Year End Awards

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92 Responses

  1. Nonnie says:

    *Just ordered Matt’s book. Will start it tonight.
    *Song: Really enjoying John Michael Talbot’s music
    *Film: Loved Argos! Last summer I read a long article in Time Magazine (I believe) that told the fascinating story of the rescue of the Iran Embassy folks. I was speaking to my brother and telling him about this incredible story I read and said, “It would make a great movie!” He then informed me that it was a movie. I was not disappointed at all. It still amazes me that even though I knew outcome of the story, the film had me on the edge of my seat. Excellent intrigue and entertainment!
    *Sports….I’ll give you Peterson, whoever he is. 🙂
    *Highlights: I would have to say for me it was my mom visiting me for 3 weeks and getting to experience my life here in England, just 9 days before she died. I still smile when I think of how the Lord gave us that gift of time together. Also, I have 2 baby grandsons born this year that have beat the odds, and are little fighters. I thank God for His mercy upon us, and that we still have them!

  2. Paigemom says:

    Happy New Year! Highlights of 2012 for me was my granddaughter learning to ride a two wheel bike and losing her two adorable front teeth! Now that is the Sacred Mundane for ya!

  3. erunner says:

    Peyton Mannint had a remarkable comeback. Many thought he could be maimed for life when he took a solid hit but that didn’t happen. What Adrian did is totally beyond anyone’s comprehension. You just don’t come back from THAT injury quickly and many tough athletes weren’t quite the same when they did come back. I’d give it tothem both! 🙂

  4. erunner says:

    I asked for God Of The Mundane for Christmas but they gave me my other choice which was the new book about Lonnie Frisbee. It’s been a fascinating read with a follow-up book due. It’s all in his own words. Interesting stories on how Greg Laurie, Mike Mcintosh, Jimmy Kempner and others came to Christ via his ministry. Had no idea of the things that took place in Haight Asbury before he made it down here. When he met Chuck he state CC was comprised of about 80 people. Talks about his time with Bob Mumford in Florida and his love for Kathryn Kuhlman to whom he dedicated the book.

  5. Reuben says:

    Book of the Year: Modern Refrigeration And Air Conditioning

    Because it makes me money.

    Song of the Year: Fearless – Pink Floyd

    Jerry Lee Lewis could have learned a thing or two from the 5 greatest musicians that ever lived.

    Album of the Year: Animals – Pink Floyd

    The most powerful album written lyrically. Ever.

    Movie of the Year: Avengers

    No argument there.

    TV Show of the Year: Doctor Who

    And it was the best show every year that it aired.

    Greatest Doctor in History: The Fourth

    Athlete of the Year: Peyton Manning

    Not even I believed that he would amount to a hill of beans this year. He showed everyone.

  6. steve voigt says:

    Just ordered the book and looks like I got one of 10 left…. yee haw

  7. sarah says:

    Nonnie….I am so happy your Mom was able to visit. I can’t believe that was only a year ago?!

    I’ll have to think on my best of list…for now I’m immersed in about four books and calendars and school prep. And really good coffee and a coffee shop with a big fireplace and no franchises 😉

  8. palytton says:

    To me, the best part of 2012 were the 52 Sabbaths.

  9. Em says:

    “I have a theory…that being if people really understood their place in the church and in “ministry” that the hold of abusive leaders would be broken and the church would become a far healthier place.”

    is it possible that, misunderstanding the Biblical intent of humility, we have beaten down the joy of being alive in Christ, of even simply reaching out to each other because we think we don’t qualify to do so? – not called to live in Christ? is the end of the professional Christian in sight? praying for a purging as i truly think that God does move … and then move on …

    listened to Joe Focht calling for us all to long for an infusion of the Holy Spirit (not glossalalia) … when God moves (pushing against the status quo), it’s in various and unexpected ways … IMHO

    wasn’t too crazy about 2012 – many reasons to be grateful, tho

  10. Em says:

    palytton, that old picture in your gravatar has always been a favorite of mine … even seeing it there now encourages me – our God is for the long haul and faithful

  11. Michael says:

    ” is the end of the professional Christian in sight? ”

    I don’t think so…it takes a great deal of time and money to learn to teach the Scriptures.
    What I hope we see is the end of the celebrity teacher and the church without relationship…

  12. Papias says:

    Sitting here wearing my Kings shirt, that last statement made me smile.
    I will have to check Redmonds book.
    Best album of the year is Rush Clockwork Angels.

  13. The celebrity pastor is the product of evangelical theology and lack of liturgy. The pastor directs the whole show at his own whim – whatever he wants to do, gets done – no call for seasons or order. He stands front and center on the stage and he is the important focus and everyone knows that his vocation is the highest calling.

    The thought that the pastor’s job is to teach the scriptures from the pulpit instead of preaching a sermon about Jesus is damaging.

  14. Em says:

    #11 – in that sense of the word “professional,” i sincerely hope you are right, Michael … the health of the Church depends on qualified, strong teachers

    even celebrity, in the sense of recognizing qualified men of God, is not wrong is it? what we have suffered from are the opportunists and those who’ve been thrust to the forefront on the strength of their personalities only … if our leadership had been mature waay back there somewhere … dunno … i liked Bill Bright, and respect him as a man who loved God – but i did not like his dependence on secular salesmanship to win folk to Christ … and it unintentionally gave the opportunists a very effective tool … evangelical was crowded out by evanjellyfilled – sorry bout that 😐

  15. Em says:

    #13 – MLD, you are wrong about evangelicalism … what you’ve seen and criticize is valid, but has been perpetrated by opportunists IMO … ahem … see # 14

  16. Em, you probably touched on my biggest point – the salemanship. The theology of the evangelicals is that it is their job “to win folks to Christ.” (a non biblical concept.) Hence the need for strong personality led leaders.

  17. Fly on a Wall says:

    How about we make ministry a labor of love? Instead of letting people make careers out of ministry, why don’t all the funding go to the needy?

    Wouldn’t that be awesome?

    How about next year’s fundraiser be about:… dun, dun. dun. get ready for it… NOTHING!

