Jane’s Account of Rape, Response of Master’s University to Her Claims, and a Breaking Development Confirming Details #DoYouSeeUs

The Master’s University, The Master’s Seminary, Grace Community Church, John MacArthur, Sexual Assault, Sexual Abuse, Jane’s Story, #DoYouSeeUs

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Credit: TMU Facebook page

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Introducing the Account of Master’s University Student “Jane” Being Raped

Earlier this week (September 18), blogger Marci Preheim shared the story of Jane (pseudonym), a Master’s University student who was drugged, then raped. The horrific story of what happened and how she was treated afterward is entitled, Do You See Me?  This incident occurred in 2006, 11 years ago.

Of course, this has created quite an uproar in social media, so much so, that statements from Pastor John MacArthur’s church and schools were posted on the Facebook pages of Grace Community Church (GCC), The Master’s University (TMU), and The Master’s Seminary (TMS). John MacArthur is the pastor of Grace Community Church, and founder and president of both The Master’s University and The Master’s Seminary.

Here is the statement posted on these Facebook pages:

The ministries of Grace Community Church and The Master’s University and Seminary have been informed of the blog article posted on September 18 by a Ms. Marci Preheim on behalf of an undisclosed individual. Although there are both evidentiary and biblical limitations in dealing with anonymous accusations, we take all claims of misconduct very seriously. According to our initial internal inquiry and review of the available records, we believe the blog article is plainly incorrect, a reality that we have verified with the police report on record. In addition to the various inaccuracies in the posted narrative, the male student that was accused in the official report was never a student at either The Master’s University or Seminary. In our view, anyone who would post such accusations without first verifying them has committed an unconscionable act of defamation, and anyone who would spread such misinformation is equally culpable in that irresponsibility. Should the undisclosed individual or any other person who has direct, firsthand knowledge of this matter wish to address this issue with us, we would request that they contact Kent Haney at The Master’s University who is overseeing the internal review of these allegations.  Source

I have issues with the statement, but in the interest of time, I will let others who posted responses on the Facebook pages of TMU, GCC, and TMS have the floor. By the way, the following comments are no longer there. The powers that be decided they did not like these comments and removed them. Why would they remove and squelch the voices of people who are responding with their full identities? At this blog, aptly named, Spiritual Sounding Board, I believe that all Christians should have an equal voice, regardless of their status within their churches or schools.

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No one from TMU, TMS, or GCC responded to any comments.

One concern that I take very seriously is the one of defamation/slander and harming innocent people. Mike Riccardi, the Pastor of Local Outreach Ministries at Grace Community Church in Los Angeles, wrote a blog post, How to Kill Your Neighbor, which discusses slander and the harm it can cause. I agreed with a lot of it …

Scripture couldn’t be clearer. Proverbs 11:9 says, “With his mouth the godless man destroys his neighbor.” Two verses later, we’re told that entire cities are torn down by the mouth of the wicked (Prov 11:11). One verse after that, the man of understanding who keeps silent is contrasted with the one who despises his neighbor, and, lacking sense, ostensibly doesn’t keep silent (Prov 11:12). And then Proverbs 12:6 personifies wicked words by styling them as premeditating murderers: “The words of the wicked lie in wait for blood.” Such quotations could be multiplied.

Earlier in that post, Pastor Riccardi discusses how society elevates celebrity victims:

In our climate of perpetual offendedness where our most celebrated heroes seem to be those who have projected themselves as victims, combined with the lack of accountability and reputability that social media affords one attempting to spread information, any quasi-plausible accusation—no matter how outrageous its content, no matter how reputable its victim—is regarded as true until proven false. And that means that the one accused in the matter is guilty until proven innocent.

… however, this conclusion seems one sided.

It’s interesting that this article came out September 22, at the height of Jane’s story making the rounds in social media. Let’s just pretend that his article was penned as a result of Jane’s story or any other story like hers. I have a couple of thoughts:

  • With his mouth the godless man destroys his neighbor.  The word “godless” is very important. We have to be very careful about accusations and calling accusers “godless.” Maybe God called the accuser to bring light to the cover-up and poor response. Let’s not be so quick to label an accuser as godless, in order to defend the actions of people in an institution just because you respect the institution.
  • If someone is reporting a heinous crime, we should believe them, show compassion, but also investigate. The first response should not be to dismiss the accusation and attack the victim, as we see in the statement.
  • The reputation of leaders should never take precedence over investigating the possibility of evil or sin in the camp.
  • When leaders post about the sin of slander immediately after their reputation is on the line with a specific public accusation, what it really says is “don’t believe it; it’s untrue.” It does not allow for discussion or further investigation.
  • This article diminishes the possibility that there could be sin in their own camp. It places little to no responsibility on leaders’ part for self-reflection.
  • It’s one-sided, and blames the accuser.
  • If the accusations are true, it is not slander (if spoken), libel (if written). Before labeling accusations as slander or libel, a prudent person would check to see if there is any truth in them.

Ok, enough about Pastor Riccardi’s post. Let’s move on and take a look at a few more screen shots taken from the Facebook pages. Note that these are people who left their  names and personal stories that seem to match the story of Jane, as far as the response of TMU when she reported her being raped.

The point is: Jane’s response from TMU is not isolated.

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Folks, there are more than two or three witness who are voicing the same concerns. How many more are needed before they are taken seriously?

And then there was this comment, which in my opinion seemed to be a reasonable suggestion in light of the many personal testimonies of harm done in other cases. Take note, Mr. Swanson spent 25 years there. He put his reputation on the line as one taking the “slanderers'” accounts seriously, after all, the Bible does talk about love and believing people, doesn’t it?

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But look at this surprising response from Jesse Johnson (Dean of The Master’s Seminary in Washington, D.C.) regarding Mr. Swanson’s suggestion to be transparent with records. If TMU is innocent, they should have no problem with this suggestion.

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Frankly, I was taken aback at the tone Pastor Johnson used with Mr. Swanson, someone senior to him. Let’s make no mistake about it, Pastor Johnson is attempting to squelch Mr. Swanson’s voice. We need to ask why. What harm is done with an independent investigation? Does TMU really care about these concerns?

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Questions About Responses to Cases of Assault and Abuse, in Light of TMU’s Mission Statement

I have spoken with Jane a couple of times, and we have also exchanged texts. I found Jane to be believable. One thing she has made very clear to me is this: This is not about her story, even though she detailed her account publicly. She publicized her story to draw attention to how she was treated by leaders at The Master’s University. She is not suing anyone. This story came out 11 years after the incident. That should tell you something. This should not be a fact-finding mission about Jane. This is about challenging TMU, TMS, and GCC to respond to how they handle assault and abuse cases.

Before we move on, I wanted to highlight part of The Master’s University’s ,Mission Statement. Notice moral integrity. TMU wants to empower students with moral integrity.

Mission Statement

The mission of The Master’s University is to empower students for a life of enduring commitment to Christ, biblical fidelity, moral integrity, intellectual growth and lasting contribution to the Kingdom of God worldwide.

A little farther down the page, moral integrity is described in more detail:

Moral Integrity, as evidenced by:

  • The nurturing of holiness through self-examination
  • Stewardship of time, abilities and resources
  • A lifetime of wholesomeness and moderation that regards the body as the temple of the Holy Spirit
  • The practice of honesty, courtesy and civility toward all persons
  • The practice of biblically confronting and restoring sinners
    (Source)

When reading that, I wondered if TMU practiced these “evidences” as they dealt with Jane when she reported the crime committed against her?  Furthermore, was she believed, respected, cared for as a Shepherd cares for a wounded sheep? Or was she battered further, told to repent of her sins, told to meet with her rapist? By the way, who does that? Who in their right mind would force a rape victim to meet with her rapist? 

Interestingly, I saw this quote from John MacArthur:

“Jesus has an unequaled capacity for sympathizing with us in every danger, trial, or situation that comes our way, because he’s been through it all.”

If we are to be Christlike, then shouldn’t we be sympathizing with those who have experienced danger … or rape? That is not what we see from Jane’s account at all.

This is not about defending an institution, trying to make sure all facts are exactly perfect. For crying out loud, this woman was drugged and raped AND it is 11 years later. We should expect some minor discrepancies. This is about how women are treated and how reports of sexual assault and abuse are handled. This is about caring for the flock under your oversight, not trampling over them with accusations of sin, forcing them to be in the same room and look at the person who physically, emotionally, and spiritually traumatized them.

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BREAKING NEWS 09/21/2017:

Confirmation for Details from Jane’s Account About the Aftermath of the Rape

Last night (September 21), I received a message from someone who claimed she was there when Jane got back to the dorm after being drugged and raped. She said she heard Jane crying and comforted her. When I told Jane about this witness, she was unfamiliar with her name. That had me concerned for a second. Then I texted her picture, and it all came back to her (Jane). Jane remembered bawling with this “stranger,” still feeling drugged.

With this person’s permission, I am posting the screenshots of the pertinent parts of our text conversation.

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Note:  This witness got Jane’s first name correct, but last name wrong (which is why I did not blot out the last name). Later, in the conversation, the witness recalled Jane’s last name. She also said later in the conversation that she was unclear if it was spring break or Outreach week, but she remembered that most students were not there.

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In conclusion, this is what we know:

  • TMU acknowledges an incident occurred with Jane.
  • There was a police report filed.
  • At this point, the discussion does not pertain to whether or not a rape occurred.
  • The discussion is about the response by TMU to this rape claim.

Jane told me she would like the focus to be on how churches/Christian leaders respond to claims of sexual assault and abuse, not focus on her. There are many (I posted only a few) who have reported that they have received similar treatment from leaders at TMU.

When reasonable requests are made for TMU to take a look at how they respond to sexual assault and abuse claims, we see leaders shut down the conversation, blame the victim, remove posts. Something is wrong with this picture. It’s time to look more closely at how leaders deal with sexual assault and abuse claims and be transparent. Victims should not be scared into silence, nor should they be told to repent and meet with whoever assaulted/abused them.

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RELATED ARTICLES

Additional posts may be listed here without a notice of updating.

The Stones Will Cry Out: A Commentary on Sexual Abuse in the Evangelical Church (by Sarah Taras and Marci Preheim; March 6, 2016).

Do You See Me? (by Marci Preheim; September 18, 2017).

Believing Jane: Reflections on a Rape and it’s Cover-Up at The Master’s College & Seminary (by Hannah; September 20, 2017).

How Evangelical Ideas About Forgiveness Failed This Rape Survivor (by Libby Anne; September 20, 2017).

Jane and the Masters [sic] University Rape Scandal (September 21, 2017).

Regarding Jane (by Marci Preheim; September 25, 2017).

