C3 ‘Vision Builders’ Pamphlet for ‘Rise & Build’

C3, for their Rise and Build event, have released a publication called Vision Builders. I had to write this out because I am absent of a scanner or camera at the moment. I found this booklet quite revealing.

“VISION

Every year we jointly commit to the task of resourcing the vision that God has given us. When we work together in unity we can build something that enables God to reach the world and be reconciled to Him. We are convinced that giving to Vision Builders secures a strong and exciting future for our church. We have seen miracles unfold in people’s lives as they have aligned their heart, purpose and financial with God’s vision to build His Church. As we each give our time and resources, together we will see lives transformed, captives released, and eyes open to the reality of Christ.” (pg 3 of ‘Vision Builders’)

This statement has Phil Pringle’s signature to it with him and his wife’s name to it. These article articles are interesting too:

BUILDINGS

We believe in the church gathered, united with one voice, one heart and one goal. C3 church is a place where we call home, we create space and room for people to grow, worship and live their lives wholly for Christ. Our 3 campuses are where people gather, meet each other and meet God. Places where buildings overflow with people, where generations are inspired, equipped and empowered in our training programs, and beyond initiatives aid people locally and globally in their times of need. This is only the beginning.

We see our church community discovering a life that is the best it can be through providing more places where people can encounter God. There are stories waiting to be told and eyes waiting to be unveiled to the truth. We have a united vision to build the church by connecting people to God and connecting people to eachother… As we partner financially together we fuel the vision Sydney a City for Christ. We are bringing Jesus into contact with the one person. We are building the Church and we will see hundreds and thousands of lives changed. Let’s liberate a city and nation through the life-transforming Gospel of Jesus Christ by every available relevant means. (pg 7 of ‘Vision Builders’)

With a big flashy graphic taking up the booklet, the bottom half of the booklet on pg 8 had this scripture:

“David said, “My son Solomon is young and inexperienced, and the house that is to be built for the LORD shall be exceedingly magnificent, famous and glorious throughout all lands. Therefore now I will make preparation for it.” So David made ample preparations before his death. 2 Chronicles 22:5 NASB” (pg 8 of ‘Vision Builders’)

You can just imagine which words were expressed in bigger font to drive home what was being implied by that scripture. Next page was this title with this subheading:

“THE MEANS

Our vision is that every person is, no matter what their story, would give to God through the Vision Builders Program, holding nothing back, freely and generously, in worship of God. It’s not about equal giving but equal sacrifice.” (pg 9 of ‘Vision Builders’)

Following this is an article about ‘Beyond’. Then there was this article on the same page:

“YOUR BEST LIFE TELEVISION

Television is just that, it’s Tel-EVERYONE. We have a passion to reach the world through television and our television presence is extending to a greater reach than ever before. Our vision is to make a way for the message God has placed inside our hearts to reach into households and living rooms, to reach people exactly where they are at in life. Our TV ministry produces a world-class quality 30-minute weekly television show ‘Your Best Life with Phil Pringle’, which is broadcast through Australia, Asia, Europe and the UK weekly. People are watching more TV than ever before and we want to reach them with the message of Christ and point them towards their local C3 Church. When a show comes out of a local church it creates a context for people to get connected to a local church. Through broadcasting a church full of life, alive and bright, we show believers and unbelievers worldwide that God is alive, the church is alive and that He desires us to live our best life for His glory. Our desire is that people see, feel and touch God.” (pg 9 of ‘Vision Builders’)

Once again a nice big graphic fills the page spread and part of a whole page is filled with this only text:

Even though I am free of the demands and expectations of everyone, I have voluntarily become a servant to any and all in order to reach a wide range of people: religious, nonreligious, meticulous moralists, loose-living immoralists, the defeated, the demoralized—whoever. I didn’t take on their way of life. I kept my bearings in Christ—but I entered their world and tried to experience things from their point of view. I’ve become just about every sort of servant there is in my attempts to lead those I meet into a God-saved life. I did all this because of the Message. I didn’t just want to talk about it; I wanted to be in on it! 1 Corinthians 9:19-23 MESSAGE”

Finally – this booklet wouldn’t be a C3 booklet unless it talked about what it loves most:

How Can You Be A Part Of Vision Builders 2010?

Prayerfully consider the level of giving that you feel is appropriate for you. Your decision should be based on both faith and wisdom. Remember, the philosophy of Vision Builders is equal sacrifice, not equal giving.

Make a formal commitment to give on a Vision Builders commitment card during all weekend sevices throughout June 2010. Alternatively, you can obtain a commitment card at any time from the information desk in the church foyer.

SERVING CHOOSE YOUR METHOD OF FULFILLMENT

Regular Payment This is one of the most successful ways to fulfill your commitment by making a regular weekly or monthly contribution. Regular giving is rewarding and quickly builds as illustrated below.


TRUST FUNDS

Two Trust Funds that do not have tax deductibility status have been set up for those who do not need or wish to take advantage of the taxation benefits. Money given to these trusts will be used for expenditure beyond the purposes approved by the Australian Tax Office. The Trust Fund details are as follows:

  • Oxford Falls and Silverwater Campuses
  • ‘C3 Church Building Trust’
  • ‘God In The City Rise And Build General’
  • City Campus

Salary sacrifice You can arrange with your employer to make a deduction from your salary each pay before tax. Please contact the C3 Church Accounts Department to organise.

Direct Transfer This can be arranged through your employer or bank. Your bank can arrange regular transfers to occur automatically. You can also arrange regular payments via internet banking. Again, please contact the C3 Church Accounts Department to organise. Alternatively, you can choose to make a payment from money currently available or when you receive a work bonus, tax refund or via an asset sale.

Online Donation This is a popular and convenient way of giving via the Internet. Please visit our website at http://www.myc3church.net. Then use the ‘Online Giving’ link Complete the information required and select the ‘Vision Builders’ field and continue with ‘proceed’.

Taxation Benefits

All donations in excess of $2 given to C3 Vision Builders ABN. XX XXX XXX XXX are tax deductible. The real cost of your contribution can therefore be significantly less than the real amount donated as shown from the following table. A Tax Receipt will be issued soon after the end of the Financial Year.

The example below shows the possible Tax Benefit depending on income based on a donation of $1,000. (pg 11 of ‘Vision Builders’)

The following page continues talking about money. Please note what is said. This is what Phil Pringle teaches about finances from behind the pulpit, (regarding paying the tithe before paying bills):

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The vision builders program?

The Vision Builders program is the overarching banner for our Rise & Build, Beyond, and Television Partners initiatives. Vision Builders is responsible for raising the finance needed to facilitate all of these areas of our Church life.


Are My vision builders contributions tax-deductible?

Contributions of $2 or more are tax deductible.

Can I give to vision builders instead of tithing?

The Bible instructs people to tithe the first 10% of income to the church – the ‘House of God’ for the operation of the church (Mal 3:10, Matt 23:23). Vision Builders giving should be seen as giving ‘over and above’ the tithe.

What if i can’t fulfil my pledge?

Firstly, we encourage people to make realistic pledges. Having done that, we understand that sometimes unexpected events happen and for whatever reason people are unable to fulfil their pledge. We release people from their commitments every year, but suggest that you may still want to fulfil your pledge by breaking it down into smaller amounts over a longer period of time.

I am in significant debt, should i pay off my debts or give to vision builders?

If you are in ‘out of control debt’, after your tithe the debt should be your next priority. Reducing the debt to a manageable amount (or even clearing it completely) should be done before significant commitments are made to Vision Builders.

Do You need my personal details? I wish to remain anonymous.

You may remain anonymous if you wish, however you will not be able to claim tax deductability for your giving as we will be unable to give you a record of your giving which you will need to submit to the Australian Tax Office.

How should i determine how much to give to vision builders?

A combination of Faith and Wisdom should be used in determining how much to give. Proverbs 24:3 “Any enterprise is built by wise planning, becomes strong through common sense, and profits wonderfully by keeping abreast of the facts” (TLB)

I am only new to church, should i be giving to vision builders? If so, why?

There is no pressure for anyone, new or old to give to Vision Builders, nor is there any minimum requirement. New people who would like to give are most welcome, as is anyone who resonates with the vision we have for Vision Builders.

How Do we know where the money goes?

Our financial accounts are audited by an independent accounting firm. We make available a summary every year of ‘where the money goes’ to any member of C3 Church who would like the information.

What if i am currently directly transferring money into the rise & build, television partners or beyond accounts?

We would advise that you discontinue with this giving and rearrange to directly transfer money into the Vision Builders Fund. Please contact the C3 Church Accounting Department who will provide the details to enable you to facilitate this.

What if i only want to give to a designated area?

Generally, we would encourage you to give into the Vision Builders Fund where the moneys will be allocated based on the current needs in the three areas. However, if you have a preferred area of giving, please indicate this on your commitment card. (pg 12 of ‘Vision Builders’)

In the following posts below I will express my views on this C3 document.


626 thoughts on “C3 ‘Vision Builders’ Pamphlet for ‘Rise & Build’


  1. C3 IS A GNOSTIC CULT
    I will say it straight out. C3 is a Gnostic cult. Phil Pringle himself is often behind the pulpit twisting scripture and misquoting it for his own gain. This has been the case for years now. Those who call him on it have been shown the door.

    People I have personally I known there have scratched their heads and have asked me: “What does Phil have/know that I don’t?” They are still expecting to gain some revelation, some miracle and some financial break-through as they give and remain submitted to his ministry. SO many have suffered to do all the right things to the point they are tired and start becoming disillusioned until Pringle starts prophesying revival and financial breakthrough’s over individuals. In the last year I reckon I have met over 50 people from the C3 movement who have left or being victimized by these false teachings and damaging practices members are encouraged to practice for Phil’s gain.

    To speak against Phil’s ministry is to only be labeled:
    1. A trouble-maker
    2. Someone who only brings commotion
    3. Divisive
    4. Possessed by a spirit of criticism
    5. Possessed by a spirit of cynicism
    6. Possessed by a spirit of division
    7. A heretic

    I have been amazed how much gossip and slandering the church (mainly the leadership) do behind the backs of individuals who leave. Those faithful to the movement try to do the biblical approach by going to the leader first and then coming back with witnesses. This does not work and they remain in C3 paralysed a bit longer before realizing the most affective thing they can do is leave.

    And he will pray against these people openly with those with him on his Tuesday night prayer meetings.

    Victims of his cult have expressed frustration with their giving, following his visions and directions in how to please God with commitments, tithes and first-fruits. This document above, I believe reveals this.

    Let me quote from the gnostic gospel of Thomas:

    “His disciples asked, “On which day will you make yourself known to us?”

    Lord Jesus replied, “When you rid yourselves of guilt and shame and tear off your old rags and trample them beneath your feet like children. Then you’ll see the Son of He who is the living God, and you’ll never need fear again.” “

    Let me quote Phil Pringle from above:

    “We have seen miracles unfold in people’s lives AS THEY HAVE ALIGNED their heart, purpose and financial with God’s vision to build His Church.”

    He then says:

    “AS WE EACH GIVE OUR TIME AND RESOURCES, together we will see lives transformed, captives released, and eyes open to the reality of Christ.”

    This open statement of the booklet then lays out what the point of the booklet is all about:
    1. getting behind Phil’s visions
    2. submitting and committing to his authority and ministry
    3. giving money to his ministry even if you have no money to give.

    He takes scriptures out of context and twists them for his own gains that bare no resemblance to Christianity. By using 2 Chronicles 22:5, he implies that the C3 ‘Houses of God’ will be “exceedingly magnificent, famous and glorious throughout all lands“. This out of context scripture is also implying to those in his church that they need to financially prepare this to occur for the ‘Rise and Build’ project.

    Christianity is not based on Old Covenant teachings. The Old Covenant pointed towards a greater Covenant which is where Christianity is founded upon. The churches foundational doctrines are centered on Christ not old covenant teachings and practices, which Pringle is enforcing Christians to do. This is not Christianity that is being taught here.

    Jesus is our Temple. And His Spirit in us also makes us apart of His Temple. This holy temple that we are now a part of is made by God! He has bought us into His Holy Son – and we are now a part of Him and His ministry.

    Acts 17:24 “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands.”

    1 Peter 2:5 “you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”

    Rev 21:22 “I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.”

    Phil Pringle has taken this selective scripture (2 Chronicles 22:5), and devalued the work and person of Christ and His work, to get people to fall in line with his own needs, dreams and desires.

    PHIL PRINGLE WILL BUILD HIS OWN CHURCH
    Phil Pringle also says:
    “We have seen miracles unfold in people’s lives as they have aligned their heart, purpose and financial with God’s vision to BUILD HIS CHURCH.”

    And:
    “We have a united vision to BUILD THE CHURCH by connecting people to God and connecting people to eachother…”

    And:
    “WE ARE BUILDING THE CHURCH and we will see hundreds and thousands of lives changed.”

    Once again Jesus said simply and plainly:

    Matthew 16:18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I WILL BUILD MY CHURCH, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.

    And the Lord did this:

    Acts 2:46-47 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

    Not only this. Phil Pringle confuses what church is in the ‘Building’ article. First he says what he believes the church is: “We believe in the church gathered, united with one voice, one heart and one goal.”

    But then he says, “C3 church IS A PLACE where we call home, we CREATE SPACE AND ROOM for people to grow, worship and live their lives wholly for Christ”, in the line straight after. So he has changed the entire meaning with what ‘church’ is and then later switches it to mean people again – so the line is blurred rather conveniently so people can money to pay for the buildings rather than equip those of the church who are in financial need. The money focus is on ‘church’ – a building, rather than on the scriptural ‘church’ – the people.

    We are seeing continually throughout these writings Phil Pringle promoting his visions and ‘enticing’ people to follow them by giving financial support for them. On the other hand, college students are suffering financially, paying over-priced college fees and paying their tithes, offerings, first-fruits and rise and build pledges; while widows or single mums are scraping enough to tithe correctly before paying their bills.

    THERE IS NO PRESSURE TO GIVE
    For Phil to say “There is no pressure for anyone, new or old to give to Vision Builders,” and “Firstly, we encourage people to make realistic pledges” is ludicrous. There is HUGE pressure.

    There looks as though there is over a few thousand of these booklets floating around the church. No pressure!
    This pamphlet is advertising and promoting people to give money irresponsibly. Consider these statements by Phil Pringle:

    Prayerfully consider the level of giving that you feel is appropriate for you. Your decision should be based on both faith and wisdom. Remember, the philosophy of Vision Builders is equal sacrifice, not equal giving.
    (Observe the power of suggestion at work in the above statement!)

    A combination of Faith and Wisdom should be used in determining how much to give.
    (‘Faith’ being ‘irrational faith’ that Phil Pringle teaches. That is Jesus not being Faith, or God being faithful to us. Rather this faith is a ‘works-based faith’ and a ‘blind faith’ that requires us to give sacrificially to God so that we may receive a hundredfold return when we’ve blessed Him enough.)

    Phil also tries to inspire us by this carrot-dangling vision he wishes to see his congregation to be like:

    Our vision is that every person is, no matter what their story, would give to God through the Vision Builders Program, HOLDING NOTHING BACK, freely and generously, in worship of God. IT’S NOT ABOUT EQUAL GIVING BUT EQUAL SACRIFICE.

    … And he also wants his churches to be like Solomon’s Temple… No pressure!

    C3 just had their ‘First Fruits’ festival this weekend to promote the ‘Rise and Build’ and ‘Vision Builders’ pledge. These reminders were also advertised throughout the service. No pressure!

    And now let us examine the tithe-‘giving’ and see if pressure is applied here to ‘give’. Here we have Phil answering the following question “Can I give to vision builders instead of tithing?

    His response:
    The Bible instructs people to tithe the first 10% of income to the church – the ‘House of God’ for the operation of the church (Mal 3:10, Matt 23:23). Vision Builders giving should be seen as giving ‘over and above’ the tithe.
    The bible DOES NOT instruct people to tithe the first 10% of their income. Phil takes Malachi COMPLETELY out of context and twists the words of Jesus. Jesus is speaking publically about his observations of how the Pharisees tithe their mint but neglect justice and the poor. He was publically making a spectacle of their practices, teachings and errors.

    Back on Phil, he once again enforces the belief that anyone who is considered to be a Vision Builder “should be seen as giving ‘over and above’ the tithe“. No pressure!

    Another question asked “What if i can’t fulfil my pledge?” was this reply of Pringle:

    Firstly, we encourage people to make realistic pledges… WE RELEASE people from their commitments every year, but SUGGEST that you may still want to fulfil your pledge by breaking it down into smaller amounts over a longer period of time.

    We ‘RELEASE PEOPLE’? That kind of talk sounds like a cult that I used to belong too. Now THAT is what I call pressure!

    Not only that, but if C3 knows you may be financially weak, they’ll ‘suggest’ that you still stick to the pledge! No pressure!

    And now… this is my favourite!

    Phil Pringle and Munsey last year taught from behind the pulpit the importance of paying your tithes BEFORE paying your bills or debts. This spun a few people out at C3 – especially college and uni students. Phil Pringle specifically used a water bill as an example as to why you should pay tithes before your bills.

    I wish I could quote them back then, but now I have Pringle saying this:

    If you are in ‘out of control debt’, AFTER YOUR TITHE the debt should be your next priority. Reducing the debt to a manageable amount (or even clearing it completely) should be done before significant commitments are made to Vision Builders.

    In other words, if you can’t give to ‘Vision Builders’ because you are in out-of-control debt, give 10% of what you don’t have to Phil Pringle’s ministry anyways.

    In conclusion, the pressure is ON!

    PRINGLE IS A HYPOCRYTE (actor)
    And finally, Phil says: Our TV ministry produces a world-class quality 30-minute weekly television show ‘Your Best Life with Phil Pringle’, which is broadcast through Australia, Asia, Europe and the UK weekly.

    To keep taking money from helpless and gullible people is actually ROBBING and DESTROYING people from having their ‘best life now’. The fact that his show goes globally is dangerous. Phil Pringle’s message GOES CONTINUALLY AGAINST the message of Christ. Phil Pringle says:

    “People are watching more TV than ever before and we want to reach them with the message of Christ and point them towards their local C3 Church.”

    I don’t think this is quite true. I am pretty more people are not watching TV but are spending more time doing internet activities, like blogging, Facebook, twitter and online games. Preachers on the TBN network have really got themselves a bad name among different Christian groups and it’s secular audiences. (A few posts ago, I posted up a youtube video of Jim Carey sending them up.) TV is no longer an effective way to reach ESPECIALLY if Pringle’s focus is to ‘point them towards their local C3 Church’. This TV is for his own gain, to get more numbers to get more money (as this document of his proves). People are starting to see right through this with TV evangelical programs.

    “When a show comes out of a local church it creates a context for people to get connected to a local church.”

    Phil Pringles also seems to think that ‘Christian shows’ is the way to get people connected to a local C3 church. That’s what his ministry is exactly – a show. This must mean whoever is on it is an actor, (for they are very entertaining). He is in gross error to say that “through broadcasting a church full of life, alive and bright, we show believers and unbelievers worldwide that God is alive, the church is alive and that He desires us to live our best life for His glory.”

    He has replaced God by not relying on the Spirit to grow His church and witness to the world. The Spirit unites us and the Spirit reveals the power and life of Jesus THROUGH believers – not a broadcast of a show! Another error here is Pringle’s belief that God “desires us to live our best life for His glory”. Wrong.

    God is pleased that we are living IN the glory of His Son and share in His Son’s life through the Spirit. Pringle is encouraging people to operate in religious works.

    Jesus only had one thing to say to people like Phil Pringle, and Pringle partially quoted him. I will quote this in my next post.

    To keep taking money from helpless and gullible people is actually ROBBING and DESTROYING people from having their ‘best life now’. The fact that his show goes globally is dangerous. Phil Pringle’s message GOES CONTINUALLY AGAINST the message of Christ.

    OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER IN THIS PUBLICATION

    Paul warns the Corinthian church about false and ‘Super Apostles’ that snare people with their ‘wisdoms’, words and charm, that also twist his own words. Phil Pringle twisted the words of Paul in this publication.

    Observe the repetition and continual use of names and phrases in this publication to market and advertise those in his congregation.

    How will people in his congregation feel if they are not part of this ‘giving event’ or involved in ‘Vision Builders’? Will they be considered faith-centered believers? To those that are struggling financially, why can’t they give a little bit more to earn favour with God? Wont this make them more noticed by leaders and members in the popularity arena? Pringle’s use of words like ‘we’ being ‘united’ with God; ‘aligned’ with God; and being ‘one voice’, ‘one heart’ with ‘one goal’, is implying something quite heavily with those who can’t financially fit in.

    By using words to ‘unite’ people under his one vision, he is actually dividing his own church – those who can give in faith and those who can’t afford to give in faith.

    Phil Pringle knows how to market and target his audiences extremely well. This is manipulation for he is twisting scriptures for his gains; promotes deceptive visions and encourages unhealthy living under the guise that he is preaching the gospel and healthy living.

    This completely contradicts his own vision in his pamphlet:

    “We see our church community discovering a life that is the best it can be through providing more places where people can encounter God. There are stories waiting to be told and eyes waiting to be unveiled to the truth.”

    Pringle also wants to see hundreds of thousands of people to be saved in Sydney:

    “Let’s liberate a city and nation through the life-transforming Gospel of Jesus Christ by every available relevant means.”

    “There are stories waiting to be told and eyes waiting to be unveiled to the truth.”

    If anything, he has made evangelism to the public incredibly hard. How? What do those who work in the bank and the taxation office think about these people ‘giving to God’ in this kind of church?
    Okay. That might be clutching at straws – but this isn’t:

    “You can arrange with your employer to make a deduction from your salary each pay before tax. Please contact the C3 Church Accounts Department to organise.”

    While many Christian’s at C3 seem keen to evangelise in their workplace about Jesus, this kind of arrangement with employers will only counter-witness the goodness and Godliness of Jesus. As a result to Pringle’s vision to see people come to the Lord in droves, many people will stay away from the church and will not to have anything to do with it. In active evangelism myself, the number of times people preach back that the church just wants your money’ or that ‘it’s a cult’, is frightening.
    Phil can’t see the damage his errors are causing. His vision and teachings are working eachother.
    This indicates to me Phil Pringle cannot see and that Phil Pringle is a blind leader leading the blind and others who don’t know better. This has been the case for many years now.

    If you dare speak out against what Phil Pringle teaches, what he encourages others to practice and what he does to his congregation – you’ll only be pointed in one direction – the door. Many people have been destroyed by his ministry – severely. Others question some things taught, but don’t know who to talk to about their questions. To do so would not be:
    1. submissive to the leaders and vision
    2. in ‘love’
    3. one in mind, heart and spirit
    4. faith-centered

    Do I hate Phil Pringle or C3? Heavens no! I love the people and I love Pringle! But he does get me angry with those he hurts badly. (And honestly, can you blame me?)

    So my only request is this: Please pray for C3, keep exposing what is happening there and get people out of there. That ship is heading for the rocks. If Phil Pringle and his church aren’t going to keep eachother accountable before God, God will judge those He loves… severely!

  2. I was under the impression (having been told by a C3 pastor) that Rise and Build was no longer happening but there would be special invites to a private dinner (it happened last week) where those who choose to, can be part of the “vision” financially. I was told that they know people are fed up with all the “asking for money”, they know people are suffering through the current financial crisis, so they were doing this new approach privately.

    So what was the deal last Sunday, with the “free” rides, “free” food, “free” entertainment? Free? Who pays? The congregants!! Don’t they get it!

    Then we have Christine P’s tweet out to the church…

    “Can’t wait -don’t b late-spit roast on ur plate-fast rides-krispy crms -Pk ur fam n uncle Sam- @ t house praises sing don’t fget u offering!”

    “Don’t forget your offering”? What happened – didn’t they get enough pledges at the private dinner?

  3. Appreciate what you have taken the time to write there Specks and Planks.

    But don’t you think that if God clearly said in the latter times “many” will be deceived and drawn away from the faith then churches like Phil Pringle’s CCC will only grow and become more affluent? It seems in a sense that if that is the case then you are somewhat “raging against the machine” but all to no avail.

    If God has given us directions about how things will be when he returns and likened it to the “days of Noah” (erm… Not the days of “Solomon” as Pringle would like/wish to think) then really, we shouldn’t be
    too surprised when houses of heresy have mass memberships etc.

  4. Now that you’ve made the declaration that you’re in a ‘cult’, will you be leaving C3OF, s&p? It only seems wise and prudent to do so.

    Neither you nor they can function together as long as you are openly working against them from within, and secretly, too, as far as I can make out.

    We’re not supposed to be members of a church we consider bad for us, but, rather, being cared for in a local church which disciples us, trains us, loves us and nurtures us under Christ, and in the Holy Spirit. Clearly you are not receiving this care. You are openly challenging what they stand for.

    This will not stop you from pronouncing your distaste for what you see as a cult, but it will protect you from falling into bitterness and strife, the latter leading to all kinds of wickedness, according to James.

    Have you yet taken the step to make an appointment to air these views to a person in responsible leadership at C3OF?

  5. It’s been done FL – just doesn’t work. They, C3, are never wrong, it’s always the one, as Specks said, even if they voice their concerns privately, (as we did) who are deemed troublemakers.

    PP cannot handle what he calls “criticism”. He can somehow manage to oversee a worldwide organisation but cannot deal with one-on-one conversations about why someone may be leaving. That’s been our experience. He gets very defensive, especially about his prosperity theology, (my goodness, if only that could have been recorded!) and cannot handle the idea that people may listen to other preachers because the sheep aren’t being fed. Granted he’s only human after all, none of us like being critized – but when you are in the public arena you have to deal with valid criticism, especially on doctrine.

    What blows me away is his determination to hold onto OT scriptures about tithing, especially Malachi 3. This shows his reliance, not on God, but on money, to keep the ship afloat.

    I’m not kidding about the new deal on no more Rise & Build because of the church’s understanding of personal financial difficulties in the congregation. This must have come as a shock to some pastors to see happened anyway – it’s no different, just re-branding.

  6. By the way, it seems age is now a barrier for pastoring at C3. Interesting to hear why some pastors are no longer there. It’s a sad day when the services of beloved (by the congregation) pastors are no longer required because they are deemed too old and they want young blood. Does that mean senior staff pastors have to step down too?

  7. A young man called Joel Corrigan got up on Sunday and just bragged about his giving.

    It was also only on this Sunday that Phil Pringle was mocking Christian bloggers, criticising them and was encouraging people to be cynical of content.

    He taunted them and was making hand gestures that they ‘have no balls’. It was gross, offensive and was encouraging people to laugh at his ridiculing statements against other Christians.

    They are really slamming people hard with twisted scripture, saying ‘trust us and not what the world is saying’. They are claiming their authority over people that they are right and everyone else outside the church is evil, mislead, gossipers, backstabbers, divisive, slanderers and wanting to divide ‘their’ church or prevent their church from moving forward. The movement is all about Phil.

  8. I started listening to Lance’s clip on C3 30th anniversary video, couldn’t handle too much but when CP claimed that God had given PP the city of Sydney, that somehow reeked of “dominionism” – I thought God gave Sydney to Hillsong? 🙂

  9. A thought crossed my mind as I was writing this. ‘Will Facelift finally see what C3 and Pringle finally are?’

    I felt that you wouldn’t and that you would blindly defend a ministry that you don’t know much about. You’ve done it before – you are right and I am wrong. When I give evidence like this, I was expecting you to see that I was still wrong.

    FL: “Now that you’ve made the declaration that you’re in a ‘cult’, will you be leaving C3OF, s&p?”

    NO! I keep saying this Facelift. NOT UNTIL MY CLOSE FRIENDS AND FAMILIES LEAVE. Are you deaf? You always knew I have held these views – I have always told you that I will keep going until friends and family leave. It only seems loving to leave when I either:
    1. see close friends and family leave.
    2. see C3 finally repent and turn from this destruction.

    FL: “Neither you nor they can function together as long as you are openly working against them from within, and secretly, too, as far as I can make out.”

    So I must be evil when I witness people’s marriages get destroyed, students go hungry, single mums flounder while Pringle promises God will bless them if they figure out the ‘secret formula’ to be blessed by God? If there is any Mr King of Secrets it is Phil Pringle and his gnostic teachings.

    FL: “We’re not supposed to be members of a church we consider bad for us, but, rather, being cared for in a local church which disciples us, trains us, loves us and nurtures us under Christ, and in the Holy Spirit.”

    Then can you NOT see that I am there to disciple, train, love and nurture others under Christ, and in the Holy Spirit? This is what C3 is neglecting – they are showing false-love, lack of discipling, erronous training, malnourishing people of Christ-centered teachings and quenching and replacing the Holy Spirit with the worship and power of money, self-love and influence.

    FL: “This will not stop you from pronouncing your distaste for what you see as a cult, but it will protect you from falling into bitterness and strife, the latter leading to all kinds of wickedness, according to James.”

    Let me quote James to you and towards Pringle’s C3 ministry Facelift. James 5: 1-6

    “Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming upon you. Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days. … The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter. You have condemned and murdered innocent men, who were not opposing you.”

    FL: “Have you yet taken the step to make an appointment to air these views to a person in responsible leadership at C3OF?”

    As we’ve heard again… and again… and again… (as to which you haven’t), it’s pretty much impossible to witness to deceived people like Pringle or other leaders like him in his movement.

    In wisdom, I’ve seen great young men and women of God tried to do so. They can’t even have a proper discussion if they do. But the majority rule is that if Phil Pringle wants something done, he’ll do it.

    And Facelift – I HAVE DONE SO TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT. Out of three – one was cancelled because Pringle had made his decision and no one was going to change it. The other two other were just – evil. Those meetings turned into true abuses of power. And what’s worse – they didn’t see or hear what they were doing was wrong. I was actually bullied, tricked and slandered in these meetings not to mention worse things happened as well.

    Not many people could not be affected by the meetings I’ve had with leadership there.

    Knowing you Facelift – after all that I’ve written here, you still probably don’t want to believe me anyways.

  10. I can see your points Specks and Planks but I would tend to agree with Facelift. I don’t see what “good” you think you can do by staying at Phil Pringle’s church.
    Clearly you feel very strongly about the issues in this movement and are living some kind of double life. Do you suppose anybody (in leadership there) knows your real identity and that you have the blog alias that you do?

    Perhaps if you took a stand and led by example, your family and friends may follow?

    Whatever the case, I can’t see any admonitions in the scriptures that says we are to put family/friends or relationships ahead of following Jesus. How exactly are you following Christ by staying there?

    I wonder what Christ’s response would have been if when he called the any one of the apostles they said “look I’d love to follow you but I have some friends involved in a Pharisitical pseudo-Mosaic cult that need my help… It’s a long story but you run ahead, I’ve just got to make sure they get out – can I meet up with you in a couple of months time? Will the offer still stand?”

  11. When I first joined Signposts, Facelift accused me of not knowing what I was talking about when he didn’t know that I was somehow connected to the movement.

    In fact – even if we had an opinion of what was happening somewhere else in a different church, he expressed his discontent. How can we know if we don’t go?

    So if I don’t go and have my opinions about a place like C3 – Facelift discredits me. When I am involved in a place like C3 and point out errors with things they have written or said – Facelift discredits me.

    If there is anyone Facelift reminds me about, it’s having a meeting with a C3 pastor – where you know you wont be listened too and where you wont be considered equal because of your voice of criticism.

    What ‘good’ am I doing by remaining there? Acting out of love for those who I want to get out of the movement. Speaking in love against a movement that is deceiving and destroying people.

    If I did take a stand – those who I want to leave I know wont. They have made their pledges to a ministry of death that promises life where their god is money and Phil Pringle. I will be there til I get them out. They do not know they have been deceived. Some are starting to come out of it thank God.

    Blah-blah: “I wonder what Christ’s response would have been if when he called the any one of the apostles they said “look I’d love to follow you but I have some friends involved in a Pharisitical pseudo-Mosaic cult that need my help”

    Very bad illustration blah-blah. Very bad. I am learning a lot WITH God in this process – do not place me in an unreal context where I walk in your shoes and not my own.

    I can’t wait for Him to take me out completely. Honestly. I am waiting.

  12. Fair enough Specks, I can’t obviously tell you what to do. We all have to make our own decisions and it would be remiss of me to make one for you.

    I just think that by going along to the services at all you are in a sense, lending a “passive” form of compliance and support to the ministry of Phil Pringle. It is sad that you have have family/friends there but surely you cannot be so naive to think that you can “make decisions” for them?

    I do not think it is without merit that Christ was the only person in the NT scriptures to heal people of their blindness… Only God can give people eyes to see, surely you appreciate that?

    Have you considered Specks that if people such as your family and friends are happy and established in their delusions and the lies that Pringle is spinning them, that perhaps that is where God has them at this time?

  13. Well, s&p, I don’t see that I’ve defended anything on this thread, except perhaps to want to help protect your interests. You’ve misunderstood my intentions, sadly.

    You said:
    ‘Then can you NOT see that I am there to disciple, train, love and nurture others under Christ, and in the Holy Spirit?’

    Do think there may be a problem with this? Just read it through a few times.

    And:
    ‘…it’s pretty much impossible to witness to deceived people like Pringle or other leaders like him in his movement.’

    That wasn’t exactly what I had in mind when I asked if you’d made an appointment to air your views. It was an honest enquiry on my part.

    You say you’ve spoken to Ps Pringle, and he’s rejected what you say. Then your next step would be to move on as others have done, I would have thought. Find yourself a church where you’ll be able to recover from your offence. You can’t help anyone from your present situation.

    Excuse me for presuming to give advice, but I have observed, over time, that taking a public stance to air negative views, as you are doing here, generally hurts the person who accuses more than the accused, even when there is substance to the accusation. I have seen and known that it is better to hand to over to God, and to move on in peace. He will always vindicate the offended party when they walk in love.

    I suggest you are being tested right now. Now that you’ve said what you’ve said publicly, how you conduct yourself from here on in will determine how long it takes to grow to the next level of your maturity in God.

    The crucible is never comfortable, but it is necessary.

  14. S&P … FL actually has a point here.

    He clearly isn’t passing judgment over something he has no knowledge of. I would be very tempted to give exactly the same advice for the same reasons.

    However, when you attend a place of worship where other believers attend, people of your own family, friends that you have loved for many years and a group of people you have invested a great deal of time in, it’s very tough to up sticks and leave on a point of principle or theology.

    Starting over, particularly if you are on your own, is not a soft option. It’s the hardest road to walk in your Christian life. It’s the reason I am staying in my present church. Having been away from my old home town and attended different fellowships through necessity, I do not wish to go elsewhere now.

    But I don’t see vibrant life. I see gradual decay. The sort of thing that happens to wooden summer houses that get patched up every other year but in the end collapse as the supporting beams weather and decay. It looks like a summer house and it’s full of stuff you shoved in there over the years but you dare not open the door in case the whole thing collapses around your ears …

    The trouble is, instead of replacing the actual wood as it goes bad, replace the support beams and so on, we just paint over it, or slap some felt over the top to protect it from the rain. But the pristine structure becomes run-down and covered over.

    The good wood is good solid bible-teaching that makes the Bible come alive … the papering over the cracks is the programs and plans that come out every 6 months …

    I know that while S&P has theological problems with PP, I am merely fed up and depressed but we both cannot leave for social reasons.

    Coffee time … Shalom

  15. Don’t make this about me, please, s&p. I get flack for that.

    I’m not your pastor, and never have been. I’ve never treated you as anything but a brother.

    If you were my blood brother I’d tell you to snap out of it and grow up, but that would come over as sounding harsh to you right now, because you’re looking for someone to lash out at. Maybe that’s what brothers are for sometimes. But even one of my harshest critics, blah-blah, is saying the same thing to you, and you’re not listening. You’re saying that you will continue on this ill-advised quest of yours until… well goodness knows how this will pan out.

    And please don’t tell me God has you in there doing this.

    If I were your pastor I’d tell you you were going about things in the wrong way, and that there was a hint of bitterness and strife to your methodology, on this post and thread, at least. I would be happy to listen to you, and give you time to get things off your chest, and, if I thought you had just cause and I’d offended you I’d repent. If I thought you were wrong I’d tell you, and tell you why. Prhaps thee’s a misunderstanding, or I’ve not articulated myself clearly. Then we work through it. There is nothing I have seen yet that could not be worked through by grown adults who walk in the love of Christ.

    However, if it was clear that we had no agreement as far as the future of the church was concerned I’d probably ask you to consider your position with us, and what you intended to do. But I wouldn’t let you put pressure on the rest of the sheep, relatives or not, to leave, or to spread discontent or discord amongst the flock.

    Or do you think spreading discord is godly?

    I find that sometimes, in these situations, deeply offended people only think they’ve been listened to if the person they are accusing completely agrees with them. Everything else is not listening at all. But not agreeing isn’t not listening. Believe me, I’ve been on both sides of this, and what you’re doing cannot work out well for you in the end. I say that in love.

    Finally, and briefly, what you just told blah-blah about how you were greeted by me at SP02 is, at best, self-pity, and at worse, a wrong perception.

  16. We left family there, immediate family even on staff. It’s been the toughest part of our Christian walk, taking a firm stand on biblical grounds when others are still within the community. And that’s really what keeps them there. Community, not doctrine. When it’s been the only church they’ve ever known or been part of. The community is the only part we missed until we became established in another church.

    Tears were shed on both sides with family, but we have no other regrets. My advice would be, let God do His work on family members. If we say things they are not ready to receive, they just dig their heels in. Again they have a lot to lose, especially friendships, jobs. We lost most of our “friends” – but the ones that still support us, even though still at C3, are interested in talking, considering and praying about their own future.

    They see the freedom we have now, the “good life” (even though we don’t tithe – had to put that in :)), the peace and the ever-present passion we never lost for Christ and His gospel. C3 doesn’t have THE ANSWER – only Christ has.

  17. Wow, well said Teddy. You are so right “…and that’s really what keeps them there – community, not doctrine…”

    That hit the nail on the head. If community means more to you than following Christ then hey, go for it but I think at the end of the day there could be a price to pay for that kind of attitude.

  18. So the general conclusion is … get out and get on with it?

    Teddy and FL agree on the action that S&P needs to take?

    (Even if they don’t entirely agree on the reasons … I haven’t the time to really read what you have both said, sorry!)

    Oh well!

    Shalom

  19. What everyone who goes to a church like C3 or Hillsong really needs to know is that in the end you are supporting a man’s kingdom. If you all give sacrificially, Pringle is still the man who gets to be known as the man of God who built the fabulous buildings or school or ministry or whatever.

    You do the work, he gets the praise, the attention, gets to write the books, and gets the fame and the money. Strangely enough, after convincing you that it’s God’s will to give and that it’s all about the Holy Spirit, he will later be able to write books and give seminars on success as if he grew a business and can teach others to do the same thing.

    And if you decide that you don’t want to give, or have a genuine complaint, it won’t matter if you gave a million dollars, or lived on bread an water and sacrificed your eyeballs – you will be talked about as someone who lost the vision, or became bitter. It’s sad.

    Instead of the Kingdom of God, there seems to be the Kingdom of C3/Pringle and Hillsong/Houston.

    It’s funny – they both seem to want the same things, have the same vision, both have been given Sydney. But would Pringle give sacrificially and get with the vision of Houston – and visa versa? No way.

    Here’s an example. Years ago, a man called Pat Mesiti ran a thing called youth alive. Youth in churches all over AUstralia were made to feel that if they really loved God, and wanted to live for him, they would attend and be a part of it. It was the WILL OF GOD. If they didn’t, they were missing God. So this was the move of God and peoples participation was linked to serving God. In other words, if you were a young member of many churches, loving God meant going to Youth Alive.

    Years later, Mesiti is a teacher of success principle who gives as an example the fact that he built Australia’s largest “youth organization”. Sounds different doesn’t it?

    The fact is that there are lots of beautiful Christians in lots of churches, who have much more genuine and pure love for God than the CEO out the front who stands to gain by everyones commitment. (Their families benefit too, and then by extension their retirement living is guaranteed too.)

    I’d like to see people like Pringle and HOuston and mega church leaders not preach in each other churches for big bucks, but just spend a week together praying.

    God’s house is us, not a fancy building. I’m tired of pentecostals starting out in wharehouses and life saving clubs etc, and wearing that as a badge of honor as if they are more spiritual than everyone else, only to later start pressuring people to sacrificially give so that they can have the most beautiful awesomest church building in the land. Crazy!

  20. In effect s&p has created a thread of bad taste and evil reports. Stirring up this kind of animosity towards a person is beyond the pale, really.

    I don’t think we can really say that we do this because so-and-so made me do it, or do-dad provoked me to anger, or whatsit hurt me real bad, so I had to expose him. No, folks! It won’t wash before the throne.

    Is this the fruit you were seeking, s&p?

    Is this really what you want to be known for?

  21. Shining the light on the issue of C3 is what I have done actually Faithlift. You’ve always asked me for proof when I tell what is happening at C3.

    Finally here is ample proof and now I am giving an ‘evil report’? C3 is a gnostic cult by the way the people behave and think of their leaders. I couldn’t prove this to you before, otherwise I’d have to name names of people I do love there dearly.

    It’s their word that made me realise that they were right. The more people I saw leave, the more comments I heard them make on their transition out… They were right. For ages – I thought C3 could never be such a thing.

    By the things Phil Pringle teaches I have seen him DESTROY marriages, families strong friendships. For him to preach money more than God and for the leaders to teach the congregations to sing about a God to ‘send down Your love’ and ‘pour out Your spirit’ is not the God of the bible. Do you not realise this Facelift? They have replaced the power of God for a lie. There God and power is MONEY. That was evident when Gordon Moore spoke at the 2010 Presence Conference.

    This isn’t me ‘making stuff up’ Facelift. This is a church that is getting more and more dangerous. People are getting hurt. While I’m hoping friends and family do get out – I have been able to lead some of them to see the truth.
    ]
    So my efforts have not gone in vain. Five close friends and family are now out, plus quite a few others who I’ve met on the way through this process have left too – I would say more then 10. I would say a few dozen now that I’ve met also question is taught from the front. They now go for friends and to c-groups. There they talk about the church issues together as they come out of problems and odd doctrines there.

    When they do question, or do not feel loved, we have great times praying with God, taking them to different churches and going out having good times and adventures. I do feel my season is drawing to a close. So who knows what will happen in a few months – I might be out of there.

  22. FL – don’t be a dickhead and try to swing the entire post back onto Specks head.

    What he has done here exposing C3 is scriptural. We are supposed to expose, try, prove and be discerning of those who preach in Christ’s name and it is the very definition of love to warn your brothers and sisters about these issues.

    The real issue here is whether Specks can make up others minds for them.

    Specks – have you got a timeline on your efforts or will you be there till Pringles 20/20 vision is either realized or covertly dropped like the 10,000 by 2000 fiasco?

