Words of Wolves of the Word

http://www.ccc.org.au/som/default.asp?page=somInternat

From CCC’s School Of Ministry brag-page:

“Students have the opportunity to learn from some of the most gifted and experienced ministers in the world today – God’s general’s for this hour. In recent years this has included the following international ministries: 1. Dr David Yonggi Cho (Yoido Full Gospel Church – South Korea) 2. Reverend Bill Hybels (Willow Creek Community Church – USA) 3. Reverend Joyce Meyer (Joyce Meyer Ministries – USA) 4. Reverend Kong Hee (City Harvest Church – Singapore) 5. Reverend Nancy Alcorn (Mercy Ministries – USA) 6. Bishop Joseph Garlington (Covenant Church of Pittsburg – USA) 7. Pastor Dick Bernall (Jubilee Christian Center – USA) 8. Reverend Jesse Duplantis (Jesse Duplantis Ministries – USA) 9. Reverend Kathy Lechner (Covenant Ministries – USA) 10. Pastor Michael Pitts (Cornerstone Church – USA) 11. Dr Christian & Pastor Robin Harfouche (Christian Harfouche Ministries – USA) 12. Pastor Rick Shelton (Life Christian Church – USA) 13. Pastor Di Divett (Christian City Church – New Zealand) 14. Reverend Fergus McIntyre (Global Mission – Australia) 15. Reverend Margaret Court (Margaret Court Ministries – Australia) 16. Kate Miner (www.kateminer.com – USA) 17. Reverend Peter Youngren (World Impact Ministries – USA) 18. Lisa McInnes Smith (www.lisaspeaks.com – Australia) 19. Bishop TD Jakes (www.thepottershouse.org) INTERNATIONAL EVENTS Christian City Church hosts a number of exciting international conferences and events each year. Students are encouraged to serve and get involved at every level in order to gain insight into the management and functioning of ministry areas that may otherwise not be available to them. The advantages are obvious…”

Here is another example in how ignorant CCC are when it comes to teaching students with the aid of  ‘successful leaders’. T D Jakes is a heretic: a Oneness Pentecostal (Jesus Only) teacher. It’s this teaching and belief that denies the trinity, carries the belief that Christ is a liar and denies the finished work of the cross: Arminianism. In OP doctrine, you and me aren’t saved and not part of the elect because we aren’t baptised in the name of Jesus Christ, but under the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

I came across this because I heard about another dodgy preacher Michael Pitts that spoke at CCC. This man’s theology is so incredibly flawed with bad analogies and twisted scripture that he should be avoided at all costs! I will post up other information up on him in another article. I just want to look at the college side of wolvery. Is it the pastor of the church that endorses who can rightfully speak into students lives or is the final decision left with the principal of the bible college?

If theology is the  focus of the bible college, shouldn’t the decision be left with the principal to see the credibility of the teachers he allows to speak over students lives? BTW, who else from the list above is either a good teacher or dodgy?

Edit: Rick Shelton has been expressed on this forum as being a teacher of reasonable character. His teachings we don’t know about fully yet.


118 thoughts on “Words of Wolves of the Word

  1. di divett isn’t at CCC auckland anymore—hasn’t been for a few years as far as i’m aware . . . odd eh?

  2. in other news … don’t be so quick to dismiss arminianism.

    I don’t like that word anyway, much as I don’t like the word calvinism.

    Essentially, both doctrines ignore part of scripture. They are two sides of the same coin. The extreme calvinist position is that God has chosen only a small handful of people to join Him in Heaven, the rest are damned. I can’t go along with that.

    The extreme Arminian position is, I suppose, that you have to become righteous before God accepts you. (I may be making it more extreme with that statement.)

    The truth is, we have been justified (reckoned right with God), we are being sanctified (being made right in God’s sight), we will be Glorified (made Holy in everyone’s sight.)

    That’s how I would define it. The mild arminianism I would support would be to say that if you give up on God, God will eventually give up on you.

    In other words, I do not agree with the statement “Once saved, Always saved.”

    I believe that such an ideology ignores key passages of the new testament (more than 80 passages) while emphasising specific verses as promises out of the immediate context. An extreme Arminianism tends to ignore the promises of course.

    A debate for another thread.

    T.D. Jakes, of course is a oneness pentecostal and as such in same bag as mormons and JW’s, moonies and Paul Yonggi Cho who is more buddhist than Christian.
    And … why not … Kabbalist, gnostic Rick Joyner is also on the take. “By their ‘noses in the trough’ ye shall know them.”

    When I see all that going on, it’s almost enough for me to abandon the truth and set up my own mega-church … I could teach people how to ‘live their best life now’, tell them ‘they need more money’ and encourage my wife to teach the young women in our church that “Kingdom women love sex.”

    Like Todd Bentley, I’d have my own financial angel giving me my own financial breakthrough. … Where I become a millionaire! As long as I teach people that they need to obey the Law of Moses on Tithing and the Sabbath of course.

    But no. I can’t do that. I want to be able to sleep without a guilty conscience. I don’t want to stifle my conscience like them fellas.

    Shalom.

  3. It was interesting to see Nancy Alcorn of Mercy Ministries on that list, too. Oh dear. I would hate to think that her methods were being taught at the Bible College for some reason, after the effects on some of the young women who went through her program. I guess we don’t know in what context she was teaching.

    Re who chooses the speakers – if the college is representing CCCOF and its teachings, then you’d expect them to have something in common, including the same speakers. I imagine many of these speakers taught at both the church and the college. If you go to the church then you’d have a good idea what to expect at the college – more of the same, perhaps in more detail. So in that sense the Principal wouldn’t necessarily select all the speakers. Can you imagine if Phil Pringle had invited T D Jakes to speak in church, and offered for him to speak in college, and the principal turned around and said, ‘no thanks – I don’t like his theology?’ Not going to happen! Not if the principal wants to keep his job.

    The college represents the church, so the college will take any speakers endorsed by the church.

    This list of speakers then gives a good picture of what theology is endorsed by Phil Pringle and therefore the CCC movement as a whole, since PP is the head (the one with the gift of apostleship, as per the C3i website, and therefore the ultimate authority).

  4. Somewhere along the way I’ve lost my angst about all of this. I think its because I’m not attending on Sunday any more, and hearing the misleading doctrines preached. It’s much better – I’m more peaceful. I’ve also replaced that with other more thoughtful authors, and discussions with other Christians who know how to live without that stuff, or at least aren’t judgemental about my stance. This blog and the thoughtful comments here have helped, too.

    People that I know who have been negatively affected by some of these teachings/doctrines are currently opening their eyes, or have had them opened, and are gradually being freed from some of this stuff, or its consequences. None have lost their faith – if anything, I think their walks are deepening as new ways of seeing/doing things in God open up.

    So I’m encouraged by this.

    As a result, I don’t have the angst to write many new posts about it, I’m afraid – not much controversy in my corner. Rather, I’m just staying away from those types of places – I cannot imagine going back. There may be other churches in the future, but not for a while. If there are, they will be places I can be part of in peace, rather than going home after a service all riled up.

  5. I know! I’m happy too.

    BTW. Does anyone know any information on Michael Pitts from the list? He seems really dodgy with some online articles, but I am not quite sure if they are true.