    I’m just waiting for a pastor to say, this year, our fundraising drive will be for NOTHING! We’ve been collecting ridiculous amounts of money from you for the past decades, we really don’t need any more for the next 20 years! But I know there’s still some faithful saps who will be hell-bent on giving… so instead of doing some crazy fundraising drive this year, which only we will keep account of, why don’t you look around you, see those people who are terribly in need, in our own country, in our own neighborhood, and instead, you can bless a fellow brother and sister in Christ!

    Wow… earth shattering, isn’t it? Who would’ve thought… maybe a poor peasant preacher back in the day may have mentioned it, you know, the one they hung on a cross.

    It’s a funny religion, isn’t it?

  18. Michael says:

    Fly,

    I guess as long as you want uneducated, incompetent people in the role of pastor you don’t need any career ministries.
    However, the cost of seminary or Bible college, along with life long continuing education is high…

  19. Fly,
    “We’ve been collecting ridiculous amounts of money from you for the past decades, we really don’t need any more for the next 20 years! ”

    You must go to a different type church than I do – moneywise.

    Also, your pastor must be different than mine. Again this goes back to the theology of evangelicalism – where the pastor sits in his office all day reading, to prepare for his Sunday message.

    My pastor is handicapped, walks on crutches (a polio victim) and runs around visiting shut in, working around our K – 8 school – does about 2 funerals a week – teaches weekday Bible studies to elderly groups and a variety of other things. I don’t want him working at Wal Mart all week and just show up on Sundays.

  20. Fly on a Wall says:

    ” Em, you probably touched on my biggest point – the salemanship. The theology of the evangelicals is that it is their job “to win folks to Christ.” (a non biblical concept.) Hence the need for strong personality led leaders.”

    MLD: we may have banged heads, but I have to admit your wisdom is wise.

    Salesmanship is what a huge part of the modern day church has been reduced to. But it’s not one person’s fault, it’s what the people want… I think, maybe someone can chime in with numbers?

    Here’s the modern day logic of a modern day church: we want to bring in more people. We need to get an awesome worship band, cool lighting, fog lamps because that’s what brings people. We need money to have an awesome band, cool lamps and a good-looking pastor. People bring in money. More people = more money. then we can buy more cool stuff, have cooler concerts, in return it’ll bring in more people.

    None of the above stuff is bad itself, but it just becomes noise. Even though it started with good intentions, it starts to look and smell just like the world. And people aren’t stupid, well… not every person is stupid, they’re going to soon figure out what is going on. Even worse, they’re going to start questioning things… that’s when things get ugly.

  21. Kudos to Adrian Peterson great year and if he broke one more tackle it would have been a record setting year. But Peyton Manning had 4 surgeries, missed a whole season, Peterson missed what… one game? Manning had to go outdoors after playing indoors for his whole career, he had to overcome the objections of the Tebow faithful, he had to knock off the rust of a 2-3 start and turned it into a 13-3 number one seed. Manning had to learn a new offense, learn new receivers, learn a new town. He had to suffer the grief and indignity of being released outright from the team that he made great, He overcame far more than Peterson and took his team to greater heights and he plays the position with the geatest pressur.

    Simple, Peterson is great but Manning stands alone.

  22. Fly, “How about we make ministry a labor of love?” that much is spot on … without loving God and out of that love, finding a true and life-giving love for our fellow man … our labor is all totally dependent the soundness of our doctrines (which is just one necessary leg of the stool) and human endurance … IMNSHO

  23. Fly on a Wall says:

    I guess as long as you want uneducated, incompetent people in the role of pastor you don’t need any career ministries.

    C’mon man. you’re better at Bible Jeopardy than this. It’s your blog, maybe people won’t attack you, but say that same statement in a group of bible college graduates, and you’ll get jumped.

  24. Fly on a Wall says:

    MLD: there’s lot of pastors like yours, thank God for them, maybe they’re the reason why the world hasn’t ended it. The really are the last strands of hope in a dark, dark world.

    The stuff I say above is more to prick consciences, as someone who isn’t in full-time ministry, and can do so with little repercussion (except getting banned, LOL). Of course 99% of churches are somewhere in between yours and mine.

  25. London says:

    Fly @17.
    I know a pastor that did just that thing. Said they had enough money in the coffers for the time being and that no one should tithe for at least 6 months. Instead, they should find their own favorite ministry and put money into it, or they should find some way to bless their neighbors.
    He also asked everyone to give just 5 hours a month of their time to help someone else, volunteer at a charity or ministry of their own choosing.

    I was SHOCKED at how difficult it was for the folks there to do it!! They didn’t know any other ministries, they had no idea who in their community needed help, and they were too used to only being involved in church “sponsored” events to be able to sort one out on their own.

    Sad…

  26. Michael says:

    Fly,

    I’d get jumped for affirming the importance of an education to the ministry?
    That’s a rough crowd of theologians…

  27. Fly wants a church with no bills, no responsibilities except to redistribute people’s tithes. Even when God was explicit with Israel about how to conduct things they did not do it that way. The idea of the church simply giving away all the money to the needy is simply not the mandate of the church.

    The governments of Western nations that care for the needy have come to that position largely as a result of the influence of the Gospel in those societies. Christians participate in education, health care, help for the needy in our lives through government agencies that we people, and empower.

    Hogwash on ministries that do what fly beckons, first he seems to assume we have large caches of cash which is untrue. Churches participate in normal economy. Second, the ministries that propose to do as fly suggests, cease to exist. Anyone remember when Promise Keepers decided to stop charging fees for services rendered? They have certainly lost their influence and basically don’t exist in the mind of the public.

  28. covered says:

    Thanks MLD, Michael, BD and EM for your comments. We are a small church of about 100 or so and we pay our bills, maintain a generous benevolence account, give to missionaries and I make a very small salary. Between studying, counseling, meetings and teaching I think I make about $4.00 an hour. After tithing there’s not much left Fly…

    Happy New Year to all!

  29. Lutheran says:

    ‘C’mon man. you’re better at Bible Jeopardy than this. It’s your blog, maybe people won’t attack you, but say that same statement in a group of bible college graduates, and you’ll get jumped.’

