and Jesus is because this offers clarity to otherwise unclear passages and makes sense of the whole. I used to be a fan of verse by verse teaching but that has been changing since on whole, one would spend a lot more time in the old testament because of the sheer volume of it. In my estimation that leads to an unbalanced teaching.

  321. Andrew says:

    I just want to offer an apology to Steve if I was too hard on him. I haven’t really heard him teach. My concern is what I have seen in the CCs I have attended which I believe made a mockery of the bible. I look at Chuck Missler and him constantly finding hidden bible messages in the Torah by using sophisticated mathematical algorithms and patterns. When I hear the word eisegisis this is the very first thing I think of when some how Chuck Missler finds in the bible text that some modern day Israel prime minister was shot or some other current event in Israel. This is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard and it would be helpful if someone in CC would say something about this or else people think this kind of hermeneutic is acceptable. .

  322. Josh Hamrick says:

    “You want go to hell because you find Jesus in too many Old Testament passages”.

    Andrew, I apologize. “want” should have been “won’t”. I wasn’t saying you want to go to Hell, I was you will not go to Hell. It was a nice thing I was trying to say. Understand now?

  323. Andrew says:

    Thanks Josh for clearing that up! 🙂 I was a bit baffled. It makes sense now.

  324. Josh Hamrick says:

    Typing quickly while I’m sleepy is always dangerous 🙂

  325. Mark says:

    Andrew- Chuck Missler is a fringe niche in CC and IN NO WAY represents mainstream CC teaching. He is the last person in the world to use as the typical CC guy.

  326. Andrew says:

    Mark, I am not sure what a typical CC guy is other than what Chuck Smith would say. All I know is the Chuck Smith himself really is the one that seemed to main stream Chuck Missler out of the fringe into some very large Calvarys.

  327. Andrew says:

    For twenty years Missler taught a weekly Bible study at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa. With 20 years of teaching at Costa Mesa is hard to say Missler is on the fringe unless you conclude Costa Mesa is on the fringe.

  328. When I first came to CC in 1981 Chuck Missler was all the rage. There is no doubt that he was mainstream and the #1 last days teacher for CC.

    By the 90s, not so much. CC seemed to turn away from Missler much as they had the crazy Vineyard guys. But he still wrote a couple end times Temple rebuilding books with today’s CC spokesperson, Don Stewart.

  329. Andrew says:

    MLD,

    You might be correct, however CC wasn’t common on the East coast until the 90’s when it started catching on and basically it was a replication of what was done in the 80’s in Costa Mesa but this time in the 90’s in the East coast. So while Missler may have been losing favor in the West, he was just getting started in the East.

  330. Steve Wright says:

    Thank you Andrew for your #322. Very much appreciated.

    I will affirm what you said about Missler – he was still huge in CC Costa Mesa in the early to mid 90s when I was there. He spoke there once a month (he had already moved to ID) and all his stuff was in the bookstore. I listened to him a lot in my early years but got away from him for a variety of reasons, even before I heard all that hidden code stuff.

    I actually thought of Missler in this discussion with MLD and Xenia – because he was the guy who talked about finding Jesus on every page, and so every time we read silver that speaks of redemption which speaks of Jesus etc. As a brand new Christian that was really powerful and lead me down an allegory path that I have long since gotten off

    I remember Chuck sort of threw Missler under the bus one Sunday during the congregational reading of the Psalm right at the height of the Y2K stuff. He was reading a Psalm about trusting the Lord no matter what happens (whether the seas rage etc.) and Chuck added “And even if all the computers crash in January” and it got quite a laugh but also preached more importantly than whatever his regular message was that day – especially to that crowd that knew Missler’s stuff so well. I left in 2001 so I’m not sure when Missler stopped really being a focus there but he was in decline, especially after 1/1/2000

  331. Kevin H says:

    I haven’t kept up with all the conversation here, but see that currently one of the topics is Chuck Missler, so I can add this. I attend one of the largest Calvary Chapels in the East. Missler had been a regular guest speaker at my church in the 2000’s, most especially during prophecy conferences. I never heard him speak but I did get one or two of his CD’s after the fact. While I found some of his stuff interesting (and other stuff just off the wall), I thought what a big waste spending so much time and energy focusing on this stuff. At that point I decided that I wouldn’t waste my time to hear him when he would come back to speak, although he was a seemingly popular speaker when he would come.

    He has not been at the church to speak for a few years now. From my understanding, there was some kind of falling out between Missler and my pastor due to some theological changes Missler has had in regards to the Rapture. So I would venture to guess that Missler is no longer welcome to speak at my church. But up until this point, he was a quite regular and popular guest speaker.

