Social Media is Presenting a Challenge to God-Given Authorities aka Pastors

Michael Kruger, The Gospel Coalition, Social Media, Spiritual Authority, Pastors, Criticism

pastors, authority, Michael J. Kruger, The Gospel Coalition, Spiritual Authority, Social Media

The Gospel Coalition published an article, 5 Warning Signs for the Church in a ‘Facebook Culture,’ by Michael J. Kruger, president of Reformed Theological Seminary’s Charlotte, North Carolina, campus. He is concerned about the influence of social media, specifically:

What effect does “social media” technology have on the way we view the church?

He covers 5 points in the article:

  • Short Attention Span/Limited Learning Style
  • Low View of Authority/Overfocus on Equality
  • ‘Surfacey’ Interactions/Artificial Relationships.
  • Lack of Physical Presence
  • Low Commitment/Accountability

The paragraphs under “Low View of Authority/Overfocus on Equality” caused me to read a little more closely:

One of the most often overlooked effects of social media is how we view authority figures. The internet is the great equalizer—everyone has a voice. We all have a platform to speak our mind, to say our piece. After any article or news story, anyone can offer an opinion. And certainly much of this is good.

But it can also lead to an “egalitarian” view of authority—that no one person’s opinion should be valued or weighted more than another’s. Needless to say, this presents problems for a biblical ecclesiology that understands the church and the pastors to have real God-given authority in the lives of its people.

His primary concern is: “we must be aware of the challenges it creates for ministry in our modern and postmodern world.”

Technology doesn’t necessarily create sin patterns; it exacerbates them. In response, we must do something we needed to do anyway: give our people a robust and vibrant picture of the church and their place in it. In other words, we need to give them a full-orbed biblical ecclesiology.

Evidently he believes social media has caused us to forget about biblical church structure. What he really means is hierarchy. Make no mistake about it.

Just this morning, I was preemptively blocked by a pastor I’ve never heard of. The guy is obviously afraid of negative publicity attached with his name. I’ve always been thankful for social media because it gives you and me an equal platform whereas in churches, we can be silenced. When I hear of abuse and see behavior on Twitter from pastors who are using their “position” in a way that harms people, I can directly and publicly ask them about it. If it seems they are like a loose cannon and nobody else in their church seems to be holding them accountable for their words, I figure that if they are posting publicly on Twitter, I have just as much leverage as anyone else to directly ask questions or share concerns publicly.

I seriously doubt that my tweets to a pastor on Twitter will cause any wayward pastor to change. But I do hope that in drawing attention to it,  others can see for themselves the public behavior and words so that they can be wise and discerning in whom they choose to follow.

I have some more thoughts referring to these two paragraphs. I’ll repeat them once again:

One of the most often overlooked effects of social media is how we view authority figures. The internet is the great equalizer—everyone has a voice. We all have a platform to speak our mind, to say our piece. After any article or news story, anyone can offer an opinion. And certainly much of this is good.

But it can also lead to an “egalitarian” view of authority—that no one person’s opinion should be valued or weighted more than another’s. Needless to say, this presents problems for a biblical ecclesiology that understands the church and the pastors to have real God-given authority in the lives of its people.

I’m probably doing exactly what he’s talking about, and right now I am going to challenge his words publicly using social media via this blog, Twitter (when I post the link to this article), and on the Spiritual Sounding Board Facebook page as I also post the link there. Here’s the deal. Michael Kruger is NOT my pastor. He is a pastor who has posted publicly via social media for all to read and for all to have the opportunity to critique. I am choosing to critique his words because I think he is crossing some lines of authority that are not his to cross.

God-given authority has nothing to do with others expressing opinions or criticisms of a pastor’s words. True God-given authority would expect to hear from all voices, both negative and positive feedback, especially if their words are posted/aired publicly. A godly shepherd would challenge themselves to see if there is any truth to the opinions/criticisms.

The second paragraph above is the most disturbing to me. Mr. Kruger appears to be getting on his spiritual authority high horse saying, if you offer an opinion, you are treading too closely to an “egalitarian view of authority” which is threatening his God-given authority.  He seems to be pulling the God card by saying that you are messing with God and the authority He placed in your life when you criticize “spiritual authority” on social media.

He’s trying to silence people on social media, while he and others want to maintain a level of spiritual authority, even on social media.  Give me a break!

I guess he forgot this about ALL Believers:

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 1 Peter 2:9

Article was originally published here.

photo credit: A Word from the Cross via photopin (license)

143 comments on “Social Media is Presenting a Challenge to God-Given Authorities aka Pastors

  1. Here’s a wild thought, and I’m not sure where this takes us, but let me ask this: If technological advances pushing the boundaries of what is humanly possible throw serious monkey wrenches into your theological truths, were they truths to begin with? For instance, what’s the real difference between a group of folks meeting regularly via, say, Facebook messenger and the ol’ brick and mortar church? Do we need physical proximity for it to be “two or three gathered in My name, led by an elder?” (I made up that last part)

    Like you said, Julie, we’re not necessarily being critical of their private church practices, only their practices as revealed by and contained in their public interactions and blog posts. If that’s a problem, stop writing. Otherwise, enjoy the, uh, joys of the egalitarian information consumption, and all the accountability for absurd opinions implied thereby.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Oh, no! He uttered the dreaded “e” word. That’s about as bad as the awful “f” word.

    So now we’ve moved the complimentarian view of marriage into the church pastor/member relationship. If Michael Kruger believes that the church is set up in a complimentarian relationship, then that means he thinks that pastors and members are Christians who are equal in Christ, yet distinct in their roles. The role of the pastor is to lead, mentor and discipline the members. The members are to submit to the pastor joyfully and expectantly.

    And people wonder if spiritual abuse is a “real thing.”

    Liked by 5 people

  3. Was the pastor who preemptively blocked you Phil Kidd? I posted a screen shot of his on the SSB FB page of the gun lawn signs his church is selling.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I like it that I can use Twitter to say pithy things at Doug Wilson, and there’s nothing he can do to stop me. 😀

    Also, all of these authoritarian pastor-demagogues need to get over themselves. If you can’t handle people asking questions and challenging your authority, then you need a different job. I suggest used car salesman or possibly flea market auctioneer.

    Liked by 5 people

  5. The “Christians with guns” sign is hilarious. I would buy one but I don’t want to give that guy any money. I may just print it from the screen grab and put it up in my living room anyway.

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  6. •‘Surfacey’ Interactions/Artificial Relationships.
    •Lack of Physical Presence
    •Low Commitment/Accountability

    Like David McGee excommunicating members on Facebook?

    This sounds like what Robert Lifton called Milieu Control in his criteria for thought reform.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Where in the Bible does it say that “the pastors…have real God-given authority”? Where is that? Is “pastor” specifically defined in the New Testament? Is it a title? A single leader position, an office that one main person holds as the primary authority? Where is that?

    Answer: Absolutely nowhere in the Bible. Not at all-zilch. Not there, doesn’t exist.

    It exists in the minds of men who love and idolize the authority that they proclaim themselves to have and that they exert to control others.

    Michael Kruger is dead on wrong. Michael, if you’re reading, please follow up. Tell me about this pastor position that means leader with God-given authority that is greater than others. Tell me about this pastor office cited in the New Testament that bears any resemblance to what you claim it is. I want chapter and verse that says there’s a single leader pastor position, basically a CEO of the church, backed by a board of elders, functioning essentially like a corporate board of directors, who can exercise authority over people within the body and have the unilateral right to determine not only the direction of the church, but who’s in and who’s out, who’s disciplined, who’s not, who’s right, who’s wrong.

    I want to see it.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. I think what he really means is that social media has broken their monopoly on “truth” and limited their ability to be totalitarian. Man, there is nothing more inconvenient than being challenged for something you said, just a few minutes after you say it!

    Liked by 3 people

  9. I looked at Phil Kidd’s Fb page. I’m wondering if he is an Independent Fundamentalist Baptist. What is with these guys fixation on guns after there has been a mass shooting?

