A few months ago I had to quickly re-arrange our worship service and so had one of my deacons combine my class with his. He took the opportunity to pass out some sheets of paper and ask everyone to write whatever they wanted about the church. Most of them were positive or constructively critical. But two of them were vitriolic, nasty, and simply wrong. What caught me by surprise was that these two nasty notes came from people who shook my hand every week, smiled at me every week, played with my infant son, and were just generally nice normal people. So why the change? In a word: accountablity. The anonymous nature of the informal survey guaranteed there wouldn’t be called to account for their words. They wouldn’t be asked to work to fix the problems they saw, they wouldn’t be told to tone down the vitriol and they wouldn’t have to deal with everyone knowing the way they had attacked people within their church.

I think that’s what we’re dealing with here with the watchdoggies. The reason why they feel so free to slander and lambaste is because there is no accountability. First, there’s the lack of human contact with the people they’re actually attacking. Then there’s a total disconnect with their online activities from either a larger body of Christians, or with their jobs. Think about it for a second. First you’ve got Ingrid who’s daddy owns her place of employment, I doubt her job is ever in jeopardy much less from any kind of controversy she could cause, and, I believe I remember reading from her site that the church she attends is a house church made up mostly of her family (and if that’s incorrect I’ll happily correct it). What are the chances that that kind of fellowship would be calling anyone to heel until the situation became untenable? Ken Silva is largely as immune to any sort of accountability. His church is roughly the size of a Sunday school class, which brings as little accountability as Ingrid’s situation.

And, ultimately, it is these types of situations that have cut the ecclesiastical brake lines that are supposed to exist within a church. There’s no chance of the principles of confrontation found in Matthew 18 to play out. There’s no way elders are going to step in and enforce Biblical models of behavior.

So what do seatbelts and accountability have in common? They’re both restraining devices.

  • Share/Bookmark
This entry was posted on Tuesday, August 28th, 2007 at 8:11 pm and is filed under Ingrid, Ken Silva, ODM Writers, Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
+/- Collapse/Expand All

76 Comments(+Add)

1   Keith    http://fivepts.blogspot.com
August 28th, 2007 at 8:33 pm

His church is roughly the size of a Sunday school class, which brings as little accountability as Ingrid’s situation. Please explain how the size of the congregation brings more or less accountability to a situation. I have been involved in the same Bible Study group for over 15 years. We started with approximately 12 men–there are two of us left today. Can we not be accountable to one another?

2   Julie    http://www.loneprairie.net/lp_blog/blog.htm
August 28th, 2007 at 9:01 pm

“What do seatbelts and accountability have in common?”

They’re both hard to make click.

3   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
August 28th, 2007 at 9:25 pm

Keith,

” We started with approximately 12 men–there are two of us left today.”

That seems to be a pattern with you guys.

J/k

The point is…

1. Yes accountability can happen in that situation…
2. Yet if one is “THE PASTOR/TEACHER” that “SPEAKS THE ANGER OF THE LORD”…. I think there might be harder for some under such a person to hold that person accountable.
3. If a person is never wrong and in authority then it is hard to hold that person accountable.

The main thing missing is that we are to “submit to one another” as scripture teaches… if one is the AUTHORITY FROM GOD, then how can they submit?

At least this is in the case of Ken…

With Ingrid I see that if all in a small group (or even in a bigger group) think alike… and are wrong (think KKK) then the accountability is out of whack and becomes more of a situation where all get together to complain about how bad everyone else is… there is no accountability other that “if you do not behave like us, you are out!” I have been under both of these types of abusive authority adn accountability gone a bad.

Blessings,
iggy

4   Tim Reed    http://theotstrikesback.com
August 28th, 2007 at 9:32 pm

Keith,
It can work. But drawing on my experiences with both large and small churches, when you have a church that is a small, tightly knit group which are dominated by a few families accountability comes harder. Not impossible, but harder. Especially when you’ve got one person as a dominant authority figure.

5   Rev No Name    http://www.nonamepreacher.com
August 28th, 2007 at 9:56 pm

Good post.

The internet makes us immune to accountability. Let’s face it I can write whatever I want. the only thing that stops me is my conscience (and my spouse) When my conscience becomes skewed I am capable of writing nasty stuff. Ala Silva and Schlueter.

Years ago I had a newsletter that went out to a thousand pastors. I was a cut throat exposer. No one challenged me. They were afraid they would the subject of the next newsletter. It took one godly man to take me to task face to face for me to see what a mean SOB I had become.

The internet keeps such interaction from taking place.

6   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
August 28th, 2007 at 10:30 pm

Accountablility can only occur when your heart is accountable. It doesn’t hinge on numbers or even nepotism, but you can be alone and be accountable if you realize the importance and Biblical direction for such.

Do you desire to be like Christ or do you assume you are? Do you surround yourself with yes people or do you seek Godly people who feel free to challenge you in areas of your life. And again, most importantly, do you desire and seek humility?

The Bible can be manipulated to accommodate whatever we want it to, so if you want some cover for your brutish behavior you quote the cleansing of the temple or the dressing down of the Pharisees or the boldness of John the Baptist. You want to steer clear of the foot washing or the forgiving of adultery and of course the cross itself except as a doctrinal test question.

And as long as you believe you are doctrinally prisitine and you have others who pat your back you will ignore any and all calls for examination of your methods or tone believing that they come from demonically inspired cowards who won’t stand for truth.

Yep, you are channeling the voice of God and your accountability is to Him alone and your imagery of being a truth trumpet cuts a swath of self righteous vitriol that operates in an echo chamber. And finally, your speech becomes so offensive toward other believers, that even the secular press scratches their heads and wonders where is Jesus in all this.

And of course you wear that like a crown.

7   Jimmy@RelevantChristian    http://www.relevantchristian.com
August 28th, 2007 at 10:42 pm

Tim…nice post…very true.

Henry Rick…as always…your comment hits the nail on the head.

