"...When He [Jesus] saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd." Matt 9:36

"Do not rob the poor, because he is poor... for the Lord will take up their case and plunder those who plunder them." Proverbs 22:22-23

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Church Discipline of the Critic - You Get it if You Stay, You Get if You Leave

" 'I just want to continue to worship there,' said Dr. Nan Hawkes, who may be asked to leave Second Presbyterian Church....Hawkes said she realizes it would be easier to leave Second Presbyterian but doesn't believe she should have to. "It's not Sandy Willson's [the pastor] church. It's not my church," she said. 'It's God's church.' " From article "Unchurched" in the 2/16/11 Commercial Appeal
-----------------------------------------
On the front page of the Commercial Appeal (Memphis) newspaper Thursday was the story of a long-time church member, Dr. Nan Hawkes, who is being barred from her mega church and subjected to the church's disciplinary process and possibly excommunicated from the church for "slander, bickering, and gossip", and for "offenses of immorality and contempt for the established order of the church".

What was her "crime"? She said disparaging remarks about her pastor and one of his family members. And apparently the church doesn't tolerate people being friends of the pastor's critics either as Dr. Hawkes' friend at the church has also been barred from serving in the choir after she sent a letter stating her support for Dr. Hawkes.

As I included in the quote above from the newspaper article, Dr. Hawkes realizes she could have just left her church, but she decided to stay. She is a believer in Christ and feels compelled to worship at this church despite her differences with the pastor.

And of course Dr. Hawkes could have avoided all of this and just left the church if she had disagreements with the pastor, right?

Not so fast, my friend, as Lee Corso likes to say.

Even the act of leaving a church is now seen by some reformed pastors as being in sin - or worse, not even a believer - requiring corrective church discipline and excommunication. Let me explain.

Mark Devers' is a reformed Southern Baptist and pastor of Capital Hill Baptist Church in Washington, D.C. He has spoken before at the FBC Jax Pastor's Conference, back in 2009 or 2010. Devers started an association of churches called "9Marks" churches (formerly known as "the Center for Church Reform") and there is a website that provides resources to pastors who wish to incorporate the "9 Marks" of a healthy church.

One of the "marks" of a biblical church - Mark Number 7 - is biblical "church discipline". Bobby Jamieson, is the assistant editor of the 9 Marks website and seminary student at SBTS, and he posted an article recently stating that the act of a cranky church member simply leaving a church is an act of open sin requiring churches to exercise discipline and excommunication.

Jamieson writes in his article "Pastors, Don't Let Your People Resign into Thin Air":
"....a cranky troublemaker who’s been giving the church headaches for years has finally had enough and decides to throw in the towel and resign. In a huff, this person says he’s just giving up on church—at least for now.

It would be tempting to simply stand aside and allow this troubler to cease troubling your church. The last thing you want is to invite more trouble by detaining him at the back door.

But should the church simply allow this individual to resign into thin air?"
The arrogance in this is astounding. A pastor and his 501(c)3 organization consider the question of whether they can "allow" someone to resign? It gets better:
"I think the biblical answer is a resounding “No.” Here’s why: When your church made that person a member, you were declaring to the world that this person belongs to the kingdom of Jesus (Mt. 16:18-19). By regarding this person as a member, your church affirmed that he is indeed a “brother” in Christ (1 Cor. 5:11-13)."
So your church "membership" isn't just that you decided to link with a fellowship of believers because the Holy Spirit led you as a Christian. No, it is much deeper than that apparently. Apparently the church has the responsibility to "affirm" that you are a "brother", and thus they can't just let you "resign". I guess when you join a Calvinist congregation like Mark Devers' church, you are checking in to the "Hotel Calvinista": you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.

But it gets even better, much better:
"So what’s the problem? Hebrews 10:24-25 commands us not to forsake assembling together. Therefore, any professing Christian who quits going to church is living in habitual, unrepentant sin. And the way a church addresses unrepentant sin is not by merrily sending that person on his way, but by removing their affirmation of “member” and “brother” (Matt. 18:15-17; 1 Cor. 5:1-13). When the player quits showing up on game day, the team has to take back his jersey."
These churches are hell bent on making the gospel "bad news"! Don't tithe, and you're cursed. Quit going to church because you've been hurt or spiritually abused, you are in "habitual, unrepentant sin". Darn, I just can't measure up to the pastors' standards after I accepted Christ. I'm not tithing, and I'm not an active member of a church - who will deliver me from my torment? Is it any wonder why people are fleeing these churches?

And so if you quit attending and are in "unrepentant sin", your church must "remove their affirmation" of you as a "brother". Do you understand what this is saying? That as a Christian we are "affirmed" by the church, and if we leave on terms not suitable to the pastor ad his holy men they take back that "affirmation" as a "brother". That is code for saying you are not a Christian any longer and the holy men of your church play a role in making that determination.

So Jamieson and 9Marks gives their solution to these pesky reprobates, the "troublers" who simply walk out the door:
"A quick way to get a handle on this is to consider church discipline. If someone tries to resign mid-process in order to “escape discipline,” should the church just let them go? Of course not. That would defeat the whole point of church discipline. Instead, the church must retain the right to refuse someone’s resignation and send them out another way—through excommunication."
A "quick way"? To "get a handle on this"? Do what? A church retains the right to refuse someone's resignation? How is that even possible?

Keep in mind that the man writing those words is a seminary student at Al Mohler's Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. They are speaking of "excommunication" of church members. I never thought I would hear that word in the Southern Baptist Convention, but that is the direction of the reformed pastors apparently.

For more analysis of Jamieson's article, read the Wartburg Watch's excellent commentary here. They raise the point that Jamieson's advice to pastors in rejecting a member's resignation for the purpose of continuing church discipline has already been deemed by the Oklahoma Supreme Court as potentially tortious in the case of Guinn v. Church of Christ of Collinsville. So for Jamieson to offer this advice to pastors with no mention of the legal ramifications that might arise in particular applications shows how out of touch with reality these power-hungry preacher-men can be.

Christians, we have to wise up. While our pastors do their best to get us to fear the government, preaching that Uncle Sam is going to take away their rights to proclaim the gospel - we need to realize that a bigger threat to Christianity is from WITHIN the church and it is not the bloggers. It is narcissistic, power-hungry pastors and their underlings who view themselves and their churches as the bestowers of God's grace and your good standing with God. They want to tell us we must give a minimum portion of our money to their church to receive God's blessings, and they are beginning to tell us that we must stay with the church to be "affirmed" as a believer. This unbiblical nonsense is nothing less than spiritual abuse and is a much larger threat to the body of Christ than a particular president or his political party.

