"...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

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Perry Noble and NewSpring Church Settle Lawsuit Over Church's Harrassment of Blogger and His Family

"Ignore the jackass.  In Greek, 'jackass' is translated 'blogger'....bloggers that go online, that will take shots at you, that copy parts of your sermon...who has time for that? The jackass. You [the jackass] have no friends! The reason you have no friends is you're a jackass! That is your problem, either that or you're demon possessed or oppressed. Because when a move of God is working and people are getting saved and lives are changed, who would criticize that, God or Satan?" Perry Noble at 2009 "Unleashed" pastor's conference.
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It was about three years ago that I first introduced Perry Noble and NewSpring Church on this blog. If you go back and read that WD post here, posted way back in December 2009, you'll see it was concerning a blogger named Dr. James Duncan, who dared to criticize Perry Noble's teachings and methods on his blog "Pajama Pages".

What did Duncan get for his criticism? In 2009 Noble's employees and volunteers smeared Duncan's reputation by starting a phony Twitter account with gross and profane sexual posts attributed to Dr. Duncan, a fake resignation letter to his employer, and perhaps worst of all, sabatoge of Dr. Duncan's adoption efforts in 2009. You can read all about these here.

Thankfully, Dr. Duncan fought back. It is not an easy process to fight a powerful church and pastor for the harm they have done to your reputation, but Dr. Duncan fought back by filing a lawsuit against Noble and NewSpring. Since December 2009, Dr. Duncan's blog has been silent as he has fought the difficult legal battle.

I am happy to announce that Dr. Duncan did prevail in his lawsuit, as NewSpring and Noble settled with Dr. Duncan after months and months of depositions and legal discovery. Very likely all that came out of the discovery process would have been much too embarrassing to Noble and NewSpring in a public trial, so they decided to settle. But thankfully, it doesn't stop there, as Dr. Duncan has decided to begin blogging again to tell his readers what he learned from the months of depositions that led to NewSpring settling the lawsuit.

I am going to follow and write about Dr. Duncan's posts about the inside story of what was going on at NewSpring, and why these people at NewSpring did what they did to a very fine, Christian man. Dr. Duncan is a committed Christian, has a wonderful family, and is highly educated . He has a master's and Ph.D. from Regent University, and is a professor and department chair in communications at Anderson University, yet he was vilified and persecuted by Noble's sycophants because he dared to criticize the most prominent and powerful pastor in his community.

But there is much to be learned from this saga, and I will delve into it over the next few weeks as we learn more details from Dr. Duncan. This sort of thing, the demonization and persecution of church critics is a natural outflow from modern evangelicalism and fundamentalism which teaches pastors are special "God-appointed agents", modern-day prophets sent by God to teach Christians how to live. This is what is taught in the seminaries, and it is what is preached from the pulpits. Thus, when a church critic arises, they aren't just criticizing a man or an institution, they are attacking God himself.

Read the Perry Noble quote again at the top of this post - this is the view of many fundamentalists today. It is all black and white. Challenge or criticize a pastor, you're doing the work of Satan. You're probably demon possessed. You're a jackass with no friends, a blogger in your mom's basement eating Cheetos.

So WD readers, stay tuned for more analysis on this topic. And NewSpring members and employees and volunteers, please begin following Dr. Duncan's blog so that you can learn in more detail what your church did to a fine man in your community - and what your tithes and offerings had to pay for to defend the lawsuit and to repair the damage that your church did to Dr. Duncan and his family.

Meanwhile, if you want to do some research on the Duncan/Noble saga, here are some links that will help you:

"Holy Rage at the Spring" - Dr. Duncan's detailed account of what NewSpring did to him and his family - it is grotesque and disturbing, so be prepared.

"Shut Up, They Explained" - Dr. Duncan's 2009 defense of his blog

"Perry Noble Says You're a Jackass" - Apprising Ministry December 2009 summary

Duncan Interview by Chris Rosebrough - Chris Rosebrough interviewed Dr. Duncan in December 2009 on his Fighting for the Faith radio show.