Julie…that was funny.

Peace

8   chris    http://agendalesslove.wordpress.com
August 29th, 2007 at 6:05 am

I would beg to differ about accountability on the internet. While I don’t know Rick, Tim, Iggy, or Julie personally; if they were to rebuke me I would take it. Per Ricks comment it’s all about your heart. In fact I’ve even taken rebuke from Ken when I needed it.

9   chris    http://agendalesslove.wordpress.com
August 29th, 2007 at 6:06 am

BTW Rick, Tim, Iggy or Julie that is not an open invitation.

10   DT    http://dead-theologians.blogspot.com/
August 29th, 2007 at 7:01 am

Everyone,

“Ken Silva is largely as immune to any sort of accountability. His church is roughly the size of a Sunday school class, which brings as little accountability as Ingrid’s situation.”

How is this correcting the “error” of CRN and SOL, encouraging the body, or as your purpose says
“It is my intent to follow in the footsteps of Jesus and his disciples – loving what is good and opposing the Pharisees of the day who shut the door to the Kingdom of Heaven in people’s faces”??

It does not matter how big Ken’s church is. The logic behind… Ken not having accoutability because his church is small is completely flawed.

This is what is called a “hit” or simply a low blow. If you choose to write about his reports or posts that is your business. To make comments like the abovementioned are bad form.

DT

11   DT    http://dead-theologians.blogspot.com/
August 29th, 2007 at 7:39 am

One other note.

I know Ken has personallys spoken with some of his subjects. He has pleaded with them to repent and turn to the truth.
How many of you have spoken with Ken personally and I don’t mean via email.
I have and he is a kind gentleman who loves Jesus wants Him lifted up.

Talk about vitriol. This is nothing short of a site of diatribes.
DT

12   Tim Reed    http://theotstrikesback.com
August 29th, 2007 at 7:47 am

DT,
Its not a “hit” or a “lowblow”, in my experience very small churches (which his is) do not do a good job of accountability, especially when most of the people are related to each other and there’s a single dominant authority. Additionally, due to the small size Ken doesn’t derive his primary income from the church and so there’s less dependence on the church.

13   DT    http://dead-theologians.blogspot.com/
August 29th, 2007 at 7:53 am

Tim,

With the utmost in respect, you have no idea what you are talking about in reference to church size and its accoutability. As a pastor of a small church I know. It depends on the spiritual maturity of the believers in the church.

Also, there are some out there that might take offense at the subtle jab at small churches. You may not mean it that way but that is a way it is coming across.

DT

14   JSU    http://theisleofhope.com
August 29th, 2007 at 8:00 am

I don’t see how this criticizing of people’s job security and church size has anything to do with the things of God. I could have stomached this post a little better if names and personal jabs had been left out. This post is embarrassing and shameful to be categorized as “Christian”. Please have a little respect Tim.

15   Tim Reed    http://theotstrikesback.com
August 29th, 2007 at 9:19 am

DT, JSU,
I’m just a little bit confused. Over and over the watchdoggies have told us that size doesn’t matter, and that these megachurches are abominations etc. Now I’m being told that I’ve offered an insult by pointing out the size of Ken and Ingrid’s churches in objective terms. If we’re to believe the watchdoggies rhetoric they won’t be insulted at all.

With the utmost in respect, you have no idea what you are talking about in reference to church size and its accoutability

With the utmost respect, I do know what I’m talking about from personal experience. As I pointed out above its not impossible, but it is harder.

JSU:

I don’t see how this criticizing of people’s job security and church size has anything to do with the things of God. I could have stomached this post a little better if names and personal jabs had been left out.

The things you are calling “personal jabs” are exactly the things I put out there as things that can cause accountability to break down. That’s how they have to do with the things of God.

16   M.G.    
August 29th, 2007 at 9:42 am

Have you ever done a post on the content of the comments at Slice? I was surprised by this comment by Lisa K at Slice several weeks ago:

“The self-esteem craziness has been pervasive in the public school system for many years. I believe it was thought of as a way to give poor minority children confidence, but studies have shown many of these children have very high self-esteem, despite the fact they achieve nothing that is expected of them (like civil behavior, basic learning, etc.) My older son used to joke about a very badly behaved classmate who was told “Good job!” if he didn’t kill someone.”

I posted a comment to Ingrid asking her to correct Lisa but she didn’t respond and she didn’t post it. Strange. One would think that “watching” starts with eradicating racism on your very own site, but perhaps not.

17   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
August 29th, 2007 at 10:09 am

MG,

I’m nore sure who it was, but someone once commented that waiting for Ingrid to post a comment she disagrees with is often an exercise similar to waiting for OJ to find the “real killer”.

18   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
August 29th, 2007 at 10:27 am

We all need accountability through redeemed conduits. Not always one with which we agree, and sometimes the ones across the theological tracks can see areas of concern that our friends cannot. That is difficult though to receive from someone with whom you disagree.

I will be honest, some quotes that Ken finds from some preachers help me to dig further to investigate their context. And some are misrepresented and some reflect a genuine concern.

An announcement – I have appointed myself as the accountability person for Chris Lyons. Suzanne has provided me with some pertinent information that will take me weeks to go through. Nothing extremely bad, but the overall volume is ponderous.

19   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
August 29th, 2007 at 10:32 am

An announcement – I have appointed myself as the accountability person for Chris Lyons. Suzanne has provided me with some pertinent information that will take me weeks to go through. Nothing extremely bad, but the overall volume is ponderous.

Hmmmmm… Does it go all the way back to my high school days, or does it start in 1988 when we were married?

20   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
August 29th, 2007 at 10:51 am

Next year, happy 20th anniversary! Stick with it Suzanne, miracles can still happen!!

21   Tim Reed    http://theotstrikesback.com
August 29th, 2007 at 11:07 am

When did Rick get this funny?