And here is a little anecdote for Jamieson and his boys to consider:

I look back at the discipline process exercised against me and my family after they found my identity as the author of the FBC Jax Watchdog blog in 2008. When they trespassed me and my wife for "church misconduct" in December 2008, we were forced to find a new church home. We immediately began visiting a new church and when FBC Jax heard that we sought to join that fellowship, the FBC Jax church discipline process cranked back up in February 2009. The pastor preached about "Kingdom Killjoys", and what churchmen are to do with complainers and criticizers is "shut 'em down". A week later the church administrator went to the deacons to tell them what a bad person I was for owning the blog, and he told the deacons I had been investigated by the state attorney (when actually it was their own discipline committee member who did the investigation!) for possible crimes.

A week later the deacons ratified and brought the infamous "deacon's resolution" to the congregation for a vote on a Wednesday night in February 2009. My wife and I watched at home as they streamed this resolution live on the Internet. I'll never forget my wife bursting into tears as she watched on the Internet the honorable A.C. Soud slowly reading that resolution like some sort of criminal indictment, and watching as our former friends stood and ratified it. They even proudly displayed their "Deacons Resolution 2009-1" on their church website using a corner hyperlink banner. Their resolution condemned my actions in particular, and condemned "unjust criticism" in general, and stated I left the church only after I was told they were taking my disciplinary case to the deacons. That was a flat-out lie uttered by the good judge A.C. Soud in his attempt to paint me as a coward. Soud and his band of holy men at FBC Jax conveniently left off the resolution that they had trespassed both me and my wife three months earlier, and THAT is why we left our church of 20 years.

But there is a strange irony in the actions of FBC Jax seeking to exercise their church discipline on a church member and his family who already left the church. It is amazing how God works. It was the church's pursuit of me through their disciplinary process in February 2009 - after we had already left FBC Jax - that led me to discover the subpoenas pulled by a Jacksonville Sheriff's Office detective who was himself an FBC Jax deacon and discipline committee member.

In their arrogant attempts to punish and humiliate me, they ended up disclosing the secret of what the JSO detective/discipline committee member had done to find my identity.

Soon after that the church was embarrassed on the front page of the newspaper for "teaming up" with the sheriff's office in outing a blogger and subpoenaing two other critical church blogs when it was discovered that the investigating officer was a church member and employee of the church. And to top it all off, when the pastor was interviewed by our paper's religion writer for the story, he made false, slanderous statements about my mental health that were published in the paper and he then ratified them in front of the congregation the following Sunday. He claimed that what he did he did out of duty to the "resurrected Jesus Christ" in protecting the flock.

So go ahead, pastors. Pursue critical church members before they leave, pursue them after they leave.

But whatever you do, don't use police detectives in your congregation to pull subpoenas to investigate your critics, and please pastors - don't issue slanderous statements about the mental health of the people you are "lovingly" trying to discipline.

66 comments:

William Thornton said...

Calvinists have been at the forefront of efforts to bring back church discipline, a common and routine practice in the 19th century in SBC churches but generally eschewed today.

One reason I think efforts to restore discipline will not gain traction is the obvious unfair application of it, as evidenced by a number of prominent cases, yours, the one you feature here, and others.

I wouldn't fail to note that there is value in churches attempting to do something about toxic members who repeatedly cause problems in one church after another. The old practice of transfer of one's 'church letter' is one such attempt, now either ineffective or discarded completely.

There is undoubtedly more value in finding a way to do something about toxic ministers going from church to church and causing problems than focusing on toxic laypeople.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

William - great comment. The discriminant application of discipline - in fact establishing a discipline system that would by definition exclude a pastor from being subject to it - shows it for what it often is: a tool of retribution against "troublers".

Anonymous said...

Today's church pastor's & their deacons are behaving like TV's reality shows.

No wonder people are leaving their church homes. News like this makes me agree with someone who posted on another article "the church is becoming a freak show" to the outsiders.

Anonymous said...

From the post:
"Even the act of leaving a church is now seen by some reformed pastors as being in sin - or worse, not even a believer - requiring corrective church discipline and excommunication. Let me explain."

This is eerily too similar to the Latter Day Saints, and what they claim happens to their former members.

Tim S.

Johnny D. said...

Dog, great blog today. I think your analysis of the situation is spot on.

For me personally, I just don't care about excommunication and all the other funny games fallen humans can play with their rules and such. Humans have invented all these silly rules for the church - which now seems more like a business than anything else. If I was in a similar situation and they wanted to boot me out of their denomination - fine. Go on with it. I'd take it as a leading from the Holy Spirit that it is time to move on. But that said, each of us must look deep into our relationship with Jesus. Finding myself in such a situation, I would ask myself, "Am I in the wrong here? Do I need to humble myself and listen to what I'm being told? Am I in right relation with God in Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit?" Answering those questions honestly while remembering God is not going to be fooled, would be key to any such situation.

Paul said, "Warn a divisive person once, then again, after that having nothing to do with them." (Paraphrase from memory, but accurate in meaning.)

I don't see anything in that statement about excommunication and trespass warnings and discipline committees, etc.

Much of the church has become big business that is in love with itself. But God is not mocked, and He shall deal with it in His own way at the appointed time.

Anonymous said...

Mark Dever. No s

wadeburleson.org said...

Tom, there was a 1984 lawsuit in Collinsville, Oklahoma where a woman "withdrew" from her church. The 'elders,' who took the same view as Dever, refused to 'accept' her withdrawal and pressed a church discipline case, making known her 'sin' to the congregation. The courts ruled for the woman and awarded a $390,000 judgment. This court case was appealed, but the verdict stands as a chilling legal reminder that a church better drop it when a member 'withdraws.' I personally believe the SCRIPTURE teaches the same thing (but that's another post and another day). You can read about the Collinsville case in the New York Times. Also, a good article on the way discipline SHOULD be handled, using the Collinsville case as a way in which it SHOULD NOT be handled, is this article.. To see the proof that the woman had REQUESTED removal from the chruch rolls, but the elders REFUSED because of their "authority" over the woman, read the church's attorney incredibly bizarre interview.

Anonymous said...

Dog, the posts this morning are spot on. The Calvinist, the Purpose Drivenist, the Big Businist, are all bringing the world into the churches. We all want our churches to grow but at what price?

These Mac Brunsonsites could care less about those who disagree with them. Get rid of them, or plow around them or disgrace them; what ever it takes to humiliate them. If you are with them you are against them. Period!

