A Smorgasborg of Churchianity Updates: Sovereign Grace Ministries, Harvest Bible Chapel and James MacDonald, David Hayward Article, and John Piper

***

Recent news events from Sovereign Grace Ministries, Harvest Bible Chapel and Pastor James MacDonald, David Hayward article, and another John Piper tweet

***

There have been some newsworthy events in Churchianity, some updates on stories I have covered and a couple of new items, so I thought it might be good to post them all in one lot here.  ~ja
***
New Church Added to Sovereign Grace Ministries Churches

Sovereign Grace (formerly Sovereign Grace Ministries) has welcomed a new church, Grace Life Fellowship in Hastings, Nebraska,  into its family of churches:  Welcome to the Family, Grace Life Fellowship

It’s mind-boggling that a new church would even consider joining Sovereign Grace churches amidst their recent and ongoing legal fiasco:

  • the largest sex abuse case in recent evangelical history
  • many pastors and churches left Sovereign Grace Ministries
  • many former members, including former SGM pastors calling out CJ Mahaney and the leaders for sex abuse coverup, spiritual abuse, etc.

What were they thinking?

From their pastor, Chad Haygood, on the new relationship with Sovereign Grace:

We are excited to join together with likeminded churches for the advancement of the gospel! We’re honored to share in the mission of advancing the kingdom of God through the planting of healthy churches. We also know that joining together with Sovereign Grace will benefit the overall health and longevity or our church.

How does one improve overall health when one is connecting to a cesspool of corruption?

 

***
Update on Harvest Bible and Pastor James MacDonald controversy involving the discipline and shunning of three elders in 2013.

 

Pastor James MacDonald, pastor of Harvest Bible Chapel, gave a public apology during the church service last weekend and posted a video.  In this short video,  you can see Pastor James MacDonald publicly apologize on behalf of himself and the elder board before the Harvest Bible Chapel congregation. WorldMag.com posted this on their recent article:

James MacDonald, an author and the senior pastor of Harvest, read a statement to the church saying he and the current church elders met last week with the three men and asked for their forgiveness: “I wish to announce that the elders of Harvest Bible Chapel have unanimously agreed to lift all discipline from Scott Phelps and Barry Slabaugh and Dan Marquardt.” WorldMag.com

This was a very messy and public situation.  Christianity Today gives a good summary of the full story here (you can also find related articles on SSB here). Last year, the elders were telling folks to essentially shun Philps, Slabaugh, and Marquardt.  Here is the offensive and abusive language we saw last year (I label it abusive because men used their position of authority to control in an abusive manner):

“If these men would express even a fraction of the constant and ongoing grace and humility that we see so frequently in our pastor, they could move beyond their bitterness to healing,” elder Steve Huston said in last year’s videotaped statement. “Their current refusal to do so is defiling many people, and that is a great sin.”

That Phelps and Slabaugh publicized their viewpoints after being rejected by the elder majority “is Satanic to the core and must be dealt with very directly,” Huston said last year. (Marquardt had already resigned from the elder board.) “We warn the people of Harvest Bible Chapel to separate themselves from these false messengers. … Please avoid these former Harvest elders at all costs lest you incur great detriment to your own soul.” (Christianity Today)

Those following the current Mark Driscoll/Mars Hill fiasco will recall that James MacDonald recently stepped down from his position in the advisory board at Mars Hill.  I can’t help but wonder if James MacDonald’s apology was prompted by the ongoing mess at Mars Hill.

MacDonald recently resigned from the advisory board of Mars Hill Church, shortly before nine pastors asked Mark Driscoll to step aside and submit to elder authority.  (Christianity Today)

Perhaps dealing with the Mars Hill situation caused some serious introspection for MacDonald?  Both men behaved like bullies in outing “divisive” elders. Maybe Mark Driscoll’s saga was hitting a little too close to home.  Time will tell how genuine this repentance is.  I pray that MacDonald will walk in integrity and transparency.

 

***
David Hayward’s Article on Thugs and Theology

David Hayward of “naked pastor” posted an excellent article, Tony Jones on Mark Driscoll: What came first, the thug or the theology?

In this article, he discusses some of what we have talked about here on abusive behavior and theology. I highly recommend his article. But what happens in the comments is quite revealing as well, as we have the Who’s Who of Emergent people gathered in one location hashing it out.  In this conversation, you can clearly see that abuse is not confined to one particular theological group.

***
John Piper Twitterings
John Piper proves once again that his words ought not be taken seriously:

***

Here is the ESV translation of the cited verse:  “therefore the Lord will strike with a scab the heads of the daughters of Zion, and the LORD will lay bare their secret parts.”

Let me remind you.  This man has 659 THOUSAND followers and he sends out a tweet like this?

 

Here are other notable tweets from this man with a huge following:

We must use critical thinking, people. We don’t need to follow after big-name celebrity leaders when they preach nonsense from their public platform.  Wow.  I just cannot believe this man has such a following.

***

112 comments on “A Smorgasborg of Churchianity Updates: Sovereign Grace Ministries, Harvest Bible Chapel and James MacDonald, David Hayward Article, and John Piper

  1. ““The Lord will lay bare their secret parts.” Isaiah 3:17. Public nudity not only deserves judgment. It is judgment.”

    What does this mean?
    This John Piper man sounds like a chronic pervert.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. If I had a twitter account, I would respond:

    Stay away from the river and those secret parts. Go home to your marriage garden. One who loves you, should take away your electronic devices

    Liked by 4 people

  3. “Perhaps dealing with the Mars Hill situation caused some serious introspection for MacDonald? Both men behaved like bullies in outing “divisive” elders. Maybe Mark Driscoll’s saga was hitting a little too close to home. Time will tell how genuine this repentance is. I pray that MacDonald will walk in integrity and transparency.”

    From the CT article, Mac said this(bold is my emphasis:

    “In summary, our discipline condemned them. We lost sight of the biblical priority of seeking a redemptive solution to our differences. In our recent meeting with them, it became apparent that we still have differences between us , but they met with us in good faith and seeking mutual understanding…”

    Elsewhere in the article it states – “The elders were disciplined in September 2013 after speaking out against a “culture of fear and intimidation” and a lack of transparency in the church, including financial matters.”