22   chris    http://agendalesslove.wordpress.com
August 29th, 2007 at 11:27 am

I know Ken has personallys spoken with some of his subjects.

A couple of things on this statement.

1) Ken is no longer endorsed or backed by the SBC. According to Ken this was because the leadership of the SBC was becoming “apostate”
2) “His subjects”? Huh??? Please tell me you used the wrong word.
3) Ken has, to my knowledge, never admitted he was wrong or apologized for innaccurate information. He justifies using faulty logic or continues in ad hominem attacks.
4) Kens “church” went from 13 to 6 to 4 after his arrival. Now I don’t know all the specifics but Ken states that this was “Gods weeding”. Again no hint of internal reflection that possibly he may be off track.

So is it impossible for Ken to be accountable in a small church? No but his track record would prove otherwise.

23   chris    http://agendalesslove.wordpress.com
August 29th, 2007 at 11:34 am

In case someone wonders how I know this Ken provided all the information on his site.

24   DT    http://dead-theologians.blogspot.com/
August 29th, 2007 at 11:37 am

Tim,

You said “I’m just a little bit confused. Over and over the watchdoggies have told us that size doesn’t matter, and that these megachurches are abominations etc. Now I’m being told that I’ve offered an insult by pointing out the size of Ken and Ingrid’s churches in objective terms.”

In the parlance of logic I think they call this a red herring.

You are using the size of a church to determine how and if accountability is effective or even possible. Simple buffoonery.
I did not expect this type of reasoning to come out of this site.
Amazing.

You said “The things you are calling “personal jabs” are exactly the things I put out there as things that can cause accountability to break down.”

“First you’ve got Ingrid who’s daddy owns her place of employment, I doubt her job is ever in jeopardy much less from any kind of controversy she could cause, and, I believe I remember reading from her site that the church she attends is a house church made up mostly of her family (and if that’s incorrect I’ll happily correct it). What are the chances that that kind of fellowship would be calling anyone to heel until the situation became untenable? Ken Silva is largely as immune to any sort of accountability. His church is roughly the size of a Sunday school class, which brings as little accountability as Ingrid’s situation.”

Tim, this is shameful writing and a hit below the belt. You have just become guilty of the thing that you accuse us of.

Attacking the methods is one thing. Making it personal is quite another.

You said “and that these megachurches are abominations etc.”

Nothing like speaking in generalities eh, Tim. Support this claim please.

Tim, you have successfully brought the credibility of this site down to the dungeon, where y’all have put us. Welcome.

DT

25   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
August 29th, 2007 at 11:52 am

DT,

You wrote:

You are using the size of a church to determine how and if accountability is effective or even possible. Simple buffoonery.

No red herring there.

Size and organizational structure of an organization are both key inputs to determining accountablity structures and their effectiveness, per multiple courses you could take on supervision or management structure. There are books written on the subject, and numerous case studies which show why certain sizes and types of organizations implode because of a lack of accountability.

While I think this could have been written without naming names, I think it does get to the heart of the issue with two particular watchblogs which operate with absolutely zero accountability processes in place and functioning.

And before you ask ‘what about CRN.info’?, I can tell you that I have publicly and privately given feedback to (and received feedback from) a number of the writers here, for which apologies/retractions/corrections were made. Additionally, I can name you several individuals in my daily life who would (or have) taken me to the woodshed when I’ve crossed the line.

Perhaps, though, you can prove me wrong by showing the existence of an existing, functioning accountability structure on CR?N or SoL. Rick Frueh once wrote for SoL, and when he brought up a concern, he had the guns turned on him (which is exactly how an unaccountable organization is run).

This is not a non-issue, but may be a root cause (if not the root cause) for the unaccountable nastiness generated by those particular sites…

26   Tim Reed    http://theotstrikesback.com
August 29th, 2007 at 12:00 pm

Alright DT, tell ya what. Suggest an alternative wording and I’ll edit it.

You are using the size of a church to determine how and if accountability is effective or even possible. Simple buffoonery.
I did not expect this type of reasoning to come out of this site.
Amazing.

Yep, sure am. From personal experience, and through the experiences I’ve been told from others. BTW, the same is true of overly large churches in which people are able to hide from forming relationships that foster accountablity.

If you’re unwilling to examine the difficulties that come from specific types of churches, then you’re never going to overcome the challenges found in those churches.

27   chris    http://agendalesslove.wordpress.com
August 29th, 2007 at 12:01 pm

Attacking the methods is one thing. Making it personal is quite another.

For your enjoyment:
“Pastor” Steve Furtick is the theological ‘love child’ of Rick Warren and Bill Hybels.”
“These “pastors” are not under-shepherds they are cattle ranchers.”
“Christianity Astray Today ”
“One self-appointed new evangelical watcher of the watchdoggies site CRN.(Mis)Info? has speculated today that we’re feeling the heat. O right; exactly what is Christianity Today maladroitly masquerading as a Christian publication going to do? Whine louder, stomp their figurative feet and hold their breath?”
“Grrr! Vick Finds Jesus in Record Time”
“We do hope the new evangelical and emerging church folk who whine incessantly about CRN giving a supposed bad witness before unbelievers will quit whimpering long enough to notice how the secular media already views this “conversion” as the joke it is.”
“fellow despiser of the Biblical doctrines of grace Steven Furtick ”
“For example, whether a Dan Kimball is my brother or not, I don’t know. What I do know is this; he preaches a man-centered gospel: synergism–man is involved in his own salvation at whatever level. And I unabashedly preach a God-centered Gospel:”

I could go on but in the interest of time and nausea I’ll stop.

Those quotes are all from the first page of of C?N. I didn’t visit Slice or AM but the the trend continues there. If you want further evidence listen to Ingrids radio show.

Oh well I digress.

28   M.G.    
August 29th, 2007 at 12:05 pm

DT,

If I may weigh in. I think there are good reasons supporting the claim that smaller, independent, “house churches” can often, but not always, fail to provide proper accountability for leadership.