  23. Well I do have good news about the family side. Most of them came out in 2008. Between 2009-2010, 1 other has come out. Very few are now there. So it shouldn’t be too long now. Thanks God!

    I have only a few friends now that I don’t want to see go back so they can spiritually flourish elsewhere for their own good. One in particular seems to put church commitments before his careers.

    I personally feel God wants him to flourish financially so that he can be a blessing to the local community and overseas missionaries. He loves blessing others – but he seems to struggle when these Vision Builders events pop up.

    Sorry for being vague, but I do know C3 monitors the net (and sometimes other churches), seeing what people are saying about them. So I can’t offer a time-line on my efforts Bla-Blah. Please just trust me on this – I often find myself talking about the gospel to someone in a real, practical way without the hype – and the random Christian I do talk to at C3 just drink it all in.

    It’s usually in this process they start telling me about where they are financially, spiritually or emotionally with C3, friends or situations there. Some are really doing it rough and don’t know who to trust or go to because if they question in front of friends or c-group leaders or pastors, obviously they are not operating in ‘faith’ or showing signs of commitment.

    Since the culture is very dependent on hanging with certain people that will grow them faithfully, financially, powerfully, spiritually and beautifully – a decent size part of the congregation do this subconsciously while others know and try to do so.

    These people are part of the church of Christ and I will make sure I hang with those outside, the quiet ones, the annoying ones, the ‘try-hards and wannabes’, the silent and the ugly ones. Also the quiet ones are important to me – because I use to be very quiet as a child due to shyness and I was never noticed.

    I make a conscious effort to look out for those types of people. I’ve prayed with people and also given them a word. (Each one is very different and quite unpredictable in nature.) Some in these circumstances pray to God in their own time and either remain or leave C3. I am very respectful of where people are at and may sometimes express my views on C3, but generally only agree when people start seeing for themselves what C3 is.

    It’s better I walk beside friends and family in this process rather than tell them what to do.

  24. @ Specks – there’s an increase of “chatter” (bad word, better to say dialogue?))on Facebook lately.

    People are publically speaking out against PP’s theology, tithing, Vision Builders etc.

    In the area of PP’s personal walk with God , we are not allowed to judge. But anything he puts out in the public forum whether church, blogging, TV programming, he’s totally to be judged by the standard of scripture.

    The argument then becomes “who are we to judge what scripture means” apparently. I’m yet to see anyone validate PP’s stance on tithing especially his constant use of Malachi 3.

    And the latest trick now is to mock online discernment ministries as Specks pointed out. Are they saying that we cannot be “Berean” and test PP by the Word. Has he positioned himself as more worthy than Paul himself who commends the Bereans for testing his words?

  25. Haven’t read all the thread, sorry. But – first:

    S&P – you do not have to justify yourself to anyone here. You will do so before yourself and your Father. The reasons each of us chooses to stay or go from a place are going to vary, and if we seek God we might all find we are called differently. I could not do what you are doing, and actually left partly so I could speak freely without rocking boats or undermining leaders. Different church though. The people I am in relationship with know my thoughts and despite leaving, I’ve had opportunities to talk with many of them, and even some at C3OF. If God has truly called you to stay through a period, and you have a sense of that season, then so long as you act in love, you are not doing wrong to do as you are called. I can’t say for you whether you are called to or not. Neither can anyone else. If you bare your soul here though, people will give you feedback and some of it will inevitably be very negative. You may also suffer other consequences off the blog if your alias comes out at some time.

    Churchman – you express it more strongly than I, but I agree with what you say.

    Teddy, S&P – I’ve heard that people are getting jack of things at C3OF as well. Change may well be in the offing. It won’t be a comfortable process though.

    As for giving up the tithe – megachurch structures seem to depend upon it as life blood. I am not sure if it is possible for them to give it up and remain viable in the same form. Wouldn’t it be better if it was just a recognised Christian club with a 10% ‘fee’ rather than being so religiously misled to ensure its payment? But surely that would never work…

    Its worth noting that other denominations also now support the tithe due to the success of the funding model.

    Its also worth noting that megachurches in the US seem to be experiencing post GFC decline, partly due to not being able to maintain their financial commitments when people stop tithing – maybe they are tithing but earning no money, so many are on welfare or no welfare now. It is vastly more extreme than in Australia.

  26. Its amusing to see online discernment ministries or ‘bloggers’ attacked by churches. Seems they are allowed to speak freely, but others shouldn’t have the same privilege. Just as well they aren’t running the country.

    Anyone got any issues with a female PM by the way? Is it possible for a woman to be biblically in authority over men if its not at church??? Ooo aah!

  27. @ RP – could the issue of women in authority (apart from church) apply with the two kingdom principal espoused by Martin Luther?

    “Martin Luther’s doctrine of the two kingdoms (or two reigns) of God teaches that God is the ruler of the whole world and that he rules in two ways.

    He rules the earthly or left-hand kingdom through secular (and, though this point is often misunderstood, also churchly) government, by means of law (i.e., the sword or compulsion) and in the heavenly or righthand kingdom (his spiritual kingdom, that is, Christians insofar as they are a new creation who spontaneously and voluntarily obey) through the gospel or grace.”

    Haven’t looked at it seriously but heard a few comments over the last months on governing issues.

    http://www.lca.org.au/resources/csbq/twokingdoms.pdf

    I don’t have a problem with a female PM as long as the job gets done fairly for all members of the community. Gender (apart from PMT :)) should make no difference.

  28. I can’t believe C3 actually published this though:

    I am in significant debt, should i pay off my debts or give to vision builders?
    If you are in ‘out of control debt’, after your tithe the debt should be your next priority.”

    This is what they encourage at C3 from the stage! They really do expect people in debt to actually tithe still! That actually goes against the tithe altogether. I’ve met some distressed people afraid what would happen to them when Phil Pringle says people have to do this!

    There’s no mistaking it. That is spiritual abuse. I’m amazed they would publish that.

  29. Voltaire, the French atheist, said “Protestantism has simply grown up to offer people a less expensive substitute for Catholicism.” He believed (rightly so) that the Catholic church was taking vast amounts of money from the people and the Protestantism was “a cheap shortcut”

    I think if Voltaire was around today, he would “j’accuse” current evangelical mega churches of being far more greedy than the Catholicism of his day.

    If PP is encouraging the church to receive their financial “security” through the tithe, that’s idolatry. He is also, sadly, lying to them by keeping them under the Law, through his constant use of Mal 3.

    Proverbs 30:8 “Keep deception and lies far from me, Give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is my portion”

  30. I don’t think PP is lying. I think he believes what he preaches re tithing. Don’t you?

  31. By the way, in case I forget to say this – this is a really fascinating place.

    Faithlift, hats off to you for sticking around here and debating.

    Teddy, I think the mega churches are not only greedier, but more authoritarian. p.s I liked what you wrote about covering in another old thread.

  32. @ Churchman – he’s either incrediblly ignorant of the difference betwen Old and New Covenant giving or he’s lying, (to himself)?

    Has he painted himself into a corner by promoting the Law unlawfully? Is he unable to trust God to provide?

    He says the church is under a curse if they don’t tithe – he would be politely shown the door if he tried that in most non-pentecostal churches around the world.

    Can anyone tell us why he continues to do this?

  33. I think PP believes what he preaches re tithing. I think he is sincere about all his preaching, but is wrong. Is there anyone around him who would actually debate his point of view in an honest fashion on anything these days, let alone tithing? If he’s been surrounded by 99% yes people for the last 20 years or so, and shut anything out that is not ‘positive’, then his perception of the world and of scripture is likely to be highly distorted, as he’s stuck in a self perpetuating feedback loop.

  34. RP – [PP is ]”stuck in a self perpetuating feedback loop”

    I would agree. Is there anyone around to say “remember you are mortal”?

  35. I think PP probably believes in tithing. Lots of pentecostals, baptists, evangelicals believe in it and teach it. And as you know, there have even been European countries who had a church tax to make sure they got it.

    Most Christians I know are convinced that tithing is for today, and it almost takes courage to admit that you don’t.

    If PP preached tomorrow that tithing was not necessary for Christians, it would be a scandal. And as for saying “outside of pentecostal churches” – i think the pentecostals and charismatics have taken over the church. I recently attended and evangelical world mission conference – and most of the speakers were charismatics and the worship was charismatic in style. So, I would say the bible believing weekly church attenders are mainly tithers. Maybe you there in Australia don’t realize for example how popular and famous the Hillsong brand is. It’s more famous than vegemite!

  36. btw Is Vision Builders the equivalent of the Hillsong Kingdom Builders? Something you sign up to promising to give at least 10% but then being part of a group that builds the kingdom through finances..?

  37. Teddy: “If PP is encouraging the church to receive their financial “security” through the tithe, that’s idolatry.”

    Yep!

    Teddy: “He is also, sadly, lying to them by keeping them under the Law, through his constant use of Mal 3.”

    Yep! He’s also condemning them and TRYING to deceive them. This isn’t accidental deception. This is PURPOSEFUL.

    Phil Pringle preaches heavily on FAITH. Phil Pringle preaches heavily on WORKS and TITHING. Faith and Tithing/Works don’t mix. That pamphlet has Phil saying that through the TV ministry and more churches, the gospel will be preached. The gospel and tithing don’t mix.

    He has clearly demonstrated that he does not know what he teaches if he is sincere what he believes. This makes him unaccountable and incredibly dangerous.

  38. “If he’s been surrounded by 99% yes people for the last 20 years or so, and shut anything out that is not ‘positive’,”

    This may be true RP, but I do know in leadership that do not agree with the tithe doctrine and many others in the church too. Their is an invisible voice of descent in the place.

    Phil Pringle and Andrew Kubala and some young leaders from Change (Joel Corrigan?), have often condemned those or mocked those that oppose the tithe teachings. They are aware that people don’t agree with them in the church and online and will speak against them.

    I think places like Facebook and Twitter are really controversial places for C3 people to voice their opinions on issues such as tithing and bad leadership if C3 members are not happy with the whip Phil Pringle is bringing down upon members, bloggers or those that oppose his teachings. (It’s funny actually. Quite a few people blog at C3, so he condemned quite a significant number of people in his own ministry.)

    C3 leadership mock those that oppose their teachings. They absolutely hate them. Pringle made it quite clear last Sunday (especially to bloggers). So hey! If you are on here and have showed that you don’t believe in the tithe, you’ve been all officially mocked, hated and taunted by Phil Pringle. Looks like C3 wants to spread love to Sydney and not those on the internet.

  39. Still haven’t read all the comments, but wanted to say:

    I thought S&P’s analysis of how it is all presented and works was very good. Even if no one listens or pays any attention, it is still worth presenting that summary.

    S&P looked at the C3 brochure and how scriptures were used relating to giving, and the pressures created. It was all consistent with how it was years ago when I was a member there, and looks as though nothing has changed. I was a member when the first Rise and Build campaign was raised. The scriptures used and the slogans don’t seem to have moved on. ‘Not equal giving, but equal sacrifice’ was the direction then, and I agree with S&P that it creates pressure. There is no limit on sacrifice.

    I saw PP on some video telling people that even if they had to wait 20 years for God to bless them in response to their giving, that they should not give up. The sacrifice and giving is presented as earning a response from God in kind. So where people have given the equivalent of a house mortgage, or forsaken their house deposit and stayed out of the property market in Sydney, in order to give to the Building Fund – as various people really have – they have been taught to expect that God will bless them so that in the long run, they will not suffer for the sake of the sacrifice they have made. PP has said or implied that they should wait for this, no matter how many decades it takes.

    At the end of the day, the church does not have retirement housing for those who have forsaken their own housing for the sake of the building fund when they reach the end of their earning years. Perhaps those people have just been foolish – but this is why it needs to be pointed out somewhere how this marketing and pressure to give works. These people have been given contradictory messages about faith and wisdom, and are blamed for the end lack in their lives, while the church takes no responsibility for its own role influencing their decision making processes. There is no reciprocity from the church organisation at the end of the day. The discovery of this is one of the points that people become disillusioned, and for some this discovery may result in losing their faith. For others, it may result eventually in rediscovering God, as His nature is not the one presented in these building campaigns. We don’t need to work for his approval in the way they teach.

    This stuff really does hurt people in the long run, if they take it completely at face value.

    Secondly, Teddy is correct. They do not seem to want pastors over a certain age. I know of at least one very long serving pastor who was pressured to resign and was told they were too old to continue.

  40. “C3 leadership mock those that oppose their teachings. They absolutely hate them. Pringle made it quite clear last Sunday (especially to bloggers). So hey! If you are on here and have showed that you don’t believe in the tithe, you’ve been all officially mocked, hated and taunted by Phil Pringle.” – S&P

    Well, that shows we must be doing something right. They wouldn’t bother making those comments if what we say is not being heard by those whom it relates to.

    Providing we stick to giving our opinion on public issues and practices, rather than personal attacks, then it having a voice on a blog can be a public service. Naturally if it threatens the status quo, they will use all their usual tactics to discredit us. I would expect that denigrating those who blog would be one of those tactics. It is important then that our behaviour here does not undermine our message.

  41. “Most Christians I know are convinced that tithing is for today, and it almost takes courage to admit that you don’t.” – churchman

    Yes it does take courage to start with. It took me courage to even begin to read books that discussed the issue from both points of view. That’s one reason I found the ‘Beyond Tithing’ book by Stuart Murray helpful – it didn’t get stuck into people or church groups; it was a pretty objective examination of the history and arguments.

    At first, you have to become willing to question what your leaders and everyone around you says. This most likely includes all your friends, and possibly family.

    I decided to trust God on the issue, knowing that He was more than big enough to take my questions and give me straight answers.

    This led to me becoming free from tithe doctrine, and free from any guilt or shame regarding it. I can now speak freely about it to anyone, without requiring any courage at all. If they denigrate me as a result, I’m quite secure in that, since truth is more important, and we are blessed if they curse us! But really, I pray for others to find this freedom, since its only the tip of the iceberg. Its not about money; its about knowing Who our Father really is, and drawing closer to him in a way that doesn’t require us to do any kind of work. When we draw close to Him, we want to do His work, and we don’t need other people to pressure us into their specific idea of what that is.

  42. The saddest thing is people who give and give sacrificially and faithfully of their money and time only to be ostracized and condemned when they later have differences of opinion.

    And the people who feel they are responsible for their problems due to “robbing God” as per the misused Malachi verses.
    I even heard a preacher say that the Malachi curse could be on those who neglected to pay from before they decided on the doctrine – so they were warned that they need to go back and pay “back-tithes”. How’s that?

  43. That’s not an uncommon thing to hear at C3 – paying back-tithes. Had to talk a family member out of that mind-set.

  44. Oh my! Back paying tithes! Never heard of that one before! What an incredibly legalistic approach, even if you believe in tithe doctrine. What kind of a God does that suggest? A God who forgives everything we did _except_ for not tithing when we didn’t believe in it?? Sounds more like the ATO than someone who sent Christ to die on our behalf.

  45. “The saddest thing is people who give and give sacrificially and faithfully of their money and time only to be ostracized and condemned when they later have differences of opinion.

    And the people who feel they are responsible for their problems due to “robbing God” as per the misused Malachi verses.” – churchman

    Yes. This is utterly tragic.

    One of the triggers for me to leave my ex-church was the teaching that people who had financial problems must tithe as the first step in obtaining God’s blessing to get out of their difficulties. Unscriptural, and unloving. Yet I know that the same people who taught that also do sincerely want to help people in difficulty. However, they have so much at stake that to open their eyes would possibly be an unbearable cost.

    Pringle could open his eyes. However – imagine the cost he would bear. For him then to do so is almost unthinkable. Yet – all things are possible with God.

  46. Maybe we should do a post on back tithing. Just so it shows up for anyone doing an internet search.

  47. Here’s a website…
    http://library.generousgiving.org/page.asp?sec=28&page=

    “Should I catch up on paying back-tithes? If so, how far back should I go?”
    Perhaps, but keep in mind that there is no fixed percentage of Christian generosity—most of us can and should give more than 10 percent; meanwhile, some who are very poor may not be able to give that much. So the amount we might “owe” God in back-payments is not a fixed 10 percent of our incomes. The Scriptures exhort us to give generously (Luke 12:33), but contrary to what we might like, they do not give us much instruction when it comes to making up for past negligence of generosity. True, in the case of the theft, the Old Testament law required the offender to make restitution up to fivefold (Exodus 22:1-15). Zacchaeus the tax-collector apparently had this law in mind when he came to faith in Jesus and offered to repay four times what he had embezzled (Luke 19:8). But there is no clear biblical rule on making up for past negligence or greed. In the absence of such a rule, it would be wrong for us to make one. The important thing is to start giving in the present, not to fret over one’s past sin. It may be that the Lord will lead you to give back to him in greater measure in light of your earlier withholding. Those of us who choose to tithe as a starting point for disciplined generosity should keep in mind that we can never “pay God back” in an ultimate sense. In our relationship with God, the point is not to somehow keep accounts even, but to surrender all we have to him.

  48. That is very interesting, Teddy.

    No rule applies – but they point out OT Law required 5-fold restitution, and Zacchaeus! Plus, they say:

    “But there is no clear biblical rule on making up for past negligence or greed. In the absence of such a rule, it would be wrong for us to make one. ”

    Surely a major point that Jesus made was that we are now under no law! So why would we create any rule regarding any thing, let alone back-tithing? Those people do sound as though they view tithing as a rule – that is, a law.

    At least at the end, they also point out that we can never pay God back for His generosity at all, and they do use say ‘those of us who choose to tithe’, which is less legalistic. A slightly contradictory tone to the earlier one.

  49. Yes, there does look to be some interesting info on that site, and from a variety of positions. I liked the Word Faith intro. The one further down re the prosperity gospel bringing hope to middle Africa was also interesting looking. We have heard of cases where it has led to severe abuse of various people groups in Africa, and seen extremes well beyond what we see in the West, and I am not sure how the prosperity gospel would effectively address the suffering there. Perhaps I should have a read!

  50. I’ve heard it more than once, but the logic is that tithing is a requirement, an obligation. Not tithing is to “rob God”. The first ten percent is not yours. It’s God’s. So just as a thief should pay restitution, Christians need to make sure they haven’t witheld God’s money since they entered the Kingdom. If I remember rightly, this was given as a possible explanation for why some currently tithing are not seeing the windows of heaven opened.

    What I am about to say is not a proof but it’s yet another reason why I had doubts about tithing from years ago. If tithing was a NT requirement it’s surprising that never once were believers rebuked for not doing it. Think of all the basic things that the Corinthians etc got wrong and the things they needed to be reminded about. You’d think there must have been some people in some if the churches who needed A mention in a letter somewhere. Unless of course the early church had problems of immorality, evil speaking, divisions, court cases, drunkenness, fornication, devouring one another, growing lukewarm, abusing communion etc… BUT they were all excellent tithers??
    (not saying this is proof against tithing – just sayin..)

  51. It’s interesting what came up with a random “trawl” about back-tithing. I was surprised to find that site.

    Re African churches “…. promises hope to people in hard circumstances, which explains its popularity.”

    Not much different to promises made at C3.

  52. “If I remember rightly, this was given as a possible explanation for why some currently tithing are not seeing the windows of heaven opened.” – churchman

    Oh – that makes sense. Basically, if you are tithing and not seeing the windows of heaven opened financially, you have to find out what you’ve done wrong and address it. So you search your life for some area of sin or neglect – such as back tithing.

    There is no grace in this view. God has clearly not forgotten your sins. You are saved enough to reach heaven when you die, but not enough to receive God’s approval signified by His blessing in your every day life.

    If the father in the prodigal son parable had been the father depicted by these people’s view of blessing, he would have taken his prodigal son back, but made him a servant in the kitchen, or some such thing, until his debt was paid. The older son, would have been living a life far removed from that of the younger. But that is not the picture scripture gives us – instead we have a Father overwhelmed with joy at receiving his son back, welcoming and forgiving him, and holding nothing against him; killing the best animal to feast with him, and the older son finding this somewhat hard to take.

    That view of ‘back tithing’ or trying to earn a right to God’s blessing, is so different to the picture we are given in the NT, that their relationship with God must be quite distorted by it. There is no joy in it and no freedom. Just an endless process of striving to earn blessing, while missing the blessing already freely available. People are being chained to the wheel by the organisation that claims will help them find freedom.

  53. The ministry watch website is still a mixed bag in some respects I think. For example, I looked at their list of recommended charities, and one of them is Crown Financial Ministries, which when I looked at it, supports tithing big time. I’m sure they are completely transparent in what they do, and its great that they aim to support people in budgeting etc, but they say clearly, “The tithe should be paid on our gross salary”, and, “The tithe is an indicator of obedience to all of God’s laws”.

    Of course that doesn’t mean they are a dishonest ministry, just that most of us here would disagree with what they teach.

    So even sites like ‘Ministry Watch’ which make a diligent effort to assist donors in allocating their giving towards honest and transparent organisations, still don’t reduce our responsibility to think for ourselves.

  54. And looking a little further, Ministry Watch seem to do a good job on the transparency ratings of various ministries, with grades ranging from ‘A’ (the best) to ‘F’ – the worst. The ones that get an ‘F’ include:

    Benny Hinn Ministries (F)
    • Breakthrough Ministries/ Rod Parsley (F) • Creflo Dollar Ministries (F) • Crystal Cathedral Ministries / Robert Schuller (F) • Ever Increasing Faith/ Fred Price (F) • Kenneth Copeland Ministries (F) • World-Wide Missions (F)

    One’s that get an ‘A’ include:

    • Cadence International (A)
    • Campus Crusade for Christ (A) • Crown Financial Ministries (A) • Kingsway Charities (A) • MAP International (A)
    • Navigators (A) • Officers’ Christian Fellowship (A)

    Pretty interesting, huh!

    Perhaps some churches should pay attention to these ratings before they invite specific speakers to church and raise funds for their ministries via love offerings. What congregation member would want to knowingly give to an organisation with a transparency grade of ‘F’? We all want our funds to be used wisely!

  55. Hi all

    Googled ‘Phil Pringle’ and came across this site. My family and I have been members at a C3 in Perth for just over 2 years now and totally fed up now by the almost complete absence of any solid biblical teaching, apart from some other gripes, which are not really significant from a biblical perspective (don’t like the song lyrics, etc,etc). Some Sundays I could be in a Tony Robbins motivational session…..no difference actually.

    From all I’ve read so far, CCCOF seems to be just as nightmarish as I’ve imagined it to be. Looks like our little corner of the country’s heading that way too….

    According to the teaching on tithing we get given almost every week (no let up on ‘teaching’ in that area, of course!), if you don’t tithe to the “house”, there will not be food in the “house” for you, explained that non-tithers will always find the teaching non-existent, music unsuitable, etc,etc – in other words, non-tithers are the ones who complain. We stopped tithing about nine months ago, after we started studying the Scriptures. I am truly ashamed that I never actually bothered to do that all these years. Better later than never…

    Anyway, just wanted to say to you all – stay strong, and keep the faith. We all have our battles to fight, and our races to run. May we all keep our eyes fixed on Jesus and our minds renewed by His Word.

    God bless.

  56. Hey Ronfire. It’s great to see you getting into the bible and allowing God to teach you. It’s always sad to see someone affected by blind religion. I’m glad you are seeing things differently now.

    What made you start questioning?

    There are some great websites out there to give you great insight about the truth about the tithe doctrine. Check them here:

    http://www.tithing-russkelly.com
    http://www.shouldthechurchteachtithing.us

    http://www.truthorfables.com/Tithe_Test.htm
    http://www.askelm.com/tithing/thi003.htm

  57. Hi S&P, I’d wondered for years, actually (Been a Christian for a few years) because I could see no real impetus for mandatory tithing in the NT. I would especially read the account of the council in Jerusalem in Acts where the apostles sent a message to the Gentile Christians about what was essential to hold on to and there’s no mention of tithing. Further, the NT is very strong about circumcision no longer being required – partcularly in Galatians – and I’d think – hmmm, circumcision was far more central to the OT than tithing, so why is tithing harped on so much as required in the New?

    I questioned also because of what I saw. I’m a bean counter by profession and when I did my training, the firm I worked for had quite a few churches and ministries as clients – I got to see a financial ‘dark’ side that I hadn’t believed possible. It was quite disillusioning to see the disjoint between the public and backroom faces of some ‘men of God’. I started thinking about why I was paying to fund this sort of corruption.

    Can’t explain why I never did a personal Bible study on tithing before. I usually check things out in the scriptures first – why did I not do it in the case of tithing??? I’d like to say that I trusted those who were teaching it to me, cos they were doctrinally sound in other areas, but that doesn’t absolve me from taking responsibility for what I believe and live by! Maybe, it’s the fact that I’m now a father and I think differently about saving money, etc than when I was single, and thinking about how I teach the Bible to my boys.

    Thanks for those additional links. Incidentally, when I started studying about tithing, I did use Russell Kelly’s book quite extensively to supplement my own (feeble?)efforts – very well researched and written book. I’ve been referring people to his website – wonder at what point I’m going to get a call from the ‘pastor’s desk’!!

  58. Hi Ronfire, its good to hear your story. Mine was similar to yours in that basically I trusted those who were teaching me, and didn’t really look it up for myself, except for the verses in Malachi, which I took on board fairly early without any real prompting from others. At that time, I’d learnt from PP’s example, that I could apply Old Testament scriptures to my life if they seemed applicable, regardless of context.

    I tithed, but it was always a bit of a struggle, and I felt guilty for finding it difficult. I wanted to give cheerfully, and felt if I was struggling, that somehow that voided my giving!

    I changed churches along the way, but not over tithing. For some reason, perhaps because of the weekly tithe talk, and the fact I was older and less liable to just trust people to think on my behalf, the issue finally niggled at me enough for me to look into it for myself. I read all the related scriptures and literature, including the book I mentioned earlier, which I discovered on a list of books that the Presbyterian church used for research when they were deciding whether or not to introduce tithing as a doctrine. (They decided not to at that time, upon completing their diligent study, despite the fact it would have helped their church funding.)

    Discovering the truth about this doctrine opened my eyes not only to it, but to the supporting doctrines used to dampen any questioning or honest debate within the churches I knew on the subject. Submission, covering… you name it, they all seemed to combine to support the unchallengeable funding model. The amount of self-interest and lack of interest in Truth was staggering. It sent me into a grief process that kept me awake at night, for the sake of the church that I loved.

    Anyway, fortunately I’m through that now, and the door has opened as a result to a furthering of my relationship with God which is far more free than it used to be (not that I would have realised I was not free before). Also, my knowledge of scripture, and discipline in checking what is actually said on any doctrine, is much improved. I am enjoying reading the bible far more, as it has opened up to me in a fresh way, and my picture of Jesus as I read has just become more and more amazing. This is ongoing. 🙂 Not a painless process, but a worthwhile one!

  59. Hi Faithlift, while teaching that tithing is a requirement for every believer breaks absolutely no law, would you also contend that it is a scriptural position? If you teach tithing as a requirement, as I did previously, because of laziness due to not testing the teaching for myself – well, you decide what to call that.

    Now, regards accountability – ah, that wonderful buzzword of the corporate world that so many Christian corporations…er….sorry, churches have adopted. Accountable to whom? In a corporation that is privately or publicly funded, audited financial statements are made available – no, SENT to all shareholders/partners, etc. The C3 that I attend does NOT do this, and I’m pretty sure this model copies the ‘mother church’. Holding an AGM and putting up a presentation with a pie chart or bar graph showing income and expenditure ‘percentages’ or even actual amounts is NOT accountability. Why not give out the actual audited accounts?? What exactly is so confidential that you cannot let your members see?? Considering that C3’s primary income source is giving and ‘tithing’ by members, why would you hide your audited statements from them?

    A lot of churches do this and it rankles me, to be honest. Especially since people are ‘tithing’ as a mandatory requirement. Entities funded by compulsory levies or taxes, i.e. government put out their audited financials for the public to see. Since the tithe, as it is taught, is for all intents and purposes a tax, why not make the audited statements available?
    Some churches, eg. Edge in South Australia which is part of a global body, do publish their financial results as part of their annual report on their website, although these are aggregated results. This could be because Edge globally appears to be incorporated as a limited company, but it’s still a whole lot better than C3’s current lack of transparency.

    It’s all very well to say that audited statements are provided to those who have oversight – who has oversight in C3?? Members of the board of a public company are elected by shareholders (as stilted as the process has become these days) – doubt that the ‘board’ in C3 is appointed by members, is it??

    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

  60. I hadn’t noticed he altered his comment until after I’d responded, RP. Hence the clarification. I am disturbed that my comment is removed. It was valid to the post and thread in more ways that one. I would have revised it, but now it is completely removed. S&p should clarify his position as well as retract. The comment was up for long enough to be an issue.

    Ronfire, there have been many threads on Signpost02 on tithing. O’m sure the contributors here would prefer I don’t go back into it, but I’m happy to if required. I have also discussed the issue with Russell Kelly, and he still has unanswered questions form me to deal with. He is not entirely correct.

    Everyone here would know that I do not hold to tithing or any other kind of giving as either a necessity or a compulsion. We are instructed to give as we purpose with a cheerful heart. That is what we teach.

  61. Hey Faithlift, I’ve read here and on the GS blog that you are a C3 pastor = is that true?

  62. FL, I think it was for the best that all those comments were removed, but you could still reiterate your other unrelated thoughts if you choose.

  63. Have you requested a viewing of the audited accounts, Ronfire? As far as I am aware, as long as you are a contributing member of the church you should have access to the annual audit. Our members certainly do. No not-for-profit is obliged to go further than this.

    Your language sounds similar that of people who have an issue with all finances in churches. I suggest you take a more open approach yourself.

    Saying churches should be accountable, and then saying they’re merely mimicking business corporations if they are accountable, sounds rather unfair to me. They are accountable to government agencies. That is the main criteria for a professional annual audit. That is your protection, also.

    Finally, comparing a not-for-profit to a business corporation which depends on creditors and shareholders is really a give-away as to your true attitude. This is an erroneous argument, not worth commenting on, really.

  64. For what its worth, I used to attend a C3 that let people look at its audited statements, and hid nothing. Don’t know what they do these days but under previous leadership, the transparency at the local level was good.

  65. Sigh, Faithlift. I’m not here to pick a fight with you. I’m just telling you what I think from my perspective, which is hardly any less valid than yours. If you don’t agree, that’s fine. Try not to make this personal, please? If your members have access to your annually audited financials, then you’re a better man than most of your peers in the movement, Faithlift.

    To give credit where it is due, I was told I could come into the office and look at the presentations that were made at the AGM. I have made an appointment to do this, but it is some time off because of my own work commitments and I need to do this during working hours. Whether there will be access to the actual audited financial statements remains to be seen.

    I think you’ve missed the point I was trying to make – or maybe I didn’t explain myself properly.

    Accountability in a church is not something that should be based on the business world. It has to be a whole lot better. My point was that shareholders in a corporation are given the annual audited financials – this is NOT done in the C3 where I go, most definitely. Shouldn’t a church be a lot more transparent than a for-profit entity? Shouldn’t its standards be a lot higher? If a business entity gives audited statements to its shareholders, isn’t that the least a church should do??

    Almost every non-profit entity I have come across – other than churches – makes its financial statements available publicly, usually on their website. Most churches – and mainly the C3-type churches, do not. Can you tell me why not? Why is it that the Anglican church puts its audited statements up on its website for everyone to see, but C3 keeps its own under wraps for confidentiality reasons? What is so confidential?

    Accountable to government agencies – the same old tired argument. Faithlift, the law is an ass. Government agencies look to one thing specifically, and that is whether the conditions of a non-profit’s tax exempt status have been met in a particular financial year, which includes the requirement that the non-profit has to expend its receipts for the purpose for which it was formed, i.e. its main objective. Now, that is a very grey area – since a church’s purpose is the promotion of religion (paraphrasing the ATO), just about anything goes as long as the church can reasonably demonstrate that it is in pursuit of its main objective. There is no legislation that defines anything in this area – nor should there be.

    Any abuse of the funds in the name of pursuing a church’s main objective CANNOT be stopped by the government, as long as the church can demonstrate that it is in the pursuit of its main objective. So, what protection are you talking about? It is my observation (and I’ve been involved in looking at the finances of non-profits, in particular, for 15 years) that churches simply do not get the point that it is important for a church, more than almost any other entity, to not only be faithful with finances but BE SEEN to be faithful. If people cannot believe the church’s witness about something as ordinary as money, why would it even give ear to our witness about Jesus Christ? In an age where megachurches and televangelists have made the body of Christ a laughing stock with their financial shenanigans and extravagance, it is critical that churches should be seen to be above board in this respect.

    You’re welcome to disagree but I would like to know why. Really.

    I have NO issue with the amounts of money that go through a church, provided it is applied reasonably. Money that is collected from a congregation SHOULD be accounted for to the congregation. Period.

    Faithlift, I know there are other threads regarding tithing, so I’ll make this very quick. I applaud your position that giving is not compulsory and should be willingly from a cheerful heart – I agree completely.

    God bless.

  66. My point was that C3 isn’t being fraudulent, as was the accusation by s&p. That was all really. If someone wants to put up a separate thread on not-for-profits and their obligations, I’d be happy to contribute to the discussion.

    All C3’s, including yours, are obliged by the movement to be accountable to the civil law, and to oversight in financial dealings.

  67. There is already a new thread where transparency can be discussed, and that pertains in particular to both churches and non profits.

    Ronfire, you put your point very convincingly, and I cannot think of a single reason anyone would have an argument with what you say. What is more, when you are considering joining a church, and become aware that they are transparent with their accounts – for example, we knew salaries and could have any question we wanted about finances answered – then it is very impressive, and I certainly feel more relaxed in my giving of money and my membership within such organisations. Likewise, I much prefer to give to charities that have good ratings.

    The only arguments I have personally heard against such transparency is to do with fears that the congregation will be critical of the budgeting or spending, or that some individuals will carry on about it. In my experience, relaxed disclosure of the church budget, with freedom for people to chase up further details, enhances the relationship between the congregation and the leadership team, and creates a sense of unity with and co-ownership of the various projects and activities run by the church.

  68. I have to add that as someone who has invested in shares for many years, I am so used to seeing financial reports, that the discrepancy between what some churches feel is OK for them, and the way shareholders of a company are treated, seems appalling. Particularly when the involvement of a congregation member in a church is frequently far more personal and often far more financially weighty over time. I agree that it would be far better for churches to have even higher standards. These things are good for everyone involved.

  69. Ronfire’s is spot on.

    The language of only doing what one is obligated to do, because you have to speaks volumes.

    And the notion of having to request access to audited accounts does likewise.

    In my church people can see financial info anytime, plus we get briefed two or three times a year with a detailed budget presented every year for members’ approval. This is normal behaviour.

    I cannot for the life of me understand the kerfuffle associated with especially the larger pente churches and money except it stinks. I don’t understand why people put up with that rubbish.

  70. mn,
    ‘The language of only doing what one is obligated to do, because you have to speaks volumes.’

    Not really. That is pushing things somewhat. Do you really think every media or critical outlet is going to always judge not-for-profits kindly every time? If Hillsong or C3 put up their financial details would everyone here really be generous towards them, or have a field day picking through the meat?

    The evidence, just on this thread, is to the contrary.

    Being open is one thing, but being wise stewards is quite different to revealing everything to everyone, including the world which opposes the gospel. Not letting the left hand know what the right id doing has more than one application. So does casting pearls before swine. I cast no aspersions on present company with this Biblical saying, by the way, although it has been foolishly, and unkindly, aimed at me many times here and at GS.

  71. Mmm, every time this subject comes up, that fear related argument comes forth:

    ‘Do you really think every media or critical outlet is going to always judge not-for-profits kindly every time? If Hillsong or C3 put up their financial details would everyone here really be generous towards them, or have a field day picking through the meat?’ – FL

    So its OK for smaller churches to put forward their audited accounts, but foolish for big or well known ones to do so, as it would invite criticism?

    I really can’t see why that would be a genuine problem. If church programs are supported by members, why would members object to seeing them allocated funds in a church budget? Why would members criticise the salaries of say the top 5 paid staff members if they are on a comparable level to other jobs with similar responsibilities? Why would a congregation criticise money going towards building maintenance, electricity, rent or charitable things? Surely it would encourage them to be confident in their giving when they can see there is honesty and integrity in how it is being responsibly allocated?

    If the media want to pick through it, and there is nothing unreasonable about what is being done, then the media won’t get much traction on the issue.

    Of course if a situation is full of complex trusts with the senior pastor’s relatives all being beneficiaries, then that does raise questions, but there are few churches with that situation, and the media tend to find that out anyway.

    An opaque situation leads to people imagining all kinds of things. It is better for the image of Christianity as a whole for all Christian groups that accept significant amounts of money to be entirely open about how it is spent. This also assists people who might otherwise fall in that area, since they would know that all will be out in the open.

    There is also the irony that these days, some churches know more about their members finances, and whether they are tithing or not, than the members do about how that money is spent. For example, those churches who track donations electronically.

    When tax receipts are issued, or money paid by cheque or electronic means, records of who gave what may be kept. This should have no influence upon how various members of the congregation are valued or treated. In practice, I wonder if that is the case or not?

  72. The ‘F’ word I used was implied with a different meaning in mind. I asked someone else what I they thought when I used the ‘F’ word and they said ‘fake’.

    I was meaning – ‘F’ for fake.

    This was the meaning I intended to express, which is why I was confused by mn’s comment.

    Another language stuff up. Sorry Facelift for that.

  73. Well, God forbid that finances are deliberately electronically tracked for the wrong reasons, or any reason, really. Accountability to contributing members, the board, or church oversight, Government agencies and denominational, or movement oversight is all that is really necessary, in my opinion. Pinning it up on nosey websites isn’t necessary, reasonable, or a sign of wrong activity.

  74. Well, I’ll take you at your word, s&p, but it’s a long way from fake to fraud, you’ll agree, and you were in rather a precarious position until mn kindly pointed it out. However, fake is totally wrong also, and I refute it.

    C3 is an excellent movement. There is no evidence of financial wrong doing, nor has there been over 30 years. It preaches the gospel. People get saved. People are discipled. It is on the move across the globe. Churches are being planted. It is using the talents God gave it. Look at the good things for a change.

  75. FL: “Do you really think every media or critical outlet is going to always judge not-for-profits kindly every time? If Hillsong or C3 put up their financial details would everyone here really be generous towards them, or have a field day picking through the meat?”

    And what relevance does the media have towards being transparent towards one’s own congregation??

    As RP why can my church be transparent in its dealings with members including salaries etc, and the mega churches not?

    And complying with legal obligations for government regulation sake is not the same thing as being transparent towards one’s members.

    Don’t even bother conflating those two things – they are not the same thing, and it is misleading to say that it is.

    So why can’t the larger churches do what the smaller ones can?

    The line of apologetics that you pursue here – seemingly moreso for other churches than your own – is you have enough governance and record keeping in place to satisfy legal requirements and media scrutiny, but a much lesser standard for one’s own members who kick in the dollars.

    If that is the position you are either intentionally or unintentionally supporting, then it is simply intolerable and unsupportable.

    Before the Lord you and I serve it is untenable and indefensible.

  76. Well, mn, you missed a subsequent comment, so I’ll let you track back a couple to see I have said, and have always said, that regular, contributing members should have full access to audits. Ours do, and must have by law.

    My response was to the call to have all financial dealings publicised on the web by sites such as Ministry Watchers.

  77. And who would count as a member? How would you know in a large church? If the intrepid Lionfish breezed into Hillsong would he be able to access files? Or Lance?

  78. No – I don’t think I have.

    I am not responding to the idea of putting things up on a website, and neither are you in total doing the same I think. I am talking about transparency to one’s own members – I made that perfectly clear.

    Member is a member, not an uncommitted blow-in, or even adherent.

    Perhaps that is a discipline that the larger churches have lost, which then by default leads to a lesser requirement for transparency to its own members.

    This would clearly lead to lesser transparency and accountability by both those who would be members if the church in question had that process, and the leadership in that same church.

    Well as to how would you know who are members – well if there records are as good as you infer they are then what’s the problem.

    You haven’t answered the question – why can’t the larger far better resourced churches do what my small church can in this regard?

    Why should members be on a lesser standard of transparency, financial duty of care, and governance than regulatory bodies?

    As Ronfire asks why would they not be on the receiving end of a very much superior regime?

  79. When it comes to membership, we officially left June 2007 – a pastor (pastor,membership,pastoral care) came to the house and confirmed that with us. This actually was OUR pastor who knew we had stopped attending at least 6 months previously. PP was also told in a private conversation.

    August 2009 we realised that partnering monies (not a huge amount) were still being deducted monthly – our fault, not C3. Two emails sent, second email very firmly asked for deductions to cease – finally acknowledged one month later.

    Come forward to May 2010, we receive an email from same pastor (someone we still see socially at times), asking how we are going , haven’t seen you at church for a while, it’s hard to keep up with everybody, it’s such a big church etc etc.

    Hello! Membership lists? Who is running this huge organisation so badly? We still get invited to functions!

  80. One level of transparency is to present a summary of the past years accounts and the coming years plans at a regular annual church meeting. Might be a bit boring for many people, but its still a basic level of disclosure. Full details could be available at the meeting in hard copy, or on request. (Only because its likely hardly anyone would really want to sit through a detailed financial presentation.) The point is that they should be available. I don’t see why this should be a secret even from non-members, if there is nothing to hide. If the church helped particular congregation members in some fashion, the details could still be confidential. Likewise, the details if known, of who gave what.

    Re tracking things electronically – this is unavoidable if a church uses electronic systems or issues tax receipts. Like it or not, it now is a regular component of church records. Not necessarily to keep tabs on people. If people wish to keep their giving level entirely to themselves, for whatever reason, the best way to give in the service is cash. If someone wishes to donate $100,000 – not an unknown amount – or even, say, $25,000 (an amount a friend once donated to a building fund that was regarded by others as paltry – yet the friend completed their pledge, unlike some of those who pledged more than they could give) – it is difficult to give these amounts in secret!

  81. It is my opinion that rumour and innuendo flourish where secrecy is practised. The best way to draw the serpent’s venom is to be open with everything one does. By concealing what they should be open about, churches are simply gifting others (including the secular media)a stick to beat them with. It doesn’t matter how much good the church does. Romans 14:16 says we should not let our good be spoken of as evil. If the church is not transparent, it looks like we have something to hide. No way is that conducive to our witness as believers.

  82. I might add too, as everyone else has pointed, that this is a much higher standard than is practised by the business world. That is the way it should be.

  83. What is odd that is that C3 often associate what they do on a professional business level. Since when is a misinformed leader misinforming a body of people or movement professional?

  84. It wouldn’t matter what was disclosed or hidden, rumour and innuendo exist amongst those who oppose anyway. All who live godly will be persecuted. There is nothing that can be done to stop this. As long as churches operate decently and in order and fulfil the legal requirements of governance, there is nothing any rumour or innuendo can do to harm them. If they overstep the line of decency it will be exposed, and so it should be. Be assured that God has revealed that the hidden things will be revealed and shouted from the rooftops.

