Tim Keller Doesn’t Want to Hear about it if You are Hospitalized, but not in a Small Group

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In March 2013, Dr. Timothy Keller spoke at the Faith Angle Forum.  I tried to find info on this event, but could only find cached websites.   Here is an excerpt from the cached site describing Ethics and Public Policy Center‘s (EPPC) Faith Angle Forum:

EPPC’s Faith Angle Forum, directed by EPPC Vice President Michael Cromartie, aims to strengthen reporting and commentary on how religious believers, religious convictions, and religiously grounded moral arguments affect American politics and public life. Since 1999, the Faith Angle Forum has brought together a select group of nationally respected journalists and distinguished scholars for in-depth discussions of some of the most crucial issues facing our nation. Twice a year, in South Beach, Miami, the Faith Angle Forum holds a two-day conference to discuss these issues in a serious fashion, miles removed from Washington’s ideological battlefields. In addition, the Faith Angle Forum runs an annual series of conferences for young journalists from media outlets around the country. (Taken from cached site.)

Below is an excerpt of the transcription of the presentation by Keller.   Again, the website was removed and so this is from a cached site.  I’ve included a little bit more than the video includes so you can get the context.  The video is only 34 seconds long.

Before this talk on small groups, Keller is speaking about Christian communities.  The quoted material in green font is what you hear on the video.

Thirdly –

MR. CROMARTIE: Mention your point about small groups.

DR. KELLER: What about them?

MR. CROMARTIE: What you said the other night, that –

DR. KELLER: Oh, yeah.

MR. CROMARTIE: Go ahead.

DR. KELLER: Yeah. I mean, for example, we have 6,000 people coming, but we have about 3,000 people in small groups. If a person goes in the hospital, the group goes to see them, tells the pastor about them, tells me. So what I have said to people is I said, “If you come to my church and you’re not in a small group, and you go in the hospital and nobody knows about it, don’t be surprised.”


I said, “Unless you put yourself not just in this massive church community but in a small community, you are not going to be on our radar. And I’m warning you right now, if you are not in one of those small groups, I don’t want to hear it if I don’t hear about it.” So, anyway, there’s ways of doing it.

I have a lot to say about small groups, but I want to hear from you.  Sound off!

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Edited to add:  I noticed that the above transcribed words from the cached website are slightly different from what I transcribed.  Here is my transcription which matches up with the video:

We have 6,000 people coming, but we have and about 3,000 people in small groups. If a person goes in the hospital, the group goes to see them, tells the pastor over them, tells me.

So what I have said to people is I said, “If you come to my church and you’re not in a small group, and you go in the hospital and nobody knows about it, I don’t want to hear it.  I don’t want to hear it.”

I said, “Unless you put yourself not just in this church community massive, but in a small community, you’re not going to be on our radar.  And I’m warning you right now if you’re not in one of those things, I don’t want to hear it if I don’t hear about it.”

204 comments on “Tim Keller Doesn’t Want to Hear about it if You are Hospitalized, but not in a Small Group

  1. yeah. . life is good. . although i had a bit of a crushing day. . spoke with my friend for a moment (short phone conversation was like a refreshing prayer). . so now i’m trying to get some work done so my day might be somewhat productive. .

    it is well (it is well)
    with my soul (with my soul)

    always good to “see” you around. .


  2. ad ho•mi•nem
    /ˈad ˈhämənəm/


    1. (of an argument or reaction) Arising from or appealing to the emotions and not reason or logic

    2. Attacking an opponent’s motives or character rather than the policy or position they maintain.

    Certainly, discussing argumentation/debating techniques is a grand endeavor. When real life examples are put on display (as is done here when one does not agree with the consensus) it’s an even better learning experience.


  3. B4B, at 8:42 on July 1st you wrote the following-

    “What he doesn’t want to hear is COMPLAINING about what he (tim keller) didn’t even know. It’s in the text. I would mention osmething about English 101 but that would be harsh.”

    Is this an example of what you mean when you define ad hominem for us? The part where you wrote how you would mention “osemething about English 101?”

    If not, why not?

    ad ho•mi•nem
    /ˈad ˈhämənəm/
    2. Attacking an opponent’s motives or character rather than the policy or position they maintain.


  4. No, Diane, B4B’s did not employ an ad hominem above. . but it does appear others have. .

    others have assumed to know TK’s heart and theology (due, perhaps, to an association fallacy) while not even really knowing the man’s character and position. .

    here’s merriam-websters’ definition for ad hominem. 1 : appealing to feelings or prejudices rather than intellect

    that was most certainly done here. .


  5. Name calling is generally ad hom. Saying someone is stupid or ignorant is as well. I guess I will have to call B4B’s statement an offensive statement implying those who do not see the Keller statements as he sees it are ignorant of English 101. Somehow, that is not an insult.


  6. Diane, let’s forgive B4B’s offense. So he was ignorant in pointing out the ignorance of others. He was put in his place (i.e., locked in moderation) for his “unkindness.” We get shaped in community—and I’m so happy to have him participating in our discussions. He’s a breathe of fresh air.

    Wise insight makes one slow to anger [patient],
    And it is to one’s glory [beauty] to overlook an offense.

    Proverbs 19:11 (my translation)

    שֵׂכֶל אָדָם הֶאֱרִיךְ אַפֹּו וְתִפְאַרְתֹּו עֲבֹר עַל־פָּשַׁע׃


  7. Monax – B4B’s words have been offensive to many. He’s in moderation for a reason. You say he’s a breath of fresh air. I wish I could say the same thing. Instead, I take in a breath wondering how his words are going to affect readers who have been bullied by church leaders. I appreciate the private feedback I’ve received from my readers on this topic.


  8. Julie Anne

    Good call on the moderation

    Yes – About Lovingkindness – aka – Dan – aka – B4B – and his harsh words

    “his words are going to affect readers who have been bullied by church leaders.”


  9. A breath of fresh air would not, imo, be this kind of comment, You may disagree. 🙂

    July 2, 2013 @ 8:56 AM
    I’m with Wesley, some of you should be ashamed. You do get an award for consistency tho……I saw this coming.”


  10. monax

    I know you like Keller – And – I like you – BUT…

    Senior Pastor Dr. Tim Keller – is another reason – A big reason…
    I NO longer trust those with the “Title/Postion” – pastor/leader/reverend.

    In the Bible, Is anyone, called – pastor/leader/reverend? – Senior Pastor? – Doctor?
    Aren’t those “Titles/Positions” – Non-Biblical? – Extra-Biblical? – Anti-Biblical?
    Doctines of Men? Commandments of Men? That Make Void God’s Word?