It’s really a matter of *independent* oversight. This is provided, usually, in two ways. First, there is horizontal and vertical accountability provided by some larger denominational structure. Horizontal accountability is provided by sister churches and their pastors that can monitor a church and its health. Vertical accountability is provided by oversight by denominational leadership.
Second, most healthy churches are marked by a vigorous and *independent* elder board that can provide accountability to church leadership at an arm’s length.

I think it’s a rather modest claim that small, independent, “house churches” (which is, by all accounts, Pastor Ken Silva’s church) will often, but not always, be lacking in this area. When you have under, say, fifteen members, and no denominational structure, you will often have a closeness that prevents true accountability. If someone possesses a dynamic personality, it is easier for them to hold sway over smaller groups of people as opposed to larger. Groups of this size, as well, will often suffer from group think, which is not an insult, but rather merely a function of group dynamics.

So, in the end, I would say there is a rough correlation between church size and structure and accountability. (Is it a coincidence that some of the most notable fringe elements of American protestantism, e.g. Fred Phelps, Darwin Fish, Brother Jed, all share a common church size and structure?)

And yet, of course, accountability is truly a function of setting up structures that allow godly individuals to breathe fresh life and perspectives into a ministry and how it is run. That can happen in a church of ten individuals and a church of a thousand.

M.G.

29   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
August 29th, 2007 at 12:10 pm

I have commented and spoken about my concerns, even strong concerns, with some of the purpose/emergent teachings without editorial screening. Before I agreed to post here I was asked to be accountable to Chris and the rest, and as a contributor I am part of that process for others.

Joe and others have publicly stated disagreements with me while still retaining brotherly love, so the makeup of the contributors is an iron sharpens iron accountability. I am probably the most conservative writer here so that surely speaks to Chris’s submission to the entirety of the Holy Spirit’s ministry in the church.

Another wall to any accountability is the no comment policy at CRN. Ken could screen them for obscene and ranting comments, but he still could get some legitimate points of view that were not his own.

30   David C    http://davidcho.blogspot.com
August 29th, 2007 at 12:24 pm

Tim, I don’t think the size of the congregation or the advent of the Internet has much to do with this.

The bigger problem is insulation fostered by spiritual paranoia, and apparently the Internet has not helped much.

I used to attend Grace Community Church pastored by MacArthur before the Internet era, and the size of the congregation is huge. Was there greater accountability? Absolutely not.

The church was an insulated subculture. When you are constantly told that anything outside the pastor’s sphere of influence could not be trusted, and warned of the severe consequences of false doctrine, insulation is the only answer to protect yourself from heresy.

And within the subculture, you talk trash about others outside the system. And since nobody is there to rebut and to offer another perspective, there is zero accountability.

Look at how the watchdog sites operate. They operate very much like their churches. They talk trash about others from their sites, but rarely do they venture out to the neutral ground to engage others in meaningful debate. When unsuspecting dissenters venture into theirs (teampyro as an example), their supporters gang up on them like vultures. Or in Silva’s case, no comments are allowed.

31   Tim Reed    http://theotstrikesback.com
August 29th, 2007 at 12:40 pm

David C,
I see that insulated sub-culture as part of the lack of accountability because outside perspectives are accountability. Macarthur’s church may be an exception in that he is such a gifted preacher.

Also, as I pointed out above very large churches also are harder to maintain accountability because it is possible to hide. Denying these challenges, as DT has done, only keeps these issues from being addressed.

32   David C    http://davidcho.blogspot.com
August 29th, 2007 at 1:22 pm

How could MacArthur’s church be an exception? In what sense? Could you clarify?

He is a gifted teacher, and therein lies a problem. Here is what I used to think.

“Doctrinal purity is the utmost important aspect of Christian life. MacArthur has over 50 years of studying Scripture, and by his own account 30-40 hours a week.

On my own, I can probably get up to 20% accuracy in doctrine. But MacArthur’s batting average is 959 which is a lot better than I can dream of. So I will just piggy back on him and my stock instantly goes up by almost 500% (from 200 to 959)”

Yes, he is a gifted preacher and that can be a huge problem to most people (including myself) who have concluded that thinking for oneself puts oneself at a great risk of heresy.

33   Tim Reed    http://theotstrikesback.com
August 29th, 2007 at 1:27 pm

David C,
Sorry my brain must have gone on the fritz when I was writing that. I left a phrase out.

Anyway, what I meant was that Macarthur’s church is the exception because he is such a gifted teacher/preacher that the same dynamic normally seen in small churches exist in his.

34   Chris P.    
August 29th, 2007 at 2:03 pm

Size is irrelevant, period.
I serve in a fellowship that is bigger tha Ken’s (which blows iggy’s dumb theory out of the water) though it is not a mega-church. I find big churches to be a detriment.
The bigger the church, the less accountable the leadership become, as it is much easier to hide indiscretions, and the like. Just look at recent events in the mega church world.
Anyone that wants to can hide and/or avoid being confronted.It matters not the size of the congregation.
Who are Ken and all supposed to give account to.
I keep my pastor informed of what I do re: blogging and such. The folks at the church know also.
I speak with Ken and DT, as well as email, and we are not afraid to offer correction to each other. I have met with other bloggers, who do not necesarily agree with me, as well
If you want to hold us to account go right ahead, do not suggest that we cannot do the same to other”ministries”..

35   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
August 29th, 2007 at 2:04 pm

Tim,

I would disagree a little bit here on the ’size’ issue. Going from Organizational Design theory, the ‘ideal’ size for an organization with a single leader (based on several studies, referenced briefly in The Tipping Point, as well) is between 125 and 150 – this takes communication, dynamics and accountability into account.