When these New Age preachers bring the worldly methods into the church they will continue to encounter problems in their church. Count on it!!!

Anonymous said...

"Much of the church has become big business that is in love with itself. But God is not mocked, and He shall deal with it in His own way at the appointed time."

You must be joking, this has happened years ago when the Roman Catholic Church went the same path.

It's still in business so why won't these other money making churches also still be in business.

It just make you feel good that you can say GOD WILL JUDGE YOU and You will pay for it or whatever makes you feel good.

LOL

James "Jimmy" Brown said...

Not to spit in anybody's soup but if I was on a church elder board and found out we had a visitor/attender who had caused problems in his/her last church; I'd like to know. I'd be upset if the previous church just passed on "the letter" without conveying some reservations about the individual who left his/her last church under difficult circumstances.

I believe Baptist Churches have had, at least in the past, something called "watch/care" where you are basically being evaluated due to past problems.

[NOTE: Commenters get all cranked up when they find out a perpretrator has been allowed to leave a church and go to another one without notice of previous sins. But now they're upset that a theologian has suggested a church not simply dismiss it's obligation for church discipline because the member wants to escaped discipline by anonymously joining with another church. ]

James "Jimmy" Brown said...

Let me get this straight. Commenters have complained, with good reason, that sexual perpetrators have been allowed to leave their previous church escaping church discipline by simply withdrawing their membership and merrily go off to attend another church without their history being known.
But NOW commenters/poster are upset that a theologian says a church should continue discipline and not simply allow a member to bow out of the membership and escape discipline by their voluntary withdrawal of membership. Do we let the next church know there are major problems or do we just pass the problematic member off to another church where they can continue their sinful ways.

( If I was on the board of 2nd Baptist church and T.R. started attending, I'd think I'd like to know. Then if "2NDBAPTISTWATCHDOG dot com" popped up with criticisms of my church, I might have an inkling.)

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Jimmy, your logic is twisted and incredibly sad. The "theologians" are not advocating warning other churches, just punishing those who want to leave. You fail to see the obvious point: the theologians are writing about disciplining "troublers" and not at all writing about the pedophile preachers in their own ranks. But that is what theologians do.

You might want to contact my current church where we attend, Jimmy, and warn them if the danger I pose.

Johnny D. said...

"You must be joking, this has happened years ago when the Roman Catholic Church went the same path.

It's still in business so why won't these other money making churches also still be in business.

It just make you feel good that you can say GOD WILL JUDGE YOU and You will pay for it or whatever makes you feel good.

LOL"

It does not make me feel good at all. It is incredibly sad. And while I will allow that I cannot see into your heart, your post sure seems to be mocking God. Specifically, God's judgement. God will judge. I myself have experienced it, and it is a vast and terrible thing that reduced me to a shell of my former self. But the power of the cross has saved me to the max! Thank God for His grace and so much answered prayer. Praise you Jesus Christ for saving me and rescuing me from insanity and worry and hatred. Best to you, Anon. May you find the grace of Christ as the centerpoint of your life.

Anonymous said...

These reformed/calvinist pastors, preachers, seminary preidents are not just content with putting their "values" in every pew as it relates to church discipline. But there is a concerted effort to REFORM us to their values as it relates to theology, especially as it pertains to the elect.
This is not your father's SBC, any longer.
Kyle

James "Jimmy" Brown said...

If someone showed up at my church after having sued his previous church; I'd kinda hold him at a distance; wouldn't exactly encourage him to join. But that's just me.

The best predictor of future activities is the past. If you sued a church once; it makes it more likely you'll do it again.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Thanks Seneca! It is statements like yours that helps confirm that the chances of me ever "joining" a church are slim to none. And I agree: past behavior can indicate future actions: like falsely accusing my wife of church misconduct, trespass papers, deacons resolutions, and a slandering pastor who speaks lies to a reporter of a members mental health. No thanks!

James "Jimmy" Brown said...

Wine, women & song. I've experienced a little church discipline; it tends to help you focus.

Graham said...

This is not a difficult scenario to analyze...authoritarian organizations typically confuse dissent with disloyalty, sometimes deliberately, in order to perpetuate their "authority" and "leadership". Absent significant respect for leadership (which is not given, it has to be earned), most authoritarian bodies resort to bullying and exile as punishments to keep the rank and file in line. Nothing new under the sun, and this is SOP for lots of groups dominated by an authoritarian mindset, not just churches, although I find the bloviations of many church leaders to be beyond intolerable when they begin to invoke "the word of God". I feel like asking them for the evidence that God swooped down and told them what exactly to do with the latest pesky dissenter...

Graham said...

This is not a difficult scenario to analyze...authoritarian organizations typically confuse dissent with disloyalty, sometimes deliberately, in order to perpetuate their "authority" and "leadership". Absent significant respect for leadership (which is not given, it has to be earned), most authoritarian bodies resort to bullying and exile as punishments to keep the rank and file in line. Nothing new under the sun, and this is SOP for lots of groups dominated by an authoritarian mindset, not just churches, although I find the bloviations of many church leaders to be beyond intolerable when they begin to invoke "the word of God". I feel like asking them for the evidence that God swooped down and told them what exactly to do with the latest pesky dissenter...

Anonymous said...

WD - Did you try or succeed in obtaining a FBC Jax email list for the purpose of suggesting members withhold offerings due to issues you had with Mac Brunson? That is what I heard was the reason your identity was sought, that is, after you pursued harm to the church then the trustees had cause to seek legal remedy to identify and stop you.

I am not excusing anything, but this information could change the narrative.

Anonymous said...

"WD - Did you try or succeed in obtaining a FBC Jax email list for the purpose of suggesting members withhold offerings due to issues you had with Mac Brunson? That is what I heard was the reason your identity was sought, that is, after you pursued harm to the church then the trustees had cause to seek legal remedy to identify and stop you."

That is the most ridiculous rumor I have ever heard - no one would ever think of doing this.

Many of us just walked out the door on our own, Brunson has stepped on so many toes other than Tom Rich, people had their own reasons to leave with their checkbooks.

Brunson has ruined that church - by the way, the FBC March envelopes came in today's mail & promptly thrown in the trash. Our monies now go directly to the Mission field, not to a million dollar preacher.

Robert L. Peeples said...

Yes, Tom did send out an email to church members using a fake name and email address soliciting support.

This ultimately did not work, because as Tom said so himself in this current blog, his friends ratified the resolution and voted him out of the church.

Anonymous said...

Are these churches or the Third Reich?