    If they are… YIKES!!!

  6. If the info included charges etc for drink driving, they’re true. I’ve read the court transcripts.

  7. So S&P – if we are both happy and peaceful, then what will become of this site?

    🙂

    Someone else better come up with some content!

    I can write posts while I’m peaceful, but they might be a bit boring. Plus I’m still interested what’s happening out there.

  8. “So S&P – if we are both happy and peaceful, then what will become of this site?”

    Don’t worry. I’ll start worrying again after this moment of happiness. Then depression will kick in after my moment of worry… Then my religious theology will be intertwined with my internal bitterness and I will produce a multitude of bias articles against even the perfect church! 😛

  9. To whom it may concern:

    After “stumbling” across your heretic hunter’s site, all I can say, with the most sincerity possible, is that I pity you that you feel you have to stoop to this level to fulfill “your call” of ministry. There is so much work to be done, and as long as cypberspace and the air waves are “filled” with this type of ongoing division in the church, the great commission will never, never be fulfilled.

    You may not be aware of it, but the greatest confrontations Jesus had in scripture were with the religious leaders and the Pharisees who “did everything” right on the outside, but inside they were full of contempt, jealousy, hatred, and a host of other things that could have been so easily removed by the entrance of agape love for others.

    In closing, Rick Shelton has been “my” pastor for the last ten years, and since he finally has overcome a 7-yr battle with afflictions that would have taken out many unbelieving and faithless people, we have had people saved “every”, single Sunday morning service for the last three and half years. Every Sunday. And we’re starting to see people healed regularly…yes with confirmed Dr. reports.

    You want to know what just one of the things is about Rick that I appreciate. He absolutely will not attack or run down “any” religion or denominational leader outside his beliefs. He walks in a level of love that I have a long ways go in yet, and apparently I’m not the only one who needs practice in this…am I?

    I don’t know all the other people that you’re suggesting are wolves whose picture you have up here. But I know one of them personally, and every member of their family, and until you’re even close to accomplishing what they have for God’s kingdom– millions of salvations, with signed cards, several million children fed annually, hundreds of thousands of peoples lives put back together and back on track with documented proof, orphanges fully-funded, and dozens and dozens of girls brought of forced prostitution, rape and abuse, and this is just the tip of the iceberg, I suggest you rethink who you’re calling a wolf, sir.

    Just because everybody outside your small realm of thinking doesn’t look just like you, and sound like you and do things just like you’d do it, doesn’t mean that God can’t or won’t package the salvation message in different containers and deliver it differently than you would. He’s been around a lot longer than you and I will and He will use anybody that’s willing, and He may not put them all in 3-piece suit and have them singing Bringing in the Sheaves.

    Thank you,
    D.Botz

  10. To whom it may concern:

    After “stumbling” across your heretic hunter’s site, all I can say, with the most sincerity possible, is that I pity you that you feel you have to stoop to this level to fulfill “your call” of ministry. There is so much work to be done, and as long as cypberspace and the air waves are “filled” with this type of ongoing division in the church, the great commission will never, never be fulfilled.

    You may not be aware of it, but the greatest confrontations Jesus had in scripture were with the religious leaders and the Pharisees who “did everything” right on the outside, but inside they were full of contempt, jealousy, hatred, and a host of other things that could have been so easily removed by the entrance of agape love for others.

    In closing, Rick Shelton has been “my” pastor for the last ten years, and since he finally has overcome a 7-yr battle with afflictions that would have taken out many unbelieving and faithless people, we have had people saved “every”, single Sunday morning service for the last three and half years. Every Sunday. And we’re starting to see people healed regularly…yes with confirmed Dr. reports.

    You want to know what just one of the things is about Rick that I appreciate. He absolutely will not attack or run down “any” religion or denominational leader outside his beliefs. He walks in a level of love that I have a long ways go in yet, and apparently I’m not the only one who needs practice in this…am I?

    I don’t know all the other people that you’re suggesting are wolves whose picture you have up here. But I know one of them personally, and every member of their family, and until you’re even close to accomplishing what they have for God’s kingdom– millions of salvations, with signed cards, several million children fed annually, hundreds of thousands of peoples lives put back together and back on track with documented proof, orphanges fully-funded, and dozens and dozens of girls brought out of forced prostitution, rape and abuse, and this is just the tip of the iceberg, I suggest you rethink who you’re calling a wolf, sir.

    Just because everybody outside your small realm of thinking doesn’t look just like you, and sound like you and do things just like you’d do it, doesn’t mean that God can’t or won’t package the salvation message in different containers and deliver it differently than you would. He’s been around a lot longer than you and I will and He will use anybody that’s willing, and He may not put them all in 3-piece suit and have them singing Bringing in the Sheaves.

    Thank you,
    D.Botz

  11. Rick Shelton is the only visitor to C3 in 22 years in whom I ever appreciated and recognised a real humility, for what it’s worth.

  12. Thanks for that information Dennis Botz about your pastor Rick Shelton.

    Can you (or Teddy) confirm that he does not teach the following:

    Church Covering Doctrine
    Prosperity Doctrine
    House Of God Doctrine
    Church Planted Doctrine

    If he is sincere and humbling as you say he is, I am more then willing to take it down. I copied and pasted this article up from CCC’s bible ministry aware that some of the ‘teachers’ were quite dangerous. Others I weren’t sure of which is why I asked:

    “who else from the list above is either a good teacher or dodgy?”

    He seems genuine. If he’s a good teacher, then great! I’ll let that be known in the article!

  13. My view of Rick is purely personal, I liked him as a humble man. His theology I didn’t know – this was back in the old days before I left C3 – before we became Reformed. 🙂

  14. Then I’ll just say that Rick Shelton has been expressed on this forum as being a teachers of reasonable character. His teachings we don’t know about.

  15. i visited your website i pleassed with it and i wish to have a partnership with you if it is possible it will be a blessing to us and our nations is me pastor Mugunda Eric from living word international ministries
    in Rwanda God bless you

  16. Interesting …

    Dennis Botz clearly dislikes Heresy Hunters.

    He should try reading Galatians again. I guess Dennis doesn’t like the Apostle Paul as he was a heresy hunter too. Paul also commended the Bereans who tested everything by scripture to prove that things were of the Lord.

    I have no problem being labelled a heresy hunter. I have no problem being called a fundamentalist, or an evangelical. All these labels now have a pejorative connotation … that means “they are insults” (to heretic 😉 )

    Dennis needs to realise we only know Rick Shelton by his associations. We know them … so Rick is mixing with dubious characters.

    It’s ok for Dennis to get angry and upset … it proves he is passionate about what God is doing. That’s great. Dennis, may the Lord bless you.

    Magunda Eric, you are more than welcome to share your testimony and your thoughts and ideas with us. Welcome to the collective.

    Shalom

  17. don’t be critical of Arminianism … I lean in that direction myself.

    I don’t believe in “once saved always saved”. However I am not a oneness pentecostal like arch heretic TD Jakes.

  18. any word on a long-ago (two or three years ago) sex scandal involving St. Catharine’s evangelist Peter Youngren? allegedly, the story is he had an affair with a yougn woman who then became pregnant and subsequently got divorced. i’ve tried finding any news stories and haven’t yet been successful.