    What “differences” does MacDonald still have with these elders? It sounds like they are apologizing for HOW they handled the matter, not for WHY they did it in the first place.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. John Piper might be appalled at being put in the same camp as Joel Osteen, but they each tweet such nonsense that it’s inexplicable how many followers they have each managed to gather.

    Just goes to show that there is foolishness found no matter what doctrine one espouses.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Guest,

    What does this mean?
    This John Piper man sounds like a chronic pervert.

    Guest, you caught on to that one very quickly. I am so glad you’re here.

    Kay, I sooooo agree.Someone should take away JP’s electronic devices.

    Like

  6. That’s a serious question, BTW. Public nudity was considered shameful (at least by Jews) in Biblical times, but in most college art departments (Christian or not), you have to do live drawing (i.e., sketching a nude person), and I don’t see a lot of Christians condemning things like the Sistine Chapel and Michelangelo’s David. That’s fine, and I wouldn’t condemn them either, and I think all these things are different from, say, nudist colonies. But if you want to say “public nudity is judgment” without qualifications, you should probably explain how and why this doesn’t apply to art.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hester,

    Unless, the art gallery is displaying pictures of John Calvin, I’m sure JP doesn’t go to them. Saying “pulic nudity is judgment” makes no sense. Who is judging? I guess passers by are going to do wolf calls or make faces based on what they see. He just shouldn’t be allowed to tweet. Yesterday, I was tol that JP has a brilliant mind. I am still in shock by that comment.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hey Julie Anne
    So how does Piper deal with different cultures in places like the Amazon in which women go around topless? What does “deep calls to deep” mean there? I swear he is getter stranger and stranger.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I believe the Nebraska church has been in the works for SGM for a while. I actually thought it happened a while ago. Perhaps the lawsuit slowed it down?

    Liked by 1 person

  10. JP should stay away from the ESV. The NIV says, “the Lord will make their scalps bald”. The only thing nude there is their heads, so wear a scarf.

    Like

  11. “From their pastor, Chad Haygood, on the new relationship with Sovereign Grace:

    We are excited to join together with likeminded churches for the advancement of the gospel!”

    I can’t believe he said that. Who would claim “likemindedness” with SGM? Makes you wonder what’s going on behind closed doors at Grace Life Fellowship.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. “I can’t believe he said that. Who would claim “likemindedness” with SGM? Makes you wonder what’s going on behind closed doors at Grace Life Fellowship.”

    I just conclude they do not hate child sexual abuse, and they do not hate for those who have been sexually abused as children to be bullied, belittled, intimidated, and dismissed.

    Like

  13. That passage in Isaiah apparently is a translation of the original Hebrew for door hinges, which might be an idiom for a person’s crotch I suppose. It is translated in Isaiah 3:17 as either “secret parts” or “forehead”, and in 1 Kings 7:50 as “hinges”.

    Strong’s Interlinear recognizes the word as being vague in meaning, so getting the word choice right would be tough. A web-based translator gives the modern translation into English as vulva and pudenda, which suggests that the word should be translated “secret parts” and not “forehead” in Isaiah 3. I’m not linguist, though, and I’m only relating what I’ve found in a couple online searches.

    Still Mr. Piper’s suggested application of that passage is quite goofy.

    Like

  14. JA, just got finished reading the plethora of comments on the Naked Pastor’s last post. Sure was some familiar ‘baggage’ being aired! There are some frustrated (and rightly so) women who need to have their stories told – we’ve heard the same thing here on your blog about narcissistic, power-hungry men who use their so-called ‘divinely-inspired’ rules to keep women where they want them. The women are getting sick of it and, thankfully, there are bloggers who are letting them air their grievances. As has been mentioned on your blog, these people need a VOICE – thanks to you and the others who are giving them one. Just in case you didn’t know, YOU ROCK!!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. What is public nudity? Attitudes about the body are culturally defined. As Dee points out, there are cultures in which women go topless because breasts are not thought of as objects of eroticism but as sources of milk to feed babies. Some years back, one of the Popes went to a Polynesian society and was asked about the women going topless; he replied “It is innocent.”

    Also, cultures change over time. In Victorian times, European and American women exposing ankles were scandalous. Today, no one pays much attention to them.

    Fundamentalist Muslims find all of a woman’s body erotic; hence the burka.

    One of the responses to Piper expressed horror at the thought of children in nudist colonies. But there again, in nudist colonies, the body is considered natural and not erotic; it is considered perfectly normal and so it is.

    Like

  16. carmen,

    Wasn’t that “spiritual wife” thing wild? This was another marriage and family broken by sin and spiritual abuse and the woman commenting was the wife of a widely popular Emergent leader who was silenced. It’s just sick. Her anger is completely justified.

    Like

  17. the word should be translated “secret parts” and not “forehead

    Thanks, Tim. It’s sad that we need to have a Bible study to dissect a “pastors” tweets. No matter the translation, it still doesn’t make sense.

    Like

  18. @BrendaR:

    Unless, the art gallery is displaying pictures of John Calvin, I’m sure JP doesn’t go to them.

    Who needs Christ when you have CALVIN?

    Saying “pulic nudity is judgment” makes no sense.

    Not if you use the Christianese redefinition of “judgment”, My Dear Wormwood.
    “Judgment” = God SMITES! SMITES! SMITES!
    “OH GREAT CHEMOSH! O GREAT BAAL! SEND DOWN DEATH AND DESTRUCTION UPON ALL **MY** ENEMIES!!!!!”

    Like

  19. @JulieAnne:

    Wasn’t that “spiritual wife” thing wild?

    Just the word sounds like some guy trying to justify getting into another woman’s pants. Like “Soul Mate” outside of Christianese. (Because in my experience, “Soul Mate” is NEVER the one you’re married to, always the one you’re doing on the side.)

    Or a sexual predator stringing along the next piece of prey.

    Like

  20. “Fundamentalist Muslims find all of a woman’s body erotic; hence the burka.”

    One of the saddest things I have ever seen was a bootlegged video my niece brought back from Kabul LONG after the war. She was there on a medical humanitarian mission. She filmed it from inside a jeep was of a man beating a burka clad woman in the public square because he ankle showed. He was beating her with a big stick…like a shepherds staff. She only filmed it because her guides would not let her go and help the woman. She was spending most of her time seeing women in a make shift clinic who had not seen a doctor their entire life. They had to get permission to come and they could only see women doctors.