    Mark 7:13
    NLT – And so you “cancel” the word of God in order to hand down your tradition.
    KJV – Making the word of God of “none effect” through your tradition…
    ASV – Making “void” the word of God by your tradition…
    NIV – Thus you “nullify” the word of God by your tradition…

    monax – Maybe you can respond to this – Bill Norton hasn’t. 😦

    Well, didn’t Jesus warn us about false apostles, many false prophets, false teachers…
    Aren’t “WE” His Ekklesia, His Church, His Body, warned to try the spirits…

    1 John 4:1
    Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God:
    because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

    What do you think about – Complemetarian – Dr. Tim Keller Senior Pastor…

    Convincing folks – “unordained, commissioned deaconesses” is “Biblical?”

    And – “Ignoring” this verse…

    1 Tim 3:12 KJV
    Let the deacons be **the husbands of one wife,**
    ruling (managing) their children and their own houses well.

    Do you think – “unordained, commissioned deaconesses” is “Biblical?”

    Senior Pastor Dr. Tim Keller – says – “There are several good **biblical** reasons
    for having *commissioned deaconesses* in a congregation.”


    And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold:
    them also I must bring, and they shall “hear My voice; “
    and there shall be “ONE” fold, and “ONE” shepherd.
    John 10:16

    One Voice – One Fold – One Shepherd

    {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}


  11. Julie Anne, in no way would I ever want to minimize anyone’s feelings. I am all about affirmation. . . about affirming our feelings—especially the ANGER that arises in our hearts for truly good reasons. Just remembering what those vicious wolves did to you and your family brings anger and tears to my eyes even now as I’m writing this.

    Spiritual abuse is perhaps the most destructive form of abuse that can ever come against a person—because it’s a sacred violation against the spirit, it’s a voilent rending at the soul. And my heart breaks and becomes sick when I see it.

    I know ANGER. I know injustice. I know sick sick sick sick wolves out there even now that are ripping the sheep to pieces. And if I had the power of God in my hands to strike them all powerless—I would.

    I see you and I, dear shepherdess, and countless nameless others here as mighty weapons in the hands of a just and righteous God. And I pray even now as we pound out our thoughts into this communal space that we speak up and speak out as the true oracles of God. I pray the Holy Spirit would inspire our warfare—our words, our attempts to deliver, to educate, to heal—with wisdom, love and grace.

    I want to affirm the offended. Everyone. Your post here has offended many—including B4B and myself—for being an unjust and unrighteous attack on another good brother in Christ—Timothy J. Keller. You turned your weapon on one of our own. He is in our corner, Julie Anne.

    Why was he strung up like this for others to take a swipe at? As I understand it, there was something in what he said that sounded uncompassionate. Ok. But if you would have looked a little deeper into what he said, and to the man himself, you never would have presented him to the world in such a foul light. Why did you do this? Maybe because what you heard from him made you angry.

    Anger is a legitimate emotion that should be upheld as good. Personally, I try to be slow to anger, to be patient with people, including myself, but I’m Irish and very emotional. Anger, joy and a host of other emotions come easily and quite abruptly with me. That’s the kind of guy I am.

    What I keep in mind, though, is that anger can seriously affect my perceptions to the point of blindness, to the point of deafness. Therefore I do not hold on to it for long. I do, however, like to keep in touch with it from time to time by recalling memories of abuse in order to provoke myself to action. These exercises in remembering help fuel my purpose, help energize me with righteous anger for ministry.

    So as I embrace this holy emotion, I do so keeping the Word of God in mind that we’re to “Be angry without sin” (Eph 4:26).

    It’s good to be insightful enough to recognize the source of our anger. And in identifying the source we must be careful not to assign an etiology to it that doesn’t belong.

    With this mischaracterization of Keller you stirred up the anger in others and provided a convenient object of wrath by which SSB might discuss the issues of church abuse around. There’s legitimate holy anger over spiritual abuse, but our energies (that are to be geared toward fighting the Beast) have been entirely misdirected onto Redeemer and her pastor.

    Why is Born4Battle so refreshing to me? Because as he blows through here he stirs some very toxic air. And I appreciate that. The toxicity here can be stifling at times—a poison to the soul.

    I wish, Julie Anne, you and I could hash this out over a beer and a whiteboard. But I think doing it here is good. For others to be sharpened and refined along with us.

    I recognize your responsibility to maintain a safe environment and to model what it’s like to engage each other as we (altogether) engage the powers of darkness. But I also recognize that each one of us within this community of Christ has an Obligation of Love to sincerely hold each other—especially our shepherdess—accountable to the truth.

    You write concerning B4B: I take in a breath wondering how his words are going to affect readers who have been bullied by church leaders.

    I think this is the key: Speaking the truth in love, wisdom and grace.

    B4B is no bully. If he was he would have heard it from me. You know as much. I hate bullies. I’m about protecting the sheep as much as you. Yes, the man appears to be a bit reckless in his comments—but please know, he didn’t even come close to the spiritual recklessness that he was confronting.

    We are shaped in community. And this TK post demonstrates the unhealthiness of our SSB church culture here. After the Spirit extricates us from our sick environments it takes some time for our lungs to become healed. Especially if we’ve been breathing such toxicity all our christian lives.



  12. Now I’m being moderated?

    First Peter 4:7-11 (NKJV)

    But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers. And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.” Be hospitable to one another without grumbling. As each one has received a gift, minster it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the sovereignty forever and ever. Amen.


  13. David, I’m standing in line ready to board another plane, but I have a few hour layover in Portland and I’ll get back to you. I haven’t forgotten you and your strong feelings on this. Just have been tied up.


  14. Amos,

    I like Keller’s push in the PCA for recognizing women deaconesses for the reason that I believe it’s biblical. I would also like the PCA to consider recognizing women pastors and teachers within the body for the same reason.

    As I read it: women deaconesses, pastors and teachers may legitimately exercise their gifts as long as they do not violate the 1 Timothy 2:12 restriction of teaching or exercising authority over men.

    There is this complementarian assumption within CBMW circles that, in my estimation, rightly equates elders with the role of pastoring and teaching, but wrongly assumes that all pastors must be overseers.

    Just as there can be teachers in the body that are not elders, so too may there be pastors in the body that are not elders. The gift of pastoring and teaching has been given to both men and women, and it is incumbent upon the church to recognize their giftings and callings and allow them to minister in accordance with the dictates of Scripture.

    I’ve also recently come to the conclusion that the Presbyterian model is not biblical if it does not recognize that elders are ultimately accountable to the congregation they serve and stand before.

    But as every battle takes time, resources and energy, I must choose my battles wisely. So I choose not at this time to push or even defend my positions, but I put them out there as asked.

    I want you to know, Amos, that ever since reading your many calls to smash the idols of titles I have taken your admonition to heart. Sincerely. If I had the time I’d tell you about my experience as a member of a black Baptist church where the issues of titles and entitlements were part of a spiritual sickness that infected the whole body. I’ll even tell you privately (if you want to take me up on that phone call) how on Sunday I was telling my friend (who’s reading this thread) that if there were an Amos in my church I would make a point of not being called “Pastor.” Not to say I believe those who call themselves pastors are wrong, but I would at least for your sake recognize the word pastor as my gift, role and/or function but in no ways would I accept it as a title. I know my friend and I both believe the title “reverend” is absurd and contemptuous.