  19. Isnt he an interesting character. I noticed that scriptures are “tweeked” too in these charismatic type churches, in books, in sermons.

    A small mistake here and there is allowable, but in print….thats just wrong.

  20. quite.

    Essentially, nothing must come in the way of a feel good about yourself message.

    Jesus died for you. You are worth that much to God. You are special to God. God must love you sooooooooo much. Maybe God is in love with you etc etc etc.

    We are encouraged to think of the Cross only in terms of God loving us. However, if that is all we get from the the cross we will never understand why the crucifixion was necessary.

    God is Holy. God is Righteous. God hates sin. God hates sinners … who refuse to repent. That’s why human beings will end up either in Heaven or Hell.

    Those who repent to the Father, Believe in the Son, are Baptised in water and filled with he spirit (the full Peter package from Acts) go to Heaven, those who wallow in their sins will cast out into outer darkness says Jesus.

    But such a message is now seen to be too negative. Not many people want to accept such a gospel. So we’ve dumbed down the gospel to appeal to more people. The problem with this is that we’ve lowered the standard to meet the people … whereas Jesus lifted people up to meet the standard. The Sermon on the mount was all about lifting people up to meet His standard of Righteousness.

  21. The trouble is too that when a scripture is misquoted people dont know, unless they read it themselves. And what are they supposed to do if they notice? speak up straight away or run after the pastor and say “Hey the Bible says this, not that” Can you please talk about this? (in a church setting i mean). I dont think so…

  22. And i meant a big church setting. No one has the guts. They go home and say, oh well, musnt make waves….

  23. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”

    Jesus came to call sinners to repentance, but that God hates sinners runs contrary to Jesus’ words. There wasn’t a single person who was not a sinner, so the world he loved must have been the world of sinners.

    That God hates sin there is no doubt, and the unrepentant sinner will come under his wrath, but let’s not negate the place of agapé love, God’s unconditional love is, at this time, towards sinners, and he has declared people on earth and goodwill to all men, including the Gentiles, who have now been given access through faith in Jesus.

    The point of the cross was to pay the price of all sin, and to bring to an end the need for the Law, since the ordinances and requirements of the Law, the very thing which condemned all men to be sinners, were nailed to the tree, and Jesus has redeemed us from the curse of the Law, being made a curse for us, so that we could receive the Promise of the Spirit through faith, and the blessing of Abraham could come on the Gentiles.

    So now, if the Law has been nailed to the cross, what is there to condemn us but unbelief?

    “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”

    And what trespass does God impute to the world today?

    “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them…”

    God’s love towards us all is his grace in action.

    “God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)…”

    It’s because his great love with which he loved us that we are able to come to him.

    “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

  24. ‘he has declared people on earth and goodwill to all men’ should read, ‘he has declared peace on earth and goodwill to all men’.

  25. mj,
    Most churches, including big churches, have small groups where it is possible to participate in discussion and ask questions.

    Of course it would be unreasonable to interrupt a large assembly to ask questions or dispute doctrine. It would ultimately become impossible to minister the word because the focus would be on the disputes which would arise.

    Clearly, as evidenced in the Book of Acts, there are times for disputing over doctrine, but not in a general assembly, although some ministers might be comfortable with organising special meetings for the purpose of such interaction, but generally, in the main gatherings, this would not be feasible.

  26. It would be like Jesus delivering the sermon on the mount and asking if there were any questions! Most preaching should be spiritually authoritative, anointed and directional, under the leadership and inspiration of the Holy Spirit. I don’t see how this is possible if there are constant interruptions for questions, many of which would be rhetorical, or for statements by those who are there to be taught, which would all tend to take the message off course.

    How you’d keep a message on track is anyone’s guess! Just look at the way a written discussion goes from one subject or emphasis to another on a blog!

    Jesus did answer his disciples’ questions, however, in a small group setting.

    It could be done, and I dare say it is, but the idea of most meetings in a large assembly is to preach a relevant message under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and it should be pointed out that the gifts of the Spirit should also be encouraged, so there could be more than one contributor to the meeting.

  27. I wasnt talking about Jesus, im talking about man. and what if the message was getting off course, shouldnt that be dealt with? Before it gets out of hand….

    Anyway i go to a church where one can do this, it doesnt do anything bad, as long as people are polite, they can raise their hand too. It can be done, ive witnessed it

  28. I understand there was decorum in church (i was in a Catholic church for half my life! and my parents socialised with the clergy) But times have changed. People are more savvy than we think. they want interaction, make up their own minds, its a different world

  29. I have been to a church where it is possible to do this as well. If the questions looked like they’d take things too far off course, or take unduly long, they would be addressed later, but generally, questions could be asked and answered without getting the message off course or losing order.

    Also, another church had people in the congregation operate in prophecy – often one word confirming another, followed by the pastor’s message which frequently related to those words well. Two or three words only. Never got out of order. The minister was quite comfortable and still well able to direct the meeting. People were respectful of the process, as with the questioning I mentioned before.

    If it is all handled with respect, in all directions, things can work well that way.

  30. Jesus is our chief example, surely!

    Who is empowered to deal with a the preaching of a message in an assembly but the senior ministers? A person who considers themselves to have a ‘discernment ministry’?

  31. That is a a loaded question FL, with some assumptions that may or may not hold up.

    Does the fact that someone holds a position equate to empowerment?

    I think not.

    And I don’t think there is a one dimensional answer either.

  32. I would rather call them “mature” believers instead of senior ministers. Its not about age (although that helps, sometimes) Out of the mouth of babes…

    Jesus was young when he started, 12, i think he started debating in the temple.

  33. I would like to see the gathering together for corporate worship go the that RP and mj describe, but I can’t see it becoming a widespread way that things are done for some good and some bad reasons.

  34. I have seen Q&A done during a church service. It can be done well as long as people respect the process and it is done in the right spirit – some ground rules need to be observed. Some contributors can be both argumentative and disruptive once they hold the floor. We must all understand not all disagreements can be resolved in one lesson. We should also be mindful that the audience can be a mixed bag including new Christians, non-Christians and immature Christians. We do not wish to indulge our right to speak but stumble and confuse them. Paul spoke of the disorderly conduct of the Corinthian creating chaos and being a poor witness. We should be mindful of this as well. Remembering to do things out of love!

  35. RE said: “It can be done well as long as people respect the process and it is done in the right spirit…”

    Yes, exactly. The prophetic words I mentioned were at a particular part of the service (towards the end of worship), and I never saw a problem over the years in which this took place. It was done with respect and decorum. Plus, it was very encouraging when it appeared to confirm the direction of the main message afterwards at times.

    With questioning, asking a question doesn’t mean attacking the minister or trying to act as a ‘discernment’ ministry – it can be to clarify confusion about the application of scripture, and issues can be raised that the minister might not have realised could be helpfully addressed. Again, with respect.

    In the right spirit, and with mature believers running the meeting in a way that loves and values all the congregation members, all this can be profitable. It can also really increase the sense of community in the congregation, to see God working through all of them in these ways. It does help if the congregation isn’t too large though. Perhaps this can be one of the benefits of a smaller church. Prophetic words can occur in a larger congregation than general questions. But there comes a size where probably its just not practical.