    Like

  21. “Pastor James MacDonald, pastor of Harvest Bible Chapel, gave a public apology during the church service last weekend and posted a video. ”

    Considering what has become public and my own personal experience with these types, my opinion is that the apology is because the money is not flowing as freely.

    Now if people withhold money they are just being “mean” cause he said “sorry”. Ugh.

    Like

  22. As to the SGM church, someone help me out here. Are they joining CJ’s group out of Louisville or the CLC faction? (Not that it matters when it comes to cesspool)

    Like

  23. Piper needs a twitter intervention. But who around him has the nerve?

    The sad part about it is the Piper followers will ponder his words until the next tweet because they “just know” there is something very deep there they are missing. That is how this works. Cult of personality.

    Like

  24. Piper takes proof texting to twitter. Make it mean what you want.

    And yes, there is a strain of sexual focus running through large swaths of evangelical Christendom. It has made me sick for the last 20 years. these sexual focus pastors remind me of Hollywood stars who have babies and act as if they have discovered mommyhood for the rest of us. It is so “me” focused. These pastors are the same way about sex, gender roles, courting, etc. As if people have not figured this out for thousands of years.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Lydia – the SGM church is joining “Sovereign Grace” churches. BTW, I notice they are moving away from saying “Sovereign Grace Ministries.” CLC is not part of the Sovereign Grace (Ministries) church group anymore.

    Like

  26. Who needs Christ when you have CALVIN?

    HUG!

    I do!! He can keep his god, John Calvin.
    I’m not real familiar with Wormwood.

    Like

  27. I have a twitter account that I rarely sign into. I could never get into it. 140 characters of text just doesn’t communicate much, as evidenced by the fragmented, disjointed thoughts that are the subject of this post. I honestly don’t know why people like it.

    Like

  28. Lydia,

    a man beating a burka clad woman in the public square because he ankle showed

    That is just an excuse to be as abusive as they want to be and show their disgust for women. Women have no value in many parts of the world. They are only put on the earth for man’s pleasure, a means to take out his frustrations and to bare sons.

    Like

  29. “Deep calls to deep” is true of her necklines and his knowing. The problem is, Jesus is not a fertility god.

    What the heck does that even mean? He almost sounds like he’s trying too hard to emulate Doug Wilson’s style of prose.

    Now if a museum had a naked statue of John Calvin, I wonder what Piper would tweet about that…

    Liked by 1 person

  30. they “just know” there is something very deep there they are missing

    Yep, and if they don’t get it they will pretend they do. After being told that JP has a “brilliant mind and well thought-out theology”, I was told that, “I hope 100 years from now we don’t have people so aligned with JP that they call themselves “Piperites”. Aren’t his followers pretty much sharing their worship between Calvin and JP now?

    Like

  31. NJ

    Now if a museum had a naked statue of John Calvin, I wonder what Piper would tweet about that…

    After, laughing like mad and getting my cough started back up, I was picturing JP finding a robe to put over the statue and then tweeting something about a reward for the arrest of the person who desecrated his beloved Calvin.

    Like

  32. NJ,

    And Piper wants to be taken seriously about wives letting their husbands smack them for a season. People need to really think this through. How can you dismiss these tweets, yet hang onto letting husbands smack wives? Makes.NO.Sense.

    Like

  33. And Piper wants to be taken seriously about wives letting their husbands smack them for a season. People need to really think this through. How can you dismiss these tweets, yet hang onto letting husbands smack wives? Makes.NO.Sense.

    JA,

    One of the problems I am finding is that some that are only reading his books is they don’t know any of the other foolishness that he says and does. I wouldn’t know if I hadn’t read this blog and others, but I disliked his books as they are twisted scripture to his liking.

    Like

  34. According to Strong’s BIBLICAL lexicon, the word Piper and the ESV translate “secret parts” is:

    poth: perhaps a hinge
    Original Word: פּוֹת
    Part of Speech: Noun Feminine
    Transliteration: poth
    Phonetic Spelling: (pohth)
    Short Definition: foreheads

    Doesn’t foreheads actually make contextual sense? People, these “scholars” do NOT learn Hebrew or Greek in seminary!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  35. “what the heck does that even mean?” See, that is an excellent question when it comes to Piper. Honestly, I think that his greatest skill is writing nonsensical, irrational things and yet doing so in a way that makes everyone think that the reason it sounds like nonsense to them is because they are idiots and he is so far above them. Remember Bob Wiley in What About Bob? When Dr. Marvin blows up at Bob, who is a rank narcissist duping everyone around him (funny in the movie, not funny in real life), Bob tells the Dr’s family that Dr. Leo Marvin is just sooo far above everyone else, there is no way they can understand him. Bob was just deceiving them, but the point is that John Piper actually does this very thing. He makes people think that he is soooo far above them in spirituality and intellect that the only reason they don’t understand what he says or writes is because they are not capable of doing so, but they sure can go ahead and ooh and ahh him. In fact, here is the reality. John Piper intentionally writes stupid, illogical babble but does so in such a cunning way that he makes it sound “deep.” The next time you read something by him and you just don’t get it, remind yourself that the reason you don’t is because there is nothing to get.

    Sorry all Piper fans. But that’s the truth. Time to wake up.

    Liked by 3 people

  36. So publicizing your view if your fellow elders disagree is ” satanic to the CORE ” , LOL. These imbeciles really do elevate themselves to being part of the God head. The very arrogance of that is shocking to the core. Telling the body of Christ that by fellowshiping with a fellow believer they causing determent to their sole is utterly disgusting.

    This sort of thing is exactly why I will NEVER formally join a church, sign a membership covenant or arbitration agreement. It is also exhibit A) why I tell people to hold their leadership in low esteem, and NOT to really trust them. Definitely not more than your own judgment. An elder is just a pompous ass nowadays ( with few exceptions) , not a person interested in serving the body.

    When they walk all over you, abuse you or defame you Litigate it. That is what we need to start doing in mass, sue for malpractice. Sue for defamation and intentional infliction of emotion distress. Substantial settlements , expensive legal bills , cancelled insurance and huge judgments to pay is the only thing that will clean this crap leadership up. They are total bums, not leaders or people that give a diddly about other people. It’s all about money, ego and perception of power.

