Archive for the 'Editor' Category

More trash talking on the Granger survey from the ODMs. This time it comes from Way of the Master Radio. Once again, I love how these guys spend so much time critiquing everyone else in the world. As if it was their mission from God to inform the world on the shortcomings of once church in Indiana. They are little better than paparazzi.

It all comes back to this (and I completely agree with Bill Hybels and the pastor at Granger over these results), the job of the pastor is not to feed the sheep. The job of the pastor is to make self-feeders. Here are just a few things going on a Granger in a given week that I picked up from spending one minute on their website:

* Midweek Bible Studies at 6:30pm
* Four Services on Sundays & Saturdays
* Weekly Small Groups
* Core Classes
* Ministry Teams to serve with

Are the ODMs really going to expect me to believe that if someone connects with these services that the church offers, they are NOT going to hear once that Jesus is the only way, or that the bible is the word of God? That there is just fluff and happy feel-good sermons at each of these things. Really folks? Use some logic here. It seems like there are more than enough opportunities to connect to the Word of God and to good Christian people with these events.

Todd asks the question of who is the shepherd and who are the sheep in his broadcast. It’s not the pastor and the congregation, it is Jesus Christ and His people. The truth is that there is a lack of self-motivation and self-initiative in ALL churches today, regardless of theology, style or tradition. While Granger is struggling get people’s theology straight, traditional First Baptist Boondocks may be ignoring the alcoholic father, the apathetic mother, and the kids that do all kinds of nasty every night with their girlfriends. I see it all the time when I travel, and those of you in small town, USA can probably testify to that.

The disconnect between church attendance and biblical living is certainly not reserved for those in seeker-sensitive, purpose-driven, emergent, circus churches. It’s a problem we all face. And, until we get past all of our nice church facades and trying to save the Christian masks we hold so dear, our buildings will be filled with people who hear the Word, but are not transformed.

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With her the kings of the earth committed adultery and the inhabitants of the earth were intoxicated with the wine of her adulteries. – Revelation 17:2

There you have it folks! Revelation 17:2 has called out Rick Warren’s political show down between Barak and McCain. The great prophesies of the end times are being fulfilled, and the final pages of history are finally being revealed! I am so glad I recently purchased my license plate frame letting everyone know that “in case of rapture, this car will be unmanned.” At least the guy behind me will have had fair warning.

Two serious thoughts…

First off, I find it extremely odd that CRN just bashed Bell for loose interpretation of the scriptures and suggesting that cultural context must be looked at before making conclusions on biblical interpretation. Here is a pastor that interprets revelation via sermon and video to show that Saddleback is apostate because of the political connection. If that isn’t loose handling of the Word of God, I don’t know what is. This is a perfect example of isegesis — inserting one’s agenda and preconceived notions into the text. Who’s the one that should be accused of bad exegesis?

Lastly, the ODMs are constantly harping on the fact that seeker sensitive churches never give real meat to their congregation. They just give good advise and stick some scripture in here and there. There is no meat and no spiritual substance to what is being given to the people. But now I am confused. Here Pastor Jamey Day preaches on how evil Saddleback is from the Sunday morning pulpit. I mean, this whole thing was a huge hit piece on a church and pastor that is 2,631 miles away from them, and the ODMs post it on their blog! Did the congregation walk out saying, “Man! That was some amazing meat from the Word today. I am so glad to know that Revelation 17 shows how apostate Saddleback is, and that I should never get involved with purpose driven. I would never have known how much the Lord detests Rick Warren.” Mr Kettle, Mr. Pot is on line two.

Now, I will say this for those who will try to make excuses for the whole thing… Yes, the pastor did not mention Rick Warren or Saddleback by name. However, the examples he used were overtly pointed to them. Also, it appears that the video was posted under the Watcher’s Lamp YouTube account. So, it seems that the video was not made by Grace Fellowship of Chester Virginia. However, the principles remain the same

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First, let me be open and honest with everyone.  More recently, I have not read the ODM sites all that much.  I really have decided that their constant negativity was just not worth worrying about.  This afternoon, though, I decided to look at CRN, and, really I am just about flabbergasted.  This has to be a new low.