41 comments:

Thy Peace said...

Thanks WD and JD (James Duncan). Now we know who the real Jackass is or Jackasses are. Read the 804 offending tweets at your discretion. What a mess! Organized Churchianity is a sham. Well, most of it anyway. There are some good people, but the real Jackasses spoil the whole of Organized Churchianity.

I have moved to Hyderabad, AP, India. Quite a change here. All my family and relatives are Hindus. So lot of times, it feels like I am swimming in an ocean. But I am used to it. So if you see someone quite often from Hyderabad in the Feedjit traffic feed, that is me.

tikatu said...

Interesting that you classify Noble as a "fundamentalist" because no one in this area would classify him as such. (FYI, Bob Jones University, that infamous bastion of Independent Fundamentalism, is about an hour from Anderson, where Noble has his church. People around here -- and in other parts of the country as well -- would refuse to recognize hipster Noble as being a fundamentalist.)

I know that your experience in SBC churches like FBCJax, Noble may parse as a fundamentalist. He's more along the lines of a Mark Driscoll-wannabe and possibly a Calvinista of Wartburg Watch fame.

In any case, I'm glad to hear of another victory for the little guy in an abusive church situation. Hopefully the folks at NewSpring will realize what some of their tithe monies are going to.

Anonymous said...

This church bribes kids to join by offering a piece of pizza every time you bring a new friend. What are the strategies of a cult? Also, participation in Fuse has become a thing that the popular kids are doing....if you decline an invitation, you are decline an opportunity to be popular. I am wondering when the fad will fade.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

TP: great to hear from you, hope you are well.

Takatu - "fundamentalist" - I do use the term loosely I suppose, but by that I mean in what they profess to believe, not by whether they are hip or traditional in their methods. Noble is authoritarian, he takes liberties with scripture to paint very narrow, nonsensical doctrines, and demands people follow them to be good Christians. He views himself and other pastors as being sent by God himself, on a mission to save people from their ignorance and to "cast vision" for the church.

And if you oppose him in the church, you are opposing God and are being used by Satan.

So yes, Noble is a fundamentalist, even though he is so very contemporary in music and worship style.

Moses Model said...

If some big name preacher would deal with Ergun, I might stop blogging about him. Unfortunately, every time I want to stop, I look around and there is no one to do what I am doing.

By not protecting the people, these self proclaimed "men of God" have created the necessity for bloggers. Whether bloggers are demon possessed or oppressed is almost irrelevant, because we are necessary, because we are doing the jobs they won't do.

Stories like WD's and Duncan's is why I use a pseudonym.

Anonymous said...

Fundamentalism has changed drastically since the 1940's when pastors actually believed the Word og God. Now they are helping each other "roll in the dough" as they see no real reason to reach the lost. Its all about protecting one another..the show must go on if you jnow what I mean. Glad ypu are back watchdog..keep up the fight.

Mark said...

I hope the settlement includes a public apology by Perry Noble. People instill these pastors as little popes and keep them insulated and filthy rich. It's idol worship. Thankfully, the majority of Christians do not get caught up in these cults.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Moses Model - yes indeed, write with a pseudonym. It is not worth the risk. It matters not if a critic is anonymous, or if they put their name on the blog - if you are criticizing the "man of God", you are the enemy and must be shut down one way or the other.

Anonymous said...

Watchdog..the true man of God is gentle, kind. humble and apt to forgive even when he is the wrong. This eliminates most of those who claim they are God's man. They were never called by God in the first place. What they desire is admiration, power and money. They will remove anyone that is a threat to their agenda.

Anonymous said...

This is unrelated perhaps, but I think it's funny how their top 10 sermons of 2012 are all Noble's sermons.

Anonymous said...

Perry has won more people to Jesus in his sleep than you have in your lifetime.

Get a life

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...
Perry has won more..."

Hey Perry, I see you took WD's advice about commenting annonymously!!!

Moses Model said...

Anon 6:29,

Being successful at evangelism does not make you beyond reproach.

