What is Moderation anyway?

In view of the present financial crisis, in which Mammon is finally staggering to its knees, for a while anyway, what are your views on the following from Paul:

Philippians 4:4-5
Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.

Is this ‘moderation’ to do with means, or presentation?

How do we define ‘moderation’. What would moderation mean to someone, say, like Bill Gates, who does have a social conscience as large as his earning capacity, compared to the widow with the mite, who had little, but gave it all, and again, compared to the bankers who made millions and charged ahead to make more millions, despite the fact they already had millions, and at the expense of many small people who are now losing everything?

How should church leaders teach moderation?


65 thoughts on “What is Moderation anyway?

  1. This is an interesting topic.

    ‘Moderation’ is relative. What is ‘moderate’ to some, may seem excessive to others.

    If a teacher tried to draw some sort of line defining moderate below, and excess above, they risk creating another law, and a judgemental congregation.

    Its hard not to look at these well publicised executive pay packages as a pretty good example of excess, though.

    Well, Paul found the secret to being content in all circumstaCnces, and somewhere in there is the key, I think. Clearly he trusted God and not ‘mammon’. Mammon can deceive us by seducing us into trusting it and wanting it, more than we trust in and want to know God.

    My theory re moderation is that it is perhaps to do with good stewardship of whatever it is we currently control, and controlling it, rather than having it or our desires for it control us. Maybe its good stewardship to do something excessively generous for example, like feast a group at a banquet, given that celebration and thanksgiving is an important aspect of the life of God’s people. Maybe its poor stewardship, and most immoderate to do this when you can’t pay the electricity bill.

    We are so influenced by advertising that we all end up with lots of things we don’t really ‘need’ – is that excess?

    Perhaps moderation is not being captured by a worldly mindset or focus, being content with what God provides for us and not tying yourself up in knots trying to grasp more; being sensible and wise with what you do have, including when you have an abundance.

    Still, I read of a group who covenanted with one another that they would only buy houses in the bottom half of the economic strata, to identify with Christians elsewhere who were poor. Should we be going that far, in our search for moderation in all things – if you live in an expensive area relative to others in your city, should you downgrade to be moderate? We could get quite legalistic about this.

  2. Funny thing, my Grandfather left the Methodist movement to join the Lutheran Church as after much study of their doctrine he felt they ere too extreme (no drinking, no dancing etc).

    He always said “all things in moderation” … its a pretty good principle to live by.

    I guess the problem is too much moderation can be seen to lead to “luke-warmness”….

  3. RP –

    “We are so influenced by advertising that we all end up with lots of things we don’t really ‘need’ – is that excess?”…

    Yes. if you look in my garage you ill see excess. I’m guilty of it.

  4. I know the feeling. Our garage does not contain cars – yet it is full. But then, we live in a pretty small house.

    I know people who buy bigger houses once their old house fills up with stuff. 🙂

    Back on topic though – I don’t think we’ll be seeing as much excess on a global scale for a while. A new era of austerity may be about to begin. This will no doubt last until the next generation appears that had no skin in the current game.

  5. Re the Methodists – yes, my mother, and my husband’s father, both had Methodist influences. My mother did not have her first drink until her twenties, due to this, and my father-in-law only rarely drinks now. Not that this is a bad thing.

    The local Uniting church up the road, which I have occasionally attended, is fairly relaxed though, regardless of any Methodist roots.

  6. A dull throbbing was heard in the drizzly cloud overhead…it sputtered to a stop, and a tiny figure descended on a ladder with what appeared to be a loud-hailer in one elegantly-gloved hand:…

    Well well my friends: “Moderation, eh?”

    Can I counterpoint please, that the scripture translates the word “Gentleness” instead in many translations, with the word “forebearance” in Youngs Litera Translation—–

    um, this looks like another of the many sins of the NKJV (even 21st C edition!)

    I believe that we are looking at a mis-translation from the 1611 meaning of the English word for ‘genteness’, which would have been “moderation”. -So sorry to burst your bubble guys!

    Therefore, if ‘gentleness’ becomes the centre of this focus, it contextually harmonizes beautifully with the rest of scripture, and the Christian faith itself.

    So then, at the wormy, leprous & dreadful risk of becoming a clone of Facelift, I offer the following:

    “How should church leaders teach Gentleness?”

    -Well, this becomes simple and obvious; by example, and by focussing the minds of the people on ‘whatever is gentle’ in their experience; —

    One wonders then, if the focus is upon Money & possessions as the above discussion appears to be, then , how ought we express ‘gentleness’, and similarly ‘forebearance’ with wealth?

    -It is clear that ‘sharing is caring’ , even to those 21st C. christians, so that developing, maturing, giving, receiving and every loving act with wealth speaks of Love itself, to both the giver and receiver, and expresses the Christ and the Fathers character perfectly.

    As the beautiful Ravingpente knows, I AM in Advertising, and she may testify that I am a real person!–so I do think alot about fantasy, wealth and materialistic delusions; –I am coming to train my own children that ‘it is pagan to focus upon things instead of life’, as it is clear that ‘a spirit’ is greater than the Thing that expresses it.

    This week, my 13 year old kid learned a priceless lesson:

    ” almost the only thing that separates a man from his success is….work”

    So, it is quite interesting to see so much ‘virtual’ wealth presently vanishing, and leaving us with some pretty tough ground to re-work!

    Love to all, even, grrr, Facelift; ‘the lord richly bless you brother!’

    the Z.

    PS dear Lionfish, we are happy to come and help clean up your garage; please book a dumpster.

  7. I think some governments may now legislate ‘moderation’ when it comes to executive pay scales. It will be interesting to see how this pans out.

  8. Wall Street recovered with the biggest one day gain in History today on the News that the Governments will bail out failing Banks.

    So ho do you think bought lo and sold high…?

    Probably the same Wall Street bankers on huge Executive Salaries with cash to spare.

  9. DO MEN REMEMBER ANNIVERSARIES?

    A woman awakes during the night to find that her husband was not in their bed.

    She puts on her dressing gown and goes downstairs to look for him.

    She finds him sitting at the kitchen table with a hot cup of coffee in front of him. He appears to be in deep thought, just staring at the wall.

    She watches as he wipes a tear from his eye and takes a sip of his coffee.

    ‘What’s the matter, dear?’ she whispers as she steps into the room, ‘Why are you down here at this time of night?’

    The husband looks up from his coffee, ‘I am just remembering when we first met 20 years ago and started dating. You were only 16. Do you remember back then?’ he says solemnly.

    The wife is touched to tears thinking that her husband is so caring, so sensitive.

    ‘Yes, I do’ she replies.

    The husband pauses. The words were not coming easily.

    ‘Do you remember when your father caught us in the back seat of my car?’

    ‘Yes, I remember!’ said the wife, lowering herself into a chair beside him.

    The husband continues. ‘Do you remember when he shoved the shotgun in my face and said, ‘Either you marry my daughter, or I will send you to jail for 20 years?’

    ‘I remember that too’ she replies softly.

    He wipes another tear from his cheek and says…

    ‘I would have been released today.’