It is one thing to attack pastors or authors.  It is quite another to attack a pastor’s wife.  Especially over some quite innocuous remarks she made at gathering where she was launching her book talking about the perils and pitfalls of serving in the church.  Jane Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury’s wife, said the following about serving in the church in this article:

“The Church can be a thankless employer, with poor boundaries between private and public space, vague practices about holidays and days off, laughable job descriptions and few opportunities to congratulate oneself on a job well done and completed.”

Now anyone who has served in just about any capacity in a church of any size would immediately realize the veracity of this statement.  Growing up in a pastor’s family, I would say Mrs. Williams is even being too polite.  But this is what the “Editor” over at CRN has to say:

Well, we’re guessing Jesus might ask her, “Where are the nail prints in your hands?”

OK, let me be honest again here.  I’m not a violent person, but if someone was this jerky when talking about my mother or wife, I would be seriously tempted to punch that person in the nose if I were in the same room as him.  This is just uncalled for.  It is pure, unadulterated self-righteousness.

The thing that makes the “Editor’s” self-righteousness so over the top is generally mild nature of Mrs. Williams’ statement, which can hardly be classified as whining.  If anything, her statement is an effort on her part to get those considering becoming ministers to count the cost - something Jesus Himself admonished us to do.  The fact that she is speaking to a gathering of Anglican leaders is also lost on the “editor”.  This is the very thing that is needed in the Church – an open and honest discussion about life in the Church.  What we don’t need is more people hiding behind self-righteous masks.  It is sad that there are those who think the correct response to honesty is ridicule.

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purpose?I woke up this morning to this. I have to say it wasn’t the best thought as I sipped my extra dry cappuccino at Pete’s Coffee and Tea. I actually began to feel incredibly sorry for the many people who read this and will actually believe it. I mean, imagine walking through life wondering if the purpose God has for you is a good one, or one that will lead to total destruction. How would that change how we live… in complete and udder fear of the future. I mean, life becomes one big turn of the dice. Will God give me a good purpose in life, or will He not?

You see, this is the God of illogical predestination. He randomly chooses some to have a good purpose in life, and randomly chooses some who will not. And, you will / can never know which one he will choose for you. We are simply pawns on some divine chess board.

Now, we may not have the ideal life by human standards. I am sure that Jim Elliot was not planning on being speared to death, leaving his family behind at such a young age. But was his purpose still good? Sure. Hundreds came to the faith. And, if you ask Elisabeth Elliot if she has any regrets over the situation, she would probably tell you the same. His life had a beautiful purpose. Pastor Martin Luther King Jr. was probably not planning on being assassinated. But the good and blessed purpose of His life has left ripples in eternity. For those that follow the Lord, there is a great purpose for our lives (and Rick Warren would agree that following God is the prerequisite for having a good purpose in life).

If course, the ironic thing is that most of the people who would hold to this view probably believe that they all have a good purpose in life. This poster and ideology would only apply to anyone other than themselves and their pack of Christian friends.

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Remember that part in the purpose driven program where Rick Warren said that pastors should do the following:

- lie, manipulate, and breached confidentiality
- remove Sunday School teachers for refusing to back down from their position on the Purpose Driven program, even if it is a confidential and discreet position.
- no longer welcome confidential and discreet dissenters to attend Sunday School
- refused to respond in writing concerning removal of dissenters (which should occur without a vote by the congregation, even if that congregation originally voted to install the discreet dissenter as a teacher and a deacon)
- tell the secret dissenter’s Sunday School class that they were removed for challenging his authority
- have the deacons claim that they were removed temporarily for an investigation they did not conduct
- not allow the congregation to hear the either side of the complaint
- have the discreet dissenter’s fellow deacons cutoff the mediation process with a mediator from the state convention
- make sure the fellow deacons send them a letter stating that they see no evidence of pastoral misconduct or theological issues with Purpose Driven.