So, in any really large church with a strong/charismatic leader (Saddleback, Grace, Louisville SE, etc.), accountability will be an issue if there is not an adequate accountability structure behind and independent of the leader. In corporations, we’ve witnessed what happens when this structure is not in place, as with Enron, and there are examples within the church, too. So – when accountability fails catastrophically, in a large organization, the impact is large, but in a small organization, the impact is somewhat smaller – unless you happen to run a blog with no accountability….

36   Tim Reed    http://theotstrikesback.com
August 29th, 2007 at 2:24 pm

Chris L,
I think we’re on the same page here as far as ideal size for accountability, although I hadn’t pegged it quite that exactly. Too small (especially with interconnected family members) and accountability is lost in favoritism, too big and accountability gets lost in the crowd. Also, by the way, this doesn’t mean smaller churches and larger churches shouldn’t exist, its just important to understand where particular types of churches are more prone to failure, this is one of them.

Chris P,

Size is irrelevant, period.

If you actually help to lead a church as if that’s true you’re doing your church a great disservice. Is there any other aspect of church where you pretend teh size and structure of your church doesn’t matter? Don’t you make decisions like where/how to meet, the structure of services, what teaching style to use, how to minister etc. based on the size of a church?

Why do you think structuring accountability would be any different?

37   M.G.    
August 29th, 2007 at 2:26 pm

Chris P,

I’m really confused by your response. You write that “[s]ize is irrelevant, period,” and then go on to state that “the bigger the church, the less accountable the leadership become.”

How can you reconcile these two statements?

You make excellent points regarding accountability issues with mega-churches. They often have their problems because they are too large (or more precisely, because they are too enamored with a charismatic personality, see, e.g., First Family Church in Overland Park, KS).

But can’t the same be said about small churches? If size is important in one direction, why can’t it be important in the other? Would you have a response to my previous comment about some of the difficulties associated with extremely small churches?

38   chris    http://agendalesslove.wordpress.com
August 29th, 2007 at 3:00 pm

Are we all not making generalizations about accountability with church size?

Does accountability mean that everyone in the church has to know what is happening? Or that the leadership of the church manages the well being of the whole body and sets up accountability structures? Mega Church or a church of 3 people can and must set up accountability.

I personally don’t know how something like the Whites happens. Sure it would be easy to say that they weren’t accountable but alluding to Ricks earlier statement; accountability only works if someone is willing to receive it.

39   Tim Reed    http://theotstrikesback.com
August 29th, 2007 at 3:07 pm

Are we all not making generalizations about accountability with church size?

Sure we are. I don’t see that as a problem. In any endeavor organizations that are similar in certain characteristics can be generalized. Will every single one have those characteristics? No. Will most of them? Yes.

40   DT    http://dead-theologians.blogspot.com/
August 29th, 2007 at 3:58 pm

Gentlemen,

I simply cannot believe that things that I have read here today. It is alarming. The numbers being an issue points to a pragmatic approach to ministry. I came out of a church that had over 10,000 members. The word and practice of accountability was not known nor mentioned.

You can continue to comfort yourself in your sin of slamming a brother’s church numbers and mocking a sister’s father for owning a business and for her being part of a house church but I cannot continue in this.

Rick, I still don’t see how you do it.

Y’all have crossed the line. The latest post about posting in grace I understand. But this is too much. My heart hurts at how you gentlemen defend each other and are not open to correction or teaching. I had planned to answer Iggy’s question but this has to stop somewhere.

Iggy,
If you will ask me those last questions on my latest post I will answer them.

Chris L.

You said “Perhaps, though, you can prove me wrong by showing the existence of an existing, functioning accountability structure on CR?N or SoL. Rick Frueh once wrote for SoL, and when he brought up a concern, he had the guns turned on him (which is exactly how an unaccountable organization is run).”

This is not your business to make sure you or crn.info is the watchdoggie police for accountability. Then if you don’t agree with it you yell “foul.”

Lastly,
Rick,
You said “Another wall to any accountability is the no comment policy at CRN. Ken could screen them for obscene and ranting comments, but he still could get some legitimate points of view that were not his own.”

It appears to me that Ken’s comments are moderated here at crn.info. Why? Let others know about that before you sling the mud about CRN.
I know personally the comments section cannot be opened because of the HUGE amount of spam that comes through.

I really wanted to converse and try to find some common ground. I see that it is impossible.

Regretfully,
DT

41   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
August 29th, 2007 at 4:07 pm

DT – How is observing that allowing comments might help with accountability “throwing mud”?

Watch for a post from me about Jesus and hoepfully we can all find “common ground”.

42   DT    http://dead-theologians.blogspot.com
August 29th, 2007 at 4:15 pm

Rick,

You said “How is observing that allowing comments might help with accountability “throwing mud”?”

Before you attempt to cut Ken up for not allowing comments you might want to find out about Ken’s comments being moderated on this site.

DT

43   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
August 29th, 2007 at 4:18 pm

I think if you take a step back and read the tone of this post (honestly) you will see there are definite undertones… a reference to a word like “daddy” is a case in point.

44   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
August 29th, 2007 at 4:27 pm

Paul – even if you assume the word daddy is what you suggest, it isn’t in the same league with Ingrid’s invectives.

DT – I do not know why Ken’s comments are now being moderated, I do know this site allows comments and Ken has commented hundreds of times. That is different than never allowing comments at all.

I am computer illiterate, can anyone tell me if the spam excuse is legitimate or can it be overcome?

45   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
August 29th, 2007 at 4:29 pm

DT,

Every one of Ken’s comments on this site has been published. When he got in the habit of only tossing in one-line insults, we put him on ‘moderation’ – which means that his comments wait until someone checks the moderation queue (about every 2 hours)…

46   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
August 29th, 2007 at 4:31 pm

Rick,

You have the ability to moderate comments from the Dashboard if they are held for moderation. There is a category called ’spam’ that has typically 10-100 rather vile spam posts in it. I run through these once a day very quickly to look for anything that looks legit…

47   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
August 29th, 2007 at 4:41 pm

OK – I will moderate his comments with a very wide birth.