Anonymous said...

Well that's not saying much about his soul winning skills because we all know he has never won one soul to Jesus in his sleep. Or maybe you overheard him talking in his sleep?

Anonymous said...

"Perry has won more people to Jesus in his sleep than you have in your lifetime." - not the LORD Jesus Christ of all there is he hasn't. Perry Noble proclaims a different Jesus he has created in his own image.

Julie Anne said...

Wow - I had read this story. Crazy stuff. I'll definitely be following this. Thanks for keeping it front and center. BTW - I notice I left my "live traffic feeder" mark on your blog. Yup, I'm in Beaverton for a visit - LOL :)

Anonymous said...

TROLL - why are you still posting comments on this blog?

You have been totally DISCREDITED, DEBUNKED, and DISGRACED!

You are a joke. Everyone is laughing at you.

Just because you are not man enough to admit that you are wrong, doesn't mean that everyone doesn't know that you are a loser.

The TROLL (who enables corrupt church leaders to continue to abuse members - because he worships the pastor instead of God) has been praying with his SS class that this blog would end by the close of 2012. He also prophesied that this would happen.

This makes him not only a false prophet but his prayers are outside of God's will. In other words, what he wants is not what God wants.

Congratulations TROLL. You have become just like the people you worship.



Anonymous said...

this guy is by far the biggest d-bag of all pastors. what a creep

Provender said...

"Because when a move of God is working and people are getting saved and lives are changed, who would criticize that, God or Satan?"

On Christian sites all over the Internet, you find vocal atheists slamming churches and Christianity. Many of their comments are vicious and cutting. Where do these people come from? I've found that a good many of them have been hurt by these "moves of God" that were "working." Man-made, step-by-step, carefully plotted out "moves of God" that caused churches to grow and pastors to get rich. When they are authoritarian, even while pretending to be open, they crush people. The power play, the disillusionment, the rejection and sometimes ejection from these "moves of God" turn many people away from Christ as well as from the church growth apparatus. Look at the fruits. Look at the long term fruits. Thanks, WD, for updating us on the James Duncan story. Most telling was no apology from Nobel.

Thanks

Anonymous said...

This is a very telling story. Cannot wait to read about it here.

Rob Ayers said...

I agree with a previous poster. The term "fundamentalism" you are using fairly loosely when all those who follow with humility the teachings of the Scriptures as "fundamental" to the faith - and are castigated by the world as "fundamentalist". Nowhere in the Scriptures do you find that Pastors are to be dictatorial authoritarian jerks as you find in many mega churches (you of all people Tom can appreciate that). In fact I am considering writing a peace concerning the total complete failure to the fundamental teachings of Scripture of the existence of the megas because of the many and multiple reasons you are fully aware of. I guess I have problems with the flinging around of a once good term as a pejorative that inflicts harm to many good and faithful people of the faith. Thanks for reading brother.

Rob

Rob Ayers said...

I agree with a previous poster. The term "fundamentalism" you are using fairly loosely when all those who follow with humility the teachings of the Scriptures as "fundamental" to the faith - and are castigated by the world as "fundamentalist". Nowhere in the Scriptures do you find that Pastors are to be dictatorial authoritarian jerks as you find in many mega churches (you of all people Tom can appreciate that). In fact I am considering writing a peace concerning the total complete failure to the fundamental teachings of Scripture of the existence of the megas because of the many and multiple reasons you are fully aware of. I guess I have problems with the flinging around of a once good term as a pejorative that inflicts harm to many good and faithful people of the faith. Thanks for reading brother.

Rob

Anonymous said...

Don't u think it's a good thing kids want to go to church,u should be praising God that kids are being drawn in to a church by their own will and not dragged in by there parents. U guys keep focusing on these stupid points instead of focusing on the big picture! Just look at how many people were led to Christ and saved because of Newsprings church! God is doing a great thing in that church and you guys are to busy looking and thinking like the world does and wants you to when your focus should be on saying God bless any church that is saving people no matter how big the church is it's a church and when u strip all the walls away there is a bunch of people and guess what they are still called the church because thats what the body of Christ is peoples souls not what the build and leave behind when they die! So don't call out thier fuse ministry when it is one of the leading reasons my friend stopped trying to kill him self and started going to fuse and reading his bible!