    Liked by 1 person

  37. JA, I think I am in love with the Naked Pastor. Thanks for the link. Boy oh boy, he “gets” it.

    Quoted from comments:

    “One of the things I highly value, and I wish the church would, is mutual passion for truth and the well-being of all people, rather than its own security or agenda. The comments on this post are an indication to me that voices have been silenced, which builds up enormous pressure in the silenced, and once they find a venue where they can speak their minds, they do. I’m glad this can happen here. My hope is that rather than protect ourselves we lay that aside and put the concern of all the people first. Truth, freedom and justice has to win. – – See more at: http://www.nakedpastor.com/2014/09/tony-jones-on-mark-driscoll-what-came-first-the-thug-or-the-theology/#sthash.XQpTIYgN.dpuf

    Liked by 1 person

  38. “Lydia – the SGM church is joining “Sovereign Grace” churches. BTW, I notice they are moving away from saying “Sovereign Grace Ministries.” CLC is not part of the Sovereign Grace (Ministries) church group anymore.”

    Call me dense but I still don’t get it. Can we use “Mahaney” or Harris? Is this new church going with Harris or Mahaney?

    I was trained to see Mahaney as “Sovereign Grace Louisville” when we got him out of the private Christian school he was using for church.

    Like

  39. Jeff, I’m thinking this is less than 140 characters, right?

    John Piper intentionally writes stupid, illogical babble but does so in such a cunning way that he makes it sound “deep.”

    Looks like a tweet to me. haha

    Like

  40. “When they walk all over you, abuse you or defame you Litigate it. That is what we need to start doing in mass, sue for malpractice. Sue for defamation and intentional infliction of emotion distress. Substantial settlements , expensive legal bills , cancelled insurance and huge judgments to pay is the only thing that will clean this crap leadership up. They are total bums, not leaders or people that give a diddly about other people. It’s all about money, ego and perception of power.”

    Scott, Believe me when I tell you that would be great if it were feasible. But first and foremost the courts view “church” as voluntary. And let me tell you, churches can do pretty much what they want. Some of the megas I consulted with had at least 5 lawsuits going at once for years. None of them made it anywhere. Most mega churches have retainer law firms and some even keep legal counsel on staff (under a different title, of course). And worse, a lawsuit can lead to a gag order which is the last thing you want.

    Secondly, the only folks who could afford such a suit (because it would require some serious litigation) would be the wealthy who are very unlikely to be trampled by the spiritual abusers. More like they court them.

    No, the best thing is to warn folks and blog. Reputation is everything to these guys and then THEY sue you (as JA knows) as their only recourse. And right now spiritual abuse is becoming quite the cause.

    Like

  41. jkpvarin,

    After reading the whole chapter, yes, foreheads could actually make contextual sense.

    Isaiah 3:16 NIV
    The Lord says,
    “The women of Zion are haughty,
    walking along with outstretched necks,
    flirting with their eyes,
    strutting along with swaying hips,
    with ornaments jingling on their ankles.

    17
    Therefore the Lord will bring sores on the heads of the women of Zion;
    the Lord will make their scalps bald.”

    I don’t claim to be a Bible scholar or well versed in Hebrew or Greek, but I don’t believe what Piper is taking out of context from this scripture adds up to anything other than just one more twisted scripture. When you think about it WHY would the Lord want to bare anyone’s private parts, which is what Piper is calling secret parts. There is something much deeper going on here than nudity. There is judgment going on, but not because they are naked. They are proud and full of themselves. They are not honoring God, but pleasing themselves.

    Of course those that think that JP is brilliant are going to say, he’s just trying to get you to think, but with or without reading further into Isaiah 3 what JP said was just stupid. Nothing brilliant about it.

    What JP is doing is causing confusion and God is not the author of confusion. If he understands what he is saying, I am sure there is a good rest home in the area where he lives.

    Like

  42. Jeff, You guys need to do more of the badgering badgers type of posts. That was excellent. It is like having an interpreter for a sociopath. People need to learn their language so as not to be duped.

    Like

  43. “Josh Harris and CLC have completely severed ties with SGM. The new church is going with Sovereign Grace (Ministries).”

    Thanks, JA. It is time for my meds now. :o)

    Like

  44. Lydia wrote:
    they “just know” there is something very deep there they are missing
    Brenda R wrote:
    Yep, and if they don’t get it they will pretend they do.

    The Emperor has no clothes? (and his secret parts lay bare) ~~~~sigh

    Like

  45. @ Marsha:

    Yeah, I doubt breasts were what the ancients had in mind when they talked about nakedness. I’m open to correction, of course, but it usually seems to be the genitalia which were considered shameful to expose in public. Ergo, there’s no widespread “public nudity” in our society at the moment, except in art museums.

    It seems that in most cultures, breasts are considered purely functional and not hypersexualized like they are in America. I’ve heard stories of missionaries who worked in other countries, and told stories about the men in their home country thinking of breasts as sexual. The native people laughed and said that American men must be like babies to be so fascinated with breasts! 😉

    Seriously, though, if Piper’s going to say that all public nudity is shameful no matter what, he has to address Western art. The nude human form is so central to Western art and traditional art education that he can’t avoid it. You know these things when your grandmother is an artist and you have friends in art school. I realize he can’t get into that level of detail in a tweet (another reason I hate Twitter), but any artist who’s halfway educated will ask him this question, and if he doesn’t have a coherent answer, they’ll laugh at him. And if his answer is “throw out and deface art,” he’d better own that and be prepared for just about every other Christian in America to disagree with him.

    What prompted this tweet, anyway? Was it that HuffPo article about the mom who lets her young sons see her naked so they know real women don’t look like airbrushed models? (Not implying agreement or disagreement with article, just saying that’s what it was about.)

    Like

  46. “Deep calls to deep” is true of her necklines and his knowing. The problem is, Jesus is not a fertility god.

    Yeah, that’s just weird. Obviously Piper doesn’t like plunging V-necks and that some guys think about breasts when they look at them, but what’s “his knowing” and how is it “deep”? I don’t get that half of the metaphor.

    Like

  47. Paul says,

    You mock, but some day seminaries will pour over John Piper’s posts on Twitter and academics will probe his words to find the hidden mysteries.