  15. Just had a late dinner and am now headed off to bed for some reading. I’ve been getting up early to watch the Tour de France, so I’m finding myself getting tired earlier. Typically I stay up longer than you west coast folk, but not tonight.

    Amos, as I’m re-reading your comment I’d like to make one more observation in regards to your Mark 7 reference to the traditions of men.

    I believe we have a wonderful amount of creative freedom in our expressions of being and doing church. Some of these expressions have been handed down to us by tradition.

    I believe our litmus test for legitimacy is this:

    If the tradition is un-biblical then it has exalted itself against the knowledge of God and therefore must be abolished. It is illegitimate.

    If the tradition is extra-biblical (i.e., not un-biblical) then we must examine it for its goodness and godliness.

    If it’s an edifying activity that accords to the joy and peace and righteousness of the kingdom of God (Rom 14:17) then it’s all good. It’s legitimate. (( like my former tradition of Beer and Bible Study on Tuesday nights ))

    Now the moment an extra-biblical tradition is handed down to us as doctrine and duty then we’ve got a false authority in operation. For example, any minister demanding to be called “Pastor” has strayed into the hypocritical ground of Isaiah’s prophecy quoted by Jesus in Mark 7:

    This people honors me with their lips,
    but their heart is far from me;
    in vain do they worship me,
    teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.

    . .

    good night folks, and blessings to my SSB family

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Dear Monax:

    A few things.

    1) I did respond at length to the arguments you made as anyone can see above. You may not like what I had to say but suggesting that I didn’t try to figure out your logic is ridiculous.
    2) I never suggested that you needed to engage me in any way. I only interacted with you because you accused me directly and indirectly of slander and spreading lies. You may be using a pseudonym but am I not. Therefore, I often feel I need to respond to any type of character assassination.

    3) Here is the full Merriam Webster definition of “ad hominem”

    Definition of AD HOMINEM

    1: appealing to feelings or prejudices rather than intellect
    2: marked by or being an attack on an opponent’s character rather than by an answer to the contentions made


    Did you deliberately leave off the second half of the definition of “ad hominem”
    to make your point? If so, is that an honest communication strategy?

    4) I probably won’t engage you in the future because I don’t think you’re interested in having a serious debate, you’d rather rely ad hominem attacks to make your points.

    That’s fine. It’s just not my style, and I don’t think my reputation will be harmed by ignoring attacks on my character.

    Be well.


  17. Born4Battle said: “You are basing your entire post on a lie. Monax was right about the straw man argument.”

    This is what I have a problem with. When reading my post, there is a bit of background info and then the rest of the article is transcribed from the video. Where is the lie you are referring to? I did not give my personal opinions in the post. I invite conversation and then shared concerns I saw with the words I heard him say.


  18. Dear Julie Anne:

    You’re the most patient moderator I’ve ever encountered. My hat’s off to you. 🙂

    I understand your concerns about the impact belligerent bullies can have on people who have been abused/bullied in Church environments. However, in my experience banning people who are just out to express chips on their shoulders online doesn’t solve the problem as they come back in different forms and are ultimately part of life.

    After years on blogs, I don’t even read the posts of folks constantly spouting throw-away caustic one-liners and doing other stuff to draw attention to themselves. I think we all feel intuitively that listening to everyone all the time equates fairness, yet it really is okay/healthy to decline to read variations of the same five boring insulting statements over and over again, in my opinion.

    Also, what I’ve taken from this post ultimately does not pertain to the issues discussed directly. It has to do with the word “laughter,” pertaining to the reaction of the audience following Dr. Keller’s statements about Church members who are not in small groups being over-looked.

    “So what I have said to people is I said, “If you come to my church and you’re not in a small group, and you go in the hospital and nobody knows about it, don’t be surprised.”


    Is the fact that Church community members in hospitals may be over-looked something to laugh about in any context?

    I’m sure this Church has some great programs yet there appears to be a cult-of-personality/tendency toward group-think component to it that is unappealing and could easily lead to spiritual abuse, in my opinion.

    In all fairness, I find that to be true for most Mega-Churches.


  19. monax

    I really appreciate your passion. And being able to proclaim that in your writing. As King Agrippa said to Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a fan of Tim Keller. But – alas – It is NOT to be.

    My concern about Senior Pastor Dr. Tim Keller, and what he teaches, is how he – IMO – “Twists” things to make it sound “Biblical” when it is NOT. Personally, I think the word “Leadership” is NOT “Biblical.” Because Jesus said to His Disciples NOT to be called “Leaders” – For you have “ONE” Leader – Jesus. And NONE did. Seems His Disciples actually listened to what {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}} had to say. ALL His Disciples called themselves “Servants.”

    My concern is NOT whether Females can be a “Deacon” or a “Leader.”
    My concern is that Senior Pastor Dr. Tim Keller – says one thing and does another.

    Thanks to Diane for pointing this out about Redeemer @ JUNE 30, 2013 @ 8:06 AM…
    “Why Formal Membership In A church?”

    I ask you David, to read these 690 words, yes I counted them…
    And I just read the whole thing – And I’m disgusted, with Tim Keller…

    I was just going to comment on what Diane reported on @ JUNE 30, 2013 @ 8:06 AM…

    “Every believer must “obey your leaders” and submit to them, for they are
    keeping watch over your souls”

    And the PCA – Kellers Denomination, says – NO Female Deacons.

    The Book of Church Order – http://www.pcaac.org/resources/bco/
    In the BCO, Deacons are “chosen men” – Chapter 9 – page 3…
    9-3. To the office of deacon, which is spiritual in nature,
    shall be *chosen men* of spiritual character, honest repute…
    But – Even PCA, pillars of the faith, Do NOT quote the scripture for Deacon…
    They put in nice fluff and leave out – “Deacons.. “the husband of one wife.”

    Chapter 9 ends saying, men and women, who help deacons are NOT to be ordained.
    “These assistants to the deacons are not officers of the church (BCO 7-2)
    and, as such, are not subjects for ordination (BCO 17).

    So Keller does NOT “obey his leaders,” The PCA who says – NO Female Deacons.
    So – Redeemer, Senior Pastor Dr. Tim Keller, does NOT ordain but commissions…
    Keller has “unordained, commissioned deaconesses” and gets away with it.

    Just nonsense I tell you…

    David please read “Why Formal Membership In A church?”

    And – Tell me you approve.

    Tell me – What Senior Pastor Dr. Tim Keller approves of here – is in the Bible.

    Tell me – This whole document is NOT a set-up for “Spiritual Abuse.”

    When I read “Why Formal Membership In A church?” I get sick to my stomach, angry.

    Go ahead David – Read it – I double dare you…

    When you believe the lie you start to die…


  20. Sounds like his church is too big to actually care about people. If that’s the case, it’s too big. I’m sick of mega churches. I don’t care if it’s Keller, Rick Warren, Joel Osteen, Mark Driscoll, whoever. A pastor can only really care for less than 200 people MAX (and I would say that’s stretching it even for a ‘perfect’ pastor). Seriously, growth beyond that is just for $how. Time to plant a new church where people can actually have a group “where everybody knows your name.”