  10. Hmm… Great joke. Still waiting for your e-mail.
    It’s a very important topic as something clicked linking the market with the american church with possibly Hillsong and CCC. Will hopefully refrain until you post your article up LionFish.

  11. Greg – if your ‘apple’ is producing the fruit of peace and love rather than angry outbursts and frustration as per windows, then maybe it is not only moderate, but wise?

    They do look beautiful though, those apples! Very tempting.

  12. Sorry S&P – have been too busy with the Mark Connor thing.

    (My comments no longer seem to get through to his Blog).

  13. Mark Conner should be commended for his courage and graciousness in responding to Lance’s typical, though slightly tempered. tirade on Lance’s blog. I’m amazed how quickly people were frothing at the mouth to slam Mark with their various modus operandi so quickly and voraciously, like a circling pack of… well you tell me!

    In short, Mark ably dismantled many of the arguments on finances aimed at Contemporary/Pentecostal megachurch leaders without getting into much of a sweat.

    I’ve said often that many Contemporary/Pentecostal leaders are rethinking the ‘tithing’ question, and should be given time and grace to review their positions, and not be labelled as ‘neo-pagans’ (abtruth), or ‘quasi-pente’s’ (Lance) or any other unhelpful, anti-communicative, pride-heavy, derogatory term.

  14. Actually, Facelift, at the moment, there seems to be quite restrained discussion on Lance’s blog, from various people, who are all treading carefully while not compromising their views. I’m finding it interesting. Its great that Nicole Connor is willing to engage on the subjects, and she seems to be getting a reasonable response, as she is not instantly dismissive of what people say – unlike some others.

    I don’t think Mark is a typical Pente leader in some ways. For example, he is doing a doctorate at Fuller’s Seminary, demonstrating that he can think and is educated. His article on the role of women was good, and covered most of the bases, without even getting into the interesting and controversial modern textual interpretations which are consistent with his apparent stance.

    He will be exposed to a broad range of views doing his doctorate presumably. I’m also very pleased to hear that one Pente leader at least, is reading the Stuart Murray book that I admittedly keep harping on about. (Because it is good and well thought through – and peaceful in its approach to the issue.) I’m looking forward to seeing his response eventually.

    So I’m positive about these things, and see it as encouraging, although my views re megachurches are that those structures by their very nature have inherent challenges – which I’m not currently going to elaborate on right now.

    There is so much mistrust out there as a result of what many people have been through, that it is hardly to be expected that people are not suspicious and in some cases highly cynical. I am cynical too, but I don’t want to prejudge anyone, and I think Nicole and Mark are sincere, even if we wouldn’t agree on a lot of things. Also, I think Lance is being quite restrained in allowing the discussion to take place on his blog, considering his strong feelings about these issues. I appreciate that.
    ,

  15. I’m completely banned from the blog and have already had one comment removed, so I don’t expect to be able to join the debate. If you read through Lance’s responses you will see that he refuses to accept anything Mark says, in fact, and effectively labels him a hypocrite. I don’t see any change, just a milder means of expression.

  16. Well, I think a milder expression, and allowing some conversation to take place, is to be appreciated.

    Given your past history with Lance, it is understandable that he has taken the steps he has to ban you. His perception of you is why you were banned. His perception is truth to him, regardless of anything you may say in your defence. I also would have found it difficult not to ban you, were I in Lance’s shoes. Sorry.

  17. Don’t be sorry. Lance is rude and aggressive to all pentecostals and Pastors alike. He doesn’t like being uncompromisingly challenged for this. He is totally unrepentant at all times. He is wrong.

    Take for instance Lance’s response to Mark’s gracious comments:

    ‘First of all, I should rectify something from Saturday night.

    During your preaching, you said to the congregation….”everybody say ‘brief’….”

    I, at the time, failed to respond by saying out loud the word ‘brief’.

    So, I will now fulfil my church ‘performing seal obligations’ right here, right now.

    “Brief!”

    Because I know how much a pastor’s ego suffers if the congregation doesn’t play along with their bizarre requirements during preaching.

    Now that’s out of the way, let me respond to your own response about your weekend appearance at Phil Baker’s Revenue Church.

    “I was not aware that they were going to take a love offering up at the end of both of my messages (and definitely didn’t have this in mind while I was speaking). We don’t do that all the time at our church. In fact, we often give a love offering to visiting speakers from our general budget (or take up an offering in just one weekend meeting). We mainly take up extra offerings for missions and humanitarian causes ministry. I think it is important not to take up too many offerings from people.”

    I’ll accept on face value that you weren’t aware that a love offering was upcoming, even though for a Pentecostal pastor…it’s a bit like saying that you weren’t aware that dishes would be cleared away at the end of a meal.

    You said that you don’t take up love offerings at your own church ‘all the time’. That means you do take up love offerings some of the time.

    You say that you ‘often’ give speakers the love offering out of the general budget. That means that sometimes it comes from the congregation.

    From this, I read that you’re involved in the love offering circuit practice, just not to the same extent as, say, Christian Shitty Church, which does it every service, no matter what.

    You ‘mainly’ take up extra offerings for humanitarian causes. That means there are other occasions when you collect love offerings for other unspecified purposes, presumably for the personal gain of various people which you don’t wish to acknowledge here.

    “2. For your interest, I have only spoken at this church one other time – about 10 years ago. I am not on some ‘preaching circuit’. I travel about five weekends per year (mostly overseas) and rarely do churches take up a love offering in the meetings that I preach.”

    Or to put it in non-pastor speak..you travel overseas several times a year, and on occasions receive love offerings.

    The argument you’re trying to mount is akin to defending a terrorist who quietly lives most of his life in the United States like everyone else and attacks significant public buildings only rarely.

    You’re still a participant and a facilitator of the love offering circuit, though less conspicuously then a Houston or a Pringle or a Baker.

    “3. When a church does give me a love offering it does not go to me personally or to my personal expenses. It goes into a ‘ministry fund’ where it usually ends up being given to various people and ministries (community outreach and mission work).”

    I’ll again accept on face value that this is the case..(although pastors are notorious liars) and withdraw my claim that you contradicted yourself with your preaching at Revenue on ‘give, give, give’ and ‘take, take, take’.

    However.

    It does mean that the Revenue congregation was more seriously duped than I first thought.

    I’m NOT suggesting here that there should ever have been a love offering for a visiting speaker, particularly ones who are well-compensated by their own church, receive significant book royalties (more on that to come) and have their accommodation and travel expenses fully covered.

    However, a love offering was taken up..and the Revenue congregation was told that the offering was for you.

    People thought they were donating money to you personally, but you’re telling me now that’s not the case.

    That’s a very serious business when money donated for one purpose is used for another.

    Again, I’m not saying the love offering should have been taken up in the first place, but given that it was, and it was supposed to go to you, and it didn’t, then I would strongly suggest the funds were misappropriated.