    That is the very thing I am afraid of. Seminaries already have books in their libraries that say if there is a rape, domestic violence against women and children: DO NOT CALL THE POLICE, this is a church matter and not one for the world to take care of. I shutter to think what else seminaries are teaching. We now have the Calvinists, next century the “Piperites”.

    Like

  48. “Obviously Piper doesn’t like plunging V-necks and that some guys think about breasts when they look at them, but what’s “his knowing” and how is it “deep”? I don’t get that half of the metaphor.”

    As a married woman I could probably make an educated guess there, but I’ll refrain.

    Seems like every last one of these celebrity preachers has a degree of obsession with sex-related matters. Maybe 1) they’re reacting to the larger culture, 2) they’re dealing with secret sins in this category, or 3) they’re not getting any at home (or enough, and/or exactly what they want).

    Like

  49. Julie Ann, please note on James Macdonald’s website, while it is still “jamesmacdonald.com” (facepalm), his “logo” has been changed back to “Walk in the Word with James Macdonald” from the giant “JM” (a la the TDJ of TD Jakes). Very interesting stuff. Full blown damage control? Genuine repentance? Really doubt the latter but let’s hope it’s true…

    Like

  50. Unfortunately, I expect there is a good possibility that paulthinkingoutloud (September 16, 2014 @ 5:37 PM) is right when he suggests that “some day seminaries will pour over John Piper’s posts on Twitter and academics will probe his words to find the hidden mysteries.” Seminaries tend to feed the intellect, as opposed to training for service. Therefore, seminaries will tend to draw people like Piper, who admits that he is long on critical analysis but short on compassion. He says something to this effect in a video where a bunch of Christian counselors are actually laughing at him. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AdTddzmIvWA. These cerebralized seminarians will, like Piper, be unable to read scripture in light of the realities of the human soul, nor even in light of the Love-based reality of the heart of God.

    It would be better were Piper’s tweets and so on to be presented to future seminarians (and others) by way of giving them practice in detecting and analyzing logical fallacies. In his current tweet, for example, Piper basically argues that public nudity was judgment in one instance. Therefor, public nudity is judgment in all instances. Others here have already exposed the fallacy of such an argument.

    In the final analysis, Piper’s work probably could not be critically analyzed apart from a thoroughgoing psychoanalysis of the man Himself.

    Liked by 1 person

  51. I’m leaning toward his observing the Mark Driscoll fiasco and realizing “that could be me real soon”… he’s seen what really happens when people stop giving. I know that the Harvest plants (at least mine) have stopped actively hawking Vertical Church… but in a concerned email to our pastor about James I got the usual one sentence response: “James is growing”. Sigh.

    Like

  52. @Brenda (and Paul),

    We now have the Calvinists, next century the “Piperites”.

    Perhaps of more immediate concern is the possibility that some younger Reformed pastors might consider Piper’s tweets something worth emulating here and now. After all, C.J. Mahaney seemed to make it fashionable for Reformed men to shave their heads. What if some of the young preachers read Piper’s hooey, and try to make a trend out of spouting loopy word salad and calling it “wisdom”? Can you imagine how many hopelessly confused pew-sitters would result?

    I worry that the followers of the Reformed Big Dogs haven’t learned yet — if a leader does something bafflingly silly, you don’t have to do it too. Heck, I learned that from Sesame Street…

    Like

  53. Serving Kids in Japan,

    What if some of the young preachers read Piper’s hooey, and try to make a trend out of spouting loopy word salad and calling it “wisdom”?

    That is scarier yet! I know he has a big following and had several other pastors at Bethlehem Baptist. They may be teaching the younger generation this garbage as we speak.

    Like

  54. “It would be better were Piper’s tweets and so on to be presented to future seminarians (and others) by way of giving them practice in detecting and analyzing logical fallacies. In his current tweet, for example, Piper basically argues that public nudity was judgment in one instance. Therefor, public nudity is judgment in all instances.”

    I totally agree Gary. Think of what is popular in many seminaries today: The “heros” are the Puritans, Spurgeon, Edwards, Calvin, etc.

    The problem is how all this is presented to young minds which are easily malleable, have no real world trench experience, little wisdom and critical thinking skills and are easily influenced. So they are indoctrinated and then go to plant or pastor a church as “in charge” because “God appointed them”. Gives me chills to think about all the havoc these guys have brought in my city alone.

    And they start trotting out Owen, Edwards, Spurgeon (Calvinism is the Gospel) and the alive guys like Piper because frankly, it is all they know. They have not really been in a position to live out any practical application and their heros were all in bubbles of their own. Recipe for disaster.

    Like

  55. @ServingKidsInJapan:

    What if some of the young preachers read Piper’s hooey, and try to make a trend out of spouting loopy word salad and calling it “wisdom”?

    Lewis got some mileage out of that in his Space Trilogy, specifically the scene where the Big Dogs of NICE have that major aphasia attack in public as they melt down.

    I worry that the followers of the Reformed Big Dogs haven’t learned yet — if a leader does something bafflingly silly, you don’t have to do it too. Heck, I learned that from Sesame Street…

    Sesame Street is Secular(TM), Heathen(TM), Satanic(TM),without Properly Parsed Truly Reformed Theology. Purity of Ideology, Comrade.

    Like

  56. Serving,

    You nailed it. The goal is to get to the young and that’s what the Resolved Conference did, hosted by John MacArthur’s Grace Community. I think the last one was in 2012 and they are not doing them anymore – I wonder why. But I know high schoolers and college students who went to it and came back pumped. Those same students/now adults are quoting Piper on Facebook. Look at the speaker lineup for 2009:

    Grace Community Church’s annual Resolved Conference in Palm Springs, CA. Speakers include Rick Holland, John MacArthur, Steve Lawson, John Piper, and C.J. Mahaney

    And is the basis for the conference:

    As a 19-year old in the mid-1700s, Jonathan Edwards became serious about the direction of his life. He began to understand the nature of God, and what he discovered was both delightful and disturbing. The more he investigated the infinite tributaries of God’s nature, the more he unearthed his own sinfulness. From then on, the weight of God’s glory became the gravity of his life. He was compelled to respond.

    So he sat down with a quill and paper and wrote out a series of commitments. These were simple statements, conclusions, and commitments forged in the immensity of God and the trauma of His holiness. All of them began with the same word—”Resolved”.