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  10. Darlene, guys like Phil Kidd could not (apparently) give a **** less about any gun-related tragedy, other than how it will affect their “rights”. They cringe when they hear these stories, because the lasting impact to them is that the “liberals” confront their gun-worship once again. And he absolutely is a fundamentalist.

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  11. Yes, I was prompted to read those two paragraphs more closely as well. Let me make a few corrections for him.

    One of the most often overlooked effects of social media is how we view (authority figures(Scribes and Pharisees. (The internet)Jesus is the great equalizer—everyone has a voice. We all have a platform to speak our mind, to say our piece. After any article or news story, anyone can offer an opinion. And certainly much of this is good.

    But it can also lead to an “egalitarian” view of authority—that no one person’s opinion should be valued or weighted more than another’s. …there is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Gal 3:28)
    Needless to say, this presents problems for a biblical ecclesiology that understands the church and the (pastors) Pharisees to have (real) self-aggrandizing, self-assumed (God-given) self-proclaimed, arrived at after carefully cherry-picking verses of scripture and as carefully ignoring others authority which they have assumed, but which really belongs to God alone in the lives of its people.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Kathi: As far as texting at church goes, I am against it. Not because of “all eyes on pastor,” but because worship is directed toward God and it is sacred and holy. I think we should be willing to give God our full attention during the liturgy. However, I am coming from an Eastern Orthodox perspective and our worship is quite different than Protestant evangelical services. The sermon is just a small part of worship.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. JA, I read that article before you made this post today and I immediately saw the red flags in those sections that you highlight. The use of the word “egalitarian” is intentional, and it’s a subtle reprimand toward female bloggers & commenters who need to be kept in their place. The husbands aren’t disciplining their wives who are OUT OF CONTROL. Remember the Bayly Brother’s post: Women aren’t supposed to be correcting male pastors online – they are a disgrace and offensive to the Godly Order of Creation!

    Liked by 4 people

  14. Let me suggest that these people who are obsessed with exerting power and control through their man-made ecclesiastical structures are the pimps of the great whore who sits on many waters, and of her prostitute daughters. They make a great show of appealing to what is supposedly biblical, thereby prostituting the Bible itself. Yet they make no appeal to Jesus, who instructs them not to Lord it over others.

    Liked by 4 people

  15. Ok, I know I’m commenting a lot here but one more thing. I wouldn’t be surprised if members of these churches with controlling pastors will be instructed to sign membership covenants in which they promise not to criticize the Gospel Glitterati on social media. And if they do, they will be discipline. NO social media for you for six months and a public apology to the pastor, elders, and congregation! 😉

    Liked by 3 people

  16. Darlene – this is what happens when I read something and it tweaks me out. I had another post for today. 🙂 I really cannot stand it when people try to shut me or others down and blaming God for the use of that extra-Biblical control.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. BTW – As always – thanks much, everyone, for your patience on the blog with the timing of posts. It’s going to be hit/miss like this while I’m in school.

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  18. NO social media for you for six months

    They could just be proactive like my former cult. Ministers put passcodes on everyone’s iPhones and locked down certain features including the browser. Problem solved. Not that I want to give Kruger any ideas.

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  19. Kruger’s concern for “Lack of Physical Presence” is laughable. The only physical presence these “pastor” pimps want is the sort where the people they control sit side by side in pews, giving full attention on the man-in-control, with nary an opportunity to respond or discuss among themselves. In my experience these sociopathically narcissistic, self-proclaimed leaders (read “tyrants”) get very, very nervous, and even hostile, when their congregant-subjects start getting together for actual face-to-face, back-and-forth, fellowship. As a minimum, they will insist on being present so they can attempt, usually successfully, to control the conversation–and make themselves the center of attention.

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  20. @Truth Detector, yes and amen.

    I left Evangelicalism years ago and became an Anabaptist. For us, the question is not “Who has authority, and what do they do with it?” But “Should anyone have authority at all?” Looking back now that I’m removed from it, I’m struck by how absolutely obsessed many denominations, especially Fundamentalist denominations, are with regard to authority, position, office, anointing, leadership…

    Matthew 20:25-28: Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

    We are called to be servants, givers, slaves (I know this can be triggering for abuse survivors; Jesus used this term to address church leaders, shepherds, not sheep). Every one of us is called to the work of washing feet, laying down our lives, and extending mercy–this should be the primary work of a pastor.

    And–sorry, so long already–apart from my own spiritual authority given by God, my husband and my authority over each others’ bodies, and submission to governing authorities (not such a big deal; biblically-sanctioned creative resistance is always an option here), heirarchy isnt a part of my life; God is my authority. Not saying that any denomination is exempt from power hunger or abusive leadership–it isn’t–but I’m happy to leave that obsession behind.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. “Here’s a wild thought, and I’m not sure where this takes us, but let me ask this: If technological advances pushing the boundaries of what is humanly possible throw serious monkey wrenches into your theological truths, were they truths to begin with? For instance, what’s the real difference between a group of folks meeting regularly via, say, Facebook messenger and the ol’ brick and mortar church? Do we need physical proximity for it to be “two or three gathered in My name, led by an elder?” (I made up that last part)” – Gov Pappy

    Gov Pappy,

    Spot on! No doubt had these controlling pastoral types lived during the time of the Guttenberg printing press they would have opposed that technological advancement too.

    Here’s a great article for folks here to read by pastor Wade Burleson (pastor from Enid, OK who is the E-Church pastor on Sundays over at The Wartburg Watch blog) about the problem with today’s churches: authoritarianism.
    http://www.wadeburleson.org/2012/01/our-problem-is-authoritarianism-and-not.html

    Liked by 1 person

  22. First, I think I played a part in getting you blocked, my bad 😉

    Second, this makes me embarrassed I went to RTS. I’ve seen other posts by him and it’s just frustrating the things he says.

    Thirdly, I love this post because it’s so true. He’s using a position of power to try and guilt/manipulate ppl to stay silent and yet pastors need to be held accountable! And that’s a rampant problem within American churches; pastors are rarely held accountable or called out. It’s why I’m currently unable to go to church. I had my own bad experiences with pastors silencing me and shutting me down. I’m thankful for all the ppl on Twitter and other forms of social media starting to call out pastors! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Kruger’s words are no more than the vomit induced by the narcissistic rage of one who, being accustomed to receive worship-like adulation, now finds himself being challenged.

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  24. @Velour, I’m still not much of a “joiner,” but would consider myself a Mennonite.

    I appreciate the focus on tangible, creative peacemaking, simplicity, hospitality, justice, abstinence from nationalism, and a Christus Victor understanding of the cross. We also have a high view of scripture, but tend to be very Jesus-oriented instead of Pauline or OT.

    And pacifism. The refusal to deal violently with enemies is a powerful distinctive. I grew up in a pacifist denomination (Protestant, not Anabaptist) and was saturated with it, but if I am honest, this is what I struggle with most.

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  25. Darlene – My little texting during church (wink, wink) was a bit of a joke to Julie Anne, who may or may not have texted me during church.

    By the end of my time in church I had no problems sitting and knitting during the sermons. When it became obvious that the sermons seemed more like lectures and personal diatribes, I found that I needed something other than the preacher to focus on. I got some serious knitting done during that time. The angrier I was, the fast I knit!

    Liked by 3 people

  26. I just saw this post on Robert Morris in JA’s twitter feed:
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/2015/09/27/gateway-pastor-robert-morris-calls-blogs-satans-hit-list/
    (I saw you commented there, too, mirele. 🙂 )
    Skimming through the comments, I can see it’s a perfect example of why people like Kruger don’t want the sheep on social media. Do you think Kruger or any other celebrity pastor would have an issue if the feedback was always adulation? Of course not. They’re worried the sheep might realize they’re being fleeced.

