2 Samuel 16:9,11 - "Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Let me go over, I pray thee, and take off his head...let him alone, and let him curse; for the Lord hath bidden him."

Matthew 7:15 - “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.

Matthew 24:11 - “…and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.”

Monday, January 13, 2014

Diagnosing and Delivering Slaves Week After Week - SOMEBODY Has to Do This Hard Work!

Hello WD Readers - Happy 2014! I am still here. Took some time off over the holidays, and then a few days ministering, er I mean visiting the sacred ground of New York City where only mega church pastors tread. I was able to visit Brooklyn, where Ergun Caner landed as a Muslim missionary in 1978 to learn English. Not sure if he received his training "to do that which was done on 11 September" there in Brooklyn, or if that was in his training center in Beirut. But it was a moving experience to visit the mosque where he may have received his training and learned English.

Wanted to kick off 2014 with a short post here, highlighting a Tweet from Tullian Tchividjian yesterday:


Notice this tweet was "favorited" 117 times, and retweeted 78 times.  

No wonder so many pastors think they are ultra-important and that God can't do accomplish what he wants to do without them. No wonder they tell you that you have to go to church every Sunday to be a good Christian: you are a slave. Their primary task each week is to get you to AGREE you are a slave, or to remind you that you are a slave. You have to go sit in the pew, and be either "diagnosed" or "delivered". You're a stupid sheep, and also a no-good slave.

And we have to be reminded of this every Sunday so we can be diagnosed. Or delivered. 

What important work, "..week after week after week". How DO they do it?

We might need to be delivered, all right.

Not BY the pulpit, but maybe FROM the pulpit.


Tom Parker said...

Where is the humility of these "Star" pastors? It surely seems to be missing for many of them.

BTW, I know this lack of humility can be missing of the "non-star" pastors.

Steve said...

I took it to mean that people are slaves to sin (think Jesus said something about that). People need that diagnosis and the deliverance comes from the gospel. Maybe I am wrong.

An Attorney said...

I am with Steve on that. But I think the fault lies in inadquate thought going into the post by the Rev. Too easily misunderstood.

Whozep68 said...

Knowing what I know of Pastor Tullian's work is that the word slave is used in a Romans 6 sense. I agree with what Steve pointed out. He is addressing the vocation of pastor more than anything. He also speaks out against religious work more than any pastor out there. He may agree with you more than you think. His book Jesus + Nothing = Everything actually talks about the battle in following the celebrity D. James Kennedy at Coral Ridge Pres. Church.

We are slaves, either to sin or to righteousness. We do forget and we do need reminded. Pastors at their best do remind us of such things.

Tom Kelley said...

I'm not sure what Tchividjian means. The Bible indicates that all people are either slaves to sin or slaves to righteousness. If he's talking about being a slave to sin, then once a person is delivered (and made a slave to righteousness), they don't need to be delivered again each week. Perhaps he is assuming that every week there will be some slaves to sin (unbelievers) in the congregation (probably so), but is all of his preaching geared toward them only and none toward those who are slaves to righteousness (believers)?

Regardless of what he means, I think he is placing far too much emphasis on the role of preachers. Giving preaching the central role in a gathering of the church is common in Protestant churches, especially Reformed churches. But it isn't the primary focus of church in the New Testament. Try telling a typical preacher that, though. They are told over and over and over again in seminary about the primacy of preaching and the special calling of preachers.

bobfelton said...

I wonder if this was part of the psychology of the (declining) Catholic confession, to serve as a humbling reminder of unworthiness? So, too, Muslim prostration in the direction of Mecca 5-times daily? These all seem to me like rituals geared toward breaking men down.

bobfelton said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Just another narcissistic "pastor" thinking that he is God...boy are they in for a surprise.

Anonymous said...