    It was never disclosed to the congregation that the money was to be used for a different purpose (even though there is an argument that a Pente congregation is so dumb that if they are duped then they deserve to do their dough – a view that I don’t subscribe to because I think that despite their monkey-see/monkey do mindset, they should be protected from exploitative behaviour by pastors)

    “Needless to say, integrity is a high personal value for me and for our church, especially in financial matters.”

    Garbage. Your ‘principles’ are based on what you think you can get away with, just like any Pentecostal church. You draw the line at what you think people are willing to wear. Fortunately for you, you’re in a movement that doesn’t blink at pastors getting around in $25000 suits, $5000 a night hotels and a multi-million dollar ‘manse’ overlooking Bondi Beach.

    Christopher Skase could have lived ‘high personal values’ by Pentecostal standards.

    “A few comments on the other issues you have raised:

    1. Governance. Yes, this is a very important issue for churches. We recently completed an entire governance review of our church and its ministries. As a result, our Board of Elders is now made up of a majority of non-staff members. As the Senior Minister, I am accoutnable to them and I do not chair or lead this group.”

    The reality is in Pentecostal circles, an elder will not raise concerns because they know they will be sidelined by their fellow elders and the senior pastor for being someone ‘undermining the unity of the leadership’, or having a ‘rebellious spirit’..etc.

    But more likely, the elder is chosen because they share the same heretical/unethical views as the senior pastor..and are therefore seen as ‘safe’, as someone who would not upset the status quo.

    “2. We have audited financial statements at our church and an annual general meeting where these are presented to our partners. They have the opportunity to ask any questions they desire.”

    An audit may pick up something illegal, but not spending that is unethical or exploitative, while still legal.

    Church financial statements only provide vague and general summaries, leaving plenty of room for creative accounting and attibuting self-indulgent spending to ‘ministry purposes’.

    “3. Yes, we teach the ‘principle’ (not ‘law’) of tithing but encourage people to give generously in every area of their life (time, words, and resoruces), which is the New Testament emphasis.”

    Well, the New Testament emphasis is not an emphasis at all, it’s a bold declaration that the old laws are obsolete (Hebrews 8:13)….to be replaced by a heart-felt non-compelled generosity.

    The tithing debate is another discussion for another time, which I’m happy to have, but for now, I’d just say that any pastor who teaches tithing as a law, or a ‘principle’ for today’s believer is ‘obtaining financial advantage by deception’, which is illegal in Australia.

    Some greedy pastors are only abandoning ‘tithing’ now because they’re realising that if they push a ‘generous giving’ teaching instead of tithing, then they can actually collect much more than 10% from wealthy congregation members.

    “4. As mentioned before, I am not on any sort of ‘preaching circuit’ nor do we have people minister in our church who are into that game.”

    But you acknowlege that a ‘game’ exists..and you turn a blind eye to what your fellow pastors are up to…instead of teaching and preaching against it.

    “5. Our church is not ‘family run’. Yes, my dad was the former Senior Minister but it was the Elders and members of our congregation who affirmed me as his successor – not because I am his son but because of the gifting on my life.”

    I’m sure Baker, Houston, Evans etc. all report the same amazing co-incidence.

    And I’m sure when the Damazios travel to the other side of the world to minister, or you to the United States, I’m sure it’s just co-incidence that you amazingly end up in your brother-in-law’s church and vice versa. Not that I’m suggesting there’s any love offerings, nice accommodation, other ‘expenses’ etc…exchanged..

    Sorry Mark, but trying to act like your a financially above-board Pente, is like saying you’re a member of the KKK but you don’t have a racist bone in your body.’

    Posted by: Lance | October 22, 2008 at 05:31 AM

    Nope, no change there!

  18. Amazing hypocrisy! Lance refuses me the opportunity to comment on his blog, and yet writes the following about me, which is completely without foundation:

    ‘My policy and strong personal view is of completely open blogs, with anyone free to comment, including the spammers and the viciously personally abusive.

    However, many of us here, myself included, have been wounded by Pentecostal pastors; in some instances to the point of post-traumatic stress.

    This is something that pastors are completely unwilling to acknowledge, and the basis of many of the battles waged here against exploitative pastors.

    F***lift (I advise you not to write his name because your comment will automatically go into a moderation queue) is one of the most devious and psychologically unbalanced pastors I’ve ever come across.

    Almost right up there with Houston.

    If you had seen the damage he has caused over many months, then, you may not necessarily agree with the decision to ban him, but you would understand it.

    F***lift still has the opportunity to converse with many of the people who are here on the Signposts2 community

    But while I’m running things here, he won’t ever be commenting here for any reason at any time.

    Much as in the same way, I’m sure your church would not allow a convicted serial rapist to serve the Tim Tams or give his views on women in a meeting of sex abuse survivors.’

    I think as long as Lance makes slanderous remarks about my person like this he should have the courage to allow me to respond on his site. Ruddigar also joins the fray knowing I have no recourse to respond on that blog.

    I challenge Lance to come here and give evidence of any damage I have done to anyone through what I have written on these blogs. He is a liar on this and has neither evidence or fact to back it.

    I may be strong in my views, but not inflexible, and I have apologised on occasion where I have been shown to be wrong, and also changed my views on issues from time to time.

    I do challenge Lance’s claim of total deception by all Pentecostals and all pastors, unreservedly.

    Lance. You should allow me to comment or say nothing!

  19. It’s interesting that this is a ‘moderation’ thread, really!

    Lance says:
    ‘F***lift (I advise you not to write his name because your comment will automatically go into a moderation queue) is one of the most devious and psychologically unbalanced pastors I’ve ever come across.

    Almost right up there with Houston.

    If you had seen the damage he has caused over many months, then, you may not necessarily agree with the decision to ban him, but you would understand it.’
    _______________________________

    ‘Devious and psychologically unbalanced’? ‘Like Brian Houston’? Double slander!, and one publicly named!

    What Lance means is, he set up Signposts02 as a vehicle to prise people out of churches, but people like me stand for Pastors and for Pentecostals, so we kind of get in the way of his wolfish, and yes they are the acts of a wolf, his wolfish plans.

    I see no purpose or reward in setting up a site dedicated to pulling people out of churches, whether they have been hurt or not. People do get hurt, and by Christian leadership, but they are far better dealing with issues within a church set-up than through a blog run by a bitter personality who is basically anti-pastor, anti-church, and therefore antichrist.

    Lance doesn’t attend a church, and is unlikely to, so he has nothing to lose by finding ways of pulling people out of their communities. Then they become like he is, a lone ranger, unattached and uncaring. ow long will he remain a hurt, angry ex-parishioner? How long does it take to get over it, even if someone else awas in sin through abuse? Are we then in sin because we refuse to get over it, or forgive, or move on somewhere else? Or are we charged with the ability from God to direct constant revenge at the offending leaders? can’t find that in scripture, even in the clearly defined New Testament Lance refers to.

    No we start a blog for fellow-abused and draw them out of their churches by ruinng them down, and abusing teir leadership and structures.

    A new community is formed – that of disgruntled, disillusion ex-church attenders, who complain and groan about their former places of worship. How can this be healthy?