    There is an unhealthy focus on finance emerging. Judas had similar issues with Jesus.

  85. @FL you say “There is an unhealthy focus on finance emerging”.

    Are you refering to this blog or to churches?

  86. Faithlift, with respect, the unhealthy focus on finance starts with the churches that are always talking about giving to the church and linking the level of your giving with the level of your financial – or other – success.

    Could you clarify your statement about Judas having issues with Jesus on finances? Where exactly does it say that?

    The legal requirements of governance fall significantly short of what a church ‘should’ adhere to, as I have explained before. Legal requirements are often the bare minimum – this is the case in the business world as well, else we wouldn’t seeing Enrons,etc happening.

    It is entirely reasonable for Christians to expect their churches to be a lot more honourable in their handling of finances than the world system. Doesnt the Bible exhort us to excel in doing good?

  87. Also, being persecuted for being secretive or engaging in unhealthy practices, for example, is not persecution but simply a consequence of wrong or misguided actions.

  88. That is nothing but an excuse. It seeks to justify what is a wrong because of the likelihood of being wronged.

    The point is here who can or who gets to decide what is decently and in order? Certainly not the congregation at that point.

    And there it is again – that hedging behind government requirements.

    And as for your last comment – again a diversion. If the large congregations had the same information that I do at my church a number of things would happen I suspect:

    The most obvious and most likely – if everything was OK as you would like us to believe, the issue would go away – because most people have far better things to do than look at budgets.

    People may jack up – from what I gather it is highly unlikely anything would or could happen except for those people leaving the church, because they would have the power to anything – my assumption based on others comments is that the power will in most instances been centralised, and therefore the possibility of forcing any change through a vote as improbable.

    The third thing is that if anything really dodgy was identified – with evidence – the authorities could be brought in – even more unlikely except in the most exceptional of instances.

    Therefore we go back one or two – everything is OK (there often will be someone who disagrees with something but you get that – so what – can’t remember any disagreements over money matters in my church). or there are such issues that people leave.

    Ultimately this is what this is all about then.

    Power and authority has been centralised wihout any real accountability to the congregation – many here I think would say illegitimately, but lots of accountability or heavily implied obligation of the congregation to the management especially through tithing.

    Until the leaders of such congregations become accountable to the congregations and/or provide real transparency to the congregations nothing will change and this issue will be ongoing.

    Get used to it.

    If you are not part of the solution it is very likely you are part of the problem.

  89. If a church preaches that a person should give 10 percent of the income, and then argue whether that should be on gross or net, if that church preaches on giving, if that that church explains that tithing and giving above that is necessary for God to achieve His will on the earth, and that Christians are lacking in love and obedience and faith if they don’t tithe or support the vision financially, then it can’t complain if people want to know why, and what the money is spent on.

    If money wasn’t such a big issue from the pulpit, then it wouldn’t be an issue.
    That’s perfectly understandable.

  90. The more I think about it, the more it IS crazy. A pastor will tell someone that they should give a minimum of ten percent regardless of financial standing, expect them to give over and above that regularly, give extra for love offerings for visiting speakers, make sacrificial commitments for buildings, but work for free in music or Sunday school, come and give of their time for meetings, clean ups, you name it, but ask about salaries or whether money could be better spent, and the initial reaction is often, “Why do you want to know”.

    WHere else is a person supposed to give so much time and money to an organization, but made to feel bad for asking about where the money is going?

  91. “If they overstep the line of decency it will be exposed, and so it should be.”

    Once again Facelift your blindness amazes me. Did you not read what C3 published above? You really are choosing to believe what you want to believe and defending them without having a clue what they are doing down here.

    The deceit, the corruption and spiritual abuse that people go through at C3OF is depressing to say the least. Do you know how many people are ruined financially, emotionally or spiritually by this church?

    I think counselors do really well out of them.

  92. Try to be less personal, please, s&p. I have not defended anyone on this thread, except where you accused C3 in general of fraudulence. That was the only thing I have defended here. Otherwise I have advised you, along with others, to move on from C3 so you can have a life.

    My comments, above, on what a church is obliged to reveal of its audit are a generalisation, not specifically related to your version of the C3OF pamphlet, which I haven’t seen, so will not comment on specifically.

    It looks like a fairly standard Vision presentation to me, which you may find at a Baptist, Uniting, or even Church of Christ local church appeal or funds to build. We receive so many such pamphlets from missions and para-church agencies during the week that we have to assign a person to sort this part of our post. Will you criticise these also?

    What I asked for in the comment that RP pulled down, was less innuendo and more evidence form you in regard to the allegations you have made.

    Now you are saying that people have been ruined financially, emotionally and spiritually by this church. Well, I could say the same of any organisation, but without facts to back up what I say, my words are empty.

    You have alleged that C3 is a Gnostic Cult. I have asked you to demonstrate this clearly and concisely from scripture, not by hypothesis or conjecture.

    I will discuss the issue with you on a Biblical basis.

  93. Pls note: I cannot pull comments down unless they are on a thread I authored, since I am not an administrator. After MN’s initial prompt, I suggested S&P take all following 9 comments down, not just yours, FL, and he did so. So please take the chip off your shoulder. There is no need to snipe.

  94. My contention is that people are potentially ruined or harmed emotionally, financially and spiritually by the doctrines that relate giving to their financial and material prosperity, and by the supporting doctrines that quash their questioning. Churches that teach these doctrines contend that the opposite is true. I have personally seen harm come to a variety of people who took these doctrines to heart. Some who have not come to harm are actually those who have taken them with enough grains of salt to not go to the extremes held up on a pedestal. Someone who believes in tithing and sacrificial giving, but cannot bring themselves to hand over their house deposit or to pay their tithes before they pay for the food on their kids table or their rent, will feel guilty, but will get by, albeit with a struggle, because they can’t let go of some common sense. Someone who can bring themselves to go to these extremes over the long term, will, unless they really have been specifically called to do so by God, suffer greatly, and so will people who are financially dependent upon them.

  95. It is the idea (doctrine) that harms, so that is what we must oppose, rather than any particular organisation. If a church is infected by the idea, or if a powerful leader within it is infected, it will become sick and members will come to harm. An infected church will become prone to further infections. A healthy body might withstand the infection longer than an unhealthy one, but over time, health can be lost. So it is important to fight the infection, and seek knowledge so as not to be as easily infected. Not everyone will be affected as badly, and God in His mercy will still work amongst the people. It is His mercy that has brought some people to their senses, and continues to do so.

  96. No chip, no snipe, RP. A qualification of facts only.

    S&p has made very serious allegations on this post and thread, and should either back them with facts, or retract them. The fraud allegation he has at least corrected. Good.

    Now I am asking for Biblical evidence that back his allegation that C3 is a Gnostic Cult.

  97. Part of this is the fact that I have heard Gordon More declare that he will fight to keep Gnosticism out of C3 with every fibre of his being, and on more than one occasion!

  98. Questions to be answered by C3 congregants.

    Are they called to give to PP’s Vision as a sign of the “sincerity of their love”? Is it “a test and a determination of their future”? Is it a “seed of wealth for their future”?

    Do they have to “reallocate” their assets as a sign of their love for God (as if we can earn it)? Do their families who have been saving money for a car/house, have to reallocate it and sow it to PP’s Vision?

    Is a “seed of their “wealth” a reallocation of consumption”?

    Does their financial committment determine their future?

  99. “I have personally seen harm come to a variety of people who took these doctrines to heart.”

    Sorry RP. Personal witness is not good enough in Facelifts standards. Nor are victims stories who are from the C3 movement. I have now published writings from a C3 document confirming their dodgy teachy and operations. This is still not good enough in Facelifts eyes. Facelifts ideas of ‘facts’ are either:

    1. Facts that he likes.
    2. Facts that are yet to convince him of the C3 movements errors.
    3. Facts that are either from not me, Signposts02, Groupsects, or possibly others who doubt this movement.

    “Now you are saying that people have been ruined financially, emotionally and spiritually by this church. Well, I could say the same of any organisation, but without facts to back up what I say, my words are empty.”

    “Now I am asking for Biblical evidence that back his allegation that C3 is a Gnostic Cult.”

    “You have alleged that C3 is a Gnostic Cult. I have asked you to demonstrate this clearly and concisely from scripture, not by hypothesis or conjecture.”

    You’ve got a bible. You’ve got the internet. You do the work. You don’t listen to me. You dismiss the testimonies of witnesses and victims in the past. You’ve dismissed things said that have been recorded from C3 – that people have pointed out to be error and manipulation on C3’s part. You’ve dismissed C3 documents that reveal their dodgy teachings.

    You want to read about Gnosticism? Read the Colossian letter and 1 and 2 Corinthians.

    Of course they are not evil. They are sincerely everyone’s friend. This is an aspect that makes them dangerous. I’ve mentioned people that I have been financially ruined and spiritually and emotionally destroyed, scammed and abused.

    If I was to publish these instances, that would only reveal my identity on these issues – so I am not in a position too. I’ve said what I have in the past just enough so no one can identify who I am and some of the emotion and spiritual abuse I have copped from the C3 leadership.

  100. And I will try to find more ‘facts’ Facelift. You’ve offered a good challenge and I will accept it.

    But I am yet to be convinced that you will believe these ‘facts’ or ‘evidence’.

  101. Any answers to the questions submitted to C3 congregants – perhaps I should have said pastors?

  102. Being angry with me does you no credit, s&p. I have not asked for facts about what gnosticism is. I know what it is. You say, ‘go and study it for yourself’. I have. Long ago.

    I’m asking for the reasons you made the serious allegation on this thread that C3 is a Gnostic Cult. The onus is on you to prove your allegations. Not on me to do anything, except, perhaps, respond when you do. That’s how it works.

    I’m saying that it is not enough for you to make allegations without evidence. How can anyone respond to that?

    I think most of us can respect your wishes to remain anonymous on here. If that is the case, and producing evidence would incriminate you, or expose you, then you should reconsider your decision to make such allegations publicly.

    Putting up your version of a pamphlet doesn’t say much, really. It isn’t evidence of either fraud or gnosticism. I haven’t seen the promotion, so take it that it was in-house, anyway. Most churches and Christian organisations have some kind of similar promotion.

  103. The pamphlet speaks well enough for itself.

    Everyone here has been quite careful to only speak of their own experiences. It’s not right for us to share those of other private individuals who might not want them shared online, except in such a general way that no individual could be identified. That is another reason that discussing doctrine is more effective, except when we decide to share our own particular experiences.

  104. RP,
    ‘That is another reason that discussing doctrine is more effective, except when we decide to share our own particular experiences.’

    Yes to that.

  105. It looks like you missed my first post Facelift. Let me re-quote my first post:

    Let me quote from the gnostic gospel of Thomas:

    “His disciples asked, “On which day will you make yourself known to us?”

    Lord Jesus replied, “When you rid yourselves of guilt and shame and tear off your old rags and trample them beneath your feet like children. Then you’ll see the Son of He who is the living God, and you’ll never need fear again.” “

    Let me quote Phil Pringle from above:

    “We have seen miracles unfold in people’s lives AS THEY HAVE ALIGNED their heart, purpose and financial with God’s vision to build His Church.”

    We’ve heard these kind of teachings from Phil before, not just written down in pamphlets. And this is why the gospels, with these kind of teachings, prove they are gnostic gospels.

  106. Gnosticism, basically, asserts salvation by knowledge.

    Christianity asserts salvation is by grace through faith in God.

    I can’t see where C3 is anything but orthodox on salvation.

    Quoting an obscure, discredited gospel, and attempting to align it with a vision statement is misleading at best.

    Are you saying that Phil Pringle claims that salvation comes by aligning themselves with God’s vision? That would be works-based salvation. I can’t read that into this equation.

    Or is he equating the miraculous with our approach to God’s purposes? Or that God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him?

    We are saved unto good works, not by good works. There is a vast difference between the two approaches. Hence James’ assertion that we demonstrate our faith by our works.

    The thing is, does God reward us for our post-salvation works and approach to his purposes, as art of diligently seeking him? Whether you say yes or no, and some will disagree that God rewards our diligence, you can’t assign this understanding to gnosticism. It just isn’t there.

  107. Are you saying that Phil Pringle claims that salvation comes by aligning themselves with God’s vision?”

    He doesn’t claim it. He suggests it too much. Continually. What Phil said in the pamphlet is openly wrong. But he continually aligns himself and others with that strain of gnostic thinking.

    On some instances, he has claimed (and even prayed) that salvation or eternal life is by works. But I do not think he’s wary in doing so when he says it. And I can’t quote what he said then. This is the closest thing he says to it. And it is very similar to the gnostic quote i quoted.

  108. Umm,

    while generally being in agreement with S&P, I am unconvinced by the selective quoting of the Gnostic Gospel of Thomas and the selective quoting of PP. Primarily because the Thomas quote is not overtly gnostic. It is also quite different to PP’s quote.

    I would question PP’s assertion that God has a Vision to build C3 (which is what PP means by the use of the word Church).

    God doesn’t have a vision of the future or have “Visions”. He has a plan and a purpose for us that is revealed to us in visions and words of knowledge, for example.*

    So in that sense, PP’s statement is nonsense.

    You could also say that it brings God down lower than He is … but that would be stretching it quite a bit.

    S&P needs to define gnosticism and then, from PP’s recorded sermons and messages, to prove a gnostic tendency from PP. Consider this, the true gnostic does not consider Jesus to be the equal of the Father. There is usually the over-emphasis of Jesus Humanity, or the idea that Jesus was never really here at all. (I am mixing up heresies, I know.)

    Modern Gnosticism attempts to deify man … man-child heresy/new breed/joel’s army/Morningstar ministries/Rick Joyner(the true gnostic heretic of our generation)/Todd Bentley(worship of angels … and large steaks on his ~$5000 outdoor grill … your tax dollars at work making Todd fatter than ever!)

    Sorry, getting sidetracked by those apostates again.

    You’ll next see Rock and Todd on “Lifestyles of the Rich and Shameless”.

    Anyway, define gnosticism, then prove that Phil preaches gnosticism. Shouldn’t be that difficult.

    Then FL will have to defend this, perhaps including alternative sermons that preach the true gospel.

    However, the substantive question about church finances is still there and PP still has a case to answer on accountability. As MN has already said, just because there is no transparency doesn’t mean there is anything bad going on, but if it looks dodgy then people are right to ask questions. Members clearly have no real idea about where the money goes.

    I don’t want or need to know, I am not a member. But members do need and want to know.

    If C3OF did this then the subject would most likely disappear without trace.

    Shalom

    *I just realised this, most church leaders must mistake plan and purpose with the word Vision.
    “We have a vision for the direction our fellowship will take this year” really only means “we’ve come up with a plan of action for next year”

    So if that is what Vision means, then that is what God has. But it then means we don’t have any godly visions … 😦

  109. Well, that’s a dilution at least, s&p.

    I don’t attend C3OF, but have heard Phil on many occasions preach the gospel, and have seen many come to the Lord at various rallies under his ministry. He has ministered the gospel in our church, and has always impressed me as an evangelist who is very precise in leading people to Jesus, giving glory to God, and clearly says they are saved by grace through faith, not of works.

    I have not heard a gnostic gospel. I have heard an orthodox Pentecostal gospel.

  110. Bull,
    God has a mandate for the Church. Our vision, or proposed direction and directive, should reflect this and comply with it.

    Vision pertains to the future, and to direction. If we say we have, say, a C3 vision and it doesn’t reflect God’s purpose and plans for the Church then it is not God’s mandate at all.

    I would have to ask you what the difference between a vision and a plan is, in your opinion.

    A basic definition of a plan is a detailed proposal for doing or achieving something.

    One definition of a vision is a mental image of what the future could be like, the faculty of being able to see ahead.

    Either term is a projection of the future. If we are operating outside of God’s purposes we are not engaged in his vision or plan.

    I believe God does have a vision for the future of the Church, hence prophecy and promises.

    When it comes to a local church vision, we should understand that a local church, depending on its size and ability to influence its community, cannot fulfil all of God’s purposes for the Church Universal, but can operate in a measure of the plan.

    This should be prayerfully and Biblically determined by the leadership of the local church in accordance with the grace ministries, skills, abilities and gifting available within that local church body.

    Of course this will vary according to the ebb and flow of church growth and demographics, which are changeable.

    Many factors go into determining the functionality of a local church, of a group of churches, and of a movement. It is generally the accredited leadership which gets before God and receives the operations and effective potential of the group for the immediate and long term future.

  111. I am buying out of the ‘gnostic’ issue. Haven’t seen enough – S&P may have done but it hasn’t turned up here.

    Having re-read the quotes from above I pick with Bull’s line in what I think is a common issue in how churches market themselves these days – and I use the word ‘market’ very intentionally.

    Let’s go through these quotes from scratch, and I’ll highlight what I see as typical issues that I am not happy to see in any church:

    “VISION

    Every year we jointly commit to the task of resourcing the vision that God has given us.

    MN: given who? The leadership, or this being presumptively placed on the congregation?

    When we work together in unity we can build something that enables God to reach the world and be reconciled to Him. We are convinced that giving to Vision Builders secures a strong and exciting future for our church.

    MN: that maybe true, but picking up on FL’s line who says that is God’s vision for that particular church? The leadership? Do the congregation have any input to that, or does the Spirit only give visions to the leadership?

    We have seen miracles unfold in people’s lives as they have aligned their heart, purpose and financial with God’s vision to build His Church. As we each give our time and resources, together we will see lives transformed, captives released, and eyes open to the reality of Christ.” (pg 3 of ‘Vision Builders’)

    BUILDINGS

    We believe in the church gathered, united with one voice, one heart and one goal. C3 church is a place where we call home, we create space and room for people to grow, worship and live their lives wholly for Christ.

    MN: No real gripe, but again who is the “we” here. This is important.

    Our 3 campuses are where people gather, meet each other and meet God. Places where buildings overflow with people, where generations are inspired, equipped and empowered in our training programs, and beyond initiatives aid people locally and globally in their times of need. This is only the beginning.

    We see our church community discovering a life that is the best it can be through providing more places where people can encounter God. There are stories waiting to be told and eyes waiting to be unveiled to the truth. We have a united vision to build the church by connecting people to God and connecting people to each other…

    MN: united vision great, but who constitutes the unity? Is this top down stuff only?

    As we partner financially together we fuel the vision Sydney a City for Christ. We are bringing Jesus into contact with the one person. We are building the Church and we will see hundreds and thousands of lives changed. Let’s liberate a city and nation through the life-transforming Gospel of Jesus Christ by every available relevant means. (pg 7 of ‘Vision Builders’)

    MN: real gripe – we don’t liberate anyone – this is taking God’s place!!

    With a big flashy graphic taking up the booklet, the bottom half of the booklet on pg 8 had this scripture:

    “David said, “My son Solomon is young and inexperienced, and the house that is to be built for the LORD shall be exceedingly magnificent, famous and glorious throughout all lands. Therefore now I will make preparation for it.” So David made ample preparations before his death. 2 Chronicles 22:5 NASB” (pg 8 of ‘Vision Builders’)

    MN: crass consumerist grandstanding

    “THE MEANS

    Our vision is that every person is, no matter what their story, would give to God through the Vision Builders Program, holding nothing back, freely and generously, in worship of God. It’s not about equal giving but equal sacrifice.” (pg 9 of ‘Vision Builders’)

    MN: again whose vision??

    “YOUR BEST LIFE TELEVISION

    Television is just that, it’s Tel-EVERYONE. We have a passion to reach the world through television and our television presence is extending to a greater reach than ever before. Our vision is to make a way for the message God has placed inside our hearts to reach into households and living rooms, to reach people exactly where they are at in life. Our TV ministry produces a world-class quality 30-minute weekly television show ‘Your Best Life with Phil Pringle’, which is broadcast through Australia, Asia, Europe and the UK weekly. People are watching more TV than ever before and we want to reach them with the message of Christ and point them towards their local C3 Church. When a show comes out of a local church it creates a context for people to get connected to a local church. Through broadcasting a church full of life, alive and bright, we show believers and unbelievers worldwide that God is alive, the church is alive and that He desires us to live our best life for His glory. Our desire is that people see, feel and touch God.” (pg 9 of ‘Vision Builders’)

    MN: same issue all the way through. What we have is a presumptive ‘we’ which in my view is quite manipulative, and overpowering. In real terms what happens while everything seems to be on the up and up people go with, but when things go bad as they do, where is the support? The vision comes undone because in reality it was never a vision from God which implication, but probably not the truth.

    Even though I am free of the demands and expectations of everyone, I have voluntarily become a servant to any and all in order to reach a wide range of people: religious, nonreligious, meticulous moralists, loose-living immoralists, the defeated, the demoralized—whoever. I didn’t take on their way of life. I kept my bearings in Christ—but I entered their world and tried to experience things from their point of view. I’ve become just about every sort of servant there is in my attempts to lead those I meet into a God-saved life. I did all this because of the Message. I didn’t just want to talk about it; I wanted to be in on it! 1 Corinthians 9:19-23 MESSAGE”

    How Can You Be A Part Of Vision Builders 2010?

    Prayerfully consider the level of giving that you feel is appropriate for you. Your decision should be based on both faith and wisdom. Remember, the philosophy of Vision Builders is equal sacrifice, not equal giving.

    MN: the philosophy of Vision Builders, but stated nowhere in scripture. Total crap.

    MN: I cut the rest. You get the idea.

    As FL said what we see here is primarily a church based on works – the congregation being set up to achieve a vision not necessarily of God, but in God’s name.

    It is all one way traffic – the people appear to be incidental in this – there is some good stuff.

    But if it is not God’s vision, then the people are always the first to lose out.

    Cheers

  112. Sometimes you take people of faith.

    You don’t always have to meet the standard of evidence required to obtain a criminal conviction FL, which is what you are asking of S&P.

    But then wilful blindness both in criminal and civil matters equals guilty or damanges FL, and honestly that where I see you too much of the time…wilfully blind.

  113. you’ve missed the point FL.

    If I say, “I have had a Vision”, you might think that God has kindly spoken to me through some kind of mystical vision experience.

    If I said, “I have come up with an idea for how we bring the Gospel to kids in our local community over the next six months”, you would think that I had a ‘good’ idea and you would be able to mull it over and consider the pros and cons like you would with any idea.

    But if I talk about ‘a vision for kids’ then this cannot be considered in this way as it has the connotation that God has given it, therefore it cannot even be discussed, it must be obeyed.

    See the difference?

    ??? yes or no FL ??? Just a yes or no answer, no qualifying remarks or anything like that.

  114. Reading between the lines, your preconceived idea of local church structure is of a congregational church, mn. Therefore you place a strong emphasis on the need for democratic structure in a local church, or movement.

    C3 is run on apostolic lines. It has a recognised leadership team, of which the key members were also involved in either planting the church, or its early and sustained growth over a period of 30 years. They have seen the church, under Christ, develop as far as it has, and have been faithful to their vision over a long period of time. They have been consistent and focused in their ministry.

    The Vision pamphlet, which I once again remind you, I have not commented on in particular, appears to be a fairly standard Pentecostal promotion, in-house, and not a statement of faith, or an evangelistic message, or a teaching booklet. It is a proposal for future development of a ministry these people have been involved with faithfully and consistently over a long period of time.

    Whether you or I like it or not, any local church, large or small has to be financed and resourced, mostly from within, and mostly by free-will offerings of the membership. Producing vision pamphlets, vision statements, web-sites, and all other available means of vision casting is an accepted means of relating a vision, and the expected means of accomplishing the vision.

    Where it says ‘we’ I am assuming that it refers to the recognised local church membership at C3. Those who call the church their home, and who are involved to some degree in the promotion of the work God has given them.

    Where it talks about ‘our’ vision, they refer to God’s commission, and the fact that Jesus is building his Church on the revelation that he is the Christ, which is known by anyone who has heard Phil Pringle minister for any length of time, to be the emphasis of his ministry – working under through and by the Spirit of Christ as co-workers, to built His Church, as delegated by Him in the Great Commission.

    Calling me wilfully blind is unkind and uncalled-for, especially in view of the fact that I have already stated on more than one occasion that I will not comment on a pamphlet based on the copied version of a self-named antagonist.

    Rather than being wilfully blind, I have commented on the need of s&p to reconsider his position at this local church, because he is clearly at odds with the leadership, and, therefore, membership, and is, by his own admission, actively and aggressively working against this church, which, according to my Bible, constitutes sowing discord amongst the brethren, which God considers a serious offence against the gospel. Secondly, I have refuted his claims of fraudulence. And I have asked for reasons for alleging C3 is a gnostic cult. These are all reasonable requests. Let him state his case or retract!

    How is this blindness?

  115. Bull, I understand you perfectly. The vision being promoted here is the plan, not an open vision.

  116. Alright then … can’t you see that using the word vision puts the emphasis not on building a consensus around the plan of action but on imposing this plan on people through manipulation by making a link in people’s minds?

    Calling it a vision makes it something that God has given and making the very strong implication that it must be obeyed without question.

    Calling it a plan for the future would be more honest, wouldn’t it?

  117. Not really, Bull. How is a proposal suddenly imposing?

    I understand what you’re saying, but it’s rather splitting hairs. I think you’re in danger of thinking people are actually very naive or stupid.

    I didn’t write the plan, by the way. How people use the English language is entirely up to them. We all know what is meant, surely.

  118. in fact, since you have to use another word to qualify the word vision, e.g. “open vision” shows that word has been taken to mean something else. But this is never really explained. It becomes an in language, or jargon.

    How are we ever going to communicate the gospel of righteousness to unbelievers if we end up creating reams of jargon?

  119. FL, call a proposal a vision and then it has Godly backing, as long as you avoid using the word “open”, the link is allowed to be made without explaining that it was “just an idea I had while sitting on the bog, reading the newspaper”.

    Plus, if you don’t get with the vision and you will not be blessed. That is spiritual abuse. It is a moral imposition, it is no longer a proposal.

    This is not semantics. Those who use language to express themselves in church ought to consider how it will be understood by those who have to listen to them.

  120. OK, Bull, well, there we’ll have to disagree and let it go. I wuld ahve o problem whatsoever with understanding where C3 is coming from when discussing their vision. It is their plan under God. Call it what you want!

  121. Reading between the lines, your preconceived idea of local church structure is of a congregational church, mn. Therefore you place a strong emphasis on the need for democratic structure in a local church, or movement.

    MN: my argument is that that a biblical idea of church is where you have elders and deacons. This is not exclusive of a ‘democratic approach’ as you term it. The focus is more on whether the congregation agrees with where the Spirit as leading. The focus is on what God wants and opposed to what the leadership wants. To pre-empt Bull’s comments – this does not preclude ideas and discussing them and seeing if they have merit. God gave us dominion – sorry to use that word Bull – for a reason.

    C3 is run on apostolic lines. It has a recognised leadership team, of which the key members were also involved in either planting the church, or its early and sustained growth over a period of 30 years. They have seen the church, under Christ, develop as far as it has, and have been faithful to their vision over a long period of time. They have been consistent and focused in their ministry.

    MN: my gut reaction to this is that this seems to be an OT approach despite the use of the word ‘apostolic’. One of our pastors clearly has that NT gift but in other things he most clearly does not. The C3 and pente use of the word seems to be based on the OT notion that only they and not the congregation have access to the Holy Spirit. The curtain was torn from top to bottom – once for all – and then the Spirit poured out progressively for us all as the Gospel spread. The C3 model seems to be those that start a church own it lock. stock and barrel. Again, who recognises the leadership team? On what basis?….again faithful to whose vision? Bull is 100% in the money. Words do count since you so extremely hot to take on S&P over the ‘f’ word. You wnat it only one way, and when its not your way you wriggle and squirm, and use every diversion in the book. You are a master.

    The Vision pamphlet, which I once again remind you, I have not commented on in particular, appears to be a fairly standard Pentecostal promotion, in-house, and not a statement of faith, or an evangelistic message, or a teaching booklet. It is a proposal for future development of a ministry these people have been involved with faithfully and consistently over a long period of time.

    MN: this is no recommendation. As I said use of this stuff in any church is demands a question…whose vision. And it has been used from time to time in my church and other baptist churches – if I encounter it in my church I ask the same questions. The difference is more of a culture that allows these questions to be asked in mine than C3. If I or others disagree there is still room for us to continue fellowship.

    MN: There is nothing wrong with such a proposal so long as they do not couch it in terms that automatically exclude the congregation from having input to it from a Spirit perspective. Otherwise if the congregation has input and can say ‘Amen’ having listened and sought the Spirit’s leading terrific. As Bull says though, the use of the word ‘vision’ such that you are either with us or against us, and if you are against us then you are not with God on this thing. While this may not have started out as being intentional I think over time it inevitably becomes so – without checks and balances.

    Whether you or I like it or not, any local church, large or small has to be financed and resourced, mostly from within, and mostly by free-will offerings of the membership. Producing vision pamphlets, vision statements, web-sites, and all other available means of vision casting is an accepted means of relating a vision, and the expected means of accomplishing the vision.

    MN: Mostly I agree with you, but can’t help feeling this has just been reduced marketing techniques to get money. Money is an important resource in our congregation but we don’t get hammered about it Sunday in and Sunday out. And we are growing. Go figure…

    Where it says ‘we’ I am assuming that it refers to the recognised local church membership at C3. Those who call the church their home, and who are involved to some degree in the promotion of the work God has given them.

    MN: same question FL – recognised by who?

    Where it talks about ‘our’ vision, they refer to God’s commission, and the fact that Jesus is building his Church on the revelation that he is the Christ, which is known by anyone who has heard Phil Pringle minister for any length of time, to be the emphasis of his ministry – working under through and by the Spirit of Christ as co-workers, to built His Church, as delegated by Him in the Great Commission.

    MN: no that is not true, otherwise it very poorly written. What happens is that he drifts in and out of ‘our vision’ as being God’s commission, and ‘our vision’ as very clearly PP’s vision – “Our vision is that every person is, no matter what their story, would give to God through the Vision Builders Program, holding nothing back….” It is a huge assumption to say that he was referring to God’s vision here – nothing there to support that at all. It is most clearly PP or the writers vision though”

    Calling me wilfully blind is unkind and uncalled-for, especially in view of the fact that I have already stated on more than one occasion that I will not comment on a pamphlet based on the copied version of a self-named antagonist.

    MN: tell the truth then if you have the courage. You think S&P is a liar, or has lied previously to the extent that you will not place any store in his credibility. Otherwise it would be reasonable to comment. Your credibility is at stake here too FL.

    Rather than being wilfully blind, I have commented on the need of s&p to reconsider his position at this local church, because he is clearly at odds with the leadership, and, therefore, membership, and is, by his own admission, actively and aggressively working against this church, which, according to my Bible, constitutes sowing discord amongst the brethren, which God considers a serious offence against the gospel. Secondly, I have refuted his claims of fraudulence. And I have asked for reasons for alleging C3 is a gnostic cult. These are all reasonable requests. Let him state his case or retract!

    MN: I acknowledge your comments above, but equally if C3 is as full of error as S&P says then your recommendation equates to leaving brothers and sisters remain in error and possibly fall into spiritual shipwreck, while S&P does a Pontius Pilate and abandon them to his fate. It may be that God is saying to S&P time walk, but it also be that God has called S&P to a hard road as He did to many of the Prophets and indeed His own Son. And you would call him to spiritual cowardice??

    FL: How is this blindness?

    MN: You are not blind to S&P’s faults. You are very cognizant and erudite in relation to them. But you are wilfully blind in relation to many of the issues presented on this forum. You repeatedly ignore, refuse to deal with, face or even acknowledge their existence. You have repeatedly denied people’s experience demanding on more than one occasion a standard of proof required in criminal courts where the by product is the truth is not important as technicalities.

    MN: I go back to my previous comments. We all have to take people on faith throughout our lives. It is inescapable. It is instructive to see who we take on faith and why…and those we don’t.

  122. Ok. I saw similarities between Phil’s quote and the gnostic gospel of Thomas’ quote.

    Let me quote from the gnostic gospel of Thomas again:

    When you rid yourselves of guilt and shame and tear off your old rags and trample them beneath your feet like children. Then you’ll see the Son of He who is the living God, and you’ll never need fear again.” “

    And what Phil said:

    We have seen miracles unfold in people’s lives AS THEY HAVE ALIGNED their heart, purpose and financial with God’s vision to build His Church.

    AS WE EACH GIVE OUR TIME AND RESOURCES, together we will see lives transformed, captives released, and eyes open to the reality of Christ.

    I found that the teachings from the gnostic gospel fall into line with what Phil Pringle says. Let me combine them:

    “When you rid yourselves of guilt and shame (AS THEY HAVE ALIGNED their heart, purpose and financial with God’s vision to build His Church) and tear off your old rags and trample them beneath your feet like children (AS WE EACH GIVE OUR TIME AND RESOURCES)…

    Then you’ll SEE (we will SEE lives transformed, captives released, and EYES OPEN to the reality of Christ) the Son of He who is the living God, and you’ll never need fear again.” “

    To SEE is to KNOW. Wisdom and Light are one and the same. Jesus is Light and Wisdom. If the Light exposes things from the darkness we learn more from what the light reveals. The light makes us believe. Jesus (the Light), opened our eyes to Him. He gave us Himself (Faith) to believe in Him.

    Phil, just like the teaching in this gnostic gospel, suggests that we can’t ‘see’ Christ unless we a-line ourselves through our works to fully see or know something that we don’t know already.

    I’ve always found that the ‘one’ who supposedly has this ‘super-knowledge’ is the false super-‘apostles’ in this day and age (like Phil Pringle) and those that Paul rebuked in Corinth. They used this ‘super-knowledge’ to exalt themselves, gain followings and get money from the vulnerable people in the Corinth church.

    Not only that, when it came to communion MEALS in the Corinth church, it was these rich gnostic super-apostles that had their ‘green rooms’ while the poorer Corinths ate the scraps in the garden, which was why people were getting sick and dying in the church.

    Gnostic teachings make people work for their salvation just like other false gospels.

    In this day and age, the WoF movement was influenced by the gnostic teachings of Hagen. Plagiarised and made popular by Copeland and spread through out the church. The Faith we have in the bible is the Faith given to us: Jesus. The Spirit of Jesus in us prompts us, leads us and works through us healing and doing other things. The ‘faith’ these so called faith teachers teach us is a gnostic magic faith.

    This ‘faith’ when combined with the ritual of giving, obedience, singing or commitment, UNLOCKS God to pour out healing, financial blessing, etc. This is the only time when we SEE God. And this is what is continually reinforced what we should be ‘seeing’ more of. When these formulas don’t work, obviously we have done something wrong and need to look at fixing our selves up, mustering up this faith to SEE God do something powerful.

    When people see influential super-apostles with the looks, money and wisdom, the belief is is that they have this faith, the sight, the knowledge that others don’t. Therefore the followers buy their books and knowledge, sit under their ministries to gain this wisdom, to gain this faith, to gain this light and power that the super-apostles have, that they don’t believe they have.

    In essence, people want this ‘gnostic faith’. They want to ‘see’ these visions. They want to ‘see’ God manifest through these rituals performed.

    Phil Pringle went over to the US and embraced these gnostic faith teachings from Copeland-like ministries early on. I’ll have to find them.

    If you want Facelift, I can do this research for you. I’ve read allot about this.

  123. mn,
    ‘The C3 and pente use of the word seems to be based on the OT notion that only they and not the congregation have access to the Holy Spirit.’

    Not at all. The NT understanding of the apostolic is to train and equip the saints for the work of the ministry, to build the church, and to help mature saints into the fulness and stature of Christ. All believers are to be filled with the Spirit, led by the Spirit, and engage in the fruit and gifts of the Spirit. Every saint has a role and position within the Body, and the Body edifies itself in love. All believers are led by the Spirit, and this is the evidence of sonship, and sealing in Christ.

    mn,
    ‘The C3 model seems to be those that start a church own it lock. stock and barrel.’

    Not at all. The C3 application is generational, whilst being aware of the need for discipleship and mentoring of those who are in senior ministry. It is Christ’s Church. The congregation are stewards. Some are appointed by Christ to oversee and lead in five-fold ministries. Some have planted the local church they serve, and they are in oversight, others have taken on churches previously planted by others. This is very Biblical. C3 has an excellent generational set-up. If Phil Pringle were to go to be with the Lord today, the movement would continue and thrive. In fact, as it is today, it is largely reproducing itself independent of the control of the recognised leadership, but under the direction of the Holy Spirit. Every local church connected to C3 is autonomous, and runs its own affairs without interference, whilst acknowledging the direction of the movement.

    mn,
    ‘You repeatedly ignore, refuse to deal with, face or even acknowledge their existence.’

    Well that is hugely subjective, and relative to the various perspectives of those who comment. You don’t apply the same rigour to others who comment here. If you read other threads you will see I have, just yesterday, discussed the errors of C P Wagner. Not always agreeing or complying with your point of view on everything is not a sign I am either right, wrong or ignoring anything, refusing to deal with anything, or acknowledging anything. That is your imagination at play. I have acknowledged many things here. I have also made major adjustments. The truth is that I don’t actually have to report to you, mn, although I identify with your seniority in regard to sense and moral astuteness. Many times I have complemented you on clear articles and explanations, some of which were helpful to my understanding of differing perspectives.

    I have been relatively calm recently, and stuck to scriptural processes, not personal attacks, although others have not returned this courtesy, and, since I have been accused in the past of being overzealous in my approach, I have earnestly sought to comply with your standards, which you now question. Now you call it evasion and lack of courage. If you would prefer I can be more forthright, but what would that achieve? Iv e avoided some controversies to steer clear of contention. However, when C3 is accused of fraud and being a gnostic cult, I feel there is an explanation necessary, or a retraction.

    I have stated clearly my intention to ask s&p for proof of wrong-doing in reference to serious allegations. I have made none. I am not in a court of law, as either a witness or the accused, nor is s&p, but he came potentially close, didn’t he, with his fraud allegations, hence your intervention, and RP’s advice. I pressed s&p, not noticing he had corrected his accusation, more to help him understand the gravity of ill-considered comments, and as a friend, than as a prosecutor. He, hopefully, will learn this and avoid defamatory allegations.

    I have asked for scriptural evidence for accusing C3 of being a gnostic cult. That is what I am interested in. I could go further and say s&p is wrong to claim that people are shown the door for dissent, when he says he has spoken to Phil Pringle three times, airing his views, and yet remains within the C3 clan at Oxford Falls.

    I have told him, as a brother, he is wrong to sow discord amongst the brethren. I have advised him, along with others, to find a place he will be happy with, and grow in. How is that not walking in love? He says he doesn’t want to split his family by leaving, yet he openly does so by publicly and personally criticising their pastors, church, movement and leadership, freely admitting he wants to pull them all out, and said that he is there to teach and train the leadership and membership at C3 in regard to their error. Do you support this?

  124. s&p, with respect, I understand what you are attempting with the Gospel of Thomas, but it is not relevant to anything, and is clutching at straws. You need to produce Biblical evidence, not comparisons with strange, discredited books.

    You know as well as I do that Phil pringle is not saying that people are saved by works. You cannot twist what he says to mean this.

    I warn you beforehand, if you want to accuse Hagin of gnosticism, you will have a big fight on your hands. I know what he actually taught, and I know the various arguments about his associations with Kenyon, and what Kenyon was accused of. It will be a long, and probably, pointless discussion, with interjections from various discernment sites which pour out the same waffle.

    Please just show me from scripture what is gnostic about what C3 teaches, and let’s keep it simple. Let’s stick to how people can be saved.

  125. Bull’s comments re the term ‘vision’ are accurate, in my opinion. The term ‘vison’ used in this church context elevates the plan to something more than a plan by men. Also, the ‘vision’ has for many years been associated at C3OF with actual ‘visons’ that Phil Pringle occasionally described to the congregation… ‘I saw a congregation of 100,00 people…’ etc etc – many visual images. The vision has a plan attached to it, but the Vision itself is of the church in 2020, and has been marketed from time to time with images seen by PP described to the congregation. The implication is that God has given Phil these visions, and they are not just a man’s plan. Accordingly, if you participate, you are participating in a plan that has the revealed will of God behind it, via actual visions to PP, and prayerful planning to go in that direction. To question it, is to question whether PP actually heard from God or not. If he did not, then that would undermine everything that he is in that church. So its a place that most people really wouldn’t want to go. Safer to just accept that Pringle has indeed heard from God on the matter, is sharing the vision and visions that God gave him at different times, and to accept the planning as a means of arriving at the vision.

    Also – to be pedantic – a vision regardless of its source, is an end result; a plan is a way of getting there.

    Vision is also a commercial term used in business. In a business, it does not convey the authority of God. In a church setting, the word acquires an extra, supernatural connotation. As Pringle is a man who has a greater anointing than the rest of us, and is called to be an apostle, he is expected to see and hear from God more than the rest of us would.

  126. I have no opinion on the gnosticism thing. I don’t think its even that relevant, sorry. I could be wrong.

  127. Of course, RP, but I think I’m taking for granted, a little bit, commenters’ understanding of NT teaching on vision, commission and mission.

    Acts 2
    17 ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams.
    18 And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; And they shall prophesy.’

    There is the mandate God has given the Church Universal, to make disciples of all nations. There is the means by which this is accomplished by the people of the Church Universal, including the local church. There is mission, there is method, there is motive.

    Bull cheapens the means by which a leader might receive a vision or a dream from God of how to go about knowing from God exactly how to proceed, by suggesting a person receives a plan on the bog reading the newspaper. Maybe that’s how evangelicals do it in UK, but we are Pentecostals in Australia.

    In fact, Phil is known to be a praying man who believes in visions and dreams according to the scripture above, as a result of receiving the outpouring of the Spirit of God. Dr Cho is his declared oversight, and is known for intense and sustained prayer and seeking God for direction. He recommends no less than 3 hours prayer a day for overseers.

    Phil spends time, as C3 folk will know, before God. He expects to hear from God. He knows the responsibility of direction for the church God has given him charge over as overseer. Overseers need clarity of purpose. They need understanding of the spiritual means of accomplishing their call as either apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors or teachers.

    We have the general purpose and plan of God. We have his Vision for the Church, and for Israel, and for the end times. We have his mandate, his commission, and his motivation for accomplishing the goals he sets us.

    But we need specifics related to the local church we are engaged with, and, in the case of a person given responsibility for a number of churches, the direction which needs to be taken to achieve the goals God sets us. This requires prayer, and time spent in the Presence of God. It is not a flippant exercise of attempting to influence others into the Kingdom by natural, temporal means, but by spiritual, eternal means. It is not made up as we go along. It is foreseen in the Spirit, in prayer, in meditation, in diligently seeking God. It is prophetic. It is apostolic. It is God imparting his vision for the immediate and the future.