He is right. Members of institutional churches are slaves. The Pharoes want their pyramids (institutional religious themed businesses) built, and they need slaves (members) to do the labor. The slaves go on visitation hoping to recruit new slaves (members). The slaves go into the community not with the gospel, but with cards telling what time Sunday School starts, etc.
The slaves have to gather their own straw (pay into the pot in order to use their spiritual gift), as many Pharoes will not let you serve in their "church" unless you pay into the pot, all the while they will not use their gifts without being paid out of the pot. Tell me that the children of God today are not taken bondage by a spiritual Egypt (institutional churches) and serve a Pharoe (clergy employed pastor), and needs a Moses to lead them out of this slave system. Look at the lies told to church members at this link here:


Anonymous said...

I regularly listen to Tullian's podcast. I think I understand his point.

Believers can become weighted down by sin (see Hebrews 12:1-2). In fact, they can even become practically, not positionally, enslaved to it (see Romans 6:14-16). As a result, Scripture admonishes us to avoid presenting our members as instruments to unrigtheousness? (see Romans 6:13). The remedy to besetting sin is often found in the Bible. Through hearing, meditating, and obeying the Word of God, Christians can experience victory over sin. The Bible says, "Thy Word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against thee" (Psalm 119:105).

The point of his tweet seems to be that the proclamation of the Word of God can help stabilize and strengthen people against sin. I agree with Him. The Word does do that when it is preached in honesty, humility, and integrity. Cynicism towards other preachers shouldn't cause us to be jaded towards all.

Anonymous said...


Ergun on tbn in 2004. Start about 39:00

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if this Ephesians 511 blog is reliable?


Anonymous said...

Hear a lot of folks say they won't listen to Driscoll or or McDonald or Mahaney or Noble, but they LOVE Tchividjian and have their ear buds on throughout the day listening to his podcasts. Weird.

Anonymous said...

I don't think Tullian would agree with Watchdog's interpretation of Tullian's tweet. But I'll let those who know Tullian's work better than I discuss that issue.

My personal criticism of Tullian is that he has not been more vocally supportive of the work of his brother Boz with GRACE. So far, I have seen nothing more than a single tweet to this effect: https://twitter.com/PastorTullian/status/418734979598663680

Tullian also didn't sign the GRACE statement concerning sexual abuse in the church either:



1,679 signatures so far; no Tullian.

Anonymous said...

What would cause Focus On The Family to remove the Caner interview from their archives? They openly stated that it was removed at the request of Caner's staff. Does he believe purging the internet of his 'misstatements' exonerates him?

Anonymous said...

I agree that we are called slaves to sin or righteousness in the Bible, but what I disagree with in his tweet was saying that he "delivers" people from slavery. God and Him alone delivers people from their sins, not the pastor. He can preach the Word, but God gives the "slaves" faith to believe and repentance and the pastor is powerless in how people will respond. He need not take credit for the growth that comes from a planted seed, if in fact he does preach the Gospel at all. I'm not familiar with this man's teachings.

Anonymous said...

He's exactly right. There's bondage all over the place. People absolutely need to be set free. Not sure what's so hard to understand about this.

Anonymous said...

We need to find new, relevant words to describe what God may or may not do for us. We are not slaves. Those were common and relatable at the time of the writing of some of the books of the bible. As such, we do not need deliverance. How about, we are controlled by our decisions, so we need to make good ones. The preacher will use an ancient book to give us illustrations of how to make some good decisions and what those decisions look like today. Saying I am a slave that needs deliverance, is NOT the gospel and not the purpose of the called out ones meeting together. Can someone get real please?

Anonymous said...

I think you misunderstood what Tullian meant (Look at his twitter feed and consider his emphasis on grace in his published work). BUT there probably are problems with what he actually meant (noted in other comments).

The danger of tweeting "the profound" may be in evidence.

Anonymous said...

He's exactly right. There's bondage all over the place. People absolutely need to be set free. Not sure what's so hard to understand about this.