Jane’s Story and How The Leaders Failed Her (by Becky Castle Miller; September 25, 2017).

 

220 comments on “Jane’s Account of Rape, Response of Master’s University to Her Claims, and a Breaking Development Confirming Details #DoYouSeeUs

  1. Strongs Concordance says:
    4165 /poimaínō (“shepherding, pastoring”) is distinct from “feeding” (1006 /bóskō). 4165 (poimaínō) focuses on “tending” (“shepherding”) (WS, 274), which includes guarding, guiding, and folding the flock and is only provided (ultimately) by Jesus Christ – the Shepherd, who calls under-shepherds (such as elder-overseers) to guard and guide His people by His direction (1 Pet 5:1-5). See 4166 (poimēn).

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  2. Bele, I have had two experiences with good pastors talking about what makes pastors authoritarian. One pastor said, when they examine seminary students, he finds that the authoritarian students have a specific interpretation of these verses: “And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ”. He said that some have an interpretation of those verses that puts a comma between saints and for “for the equipping of the saints, for the work of the service…” That interpretation makes them think that they are the ministers and that individual congregants do not minister, per se. This led to my former church removing essentially all non-pastoral ministry and pushing those away who desired to minister, unless they wanted to go to seminary.

    The second experience was somewhat similar. This pastor felt that the church has really missed the promise in Joel:
    “It will come about after this
    That I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind;
    And your sons and daughters will prophesy,
    Your old men will dream dreams,
    Your young men will see visions.
    Even on the male and female servants
    I will pour out My Spirit in those days.”

    He felt that because pastors are seeking honor to themselves, they want to return the the Old Testament economy where the Spirit only blessed a few people here and there with gifts, and the rest essentially clung to those people. That’s why Jesus said John the Baptist is the greatest – the greatest prophet in the old spiritual economy. But what happened at Pentecost is that we all participate in those spiritual gifts. One of his catchphrases is “everybody plays” – he says that he learns as much from us as we are from him. I’ve never heard that from the authoritarian pastors. They only learn from other authoritarian pastors, never from the sheep.

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  3. I hear your passion loud & clear…we all do! However…this is not a solution. People cannot just disconnect and go “solo”…it’s like one of the Nouthetic counselors who told a friend of mine to get off his bipolar meds of many years…he freaked out. Unwise counsel. People need a transition, a place to gather, you cannot undue at the level you are suggesting. You are making a radical readjustment for most…this is a separate argument (book). With all respect, it is not helpful…it strays too off-topic (which does not mean it isn’t good info, just not on target).

    When we challenge people to disconnect from a “system”…they need another support system…that isn’t a bad thing. When you/we/others dig into the depth of argument, diving into scripture, pulling out the concordance…we lose most of the audience. People need a spiritual leader, and as I have suggested, there has never been a time in human history with so much information available to confuse. MacArthur is very aware of this which is why he and others double-down to not confuse, keep things very clear…which is good IF you are operating out of a balanced foundation. What I hear you saying is church as we know it is so off-target we need to re-think the entire idea. People who go this route usually end up repeating much of what they ran from. Let’s face it, there are A LOT of church denominations!

    All leading me to ask you what source of wisdom feeds your soul as a community (church), a place to gather, serve, worship, develop relationships…all of what we know as “church”?

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  4. Bele,

    Thank you for sharing from your experience. What you were describing reminds me of what happened at Crystal Cathedral. There were several long time members who were concerned about financial mismanagement in the top ranks. They saw the wasteful spending. They voiced their concerns but no one would listen. Well, everyone knows what happened there.

    I agree with what you’re saying. There are good churches out there where people can connect and fellowship with good people. It just takes time for people to figure out which part of the body of Christ they fit in best. To answer that question—I would encourage everyone to take the time to visit several local churches in their area until they find where they are most comfortable. Where the Bible is being preached without watering it down. And where the shepherds are doing their biblical duty to feed and care for the flock.

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  5. Hi Amos,

    Well, we’ve been discussing that topic for several months now. Sounds like you’re interested in continuing the discussion. Let’s see—where we left off that discussion was debating whether:

    1) Does God still call people to pastor or is Jesus the only legitimate pastor?
    2) Can people use the title pastor or is that sinful?
    3) Are pastors allowed to receive a salary for their work?

    I believe that whenever we have a question—we should first look at what Jesus said and did about it. We know that Jesus had a heart for sending people out to do the work of the ministry. It wasn’t enough to just stay in their communities, there was a need to send people out to do ministry. And Jesus established the principle that workers deserve their pay when doing the work of the ministry. (Matthew 10:10) Then the Apostle Paul repeats the words of Christ in 1Timothy 5:17-18 (ISV) when he wrote:

    “Elders who handle their duties well should be considered worthy of double compensation, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching. For the Scripture says, “You must not muzzle an ox while it is treading out grain,” and, “A worker deserves his pay.”

    Here’s my thoughts—if the argument is that we are limited to only what the disciples did—then we can’t drive cars because the disciples didn’t drive cars. We can’t fly in airplanes because the disciples never flew. So the argument that no one is allowed to use the title pastor unless the disciples used the title pastor—falls flat compared to all the other things we do on a daily basis that the disciples never did.

    So in response to the three earlier questions we’ve been debating:
    1) I believe that according to Ephesians 4:11—Jesus is still sending people out to do the work of the ministry.

    2) The title pastor is biblical and should be used.

    3) No one gets offended when doctors get paid for their work. No one is bothered by every other type of work receiving a salary. People who do the real work of the ministry should be able to support their families.

    By the way, Mark, that was a great point about Peter. Thank you!

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  6. “You must not muzzle an ox while it is treading out grain,” and, “A worker deserves his pay.”

    Agreed. Let’s not try to reinvent the wheel here right! lol Pastors all over the world are paid. The context here however is two-fold;
    1. Full time pastor(s) Rick Holland primarily who was paid that failed miserably reflecting/revealing some alarming “thinking” about women, Nouthetic counseling program, protecting the image of the church over the person, and pride (not being concerned with restoring a wounded saint over reputation)

    The “empire” of John MacArthur as a reasonable argument as to why some might protect the system…when you have SO MUCH in publication, SO MUCH radio and broadcast sermons…SO MUCH invested, this story can drive a wedge into the heart.
    The context was connect to the Harvey Weinstein story as well. Totally different case which MUST be understood, but there is a sexual overlap (people looking the other way, protecting a “system”, playing deaf, dumb, and blind).

    The question for me however is how much compensation is reasonable for the work put forth? Does one of John’s sons per se, working at Grace to You (if they both still work their along with John’s son-in-law) do the work of ministry worth a salary over $200k? I would want to know exactly WHAT they did to earn that amount. I think the money trail IF there is anything hidden is of importance. John’s 990’s are not in full disclosure last time I checked. Why? Secrets? What?

    Again…if there was nothing to question of men who were “beyond reproach” we would not be asking these questions. HOWEVER…they are under question. If there is smoke, there is fire? There are just too many stories of people who felt mistreated revealing some deep concerns about character defects supported by a theology that allows for this over many years! That is the core issue…Jane just made us aware of what was already in place and this thread is about wanting to “clean the swamp” bringing up the “system” or “empire” of cowardly men! A coward runs from taking responsibility, especially mishandling the “case of Jane” making us ask, “Are there any other Jane’s or those with similar stories?” If we ask the question, there is a reasonable doubt…I would imagine Julie Anne’s story much more familiar or common…but it is not just females, another thread shares a story of a male student who was mistreated because he was not conforming as some wanted.

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  7. Bele, “People need a spiritual leader, and as I have suggested, there has never been a time in human history with so much information available to confuse.”

    I think there is a narrow and a broad sense to this. My pastor has said that we ought to seek those who are more spiritually mature to help us in our faith, and we also ought to seek those who are less spiritually mature that God has put on our hearts to pour ourselves into. I agree with that – since the Spirit works so powerfully and broadly now than in the Old Testament, we have much more opportunity to be led and lead in a more individual way than being led only by the one paid shepherd. I don’t dismiss the importance of a structure and a vision, but I think that people that are attending megachurches so they can be fed by a mega-pastor are really missing the community aspect that seems so central to the New Testament church.

    I believe the fear of “bad theology” really drives the church to fear other Christians and sets them up to follow a pastor who, I believe, has no guarantee of better theology. My old pastor was a fear mongerer about this. I asked him, who has caused more damage in the church? Heretical members, or heretical leaders?

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  8. Bele,

    Great points. Those are really important questions you are asking. I agree with you that the congregation should determine what is a reasonable pastoral salary. To have the freedom to questions like—what work are these people doing to earn that much? Is that really doing the work of the ministry? Etc.

    Also agree with you that there’s a problem with church leaders who feel entitled to giving correction but won’t accept correction from their own congregation. They won’t be accountable to members who have proven themselves with long term involvement in the church.

    The only way that will change is when we are more careful with where we give. We have the freedom to decide which people we believe are doing the real work of the ministry and thus support those people.

    I remember reading somewhere that Rockefeller once said that “The giving of money requires just as much careful attention as the making of money.”

    There’s a whole story about how Rockefeller himself walked with the Lord. Long before he pioneered the oil industry and became the most successful person in American history, he was in the habit of honoring God with his money.

    As a teenager, working a regular job as a bookkeeper, he actually took the initiative to save the church he attended from foreclosure. He was serving as a trustee when he realized that the church was falling behind on their mortgage of $2,000. When the mortgage holder threatened to foreclose on the church, Rockefeller personally went to each member of the church and asked them to pitch in. Remember he was only a teenager at the time—not the famous businessman that he would become. Long story short, when the whole congregation pitched in, they were able to pay off the mortgage.

    Years later, Rockefeller would describe how it was “a proud day” when “the debt was extinguished” by little amounts from each member as “It was a great undertaking to raise such a sum of money in small amounts ranging from a few cents to the more magnificent promises of twenty-five or fifty cents per week.”

    Anyway, I’m just saying that each of us matter in God’s overall plan for accomplishing the ministry work that needs to be done.

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  9. Mark – I don’t believe anyone should be lording it over anybody else Gentile style.

    That does not mean that we are free to disobey the injunction to submit to legitimate expressions of authority or responsibility. The institution of government, the leaders in the church who speak the word of God, younger to ‘elders’, and husbands within marriage. In any case where such authority would ask us to sin, we are free not to obey, but rather submit to God. There are real safeguards in the NT against the abuse of authority which balance the instruction on submission.