Anonymous said...

He does not just think that he and other pastors were sent from god but he Believes that everyone is maid in Gods image as the bible says and has a responsibility to be an evangilist! He has spoke from stage about how he is a sinner and how for a while he was going through depression and you know how that all got started? People kept making death threats to his daughter so would u be a little on the edge until u got that straitend out! Put your self in his shoes, do some research and then after u find out that, man you are just another human that has a pile full of crap that is the same size or bigger than his and still needs to be cleaned up and forgiven by God maybe you will stop talking crap about another pile of crap!

Anonymous said...

God also killed egyptions for inslaving his people and not forbidding his warning! He did the Sam with Saul and the philostines after Saul lost his way and David was appointed to do sails job of killing all the philistines but yet even he fell the great king David to sin like we all do but god forgave him so So you have this perfect picture of this wimpy sweet innocent man that was kind to every one no god got angry over ritchous things and spoke strongly of what some people did not want to hear but needed to hear and u know what they did the crucified him and that's exactly what your doing to parri because he is preaching aggressively with his hands ready to strike and God as his gloves so please while your at it call god out while your at it and tell me how that goes! Oh and by the way I'm 16 and I know all these things because Newsprings put a want into my heart to read the bible while every other church maid it so boring and gave me a reason not get interested in it because it's boring !

Cason Carter said...

Oh hey God I didn't know you posted on blogs oh wait your human and you sin just like everyone else and make mistakes just like everyone else so stop bombing pastors for what these same people would bomb on you for leading people to Christ, and having nothing better to do but wait arround for a major pastor to make a mistake is low get a life!

Anonymous said...

I support Newspring church. It may not be perfect but no church is. No person is. We shouldn't be slamming a pastor, especially when the Lord is using him in huge ways to reach so many people! I have def grown in my relationship with the Lord after attending for almost a year now.

CeeCee said...

I am glad I found out about this incident because it is good to be fully informed, however this will not change the way I view NewSpring. We are all bystanders to this, we shouldn’t be criticizing/slamming a pastor in this way, nor should any of us be judging someone.

Perry is a funny guy who tries to keep things "real". Yes, from time to time he may say something and you’re thinking “did he really just say that?” But you hear it and keep moving. You are in Church to hear the message, you listen/digest the pieces that you need, and “throw out” the pieces that you don’t. The key central pieces of Perry’s messages are good and that’s what most of us are there for.

...A fun way to gather the message

Anonymous said...

Thank God Jesus was not afraid to go where the sin was.....Went to New Spring today for the first time ever. Had no clue of issues like I read today - seems like the stuff shirts got ruffled and held the actions of an individual against a group - like when Ceasar killed all the christians....Saw nothing but God there today and nothing that did not align with the Word. Going to be funny watching you guys stand near each other in heaven.

Anonymous said...

I am a member of New Spring and I can tell you that church has changed my life. Pastor Perry is one of the most informative Pastors I have ever heard. There are times that he says things that you can't believe he said, but the way that I see it, he doesn't sugar coat anything! He merges his own life experiences with the Bible so that we all get a clear understanding. My children attended their Fuse program and they loved every second of it. Just because this is not the "traditional" church does not mean it needs to be bashed like this. I LOVE MY CHURCH!

Southern Pentecostal Baptist and PROUD said...