January 14, 2014 at 11:51 AM

Here is what is difficult to understand. You use cult speak. People outside of your cult will argue there is no "bondage" all over the place. No one needs to be "set free." Perhaps you mean there are harmful addictions every where and people need help getting free from addiction? If your preacher's history lesson about the Jews each week, or other church speak can help the alcoholic kick his dependence, than great. Just say so. Get real, though please.

Anonymous said...

I just think the mega pastors put too much emphasis on what "they" as individuals do. It's not up to them alone, but they tend to act like no one but themselves is able to "free slaves."

The Holy Spirit is in charge of moving in people's hearts. Pastors, singers, worshipers, deacons, teachers, etc are the supporting cast.

The sun doesn't rise and set on "the pulpit."

Anonymous said...

When you go after something like this, ascribing meaning to it that's not there in the words, you damage your credibility and give your critics ammo. I don't see anything he said that's egotistical. Helping people identify enslaving sin in their lives and overcoming it? Sounds good to me.

Anonymous said...

fbcjaxwatchdog: I find your blog interesting and am intrigued and often shocked at what I read or hear that you have uncovered. Full disclosure: I am a pastor; yes, a full-fledged vocational pastor. this is my full-time job, and I do get paid. I do not personally know Tchividjian, so I have no idea what he meant. As has been pointed out, we were all once "dead" in our transgressions and sin (Eph.2:1) And we are all either slaves to sin or righteousness according to Romans 6. Is he referring to those who are still slaves to sin sitting in the congregation week after week, or could it be that he is referring to those who still live as slaves even though they are free in Christ? This is the case with many Christians. Here is my real point. As followers of Christ we must be careful to not assume or read into comments of others, especially other brothers and sisters in Christ. As careful as we must be in what we say, write, or post, we must be careful to not jump to conclusions and vilify or condemn a brother in Christ. I would recommend grace and benefit of the doubt in a situation like the tweet in question.

Anonymous said...

"I'm a full-fledge vocational pastor. This is my full-time job, and I do get paid."

Yeah, you all sick together and have the same mind set.

Anonymous said...

Get rid of all the preachers/pastors and see what a mess you have. Lay people are already falling all over themselves trying to gain power in a church so it would be a free-for-all. I would encourage all pastors to take a month's long vacation and let them have it. What would be left wouldn't be worth having.

dave b said...

Whom the son sets free is free indeed…until next week anyway… Lol.

dave b said...

"Get rid of all the preachers/pastors and see what a mess you have. Lay people are already falling all over themselves trying to gain power in a church so it would be a free-for-all."

It works just fine. There are churches that have only lay ministries. They have preachers, but they are lay and do it as volunteers. But they also began with more emphasis on Scripture rather than on a Protestant mini-pope. If the pastor of your typical Calvinist brothel did quit, and laymen had to take over, it probably would be chaos like the Cantina scene in Star Wars...but only because they know nothing of Scripture and only manmade false doctrines from mini-popes.

Anonymous said...

I have got to agree. No pastors and the church will survive just fine.
I am thinking it might even do better. A bunch of folks won't go because of the money involved in paying preachers...

Anonymous said...

Do you realize that you have ads for "sexy online games" on your blog? Speaking of slaves to sin, this might not help people! Just Say'n

Anonymous said...

"Get rid of all the preachers/pastors and see what a mess you have. Lay people are already falling all over themselves trying to gain power in a church so it would be a free-for-all."

My point exactly. It is all about power. Imagine if those lay people could get that salary and beneftis also. Like churches now openly admit: "It's all about the Benjamins" and I would add the "power." Laymen aren't the only ones falling all over themselves to get the power and money peddling the gospel brings. Seminary students and current pastors/preachers are too.

An Attorney said...

I grew up in a lay-controlled church, with pastor hired by and supervised by the deacons (when needed, acting as a pastor search committee), who were nominated and elected by the congregation without pastor input. It worked very well.