Oh wait… none of that is part of the purpose driven program. But apparently one ODM would like to blame their bad purpose driven experience on Mr. Warren personally. I am finding more and more that many who hate the PD program actually hate the experience they had with a pastor implementing the five purposes of the church. They don’t like the way they were treated, being forced to sing new songs, working with new church structures and that five letter word… change.

I mean, basing everything in your church around worship, evangelism, fellowship, discipleship and service should not be all that alarming. It is the growing pains that come with change, and the bad implementation of the five purposes by pastors who truly do not understand it that cause such dissension. So many times, pastors get over zealous with wanting their church to be the next Saddleback, that they make the wrong changes. So, it is one thing to critique the program, it is another thing to critique the program based on how pastors have inappropriately used it.

Plus, I am not at all familiar with this situation, but it is rare for a whole church community to treat an individual in this manner when they are confidential, discreet, respectful and supports the leadership in the midst of their concern. Red flags are always sent up when the pastor, leadership and deacons all find issue with the person who is in disagreement.

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Shark!I guess it’s time for the weekly question about Mark Driscoll: Do the ODM’s love him or hate him this week?

[spins the wheel]

Love Mark – Hate Mark – Like Mark – Hate Mark – Like Mark …

-Hate Mark-

Oops! Guess it’s his time to toss Mark in the barrel. Why, you might ask? Let’s start with the video below, part of the promotion for a one-night appearance in Sydney, Australia called Burn Your Plastic Jesus. subtitled “Mark Driscoll takes a blow-torch to the 21st century Jesus, and rediscovers the Jesus of the New Testament”.

YouTube Preview Image

Probably the quote that tipped it over the edge was the one the held a mirror to a particular type of Christian, of which discernments are a key subset -

Ask the average person, walking down the street, what they think of Jesus, and they will immediately identify him with someone who is religious, loves rules, is unpleasant, unkind, unhelpful. Someone they do not want to be with. Someone they do not want to be like.

Does that sound like the most accurate understanding of Jesus? In no way.

When Jesus was on the earth, he called sinners to repent of sin, go find your pants, stop drinking, get a job, move out of your parents’ house, grow up… He said those sorts of things and people loved him for it.

Religious people hated him the most. He told them to repent of their religion. Stop being so prideful. Stop being so self-righteous, so judgmental, so holier-than-thou. The result is that they despised, opposed and ultimately murdered him.

This may shock you – Jesus is as opposed to ‘religion’ as he is to sin…

Ah – no need to wonder anymore why the teeth were set to ‘gnash’ in ‘discernment-ville’ today.

Apparently, Mark’s public message in Australia, which partly concludes (if the advertisement is correct) that Jesus wants to save Christians in addition to the lost, isn’t going to cut the mustard because he is disrespectful of the plastic, pop-culture “Jesus”, represented by the kitschy bobble-head represented on the page. Or possibly that he describes religious folk as being just as bad as sinners. The mysterious “editor” doesn’t let us know.

And so whose spiritual advice does the anonymous discerner give regarding Driscoll ? Jesus? James? Peter? John? Paul? Nope – a few steps above those (though still below Spurgeon) – Christian mystic A. W. Tozer:

Some preachers have such a phobia for repetition and such an unnatural fear of the familiar that they are forever straining after the odd and the startling… We dare not impugn the honesty or the sincerity of the men who thus flap their short wings so rapidly in an effort to take off into the wild blue yonder, but we do deplore their attitudes.

Ah, poor Mark. He didn’t get the ODM playbook on the only proper ways to preach. I just wish these guys would make up their minds about Driscoll – is he OK or not? Will they not discern for the masses?

Or – have the sheep already heard the echo of the master’s voice in his under-shepherd from Seattle and recognized the baying of the wolves for what it is?

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EXTRA! EXTRA! Read all about it! Rick Warren Denies the Gospel! At least that is what CRN said — and once again they failed to deliver. I laughed out loud when I saw the diagram on the page, explaining exactly how Warren has denied the gospel.