    This, in turn, is related to the flock. I can;t understand why this is not understood, especially by anyone who has association, past or present, with C3. I can understand it, perhaps, being unclear to those who have no direct association with C3, but not with those who read their Bibles ardently.

    I apologise for making the assumption that this was understood.

  128. Well I accept your apology Facelift but it was a huge presumption. That is how you understand “vision” but it is not the way that most people and indeed most mainstream Christians understand the word.

    From the Acts 2 passage you quoted it clearly says that the Spirit will be poured out on all flesh. “Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy”. It dosent say “I will pour out my Spirit on a couple of Apostles, you can ask them for the good oil”. No, it is saying that the vision is shared among all believers.

    Your understanding of this passage and vision makes for an extremely hierarchical and controlling organisation. Even more hierarchical than the Catholic Church in my opinion, because even though the Pope makes Apostolic pronouncements in the Catholic church there is a concept that these have to be accepted by the general church for them to become binding. There appears to be no such concept in your world-view.

  129. Precisely Wazza. It becomes very exclusive, and very top down. It cuts the congregation off at the knees, and in the end diminishes the power of the Gospel.

  130. I don’t have a problem with Phil Pringle having visions, or sharing them. However, there is a problem with the assumption that sacrificing for that particular vision is the right personal vision for all congregation members and with pressuring people or making them feel that this is the number one way they can serve God in their lives.

    It would be more correct to think of Phil Pringle’s church as a mission. If it were a mission, then rather than going there to attend a church, but then expected to become a facilitator of Phil’s vision, people who identified with that vision would attend. People who just wanted a church, could go elsewhere.

    For example, if I felt called to help the homeless on a daily or weekly committed, personal basis, I would join a mission that was involved in those tasks. In joining, I would then expect to sacrifice time and money to meet the ‘vision’ of that mission.

    If I felt called to be a part of building a Pentecostal church of x number of people across Sydney or wherever, I would join the C3 mission, or some other Pentecostal mission. I would expect to sacrifice my time and money to that end.

    However – when I go to church just to be part of a diverse body of people all growing in Christ, I don’t know yet what direction He has in store for me. I want to be able to hear that in a personal way, and to grow to know Him better. As I come to know Him, and learn to hear Father, I will begin to serve in the ways in which He calls me. I don’t need another person’s vision to strongly impose those ways upon me.

    Learning to follow Him is something I would hope to learn as part of the church, his body, in whatever form it is gathered. Being pressured or strongly encouraged to become part of a particular vision that God has given someone else can lead me in the wrong direction if it is put in such a way that I feel guilty, unworthy or even judged to be a ‘lesser’ Christian for not participating.

    There are many churches that pursue a variety of missions or ministries, where people aren’t necessarily expected to sacrifice vast amounts to a particular one in order to be truly united with their church, or rewarded by God. Often, no ministry is held up above the others. But in some churches a particular vision is held up so high that it overwhelms the rest of the diversity that people may be a part of. Building campaigns are a classic example. Often these kill congregations, or burn out many people. The churn rate at C3OF is high, I am told – others may be able to back that up. The relentless focus vision and building campaigns would be one reason why.

  131. Facelift: “I have told him, as a brother, he is wrong to sow discord amongst the brethren.”

    You didn’t listen to me AGAIN!

    Facelift: “You need to produce Biblical evidence, not comparisons with strange, discredited books.”

    You didn’t listen to me again here either.

    Facelift: “I have asked for scriptural evidence for accusing C3 of being a gnostic cult. That is what I am interested in.”

    Read the bloody bible Facelift! I’ll say it again:

    “You want to read about Gnosticism? Read the Colossian letter and 1 and 2 Corinthians.”

    Get a commentary. READ the context. I’m sick of serving you a plate where you knock it from my hands saying it’s never good enough.

    Teddy said:
    “I was under the impression (having been told by a C3 pastor) that Rise and Build was no longer happening but there would be special invites to a private dinner (it happened last week) where those who choose to, can be part of the “vision” financially.”

    I checked that up. That was a ‘Vision Builders’ night. This only proves what I am saying. Other churches do something similar, unfortunately. But this is simply a divisive and manipulative act to get people feeling they are set apart to be more committed to the vision then others.

    This goes against Paul’s plea:

    1Cor 1:10-13 “I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought.

    My brothers, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephasa”; still another, “I follow Christ.”

    Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized intob the name of Paul?”

    There are those CLEARLY following Phil Pringle’s vision. His vision is not uniting his own church as a whole – but causing division. Pringle now has set apart his own election, gathering and more elite givers and committed to his ministry of finance.

    The church is divided – more elite than others in terms of their allegiance to the vision. What are they gaining in being apart of this ‘Vision Builders’ event? Well there’s status, the idea that they are getting more blessed financially or closer to God to unlock miracles or blessings.

    I’m sure many wouldn’t want to think like this, but this type of thinking is re-enforced on C3ites by Phil. This is his faith, vision and wisdom finally taking form which supposedly is now his ‘blessing’ which God has given him. To be united with his faith and vision and to one day know his wisdom, or to receive an impartation of whatever Phil has so that they may be blessed, is – at it’s core gnosticism.

    Obviously people see that Phil Pringle knows that secret formula in how to be blessed by God financially, influentially, spiritually and experimentally. How many books and how many visions must people follow until they realise what they are follow is not God but gnostic faith and teaching?

  132. “You know as well as I do that Phil pringle is not saying that people are saved by works.”

    Yes he does. He’s once associated tithing to obtaining eternal life. I didn’t pick up on it. My friend did.

    “You cannot twist what he says to mean this.”

    Pringle’s words expose himself. I aint twisting his words.

  133. I think what I am saying is being misrepresented, actually, but I’ll persist in attempting to clarify my perspective.

    wazza2,
    ‘Your understanding of this passage and vision makes for an extremely hierarchical and controlling organisation.’

    Not at all. I qualified what I believed is the role of the five-fold oversight earlier:

    ‘The NT understanding of the apostolic is to train and equip the saints for the work of the ministry, to build the church, and to help mature saints into the fulness and stature of Christ. All believers are to be filled with the Spirit, led by the Spirit, and engage in the fruit and gifts of the Spirit. Every saint has a role and position within the Body, and the Body edifies itself in love. All believers are led by the Spirit, and this is the evidence of sonship, and sealing in Christ.’

    Where does that cut off the Body at any juncture? It doesn’t. It reveals that the whole purpose of oversight is to take on Christ’s delegated responsibility to equip and train the saints in specific directives. To ignore the call, grace and measure of faith given by Christ would be sin and disobedience.

    But… on another subject altogether, which you bring into play…

    Every saint is called to have visions or dreams. Every saint is called to prophesy. Eery saint is given responsibility for his or her own call and grace, according to the measure of faith. Why? Because every saint is included in the outpouring of the Spirit.

    This includes the overseers, who are also saints, who are also filled with the Spirit, who also hear from God, who also prophesy, have visions, and dream dreams, and…who are responsible for leading a local church in their purposes.

    I think you must be confusing the leadership of a local church or movement with every believers’ requirement to be led and overseen by the Spirit of Christ in their personal walk, as well as their personal development.

    We all have to take full responsibility for our actions, for what we receive, for how we are led, for what we do, how we serve, where we give, how we give, when we give, who we serve, where and why, and for how we conduct ourselves.

    There is no excuse for not reading the Word for ourselves, for not testing every spirit for ourselves, and for being led by the Spirit of God personally.

    When it comes to giving it is each individual who is exhorted to purpose in their heart what and how they will give. It is not the responsibility of the overseer to force, order, command, or manipulate a saint into giving any amount.

    However, it is perfectly reasonable for them to make suggestions, give opportunities, ask for certain amounts, set possible goals, or target specific giving areas which inform, encourage or give examples of how members can assist with a stated financial project.

  134. In all honesty, what am I listening to, s&p? I’m sorry, but you’re not being clear to me. Perhaps I’m thick, but I can’t work out what you’re saying, truly.

    I read the Epistles all the time, but I actually don’t need to read Colossians to work out what gnosticism is, or Galatians. I know what it is. I have just taught on it in our church as a point of giving warning to our church to avoid deception.

    I am asking you to simply and specifically demonstrate how C3 is a gnostic cult.

    I know for sure that salvation by grace through faith is taught in C3. Absolutely, and without any other qualification or necessity. Salvation by grace, through faith alone. Full stop! Not of works, lest any man boast. It is the gift of God. There is no other way that a person can be saved but through Jesus Christ.

    I have never heard any C3 person teach that salvation is through tithing. Never.

    I think there is a huge degree of misunderstanding and misrepresentation going on here, which may or may not be anyone’s fault, but it is certainly becoming rather distressing as far as I am concerned.

    I find it appalling, frankly.

  135. “When it comes to giving it is each individual who is exhorted to purpose in their heart what and how they will give. It is not the responsibility of the overseer to force, order, command, or manipulate a saint into giving any amount.

    However, it is perfectly reasonable for them to make suggestions, give opportunities, ask for certain amounts, set possible goals, or target specific giving areas which inform, encourage or give examples of how members can assist with a stated financial project.” – FL

    Yes, agreed.

    When a vision is given more sermon time than any other part of Christian life, or when every area preached upon is linked to the church Vision, then manipulation and pressure occur. When every message is designed to direct people towards the church vision, rather than exhort, teach and encourage across the board, then again, we have pressure and manipulation. If a vision is preached more moderately, as one among many things, then there is probably little problem.

    At the time I left C3OF, the only thing preached upon was the building fund or the offering. Each week, the Holy Spirit moved PP to drop his prepared sermon for the offering talk – there was no time left for other things. But that was many years ago now. Things may have moved on.

  136. I see what you are saying, RP, and can empathise if you found it uncomfortable. Raising funds for projects is always a potentially emotive time for some people. For others it is an expected part of church life. In fact, a surprising amount of people think leaders are lacking vision or purpose if they are not stepping out in faith on a large project, or stretching people, spiritually, emotionally or financially. Getting the balance right isn’t easy. Pleasing everyone is impossible. Best to please God and trust he has it in all hand.

  137. It wasn’t uncomfortable. I was right into the giving part of it at the time, and thought the building fund was great. Not critical of that at all. It was just that after a while, it became so frustrating and tedious to never hear anything else. It was only years later that I became more analytical about the whole thing.

  138. Yes FL, basically in a very nice way you’ve implied to RP that if she were to be in disagreement with PP’s direction – that it would be because of some emotional or other fault in herself.

    PP’s vision or execution cannot be wrong because he is the annointed Apostle who hears from God directly. Others under him must necessarily have limited or obscured vision.

  139. On a related note, FL would you ever take teaching or correction from another blogger on this site? Or would your position as a Pastor necessarily put you above the others?

  140. Point taken, RP. No implication inferred, by the way. Just an observation which obviously doesn’t apply to you.

    wazza2, ever excellent at seeing things which are not there. It could equally be said that in a very nice way you are sowing discord between RP and I. But I’m sure you’re not really.

    In fact, I subjected myself to Bull in private email conversations recently in regard to this blog. It was a very friendly exchange, which I appreciate. Would you ever take correction from a C3 pastor?

    All believers are admonished to be submitted to one another in the fear of the Lord, even before they are called to whatever ministry or grace God gives them.

    wazza2,
    ‘PP’s vision or execution cannot be wrong because he is the annointed Apostle who hears from God directly. Others under him must necessarily have limited or obscured vision.’

    Preposterous. He certainly doesn’t say this. If you can’t see beyond this prejudicial position you’ll never understand anything to do with C3, or Pentecost, for that matter, despite any past involvement.

  141. Incidentally, wazza2, I used the word ’emotive’, which means arousing or able to arouse intense feeling, and is not the same as being emotional, or at fault, as you falsely imply.

    I’m amazed how easy you find it to twist the meaning of words to suit your agenda.

  142. “wazza2,
    ‘PP’s vision or execution cannot be wrong because he is the annointed Apostle who hears from God directly. Others under him must necessarily have limited or obscured vision.’”

    It is what my ex pastors believed. They let me know that when I raised some things with them that I was concerned about.

  143. “All believers are admonished to be submitted to one another in the fear of the Lord, even before they are called to whatever ministry or grace God gives them”. – FL

    Yet we have this concept of vertical submission. People are only submitted to those ‘over’ them. So those running a congregation are submitted to no one in their actual congregation, though they do have oversight from others outside their church.

    Mutual submission seems to be unfashionable.

  144. Wazza: “Others under him must necessarily have limited or obscured vision.”

    Luckily for me I don’t have any man over me either so my vision is also unobscured.

  145. Wazza’s observation was true, from my reading. So it is good we have clarified things. No discord sewn. (Sewn or sown?? ) Must get my machine out soon, being the traditional housewife that I am. Curtains to make.

  146. So you believe PP is infallible, like the pope? Or rather that he makes that claim. Nonsense.

    It’s all tricky ground, isn’t it, when men start taking themselves more seriously than they ought, thinking more of themselves than they should.

    What is an Apostle but a servant of God, a flawed human, an earthen vessel, like all saints, blessed to be containers of the glory of God, undeserved, but graced.

    The point Paul makes, as an Apostle appointed by Christ, is that God chooses the base, foolish and unwise, not the self-asppointed infallible. Paul, considered by some the be the greatest of the Apostles, calls himself the greatest of sinners, saved by grace, and graced by God. It is our fallibility which qualifies us for service.

    That way God receives the glory. It is His vision we follow, not some man’s. It is His mandate we are engaged in, not PP’s, or BH’s, or RW’s, or BH’s, or Paul’s, or Apollos’, or Cephas’, or any other man’s, Apostle or Prophet. It is the Body of Christ we are building, as co-workers with Christ, not C3, or Hillsong, or Willow Creek, or Saddleback.

    I recently heard Phil teach on leadership, and emphasise his fallibility and the need to follow Christ, be led by the Spirit, and prayerfully study the Word of God.

    I do hope people will realise these things, and engage in God’s purposes as one Body in and through Christ.

    Being gifted to the Body as an Apostle is not a guarantee of perfect vision, or exclusive authority, or more sensitive spiritual hearing than anyone else in the Body, only the grace, call and accompanying responsibility, under God, for the stewardship of the souls of men placed by God in their charge, whom they serve, and for whom they will give account.

    They need our prayers and support, not our scorn.

  147. I’m not pouring scorn on PP but I am scornful of the attitude that I’m seeing here which is to reinforce strict hierarchy whilst denying it when specifically asked.

    i.e imply directly that not following PP is to not follow God, point out that the questioner is being ’emotive’ i.e. not rational. If the questioner accepts this you’ve done your job – one more troublemaker back in their box. If they object strongly then you might be able to run the emotive line a bit more. But have enough weasel words in there so that if they make a reasonable response you can back-down and deny you ever made the allegation.

    I expect that you will deny all this again, and make a few more digs at me. Probably you have been working like this for so long that it is automatic and you don’t realise that you are doing it. I’m just pointing this out to you and I hope you will prayerfully consider it.

  148. PP doesn’t claim to be infallible – no one has said that. He is ‘anointed but human’ (my expression). Because his anointing is superior to that of others, others are inclined to quash any doubts and follow his lead regardless, because he is ‘a great man of God’. Mistakes will affirm his humanity, and successes will prove his anointing. Whereas for many others, mistakes or failures affirm that they are ‘doing something wrong’ – not tithing enough, or have some sin issue to deal with, and successes if they are generous givers, may be lauded from the stage as evidence that God blesses and protects those who willingly sacrifice significantly for the kingdom (read ‘for the church vision’).

  149. In many pentecostal churches (I can’t speak for C3OF, never having been there) I find a disjoint between what is taught and what is actually practised. Pastors would probably never teach salvation by anything other than grace, through faith. However, the rest of the baggage comes in under the umbrella of ‘discipleship’.

    Not all, I stress, but many do engage in questionable practices under the mantle of discipling someone, eg. the pastor is the most important person in your life after God (this was actually said to a friend of mine, in the presence of witnesses, by his pastor).

    If you find yourself uncomfortable with the whole vision thing being relentlessly pushed and taking the place of the public reading and teaching of scripture, or you determine that what you can afford to give is not a tenth of your income, the implication is made that you’re either being rebellious, or being unfaithful to the vision of the church, or somehow being less than Christian. In fact, in many places it has become a ‘take it or leave it’ attitude from the leadership, if not the pulpit. Why? Probably because it is felt that you are replaceable if you leave. And this is one of my biggest gripes with the ‘church-growth’ focus of the church today. People become viewed as numbers, not as sheep to be fed and nurtured, so if one leaves it’s just another number which is replaced by the new guy responding to the altar call, hallelujah. Doesn’t matter if he’s not tithing anymore, the new guy’ll take his place, and he’s got a better income, now we could probably put up that new roof, praise the Lord.

    God bless. I’ll be off to church now. We have a visiting teacher, who’s been before, so for a change we’re going to have some solid scripture teaching – YES!!

  150. A lot of people who don’t have much attend churches looking for hope. It’s just wrong for some to take advantage of their leadership position to pressure people to give to some greater cause and promise this is the first step to solving any financial worries they have. Not such a big deal for the well off, but a travesty towards the poor. It can’t be justified.

  151. My biggest problem with C3OF is that while they do preach salvation by grace they also preach that God’s hands are tied and he can’t heal you or answer your prayers etc unless you’ve been tithing to the church. So basically its salvation by grace but everything else you earn by your works primarily the work of giving money to CCCOF.

  152. My even bigger problem with CCC is the Non-Christians who must turn up and conclude that “these people are just blatantly afer my money its all a sham”.

    The ministers motives for aquiring the money may be “pure” (I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt), and they may really believe their spiel about being blessed as a result of giving but to most outsiders (and insiders) watching it just looks like money grubbing, not a good witness for the gospel.

    Really what’s the point of pressuring thousands of dollars out of your audience to support your work converting people (assuming dollars even do translate into conversions) if in the process of acquiring that money you have immunised thousands of people against hearing your gospel message. Its counter productive.

  153. Incidentaly I don’t have a problem with tithing (excpet when it is taught as compulsory) I aim to do it myself. Its not my giving the tithe that I have a problem with (I already do that) its their constant demand for it that I have a problem with. And by the way when you are actually tithing (because you have a relatively high paying enough job that you can actually afford to do that – tithing on 70k a year hurts a lot less than tithing on 10k) their constant demmand for the money looks even sillier.

  154. No one is applying any kind of hierarchy, wazza2. I think you’ve basically made your mind up about C3 and Pentecostals, and that’s that. I’m mostly asking for an explanation of why s&p thinks C3 is a Gnostic Cult. That is not correction, just an explanation.

    ‘Emotive’ isn’t irrational. It is passion expressed. You’re looking for something which isn’t there. Not a problem. But I can’t understand why you are attempting to pluck things out of the air.

    If I am brief you want qualification, if I qualify what I say it is some kind of weasel back-up! You seem to think this is an arena for correction, yet I’m only asking for a reasonable explanation. We’re all equal in God’s sight, wazza2, so forget the hierarchy diversion.

    Do you agree with s&p that C3 is a Gnostic Cult? If so, why?

  155. wazza2,
    ‘imply directly that not following PP is to not follow God’

    ????

    How can you ‘imply’ anything ‘directly’? It is either implied, or direct. Actually, neither applies to anything I have said.

    There is no implication from me of the sort. Or direct assertion.

    In fact, I have clearly explained that this is not the case, and it is you and you alone who have implied any kind of hierarchy.

    The statement you made above I absolutely refute.

    Do you agree with s&p that C3 is a Gnostic Cult? If so, why?

  156. About what, RP?

    I don’t have a problem with any of the Body of Christ. We are all brothers and sisters under Christ.

  157. By ‘imply’ I meant to suggest as a necessary consequence, such as in mathematics.

    I don’t think the case has been made sufficiently that C3 is gnostic. However, where there are inner-circles, hierarchies, “alignment”-teaching (which in my view comes from new-age or occult teachings), levels of giving etc. then there is a danger that the message of grace will be over-whelmed by a message of salvation by knowledge.

  158. Wazza: “alignment”-teaching (which in my view comes from new-age or occult teachings)…

    I would have thought comes straight out of 90’s and 00’s management speak.

    I’m inclined to agree with RP and was the thrust of my earlier comments which you took exception to FL.

    I think all of us here see you as a brother in Christ.

    S&P has his views about how gnosticism in C3 teachings esp. PP’s, but most of us are not convinced about that one way or the other.

    What most of are convinced about (I think and not wishing to put words other mouths that are not there) the structures in place at C3 which are there by virtue of their leadership lead inevitably to a doctrine of works manifested in a number of ways – the whole giving thing is just one of them.

    And no-one here is suggesting that we shouldn’t give either.

    You seem convinced by an apostolic model which to me to very OT and proprietorial.

    May be the crux comes down what does being an apostle mean in this day and age?

    I don’t get FL’s rendition of it.

  159. mn: “I would have though comes straight out of 90’s and 00’s management speak”

    It could be, but I’ve had my own experience of the term used in a Pentecostal church and it had a very well thought out theological (but not biblical) background. I will put up a post about it soon.

  160. RP,
    ‘About the rest of us here being wrong about the way things are done.’

    There are a variety of ideas here, from Pentecostal to Evangelical, so no, I haven’t, really.

    To explain: I don’t think anyone is entirely wrong about anything, but there are some assumptions made which need clarification, or better presented scriptural and factual evidence. I generally comment on issues which I feel require better evaluation. Otherwise I’d probably be in agreement, ie, on the failure of certain ministries to deal with the Todd Bentley issue adequately, or the excesses of Matt Ford, which appear to be on the extreme end of the neo-charismatic.

    mn,
    I’d like you to explain what you see as an OT apostolic model, compared to the NT model I presented earlier, which, I add, is not necessarily C3 doctrine, but my understanding.

    I am not familiar with the ministry or appointment of apostles before Christ’s earthly walk. I have always understood it to be a NT ministry grace. The first reference I can find is in Matthew 10, when Jesus named his Apostles.

  161. What I mean FL by saying it seems rather OT to me is the concept of the prophet being filled with the Spirit, while the rest of us aren’t.

    What I am saying is that from the outside looking in the pamphlet above presents in that light, more than that where all now have the Spirit indwelling us.

    I wouldn’t care what church was being discussed here – that will always concern me.

    While that might have been right for OT times, I can’t see that it is today.

    One of the things that consistently comes up on this forum – the same issues result in people being marginalised and diminished.

    I don’t see this as a pente only thing, but the apostolic thing seems to be.

  162. I know this is a long thread, mn, but already pointed out earlier many things which have returned in latter comments.

    For instance I have said that the outpouring of the Spirit was upon all flesh, and will prophesy, the young have visions, and the old dream dreams, which means I agree with you that every believer is prophetic, and all should hear from the Spirit. This negates the OT need of an OT Prophet.

    I also said that it is important to identify that there are overseers who have been given grace to train and equip saints for the work of the ministry, to edify the church, and to mature in Christ.

    The Church Universal has a mandate, motive and mission. It is clearly set out in the NT.

    However, each local church needs to have clear directive from the Spirit on how to outwork this mission in its community. We need the specifics for our demographic.

    That this is given to the city church we know from Revelation, where each city church is represented by the candlestick, and each has an angel or messenger from Christ. Many scholars believe that the message is conferred on the churches by the pastor. Certainly John the Apostle received the Revelation to release to the churches of his day.

    Each member of each local church also needs to hear from God how to operate the grace on them as ministers in the Body, and in their local church, according to the measure of faith.

    In this way, then, every believer is filled with the Spirit, and led by the Spirit, to fulfil their purpose.

    The apostolic leadership gives the general direction, as led by the Spirit in their grace ministry, and the congregation operates, under the leadership and guidance of the same Spirit.

    We are not all Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors or Teachers. God has a grace and measure of faith on these ministries to lead. That is NT.

  163. I read the words but I don’t understand. Sounds like religious jargon to me.

    “However, each local church needs to have clear directive from the Spirit on how to outwork this mission in its community.”

    “Each member of each local church also needs to hear from God how to operate the grace on them as ministers in the Body, and in their local church, according to the measure of faith….every believer is filled with the Spirit, and led by the Spirit, to fulfil their purpose.”

    These bits I understand.

    The rest in the context of this discussion is as clear as mud.

  164. Wazza: ‘PP’s vision or execution cannot be wrong because he is the annointed Apostle who hears from God directly. Others under him must necessarily have limited or obscured vision.’

    Fcelift: “Preposterous. He certainly doesn’t say this. If you can’t see beyond this prejudicial position you’ll never understand anything to do with C3, or Pentecost, for that matter, despite any past involvement.”

    BLINDNESS! BLINDNESS! BLINDNESS! Facelift! Go and dig up what I said Phil said in the offerings when Kong Hee spoke. He CONDEMNED everyone outside the church who opposed the tithe he then blanketly stated, yelling to the congregation that thew world was wrong and they were right. They were right because they were here. “Trust us!”

    And if you don’t believe my testimony, go get that message back then if you really care what is said at C3.

  165. I think you’ve missed or sidestepped the context of what wazza2 was saying, s&p. He was talking about hierarchies and alignments.

    My response is that every saint hears from God under the NT, and is responsible for his her life in the Spirit. No one potentially hears from the Spirit clearer then any one else in the Body.

    Further, mn was agreeing with wazza2 by opining that the Apostle is the only one who hears from the Spirit, in the same way OT Prophets ministered.

    Again, I have consistently stated that every believer has the Spirit, and each can equally hear from the Spirit in regards to their life and ministry. In fact, we each have to responsibility to hear from the Spirit, and be diligent to study the Word for ourselves. We do not need an Apostle or Prophet to tell us how to live our lives. We can hear for ourselves.

    As far as I can make out that is consistent with C3 teaching.

    How many times will I have to repeat this before you get it?

    mn,
    I’m sorry I am unable to articulate this well enough for you. Please don’t judge the rest of the Pentecostal world because of my inadequacies.

    Maybe I can just assure you that the NT apostolic leadership model I attempted to describe for you isn’t at all like the OT Prophets’ ministry.

    Books have been written explaining this, so I suppose attempting to describe it in a few threads could be over ambitious.

  166. What concerns me FL is that what seems to a fairly standard MO – may be I am mistaken in this – is where the outworking of an apostolic focus – seems be the practical exclusion of the local church from decision making, testing the ‘vision’ etc.

    Whether I understand the doctrinal niceties or not, I have no issues with people – be they recognised as having an apostolic minsitry – or Joe Blow from down on the corner – bringing a vision to the congregation for testing, confirmation through prayer and discussion etc to be given the amen by the congregation.

    But is this what happens, or are they effectively locked out, apostle or not, pente, baptist CofC, Anglican, I don’t care who?

    If the answer is yes – the management/doctrinal stance of the local leadership has effectively locked people out of having any real input in this way – then in my view God has been muzzled by that leadership, and something else is in play which should not and is not biblical. Whatever an apostolic ministry is I am sure it is not this.

    Others who are more familiar with C3 can comment, although I think I know what the responses will be.

    To me it is very much a shared and unifying thing, not an exclusive, divisive thing.

    In any case we are told to test things – to me that is a responsibility that belongs to each and every believer at local level not some bloke in a different city or continent – though the latter may be involved.

  167. Facelift: “Again, I have consistently stated that every believer has the Spirit, and each can equally hear from the Spirit in regards to their life and ministry. In fact, we each have to responsibility to hear from the Spirit, and be diligent to study the Word for ourselves. We do not need an Apostle or Prophet to tell us how to live our lives. We can hear for ourselves.

    As far as I can make out that is consistent with C3 teaching.

    How many times will I have to repeat this before you get it?”

    I hear what you are saying. And I’m glad you seemingly get this. But this is NOT a common practice at C3. They know all the right things to say, but when it comes to the crunch – they’re teachings and practices are in full conflict with one another.

    Pringle is the Apostle who you CAN NOT question. To question him results in:
    1. attacks by C3 members
    2. loss of credibility you have in C3
    3. people considering you backsliding away from God
    4. Pringle attacking those who are against what he says.
    5. the idea that you are bringing a curse not only upon C3, but upon your friends and family due to your alternate views on his teachings and methods of leadership.

    Because you start questioning the movement, this is when members simply say, “Well then why don’t you go to a different church if you’re not happy here” – which is what you said to me Facelift. I’ve observed people who say this to fringe-dwellers of the C3 movement.

    I have been extremely concerned of the C3 moment as a whole over the last five years as it is getting more and more cult-like in message and practice. Those who do leave are counseled or do need to be counseled.

  168. It doesn’t really matter which model a local church adopts, anyone who has led a church for any length of time discovers that leadership by general and mass consensus is fraught with difficulties, unless everyone is on the same page, missionally.

    Who’s responsibility is it to make sure all are travelling in the same direction? What is the Biblical reason for oversight in a local church? To see the grace and skill on the people of the church and unite them into an effective team which impacts a community.

    How does a leader, or a leadership team, know which direction to take? Simply, by coming under the direction of the Holy Spirit for that local church in prayer.

    A local church is continually developing organism, with a plethora of skills, abilities and graces, melded together by a common purpose. It is filled with the new wine of the expansive Holy Spirit, and needs a flexible but firm wineskin structure to contain the growth without spillage.

    Sound leadership is essential to the success of a local church. It is not so much applying one idea to control the whole, but a pooling and organisation of the resources of the whole to create a free flowing, progressing entity.

    We recently visited a C3 church plant interstate. Then at 40 people, the church planter called together those with a heart for ministry to the community, for a meeting of the minds, and pooling of ideas, to discuss the future direction of that church, so they could establish the initial ‘vision’ or processes of that church. I take it that he was taught this when on the Church planting course. He was out of C3OF.

  169. “Those who do leave are counselled or do need to be counselled”.

    Yes, they do. We did seek counselling and we are very grateful for the care and insight we received from a mature minister – a man who sincerely prayed for both PP and the church. The closer you are to the centre of that C3 world, the more counselling I think you will need when you come out.

    When you leave a ‘cult’ure like this and seek that help, the counsellers involved are quite shocked at the sort of teaching we have been exposed to.

  170. When I say “cult”, it’s just the way you feel when you leave – you realise how deceived you’ve been, how much you blindly took on board. It’s our fault as much as C3.

  171. I’ve been talking around to a few people who have left places like Hillsong and C3. A question I’ve been asking them has been “How do you think they deceived or brainwashed you?”

    Many of their responses were responses of disgust in how well marketed they were by the churches. With each answer – it has boiled down to how these churches market the vulnerable.

  172. As demonstated by David Sumrall – “market” the captive audience of students and staff/pastors first.

  173. My previous comment was to mn.

    S&p, I wasn’t the only person who recommended you move away from C3 on this thread. Even blah-blah, who has never thought much of me, or said a kind word, said it.

    I explain something fundamental and essential to all orthodox Pentecostal pneumology for the umpteenth time on this thread, and you say you’re glad I ‘seemingly get it’! My goodness!

    Well, moving right along!

    You lament that your life is uncomfortable because you openly and publicly question the leadership of your local church and you’re actually surprised and upset.

    Look, s&p, as much as I love you as a brother, and have always looked towards your best interests, despite some strong and difficult words in the past, if you were to come to me and tell me our church was a gnostic cult, you would have to give a better reason for it than you have given. No one here agrees with you, by the way.

    I probably wouldn’t be sending any new converts in your direction for discipling. I would, however, try to win you over and build a bridge, despite our differences, and the difficulty of winning a friend who has allowed himself to become offended, which is what Phil advises. I take it this would be his way. I tend to believe him. That may be a fault I have, but it has worked on many occasions to avert division.

    Are you aware that Jesus told us that a kingdom divided against itself would ultimately be destroyed?

    If you are working at cross purposes with us, and we couldn’t come to some kind of agreement, and we felt that we needed to persist with the direction we are on, then it would be clear that either you allow us the courtesy of going on together in peace, or one of us has to find a place of peace for our soul.

    It would always be wise and fair for a leader in question to take counsel and have others speak to you for confirmation, after having spent some time listening to your perspective, by the way, because you have a voice, and you have a right to disagree, but the line has to be drawn somewhere if it affects the whole body. From what I have heard from Phil he takes counsel also, so who knows what was said between you on the three occasions you say you spoke with him, but obviously there was no compromise to be had, as far as you are concerned.

    We, in all honesty, can’t adjudicate, even if we wanted to, because we only have your side of things. It is between you and he, brother, not the rest of the world.

    It was three times you spoke to him, wasn’t it? I think that’s phenomenal access, by the way. And you’re still able to worship there. And have your contrary opinion. What does that tell you?

    On top of this, if I discovered you had a blog which openly attacked the senior pastors, and the church plants from ours, I would think that perhaps you needed to reconsider your future with us, because, regardless of all our obvious faults and inadequacies, on the whole, we do a good job, and reach lots of people, whose lives have been positively enhanced and changed by the power of the gospel. If you were known to be openly spreading discord, a leader would have to ask you to desist. Can you see that?

    You asked me to read Colossians again, and, going through it, I was struck by the power of Colossians 3:12-17:

    ‘Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

  174. By the way, s&p, calling Phil Pringle ‘Pringle’, looks rather self-important and overly disrespectful, especially seeing that he is still your Pastor.

    He likes to be called ‘Phil’. Some call him ‘Pastor’, or ‘Pastor Phil’, or, even if you wanted to be in some way distanced, ‘Phil Pringle’, or, as some do here, PP, would be less rude.

    Maybe I’m being picky about how we address people, but only the supremely aloof call their serving Pastor by their surname alone. Do I think this counts with God? I do. We should show honour to those who serve us in the Word. In fact, double honour, according to Paul.

    Perhaps when you have left C3 it will become appropriate for you.

  175. have read the entire post and comments thread.
    some good points raised through out the comments thread…
    however.
    S&P- i am impressed by the work you have put in with the initial article but can only assume you are a borderline simpleton.

    the way you read into the text and the messages is essentially moronic and i can’t believe so many seemingly intelligent people have commented on what is a completely absurd post.

    aren’t you embarrassed to post something wich makes you look like a complete idiot?

  176. Please lay out some examples boy as to why you think why my comments seem to suggest i am a “borderline simpleton”.

    Facelift and me go way back. We’ve had some outrageous discussions – but seem to still grapple holding a relationship through this. We’re both pretty extreme.

    I must admit, my comments like ‘You’re blind!’ do make me sound naive. But due to Facelift’s history being on Signposts02 and Groupsects, his views on topics like C3 amaze me beyond belief. After all the youtube videos, sermon transcripts, quotes, perversatisements, circus conference speakers, blogs of victims or those hurt by C3’s experiences, that people might question the integrity of C3.

    I think it’s great that you can be honest with me and openly feel comfortable airing yours views that I am a ‘borderline simpleton’. If it looks like I am, then maybe I can ‘wisen’ up or try to express myself more clearly. I do have a life off the computer – so sometimes my comments are more faster than I want them to be. I sometimes go back and check if comments make sense.

  177. s&p,
    ‘But due to Facelift’s history being on Signposts02 and Groupsects, his views on topics like C3 amaze me beyond belief. After all the youtube videos, sermon transcripts, quotes, perversatisements, circus conference speakers, blogs of victims or those hurt by C3′s experiences, that people might question the integrity of C3.’

    If you’re going to simply reference all the controversial stuff as the evidence of any movement’s entire works, then you’re completely right, s&p.

    We probably need to expose Peter for his denial of Christ, and Paul for his persecution of Christians, and Thomas for doubting, and every other leader who ever stuffed up, or missed the mark, or missed the point at some juncture in their career. I can imagine discernment ministries having a field day with these people if they were practicing today.

    What if there was a YouTube of the seconds before the cock crowed after Peter denied the Master? Oh boy, imagine what detractors would say if they had a video clip of Jesus spitting on a man!

    But, you know, people change, and develop, and move on in Christ. Apart from Jesus, I have never met anyone who was actually perfect or had everything together. We are all growing.

    I love C3 people. They’re the salt of the earth, as far as I am concerned. They do an awesome job of reaching people for Jesus. They have wonderful, expressive worship and praise. They do their best to help others. They are young, vital and refreshing. The fruit of the ministry is a vibrant movement which has grown wonderfully over 30 years. They do preach Christ and Him crucified. They do give what they have freely been given. They love the Holy Spirit, His fruit and graces. They are people of faith in God.

    Yep! There’s heaps of things wrong, and if you go looking for them, you’re sure to find them. Gosh, it’s scary how much we get wrong, isn’t it! I guess that’s why we need Jesus, and can’t do a thing without Him. Good thing he sees the best in us, and uses us anyway!

    God bless them for their enthusiasm for the gospel.

  178. Absence of discord is not necessarily a good thing. Paul writes that dissensions are necessary to show who is right and wrong (yes, I know I’m paraphrasing horribly without my bible in front of me). It is extremely unhealthy for a pastor or leadership to always have yes-men and yes-women around them.

    Sometimes, the only way to address problems is to raise them in public and make people aware and I would submit that there is precedent for that in history, eg. Luther’s theses, etc. Putting someone out of a church is a valid response where the person is tearing people down with false doctrine. Where there are doctrinal differences where different positions are valid (eg. eschatological positions), churches should be robust enough – and leadership should be secure enough! – to appreciate and tolerate the different points of view and still continue to be witnesses together for Christ.

    In my view, though, many church leaders are extremely insecure, and this insecurity appears to be what drives intolerance of differing opinions and consequent negative treatment of those voicing such opinions. I have seen this in C3 and it is extremely sad. Whether the insecurity is driven by pressure to perform by the C3 establishment itself – I don’t know. However, it is not limited to C3 – I have seen it several different churches and Christian organisations, eg. YWAM. The bigger the organisation, the harder it is for the leaders to accept any criticism without taking it personally and viewing any criticism as an attack on their vision. Again, I submit that this is one of the flaws of having a ‘McChurch’ type organisation of the Hillsong or C3 variety, where the local churches ‘vision’ has to fit in with the senior leader’s (or CEO’s?) ‘vision’ for the organisation. It all becomes very corporatised and people are no longer people but just cogs in the wheel.

    Jesus’ commission to us is simple – to make disciples. He didn’t stipulate that all churches should follow the Jewish synagogue model, or have an eldership of twelve, etc. We have liberty for these things. I believe that this liberty is impeded where a church is bound by ‘accreditation’ (so to speak) into a C3/Hillsong/Willow Creek-type organisation, where the ‘vision’ is primarily about numbers (2020 vision?), which then requires that all branches (franchies? outlets) adopt the same strategy to achieve that vision.

    To paraphrase Anton Ego, the church today appears to be “..all out of perspective”.

  179. He likes to be called ‘Phil’. Some call him ‘Pastor’, or ‘Pastor Phil’, or, even if you wanted to be in some way distanced, ‘Phil Pringle’, or, as some do here, PP, would be less rude.

    What happened to “Dr Pringle”? Has he dropped the Dr title after speculation he scored it from a dimploma mill?

  180. Quite right Ronfire.

    Despite the fixation with C3 here, this malaise does extend to many different varieties of church.

    We’re all human afterall.

    And it is one of the reasons why it is biblical to have balance between the leadership leading, and the broader congregation checking it along the way and providing constructive feedback.

    Not everyone will agree, but it is often surprising the level of agreement and unity that is there, if one looks for it.

    What would you expect if a church is serious about taking heed of the Holy Spirit’s leading?

  181. Maybe we don’t need yes-men or women, in the cliché sense of stacking a faint-hearted, lethargic, coweringly timid board to get what we want passed without comment, but we do need agreement, because that is where the Father answers the requests of those that gather in the name of Jesus.

    “Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”

    I think the suggestion that boards and elderships in C3 churches or similar consist of those kind of yes-men and women is an insult to people who are very dedicated to assisting leadership and fulfilling vision.

    Being agreeable, keen and motivated to see a plan through isn’t the same as being part of what is called a ‘loaded’ board or eldership.

    In a board-room scenario, a vision, or projected outcome will be presented, and it is the work of the eldership or board to discuss means by which this can be achieved. There may be disagreement about the means, and it could even get quite heated, but it is in working through to agreement that the success of the endeavour can be decided. That is not the frailty of yes-wo/men stacked boards. That is reaching consensus through discussion.

    I don’t, obviously, have a problem with dissent, but, in a local church, reaching the place of agreement is far more productive. Being contrary about every decision is harmful. Pooling ideas and finding the right means is invigorating.

  182. Couldn’t agree more, Faithlift, but I speak from what I have personal knowledge of – at the C3 I attend, contrary opinions or disagreement with what the pastor says is simply discouraged – “don’t upset him” is the refrain heard time and time again. So, in the end, what you have is a group of people who simply go along with the pastor because they don’t wish to upset him.

    Mind you, I’m not for a moment suggesting that the pastor is devious, or anything of the sort. However, if you discourage dissenting opinions, what you will get is yes-men. And that is simply not healthy.

    Iron sharpens iron. Without iron or a whetting stone, a blade will lose its edge…..and will not even know it.

  183. ‘Iron sharpens iron. Without iron or a whetting stone, a blade will lose its edge…..and will not even know it.’

    Yes, I agree with that. It’s a lesson we all need to learn.

    I’m sorry about your situation, and hope it improves soon. It’s a great opportunity to fervently pray for your pastor. Prayer is very effective, for others, and for ourselves.

  184. mn: “Despite the fixation with C3 here, this malaise does extend to many different varieties of church.”

    True. But the reason why I do tend to focus on c3 more is not necessarily because my friends and family go there who i want out, is because of the serious damage they do to people, families and other church committees by their dangerous and divisive doctrines, hypocrisy, blindness, hidden agendas and greed and power focus.

    I could focus on Hillsong. I could focus on the issues with the Anglican church at the moment. C3, by the looks of things, is really getting ugly and more damaging by the year. I know two families who have been devastated and stabbed in the back by this movement. I will not mention any names – but I will email Raving Pente who knows someone I know that will be quite shocked what one C3 church has done my friends family.

    I am meeting up soon with someone to see how they are going with their divorce due to C3’s corruptible play in destroying their life. I have never seen someone so full of life lose their joyful spirit in such a devastating way.

    I meet C3’s victims. So while Facelift elsewhere makes blanket statements saying my opinions are wrong – surely I must be since I am picking up the pieces and being with those who have broken lives from such a deceptive movement.

    BTW. Facelift would probably say that Pringle doesn’t have ‘yes-men’ around him. He does.

    When I have an issue I’d like to raise – they answer on behalf of him. They keep patting him on the back. The ladder system at C3 is:
    “The greater you flatter, the more you matter up the C3 wannabe ladder”. A C3 art college student told me that.

    Not to mention many years ago I met someone who just left Pringle’s leadership who was outraged that he decided to go against their decisions continually because everyone else said ‘yes’ and they didn’t to some property development at C3. They were known there as a prophet and they told me because of his stupidity, he will be judged out loud.

    The Manly Daily did an article on Phil Pringle and C3’s lousy decision back then the next week. I’ve hoped since attending regularly there that this would change. This hasn’t been the case at all.

    Everybody is Phil Pringle’s ‘yes’ and ‘amen’.