    Amos is wrong about there being no pastors in the church today. There are ‘pastors’ who abuse their position if you like to tear down rather than build up, go on an ego trip, build an empire, the sort warned about in 2 Peter and Jude, but there are multitudes of men who really do care for the flock within their human limitations. Some of the best I have ever known did the job, but didn’t have the title! Well-taught and more mature believers passing this on to younger ones.

    In the case in point here with ‘Jane’, assuming the allegations are true, there was an abject failure to give pastoral care. The title may have been there, but not the reality. It beggars belief that this should happen in an institution supposedly preparing people for a Christian ministry. Unless you consider this an education in how not to do it.

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  10. KAS, submission does not require authority. We are told to submit to each other. It’s the patriarchs who say that wives submitting to husbands means that the husbands have authority.

    Ask yourself this. Why do you interpret the ‘submit’ in “submit to one another” differently than the ‘submit’ in “submit to your husband”? Is it because the Bible tells you to, or is it because your patriarchal system tells you to?

    If the ‘submit’ in “submit to one another” means authority, then that really changes the peer to peer relationship between Christians.

    I get tired of the Evangelical asterisk. Deborah was a prophetess*. We are to submit* to one another. Elders are called to serve*.

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  11. “In the case in point here with ‘Jane’, assuming the allegations are true, there was an abject failure to give pastoral care.”

    Having grown up around a Christian institution. I believe this is a serious misunderstanding. College administrators are NOT supposed to be pastors. Their responsibility is to protect and grow their students. Assuming the allegations are true, this administrator stepped way outside his bounds of protecting his students and tried to act like a pastor. I went through a similar experience where I was interviewed by the police in the presence of the Dean of Students, and instead of protecting me and reminding me of my rights, the Dean used his authority over me to encourage me to give up my rights.

    So, the dichotomy between the college as a non-profit educational institution, and the college as some half-baked extension of a church’s empire puts the students, professors and administration in a very bizarre and blurred authority structure where the administrators think of themselves as both policemen and elders to both the faculty and students, and when they don’t that level of autonomy and authority, then they start using their power to abuse those beneath them. I find this theme pretty common among people I know who work in Christian ministries.

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  12. Those are really important questions you are asking. I agree with you that the congregation should determine what is a reasonable pastoral salary.

    Avid Reader, I think this is where polity and transparency come in. Some churches set things up so no one really knows what anyone is getting paid. That’s a good way to see people take advantage of a congregation. I would be very wary of that kind of secrecy regarding money.

    Heaven help you and yours, MacArthur.

    SKIJ, indeed.

    Churches should be protecting vulnerable people. How on EARTH is this complicated???

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  13. That does not mean that we are free to disobey the injunction to submit to legitimate expressions of authority or responsibility. The institution of government, the leaders in the church who speak the word of God, younger to ‘elders’, and husbands within marriage. In any case where such authority would ask us to sin, we are free not to obey, but rather submit to God.

    No. What is ‘legitimate’? We have no obligation to obey blindly, even where ‘sin’ is not involved. If the police, or a church member, or a husband were to try to tell me what to do in an innocuous thing, like what to have for lunch, I’m going to tell them to mind their own business.

    There are real safeguards in the NT against the abuse of authority which balance the instruction on submission.

    The only safeguard is real love, which will not be self-serving or controlling. Self Serving, controlling people will never be safe to ‘submit’ to.

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  14. Hi Mark

    Much agreement when you write @ NOVEMBER 26, 2017 @ 12:35 PM
    “So, you’re right, Peter did not call himself a shepherd. JESUS DID.”

    Yup – That’s the point…
    Peter did not call himself a shepherd.

    In the Bible, And today…
    Followers of Jesus, will shepherd His sheep…
    Feed His lambs, Tend His sheep, Care for His sheep…

    And, then, the next day…
    The one who was busy shepherding, feeding, careing for…
    Is being fed, tended to, and cared for by another believer, a sheep.
    Maybe even the same sheep you were helping the day before. 🙂

    Just like WE, His Kings and Priests, His Ekklesia, SEE on this blog site.
    Day after Day…

    NO need for anyone to call them self shepherd.
    NO need for anyone to take the “Title” pastor.

    Job 32:21 KJV
    Let me not, I pray you, accept any man’s person,
    neither let me give Flattering Titles unto man.
    For I know NOT to give Flattering Titles;
    in so doing my maker would soon take me away.

    And, in the Bible…
    NOT one of His Disciples called themself shepherd.
    NOT one of His Disciples was called a shepherd.
    NOT one of His Disciples took the “Title” pastor.

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  15. Mark

    Much agreement when you write @ NOVEMBER 26, 2017 @ 12:52 PM

    “everybody plays”

    Yup – That’s the point…

    And, that is NOT promoted in “Today’s Religious System.”

    Yes – “the church has really missed the promise in Joel:”

    (Joel 2:28, and Acts 2:17-18. Where “everybody plays”)

    “It will come about after this
    That I will pour out My Spirit on ALL mankind;
    (NOT just a special few.)
    And your sons and daughters will prophesy,
    Your old men will dream dreams,
    Your young men will see visions.
    Even on the male and female servants
    I will pour out My Spirit in those days.”

    “But what happened at Pentecost is that
    we all participate in those spiritual gifts.
    One of his catchphrases is “everybody plays”
    xxxxxxx

    Yes – ALL can, and are expected to “participate”

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  16. I agree with Lea. It is left to the churches how to create accountability for its leaders. I’ll give you an example:

    In “presbyterian” polity, the classic position is that the pastor/teaching elder is NOT a member of the local congregation, nor subject to its discipline, but is, instead, a member of the presbytery – the higher governing body. Outside of mainline presbyterianism, there are too few churches for the pastors to be truly known and truly accountable. That is, the geographical distribution of churches makes it difficult for pastors to hold each other accountable. Instead, all the presbyteries have to go on is cases that are appealed and meeting minutes. But, because the pastors are members of presbytery and “well known” there with all the other pastors, it’s very typical that cases appealed have to pass intense scrutiny to even be considered.

    In fact, a case I know of… the person who appealed was not invited to presbytery to plead his case, and instead, the pastor and church leaders were given ample opportunity to defend themselves (and defame the appellant) and the appellant had to have everything written in a paper, that first had to be read and forwarded by the defendant to the court, giving them as much time as they wanted to build their defense.

    Yet, presbyterians are told that this system has all of the appropriate checks and balances to protect individual members from abusive and errant pastors and church boards. And… the individual members are generally not so stupid as to accept that as the truth. They know that unless they have an iron-clad case, it’s better for them to walk out of the church under suspicion than to try and stand up against abusive leadership. (I’m one of those not-so-stupid members)

    Like

  17. Mark

    Seems Paul, and most likely Jesus…
    Gave some instructions for ALL…
    “when ye come together,”

    NO pastor/leaders in pulpits needed…
    Like WE, His Sheep, His Ekklesia…
    See being promoted today…

    when WE, His Sheep, His Disciples, come together,
    ALL, can, and are expected to “Participate.”

    1 Cor 14:26 KJV
    How is it then, brethren?
    when ye come together,
    every one of you (ALL)
    hath a psalm,
    hath a doctrine, (Teaching.)
    hath a tongue,
    hath a revelation,
    hath an interpretation.
    Let all things be done unto edifying.

    Yes – In the Bible, ”when ye brethren come together,”
    ALL, WE, His Sheep, can shepherd, feed, tend, care for, other sheep.
    xxxxxxx

    ALL can, and are expected to…
    “Participate.”

    NOT listen to just one and…
    “Regurgitate”

    When you continually listen to “a special one”
    “Pontificate.”

    Eventually, “a special one” gives themself permission to…
    “Bloviate.”
    xxxxxxx

    Heb 8:11
    ….for ALL shall know me, from The Least to The Greatest.

    When ALL share their life with Jesus…
    There is always “a doctrine,” something to teach, learn.

    There are always folks who have “a revelation.

    In “Today’s Religious System? How often do you see? –
    Paid, Professional, Pastors, in Pulpits?
    Promoting, and Practicing?

    ALL can, and are expected to… “Participate?”

    ALL WE, His Sheep, His Kings and Priests, His Servants, His sons…
    His Ambassadors, His Friends, His Disciples…
    Can, shepherd His sheep, tend His lambs, feed His sheep?
    xxxxxxx

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

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Amos, “Yup – That’s the point… Peter did not call himself a shepherd.”

    But… you are implying it would have been WRONG for Peter to call himself a shepherd, and by implication it is WRONG for someone today to call himself a shepherd.

    What I’m saying is that, if Jesus called Peter to be a shepherd, it doesn’t matter whether Peter called himself that or not, he WAS a shepherd. Just like Paul isn’t wrong for calling himself an apostle.

    And, yes, I’m sure you can say that somehow Peter was weaseling out of calling himself a shepherd here, but I don’t think Peter is a weasel.

    “Therefore, I exhort the elders among you, as your fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker also of the glory that is to be revealed, shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness; nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

    Questions:
    1) If an elder is not a shepherd, then why does Peter charge ALL of the elders to shepherd.
    2) What does it prove if someone whose God-given role is to perform the act of shepherding is not to be called shepherd? Is it not appropriate to call those who judge judges or those who lead leaders or those who manage managers? It seems as though you are trying to claim that there is no Biblical call to be a shepherd because no one calls himself a shepherd, but now you are threading such a narrow needle I can’t figure out what you are trying to argue.
    3) Why is it important for Peter to call Jesus the “Chief Shepherd” if there are no other shepherds?

    I’m with you that many of those who call themselves “shepherds” are doing it for personal gain, rather than desiring to be examples to the flock, but I don’t think that threading a needle to say that anyone who claims a title of authority is somehow a wolf, or that there are no “titles of authority” in the church.

    “And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ;”

    “Paul, an apostle (not sent from men nor through the agency of man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised Him from the dead),”

    Is Paul a wolf?

    Like

  19. Amos,

    I agree with you that all believers should be involved in ministry work. However that still doesn’t prove your point that all churches are wrong and pastors should be forbidden from using the biblical title pastor.

    By the way, there’s actually numerous Christian groups that meet the requirements you are demanding. They encourage congregation members to share during services as the Holy Spirit leads them. Through the years I’ve seen many services that fulfilled the type of congregation participation that you were hoping for. Things were still done decently and in order.

    Amos, the passage you quoted was written by the Apostle Paul who preached many times exactly in the way that you are using as criteria for dismissing all churches as wrong. Amos, how can you keep attacking the preaching of the Gospel?

    Like

  20. Avid Reader,

    I’m not sure if Amos is “dismissing all churches are wrong,” but he is not “attacking the preaching of the Gospel.” He’s only calling into question how this preaching takes place, specifically inside our modern, church religious system.