    Fly,

    If that’s all you know is Bible college graduates vis-a-vis those who are in ministry and pastoring, you need to get out a lot more. There’s a huge Christian world out there where they require a whole lot of learning from someone who wants to be a pastor.

    In the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, for example, we have around 6,000 pastors. A prospective pastor first needs a 4-year college degree. It doesn’t have to be a preseminary degree. In fact, I know of at least 1 Lutheran wynod that discourages future pastors from that. They want people who can think and are well rounded.

    Second, you need a 4-year Masters of Divinity degree. One of those years in spent in what’s called a vicarage — you work alongside a pastor in a church for that year.

    There are a fair number of us here on PP who’ve been through the lone wolf, fly-by-the-seat-of-your pants Christian world and are on to something that we consider better. .

  30. Fly on a Wall says:

    Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

    Jesus replied, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”

    All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had.

    Ouch.

  31. Fly on a Wall says:

    Lutheran; we could have a long, rather heated debate on the importance of seminary (would that be considered Bible college?) in ministry. As I’ve attended a secular school, I have no idea that how it works except it’s incredibly expensive.

    If you look to the Bible as an example, obviously Jesus did not have a seminary degree.

    But that’s not to say the Lutherans are wrong, and fly-by-your-seat (I guess another word would be evangelicals?) are right. Maybe throughout church history, it has been determined that Pastors need to have degrees and go through an apprenticeship program?

    There’s nothing wrong with that, I’m learning every day. I was brought up in the CC system, then a few “emerging” churches (churches based heavily on Rick Warren’s book). I’m ignorant to what goes on in a Lutheran church (again, never been to seminary, don’t know the difference between all the denominations). But as an outsider, looking in, the need to justify your salary because you know all five points of Calvinism??? Yuck. The average Joe doesn’t go to church to learn the five points of Calvinism.

    A better scriptural comeback would’ve been:
    For the Scripture says, “You must not muzzle an ox to keep it from eating as it treads out the grain.” And in another place, “Those who work deserve their pay!”

    Can’t argue with scripture.

  32. Fly on a Wall says:

    Surely you remember, brothers, our toil and hardship; we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you.

    If I preach voluntarily, I have a reward; if not voluntarily, I am simply discharging the trust committed to me. 18 What then is my reward? Just this: that in preaching the gospel I may offer it free of charge, and so not make full use of my rights as a preacher of the gospel.

    The hits keep coming…
    of course, you can easily quote the scripture right above the one I quoted… thence we have our debate… maybe for another time.

  33. Fly on a Wall says:

    Covered: I don’t know why you’re so defensive? it doesn’t sound like you’ve made a career out of ministry at all. Actually it sounds like you donate a ton of your own time.

    Actually, I’d think you’d be the one chiming… yeah… that’s me! I do that. If I can boast in anything, let me boast in the Lord.

    And I commend you. I’ve been to so many churches where I feel the leadership (it’s not always the Pastor, is it?) have sold out to bring in more people (or more funds) and church life seems to be about one fundraiser after another.

    I thank God for people like you. You’re like the church of Smyrna, you have little, but by the grace of God, you have the strength to get through the day. Maybe it’s the thought of blessing the 100 people that faithfully attend and have entrusted you with leadership that make it all worthwhile?

    See, that’s the Pastor I love and admire. The world wants its celebrities, but I want a God loving Pastor. So I salute you.

    wow, 5 posts in one day for me. That’s a lot for a fly on a wall. I think I’m going to take a break for a while.

  34. Fly – this is not just you but many
    “I was brought up in the CC system, then a few “emerging” churches (churches based heavily on Rick Warren’s book).

    This is what I am talking about – evangelical theology requires that strong headship – even if they are copycats of the strongman (Chuck Smith & Rick Warren writing books on how to start and run a church to be effective).

    But here is the point and where the theology comes in – evangelical teaching from the pulpit is about the Christian, end of story, and perhaps spiced with something about Jesus at the end.

    A more liturgical setting is ALL about Jesus and what he has done for us. Paul, Peter etc, never preached about the Christian.

    It is the reason the evangelical churches of today are packed – people of this day – self centered people come to hear what they can do to be a “better Christian” and have no need, and even get bored to hear again what Jesus did for them.

    It doesn’t have to be a Lutheran church – but perhaps you could look into a more liturgical type church just to view the difference (but if you want to get saved, go to a Lutheran church – 😉 )

  35. Michael says:

    Fly,
    I had no problem discerning your church background before you gave it…
    Jesus would have been raised in an environment where he was saturated with the Older Testament from birth…oh, and he happened to be God.
    Paul went to the seminary of the day, the top rabbinical school led by the greatest teacher of the day.
    Having had some seminary experience, I don’t know of anyone who went to learn the “five points of Calvinism”.
    They might go to learn about soteriology and the other subsets of theology from someone other than a guy someone decided was “anointed”because he had a thrilling testimony of being delivered from drugs and wife beating.
    I know scores of good pastors who never were able to go to seminary before they started in ministry…I know none who have the attitude toward continuing education that you express here.
    Covered is a good pastor and a better man…and he is intentional about broadening his learning while doing everything else he does.

  36. Em says:

    #35 – amen, Michael

  37. Alex says:

    Qualifications in 1 Timothy and Titus, Qualifications, Qualifications….Qualifications.

    Seminary is great. But give me a man who is QUALIFIED before putting a Seminary educated narcissist jerk in power.

    Qualifications are the MOST important thing. There is not even a close #2.

    Seminary is good, reading the list of Qualifications, which is very tough and discriminatory, and then either being that guy or not…that is what is supposed to be the litmus test…not some arbitrary “God spoke to me and told me I was special and anointed and Chuck Smith told me I was, too!”

    Seminary I could do, no prob. Qualifications, not so much. One of the BIG problems we have is too many jerks in the pulpit who love to hear themselves talk and who love the adoration of their fans, justify all their bad behavior as necessary to protect their “ministry” etc etc.