Or maybe North Korea? People aren't allowed to leave North Korea of their own fruition, either.

Anonymous said...

Oh wow, and here I thought we were saved and redeemed by the Lord, not a church.

Thy Peace said...

The incident(s) related to email lists were these: here, here, and here.

Anonymous said...

Hi Watchdog,

The newspaper article said ""offenses of immorality and contempt for the established order of the church"."

You didn't bring up the "offenses of morality". Are you saying that the church should ignore offenses of morality? Is it possible this woman is living in open sin, was approached about it and refused to confess or resign?

Although I am with you that the church discipline process can be misused and can be arbitrary...something tells me there's more about this story than meets the eye.

Thy Peace said...

New BBC Open Forum > Just think... what if she had a blog?
So... what "offenses of immorality" did Hawkes commit? Stealing? Murder? Child abuse? Sexual immorality? Blogging??? Nope. Dr. Hawkes, a neuro-psychologist, is accused of calling senior pastor Sandy Willson a "narcissist" because of his heavy-handed tactics and ruling over the church. Hawkes claims she did call him a narcissist but that it was taken out of context. Specifically, she claims, someone on the church staff asked her how to best deal with Willson.

Anonymous said...

FBC Jax did the right thing in removing Tom and his family from their fellowship. He was disrupting and causing discord and using a fake name so he has no leg to stand on.

Frank Gantz said...

You wrote, "They are speaking of "excommunication" of church members. I never thought I would hear that word in the Southern Baptist Convention, but that is the direction of the reformed pastors apparently."

Perhaps you should have heard of this before since it is a biblical concept.

Some attempts at discipline have obviously been ill-conceived, but that doesn't mean that no attempts should be made.

I would also differ with the idea that the discipline spoken of by Dever and friends is not to "punish" but to restore.

By the way, I write as one who has been on the receiving end of church discipline and I will be forever grateful.

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...
FBC Jax did the right thing in removing Tom and his family from their fellowship. He was disrupting and causing discord and using a fake name so he has no leg to stand on."

Such a compassionate statement, you must be a Brunson-ite through and through.

Your dear leader is in a position he is not qualified for and has totally failed at the WD case. Handled it like a 3rd rate politician, not a representative or ambassador of the King.

Seriously, Mac let this Stalinist stle purge proceed, winked at the investigation, prompted the resoluiton and trespass order. It just says: 'Seig Heil', when you think about it.

A man of courage and grace would have handled it a lot differently. No evidence of Christian character in the whole episode.

Kool Aid get real bitter in a short time. Kinda smells too.

Anonymous said...

I am a member of Second Presbyterian and also come from an extremely broken home. The Willson family has lovingly opened the doors to their home for me for as long as I can remember. They have been a family to me when my family was struggling through divorce, addiction, and even death. I can only hope that someday I will be able to love others the way they have loved me. I can only say that this situation breaks my heart, but I rest assured that the church is handling it with confidentiality, discipline, prayer, and most importantly, forgiveness. My prayers go out to all whom are involved, whether it is the accuser or the accused. God Bless-we all are in need of grace.
http://www.2pc.org/article/regarding-church-unity/

Anonymous said...

a member of Second Presbyterian

"but I rest assured that the church is handling it with confidentiality, discipline, prayer, and most importantly, forgiveness. "

So who is the bad person in this?

as you praise the pastor as being more than a friend, and defend the church?

This is the illustration of how narcissistic pastor's groom their followers, the darker the "sin" the more loyalty they can get.

Anonymous said...

It amazes me how many of you critique this situation like you were there and know all the details...and for that last post, the one who just bashed the member for defending his/her pastor--you don't know what you're talking about, do you know the member or the pastor personally?? do you know the facts, or were you involved in the details of this situation?? I doubt it. how can you possibly think you are in a position to judge or make an informed opinion??

Douglas said...

"These reformed/calvinist pastors, preachers, seminary preidents are not just content with putting their "values" in every pew as it relates to church discipline. But there is a concerted effort to REFORM us to their values as it relates to theology, especially as it pertains to the elect."

Only God alone reveals the biblical truths of Reformed Theology, "nicknamed" Calvinism by friend and foe alike. The Bible clearly teaches both election and predestination do you not believe what God teaches? The Holy Spirit will guide you into the truth of these true doctrines. The Elect are God’s chosen people, His called out ones. Are you one of God’s elect?

“Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!”

It is no novelty, then, that I am preaching; no new doctrine. I love to proclaim these strong old doctrines that are called by nickname Calvinism, but which are truly and verily the revealed truth of God as it is in Christ Jesus. By this truth I make my pilgrimage into the past, and as I go, I see father after father, confessor after confessor, martyr after martyr, standing up to shake hands with me . . . Taking these things to be the standard of my faith, I see the land of the ancients peopled with my brethren; I behold multitudes who confess the same as I do, and acknowledge that this is the religion of God's own church. (Spurgeon's Sovereign Grace Sermons, Still Waters Revival Books, p. 170).

I have my own opinion that there is no such thing as preaching Christ and Him crucified, unless we preach what nowadays is called Calvinism. It is a nickname to call it Calvinism; Calvinism is the gospel, and nothing else. I do not believe we can preach the gospel if we do not preach justification by faith without works; nor unless we preach the sovereignty of God in His dispensation of grace; nor unless we exalt the electing unchangeable eternal, immutable, conquering love of Jehovah; nor do I think we can preach the gospel unless we base it upon the special and particular redemption of His elect and chosen people which Christ wrought out upon the cross. (Charles Spurgeon, The New Park Street Pulpit, Vol. 1, 1856).

Anonymous said...

Doug

We need to encourage fellow believers to look up words like election, predestination, and foreknowledge (it does not mean the looking down the corridor of time because God is eternal and is not bound by time) but a specific choosing.

Most SBCers have no clue that the original SBCers were Calvinists until WWII. In fact, you could not be an SBC pastor and not be a Calvinist, this extended to all of the SBC seminaries and to missionaries IE Lottie Moon as well. In fact, the "Abstract of Principles" which is the document that all SBC professors must sign is a "Calvinistic Document". You can actually google it and find out for yourself.

A couple of things happened along the way E Y Mullins and his latitudinarian universalism and "modernization" IE the integration of humanistic thinking being adopted as the equivalent of Biblical Theology.

A Couple of points need to be made:

1. We are all sinners and deserve hell because of our sin
2. We are dead in trespasses and sin and unable to help ourselves. That is what it means to be at the mercy of God IE until God does something to/for us we can do nothing. It is best to understand that the New Birth (Jeses's teaching to Nicodemus in John Chapter 3 tells us that the New Birth does indeed happen before repentance and faith) happens before repentance and faith and that they (repentance and faith) are gifts of God.