    You might be in a cult if . . . your pastor tries to shield you from negative info about your church.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Jael, what kind of Anabaptist or Mennonite are you? I was born and raised Mennonite and my experience is that they are just as obsessed with who has the power as anyone else. I appreciate many things about my heritage but this isn’t one of them.

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  28. Kathi, Speaking of knitting – thanks for the Domestic Violence hand-knit ribbon you mailed to me here in California. I’m wearing it on my dress right now!

    I need a new Icelandic sweater. Any chance you could get “really angry” and knit me one? LOL.

    Liked by 2 people

  29. My mind always plays Prince’s piece “Thieves in the Temple” when I read these stories about these terrible pastors, and I am reminded of what Jesus said.

    Since it’s Friday night, here is the Jazz piece of “Thieves in the Temple” by Herbie Hancock and Michael Brecker.

    Like

  30. Julie Anne – Pastors like Phil Kidd have a very modern view of Scripture. In 1st Timothy 2:12 Paul was actually saying: ‘I do not permit a woman to text or to assume authority over a man; she must not have the internet’. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  31. “‘Surfacey’ Interactions/Artificial Relationships.
    Lack of Physical Presence”

    Does this concern also apply to pastors who spend little time interacting with their flocks because of speaking engagements, book writing, and conference attendance? Or does this only apply to the people in the pews paying for the privilege of their pastoral presence on the occasional Sunday? Looking at you, The Gospel Corporation…

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  32. Julie Anne – Pastors like Phil Kidd have a very modern view of Scripture. In 1st Timothy 2:12 Paul was actually saying: ‘I do not permit a woman to text or to assume authority over a man; she must not have the internet’. 🙂

    And what if I was responding to an elder’s wife who was telling me my new haircut was cute? Maybe she got permission from her elder husband to do that. Oh, I’m so confused.

    Liked by 2 people

  33. @Mrs. Tovar, I align most closely with MCUSA, but I’m still very much an outsider. My beliefs about authority probably have more to do with letting go of Evangelicalism, studying the scriptures on the issue more thoroughly, and finding freedom there, rather than embracing another denomination. I agree that Mennonites are certainly not exempt from power issues. J. H. Yoder, obviously, and the most controlling pastor I have ever encountered was an Anabaptist. Sadly, I think the Church in general attracts people who want to control others.

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  34. Velour – You’re welcome! As for the sweater, I have yarn at home waiting for two of my own that I have yet to get to. Maybe I need to listen to some Piper or Miano to get my fingers working faster.

    Liked by 2 people

  35. Kathi,

    Darlin’ you must have the patience of a saint. If I knew how to knit, and knit when really angry like you do, the name “Doug Wilson” could have made me knit a king size blanket in record time.

    Liked by 2 people

  36. @Jael, I was wondering about your Mennonite church. I liked your description of the different kinds of emphasis, but I thought they tended to be legalistic/controlling concerning dress, gender roles, church attendance, etc.?

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  37. Robert Morris chastised his followers to get off of the internet because it is filled with lies, yet, during his big Gateway Conference this week, he blocked me on Twitter for telling the truth.

    Gateway uses every major social media platform to promote their agenda and products. During this week’s Conference they had GW Pastor Niles Holsinger Periscoping each day. Pastor Niles used this internet platform to interview Lead Apostolic Elder Jimmy Evans. He opened by saying, “so you just finished your (Jimmy Evans, Sr Pastor Robert Morris, and Sr Pastor Tom Lane’s group) session. It was an awesome session. It was the first time I’ve ever seen three different Gods on the stage”. Jimmy hoots and claps his hands in staunch approval. This conference was attended by 3,500 pastors who apparently came to worship a new improved Trinity. GW Tweeted the pictures of the “three gods” espousing their godly wisdom between stand-up comedians, pyrotechnics and confetti cannons. I thought that most untruths at GW were delivered during the sermons. Maybe Morris has a point about lies on social media.

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  38. “But it can also lead to an “egalitarian” view of authority—that no one person’s opinion should be valued or weighted more than another’s. Needless to say, this presents problems for a biblical ecclesiology that understands the church and the pastors to have real God-given authority in the lives of its people.”

    Barf

    Liked by 1 person

  39. Here’s a fantastic tweet from JD Hall:

    It’s amazing, really- it reads like something out of “The Children Of The Corn.” Forget about that wimpy “love” and “forgiveness” crap that Jesus preached, right? Load your guns! Bring on the bombs! It’s time for Armageddon!!

    Liked by 1 person

  40. Yes, my former abusive, authoritarian, lying NeoCal pastor used to preach about the end of the world and war/battle themes, being given a white horse to ride on by Jesus. I used to sit in the pew and think to myself, “Dude, some how I think you don’t get how angry Jesus is with you for abusing all of these sheep. Jesus isn’t going to give you a white horse, so get over yourself. Jesus wouldn’t even trust you to ride a fence in the barn yard.”

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  41. You guys are forgetting the battle/warrior music. They are always marching to battle, like onward Christian soldiers on LSD.

    This whole social media explosion has leveled the playing field. Some of these tyrannical pastors who think they have “authority over ” other people’s lives are running scared. Kind of like abusive, thug cops being filmed committing crimes of violence they fear exposure and are reacting in the worst possible way that actually makes them look guilty.

    This is yet another reminder why I will never join another church or tithe / give a cent that is not designated to a certain purpose. Paying into a church just to fund these extravagant salaries is nothing short of ignorant.

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  42. Jael, many thanks for your explanation! My husband has given up on attending church. For the last three years I have mostly attended (not joined) a Church of the Brethren. This particular church have not tried to control me or my little boy in any way and they have been supportive in so many ways.

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  43. @Kathi:

    The role of the pastor is to lead, mentor and discipline the members. The members are to submit to the pastor joyfully and expectantly.

    Substitute “Dear Leader Comrade Kim Jong-Il” for “pastor”.

    Liked by 2 people

  44. @scott:

    You guys are forgetting the battle/warrior music. They are always marching to battle, like onward Christian soldiers on LSD.

    Makes you wish somebody’d given them a copy of Warhammer 40K instead of a Bible.
    “In the GrimDark Future, there will always be WAR!!!!!”
    “WAAAAAGH! DAKKA DAKKA DAKKA DAKKA DAKKA DAKKA DAKKA!!!!!

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  45. @Velour:

    Yes, my former abusive, authoritarian, lying NeoCal pastor used to preach about the end of the world and war/battle themes, being given a white horse to ride on by Jesus.

    Funny… In the Book of Revelation there are only two figures who are “given a white horse to ride on”, and neither of them is named “Pastor”.

    Did Pastor also brag about how he was going to sit at Jesus’ right hand like some sort of favroite concubine of the week?

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  46. @Dash:

    It’s amazing, really- it reads like something out of “The Children Of The Corn.” Forget about that wimpy “love” and “forgiveness” crap that Jesus preached, right? Load your guns! Bring on the bombs! It’s time for Armageddon!!

    He’s an amateur.
    Remember “Christians For Nuclear War” during the glory days of Hal Lindsay?

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  47. @Darlene:

    NO social media for you for six months and a public apology to the pastor, elders, and congregation! 😉

    That’s “Enlightened Self-Criticism before Party Commissars” or being Airplaned and made to sing “I am a Cow Headed Monster” by the Chairman’s Red Guard.

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  48. @Dash:

    The “Christians with guns” sign is hilarious. I would buy one but I don’t want to give that guy any money. I may just print it from the screen grab and put it up in my living room anyway.

    How about Cows with Guns?

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  49. BTDT,

    They could just be proactive like my former cult. Ministers put passcodes on everyone’s iPhones and locked down certain features including the browser.

    Your ex-cult actually did that!? Egad, it sounds like something straight out of the Cult of Hubbard.