    Biblically, “churches” are merely gatherings of Jesus followers, and can occur anywhere, from a home to a public building to the local pub or coffee shop. But, most people don’t consider that “church.” I believe Amos is pointing out that our traditional definition of “church”, has been twisted from its original form, and become a religious system where pastors are no longer anyone in the gathering who has a gift of encouraging and guiding others, but are professionally-paid religious officers who have authority over their members.

    Personally, I don’t believe all churches are wrong, but I do know that all modern churches are problematic. Why? Because they aren’t honest about what the original church was like and pretend their religious system and church structure is the only way to be in a Christian community. We don’t need professional pastors to have “church.”

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Mark – you talk about ‘your patriarchy’ in your post to me above, but I don’t have a patriarchy. I have never lived in a country that had one. I do subscribe to a broadly complementarian view of male/female if we have to find a label for it.

    I don’t believe in mutual submission. Those who do usually derived this simply from quoting Eph 5 : 21 Be[ing] subject to one another out of reverence for Christ.

    I take this to mean that out of a group of believers, some within a group are to submit to some others within the group, not everyone submits to everyone.

    Whenever the verb submit is used, the person submitting and the person or institution submitted to are never mutually submittted. There are 9 or 10 reasons I could adduce to show this in Eph 5 & 6. I think mutuality is untenable here, within marriage in particular. But I know from experience that even trying to discuss this tends to drift in to acrimonious discussion (more heat than light!), which is why I would be reluctant to do so. It’s pretty pointless if no-one in this debate on either side is even willing to reconsider their current understanding of what these verses mean.

    Whenever I have tried to do this, the arguments I put forward as to why mutual submission is not the meaning are simply ignored, and Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ quoted – almost as a mantra sometimes – as though this settles the matter.

    I get it that many people have been hurt by the abuse of submission, especially in the States, but this mustn’t become decisive in trying to understand what it does – or does not – mean. I would certainly distance myself from the more ‘extreme’ complementarianism that some US evangelicals subscribe to which goes beyond the basic framework of apostolic teaching that I would be happy to subscribe to.

    Like

  22. “Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” (Eph. 4:1-3)

    “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.” (Eph. 4:32)

    “Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father; and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.” (Eph. 5:15-21)

    As I said, which ones get the asterisk and which ones to you interpret as meaning all believers? Are only a select few the objects of tolerance and unity? Are only the select few those who can sing in church? Are only the select few those to whom we should be subject?

    Maybe you should let the Bible define you rather than defining the Bible?

    One of the tenets of the Reformation was the Priesthood of all Believers. One of the areas where they rejected the Roman Catholic church doctrine was in the area of singing. At that time, the church allowed only special musicians and priests to sing in the masses. Luther, for one, rejected that and thought that all believers should participate in the singing and music.

    Like

  23. It’s pretty pointless if no-one in this debate on either side is even willing to reconsider their current understanding of what these verses mean.

    They benefit you and you certainly aren’t willing to reconsider. Why should anyone else?

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Hi Mwcamp,

    Yes, I agree with you that the body of Christ comes in many shapes and sizes. God uses all kinds of different groups—from the home fellowship to the brick and mortar church. I also agree with you that the preaching of the Gospel should never be limited to the four walls of the church. However, my spirit is grieved when something so important to the heart of God is getting attacked.

    Please keep in mind that logic and reason can sound really cold and detached. That’s not my intent. I respect Amos but still have to be honest about where this conversation is going.

    Jesus said there was a need to send laborers to the harvest. Amos is arguing that there’s no need for those laborers. And Amos is directly attacking the preaching of the Gospel by trying to make the point that it’s wrong for us to “continually listen to a special someone” who’s preaching the Word.

    Jesus was a special someone who taught the Word to groups week after week.

    The Apostle Paul was a special someone who taught the Word to groups week after week.

    Both Jesus and the Apostle Paul were the kind of paid professionals that Amos is protesting!

    The Apostle Paul even made the point several times that preachers were needed. He wrote, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in?”

    “And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?”
    Romans 10:13-14 (NIV)

    There’s a need for people to be sent to preach the word. Of course, we shouldn’t get so focused on some preacher that we miss out on being directly led by the Holy Spirit. But this debate has focused on whether there’s a need for people to go out and preach the Gospel in the first place.

    Now this is a free country. Amos is entitled to his opinion but there’s still a need to address faulty reasoning. So here goes:

    Amos is disregarding whole Scripture passages that disprove his points while cherry picking random verses, trying to stretch them to fit his point.

    For example, he tried to make Job 32:21 fit his point that it’s wrong for pastors to use the title pastor. Just for the record—Job 32:21 says, “I will show no partiality, nor will I flatter anyone.”

    It’s fine if Amos prefers the KJV version which says “flattering titles.”

    Logical fallacy #1—saying that because one Bible verse mentions flattering titles, therefore that automatically proves that the title pastor is “flattering” and thus wrong to use. Well, does that mean that pastors have to lie about the type of work they do? Should they say they are working as mechanics—because they are not allowed to use the title pastor? That’s nuts!

    We all know that theology can’t be based on cherry picking random Scriptures. We have to study the whole pattern of Scripture to really understand the heart of God.

    Now I agree with Amos that there’s an important warning in Jeremiah 50:6. “Their shepherds have caused them to go astray.”

    We should be careful to never follow any leader off the cliff. However, Amos keeps trying to make this one verse prove that there’s no such thing as the office of pastor.

    Logical fallacy #2: Because some leaders have led people astray, therefore all leaders will automatically lead people astray. Therefore no legitimate spiritual leaders exist.

    Well then why did the Apostle Paul say this? “Follow my example, just like I follow Christ’s.” 1Cor 1:11 (CEB)

    There’s a reason the Bible repeatedly mentions the need for shepherds. Look at Ezekiel 34:8 (GW) where God says, “Because there is no shepherd, my sheep have become prey.”

    Mark made a really good point earlier about how Jesus actually told Peter to “shepherd” the sheep. How can shepherds not be needed, when Jesus emphasized three times that there was a need to care for the flock?

    Anyway, there’s a lot more we could discuss on this topic. But no matter how far we get in this debate—let’s not forget that the heart of God is still sending more laborers to do the work of the ministry. Who do you think wants to shut down the preaching of the Gospel? Not God.

    Like

  25. Mark – I agree with you that ‘one another’ can mean ‘everybody to everybody’, although not necessarily at the same time. The problem with Eph 5 is once you get to verse 21 in the material that follows it up to being ‘strong in the Lord’ all the four relationships enumerated are unequal. Not everyone to everyone.

    The English versions have a problem as to whether verse 21 relates to what precedes, which is corporate, or what follows, which is individual. Or both.

    The reason I have turned away from the mutual understanding of submission after v 21 is not because I am an advocate or authoritarianism, but because the text itself won’t support this.

    In corporate Spirit-filled worship there is a mutual deference to one another – you may have a prophecy to bring, but don’t insist on taking the floor. The sort of thing Paul talks about in 1 Cor 14. Self control. Decently and in order. This is healthy. Every member ministry. And how many churches practice that? !!

    This one another in the mutual sense breaks down when you have submission to someone with greater responsibility, or if it is not too dirty a word these days, authority. In this particular context, egalitarianism seems to me to collapse under weight of its own internal contradictions.

    Pragmatically, it would be a tragedy if mutual submission meant an alleged perpetrator of abuse could claim a right for a pastoral elder (or whatever name you want to use) not to intervene in his private life.

    Like

  26. Bele

    “People cannot just disconnect and go “solo”

    Well, maybe some cannot, or should not…
    But, In my experience, each believer walking with and following Jesus…
    Will have a unique path to follow…

    John 10:27
    MY Sheep – Hear – MY Voice – and Follow Me – Jesus

    His Disciples will Hear His Voice and Follow…

    Deut 4:36
    Out of heaven He made thee to hear His voice,
    that He might instruct thee:

    2,000 years ago His Disciples got it Directly from Jesus.

    NO Middle Man…

    In my experience, His Sheep, His Servants, eventually come to the place where…
    “His Disciples,” Gots to Get “IT” From Jesus – For themselves…
    Directly from The “ONE” Shepherd. {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}

    NO middle man…

    In John 6:45, Jesus taught His Disciples.
    It is written in the prophets,
    And they shall be ALL taught of God.

    In John 14:26, Jesus taught His Disciples.
    But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost,
    whom the Father will send in my name,
    he shall teach you ALL things…
    xxxxxxx

    I for one had to “disconnect and go “solo” over two years…
    I could NO longer support the 501 c 3, non-profit, tax deductible,
    Religious Corporation, that the IRS calls church…
    It was a very dark time. Lots of Pain, and Lots of Tears…
    But, I learned that God loves me…
    And, I learned to Hear His Voice…

    And, in the Bible, WE, His Sheep, do have some different examples of…
    ”disconnect and go “solo”

    Moses, Was on the backside of the desert – for 40 years…

    Paul, when Jesus revealed Himself… said…
    immediately I conferred NOT with flesh and blood: for three years…

    Sometimes, ”disconnect and go “solo” has some benefits…
    You Get To KNOW the “ONE” who really loves you…

    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 }}}}}}

    Like

  27. Mark

    “But… you are implying it would have been WRONG
    for Peter to call himself a shepherd,”

    NOPE… NOT implying Peter would have been wrong…

    Just reporting, in the Bible…
    Jesus taught His Disciples He, Jesus is…
    The “GOOD” Shepherd
    The “ONE” Shepherd

    And, I’m-a-thinkn, His Disciples must have believed Jesus, because…

    NOT one of His Disciples called themself shepherd.

    Peter, DID NOT call himself shepherd.

    And, NOT one of His Disciples took the “Title” shepherd. Or pastor.
    xxxxxxx

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

    If not now? – When?

    One Voice – One Fold – One Shepherd – One Leader

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

    Like

  28. Bele

    You write @ NOVEMBER 26, 2017 @ 2:32 PM
    “People need a spiritual leader…”

    Don’t WE, His Sheep, His Kings and Priests, His Ambassadors…
    His Servants, His Ekklesia, His Called Out Ones, His Body, His Church…

    Already have a “Spiritual Leader?”

    The “ONE” Leader

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

    Rom 8:14
    For as many as are led by the Spirit of God,
    they are the sons of God.

    Gal 5:18
    But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.

    Isa 48:17
    Thus saith the LORD, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel;
    I am the LORD thy God which teacheth thee to profit,
    which LEADETH thee by the way that thou shouldest go.

    Like

  29. Bele

    Seems Jesus has a unique take on “Leaders” for ”His Disciples.”