    Truth be told, over half aren’t Qualified and shouldn’t be pastors…but we keep cranking them out en masse b/c all those Bible College Grads need jobs and income and need to pay off that Tuition Bill that’s now due!

    We’ve made “Ministry” and “Church” a Career that you can attain, rather than a true Calling.

  38. Shaun Sells says:

    I don’t read a lot of books (two or three a year). The book I would recommend this year is called “The Art of Loving Your Neighbor” by Jay Pathak and Dave Runyon. I read it twice and am planning on taking some folks from the church through it. I treat my home like a refuge for me, I don’t talk to my neighbors much or invite them over. I have always enjoyed being alone, and made excuses that I love people all day long night time is my time to love my wife children and self. That is selfish and evil. This book reminded me that loving your neighbor is not just about bringing people to Christ, sometimes it is just about loving them. Sometimes it is hard, but it is always right.

    The other one I would recommend is a childrens book – “Royal the Time Traveler and His Cuddly Carpet” by Jared Pocket. So far it has sold two copies – one to the author and one to me, it is only available as a download (kindle, ibooks, epub, etc.) – 99 cents. I know the author and enjoyed the book and am going to read it to my kids.

    Have a blessed year everyone.

  39. Shaun Sells says:

    I just downloaded God of the Mundane, maybe it will make my list for next years top book.

  40. Alex says:

    Shaun, you’re over-thinking it IMO. Just be a normal person and forget you’re a Pastor sometimes (not in the moral sense, in the Position sense). Yes, you nailed it here, IMO: “sometimes its just about loving them”…YES! Not everything has to be an Altar Call and Amway sales presentation. Just be yourself (your good self, the one that is Qualified) and hang out and be real. Invite folks over to watch a game or something. It’s pretty easy. Then just eat and talk with them and don’t put the Christian sales-pitch on them. Just relax. All, IMO and FWIW having seen preachers in action good, bad and ugly.

  41. Ixtlan says:

    I’ve always found it interesting how often pastors who flame out of the ministry go into sales. The people skill set is the same in many areas. Of course, if you are a pastor, then a little compassion always helps. Many motivational speakers come out of sales backgrounds…… There is much in common there.

    Alex identified it correctly @37.

    I thought an MDiv was three years? Most schools I am familiar with are. The fourth year would bring a ThM. And for those who don’t know, the MDiv is a professional degree in every sense of the word. Most curriculum is loaded with “how to do” type of courses and a fair amount of them are administrative.

    Been thinking more about my neighbors as well. I will admit however, that if I don’t have adequate “alone time”, I’ll probably explode. And I decompress much better in my own surroundings than running off to some conference.

    I haven’t had such a strange holiday season since I was drinking heavy. Not sure what to make of it all, but glad it’s over. And I need a drink……

  42. I was underwhelmed with God of the Mundane. Great blog idea, didn’t think it translated to full book form. Easy read, well worth the $3 I paid for it, but not the world shattering revelation I had hoped for.

    The best book I read this year was The Devil in Pew Seven. I don’t know when it was written, but it is fantastic.

    Best music of the year? I don’t know. I haven’t paid much attention. I discovered the Old Ceremony this year, and they are great.

    Movie? I don’t know if I watched a movie this year. I found out over the holidays that I love Muppet Christmas Carol.

    Athlete of the year? Cam Newton, who had a worse year than last, but he’s all I’ve got in Charlotte.

  43. Scott says:

    So, how does one qualify to become a qualifier of the qualfied or unqualified? LOL

  44. Alex I want to try to talk to you one more time. I’ll ask a question, and will you please try to answer without insult, without piles of your “Subjective/Relative” stuff? Just the question I’m asking please. Don’t even need to hear anything about Calvary Chapel…

    You said in #37 :
    “Seminary I could do, no prob. Qualifications, not so much. One of the BIG problems we have is too many jerks in the pulpit who love to hear themselves talk and who love the adoration of their fans, justify all their bad behavior as necessary to protect their “ministry” etc etc.”

    If you fully admit to not being qualified to be a pastor, then why should you see yourself as the gatekeeper that decides who is a pastor and who is not?

  45. Wow, Scott beat me to it 🙂

  46. Reuben says:

    Josh,

    We can know things from God’s Word. Alex cites two books. He cites those two books because they seem to be fairly capable of explaining what qualifies an elder. Timothy also seems to imply a process by which people are made to be into those positions. There is no implication of self appointment.

    I do not see myself as a pastor. I was a pastor. Respectfully, where is the disconnect? Layman is capable of reading scripture, and determining if what layman sees is aligning with what Scripture requests, or at least seems to imply. So reality would be that anyone can look to the Scriptures, and compare that with what they have. If the two don’t line up, speak up.

  47. Alex says:

    Josh said,”Alex I want to try to talk to you one more time. I’ll ask a question, and will you please try to answer without insult, without piles of your “Subjective/Relative” stuff? Just the question I’m asking please. Don’t even need to hear anything about Calvary Chapel…”

    I’m required to answer w/o insult, yet you ask with insult. How about go f yourself.

    Reuben nailed it. Qualifications are crystal clear. If a church/denom/leadership can’t get simple binary “you are that guy or you aren’t” right in practice..then how the heck can they be trusted to get anything else right…stuff that has way more nuance and Paradox etc etc.

    It’s easy to see I’m not Qualified. I often don’t want to take the high-road with fellow jerks. I often don’t want to turn the other cheek and forgive 70 times 7 and leave the 99 to save the 1. I am often selfish, crude, obnoxious, prideful, think I’m smarter than you (and probably am 😉 etc etc etc. While I might (I stress might) still be saved anyways, thanks to Grace…it doesn’t make me Qualified to be a Pastor. If I was a Pastor, the temptation would be too strong with folks telling me how wonderful I am all the time and Chuck Smith telling me I’m “Specially ANOINTED by God!” and a Prophet that hears stuff from God that other “sheep” don’t. I wouldn’t ever be as bad as BG, but I’d probably be like a Skip Heitzig or a Bob Coy or that type of Celebrity jerk.

    Pastors are held to a strict standard and a stricter judgment. It’s the Foundation of the Church, it’s “the” Foundational Litmus Test for Church Leadership…yet most treat it as if it doesn’t exist.