    I really, really hope you weren’t in a group claiming to be Christian. If you were, then Christendom in America is even farther gone than I feared… 😦

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  50. Dash –

    (cueing music) This has been another installment of “Wise Words from JD.” Join us next week as we hear JD say, “Robust Calvinism is probably the only thing that can grab the attention and interest of a youth group as much as pizza and laser tag.”

    Liked by 2 people

  51. “If technological advances pushing the boundaries of what is humanly possible throw serious monkey wrenches into your theological truths, were they truths to begin with?”

    Very possibly, yes. We are not the only ones criticising theological ideas. (For the most part, this group actually criticise the behaviours of pastors, not theology itself.) It is, on the Internet, easier for an atheist to post a “there is no evidence Jesus ever existed” meme than for a historian to write on all the multiple extra-Biblical sources that mention Jesus.

    It is easier, once we come to people who actually read the Bible, to post: “I do not permit a woman to teach or have authority” than to apply good hermeneutic to the passage.

    Those are just two examples of how truth could be subverted by social media.

    Liked by 1 person

  52. Julie Anne,

    Mr. Kruger appears to be getting on his spiritual authority high horse saying, if you offer an opinion, you are treading too closely to an “egalitarian view of authority” which is threatening his God-given authority. He seems to be pulling the God card by saying that you are messing with God and the authority He placed in your life when you criticize “spiritual authority” on social media.

    Sounds like Kruger wants all of his pew sitters to be like the Buddy Bears (from the cartoon “Garfield and Friends”).

    Here’s the 2nd verse of their peppy (and rather disturbing) barbershop-style song:

    “Oh, we are the Buddy Bears, we never have a fight.
    Anyone who disagrees is never, ever right.
    If you have a point of view, then keep it out of sight!
    Oh, we are the Buddy Bears, we never have a fight!”

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  53. @SKiJ

    I really, really hope you weren’t in a group claiming to be Christian.

    They are convinced they have The Truth™. In fact, I’ve heard them say from the pulpit that they don’t know of any other churches that have as much Truth™, but they’re sure they’re out there somewhere. They do hold Christian beliefs, but they are a cult. They are very patriarchal and controlling. I’m not really sure one could lump them in with the rest on Christendom. They defy categorization.

    Too many people still support them. They are unique. Their core beliefs are Oneness Pentecostal, but they’ve adopted many Anabaptist beliefs and lifestyle. They live in community, farm with horses, build furniture, reconstruct barns. make cheese and soap, spin and weave. They birth their babies at home with untrained, unlicensed “midwives” and do not vaccinate. Some don’t even acquire birth certificates. They don’t vote in local, state or national elections, and they don’t sit on juries. They are non-violent and non-resistant. Many visitors mistake them for an Amish or Mennonite community. They will average around 10,000 visitors to their annual fair. They built GW’s ranch house in Crawford. They made the news for covering up child molestation.

    Even though I’ve been told that some local authorities are just waiting for the cult leadership to screw up, I grow increasingly skeptical that anything will ever happen. i just concentrate on healing myself and moving on. It’s all I can do right now.

    Like

  54. Now JD Hall is claiming “Jesus will splatter his feet with the blood of his enemies” is a direct Bible quote. Funny, I’ve read the entire Bible back to front a number of times, including Revelation, and I must have missed that verse every time.

    Liked by 2 people

  55. Other than the “low view of authority,” none of these are new complaints. I think almost every generation has thought that about the ones subsequent.

    What kills me about this statement is that most of the IFB and Neo/Hyper-Calvinist pastors who feel this way about their congregations are some of the most egregious offenders to the governing authorities (i.e, the president, Congressional leaders, Supreme Court justices, etc.) who do not share their extremely narrow world-view.

    While I do hold that any organizational structure, churches included, need leaders in order to work effectively and efficiently, church leaders are not to be like those of the world. Jesus Himself said “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them…but you are not to be like that” (Luke 22:25-26). Too many hyper-authoritarian leaders view honest questions as insurrection and an affront to their “God ordained position” rather than viewing questions and concerns as either 1. someone using their Spiritual gift of discernment or 2. an opportunity to lovingly instruct a weaker brother or sister.

    Liked by 1 person

  56. “Surfacey’ Interactions/Artificial Relationships”
    Surfacy?
    In a literal congregation, 2/3 of conversation is things like “how are you?” and an obliged “I am fine.” On the Internet, we jump right into issues.
    In a literal congregation, the intelligence by which people answer you depend on how sophisticated you look: More effort is spent answering one who seems to be rich than answering someone who looks plainly dressed and goes to church by foot. On the Internet, the answer you get depends on the intelligence of the question you ask and who you ask it of. I have even had Bible translator N.T. Wright answer me on a specialist issue once.
    In a literal congregation, you discuss topics the majority may need for as long as a Bible study group that last an hour or two. On the Internet, I could specialize in studying the issue I am called to from all sides for years.
    Surfacy?

    Liked by 3 people

  57. Oh Mr. Kruger, get over your bad self.
    It reminds me of when Chuck Smith threw the old “Don’t mess with God’s anointed” threat out to those who were challenging him.
    My goodness, the egos of these men.

    Liked by 3 people

  58. Dash said: “Now JD Hall is claiming “Jesus will splatter his feet with the blood of his enemies” is a direct Bible quote”
    Yeah, right out of the “Gospel” of Saint Wombat again. ;-(

    Like

  59. Yes! You are absolutely right. The deepest conversations I’ve had have been with a few friends online, some of which I only know online. Humans have a tendency to be superficial with appearances and mannerisms when choosing companions. The internet can strip away that tendency. Two of my closest friends are individuals who I most likely would not have gotten close to if I’d met them in a church setting.

    At very least they need to realize that not all people are the same.

    Liked by 2 people

  60. I visited a friend in DC recently who attends a 9marks plant. So of course I got a hold of some of their Sunday school literature and took some pictures. It was discussing David Brainerd, who apparently was severely introverted. They were not particularly kind to that aspect if his character. He needed a lot of alone time, which they thought needed to be balanced with more time spent witnessing and fellowshipping.

    Nice of them to pick apart a dead, tormented, diseased man’s spiritual life hundreds of years later so they can guilt trip the rest of us introverts for being often terrified of human interaction and confrontation.

    Point being, if I didn’t have the internet and friends willing to listen and share their lives and struggles with me online, I’d be a nutcase with faith so fragile I’d always be on the tipping point.

    Like

  61. @govpappy,

    I’m not an introvert, but I do value my privacy. I found at my former insufferable authoritarian NeoCal church that we weren’t permitted to have personal privacy. One aggressive woman demanded my personal business. I told her I didn’t discuss it and it’s private. She threw a temper tantrum that I didn’t *trust* her. Before I knew it, she had reported me to the pastors/elders and I was called by the chairman of the elder board to come in to meetings and to “answer” for myself. Just nutcases…all of them!

    I believe you’ve posted previously here or at The Wartburg Watch about a bad church experience in which your wife fled an intrusive church group in tears.

    Like

  62. Velour,
    That’s correct. They were very intrusive, without building trust. We are both introverts and keep very few people close to us, but those few are practically family and know all our dirty secrets.
    The pastor and his wife met us once at their home (where they asked us a lot of personal questions), and eventually we made it to their small group. There, in “casual conversation”, the questions ranged from “so where do you work?” to “So, how’s your marriage?”

    This was besides the intrusive official questions in her ladies-only group that brought her to tears.

    They have strange ideas of love, community, and intimacy.

    Seems yours had the same idea, with the added benefit of coming unglued upon rejection. I wonder what the pastor’s wife would have said if my wife had simply said “I don’t feel comfortable sharing this with you yet.” Just because your husband was “called” into ministry doesn’t give him any license to intrude into our lives, without there being a level of trust attained through honest friendship.

    Yeah I’m gonna pass on their ideas of church and community.

    Liked by 2 people

  63. Social media is challenging God-given authority sort of similarly to the way movable type and widespread literacy challenged the concept of the divine rule of kings.

    Gee, I wonder how I stayed focused long enough for my learning style to come up with that point.