    “ONE”

    Jesus taught ”His Disciples” NOT to be called “Leaders.”
    For “ONE” is your “leader.” Christ.
    And, ”His Disciples” must have believed Jesus… Because…
    In the Bible, NOT one of His Disciples called them self “Leader.”

    Mat 23:10-12 NASB
    Do NOT 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.

    Humble – a modest or low estimate of one’s own importance.

    Know many, any, who take the postion of Leader…
    Who are Humble?
    Having a modest or low estimate of their own importance?

    Know many, who say they are “Spiritual Leaders,” who are humble?
    With, “a modest or low estimate of their own importance?”

    Mat 23:10-12 – The Message
    And don’t let people maneuver you into taking charge of them.
    There is only “ONE” Life-Leader for you and them—Christ.
    Do you want to stand out? – Then step down. – Be a servant.
    If you puff yourself up, you’ll get the wind knocked out of you.
    But if you’re content to simply be yourself, your life will count for plenty.

    Jesus also said…

    John 5:41 – I receive NOT honour from men.
    John 5:44 – How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another,
    and seek not the honour that cometh from God only?

    When someone aknowledges you as a “Leader?”
    Church leader? Spirirtual leader? Christian leader?

    Are you,** “Receiving Honor”** from men?

    Jesus also said…
    John 7:18 – He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory…
    John 8:50 – And I seek not mine own glory…

    When believers let people know, “I’m a “leader?”
    Church leader? Spirirtual leader? Christian leader?

    Is that, “seeking their own glory?”

    Why do believers want to be known as a “leader?”
    Why do they want people to follow them?
    And NOT follow Jesus?

    Isa 3:12 KJV
    …O my people, they which lead thee
    cause thee to err,
    and destroy the way of thy paths.

    Isa 9:16 KJV
    For the leaders of this people
    cause them to err;
    and they that are led of them are destroyed.

    Like

  30. mwcamp

    Thank you – NO, I’m NOT attacking the preaching of the Gospel.

    Preaching of the Gospel is what I do… 😉

    I was ordained…
    Did it for awhile in pulpits…But…
    The pastor in a pulpit model… Is NOT in the Bible…
    The pastor in a pulpit model… Is NOT working very well…

    And, I did NOT qulaify as an elder/overseer…
    And since I left “the System” I’ve never met one who did… Oy Vey!!! 😦

    And, today, when I tell folks about Jesus, I let folks know…
    If they Gots some questions, they can Hear His Voice for themselves…
    And, they can go “Directly to Jesus.” NO middle man.

    Adam and Eve – Fellowship, Directly with God.

    Abraham, Isaac and Jacob – Fellowship, Directly with God.

    Moses – Fellowship, Directly with God.

    And the list goes on…

    Psalm 95:7-8
    For he is our God;
    and we are the people of his pasture,
    and the sheep of his hand.
    To day if ye will hear his voice,
    Harden NOT your heart, as in the provocation…

    Heb 3:15*
    While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice,
    harden NOT your hearts, as in the provocation.
    xxxxxxx

    I understand that “Tradtion” is strong…

    WE, His Sheep, His Disciples, His Ekklesia, are warned about…
    The Commandments of Men, The Doctrines of Men, that become…
    The Tradtions of Men, that “Make Void” The Word of God.

    Mark 7:13
    NLT – you “cancel” the word of God
    in order to hand down your own tradition.

    KJV – Making the word of God of “none effect”
    through your tradition…

    ASV – Making “void” the word of God
    by your tradition…

    NIV – Thus you “nullify” the word of God
    by your tradition…

    I’m just pointing those who desire to be ”His Disciples,” TO…

    The “ONE” Shepherd
    The “ONE” Teacher
    The “ONE” Leader

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

    Like

  31. Avid Reader

    You write @NOVEMBER 26, 2017 @ 3:18 PM

    “I believe that whenever we have a question—
    we should first look at what Jesus said and did about it.
    We know that Jesus had a heart for sending people
    out to do the work of the ministry.

    And I agree…
    xxxxxxx

    Jesus sends ”His Disciples” OUT…

    Even if, Mat 28:19, KJV, is correct…
    “Go… teach all nations.”

    Or, Mat 28:19, ESV, is correct…
    “Go… make disciples…”

    Mat 28:20, in most versions are similar…
    Jesus, teaches, His Disciples, what to teach.
    When they, Go… teach all nations.
    Or, Go… make disciples of Jesus.

    Mat 28:20 ESV
    …teaching them to observe
    ALL that I have commanded you…

    Sounds simple, read the four gospels, make a list…
    Teach what Jesus taught His Disciples.
    NOT… ADD… Err… Stuff… Jesus NEVER taught.

    Like – In the Bible, did Jesus teach His Disciples
    To take the “Title/Position?”Or call themsleves pastor?
    Or shepherd? Or leader? Or reverend?” – NOPE!

    In the Bible, did any of His Disciples
    Take the “Title/Position?” or call themself pastor?
    Or shepherd? Or leader? Or reverend? – NOPE!
    xxxxxxx

    If Jesus, did NOT teach these things?
    If His Disciples did NOT “do” these things?
    Why would WE, His Ekklesia, His Church, His sons…
    Think it is okay to “Teach, do, these things?”
    If Jesus Did NOT teach these things?
    To His Disciples?

    Wouldn’t you think, “church leaders,” pastor/leaders, today?
    (A term, “Title,” that does NOT exist, in the Bible.)
    ( For one of His Disciples.)
    Who say they “make disciples”? Look something like?
    One of His Disciples? In the Bible?

    Can “church leaders” today?
    Make Disciples of Jesus Christ?
    When “church leaders” do NOT teach?
    What Jesus taught His Disciples? In the Bible?

    And, ADD… Err… Stuff… Jesus NEVER taught?

    Like

  32. Avid

    Yes…
    “I believe that whenever we have a question—
    we should first look at what Jesus said and did about it.

    Mat 28:20 ESV
    …teaching them to observe
    ALL that I have commanded you…

    I’ve noticed, many, pastor/teacher/leaders, Today…
    In the 501 (c) 3, Non-Profit, Tax Deductible, Religious Corporation,
    That the IRS calls church.

    Ignore or Twist what Jesus Did, and Taught, ”His Disciples.”
    And, What His Disciples “Observed Jesus doing”
    And what His Disciples Did and Taught.

    And they ADD, Lots of… errr… stuff, Jesus never taught. 😉

    Here’s a few things Jesus taught His Disciples…
    1 – NOT to be called Rabbi you have “ONE” teacher, Christ. Mt 23:8 NKJV
    …. Know many, any, in the 501 c 3, who teach Potential Disciples…
    …..There is “ONE” teacher, Christ?

    2 – NOT to be called leader you have “ONE” leader, Christ, Mt 23:10 NASB
    …. Know many, any, in the 501 c 3, who teach Potential Disciples…
    …..There is “ONE” Leader, Christ?
    …. And, in the Bible, NOT one of His Disciples called them self Leader.
    xxxxxxx

    Don’tcha think? It’s Kinda hard…
    For those who earn a living, calling themselves teachers/leaders?
    To Make Disciples of Jesus? Because?

    Jesus taught His Disciples to Go, teach ALL nations,
    What He, Jesus, commanded them?

    And, Jesus taught His Disciples NOT to be called teacher?
    And, Jesus taught His Disciples NOT to be called leader?

    Ps 138:6
    Though the LORD be high, yet hath he respect unto the lowly:
    but the proud he knoweth afar off.

    Ps 40:4
    Blessed is that man that maketh the LORD his trust,
    and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.

    Like

  33. Avid

    Yes…
    “I believe that whenever we have a question—
    we should first look at what Jesus said and did about it.

    Here’s a few more things Jesus taught His Disciples…
    3 – And they will ALL be taught by God. Jn 6:45 ESV
    …. John, the apostle, taught, “you need NO man teach you.” 1 Jn 2:26-27 KJV

    4 – The Holy Spirit… will teach you ALL things… Jn 14:26 HCSB
    …. Paul taught, the Gospel he preached was from God, NOT from man.

    5 – ALL truth, will come as the Spirit of truth guides and leads. Jn 16:13 KJV
    ….. Those “led” by the Spirit are the sons of God.

    6 – Jesus, as man, does nothing of himself, and is taught of God. Jn 8:28 KJV

    7 – Jesus is the “ONE” Shepherd, the Good Shepherd. Jn 10:11-16 KJV
    …. And, NOT one of His Disciples took the “Title” – shepherd/reverend.

    8 – He who speaks of himself seeks his own glory. Jn 7:18 KJV
    Titles/Position?
    …. And, NOT one of His Disciples called themself – pastor/leader/reverend.

    9 – If I honour myself, my honour is nothing. (Titles/Position?) Jn 8:54 KJV
    …. Pastors name and Title, on office doors, sec. desks, bulletins, street signs?
    ….. Are these pastors honoring themselves?

    10 – Peter, knowing Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the living God,
    …. received the revelation from Father God,
    ….. and NOT from man. Mt 16:17 KJV

    11 – Jesus taught, “I am among you as he that serves.” Lu 22:27 KJV
    …. ALL His Disciples called themselves “Servants.”

    12 – Jesus taught, “He that humbles himself shall be exalted.” Mt 23:12 KJV
    …. Humble – A modest or low estimat of one’s own importance.

    …. Know many? any? pastor/leader/reverends,
    …..who have a low opinion of their own importance?
    …. And, NOT one of His Disciples called them self ”servant-leader.”
    …. ALL His Disciples called themselves “Servants.”

    And Jesus, taught a lot in the Streets
    And had His Disciples DO what He DID, in the streets.

    Luke 9:2
    And He sent them out to preach the kingdom and heal the sick.

    Don’tcha think? It’s Kinda hard…
    For those who earn a living, calling themselves teachers/leaders?
    To Make Disciples of Jesus?

    If someone “Ignores” what Jesus taught His Disciples?
    If someone “Opposes” what Jesus taught His Disciples?
    And, calls them self leader?
    And allows others to call them leader?

    Are they one of His Disciples? 😉

    Like

  34. Amos, “NOPE… NOT implying Peter would have been wrong…”

    Then it appears that we are debating a distinction without a difference.
    Jesus tells Peter to “shepherd”
    Peter tells his fellow elders to “shepherd”
    Paul claims the superior title of “apostle” to himself

    Jesus tells the disciples not to take money or food or extra clothes with them, but instead that they should expect to be provided for.
    Paul reiterates the claim that he and other ministers have the right to benefit financially from their ministerial labors.

    In another post, we are debating whether it is appropriate for someone who has not done the work to receive a Ph.D. to claim the title “Dr.” yet, no one there is saying that someone who HAS done the work is wrong in claiming that title.