3. Even of God only chose to save 1 person throughout the entire annuls of human history, He would still be a kind and merciful God.

Bill

Romans 5:1

Anna A said...

As the resident Catholic here, I find it VERY scary to read the words excommunication used in the Baptist setting.

When the Catholic Church was powerful in the world, excommunication was used to force kings into submission.

This is purely a power trip for pastors.

I do believe that by people's actions and beliefs that they can excommunicate themselves, but they are always welcome back. (after repenting of course) AND there is never knowledge of the state of their souls, that is God's alone

Mark said...

Concerning predestination, I prefer a balanced approach. God foreknew who would receive his grace. God knew, from the beginning of time, before there was time, who would believe. So, yes, we were elect from the beginning, but it is based on his foreknowledge of our decision, not based on some spurious criteria.
Yes, we have free will, and God knew what we would choose before the foundations of the world.

Anonymous said...

10:49 Anon Said:
"Your dear leader is in a position he is not qualified for and has totally failed at the WD case. Handled it like a 3rd rate politician, not a representative or ambassador of the King.

Seriously, Mac let this Stalinist stle purge proceed, winked at the investigation, prompted the resoluiton and trespass order. It just says: 'Seig Heil', when you think about it.

Amen Brother/Sister (x member of fbcj)
A man of courage and grace would have handled it a lot differently. No evidence of Christian character in the whole episode."

Anonymous said...

John 1:13 says that salvation is "not of blood, nor by the will of the flesh, nor by the will of man, but of God"

Romans 9:16 also says that salvation "is not of him that wills, nor him that runs, but of God who shows mercy".

Grace,

Bill

Romans 5:1

WishIhadknown said...

Dog, I think this is a topic where it will be better to wait and see. First Sandy Wilson is not a high society preacher like the ones we find so distasteful. Second, knowing the people of Second Presbyterian there is a lot more to this story than has been reported in the paper. Last she did not say Sandy Wilson is a narcissist, she said he had a narcissistic disorder. I know that may seem a small difference. Saying someone is a narcissist is more like saying I just don’t like the guy but saying someone has a disorder, especially coming from a mental health professional, is a declaration that the person suffers from a pathology. Unless, she has had an opportunity to test and make a proper diagnosis, she should not assert that someone has a disorder.
Her main issue is she wants Second Presbyterian to be something it is and will not be.

WishIhadknown said...

What is up with blogger word verification? It took 8 tries to have my comment accepted and how am I suppose to enter Jewish chartacters?

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Sorry about the word verification. I didn't do anything to cause it, seems it is a Blogger thing. I turned it off yesterday and had about 15 spammers attack yesterday so I turned it back on.

Anonymous said...

Johnny D. said...
"God will judge. I myself have experienced it, and it is a vast and terrible thing that reduced me to a shell of my former self."

So are we talking about life experiences due to bad life choices ? or did you really have face to face whippen from God?

keith farmer said...

I agree with the original blog post for the most part. I do not agree that those who hold to the doctrines of Grace...also known as Calvinism by many...are the root cause of the problem when it comes to the invasion of worldliness in the visible church and the mistreatment of church members. In fact, if one looks at dog's story one will clearly see that Mac Brunson is not a Calvinist and is perhaps the worst example of how to handle church government.

John MacArthur is a Calvinist. His view on the authority of pastors is nothing like that which is being improperly characterized as Calvinistic-only by many. While Dever and Piper, etc do fit into the mold being described I would offer that these men have strayed from scripture which is the cause of their actions...not because they claim to be Calvinist/Reformed.

Here is an interview with John MacArthur that makes clear what true scriptural authority for a pastor must look like:

http://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/GTY135

Johnny D. said...

"So are we talking about life experiences due to bad life choices ? or did you really have face to face whippen from God?"

No, if you mean things like addiction or cheating on my wife, losing my job, etc. And I have nothing to prove to you, Anon. A few close friends and my family are aware of how God interrupted my life and, through His unyielding and bottomless grace, brought me back to Him.

If you'd like details, feel free to e-mail me (address is on my profile) and identify yourself. We'll go from there.

Anonymous said...

I am sick and tired of you haters. This blog is disgusting.

Thank God for the Furticks, Nobles, Youngs, and TD Jakes.

God has raised up the next generation of outreach Pastors because the established church is refusing to understand what is needed for the church to reach today's culture. Have a complaint, take it to the Lord and quit judging others when they are producing fruit!

I for one am so tired of the "not deep enough" argument. For me that just means you are not focused on unbelievers, but preaching to your choir. The deeper things can be handled in the groups and is not needed when visitors are there and clueless when you speak Christianise.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
"Have a complaint, take it to the Lord"

Do you happen to have His number?

Anonymous said...

WishIhadknown said...
"First Sandy Willson is not a high society preacher like the ones we find so distasteful."

Depends how you define
"High Society Preacher"?

He may not be a Driscoll but for home town folks he and his church are "High Society".

2nd Press is a main stay in the Memphis Area and has a 30 minute Sunday morning edited TV broadcast, a private school, involvement in many aspects of religious life, etc.

Page 12



Evangelical Presbyterian Church's 31st General Assembly voted to allow congregations to call women to ordained ministry,


"Willson opposes the ordination of women, but he supports the EPC's principles, as stated by the committee, that "women's ordination is a nonessential issue about which faithful believers may have honest differences of Biblical interpretation and practice". "

Sermons by Sandy Wilson:
Sermons

Sermons


Sandy Willson:

"Gospel-Centered Pastoral LeadershipSandy Willson
The pastor is called to demonstrate and communicate the gospel in every area of his life. How does he do that in his leadership and management of ministry? In decision-making, in settling conflicts in the church, in counseling, in vision-casting, in planning, and in his integration of church and family life? The gospel-centered pastor must think carefully about all of his life and ministry."

Mark said...

John 1:13 says that salvation is "not of blood, nor by the will of the flesh, nor by the will of man, but of God"

A: Read vs. 12, "Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God."

Romans 9:16 also says that salvation "is not of him that wills, nor him that runs, but of God who shows mercy".

A: Not talking about individual salvation. Paul is dealing with Jews who thought it was unfair that God was opening salvation to the Gentiles, not to illustrate deterministic salvation. Read versus 30-32.

Anonymous said...

Shaking my Head...again

Disciplining a member of a church always backfires on the perpetrators.