    Once they get big, there’s even more of a temptation to hurry people mechanically through the discipline/reconcilation/teaching process and make people fill out surveys to get to know them…(don’t get me started on those horrible spiritual gift surveys) instead of real interaction.


  21. Amos, I’m presently thinking about much of what you’ve given me above. . I’ve already begun scratching something out for you. . but I’ve been called away. . to my favorite haunt for half-price Belgian Quads for happy hour. . to catch up with an old buddy.

    I’m way behind on some work. . but that’s ok. I still want to invest myself in addressing the first issue you’ve raised above. . I may have some commitments through the weekend. . but I do plan to get back to you. . my thoughts at present are only half developed. . but I do like where they’re taking me. . where you’ve taken me. . thank you, friend.


  22. I visited Tim Keller’s church. Meh. I was offended by his message in a similar way that this post highlights a similar rigid-sounding statement by him and his children’s pastor came across as trying too hard to model the perfect “Christian Parent” thing ala old-time Focus on the Family or Family Life Today-style. Keller’s books seem quite worthwhile, however.


  23. Gary W – monax – Julie Anne –
    And – Anyone thinking Keller is getting a bad rap on this sight.

    Kellers words on this video sounded familiar – NOT the content – the tone…
    The condesending tone – and the way he looks down on – “The Laypeople.”
    Yup – He believes in the Clergy-Laity divide – IMO – Another reason to avoid Keller.

    In case you’re interested – Here’s an article by – Dr. Tim Keller Senior Pastor…
    “Creation, Evolution, and Christian Laypeople.”

    I had to read some paragraphs more then once to try and understand. 😦
    Maybe Keller is correct – I need an edjumakated pastor interpreter – to make it plain.
    Oh yea – that’s Keller’s job – To intrepret the tough stuff for us – His way…

    Here are twelve times “laypeople” are used in the Keller article and
    IMO – Keller – is being condescending (superior) to “WE” – the lowly “Laypeople.”

    I still haven’t found “laypeople” once in the Bible.- Or Clergy. – Have you? 😉
    Jesus said, we’re all brethren. Mat 23:8. – I like Jesus… A lot. 😉

    “Laypeople” Found On
    2 – “many Christian **laypeople remain CONFUSED**”
    2 – “What will it take **to HELP Christian laypeople**
    see greater coherence between what science tells us about creation
    and what the Bible teaches us about it?”
    2 – “I have been a pastor for almost 35 years, and during that time
    I’ve spoken **to many laypeople who STRUGGLE with**
    the relationship of modern science to orthodox belief.
    2 – “In **the minds of “MOST?” laypeople,** (How does he know “Most?”)
    it is the first three DIFFICULTIES that loom largest.
    2 – “ I will lay out three **BASIC PROBLEMS that Christian laypeople have**
    with the scientific account of biological evolution.”

    3 – “that instead they should **simply refer THEIR laypeople**
    to the works of scholars. (**THEIR laypeople???** AAARRRGGHHH!!! 🙂
    3 – But if pastors are not ‘up to the job’ of distilling and understanding the
    writings of scholars in various disciplines, **how will OUR laypeople do it?**

    6 – “This creates **a PROBLEM for the Christian layperson** if they hear
    their teachers or preachers telling them that God could have used EBP
    to bring about life forms.
    6 – “Many **Christian laypeople RESIST all this** and seek to hold on to
    some sense of human dignity by subscribing to ‘fiat-creationism.’“
    6 – “**I have seen intelligent, educated laypeople REALLY STRUGGLE**
    with the distinction Atkinson has made. Nevertheless, this is exactly the
    distinction THEY (laypeople)**must?** make, or THEY (laypeople)
    will never GRANT the importance of EBP.

    7 – “Most importantly, **it is the only way to HELP Christian laypeople**
    make the distinction in their minds between
    evolution as biological mechanism and as Theory of Life.

    9 – “and it certainly **can lead to CONFUSION on the part of laypeople.**

    So… What do you think? Is Dr. Tim Keller Senior Pastor sounding “condesending?”

    I’m NO fan of – Dr. Tim Keller Senior Pastor – with two “Titles” – NOT in the Bible.


  24. responding to July 3, 2013 @ 9:18 AM

    Amos, my friend, your passion is no less fiery and righteous than mine.

    And you made me laugh out loud with your King Agrippa. I’m still smiling.

    You write: I think the word “Leadership” is NOT “Biblical.”

    It is true that much of the “Church” has fallen under forms of “Leadership” that are NOT “Biblical.” However, the word “Leadership” is a “Biblical” term and concept.

    The question at hand should be: What sort of leadership does the bible call us to conform to?

    You’ve squarely hit the mark, Amos, with Matthew 23:

    vss 8-12, “You are not to be called rabbi [meaning my teacher, or my master], for you have one teacher, and you are all brothers. And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven. Neither be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Christ. The greatest among you shall be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”

    We are all brothers and sisters and servants of one another.

    They are blind fools who sit upon the seat of Moses—lawless, greedy, self-indulgent hypocrites!

    You know, many Catholic Priests have never read Matthew 23. Yet for the ones who have, I must wonder how they read verse 9, “Call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven.”

    I also agree with you, Amos, that the bible makes no such clergy/laity distinction. In fact all signs point to such a worldly concept being most hateful to our Lord.

    In terms of it being worldly—let’s consider Matthew 20

    vss 25-28, “Jesus answered them, ‘You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.’”

    In terms of it being hateful—let’s consider Revelation 2

    Jesus hated “the work of the Nicolaitans.” To the church in Pergamum (the city where Satan was enthroned), he warned them to repent for having some who held “the teaching of the Nicolaitans” lest he come to them and war against them with the sword of his mouth.

    Who were the Nicolaitans and what were their teaching? We don’t exactly know. However, we may get a clue as to what they believed and taught by looking at the meaning of their name.

    This is what Lance Ford writes in his book Unleader:

    ‘The root of the word “nicolaitan” comes from the Greek words, nikos, which means “victory” or “conquest,” and laos, which means “people.” We get the word “laity” from laos. The compound of these Greek words means “conquest over the people” and points to the earliest forms of a priestly or clergy class in the church. Church history shows us that a full-blown clerical system developed relatively quickly in the early life of the church. By the mid-sixteenth century the Council of Trent announced, “If anyone shall say that there is not in the Catholic Church a hierarchy established by the divine ordination, consisting of bishops, presbyters and ministers, let him be anathema.”

    ‘How amazing is that? This declaration directly contradicts several clear statements Jesus and the apostles made in reference to hierarchy. The issue of ministry gifting and guidance by gifted individuals is not in question. The problem is the hierarchy and the dominating, conquering ways and means behind the structures it creates, coupled with the behavior of those who maintain them. The insidious nature of Nicolaitanism lies in the separation between normal saints and elevated leaders. Take note, Jesus doesn’t merely dislike this stuff. He doesn’t prefer things were not this way. He categorically hates it!’

