Pathetic Pastors – Question Me, Oppose God

Teddy gave me the following link and blurb:

… This is an interesting article. Steve Furtick and Perry Noble run really big churches in the States. I believe Perry Noble may have spoken at Hillsong? … I find the attitude displayed by these comments in the articles even more serious as these guys are gaining credibility.
I couldn’t find any information that But Perry Noble has indeed spoken a few times at Hillsong. He spoke last year at Hillsong’s Mens Conference.
Mal Fletcher & Perry Noble join our Hillsong team for Men’s Conference 2008. Why don’t you get your Dad a Men’s Conference registration for Father’s Day!
Below the article, I encourage you to check out these pastors blogs to see why I am actually sympathetic towards them. Hearing their testimonies of where they came from, I can only imagine the burden they were under when they ‘felt the call of God’ on their lives to start their churches. I’ve been doing a lot of analysis on pastoral behaviour and observing how dedication, emotion and all the hard work they do may be the reason’s why they choose to take a similar lifestyle to the Crowder mob. To be noticed FINALLY of what they believe God has called them to do, pays off. And now they fight to keep it.
Division is a definite ‘no’, hype or the Holy Spirit is a must (so that people can come the following week to build your church financially). The church visions and open heaven visions, miracle-testimonies and divine experiences must keep happening (even if it’s an act or a lie), so that church’s cup on the outside attracts similar folk to get on board with the glory-glamour on stage.
Many pastors fear to return to nothing. Faith is meant to get you financially, successfully, spiritually and reputationally somewhere right? If it is encouraged that faith makes churches bigger, greater, prosperous and more spiritual, then is it any wonder that upcoming pastors will play the games of the bigboy pastors, to get there too?
Well here’s the link that Teddy gave to me. Enjoy!

Question me, Oppose God 

July 16th, 2009 by James Duncan

We’ve seen over the last few days how Furtick and Noble continue to insist that people believe their visions and that no questions or criticisms of their actions in pursuit of those visions can be tolerated. There is a deep danger in the way that they present their pronouncements as infallible, and then boldly and quickly pronounce anathema on their critics.

Let’s look at some examples of each.

  1. Infallibility. Furtick specificially told us that when he hears from God, no-one may question him. The only reason that questions would be off the table is if you were sure that what you heard from God, and what you speak in response to it, is infallible. The consequence, as Noble has said, is that the leader must not be doubted.
     

    A leader should never allow doubters to dictate the direction of their ministry…when God speaks our obsession MUST be complete obedience!

    Not only does Noble not want to hear from any doubters, he dare not even think about them.

    When God puts a word inside of you – “what would others think about this?” is a question that completely dishonors Him!!! HE MATTERS!!!

    To ensure the aura of infallibility, they also present their behaviors and words as irrefutable. If you agree with it, it must be true, but if you disagree with it, it must be even truer. See if you can follow the logic in this Noble argument:

    Church planter–do what God called you to do…if people are speaking out against you…it probably means God has spoken into you and you are being obedient.

    Don’t waste the time God has given you on those who don’t like you…ever! If what you are doing is of God then critics can’t stop it!

    Although we’ve addressed the appeal to fatalism on this blog before, this is a more aggressive variation, where because something is is proof that it should be. Under this logic, a leader can never be disobedient so long as he’s being effective and being criticized.

  2. Condemnation. If leaders represent God’s truth when they speak and act, the next step is to argue that anyone who opposes them is opposing God. Noble forcefully and literally demonizes his critics.
     

    The only person who would criticize a move of God is a jealous, angry, bitter person. And the other thought is that God would NEVER lead a person to criticize something that He in involved in. Well…uh…let’s see–if the criticism is not God led–then who is responsible? Hmm…just know that if you are doing what God desires…and you are being criticized…then it will help to view the critic as a tool of satan. (I make no apologies for that statement!!!) [emphasis added]

    When it comes to dealing with critics…Jesus dealt with them. Remember the Pharisees? And when it came to dealing with them He pulled no punches, He even referred to them as snakes, vipers, and whitewashed tombs. This is the attitude I have to take–that the religious will always criticize a move of God…and it breaks my heart because when you boil it down–even though the Pharisees were religious–they didn’t have a relationship with Jesus!

    Notice the equivalence. Someone who criticizes Noble is ipso facto criticizing Jesus, which means that they cannot be a part of the family of God.