    Liked by 2 people

  64. These guys are absolutely obsessed with authority. What is up with that?

    Their complaining about Christians criticizing or responding on blogs or social media to what preachers say, write or do comes across as arrogant to me.
    —————-
    But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. 26 “It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant,… (Matthew 20:25 )

    Liked by 1 person

  65. JD Hall @PulpitAndPen
    @addictionquoter Why are you using Jesus in past tense? “Jesus was.” Jesus WILL splatter his feet with the blood of his enemies. #Bible
    __________________________________________________________________

    Have these self-proclaimed leaders with their power and authority fetishes ever considered that in casually discarding Jesus’ words when He spoke of being a servant of all, the least and last, if you wish to be a leader, this Jesus Who inspired Paul to write of no one ever leading by compulsion, but by godly example only they may have made themselves the very enemies upon whom He might “splatter his feet with blood”?

    He will come back, you know, and He’s not coming on a donkey, but a white horse, and when He was here last time, it seems that He singled out for particular censure the very sorts of leaders who like to forever proclaim their authority and power to discipline. Have these people no fear of God?

    Like

  66. BeenThereDoneThat wrote,

    NO social media for you for six months
    They could just be proactive like my former cult. Ministers put passcodes on everyone’s iPhones and locked down certain features including the browser. Problem solved. Not that I want to give Kruger any ideas.

    This church did this to adults??? 😯

    Treating adults like children is popular with a lot of churches and preachers, I’ve noticed.

    And on top of that, the gender complementarians like to treat grown women like little girls.

    Liked by 1 person

  67. Gary W said,

    Kruger’s concern for “Lack of Physical Presence” is laughable. The only physical presence these “pastor” pimps want is the sort where the people they control sit side by side in pews, giving full attention on the man-in-control,

    I’ve read somewhere (maybe Lydia, who posts here and on other blogs brought this up?) that people tend to give more money ($$$$$ Money $$$$$) to churches when they show up and plant their behind in a pew.

    I suspect that is why churches are so heavily shaming people who don’t show up in person anymore, and why they guilt trip you if you don’t go or only watch services on TV.

    Ooooh, before the internet. I remember watching televised church shows in the 1990s where the preachers would shame and blame you on their TV show!

    They would often say something like, “I know some are too frail or sick to show up in person, so I understand if you are watching church services on TV. But anyone and everyone else should be attending a church in person every week.”

    Like

  68. @Loura Shares, among other Mennonite groups, there are:
    Old Order Mennonites: very similar to Amish.
    Conservative Mennonites: defined roles for men and women in marriage and church, plain dress, head coverings for women during prayer/worship, order is important.
    Evangelical Mennonites: pretty much like it sounds
    Mennonite Church USA: more liberal/progressive (this is relative), commitment to racial reconciliation, all ministry positions are open to women, emphasis on honoring/respecting children, not usually plain dress/head coverings, although some do. The churches I’ve encountered here tend to be very affirming of women in ministry, and there’s a lot of anti-authoritarian sentiment, but it probably varies a lot, too.

    @Mrs. Tovar, I feel you on resistance to being controlled—that is a huge issue for me and why we left our church. I hope the experience of attending a non-controlling church brings freedom and healing to your and your family. God bless you.

    I’ve had let downs in this denomination and will probably experience many more, but it was a relief for me to put a name to my theology. Ultimately, I need to fix my eyes on Jesus instead of a denomination, doctrine, or pastor. The comments on this thread are a big encouragement in that direction. I also really needed to laugh tonight, so thank you.

    In Kruger’s list, the heading “Overfocus on Equality” is so head-shakingly funny. I’m trying to recall how over-focusing on equality has afflicted Christianity. The church’s support of slavery and segregation? Nope, not caused by too much equality. Abuse of women and children in the church? Probably not that either. Meting out punishment to subordinates like Wycliffe, Servetus,Tyndale… I might be at this for awhile.

    Liked by 1 person

  69. Dash said,

    OCTOBER 10, 2015 @ 9:42 AM
    Now JD Hall is claiming “Jesus will splatter his feet with the blood of his enemies” is a direct Bible quote. Funny, I’ve read the entire Bible back to front a number of times, including Revelation, and I must have missed that verse every time.

    Jesus Uncrossed (SNL skit) (You Tube)

    Like

  70. @Daisy,

    Nice to see you back commenting, friend! I was hoping to see you around again and just said a prayer for you yesterday.

    I think it was Lydia who pointed out that all of the new church plants are done in very rich neighborhoods and never in poor ones! Of course, I thought. Duuhhhh! My former church rented a Seventh Day Adventist Church on Sundays (the SDAs worship on Saturdays) in an exclusive neighborhood with multimillion dollar homes.

    Sometimes I am a little slow on the draw.

    Liked by 2 people

  71. Mrs. Tovar, Where do you attend a “Church of the Brethren”? On another website there is a man who attended one his entire life and claims they were ultra controlling right down to when and if he and his wife could have sex. His wife left him. Are these independently run?

    Like

  72. I attend Pine Glen Church of the Brethren, near Mattawanna, PA in central PA. My personal observation is that while these churches do seem to work together somewhat, they vary very widely, similar to the Mennonites. This particular church is not at all conservative, (meaning women in slacks, uncovered heads, short hair, in leadership positions, etc). They aren’t controlling either though I expect that you could find controlling groups in this denomination too.

    Like

  73. @ Velour OCTOBER 10, 2015 @ 10:22 PM
    Thank you so much, Velour. Thank you so much for the prayers. I could really use them.

    If anyone else could keep me in their prayers, I would appreciate that too. I recently had something upsetting happen, and I may have something unsettling coming up several months from now too – but that is kind of up in the air, it might not happen, but it may.

    I’m sorry to be so vague about what is going on, but because I try not to give away too much identifying information about myself, I don’t feel as though I can mention particulars (at least not on a public blog).

    (It’s really hard too, without anyone I can phone or talk to in person about what is going on lately. I do have family near, but they cannot be bothered with me or my concerns, so I’ve pretty much stopped phoning them or asking them for prayer or for help of any kind.)

    But yes, as to church planting, in the United States, these denominations or preachers almost always target communities that are affluent. They are going where the money is, instead of where a church may be truly needed.

    I’m sure that wealthy people need Jesus too, but I bet these church planters are ignoring a lot of lower middle class or impoverished people.

    And the New Testament tells Christians not to favor people (no favortism), not to favor the wealthy.

    Liked by 3 people

  74. I assume that that guy who wrote calls himself a red-blooded American:

    But it can also lead to an “egalitarian” view of authority—that no one person’s opinion should be valued or weighted more than another’s.

    Last I checked, our Declaration of Independence says we were all created equal. So yes, we all get one vote. We all have the right to our own opinion, and unless he’s one of the top Bible scholars in the world, then no, he really doesn’t have any authority biblically or socially over any of us.

    This is a No Diva zone.

    Liked by 1 person

  75. Unfortunately, these power-obsessed “pastors,” also known as pimps of the Great Whore who sits on many waters, are likely to see the Declaration of Independence as further confirmation of their misogynistic and often racist views and practices. The Declaration says “all MEN are created equal.” Women need not apply. As for black male slaves, they do not appear to have been considered human.

    These people are capable of distorting, not just the words of Thomas Jefferson, but of God Himself.

    Like

  76. Hi Daisy,
    I will continue to keep you in prayer. If you want to talk or email privately, please send Julie Anne your information to pass on to me.

    Liked by 1 person

  77. @ Dash

    I think that “verse” is somewhat “mis” quoted from Isaiah 63:1-6. About splatterin his feet with blood.

    Like

  78. I think you are being unfair to Dr. Kruger. Just because TGC linked to one of his articles doesn’t make him an abusive pastor. I don’t post here very often but I do come here to read. At times many of you are just as guilty as those you accuse. Be careful that you do not become like those you are criticizing. Dr. Michael J Kruger is a respected scholar and published author. If you want to take him on, be prepared to do it like scholars.