  36. Also, for the practice to become wider spread, I really think it helps when a congregation either grows from scratch where a small group has successfully enlarged, or when an existing congregation plants another since the new congregation has learnt from the example of the previous one.

    These practices wouldn’t be easy to just spring on an established congregation, especially if its over 30 people or so. There needs to be a level of trust amongst the people which comes from relationship initially; later when these things are handled maturely as part of the existing culture, as it grows new members will take that culture on board and understand the trust and respect it requires.

    So its not surprising that we don’t see too much of either in traditional congregations or even large, established Pentecostal congregations.

    Not to mention that seeker sensitive churches sometimes suppress the expression of many charismatic gifts so that people aren’t scared off, in just the same way that they might not mention repentance. (Not that this matters if you are a cessasionist.)

  37. Re the first paragraph above – I mean when these practices have been part of services from the very beginning.

  38. “Most preaching should be spiritually authoritative, anointed and directional, under the leadership and inspiration of the Holy Spirit. I don’t see how this is possible if there are constant interruptions for questions, many of which would be rhetorical, or for statements by those who are there to be taught, which would all tend to take the message off course.”

    Unfortunately Facelift, a lot of preaching I’ve seen and heard is NOT Spirit-led. (Ford, Crowder, Houston, Pringle, Hinn, you, me, etc). I wish it were. I’m sure questions can be more spirit-led then the preaching sometimes too. A simple spirit-filled question can be ‘Can you please clarify [insert instant]?’. The problem with preaching is that it’s black and white and leaves no room for questions.

    As soon as you have questions, that’s teaching. Preaching is about enforcing strongly a message of foundational importance; truths thrust upon people who MUST get them.

    “Who is empowered to deal with a the preaching of a message in an assembly but the senior ministers? A person who considers themselves to have a ‘discernment ministry’?”

    I hope so. ‘Discernment ministry’ is called ‘thinking’ Facelift. And to sometimes ask questions or to speak out in correction is called ‘love’, even if done with a bit of attitude.

    Never are we to leave our minds at the door. I actually wish I spoke up now when preachers actually spoke wrong things over people’s lives. They actually enforced wrong truths over the congregations.

    That is a serious wrong that needs to be fixed. It deserves a rebuke.

  39. S&P said,

    “Most preaching should be spiritually authoritative, anointed and directional, under the leadership and inspiration of the Holy Spirit.”

    “As soon as you have questions, that’s teaching. Preaching is about enforcing strongly a message of foundational importance; truths thrust upon people who MUST get them.”

    “‘Discernment ministry’ is called ‘thinking’”

    SP&P,

    I would have thought the first requirement for preaching is that it is founded on scripture.

    Are you sure the distinction between preaching and teaching is set out as clearly in the Bible or defined in those terms you used?

    Can preachers really enforce anything? Isn’t it they simply explain God’s word and let His Spirit reveal it to us.

    Can you expand also on what comprises a ‘discernment ministry’? I would expect that is something that everyone would exercise.

  40. It depends on whats been said too. A clearly nutty remark, well probably say something in private. But if you know for sure a scripture is falsely presented (you have checked it 3 times, just to make sure) then something should be said.

    I dont know how the charismatics would handle it, i daresay in a large church you would be hushed or dismissed. In the present church i attend the teacher/elder sticks to the letter and gives small analogies and if someone speaks up for clarification (happens only once or twice per week) they will listen and clarify anything said.

    I think im on the wrong thread… meant to be the former discussion

  41. I also cringe when preachers start getting loud, almost yelling to get a rise in the congregation, it doesnt make the words any truer…

  42. Hey Raving Evangelical. The first part you quoted me on was actually a quote from Facelift.

    I think you’ll find that Jesus ‘taught’ to those that gathered to hear him but ”preached to those who were hardened, or needed to know ‘the Kingdom of God was at hand’. John the Baptist was the same.

    Prophets in the Old Testament preached to those who chose wickedness instead of God. Noah preached to those about the coming judgment. Very few prophets seemed to ‘teach’, because not many were listening to their words.

    I think we’re both in agreement other-wise.

  43. As RE says, it’s not for the preacher to enforce anything, but to expound scripture.

    Most oral ministry should be teaching and doctrinal, but there are times when preaching is required. Preaching, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, will achieve in a few words what teaching may take several sessions, but teaching builds a body far better than constant preaching. You need both. There should be times when a single message would contain both.

    Then it is up to the hearer to discern and respond. There is an equal need for those who hear a message to be led by the Spirit as those who speak.

    I can see where asking questions could be useful, but to interrupt a message is not beneficial, and potentially derails the thread of the message. The Holy Spirit is hardly going to interrupt himself! Rather, if there is going to be a specified Q&A time, the hearer should write a question and ask it appropriately, usually after the message is complete.

    During teaching sessions, in, say, a Bible School setting, the teacher is likely to tell his pupils that they should reserve questions, because it is probable that, over the course of the lectures, their questions would be addressed by the curriculum.

    It would be the same for a message in a church meeting. Most ministers teach a series, during which many of the questions people ask would be covered. As a minister sets out his or her teaching, they would be asking the same or similar questions, and answering them as part of the teaching. That’s an element of preparation for a message, especially a series.

    It’s very difficult to get across a Biblical concept in one session. It is also almost impossible to qualify very point for people in a single message. Over time, a regularly attending member will get the thread of the teaching and begin to put together for themselves exactly what is being taught.

    Hearers should also add to what is being served up by their own studies.

    This is also about discipleship. A disciple is a follower. The teacher trains the pupil, not the other way round.

    Someone has suggested on this thread that it would be appropriate for a disciple to rebuke their mentor during a teaching session. I think that would be very out of order. Ask the question maybe, at an appropriate time, but to rebuke an elder? Publicly? There are those who are called to teach, and theirs is the greater condemnation, but I don’t think it is the ministry of a disciple to publicly correct the teacher.

    ‘In many things teachers offend all’. Who is to say whether the message which offends is of God or not? And who, of the offended, would be correct to rebuke the teacher who offends, if the word given is of the Holy Spirit?

    Peter tried this once, and Jesus told Satan to get behind him!

  44. I would agree with a lot of what you say FL, except here:

    “I can see where asking questions could be useful, but to interrupt a message is not beneficial, and potentially derails the thread of the message. The Holy Spirit is hardly going to interrupt himself!”

    While this may be the case, it ain’t necessarily so.

    The first assumption is that the Spirit would not want the question asked. The second is that the speaker is speaking under the guidance of the Spirit. And the third assumption going outside FL’s point is that in either case the Spirit wants the question asked…..at that time.

    The simple fact there is not a one size fits all solution here and to suggest there is is dumb – not saying anyone did.

    The issues that fall out of this are more whether there is any forum at all for issues to be dealt – may be in church, after, membership meeting, home group – there is no fixed place here.

    The issue is provided the congregants know the rules for racing whether there is any forum at all for these things to happen.

    I would have to say my personal bias is for a church meeting to be held in an atmosphere and attitude where the Spirit is allowed by us to speak when it suits HIm, and through who it suits Him.

    A mark of a mature church is not just the simple statement that the Spirit can speak through anyone, but actively making room for that to happen.