It shows hate, and God will never bless a hateful church!

NEVER!

Anonymous said...

I love how the nature of many comments I read are attacking calvinists. Pull up your pants you southern baptists and put a belt on, be real. Dever is more of a man than many or most southern baptists. Yes, I have met him in person several times and know many of His friends.

Anonymous said...

"Pull up your pants you southern baptists and put a belt on"

What?
What does that even mean?

Douglas said...

Hi Mark,

yes, WHO WERE born NOT of blood, NOT by the will of the flesh, NOT by the will of man, BUT OF GOD. They were born of God first, that is the only reason they/we are able to receive him, to believe in his name, and who were and are given the right to become children of God. Prior to the new birth man is unable to do a thing towards his own salvation as he is a slave to sin, in bondage to sin, chained to sin and is dead, spiritually dead, in his trespasses and sins, loves the darkness rather than the light and won’t come to the light least his evil deeds be exposed. Man absolutely needs God’s grace. The New Genesis is an absolutely necessary pre-requisite, the sine qua non (without which, not; something that is indispensible) of salvation. Regeneration precedes faith. Man does not believe first then is born again, man is born again first, resulting in new life, belief/faith and repentance which are all free gifts of God alone through God’s grace alone. Sinful man cannot conjure up these gifts in his degenerate, lost state. 99.9 times out of a 100 Arminians will quote John 1:12 as if it is something we can do prior to the new birth and leave out verse 13 which clearly shows that it is a work of God alone and man receives and believes as a result of been born of God, who were born of God. New life, belief/faith, repentance are at and in consequence of regeneration, not the cause of the new birth. People do not repent and believe and then they are born again, they repent and believe because of the new birth. All glory for salvation, from start to finish goes to God alone and none to man, there is nothing in which we can boast except in the Cross of Christ. I am sorry for sounding like I am repeating myself but I am trying to impress the importance of the subject. The new birth, regeneration, born again, born from above of the Holy Spirit of God, is a work of God alone.

GRACE ALONE An Evangelical Problem?

Being born again of the Holy Spirit of God is something God does, not something we do or can contribute to.

I believe we are suffering from a 21st century Pelagian Captivity of the Church and it is getting worse by the day.

Douglas said...

Mark, Romans 9 does talk about individual salvation and it is disingenuous, misleading even, to say it doesn't.

Response to Romans 9 and Predestination

ISRAEL'S FAILURE TO ATTAIN RIGHTEOUSNESS IN ROMANS 9.30-10.3 - TOM SCHREINER

1 Thessalonians 5:21 said...

Mark (February 19, 2012 8:21 AM) said: “Concerning predestination, I prefer a balanced approach. God foreknew who would receive his grace. God knew, from the beginning of time, before there was time, who would believe. So, yes, we were elect from the beginning, but it is based on his foreknowledge of our decision, not based on some spurious criteria.”

I agree with this position.

This position harmonizes with what Romans 8:28-30 teaches. Yes, in Romans 8:29-30, the Apostle Saul clearly indicates that YHWH El the Father unilaterally and continuously handles what happens to the individual during the process which takes them from being foreknown to being glorified and conformed to the likeness of his Son. This is because the Koine Greek text of Romans 8:29-30 clearly shows that YHWH El the Father is the implied subject[1] and this implied subject is doing a succession of acts[2][3] to an unspecified direct object. But, in Romans 8:28, the Apostle Saul contextually defines the recipient of these acts in the following two verses as ἀγαπῶσιν θεὸν [NA27] or “those who love [God]” [NIV 1984].

Why are ἀγαπῶσιν θεὸν [NA27] or “those who love [God]” [NIV 1984] the recipient of this action? Because Romans 8:28-30 provides no applicable recipient in its linked[4] line of thought, except the said group of people in Romans 8:28.

And this harmonizes with the facts that Romans 8:28 implies that YHWH El the Father makes πάντα συνεργεῖ εἰς ἀγαθόν ἀγαπῶσιν θεὸν [NA27] or “[all things work together] for the good of those who love [God]” [NIV 1984] and Romans 8:29-30 can explain how and why he does this.

Yet, interestingly, when trying to prooftext higher Calvinism, higher Calvinists often cite Romans 8:29-30 to support their position and ignore what Romans 8:28 says.

Notes
[1] This is implied from the use of υἱοῦ αὐτοῦ [NA27] or “his Son” [NIV 1984] in Romans 8:29.
[2] Specifically, they are summarized in Romans 8:29 and listed in Romans 8:30.
[3] ref. the linking of the implied subject’s acts by καὶ [NA27] or “also” [NIV 1984] in Romans 8:29-30.
[4] ref. the linking of Romans 8:28-30’s individual verses by ὅτι and δὲ [NA27] or “for” and “and” [NIV 1984].


Bill (February 19, 2012 7:36 AM) said: “… foreknowledge (it does not mean the looking down the corridor of time because God is eternal and is not bound by time) but a specific choosing. [sic]”

And?


Continued in Part 2 ...

1 Thessalonians 5:21 said...

Continued from Part 1 ...


Bill (February 19, 2012 7:36 AM) said: “2. We are dead in trespasses and sin and unable to help ourselves. That is what it means to be at the mercy of God IE until God does something to/for us we can do nothing.”

Nowhere does Biblical Scripture teach that unregenerate men are “dead” in the sense that they are unable to accept and begin believing in the Biblical Gospel on their own.

For example, higher Calvinists claim that the imagery of deadness which Ephesians 2:1 uses to describe the unregenerate man includes this concept. However, nowhere does the text of Ephesians 2:1-6 explicitly or implicitly teach this concept. Pursuant to this, when higher Calvinists look at Ephesians 2:1-6, all higher Calvinists do is look at the word νεκροὺς [NA27] or “dead” [NIV 1984] in Ephesians 2:1 and make the unprovable working assumption that this word and its imagery include this concept before they try to present it as a prooftext for the doctrine of Total Depravity.

Conversely, Biblical Scripture does show unregenerate people doing the act of obeying the Biblical Gospel without qualification (i.e. Romans 6:17-18).


Bill (February 19, 2012 7:36 AM) said: “2. … It is best to understand that the New Birth (Jeses's [sic] teaching to Nicodemus in John Chapter 3 tells us that the New Birth does indeed happen before repentance and faith) happens before repentance and faith ...”

And? John 3:5 does not provide a complete picture of how regeneration works. It simply states that regeneration is a requirement for entering the Kingdom of YHWH Elohiym.