    The Problem with the Church today can be traced back to a neutering of the Qualifications and a Church Leadership that has set the bar so low, literally anyone can be a Pastor (and not from the Context of economics, race, or intellect, in the Context of the Qualifications that are spelled out very explicitly in the “inerrant, infallible, perfect Word of God”).

    If you can’t get the crystal clear simple stuff right…you gots no business telling the rest of us schmucks what the rest of the bible means and says.

  48. We had a class last year in church on Saturdays, in which we studied the qualifications of elders and deacons. Funny thing is that everything in those lists is mentioned elsewhere for individual christians that aren’t elders or deacons. Except for teaching, that seems to be a critical skill set for elders.

  49. Sometimes, those lists are used to beat leaders over the head with. But, if we also are held to them, except for teaching, then it changes things doesn’t it.

  50. Scott says:

    I don’t know, it’s easy to see how someone in leadership who was being accused by someone who by their own admission isn’t qualified to be in leadership would just say “you aren’t qualified to disqualify me!”. And round and round and round it goes.

  51. Alex says:

    Scott, it’s the bible/standard and their actions and history that disqualifies them.

    Any ol’ jerk can document the long history…even an Atheist or a homosexual or a transexual communist buddhist.

    Heck a gay transgender log cabin republican midget who believes in evolution and has a bestiality fetish and smokes marijuana could observe and point out the actions and personality that contradicts the clear Qualifications.

    Doesn’t (or shouldn’t) require a “special anointing” to figure it out and make a judgment.

    Law enforcement “disqualified” Kempner, Olague, Cardelli, Flores etc etc etc. Are they “God’s anointed”? What about investigative reporters who have reported on TBN etc? Invalid? Not good enough for you?

    Is there some sort of Qualification in Scripture to observe behavior and the Qualifications spelled out explicitly?

    I think the only qualification needed…is a bit of common sense and some scant reading comprehension.

  52. Alex says:

    Interesting comments.

    Derek’s comments seem to downplay the Qualifications as something not important….as if we’re all equally qualified to be elders, appealing to an interpretation that says the bible applies the same standard to all (it seems)…which would present quite a Paradox and pretty much annul any sort of Ecclesiastical Hierarchy….which is fine by me. I think Priesthood of the Believers is more likely to be true than some sort of hierarchy.

    If there is a hierarchy and if the Qualifications are some sort of literal set of standards to determine the hierarchy by judging sanctification and behavior…then many in Evangelicalism don’t believe so in practice.

    If we are all the same from a structural/hierarchy Ecclesiology perspective, then it begs “special anointing” and offices in the modern day church. Why be called “Teacher”/”Pastor” as Jesus said not to?

    Presents yet another interesting Contradiction in Scripture. Hierarchy or no hierarchy?

    “Do not be called teacher” “I am of Paul, I am of Apollos, I am of TBN, etc”

    “Qualifications” “Offices of the church”

    “Priesthood of the Believers”

    Early Church communal approach vs. Institutional Catholic church and even the hierarchy in Protestantism.

    Egalitarian vs. Complementarian

    “Authority” etc.

    No wonder Atheists think we’re a bunch of delusional schizophrenics LOL

  53. Alex says:

    Correction: “If we are all the same from a structural/hierarchy Ecclesiology perspective, then it begs “special anointing” and offices in the modern day church.”

    should read “if we are NOT all the same….”

  54. Alex says:

    In my church, the Qualifications matter. There is a hierarchical Ecclesiastical Structure…Pastors, Elders, Board, Membership.

    The Pastors and Elders must meet the Qualifications or they’re out. The Membership has a mechanism in place to vote for the Elders and to invoke a inquiry if a pastor or elder is found to be potentially disqualified.

    It’s not some mystical “Special Anointing” Diplomatic Immunity. It’s quantifiable. If you are “anointed” you will meet the Qualifications. If you don’t meet the Qualifications any longer you ain’t anointed or you’re now anointed to be the janitor.

    I’m all for we just sit around in a circle as co-heirs with Christ and hold hands and sing Kumbaya my Lord and no one takes a stage or podium and has a spotlight on them, but that sounds a bit hippy-liberal and I am a gun-toting red blood ‘Merican dangit! GOD BLESS THE US of A!

  55. @ 47 – He tells me to go f myself, yet I am supposed to bow to his authority on who can and cannot be a pastor.

    Reuben, @ 46 – (who by the way gives a graceful response, even when disagreeing. It’s what adults do.) The disconnect is what both Scott and Derek have pointed out. 1.) We are all called to holiness, yet we all fail. This does not disqualify us from being Christians. If we only allow pastors who are perfect according to those few passages, we will have no pastors. This is part of the problem in the first place, that we try to hold pastors to this higher standard, as if they are some sort of super-christian. They are not. They are human, just like me and you. The more people realize that, the less they will put themselves in places to be abused. Pastors can be good guys or bad guys, but they are all completely in need of grace and forgiveness, just like me.
    2.) It is hypocritical. To try to hold someone else to a standard that you are not willing, or able, to keep is the very problem that Jesus had with the Pharisees.
    3.) Reuben, I see no reason why you could not be a pastor. If you are not called to that vocation, then you shouldn’t do it, but if you are called, God’s grace is bigger than you are giving Him credit for.

  56. Alex has 2 standards for all people – everyone must be holy – except Alex who can have all the problems he lists… as long as he says sorry. He doesn’t have to change – even says that he makes no attempt to change.. as long as he says “sorry”

    But let anyone one else step out of line, and the fires of hell roar up.

  57. Alex says:

    Josh said, “He tells me to go f myself, yet I am supposed to bow to his authority on who can and cannot be a pastor.”

    No, you can tell me to f off and disagree. That’s the beauty of ‘Merica and Priesthood of the Believers. I’m no more anointed or special than you are…even if Chuck Smith told me I was, doesn’t make it so.

    MLD said, “Alex has 2 standards for all people – everyone must be holy – except Alex who can have all the problems he lists… as long as he says sorry. He doesn’t have to change – even says that he makes no attempt to change.. as long as he says “sorry”

    But let anyone one else step out of line, and the fires of hell roar up.”