  185. BTW Facelift. You’ve really sharpened and challenged me over the years. Thankyou.

  186. S&P: the gnostic accusation is too far … but there is a danger that exists for all of us, wherever we worship.

    FL: Revelation. Is the book only for those the John wrote it down for or is there a future fulfillment?

    MN: Thanks! I’ll ignore the use of the ‘dominion’ word 😉

    by the way, to use FL’s nomenclature, I get “open” visions when I wash the dishes. (not all the time, unfortunately)

    I am always on my own. Always alone with my thoughts. So I could get one while on the bog but, of course, not while reading the paper!

    I can still pretend to be a young man if I get visions. Once I shift into dreaming dreams then I will know that the Lord considers me to be an old man. 😉

    Shalom

  187. Ok Bull. I shall research further Hagen and other writings and present my findngs as formally as I can.

  188. s&p,
    ‘I could focus on Hillsong. I could focus on the issues with the Anglican church at the moment.’

    Such talent, s&p. You must God’s man for the hour. In view of the ministry you have to Pastor people from within C3OF, plus your burgeoning ability to reach people in Hillsong and the Anglican Church, you shouldn’t be so concerned about letting people know who you are. They will surely be blessed to be led out of Egypt by your wisdom. You could set up your own ministry. Start your own refuge church in Sydney.

    I’m looking forward to your Hagin exposé to see if you have anything original to offer, or recycled back-biting. By the way, it’s Hagin, not Hagen.

    Bull,
    Revelation has application for the future. The messages to the churches were both contemporary and prophetic. It references the the historic and the OT prophetic to point to the future.

  189. Watchers Lamp,
    ‘Rick Warren’s advise [sic] mirrors the new age gnosticism found within the pages of “The Secret”. Warren instructs the reader to find a quiet place and talk to God about your ministry. Keep a journal of what He tells you. Really? Awaiting extra-biblical revelation direct from God? Warren makes no mention of reading of the scriptures or testing of the spirits during this quiet time.’

    So, meditation on the Word of God, or prayer, or separating ourselves to hear from him is now called extra-biblical revelation? Where do you dig these people up from, teddy? Since when was separating ourselves to hear from God a gnostic practice? Or extra-Biblical revelation? Warren is talking about knowing the direction of his local church, not the canon of scripture. Seeking God is what we do, folks!

    If it was good enough for Jesus, it should be good enough for us.

    The scary thing is that this writer must never set himself apart to hear from God. Of course, he’s a Calvinist, so he believes that everything is set in stone, so what’s the point of seeking God’s direction?

    I assume that if the author does pray or seek God he always tests the spirits first, since that is his advice for Warren. Which is a clearly poor exegesis of 1 John 4. I mean, we set ourselves to pray to the Father in the name of Jesus, by the leading of the Holy Spirit, so which spirits are we exactly expecting, here?

    I can’t see anything in the Lord’s Prayer which says this. “Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, in earth as it is in heaven, and give us this day our daily bread, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever and ever, Amen!”

    Or Jesus’ prayer in John 17.

    How exactly would you test the Father God? “Heavenly Father, are you really the Father, or a demon spirit? Please name yourself. Did Jesus come in the flesh” God help us!

    Weird stuff!

    And no journalling! This is in some way gnostic! I mean, the writers of the gospels weren’t journaling, were they? Or Luke in the Book of Acts. The Epistles. Writing things down is now an evil, gnostic practice, so why is Watcher’s Lamp doing it? What do journalists exactly do? Oh no, no blogging folks! It’s gnostic!

  190. So you agree with the Watcher’s Lamp assessment of seeking God, teddy? I’m sorry to sound sarcastic, but I was dumbfounded with their logic.

    Warren is a Baptist and a Calvinist, and he would probably agree with your take on the elect, and predestination, so I can’t understand why Reformists are having such trouble with their own because they are pastoring growing, influential churches. Same with Bill Hybels and Willow Creek, and Andy Stanley. Surely that is God’s sovereign will.

    What has gnosticism to do with seeking God in prayer and writing down what you believe he is saying?

  191. @ FL – the post from Watchers Lamp was for Specks. He has a view of PP and gnosticism – he can line up some views of Warren as head of a seeker-sensitive movement, as is PP these days.

    By the way, I’m interested to hear your take re Greg on the other post and also David Sumrall’s unusual eisegesis.

  192. teddy,
    ‘the post from Watchers Lamp was for Specks’

    The post from Watchers Lamp was up the creek! And not Willow Creek, either, although they’d like to be!

  193. I think it’s a very good critique.

    Willow Creek – didn’t Bill Hybels publically repent of his methods and then introduce a new “method”? Yes.

  194. ‘I think it’s a very good critique.’

    Please, teddy, it insults the intelligence of every believer, and is misleading on how to spend time with God. It is poor exegesis of 1 John 4.

    Do you test the spirits when you seek God?

    Isn’t the basis of testing spirits to see if they have the right doctrine, or error? Does God have the right doctrine, do you think? Does he believe that Jesus came in the flesh?

    Matthew 7
    7* ¶ “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
    8* “For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.
    9* “Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?
    10 “Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent?
    11* “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!”

  195. “In view of the ministry you have to Pastor people from within C3OF, plus your burgeoning ability to reach people in Hillsong and the Anglican Church, you shouldn’t be so concerned about letting people know who you are. They will surely be blessed to be led out of Egypt by your wisdom. You could set up your own ministry. Start your own refuge church in Sydney.”

    I like how you assume I am not sensitive to peoples needs off Signposts02 Facelift. You’re quite the different person yourself if you are who you say you are.

    “They will surely be blessed to be led out of Egypt by your wisdom.”

    As much as I find that I catch these people that fall, one thing I must do is allow them to fall further. They have to reach their end otherwise they become dependent on me and not God. If I made them dependent on me, then I will be just as bad as Phil.

    They must fall into their hurt and discover the Jesus of the bible who is there to pull them out. If I do so – I rob them from allowing them to witness their Saviour in action in their lives. I do tell them I am a phone call away if they do struggle. I often give them good biblical readings, good materials and pray with them. But I leave their walk mainly up to them. This is the difference between me and Phil (and probably you too). I don’t protect people from going through pain, that would be doing them a dis-service. It’s only when they go through this with God that they start relying from Him, hearing from Him and are ministered too by Him.

    And unlike your view where i could ‘set up’ my own ministry. I started running the Signposts02 community because I loved everyone in this quirky community – including you. It was like I was running a book, seeing online characters come alive. I got to read everybodies strengths, weaknesses and passions.

    I consider this family, entertaining and important. I never looked at this as ministry but something I just wanted to do. Naturally, I have a passion for truth and have realised my zeal can be louder than my mind sometimes. Somewhere along the line’s last year I started seeing what I was doing was ministry, but I had to delete that thinking.

    If I’m passionate about doing something then that’s called embracing life. God is in this life and is mysteriously intertwined in what I do. There has been some amazing moments on Signposts02 which have been orchestrated by him and times where I realised he protected me. It’s kind of intimidating to see him move like that I must say.

    I guess what I am saying is this: There is Jesus’ ministry and heaven forbid I get in the way! When the gospel is not lived, preached and exalted to see Christ magnified then their is a good chance that Jesus is not first and things are happening behind the scenes.

    I’ve discovered that I am good at catching people to an extent but having them discover that their Saviour does save them and that their God can lead them without me or Pringle. I love it when people realise they don’t even need me to show them freedom in Christ. This relieves me of them and this makes them not dependent on me.

    I am truly happy for them and don’t mind if I don’t see them again. I find a freedom in this where I am not bound by ‘disciples’. This is the difference between my view on ministry and what I think yours and Phil’s is.

    “I’m looking forward to your Hagin exposé to see if you have anything original to offer, or recycled back-biting. By the way, it’s Hagin, not Hagen.”

    Oops! 🙂 Typo!

  196. I’m no fan of Rick Warren, but can’t see how spending time with God and writing down your thoughts during a quiet time is extra-biblical? In fact, it’s helpful, especially when you meditate on a scripture passage or verse, to write down what the Holy Spirit is teaching you.

  197. I might add that, if you’re writing down nonsense, it’ll become pretty clear in the light of scripture.

  198. Teddy I thought the watcher’s lamp thing was rather a stretch too – jumping at shadows.

  199. FL – “Revelation has application for the future. The messages to the churches were both contemporary and prophetic. It references the historic and the OT prophetic to point to the future.”

    Agreed. (with the broad definition at least ;))

    I don’t have a problem with writing a journal. However, we must ensure we remember that this is not scripture and does not even begin to take on any kind of importance beyond knowing that the Father is guiding and being able to look back and see hod the Lord has guided our footsteps.

    Look at the Author of ‘The Shack’, however, and you will see from his public statements that he denies the substitutionary atonement. He hates evangelicals too.

    Warren may have started as a Baptist and Evangelical, but he has shifted away from these positions in his writing and when speaking in public.

    Discernment is tough and sometimes we have to say to our spiritual mentors … “I think you are wrong about x, y and z.”

    We also need to be brave and ask questions about our own doctrines. Calvinism and Arminianism for me are both true, even if they are inconsistent. Heaven is open, because of the cross, but Jesus will judge the human race … and he will say to some “I have paid your penalty” and others “depart from me I never knew you”

    I am just so thankful that He has not finished with me yet! I am a work in progress, which is what we all are.

    Shalom

  200. Excellent podcast on gnosticism by Peter Jones, by the way, teddy, in spite of the annoying interjections by the fightingforthefaith dj! Gnosticism is revived through neoliberal christianity and paganism. True! This is looking in the right places for the problem.

  201. Ok. Just read most of what I could of ‘Faith’ by Phil Pringle. Hadn’t read it in years.

    Last year, a friend gave me another of his friends a new Age Book. It quoted bible verses left right and center and drew on the many wisdoms of Solomon and focus on throwing bread upon water.

    It was a book teaching on following universal principles and laws – giving money or focusing on things one wants to prosper and to obtain power. I totally knew this man had no idea what he was talking about and that my friends friend was out to con people for their money with his supposed ‘super-knowledge’ in his book. His audience – the Philipines.

    Reading Phil Pringle’s book ‘Faith: Moving The Heart and Hand of God’ (published 2005), reminded me of this New Age book with it’s gnostic approach in obtaining God’s money.

    Feel free to browse the nonsense in Phil Pringle’s book here: http://www.amazon.com/Faith-Moving-Heart-Hand-God/dp/0883681749 . I actually thought it was psycho-babble like the New Age book. Both loved their own words more than they loved truth. (Read his work in ‘Faith’ and you will see what I mean. Pringle’s teachings don’t make sense!)

    While I was hoping to find on google, the googlebooks on some of his other works until I came across this article on google. (It mentioned Pringle, C3 and Amway – something we are all familiar with on Signposts02). This articles summarises FANTASTICALLY what I’ve researched in the past on these topics of pop-psychology, Hagin, propserity gospel, purposeful confusion new age, gnosticism and wordly vanities and teachings.

    http://www.moriel.org/articles/sermons/understanding_the_mixture.htm

    Here is a snippet that grabbed my attention. I bolded where this article mentions C3:

    Yet because of psychology, these biblical truths are distorted, ignored, or have even been heretically rejected. People are just told to ‘confess victory’, or ‘bind the enemy’, contrary to what God’s Word really means by those terms. Instead, they actually teach what “positive thinking” and “motivational psychology” means. If one were to go to a secular motivational sales seminar, a slick looking motivational speaker with a glossy charisma would prance around on a platform with a microphone saying things like “There Are Three Steps”. “Step One – realize your vision”. “Step Two- forget the indicators or adverse circumstances, give no place to any negative thoughts – just focus on your goals and on your vision”. “Step Three – Once you realize your vision and maximize the positive and forget the negative, you will be in a position to get others to invest in your vision”.

    Thus, secular psychology gets into the church masquerading as biblical theology. A hype artist preacher will stand up on Sunday and share “his vision”, and when questioned, he will “Reject that negativity in The Name of Jesus”, and tell you “God wants it to be your vision too and you should sow to the vision”. I have seen more churches get into financial trouble and lose people over this kind of psuedo-spiritual idiocy than I can count. When people get fed up with being financially exploited and begin to leave the church, then “heavy shepherding” takes over and these people are told, “they have a spirit of rebellion”.

    All of this mess comes from the ‘Mixture’ of secular psychology and the vain philosophies of the world with biblical psychology and Christian doctrine. This same mixture is why we see so many Christians in churches like Toronto, and Phil Pringle’s City Church in Sydney get involved in things like Amway and in pyramiding schemes. Psychologized Christians are prone to such things because such schemes are based on psycho babble disguising itself as biblical principles. While there are ex-alcoholics who dried out through Alcoholics Anonymous groups and then were saved, we see so many people in 12 Step Programs on their way to hell not believing they need Christ, because the mixture of biblical principles and pop psychology in such organisations mislead them into a subjective, universalist ‘God as I understand Him’ view of The Almighty instead of to The Cross of Jesus.

    The theological root of this mixture is of course gnosticism , where a personal, subjective mystical revelation of scripture (ignoring the context) is substituted for an objective contextual perspective. Gnostics always use biblical terms but have different definitions for them. The gnosticism of Roman Catholicism is called sensus pleniore. The Roman Church will be quick to point out that they, like classical Protestants, believe salvation is by grace. By grace however, they do not mean the Hebrew word chesed meaning ‘God’s covenant mercy’, or the Greek term Charism meaning ‘gift’, nor the English definition meaning ‘undeserved favor’. The actual and sanctifying grace of Rome is not a gift of mercy or unmerited, but an ethereal substance earned by the paganistic sacraments of their spiritually corrupt false religious system. Yet etymologically, they believe in “grace”.

    All of this mess comes from the ‘Mixture’ of secular psychology and the vain philosophies of the world with biblical psychology and Christian doctrine. This same mixture is why we see so many Christians in churches like Toronto, and Phil Pringle’s City Church in Sydney get involved in things like Amway and in pyramiding schemes. Psychologized Christians are prone to such things because such schemes are based on psycho babble disguising itself as biblical principles. While there are ex-alcoholics who dried out through Alcoholics Anonymous groups and then were saved, we see so many people in 12 Step Programs on their way to hell not believing they need Christ, because the mixture of biblical principles and pop psychology in such organisations mislead them into a subjective, universalist ‘God as I understand Him’ view of The Almighty instead of to The Cross of Jesus.

    The theological root of this mixture is of course gnosticism , where a personal, subjective mystical revelation of scripture (ignoring the context) is substituted for an objective contextual perspective. Gnostics always use biblical terms but have different definitions for them. The gnosticism of Roman Catholicism is called sensus pleniore. The Roman Church will be quick to point out that they, like classical Protestants, believe salvation is by grace. By grace however, they do not mean the Hebrew word chesed meaning ‘God’s covenant mercy’, or the Greek term Charism meaning ‘gift’, nor the English definition meaning ‘undeserved favor’. The actual and sanctifying grace of Rome is not a gift of mercy or unmerited, but an ethereal substance earned by the paganistic sacraments of their spiritually corrupt false religious system. Yet etymologically, they believe in “grace”.

    The contradictions that I exposed in the pamphlet are the same methods that are similarly mentioned about in here too – the MIXTURE. The C3 congregation ARE confused by what they are fed at the pulpit but continually. This is cult-like. I have seen business men read books on cults to know how they can lead team business teams and stay on top. Combine those cult-like elements within a church environment and not only do you have damaging teachings, you also have a people so confused with what they receive, that they re conviced they are growing, and marketed well to always be convinced that they are all in the right and that all answers can be found from Phil Pringle’s teachings and ministry.

    I will not back down from my claim: C3 IS a gnostic cult. This is not an extreme statement as I’ve been denying this to be the case for too long. There is enough evidence out there to prove this. If we all examine Pringle’s teachings, those he endorses, how he markets and what he markets – the facts will be undeniable. Dave Sumrall was a great example of who Phil Pringle allows into his church and colleges to fleece the vulnerable and poor college students. He even released this man upon his staff.

    This is not biblical love. This is not Godly teaching and this was not a Godly decision of Phil to commit. The same deal was with this pamphlet.

  202. The new age book I read focused on universal keys, laws and principles. One of Pringle’s books that does EXACTLY this is his book “Keys To Financial Excellence”.

    The back cover says:
    When author Phil Pringle applied biblical truths to his life, he experienced a new joy and an overflow of God’s blessings. In Keys to Financial Excellence, he shares these dynamic PRINCIPLES so that you, too, can have victory in your life and enter into the fullness of abundant living. Discover the KEYS that will transform your life and UNLOCK THE WEALTH OF HEAVEN. (emphasis mine)

    This is enough to let you know that this book is about how keys, laws and principles can get you what you want through Phil’s teachings. The principles and our rituals are the focus of this book. Jesus is simply your magic wand to get you what you want.

  203. To always be ‘seeing’ is to always be ‘knowing’. If none can question Phil Pringle what he sees then none can question what he knows.

    This makes Phil Pringle infallible, vulnerable and dangerous to his congregation. He is not accountable to his congregation. Facelift said: “Dr Cho is his declared oversight, and is known for intense and sustained prayer and seeking God for direction.”

    That’s who Pringle is accountable too! None can question what he teaches. He is the seeing eye of his pyramid. He is the pharaoh of his own movement where his unquestionable godly visions cannot be challenged. To leave his movement is not good enough if his aim is to get his influences into other churches and take Sydney for Pringle (I mean God).

    The fact that he is having Bill Johnson speak next year and that he has some relations with Peter Wagner is interesting. There is a very high chance that Pringle is deceived by Manifest Sons of God and NAR theology and deceptive doctrines. And where their is deceptive doctrines there is deceptive demons.

    http://www.hnlc.org.au/rensford/toronto_text.htm

    This is a great read!

  204. I’m sorry, s&p, but you’ve put a lot of time and effort into saying nothing you haven’t already said. You’ve added to the accusation without providing a single shred of scriptural evidence or facts.

    You’ve found people who agree with you. I’m sure there are many. But this doesn’t make either you or them right. You need to put up actual reasons for claiming C3 is a gnostic cult.

    I suggest you listen to the Peter Jones audio teddy put up, and you will get an idea of what neo-gnosticism is in terms of what is happening in our world today.

    Comparing what PP says with an alleged new age writer’s work sin’t it either. That is the mistake Watcher’s Lamp made wit their attempt at nailing Rick Warren.

    Having a controversial means of raising funds isn’t evidence of a gnostic cult either.

    Saying a book is gnostic isn’t the same as showing why it is gnostic.

    Evidence, not statements.

  205. Dear me, s&p, in fairness to your claims, I attempted to wade through that dismal treatise from moriel.

    I don’t know how you can even attempt to go through such a depressing malaise of mush. I don’t think this guy likes anyone or anything. This type of criticism seems to point to ministries like his being the only ones which really have it all together, and everything else is witch!

    Really, s&p, you need to steer away from this poison. It’s far more dangerous than the ministries it attempts to ‘expose’. And tells a whole heap of semi-truths to make it’s point to. I challenge anyone here to get through more than a handful of the hundreds of long-winded paragraphs this person lends to rubbishing most of the church. He even has a serious go at David Pawson. I mean, where’s the sense in this tripe?

    Stick to your Bible, s&p. It’s got life in it.

  206. From the ‘moriel’ article highlighted by s&p,
    ‘This same mixture is why we see so many Christians in churches like Toronto, and Phil Pringle’s City Church in Sydney get involved in things like Amway and in pyramiding schemes. Psychologized Christians are prone to such things because such schemes are based on psycho babble disguising itself as biblical principles.’

    Firstly, isn’t it close to defamation to accuse C3OF members of getting involved in Pyramid Schemes, s&p, especially since they are illegal in NSW.

    ‘Pyramid selling schemes are an illegal form of multi-level marketing where participants receive benefits by recruiting other participants to invest money into the scheme. The money paid by new recruits enriches those who joined the scheme earlier and are closer to the top of the pyramid.’

    http://www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au/Consumers/Scams/Types_of_scams/Pyramid_schemes.html

    Secondly, wouldn’t it be more true to say that Amway is a merely a business which people choose to engage in, is not illegal in Australia, and has no association with C3 whatsoever. If a person chooses to operate within Amway and attend a local church of their choice, what possible relation could anyone attach to some kind of wrongdoing or culpability on the part of C3? C3 doesn’t own, run, or promote Amway.

    We have people in our church who are involved with Amway, Mannatec, Mary K, and a host of similar business ventures, which are perfectly legal. We do not promote them or endorse them from the pulpit, but what is exactly wrong with people wanting to subsidise their income by any legal means?

    Thirdly, what is the connotation that people who engage in these businesses are ‘phsychologised’, whatever that means? The people I know who are involved in these businesses are normally hardworking, intelligent, engaging people, who do actually manage to bring people into the church who eventually receive Jesus.

    Adam Gilchrist and Libby Tricket are Amway ambassadors. Are you saying they are psychologised!

  207. Wow! Excuse my ignorance, but I had no idea that a ‘Pyramid Scheme’ was an illegal form of business. I actually assumed that businesses run like that – which is why I don’t like churches being run like one.

    So thanks for the link Facelift!

    I automatically assumed it was just a literal device that described how some systems functioned, the way a pharaoh treated his people in his structure. I did not know that a ‘Pyramid Scheme’ was illegal. Oh boy! I nearly choked! You can probably guess that I don’t work in the corporate world!

  208. “Stick to your Bible, s&p. It’s got life in it.”

    When I use scriptures that expose the practices of C3 Facelift – you scream ‘evidence’. When I start trying to find articles or start to gather evidence, you scream ‘stick to your bible’.

    You believe what you want to believe. Blindness!

  209. The point is that you haven’t given any scriptural evidence, s&p. Please stop pleading blindness. I am not blind, but I am persistent.

  210. Here’s one for you to consider though, from ICEJ.

    ‘Syrian military reportedly riddled by plague
    Making his way home from a Latin American junket, Syrian President Bashar Assad warned in Madrid on Monday that the current rift in Israel-Turkey relations means “the prospect of war grows” in the region, but his army may be in no shape to fight. According to Syrian opposition figures in exile, Assad has ordered the shutdown of all Syrian military exercises due to a plague that is currently affecting a large swath of the army, especially conscripts in basic training. The epidemic is being blamed on poor drinking water and food on Syrian army bases and a current heat wave which has come amid years of drought in the region. The epidemic could cause extensive damage to elements of the 215,000-man standing army in coming weeks, according to the International Society for Infectious Diseases. Hundreds of thousands of people are experiencing food shortages; peasants have been decimated, and many people are fleeing the country. Already, nearly 60,000 small livestock owners have lost all their animals, and 50,000 others have lost 50-60 percent of their cattle. Reports indicate that if the early symptoms of plague have occurred in the military, it is probable that the soldiers will spread the disease, especially with the approach of Ramadan beginning in mid-August when a great number of soldiers return to their villages.’

  211. Third time facelift: Read Colossians and 1&2 Corinthians. You didn’t see me say this twice before already?

  212. For the third time back, s&p, this isn’t what I mean. I mean, dig out the error, and confirm it from scripture. As we are doing on the other thread in regard to doctrine.

  213. If you read Colossians and 1&2 Corinthians yourself instead of me baby-feeding you, at least I wont get the food thrown back at me.

  214. s&p,, once again…

    I have read Colossians. I told you this earlier. I told you I did not need a lesson in what gnosticism is. I know what it is.

    I do not need to do any extra work, or be fed in regard to the legal basis on which you make your charges. The onus is on you to prove your case by producing clear evidence of your charges.

    I am asking you to show that C3 is a gnostic cult.

    Clearly you cannot. And now you say you will not. Therefore you are wrong. You have no evidence.

    Case dismissed.

  215. So obviously you saw nothing wrong with the way Dave Sumrall taught the students, the same way we now know the lecturers or church seemed to ‘see’ or ‘know’? They didn’t stop him from speaking. Is this how God mysteriously works through this hidden knowledge of ‘sewing seed’ to gain wealth in return? How could we have been so stupid to not know about these ‘generational seeds’ or ‘seeds of wealth’ that were hidden in these scriptures for our own gain? Why wasn’t god more clear that we can rely on this knowledge to bless us instead of Jesus?

    And it’s my faith that heals me? Then who needs Jesus? I should go to Pringle to get healed because His faith is greater than mine. He knows how faith works because he has so many books about it! (Like Copeland and Creflo!) Surely someone who ‘knows’ how to operate more powerfully in faith can heal me because I don’t know how it works unlike them!

    You have no concern for how this pamphlet exalts the vision of Phil Pringle so greatly that all must commit, submit and give to it? Would these pollywaffle visions be considered ‘vain imaginings’ since they are asked to be so exalted to the point that people are giving ‘sacrificially’ to them?

  216. I hope so:

    Romans 10:8-10
    But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the WORD OF FAITH which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

    Jesus on our faith:

    Mt 9:22
    But Jesus turned around, and when He saw her He said, “Be of good cheer, daughter; your faith has made you well.” And the woman was made well from that hour.

    Mt 9:29
    Then He touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith let it be to you.”

    Mt 15:28
    Then Jesus answered and said to her, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.

    Mr 5:34
    And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction.”

    Mr 10:52
    Then Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus on the road.

  217. It occurs to me that it may be you have no understanding of the principles of faith, and I find this to be a common problem with anti-faith preachers, who tend to want to rationalise everything, especially God-inspired supernatural occurrences.

    This is the work of the liberal mind, which cannot accept the miraculous, or anything which countermands nature. By rationalising apparent supernatural events, such as the crossing of the Red Sea, liberal theologians encourage denial of the power of God, and his ability to perform the miraculous at will.

    Thus rationalised, a knowledge based theology is developed – gnosis. Paul reminded us that knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. LOve is the primary quality, along with hope and faith.

    He says that we should walk in love, and desire spiritual things, especially that we should prophesy. Prophecy edifies, like love. Prophecy, when operated in love is a love manifestation.

    But the liberal theologian, driven by gnosis, will veer away form the prophetic. Why? Prophecy requires faith on the part of the speaker and faith on behalf of the hearer.

    The prophetic can include a number of different love manifestations of the Spirit, including word of knowledge, word of wisdom, tongues and interpretation of tongues, special faith, gifts of healings and working of miracles, all of which are entirely difficult to rationalise. Therefore it is easier for the anti-faith crew to deny, or, when really desperate, ridicule those who actually believe that the Holy Spirit is at work today. Of course, the problem with this is they actually ridicule the Spirit, and to the vessel, which Jesus called blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, a sin which could not be forgiven.

    The truth is that it requires faith to be available to be used of the Holy Spirit. It takes faith to receive of the Holy Spirit.

    Jesus, Paul, Peter, James and John, the key ministers of the New Covenant texts, all emphasised the need of faith.

    You can ridicule faith all you want, but you will never negate the instructions in the Word of God regarding the need of faith – for salvation, for healing, for deliverance, for our entire walk in God, as it says for times in the NT, reiterating Habakkuk, ‘the just shall live by faith’, and, in Hebrews, ‘without faith it is impossible to please Him’.
    ••••••••••••••••

    I do not care for tithing by law under the NT, or certain aspects of seed faith teaching, although sowing and reaping must include all areas of our life, but they are not evidence of gnosticism. Bad exegesis perhaps, even error in some cases, but not gnostic cultism.

  218. “It occurs to me that it may be you have no understanding of the principles of faith,”
    .
    That’s a pretty no heavy thing to say! Then again, it’s probably no worse than being called a gnostic. If you guys ever get together for a few beers, I’d love to be there..!

  219. Liberal theology may be based on knowledge, but that dosent imply gnosticism. Gnosticism is salvation by mystic or esoteric knowledge. Special knowledge that is only given to a few appointed beings.

    Knowledge that is based on evidence, reason and scholarship is just the opposite of this, and that is what Liberal theology is based on, like it or not.

    Special visions, prophecies, revivals etc. etc. can in my view get into the Gnostic arena, when combined with an exclusiveness or special-man-of-god type culture.

  220. wazza2,
    ‘Gnosticism is salvation by mystic or esoteric knowledge. Special knowledge that is only given to a few appointed beings.’

    Yes, but also, in simple terms, salvation by knowledge. If the supernatural is discounted and all that is left is the natural, then much of the Bible is left out, and faith is unnecessary.

    If all that counts can be seen and accounted for, then why would we need faith for anything?

    But, if the just shall live by their faith, then what is it that causes us to need faith. Faith us the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of tings not yet seen.

    Our focus should be on the eternal, not the temporal.

  221. ‘evidence of tings not yet seen’, which, of course, is Irish faith, whereas, for the rest of us, our faith is evidence of ‘things which are not seen’.

  222. For you Facelift (sometimes the link is rusty):

    http://www.newwineonline.com/files/pdf/publications/newwineWFM.pdf

    The Gnostic Heresy of the ‘Word of Faith’ Movement

    As someone who has been in the Charismatic movement for over thirty years, I want to expose a teaching that I have seen spread throughout it like a wild vine. I’m referring to the doctrine called “Word of Faith,” a.k.a. “Word/Faith” or “The Prosperity Gospel.” This teaching is so prevalent in the Church today that it’s difficult to watch Christian television, listen to Christian radio or read current Christian periodicals without being repeatedly exposed to it. Over the years I have met and ministered to numerous people whose lives have been devastated by the influence of Word of Faith teaching. It has grown greater and greater to the point where it’s become cultic in the church.

    Revelation Knowledge
    Although it’s clearly evident the Holy Spirit can, and will, speak to us in our lives, it’s equally important that we exercise discernment concerning the things that we hear. Many Word of Faith ministers today speak of receiving what they call “revelation knowledge” – indicating that God has given the minister special revelation by the Holy Spirit, right there on the spot. The intention is for this revelation to be accepted simply out of respect for the person who received it, with no admonition to check if it lines up with the revealed truth of God’s Word, and borne witness in the Spirit among mature believers. If this ‘instant revelation’ does not line up with what God has already spoken through the Scriptures, it can lead to serious error, regardless of the charismatic figure who received it. People falsely assume that if a man has an anointing or a huge following, then he (or she) must be right in all that’s said. After all, if he’s been on television for twenty years, how could he be wrong? It is so important, however, that we be like the Bereans, who checked out everything they heard by the Scriptures, including what the Apostle Paul had to say (Acts 17:11). It seems people today are more interested in being told what to believe than in learning to study, discern and seek God for themselves. Paul himself warned us of such a time when he wrote,

    “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables” (2 Timothy 4:3-4).

    Jesus said that, if it were possible, the very elect would be deceived in the latter days (Matthew 24:24). In the last couple of decades Satan has done a good job in deceiving, and in so doing deterring the Church from its true calling. It is my belief that the true work of the kingdom is occuring on in the big movements we see in Christian culture today, but rather in “the remnant” – small pockets of humble servants of God who love Jesus and who are committed to each other. In fact, if Jesus were to come to many of the big “Prosperity Conferences” of today, his response would probably be to overturn tables and say, “How dare you make my Father’s house a house of merchandise!”

    Do Millennial Promises Apply Today?
    In this article, we are going to focus primarily on the subject of physical healing. Let’s begin by looking at a passage from Isaiah.

    “Look upon Zion, the city of our appointed feasts; Your eyes will see Jerusalem, a quiet home, a tabernacle that will not be taken down; not one of its stakes will ever be removed, nor will any of its cords be broken. But there the majestic Lord will be for us a place of broad rivers and streams, in which no galley with oars will sail, nor majestic ships pass by. For the Lord is our Judge, the Lord is our Lawgiver, the Lord is our King; He will save us. Your tackle is loosed, they could not strengthen their mast, they could not spread the sail. then the prey of great plunder is divided; the lame take the prey. And the inhabitant will not say, “I am sick”; the people who dwell in it will be forgiven their iniquity.” (Isaiah 33:20 – 24)

    These verses portray a beautiful picture of the millennial reign to come, when Satan will be bound and Christ will rule in Jerusalem. Many passages in the Old Testament, especially in Isaiah and Ezekiel, describe this coming millennial reign. This will be an incredible time when the “lamb will lay down with the lion” (Isaiah 65:25),” and “a child will play on the hole of the asp” (Isaiah 11:8). During the millennial reign, the saints of God will rule and reign with Christ in immortal bodies. We will know no sickness at all. What is important for us to see is that these scriptures are describing a day to come, not our present life on earth. I believe that a major error in Word of Faith teaching is that of applying the promises of the millennial reign to this present dispensation.

    But what about today? There is a lot of confusion concerning physical healing in the here and now. Presently, we live in a fallen world with bodies that grow old. Unlike the circumstances of the coming millennial age, death has not yet been utterly defeated. Again, it is one of the presumptions of Word of Faith doctrine to extract and apply the blessings of the millennial reign to this present age. Yes, Jesus died to heal us totally, but this healing will not be completed until the fullness of the salvation occurs at the Second Coming. He died to save us spirit, soul, and body. Our spirit was saved when we were born again (justification), the soul is being saved daily as we are transformed into his image (sanctification), and the body will be saved at the resurrection (glorification).

    It will be at that time that the body will no longer be subject to disease or death. Presently, we do not have the millennial promise of healing. Or, to put it another way, we do not have the promise of being healed of everything, every time we pray. In his second letter to Timothy, Paul writes,

    “Erastus stayed in Corinth, but Trophimus I have left in Miletus sick” (2 Tim 4:20).

    Even the apostle Paul had followers that were not instantly healed! (see also, Phil. 2:25-27; 1 Tim 5:23)

    God Does Heal Today!
    When it comes to the doctrine of physical healing, people seem to believe something lying at one extreme or the other. The Word of Faith adherents are on one side, concluding that all sickness is of the devil. They believe that to be sick and to not get healed indicates a lack of faith. And, when someone does get healed, the actions taken in seeking healing often become a formula that they teach should work every time. According to this theology, a person with an illness need only apply certain spiritual principles in order to experience healing. Seeking God’s face for each specific ailment is not emphasized. Another extreme regarding physical healing are those who don’t believe that such healing is for today at all. They believe that all such gifts of the Spirit ended with the Apostles. This group believes that the spiritual gifts are not necessary, now that we have the written and inspired Word of God. This view leaves no room for God to move in a supernatural or miraculous manner today. So, what is the balanced truth about healing?

    The good news is that, while we may not have all the blessings of the millennial reign in this age, we are in the dispensation of grace. We now have the “earnest,” or “first fruits” of the Holy Spirit (Eph 1:13-14). What this means is that God, in his mercy, does release the gifts of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:8-10), and one of these gifts is healing. God does heal in the here and now! But, He heals on the basis of his own mercy and kindness, and according to His purposes and will.

    It’s Grace, Not Law!
    The Word of Faith movement has a basic formula by which to fight sickness. It goes something like this: never confess physical symptoms, because that constitutes a “bad confession;” stand on the Word and ignore the symptoms. Under this paradigm, you are taught that “what you confess, you possess.” These are the very things that I was taught as a young believer in the early Seventies. We even had an anagram of Faith that we would quote. “F” is for “find a promise in the Word.” “A” is for “ask in faith.” “I” is for “ignore the circumstances.” “T” is for “thank Him in advance,” and “H” is “hold on until it comes.” Today, I believe this to be a heretical notion. That’s not to say, however, that it doesn’t hold an element of truth. The problem with deception is that it is not all black; the devil will give you 98% truth if he can get you to swallow 2% lies. If the devil were to come to you with a pitchfork, smelling like sulfur, no one would fall for his lies. But, if he comes as an “angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14), then he can, and does, deceive the undiscerning.

    The heresy of this Word of Faith “formula” lies in believing that the blessing comes from knowing and applying spiritual laws, rather than purely from the grace of God. In other words, God is spoken of not as one to be relied upon, but rather as one who has established spiritual laws that, as properly applied, will produce desired results. The implication is that the power lies in the formula and in the words spoken. It is in the technique that you are actually putting your faith, not so much in God Himself. And, many Word of Faith teachers imply that these principles work for believers and nonbelievers alike. The spiritual principles are said to work even outside of a relationship with God through Christ. That is, someone who has not been reconciled to God by faith in the shed blood of Jesus can, nevertheless, use and apply these principles with success to receive supernatural healing.

    It is nothing but presumptuous to go to the God’s Word and just choose promises for yourself! His Word is not some buffet where we choose what we want for ourselves and ignore what we don’t. Wouldn’t we all like to choose the pleasant and easy-to-digest promises and ignore those verses that seem to indicate suffering and self-denial? Both have equal validity in a believer’s life.

    Word of Faith Occult’s Connection
    My older brother became a Hare Krishna Hindu about the same time that I came to the Lord, in the summer of 1971. Out of love for my brother, and interest in exactly what it was that attracted him to this religion, I’ve spent much time researching and seeking understanding about the philosophies of Hinduism and Pantheism. Due to the background and knowledge I’ve received over the years, I can tell you that many of the practices and beliefs of the Word of Faith movement are the same that have existed for years in the occult rituals, beliefs, and practices of Hinduism. Practices like “visualization” and “speaking things into existence” are not at all new. What is new is to find them openly accepted and practiced within Christian churches. The Church does not know that, in embracing many of these Word of Faith teachings, they are embracing occultic thought.

    That explains why damaged and destroyed lives are so often the fruit of this erroneous teaching. The Word of Faith movement teaches that positive confession has the power to create reality. What you say can bring about healing and wealth in your life. Alternatively, the things you say can also bring about sickness and poverty. This philosophy can be traced back to Phineas Quimby, the founder of what is known as the “New Thought Movement.” The power of positive confession was one of the pillars of his metaphysical belief system. Quimby is important because he was a major influence on two well-known religious leaders. One of these was Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of Christian Science. Christian Science is an antichrist religion that denies the blood atonement of Christ and is best known for its belief that sickness is an illusion that must be overcome with the mind. If this sounds similar to what Word of Faith teaches, it is because Quimby also mentored E.W. Kenyon, who was a major influence on Kenneth Hagin, the man widely recognized as the father of the Word of Faith movement. Occult science also denies that there is genuine reality in the physical world.

    Hinduism has coined a word for this concept, “maya,” which means that everything outside of “self” is merely an illusion. This is basically a way of saying, “I’m God and you’re not.” A devout Hindu can walk the streets of Calcutta totally unconcerned with the extreme suffering around him, in part, because he believes it is all an illusion. He is also taught that those who are suffering are paying off the debt of wrong-doing accumulated in their past lives (karma). To help them in any way would be to do them a disservice!

    Is Healing in the Atonement?
    It is commonly taught in Word of Faith circles that no Christian should ever be sick – that it is always God’s will to heal the body. Kenneth Hagin and others teach that healing is a part of the atonement – that when Jesus shed his blood on the cross, it was for healing as well as for forgiveness of sins. Therefore, it is believed, you are healed in the same way that you are saved; you must first believe, and then you must confess your belief with your mouth (Romans 10:9). I believed this doctrine for many years, but have since concluded that it is erroneous. While physical healing is provided for in the atonement, it is not a part of it in the same way as forgiveness of sins. Let me explain.

    I am saved by faith and forgiven by faith. When I sin, I can go to Jesus, confess my sin, and be forgiven immediately every time (1 John 1:9). To receive this forgiveness, I simply have to ask for it, and it is done. I can do this because Christ has already atoned for my sin by shedding his blood on the cross. However, this is not what happens when I ask for physical healing. I do not receive healing immediately every single time I ask. But, Word of Faith teaches that healing does occur, even if the symptoms don’t change, and that if healing ultimately does not occur, then the problem was that you didn’t have enough faith! This theological position is especially interesting in light of the fact that all of these Word of Faith teachers get sick. They get headaches, stomachaches and even more serious health problems – just like everyone else. However, when they get ill they’ll often deny it. Kenneth Hagin said in his book, In the name of Jesus, “If I had a headache, I wouldn’t tell anybody.” That is called lying.

    I believe Kenneth Hagin loved Jesus and is now with Him in glory, but he was still a false teacher. What these false teachers are really denying is the reality of the sin nature and the fallen world we live in. The belief that healing is a part of the atonement is based almost entirely on one scripture, Isaiah 53:5, which is also quoted by Peter (2 Peter 2:24), “with His stripes we are healed.” But, one scripture is hardly enough evidence on which to base an entire movement, especially when this scripture’s context, upon close examination, has nothing to do with physical healing!

    Healing is a blessing of the atonement, subject to the will of God. It is a benefit of the atonement in the same way that prophecy, discernment, or any of the gifts of the Holy Spirit are. Even historic Pentecostalism recognized this. The position paper on divine healing adopted by the General Presbytery of the Assemblies of God (1974) makes it clear that healing is “provided for” because the “atonement brought release from the consequences of sin.” Nonetheless, since we have not yet received the “redemption of our bodies,” suffering and death are still our lot until the resurrection. The General Presbytery goes on to state, “No one in the New Testament demanded healing. People came to Jesus beseeching Him. They did not look on healing as their right, but as a gracious privilege extended to them.”

    In addition to the false teaching that healing is a part of the atonement, Kenneth Copeland teaches that the blood and the cross were not enough to accomplish our salvation. According to him, salvation was not accomplished on the cross, but in Hell, where Christ died spiritually and was then born again. In other words, Jesus had to suffer in our place in Hell to redeem us; the blood was not enough. In fact, almost all of the popular Word of Faith ministers teach this error. The problem is that this is not the testimony of scripture. All the “types” in the Old Testament of slaying innocent animals on the altar are to give us an understanding that blood must be shed to deal with sin. There is no indication that the soul of the animal had to go to hell to complete the atonement. It’s notable that the Word of Faith movement has adopted as one of its most fundamental beliefs a concept that, in effect, denies the reality of the cleansing of the blood of Jesus. While Word of Faith proponents all talk about the shed blood of Christ, when it comes down to what they truly teach, they don’t believe it was enough.

    Gnosticism
    The notion that God established spiritual laws that we must apply in order to get results is a Gnostic belief. Gnosticism is the “gaining of spiritual knowledge reserved only for special initiates, distinguished by the conviction that matter is evil and that emancipation or salvation comes through this special knowledge.” Or, as the teachers of the Word of Faith message might say, “special revelation knowledge.”

    When there is no healing observed after an individual has been prayed for, Word of Faith practitioners say that there is either a lack of faith, or that the individual does not have the knowledge necessary for divine healing. This position infers that special knowledge or special formulas are necessary for results, which is a characteristic of Gnosticism. Gnosticism is why the Apostle John wrote “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life” (1 John 1:1). John was directly addressing the Gnostic deception that was prevalent in his time. Some believed that when Jesus was on earth carrying out His ministry, He was actually a spirit-being without a flesh and blood body. They believed that “the spirit of the Christ” was among them, and that all that was really needed was an understanding of spiritual truths or principles. The Word of Faith teaching that my body is lying to me when I am sick, that I need to deny evident symptoms, and that I need to instead name, claim and confess health, is simply 21st century gnosticism.