48   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
August 29th, 2007 at 4:46 pm

And I just did it without having to bug Chris once.

Question – Is the comment comming from the girl’s shower…never mind, that’s not legit! I must be hanging around Driscoll too much.

Everyone laugh once in a while, it’s better than Pepto Bismal!

49   Tim Reed    http://theotstrikesback.com
August 29th, 2007 at 4:55 pm

I simply cannot believe that things that I have read here today. It is alarming. The numbers being an issue points to a pragmatic approach to ministry. I came out of a church that had over 10,000 members. The word and practice of accountability was not known nor mentioned.

DT,
Care to explain why you haven’t bothered to answer the responses in this topic before firing away? Both Chris L, and myself has affirmed that accountability in large churches carries with it difficulties that have to be over come.

You can continue to comfort yourself in your sin of slamming a brother’s church numbers and mocking a sister’s father for owning a business and for her being part of a house church but I cannot continue in this.

You’d have a bit more credibility if you had ever displayed such sensitivity toward the subjects of the watch doggies attacks. Had you ever called them to *ahem* accountability I’d probably believe you were a little bit more objective about it.

50   Tim Reed    http://theotstrikesback.com
August 29th, 2007 at 5:02 pm

I really wanted to converse and try to find some common ground. I see that it is impossible.

DT, I honestly don’t believe this. I offered earlier that if you suggested edits that would still convey the message and would be less offensive to you I would replace the offending words. You either did not read that or ignored it. Either way it doesn’t show a desire to converse or find common ground.

51   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
August 29th, 2007 at 6:16 pm

DT,

hmmm,

According to Phil Johnson, John MacArthur, Ken Silva and Ingrid… we have no common ground… you might want to start there first as we see common ground…

According to Ken’s judgment against me I am not even saved! LOL! Maybe start there to find out why I am not if I hold to Jesus as the only way to salvation and profess Him as Saviour?

Blessings,
iggy

52   Julie    http://www.loneprairie.net/lp_blog/blog.htm
August 29th, 2007 at 8:37 pm

I don’t care about the size of Ken’s church or his standing with the SBC. He may be a nice man in person.

But online, he comes off as a really sarcastic jerk without a drop of anyting but pure pride and disdain for those not in lockstep agreement.

If he’s a lovely Christian man in person, I wonder why he can’t carry that through with the keyboard? That is a real failing. It has nothing to do with being “unmanly” or “too nicey” but everything to do with decency.

And that, of course, is the point of this post. It is similar to Chris’ “Flesh and Blood” post, which I commented on as well.

53   Julie    http://www.loneprairie.net/lp_blog/blog.htm
August 29th, 2007 at 8:46 pm

…and what’s with people taking pride in the churches they “came out of” as if that proves some sort of honorable escape?

“I came out of a church that served circus peanuts.”

“I came out of a church that had a Starbucks!”

“I came out of a church where the pastor told one too many stories during the sermon!”

I came out of a church that had over 10,000 members. The word and practice of accountability was not known nor mentioned.

All that tells me for certain is this: you know how to run and brag about it later.

54   DT    http://dead-theologians.blogspot.com/
August 29th, 2007 at 9:26 pm

Tim,

For clarification, you said

“You’d have a bit more credibility if you had ever displayed such sensitivity toward the subjects of the watch doggies attacks. Had you ever called them to *ahem* accountability I’d probably believe you were a little bit more objective about it.”

It seems y’alls mind is made up. Jesus called people vipers and open sepulchres. Not too PC

Tim, you said
“DT, I honestly don’t believe this. I offered earlier that if you suggested edits that would still convey the message and would be less offensive to you I would replace the offending words. You either did not read that or ignored it. Either way it doesn’t show a desire to converse or find common ground. ”

It does not matter if you believe me. You don’t know my heart. What difference would it have made if you “changed the post?” The damage has been done.

Julie said
“and what’s with people taking pride in the churches they “came out of” as if that proves some sort of honorable escape?

‘I came out of a church that had over 10,000 members. The word and practice of accountability was not known nor mentioned.’

“All that tells me for certain is this: you know how to run and brag about it later. ”

Julie, you might want to read the post and see what I said about the church I was in. We were talking about accountability, not bragging.

DT

55   Julie    http://www.loneprairie.net/lp_blog/blog.htm
August 29th, 2007 at 9:31 pm

DT,

I read both your post and the index page of your blog prior to commenting.

56   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
August 29th, 2007 at 9:31 pm

DT,

The interesting thing is, though, that the people Jesus was calling names were the very ones who were considered to have their religion down pat (and the ones most bound by tradition). Regardless, I’m not sure anyone here on earth can legitimately claim to have the same direct prophetic gift for separation of wheat and tares… particularly in light of Galatians 6

57   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
August 29th, 2007 at 9:41 pm

DT – You say we have our minds made up. Come on, you know that is another way of saying “You still disagree with me”. If he so desires, I would love for Chris to list the contributors to this site and a “general” description of their particular theological view.

I would venture to say the we are one of the most diverse group around. So our minds are probably not made up perfectly on just about anything. But you know what, you are welcome here and I continue to comment on your blog, you obviously are not a novice and I enjoy most of your comments.

And this is why I am a contributor here because I am under the tutoring of God’s Spirit when it comes to interacting with all of God’s people. I have learned much from several different perspectives, and sometimes I still do not agree but I have a better understanding where someone is coming from.

Thanks from a Wesleyan brother! (that is not an unkind name eiither!)

58   Tim Reed    http://theotstrikesback.com
August 29th, 2007 at 10:16 pm

DT,

It seems y’alls mind is made up. Jesus called people vipers and open sepulchres. Not too PC

Yeah, and he said that to people who were not part of the kingdom. Seems to me you and the other watchdoggies are a bit over-eager to decide who’s in and who’s out.