    Very rare in my experience.

    There are two risks aren’t there.

    1. Shutting up any capacity for God to speak through His people.

    2. Going nuts with no order – I will not point fingers here.

    As usual my experience would be that churches tend to polarise because holding these things in tension is too hard, and sadly we don’t live there much (where you might ask).

  45. How do you know if a preacher/teacher is appointed or not?

    It seems very subjective actually, one person says that the person is a man/woman of God and other person says he/she is a wolf.

    The only option is to see what they saying is biblical and their fruits of their lifes.

    It funny that alot of so called self proclaimed annointed leaders seem to have divorces, affairs and line their pockets.

  46. FL:

    “Preaching, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, will achieve in a few words what teaching may take several sessions, but teaching builds a body far better than constant preaching. You need both.”

    But wouldn’t the Spirit be equally required either preaching in a pulpit or discussing a passage in Bible study group? And in both situations wouldn’t the message may have to be digested for a long time afterward?

  47. Gosh, what a lot of fear about people asking a few relevant, polite questions! So, it will make it impossible to preach, will it?

    When I’ve seen questions asked it has _never_ been out of order. Hands are raised, and the speaker has the option to ask them to wait or to let them ask then. People respect the speakers wishes. The speaker respects the congregation by allowing the opportunity – at some time that works for everyone – for the questions to be asked in public. The speaker knows his/her stuff and isn’t defensive about being asked. The speaker is quite capable of arranging to have a more private chat with the questioner at another time if the questions look like a considerable tangent.

    Why just assume it would be unworkable?

    Wouldn’t it be great if there was a question time after a sermon which people could attend if they wanted or leave if they wanted? The time can be limited to one that works. The speaker becomes approachable, rather than up on a pedestal.

    There are so many ways to do these things that mitigate potential problems. Surely the growth and community that can occur are worth the risk that occasionally someone might need to be requested to abide by some courteous guidelines, if they don’t seem to pick them up.

    ***********

    Re appointed preacher/teacher – well, we can probably all point to examples where the preacher/teacher has essentially appointed themselves. In fact some church movements have started that way, for better or worse.

    The idea that someone does a course and comes out a minister/pastor, with some relevant practical experience along the way, isn’t a bad one, given that we don’t seem to consistently know whom the Holy Spirit would pick all the time. It also will result in some people doing these roles who really shouldn’t be there.

    Personally, I think the gifts among us are recognised by us if we are looking, not because of their qualifications, though they may well have them, but because of the fruit in their lives and their effectiveness at what they do. A gifted teacher can obviously teach effectively. Likewise a gifted evangelist. So can a gifted pastor look after the sheep.

    Unfortunately these days, many teachers/pastors are really administrators, and administrators are the leaders. Yet a good administrator is not necessarily good at caring for, loving and understanding people or scripture. So really the sheep need to recognise those who are worth following – they need to know Jesus voice when they hear it through others. The more we know Jesus, the more we can tell who is truly a gift among us. Particularly since this is not just a matter of works in His Name, but the outworking of the heart in their lives.

  48. I think that question time usually depends on how large the group is. It not practical that a preacher speaking to a large crowd can do justice a question being asked from the church.

    Questions are more for small groups and you have enough time to get a reasonable answer.

  49. No fear, RP! I don’t know where you got that assumption.

    It depends on how the church is structured. Each is different. In our church we encourage questions in small groups. The main assembly isn’t generally considered the place for Q&A in the middle of the meeting. However, provision is made for questions or clarification in more than one way – as mentioned, in small groups, but we also have fellowship after the meeting during which people are free to ask the leadership or speaker to clarify points. In Bible Study classes Q&A is made possible at the end of sessions. In Foundational Classes, Q&A is encouraged at any time. People can make appointments to meet a leader to ask questions one on one.

    In a large gathering it isn’t always possible to know who is in attendance, so who do you give the microphone to when a question is to be asked? Or should people just shout out from the audience? In a small church this may be acceptable if all the members are known. There are some people who would not necessarily be polite, but are intent on disruption. How would you deal with this? You can loose a meeting if you lead it unwisely. Teachers are present to lead disciples, not allow someone with a beef take over a meeting. I can think of several people over the years who would have taken advantage of this liberty.

    Your claim and experience is that questions were always polite and in order. That may be in meetings you’ve attended, and that’s commendable, but there is no guarantee. Was that in a medium to large gathering, say over 150 people, including unknown visitors, or in a small gathering, less than 50, where all were known? Was Tanya Levine present? 🙂

    And I’m not talking about self-appointed ministers. They are generally sent out having been trained and recognised by peers.

    mn,
    I agree with what you say about the Holy Spirit, but, unless a shepherd wants to structure his or her church this way, the generally accepted meeting structure for a main meeting is for a recognised, trained, anointed minister of God to deliver a message for the entire flock. It is not usually considered polite to interrupt the message.

    But, if a minister enjoys this kind of teaching style, then go for it! It has a place.

  50. Facelift: “Someone has suggested on this thread that it would be appropriate for a disciple to rebuke their mentor during a teaching session. I think that would be very out of order.”

    I don’t think there is aything wrong correcting a mentor. I think it is perfectly all right to say “You can’t say that” if you know with confidence that what they’ve said is error and back up what you say with proof. The person out of order first was the mentor. The function of the church body is to keep eachother accountable.

  51. I think we all agree that questioning is a vital part of church life but how and when it is done calls for wisdom – no hard and fast rules. Each church can develop its own appropriate forum depending on individual circumstance.

    Could anyone imagine would would happen if some of the controversies raised by some contributors on this Internet forum were initiated in the middle of a Sunday service!

  52. Good thread. I just wanted to point out FL that when one is studying (these days) a good secular teacher will let people talk or question, in fact its encouraged. When i started at uni the professor would say come and talk after the lecture for any questions, usually there would be a few as they had a planned lesson.

    Sometimes a lecture was more open though, depending on the subject. A really good teacher will teach as they go and allow people to clarify what the teacher “meant”.

    In a small group the leader is usually more a deacon or similiar so they dont always have the expertise…

  53. I was seriously considering OP ideas. Good friend of mine was pastor of small church in Perth. Not sure why a church/college would allow an OP to preach that their church/college.

  54. s&p,
    ‘I don’t think there is aything wrong correcting a mentor. I think it is perfectly all right to say “You can’t say that” if you know with confidence that what they’ve said is error and back up what you say with proof. The person out of order first was the mentor. The function of the church body is to keep eachother accountable.’

    That’s a very interesting concept, s&p. I’ll give it some thought. My initial response is to ask, at what level would a disciple consider themselves mature enough to rebuke or correct an elder? What is the process?

    As James wrote, and I quoted earlier, ‘in many ways [teachers] offend all’. In other words, there will be times when the teaching will be offensive to the hearer, even though it is Spirit-led gospel teaching. Should an offended person have the right to then correct the teacher for offending him or her?

    Interestingly, James goes on to ask who can tame the tongue!

    So, for an example, in an average sized assembly – 100 people – you will have unsaved people, new converts, members who have attended for some time, but are not great at personal study, others who study diligently, others who love the church but derive their teaching form Christian media, or even blogs, others who are long-standing mature believers, who have been in that church for longer than the Pastor, some who are mature believers, but have relocated and just begun to attend that church, having come from a church with a different set of values, etc. So a range of people.