A fun way to gather the message. Who ever said that being a Christian was supposed to be fun and easy? I have been following this story. I see no accountability in this church. The Baptismal pool is always filled and ready but do people really understand what being baptized means? Do they understand sin? Repentance? And willing to lay aside things of the world that stand in the way of being the best Christian you can be? Not the perfect person but the best you can be. I am a youth leader in my church. I am Baptist. If we baptized every single young person that wanted to be baptized, we'd have every 4 and 5 year old swimming around in the pool every week. And then later in life swimming around in sin and not every understanding the true meaning of baptism. I'd rather attend a church that genuinely brings people to Christ with a full understanding of what he died and did for us than one just looking to rack up numbers and $$$. This story has been a shame. The language Perry uses is embarrassing and shows lack of accountability and the ability to control his tongue. I am so blessed to have the Pastor that I have. I know that after following this. We don't keep the pool filled all the time but when it's full you can bet that the people going down and coming back up know exactly what they just did and what it stands for. Not just racking up numbers.

When I see some of Perry's language used in the bible...then I will be on board. I never have read in my bible in red letters Christ saying the things that he says. What more do people need to see? Are we trying to go to God or do we want for him to come to us?

I choose to go to him and I hope I live to be a good example and will NOT teach my youth to use the words that I hear him say. Their parents would be appalled and our church numbers would plummet quickly I'm sure.

Anonymous said...

Uh, has anyone raised the issue of noise pollution coming out of this church? Honestly, if the church staff would hire a disinterested 3rd party, they'd know that revving up of the instruments on Sunday morning in nearby neighborhoods wakes people up. I've pointed this out to some friends of mine who attend Newspring, and the basic response I get is "But many people are getting saved". And all I can think is, "Yeah, but what about Kingdom living?"

Anonymous said...

You have to be mindful that most people that have time to bash noble simply don't have a life outside of a CPU ,there was a blog called David Joseph s horn and the guy basically stalked Perry noble when he wasn't online in his parents basement ....all pathetic get a life people or perhaps a job

Steve Jeffries said...

Steve Friar ,
I have a lot of experience with Christian organization with cult like tendencies . Walter Martin exposed one called the Bible Speaks in Mass. He has a great description and remedy in his book. My experience with Newspring is attending services every other week ( due to work schedule for about a year. I can see that because Perry is the president or owner, the potential for cult like activity is high. On the other hand, it allows him to speak his mind, albeit sometimes crude. This is however what the unsaved can sense in him. No bs. I have been to bible college with fundamental leanings and I can tell you that Perry not only preaches the Gospel but gets to the meat of the sin issue on a regular basis. I encourage all who read this to check out his last series " I love my church.". We need to pray that God keeps him humble, courageous and close to God. I have been to churches all over the country and these people are truly in love with Jesus.

Anonymous said...

My wife and I read Dr. Duncan's full account of what he endured today. We were on a 1 hour drive to shop for school clothes, and we were mesmerized. What this man endured at the hands of "good Christians" is shameful - and he hasn't received one word of apology. I've now watched Perry Noble refer to people as "jackasses" and seen his staff use the term "bamf" which is an acronym for "bad a-s m----r f----r". Wow.

From what I can see, Perry Noble has a cult of personality going on. People go there to see what he's going to say or do next. And most of what he says and does is all about himself and how the world is against his "move of God". How can a church disciple people into being mature Christian leaders when its own leader acts so immature? I don't know about you, but while I want my pastor to be real, I also want to be able to have admiration for him.

The only thing I can find to admire about Perry Noble is that he has found a way to be very successful in creating what Seinfeld might call a "church about nothing". It isn't much more than a motivational speaker at an Amway seminar.

If you want to see what a real mega-church pastor is like, you should look up Dr. Joel Hunter of Northland Church in Longwood, FL. Now there is a pastor who inspires.

Anonymous said...

My wife and I read Dr. Duncan's full account of what he endured today. We were on a 1 hour drive to shop for school clothes, and we were mesmerized. What this man endured at the hands of "good Christians" is shameful - and he hasn't received one word of apology. I've now watched Perry Noble refer to people as "jackasses" and seen his staff use the term "bamf" which is an acronym for "bad a-s m----r f----r". Wow.