    With that in mind let us take a deeper look at the biblical phrase ‘obey your leaders and submit to them’ as found in Hebrews 13:17.

    Obey your leaders and submit to them

    Peithesthe tois hegeomenois hupon kai hupeikete

    The first word—‘obey’—is a translation of the Greek word peitho.

    Peitho basically means to ‘persuade, convince; trust, believe’ (EDNT).

    What is important to note, to get technical for a moment, is that the verb is inflected in the middle voicepeithesthe, indicating that the subject of the verb is acting upon itself or is being affected by its own action. In the Greek the subject is affixed to the verb as a second person plural imperative that is ‘understood’ in the English Standard Version as ‘(You) obey.’

    As Peithesthe is followed by the dative with the indirect object being a participle in either the middle or passive voice—tois hegoumenois, modified by the second person plural possessive pronoun—hupon, followed by the conjunction—kai, which locks in a reinforcing second person plural imperative verb in the active voice—hupeikete, the entire phrase can literally be translated:

    ‘Follow (or obey) those who are leading and yield (or submit) [to them (or to their authority)].’

    In his expository dictionary W. E. Vine relates the significance of peitho as it is found here in the middle voice: “The obedience suggested is not by submission to authority, but resulting from persuasion. Peitho and pisteuo, ‘to trust,’ are closely related etymological [terms]; the difference in meaning is that the former implies the obedience that is produced by the latter. . . . Peitho in the New Testament suggests an actual and outward result of [an] inward persuasion and consequent faith.”

    The Greek imperatives here—“obey” and “submit” are in the volitional mood exhorting us to respond with willful assent. ‘Allow yourselves to be persuaded and willfully submit to the authority of your leaders,’ would be an appropriate rendering of the Greek.

    This point cannot be emphasized enough: the authority our leaders persuade us to submit to is the authority of the Word of God. The will that our leaders persuade us to obey is the Will of God. The moment a leader authoratively interjects anything into the mix that is not supported in Scripture he has crossed over the line into spiritual illegitimacy.

    Just a few verses above our phrase in question the writer of Hebrews gives us this:

    “Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Do not be led away by diverse and strange teachings” (13:7-9a ESV).

    The force of the underlying Greek exhorts us to constantly bear in mind the character of those who faithfully taught the Word of God and to scrutinize their life carefully, and then to follow them as they have followed Christ.

    This sets us up to receive the instructions in question—‘obey your leaders and submit to them.’

    What’s important to keep in mind, especially for those in unhealthy authoritarian churches, is that this very appeal to obedience and submission is not to any leader (outside of God Himself), but to the truths and teachings of Scripture. These leaders must foremost model this obedience and submission to Christ and His Word if they are ever to be entrusted with any degree of pastoral stewardship.

    We are called to allow ourselves to become persuaded by those who are leading us—tois hegoumenois. The Geek noun form of this participle is hegemon where we derive our word hegemony from. It’s the word used for rulers and high officials in the military, religious, and governmental spheres.

    However, when it comes to the sphere of the church—only Christ is to be acknowledged as the Head—as our Hegemon—as our “ONE” Leader—Jesus.

    “You know how the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you. For whoever would be great among you must be a servant, and whoever would be first among you must become a slave.”

    Christians: we are kings and queens of the King of Glory; priest and priestesses of our High Priest Jesus; prophets and prophetesses of the Most High God; and brothers and sisters; servants and slaves of One another.



  25. monax

    Thanks – Appreciate all you have written, the lesson in Greek, and taking the time.

    Today I explain Heb 13:17, a little differently then you.
    But the out-come is almost the same. It’s very, very, close. A notable miracle indeed. 😉

    I really like the way you stated this…
    “the authority our leaders persuade us to submit to is the authority of the Word of God. The will that our leaders persuade us to obey is the Will of God.”

    Yes – the “Obey” in Heb 13:17, is different then how we understand that today. **Obey me, I’m the Boss.** Peitho is the root word for “Faith.” Peitho = Obey, means – to be persuaded by, trust, have confidence in. And the very next verse, Heb 13:18, translates peitho as “trust.” “ Pray for us: for we *TRUST* (peitho) we have a good conscience…” And, Paul uses #3982 peitho, here in, Gal 5:10. “I have *confidence* in you through the Lord.”

    The Greek word “hegeomai” is 28 times in the NT. But only 3 times in the KJV as, “have the rule over” all in Heb 13.
    Moderne translations often use “Leader” here.

    It is Strongs #2233 – hegeomai. In the KJV it is translated,
    KJV – count 10, think 4, esteem 3, have rule over 3, be governor 2,

    Php 2:3
    Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in *lowliness of mind*
    let each *esteem* (hegeomai) other better than themselves.

    1 Thess 5:13
    And to *esteem* (hegeomai) them very highly in love for their work’s sake…

    WOW – The same word “hegeomai,” which many refer to as leader/boss, a high place, is used when encouraging those who need to be in “lowliness of mind” and to “esteem” others better than themselves.

    Ever try telling a Senior Pastor/Leader they “need to be in “lowliness of mind?”
    And “Esteeming others better then themselves?” Ouch!!! Oy Vey…

    Found out the hard way – When you challenge a pastors – Power – Profit – Prestige…
    Things get ugly – fast.- And “watching for my soul” – was NO longer important. 😉

    Here is the KJV translation of Heb 13:17.

    Heb 13:17
    Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves:
    for they “watch for your souls,” as they that must give account,
    that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

    If those who advertise, proclaim, they are the leaders of Heb 13:17?
    Do NOT “watch for your soul?” Do you have to Obey and Submit to them?

    NOT any longer – Thank you Jesus. 😉

    Here is the NKJAV translation of Heb 13:17.

    Heb 13:17
    Be persuaded by, trust, and obey, those you have confidence in
    those you esteem, as they go befor you and guide you and think to submit yourselves:
    For they are watching for, giving attention, to your soul…

    The NKJAV- is the “New King James Amos Version.” 🙂


  26. “A notable miracle,” you say, and i respond with laughter. . . “a happy miracle” indeed!

    Yes, Amos, good eye. You’ve recognized the breadth of meaning these words take. . . peitho finds it’s meaning—“obey”—in Heb 13:17 due to its special grammatical relation to the words that follow. And, yes, it’s the same word for “trust” and being “convinced” and “certain” found in the following verse—“Pray for us, for we are persuaded [peithometha] that we have a clear conscience, desiring to act honorably in all things” (Heb 13:18).

    Peitho is not the general Greek NT word for “obey.” Hupakouo is.

    Hupakouo means to “hear” in the sense of “heed;” to “obey.” Just like it’s Hebrew OT equivalent—shema—to “hear” and/or “obey.”