    Given that we have a church where it is acceptable for anyone in attendance to bring correction during the meeting to the Pastor as he teaches, who amongst this group is qualified to bring rebuke?

  55. Facelift. If the issue can’t be resolved right away, it is reasonable on both sides, they discuss the topic away after the meeting, UNLESS the topic is the main focus of the meeting.

    “A really good teacher will teach as they go and allow people to clarify what the teacher “meant”.”

    And an even better teacher will learn as they go and be open to students questions and ideas. If they are challenged on a topic, they will research it and come back to the listeners with their findings and praise those that were right by name.

    I have met three teachers in my life that have done this. They are today highly loved and highly praised for their love and wisdom they have to their listeners.

  56. Ok, s&p, so you’ve basically softened your stance somewhat, which is good.

    A good teacher should be able to answer questions. A good student should know the context in which they can be asked.

    But you didn’t really answer my question. At what level would a person consider themselves able to bring public correction to an elder?

  57. ‘omnipiscent’

    Great word! “all knowing fish’? Dagon? Don’t High Church Bishops wear fish suits? They could be considered omnipiscent pastors! 🙂

  58. well, didnt Jesus question the Jewish leaders, even rebuke them at times (not saying to do that) glad u liked it FL 😉

  59. “In a large gathering it isn’t always possible to know who is in attendance, so who do you give the microphone to when a question is to be asked? Or should people just shout out from the audience? In a small church this may be acceptable if all the members are known. There are some people who would not necessarily be polite, but are intent on disruption. How would you deal with this? You can loose a meeting if you lead it unwisely. Teachers are present to lead disciples, not allow someone with a beef take over a meeting. I can think of several people over the years who would have taken advantage of this liberty.” – FL

    If you read my earlier post, you’ll notice that I did say that this was more suited to smaller congregations.

    I said:

    “It does help if the congregation isn’t too large though. Perhaps this can be one of the benefits of a smaller church. Prophetic words can occur in a larger congregation than general questions. But there comes a size where probably its just not practical.”

    I’ve seen prophetic words work up to around 300 people or so, and questions in smaller settings, maybe up to 100. However, as I keep saying, respect is paramount. Disrupting the purpose of the meeting is not the aim of questioning. Questioning in meetings is to clarify things that aren’t clear, and could identify things that need further teaching. The smaller the meeting, the less formality. Microphones aren’t necessarily needed.

    In an environment of several hundred, it is still possible to have a time for questions and for microphones to be handed around, but obviously this would be at a time set aside for that purpose, as the larger size could become unwieldy.

    All of this can be done, its just a matter of handling the issues.

    In terms of dealing with people who intentionally or otherwise become disruptive, it is simple to request that the discussion take place at a more suitable time, and if they won’t desist, nothing wrong with requesting that they leave if they cannot sit quietly.

  60. Further to asking people to leave if they are disruptive – typically the leader would have the support of the rest of the congregation if the disruption is unreasonable. On the other hand, if the person is voicing a concern that most of the congregation share, their support would be felt, and one would imagine this would only happen if the leader was actually suppressing the congregational voice in other outlets, forcing someone to use a meeting to ‘let the cat out of the bag’ so to speak.

  61. However, typically, a question time is not the time to voice concerns about the direction of a church, but rather a time to ask questions about the topic at hand.

  62. S&P: “I don’t think there is aything wrong correcting a mentor. I think it is perfectly all right to say “You can’t say that” if you know with confidence that what they’ve said is error and back up what you say with proof. The person out of order first was the mentor. The function of the church body is to keep eachother accountable.”

    Depends in what context you’re talking. This can be very dangerous for both parties.

    Again the key question is there are forum to deal with these things.

    If we are talking worship services unless they are actually structured this way arcing up in the middle of a sermon can be a recipe for disaster.

    And I disagree with your last statement… a function of the church body is to build one another up in love. Accountability may be a part of that.

    I note that on previous threads when I’ve brought up the concept of accountability some have run a mile.

  63. Thanks for clarifying, RP. It comes down to the difference in size of churches. As they grow structure needs to be revised. This is a constant process, and not always easy to deal with during transition.

    Obviously a small church would be in its initial stages so Q&A would probably be very sensible. It’s likely to be at house-church stage, possibly with new converts, so interaction would be encouraged.

    s&p,
    I’ll help answer the question. A new convert correcting an elder in the middle of a sermon would probably be treated courteously, but advised to restrain themselves in some way, and ask questions at the appropriate time.

    A mature Christian would be conscious of the well-being of the whole church, especially new converts and the unsaved attending, and would restrain themselves from disrupting the meeting unnecessarily. They would make an appointment to ask the teacher to clarify what was said. They would know that it is not a good thing to openly rebuke an elder.

    A person who didn’t like the teacher or had an agenda would be asked to restrain himself and act appropriately.

    In short, rebuking an elder during a meeting isn’t a good idea.

    ‘Do not receive an accusation against an elder except from two or three witnesses.’ In other words rebuking an elder is not a public affair, and should be handled by the leadership of the church, not before the general assembly.

  64. Well i agree rp, talking about the direction, i think its little steps. In the current church i attend, it tends to be about the sermon (at that time). Did Paul mean blah blah blah or? if its something of signifigance

  65. 1 Tim.5:19. An elder. It was Timothy who was being addressed, and the context is an accusation against an elder he would have appointed.

    It is the responsibility of the pastor to bring rebuke, not the congregation members.

    I agree with mn, that attempting to bring correction to a teacher before the congregation is a recipe for disaster, and very unwise.

    Asking questions on doctrine, or for clarification of a point is a completely different matter. Hungry sheep should have questions!

  66. MN,

    People who need to be accountable, dont create environments so they are not accountable.

    Really, not sure how you can make these people accountable unless they do something illegal or you get them on camera.

    I think it would be better to spend your limit time on spreading the Gospel than making people accountable who dont want to be accoutnable.

  67. I think that typically its unhelpful to try to correct a leader in front of the congregation (unless its just a definitely minor details of some kind – everyone has the odd memory lapse, and hopefully we can all laugh at ourselves when that happens).

    If anyone has a major point of difference re doctrine, a public meeting isn’t the place to raise it. I say this as someone who has had major differences of doctrine with some past leaders. This is just my opinion, but first, I think you need to check your own thinking by seeking to understand scripture thoroughly. Secondly, I think you need to meet privately with the leader, or their delegates in a larger church, to make sure you really do have a correct understanding of what they teach on the subject. (We did this a couple of times.) Thirdly, if you do disagree strongly, and its a matter of importance, before raising anything publically, you need to let them know you have a different viewpoint. This is a matter of courtesy and honesty. In my case, I was immediately disqualified from any position of leadership in my church. Fine, since I didn’t aspire to one. Harder, if at the time you are currently in leadership.

    After that, if you know that your concerns are shared by others, then you can raise them as a group, but still, with respect. I think we should all treat one another with respect in Christ, even when we disagree. There could be some rare situations where the working through of this might result in leadership changes. For example, if there was genuine financial misconduct.