On two occasions, the deacons basically told the pastor it was time for him to go and gave him a severance package and period to leave. Once the cause was the gossipy pastor's wife spending most of every day on the phone spreading rumors. Another was a minister who wandered from counseling a younger woman into adultery with her. In both cases, a pastor-run church situation would not have resulted in the needed corrective action.

Dee Lauderdale said...

for "An Attorney". could you please give the Scriptural basis for that type of church polity? Seems to be confusing Deacons for Elders. Two distinctly differently roles with distinctly different responsibilities.

Anonymous said...

I agree with others that FBC Jax Watchdog misinterpreted Mr. Tchividjian’s comments. In fact, I would go so far as to say that this is an instance of the Watchdog getting too caught up in watchdogging.

That’s the only thing which makes me nervous about “heresy hunters” and “watchdogs”. They do provide much needed accountability, but, at the same time, they can get carried away and go searching for targets on which to take their aggression out.

Moreover, we have the simple questions: Who watches the said watchers? If the watcher is in error (i.e. like in this instance) and stands by what they say, who can correct them? Don’t we all need accountability in one form or another?

Watchdog, you’ve fought a good fight against the tyranny of Mac Brunson and done some good work in general. Don’t turn in to what you fought against.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

This post is not a shot at Tchividjian. It is not me getting caught up in "too much watchdogging". I have no beef with this guy.

Rather, this post is an observation of the nuttiness of evangelical-speak that comes from pastors in general, and most evangelicals that makes no sense, and turns people off from considering the Christian message in 2014.

Pastors aren't "delivering slaves" and they're not "diagnosing slaves". Slavery is not diagnosed. Why not call what he and others do what it is. They stand in the pulpit and give a 30 to 45 minute speech on their religion, about the Bible, and hopefully to try and help people. And no interaction or rebuttal - just 30 to 45 minutes of interrupted delivery of a message.

Is a school teacher "diagnosing ignoramuses" and "delivering ignoramuses" every day? No, they are teaching, guiding, helping, coaching. But not "delivering" anyone. Why be extreme?

And the irony of the Tweet: the term "slave" might better apply to what pastors seek for members of their church. Who is really enslaved? Who seeks to enslave? So many pastors - not even saying Tullian is one of them, as I just don't know that much about him - really do seek devoted followers of their religious empire, get them to fork over large amounts of their money to support the religious system that resembles little of what Christ came to establish, and to give large chunks of volunteer time. That seems to perhaps be a more apt description of "slavery".

So that is what my post was about. Not carrying any "aggression" out toward Tullian - but making the observation of how ridiculous and extreme and really cultic his Tweet sounds, and the lovely irony of using the term slave when it comes to what a pastor does.

When you get freed from this system, it is a wonderful, wonderful thing, trust me. My post is more borne out of my freedom from the religious system that breeds this extreme nuttiness and my ability to see it and daring to talk about it.

David Richardson said...

I took his Tweet differently: the Gospel frees us because we are slaves to sin. It did not come across to me as arrogant or egotistical.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

David - I didn't find it egotistical or arrogant either. Just shockingly stupid.

And BTW, he didn't say the gospel "frees" people from sin. He says pastors are "diagnosing" and "delivering" slaves.

Anonymous said...

The Holy Spirit does the diagnosing and Jesus does the delivering.

Puplit's only job is "delivering" the message, not the souls.

How can the church NOT be a mess when leaders don't even know their roles anymore.

Anonymous said...

David said...
"I took his Tweet differently: the Gospel frees us because we are slaves to sin. It did not come across to me as arrogant or egotistical."

It came across to me as goofy.

Anonymous said...

Didn't Lincoln free the slaves in this country, along with a courageous congress, and brave union soldiers? Sorry pastors, you are not freeing anybody from anything. You are putting them under more bondage by guilting them into giving YOU money for YOUR salary and programs and facilities.

Anonymous said...