    Nowhere do we see the apostles teach or practice this Gnostic belief. If what Word of Faith teaches is true, wouldn’t it be much clearer in scripture? Neither do we see it practiced by the early Church. This belief system does not appear anywhere in the Christian arena until sometime in the 20th century. Heresies usually start when someone takes a couple of key verses, usually out of context, and from them construct an entire theology. People who are not “Bereans” (those who search the true meanings of scriptures themselves) are the ones who end up deceived. Jesus rebuked the Sadducees for their unbelief concerning the resurrection by saying to them, “Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God” (Matt. 22:29).

    Many today find it too much trouble to study and truly know the Scriptures. Instead, they rely on others to tell them what the Bible really means.

    Is God Faithful To All His Promises?
    Word of Faith teachers regularly quote scriptures that seem to promise healing and prosperity. They will name and claim them as their rightful legacy as children of God. But, what’s interesting to note is which promises of God never seem to be mentioned. Consider just a few of these promises listed below.

    “For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake” (Phil. 1:29).

    “Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution” (2 Tim. 3:12).

    “Who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time–houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions–and in the age to come, eternal life” (Mark 10:30).

    “In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

    “I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ” (Rev. 1:9).

    Many of these teachers love to quote the “hundred fold blessing” in Mark 10:30, but will leave out the clause, “with persecutions.” They’ll pick out the parts they like and leave out the parts they don’t.

    Paul said, “All the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen.” (2 Cor 1:20) I believe God keeps ALL of His promises, not just the ones that are named and claimed for blessings and prosperity. For example, one of the most popular scriptures in Word of Faith circles is,

    “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers” (3 John 2).

    This verse is continually quoted as though John was talking about financial prosperity, yet its context has nothing to do with money. Furthermore, what you never hear from these same teachers is the verse that says,

    “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God” (Mark 10:25).

    And you certainly will never hear the verses from 1 Timothy which say,

    “men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.” (1 Tim. 6:5)

    or

    “For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows” (1 Tim 6:10).

    Joni Eareckson Tada, a popular writer and speaker, once made the comment, “Kenneth Copeland or Kenneth Hagin or Benny Hinn – they’ve never called me and asked me to come on their television programs.”

    You see, Joni is a quadriplegic that God has never healed, though she spent years seeking Him for healing. As she was leaving a Kathryn Kuhlman meeting years ago still in her wheelchair, she concluded, “Either I wasn’t reading God’s Word correctly, or God is not coming through on His promises. And I knew that wasn’t true…” The result of that experience was to send her deep into God’s word. Years later, she had the opportunity to visit the Pool of Bethesda, a place where Jesus healed the sick. As she reflected there by the pool she made an incredible statement of true faith. She thanked Jesus because, “A ‘no’ answer to a request for healing has meant purged sin from my life, and it strengthened my commitment to you, Lord Jesus. It has forced me to depend on Your grace. It has bound me with other believers. It has produced discernment. It has disciplined my mind. It has taught me to spend my time wisely. It has given me a hope of heaven. Lord Jesus, You were so good in not healing me…”

    God Wants Us to Hear His Voice

    “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God, for we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.”

    “Not only that, but we also who have the first-fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.” (Romans 8:18-25)

    What is clear from reading Paul’s words in this passage is that all of creation will not be delivered from the bondage of corruption until Jesus comes again. When that glorious promise is fulfilled, we will see the full redemption of all things, including our bodies. It is then that we will experience total divine health. However, until that time comes, we will continue to be troubled with sin and death, which will only be alleviated by merciful releases of God’s healing grace, dispensed as He wills.

    Did you know that Scripture also makes plain that not all sickness comes from Satan, or, for that matter, is contrary to the will of God? Sickness can come as a divine chastisement, or through a door left open by sin. While the reality that God sometimes allows sickness may be anathema to Word of Faith teachers, it is unavoidable in scripture. Consider Deuteronomy 32:39,

    “Now see that I, even I, am He, and there is no God besides Me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; Nor is there any who can deliver from My hand.”

    The story of Job is another example of God deliberately allowing sickness and suffering. Even the great,
    miracle-working prophet Elisha died from sickness (2 Kings 13:14-20), although he must have gotten his faith back after he died because his bones brought someone back to life. And, we all know that it was not Satan that killed Ananias and Sapphirra (Acts 5) in the early days of the Church.

    I believe the issue really isn’t ‘does God heal today?’ The issue is ‘will he heal?’ And, if he chooses to heal, how will He heal and when? I do believe it is God’s desire to heal. Even so, I still must not presume on Him, but rather go to Him in humility and ask for a release of His healing grace. While it is true that God’s anointing may at times lead someone to “claim” a healing or to “stand” for a particular healing, we have found that healing occurs more often when we simply ask for His mercy. It is notable that this seemed to be the experience of the Apostle Paul as well. In his letter to the Philippians, he writes,

    “Yet I considered it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, fellow worker, and fellow soldier, but your messenger and the one who ministered to my need; since he was longing for you all, and was distressed because you had heard that he was sick.. For indeed he was sick almost unto death; but God had mercy on him, and not only on him but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow” (Philippians 2:25-27).

    Epaphroditus was healed because of God’s mercy, not because of a formula that was followed or a promise that was claimed. Jesus did not have “pat” answers to life’s problems and challenges. He looked at every situation as unique and allowed his ministry to be directed by the Father.

    Christ healed in many different ways, as recorded in the Gospels. He made mud, he spit directly in the eyes, He cast a demon out; Jesus did not use a formula. He flowed in the Spirit, doing as His Father directed. I believe this is the same model we are to use in approaching healing and personal ministry to others today.

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

    God wants us to grow up and learn to walk in the Spirit. It is His great desire that we grow in wisdom, in discernment, and in our ability to listen to the voice of His Spirit. Healing is an operation of the gifts of the Spirit. In order to flow in all God wants to do in our own and other’s lives, we must learn to hear what the Spirit is saying.

    The Balanced View of Healing
    “Do not lay hands on anyone hastily, nor share in other people’s sins; keep yourself pure. No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for your stomach’s sake and your frequent infirmities.” I Timothy 5:22-23

    It is interesting that Paul recommends a little wine for Timothy’s illnesses right after speaking of the laying on of hands. It makes you wonder if Paul had at one time laid hands on Timothy unsuccessfully and, as a result, was reminded of Timothy’s maladies when he mentions the principle of laying on of hands. What is notable in this passage is that Paul nowhere admonishes Timothy to resort to anything resembling Word of Faith principles. He does not name, claim, or stand on scripture, although it is plain that Timothy was often sick.

    Don’t you think that if God’s way was Word of Faith’s way it would be more clear in passages such as these?

    So, how does a person approach the need for healing from a balanced, scriptural perspective? Let’s consider a passage from the Epistle of James that shows how healing is to be administered in the local church:

    “Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.. Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” James 5:14-16

    Scripture admonishes us to get prayer when we are sick. Call someone, particularly one who has spiritual authority in your life, and have them anoint you with oil and pray for you. I do believe that God wants to heal, probably more than we realize. But we need to humble ourselves and obey the command of scripture by asking for prayer. The problem with Word of Faith practitioners is that they can’t possibly obey this clear scriptural command because they can’t admit that they are sick; it would be a bad confession!

    What is interesting is that in the verse, “Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up,” there is no guarantee of healing. Consider two key words in this passage. The word “save” is the Greek word “sozo” which means to “deliver or to protect.” “Raise” is the Greek word “egeiro” which means to “arouse or awaken.”

    What is provided for in this scripture is basically deliverance and spiritual awakening. The root problem in many people’s lives is that they are spiritually dull. What God wants to do is to wake them up so that they can hear His voice. It is then that healing and deliverance can occur. People’s greatest need is to be able to hear the voice of the Lord speaking to their conscience. Verse 15 ends with the promise, “And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.” Often people are laboring under the power of a sin that God wants to address and expose. They may be feeling condemned and guilty, so their real need is to first confess their sins and receive God’s forgiveness before any physical healing can occur.

    None of this is to say that God doesn’t want to physically heal a person. What it does mean is that the focus is taken off of the physical realm and put onto the spiritual realm. The Word of Faith doctrine is really the exact opposite! Its focus tends to be on the physical realm and it does not adequately address the deeper spiritual needs that may be in a person’s life.

    Curiously enough, where we do find the word for healing is in the next verse,

    “Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” (James 5:16)

    The word “healed” in this verse is the Greek, “iaomai,” which means “to cure,” and is used 29 times in the New Testament to mean the healing of a disease. What James is saying is that when you humble yourself and ask for prayer, the prayer of faith will deliver the sick and spiritually awaken them. They can then be forgiven of their sin. Then, after they’ve confessed their faults, physical healing can finally occur.

    The condition for healing appears to be two-fold. The first condition is to confess your faults. This means to be honest and to bring all hidden things in your life to light, thereby destroying the enemy’s ability to accuse you and to bring you under the power of shame and condemnation. The second condition is to pray for one another. In other words, get your eyes off of yourself and care for others. I can say from personal experience that there is a level of sickness I simply do not have in my life anymore. I believe the reason for this freedom is that I spend a lot of time involved in other people’s lives. It’s interesting to note that when we do these two things, then the anointing, or the “effective fervent prayer,” finally comes. This is when the physical healing really occurs.

    What Faith Is
    Much of Word of Faith’s belief system centers around a person’s ability to exercise faith. Let’s conclude by taking a look at what faith really is. Scripture tells us that faith constitutes three things: a seed, a fruit, and a gift. When you are born again, faith is placed as a seed within you,

    “Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God” (1 John 3:9).

    This seed grows until it becomes the fruit of faithfulness,

    “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law” (Galatians5:22-23).

    A faithful man is someone that God can trust. Faith is also a gift of the Spirit,

    “But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit…” (1 Corinthians 12:7-10).

    What is described here is a supernatural anointing. It’s the Spirit-given ability to believe the impossible, to say to a mountain, “be removed” and to see it occur. I have seen many supernatural miracles occur at my bidding, but these have always happened when the words were spoken under the Holy Spirit’s anointing. It’s when I am weak that I am made strong. (2 Corinthians 12:10).

    Faith is actually an “action” word. It is doing.

    “What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘“Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,”’ but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead” (James 2:14-17).

    The issue here is not faith, it is humility and love. When you step out to love others, God will give you all the faith you need. In fact, Galatians 5:6 tells us that “faith works through love.” In his beautiful teaching on love in 1 Corinthians 13, Paul says, “And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” Notice that he does not say the greatest is faith. Faith is not something you must strive to increase so that God will do what you want Him to do. Faith comes as you are faithful to step out in obedience and love your neighbor as yourself!

    © Chris N. Simpson 2005, Houston, Texas
    All rights reserved. newwineonline.com

    For additional copies: New Wine Christian Fellowship, 1033 Fairmont Parkway, Pasadena, TX 77504
    (713) 910-3330

  223. There’s no ay anyone can read that with any comfort, s&p. And skimming through it, as I said earlier, it recycles the tired old arguments which begin with the wrong premis and end with the wrong conclusion. Please put up a much shorter comment with easy to read observations, and tell us exactly what it has to do with your claim that C3 is a gnostic cult.

    Everything you put up of the arguments against Word of Faith, I probably know by heart. I could put them all up for you if you like. They’ve been around for a good many years, and have their origin in a thesis put together by a student at Oral Roberts University in the 80’s. They were wrong then, and are still wrong. More so, having been repeated by people like you ad infinitum. They have no bearing on what I, or as far as I can make out, C3 teach or believe.

    You have no case, so you’re obfuscating.

  224. Read the pdf then Facelift. I took time to clean it up now to read. Is that better?

  225. right then:

    lot of comments I have tried to wade through so forgive me if I missed something out.

    Regarding Moriel:
    J. J. Prasch is a top bloke. He was very upset that David Pawson refused to amend his book about the Toronto ‘blessing’ (Is the Blessing Biblical?)

    David has subsequently preached widely against the excesses of that phenomenon, although clearly it doesn’t look as though Prasch has had a reconciliation with Pawson. I think that is a shame. They will both be with the Lord at the end.

    The difference is one of semantics but hear Jacob’s heart in this. He is very angry and upset at what is happening to the body of Christ. We should all be. The question is not, “Is my Church/Pastor/denomination compromised?”
    The real question is (and always should have been since the 12 Apostles established churches) “How much is my Church/Pastor/denomination compromised?”

    On Liberal Theology:
    Liberal theology is not so much based on different interpretations of key biblical passages but rather on taking scissors to the bible and cutting bits out of it. Higher criticism is nothing new. It was very big in Germany for a number of decades and managed to rip the heart out of the churches there as it wrecked the faith of so many … which made the rise of Nazis much easier.

    A neat criticism of liberal theology is that liberals take NOT out of the commandments and add them to the creed.

    Thou shall bear false witness
    Thou shall commit adultery
    Thou shall steal etc

    and the creed then becomes:
    I do NOT believe in the bodily resurrection
    I do NOT believe in the virgin birth
    I do NOT believe in the deity of Christ etc.

    As you can see, I am NOT a liberal. 😉

    The real question is really about the Bible itself. Is it authoritative? Is it reliable? Is it trustworthy? Is every word true? Is every miracle true? Is what Jesus said about himself true?

    Is it 100% true? If your answer is an unqualified YES then you are a fundamentalist. If your answer is at best a qualified yes through to a resounding NO then you regard the word fundamentalist as a pejorative word that denounces the fundamentalist as a crazy loon that has no more right to live on God’s clean earth than a weasel.

    I suspect that the majority of those who actually contribute to this blog would be be happy to be condemned as fundamentalists.

    Which means that we have suddenly found ourselves on the same side of the bus as FL.

    In other words, FL suddenly finds himself on the right side of the argument!
    😉

    I am convinced that liberal theology is far more dangerous than prosperity theology, frankly.

    Arguing about C3 is wildly entertaining for a short time but ultimately is fruitless. Better to pray for them … that the truth will set them free.

    Shalom

  226. Bull, you are kidding right?…. Bull?

    “take NOT out of the commandments and add them to the creed”? So liberals tell people they should steal, commit adultery etc? And partially responsible for the Nazis too I see? If this is where faith gets you I’d rather go back to evidence and knowledge.

    And “denounces the fundamentalist as a crazy loon.”. I dont denounce fundamentalists but I’d say you have done a fairly good job on liberals. Others will judge if it sounds crazy.

  227. I’ve heard the claim that liberal theology led Germany into Nazism many times. I’ve also heard that it was Luther’s fault.
    Another one for Paul the Octopus perhaps.

  228. Here is the focal point lie that comes up in your quotes precis, s&p:

    ‘Quimby also mentored E.W. Kenyon, who was a major influence on Kenneth Hagin, the man widely recognized as the father of the Word of Faith movement.’

    The attack on Word of Faith as a gnostic cult largely depends on criticism by association, which is what you are attempting here, only you are seeking to advance the association to C3.

    You have no actual, direct scriptural evidence to lay on C3, so you attempt to locate the nearest associated controversy, and have the audacity to call your case proven.

    So it is with the original lie about Kenyon, and then, by association again, Hagin, who, of course is conveniently named [by critics] as the ‘father’ of Word of Faith. Repeat this lie enough times and by as many imitators as will receive and reiterate it, and it will eventually stick. And so, hee you are, recycling the lie, and making yourself a liar in turn.

    The first lie is that Quimby mentored Kenyon. Kenyon never met Quimby. Quimby doesn’t come up in any of Kenyon’s biographical information.

    I don’t have space here, but Kenyon is a much maligned person. The attack on him is evil, in my opinion.

    As a young man, Kenyon was a good Christian, but, for three years, in his early 20’s, he backslid. This is not unusual. People do this and return to the Lord. That would be my testimony.

    In the time he was away from the Lord he got into drinking, girls, and the theatre. He decided on an acting career, and enrolled in Emmerson School of Oratory, the best in that area at the time. It was also, at the time he was there, an acknowledged Christian school, focusing on oratory. The truth is that he was there from September 1892 to May 1893, eight months of his life, learning, not heresy, but oratory.

    It was later that this school, run by John Wesley Emmerson, took on New Thought, AFTER Kenyon had left. The claim is, by critics, that Kenyon was there from 1892 to 1896, which is incorrect.

    In fact from 1893 to 1896, Kenyon, who repented, and went back to the Lord, was the Pastor of a Free Will Baptist Church.

    Yes, he was a free will Baptist preacher, s&p. At the age of 26.

    So these mindless detractors have taken a small part of Kenyon’s life, when he backslid, and made this the basis of his doctrine, and not only his doctrine, but that of Hagin, and not only Hagin, but the entire Word of Faith movement.

    This is woeful criticism at its very worse.

    And now you perpetuate the lie with your reproduction of essays which regurgitate error, time after time after time, based on 8 months of a young man’s life.

    I have much more on the truth about Kenyon, having looked into it after being sickened by the degree of ignorant attack on this gentle, loving, Christian man.

    First I will ask anyone here if they have ever read a single page of Kenyon’s books?

    Have you, s&p?

  229. Wazza, that was extremely funny. I didn’t know about Godwin’s law. So I guess that means this discussion is now old, and we should have another new thread?

  230. Fascinating but I think pointless overall.

    Thought the Simpson article was good overall.

    If FL is right about his facts then it kind of does dilute some of the WoF criticism. Some bloodhound should be able to sort that one out but the otherside would always disbelieve the response anyway.

    He lost me at the end of the healing issue. Absolutely agreed with most of what he said, but the paralysed bloke was paralysed because either he or his parents sinned, but for another reason.

    FL has pretty much agreed that Sumrall’s teaching re giving to the apprentices was error, but won’t concede on the Gnostic cult issue.

    S&P you may be right, but I don’t think the argument will or can be effective. Many here have said they think Pringle is genuine. Whether you think he lapses into an effectively gnostic approach or otherwise.

    For me these are the issues which I think are the critical ones:

    The teaching on giving is generally wrong.

    The C3 leadership does not concede accountability towards its own people – it is not wrong to have mentors from outside – but my view it is wrong not exercise it towards one’s one church.

    Where this really shows up in the whole vision thing, effectively setting a up a dynamic where Pringle’s vision is beyond testing by his church. FL may have different view about this, but I haven’t seen or heard anything that would suggest the congregation has any real input or testing of it apart from going along with it. Simpson while not knowing Pringle sounds to have it pegged.

    The whole principles thing as outlined by Simpson. Part way through before he got specifically talking about principles I had the thought that anything that sets up a methodology to be rigorously followed – apart from the general practices outlined in Scripture – will serve as a diversion from God – meaning we don’t have to live in total dependence upon Him.

    These are the core issues I take out of this thread – whether it extends to a gnostic cult I don’t know.

    One thing I know – pardon the pun – we all – absolutely all of us – have gnostic tendencies.

  231. A well researched list of Kenyon’s actual mentors:

    ‘Every preacher and teacher has his mentors. For E.W. Kenyon, these were the leading evangelical preachers of his day: D.L. Moody, the American evangelist; Dr. A.J. Gordon, under whose ministry he rededicated his life to God; Dr. A.T. Pierson, one of the strongest voices for evangelism and an associate of D.L. Moody; and others of Moody’s “warriors” such as R.A. Torrey, S.D. Gordon, A.B. Simpson, G. Campbell Morgan, Andrew Murry, F.B. Meyer. These were all household names in the late 1800s and early 1900s.’

    From a tribute to E W Kenyon by Peter Wade.

    I would include D L Moody as an important influence, although his right hand man, Dr A T Piersen is listed.

    These influences are confirmed in ‘E W Kenyon and His Message of Faith: The True Story’, by Joe McIntyre, which I recommend to anyone who wants to be involved in a ‘discernment ministry’ targeting Word of Faith. It is a book which should read before they say a word against this gentle man of God.

  232. “Liberal theology is not so much based on different interpretations of key biblical passages but rather on taking scissors to the bible and cutting bits out of it. Higher criticism is nothing new. It was very big in Germany for a number of decades and managed to rip the heart out of the churches there as it wrecked the faith of so many … which made the rise of Nazis much easier.

    A neat criticism of liberal theology is that liberals take NOT out of the commandments and add them to the creed.

    Thou shall bear false witness
    Thou shall commit adultery
    Thou shall steal etc

    and the creed then becomes:
    I do NOT believe in the bodily resurrection
    I do NOT believe in the virgin birth
    I do NOT believe in the deity of Christ etc.”

    Excellent post Bull, very well put.

  233. mn,
    whilst disagreeing with your assertion that PP or any Pentecostal leader is in some way above the scrutiny of their congregations, I think most of what you say is reasonable.

    My focus is on s&p’s accusation that C3 is a gnostic cult.

    It is clear that this cannot be demonstrated either doctrinally, or by association, especially if the main association, that of E W Kenyon, is absolutely shown to be flawed in regard to gnosticism. If s&p sets up a separate thread it can be shown more clearly.

    The second point I will raise is that, in the absence of any evidence that C3 is a gnostic cult, it can only be said that the differences in opinion here are based on doctrinal differences.

    These can be, and are, associated as much with the backgrounds and influences of the people discussing the issue, as on the group being discussed.

    I have already pointed out to you that your opinion will be coloured by your congregational background. That is not a criticism, but a consideration. Wazza2 has liberal tendencies. That is not a criticism, but a consideration. Others have a variety of positions which influence their stance on C3. Some have a history with C3. Others do not.

    I say this because, this is no longer an issue of whether C3 is a gnostic cult. It clearly isn’t. It is an issue of difference of opinion over doctrine.

    This doesn’t make C3 any less of Christian movement. It has its orthodoxies and it has its controversies, but all in all it is a bona fide Christian movement, and should be treated as such.

    s&p should retract the accusation that C3 is a gnostic cult.

  234. For what it’s worth, I wouldn’t call C3 a gnostic cult. I feel like I left a “cult” but that’s more because of the hold I allowed it to have over me. Does that make sense?

    I’ve sat through sermons over the years and thought, on occasion, that sounds like gnosticism i.e. private dreams, visions, and revelations without biblical emphasis. I guess that can happen in other churches too. Look at the Catholic Church and visions of Mary.

    “Gnosticism was built on Greek philosophy that taught matter was evil and the Spirit was good. They taught docetism, a dualism which promoted a clear separation between the material and spiritual world. Christian Gnostics said since matter was evil, God could not really incarnate in a human body, He only appeared in human form and only appeared to suffer, it was an illusion. It was stated when Jesus walked on the sand you could know by seeing his footprints that were left. In this Jesus could be a pure spiritual being in an evil world and not be contaminated by it.”

    Thta’s not taught at C3 – however Specks might see this happening and call it a form of gnosticism
    “….a knowledge of God that was exclusive”. I see how one might apply that to PP with some of his claims of insight/seeing into the spiritual realm.

  235. “One thing I know – pardon the pun – we all – absolutely all of us – have gnostic tendencies.”

    Which is why we must renew our mind in Christ.

  236. teddy: “however Specks might see this happening and call it a form of gnosticism “….a knowledge of God that was exclusive”. I see how one might apply that to PP with some of his claims of insight/seeing into the spiritual realm.”

    Bingo! BTW. I will start reading Pringle’s material to demonstrate what I mean. I read it ages ago when I was naive so I can easily collect what is needed to do so.

    I don’t like spending all this time focusing on errors. I have better things to do. But if I want my claim to stand, I have to do this.

  237. Ya got me, I’ll come clean. Yes, all us liberal Christians are really high-priests of the Devil, although our duties now are largely ceremonial.

    Yes, our commandments are to bear false witness (oops now I broke that one), commit adultery, steal, covet our neighbours ox etc. etc. Yep, pretty much exactly the opposite of other Christians.

    Yes, we were responsible for Hitler, and we are actively working to bring about a Fascist government.

    You fundos are too good, we cant pull the wool over your eyes.

    Oh well, at least you are fair to PP and dont accuse him of being a gnostic when he isnt one.

  238. I can also see how Specks might see C3OF as promoting those with higher anointings as having access to exclusive knowledge. PP of course being at the top, would be the most acquainted with exclusive knowledge, revealed to him as leader. The knowledge being via revelation, is hard to challenge. The kind of knowledge I am thinking of is knowledge of church direction, and, understanding of scripture as revealed by the Holy Spirit, compared to the rest of us plebs. When I attended there, admittedly many years ago now, I certainly believed that since they were so much closer to God than I, the pastors’ understanding and revelation from scripture was superior to my own. Learnt that error fairly early on, fortunately. I even believed my house church leader had superior revelation to myself because of their longer experience of the Holy Spirit.

    Um – re intellectual sophistication – yes. Well, there are intelligent people at C3. However, there isn’t much exposure to the world of broader theology, so even intelligent people can remain pretty ignorant if they rely on trusting the leaders more than exploring beyond their church boundaries. Logically, why would you bother looking further afield if your church is ‘alive’ and going places, and other places who get bogged down in all that teaching are ‘dead’, or intellectual snobs.

    Re gnosticism – I was under the impression that our entire Western culture is based on Platonic thought, with the virtual ideal being beyond our physical grasp, so gnosticism has deeply influenced us all in ways we probably don’t even realise. Jim Thwaites writes on the Hebrew world view, and it is quite a different way of looking at things.

  239. Everything you write with one of them would have the anointing all over it. Imagine the power of your writing. Really, $550 is cheap.

  240. “Re gnosticism – I was under the impression that our entire Western culture is based on Platonic thought, with the virtual ideal being beyond our physical grasp, so gnosticism has deeply influenced us all in ways we probably don’t even realise. Jim Thwaites writes on the Hebrew world view, and it is quite a different way of looking at things.”

    Yes! Yes! And yes! In our western thinking, gnosticism does have some hold. Unfortunately most churches have it. So I’ll pardon that. It’s the ‘Word Of Faith’ teachers that take it further. I believe C3 takes it further as their victims try to grapple with the understanding why Phil Pringle is more blessed than them. They usually express:

    1. What does he know about faith that they don’t.
    2. How come he is more blessed them them.
    3. How come he gets these great revelations and I don’t.

    If you read a few years ago his giving talks, when they were on transcripts, they echoed a lot of teachings from America which he suggested were his own. With this suggestion in the minds of the believers, (and I was with them then), I believed with them that he really had super knowledge.

    When Phil Pringle says up on stage and demand that they are right and the world is wrong, “trust us”, – he really needs to justify why. The continual implication is that he is above others in anointing and knowledge. So don’t question him – because Phil knows best.

    People even wanted to buy his paintings in the art lounge so they his anointing can rub off onto them in their homes. Others can’t wait to stand at the pulpit to receive what ever Phil has so they might gain something from him.

    What? More of the Holy Spirit – or something more unobtainable than that? I am trying to find what I am looking for still.

  241. Boy RP! Good find! Did you notice this?

    http://www.c3store.com/browse/details.asp?ProdID=126700

    Product Details

    The Power To Transform Promises From God:
    -You’ll be clothed with power
    -You’ll walk in dominion
    -In Victory
    -You’ll conquer those things trying to conquer you
    -You’ll defeat demons and heal sickness
    -You’ll be part of the answer, not part of the problem
    -You’ll find the power that makes you more like Christ
    -You’ll have real solutions for the would you live in

  242. “Boy RP! Good find” – S&P

    Actually, it is Teddy’s great find. It gave me a laugh though. Just when you wonder what they’ll come up with next.

  243. If people want to treat Phil or anyone else, for that matter, as God, or some kind of hero, then it is their fault, not his. They did that with the apostles, who had to tell them not to bow down to men or angels. He should be respected, even honoured, but not lauded, or regarded as infallible.

    This is turning into a witch hunt.

    If you still have to go looking for something, s&p, by delving into Phil’s books, or whatever, and didn’t actually have anything at hand to throw at Phil, then you really don’t really know what you are talking about, and are currently just fishing for dirt.

    You need a personal attitude check.

  244. “If people want to treat Phil or anyone else, for that matter, as God, or some kind of hero, then it is their fault, not his. ” – FL

    Yes, I actually agree with that. And unfortunately, many of us end up learning the hard way. I had one mild lesson in my youth with a pastor’s well meant but wrong advice. Poor guy probably didn’t really know what to tell me. But it showed me I should judge situations for myself, and not delegate responsibility to others that I thought would know better. Plainly, they did not always know better. The problem is that at times church culture does actually teach that people above you in the hierarchy do know better. Also, it is sometimes taught that obedience even when you think they are wrong, is the way to go, because if you are ‘obedient’, God will take care of you anyway. Well, he will take care of us, but we also suffer the consequences of much of our behaviour and choices, so that we can learn all kinds of things from them. So the culture that teaches us to obey leaders and not question also by extension teaches us not to take responsibility for our lives at times – though we should. A dilemma for people in those cultures.

  245. Actually to put it simply, I said with my opening comment:

    This open statement of the booklet then lays out what the point of the booklet is all about:
    1. getting behind Phil’s visions
    2. submitting and committing to his authority and ministry
    3. giving money to his ministry even if you have no money to give.

    For many years now, people have gotten behind Phil’s vision, submitted and committed to his authority and ministry and given money to his ministry even if they have none to give, to BE blessed.

    When they see that their efforts seem to fail them in their circumstances, what is the logical thing to do? Well they can pray and seek the Lord on it, but if Phil Pringle is prosperous and promises that God wants all believers to prosper – then obviously he must know the answers because Phil Pringle is prosperous.

    The truth of the matter is, Phil will always have the answer, the knowledge, the sermon, the way that is truly the right way either revealed in a new or fresher revelation or greater method. What do you think his books are about?

    When the GFC hit, C3 seemed to have got stung. The proof was in the giving message. As this year has rolled on – it’s become louder and more extreme. A lot of extreme and stupid comments have been made to convince people to tithe and give money. Some people have stopped which is a good thing. But then Phil Pringle started talking about ‘his revelation’ of the seed and how it has been a universal principle since the beginning of creation, and now how we must sow this seed to further the work of the kingdom… to BE BLESSED in return!

    I’ve seen him do it – so it is not ‘digging up dirt’ if he’s thrown what he’s saying into the air for the general public to take away with them. I am still looking for these things he has said.

  246. Interesting to not Pheonix7’s comment here:

    https://signposts02.wordpress.com/2009/03/09/megachurch-margin-calls/#comment-3644

    The probelm with the american stuff is that it leaks into the CCC/Hillsong scene. I think PP regards himself as an apostle, I think he has very much picked up on the Apsotilic reformation idea (i.e. the idea that the role of “apsotle” has been missing from the church and that once it is resrored to it the church will be all victorious).

  247. This is an honest question. The splat pen is a joke right?

    “When I attended there, admittedly many years ago now, I certainly believed that since they were so much closer to God than I, the pastors’ understanding and revelation from scripture was superior to my own.”

    My mistake was always feeling condemned because of my own sinfulness, and believing that the spiritual giants were about all above that based on their messages and testimonies.. Seeing people in high places all over the world fall into gross sin has made me realize that there is no need to be intimidated by anyone. Especially the ones who give then impression of living in the heavenlies.

    But, the splat pen is a joke right?

  248. So is this the way it works like with a lot of the TV ministries?

    People are asked to donate for charity, for the gospel, for the starving in Africa or whatever. Then for your donation over a certain amount, you get a free book, or bandana or whatever. But the ministry of course pays the preacher for the book or the bandana. So the the megachurch pastor gets progressively richer, but at the same time can say they don’t get much of a salary. And they can say that they doing so much good with the money?

    Like Joyce Meyer. Give her a donation for the hungry or whatever and you get a free book. She gets on the New YOrk best seller list, makes lots of bucks from her personal book authoring, the ministry can buy a private jet and houses, but in the end if anyone criticizes she can show how much her ministry does for the poor.
    It’s a great system isn’t it?

    You’d have to be a certain personality type to flog off your stuff like that. I know that sounds bad, but this is all getting ridiculous.

  249. No, this thread is getting ridiculous. It’s becoming a bit of a hate-fest.

    By the way, no one has to buy a pen, or a painting or a bandana. Some people might like Phil’s art and buy one. No one had to order a tent from Paul, ether. It’s a means of making income.

    Further, as I have said before, if anyone treats any man as a god, then it is their fault, not the fault of the person they are worshipping, unless, like the afore mentioned Adolf, they set themselves up as a god and demand worship.

    I think this blog could have serious merit if it sticks to challenging the various doctrinal controversies, but avoids heinous mockery of individuals. Otherwise it is no better than Women’s Own gossip sections, where the ‘stars’ they don’t like are torn apart by innuendo.

    I’m sure you’re all better than that!

  250. A $550 Splat pen (there’s the gospel for you)- is the church a place of worship, or a marketplace for making money?

    This could open up an interesting discussion about church leaders using the church as a place to flog THEIR product. Ask around the congregants and see how many could market their artwork – we knew some fine artists who would have loved a chance to display their work so as to raise money for missions etc. You would see the occasional college students’ work but the majority was alwways PP’s.

  251. I’m always finding fault! LOL! What’s been the main focus of this blog over the last few years. Pointing out problems in the church today.

    Seem to remember adding quite a few light moments to break the tension, like Rodeo Church for instance and even the Splat Pen was thought to be a joke! It would be easier to take PP more seriously if he dedicated more time to bible study and sermon preparation and less to his “live art” productions and conference junkets.

  252. I thought the Splat pen was pretty amusing.

    Of course it is income generating. But there are also doctrinal issues, such as those around cults of personality. In fact, that is worth a new post.

  253. Under a photo of 16 pens in a presentation box….

    “The First Edition release of @Phil Pringle ‘SPLAT’ pens…If you are in the business marketplace YOU need to purchase one of these! Handcrafted and original in their design…each one is completely unique”

    These were being sold at Art Expo at the Asia Conference 2010. $8800.00 worth of pens along with PP’s artwork to sell to a captive market of 1000’s attending the conference.

  254. @ FL with respect, I can’t quite connect the dots with Paul as a bi-vocational “pastor”/tentmaker with the accompanying shipwrecks, scourgings, near death experiences and jail, with PP’s “Your Best Life”, conference junkets and Splat Pens.

  255. Even your lightening up is finding fault, though, isn’t it? I meant, find some good, and highlight it for a change.

  256. Phil Pringle is a witch. He’s a Satanist. The sooner you guys understand that, the better off we’ll all be.

  257. I’ve heard those accusations too Chirpy and I understand why other XC3 members say this. What can you tell us. Rant if you have too.

  258. specksandplanks, thank-you for your post. I appreciate it.

    The Bible is very clear in Mark 3:28-30 that anybody who says that somebody who is a Christian is a Satanist is committing the unpardonable sin of blaspheming the Holy Spirit and will never be forgiven. This means that such a blasphemer will be damned to hell for eternity. I take this seriously and I recommend that other people take this seriously. Nobody should say that a person is a Satanist unless they are certain. In Phil Pringle’s case, I am certain that he is a Satanist.

    I watched Phil Pringle preaching on streaming video from his church’s website. I saw his hand make a strange sign very quickly. I rewound the video and paused it. The hand sign was so quick, it took me a few tries to pause at the right place. It was a Satanic hand sign with the index finger and small finger extended and with the middle two fingers retracted. I was shocked but not surprised. It all made sense.

    I watched some more videos of Phil Pringle preaching which were streamed from his church’s website and found him making the same Satanic hand sign while preaching on another fifteen or so occasions.

    Phil Pringle is a Satanist who is pretending to be a Christian. Consider the fact that Phil Pringle started C3 himself and declared himself the leader of it. How else would he be able to remain the leader of the church? He wouldn’t. He would not survive entering another denomination and trying to rise up through the leadership hierarchy. People would call him out on his poor teaching of the Bible which is what some members of C3 have tried to do. The reason Phil Pringle is able to remain the leader of the church is that he started the church. Therefore it is Phil Pringle’s way or the highway. This is how Phil Pringle retains control of the church.

    The reason Phil Pringle wants his Christian members of C3 to give so much money is that he wants to relieve Christians of their money as a Satanist and do whatever he chooses with the money. This is why he flies all over the world doing whatever he wants. It is deception. Phil Pringle spends alot of time in New York. New York is one of the occult capitals of the world. He is probably meeting up with other Satanists.

    Phil Pringle says that before he became a Christian and was converted he was involved in witchcraft. That is probably the truth, but it is probably not the whole truth. The whole truth is probably that Phil Pringle never left witchcraft. One possible reason for him declaring himself a convert from witchcraft is that it provides a good cover-story for his real objective of deceiving the church as a Satanist posing as a Christian leader. The best way for somebody who is a witch to infiltrate the Christian church is to pretend to be converted. In this way they can explain away their earlier involvement in witchcraft by saying that they converted to Christianity, which is easier than keeping their involvement in witchcraft a secret. In Phil Pringle’s case, he probably never left witchcraft. His conversion was probably contrived as a means of infiltrating the Christian church. This is the same thing that Todd Bentley did who can also be seen making Satanic hand signs while preaching in church.

  259. That handsign could also mean Pringle:

    – went to the University of Texas, Utah, North Dakota or Florida;
    – was a baseballer, a volleyballer, a road cyclist or an American football referee;
    – member of a street gang;
    – is a comedian;
    – is saying either ‘bulls**t’ or ‘I love you’ in a deaf sign language;
    – comes from Houston or Turkey;
    – has been influenced by Hinduism, Buddhism, or Italian superstition, and is using the signal to try to ward off evil.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sign_of_the_horns

    Numerous celebrities have been photographed with some version of the hand signal, including recently Michelle Obama on the cover of Vogue magazine.

  260. Next someone will back-mask a podcast!

    I used to be in the Boy’s Brigade, and our marching trainer had had an accident which meant his right hand was in a permanent pointing finger position. We all marched with our right hand in that position, not knowing about his impediment.

    Presumption can be harmless, but is a potentially deadly affliction!

  261. “In other words, let’s not read anything into accidental hand gestures.”

    You sound a charismatic preacher working hard to sell an angle rather than preaching truth.

    Michelle Obama ia a Satanist and so is her husband who has made the same Satanic hand sign in public.

    This is all much bigger than you understand.

  262. Sorry Chirpy, our God is much bigger than you understand.

    Maybe he’s suffering from early onset Dupuytren contracture – something that caused my father-in-law great suffering (and strange hand signs). 😦

  263. My husband has a very bad habit of holding his INDEX finger up at other drivers, if he gets annoyed. From a distance it certainly looks rude, easily misinterpreted. I’m trying to stop him – road rage etc.

  264. Chirpy what basis do you have for stating that a the way a particular person holds their hand means unequivocally, beyond any doubt, its a fact Jack that that person is a Satanist?

  265. In the case of Phil Pringle, there is no other explanation for it. He is in a position of Christian leadership and should not be making this sign. He is the leader of scores of Christian churches around the world, no less, and holds himself up as an apostle of Jesus Christ, which he is not. He is an imposter. He is not signing the deaf sign language to communicate the words “I love you”, because he makes this sign fleetingly so that it is virtually undetectable. (Incidentally, Helen Keller, who invented this sign as meaning “I love you”, was involved in the occult.) He is not making this sign accidentally because it is physically very difficult to make this sign accidentally. Additionally, if he was making this sign accidentally, he would not be making this sign so fleetingly, which requires alot of conscious dexterity involving the small finger. It would be more obvious than it is if he was making this sign accidentally. Phil Pringle guards his true identity very carefully. That is why he makes this sign so quickly. It is very difficult to detect.

    If anybody doubts what I am saying, I recommend that they pull out any old footage of Phil Pringle preaching and scrutinise it. One hour of preaching will require two hours of scrutiny. It is time-consuming to scrutinise it because Phil Pringle moves his hands about very quickly while he is preaching. He does not make this sign every time he preaches.

    You can be sure that he will not be making this sign while he is preaching in the future now that I have made these posts.

  266. Chirpy you have done everything but answer the question.

    Where is your hardcore evidence that for anyone holding there hand in this particular way is incontrovertible evidence that they are a Satanist?

    Either you have it or you don’t.

  267. There are very few things that can be proved according to the standard of proof you are seeking.

  268. Then why are you making these accusations – charges if you like – without any real proof?

    If you have been reading SP for a little while you will have worked out that a number are not fans of PP.

    But has already been seen, those same people will not join you in those charges unless you have some real proof.

    Tens of thousands of innocent people have been burnt at the stake or butchered because of such accusations by there ‘fellow Christians’ throughout history. I won’t be participant in that even if ritual burnings are now not a realistic outcome.

    And if you don’t have any evidence other than the odd inconclusive vague hand ‘sign’, then it is actually a bit dumb to make those accusations. It can get you into all sorts of trouble.

    On the other hand if you have been a member of C3, and you feel you have been on the wrong end of things this is the place to express that. There are those of us who express and argue about that all the time here.

  269. Chirpy, I heard all sorts of silly things over the years, but the one highlight was so-called “evidence” of satanists holding rituals around C3 Oxford Falls in an effort to “destroy” the ministry. So if you are right, answer this…….

    Mark 3:23-24 “Jesus called them and spoke to them in parables: “How can Satan drive out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand…..”

  270. This has been very entertaining to read. I particularly enjoyed being told I sounded like a megachurch preacher. LOL!!! I would be so hopeless in that role, for so many reasons! Other than disagreeing with a lot of what they teach, I have to concede that many are very talented speakers, and have honed that talent over the years. Someone like myself would be a rather pathetic contrast.

    Chirpy, many of us don’t like the way a lot of things are done, or much of what is taught at megachurches. If we are going to be taken seriously ever, by anyone, we have to have some substance to our reasons for what we say. Also, its wise on a blog not to say anything you can’t substantiate.

  271. Teddy, I sympathise re your husband’s hand signal. And I have to confess, I have been guilty of giving the bird to people from my car, on one or two extreme occasions. Not something I’m proud of. Definitely shows us when we need a break from Sydney traffic!

  272. “megachurch speaker’ should have been ‘charismatic speaker’. Oops! Comment stands though, whether its a megachurch or a smaller church. Not my thang!

  273. I had to take your comment out of moderation blah-blah.

    I never made the calim that Phil Pringle was a Satanist, but I’ve heard it said by others. Generally, they were a bit odd in the head. I don’t know why some Christian’s go that extreme.

  274. teddy, the answer to your question is that it is all deception. Phil Pringle is a Satanist pretending to be a Christian leader who tells his church on occasions that Satanists are praying against him and his church in order to provide a cover for the deception that Phil Pringle is perpetrating. In their simplicity, people say to themselves, “Phil Pringle must be such a man of God because Satanists are praying against him”.

    ravingpente, the reason I have made these comments on this blog is that I can substantiate them. However it is not my responsibility to provide this evidence to you. I know beyond any doubt that what I have posted is the truth. That is why I have posted it. It is now up to the body of Christ to test the truth of what I have posted, if there is any discernment left in the body of Christ capable of discerning truth.

  275. It has been known, to my shame, for me to express my discontent with other drivers for acting like they own the road (when clearly, I do!) in a very loud fashion.

    It recalls my earlier years in the Army and before my encounter with Jesus in a Christmas Carol concert.

    Regarding Phil Pringle, apart from the libel, the standard of proof for any Satanic belief and practice would need to be very much higher than that already submitted. Sorry, but that’s where it is.