    So, you aren’t claiming that the Holy Spirit has ceased to raise up elders, shepherds, pastors and leaders. You’re not even really claiming (per above) that a person who really is called by the Holy Spirit to be a shepherd is wrong in calling himself a shepherd. So, all I can perceive you are dramatically defending is that we ought to be very cautious towards people who insist on the titles and authority. Completely agree.

    Likewise, we ought to be cautious of people who are seeking to benefit financially from ministry. Not that the benefit itself is wrong, but that some seek it for ‘sordid gain’ rather than desiring to be able to labor without having to worry about necessities. Completely agree.

    Other than that, I think we’re just talking past each other.

    Like

  35. KAS, I agree that parent/child and master/slave are not mutual, but I think you’ve blinded yourself to the mutuality of marriage. For example:

    So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, because we are members of His body. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.

    So, let me point this subtlety out. They are ONE FLESH. So, Paul may appear to be making an argument solely to husbands, but the proof he uses for the argument applies to both husbands and wives. So, wives ought to love their husbands in the same way.

    I also want to warn against taking the analogy too far. I’m am not my wife’s Christ. I’m not the priest of my family. So, that can’t be Paul’s purpose in evoking Christ. Neither am I my wife’s Holy Spirit because Paul talks about sanctification.

    I think Paul is, instead, talking about mutual sanctification. That marriage isn’t about getting a housecleaner or on-demand sex or someone to raise kids with, but that we have this mutual responsibility to guide each other towards Christ. He uses the word sanctify.

    If you take a completely complementarian one-sided approach to this, you are saying that the it’s the husband’s job to sanctify the wife, but not the wife’s job to sanctify the husband. And, I think this is, on its face, untenable, as you say. You are saying that somehow God is guaranteeing that a Christian husband is always able, in every way, to guide his wife in sanctification, and by logical conclusion, that there is no area where the wife can sanctify her husband (can the church sanctify Christ???).

    So, blindly applying a complementarian viewpoint to this passage makes more outrageous claims than you are even able to claim against egalitarians.

    Like

  36. I will add that, in fact, that very thing is taught in complementarian churches – that girls ought to deliberately seek out a man who is more everything. Taller, more intelligent, more accomplished, higher paid, more spiritually mature, than they are. Likewise, men are taught (this is subtle, mind you) that they ought to seek out spouses whom they are superior to. Just think how comp. churches look down on families where the wife is the breadwinner.

    Like

  37. Amos,

    We agree with you that believers are led by the Holy Spirit.

    We agree with you that there’s no mediator between us and God.

    Here’s the problem:

    Amos, you are still twisting Scripture by saying that our being led by Holy Spirit automatically proves that all brick and mortar churches are wrong. Why are you still attacking the preaching of the Gospel?

    Jesus told Peter to shepherd My sheep. Yet Amos, you are still saying that there’s no need for shepherds. Why are you still throwing out whole Bible passages that disprove your point?

    Amos, you say that there’s no genuine pastors because it’s impossible to pastor without becoming a mediator.

    Wrong.

    Many times the Bible describes the role of shepherd without ever requiring any mediators.

    Look at Ezekiel 34 which describes the role of shepherds as:
    1) Strengthen the weak
    2) Heal the sick
    3) BANDAGE THE HURT
    4) Bring back the ones that wandered away
    5) Look for the ones that were lost
    6) Feed the sheep

    God said in Ezekiel 34 that the sheep were going astray because they had no shepherd.

    Then Jesus echoes this in Matthew 9:36 (ISV)

    “When he saw the crowds, he was deeply moved with compassion for them, because they were troubled and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.”

    Amos there’s a lot of ministry work that needs to get done. Why are you still fighting that?

    Why are you attacking the call of God on people’s lives?

    Like

  38. Amos,
    Please read the book of Ephesians, 1 and 2 Timothy, and Acts. God’s program for the New testament is the church. It can take on many forms, and variations in leadership, but ti will still be a church-a local assembly of believers that meets to worship God and encourage each other. It will, as most organizations, also have some kind of leadership structure.

    You take so many verses out of context I almost find it amusting.

    Liked by 1 person

  39. Avid

    Ezekial 34 is a favorite chapter… You left out quite a bit… Hmmm?

    It talks about shepherds, who feed themselves, who rule with force…
    It talks about how God will seek out His Sheep, and deliver them…
    It talks about ALL having ”ONE” Shepherd

    Ezekial 34:2-24…
    2 – Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel…

    4 – The diseased have ye not strengthened,
    neither have ye healed that which was sick,
    neither have ye bound up that which was broken,
    neither have ye brought again that which was driven away,
    neither have ye sought that which was lost;
    but with force and with cruelty have ye ruled them.

    9 – Therefore, O ye shepherds, hear the word of the LORD;
    10 – Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against the shepherds;
    and I will require my flock at their hand,
    and cause them to cease from feeding the flock;
    neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more;
    for I will deliver my flock from their mouth,
    that they may not be meat for them.
    11 – For thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold,
    I, even I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out.
    12 – As a shepherd seeketh out his flock
    in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered;
    so will I seek out my sheep,
    and will deliver them out of all places
    where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day.

    23 – And I will set up **”ONE” shepherd over them,
    and he shall feed them, even my servant David;
    he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd.

    24 – And David my servant shall be king over them;
    and they all shall have ”ONE” shepherd:
    they shall also walk in my judgments,
    and observe my statutes, and do them.

    And Jesus, in the NT, is referred to as…
    The Son of David
    And
    The “ONE” Shepherd

    Mat 1:1* The book of the generation of Jesus Christ,
    the son of David, the son of Abraham.

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

    If not now? – When?

    One Voice – One Fold – One Shepherd – One Leader

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

    Like

  40. Hi Linn

    Thanks for jumping in.

    You write…
    “You take so many verses out of context I almost find it amusting.”

    You could be correct…

    Can you point out a few that I took out of context?
    And how you would interpret them?
    Thanks

    Like

  41. Mark

    You write @ NOVEMBER 28, 2017 @ 11:56 AM
    “So, all I can perceive you are dramatically defending is
    that we ought to be very cautious towards people
    who insist on the titles and authority.”

    That’s part of it.

    Psalm 118:8-9
    It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.
    It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes.

    Jer 17:5
    Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man…
    and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD.

    2 Peter 2:1
    But there were false prophets also among the people,
    even as there shall be false teachers among you,

    2 Peter 2:3
    And through covetousness shall they with feigned words
    make merchandise of you:

    Ephesians 5:6 Let no man deceive you with vain words…
    2Thessalonians 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means…
    1John 3:7 Little children, Let no man deceive you …

    In the Bible… The only “ONE” with the “Title” Shepherd is {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}
    And WE, His Sheep, can go Directly to the “ONE” Shepherd.

    Because, when you do your own research – shepherds in the Bible…
    Ain’t nuttin like those we see today with the “Title” pastor/shepherd.

    In The Bible – Can you find – Any…
    Shepherds who had “Titles” – “Pastor/Leader/Reverend?”
    Shepherds who called themselves – “Pastor/Leader/Reverend?”
    Shepherds who promoted themselves – as a “Special Clergy Class?”
    Shepherds who promoted His Sheep as lesser “Lay people?”

    Shepherds who promoted themselves as – “Leaders?”
    Shepherds who promoted themselves as – “Church Leaders?”
    Shepherds who promoted themselves as – “Spiritual Leaders?”
    Shepherds who promoted themselves as – “Christian Leaders?”
    Shepherds who promoted themselves as – “Leaders to be Obeyed?”

    Shepherds who promoted themselves as – “Spiritual Authority?”
    Shepherds who promoted themselves as – “God Ordained Authority?”

    Shepherds who separated from the flock, wearing different, special, clothes?
    Shepherds who were – Hired and Fired – by congregations?
    Shepherds who would move from one congregation to another?
    What’s up with that?
    Shepherds who would “Exercise Authority” over another Disciple?
    Shepherds who had their own private parking space. 🙂

    Well, you get the drift…
    NOT much of what todays pastor/leader/reverend gets paid for or does…
    Is In The Bible… 😉

    Like

  42. “Shepherds who would move from one congregation to another?”

    You mean like Paul, Barnabas, Timothy, Apollos and…

    I think you outlined a problem that we all perceive. Jesus said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

    So, it is inherently difficult to differentiate between a person who is authoritative because they have certain managerial skills and a person who is authoritative because they have the gifting of the Holy Spirit to convey truth.

    As someone who has experienced both, I think I am learning to differentiate. But I don’t see the need to lump them all together.

    (Shepherds who would “Exercise Authority” over another Disciple?)
    Paul says, “Therefore, though I have enough confidence in Christ to order you to do what is proper, yet for love’s sake I rather appeal to you—since I am such a person as Paul, the aged, and now also a prisoner of Christ Jesus”

    (Shepherds who promoted His Sheep as lesser “Lay people?”)
    John says, “My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin.” (and says ‘little children’ six more times in 1 John)
    Paul says, “And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to men of flesh, as to infants in Christ. I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able, for you are still fleshly.”

    (Shepherds who promoted themselves – as a “Special Clergy Class?”)
    Paul says, “Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God”
    “For I consider myself not in the least inferior to the most eminent apostles.”
    Peter says, “Therefore, I exhort the elders among you, as your fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker also of the glory that is to be revealed”

    I think there is a basis for challenging the modern seminary-trained, church-approved professional clergy class, but I don’t think it’s productive to imply that anyone who does what you claim the disciples never did is thereby sinning and/or a wolf.

    Liked by 2 people

  43. Agree, Mark. The point is we have a modern church system that is problematic, one reason being that professional-class “pastors” often “lord it over” people, but of course, that doesn’t mean all of them do. (Look at Mars Hill or Sovereign Grace Ministries as problematic examples).

    The larger point Amos is saying, I believe, is that the modern church (as well as much of “church” through history), has lost the simplicity of gatherings of people with no hierarchy of authority… leaders, yes, but no one gift or person as better or higher class than others. To test this, try to question the authority of a local pastor and see what happens.

    Frank Viola has done a great job of exposing the problems I speak in the book Pagan Christianity. He is not writing off all churches, but exposing the structure we tend to think is perfectly “biblical”, but when examined carefully, we discover is not.

    My personal view is that we can’t get legalistic about this, but must also not ignore the major themes Jesus taught: equality, egalitarian gatherings of people, with some exercising their gifts for the good of all – even recognized as such — but not “offices” in a hierarchal structure.