    I hate to burst anyone’s bubble, but the perfect local church doesn’t exist, and, if, by some miracle, it did, as soon as you or I walk into it we will spoil it.

    There is no perfect church. That’s why we need Jesus. That’s why we need the Holy Spirit. That’s why we need salvation, and the cross, and redemption, and forgiveness, and patience, and all the other qualities the Holy Spirit endows us with when we accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour, including long-suffering.

  20. By the way, for the record, RP, the so called ‘deceptive’ comment I made on Lance’s blog was in fact under ‘signpostsfree’, which everyone will recognise as my writing name for this blog.

    I had switched into ‘sigpostsfree’ for a separate purpose (to remove my s&p FaceLift gravatar i resignation to banishment), and crossed over to Lance’s to check comments, and subsequently added a comment on the off-chance it would get through, which it clearly didn’t. Lance neglected to mention this. Had I been able to comment there I could have clarified this, of course. Lance’s deception is to leave vital pieces of information out as a detour from truth.

    Yes, you’re right, by the way, ‘an discerner of discerners’ is a bit dumb and desperate, but being slandered is no fun without recourse to response, and being likened to a sex-offender, psychologically unbalanced and deceiver in one post is hurtful, even by Lance’s standards.

    Thanks for the defence on the sex-offender part, at least.

    Stay free!

  21. Finally, what Lance also left out in a comment he removed was that I’d informed him that the sex-offender accusation was particularly stinging because I was sexually assaulted as a child.

    Pax!

  22. FL – the term ‘discerner of discerners’ was pretty high and lofty, and it actually did make me laugh. You’d hate it if one of the others on this site seriously gave themselves that title, I’m sure.

    Anyway, I’m going to reference this blog from Lance’s, so any interested people can see your thoughts.

    You are not banished from this blog. (Although there were times when I was administrator when I was actually tempted to break my own rule in that regard, when it all became incredibly frustrating – I’m just being honest here.) Its up to you what you do here, including authoring posts. As a blogging companion though, FL, I must say that no-one has made me want to bang my head against a brick wall at times as much as you have! That’s not a comment on who is right or wrong – its just my reaction sometimes to your style of discussion. Anyway, my way of dealing with that, as I’ve said in the past, not to engage with you when the discussion draws me in in a certain way, as its just better for me not to. Not all your discussion fits that category for me, and I’m happy to engage when I’m not being driven crazy!

    I am very sorry to hear of your childhood experience. I did think the sex-abuser comment was way too extreme, but I understood the parallel to spiritual abuse. And that’s one of the areas where my own style differs from Lance’s, and will never be the same. But Lance has his part to play in these things, and he knows exactly what he is doing, including any risks he takes – we are all differently made.

  23. I borrowed the term ‘discerner of discerners’ from a site which exposes the irregularities of those who set themselves up with the equally arrogant ‘discerner’ tag.

    FaceLift has been an alter ego engaged in discussion with so called ‘discerners’ who consider just about everything that is wrong with the contemporary church to be linked to what they call ‘word-faith’ doctrine, which, as anyone associated with genuine Word of Faith ministries will know, is so far removed from actual Word of Faith teaching that it is a joke amongst Word of Faith teachers.

    Yet CCC, Hillsong and others have been called ‘word-faith’ based! In fact they have adopted many of he charismatic teachings which filtered through ministries like Benny Hinn, and Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship International, who did use WoF lay ministers occasionally, but were mainly out of the Healing Revival of the 40’s and 50’s and the charismatic revival of the 60’s and 70’s.

    The irony is that I have sat in many CCC meetings where senior ministers have been equally scathing of ‘word-faith’ doctrine. When I point this out here I am lambasted for my foolishness, yet I have told the truth.

    But, according to the ‘discerners’ everything that is error about the Contemporary Church in Australia has to be traced back to E. W. Kenyon. This is interesting because Kenyon was never one to teach much on the doctrine of being filed with the Spirit, as in speaking in tongues, nor was he a prosperity teacher in the modern mould, modelling his life on George Meuller, in believing God every day or a meal to be on his table, and for his needs to be met, but never demanding an income or payment.

    Anyway, the tag FaceLift may have outlived its usefulness, and is currently under review.

    I have been strong and consistent in my views, not deviant or psychologically imbalanced as Lance claims, and expected others to be the same in their views, but rarely stooped to the kind of language, personal insults and innuendo used by Lance and one or two others. FaceLift is a blog-name, not a person. A means to an end. No one knows me.

    I’ve enjoyed blogging on various topics, and made some good friends, but I don’t see why I should endure caustic insults for the sake of making a point.

    But, you never know, I may resurface under a new pseudonym with a new mandate…

  24. Oh. I missed something out intended to say.

    It was interesting to read Nicole Conner’s comment on Rhema trained members of her church being such good quality people. That is a fact. They are everywhere in Australia and overseas serving in churches with distinction.

    They mainly came out of the Rhema Bible Training Centre in Perth, run originally by an amazing guy called Jim Newton, now engaged in an incredible Missions organisation going into China and the Middle East, and then overseen by Phil Baker.

    Rhema turned out some high quality ministries, lovely people with very positive attitude, who mainly get on with serving God, despite the potential of being terribly hurt and let down when Rhema was shut down. Today they serve effectively in every major Pentecostal organisation, and in some denominations, including the salvos, and having a RBTC diploma is considered a high commendation by many leaders.

    My hat goes off to them wherever they are! God bless!

  25. What is the new mandate, I wonder?

    Wikipaedia: “Mandate (theology), to some Christians, an order from God”

  26. “I challenge Lance to come here and give evidence of any damage I have done to anyone through what I have written on these blogs.”

    I can FaceLift. You have repelled so many people from Signposts and really wounded some people on SignPosts and you don’t want to see it. You can’t look past yourself.
    Zeppelin is here no longer. Look back at your posts and re-read how you come across to him and others on this blog alone.

    You’ve really pushed allot of personal buttons with me too. I’ve had numerous complaints about you through people via e-mail. For the sake of the Signposts community, evaluate yourself and ask God to search you and to bring light things that need to be dealt with. I personally think you speak from church conditioning. It comes across as you wanting to be noticed by everyone with your fantastic truths and your royal flushes. I find you upsetting many people. Do you not see it?

    I don’t want to kick you, but you’re really running the end of the rope with me. I can tolerate you and I want to. I see your value on the Signposts community. It’s how you’re affecting other people that is really making me ask the tragic doomsday question. Please search yourself.

  27. In fact FaceLift is commenting over at Mark Conner’s lately, where friendly people, including Lionfish, lurk, and FaceLift still alive and well for now. Although he has tentatively begun to reveal is actual name to those who look.

    I have, in fact, been busy setting up a new personal blog, especially in the light of a clear dislike, on this and Lance’s site, of the way FaceLift stands up for Pentecost and Pastors, perhaps over-obsessively, but certainly with the best intentions. He loves the Body of Christ, but he’s overzealous, to the point of tactlessness, and needs to be repented into a new version with a site more grace.