    Here’s another example of Noble characterizing his critics as heathen, while mixing in his irrefutable logic (that is, if you criticize him, it proves that he is right).

    I honestly believe that a true follower of Jesus Christ will make religious people both uncomfortable and angry…and as long as those are the men and women shooting the arrows at me then I know I am walking in the right path.  (John 15:18-21)

    It’s not that I don’t care about you guys…it’s that I care enough to ignore you!  You see, if what we are doing is wrong and sinful then the Lord will handle us…but if what we are doing here at NewSpring Church is of God…you can’t stop it (Acts 5:35-39) and are actually not opposing us…but Him.  (BTW…you lose!)

There are several notable implications from this approach. First, is it really smart to be raising the stakes so high that you call the faith of your critics into question just for raising a question? Noble is drawing a line in the sand and saying that he’s on the Christian side of it, and the rest of us are on Satan’s side. When you’re a leader of a movement that is sensitive to some people calling it cultish, separating the family of God into saved and unsaved depending on your fidelity to a human leader is hardly going to make those fears go away. We critics are often pressed to affirm that we believe we’re all on the same side. The are you all on the same team? question would more fruitfully be asked of people like Perry Noble.

Second, what are you communicating to your own followers about the worth and dignity of Christians who are outside of your movement and, based on their own commitment to the Word of God, question the beliefs and methods of these charismatic leaders? When you call us sons and daughters of the Devil, what kinds of passions do you unleash and endorse among your true believers?

http://www.stevenfurtick.com/

http://www.perrynoble.com/

Question me, Oppose God 

July 16th, 2009 by James Duncan

We’ve seen over the last few days how Furtick and Noble continue to insist that people believe their visions and that no questions or criticisms of their actions in pursuit of those visions can be tolerated. There is a deep danger in the way that they present their pronouncements as infallible, and then boldly and quickly pronounce anathema on their critics.

Let’s look at some examples of each.

  1. Infallibility. Furtick specificially told us that when he hears from God, no-one may question him. The only reason that questions would be off the table is if you were sure that what you heard from God, and what you speak in response to it, is infallible. The consequence, as Noble has said, is that the leader must not be doubted.

    A leader should never allow doubters to dictate the direction of their ministry…when God speaks our obsession MUST be complete obedience!

    Not only does Noble not want to hear from any doubters, he dare not even think about them.

    When God puts a word inside of you – “what would others think about this?” is a question that completely dishonors Him!!! HE MATTERS!!!

    To ensure the aura of infallibility, they also present their behaviors and words as irrefutable. If you agree with it, it must be true, but if you disagree with it, it must be even truer. See if you can follow the logic in this Noble argument:

    Church planter–do what God called you to do…if people are speaking out against you…it probably means God has spoken into you and you are being obedient.

    Don’t waste the time God has given you on those who don’t like you…ever! If what you are doing is of God then critics can’t stop it!

    Although we’ve addressed the appeal to fatalism on this blog before, this is a more aggressive variation, where because something is is proof that it should be. Under this logic, a leader can never be disobedient so long as he’s being effective and being criticized.

  2. Condemnation. If leaders represent God’s truth when they speak and act, the next step is to argue that anyone who opposes them is opposing God. Noble forcefully and literally demonizes his critics.

    The only person who would criticize a move of God is a jealous, angry, bitter person. And the other thought is that God would NEVER lead a person to criticize something that He in involved in. Well…uh…let’s see–if the criticism is not God led–then who is responsible? Hmm…just know that if you are doing what God desires…and you are being criticized…then it will help to view the critic as a tool of satan. (I make no apologies for that statement!!!) [emphasis added]

    When it comes to dealing with critics…Jesus dealt with them. Remember the Pharisees? And when it came to dealing with them He pulled no punches, He even referred to them as snakes, vipers, and whitewashed tombs. This is the attitude I have to take–that the religious will always criticize a move of God…and it breaks my heart because when you boil it down–even though the Pharisees were religious–they didn’t have a relationship with Jesus!

    Notice the equivalence. Someone who criticizes Noble is ipso facto criticizing Jesus, which means that they cannot be a part of the family of God.

    Here’s another example of Noble characterizing his critics as heathen, while mixing in his irrefutable logic (that is, if you criticize him, it proves that he is right).