    Fwiw, Peitho (as a proper name) is the Greek goddess of Persuasion, Charm, Seduction.


    And, Yes, as I was looking at the Greek this week I noticed, as you have, the wide base of meaning for hegeomai.

    Again, this Heb 13:17 appeal to obedience and submission is not to any leader (outside of God Himself), but to the truths and teachings of Scripture.

    Thank you, Amos.



  27. Lisa, fwiw, the few experiences that I have had with PCA churches were not good. . i encountered a stiffness there that was stifling. . They were high-(but soft)-control cultures wherein a free spirit like mine would’ve had a heavy time flying with them for all their rigidities. .

    Keller’s book Counterfeit Gods is commendable. It’s a book I hand out to friends.


  28. Lisa, i want to amend what i said just above: my experiences have been a mixed bag. . good and bad. . mostly good, though. but the goodness wasn’t in the inherent presbyterian structure. . in the sermons or songs or services. . but in the fellowship with the people. . especially with a certain independent home study group that i was a part of. . this family really truly ministered to me. . of all the presbyterian denominations, fwiw, i regard the PCA to be the healthiest. .


  29. Good morning monax

    I have a little quiz for you… 😉

    Who are the “Leaders” (*hegeomai*) in Heb 13;17?

    When Heb 13;17, says “leaders” or those who have “The Rule” over you…

    Who is it refering to? In Heb 13:17?


  30. monax

    Have you read this info from Redeemer, Senior Pastor Dr. Tim Keller?

    “Why Formal Membership In A church?”

    The first page has this heading – Then lists 5 indications.
    Heading 1 – Scripture Indicates Church Membership in New Testament Times.

    monax – Do you think “Formal Church Membership” is in the Bible?
    And – Are these 5 indications accurate “Biblical” interpretations?

    The second page has this heading – And 9 reasons for “Joining.”
    2. Biblical Reasons for Joining a Church

    monax – Do you think these 9 reasons are “Biblical” reasons? Or mans reasons?
    And – Did anyone in the Bible “Join” a Church?


    And – How do you view this? – About Membership Transfers?

    Membership Transfers:

    Even if you’re coming to Redeemer from another Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) church, you must take the Introduction to Redeemer course and be interviewed.

    Prior to your interview, everyone – whether or not you’re transferring from a PCA church – should ask their former church to send a letter or certificate of transfer to:

    Membership Coordinator
    Redeemer Presbyterian Church
    1359 Broadway – 4th Floor
    New York, NY 10018-7102

    The letter/certificate should say:

    you are a member in good standing, and
    they are releasing you into Redeemer’s spiritual care

    Dual Membership

    Under our bylaws, Redeemer does not allow dual membership – that is, membership in Redeemer and any other church, even if that church is a PCA church.


  31. morning, Amos

    my answer to you is I do not know

    but i do have a few thoughts on it. . i’m watching the Tour de France at the moment, but let me throw together a response for you sometime this afternoon (if I’m not called away). .

    Meanwhile here’s something i like from A. W. Tozer (bold highlights are mine):

    Reluctant Leaders

    The true and safe leader is likely to be the one who has no desire to lead but is forced into a position of leadership by the inward pressure of the Spirit and the press of the external situation. Such were Moses, David and the Old Testament prophets; and I think there was hardly a great Christian leader from Paul to this present day but was drafted by the Holy Spirit for the task and commissioned by the Lord of the Church to fill a position he had little natural heart for.

    “I believe that it might be accepted as a fairly reliable rule of thumb that the man who is ambitious to lead is disqualified as a leader. The Church of the Firstborn is no place for the demagogue or the petty religious dictator. The true leader will have no wish to lord it over God’s heritage, but will be humble, gentle, self-sacrificing and altogether as ready to follow as to lead when the Spirit makes it plain to him that a wiser and more gifted man than himself has appeared.

    “It is undoubtedly true, as I have said so often, that the church is languishing not for leaders but for the right kind of leaders; for the wrong kind is worse than none at all. Better to stand still than to follow a blind man over a precipice. History will show that the church has prospered most when blessed with strong leaders and suffered the greatest decline when her leaders were weak and time serving. The sheep rarely go much farther than the Shepherd.

    “That is why unqualified democracy is not good for a church unless every voting member is full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom. To put the work of the church in the hands of the group is to exchange one leader for many; and if the group is composed of carnal professors it is to exchange one weak leader for a number of bad ones. One hundred blind men cannot see any better than one.”

    Chapt. 41 of The Warfare of the Spirit “Leaders and Followers”

    “Let them alone; they are blind guides. And it the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit” (Matt 15:14).


  32. *if the blind lead the blind

    Amos, at the moment I’m only able to focus my energies on your first comment to me today. I’m fairly certain I wont be able to invest my energies in reading TK on memberships. But check this Bonhoeffer out:

    “Pastoral authority can be attained only by the servant of Jesus who seeks no power of his own, who himself is a brother among brothers submitted to the authority of the Word.” ~Dietrich Bonhoeffer Life Together


  33. monax

    Hope you’re enjoying yourself watching guys who are riding bikes…
    Who are watching other guys riding bikes and only get to see a bunch of butts. 😉


  34. monax

    I like what Tozer says…
    “a fairly reliable rule of thumb that the man who is ambitious to lead is disqualified as a leader. The Church of the Firstborn is no place for the demagogue or the petty religious dictator.”

    The only problem is – in my experience…
    Most today, who desire to be known by the “Title” – “Pastor/Leader”

    Do NOT start out wanting to steal the Glory – that belongs only to Jesus.
    They just do NOT refuse that Glory when it comes. 😦

    The only one in the Bible with the “Title/Position” – Shepherd/Leader – is Jesus. 😉
    NOT one of “His Disciples” call themself Shepherd. NOT one calls themself Leader.

    Today, The “Title/Position” – pastor/leader – comes with – “And A Little Bit Extra.”
    Power – Profit – Prestige – Glory – Honor – Reputation – Recognition – etc…

    ALL those things Jesus spoke against. (Jesus, as man, humbled Himself. Phil 2:7-8.)
    ALL those things that become “Idols” of the heart. Ezek 14:1-11.
    ALL those things that are highly esteemed among men
    But – is abomination in the sight of God. Luke 16:15

    And we Know that “Power Corrupts” even the best intentioned folks.
    Mans downfall has alway been – Glory – Gold – Gals.

    In my experience with pastor/leaders, with being ordained, being in leadership. 😦
    No matter how loving… eventually…
    No matter how humble… eventually…
    No matter how much a servant… eventually…

    The pastor/leader will “Exercize Authority” like the Gentiles. – A No, No. Mk 10:42-43
    And Lord it over God’s heritage. A No, No. – 1 Pet 5:3

    “Pastor/Leader” = exercise authority = lord it over = abuse = always

    Thus disqualifying themself according to the Bible, according to Tozer.

    But – will they remove themselves from that “Title/Postion” – pastor/leader?
    And become a good example to the Flock?