Also, I noted elsewhere, that when the watchdoggies justify their behavior its never with the admonitions of the epistles which are commands for the normal Christian life, instead they justify by using the examples from prophets who were in direct contact with God.

Now I’m just curious DT, with the kind of sensitivity you’ve shown in these comments, when will you be calling for Ingrid or Ken to tone down their rhetoric? Or do you, much as the dynamic that occurs in extremely small churches, offer accountability only to people ideological circles?

59   DT    http://dead-theologians.blogspot.com/
August 29th, 2007 at 10:21 pm

Tim,

It is not my job to call you or Ken and Ingrid to accountability unless I feel that you have directly violated scripture.

DT

60   Tim Reed    http://theotstrikesback.com
August 29th, 2007 at 10:42 pm

DT,
That’s exactly what you’ve done here though.

61   DT    http://dead-theologians.blogspot.com/
August 29th, 2007 at 10:46 pm

Chris,

Thanks for allowing me to post here.
I suppose if I had any stagnant blood pooling in my veins before it is now flowing rapidly.

DT

62   Ken Silva    http://www.apprising.org
August 30th, 2007 at 3:11 pm

Tim Reed said: “Ken Silva is largely as immune to any sort of accountability.” Wrong.

Chris Lyons said: “I can tell you that I have publicly and privately given feedback to (and received feedback from) a number of the writers here, for which apologies/retractions/corrections were made. Additionally, I can name you several individuals in my daily life who would (or have) taken me to the woodshed when I’ve crossed the line.”

Check, so do I. Apologies accepted.

I realize that normally you scour the Internet for anything I write but (as of this writing) apparently the following slipped your attention. From Response to David Aikman…

Apprising Ministries is actually a fully integrated auxiliary of my local church Connecticut River Baptist Church (SBC) and the leadership there helps to oversee it with a separate board of directors which includes three other ministers of the Gospel. In addition to this there are at least four other pastors who are not directly involved with me from whom I also get regular advice as well as counsel. All completely consistent with the recommendations in the Book of Proverbs.

Then out of AM itself also comes Christian Research Net with multiple volunteer contributors who are under my ministerial supervision as General Editor, four of which are also pastor-teachers themselves. AM’s leadership and board oversees all of this as well. And then from CRN extends another website Symphony of Scripture, which is a conjunction outreach from my local church with a few 22 and 23 year-old men from some churches over in Sydney, Australia. There I act as a pastoral advisor.

The Lord be praised that through AM I also have the extreme privilege of personally advising numerous pastors from all over the country. You see the Lord has literally been giving me these websites and people to work with because I have not asked for any of it. God knows that my only goal is to simply do whatever Jesus wants me to do and I actually would rather not have any attention whatsoever. Since God alone is the one Who should receive glory I have really seen no need to broadcast this, though I have disclosed it privately to people when it seemed necessary. I have hidden absolutely nothing and even in the face of many detractors I have maintained proper Christian ethic and not “boasted” of these privileges publicly.

I am only speaking now in defense of CT’s criticism of me regarding proper Christian civility. You should see now the fact is there are many of us who feel as I do. And in addition I am so blessed that through preaching, through encouraging, as well as advising pastors and leaders within many churches, I am actually involved with quite a bit of other types of Christian service. The many people who stand with me and guide me are pleased to let you know that my labor in the Lord extends well beyond my more controversial work in Christ here at Apprising Ministries.

63   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
August 30th, 2007 at 3:43 pm

Quite a menu from which to select. Let me hand it to you, Ken. To boast about not boasting is an especially nice touch. I draw your attention to the revival post and its video. That might be what we all need.

You are welcome here again, I interceeded for you.

64   Tim Reed    http://theotstrikesback.com
August 30th, 2007 at 3:47 pm

Ken,
If your other writings were 1/2 as civil as this one is I’d believe you had some kind of accountability structure in place.

65   Ken Silva    http://www.apprising.org
August 30th, 2007 at 4:01 pm

The above reponses only demonstrate the futility of dialogue. “I’d believe you had some kind of accountability structure in place,” is to imply I have lied.

Fact is, I’m wrong if I point this out and I’m wrong when I don’t point this out. The bottom line to your argumentation is: “You’re wrong Ken…because…um…well, because I’m right!”

66   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
August 30th, 2007 at 4:11 pm

Ken – I believe you have some type of accountability structure in place but I have been involved in some of those and they usually were a group of guys who basically have the same perspective and rae usually adverse to confrontation with each other. That isn’t just your group, it’s typical of most groups.

I would construct an accountability group as one fundamentalist, one moderate charismatic, one Calvinistic, one Arminian, one conservative emrging, and two or thre other assorted men with integrity and that hold to the core doctrines that do the others.

Then I would get the loving “wounds” of friends that could point out my weaknesses as well as encourage my stregnths. But since true agape between brethren of different persuasions has long since gone out of vogue, we are left with a well meaning echo chamber. Not just you, Ken, but most of us.

67   Tim Reed    http://theotstrikesback.com
August 30th, 2007 at 4:29 pm

Ken,
No you’re mistaken. You think you’ve got some sort of accountability structure in place, but you don’t. The evidence is that despite the many many admonitions from Paul about living in peace, avoiding disputes with each other, salting our lives with grace, and being gentle with each other you write divisive, nasty pieces time and time again. You’ve done so in the past, and you continue to do so. If there were accountability that would hold you to a Biblical standard of conduct it should have had some effect by now.

68   Ken Silva    http://www.apprising.org
August 30th, 2007 at 5:20 pm

Again, it as I said: “You’re wrong Ken…because…um…well, because I’m right!”

I have pointed out my accountabilty structure and refuted your blatant lie that I have none. Of course those eight or so pastors and many others don’t happen to meet your particular approval, and they’re all wrong too.

And I am sad that this has really only served to bring to light you’re own desire to condemn me no matter what I, or anyone else says. But I tell you the truth when I say you are only looking into a mirror and are actually judging yourselves.