    Yes, “by the same standard you judge, you will be judged”…that’s part of the Macro Point I’m making with CC’s practice and construct.

    …you’re catching on. You actually summarized my point quite well, thank you.

    If a Group/Church/Denom is going to tout and profess a Fundamentalist approach and do the Raul Ries/BG/CC “You must be holy!!!! all the time! If you have a beer, you aren’t saved! If you come against our AUTHORITY you aren’t saved! If you disagree with us, YOU AREN’T SAVED!” etc etc….then they should hold themselves and their Associated Brethren to the same Strict Standard. But, they don’t.

    It’s STRICT OT law and justice for the “sheep” and Antinomianism for the Leadership.

  58. Alex,
    Do you think that your pastor meets the qualifications to be a pastor – by the standards you point to scriptures. Remember, it’s not actions but the heart.

    Do you think he would say he meets those standards, in the way that the Bible says you must meet it’s standards – perfectly?

    Why do you still allow him in the pulpit?

  59. Alex says:

    CC needs to pick a side and stay there.

    Are they the Free Grace Lonnie Frisbee Charismatics with the Big Tent where you can be a drug addict, homosexual, fornicator, child abuser, or any number of other sins and “there’s grace for you!” even when you continue to sin….

    Or are they the Authoritarian OT Strict Law, Law, Law! You must be holy! If you slip for a moment, you are doomed to hell! We must speak publicly agains the EVIL Homosexuals! We must rid ourselves of the EVIL Calvinists! NO GRACE for anyone that doesn’t sign on to your special Brand and view of the bible! Even though we pick and choose! All while the bulk of us CC pastors who do this are the biggest heathens you’ll ever meet, if you saw the real us behind the scenes…oh, and we like to go on TBN and hang with our equally despicable sinful con-men hypocrite brethren.

  60. Alex says:

    MLD, my church is pretty fundamentalist and I can stomach it b/c they seem to walk the talk…which makes it more believable to me, though my brain/reason/intellect tends to tell me that my friend RationalRealist from Daily Kos is more correct when I examine the evidence of action, practice, history, ambiguity, and filter it through observation science.

    My pastor “seems” Qualified. He has a long history of no smoke and I’ve observed him in non-church settings and my wife was assisted by his wife in Sunday school before my wife knew she was the pastor’s wife. My wife was surprised later to find out who she was b/c she acted so normal and so helpful and so humble.

    I’ve asked a lot of questions about the leadership there, I’ve poked at it from a variety of angles. So far, they seem to take the same medicine they’re selling…so at least they don’t seem to be hypocrites. Plus they have mechanisms in place and formal Membership etc and lots of checks and balances and open finances etc which is telling and “is” accountability and humility.

    I also appreciate how Steve presents the prevailing theories underneath the Tent of Christianity when he teaches a passage…and then explains the theory he thinks is most correct, while not casting the others into hell for their position (as they rely on Scripture to come up with their position as well). It seems to be a very humble and wise approach, much different than what i grew up with.

  61. “.then they should hold themselves and their Associated Brethren to the same Strict Standard. But, they don’t.”

    Well, if you are going by the “by the same standard you judge, you will be judged” – you seem to judge harshly those you point at, so you should be judged just as harshly – AND that was my point.

    You don’t live up to the moral and character standards listed in the Bible, you even brag to some extent about being a jerk etc. By your own standard of judgment, I would say you have disqualified yourself from the Body of Christ in general and your church in particular. If I said “get out” you would probably be offended.

    Now, before you turn back to your usual – “you are no better than me” – remember, I am the one who holds to the position that the commands in the Bible cannot be kept and we are all at God’s mercy.

    Pack up your bags – by your own confession and judgment standards you can no longer be a part of the body of Christ.

  62. @ 57 , Alex said “No, you can tell me to f off and disagree. That’s the beauty of ‘Merica and Priesthood of the Believers. I’m no more anointed or special than you are…even if Chuck Smith told me I was, doesn’t make it so.”

    But I’m an adult. I’m capable of disagreeing without the f-off garbage.

  63. Alex says:

    MLD said, “Do you think he would say he meets those standards, in the way that the Bible says you must meet it’s standards – perfectly?”

    I think your Position is incorrect here as it relates to Qualifications.

    I don’t think the passages on Qualifications of Pastors/Elders says ‘perfectly’ or even implies ‘perfectly’. It seems to be clear that it is Archetypical or more of a personality profile. None are “perfect” however we each struggle with different sets of sins.

    The Qualifications list disqualifies those who struggle with anger, drunkenness, violence, greed etc at a level that rise to “above reproach” meaning the behavior is known, visible…which unfortunately can tempt Pastors to hide the stuff so as not to be disqualified, which happens a lot until they’re caught in the sin.

    I think there are a few of us out there who are pretty good folks who example the Qualifications consistently well and don’t disqualify themselves from ministry. It’s a select Group, it’s the exception and not the rule….but isn’t that the point of the passages?

    Or, it’s all false and there is no difference between any of us and none are any more sanctified than others and there is no hierarchy and you can toss Ecclesiastical Hierarchy out the window or you are forced to go with some sort of mystical “Special Anointing” metric and any ol’ local yokel like a Chuck Smith can one day say “he’s” special and then do some voodoo on you and tell you you are special too.

    Dunno.

    I do know rank hypocrisy and contradiction when I see it…

  64. Alex says:

    Josh said, “But I’m an adult. I’m capable of disagreeing without the f-off garbage.”

    No, not really. Your preface to your question above was condescending and the same thing. I just sent it back to you in kind…buy you’ll only see it from your perspective, that’s how we humans roll.

  65. Alex says:

    That’s enough from me for awhile, i’m sure I’ll be blamed for ruining the ‘community’ again. Have the last word, if something jumps out at me I’ll have to respond tomorrow.