    Like

  79. @Bystander,

    Kruger’s intellect is not the issue. The issue is his heart. Kruger’s words, by which he would elevate himself over the mere laity, are all we need to conclude that his heart is dark, that he is an abusive “pastor.”

    You are no doubt correct to say that Kruger is respected by many. The trouble is that he appears to demand to be respected. I would go so far as to argue that this is evidence that he is outside the faith. “How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another. . .” (John 5:44 ESV)

    Liked by 3 people

  80. And you think you know his heart?

    I quote this paragraph from the article:

    “The second paragraph above is the most disturbing to me. Mr. Kruger appears to be getting on his spiritual authority high horse saying, if you offer an opinion, you are treading too closely to an “egalitarian view of authority” which is threatening his God-given authority. He seems to be pulling the God card by saying that you are messing with God and the authority He placed in your life when you criticize “spiritual authority” on social media.”

    Actually, no. This is as assumption – putting words in Kruger’s mouth, so to speak. As someone who has been reading Kruger’s work for quite some time, I think I have to agree with some of his concerns (by the way, his article was published over three years ago). Have you not noticed that there are people on the internet who make comments about subjects they are clearly not qualified to comment on? Would you really enjoy belonging to an organization of any kind (not just a church) where the opinion of the least skilled person was as valuable as that of the most skilled? In this scenario, would you have a well-functioning group?

    You will never get people to take you seriously as long as you lump professors with earned PhDs in with every jackleg street shrieker and call them abusers.

    Like

  81. Bystander,
    Like Opinemine, I too am a published author. In fact several of my books are higher ranked on Amazon today than Michael Kruger’s. (Yes, in Bible categories.)
    So…as one who has authority over you and Kruger (based on your criterion), I will command both of you to imitate Christ and say what Jesus said.

    Liked by 4 people

  82. Yes, Bystander, I can discern Kruger’s heart by his words. “You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” (Matthew 12:34 ESV). ” You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.”(Matthew 12:34 ESV).

    While those with earned PhD’s are deserving of recognition for their accomplishments, I am not willing to recognize that being learned is a guaranty of good character, or of wisdom. A cousin of mine who is a PhD, a tenured professor of physical chemistry, a chairman of his department (now retired), and a believer, once lamented to me that, based on his experience, there are a great many highly educated fools.

    While knowledge puffs up, love builds up. What I discern in Kruger’s statements is a puffed up attempt to occupy an elevated position. He does so by a manipulative, even coercive, appeal to authority. He would be more effective were he to attempt to win by acts of love.

    Liked by 4 people

  83. “based on his experience, there are a great many highly educated fools.” – Gary W

    A man I dated who had a Ph.D. from an Ivy league school said to me,
    “Ph.D. stands for Permanent Head Damage”. LOL.

    Liked by 1 person

  84. Okay you published authors – let’s see links to your books. Would they be acceptable as references for academic papers? Kruger’s are. Go ahead and mock higher education all you want to; like the trash talkers on ‘The View” that badmouthed the nurse, we all have a right to our opinions.

    I have been wondering for some time if this is a serious blog or just a group of people playing some kind of internet parlor game. I notice that there are never very many responses to the Sunday gathering place posts, but the fingers fly to the keyboard when there is a post about someone who is apparently a Calvinist.

    Anyone who claims to be able to discern someone else’s heart by reading a blog post is no different than a Tarot card reader.

    Like

  85. Bystander,

    Are you the same person who posts over at The Wartburg Watch demanding to know why they criticize Calvinists? It sounds the same.

    If that’s you…why not start your own blog with your own views? This has been discussed over at TWW.

    Liked by 3 people

  86. Bystander,

    Ha, ha. No this is not a serious blog. This is a fun and entertaining blog. We are having fun showing you that anyone who is arrogant and demands authority over others just on the basis of having passed a few years of school, is acting contrary to the teaching of Jesus Christ (who by the way, never published anything nor did he earn a Ph.D.).

    Liked by 5 people

  87. Jesus Christ (who by the way, never published anything nor did he earn a Ph.D.)

    Who did that Jesus think he was? He was conceived out of wedlock, born in a barn, and laid in an animal feeding trough. How dare he think he knew better than the educated scribes and pharisees. The nerve of that man! Those educated men showed him, didn’t they? They had him crucified. Yeah. Take that, Jesus. We’ll follow the published Ph.D.s, thankyouverymuch.

    Liked by 2 people

  88. So, Bystander starts out by expressing his disagreement with a certain amount of civility, but quickly descends into the cesspool of ad hominem invective. I find it interesting that so many trolls who make their appearances here are Calvinists. What’s with that?

    Liked by 2 people

  89. “Those educated men showed him, didn’t they? They had him crucified.”

    Hear, hear! And the highly educated and admittedly brilliant John Calvin arranged for and participated in the judicial murder of Miguel Servetus. By slow roasting on a stake, which may well be an even more horrendous manner of death than even crucifixion. Is it even possible to imagine what it must be like to be slowly cooked from the feet up, all the while suffocating from smoke-filled lungs?

    “Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad, for the tree is known by its fruit. (Matthew 12:33 ESV)

    Liked by 2 people

  90. Gary, thanks for mentioning Miguel Serveries. I’ve never really researched John Calvin before, but the fact that he arranged to have a man executed for disagreeing with his theology tells me all I care to know. Piss on Calvinism.

    Liked by 2 people

  91. Dammit. Miguel Servetus. Stupid autocorrect.

    Mod note: Most of the time JA fixes oopsies. This time, the response to the oopsy is too funny to remove 🙂 Thanks for the laugh, Dash 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  92. Bystander

    Yeah, you go for it, promote those edjumacated…
    authures, and prefeesors, and pastures…

    Grat question @ OCTOBER 12, 2015 @ 5:32 PM…
    “Would you really enjoy belonging to an organization
    of any kind (not just a church)
    where the opinion of the least skilled person
    was as valuable as that of the most skilled?”
    ———-

    Seems you and the Religious Leaders 2000 years ago are in agreement. 😉 Even though Peter and John went about healing folks, Acts 3:1-9. and preaching salvation in the name of Jesus. The Religious Leaders thought they were **unlearned and ignorant men.**

    Acts 4:1-15 KJV
    13 Now when they (rulers, and elders, and scribes, the high priest, V5)
    saw the boldness of Peter and John, and
    perceived that they were **unlearned and ignorant men,**
    they marvelled;
    and they took knowledge of them,
    **that they had been with Jesus.**

    Yeah, us’en edjumacated priests be reel smrt…
    But we can’t do what His Disciples be doin…
    Lets stop em and puts them in jail.
    Maybe dat wil stop em. Oh yeah, N’ we’ll “Treaten dem. Silence dem.

    Acts 4:17
    “let us straitly threaten them,
    that they speak henceforth to no man in this name.’
    ——–

    Yup – Nothing has changed much in 2000 years. 😉

    The pastors today, like Michael J. Kruger, who think they have Power. Who think they “have real God-given authority in the lives of its people,” (They do NOT.) can not stand an “egalitarian” view of authority.” They do NOT like the idea, “The internet is the great equalizer—everyone has a voice.” And want to silence those who dis-agree.

    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.

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

    Liked by 2 people

  93. Hey Bystander,

    I’m a professor, been in academia for well over a decade. And I can say that neither Kruger nor any prof is immune from being lumped in with “jackleg street shriekers”. Some are, some couldn’t veritably slap their butts with both hands in the dark, some are outright frauds and scams, some may have managed to tally up multiple academic degrees but are full blooded fools. Dr. Kruger apparently is teetering close to this standing based on what I read in the referenced article. Is he an abusive pastor? I cannot specifically know, but I do know that what he claims, the authority he apparently thinks he and other pastors (whatever a “pastor” is, the NT is silent as to the definition, but it is most definitively not a CEO-type leader with authority over a congregation, because such does not exist in the Kingdom of God) have, is a full invitation to abuse, a license to abuse.