If you have to create such a complex diagram to prove that someone denies the gospel, you are really stretching it. This is one crazy witch hunt we have going on! So, I decided to make some of my own conclusions in life.

* Ken Silva reads books
* books are made from paper
* paper comes from trees
* trees come from the earth
* New-Agers worship the earth

* CRN is on the internet
* Al Gore created the internet
* Al Gore supports abortions

Man, oh man… I could go on all day! I guess if you want to make something true, you will stretch all rules of logic to make it so.

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I have been reading about how the SBC is slowly becoming catholic for a while now. And, anyone who is a part of the convention knows that this is far from reality. There is a lot you can say about the SBC: irrelevancy to world around it, unbiblical guidelines for ministry, use of funds — all that to say, I am not one who always tows the party line. However, this connection that Watcher’s Lamp makes is strange to me.

They make the comparison between the catholic practices of the stations of the cross and the prayer journey with signs and symbols that will be taking place at the Convention this year. First off, let me say that the practice is very similar. It seems (from the two sentences provided) that participants will go from station to station, be reminded of an aspect of God with a symbol, and stop to pray. How horrible could that be? In either case, no one is praying to the icons or symbols. Nor is anyone confusing Catholic theology with that of SBC protestantism. I am sure it will be a series of pictures from the 10/40 window, baptist churches, and various other images that will remind pastors to repent, give thanksgiving, and pray for the needs of the world.

Why is it that we have such a hard time with symbols and icons in the Christian faith. I mean, it seems like Jesus was constantly using images and symbols when he spoke. Everything from mustard seeds to a lost coin became iconic for who we are to become, and how we are to live. Heck, I don’t think that anyone would argue that we should stop taking communion in remembrance of our Lord because the Catholics have created transubstantiation. I think Jesus understood that so much of our learning process is visual, not just auditory. If he set up symbols and icons to remind us of the truths of God, why shouldn’t we? Or are we dismissing it simply because the Catholics came up with it first?

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Friends, we have known that for some time now the anti-Christian bias of the United States has been oppressing those of us who are the true, discerning, followers of Christ. It has now come to our attention that part of this oppression has come internally in the form of Christian websites spreading any and all salacious gossip about Christians they can find. What’s worse is they are working hand in hand with secular sources to do their work.

You can go here for a sample.

Hear the hiss.

For those that didn’t catch it, the tone of this post was parodying ODMs.

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In a recent post by “the editor” was titled “Rick Warren’s Methods are causing Decline in SBC.”

I thought to myself, “wow, that is amazing! I would really enjoy reading the research to show that Rick Warren is single handedly taking down the Souther Baptist Convention. I mean, we know that the SBC (and every other denomination) is in decline right now, and we finally have the answer! Grab your pitch forks, torches and keyboards!”

Alas, I was disappointed. The article only held a quote from Paige Patterson that said this

Weak preaching and cultural adaptability are just two of many reasons Southern Baptists give to explain the decline of membership and baptisms.

Really? I mean, REALLY? This guy is the president of my convention!?! Every summer I make my way through East Texas, visiting family members that live in small towns in the beautiful backwoods of the lone-star-state. And, every Sunday I attend First Baptist in whatever city I happen to be in. Sadly, I have watched these churched decline dramatically in the past 20 years of my life. And it is the same all over the US. But guess what — these church have about as strong of biblical preaching as you can hear, and their pews are about as counter cultural as you can get. Yet they are all still in decline!

So, we can say that it’s the new preaching and the new seating that has us in decline –yeah, that’s it (committees mumble “here here” and “ho hum” in agreement). Or we can look that logical reasons. Maybe we could address the fact that we love our turn of the century cultural practices more than we love people. Maybe we could address the fact that being a Christian means that we live in a safe and sound bubble of Christian music, Christian radio, Christian coffee shops, and Christian diet programs, rather than engage the world. Maybe we could address the fact that “mission” is a word that only happens by a few in foreign lands. Or we could blame it one the preaching and pews (as if we didn’t have enough of it). Just a a thought for the morning.

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