  66. “Alex I want to try to talk to you one more time. I’ll ask a question, and will you please try to answer without insult, without piles of your “Subjective/Relative” stuff? Just the question I’m asking please. Don’t even need to hear anything about Calvary Chapel…”

    That was the intro to my original question. Nothing profane, or condescending, just an honest request. Every time I’ve tried to converse with you, it goes down one of those paths. You either insult / use abusive language, or head down the same filibuster path of Sunjective/ Relative that you’ve posted 5,000 times before. I didn’t want any of that, I just wanted to know why you were the one who is qualified to judge a pastor’s qualifications.

    Instead, I get told to f’off.

  67. Alex,
    “I don’t think the passages on Qualifications of Pastors/Elders says ‘perfectly’ or even implies ‘perfectly’”

    So the pastor can be an adulterer what, once a month? How often can he get drunk? Should I go down the list?

    Do you listen to yourself? btw why do you CAPITALIZE so many words? Does it make them more important? Are they your own words or do you just think that we won’t notice your big words?

  68. Fly on a Wall says:

    I’m not an Alex fangirl, but I’ll have to stick up for him. He’s done a great job with his blog, he doesn’t “gossip”, he’s only presented truthful stories that can be backed up by facts or several witnesses. AND he hasn’t resorted to petty name-calling (well, at least not to CC Pastors’ faces). I can do without his scathing editorial throughout his article, but it is what it is, and it’s FREE!

    So, who am I to complain? TBH: there should be something like his blog set up for every church.. as a former CCCM sheep, I can personally attest a lot of the stuff he writes about is true.

    As for his qualification statement, I agree to a point. Paul wrote to Timothy those things for a reason, so I don’t think they should be excused by the “all have sinned, love covers a multitude of sins, throw the first stone” argument. Yes, we ALL fail, and in this day and age of technology, it’s going to be painfully evident that Pastors fail too. I don’t think Pastors should be removed if they sin but if they’re continually breaking the standard set before them, it should be a smoke signal for the rest of us. If his daily behavior doesn’t align with the guidelines set out in Timothy, then he’s in the wrong business. Why does he even want to be a Pastor? Oh that’s right, in this day and age, church is hip!

    For example, Bob Grenier… I don’t see how anyone can take his side? It’s not just Alex story v. his story, it’s his behavior. He’s lied about Alex, he’s bad mouthed him, kept Alex’s mother from seeing her grandchild, and now he’s suing him. Obviously, this guy is not qualified! It’s not just one incidence of violence, it’s a lifetime of character… yet this guy gets up on the pulpit every Sunday in front of his mega church, and everyone is “jelly-filled” (I’m stealing that from Em) and it’s business as usual. Yuck.

  69. Scott says:

    Feed the bots.

  70. I am sorry Alex. Exactly where did I say that list was unimportant? Instead when you realize, that these are things every Christian should strive for it makes it all the more important. It is just like Josh said though pastors are humans like us all and subject to failure. You say if they can’t get the simple stuff right then they have no business telling the rest of us what the bible means and says. So all those qualifications are simple? I can’t live up to them and you yourself admit you can’t. In fact it is you who makes the list seem unimportant by suggesting it is simple, but you contradict yourself by saying you can’t do it.

  71. Em says:

    Fly, “Evanjellyfilled” is too easy, so i doubt that it is original with me … but the more i think about it, the more applications there seem to be … dunno … the thing that troubles me is that the world of the evangelical began as a world of sincere, stable men and women of the Book with integrity – high moral standards of conduct coupled with grace and sincere missionary efforts – for the most part, i think, they believed that all the world could, in theory, be saved and it was their job to try and do it … then came the wolves …

  72. Night all. Gotta get up early to go to work. At least there won’t be snow tonight when I leave in the wee hours.

  73. Alex says:

    MLD said, “So the pastor can be an adulterer what, once a month? How often can he get drunk? Should I go down the list?

    There-in lies the Mystery eh? Antinomianism vs. Law, Works vs. Grace etc etc.

    Do we remove all Standards and anyone can be a pastor? How about Homosexuals who fall once a month? MLD, maybe you should be ECLA, LOL. The Liberals have a good argument and you guys are demonstrating why very well with your Anti-Qualifications apologetic…and you don’t even realize it, which is a bit amusing.

    …you guys don’t really “see” it do you? You are arguing for Liberalism…which is fine, I really would like to know definitively who has it right…The Fundies or the Liberals.

  74. Alex says:

    MLD said, “Do you listen to yourself? btw why do you CAPITALIZE so many words? Does it make them more important? Are they your own words or do you just think that we won’t notice your big words?”

    It’s stylistic, kind of like an Italian waving their hands around when the talk. It’s kind of involuntary.

    Why are you so ugly? 😆

    This made me think of you LOL:

  75. Alex says:

    Josh, your post was condescending.

    I answered your question, no sense in hashing it out any further. Come to your own conclusion.

    BTW, what should happen to me if I told you to go f yourself all the time on here? Should I be banned? Should my behavior have consequences in a church context? Should you just Grace me and look the other way? Are you “bitter” and “divisive” and are you “judging” for wanting some form of church discipline and accountability for me telling you to go f yourself all the time?

    Again, I’m not Qualified to be a pastor/elder…does it even matter? Should it matter? Should it matter to a Church Contstruct that has an “Association” that has “Regional Authority” to deal with “problems” etc etc?

    Josh, would you want me as a Pastor in your Church? If I was and acted the way I do often, what should be done?

    Just Grace me bro? Leave it to the Lord? Let God deal with me? Don’t do anything? Don’t call for accountability with regards to me?

  76. “…you guys don’t really “see” it do you? You are arguing for Liberalism…which is fine, I really would like to know definitively who has it right…The Fundies or the Liberals.”

    No, Alex. We are not. We are asking why YOU are the one who decides who is qualified. Both Lutherans and Southern Baptists have systems in place to hire and qualify pastors. We are arguing against those systems. We are asking why YOU, who admits to being unqualified, gets to decide who is qualified, or not. You don’t see the blatant hypocrisy in that?

  77. Alex,
    You are the one who said that the “qualifications” don’t have to be followed perfectly – look at your #63 “I don’t think the passages on Qualifications of Pastors/Elders says ‘perfectly’ or even implies ‘perfectly’.”