    I would be glad to take him on as a scholar, and yes I do have published academic articles, and yes I have served on the editorial staff of a respected academic journal as well as reviewing articles for a number of others, and yes I have contributed to a text.

    I am a scholar, and I can say conclusively that having read Kruger, he is an ignoramus with regard to the scriptures that cover the issues he brings up in the article cited above; the article is intellectually and spiritually bankrupt. That is my opinion as a scholar.

    I am a scholar, are you?

    Liked by 2 people

  94. truthdetector142

    Well said @ OCTOBER 13, 2015 @ 4:21 PM…

    “ (whatever a “pastor” is, the NT is silent as to the definition,
    but it is most definitively not a CEO-type leader
    with authority over a congregation, because
    such does not exist in the Kingdom of God)”

    Liked by 1 person

  95. Bystander

    You write @ OCTOBER 12, 2015 @ 3:04 PM…
    “Dr. Michael J Kruger is a respected scholar and published author.”

    Well, he might be respected, in reformed circles.
    But, I have some questions for you.

    On the RTS website, in Kruger’s letter to potential new students it says…
    “RTS Charlotte is committed to **the absolute authority of Scripture**…”

    And, on the page for understanding, “The Reformed Tradition” it says…

    https://www.rts.edu/site/about/reformed_tradition/reformed_tradition.aspx

    “… our primary goal is to develop *leaders*
    for service in the body of Christ.
    RTS has helped to prepare thousands of *pastors,*
    counselors, missionaries, evangelists, teachers, youth ministers,
    and other *church leaders* in a variety of Christian denominations.”
    ———–

    1 – Where, in the Bible, is **the absolute authority of Scripture**
    “to prepare thousands of *pastors?*” To prepare Any pastors?

    2 – Where, in the Bible, is **the absolute authority of Scripture**
    “to develop leaders?” To prepare “church leaders?”
    ———

    Do you believe Dr. Michael J Kruger and RTS Charlotte…
    “Are really committed to **the absolute authority of Scripture?**”

    It doesn’t look like it – does it?

    Like

  96. Bystander

    A few more questions…

    3 – Did you know, in **the absolute authority of Scripture**
    NOT one of His Disciples called them self pastor? Or leader?
    NOT one of His Disciples called another Disciple pastor? Or leader?
    NOT one of His Disciples took the “Title/Position” of pastor? Or leader?
    NOT one of His Disciples was “Hired or Fired” as a pastor? Or leader?

    4 – Did you know, in **the absolute authority of Scripture** Mat 23:10 NASB
    Jesus taught His Disciples NOT to be called leaders?
    For “ONE” is your Leader, that is, Christ?
    But the greatest among you shall be your “Servant?”
    Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled?
    and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted?

    And Humble means…
    “having a modest or low estimate of one’s own importance.”

    5 – Do you know many Reformed, or any, pastors/leaders/reverends…
    “having a modest or low estimate of their own importance?” Humble?

    6 – Did you know, in **the absolute authority of Scripture**
    The only one with the Title, or called Himself, or is referred to as…
    Shepherd – Leader – Reverend… IS…

    {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}
    ———

    Do you believe Dr. Michael J Kruger and RTS Charlotte…
    “Are really committed to **the absolute authority of Scripture?**”

    It doesn’t look like it – does it?

    Like

  97. Bystander – You asked if this was some kind of “internet parlor game.”

    I wasn’t quite sure what that meant, so I went on the internet, that one place called “Google,” and searched parlor games. The images that came up were very interesting. But, sir, (I assume you are a “he” – I hope you question men in this way as well) I am not that kind of lady to play those parlor games that the internet images show me. Unless we are talking about Victorian internet parlor games. I hear they can be saucy.

    Like

  98. @Amos

    When these people attach the adjective “biblical” to their doctrines of men, they do so for the purpose of stopping the conversation. When they appeal to the absolute authority of the the Scripture their doctrines allegedly reflect, they do so for the purpose of stopping thought itself.

    Liked by 2 people

  99. Bystander,
    I am a common person. I don’t claim any acronyms behind my name. I am not a Bible scholar by any means. I do feel that people here are my teachers and one or 2 who at first I had my own doubts about and later I have come to respect as I have been humbled by my lack of knowledge. I do know one thing, the Spirit within me will teach me and lead me.

    My Savior did not have a PhD or have any seminary degree. PRAISE GOD!! He didn’t need one. He had the Father to guide Him. Paul, who was highly educated in the Jewish Law counted it all worthless having met the Living God. I have had the pleasure of hearing people teach about Jesus who had no education other than possibly high school that I’d rather listen to than a preacher who has a Master’s or Dr. in their title. I often talk to an 89 year old man who has spent his entire life speaking to anyone and everyone about how good Jesus is. He is a humble man who loves the Savior. He doesn’t even claim to be a teacher, but he knows his Bible inside and out. He looks forward to seeing Him in person and throwing any crowns he MIGHT get at Jesus feet. How many have you heard with a PhD even speak of such things?

    Some very good questions and comments have been put out there for you to consider and I hope you do.

    Liked by 1 person

  100. Hi Brenda R

    Ab.soul.lutly…. Great thinkin when you say… 😉
    “I do know one thing, the Spirit within me will teach me and lead me.”
    ———–
    I wonder if President, Dr. Michael J Kruger, and RTS Charlotte?
    Who are “committed to **the absolute authority of Scripture**…”
    Will teach their Reformed Students? What Jesus teaches His Disciples?

    Jesus, in the Gospels, teaches His Disciples who will, teach, and lead them…
    God – God the Father – God the Son – God the Holy Spirit…

    Jesus, in the Gospels, taught His Disciples, Mat 23:8-10 NASB…
    1 – But do NOT be called Rabbi (Rabbi, a Title Jews give to their teachers.)
    For ”ONE” is your Teacher, the Christ, and you are ALL brothers.”

    2 – And do NOT be called leaders; for “ONE” is your Leader, that is, Christ.
    ———–

    Does anyone believe, President, Dr. Michael J Kruger, and RTS Charlotte?
    Who are “committed to **the absolute authority of Scripture**…”
    Are teaching their Reformed Students? What Jesus teaches His Disciples?

    NOT likely… 😉

    Like

  101. Brenda R

    Here are a few more verses confirming what you wrote…
    “I do know one thing, the Spirit within me will teach me and lead me.”

    Jesus, in the Gospels, taught His Disciples…
    3 – And they will ALL be taught by God. John 6:45 ESV
    His Disciple John, an apostle, taught, in 1 John 2:20-27 KJV
    “the anointing… abides in you” “you need NOT any man teach you.”
    ———-
    Jesus, in the Gospels, taught His Disciples…
    4 – The Holy Spirit… will teach you ALL things… John 14:26 HCSB
    His Disciple Paul, an apostle, taught, in Gal 1:10-12 NKJV
    The Gospel he preached was NOT from man…
    ———-
    Jesus, in the Gospels, taught His Disciples…
    5 – ALL truth will come as the Spirit of truth guides and leads. Jn 16:13 KJV

    His Disciple Paul, an apostle, taught, in Rom 8:14 KJV
    Those “Led” by the Spirit of God, are the sons of God.
    ———-
    Jesus, in the Gospels, taught His Disciples…
    6 – Jesus as man, does nothing of himself, and is taught of God. Jn 8:28 KJV

    In Mat 16:15-17, Peter is taught by God, and knows, Jesus is the Christ.
    Jesus, tells Peter, he is “blessed,” for two reasons
    1 – flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee,
    2 – but my Father which is in heaven.