    Like

  44. All of this is entertaining! If there was ever a church that sought to be BIBLICAL it was GCC under Pastor MacArthur! The lesson here is you can cross every “t” and dot every “i” and still have a sinful hangover of pride…I have stated it before, noble intentions at first, but over time, an “empire” was built. The church grew to 10k people on Sunday. HOW in the world do you really shepherd 10K people? You keep them very busy! Keep them in the head (intellect)…TEACH, TEACH, TEACH…

    Over time, when John’s publishing took off, then The Master’s College (many will say the church really shifted at this point) then The aster’s Seminary, pastor’s conferences, more books, Charismatic Chaos, The Gospel According to Jesus…these two works really set John in the polemic role of defending the gospel and training others to do so. He even said many times he never thought his core ministry would be defending what the gospel is.

    I cannot overstate how significant the Nouthetic Counseling Model has been and the anti-psychology movement. Dr Larry Crabb’s books were the first to go out of the Book Shack. His book The Marriage Builder was taught at the church in the late 80s…he even taught one Sunday Morning (which is a coveted position to take)…and then, blacklisted. Clean the house. NO MORE psychology of any kind…John went on another mission (look up the tapes archive) on this.

    GCC was NEVER meant to be a model church! The average church in America is about 50-75 people. John’s tape ministry took his sermons to the world! His books to the world! Now, he has an empire of books and materials. This is not a model church dynamic!

    The problem is seminary students go out from GCC and try to reproduce this model-hook, line, and sinker! The core issue at GCC is shallow relationships. The real church is your weekly bible study–the small group you are involved with. However, at a church this size, it is very, “out of sight, out of mind”–people come and go all the time. The church really has not grown since 1980–it still has the same amount of people, and very few have remained over the years.

    Again, how do you really shepherd so many people? Never go beneath surface! Have a “one size fits all” approach to anthropology pertaining to relational issues, psychological issues, etc. Develop a comprehensive model for counseling and anything that does not fit this paradigm, attack it. Are you telling me in a church that size you have nobody struggling with OCD issues? Sleep disorders. Depression. Sexual confusion–not gender, just sexual frustration, pornography, all or nothing thinking. Let’s just look at OCD categories;
    Obsessions about Dirt and Contamination
    Obsessive Need for Order or Symmetry
    Obsessions about Hoarding or Saving
    Obsessions with Sexual Content
    Repetitive Rituals
    Nonsensical Doubts
    Religious Obsessions (Scrupulosity)
    Obsessions with Aggressive Content
    Obsessions with Food and Weight
    Compulsions about Having Things Just Right
    Superstitious Fears
    Checking Compulsions

    Imho, the sin Pastor MacArthur is guilty of is saying because I don’t recognize specific issues, therefore they do not exist! If everything is a sin disorder, than I never have to ask WHY or look beneath the surface of life…and GCC reflects this kind of energy. The result? People have secrets! Shame issues. Guilt issues. Never feel free to become vulnerable. When a leak in the system happens, The Case of Jane, cover up, protect, deny, rather than humbly say, “We have a real problem! Something is wrong!” This is very common in any large organization!

    Why supports this? The Empire! When you have everything already laid out in print, now what? When you have a book for every spiritual matter, now what? THIS is why the system becomes more important than the person. This is Evangelical modern Christianity gone wrong! Real shepherding and care giving is lost in numbers. Only the strong survive! Only the faithful! Those who are not strong, they are not faithful (huge guilt/shame spiral) and secretly seek help outside the church.

    GCC is a learning center first, and church body way down the line. It is NOT a model church! But when it trains others to reproduce this model, Houston we have a problem!

    Liked by 1 person

  45. Bele,

    Thank you for sharing those thoughts. Your points were really interesting, especially for those of us who are trying to understand what’s happening on the inside of this institution.

    Like

  46. Mwcamp,

    If you haven’t had a chance to see this yet—there are serious allegations about Frank Viola’s behavior:

    According to the allegations which have been public for quite a while (this article is dated from 2013):

    “Frank Viola’s……former church in Brandon, Florida, confronted him about abusing a teenager over many months. At the time, she was a member of his church, half his age, and had been a high school student of his.

    Mr. Viola, in turn, was married with kids, leading that church and also employed as a teacher in the local public high school – until, that is, the police discovered him having a tryst with his teenage former student in a sleazy motel room.

    Rather than respond to the church’s concerns….he immediately and quite literally fled the church – never to return.

    Within days of fleeing his church, Frank Viola’s wife filed for and eventually obtained a divorce, based in part of his pattern of infidelity and other misconduct. Frank Viola then tried to smear her by circulating “letters” attacking her, blamed her for the breakup, and even sought alimony from her because – he claimed in court documents – growing talk of his “adultery” and “cult” abuses meant he couldn’t continue working.

    Eventually, the Brandon church had enough. After repeatedly being rebuffed in their attempts to meet with him, they finally published a public warning which set forth the actual facts……his ongoing predatory behavior, and his attempts to shift blame by slandering his wife.”

    If you want to check the references—here’s the link:

    https://crossroadjunction.com/2013/05/26/a-response-to-bart-breen/

    Like

  47. Amos, Why do you keep fighting the preaching of the Gospel?

    On 11-27-17 at 10:28am Amos wrote
    “No pastor/leaders in pulpits needed”

    Nope. They are needed. Amos doesn’t have authority to say that all brick and mortar churches are wrong. That Jesus is the only pastor therefore no legitimate pastors exist. That’s been his consistent argument for the last full year that we’ve been debating this back and forth.

    Amos, you’re missing the whole context of how Ezekiel 34 shows the heart of God wanting to take care of the flock.

    According to Ezekiel 34 God defines the role of shepherd as:

    1) Strengthen the weak
    2) Heal the sick
    3) Bandage the hurt
    4) Bring back the ones that wandered away
    5) Look for the ones that were lost
    6) Feed the sheep

    See? Being a mediator is NOT listed in the job description. Ezekiel 34 blows apart Amos’ argument that there’s no legitimate pastors because pastoring requires becoming a mediator.

    Now Ezekiel 34 includes a prophecy of the coming of Christ. But Amos can’t use one verse prophesying Christ’s coming—to throw half the NT out the window. Again that’s cherrypicking random verses to fit his point.

    For example, Amos is now trying to say that all pastors are illegitimate because pastoring requires people to trust in the flesh. Nope. Not even close. Pastoring is about feeding the flock and bandaging the hurt. That’s the work that needs to get done. That’s what Amos is fighting every time he argues that pastors don’t have any right to exist.

    Jesus is still calling people to pastor:

    “So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.”
    Ephesians 4:11-12 (NIV)

    There’s all kinds of NT verses affirming church leadership. This is what Amos keeps throwing out the window every time he tries to say that there are no legitimate church leaders.

    If there are no church leaders, then why would God give us a list of qualifications for leadership?

    “Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money.”
    1 Timothy 3:2-3 (NIV)

    Now watch, Amos will respond to this by again throwing that out the window because he argues that no one will ever be perfect enough to fit those requirements, therefore there’s no legitimate church leaders.

    Go ahead Amos, twist Scripture as many ways as you want to fit your agenda. But remember that you’re fighting the heart of God to care for His flock. There’s a reason that Jesus told someone else three times to “feed My sheep.”

    Like

  48. Just for the record, pastors are required to fit Scriptural qualification lists such as
    1Timothy 3:2-3. There’s plenty of real pastors out there that do. It’s our responsibility to judge that the pastors we get involved with are following those biblical guidelines.

    Now I yield the debate floor to Amos. 🙂

    Like

  49. Avid Reader, No, I never heard that about Viola. That is terrible hypocrisy for a Christian author and pastor, if true. However, I’m astounded how often defenders of traditional theology consider someone’s theological conclusions to be unworthy of consideration when they fall morally, but only IF they are more liberal and progressive. No evangelical I know of discredited Falwell’s or Haggard’s or Baker’s conservative theology when they fell morally. Should we discredit someone’s theological research/position on the basis of their personal morality? If so, what theology would ever be left standing?

    Like

  50. “Now watch, Amos will respond to this by again throwing that out the window because he argues that no one will ever be perfect enough to fit those requirements, therefore there’s no legitimate church leaders.”

    I will say that we get stuck between a rock and a hard place here. I believe that there are people who meet these qualifications, because, for example, “above reproach” doesn’t mean “perfect”, but having a good reputation as is said elsewhere. However, (c)hurches like to say that these are aspirational qualifications that none but Christ can meet. I think they do this so that when elders do fall into sin, they can try to claim that they are still qualified to hold office.

    I get confused about this one: “if any man is above reproach, the husband of one wife, having children who believe, not accused of dissipation or rebellion.”

    I know a PK who went through a rebellious stage. She said her father came to her and said that he wasn’t sure he could continue being a pastor if she persisted in her rebellion. She said it opened her eyes to the effect she was having on others.

    But, I know elders still serving who have children who have rejected the faith altogether. I wonder if they are truly qualified to hold office. My father was an elder, but all of his children are Christians. I know an elder who had to step down and turns out afterwards some of his children have walked away. Not saying that these examples prove anything, but they are intriguing.

    Like

  51. Avid Reader,
    Seems there is a serious question on whether the accusations against author Frank Anthony Viola are true. According to this, they have been discredited and the evidence is against another person named Anthony Frank Viola. There’s a lot of fake news out there, we have to sort through what is real and what is not.
    http://frankviola.org/jimwrightfrankviolajonzens/

    Like

  52. She said her father came to her and said that he wasn’t sure he could continue being a pastor if she persisted in her rebellion.

    This makes me sad for her, actually. This is the reason PK’s go wild.

    Like

  53. @Mwcamp, “Should we discredit someone’s theological research/position on the basis of their personal morality?”

    I think there is significant reason to question it. Not throw it out necessarily, but, for example, is Gothard’s “umbrella” theology valid when it seems it underpinned his systematic grooming and abuse of female employees.

    I believe that theological systems and moral issues go hand in hand. I’m not going to say that Biblical Inerrancy is suspect because Haggard preached it, but I do think that Haggard’s preaching on same-sex attraction is highly suspect because at the same time he was preaching one thing, he was living the opposite. So, there is reasonable likelihood that his condemnation was more of the form of self-deprecating penance rather than truly trying to understand Biblical teaching on the subject.

    But to go further. If these preachers who fell are wolves, then we have to consider that their preaching was not to bring glory to God and understanding of Biblical principles, but was instead designed to bring power and authority to themselves. “His speech was smoother than butter, But his heart was war; His words were softer than oil, Yet they were drawn swords.”

    Like

  54. I put up my response to Amos, and he invited me to engage. I chose not to. He is so distorted in his interpretation, as well as cherry-picking verses to suit his opinions, that i don’t see any point–nor do I have time to engage him verse by verse. I love theology, but I prefer to dialog with folks who have a substantive argument.