    The Resolved conference was a call for a new generation to live with the same resolve.

    http://www.resolved.org/about/

    Like

  57. My older son is involved, kinda-sorta, with the large Navigators chapter at the University of Alabama. He tells me these kids practically burn incense to John Piper. It’s “Piper says this” and “Piper says that.” Very strange. (BTW, my son is Catholic and has no intention of converting to Calvinism. He finds the YRR college crowd to be two-faced, cliquish, gossipy, and uncharitable, with just a few exceptions. It’s like middle school on steroids. Apparently, when you’re the Elect, you never have to say you’re sorry. And backbiting is your idea of agape. Go figure.)

    Liked by 1 person

  58. @Dianeski:

    My older son is involved, kinda-sorta, with the large Navigators chapter at the University of Alabama. He tells me these kids practically burn incense to John Piper.

    Piperjugend?

    All I can say about the Navigators is RUN AWAY. RUN FAR AWAY. NOW.

    When I was at Cal Poly Pomona in the Seventies, the Navs had a reputation for (1) being the most extreme, (2) having the highest flunk-out rate, and (3) having the highest burnout rate. (And my last year there, we had a local “Fellowship” that tried to out-Nav the Navs…)

    JMJ/Christian Monist was not only a Nav burnout, but a Nav missionary to Egypt. It almost ruined his life and brought him to the brink of suicide.

    Like

  59. @JulieAnne:

    But I know high schoolers and college students who went to it and came back pumped. Those same students/now adults are quoting Piper on Facebook.

    “Quoting” as in doubleplusduckspeak?

    Or just “IT IS WRITTEN! IT IS WRITTEN! IT IS WRITTEN! SCRIPTURE! SCRIPTURE! SCRIPTURE!”?

    Like

  60. As a 19-year old in the mid-1700s, Jonathan Edwards became serious about the direction of his life. He began to understand the nature of God, and what he discovered was both delightful and disturbing. The more he investigated the infinite tributaries of God’s nature, the more he unearthed his own sinfulness. From then on, the weight of God’s glory became the gravity of his life. He was compelled to respond.

    So he sat down with a quill and paper and wrote out a series of commitments. These were simple statements, conclusions, and commitments forged in the immensity of God and the trauma of His holiness. All of them began with the same word—”Resolved”.

    The Resolved conference was a call for a new generation to live with the same resolve.

    Jonathan Edwards, manic-depressive, whose sermons written when he was in his depresso phase (like “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”) would drive some of his congregation to suicide?

    Jonathan Edwards, who like most New England Puritans (whose journals have survived) could have been a poster boy for Excessive Scrupulosity and Morbid Introspection?

    Like

  61. @Hester:

    It seems that in most cultures, breasts are considered purely functional and not hypersexualized like they are in America. I’ve heard stories of missionaries who worked in other countries, and told stories about the men in their home country thinking of breasts as sexual. The native people laughed and said that American men must be like babies to be so fascinated with breasts! 😉

    I shall let the Holy Modal Rounders speak for me:

    Like

  62. Julie Anne wrote: SEPTEMBER 17, 2014 @ 9:25 AM ” I think the last one was in 2012 and they are not doing them anymore – I wonder why.”

    I think the answers to your question circle around Rick Holland. Fair to say, a lot of people used to speculate (prior to 2011) that Holland would be the next successor to John MacArthur, even though history has proven that most of JMac’s executive assistants eventually leave. Rick left Grace in 2011 after the Resolved Conference. They held one more Resolved conference in 2012.

    Rick’s bio:
    Rick Holland – Senior Pastor Mission Road Bible Church, Rick … spent 25 years at Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California. While at Grace he pastored Crossroads, the college and singles ministry, and served as the Executive Pastor under Dr. John MacArthur. In 2005 Rick founded the Resolved Conference, … In August of 2011 Rick accepted the call as Pastor of Mission Road Bible Church where he currently serves…

    (Rick is still listed as faculty at TMS.)

    At Grace Church’s website (MacArthur’s church), there are Mahaney messages available in the media section, but he is not listed under the “Speakers” tab, you have to search his name. Audios available are 2011 and before, (a combination of Resolved and others), but the 2012 Mahaney Resolved messages are not there.

    Fair to say, MacArthur and Mahaney have never been bff’s ( Reference Brent Detwiler’s post here to see Rick Holland and MacArthur in this mix. (Driscoll is in this discussion as well.) http://www.brentdetwiler.com/brentdetwilercom/mark-driscoll-high-profile-pastors-and-credibility.html )

    Not so with Rick Holland. (if you listen to Resolved audio where Rick introduces CJ, it’s quite a love fest. Rick does the same for MacArthur.)

    This past June, while the Pulpiteers were meeting in Montana, Rick, CJ and Bob Kauflin among other TMS connected people (no MacArthur), were speakers at the Anchored Conference administrated by Rick’s church, Mission Road Bible Church. (http://anchoredconference.org/speakers.html)

    No clear answers but lots of pieces to the puzzle.

    Like

  63. So HUG, what is that, some sort of an anti-anthem to any given fundegelical super pastor? And really, should we be calling even these people boobs? Plus, what’s this business about wearing chocolate. And why do the keep saying it “jock a lot?”

    At the risk of being taken to task again being discourteous, I’d like to suggest my own sort of anthem:

    John Pi-per
    Who are you? What have you sacrificed?
    John Pi-per
    John Pi-per
    Who are you? What have you sacrificed?
    John Pi-per
    Superstar
    Do you think you’re what they say you are?
    John Pi-per
    Superstar
    Do you think you’re what they say you are?

    Like

  64. “He tells me these kids practically burn incense to John Piper. It’s “Piper says this” and “Piper says that.” Very strange.”

    Tell me about it. I see it all the time.

    ” Apparently, when you’re the Elect, you never have to say you’re sorry. And backbiting is your idea of agape. Go figure.)”

    Their “agape” is being “right”. And they only know the “right” of their bubble. That is why I NEVER back down and try for unity in agreement with them. It makes them nuts. They HAVE to make you know you are doctrinally wrong.

    Like

  65. ” . . . I NEVER back down and try for unity in agreement with them. It makes them nuts. They HAVE to make you know you are doctrinally wrong.”