    Finally though, I really think you move on. Changing a culture from within where there is not already support is usually not feasible. God can bring change in time, but He is the One who works in hearts, not us. If you turn an issue into a confrontation, then typically the resistance to what you are saying will just harden, and it takes skill and humility to do this in a loving fashion. If we go into a situation with an ‘I’m right and you’re wrong’ approach, condemning the other person, nothing good will come of it.

    So essentially, I’m saying that standing up in a meeting and just accusing the leader of something – even if you are right – is generally a foolish way to go about something. There are probably exceptions to this, but they would be rare.

  68. I’ve got a half written post on accountability, which I’m working towards putting up. So don’t go there yet please!!

  69. oh yes, i was thinking of Matt18:15, 17 (rebuking a brother) thanx FL, the script on rebuking and elder….i seriously had forgotten that script was for elders 1Tim5:19

  70. Facelift: “Ok, s&p, so you’ve basically softened your stance somewhat, which is good.”

    No I haven’t. If an elder is blatantly wrong, it’s could to put your case forward to prove why they are saying is wrong. Elders are allowed to be wrong, it means they are teachable. However, I think it’s incredibly rude to do so in such a way that makes them look like a fool in front of everyone, unless you can clearly detect a motive as to why they are saying what they are saying (eg. getting money).

    Facelift: “But you didn’t really answer my question. At what level would a person consider themselves able to bring public correction to an elder?”

    Possibly when they ask a question first to clarify what the elder has said. If what is said is further out of line, correction, I believe, can be made. Because of others in the assembly, anyone can object to the person ‘correcting’ the elder. I hold the belief that anyone can ‘correct’, as long as it’s not to elevate themselves over the elder.

    MN: “And I disagree with your last statement… a function of the church body is to build one another up in love. Accountability may be a part of that.”

    You’re right. I should have said “A function of the church body is to keep eachother accountable.”

  71. I had an elder talking to the conregation about how Jesus is interested in our finances because he talked allot about money. (This deserved an objection.)

    They then went on to say that most of the NT talks about money and finances. (This deserved an objection.)

    Why did this deserve an objection? I could see exactly where this was heading and they was very manipulative with their words and scriptures they were thinking of.

    Another example, an elder in leadership was talking to a group of us upcoming leaders that we need to put the worship leaders before the worshipers and the preachers before the listeners – so they can aspire to be worship leaders and preachers. (This deserved an objection.)

    They then justified it with scripture when I did put my hand up and ask for scriptural support for this (idolatry) – that being Jacob gaining flocks of goat when he watered them. I should have made a further complaint about this scripture to justify idolatry, but I decided not too.

    I sincerely regret not taking the issue further. For the elder’s sake and those listening.

  72. yes the prosperity life/culture – aspirational. I must go and show off my new_________its aspirational to others….

  73. I don’t think it would be appropriate for a church member to publicly correct an elder at any time, not in the way I understand Biblical correction.

    Assuming we’ve got past the idea that it’s OK, in certain circumstances, for people to ask relevant questions or for clarification, provided the motive is good, we now go into a different area all together, the question of who is authorised to correct an elder in a public meeting, if anyone. I don’t think the two can be applied simultaneously, or subsequently.

    ‘Because of others in the assembly, anyone can object to the person ‘correcting’ the elder. I hold the belief that anyone can ‘correct’, as long as it’s not to elevate themselves over the elder.’

    You placed ‘correct’ in inverted commas. Is there another kind of correction you’re advocating? I can’t see a precedent in NT scripture for a disciple to correct an elder in a public assembly. Maybe you can give one or two.

    If a teacher said something that was obviously not correct in context to what he was teaching, it would be OK for the congregation to point it out, and it has happened many times. Say he gave an incorrect scripture reference, or wrong application of a word. No problem.

    But to correct an elder as a rebuke, which you hinted at earlier, would be unreasonable.

    If, amongst the leadership in he church, there was an agreement that one of the leadership team could point out an error at an appropriate time, I think that would be acceptable, and in order, and again, has probably happened many times. No teacher would mind this, as it is helpful. Judging prophecy, for instance, is part of a normal meeting.

  74. yes but if someone misquotes a scripture (not by accident) then that should be pointed out. and then they correct themselves….i think alot of ministers forget that some people like to read alot and have good memories

  75. Are you misreading me Todd?

    I didn’t raise the spectre of accountability, but rather was responding someone else’s (S&P).

    And I have in fact raised accountability here before and have had people balk at it like a horse stopping at a jump.

    That is my observation and not a crusade.

  76. FL said,

    ” I can’t see a precedent in NT scripture for a disciple to correct an elder in a public assembly. ”

    It would not seem to be the recommended approach in the first instance for any believer.

    “”If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church;”

    Mt 18:15-17

    Being appointed an elder or a minister wouldn’t give you any particular immunity from comment or criticism. But nor is it the right for a church member to constantly interrupt a Sunday sermon. Problems usually develop over a long period after constant faulty teaching. There is usually enough time to address these issues in a more appropriate setting.

  77. RP said “we live our ministry 24/7” i thought that was a good thought, we are elders/teachers et al to our family and friends. That is quite daunting to think about it sometimes….but it certainly matures you in the process

  78. “Being appointed an elder or a minister wouldn’t give you any particular immunity from comment or criticism.” – RE

    And that is extremely important.

    But the idea is for us to encourage and equip one another, and yes, build one another up in love. This is not accomplished by publically embarrassing people.

    Apart from Biblical instruction to go to eachother privately to start with, its just not loving to create a scene where someone is possibly humiliated in public, regardless of who that person is.

    Anyway, I don’t think bad doctrine is a matter for public rebuke. It’s a matter to take to elders and leadership; if you publically rebuke it then you’ll just get thrown out and change nothing.

    However, that said, we should all be able to share our views honestly. If you find yourself in a culture where the only way to keep the peace is to keep your mouth shut and not share anything you think, then you are effectively in that community but shut off from real fellowship. So you need to speak at the very least to friends, and if it just doesn’t work, you eventually need to move on.

    Ideally though, our communities can handle differences of opinion over doctrine, without condemning or judging people for it. The main thing is we shouldn’t force our views on others, though we ought to be able to explain them, and we ought to study scripture with an open heart so that we can be corrected.

    My recent ex-church was initially a place where differing opinions on a variety of things could be held, but changed to an environment where people were expected to follow the pastor’s line on most things, both doctrinal and behavioural. Even to the point of leadership disapproving (and preaching about it) of people going away for the weekend with others from church if it meant they’d miss a Sunday service. (Aside from maybe a couple of weeks of a family holiday – just not as a group of families, for example.)

  79. Agree with RP and S&P’s responses about how to deal with an issue if it arises.

    It comes down to the church that you’re in and whether there is a forum or way to resolve these issues.

    I thought RP’s approach was pretty much right.

    The thing that concerns me here is who is being glorified?

    Are we talking about simply picking a fight for the sake of being right?

    Or are we talking about making a stand on something that is important.

    This is a matter of judgment and discernment in the Spirit on a case by case basis.

    I have great sympathy for S&P’s position in dealing with specific issues, and there is a real issue about what do you do because you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

    I don’t agree with FL that you don’t take on leaders. Peter took on Paul. OK that they were peers. But what about the prophets?