    That being said, I know churches have problems; they always have. I was a “professional” Christian for 15 years, serving as a missionary here and overseas. I learned to look for healthy churches-leaders committed to the spiritual welfare of their people, congregations that supported leadership and helped the weak, but who also confronted serious sin. The current church I attend models these attributes. When an elder was discovered in adultery several years ago, the situation was dealt with by elders long before the congregation was aware. When we were notified of what had occurred, it was done in a spirit of loving correction, with the warning that we are all capable of falling into serious sin. I was in another church where a new pastor was called to salvage what was left after the previous pastor’s sexual fling. It took a few years, but he was able to put the place back together, and the congregation has continued to do well.

    As soon as I walk into any church, I enter with all of my baggage. It’s how the church deals with baggage that shows its integrity. The problem with so many churches/ministries is that they stuff it in the closet until it explodes, with all of the awful consequences.

    Like

  55. Lea, knowing her father really well, and hearing her talk about it openly, I don’t think he was asking her to shape up because of his image. It seemed more that he was seriously pondering whether he met the qualifications of pastor and was trying to understand where her heart was. I know it’s hard to convey that in text.

    He is one of the pastors that I use as a benchmark, and others typically fall far short.

    Like

  56. Mark

    I appreciate your thoughts, and the way you express them. Good stuff.

    I also appreciate the way you tend His sheep, feed His sheep…
    Care for His sheep, shepherd His sheep.
    On this thread and others.
    (Ravi Zacharias)

    You ask a good question @ NOVEMBER 28, 2017 @ 1:39 PM
    “Why would Jesus tell Peter to “shepherd”
    if there is only ONE shepherd?”

    I tried submiting to Mere Fallible Human “Titled,” shepherds, leaders…
    Who told me they were “called by God,” to be pastors, over me…
    I did as I was taught… Ouch!!! Lots of pain… Lots of tears…

    Found out, when you dis-agree, question, your soul is NO longer important.
    It caused me to ask some different questions…
    And get different answers…

    Questions I have asked…
    Why are there so many abusive pastors?
    How do WE, His Sheep, KNOW who is a qualified, good, pastor?
    So, I studied the qualifications in 1 Tim 3, and Titus. They are tuff.

    Why did Jesus say there is NONE good but ”ONE,” – God?
    Why did Jesus refer to Himself as **The “Good” Shepherd?

    Why did Jesus refer to Himself as The”ONE’ Shepherd?
    Why did Jesus say, “MY Sheep – Hear MY Voice – and Follow ME?”

    Since leaving ”The Corrupt Religious System.” In the early 90’s…
    Through much Pain, Tears and Spiritual Abuse…

    ”I have decided to Follow Jesus – NO turning back – NO turning back.”

    I have experience, The”ONE’ Shepherd, is The “GOOD” Shepherd?

    Hmmm? Questions…
    Which ”Shepherd” should I recommend to a new believer?
    Which ”Shepherd” should I recommend to a hurting believer?
    Some Mere Fallible Human who does NOT meet the Qualifications?
    Who wants you, demands you to, Pray, Pay, Stay, and Obey?

    Or – should I recommend…
    The “GOOD” Shepherd?
    The “ONE” Shepherd?

    Paul said – Follow Me as I Follow Christ…

    I have decided to follow Jesus the Christ…

    That is my recommendation…

    Like

  57. Mark

    You ask a good question @ NOVEMBER 28, 2017 @ 1:39 PM
    “Why would Jesus tell Peter to “shepherd”
    if there is only “ONE” shepherd?”

    More questions…
    Is “ONE” always a number?
    Is “ONE” only a number?

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

    Like

  58. Mark

    In my experience…
    And I was ordained. in leadership…

    I have seen the dangers of “Titles,” of “Pastors,” and of “leaders.”
    Spiritual Abuse – for both the “leader” and those “being led.”

    IMO – The word “pastor/leader” is very, very dangerous for both.

    In my experience… With pastor/leader/reverends…

    No matter how loving… eventually…
    No matter how humble… eventually…
    No matter how much a servant… eventually…

    The pastor/leader…
    Will “Exercise Authority” like the Gentiles.
    And “Lord it over,” God’s heritage.
    A No, No, for His Disciples. Mark 10:42-43… 1 Pet 5:3…

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

    Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

    Liked by 1 person

  59. Mark

    You write @ NOVEMBER 29, 2017 @ 8:19 AM
    “However, (c)hurches like to say that these are aspirational qualifications that none but Christ can meet. I think they do this so that when elders do fall into sin, they can try to claim that they are still qualified to hold office.”

    I’ve heard a lot of twisting but I never heard this one…
    “… these are aspirational qualifications that none but Christ can meet…”

    But, I agree. – These qualifications can only be met by “ONE”
    The “Good” Shepherd. The “ONE” Shepherd.

    When I was ordained…
    I “Ignored” the quailfications.
    I had read the quaifications but never really paid attention.
    I just went along with my elders who said I had the “Gifts.”

    Who was I to argue with such spiritual maturity and wisdom… 😉

    Yup – MY elders also “Ignored” the quailfications.:-(

    It was very humbling when I finally searched them out and realized…
    I did NOT Qualify. Oy Vey!!! – Now what Lord???

    This was just one of the reasons I destroyed those precious papers.
    xxxxxxx

    Seems, “most” congregations do NOT know the 17+, very, very, tuff
    Qualifications, for elder/overseer. Or “Ignore” them.

    And, “most” “pastor/leader/elder/overseers,” who do know the “Qualifications,” will just “Ignore,” and “Twist,” the 17+, Qualifications in 1 Tim 3:1-7, and Titus 1:5-8, so they can maintain their “Titles,” and their Power, Profit, Prestige, Honor, Glory, Reputation, that comes with those “Titles.”

    If a pastor/leader/elder/overseer, does NOT meet the Qualifications?

    Shouldn’t they just remove themselves?

    And be a good example to the Flock?

    Like

  60. Msrk

    Here’s just three Qualifications in Titus.

    1 – Must Be BLAMELESS.
    2 – JUST. 3 – HOLY.

    Titus 1:5-8 KJV
    5 …ordain elders in every city…
    6 If any be BLAMELESS, the husband of one wife,
    having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly.
    7 For a bishop “Must Be” BLAMELESS,
    as the steward of God; NOT self willed, NOT soon angry,
    NOT given to wine, NO striker, NOT given to filthy lucre;
    8 a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober,
    JUST, HOLY, temperate;

    1 – Must Be
    Strongs #1163, die. – It is necessary (as binding).
    Thayer’s – necessity established by the counsel and decree of God.
    This must be is the same Greek. – You must be born again. Jn 3:7
    Seems to be a small word but very important. Yes?

    1 – BLAMELESS
    Strongs #410 anegkletos – unaccused, irreproachable, blameless.
    Thayers – cannot be called into account, unreproveable, unaccused.
    Dictionary – Without fault, innocent, guiltless, not meriting censure.

    How many, pastor/leader/elder/reverends…
    Who honestly examine themselves…
    Seriously considering this one qualification…
    Can see themselves as **BLAMELESS,* without fault, innocent…
    And thus qualify to be an pastor/leader/elder/reverend?

    And if you can see yourself as BLAMELESS?
    Is that Pride? Deception? Delusion?
    And NO longer without fault? 🙂

    And, if a pastor/elder/overseer does NOT Qualify???

    Will they remove themselves?

    And be a good example to the Flock?

    Like

  61. Mark

    Here are two more Qualifications from Titus.
    That most pastor/elder/overseers “Ignore,” and Twist.”

    2 – JUST
    Strongs #1342 – dikaios {dik’-ah-yos} from 1349;
    Thayers – righteous, observing divine laws, innocent, faultless, guiltless.

    3 – HOLY
    Strongs #3741 – hosios {hos’-ee-os}
    Thayers – undefiled by sin, free from wickedness,
    religiously observing every moral obligation.

    Now that’s three tough qualifications for pastor/elder/overseers. Yes?
    1 – Must Be BLAMELESS?
    2 – JUST? 3 – HOLY?

    If WE, His Ekklesia, His Church, His Called Out Ones, His Body…
    Take seriously the many tough Qualifications in 1 Tim 3:1-6, and Titus 1:5-9…

    The number of Biblically Qualified – pastor/leader/reverends…
    Is quite small. 😉

    But, will these UN-qualified, pastor/leader/reverends…

    “Remove Themselves?”

    And be a good example to the flock?
    xxxxxxxxxx

    The Bible talks about elder/overseers.
    And Qualifications for elder/overseers.

    Can you have one without the other?

    Like

  62. Would you all be okay if I either created a new post to continue this conversation or go to the off-topic area? I’m trying to keep this post relevant to the case at TMU, especially since more will be coming to light and people will probably want to read comments. I’m just not sure they want to read unrelated comments. Let me know

    Like

  63. Mwcamp,

    Of course Frank Viola would deny the allegations. That proves nothing.

    I agree with you that we should dig a little deeper before believing something just because someone said it. That goes for Viola’s denial as well. We can’t just automatically disregard the testimony of Jim Wright because Viola told us to.

    All right, to respect Julie Anne’s request, I’m going to go back to only discussing the main topic of this thread.

    Like

  64. Julie Anne, I think this on target to Jane’s story.

    Rather than go into a lot of story, I will sum my thoughts. Much of Grace Community Church/ The Master’s Seminary and this “culture” bent on the pride of correct theology that can miss the “spirit” is very similar to the movie, “A Few Good Men”. A MUST watch imo.

    Previously, I have discussed The Bridge on the River Kwai and the analogy of “the frog in water” to grasp HOW & WHY this could happen. I believe those are excellent resources. Another is “A Few Good Men”.

    The film covers the court-martial of two U.S. Marines, Lance Corporal Dawson and Private Downey, who killed a fellow Marine, Private Santiago, at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba. Santiago compared unfavorably to his fellow Marines, had poor relations with them, and failed to respect the chain of command in attempts of being transferred to another base

    When Dawson and Downey are later arrested for Santiago’s murder, naval investigator and lawyer Lieutenant Commander JoAnne Galloway suspects that they carried out a “code red” order, a violent extrajudicial punishment.

    Here is the cross-over;
    1. Chain of command
    2. Code Red

    Grace Community Church has a theology that John MacArthur prides himself has every “i” dotted and “t” crossed. He has mentioned this many times…”If I knew where I was wrong I would correct it, but I don’t.” His “chain of command” contains no error, therefore, everything should be in order, there should be no need for a “code red”

    The Case of Jane revealed everything is NOT in order. So there is a need for a “code red” If there is such “perspicuity” why a need to cover-up?

    What is the “code red”?

    Like

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