    And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold:
    them also I must bring, and they shall “hear My voice; “
    and there shall be “ONE” fold, and “ONE” shepherd.
    John 10:16

    One Voice – One Fold – One Shepherd

    {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}


  35. Amos writes:

    . . Who are the “Leaders” (*hegeomai*) in Heb 13;17?

    . . When Heb 13;17, says “leaders” or those who have “The Rule” over you…

    . . Who is it refering to? In Heb 13:17?

    in Heb 13:17 our “Who” in question are not referred to as “Leaders” but to “those who are leading.” Hegoumenois is a participle in the dative—meaning it is a verbal adjective acting as our indirect object.

    This is how the Greek literally reads: “Follow those who are leading and yield.”

    In Heb 13:17 those men who are leading are identified as spiritual watchmen accountable to God for how they lead.

    This word—hegeomai—as used to signify “leaders” is used only four times in the New Testament. Three times in Hebrews 13 (vss 7; 17; 24), and once in the Gospel of Luke (22:26). In each case it takes the form of a participle—a verbal descriptor. It is never inflected as a noun, let alone a noun to be regarded as a title.

    Heb 13:7—“Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. . . [vs 9] Do not be led away by diverse and strange teachings.”

    The leaders of verse 17 are assumed to be different teachers than those spoken of (in the past tense) in verse 7. As verse 7 emplores us to follow their faith we are reminded of the great cloud of faithful witnesses of Hebrews 11.

    Heb 11:8, “By faith Abraham obeyed. . .” and so forth.

    Now as Heb 13:24a reads “Greet all your leaders and all the saints,” we can not assume this to indicate a hierarchical division in the body between a clergy and a laity.


    Because Jesus first qualified the meaning of hegeomai as a leading that models what it’s like to serve as He did. Our Lord flips the worldly ways of governing on it’s head, and regards “leadership” in the body of Christ to be a “servantship.”

    Luke 22:24-27—‘A dispute also arose among the disciples as to which of them was to be regarded as the greatest. And Jesus said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those in authority over them are called benefactors. But not so with you. Rather let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves. For who is the greater, one who reclines at table or one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at table? But I am among you as the one who serves.”’

    Who are the leaders among us? Let’s recognize them for their obedience to the Word of God, for their humility, gentleness, wisdom, and self-sacrificing ways, for their submission to God and to others, for their being gifts of God to the Body. These are the ones we elect to stand before us, the ones we entrust pastoral stewardship to. These are the teachers we set before us, whose authority we do well to honor and yield to.


  36. Amos, there’s nothing like the Tour de France for how it taxes the athlete both cerebrally and physically. Cycling tours are the consummate sport. The strategies and tactics are ingeniously intricate. This is a brain and body sport.

    You know, if one’s up front he doesn’t have to watch anyone’s butt or get slowed down through the roundabouts or tangled up in a crash. However, drafting behind someone’s back wheel conserves a considerable amount of energy for when it’s his turn to lead the slipstream or sprint to a finish line. There’s no way anyone can win the Tour alone—they need the exceptional support of a team including the coaches and technicians in the cars that follow.

    I watch also for the gorgeous helicopter views of France. C’est un beau pays.


  37. Fwiw, as a boy with discernment and access behind the curtains, so to speak, I recognized early the Big Three fleshly strongholds afflicting unqualified church leaders. Amos used the words—‘Glory. . Gold. . Gals.’ I then used the words—‘Pride. . Money. . Sex.’ Today those words would be—‘Pride. . Power. . Lust.’

    Pride (assuming a false image of themselves and others)

    Lust (as a child I considered it to be a “sexual” lust, but there’s all sorts of lust to be had)

    Power (wielding it in the service of advancing their own fleshly identities and desires)

    I’ll say this much. The first time I saw a clip of Mark Driscoll he was disqualified from pastoring in my eyes for his pride. I didn’t care how much knowledge the kid had—he was spouting it in a spirit of arrogance. Pride, period, disqualifies a church leader. It’s an indication of something sincerely wrong going on deep down inside. A proud man with power makes for a blind and dangerous man. That was years ago. Now look where Pastor Mark is today. [consider this insider’s testimony: http://joyfulexiles.com/tag/membership/ ] Just like James MacDonald he is the exclusive ruler of his own sick ecclesiastical kingdom. In the name of power and control (i.e., Pastoral Authority) they’ve trampled on people, and continue to do so to anyone who attempts to hold them accountable.


  38. Another perfect example from yet another arrogant pastor of exactly what is wrong with the local church.


  39. monax

    Yes – I appreciate the skill and team work involved in these long distance races.
    But – The people on the side of the road, in the road, in the way, are kinda nuts. :role:
    Me too – “I watch also for the gorgeous helicopter views of France.”


  40. monax

    But – Getting back to Senior Pastor Dr. Tim Keller – Is he reliable? – “Biblical?”
    Or, Is Keller like the “Religious Leaders” in Mat 23 who Jesus exposed as hypocrites?
    Or, Like the shepherds in Jer 50:6, who caused God’s sheep to be lost, to *go astray?*

    “…but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.”
    “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!”

    Does Senior Pastor Dr. Tim Keller – Say one thing – But – Do another? Unreliable?

    If being “Biblical?” And “the Authority of the Bible?” Is so important to Keller???
    Why does Keller say, write, and “Do” so many things – NOT in the Bible?


  41. monax

    Seems, Keller would like people to believe ALL he – says and does – is “Biblical.”
    In his article “Creation, Evolution, and Christian Laypeople.”
    That was referenced before @ JULY 4, 2013 @ 8:25 AM…
    Keller uses different terms trying to convince folks the importance of being “Biblical.”

    “if you are an orthodox Christian with a high view of *the authority of the Bible,*”
    “the area of Biblical authority”
    “Biblical orthodoxy”
    “what does that mean for the idea that the Bible has final authority?”
    “The first question, about Biblical authority…”
    “The way to respect the authority of the Biblical writers…”
    “you have moved away from the traditional understanding of the Biblical authority.”

    You get the drift – Biblical” “Bible Authority” is used a lot by Keller, in this one article.
    Now, to me Biblical – Authority of the Bible – Biblical orthodoxy – means…
    It is “IN” the Bible? Yes?

    Can you really claim the “Authority of the Bible?” For something – NOT in the Bible?


  42. Amos asks, Can you really claim the “Authority of the Bible?” For something – NOT in the Bible?

    No. . absolutely NOT

    So seriously, Amos, you watching the Tour? I’m streaming eurosport with Sean Kelly commentating. . i like the Irishman. . and as a former pro cyclist Kelly speaks (to an audience of millions) with some authority directly to the nutty fans that get way too close to the riders. . (a spectator in the road already caused a crash this year in an earlier stage). . he tells them to STOP IT

    maybe it’s the mountain sun and air and whatever they’ve been drinking. . but with the riders at a crawl they sometimes get right up in their faces. . not cool


  43. monax

    Seems, Keller claims the “Authority of the Bible?” For many things…
    And – claims the “Authority of the Bible” – For many things – NOT in the Bible?