    The blog is in my own name, as I plan to be myself, rather than sit behind a pseudonym. Either my words are my own or they’re not, and since very few people know who I am anyway, what does a secret name do that an unknown name doesn’t? It’s more of a journal of thoughts on the Word and life observatios than anything, so you’d find it uninteresting probably, and very non-combative.

    My first comments are out there. I won’t tell you what the blog name is on here since the last person I want to do a cruel, hurtful ‘exposé’ on my thoughts is Lance, not because I ‘fear’ him for telling any kind of truth, but for what he invariably leaves out, or adds on, and because he has banned any response.

    Having said that, I welcome input from anyone else who contributes here if you email me, that is, if you’re interested, although I can’t think why you would be. I like what most of you say, even if I don’t always show it or agree, and enjoy the conversations, but I have a feeling wazza2 might tend towards being Lance’s secret service man, sniffing out intruders, so I’d have to consider carefully whether to let him know straight away.

    I see Kong Phew was apparently ‘defensive’ of FaceLift, saying, ‘If you won’t let him comment or respond, perhaps you should just ban him and be done with it and not comment further on him’.

    This in response to a comment FaceLift posted in the name of ‘signpostsfree’, a known epithet of FaceLift, the very name FaceLift used to post on this site (since ‘FaceLift’ wasn’t available on WordPress), which Lance loudly and proudly and without right of response claimed as a deception (notice he didn’t add who the comment was from!).

    So did FaceLift respond to this injustice with a combative new pseudonym?

    He actually used the pseudonym ‘FantomLurker’, which was a bit of a give away, using his common IP address, which Lance immediately obliterated before anyone got to read it, because straight into moderation it went, and apart from this he used ‘signpostsfree’, which I mentioned. Kong Phew? Well he left so many clues which could, maybe, suggest this, really, but, yet, it’s a mystery. Let’s keep it so, lest Lance do the unspeakable and ban another clear thinker.

    Is FaceLift dead? No. God forbid! And perhaps FaceLift will re-emerge from time to time when a bald-faced attack on overbearing hypocrisy is the go! You never know! I mean who made up the rule that a person could only have one identity on a blog? Poppycock! Hang on, that’s not a bad pseudonym!

    Be good!

  28. I’m so sorry, s&p to have upset you, really!

    I may talk ugly, my friend, but I watched your back, and probably helped you to side step, or at least see the warning signs of, Universalism and Preterism, two very dangerous devils which wanted to put their hands on your shoulder ad sift you. Or maybe you don’t think so! Oh, well, that’s all I meant to do in my unworthy state of reckless front-row tackling. I love you anyway, and everyone else. Even Lance, God bless him and rescue his angry soul.

  29. One thing you need to understand about Lance FaceLift is that he’s a reporter.
    Personally, he does come across as bias, but in this instance he is a bit (actually fairly) preachy towards Conner.

    Facelift:
    “Lance doesn’t attend a church, and is unlikely to, so he has nothing to lose by finding ways of pulling people out of their communities. Then they become like he is, a lone ranger, unattached and uncaring. ow long will he remain a hurt, angry ex-parishioner? How long does it take to get over it, even if someone else awas in sin through abuse?”

    Love your theology right there Facelift. You are conditioned. You say, because Lance therefore doesn’t attend church, therefore from his position and his views (and bitterness), he is acting ‘wolfish’. What a forked tongue you have!

    He is part of the church whether he likes it or not. He is part of the called out assembly of Christ, but it’s true he may have unhealthy issues. I love the guy and pray for him because he’s my buddy in Christ! He has some amazing qualities and skill with what he exposes and discerns. His cynicism is his strength and weakness.

    As part of the Signposts community, we converse with him and therefore if he is doing so freely, he is with us in spirit and agreeing with us. We all have a heart for each-other, no matter how blind we may be. We’re all trying to figure allot of issues in the church out together. We are being church on-line which is new.

    Lance is seeing many things and reporting on many things that are going on ‘in God’s name’ which I must say is very prophetic! It doesn’t mean that everything he says is right, but his heart (although wounded), is trying to find why pastors in their pentecostal authority are not making a stand against others who filthy all the work they’ve done to bring glory to God’s church. He is waiting for any ‘pastor’ to do anything to show they are not for certain teachings or will speak out against pastor’s behaving badly.

    Lance sees that if a pastor does not speak out against corrupt church ministries, they are endorsing, sleeping with the enemy or at least attempting to get into the ‘circuit’. While Mark was good with his responses, Lance wanted to know where he sat – with the black or with the white. If Conner sat with the white – will he not expose the black? If not- isn’t Conner being just as bad? I can understand Lance’s logic, but it would have been smarter for him to tone his methods down.

    I’m going on from my experiences with Lance personally and by what he expresses on his blog and previous Signpost experiences.

  30. s&p,
    ‘You say, because Lance therefore doesn’t attend church, therefore from his position and his views (and bitterness), he is acting ‘wolfish’. ‘

    You see, I don’t say this at all. And we go around in circles, and I come out as some kind of bad guy! No one is ‘wolfish’ for simply falling out with their church and leaving, or taking time out. I never said that.

    But, now, are you saying, it’s OK for Lance to be rude to Mark Conner because Lance is a reporter? He dismissed every comment Mark made as either lies, or hypocrisy, and said he’s just like all other Pente Pastors, whatever that means, despite his willingness to engage in candid conversation, and you defend Lance’s rudeness because he is a journalist! I’m sorry. I can’t understand this logic. Maybe I am thick after all.

    The reason I said Lance is wolfish is based entirely on his motives for wanting to continue Signposts, and now, I guess, groupsects, as a means of convincing struggling Pentecostals to leave their churches, and to continue and all out attack on the mega-church Pastors as part of the process. That’s why he bans FaceLift, primarily, because he openly oppose this, and makes a nuisance of himself doing so, in Lance’s eyes.

    Ask him if he denies this. If he does, I’ll apologise unreservedly.

  31. “I hate to burst anyone’s bubble, but the perfect local church doesn’t exist, and, if, by some miracle, it did, as soon as you or I walk into it we will spoil it.”

    Actually. Believe it or not Facelift, it DOES exist, *gasp* SOMEONE SCREAM HERESY!

    And this is the church I am in love with. It is the church in the ‘church’. This perfect church consists of people that accept and love God and everyone equally to the best that they can. They will do wrong but do their best to make reconciliation among others. Some here are apart of it. This isn’t pride. This isn’t division. This is a reality.

    The true church of Christ is organic and is not contained and therefore IS subversive and DOES undermine either accidentally or not, the ‘church’ that is placed over it. There are fantastic people in CCC and Hillsong that have profound impact in people’s lives while also having a strong relationship with God. The reason why they may be in such places is because God wants them for a season or to stay loyal, or because they don’t know any better.

    BTW. I thought it was a it harsh on you relating you to a sex offender. It was a clever analogy I must say, but that was indeed off… You must have really gotten under his skin for him to call you that.