    I honestly believe that a true follower of Jesus Christ will make religious people both uncomfortable and angry…and as long as those are the men and women shooting the arrows at me then I know I am walking in the right path.  (John 15:18-21)

    It’s not that I don’t care about you guys…it’s that I care enough to ignore you!  You see, if what we are doing is wrong and sinful then the Lord will handle us…but if what we are doing here at NewSpring Church is of God…you can’t stop it (Acts 5:35-39) and are actually not opposing us…but Him.  (BTW…you lose!)

There are several notable implications from this approach. First, is it really smart to be raising the stakes so high that you call the faith of your critics into question just for raising a question? Noble is drawing a line in the sand and saying that he’s on the Christian side of it, and the rest of us are on Satan’s side. When you’re a leader of a movement that is sensitive to some people calling it cultish, separating the family of God into saved and unsaved depending on your fidelity to a human leader is hardly going to make those fears go away. We critics are often pressed to affirm that we believe we’re all on the same side. The are you all on the same team? question would more fruitfully be asked of people like Perry Noble.

Second, what are you communicating to your own followers about the worth and dignity of Christians who are outside of your movement and, based on their own commitment to the Word of God, question the beliefs and methods of these charismatic leaders? When you call us sons and daughters of the Devil, what kinds of passions do you unleash and endorse among your true believers?


12 thoughts on “Pathetic Pastors – Question Me, Oppose God

  1. “Pitting Evangelism Against Discipleship
    Pastor Steven Furtick of Elevation Church in Charlotte, NC is a living incarnation of the seeker-sensitive deeds NOT creeds thinking that has invaded the church.

    He recently preached a sermon series entitled “Confessions of a Pastor” and he did all of us a huge favor. He candidly and passionately articulated his disdain for doctrine, discipling and feeding God’s sheep with God’s Word. (some video from the sermon is posted below)

    I’ve seen this over and again with churches that have gone Purpose-Driven. Sound Biblical teaching is replaced with self-help ‘practical living’ sermons, hymns and songs with ANY deep doctrinal content are replaced with me-centered 7/11 songs, and those who complain about the lack of doctrinal depth and missing Biblical content are mocked and ridiculed and forcibly shown the door. But, normally this is done in private. Furtick, in the video below, decided to do this in public.

    Listen carefully and you will hear how Furtick and others like him justify their entertainment-driven, relevant, self-help topical services. Its all in the name of evangelism and ‘kingdom multiplication’.

    The most telling quote from Furtick’s diatribe is:

    “If You Know Jesus This Church is NOT for you!”
    His attitude is this:

    We don’t teach from Books of the Bible because it gets in the way of evangelism.
    We don’t offer different kinds of Bible studies because it gets in the way of evangelism.

    We don’t teach doctrine because it gets in the way of evangelism.

    If you want to be fed God’s word or have the Bible explained to you then you are a fat lazy Christian and you need to shut up and get to work or you need to leave this church because we ONLY do evangelism.

    Notice also that “serving in the church” is the ONLY benchmark Furtick accepts as a good work for Jesus. What about serving Jesus by being a good spouse, parent, child, student, employee or business owner? Furtick and countless others like him, in their myopic obsession with evangelism and numbers have literally ignored their duty to feed and care for God’s sheep and make disciples.

    What is at stake is the Gospel itself because the people who attend these churches won’t have enough Biblical grounding to withstand even the most ridiculous ‘wind of doctrine’. These men, by pitting evangelism against their Biblical duty to ‘make disciples’ are setting the church up for Total-Apostasy.

    Please take the time to read the scriptures passages I’ve supplied below the video. The contrast between the two is stark.

    John 21:15-17 When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” 16 He said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” 17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.”

    Luke 10:38-42 Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. 40 But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” 41 But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, 42 but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen what is better and it will not be taken away from her.”

    Matthew 28:19-2 “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

    John 8:31-32 So Jesus said …“If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

    Acts 2:42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles.

    Titus 1:7-10 “For an overseer, as God’s steward, must be above reproach. He must not tbe arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, 8 but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. 9 He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it. 10 For there are many who are insubordinate, empty talkers and deceivers…”

    Titus 2:1-10 But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine. 2 Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. 3 Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, 4 and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled, pure, uworking at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. 6 Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled. 7 Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, 8 and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us. 9 Slaves are to be submissive to their own masters in everything; they are to be well-pleasing, not argumentative, 10 not pilfering, but showing all good faith, so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior.

    2 Timothy 4:1-4 I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. 3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.

    1 Corinthians 1:18-25 “For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written, — “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.” — Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. 22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and lthe wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.”