    Many were called to draw a line in the sand at great personal risk. Maybe the response at the end of the day is walking as many have done, but others may be called to stand in a place – a church – that is plain horrible to be.

    Use of the words accuse and its derivatives concern me. Says something about where people’s heads are.

  80. i just dont want Jesus a laughing stock or his teachings taught wrong. I uphold Him and His ways…its not my doctrine or teachings.

  81. mn,
    I didn’t say at any time that you don’t take on leaders. I was focusing on the idea that an elder could be publicly rebuked by a disciple. You can’t find a precedent for that.

    RE gave the correct procedure of dealing with offence.

    Peter and Paul were both elders when they had their dispute. I don’t see anywhere where a disciple corrected Peter or Paul during a meeting.

  82. “I was focusing on the idea that an elder could be publicly rebuked by a disciple.”

    It is also usually highly inappropriate for a congregation member to be publically rebuked by an elder or leader.

    We are called to love one another, not just some of us, some of the time.

  83. Still, if someone (anyone) does something highly inappropriate in public, then its probably appropriate to deal with it in public as well – or at the least to communicate how its been dealt with to the community affected. That might mean the person apologising in public, or people being publically advised of a response.

    All very icky if it occurs.

  84. Can you imagine being part of a congregation where everyone was publically rebuked on a regular basis?

    Of course people like Mark Driscoll just look around and say ‘You know who you are’, and refer to the ‘few’ good ones who clean up the mess.

  85. You catch more flies with honey.

    “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.
    Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
    Who, being in very nature[a] God,
    did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
    but made himself nothing,
    taking the very nature of a servant, ”

    Php 2:3-7

    “If I speak in the tongues[a] of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. ”

    1 Cor 13:1

  86. Seriously, it does depend upon context.

    We’re not supposed to use scripture like law. We are told to love one another; sometimes that does mean doing difficult things. Confronting a person in public would only be done where necessary; probably where it was the loving thing to do for the congregation as a whole. Maybe – and I’m just imagining a situation here – maybe when a group as a whole has been in some way damaged by a person’s behaviour, it becomes necessary to deal with it in public somehow. So in the case of Peter, he was behaving one way when Jews were present, and another when they weren’t. It was necessary for Paul to point this out in public since Peter was being publically hypocritical in his behaviour and was trying to impress the Jews at the expense of the Gentile Christians. Peter was leading others astray, ‘even Barnabas’ (Gal 2:13), yet had previously had a vision (Acts 10:11) regarding the Gentiles not needing to follow Jewish customs. And Paul, did get angry, probably out of love for the Gentiles whom God had entrusted him with his ministry to. In this matter, Paul had no doubt of firstly the matter of Peter’s error, secondly that Peter knew he was in error, and thirdly, that Peter was leading people astray by his public behaviour. So it was dealt with on the spot in public.

    That’s how I read that, in any case.

    In our own gatherings, we can’t just take these scriptural examples and say, well Paul rebuked Peter, therefore I can rebuke my brother in public. If something is actually taking place in front of us at the time – then there might be a place for that rebuke. For example – someone picking on and humiliating another weaker person could be asked to stop, in public. To do so would be an act of love. Even if it means you are asking someone who is ‘over’ you in a hierarchy to stop.

    So I believe we need to understand where love is in a situation, and how it is best expressed at the time, rather than treating scripture as law, or as a convenient justification for something we’d like to do but maybe shouldn’t.

  87. For the record I was not suggesting an unthinking application of Gal 2 to justify whatever.

    I was simply responding to FL stating that there are in fact times when a public response is appropriate.

    I think a re-read of my posts would bear that out.

  88. RP said:

    “We are told to love one another; sometimes that does mean doing difficult things. ”

    Absolutely. It probably would be true that every church goes through some kind of painful (though necessary) division at one time or another.

    But I would presume that a public admonition would have been preceded by a period of ‘behind the scenes’ discussions that had reached an impasse.

  89. I think we’re all agreeing with eachother. But I think we are not realising we all have different buttons that may trigger a reaction to certain things that people may say in a public setting.

    As a result, I will react differently to say Facelift or Bull because of my different experiences. We all have different values of importance when things are preached.

    There are times I wish I had enough guts to actually rebuke so-called preachers up the front. I’ll never forget the time a pastor condemned his entire congregaton for lacking true zeal for God. Something so spiritually bad happened there in that meeting.

    He was seriously oppressing some fantastically beautiful people there and I was someone who people respected. Instead of creating a scene, I left.

    A year later, the pastor that preached condemnation, legalism and his own doctrines and ideas was caught having an afair and stealing from his congregation.

    My experiences tell me that the man up the front can be just as faulty as me. I am open to rebuke when I preach, just as I hope others open to be corrected too.

    A few people on here have rebuked me and I like that. Especially those who did not like how I treated Franc Manhattan when I invited him on Signposts02 to speak. I think everyone rebuked me and I shut-up, took it, realised that I could have handled it better and apologised to him on Signposts02.

    I grew from that rebuke. I hope if I ever do it publically, it’s for there sake and others, not mine.

    I’ve seen young Christian’s carry the ideal that they can be Luther and reform the church. There was only one Luther. But too many think that by challenging those speaking all the time, they too can be an ‘ideal Luther-like’ figure. That’s pride and that is wrong. We should not speak with the Luther-Ideal in mind.

  90. However, I have found that Andrew Strom and others are right on many occasions to say that the 2-3 witness approach does not work.

  91. I wasnt inferring one correct or rebuke in a main arena (that could be stressful too). Someone mentioned “timing” i think thats true. When i left previous church i did go to an elder (after the service) and said what i thought. And emailed, i didnt hide the reasons i had to leave. I would rather be up front, i wasnt yelling or shouting or causing a big “scene”. Jesus is our example, be angry but do not sin.

  92. MN – sorry – didn’t mean to imply that you would use Gal that way! Nothing in the tone of your posts here implies that you would. 🙂 But I’ve heard others from time to time (not necessarily here) use scripture in that way. It always makes me think.

    I know there have been times when I’ve used scripture legalistically, and its something that I’m hopefully unlearning. I catch myself out sometimes. Particularly when we are dealing with hypothetical situations, we might say ‘it should be done like this because of this reference’, when in actuality, such a simplistic approach is not helpful.

  93. Yes, mj, good call: ‘be angry but do not sin’. We all need wisdom.

    I don’t think I like the term ‘rebuke’ either. It would be great if we had the kinds of relationships where we can ask someone, “How do you feel about the way you handled that” – and have them give us an honest answer. Maybe they weren’t too thrilled themselves, thinking back, and there’s a chance to discuss it and grow from it. Or maybe we can approach someone and say, “I’m a bit uncomfortable with this doctrine – to me it doesn’t look like what Jesus teaches. Can we talk about it?”

    But these things take trust. Much can be accomplished if we have the right kind of safe and honest relationships. For real honesty, we need real safety – real love.

  94. Listening to PP now on ACC… (im waiting for another program to start) and im hearing – word for word:

    “I want you to laugh in church like you’ve never laughed before. I want you to be entertained like you’ve never been entertained before…”

    Ummm what about being taught the Holy Word of God?

    I look at the list above and shake my head… what did Paul say about itching ears?

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