From what I can see, Perry Noble has a cult of personality going on. People go there to see what he's going to say or do next. And most of what he says and does is all about himself and how the world is against his "move of God". How can a church disciple people into being mature Christian leaders when its own leader acts so immature? I don't know about you, but while I want my pastor to be real, I also want to be able to have admiration for him.

The only thing I can find to admire about Perry Noble is that he has found a way to be very successful in creating what Seinfeld might call a "church about nothing". It isn't much more than a motivational speaker at an Amway seminar.

If you want to see what a real mega-church pastor is like, you should look up Dr. Joel Hunter of Northland Church in Longwood, FL. Now there is a pastor who inspires.

Anonymous said...

How can people know what happened, yet still continue to be a part of his organization?

Your logic -- that "everybody sins, Jesus went where the sin was" etc., makes incredibly little sense. So you seek out a Church where sin is? You want to lead a less sinful life, so you go to a Church where the head pastor is complicit in death threats, tampering with adoption, judging people/calling them names?

Try this: Apply the SAME standards you would use for joining a non-Christian organization to NewSpring.

Would you be a member of any other community that condones such actions? A book club? A tennis team? A charity/benefit organization?

No?

Then why would you be part of a Christian organization that does?

James Lovekamp said...

I personally think that this whole blog is quit hilarious. I see so many people on here commenting and making posts about what is or isn't but if you haven't attended or been present, you are simply gossiping. And, just as a second small but significant point, are we all called not to judge?? So why so many judgements.

Regardless of how or the process used, I believe that we can all agree that any saved soul is a good thing. It doesn't matter how NewSpring gets people to meet Christ, it is the fact that they do. And can you really argue with the fact that NewSpring is not holding back and has a mission to reach 100,000 lost people? Or that over the past 13 years, Perry has grown a church that started with just a few people and has grown to over 30K in regular attendance every sunday? Or the fact that they have grown to 8 campuses with several more in the plans and are still supporting and reaching out to help other churches all around the world?

I mean lets be honest, what church is perfect?? What church has leaders that are perfect?? I dare anyone to answer because the truth is, Jesus was the ONLY perfect person to walk the face of this planet. So might I make a small suggestion, quit bashing a church that is doing so much. If they offend you, ignore them. But maybe a little encouragement to your own churches to push a little harder wouldn't be a bad idea.

James Lovekamp said...

I personally think that this whole blog is quit hilarious. I see so many people on here commenting and making posts about what is or isn't but if you haven't attended or been present, you are simply gossiping. And, just as a second small but significant point, are we all called not to judge?? So why so many judgements.

Regardless of how or the process used, I believe that we can all agree that any saved soul is a good thing. It doesn't matter how NewSpring gets people to meet Christ, it is the fact that they do. And can you really argue with the fact that NewSpring is not holding back and has a mission to reach 100,000 lost people? Or that over the past 13 years, Perry has grown a church that started with just a few people and has grown to over 30K in regular attendance every sunday? Or the fact that they have grown to 8 campuses with several more in the plans and are still supporting and reaching out to help other churches all around the world?

I mean lets be honest, what church is perfect?? What church has leaders that are perfect?? I dare anyone to answer because the truth is, Jesus was the ONLY perfect person to walk the face of this planet. So might I make a small suggestion, quit bashing a church that is doing so much. If they offend you, ignore them. But maybe a little encouragement to your own churches to push a little harder wouldn't be a bad idea.

Anonymous said...

There is alot of Perry worship that goes on in the church. I go to new spring in florence SC. I think perry is an awesome pastor, but some people within the congregation put him on the same level as Jesus. Those types of people creep me out and i just stay away from them.

Anonymous said...

My family and I attended NewSpring for quite some time, until I could not stand Perry's abusive language and arrogant attitude any longer. It was very disruptive to our family to disengage, but my kids now see the sham it has become. We gave sacrificially to the church in the early stages, and I am appalled at what NS has become. It truly has become cult-like, with the newest addition being 'NewSpring College'. Isn't that what Scientologists do? Seems that it is set up to select more young idealistic youths to become NS clones, actually encouraging kids to drop out of college. Please be careful, parents.