  2. How are people’s lives transformed if they don’t hear sound expostional teaching? I have found since leaving C3 and looking back over the past 22 years that there is definately a works-based theology going on here.

  3. I find this same attitude concerning the seeming ‘inerrancy’ imputed to Perry by some at NewSpring. I remember one post in particular wherein an associate pastor seemed to question the salvation of those who were critical of Perry Noble.
    (http://www.shaneduffey.com/2008/12/do-you-know-him/)
    Notice, too, if you read the comments to that post, how Perry-centric they all seem to be, especially for a church who’s mission is to make Jesus ‘famous’. Very revealing.

    There seems, too, to be almost a leadership ‘fetish’ in these seeker-sensitive types. Nothing against leadership; my job depends on good leadership by those in positions of authority, but the church, the body of Christ, needs real pastors, not just vision casters.

  4. That was amazing Teddy! Thanks! I loved the essay at the end:

    http://ronclick.wordpress.com/2007/12/25/an-ecclesiastical-journey/

    “Let me open quite controversially. If Christ is just a great moral teacher, He failed, and failed miserably. For all His altruism, His selflessness in serving others, for all His concern for the disenfranchised, for His formidable moral standards, His end is not one that I would consider a glowing endorsement for emulating His life. He was crucified; He died a death quite gruesome and, in death, was associated with criminals. If such is the potential end for emulating Christ the Teacher, then I want nothing of it. If we consider Christ only a moral example, then I cannot endorse Him above the Buddha. I cannot endorse Him above Gandhi. I cannot endorse Him above an Old Testament patriarch. They differ not in kind, but only in degree. His death carries no greater meaning and import than that of Martin Luther King’s. However, if Christ is more than a teacher, if He is who He and His followers claim Him to be, the Son of God whose death on the cross precedes something greater, His physical resurrection, I then must consider Him in an altogether different light.”

    “The pre-Easter Jesus, on the cross, left his followers discouraged and defeated. The post-Easter Jesus revolutionized his adopted ones. Easter changed everything… We, as disciples of Christ, are beholden to our Messiah to apprehend these difficult truths to the best of our ability. Because of complacency that often permeates American Christianity, I believe that, as a church, we often worship more a pre-Easter Jesus rather than the post-Easter Jesus. The pre-Easter crowds gathered to the Messiah to receive from Him. The post-Easter Messiah drew to Him those who were willing to die for Him. The followers of the pre-Easter Jesus fell away from Him at the cross. The post-Easter disciples of Christ followed Him to the ends of the earth; they looked to give themselves away, to serve the Messiah, to die to self. I ask myself, which Christ am I following?”

  5. Thanks for pointing that out Teddy. I didn’t realise that. Yep. Thanks Ron.

    “The church is malnourished
    We’re looking for pastors
    Avoiding clairevoyantes:
    The idle visioncasters”

  6. Just read the article at the top of this post. Very good, I think (thanks Teddy).

    Quote:
    “Here’s another example of Noble characterizing his critics as heathen, while mixing in his irrefutable logic (that is, if you criticize him, it proves that he is right).

    I honestly believe that a true follower of Jesus Christ will make religious people both uncomfortable and angry…and as long as those are the men and women shooting the arrows at me then I know I am walking in the right path. (John 15:18-21)”

    These pastors can’t see their own circular logic – by their logic, criticism is evidence they are doing good, but by their logic, we here who raise issues re them are also doing good. They cannot see that they are religious people; they’ve defined themselves as ‘not religious’ yet they jump to condemn those who have different views from them on a variety of issues, from tithing to preaching methods etc.

    I absolutely agree with the question raised:
    “Second, what are you communicating to your own followers about the worth and dignity of Christians who are outside of your movement and, based on their own commitment to the Word of God, question the beliefs and methods of these charismatic leaders? ”

    I wish more of these leaders would ask themselves that question.

    It’s OK to have different views on many things; we are still part of the body of Christ as long as we live in Him; it is underestimating God severely to think that the manner of expression of our faith must be the same for all, when He has made such infinite variety of people. The only constants really are Jesus and Love. But these guys don’t seem to want to acknowledge that. It would undermine their influence and power.

  7. Looking forward to reading the rest soon.

    Isn’t that stuff just awful about not questioning the pastor because when doing so you are questioning God.

    It’s one of the reasons I quit my last church. The pastor did seem to be moving progressively further in that direction.

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