Salvation comes by regeneration (see Titus 3:5). But believing in Mashiyach Yehoshua is a prerequisite of salvation (see Romans 10:9-10, Acts 16:31, Acts 16:30-32, John 20:31, Acts 3:19, Acts 2:38, etc., see also John 3:18) or regeneration (see John 1:12, Galatians 3:26). And the salvific act of believing comes in reaction to hearing an account about Mashiyach Yehoshua (see Romans 10:14, 17) or the Biblical Gospel itself (see Romans 1:16).


Continued in Part 3 ...

1 Thessalonians 5:21 said...

Continued from Part 2 ...


Bill (February 19, 2012 7:36 AM) said: “... and that they (repentance and faith) are gifts of God.”

Nowhere does Biblical Scripture state that YHWH Elohiym generates salvific repentance and faith in one for one.

For example, higher Calvinists claim that Ephesians 2:8-9, Romans 12:3, and Hebrews 12:2 teach that YHWH Elohiym gives one what faith that they have. But this raises a few questions:
(a) In Ephesians 2:8-9, how do they know that Ephesians 2:8-9 says that faith is “not from [oneself], it is the gift of God” [NIV 1984], as opposed to saying that the means by which one is saved by grace are also “not from [oneself], it is the gift of God” [NIV 1984]?
(b) In Romans 12:3, how do they know that the phrase “the measure of faith God has given you” [NIV 1984] refers to the level of personal faith which one has in Mashiyach Yehoshua, as opposed to referring to the different general capacities of personal faith which come with the different spiritual gifts that are selectively given (ref. Romans 12:4-8)?
(c) In Hebrews 12:2, how do they know that the phrase “the author and perfecter of our faith” [NIV 1984] applies to one’s personal faith in Mashiyach Yehoshua, as opposed to applying to the Biblical faith under the New Covenant in general?
Higher Calvinists cannot answer these questions without relying on unprovable assumptions. And this same problem applies to any other prooftexts which higher Calvinists try to use to prove this said concept as well.

Conversely, Biblical Scripture does show that faith can come from seeing a miracle (i.e. Mark 9:23-27), hearing encouraging teachings (i.e. Luke 17:5-10), one realizing that others share their suffering (see 1 Peter 5:9), and other such things without qualification.


Bill (February 19, 2012 7:36 AM) said: “3. Even of God only chose to save 1 person throughout the entire annuls of human history, He would still be a kind and merciful God.”

But why would YHWH Elohiym arbitrarily save only one person, if YHWH Elohiym desires to save all men (see 2 Peter 3:9, 1 Timothy 2:3-4)?


Douglas (February 19, 2012 1:54 AM) said: “ ‘I have my own opinion that there is no such thing as preaching Christ and Him crucified, unless we preach what nowadays is called Calvinism. It is a nickname to call it Calvinism; Calvinism is the gospel, and nothing else[’] ... (Charles Spurgeon, The New Park Street Pulpit, Vol. 1, 1856).”

So, in other words, according to Mr. Spurgeon, if you do not believe in Calvinism or Reformed Theology, then, by definition, you do not believe in the Biblical Gospel and, thus, are not a true believer in Mashiyach Yehoshua.

Mr. Spurgeon, nothing in the Biblical Gospel requires a higher Calvinistic understanding of it to properly understand it. For example:

(a) Nothing requires one to use the doctrine of Total Depravity to prove that mankind needs a savior.
(b) Nothing requires one to use the doctrines of Unconditional Election, Regeneration Precedes Repentance, or any other such doctrine to prove that salvation is by divine grace alone.
(c) Nothing requires one to use the doctrine of Limited Atonement to prove that salvation is not universal.

And so on ...

Because of this, your Calvinistic interpretation of the Biblical Gospel is just an interpretation of the Biblical Gospel and nothing more. As a result, the rhetoric which you are engaging in is unwarranted.

Douglas said...

Predestination, election, God choosing His people, is not based upon the foreseen faith of His people. There is no such thing. God’s choosing of His people is based upon God’s choice alone, a decision He made himself, within His own mind before the very foundations of the world, His own divine prerogative, for HIS own good pleasure. Why God doesn’t choose everyone I do not know. Why God saved me only God knows, I did not deserve to be saved, all I deserved was death and to be cast into the lake of fire forever. All I can say until I die, 'thank you LORD Jesus Christ for saving a wretch such as me.' God's foreknowledge of His people is His foreknowing of them as His people, the actual knowing THEM, not the foreknowledge of their decisions to believe in Him or not. Prior to the new birth every single human being rejects God and wants nothing to do with Him and wont believe in Him in, cannot believe in Him, in and of themselves. We all need a miracle. The miracle of the new birth. All glory in salvation goes to God alone. That is biblical Christianity, that is the Reformed Faith, nicknamed “Calvinism” by friend and foe alike. I am a Christian. I do not call myself a “Calvinist.” I am a disciple of the LORD Jesus Christ, not a disciple of John Calvin or anyone else. Every other Christian, past and present, helps me understand the Scriptures for myself, the Holy Spirit guides us into all truth and then application follows sooner or later. Not everyone who calls themself a “Christian” are. There are many Scripture twisting, heretical, false teachers and wolves in sheep’s clothing out there. The battle for the heart, the mind, the soul, is raging.

Foreseen Faith

"God did not elect any sinner because He foresaw that he would believe, for the simple but sufficient reason that no sinner ever believes until God gives him faith, just as no man sees until God gives him sight." - A.W. Pink

Further studies on the Foreknowledge of God

I hope and pray the studies are a blessing.

1 Thessalonians 5:21 said...

Douglas (February 22, 2012 10:05 PM) said: “yes, WHO WERE born NOT of blood, NOT by the will of the flesh, NOT by the will of man, BUT OF GOD. They were born of God first ...”

And? John 1:12-13 straightforwardly says that regeneration comes ἐξ/ἐκ [NA27] or by no agent[1] except YHWH Elohiym themselves and nothing more. This means that John 1:13 would disprove the concept that one is saved by the agency of a personal decision to “accept” or believe in Mashiyach Yehoshua. However, even so, John 1:13 does not disprove the concept that YHWH Elohiym unilaterally chooses to regenerate those who choose to believe in Mashiyach Yehoshua.

Notes
[1] i.e. the listed items which are listed in contrast to θεοῦ [NA27] or “God” [NIV 1984] in John 1:13.


Douglas (February 22, 2012 10:05 PM) said: “Arminians will ... leave out verse 13 which clearly shows that it is a work of God alone and man receives and believes as a result of been born of God ...”