    1. Keller calls himself, takes the Title – Senior Pastor. – Is Senior Pastor in the Bible?
    2. Keller calls himself, takes the Title – Doctor – in the Bible? – Is Doctor in the Bible?

    Jesus said – In John 7:18, He that speaketh of himself seeketh his “OWN” glory:

    3. Keller says “Formal Church Membership” is “Biblical.” – But, is that in the Bible?
    Or, Just another way for “Pastors who Abuse” to “control an manipulate” folks?

    4. Keller says Mat 18:15-17 is about the “5. The instructions for church discipline”
    Is Mat 18 15-17, about “Church Discipline” and putting a person out of the church?
    Or are these instructions when a brother trespasses against you?

    5. Are “Membership Transfers:” in the Bible?
    And to transfer you need – “The letter/certificate should say: you are a member in good standing, and they are releasing you into Redeemer’s spiritual care.

    Or, Just another way for “Pastors who Abuse” to “control an manipulate” folks?

    6. Is dividing His Ekklesia, His Church, His Body into “Clergy and Laity” “Biblical?”

    7. Is it “Biblical” for someone who calls themself, pastor, elder, overseer, deacon…
    To refer to themself as the “Leader” you are to “Obey and Submit to” in Heb 13:17?

    Keller says you must? “Every believer must “obey your leaders and submit to them,”
    Must sounds like a law – yes?
    And we agree that “obey-peitho” is to “persuade, convince; trust, believe”
    And Keller doesn’t know this? Or doesn’t want to know this? 😦

    Seems Keller agrees with how “Pastors addicted to Exercising Authority” and
    “Pastors who Abuse” like to use this infamous verse, Heb 13:17. Oy Vey!!! 😦

    8. Keller, Redeemer, Are members of a Denomination, PCA. – Is that in the Bible?

    9. Keller does NOT ordain women Deacons. And neither does the PCA.
    So, Keller teaches, by example, to be be cunning, use subterfuge, to achieve our goals.
    Keller, gets around the PCA rules, and has “unordained, commissioned deaconesses.”
    Now monax – Are there any “unordained, commissioned deaconesses” in the Bible?

    So – David…

    Senior Pastor Dr. Tim Keller – Is he reliable? – “Biblical?”

    Or – Is Keller like the “Religious Leaders” in Mat 23 who Jesus exposed as hypocrites?

    Or – Like the shepherds in Jer 50:6, who caused God’s sheep to be lost – to *go astray?*

    Jer 50:6
    “My people” hath been “lost sheep:”
    **their shepherds** have caused them to *go astray,*

    1 Pet 2:25
    For ye were as *sheep going astray;*
    BUT are now returned to the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

    I’m Blest… I’ve returned to the Shepherd and Bishop of my soul…

    {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}


  44. All we like sheep have gone astray.
    We have turned, everyone of us, to our own way.
    And the Lord has laid upon Him the iniquity of us all.

    i appreciate you, Amos

    Here’s the measure, I believe, for determining the legitimacy of extra-biblical traditions:

    (see my observations from July 2, 6:15 pm as linked here)

    Some of those traditions you’ve listed above are not only extra-biblical but they are unbiblical—like the conceptual division within the church between a ruling body of clergy and a laity to be ruled.

    (i’ve tweeted Dr Keller a link to this page)


  45. JA – love your blog. I’m responding to your comment June 30, 2013 @ 6:31 AM .
    You did not, in fact, use Keller’s words. You used your version of Keller’s words. Look at the transcript again. He said:

    if you are not in one of those small groups, I don’t want to hear it *if* I don’t hear *about* it.”

    He did not say that he doesn’t want to know. He is saying that there is a way to report need and get help. Use it. DON’T COMPLAIN about it if he doesn’t know.


  46. Okay, I realize that this thread was written 3 months ago and I’m a little late; never-the-less, I want to comment on this subject:

    I understand why a pastor of almost any size church would have difficulty knowing about every illness that warranted a pastoral type visit, even with only 50 people in a congregation one can get missed.

    I also understand why a large church would like to organize their pastoral care through small groups. Yet, there are many reasons why that doesn’t always work in a practical way. (i.e. introverts, ongoing mobility restrictions, caring for someone at home not enabling you to get to the group, work schedules, and seasons of high stress that don’t leave time for small groups, etc…)

    One possible practical solution is this: For anyone not in a small group who finds themselves with an illness that warrants a pastoral type visit, could be instructed to call the church to request one. (Print it in the bulletin.) These requests can be passed on to a leader(s) of a small group, or a group of volunteer lay workers who want to visit the sick, or a pastor on-call (depending on the size of the church.)

    Many people will call a church for help in times of crisis. This is an excellent time to reach out to them!

    We were strangers in a city where we’d had a car accident. Alone, hospitalized for a month, in more of a crisis than just the physical issues, and in desperate need of spiritual comfort, we called a local church. They sent out a guy from the “Crisis Response Team.” He was on his very first call ever. Fast forward 23 years and we are still good friends with him and continue to visit with one another even though we now live in different states. God used that gracious giving of his time and energy to reach out to a couple in desperate need. We ended up moving to this place and being members of his church for 8 years.

    Fast forward many years and we found ourselves in a Calvary Chapel, attending the small group that gathered across the street from our home for many years. When I fell dangerously ill and begged for someone to visit me I was told, “We are too busy with the ministry to visit the sick,” by the small group leaders as well as the leaders in the Women’s ministry. (Not that I think it should make a difference, but I was very involved, as well as my whole family.)

    I trust this would not be the case at Tim Keller’s church; but after my experiences, I doubt I will invest in a small group meeting outside of Sunday morning again, anytime soon. Looking back, it was a waste of our time. The friendships were only as good as one’s attendance, which seems far too shallow for my time. We are now in a large church which has a Sunday School class that we are well-connected with. They have taught us so much about healthy relationships. We’ve witnessed their ability to keep up with those who’ve moved on for whatever reason. When they need help, they call us and we show up, we pray, we give. The class is over 20 years old and their health is astounding to me. But I could still call the church and ask for a visit if I needed one outside of that class.


  47. i appreciated your comment, Katie

    thanks for taking the time to share it with us

    sounds like i would love to be apart of your Sunday School class


  48. When we were involved in a car wreck, several hundred miles from home, we let our pastor know. He called a pastor friend in the town where we were hospitalized. He came and visited us, and had both his staff and people from another church visit us. So someone came 2 or 3 times a day to see us. The other church was known to have a program to visit everyone in that hospital (a major teaching hospital) at least once as soon as possible after admission. What a lovely ministry.


  49. One of the things that is MOST important in our relationship as believers to one another and Tim Keller won’t do it unless you fit his profile. He is too important. Yet, he wants the title. Of course how dare us because he has a great church with so many people! Yet, he sets himself apart from them as special. When are we going to realize this is NOT Christianity of Jesus Christ?


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