    Lydia, it sounds to me like you may be dealing with narcissists. If you tell a narcissist no, or if you simply disagree with them and refuse to back down, they seem to feel like you are somehow saying they are a bad, defective, people. My wife observes that each denomination or church tends to draw people with similar personalities. Is it possible that each different flavor of theology will likewise appeal to people with similar personalities, including those with similar dysfunctional personalities?

    Like

  66. Gary W,
    My wife observes that each denomination or church tends to draw people with similar personalities.

    How does that work? There are many personalities in my church or at least I think there are. I would like to see a breakdown of what she has observed. I think that
    would be very interesting. Now I’m going to be looking around trying to find the similarities between people in the pews. We are an independent nondenominational church, so maybe we are weirder than a denominational churches. Most everyone is pretty friendly.

    Like

  67. Muff Potter,

    And the Lord God tweeted to John Piper in the cool of the evening saying:
    Who told you they were naked?

    Like this very much. I don’t use twitter, but if I did, that would be out there.

    Like

  68. Gary W.

    John Pi-per
    Who are you? What have you sacrificed?
    John Pi-per
    John Pi-per
    Who are you? What have you sacrificed?
    John Pi-per
    Superstar
    Do you think you’re what they say you are?
    John Pi-per
    Superstar
    Do you think you’re what they say you are?

    Very good!!

    Like

  69. Their “agape” is being “right”.

    And it’s a Zero-Sum Game, where the only way for ME to be RIGHT is for YOU to be WRONG. Where the only way for ME to WIN is to MAKE YOU LOSE.

    Like

  70. Gary W:
    Another little momento from classic Dr Demento re breasts, from Loudon Wainwright III:

    (Posted separately in case JulieAnne takes it down. Note that this was broadcast on FM radio way back when.)

    Like

  71. “Lydia, it sounds to me like you may be dealing with narcissists. If you tell a narcissist no, or if you simply disagree with them and refuse to back down, they seem to feel like you are somehow saying they are a bad, defective, people”

    Gary, I think that is part of it. But I was around the hey day of the seeker mega movement and I know how insufferable those guys were backstage yet it was NOTHING like what I have seen from the YRR movement. And I think it I get it now after years of studying this stuff. The problem is ingrained in the YRR movement. They cannot have their beliefs questioned at all because they live in total cognitive dissonance. So it automatically becomes “war”.

    In fact, the YRR movement borrows heavily from the seeker movement in terms of growth, coolness, methods but it has the total control from its doctrine to reinforce it all. The seekers just knew they could get more if you left. The YRR want you in bondage. And the difference is the seeker leaders are narcissists but their followers not so much. IN the YRR movement it tends to attract them.

    But there is a common thread in all of it: Seeking Power and influence. Dangerous stuff for anyone. But a total horror when it is in the Name of Jesus.

    People will scoff but I am here to tell you when you see a pastor working hard to “grow” and amass people for the “Gospel”….run. It never turns out well even if you cannot see behind the stage and it looks Gospelly from where you sit. It isn’t. I can promise you that. The pew sitters know about 10% of what really goes on yet they think they know everything. They believe the very carefully crafted persona on stage. At the very least they should never attend a church where the full budget is not available and voted on by everyone. Yes, everyone has a right to not only know what the pastor makes but whether or not he is making income from books, para church org stuff, etc. .

    Like

  72. re: David Hayward’s article on Tony Jones on Mark Driscoll: What came first, the thug or the theology? …

    As far as a gathering of Emergent/Emergent Village (EV) people, turns out not so much to be a Who’s Who. The only main Emergents there were Tony Jones and Doug Pagitt themselves making brief appearances and then apparent perma-disappearances, which seems to be a pattern when there has been criticism of EV. Although — a few suspiciously anonymous pro-Emergentee or deflector troll types seem to have likewise made brief forays into the fray and then melted away.

    More present are people from other perspectives or post-EV people who saw and/or endured EV backlash, and a wide swath of spiritual abuse survivors from other theological backgrounds.

    There’s been some amazing comments there and quite noteworthy is that several people offered apologies directly to Julie McMahon, who shared her story extensively in that thread, for how they had believed the EV gaslighting spin that attempted to paint her as mentally ill and as the cause of her divorce. Nuh-uh … One wonders if those kinds of realizations and apologies might be something that the Spirit sparks more often in the future. Hope so.

    http://nakedpastor.com/2014/09/tony-jones-on-mark-driscoll-what-came-first-the-thug-or-the-theology/

    Like

  73. Off Topic–

    I just love research. Don’t you? Especially when it confirms my own experience.
    The Daily Mail has an article titled “Being religious does NOT make you better behaved, researchers claims – but it will make you feel more guilty.”
    http://tinyurl.com/kt3qztt

    Gotta love it.

    Like

  74. BTDT,
    I have to agree, those that consider themselves religious probably aren’t much different. Being religious could mean kissing a crucifix, lighting a candle, confessions to a man who is probably sinning as much as they are rather than asking forgiveness of an almighty God. If they would have done a comparison between nonreligious and God-fearing there may be a wider margin. God-fearing people won’t want to disappoint God or offend people in the first place, but if they do they will want to repent and make amends.

    I do love research. I research ways that I can help and be of service to people. Especially, I want to know how I can help those who have been abused in someway.

    Like

  75. Brenda,

    I am feeling rather cheeky this morning. That said, I don’t mean to offend the sensibilities of true God fearing folks. But, in my experience, many “Christians” aren’t any different from other people. Sometimes they’re worse. The stories on many “discernment” blogs confirm that.

    Take the apologies to Julie McMahon that Brad talks about above. Do you think she would have gotten those apologies without some damning evidence that she said she’d post on Naked Pastor for everyone else to see? I don’t think so. That is the nature of spiritual abuse.

    I believe you are a good person, Brenda. I believe there are a lot of good Christians out there. It’s just too bad you can’t count on that being the case just because someone wears a cross.

    Like

  76. BTDT,
    I wasn’t offended. I was just trying to point out the difference. Many people who call themselves “Christians” will be very surprised when the judgment day comes. Completely agree with you about the apologies to Juie McMahon and artificial apologies from other “leaders??”.

    I’m not much on wearing crosses. But I keep a special one in my memory bank and heart. I am far from perfect, don’t get me wrong, but I do pray that He will not let me get away with anything that will not honor Christ.