    FaceLift:
    “I may talk ugly, my friend, but I watched your back, and probably helped you to side step, or at least see the warning signs of, Universalism and Preterism, two very dangerous devils which wanted to put their hands on your shoulder ad sift you. Or maybe you don’t think so! Oh, well, that’s all I meant to do in my unworthy state of reckless front-row tackling. I love you anyway, and everyone else. Even Lance, God bless him and rescue his angry soul.”

    You make me feel all nice and gooey on the inside! *sniffs*
    My best friend is a universalist. For the last four years we enjoy discussing those types of topics. I keep throwing scriptures and interesting dilemmas at him. But I do reject Preterism, just not that article. Good luck with your blog and I will, out of everyone, will miss you. You have given me valuable insights. I unfortunately have to tolerate other people’s comments about you, which is hard. I completely understand them. Zeppelin and DonkeyBoy were clear examples of the damage you’ve done on this blog. While you accuse Lance, you do repel people or force them to move on because they see someone grabbing the microphone and demand they are heard.

    I’m saying this, not to spite you but to make you consider lightening your tone (and this applies to me too I guess) with other people online. I might drop you a line! 🙂

  32. “Kong Phew? Well he left so many clues which could, maybe, suggest this, really, but, yet, its a mystery. Lets keep it so…”

    I’m all for considering mystery and ambiguity when it comes to scripture, but in this case FaceLift you really should answer a straight question with a straight answer. Are you Kong Phew?

    I have no desire to follow you around the net. You deserve privacy and should be able to comment as you see fit under any name. I dont play cop for anyone. But if you have been asked to leave a certain community, you should not use deception to try to hang around. You are becoming a stalker.

  33. FL: Re the Kong Phew issue – if you are not him, than your comment above would be dangerous to another innocent person who previously had nothing to do with you, since you deliberately leave room for ambiguity, and the innocent person potentially inherits your online history in the eyes of others.

    Given that a google search shows absolutely no references to a ‘Kong Phew’ anywhere else, and the fact that just like when you were NoComment, you refused to clarify whether the identity is yours – and later it turned out that it was, and also that ‘Kong Phew’ has not answered, I think that you are Kong Phew.

    You undermine your credibility by refusing to acknowlege your common identity when asked. If it is not you, then you still undermine your credibility by determining to remain ambiguous.

    Most trolls admit what they are when asked, with pleasure.

    At this stage, even if you deny that you are Kong Phew, its a little too late to know what to believe. As a result, since all we know of you is online, it is hard to know if you have lied about other personal things you have said.

    Its about integrity, FL. Once you lose it, its pretty hard to get it back. If you lose it, it undermines your message. Most people here are capable of respecting those who they disagree with, if they can see integrity maintained, and especially if they see it is amongst other Christian fruit evident in the online character. Losing the appearance of integrity is pretty hard to recover from.

    I wish you all the best on your new blog. I hope you share honestly about yourself there – under your own name, I expect that mostly you will.

  34. S&P – this is my approach to this blog – and I hope it might encourage you.

    Like all things that we do in God, _we_ do not make a thing grow. We look after things, contribute as we feel to, but there is no judgement of success or failure, or any physical measure that matters about this blog. The only thing that matters, is that we do as we are led at any time by our Father. We are frequently unaware and uncomprehending of his purposes. Sometimes we have a purpose of our own, yet in hindsight, looking back, we see other things that He has accomplished, which were different from our purpose – but they are good things.

    So if FL has ‘driven’ anyone from this blog, it doesn’t even matter. If we feel not to ban FL, and it has a cost, then thats the price of taking the approach we felt was right – there often is a cost to that – and you know, I did pray about it, as I’m sure you did. All that matters is that God’s purposes prevail regardless of our own, and He works all things together for good. This is one of those ‘all things’.

    You have served well, S&P, in continuing to allow this blog to exist! It’s an unconventional community, but even in online relationships, God has his purposes. If it eventually fizzles out, that’s OK too – it only means its time will have passed. Yet good things have been done. I hope it doesn’t fizzle, because I enjoy the online company of many people here, and I feel I’ve come to know at least one side of them. Still – its not our job to ‘make’ it happen. So, no stress.

    Hope you are going OK. My family has been busy, and right now, I should be doing tax, not this blog. 😉 Maybe we should have a little Christmas get together for any local Sydney signposts02 people.

  35. I’m frankly a bit taken aback by the extent of FaceLifts dissembling and misdirection.

    He apparently does not adhere to a concept of identity in the online world and instead uses a series of pseudonyms or faces, merely for the purpose of putting forward a certain view-point. When he last used that trick with the NoComment moniker, I started calling him two-face or no-face and now I think that title is more appropriate than ever. He will go to any length to maintain a certain appearance on a blog, even using different monikers to make it appear that there is more support for his point of view.

    He is not interested in the slightest in the truth of any issue. He will not change his own views one iota. His sole interest is to refute, distract, misdirect or shut-down any discussion which reflects badly on the Pentecostal church. In the service of this goal, which he believes wholeheartedly is serving Christ, he will employ any argument and any tactic including not telling the whole truth, implying and misleading, and ultimately deception. He employs strained reasoning to convince himself that he is not actually lying, but in the end thats what it is.

    I sense that if I was down and out on the street, and I turned to FaceLift for help, that he and his church would help me. But equally if I was abused or hurt by someone in church leadership, and I turned to FaceLift for help and support, I would get none and that FL would employ any argument possible to ensure that “the cause of Christ” is not harmed and that the leadership are not in any way maligned. And that is why I think he is extremely dangerous as a church leader.

  36. OK, dear perturbed people, in the interests of fairness and earnest accountability to this group, which I do respect, I admit to being Kong Phew. I admit it was a reaction to Lance’s incorrect use of a comment I placed under ‘signpostsfree’ which he claimed as a deception. I though it was more tongue-in-cheak and, yes, naughty, and cheakily defiant in the face of injustice, but others are taking it far more seriously, which I duly take note of, and for that I openly and publicly and unreservedly apologise.

    As far as putting people off goes, well you mention Lance, Donkey Boy and Zeppelin.

    Of course, the very first thing Lance ever said to me on the original Signposts was ‘F*** off’, after I’d placed a rather innocuous comment about the power of forgiveness.

    He has been consistently rude and obnoxious towards me ever since, never, ever given credit for any single thing I have said which might actually have had a smidgeon of sense, and although I agree I have been strong and consistently firm with him, I have also accepted some of his points as worth considering, and publicly said so, but I have been often deeply offended by his anti-pente, ant-pastoral vitriol, and personal attacks on my character and mental state, which I have continually had to take a deep breath and get over, because Lance probably isn’t aware of the amount of hurt and harm he does with his assault on Pentecost and Pastors.

    Distracting him from his attack on others did become a goal for a short while, and I took the flack resultantly, but it had no effect on him, but to strengthen his resolve to be hatefull, so I pulled back long ago.

    He is completely unrepentant in his attitude towards anyone in the least bit supportive of Pentecostals to Pastors. You know this to be true. In fact, he has just demonstrated this with his attack on Mark Conner, one of the gentlemen of the Pentecostal movement. I wonder you don’t see it.