The "gospel" sets people free? Most evangelicals generally agree that if a person does not get saved by age 18, there is a 90+% chance they never will be saved. Why is that? Hmmmm. (Makes sense why Catholics baptize them into the church as infants.) Anyway, before people turn 18, they are usually happy, excited about life, looking to the future, want to have fun, enjoy life, carefree, etc. Then, one of us lays the truth on them: "You are no damn good. And even if you are a really good kid, you need to know that you were stained by original sin by Mr. Adam and Mrs. Eve, who were real people that lived in a garden and listened to a snake, who tempted them to eat a fruit from a tree God told them not to eat. So now, young lady or young man, you are condemned to eternal damnation for ever and ever. Burned without being consumed. No matter how hard you try, your deeds are not good enough. Sound good so far? (Does Santa come and murder us if we don't obey him? If so, we probably wouldn't have many Santa lovers.) So now, you piece of excrement, I have great news! You can be saved and freed from this horrible eternal death sentence and can only be good and find goodness and love and happiness in Mr. Jesus, who lived over 2000 years ago. But before you can be saved by him, you have to believe ALL of everything written in the ancient texts that we decided were part of the canon. If you find any part not believable (such as the sun standing still, or talking donkeys, or flying angels, or the dead resurrecting, or virgin births, or great fish swallowing men and spitting them back out, or walking on water, or having to give 10% of your gross income undesignated of every dime you earn for the rest of your life, etc.)than you are not really a Christian, and if male, are not even a real man. So you are put under even more baggage/bondage/slavery than you begin with back when you "made a decision" before you were even 18 and your brain wasn't even fully formed yet!

Science knows young people make stupid decisions and have poor reasoning sometimes because their frontal lobes are not fully developed. So, society/government makes them be 18 before they even can legally contract. Yet, the "church" (and cigarette and alcohol sellers) target them while they are young and impressionable and innocent and non-thinking. If they have to be 18 to vote or sign a contract, or see certain restricted movies, why can they "make a decision for Christ" before they are 18? Because churches (and cigarette makers) know that if they wait until the young person grows up, they will never be able to get them.

amen and amen

Anonymous said...

Tweet from the Watchdog: "The watchdog's blog is designed for one thing and one thing only: Diagnosing bullied and abused sheep and setting them free from the man of gawd...week after week after week"

Anonymous said...

Anon - Jan 20 - 9:30 am
I hope I never get old enough to be as bitter as you seem to be. You must be a riot at parties.

dave b said...

To the Anonymouse of January 20, 2014 at 9:30 AM :

I grew up in a church that didn't teach original sin nor require a 10% tithe. The collection basket was passed around on Sunday mornings, but there was no set amount. You could put a dollar or 10 cents in if you wanted, or just a penny, or nothing. Nobody forced anyone to give 10% of their gross income. And its still the same today.

Anonymous said...

"Most evangelicals generally agree that if a person does not get saved by age 18, there is a 90+% chance they never will be saved."

How did you come to this conclusion? What is your source?

"Anyway, before people turn 18, they are usually happy, excited about life, looking to the future, want to have fun, enjoy life, carefree, etc. Then, one of us lays the truth on them:"

So they make the decision to follow Christ and they aren't told that they are sinners until after they turn 18? Where is this pattern being followed?

"But before you can be saved by him, you have to believe ALL of everything written in the ancient texts that we decided were part of the canon."

Really? Who is making this claim? Please be specific.

"before you were even 18 and your brain wasn't even fully formed yet"

Actually the brain is not fully formed until age 25 according to the new book "Welcome to your Child's Brain." Perhaps the drinking age should be changed.

"If they have to be 18 to vote or sign a contract, or see certain restricted movies, why can they "make a decision for Christ" before they are 18?"

Perhaps because those things have nothing in common. A decision for Christ is a personal decision that doesn't affect the entire nation (vote), doesn't involve signing a binding agreement (contract), or watching graphic nudity or listening to obscene language.

See the difference?