So be it, I have done what I can.

69   Tim Reed    http://theotstrikesback.com
August 30th, 2007 at 5:28 pm

Ken,
Interesting you didn’t actually address the scriptural admonitions I brought up, which your accountability structure, if it were effective, would be addressing.

I hope someday you hold scripture as dear as you do your connections you’ve been bragging about.

70   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
August 30th, 2007 at 5:39 pm

Tim – could you outline what structure you mean?

71   Ken Silva    http://www.apprising.org
August 30th, 2007 at 6:02 pm

Tim,

Case in point as to judging yourself: “I hope someday you hold scripture as dear as you do your connections you’ve been bragging about.”

So you know that I don’t hold Scripture dear? So you know that I am bragging? Your problem is that as long as e.g. 1 Kings 18:20-39 and Luke 3:7-9 are still inspired Scripture you haven’t a Biblical leg to stand on.

You see until you have examined everything I have written, preached and taught you will not be able to legitimately say I only write divisive, nasty pieces time and time again.

And until you can prove that I never have written, preached and taught “about living in peace, avoiding disputes with each other, salting our lives with grace, and being gentle with each other” when applicable you are simply grinding your new evangelical axe.

You only fool yourself and your own amen corner here. I will give you an “A” for effort in trying to frame me incorrectly though. :-)

By the way I hope you have a rebuke coming for Perry Noble, Chris Elrod and Steven Furtick for their name-calling, not living in peace with people like me, not avoiding disputes with others, and not salting our lives with grace.”

For exmple Perry Noble:

“If I meet one more group of guys who think they are becoming more like Jesus because they are theological superior to people (which, by the way, is PRIDE!) but do not know a lost person by name or refuse to exercise their spiritual gift…and yet claim to be godly…I am going to punch them in the throat!”

72   Tim Reed    http://theotstrikesback.com
August 30th, 2007 at 6:15 pm

Ken,

And until you can prove that I never have written, preached and taught “about living in peace, avoiding disputes with each other, salting our lives with grace, and being gentle with each other” when applicable you are simply grinding your new evangelical axe.

And here we come to it Ken. You fail utterly on at least two fronts. The first is that I would have to do anything. My assertion is that you are not accountable to anyone, or at least not enough to rein in your violations of Paul’s commands. You claim you are accountable to individuals. If your assertion is true, then why would I have to prove anything? Your accountability structure would take care of it.

Secondly, it reveals that when it comes to scripture you think the only thing that’s important is what yo believe about scripture, when it comes to actually living it out that doesn’t matter, otherwise it wouldn’t matter what you’ve taught on anything, the only thing that would matter is how you’ve carried yourself. I reference you back to something James said about a mirror.

And finally I do know you hold your connections more dear than scripture because when confronted on this issue you didn’t use scripture as the standard, you used your connections.

73   Tim Reed    http://theotstrikesback.com
August 30th, 2007 at 6:23 pm

Also, why were you offended by what Perry wrote? Unless you are in fact one of those “guys who think they are becoming more like Jesus because they are theological superior to people (which, by the way, is PRIDE!) but do not know a lost person by name or refuse to exercise their spiritual gift…and yet claim to be godly”.

Are you one of those guys Ken? If so let me know and I’ll be happy to write something up.

74   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
August 30th, 2007 at 6:27 pm

Ah yes, the Ken Silva we all love and recognize. In a sadistic way I feel a sense of nostalgia. Ken, that talk from Noble (whoever he is) is carnal and fleshly and shouldn’t be used on or off the pulpit. The same goes for these words too:

“I certainly have no problem with someone coming hard at me. You won’t catch me whining. And I always try to turn the other cheek; however, left no other choice, then know I am also not afraid to stand by what I have to say in Christ and I won’t shy away from confrontation. My point is; if someone chooses to back me into a corner they just might not like the result.”

So you are correct, we should not use combattive and careless language that even seems abrasive to the world much less the Lord’s body.

Good to have you back, Ken, and I mean that mostly in a spiritual way. (I don’t want to have to refuse communion)

75   M.G.    
August 30th, 2007 at 7:01 pm

My 2 cents.

First off, the bickering hurts my faith. It really is truly distressing to me. If the Holy Spirit truly lives within our hearts, why do we go back and forth like school children?

Second, I worry about this site becoming like those they criticize. To be above reproach, I would not even near their level of sarcasm and venom. Stay above board or you will lose any credibility you have.

Third, my impression, Pastor Ken, is that nothing you or Ingrid write is done with an ounce of love. The names, the sloppy reasoning, the sarcasm, the slander, and the, for lack of better words, pure hatred that flows from your sites is *precisely* the kind of malice that Paul admonishes us to put away. And to think that you reserve it for your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ! I agree with much of your content and do not wish to defend your targets, so do not accuse me of that. It’s just that I cannot stomach the venom with which you write. Everything you do on the internet, Pastor Ken, hurts my heart and grieves my soul. There must be a better way.

So, that’s my piece. I’m done. I’m putting Slice, AM, and this site away for good. Grace and peace to all of you and good luck sorting out your differences.

76   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
August 30th, 2007 at 7:58 pm

Ken,

“I certainly have no problem with someone coming hard at me. You won’t catch me whining. And I always try to turn the other cheek; however, left no other choice, then know I am also not afraid to stand by what I have to say in Christ and I won’t shy away from confrontation. My point is; if someone chooses to back me into a corner they just might not like the result.”

Hmmm turn the other cheek and then if backed into a corner, they just might not like the result!

That explains a lot… and again the double speak that you speak rings out clear as a bell! LOL! It speaks of the labyrinth of confusion you call ‘theology’.

Even if one prays for you, you mock them publicly! LOL! Arrogance negates humility… it seems that God will have to go the extra mile to convince you of that…. : ) whether you realize it or not it is God who is backing you into a corner… so be warned!

Be a Blessing,
iggy

Philippians 2: 3-4

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.