    The very first thing Donkey Boy ever said to me was that I was demon possessed. He followed that up with a string of insults which I combated with humour and sound arguments. If he is offended by me, I wonder why since he seemed content to throw his weight around somewhat. I masked my hurt with counter-suggestions until go over it and moved on.

    Zeppelin called me so many horrible names I can’t remember how many there were, but he did so as an apparent independent observer, and as a judge of all things written here, not as someone who actually engaged me in conversation. The worse I called him was a liberal thinker. I don’t know why he would want to engage in this kind of behaviour, but it is clear he has a different perspective on Christianity. Does this make him or me right or wrong, probably neither, but disagreeing with Zeppelin doesn’t make me a fool, or wrong, or the reason he may or may not have stopped contributing. Zep writes long pieces which are self-authoritative and often condescending, like mini-judgements. I tended, in his teacherly estimation, to be the guinea pig with the least going for me, the one who should wear the pointy hat and stand on a chair in the corner. I’m only glad he doesn’t believe in corporal punishment, or I would surely have deserved the cane!

    They are all right, of course. I was occasionally obnoxious and, at times, seemingly overbearing. You do realise, though, that there were times when three or four were demanding, yes demanding, answers form me, and accusing me of evasion if I did not answer, despite the fact that I attempted to answer most questions, when there were often more than three people engaging me. You can’t really have it both ways. Either you want a answer, or you want me to contribute less.

    Well, maybe you all have a point and I need to tone down. Maybe we all need to tone down. Do you think Lance will ever tone down? Will he listen to the voice of the toned-down commenter? Kong Phew was seriously toned down. I expect Kong Phew will be obliterated from the scene soon. An echo in the distance of som forlorn hope of a voice in the wilderness.

    It just goes to show that revenge in the hands of a blog-pseudonym is futile. “Vengeance is mine” says the Lord. And I have yet to suffer the demise of KP. So be it!

    Thanks for the admonishment. It is duly assimilated. I am chastised. I am crushed under the weight of unified rebuke. I am sent away tail between legs. Deeply ashamed…again! What hope is there for such a fool? Thank God Jesus loves me!

    Guard your hearts!

  37. Wazza2’s last comment I hadn’t read before I commented.

    I’ll turn all my pseudonyms into you, wazza2. FaceLift, NoComment, signpostsfree, FantomLurker (once!), Kong Phew.

    Turns to face firing squad, refuses blind fold, holds head high.

  38. Last request. No cigarette, just a statement to be read out to all interested parties:

    ‘I would like it publicly noted and known that I, FaceLift, do not defend the actions of all Pentecostals, Ministries, or Pastors. There are those who need to be exposed and removed from office, disciplined, or chastised. However, I refuse to accept, and will continue to defend the fact that all Pentecostals and all Pastors, by association, are in any way in error, evil, or in need of discipline. Rather, they are forgiven and washed in the blood of Jesus, that is, those who have confessed him as Lord. I do say, however, that all Christians need to repent of some words or actions, and that we all have a need of a Saviour.’

  39. You go to a forum where you have been asked to leave. You use a different name, and then engage me in a dialogue as if we have never discussed these issues before. You evade the question of your identity, even when directly asked.

    Then when your con is exposed, you act like you deserved mercy? Go back to drug-dealing, at least you were honest about who you were then.

  40. No, wazza2, what I did was to own up and unreservedly apologise to all. This is what wrote to you and everyone:

    ‘OK, dear perturbed people, in the interests of fairness and earnest accountability to this group, which I do respect, I admit to being Kong Phew. I admit it was a reaction to Lance’s incorrect use of a comment I placed under ’signpostsfree’ which he claimed as a deception. I though it was more tongue-in-cheak and, yes, naughty, and cheakily defiant in the face of injustice, but others are taking it far more seriously, which I duly take note of, and for that I openly and publicly and unreservedly apologise.’

    I meant that with all my heart, you silly man! I still do. I am genuinely sorry. It was my fault. I did it. I was entirely and solely to blame. Only I did it. No excuses. No blame attached to others. I retaliated to Lance’s cruelty. I was wrong. I repent. I wanted to put things right. Are you deaf?

    What you did was immediately, instantly, without even taking a breath, claim the personal glory for ‘exposing’ Kong Phew! What a clever boy you are! What a clever, merciless boy. Burning the exposed ant in the microscope for the hell of it! Pressing home the defeat. Foot on FaceLift’s surrendered head, arms raised in triumph for all to see. What a prize! What an achievement! Shutting down FaceLift forever as an entity. No way out. No bargaining chip. No possibility of another day at the office. Sacked and thrown out the high rise window. Credibility not just dinged, but shot, and silenced forever.

    So, when I eventually decide it’s time to start again, to go out and discuss issues, here or anywhere, it’s a free country still, under some name, even my own name, I could never ever admit to an association with FaceLift, not to you. Because you’re the elephant that never forgets. You’re the man with no mercy who selectively demands justice.

    Incidentally. Lance never asked FaceLift to leave. He banned FaceLift full stop. No questions, no conditions, no appeal. His right. His prerogative. His blog.

    Again, though, if he bans a person he should ban them and leave them be, not use his blog to comment on them without right of reply. This he failed to do. I retaliated in protest. I was wrong to retaliate. I forgive Lance for this injustice. I forgive you for your lack of mercy, and for claiming glory, when I actually owned up. I didn’t have to. I chose to. To clear the air with you guys. To hear your admonition. To register guilt. To show contriteness. To make it up to you. To seek your forgiveness.

  41. Gosh, FL. You seem to expect that forgiveness means that people should act as though nothing ever happened – instantly upon the receipt of an apology.

    Wayne Jacobsen on one of his Lifestream mp3s has a story about that. Something along the lines of opening his door to a guy who punches him in the face. The guy apologises. WJ forgives him. The guy rings again – WJ gets punched again. The guy apologises. WJ forgives him. The guy rings again. WJ does not open his door again.

    This does not mean the guy is not forgiven. It does mean that WJ is not a fool.

    You’ve done this false id twice FL. You are forgiven; apology accepted. But don’t expect people to act like fools and trust where their trust has been betrayed.

    Forgiveness does not mean acting as though nothing has happened, or letting the betrayer back in the door. Yet those who act wisely are lambasted for anything else you come up with.

    Wazza did spot you first. He is not a fool. You sound angry about it.

  42. His apology began “Ok dear perturbed people”. Perturbed means thrown into a state of anxiety and confusion. To use that with the word “dear” makes me think he is not genuine in his apology, and it is actually a condescending apology.

    Along the lines of “You poor dear, confused people. Here’s your apology if it will make you feel better…”

  43. Yes, that was how the first apology read, for sure.

    _Sigh_

    Still, the latest, to groupsects, has kept away from that.

    Although he still refers to his reasons here, claiming justification, despite the ‘unreserved’ nature of the sorry.

    Ah well.

  44. Well, no one deserves mercy, do they. Otherwise it’s not mercy.

    I don’t mind that wazza2 was first to work out the ‘clues’. Someone had to eventually. He was first on ‘nocomment’ also. Well done. Good show. Brighter than FaceLift, clearly! No worries. That’ll l’arn me!