John A said...

You are barking up the wrong tree Dawg. He says "pulpit" not "pastors". What occurs in the pulpit? Preaching! His point is that preaching should be about one thing and one thing only, the gospel. The point is the gospel diagnosis us and the gospel delivers us. We are sinners in need of a savior. I don't know about you but I need to be reminded of this diagnosis daily. Yes we are new creatures in Christ but we still have our old nature and we tend to drift. Anyone familiar with Tullian knows he preaches grace and the gospel week in and week out.

Anonymous said...

I noticed that prominent "discernment blogger" Chris Rosebrough interviewed Tullian last week and it seems the spin was positive. A link to Fighting for the Faith is even included on your page under "Watchdogs Favorites". Tullian referred to Chris as his friend in this recent post.

I know you say you have no beef with this guy but your twisted interpretation of this tweet tells a different story.

dave b said...

Does "the gospel" need to be preached week in and week out as if you are still not saved? Its funny that in the pastorals (I know heretics like Tullian probably buy the line that these are forged, right?) Paul calls "sound doctrine" the doctrine concerning how to live the Christian life, not constant repetition of "the gospel" to the already saved.

Titus 2:1-8 "But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine: That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience. The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed. Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded. In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you."

This sound doctrine stuff is precisely the stuff that cheap-grace-mongers like Tullian don't want to preach. Every week, week in and week out, they want to diagnose a fiction non-existant "total depravity" and "the gospel" (their cheap grace false gospel) as the magick pill to fix it. But medicine that changes nothing, that has no effect, cannot fix anything. And they admit plainly that their "the gospel" has no power to actually change a person. Their "the gospel" leaves people "totally depraved," or rather makes them totally depraved for the first time. People would be better off having Hinduism preached to them than Tullian's false gospel. At least they'd know what they'd hear wasn't the gospel.

Neptune said...

Some news from Brewton-Parker College about the new appointment by Ergun Caner. Just saw this 5 hours ago on Twitter.


Bennett Willis said...

Totally off the subject: See Smathers' blog for some activity on Caner's law suit.

Mark said...

I think his comments represent a wrong over-emphasis on preaching. Protestants replaced the alter with the pulpit and now the silver tongue of the preacher is what is considered the primary vehicle to "deliver" people. As a Catholic, I see that the Eucharist is central to worship and the sermon is secondary.

Neptune said...

To Mr. Bennett Willis:

I know that the Caner appointment is off the subject. Fully aware that it shouldn't be posted on an article about someone else. However....... we tried to find a way to contact Watchdog through email and didn't see it on this blog.

We live very close to BPC and know the situation pretty well down here. Was just alerting Watchdog to the news. We're on Twitter and we have a blog (not related to apologetics or Caner) and we wanted to alert anonymously.

The Caner situation is not going to be good down here. Maybe it will be good for some folks, like Peter Lumpkins. Who knows? People have really mixed emotions about this, to include students and employees. It's a "wait and see" for everyone.

More importantly, this community does NOT need another con artist loose in the area.

This place is still reeling from this news story. Just Google Aubrey Lee Price.


I CANNOT believe, after what this community has gone through, with the FDIC closing banks and indictments, that they would be willing to bring in a con artist to run the local Christian college. Seriously, there are some major problems down here with fraud, embezzlement and drug trafficking. I would never have believed what we're seeing down here. Rural Georgia is run by Boss Hogg.

Personally, I think we're seeing another attempt at a SBC "takeover". More on those thoughts later.

Debbie Kaufman said...

Faith comes from hearing and hearing from the word of God. Romans 10:17

English Standard Version
How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? Romans 10:14.

I agree with Tullian's tweet. He is very good at teaching freedom as I believe the Bible teaches and not the Law. Grace and not morals or a to do list. Many are slaves and by that he means those enslaved to the law or morals teaching etc. He does not believe us to be slaves to anyone but Christ who actually frees us.