    Like

  77. I guess, from my perspective, any god you must FEAR makes him a tyrant, not a benevolent spirit. And Brenda, I think you are a good person just the way you are. You should be honouring yourself.
    My .02 cents worth.

    Like

  78. Carmen,
    It is not a fear like I am being backed in a corner by someone who is going to physically hurt me. It is a loving kind of fear that a child has for his/her parents in a healthy household. The child wants Mom & Dad to be proud of them or at least until they are teenagers. God deserves all the praise. Before I turned it all over to Jesus, my life was a mess. I am happy with Him in charge. I wasn’t when I thought I had to do it all on my own.

    Like

  79. Well, Brenda – I think YOU deserve praise. Consider it given.
    (of course, always with the caveat, “for what it’s worth. . .” 🙂

    Like

  80. What’s really bothering me this morning: I lay in bed last night reading news stories about Adrian Peterson beating his young child– a beating that left him covered with welts and bruises. Here, in the Lone Star State, many people defend it and consider it an acceptable form of “discipline.” When news coverage of my former “church” covered stories about the same harsh beating the response was a big yawn. Who cares? “Spare the rod and spoil the child.” I’m glad the abuse of Peterson’s son has gained international attention.

    So, I’m a bit agitated this morning.

    I have a cross, too. I didn’t wear it for 23 years because my former “church” forbid jewelry. I STILL can’t bring myself to wear it, but this time it’s what it has come to represent to me. And that has NOTHING to do with Jesus. It has EVERYTHING to do with the culture that accepts bruises and welts as “Godly discipline,” and all the other abuses that blogs like this talk about.

    Like

  81. Brenda R,

    It is difficult to give a breakdown of what my wife observed because she’s more perceptive than I am, but here goes: One church seemed to attract non-obsessively performance driven, mostly middle class, participants. Any differences between the status of men and women tended to be based more on culture than religion.. Another attracted people who were performance driven to the point of obsessive compulsive. Because they saw themselves as superior to all others, being the sole possessors of the one true faith, I will go so far as to suggest they were anal retentive. Women were treated respectfully, but not as equals. Even pre-salvation divorce was treated as an unforgiveable sin, forever excluding the man from ledership (the woman was excluded simply because she was a woman). In another church the women were in control. I am reluctant to use the term, but some of these women tended to be histrionic, including a practice of (probably unrecognized) provocative dress. Other than authoritarian pastors and one in-charge deacon/elder, the men tended to be quiet and uninvolved, in the sense of just being along for the ride in the place where their wives were in charge.

    Like

  82. BTDT, I am originally from the Lone Star State and I used to get whoopins with a small plastic belt. In Florida when I was a new mom, other mom’s would make their children go out and get a willow switch for their own “discipline”. I don’t understand wanting to leave welts and bruises on your child. That seems more like letting out your anger and brutality. I also don’t think “time outs” are always effective for children either. They are all different. I don’t think a swift swat on the fanny ever hurt anyone other than their pride to get their attention. You also don’t want to break their spirit. IMO “Godly Discipline” is loving and kind.

    Like

  83. Wow Gary, those are some pretty big differences. It makes me want to do a shop around just to see what’s going on in my area.

    Like

  84. “I don’t understand wanting to leave welts and bruises on your child. That seems more like letting out your anger and brutality.”

    Agreed. Yet the welts and bruises are, apparently, not a big deal to some people. Even though the child also had them documented on his genitals. People are defending this!
    In my former “church” one family sold an Arnica gel in their little store to help fade bruises. It was recommended to moms and dads to help fade the bruises left on their kids from being “disciplined” a la Pearl style.

    Like

  85. Brenda R,

    Yes, the sorting effect I have observed has been rather pronounced. In fairness, it should probably be observed that I am describing relatively small churches in small communities where everybody knows who everybody else is, what they do for a living, and so on. The sorting may be attributable to factors other than just ecclesiastical and theological perspective. The effect may not be so pronounced in large-population metropolitan areas. Yet the sorting I observed happened, and continues to happen, every time the church doors were/are open.

    Like

  86. Gary W,
    There are a few small churches in our area, but no there is no way that everyone knows everyone else and their business. I don’t even know everyone in my church. There are new faces all of the time and I can’t keep up with everyone. I guess folks go where they feel most comfortable.

    Like

  87. It is making me physically ill that Christians are defending Peterson. Last year, he also beat another four year old son in the car in such a way that his head hit the car seat, leaving scars around his eye. Also last year, his two year old son by yet a different woman was murdered by his mother’s new boyfriend who says he was only trying to discipline him. What will it take for Peterson to rethink his ideas about ‘discipline?’

    Christians keep saying that as long as one disciplines for the right motives, it isn’t child abuse. Tell that to Peterson’s children. Tell that to Lydia Shatz, Hana Williams (bith dead) and the children of the Barbours who were left near death, all of whom had devout Christian parents. The Barbours got probation and home confinement because the judge felt that they meant well (one child was found emancipated with a dangerously low body temperature and the other with permanent brain damage). Their church stood by them too.

    Like

  88. Marsha,
    What you are describing, if it happened in Michigan there are very stiff sentencing laws for child abuse and neglect. Over the last few years, better laws have been put on the books to protect and give justice to our kids. I agree, there is no way I would defend such actions.

    Like

  89. “What will it take for Peterson to rethink his ideas about ‘discipline?’”

    Unfortunately, probably a felony conviction, a sentence to a significant term of imprisonment, all followed by a no-nonsense, extended parole regimen.

    Liked by 1 person

  90. @BTDT:

    What’s really bothering me this morning: I lay in bed last night reading news stories about Adrian Peterson beating his young child– a beating that left him covered with welts and bruises.

    @BTDT:

    Yet the welts and bruises are, apparently, not a big deal to some people. Even though the child also had them documented on his genitals. People are defending this!

    Don’t forget the FOOTBALL STAR factor. (O.J.Simpson, anyone?)

    Especially to all those Al Bundy couch potatoes in their trailers.

    Like

  91. Pingback: At Least They Apologized – Anne Bachle Fifer

Thanks for participating in the SSB community. Please be sure to leave a name/pseudonym (not "Anonymous"). Thx :)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s