    Regarding Todd Bentley, he has already shown, throughout the course of the Fakeland Revival and his subsequent conduct and the doctrine he has taught, that he believes in a angel of light but not the Jesus of the Bible.

    The point is, it is all about what is taught.

    I do not consider Todd to be born-again. Whatever he is right now, it certainly isn’t a believer in Jesus. Even the Devil believes in the reality of Jesus!

    Shalom.

  276. I saw 29 images of Phil with about 27 doing the hand symbol you said he did, Chirpy. Thank you.

    I’ve got this insane feeling I know who you are.
    Do you mind if I put them up to see what others think of these images?

  277. specksandplanks, I welcome you posting these images on the internet. They were obtained by photographing my computer screen with a poor-quality camera. You will see that the numbers in the file names represent the hour, minute and second marks of the images according to the video streaming from the church’s website.

    Right now, I recommend that you go to sleep. I’m sorry for keeping you up.

  278. You’re not serious are you, s&p? You’re going to entertain this notion?

    I almost agree with blah blah on this, minus the foul language!

    The thing is, I really think you want to believe this superstitious tripe, s&p. Still, it makes for a hilarious diversion.

    What did you mean ‘go sic’m FaceLift’?

    This is nothing to do with me, and I want nothing to do with it!

    teddy, there is no doubting that Chirpy is very frank, but he’s frankly misled!

  279. “Still, it makes for a hilarious diversion.” – FL

    Yes, that’s my take on it, too.

  280. Chirpy I realise you are serious about this, but you haven’t answered my question again even at the most basic level as to why anyone who makes the sign you are referring to automatically becomes a satanist?

    Why is anyone who makes this sign a satanist?

  281. Yes, sorry Chirpy – don’t mean to laugh at you. It’s just that this kind of stuff has been around for a long time, and I just can’t bring myself to believe in a world wide conspiracy of hand signals.

  282. Even if this sign was a sign of a satanist, which is clearly relative to a person’s ideology, how can it be at all a sensible idea that PP is a secret satanist, who occasionally and subliminally, can’t help himself betray his true religion by, accidentally, throwing out the satanist sign?

    That is one of two things. Ludicrous or humorous. Let’s say it’s not humorous, so we’re not guilty of making fun of a serious view of an issue, then there is option but to call this assertion ludicrous.

    My only concern is that s&p encouraged this possibility.

  283. I don’t think S&P encouraged anything.

    The trouble is a hand signal is circumstantial at best, and in the absence of anything else the longest of long shots.

    I take Chirpy seriously in that he is serious about it.

    What I really would like to hear is what is driving Chirpy down this path – hand signals apart?

  284. s&p did encourage it, but I won’t harp on it.

    So let’s see, when we go to a church meeting, and the main speaker rises to address the congregation, we have to very carefully watch his hands to see if he is surreptitiously signing satanic gestures, indicating deception, and of the highest order, since, even if the message itself is straight our of scripture, with sound exegesis, the messenger is tainted, so we have to disregard what is said, based on a supposedly demonic symbol.

    However, as Chirpy admits, these things cannot be seen in real time, so we have to subsequently watch a dvd in slow motion, over the course of a couple of hours, to identify said hand signs.

    Apart from this, who decides what is a satanist hand-signal, and, alternatively, what is the involuntary positioning of perfectly normal digits?

    I’d like to know whether, in the last few comments, anyone has subliminally positioned their fingers in such a manner as to indicate a possible satanic hand-signal!

  285. One has to wonder how they got on in previous centuries, when people like Wesley, Moody, Spurgeon or Finney were in their preaching pomp.

    How could they tell if those hand gestures were satanic without the aid of slow motion technology?

  286. Of course, if they were signing something like Spock’s ‘live long and prosper’ hand signal, I would say they had a point, since it’s very hard to involuntarily spread your fingers from the two middle fingers. I still can’t do it without using my other hand.

  287. Actually Spock’s Vulcan greeting did cross my ming more than once.

    Look FL I give this as much credence as you and others do on this blog, but I am genuinely interested in the underlying reasons for Chirpy thinking the way he (or she)clearly does.

    If it is a joke it is a poor one.

    If it is serious then it is important to understand the reasons behind it.

  288. OK, so we’re assuming, by the seriousness of the accusation, that it’s not a joke. I agree that, if it is a joke, it is in very bad taste, although I was prepared to let it go on the understanding that it was drive by religious superstition.

    So far, on this thread, PP has been accused, without a shred of viable proof, of heading up a gnostic cult, and, now, that he is a witch, and, I, as should you, consider these very serious charges indeed.

    Now all the above charges need evidence to be sustained, or an open retraction is required.

    The charges are, that:
    1) C3 is a gnostic cult
    2) PP is a gnostic cult instigator and leader
    3) PP is a witch

    These, in my opinion, are all defamatory allegations.

    In law, in our nation, a person is considered innocent until proven guilty, and this should be the basis on which we set the standard.

    Therefore, burden of proof is on the accuser.

    But you’ll have to give me more than accidental hand signals to help me think this is any more than ludicrous.

    I have a theory on the reasons behind it, but I’ll leave Chirpy to answer your questions for now.

  289. FL, by upping the ante here, you are only making it worse. Maybe we should ban you to protect C3! (Joking, by the way. But still.)

  290. FL says “I have a theory on the reasons behind it, but I’ll leave Chirpy to answer your questions for now”.

    That’s as ambiguous as Chirpy!

  291. Actually Facelift. I went to check the IP address after the second time Chirpy replied, because I thought it would be you trying to make a point under a different alias.

    I’ve heard the claims that PP was a witch (mainly Kris Pringle), but I believe these people were messed in the head anyways who told me. Chirpy said they had evidence. I personally found the evidence amusing, but I will put Chirpy’s evidence up anyways to see what other’s think.

    I’m just not sure how to deal with Chirpy. They wanted to say something – so I am allowing them to say it. If I put up the ‘evidence’, we can all make our evaluations in Chirpy’s claims. After looking at this evidence, I still find it hard to believe.

    Except for one shot that made me laugh.

  292. mn “I am genuinely interested in the underlying reasons for Chirpy thinking the way he (or she)clearly does.”

    Me too. Chirpy had me intrigued with her claims.

  293. I guarantee that as long as I am permitted to use the name FaithLift I will not be attempting to use another name on this site.

    I may, from time to time, as opportunity presents itself, do so on GS because I consider it activism on an frequently obnoxious site, plus I do not believe in banning people for dissent when moderation is available, especially on sites which challenge ministries, although Lance did show some heart with his post on Phil Baker, so there is hope.

  294. And there’s a great story about the money left by a former altar-boy to a church in need of repair.

  295. LOL!!! Those are great! Wonder if they’ll go viral at all? Not that I would draw any conclusions, but its very funny!

  296. The middle left one looks like he’s doing funny shadow pictures – it’s a rabbit, no, it’s a dog, no, it’s a duck!!

  297. Phil Pringle is a Satanist and Billy Graham is an elite Mason. I thought every discerning Christian knew that ….

    Scary isn’t it. I haven’t been this freaked out since I heard the sounds picked up from hell in that deep hole in Siberia…

    Thanks Chirpy for blowing Phil’s cover. Maybe you can contact Jack Chick and he can make a comic out of it so we can tell more people before it’s too late!

  298. There are better pictures than that. You should put them all up.

    The problem was that when I took a printscreen of Windows Media Player while it was paused, it produced an image which showed Windows Media Player as blank. At the time, I didn’t know how to take a printscreen that produced the paused image. I assumed that the church was protecting its content. So I resorted to taking a photographs of the computer screen which didn’t turn out very well. Since then I’ve learnt that you can change the settings in Windows Media Player to allow the paused image to be captured.

    This is unfortunate, but there are better pictures than the ones you posted, so you should post them all. Viewed together, there is definitely a case to be answered. Every photo carries the date and time in its file name so it would be worthwhile viewing the original video files if that is possible.

    Ultimately, I don’t care whether people agree with me or not. I know what I saw and I know what it means. In my lifetime, I have never accidentally made this sign with my fingers.

  299. Chirpy

    I’m sorry unless you have something more substantial then that you have nothing.

    I realise you are serious, but the conclusion you have drawn is unsustainable and to be honest rubbish.

    And to continue with the Spock analogy, just because Leonard Nimoy can make the ‘Live long and prosper’ – which no one would accidentally do – does not make him a vulcan.

    You may have seen it but the conclusion you have seen is one of many.

    You have not despite repeated requests explained what basis you have to assume that anyone – forget PP – who makes that sign is a satanist.

    All that you have done is make an accusation for which the only evidence you can proffer is some pictures of some hand signals which to most of the world means ‘rock on’.

    Good luck with that.

  300. I like Chirpy’s evidence. I don’t think I’ll ever get bored in Phil’s services again. I’ll be sure to tally his gestures each service.

  301. Oh, just in case…..I wasn’t being serious.

    Why is it that Christians believe the dumbest things so easily?
    I concluded years ago that it’s because “not many wise are called”.

    One day you guys should do a post on crazy Christian urban legends.

    Hey Chirpy, you’d be surprised at how many people can probably be caught doing funny signs if you watch enough hours of video.

    “The Bible is very clear in Mark 3:28-30 that anybody who says that somebody who is a Christian is a Satanist is committing the unpardonable sin of blaspheming the Holy Spirit and will never be forgiven. This means that such a blasphemer will be damned to hell for eternity.”

    uh, is that so?

    Chirpy is either a person with too much time on their hands and a believer in loads of conspiracy theories, or he is Phil Pringle or a friend of his in disguise…..

    Now PP can boast that people accuse him of being a Satanist. Good publicity. P.S I loved Mel Gibson’s conspiracy theory.
    Poor Mel…

  302. This has been the funniest thread on this blog ever.

    Love the hole in Siberia.

    It is astonishing that PP has supplied that hand signal so many times – its a wonder no one has posted pictures of it before!

    Yes, the perfect ending to a thread that is hardly pointless – PP can’t stop pointing!

  303. S&P – be sure to give us the tally after each service. We could start a new thread with Chirpy’s pictures, and keep an ongoing count.

  304. Agreed churchman… Christians are some of the dumbest people you are likely to meet and fall for anything as long as you claim to be hearing from God.

    RP – you’re taking the piss out of the well to hell thing and fair enough but I would reckon most of the posters on this blog would believe in a literal hell wouldn’t they? Or on the other hand that there are real streets of gold awaiting them in the after life?

    So which is funnier?

    I would say the latter but surely you can see that this is only a symptom of the Christian literalism mindset? Probably not

  305. Good day to you all. I hope that it’s a good one for you.

    Thanks specksandplanks. Hopefully the next people supplying you with these pictures will provide better quality images derived from printscreens of Windows Media Player using the tips and tricks found in Google to avoid the player screen being blank.

  306. I do see the irony that you are referring to, but regardless of how literal you are about interpreting hell, the bible is a recognised source of belief within our faith, whereas hand signals are not.

    We did do a post on hell once. The thing about hell, as you probably know, is that there are lots of opinions from different parts of the Christian spectrum, about what it is. Yes, some believe in Dante’s inferno, but others, like myself, were taught that hell was ‘separation from God’. Some believe that hell is the experience of being in God’s presence when you are unredeemed – the hell of knowing your own sin, when faced with His perfect love. After all, God didn’t even show Himself fully to Moses, but spoke from a burning bush, for Moses well-being.

    I read ‘The Late Great Planet Earth’ by Hal Lindsey when I was young, and was fascinated by all the 666 conspiracy theories re bankcard etc. That’s all gone by the way side now, but it was a fun speculation at the time. Maybe its taken me a while, but these days, aside from the entertainment value, I have a hard time believing in conspiracy theories. Except for within political parties – which can include internal church or company politics sometimes.

  307. My above comment was aimed at ‘blah blah’. blah blah – do you go to C3? I can’t remember.

  308. This article is appropriate for this discussion:

    Ps Sumrall Getting Into C3 College Students Pockets

    From http://www.c3churchglobal.com/video/c3-church-oxford-falls-leaders-2?xg_source=activity:

    C3 Church Oxford Falls Leaders Meeting May 02 2010 with Phil Pringle

    At 36:20 Phil Pringle says the following:

    Sylvia Jarry! My GOD! I heard her take- I was at Prime the other night with Kris. We did a little interview and here’s Sylvia giving the offering. My Lord! She just slapped everybody around the face. That must have been a huge offering that night. I don’t know what came in but uh… She just got up there and made no bones about it. Slap! Slap! Slap! And uh… I even gave something! Amen! You gotta be good to get me to give something. (Phil laughs) Not really.

    This is what Phil Pringle said 38 minutes in:

    38:00:
    “Under number eight: Passionate Spirituality. Passionate Spirituality. This is measured in tithing. There are several measurements they give for these. It’s unusual the measurements that they actually put on – on these ah – how they – how they said “We can tell if a church is spiritually passionate not by the fact they go ‘Oooooooo!’ (Phil imitates a Holy Ghost shaker) like this. But by how much they actually give.” Ok?

    Now as leaders, let me tell you this: you got no chance of getting your people to be tithers and blessed and prospering if you’re not. And it’s the same with the building fund and everywhere else. And I make no apologies in this meeting for saying, before the Lord: that you and I are leading a group of people and we have got a responsibility to show them the way and be able to speak without any compromise in our conviction at all. That ‘Yes!’, we gotta bring that tithe into the house of God because that guarantees us an open window over our church life and over our movement. … (fumbles with his words)

    I came across a leader who I knew who’d – you know – sort of looked like doing the right thing with giving to – building the building. But you know – we can check those records actually. In America you can check everybody’s tithing records. And Paul would base his – when he was in Los Angeles – you could base your pastoring on that couldn’t you, really. Just check it all out and weekly go around and see them and say ‘things aren’t working out for you?’.
    ‘Yeah! How did you know?’
    ‘Oh! You know…’ (laughs)

    And uh… we can’t do that here. But what we can do is check is look on the ‘Rise and Build’ records and that tells us where, you know, the passionate spirituality (if you like) of our people and that’s an indicator. It’s not the amount, it’s just the sacrifice and the heart to be involved is actually there. And uh…

    You know I’m talking like this because we’re a mature crowd here aren’t we? We can cope with this. And if it’s a little challenging, that’s great. Amen. We gotta smile when a thing challenges us saying ‘Yeah! This is good for me! It’s going to move me on ‘n get me up on the feet’. And so … when we did, I just asked Wayne, (cos I don’t actually go through those records and check them), I just said to Wayne ‘Did that guy umm… was he involved?’. And he came back with a number that was just – you know – (Phil shows he’s upset) that just boggled my mind, how that over such a long time that was it.

    And it revealed a lot to me. It just told me everything as to why his situation was like it was.”

    C3 Church Oxford Falls Leaders Meeting May 02 2010 with Phil Pringle from Smash Ashby on Vimeo.

    If for some reason this video is taken down, I managed to get a copy from HS’s work. Thanks HS.
    They were also the one who put the link up of Dave Sumrall’s C3 video.

  309. So too is this article:

    People would have probably already watched this from groupsects.wordpress.com maybe. Really worth a watch!

    C3 Church Sydney and C3 College combined staff and students meeting 16 June 2010 from Smash Ashby on Vimeo.

    From: http://www.c3churchglobal.com/video/dave-sumrall-teaching-at

    Combined Students & Staff Meeting Of C3 Colleges

    8am June 16, 2010

    Pastor David Sumrall:

    “How many students were here yesterday? Are you still saved? Of all the meetings that are gonna take place about the Vision Builders this week this is probably this probably the most important meeting.

    You’re the leaders of the church. You’re the staff . You’re the students. You set the tone. What happens here is going to determine the hearts of the people later on this week. I cannot possibly emphasise to you enough that what happens here this morning is going to completely determine the outcome what happens the rest of this week.

    As the leaders go so the people go. Look to the person next to you and say ‘I’m a leader’. Bible school students I taught you yesterday that if pastors want to develop a prosperous church what are the things that has to happen is that the pastor has to be generous. This is where it begins with you as a student. As a student you say ‘I don’t have much money so why should I give’. Because this is where you begin to learn generosity. This is where you begin to practice generosity. This is where you begin to understand spiritual laws of reproduction that everything reproduces after its own kind. This is where the tone is set.

    I like to dig and study in the bible and sometimes I get going after little rabbit trails that take me months to play with in my own devotions. One time I just started going after generational offerings.

    And I got a little time today so I can relax – is that alright?

    I started going after generational offerings. I told you a little about one yesterday in Romans chapter fifteen. That as Paul closed out an entire section of ministry of his life , he was saying ‘Alright I am done with this entire section of the world. When I’m finished with this offering, I’m headed to Spain’. He spent the last several years of his life just raising an offering from all of the Gentile churches to go to the poor Christians in the church of Jerusalem – to bring healing between the Jew and the Gentile churches – a generational offering.

    And he went out to the church of Corinth. And I talked to you yesterday – that the church he had most trouble with was the church in Corinth because the church in Corinth never supported him. Their hearts had never followed their money to his leadership. And so when he is raising this generational offering, of all the other churches, he had to take the most time trying to teach the church in Corinth about giving – because they were the worst givers. Because he had never allowed them to support him and – probably a right decision. But he said you know, ‘Was this so wrong that I did that I sin when I did not allow you to support me’. But he said, ‘I’m still not going to let you’. And then you read on a little bit farther, (as I showed you in the scriptures yesterday in second Corinthians) , the reason! He said ‘Even now when I send to you Timothy you think ‘clever fellow that he is, he sent Timothy to exploit us’.

    You know there are people who have such terrible attitudes. And the reason they have these attitudes is the pastor has never led them in giving… Are we still here?”

    So he looks at the church in Corinth and he makes a very interesting statement. It’s one of those verses you honestly wish was not in the bible. I’m very serious. Second Corinthian s chapter eight. Begin with verse eight. He said ‘I am not commanding you’ – and I am not commanding you today to give an offering. It should not be given under compulsion.

    ‘I am not commanding you but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others – for or because you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. That though he was rich, for your sakes he became poor – so that you through his poverty might become rich’. He said ‘Hey! Look at the love of Jesus! Look at the sincerity of His love. He gave up everything to bring blessing to your life. He says ‘So now I’m looking at you church of Corinth. We’re trying to raise this last offering. I’m never going to be with you again. I’m never going to influence you again.

    I’ve leaving this entire section of the world and I’m going to go Spain. This is my last hurrah. And I’m trying to make peace with your future so that the Judeazers will no longer come and torment you. I’m trying to let you see that your heart needs to follow your money to the people that gave spiritual birth to you. And I’m trying to let them receive this offering. And ‘A gift given in secret soothe in anger and healing ’. So this is the last ‘hurrah’. Please. I am not commanding you. But let me test the sincerity of your love.

    I would look at you as leaders of the church. Of all people, you know the depth of this vision. You know the sincerity of this vision. Of all people in this church you live with it every day. But sometimes, sometimes staff begin to take things for granted. Sometimes with staff you allow a few little problems. Maybe your supervisor got upset with you because you were late for work two weeks ago and they got after you. You allow little human things to interfere with the sincerity of your love.

    I looked at a deacon one time and we just finished pledges to take the church completely out of debt. And I started with my board. I asked each of them to write down an amount and pass it up to the head of the board table. I said ‘It starts with us’. One man says ‘I’m not going to do it’. And I said ‘I know where your heart is. Thank you’. I said ‘I’m not commanding you. I just tested the sincerity of your love’. See if you look at peoples giving, you can see their future. Their money goes long before their body goes. Are we still here?

    This is why Paul says ‘I am testing the sincerity of your love’. Now again, we don’t like this verse. We don’t even like this concept because it makes us very uncomfortable. But it is a true test. Our giving is the true test of the sincerity of our love. Not just for God, not just for our leaders, but for the entire work of God. Are we still here?

    Some of you that are working and you doing daily wages, I would just sow a seed everyday first. And watch what God does for you. But the seed I want to talk to you today about – and it’s a wonderful seed. I call it the ‘seed of wealth’. Now people but stumble at the word but hold steady. Genesis chapter twenty six. Lets begin with verse one…

    … And instead of consuming an asset, sow an asset. Everybody say “instead of consuming…” (Audience: Instead of consuming ) “… sow” (Audience: Sow).

    Now forgive me but some of you here as you lead the way today, you’re going to some seeds that are going to be a re-allocation of assets.

    You’ve saved money to buy an I-Pad. Some of you students, you’ve been saving your money to buy an I-Pad. There’s none for sale anyway, I tried all day yesterday to buy one. I’ve been to 3 Apple stores. Don’t worry about it.

    Some of you saved money to buy an I-Pad. You’re gonna sow it. Notice how quiet it just got in here? Some of you, you’ve been saving money for a new car. You’re gonna re-allocate that asset and sow it. Some of you families, you’ve been saving money to buy a house. You’re gonna take that money and sow it.

    And it’s gonna take a step of faith for you because it’s something you’ve never done before. But a seed of wealth is not a seed that is just …. “Ahhh… doesn’t mean anything to me”. It’s a seed that is a re-allocation of a consumption.

    Fourth thing. A seed of wealth is a seed that is going to bring a harvest of wealth and of envy…

    More here. I encourage EVERYONE to see how masterfully Sumrall manipulates C3 students and leaders:
    https://signposts02.wordpress.com/2010/07/05/ps-sumrall-getting-into-c3-college-students-pockets/

  310. Got to love what Sumrall says right here:

    “I looked at a deacon one time and we just finished pledges to take the church completely out of debt. And I started with my board. I asked each of them to write down an amount and pass it up to the head of the board table. I said ‘It starts with us’. One man says ‘I’m not going to do it’. And I said ‘I KNOW WHERE YOUR HEART IS. Thank you’. I said ‘I’m not commanding you. I just tested the sincerity of your love’. See if you look at peoples giving, you can see their future. Their money goes long before their body goes. Are we still here?”

    It’s funny that Matthew Ford says the same things to his congregation (from Fire It Up Ministries). Phil Pringle said as well to those at the leadership meeting in the above document:

    “We have seen miracles unfold in people’s lives as THEY HAVE ALIGNED THEIR HEART, purpose and financial with God’s vision to build His Church.”

    Then Phil said, as he was gaining information on the giving records:

    “Rise and Build’ records and that tells us where, you know, the passionate spirituality (if you like) of our people and that’s an indicator. It’s not the amount, it’s just the sacrifice and THE HEART to be involved is actually there.”

    And this is what each of these preachers target:

    Phil Pringle teaches the same technique about shifting the mind, touching the heart and getting more greedy. Here is Mesiti teaching this:

  311. S&P – FL is right. From a purely practical perspective, the sheer length of the post puts people off, regardless of what the topic is. I skipped the entire article, because I don’t have time to read something that long.

    In the interest of readability, another approach would be:
    – pick a few pertinent quotes and provide a link to the rest, or;
    – just give the first 2 or 3 para’s and provide a link to the rest, or:
    – briefly summarise the content yourself, highlighting the main points, and;
    – provide a link to the rest.

    Plus your own original opinion about the article, or any issues it raises. (Your own opinion is interesting and of value to our community here.)

    Bite size pieces seem to work better on the internet, with links to the more in-depth stuff.

  312. Hi, Specks,

    What you say is right on the money.

    Seven members of my family were expelled by force from C3 Balmain after asking to see properly kept accounts of the church’s Rise and Buile fund to which they had given more than $100,000.

    The story is told on this web site:

    http://sites.google.com/site/c3churchbalmainreviewpage/

    It’s worth a look.

    The church leaders are now in the Australian Supreme Court defending themselves against among others our Attorney General’s Department.

    The money has vanished.

    C3 Church Balmain is set up so that there is no independent oversight whatever of the use of funds donated to it.

    What strikes me is that these guys convince you to give money to them by telling you if you give to God, you’ll prosper.

    They are the ones who gain out of that arrangement.

    The lawyers in my family’s case have found everywhere in the C3 movement dodgy private companies; dodgy incorporated associations; and church’s with massive assets that are not actually owned by the church community, but effectively by five or ten people–the Pringles of the world.

    Keep protesting is all I can say!

  313. Can you tell us anything more about these private companies? What about PaX?

    I’ve been following C3 Whitehorse. Do you know if these incidences are connected somewhat to happened there too?
    Dave keep your eyes posted here for some upcoming insider news of C3 leadership.

    Got an interesting email from a C3 leader inside the movement.

  314. G’day Specks.

    The fault doesn’t lie in any particular company (as in say such and such company is alleged to be skimming money).

    The problem lies in this (this is what has got the Attorney General interested).

    If you’re a not-for-profit you’re supposed to be set up so that you have enough formal members to have an independent majority ensuring that you don’t misuse funds, and that you are looking after those regularly involved in your organisation.

    C3 churches appear to set themselves up so that the legal entity behind them has a handful of members. In which case there is no independent majority overseeing the finances and protection of ordinary attendees as required under the Charitable Fundraising Act.

    The short version!

    At this stage white Horse hasn’t been mentioned, although I’ve read about it.

    God speed one and all!

  315. P.S.

    What this means of course is that unless you are a formal member of the association/company that is your C3 church’s legal entity, you in fact have no legal rights as an attendee of the church.

    In addition it means that all the assets that look as though they’re owned by your church community (buildings/fittings/land) are effectively owned, not by the church community, but by the five or six formal members of the legal entity.

    It also means that the handful of members of the legal entity have iron control of finances. If the majority of them gain financially from the spending of the church’s money (ie because they are employees of the legal entity as well as controlling it), then…?

    Be it said significant breaches of the Charitable Fundraising Act make you liable to a jail sentence.

    Cheers.

  316. “Boom” is the new “pumped”. Deep theological stuff going on, must check my Hebrew/Greek translation version of the 🙂 “Massage Bible”.

    Re Balmain C3, was Ward Lucas originally speaking on behalf of Mark Kelsey, without consent, forcing MK into the situation?

  317. Cheers, all.

    Re C3 Balmain–naturally I can’t go in to any detail that involves the court business.

    What I’ve done on my site, and my brother has done on his, has been to confine ourselves to irrefutable facts.

    The explicit information contained on those is supported by copious documentation.

    That stuff I can chat about.

    With respect to Kelsey’s involvement, no-one knows at all what it was. Lucas and Grant apparently said one thing at the time; but as my brother’s site indicates Kelsey, via his lawyer, is so vehement in denying any involvement the literal meaning of his denials seems to be that he has nothing to do at all with C3 Church Balmain, and that he isn’t even a leader in the C3 Church movement.

    None of us can make head or tail of that!

    Here is my brother’s take on things re Kelsey.

    http://www.christianchurchbalmain.info/page8.php

    He is the senior lawyer involved in the case against the leaders of C3 Balmain.

    Peace be with all!

  318. I’m really sorry everyone for making everyone jump around. I am trying to be careful. I am trusting that was is discussed here will remain safe.

    TVdude says on https://signposts02.wordpress.com/2010/09/06/dave-ward-lucas-c3-balmain/#comment-13234:

    “Interesting series of posts Specks. Firstly, let me state a conflict of interest here – I know Ward and his wife, but I have not spoken to them in over eight years. This article is the first time I have heard these accusations, therefore I have no inside knowledge. I am also not here to try and defend C3 Balmain. However, from my extensive experience in counselling people who have been used and abused by church leaders and ministries, as well as seeing many people with an axe to grind make public accusations, I am noticing some familiar themes.

    Unfortunately, as tragic as Dave story appears, from my experience I can almost guarantee that there will be many things that he is not sharing with us. If you would allow me therefore to ask Dave a few questions:

    You say “People who went to C3 Church Balmain and who had donated tens of thousands of dollars to the church were expelled straight after asking to see properly kept accounts.” I assume that you are referring to yourself here. May I ask what kind of attitude did you display when asking for the church’s financial details? Was the request made in anger or with accusations, or was it made civilly and cordially?

    Did you or any others make any verbal threats towards Ward and others that could perhaps cause the church to resort to using “security guards” to “expel” you and the others you mention from the church.

    Were these “security guards” in uniform, or were they members of the church?

    When you say “This expulsion was carried out through the use of physical force organised by the leaders of C3 Church Balmain”, are you able to elaborate? Were you and the others actually physically manhandled, or were you simply led out?

    Did the “expulsion” occur during a church service?

    Could you concede that perhaps the “expulsion” was deemed by them as necessary because you refused to leave and were causing a scene and perhaps distressing other church members?

    Was the issue of their lack of accountability regarding the financial reports the only problem that you had with Ward and C3, or were there other issues that you had, and if so, were you vocal about these other issues?

    By what means did you express these issues? Did you meet with Ward privately, or did you express them publicly or by “confiding” with individuals in the church?

    When you say “What this means of course is that unless you are a formal member of the association/company that is your C3 church’s legal entity, you in fact have no legal rights as an attendee of the church.” it makes me wonder whether you have ever been a member of any other Incorporated Association. Under the Incorporated Association Act 1984 membership qualifications the main requirement is the person has been nominated and approved for membership in accordance with the procedure set out in the Associations constitution. Ward and C3 are acting well within the requirements for membership of the association. Unfortunately Dave it appears you are confusing membership of the church with membership of the association. They are entirely different things.

    I just wanted to close my comments with this:

    Dave, I am not asking these questions with an agenda, or in blind defence of C3 or Ward. I am genuinely interested in your thoughts and what has led you to this point. As a pastor myself I believe it is important for me to know how things can get to this point and how best to make sure that my own congregation is informed of everything that happens behind the scenes so that issues such as this don’t occur.

    If you would like to contact me privately that would be fine.”

  319. I’d like to comment that not even C3OF has security or body guards. It’s quite odd to know that Ward Lucas would have them at his church.

    To Dave and Tom Adams. I will be praying for you and your families. A lot of strain must be placed on family and friend and church friend relationships. I hope your health has not affected by all this.

  320. Thanks specks. The bookmark I have for signposts goes to an old thread so I didn’t see this thread before.

    Now that I have read the website linked by David some of my questions have been answered. I don’t think I will make any further comments however because I can see some FL-like comments brewing from my end, and I don’t want to risk being banned!
    I also will be praying for Dave and Tom and agree with Specks

  321. Sounds like this would be an awful strain on all concerned.

    It’s sad that things have to be resolved in a court and for the conflict to reach such extremes.

    Shame there is no independent reconciliation process for situations like this, that could sit outside both parties in a truly Christian context. Some kind of Christian counsel respected by everyone.

    Anyway, TVDude, I think your questions were normal and reasonable, pastor or not, and yes, some of them would have been answered on the website. It’s good to have your views and opinions here too.

    I’m interested in how this goes in terms of the issue of transparency of church associations towards their donors. I know being a church member gives you no legal rights in terms of the governing church association; most people recognise this, but trust the leadership. In many cases, this goes OK. Lack of transparency has the potential to hurt everyone though. Transparency protects both leadership and the congregation, from themselves and from each other. It would be good for the church generally if transparency was the norm.

    I’m deliberately not commenting on people here; just the more general issue. I’d be interested to follow the outcome of this.

  322. If the ownership of C3 churches – whether broadly or for just a few individual places – are vested in the way stated – for those places it is a disaster waiting to happen. May be not this year, but it will happen.

  323. TVdude is just so typical of many pastors… He never took the time to read the attached website but instead went on the apparent defensive. I found his post laced with subtle innuendo and it appeared to be mildly prejudiced towards Lucas and Co.

    On that note, it’s pretty damn stupid to suggest that the way one phrases a question about financial-data determines whether or not they receive a positive outcome.

    It appears from Tom’s website that he was there for a good length of time and served in a leadership capacity so it’s hardly appropriate for pastor TVdude to act like he’s simply got an “axe to grind”

    I’ll be watching this post with great interest.

  324. “it’s pretty damn stupid to suggest that the way one phrases a question about financial-data determines whether or not they receive a positive outcome.” – Blah Blah

    Yes, it did occur to me that regardless of the manner of the request, it would be good to grant it. Particularly where someone has given a good deal of money. Nothing is achieved by holding back except further offence, unless there is something to hide.

  325. Re dealing with complaints – I was just on my phone to my credit card provider, complaining to them about their misleading advertising. I don’t do that every day, but I was pretty annoyed about something. Well, they handled me pretty well. Took everything on board, recorded it all, thanked me for my feedback. Didn’t tell me I was wrong, illogical, aggressive, unreasonable, whatever. Quite the opposite. In fact, they made it all but impossible for me to believe they didn’t appreciate the discussion. And I was pretty cranky when I called (but not abusive). Had to admire their skill.

    So – such training is available. Bit of a contrast to what has obviously occurred here. One aspect of the commercial world that it might be good for some churches to catch hold of.

  326. It is always unwise to take one side in a dispute without evidence from all sides.

    TV-Dude has asked relevant questions, and courteously stepped aside to allow others to comment. Insulting him because he is a pastor is unnecessary.

    Each C3 church has its own constitution which isn’t dictated by anyone outside that church, apart from, of course, State or Territory Government Departments who set up the legal requirements, which vary from State to State.

    All churches must have a State or Territory approved constitution, by law, to be able to operate. They must all present annual audits and reports, by law, and make them available to all contributing members, formal or informal. Formal members would have the audit and report presented to them for scrutiny at an AGM. The make up is determined by the board, and agreed to by law.

    If there is a court case under way, as claimed, then it would be wise for people to avoid speculation and allow the court to make a judgement.

  327. Am I reading this correctly, the problem seems to rise out of the unsound teaching at C3 Balmain leading THEN to a questioning of funds management and disclosure?

  328. Hi guys – have been reading through the web-page that this current topic is linked to.

    It makes for really interesting reading and I’m not at all surprised at the way C3 and Ward Lucas have conducted themselves and my sympathies definitely lie towards Tom and his family rather than C3.

    I had a very similar experience when I was involved in a now defunct C3 church plant in Adelaide (C3 Unley) and although no security personnel were needed, what transpired with Tom and what transpired with myself is too coincidental to be mere coincidence.

    All that I would say or add is that I really do believe that Christians ought to “love their enemies” and while part of me would love to see C3 hung out to dry and held to account, I think that we must embrace forgiveness and let God be the judge of those that have wronged us. It’s natural to want to lash out but it takes a lot of strength to walk away from these situations with a smile on your face and forgiveness in your heart.

  329. Hey TV dude. BY all means. Let your comments fly. I like blah-blah’s bluntness.

    Just don’t mention he-who-must-not-be-named.
    You are not like he-who-must-not-be-named.

    I know you anyway and love you outside of SP02. You have my friendship. I trust you.
    It’s great to finally hear from you again. I am keen to hear your perspective on this.

  330. I think Signposts02 is full of love-mud. While there seems to be a lot of mud-slinging, underneath it all, I see people value honesty and accountability from these types of churches.

    I love Signposts02 because of it’s brutal honesty and everyone’s beautiful character flaws. We all have them and none of us have bragged about being the perfect Christian community.

    God has continually convicted my attitudes on churches like C3. I can say that if the kingdom of C3 ever falls, I will be devastated for the Pringles and all those hurt who have invested their lives in it.

    Honesty and accountability would save them. If they are not going to change, they will be heading for disaster. Serious warning signs are already developing.

    Biggest one for me was Pringle allowing Kelsey have oversight over C3OF. If something is about to fall, distance yourself from the issue and blame the one who you’ve given the responsibility too.

    Mark Kelsey comes across so well. I do not wish or want to see anything bad befall him. But it’s funny how he seems to be involved in this. Still can’t see how he is fully connected with C3Balmain.

  331. Anyone who has read my comments knows that I have a lot of problems with the financial and authority structures of pentecostal churchs both mega and small. And that I have said that many of the problems in larger churches exist in smaller churches and in fact can be worse. Reading the posts, and reading through Tom Adams website is not so surprising to me.
    In case anyone thinks it’s none of my business, Tom Adam’s has made this the world’s business by making a whole website out of this and posting numerous details.

    First general comments. It is obvious by this story and by the experience of many that there is one very very important thing that church members have to remember. It’s unfortunate but true. You have to remember that no matter how much time, energy, emotion, and especially money that you put into a church during the good times, if you have a problem with the Pastor, or next Pastor, you won’t get any of that time or money back. Worth remembering. That’s another reason why I don’t like the pressure for people to tithe and give extra into one church. If things go wrong and you have the mindset that you gave to God and not the church so it doesn’t matter, that’s fine, but most people aren’t going to take it well if the organization that gave thousands, tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands to, says sayonara (and this is regardless of who is right or wrong).

    So I sympathise with the brothers in question. BUT, reading the website raises some questions in my mind that I can’t obviously no the answer to unless I talked to everyone in question. But, as someone familiar to the same kind of church, these questions arise.

    “I had to go to church with my pregnant wife and have many of my ‘genuine loving friends’ walk past me with their eyes averted, to meet my ‘genuine loving friend’ assistant pastor Anthony Grant and a security guard waiting in ‘genuine friendship’ to refuse us entry, and to have some of my ‘genuine loving friends’ I had made over many years walk past verbally abusing us.”

    Are you absolutely sure that there was NOTHING in what you said that would make a Pastor hire security? If not, it’s overkill designed to make you look bad. But, it makes me wonder if things may have been said in a state of excitement.

    Second, usually when there is a dispute like this, there are at least SOME sympathetic church members. Loving friends often are sad when a person leaves a church, but still stay and side ultimately with the Pastor out of loyalty and submission …but, in my experience it’s hard to imagine a total shutout like this, esp including the “verbal abuse”. Could there be some other things in this story that are being left out?

    “In the period between March 2007 and June 2009 in which money was reported by the church association as spent on pastoral care, the total expenditure was $1,478.26 out of reported total income in that same period of $647,033. 0.23% of total income, or in other words, 0.23 of 1%. About the same as zero.”

    Organizations account for things in different ways. Expenses for Pastoral Care in a church situation may not end up adding up to much. What expenses would most of the accountants list as Pastoral Care which may not come up in other areas. A Pastor could spend hundreds on petrol to visit and do Pastoral Care, but that time isn’t accounted for, and the petrol wouldn’t go under Pastoral Care. In fact, even if there were 100 hours of counseling a week, it wouldn’t show up -depending on how the accounts are done. So Pastoral Care figures don’t amount to evidence that a church doesn’t care about …Pastoral care.

    “e also wrote he would be happy to meet and ‘discuss my concerns’. Noting the circumstances and in particular his past reported conduct I wrote and said I would meet with him when he and his colleagues appointed me a member of the incorporated association. That would give me legal entitlements, and he and I would be able to have discussions in a controlled environment. ”

    Many people including myself would have been happy to meet to discuss problems without putting up such a condition.

    Like I said, I don’t know the truth – maybe only God does, and i sympathize, but since there is a whole website dealing with this Pastor and his interactions, I thought I’d give and outsiders thoughts.

  332. Good post, churchman. As outsiders, its impossible to tell what has really gone on. As you say though, it’s been thoroughly launched into the public realm by those websites, and many of us with an interest in C3 and its structures or the people there will follow it.

    I also can’t imagine that there would be absolutely no sympathy from congregation members for their friends being expelled.

    Unless Tom or Dave have been publicly hostile, I’m sure that many people within the church would at least privately reserve their judgement as well, if they haven’t heard both sides of the story. Or if they’ve only seen their pastor in a good light, and trust him, they will take his word for the truth. Plus, if they believe in submission doctrine a la John Bevere, they will do as they are told by their pastor and trust that God will look after things if the pastor is wrong.

    That doesn’t mean that on the day of an expulsion they would jump up and try to stop it. They might not know what to do! They might be too shocked. They might also think its best to leave these things in the hands of their leaders.

    If they are really disturbed, they will talk to their leaders about it. Over time they would then react in some way, unless they are satisfied with the answers they receive. Knowing that their church leaders are being taken to court might actually harden their attitudes towards those expelled. It could also just result in a ‘wait and see’ attitude when it comes to the case outcome.

    I don’t think you’d find too many people who would directly stand up to their pastor in a Sunday service when he’s expelling someone ‘dangerous’ with little or no time to think about it.

    **********

    “Honesty and accountability would save them. If they are not going to change, they will be heading for disaster. ” S&P

    I think this is true. Even if there was a situation where honesty and accountability meant that the church disintegrated, or leadership roles were lost, their integrity would be saved. Abundant life is found only when we follow Christ in these areas. Otherwise, we find only some kind of death.

    ***********

    “Mark Kelsey comes across so well. I do not wish or want to see anything bad befall him. But it’s funny how he seems to be involved in this. Still can’t see how he is fully connected with C3Balmain.” – S&P

    I knew Mark Kelsey years ago. He was great. Very sincere; not at all after celebrity or power. If he’s still the same guy, my guess would be that maybe he hoped the matter would disappear, or maybe C3OF just tries not to get involved in their daughter churches. It’s my impression that aside from passing on the Vision in pastors’ conferences, each church is pretty autonomous, with little involvement by on the mothership.

    Unfortunately for him, if his name is on a board, then he may have some legal involvement, like it or not. Sometimes I get the feeling people treat these involvements as though they are just rubber stamps rather than involving any real responsibility. A lot gets done on trust, because the other people involved are all Christian. Don’t know if that’s happened here.

    I know MK was given oversight of C3OF, but from what I’ve heard, I’m not sure if he’s even really stepped into that role. It’s all very confusing.

  333. “You have to remember that no matter how much time, energy, emotion, and especially money that you put into a church during the good times, if you have a problem with the Pastor, or next Pastor, you won’t get any of that time or money back.”

    I agree with this Specks, but I’d like to add my own comment to this statement –

    “You have to remember that no matter how much time, energy, emotion, and especially money that you put into a church during the good times, if you place all of your trust in an earthly leader you will most probably be disappointed, but when you place your trust in God you will never be disappointed”

    Blah-blah, thanks. I love you too!

  334. “Many people including myself would have been happy to meet to discuss problems without putting up such a condition.” – churchman

    Yes, I agree. I might have wanted to make sure the location was on neutral ground, and brought my own couple of witnesses, but I would not have made that kind of request (to make me a member of the association) with the expectation it would be met. I’m sympathetic to Dave’s questions, but that doesn’t sound like a real attempt to communicate I’m afraid. More like an attempt to create a strategic position.

  335. Too pat an answer TVDude, when you’ve got people like Sumrall telling people to give their house deposits to the church and that God will then multiply it back. So they do so, trusting that _God_ will – and He doesn’t – because He never told us that it works that specific way, and He doesn’t bless a lie – and what happens to their faith in God then?

    They aren’t always trusting their leader. They are trusting what their leader taught them about God. Shattering. Particularly at the end of the road, when they wake up having given so much away to deception.

  336. “They aren’t always trusting their leader. They are trusting what their leader taught them about God.”

    My point exactly RP. By placing their blind trust in what a man says over what God says in His word means they will most probably be disappointed. We all have the exact same bible as Sumrall has. It is ultimately our own responsibility to check what we are being taught from the pulpit with the truth in God’s word, just as the Bereans did in Paul’s day. If we allow ourselves to be told untruths without finding out for ourselves whether what we are being taught is biblically sound, who really is to blame? The man telling those untruths, or us? And just so that I don’t appear too sanctimonious, I have in the past sat under false teaching and didn’t check it with God’s Word but instead trusted the preacher, and it did ultimately lead to frustration and disappointment, so I am speaking from experience.