    So my beef with you is, if they don’t have to be kept perfectly why do you have a beef with those who don’t keep them perfectly?

    I think that God always demands perfection – but we can’t – hence we (and this includes pastors) need mercy.

    So, you my friend, by your definition, must be the liberal.

  78. Alex, Southern Baptist churches are Autonomous, and congregationalist. Thus, if a congregation decided to hire you as a pastor, they are able to do so. If you act like a jerk, they can fire you. It’s not a perfect system, but no system will be.

  79. Alex says:

    Josh, you’re arguing a Strawman. It’s difficult to have a non-sarcastic discussion with you b/c you don’t even realize it.

    “You” are asserting the Position that I am the Judge and Jury…which is not my Position. I am identifying the Dichotomy that exists:

    Antinomian Grace / No Standard / No Consequences / No Church Discipline vs. Law / Standard / Consequences / Church Discipline.

    I “think” it is right and beneficial to have some sort of Standard in place and some sort of church discipline mechanism in place to Administer and judge the Qualifications.

    If there is any portion in Scripture that appears Crystal Clear…it is Morality Standards. No nuance there like say with the Trinity. Either you beat your kids or you don’t, you watch porn, pop pills, etc or you don’t, you get rich off of Jesus or you don’t etc etc etc.

    As a person with an intellect and reading comprehension and the ability to observe behavior, I am well-qualified, as are you, to make an informed judgment as to whether a particular Pastor is meeting the Standard of Qualifications laid out in the bible.

    That is the point I have consistently made. I point out the Qualifications, then I point out the corresponding Behaviors and specific Actions.

    According to the BIBLE, the person is either Qualified or Disqualified…no?

    …which leads us back to the Liberalism vs. Fundamentalism underlying Argument…which you clearly dont’ see the connection, so I’ll have to try and consider that when trying to have a discussion with you.

  80. Alex says:

    I read the list and I am clearly not Qualified per a literal “simple” interpretation of those passages.

    I look at the long list of consistent Behaviors and Actions my many pastors and I draw a similar Conclusion…based off the Standard expressed in the “inerrant, infallible, inspired, perfect bible” (insert Chicago Statement of Biblical Inerrancy here with all the caveats and where-to-fors and here-to-fors etc).

    ECLA says homosexuals can be Pastors…well why not? Tell me, in the context of your Argument AGAINST me being able to comprehend the Qualifications and then observe Behavior and Actions of Pastors?

  81. Alex says:

    Josh, what “Disqualifies” a homosexual from being a Pastor?

    “You’re judging! Who made you the judge and jury of Qualifications!”

  82. Alex says:

    Chew on all that today…and I’ll read and respond tomorrow if you want to continue the discussion. We’ll have to take it in pieces so I don’t dominate a thread. Have a good day Josh. I don’t want you to go f yourself, I hope we can gain some mutual understanding…I get frustrated when people don’t “see” it and it is sound from a Philosophical Logic perspective which is not subjective (doesn’t necessarily make it true, but it is a non-subjective framework to operate from, whereas most of what goes on in Religion-land is one giant flustercluck of incongruity, inconsistency and contradiction in a giant salad bowl.

  83. See, I do agree with Alex here – he is not qualified to be a pastor / elder. 🙂

  84. I really want to try to continue this conversation with you Alex. I think it is an important discussion. I admit that it is difficult for me to wade though the constant condescending tone and insulting my intellect. If you could drop those parts, I may be better able to hear your point of view. Who knows, you may even learn something from me, deficient intellect and all.

    Now, here is what I am getting at: An SBC church – the congregation – can look at the qualifications you list, take other scriptures into account, consider things like grace, or whatever else they want to take into account. Then they decide to hire, or fire a pastor based on that.

    My question to you – Why do you (again, admitting that you don’t meet these qualifications) get to tell this congregation that they got it wrong? Are they not as qualified to decide as you are? You say the qualifications are clear in scripture, but can the congregation in question not read them, just like you?

  85. To answer your 81 – In the SBC, technically what disqualifies the homosexual is that he couldn’t get hired by a congregation. That congregation would way scripture, etc, decide that he doesn’t match up, and not give him the job.

  86. I also want to answer # 82 – can only speak for myself. I don’t think anyone minds you “dominating a thread” as long as discussion is able to take place. It is when you start insulting, using abusive language, going off topic with the long Subjective/ Relative stuff, that it becomes an issue.

    That’s my take on it anyway. A good back and forth discussion can be useful for everyone.

  87. Josh, I think you need to know that in the system Alex is complaining about – no one pick the pastor. In almost all CC, the pastor picks himself. He picks up his Bible, rents a hall and opens for business.

    So no one has ever evaluated the qualifications of a CC pastor – he is just there.

  88. That is untrue though, MLD. Unless he kidnaps his congregation. They don’t go, they don’t pay the bills, he is no longer a pastor.
    Trust me, I KNOW, that Alex’s beef is with CC, I’m just pointing out that there are different systems. Again, even CC with no system, has a way of vetting pastors.

  89. Josh, I know that there are other system – I am just stating that in CC, there is no way to vett. Look when Joe Sobolick left his CC, he wanted to take the checkbook. In his mind it was his – he put up the initial monies, built the church, so it was his.If he had incorporated correctly, he probably could have made a case.

  90. SO a con-man takes some money. What’s new? The people who gave him that money found him qualified to pastor. IF there is a problem, I’m sure I can point you to a SBC church within an hour driving distance, or a Lutheran, or Episcopal, or whatever you want. No one has to go to these churches.

  91. Well, perhaps we have a difference here as to whether or not a pastor is called. Only the qualified are called and the call is confirmed by the congregation – at the time of the call. Not by who comes and goes and passes through.

    I have left several churches over the years for various reasons – but none of those reasons made the pastors call any less true.

  92. MLD, I’m talking about CC’s way of vetting a pastor. If all the people leave, he is no longer a pastor, right? That is the congregation’s only recourse, right?

    Now, obviously I don’t think that is the best way, but there are plenty of other options available.

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