  332. Andrew says:

    Missler has admitted to be a mystic and has a lot of ties with Israel. It doesn’t surprise me that he would say that Jesus is on every page of the Bible when he speaking to Christians but when he is speaking to Jews he would probably say the same thing about finding Israel on every page of the Bible. Missler, more than anyone I know has warned many times about overly allegorizing scriptures related to Israel and applying them to the church even though the Apostle Paul did that. My biggest concern with Missler is that he is a hyper-dispensationalist and includes non-Christian modern day Jews in the same larger extended family of God with the church although the church will be raptured at some point. The NT doesn’t talk about two peoples of God (the church and Israel).

  333. ” because he was the guy who talked about finding Jesus on every page, and so every time we read silver that speaks of redemption which speaks of Jesus etc”

    Hey, even a broken clock is right twice a day.

    So what we agree on is that Missler had his Christology correct and had his Eschatology all wrong. 🙂

  334. Andrew says:

    Can we can agree Missler had his exegetical skills completely wrong? After all that is how this entire rabbit trail started.

  335. Josh Hamrick says:

    I can only agree that I’ve never heard of Missler 🙂

  336. Mark says:

    So I will again repeat that Missler is ( present tense) on the CC fringe. If one is still talking about CC of 20 yrs ago then that person shouldn’t be referencing CC. That was then. Today is now. Today CCs are not teaching Israel they are teaching Jesus. Yes prophecy conferences still take place and Israel is presented with a role in the end times. We still believe that because it is biblical. But u cannot state that CCs do not teach Jesus Sunday after Sunday because we do

  337. Andrew says:

    Mark,

    We are not talking about CC 20 years ago but rather maybe 5 or so years ago tops. You can download all his prophetic strategist trends updates on ccphilly web site and there are a lot of them. But fair enough that we are talking about CC now and not 5 years ago. My legitimate question though is what constitute a CC fringe? General Boykin still is a very popular speaker in CC. But I imagine in a few years its quite possible he could be considered fringe. Since Chuck Smith passed, who determines what is fringe and what is mainstream? And my understanding is that CC’s today are still very much dispensational and if so Israel will always be part of the teaching. Most CCs do appear to have Holy land trips every few years and the imminent return of Christ rapture mentality isn’t going away any time soon. No one is saying that CC don’t teach Jesus.

  338. Kevin H says:

    One correction to my earlier comment in regards to the theological issue of Missler’s that became a sticking point. I now think it wasn’t related to the Rapture, but rather the Millenium. I think the issue in this article may have something to do with it: http://www.khouse.org/articles/2009/868/

    One way or the other, I knew it involved the end times. Of course.

  339. Josh,
    Missler, wow…
    Missler was a centeral figure at CCCM. I used to lead worship for his gathering.
    It was like Coast to Coast’s George Noory, every week. In fact George has had Missler on from time to time within the past couple years. Fear and speculation sell books and recordings and pack conferences.

    Mark,
    Even within the couple weeks before ChuckSr’s passing, Chuck & Don were doing Bible prophecy updates on the 3PM – 4 PM Pacific Time M-F on the radio which were dripping with Israel in the central focus, so perhaps the motherchurch has heard the last of it for awhile. BrianB is less about the prophecy thing these days. It will definitely be interesting.

    For everyone else, here’s an awesome R&B tune which remains my focus these days…

  340. I judge (evaluate) Today’s end times preaching, teaching and books this way. What percent is Israel mentioned and what percent is Jesus mentioned.

    That will tell you exactly what and who the story is about.

    My position has always been, that the rapture folks are replacement theologians, who have replaced Jesus as the end times story and replaced him with the nation Israel.

    Check it out, I doubt that it is not less that 50 mentions of Israel & the Jews to each mention of Jesus.

  341. Josh Hamrick says:

    G – Another funny…no clue who George Noory is 🙂

  342. Mark says:

    Love these guys who left CC or who never attended CC telling us what our church believes and what we teach every Sunday. Steve you must love that too. I dont disagree that CC puts Israel in the end times story. As I stated we do it because its what the Bible says. The basis of my comments on this thread is to dispel the notion that CC does not teach
    Jesus except where He specifically shows up in that weeks verse. That is just not true. It wassnt true 20 years ago and its not true now. Regarding the whole Missler comments I was putting him on the fringe with respect to all his codes and numerology and finding signs oof the Apocolypse in everything

  343. Adding to TheFringeFiles, let’s not forget “The Face On Mars” and “The Gospel in the Names of The Patriarchs” 😉

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