Nowhere does John 1:13 teach the latter concept.

BTW, not all non-Calvinists are Arminians or Semipelagians.


Douglas (February 22, 2012 10:05 PM) said: “I am sorry for sounding like I am repeating myself but I am trying to impress the importance of the subject.”

It is no problem to me. I understand that there are subjects which each of us are passionate about. :-)

But, I would like to very respectfully point out that I cannot respond to the arguments via hyperlink which you are presenting and you should know that. There is no way in which I can thoroughly respond to the content of multiple webpages which argue in favor of Calvinism in the space of this comment thread and in a timely manner.

So, if you wish to bring up an argument for us to discuss, then please do so here in your own words. Otherwise, I will just move on from this discussion.

Douglas said...

"So, if you wish to bring up an argument for us to discuss, then please do so here in your own words."

God bless ya.

THE GRACE OF GENTLENESS

(J. R. Miller, "Counsel and Help" 1907)

"Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me—for I am gentle and humble in heart." Matthew 11:29

There are some Christians who seem never to have learned love's secret of gentleness. There is nothing that this sad, sorrowing, sinning world needs—more than gentleness; like that of Him of whom it is written, that He would not break a bruised reed. We need to pray for the grace of gentleness that we may walk softly among men, never hurting another life by harsh word or ungentle act.

"We were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children." 1 Thessalonians 2:7

"Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love." Ephesians 4:2

Mark said...

"Mark, Romans 9 does talk about individual salvation and it is disingenuous, misleading even, to say it doesn't."

I will agree to disagree. I believe your interpretation of these versus is erroneous. Everything should be interpreted in context.

John Conner said...

This is a false statement-" Devers started an association of churches called "9Marks" churches."

9marks is a resource only. There are churches that sign up to be noted as holding to the 9marks, but it is not an association.

You totally missed Jamieson's article. Imagine a church that is led (not ruled)by a plurality of elders and takes memberships seriously. (That means no child members, all members have signed the statement of faith and church covenant, etc- basically everything FBC Jax is not)

In those cases, leaving the church to become a Mormon,or to be a non-attender, or to live any way you want to is a disciplinable offense. You and Jamesion are talking about two different things.

I don't think your case was handled right, and for that matter you have not always conducted yourself well on this website.

But FBCJax is an extreme case to apply Jameison's article. FBC Jax does not have meaningful membership, they don't hold to the 9marks.

You being upset about that article is like you taking issue with a Presbyterian church for infant baptism. That article is going to be completely out of your limited experience.

There are churches that actually and rightfully so, exclude members from the table for unrepentant sin.

Believe it or not Watchdog, there are some churches that tell you up front, if you leave just because you want to pursue sin... we will follow protocol and stop taking your profession of faith as credible. The church has the keys of authority to exercise oversight and say to the unrepentant adulterer, to the unrepentant drunk, to the unrepentant... you should not take the Supper.

What do you think Discipline is there for bro? You should read Jonathan Leeman's book The Church and the Surprising Offense- by 9Marks.

If you have not read that, than of course you are going to be writing things like this.

Your situation is a different bag.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Hi Garrett - hope you're doing well. I was at one of the FBCJ MS summer camps as a cabin counselor when you were there, I think with Lewis Howard's boy. You guys did a great job leading in that summer camp. I always remembered you sitting on the front row at church as one of Jerry Vines' "preacher boys" taking copious notes of his every sermon.

Just a few comments in response:

- I stand corrected, 9Marks is not an "association". Glad you cleared that up.

- my point was not to compare apples to oranges, but that church discipline stretches across denominational lines and is a huge problem in churches these days. FBC Jax created a discipline committee and their pastor at least talks about church discipline being important. But I do at least concede that I have much more respect for folks like you who are up front with letting people know that they are subjecting themselves to the discipline of the church.

I still find your brand of religion scary, a bit cultic.

For example, the words and phrases you use:

"disciplinable offense" (I won't join a church where there are certain men who determine what are "disciplinable offenses")

"FBC Jax does not have meaningful membership" (I think I might agree that most SBC church membership is about as meaningful as being on the Paper Mint coupon mailing list, but I find that statement arrogant)

"There are churches that actually and rightfully so, exclude members from the table for unrepentant sin." (don't need holy men to declare me "unrepentant" and "exclude" me from anything)

"we will follow protocol and stop taking your profession of faith as credible." (scary stuff, 'follow protocol' - your protocol?...and then you decide a person's heart as to their relationship with God? Wow. Do you say they lost their salvation or that they were never saved? Or does it matter?)

"The church has the keys of authority to exercise oversight..." (cultish - speaking of the "church" in terms of your religious organization having "keys of authority" is something I expect to hear from a Catholic priest)

"You should read Jonathan Leeman's book The Church and the Surprising Offense- by 9Marks." (I don't think so - this is the sort of thing I hear from the JW's - "here, you have to read this")

"If you have not read that, than of course you are going to be writing things like this." (of course, if I don't read a book by 9Marks, I'm clueless and in the dark. JW's say I need to read the Watch Tower, too.)

Thanks for chiming in Garrett. Take care, and I wish you the best in your ministry up there.

You can go and take a bath and a nap now. :)

John Conner said...

Hi Tom! I had no clue you were the watchdog.

Its hard to communicate via blog comments. I did not mean to offend with bath and nap comment. As a friendly critic... I do find that FBC is the crosshairs a lot and I think we have to come to terms with... they are what they are. The people who stayed are happy and I think that many of us just wish them well and hope they grow past a lot of the things that you point out there.


I have agreed with so much of your frustration over the years. I think though you have not represented the 9marks position well, nor have you understood it well.

We should chat sometime off line so I can be more clear. I can message you my number on twitter.

Right now, it appears you are applying what Jameison said wrongly.

Dever and he are friends of mine, I would appreciate you not lumping them in with JW's . :)

I have to admit... I do remember you and I would have never guessed you were the watchdog.

P.S.- my first name is john and my computer, or my login often automatically puts that in there.

Sorry about the confusion.
-Garrett

Graham said...

""offenses of immorality and contempt for the established order of the church".

Translation:

1. Doing stuff that we don't like
2. Failing to grovel and be sufficiently "respectful" of our exalted position as the self-appointed guardians of Right And Wrong

Honestly, those allegations are about on a par with parody and satire as far as substantive allegations go. They read like an article from The Onion.

Lee Shin said...

spot on with this write-up, i like the way you discuss the things. i'm impressed, i must say. i'll probably be back again to read more. thanks for sharing this with us.

Lee Shin
www.trendone.net