    Here is Jesus, NOT taking any credit for Peter knowing who Jesus is.
    ———-
    Jesus, in the Gospels, taught His Disciples…
    7 – Jesus is the Good Shepherd. Jesus is the “ONE” Shepherd. Jn 10:11-16 KJV

    And, In the Bible, it looks like His Disciples believed Jesus, Because…
    NOT one of His Disciples took the “Title,” shepherd. Or pastor. Or leader.
    ———-
    Jesus, in the Gospels, teaches His Disciples who will, teach, and lead them…
    God – God the Father – God the Son – God the Holy Spirit…
    ———-
    Does anyone believe, President, Dr. Michael J Kruger, and RTS Charlotte?
    Who are “committed to **the absolute authority of Scripture**…”
    Are teaching their Reformed Students? What Jesus teaches His Disciples?

    NOT likely… 😉

    What is popular is NOT always “Truth.”
    What is “Truth” is NOT always popular.

    Like

  102. Hi Gary

    These pastor guys, have trained the folks when they “say” “it’s biblical,”
    Sheeple, automatically go into a trance, mesmerized, and just believe them.
    I did. I was taught to “trust” these “Mans of Gaaawwwddd. 😦 Oy Vey!!!

    But, when you asks different questions, you gets different answers… 😉

    Now, RTS, is a seminary, which “sounds” important, and WE, His Sheep, just accept this is the way it’s supposed to work. After all, we dumb sheep need an edjumacated reverend to teach us. And, WE, His Disciples, never question these institutions or their “Titled” graduates. But, what is the record, the accomplishments, of these seminaries? (Or should I say “Cemetery’s?”) How well do these institutions really train these folks?

    If anyone was to check the record of any Seminary today training these young wanna-be’s – they would find their record is abysmal, shocking, a failure rate of the greatest magnitude.

    A Seminary should be required by “Law” to post the horrible statistics about their failures, and post the headlines about this dangerous profession, “Pastor/Leader/Reverned” in ALL literature sent to prospective students. 😉

    BUT – They will NOT. They need to keep the gud-ole-boys-club alive.
    ———-

    Now, maybe I’m exaggerating? Here’s just a couple of stats to look at.
    http://www.pastoralcareinc.com/statistics/
    ———–
    50% of the ministers starting out will NOT last 5 years.

    Of the remaing 50%…
    50% of pastors feel so discouraged that they would leave the ministry
    if they could, but have no other way of making a living.

    Wow – Only 25% kinda wind-up likeing what they do.
    ———–
    90% feel they are inadequately trained to cope with the ministry demands.
    Wow – nine out of ten feel the seminaries didn’t NOT train well.
    ———–
    80% of pastors’ spouses wish they would choose a different profession.
    Wow – Doesn’t sound good for marital bliss. 😉
    ———–
    33% confess having involved in sexual behavior with someone in the church.
    Wow – One out of three… Is that a lot?
    ——–
    And these are the guys runnin-the-show.

    Does this info give anyone confidence in today’s seminary trained pastors?

    Or should I say Cemetery trained pastors?

    And, NOT one of His Disciples was Hired by a church as a pastor/leader.

    Will these seminaries tell this to the young wanna-be’s?

    When you believe the lie you start to die…

    Liked by 2 people

  103. Hey everyone, thank you for the prayers. I truly appreciate it.

    Please keep it up. I’m still facing some of the same problems, but shortly after you guys started praying on my behalf, my anxiety and panic attacks (caused by some of the stuff that’s happened or may happen) was cut significantly.

    I really do appreciate the prayers. Thank you. It means a lot to know that people care.

    Liked by 6 people

  104. Bystander said, Okay you published authors – let’s see links to your books. Would they be acceptable as references for academic papers? Kruger’s are. Go ahead and mock higher education all you want to; like the trash talkers on ‘The View” that badmouthed the nurse, we all have a right to our opinions.

    I have been wondering for some time if this is a serious blog or just a group of people playing some kind of internet parlor game. I notice that there are never very many responses to the Sunday gathering place posts, but the fingers fly to the keyboard when there is a post about someone who is apparently a Calvinist. I usually skim over the Sunday gathering threads, though I may not post on them.

    But you see what just happened here on this thread? I said I was upset, and several people said they were praying for me, which means a lot to me (and their prayers must have helped, because my anxiety has gone down quite a bit).

    I’m not quite sure what everyone’s beliefs are who said they are praying for me or wishing the best for me, but I would assume most (all?) are Christians (even if they are not, I am deeply appreciative still).

    What they were doing was practicing church – on a blog, in this thread. They saw someone who was in need, and they stepped up to do what they could. That cheers me up on another level.

    One reason of a few I’ve had a hard time holding on to the Christian faith is that I see so few Christians actually do what the Bible says they are to do for others, such as offer prayer, or be a source of emotional support. (This would include Christian family of mine.)

    You may be ticked off that some of the people on this blog or thread are critical of one of your favorite teachers / authors or your favorite brand of theology (Calvinism?) but their actions in this thread makes me pause and reconsider, and think, maybe there is something to this Christianity stuff after all.

    Every act of kindness I get shown from another Christian (and these are from folks I’ve never even met in real life on this blog!!) speaks very favorably of Christianity. (And to reiterate, I don’t take kindness from Non-Christians shown to me for granted either, that means a lot too.)

    Maybe take all that into consideration, Bystander?

    Liked by 3 people

  105. A correction. I guess I forgot to put the end tag on my blockquote.

    Bystander’s words end at –
    “…Sunday gathering place posts, but the fingers fly to the keyboard when there is a post about someone who is apparently a Calvinist. ”

    And my comments start after that statement.

    Like

  106. Daisy – Glad to hear you’re doing so much better! There are plenty of fine folks her who have got you covered!

    As far as Bystander’s issue with not as many comments on Sundays, all I can say is, “So what?” Why does that even matter? One of the reasons why I’m glad not to be in a church building on a Sunday morning is that I was tired of playing church. Sundays mornings grew to be exhausting and often times I dreaded Saturday night because of the thought of what was to come. I don’t comment much on the Sunday posts that I do because I work on Sundays. It’s a retail job, someone has to. But I’m always look forward to seeing what gets placed on there when I get home in the evening. The Sunday posts are meant to be a bit more casual and encouraging. I’m glad it’s the way it is.

    Liked by 3 people

  107. Conversely, Kathi, I have been blessed to find a good local church and I do watch/listen to the worship music and an occasional teaching and I appreciate/respect the sense of community here that has spawned e-church, but I am irritated by Bystander’s nitpicky attitude. Lets see…..my pat answer at my old Calvinistic legalistic bat guano nuttiistic church….yes, I will give your comments all the attention they deserve.

    Liked by 1 person

  108. Wait! Wait!! Where’s Bystander? He comes in here and starts pushing people around, insinuating they’re stupid, and worse. Then when he starts experiencing push back, he takes off. Runs from a fight he provoked.

    On the playground, there’s a name for people like these. Well, actually several names.

    Liked by 2 people

  109. Gary W,

    I was waiting for Julie Anne to put him in the dog house if he kept it up. And then I would post the Tracy Chapman singing the “Hound Dog” song, at a Kennedy Center Honors Buddy Guy. (The Wartburg Watch has a song that they post when they ban someone…Sarah Brightman and Andrea Bocelli singing (opera)
    “Time To Say Goodbye”. )

    Like

  110. Hi Amos,
    It is always good to hear from you. Ab.soul.lutly…..love that and all of the scripture back up. Thank you.

    When you stated the statistics the ones that stood out were 33% of ministers admit to having sexual relations with someone in the church…..I don’t think the % is that high for those outside of ministry. Pretty sad.

    The other thing was 80% of pastors wives would rather they be in another line of work. Both of the wives of the pastors, at the brick and mortar that I attend, say they did not want to be pastors wives. That was an after the ceremony decision.

    I’m fairly sure that Cemetery and Seminary are synonymous.

    There was a time, in the Baptist Church that I was raised in, no one was called pastor/leader. Everyone was Brother or Sister. All on the same playing field.

    By the way, Bystander does not get an A in sandbox.

    Liked by 1 person

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