    The triumphalism somewhat dented his triumph, though. Would have been better to say something here first. But then he’s no friend of mine in his eyes, obviously, and has no obligations in that regard. Mercy is his to give or retrieve.

    No I’m not angry. It’s a the blog-world. The realm of gotcha’s! It’s facetious at best. As long as we use pseudonyms, it’s almost pointless to be this serious about it, like some kind of blog madness! I can’t even believe this conversation is happening between sensible adults, to be honest.

    There’s a better way!

    Mercy before sacrifice, and all that!

  45. wazza2,
    ‘Along the lines of “You poor dear, confused people. Here’s your apology if it will make you feel better…”’

    As long as you view everything through the eyes of a cynic you will have a low opinion of people. You will read one thing and translate to fit your opinion, the worse-case scenario.

    I was ashamed to have perturbed anyone. You are dear to Jesus, and therefore to me. I was, and am sorry. I said that over and over. I told you I meant it, yet you continue to argue that I obviously didn’t. I don’t understand what it is I have to do to convince you.

    I said I apologised for justifying my actions through revenge. Isn’t that enough, RP?

  46. I may use a pseudonym, but my views are real. Mostly I’m not being faecetious. If we genuinely discuss viewpoints its worthwhile doing this, regardless of pseudonyms. If we have a competition about something, then yes, its pointless.

    I’m not going to engage in this particular discussion further. I look forward to hearing viewpoints on issues other than FL in some future thread.

  47. Your apology is enough for me, FL. You owe me nothing. This is, I hope, now over with. Cheers. I’m off for now.

  48. Once again FaceLift, this blog has turned out to be all about you. You have to ask yourself why.

    You mentioned:
    “but I have been often deeply offended by his anti-pente, ant-pastoral vitriol, and personal attacks on my character and mental state”

    I think Lance has struck something interesting here with you. I’m a pentcostal (by other people’s definition of me), but I don’t defend this as my personal identity. I don’t defend a denomination, but I defend the church. If our identity is grounded in Christ, then the only things we should feel possible offense about is when someone mocks our identity in Christ.

    Unfortunately for you, you are exalted to hold high the image of a ‘pentecostal pastor’ and defend this identity which I personally think you have travel separating from who you are. Who will you honestly be if you lost this title or image? Would it all be for naught? Would you still hold the image even if you did lose your position? Who will you be? To me you are strongly bound and have developed a victim mentality without realising it. Of course you have to correct everybody – because that is your identity. Of course you need to be in control and never be wrong- you need to keep up the image. You’ve strived for this, obtained it and now have a voice… But you voice is still about you and I don’t think you like it. When it’s not about you, you make it about you by playing games (which Lance has pointed out). I’ve noticed it. And I personally think you’ve done it again on this blog through this apology.

    This apology unfortunately was still about you and I feel that you failed so badly to be sincere because you can’t remove your pentecostal image away from your true character and identity in Christ. You ‘did the right thing’. You’ve said all the right things, but who’s saying it really?

    I just encourage you to pull back a while so that people on here can calm down, so you can rest and gather your thoughts and ask God to possibly reveal to you things that need to be fixing. God bless you bro.

    I do. I’ve prayed about how I’ve come across and prayed what earth should I do with some comments and deal with individuals. Sometimes I feel like I am to involved my my time and energy on signposts02 and call a week fast from internet so I can keep connected with God and keep my life in balance. I pray you do the same and seek God to speak to your heart and not your head. It’s really for all of us on Signpost’s to feed our ego’s and not the Spirit within us.

  49. Thanks for the sound advice, s&p. I know you are on the level.

    When I talk about anti-pente, anti-pastor vitriol, I am not considering who I am or what I do. If that was all I thought about I’d never come on a site like this, or his site. I’d be asking for it, now, wouldn’t I? I’m not a masochist!

    I’m talking about the way he speaks about my fellow Pentecostals, and the Pastors I love and know. Offence is probably a bit strong. Grief is a better way of putting it. He grieves my heart with his treatment of my brothers and sisters. I guess you could say I’m in there somewhere since I’m one of them. But in fact that’s what I am talking about. It grieves me to see what people like Lance write about our brethren. Of course, you’re right that Christ is the one who really matters, not whether we’re Pentecostal or not. However, hatred of one of my brethren is hatred of Christ. If one hurts we all hurt. A false accusation of a brother or sister is a false accusation of Christ. I’m sure it grieves the Holy Spirit too.

    Incidentally, if you think I’ve deliberately attempted to make anything about me, you’re wrong. It’s just worked out that way, and I regret it. If anything you are perpetuating it with your assessments and analysis. People say I’m this or that, or ask leading questions and I feel obliged to respond. For instance, I can’t understand why my apology wasn’t accepted at face value in the first place. No! It was taken apart and assessed, analysed and rejected, until I had to confirm it was genuine and heart-felt. I can’t believe you’re still questioning it! I even apologised to groupsects on his blog! Come on!

    Look, you defend Lance as if he’s never done anything to anyone, or actually has a valid point. You seriously overlook many faults. That’s OK. Yet when I do the same for those Lance attacks I’m branded brainwashed! I’m called silly names. I’m even banned! Excuse my lack of understanding of this double-standard!

    I’m a Christian, a follower of Christ before anything else in my life.

    I am not exalted to anything. If anything I’m seriously diminished and in need of encouragement. I feel rather inadequate right now. So I don’t know why I’m sticking around here, really! It’s not a safe environment for the floored. But don’t blow that out of proportion either. I’m OK. I’ve been around too long to think any higher of myself than this floor I’m resting my feet on, and I do spend a fair bit of time flat out on it. I’m weak and beggarly. I’m a fool and base. Nothing. Nobody without Christ. But don’t think this is all I do! Blogging is very small part of my life, and will shortly be even less of a burden.

    In fact, if you guys would only try to stop assessing me all the time, I could go away and let things settle, as you advise.

    And nothing would be about me at all!

    Thanks anyway!

    FaceLift

  50. Oh FaceLift. I’m sad.

    “I’m talking about the way he speaks about my fellow Pentecostals, and the Pastors I love and know.”

    I can understand this. There are many hard workers who hold these positions that are authentic in ministries such as CCC and Hillsong. You see their hard work and suffering and wonder why on earth can’t Lacne or other bickering Christian’s see these hard working pastors and leaders. They are very stressed and (can be) lonely people.

    Good luck mate. You’re quirky and predictably unpredictable.
    I am sad and relieved.

  51. Moderation in part maybe how we deal with differences, of which it becomes increasingly clear to me as I get older a hallmark of men and women of real substance.

    How do we deal with difference?

    Kill’em all?

    Roll over and die?

    Or genuinely engage both with the differences and commonalities?

    I don’t have to agree with someone in everything…even critical things…to be able to work with them, provided we are both willing to work through stuff.

    If neither I or the someone aren’t prepared to work through the issues honestly, or will not operate other than from the safety of our defensive entrenchment, then…..

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