  337. Then I agree. I’ve done the same thing. Nonetheless, teachers do have a greater responsibility to be careful what they teach. Plus, if this kind of teaching is a Christian’s first and only experience of church teaching, then it might take them a while to even notice the Bereans. Especially if much teaching is through one man preaching or almost by rote learning, rather than through group discussion and questioning.

  338. “teachers do have a greater responsibility to be careful what they teach. ” This is the greatest weight of responsibility that I feel as a Pastor. Can you imagine what kind of a world we would live in if all pastors felt this weight?!

  339. One final thing guys before I bail for good.

    I spoke to a friend of mine last year who is still in attendance at C3OF and who I believe is still there.
    He’s very much a “realist” and he mentioned that he met with Mark Kelsey over some issues.

    One of the criticisms he leveled at Mark was that of conflict resolution and how they handle people emotionally. I believe his words to me were “C3 get an F for conflict resolution”

    That seems to be a very real issue here and looks like things have not changed in that regard!

  340. Hi, all,

    Thank you for your kind thoughts. There is so much here, I can’t reply in detail to it; but I appreciate your remarks. I will try in later posts to come back to anything you’ve written, if it seems good to.
    In the light of the posts that have followed mine I thought it most important to clarify my own position about a few things.

    I co-led an independent church for ten years. I founded a not-for-profit organisation working with victims of domestic violence. I wrote its constitution so that it complied with our laws. So I know from that point of view what our laws require both in founding and administering this kind of group.

    The following is ultimately my reason for writing my own web site, and for being on this page. As it happens, this is what Tom and I both really care about.

    The failure to provide explicit constitutional protection to attendees of C3 churches is a profound evil. It is a massive scandal in waiting. Why deny them these rights?

    These are rights that are supposed, under Australian law, to be extended by every social organisation formed here to every person who can fairly be said to belong to that organisation.

    If you do not comply exactly with the relevant government department’s instructions in setting up a not-for-profit organisation, and if you do not comply exactly with its rules thereafter, you break the law. And you break it over and over in the ordinary running of your organisation.

    As well, even if you do not allow church attendees to become members of your church’s legal entity, you are required to extend the basic principles of your association’s constitution to every person who comes under your care. If you do not—you break the law.

    Serious breaches of the Charitable Fundraising Act make you liable to a lengthy prison sentence.

    No rigorous scrutiny is presently carried out by the NSW Government, to check whether not-for-profits in practice set themselves up in compliance with instructions. Nor are the financial documents submitted to government departments by not-for-profits here rigorously scrutinised.

    The idea that a not-for-profit is probably on the up and up because it is allowed to come into existence, and because it later submits the requisite financial documents to the relevant government department without trouble arising, is false.

    This lack of scrutiny is in part where the problem lies.

    It is the way C3 Balmain is set up that has led to a situation in which the only way Tom can learn where his inheritance from Grandad went is to through a Supreme Court decision. If the church were set up properly, there would be properly kept accounts. If there were no accounts there would be a procedure for handling the matter internally, that would involve trouble for anyone failing in their accounting measures. Tom wouldn’t be blamed for asking, and insisting; those who would not answer would have to face the music. There would be music to face. Should the internal procedures in place fail the minister for Liquor, Gaming and Racing could intervene.

    Without these things…it’s as you see. Lucas and Grant face five years of nerve-racking court proceedings, with who knows what for them at the end.

    With respect to the way not-for-profits are supposed to be set up and run, don’t ask your pastor, and don’t accept my views either. I suggest you call the relevant government department, and get the bundle of information that is given out to those who wish to start such an organisation. Then read it.

    Or search the web. Here is a good place to begin.

    http://www.olgr.nsw.gov.au/pdfs/starting_a_charity.pdf

    It is plainly taken for granted by this document that not-for-profit organisations (a) will allow all people working in them to possess full membership of the organisation; (b) will have a properly written and binding constitution that applies to all these members; and (c) will be governed by a board voted into office by a body of members that extends to all workers in the charity.

    It is also plainly the case that the rules applying to members of the organisation will automatically apply to anyone whatsoever who works in the charity.

    It is plainly not expected that your not-for-profit with fifty people active in its running will have five legally recognised members.

    It is plainly not expected that employees of the charity will be paying themselves from donations because they form the majority of the organisation’s membership.

    It is plainly not expected that members of a not-for-profit which is set up bodgily are within their rights to apply the constitution only to themselves, and not to everyone else working in some capacity in it.

    The whole purpose you’re allowed to form a legal entity of the kind talked about here is that you are thereby going to be able to give legal protections and standards of behaviour to all persons involved in your charitable work.

    This document is obviously not written so that a religiously minded person who is a good salesmen can create an authoritarian system of religious government in a church, and thereby come into joint possession of large assets with five friends (or worse family members)—much of it bought by other workers in the charity.

    C3 Balmain is definitely not set up in compliance with the expectations of the document in question. And how far in the C3 movement does the same thing run?

    Eventually the Tax Commissioner and the Minister for Liquor, Gaming and Racing will work out what is going on, and then….

  341. “It is plainly taken for granted by this document that not-for-profit organisations (a) will allow all people working in them to possess full membership of the organisation; (b) will have a properly written and binding constitution that applies to all these members; and (c) will be governed by a board voted into office by a body of members that extends to all workers in the charity.”

    I think Dave that your previous experience with not-for-profits has clouded your view somewhat. I draw your attention to your statement above, in particular clause (a) will allow all people working in them….. the implication here is that the person HAS BEEN EMPLOYED by the association. An ordinary member of a church congregation has not been employed but is instead a volunteer. Even those who hold positions of leadership within a church organisation are there in a voluntary capacity unless a weekly paycheque is involved. I believe it is perhaps naive to expect that this clause applies to anyone who is a member of a church. Certainly if you as an ordinary church member requested to be allowed to become a voting member of an Incorporated Association and the management committee agreed you would then be a member as stated in clause (a), but judging by the fact that you state yourself that you made some “noise” about what was happening at C3 Balmain with Ward, being allowed to become a voting member would mean that your presence as a member of the association would be seen as being contrary to the effective running of the association. In other words, you would have been seen as more of a hinderance than a help as a voting member. I, as a committee member in my own church, would never allow a person who had previously expressed discontent regarding our leadership’s running of the church to become a voting member, due to the fact that dissent within a voting group always leads to problems. Surely you can see this?

  342. Hmmm. Interesting. Once we had churches with boards of elders agreed to by the body. Now, we have people chosen for boards by incumbent leaders, where a qualification is that they have never previously expressed discontent. For the sake of the smooth running of the organisation.
    pastor.

    Clearly this would not lead to any problems. No, never!

  343. Hmmm. Interesting. Once we had churches with boards of elders agreed to by the body. Now, we have people chosen for boards by incumbent leaders, where a qualification is that they have never previously expressed discontent. For the sake of the smooth running of the organisation.

    Clearly this would not lead to any problems. No, never!

  344. RP, in a perfect world that would be true. But have you ever led a church? The sad fact is that in order for an organisation to run smoothly you need unity. Discontent by members of a board makes for chaos. Better to have unity than disunity, even if it may mean that people who believe they are entitled to have a voice aren’t able to express their views as a board member.

  345. tvd:

    I, as a committee member in my own church, would never allow a person who had previously expressed discontent regarding our leadership’s running of the church to become a voting member, due to the fact that dissent within a voting group always leads to problems. Surely you can see this?

    This is a rather unique concept of democracy. You can only vote if you never disagree 🙂

    Actually its not that unique. I think this might have been Stalin’s concept of democracy too. That a leader should never be questioned.

    I guess you will say that the voting process was not supposed to be about democracy. I suspect Stalin would agree.

    Cheers comrade 🙂

  346. “Once we had churches with boards of elders agreed to by the body. ”

    Just on this point, I know of several churches up my way that operated under this system of church government. The problem was that when the pastors began to take the churches in a more spirit-filled direction, or in directions contrary to the traditions that had been in place in those churches for more than a century they were sacked by the congregation. At least one of these churches now no longer exist. One of them is now a Mosque. In a perfect world however…..

  347. Heretic, a church should never be a democracy. If a pastor had to consult everyone in the congregation before he made a decision then nothing would ever get done. Nowhere in Paul’s letter to Timothy does he exhort him to consult with those under his care. Instead he gave Timothy instruction on how to lead his church.

    “a leader should never be questioned.” Did I say that? No I didn’t. There is nothing wrong with members of a congregation questioning the leadership. But it is the way the question is asked that is the difference

  348. No I have never led a church. I also think there are inherent problems with approaching church as a pseudo business. Having said that…

    I’ve worked as a project manager in commercial organisations, and I’m used to working for the owners and directors of companies, whether they be the organisation I work for or its clients. I provide whomever I liaise with, with the most professional opinion I can offer, in the best interest of the organisation I work for, regardless of whether it is popular or liked.

    I’ve worked on many committees to deliver outcomes, and as part of multi-million dollar projects, where I have been involved bringing all parties together to work through situations of conflict. This has included avoiding court action.

    No doubt there are others here who have done similar things in their professional capacity.

    When I see churches set up to operate as a bunch of yes-men, it looks amateur and it is unlikely to deliver consistently good outcomes for the body concerned over time. It can take effort to work towards a position of unity, but you need an honest range of opinion or advice to find the best outcome for many things. In much counsel lies wisdom. Dissent is not necessarily the right word. It casts a negative aspersion over what can be simple, constructive analysis.

    Worthwhile things such as genuine unity aren’t necessarily achieved easily. The achievement of unity is supposed to be a discovery of the will of the Holy Spirit in an area, and an assistance to individuals via the working of the Body as a whole.

    In practice, working as an effective group requires a respect for the views of others and an appreciation of their perspective. A good manager can work all this into something greater than the efforts of any one individual. A good manager will appreciate realising when he or she is wrong or where they can improve, thanks to honest and considered input from others.

    This can’t be achieved by placing a high importance on appointing people who won’t express ‘dissent’.

    Rather, one would hope in a church that there would be a safe environment, where people in these roles can express their honest, considered, prayed over opinion, and that they would be selected perhaps based upon their ability to offer that, as well as the level of character they have demonstrated over time in their community, or any other special skills they have.

  349. TVDude, you really sound like another guy that used to be here…

    I understand what you say about unity, but that should be stated to tithe paying members.

    Anyone who joins a C3/TVdude/Sumrall kind of church needs to know just where they stand.

    TVDude’s post shows clearly the reality of modern day Charismatic churches. The church member will be expected to tithe, give extra money, volunteer their time (do things that the Pastor etc do but just for free), but need to remember that in the end, they are not going to be given rights like employees, will not be on a governing board if they disagree with the Pastor, and in the end if they have any personal distress because of listening to the Pastor, they will have to accept all responsibility because they should have not listened to the Pastor and read their bibles.

    The problem is of course that if they read their bibles and think the Pastor is wrong, they know that if they say that and disagree, then they will not end up in any leadership role – simply for saying what they believe.

    So, is it any wonder that some people feel that people should be warned about these kinds of churches?

    The bottom line, is that I really think that if you belong to a church where you are taught and encourage to tithe AND give offerings of various kinds, that it would be a good idea for people to know exactly how the money is spent – including the EXACT income of the Pastor.

    If offerings were not a big deal, tithing not pushed, there was no pressure etc, and people were just told to give what they felt, then I don’t think there would be such much fuss.

    Here’s a bible thought. Paul took up offerings on behalf of the poor from various churches. Most people who were the recipients of his letter would have no doubt felt that they should give if they had the means. ANd even if someone gave cheerfully a substantial sum, I honestly don’t think Paul would have minded if someone wanted to know when and how the money got to those poor people. If he just kept hanging around and started wearing flashier clothes, and bought three chariots, I think some would have asked questions. And if he said, “It’s none of your business”, I think there would have been problem. We need more Pauls.

  350. tvd

    Better to have unity than disunity, even if it may mean that people who believe they are entitled to have a voice aren’t able to express their views as a board member.

    Wow to get a church to work we have to redefine “unity” as well. If you can stop enough people having a say you have “unity”.

    I can understand that if you can stop people having a say you get an organisation that is easy to run because you encourage people who don’t get a say not to be involved.

    But to call this “unity” is a stretch – and to sacrifice people’s experience of God for such “unity” is a waste.

  351. “But it is the way the question is asked that is the difference”

    TVdude, this is lame. It’s the content of the question that’s important.

    People who say, “That’s a good question but you haven’t asked it in a loving enough way to warrant a response”, are people who are hiding behind flimsy excuses and who lack the character to be accountable.

    I’m tired of your obfuscations. All David is saying is that if you give money to a charity you should have some legal recourse to finding out whether that money is being used properly. He’s saying that it is remarkable how some organisations seem to have no legal accoutability to their members. What he’s saying is perfectly reasonable.

    Do you realise that the Baby Boomers have a reputation of rarely admitting that they’re wrong? Do you realise that this is the attitude of the senior leadership at C3? Are you a Baby Boomer? Were you born between 1946 and 1964?

  352. There are a whole bunch of assumptions here guys! Assumption number one, is that every Pentecostal church preaches tithing. I do not, and I know of many others in my area who do not also. Tithing was an Old Testament command by God specifically to the Israelites and does not apply to those of us under the New Covenant. Assumption number two is that every church leader surrounds himself with yes-men whose sole purpose is to do the express wishes of the leader. Assumption number three is that disagreement is the same as dissent. Let me give you an example of this. I once had a member of my church who was very vocal in their opinions regarding what we taught. At first I was happy for that person to express their view and ask questions. But soon that person began to take liberties with that freedom and began to gossip and make snide remarks during services. Their conduct was causing others in the church to become uncomfortable, so I pulled the person aside after one service and asked them to be mindful of they way they spoke as some people may misconstrue their intent. But this person became quite abusive and told me I had no right to tell them what to do. I told them that by virtue of the fact that they had willingly placed themselves under my leadership by becoming a member of my church that I had every right to tell them that I believed their conduct was not conducive to a church environment. They continued to become even more abusive and vocal, and it was at that point I had to make the hardest decision I had ever made up until that point – I had to ask her to leave our church, otherwise her constant criticism and dissent could create massive problems and damage the spiritual lives of others in my church. According to your logic, however, I should allow this person to become a voting member, regardless of whether their conduct causes disunity and, in some instances, fear.

  353. I disagree entirely Chirpy. A question asked with a smile expresses an entirely different intent than one asked with a scowl.

    I’d love to know where you got that fact about baby-boomers. The fact that it is entirely irrelevant to this discussion is neither here nor there. Although I guess it does fit in with many of the other over-generalisation comments that are often made on anti-church blogs 😉

  354. TVdude, comparing the guys who are in dispute with C3 Balmain with the example of this woman you gave is not a good comparison. The guys in dispute with Balmain weren’t trying to hijack the church with obnoxious manners. They gave a lot of money. They seem like pretty integrated and moderated people to me.

    You’re using an extreme example to prove a point. It’s silly.

  355. TVdude, you have to get real. Who is going to go up to the leader of a church that a person’s been attending for several years like these Balmain people have and ask a question with a scowl? It’s not going to happen. Alot of your arguments are fringe arguments. It’s stupid. You have to understand that people posting on this site can read between the lines even better than I can. That’s why there were four posts in the space of fifteen minutes in response to your spurious arguments. We’re not stupid.

    Have you ever asked yourself why the church has declined in Australia between 1995 and 2010? It’s simple. It’s the leadership. The church has grown in China dramatically over this same period under very oppressive conditions. The problem with the church in Australia is the leadership and you’re going to find that from this point on there is going to be an ever-decreasing supply of patience towards poor leadership of the church in Australia.

  356. “They seem like pretty integrated and moderated people to me.” From what I read on their site Chirpy they don’t appear to be moderate to me. I could feel an underlying hatred in every word they wrote. Even reading the letter that Ward wrote, and then their interpretation of his words showed me that these people had an attitude about them that wasn’t moderate. It is clear to me reading their site that the whole finances thing was only a part of their grievances with the church. The mention several times of the disparity in the numbers Ward claims attend the church and the numbers that actually turn up shows me that the complainants have many more issues with C3 Balmain than just the money thing.

  357. TVdude, this what I said:

    “Alot of your arguments are fringe arguments. It’s stupid.”

    That’s alot different from me saying, “You’re stupid”, which I didn’t say.

    This just another lame twist from you. It’s BORING.

  358. It’s time I left this debate. See you later guys. Specks, email me if you like. I’d love to know who you are!

  359. “Well that explains everything.”

    Ok, that was a cheap shot. I retract that statement and apologise for it.

  360. TVDude,
    re Assumption one.
    by far the majority of pentecostal churches teach tithing. AOG or ACC or whatever it’s called always has, C3 probably does, and most independent charismatic churches teach it. So it’s not such a strange assumption. Not many of your pentecostal pastor friends would think tithing is an OT law thing.
    I think you know that.

    But okay, go preaching that tithing is not necessary at your next big pastors conference and see what happens to your reputaton.

    Assumption 2.
    that every church leader surrounds himself with yes-men whose sole purpose is to do the express wishes of the leader.

    I’d say that’s pretty true. The main reason elders are sacked is when they disagree. Pastors often assert that their elders are not yes-men, but they actually always do say yes! And when they don’t, they don’t hang around too long. Do you go to leadership conferences? The church leader does exactly what you said – surround himself with “faithful men who support the Pastor and his vision”. I’ve heard countless times that elders and leaders are to publicly show unity and support what the senior pastor says even if they don’t believe in it. And if it’s a significant vision or direction of the church, a Pastor is not going to be happy with someone who “doesn’t get it”.
    So you can say that a man who is faithful, and agrees, and supports everything is not a yesman, but that’s what it ends up as. Whole eldership teams have been fired many times in different churches.

    Assumption 3. I think this a straw man argument. You provide the absolute worst case. But anyway, let’s take your trouble making lady as an example. If a woman is truly being sinful, and everyone can see that, then she would not be become and deacon or elder in most churches I know. But it’s interesting, on the one hand you say that she made people uncomfortable.
    But if everyone felt uncomfortable with her, and what she said had not truth in it, then even if she had voting rights it would be everyone against her wouldn’t it?
    But in the end, if a person is totally disruptive and causing problems they need to be spoken to. That’s biblical. But often, people in modern day churches can he held up as rebels for pretty small things.

    TVDude I will tell you the hardest thing in church life. Pastors tell people that the church is their home, their life, and everything to do with a person’s relationship to God is concerned with that local church. They are told that when they seek first the Kingdom of God, it will have it’s practical outworking in the local church. So their closest friends and the people they meet several times a week are their friends in the local church. BUT, if they disagree with the Pastor, (and he might be the new guy who replaces the old guy who they were in agreement with on everything), they are told that they should agree or keep quiet or leave. It’s just not that easy to leave a church. Okay, you don’t believe in tithing. So I could be in your church, love Pastor TVdude, and have no problem with any of your vision. The model church member. But in 5 years you feel called to go someone else. The replacement Pastor comes in and he is really into tithing and how! Eventually, i will then have to decline to give my opinion when it comes to tithing, because people will be confused. And if I said, well TVdude didn’t preach that, no doubt the new guy will be preaching about not going by the old way, but the new etc etc, And in the end, every Pastor will give me the advice that I should just walk away, and not be bitter. Even if the new Pastor encourages people not to see me much lest they get out of the flow of the church and its DNA etc etc,

    It’s tough for people. And I’ve seen this kind of thing time after time in pentecostal/charismatic churches. Whether its tithes, Toronto Blessing, seeker services, spiritual warfare teaching or any other doctrine or emphasis that divides people.

    Btw, you gave your example of the troublemaker lady, and from your side of the story, she was a bad egg, and you were the long suffering Pastor. I would suggest that in every case, the Pastor would think he was like you. But who knows, maybe if that lady could post here, most people would think YOU were the bad guy. But you’re the Pastor – CEO, captain of the ship, so you win.

    Having said all that, I would love to see Ephesian 4 in action in the church. One Lord, one faith, one baptism, people agreeing and all of us coming to unity in the faith. Maybe Paul was high when he wrote that?

    P.S TVdude, I do follow you, and know of people who ARE trouble makers – some of whom are basically mentally ill (schizophrenia etc) who will cause problems everywhere they go. But they need a place in the Body of Christ too somehow.

  361. tvd

    Heretic, a church should never be a democracy. If a pastor had to consult everyone in the congregation before he made a decision then nothing would ever get done. Nowhere in Paul’s letter to Timothy does he exhort him to consult with those under his care. Instead he gave Timothy instruction on how to lead his church.

    A church should never be a democracy – yes heard that one. Apparently it should be a corporation – a market for pens a la “Apostle” Phil.

    I suggest though that a democracy is a closer model of the body of Christ than a Stalinist dictatorship and that the top-down “I am anointed and you are not” approach is closer to the latter than than the former.

    Re Timothy I suggest also that there are a number of ways to read Paul and none of them disagree with Jesus’ statement that we do not rule each other.

  362. Haven’t read this all yet – but had to respond to this:

    “…anti-church blogs…” – TVDude, apparently referring to this blog.

    Maybe you don’t understand yet, and maybe you misconstrue where a lot of us are coming from – and of course, it gets very heated here, but in no way has this been intended to be an ‘anti-church’ blog. It’s actually a pro-church blog. 🙂

  363. Wow too long. But let me say one more thing……haha.
    TVDude says that he felt hate on that website.
    Here is the saddest thing I have seen in church life.

    1. Member starts out with a great attitude and relationship with Pastor.
    2. Member then has a difference of opinion, question or conflict (and sometimes they are right).
    3. It is handled badly over days, weeks, or months. (years?)
    4. Eventually member starts attacking over all and sundry.
    5. Member gets put out of the church and is said to have problems with negativity and bitterness.
    6. Member actually does end up with negativity and bitterness.

    But, they were often originally right and if the Pastor had more love, wisdom and self-esteem, things would have worked out differently.

    If I had a dollar for every time I saw that, I could be mistaken for a prosperity preacher.

  364. Churchman said, re TVDude’s list of our assumptions:

    Assumption 2.
    that every church leader surrounds himself with yes-men whose sole purpose is to do the express wishes of the leader.

    I’d say that’s pretty true.

    It wasn’t so long ago that Phil Pringle was actually quoted here, saying that he wanted leaders to be like soldiers, who would do what he said, even when they knew he was wrong!

    It’s amazing how often senior leaders surround themselves with their long time friends – or even their relatives! – in positions of authority.

    Strange how suitability for the job so often coincides with a particular social setting.

  365. “Heretic, a church should never be a democracy. If a pastor had to consult everyone in the congregation before he made a decision then nothing would ever get done. ”

    And yet, the Apostles trusted the people so much that they asked THEM to choose out people to serve tables. And they actually didn’t do a bad job. Ended up choosing amazing people who went on to do great things.

    “Nowhere in Paul’s letter to Timothy does he exhort him to consult with those under his care. Instead he gave Timothy instruction on how to lead his church.”

    And yet other times, Paul writes letter to CHURCHES, and you are left thinking, “Wow, I wonder what the senior Pastor thinks about this? Why didn’t he just write to the leaders about this – writing as openly as he did probably made some leaders feel their authority was undermined”.

    E.g I can’t imagine Paul writing letters like Corinthians to the Church at Oxford Falls or Sydney. They would probably end up pretty well edited by the time the leaders read them out in the service…

    But back to the original problem. If a church has nothing to hide, then members should be able to see detailed accounts – ESP if they have given so much. I don’t think Paul or Timothy would have had a problem with that. But I don’t think Paul had much to hide when it came to his salary and building funds.

    We need more Pauls.

  366. churchman, you understand exactly where it’s at and I really enjoy reading your comments.

    One of the reasons why this site is successful is that most posters are more interested in pursuing truth than winning an argument.

    What you’ve just outlined above at 1. to 6. is a way for a leader to discredit somebody who has a legitimate concern by causing them to become negative and bitter so that they lose credibility. The legitimate concern becomes totally obscured, just like you implied.

  367. Okay, while I’m here.

    Acts 6:1
    In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Grecian Jews among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food. 2So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, “It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables. 3Brothers, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them 4and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.”
    5This proposal pleased the whole group.”

    Questions for modern church leaders.
    WHy didn’t the Apostles just rebuke them? Tell them not to be negative? Tell them about the dangers of complaining? Teach the Grecian Jews about tithing so they could prosper and flourish and get transfers of wealth etc? Why didn’t they just solve it?
    No, they got the people to choose. What a ridiculous thing to do! What if “the people” didn’t share the vision? Couldn’t be trusted? Interesting.

    And their reasoning was that they wanted to spend more time in prayer and the word. There’s an idea. Why not have more prayer and time in the Word for the leaders. And isn’t it amazing that those 7 deacons were responsible not just for parking cars or handing out communion one day a week, but being the local welfare officers of the church. AND they ended up holding revival meetings. (And without months of advanced planning).

    What did those guys have that we don’t? Maybe true Apostles – who were more interested in preaching, prayer and the Word than being CEO’s, and not showing accounts if they deemed the believers weren’t smiling enough when they asked to see them.

    Hope that didn’t sound too anti-church.

  368. RP “It wasn’t so long ago that Phil Pringle was actually quoted here, saying that he wanted leaders to be like soldiers, who would do what he said, even when they knew he was wrong!”

    I’ve heard that line of teaching so much in charismatic leadership circles. The modern day church is more like the old German or Japanese army. And we see what eventually happened there. Great initial success …

  369. Guys, I am absolutely in awe of the first Apostles. These were incredible men. In all their writings, I don’t see them telling people to tithe or give to building funds, or tell people they will not flourish if they don’t. I don’t even see them telling people to GO OUT and minister and bring their friends!

    Paul didn’t say, give me money so I can preach the gospel, he said “pray for me for boldness” to preach the gospel. Imagine going to church knowing that your Pastor had spent the week praying, being in the Word, and preaching and talking to everyone he could find about Jesus, telling you about the successes, bringing the people who believed, and asking for more prayer for boldness to preach more. and giving the odd story about being beat up… And if he were like Paul, maybe would have worked as hard as anyone in construction several days a week too.

    Not accusing modern day leaders. Just sayin – these were amazing men.

  370. Yes, churchman, you’ve expressed everything very well. Even something quite like my recent church experience! That is, the result of a change in leadership.

    TVDude, I know that not all Pente churches teach tithing. I know you know that most of them do teach it.

    It’s not even just Pente churches. My old Anglican church used to teach it. It’s not new. It is unusual for it not to be taught. Congratulations for sticking to principles over self interest on this. My last church that did not teach it was a successful, healthy church, that always met its budget needs. I hope that you experience the same thing. It is good.

    We also had elders that had some kind of set term. They came from the congregation, and were respected across the board. One of the great things about that was that people knew them, and could talk with them easily about whatever they wanted. They didn’t have to carry a pastoral load as well as an eldership role. Any concerns could be followed up, or suggestions made. People knew they were heard, and there was a balance to things. Because elders changed periodically, there didn’t seem to be a power build up amongst a few, and there was a lot of mutual respect.

    I’m not saying it was perfect or that every church should operate the same way. It did show that it was possible to have a healthy, Pentecostal church without following the corporate board model or a yes-man extreme. It wasn’t necessary for everyone to vote on everything either. I think it would have had its share of problems, but the model was pretty good. It appeared to run smoothly.

  371. FV, everyone knew he was speaking from a Pastor’s position from the beginning. He mentioned that elsewhere.

    I don’t know enough about legal matters to comment on the law so I didn’t. But I suspect that TVDude is right, and that Dave will have a hard time in court on the basis that he’s proceeding on.
    But, I don’t know.

    I didn’t think I treated him harshly. But I’ll watch my tone.

  372. TVD: “I, as a committee member in my own church, would never allow a person who had previously expressed discontent regarding our leadership’s running of the church to become a voting member, due to the fact that dissent within a voting group always leads to problems. Surely you can see this?”

    No, I can’t.

    The example you gave later seemed fair enough, but no, I can’t.

    TVD: “The sad fact is that in order for an organisation to run smoothly you need unity. Discontent by members of a board makes for chaos. Better to have unity than disunity, even if it may mean that people who believe they are entitled to have a voice aren’t able to express their views as a board member.”

    Look, I appreciate you are a pastor, but straight I think you are wrong. I would not darken the doors of your church because I think the views that you have expressed – if they can be taken at face value, and not simply poorly expressed – are foolish, naive and not of the Spirit.

    You, I, anyone – cannot manufacture unity in the Spirit. Sometimes in actual fact a good dose of conflict is what is required to reach that state however fleeting it might be.

    Your responses above as with others on this blog from time to time remind me of when Uzzah touched the Ark to prevent it from falling.

    One of humanity’s great sins is to constantly think that God needs our help to get things done right. So instead of developing the art of leadership by taking people with us, listening to them, and most importantly learning to listen to God as a church we hasten the process by putting in leadership and control structures to help things along.

    I am not some of those things don’t need to be there, but what you’ve expressed to my mind is anathema – to me personally, but I think more importantly to God.

    Strong leadership. What we need is strong leadership.

    Bullshit.

    What we need is leadership that in humility clearly and demonstrably listens to the Spirit, and teaches the congregation to do likewise that the Spirit may lead us in unity – even if we have barneys along the way.

    As I said the example of the attendee you gave was fair enough. But more common is the one where people have genuine disagreements with the pastor about issues.

    The real question is how do you handle that.

    Take away their voting rights? That’s loading the dice and is control freak stuff over an institution that no-one but God owns or has any ‘rights’ to.

    My response to that is, and this is the real issue – what are people afraid of?

    Pastors and pente’s in particular seem to be petrified that congregations will destroy the church because the pastor is not in control.

    Pastors, and more importantly elders have authority, and they are supposed to exercise it wisely, not to laud it over people, or have the threat of democratic ex-communication hovering over them. What a nonsense! Authority does not mean a job for life, or an immunity from God against being challenged over something.

    Pente’s are into miracles and God working, yet the way they exercise leadership and set up their structures seems to me to be a denial that can and does God work through His people.

    May be if more people focussed on what is right, and less about who is in charge the church would be better off.

  373. Churchman: “The problem is of course that if they read their bibles and think the Pastor is wrong, they know that if they say that and disagree, then they will not end up in any leadership role – simply for saying what they believe.

    So, is it any wonder that some people feel that people should be warned about these kinds of churches?”

    So true churchman! I find your views intriguing TVD. It’s good hearing alternate views. I hope in future posts you can provide views that I’ve often not thought of before.

  374. Chirpy: “Have you ever asked yourself why the church has declined in Australia between 1995 and 2010? It’s simple. It’s the leadership.”

    Your comment is bleeding obvious, but so true. I don’t know why I felt my eyes opened. The best leadership I have seen in a church environment was where the leadership trusted their members enough to move in the Spirit and allow them to grow in prophecy, words of knowledge, preaching and teaching and edification.

    They only stepped in to occasionally offer direction and deal with issues where members were out of order. They were invisible but made visible at appropriate times.

    It was really Holy Ghost leadership: Like the wind, they were but a moment, and then disappeared again to be among believers as they allowed God to move their service. They were among the body and not set apart leading.

    It was really quite a supernatural leadership I witnessed and I was both convicted of my views and slapped with a beautiful alternative of Christian leadership. This form of leadership I saw simply defies the worldly worship on so many levels.

  375. Churchman: “But, they were often originally right and if the Pastor had more love, wisdom and self-esteem, things would have worked out differently.

    If I had a dollar for every time I saw that, I could be mistaken for a prosperity preacher.”

    I’m quoting you on this churchman. That is priceless! (Pun intended) 🙂

  376. TVdude has run off because let’s face it, he’s not used to be questioned and again, doesn’t live in the “real world”

    I thought most of his responses were very typical of any pente minister because let’s face it – when you’re pastoring a church you’ve got an empire to maintain and the truth just has to play a 2nd best to your little castle of sand that you’re trying to build.

    F-g tragic that what it is.

  377. mn, I really loved your post. So much good in it, but

    “You, I, anyone – cannot manufacture unity in the Spirit. Sometimes in actual fact a good dose of conflict is what is required to reach that state however fleeting it might be.”

    is particularly food for thought. I love history, and so many times I see cases of leaders making decisions and people falling in line in coercion or willingly for the sake of “unity”, only for all to end up in trouble.

    Jesus teaching about leadership seems so foreign. Our churches really do seem to be places where the leaders lord it over each other just like the Gentiles do.

    But, there’s hope. As more and more people go through churches and come out the other end, and more people share feelings via the internet, things can change.

  378. Of course FLagrant Vagrant is he-who-must-not-be-named. He has very kindly given us the usual clue. Thanks for your restraint, FV.

    ****

    Just to be clear, I have nothing against TVDude just becasuse he is a pastor! I really don’t see an ‘us against them’ situation with pastors. Some of my best friends have been pastors, and other people I highly respect.

    I think we were responding to a pretty clear comment TVDude made that we all seem to strongly disagree with. Of course, its a point of view that many pastors in the movement would share. It was great to have a pastor come out and say what he did so clearly.

    I imagine it must have taken some strength of principle for him to reject the tithing doctrine and not preach it, which I respect. Tithing is not the only thing we discuss here though. In some ways, its just the obvious tip of the iceberg.

  379. Agreed on both counts RP.

    On the second count, I hope TVD does disappear. Most of his comments I think have been good, but those couple did strike a nerve.

    Specks comment about his experience of Godly leadership is pretty damn close to the mark. That all our experience and the way we live was like that! Would not that be pretty attractive those who do not know Jesus, and very threatening to those who don’t want to know Him? John and 1 John etc

  380. Yikes! My typo’s strike again!!

    TVD if yo’re still reading what I meant was: On the second count, I hope TVD does not disappear – I repeat – not disappear.

    Humble apologies….

    Oh dear

  381. Oh I would like it if we on Signposts02 could keep people like TVD on. If pastors were on here regularly seeing what outsiders of the church were saying, at least they would have some more food for thought.

    I thought we were a bit rude to TVD, but I can understand why people were so passionate towards him. I did love your comments churchman and MN. You put your cases forward well.

    The reason why I would like TVD to remain on places like this is because it’s good gaining insight and another view on what difficulties they may face and understand how they see things from a leadership.

    I say that TVD is not your ‘typical’ pastor if he is responding to us on Signposts02. I hope he continues commenting here. His idea of unity was insightful.

    To see what they see is valuable. And while I say ‘they’, I don’t believe in treating pastors in an ‘us vs them’ kind of way. It’s important to see that both sides are equally fallen and human, trying to do the best they can for the church.

  382. Despite what seems like constant crap being dished out, I think most here would know that being a pastor is a very, very tough gig.

    It is not for the faint hearted and without being in that place because that is where God wants you to be potentially disastrous both personally and for those at the other end of it.

    And that old dictum always applies: You can please some of the people some of the time…..

    I really think there is an issue here over what pastoral authority actually means….what is it, how do you get it and lose it, how is it to be exercised, what the role of the elders is in all of this, and from a pente view point is there room for democracy.

    I don’t democracy in that context is what others often take it to mean and apply a humanist/secularist approach to it….which is wrong.

    May be more later…

  383. Might start a fresh post on your last comment, MN, for those who are interested. And the C3 Balmain discussion can continue here.

    David’s comment above is pretty tragic:

    “…It is the way C3 Balmain is set up that has led to a situation in which the only way Tom can learn where his inheritance from Grandad went is to through a Supreme Court decision…”

    Oh that just sounds bad. Very, very bad. Particularly to those of us who can imagine the kind of environment that might encourage that kind of giving.

    Churchman’s following responses and descriptions of church life have also been heart wrenching.

  384. “I think Dave that your previous experience with not-for-profits has clouded your view somewhat. I draw your attention to your statement above, in particular clause (a) will allow all people working in them….. the implication here is that the person HAS BEEN EMPLOYED by the association. An ordinary member of a church congregation has not been employed but is instead a volunteer. Even those who hold positions of leadership within a church organisation are there in a voluntary capacity unless a weekly paycheque is involved. I believe it is perhaps naive to expect that this clause applies to anyone who is a member of a church.”

    I wanted to respond briefly to these remarks.

    Unfortunately, they are pure invention.

    The constitution of a not-for-profit organisation of any kind is supposed to be extended in some meaningful way to everyone with permanent involvement in its activities–volunteers or not. That is, to everyone that the organisation is responsible to look after in pursuit of its aims.

    On the point of my naivety–I am naive about many things, no doubt. But not about law. I come from a family of lawyers and judges. My great-grandad and great uncle were supreme court judges. The grandad whose money we want to find was a Queen’s Counsel.

    Tom and I were naturally enough brought up with a very high respect for the law, and a very high respect for facts.

    In addition to all else, I am a doctoral candidate at Sydney University; one of my fields of expertise is the science of evidence.

    Tom and I aren’t coming to the discussion here armed with rubberband guns.

    If you make things up about NSW law, we are going to know instantly, or we are going to find you out about ten minutes after we read your post.

  385. Hi David.

    It’s obvious (to me at least) that Tvdude is really just talking out of his own supposed head knowledge.

    Like many pastors, he is rather adept at making his own opinions sound very authoritative but like all bullies, when challenged or directly caught out, he tucks tail and runs for cover like a scared little school-girl.

    I’ve really got no time for supposed “spiritual leaders”; experience has taught me that 9 times out of 10, they’re in the game because they can’t make it in the “real world”

  386. ‘From what I read on their site Chirpy they don’t appear to be moderate to me. I could feel an underlying hatred in every word they wrote.’

    I thought it wise to reply to these remarks as well.

    On this point I don’t wish to defend my own motives; you may judge them from what I’m writing; however, I wish to defend my brother’s.

    Tom is a lawyer’s lawyer, born of lawyers. He loves the democratic principles enshrined in our legislation. He also loves the rule of law, and the principle of natural justice, that are likewise enshrined in our legislation.

    Naturally, these are all principles according to which the Charitable Fundraising Act is written. That’s why you can’t cram an undemocratic, improperly regulated religious not-for-profit organisation down its throat with breaking it.

    He is heart-and-soul opposed to violations of these princples, especially by churches–and especially when they occur in such a way as to appear to him to constitute widespread and systemic fraud.

    He doesn’t force himself to do it. It is his blood and bones.

    The same could not be said, it seems, for those people he is challenging, or their colleagues.

    I talk to Tom for at least two hours a week about his court case, and the other actions we are taking to make sure any C3 leader implicated in significant illegal behaviour faces justice.

    What motivates Tom most is plainly his love for our laws: what they stand for; what they give us.

    If we ever go to war in defence of our country’s sovereignty, then when we’re in the trenches I’m going to stand next to Tom. Why? Because he has proven to me in the last few years that he’s prepared to give his life to protect our legal freedoms and rights.

    I have no doubt he would give his life to protect my legal rights and freedom.

    Given their behaviour as I have observed it, can I credit the C3 leaders I have known with the same high motivation? No.

  387. @ David – as an ex C3 who still cannot believe we spent 22 years there, what drew you to this particular church in the first place? Were you Christians for any length of time and what other churches had you attended?

    By the way, when we were at C3, PP had, on more than one occasion, told the church that we were to “tithe” inheritances. And on profit from house sales too.

  388. Hi, Blah Blah–I think you’re close to the bulls-eye, if not straight through the centre of the target.

    Pastors learn to be good public speakers, good givers of pastoral care, and they gather a smattering of theology.

    You can see straight away that anyone who pontificates on subjects beyond their area of expertise is…well, lacking a certain degree of intellectual honesty–at least at the moment when they speak.

    Of course we all pretend at times to knowledge we don’t possess. However on the subject of the meaning and application of the Charitable Fundraising Act (which in the light of events is the critical object of discussion), it is vital that we be honest with ourselves and others about what we do and don’t know.

    Personally, I think we shouldn’t allow ignorant pontification to divert our attention from the very large and dangerous elephant in the room.

    The burning questions are, do C3 churches as a matter of fact set themselves up with dummy constitutions to please the Department of Gaming and Racing, etc? (ie Constitutions whose content bears no resemblance to the church’s actual workings?) And do they then systematically operate in a manner that, if it had been revealed to the authorities from the beginning, would have meant that they would have never been allowed to exist in the first place?

    If the answers to these questions is yes, then the C3 movement in NSW is apparently guilty of a widespread and deliberate fraud.

  389. Was the money given as part of Rise&Build? Those monies should and are held in a trust fund at C3 Oxford Falls.

  390. G’day, Teddy…just had a spare moment.

    The money was donated to the Rise and Build Fund of C3 Balmain.

    Lucas and Grant can’t or won’t produce a properly kept accounting of the use to which the money was put.

    (As soon as they did, the court case as things stand would be at an end.)

    So we have no idea where it has ended up. Apparently, it might take a forensic accountant to discover its whereabouts (ie whose account it is in, what is was spent on, whatever)–and even then there is uncertainty whether such a person would find it.

    We have never heard that Grandad’s money might have gone to Oxford Falls. If that really is where it has gone, what motive could Lucas and Grant have for not saying straight out where is was? Most confusing….

  391. “By the way, when we were at C3, PP had, on more than one occasion, told the church that we were to “tithe” inheritances. And on profit from house sales too.” – Teddy

    Just so greedy and grasping. That’s horrible. Horrible, horrible, horrible. Such an overreach. If people want to do those things, then fine, but to tell them that they should or that they have to, to be pleasing God!

    I can’t listen to that stuff any more. Makes me feel ill. Can’t walk in the door.

    ***********

    David, I and others I know will be following this with interest. It’s sad, because I don’t like seeing anyone suffer, and the pastors involved, like it or not, will suffer, and they are real people, that God loves as much as He loves you and I. But if this thing you are alleging is true, it should be dealt with, and it has just been a matter of time before some informed congregation member has the tools and resources to bring it to a head. I don’t think that C3 Balmain would be an isolated example. I know people who’ve given mammoth amounts of money to their churches, and when they later need help, or can’t provide their own housing or food, in some cases, they’ve been hung out to dry. Even pastors who’ve given everything, then are told they are too old to remain in the job. It’s often those in the most inner circles who end up being hurt the most. And its because, they love self-interested lies.

  392. It is beginning to sound as though they had very shoddy account keeping. Perhaps they actually can’t produce any records. That would be bad. It also wouldn’t necessarily reflect upon any other church. If this is the case, they may find themselves isolated from their own movement.

    *******

    A friend of mine has just had a successful experience with a forensic accountant discovering missing funds, and it is likely their book keeper will go to jail. The forensic work saved their business.

    *******

    I think many of those running churches take the congregation’s giving for granted, but by pressuring people to the extremes we now see, they might well end up killing the goose that lays the golden eggs.

  393. Rise&Build Oxford Falls is for that particular church. There is a general theme throughout the organisation that each will “build” it’s own community. Fundraising to buy or build is not unusual. If you look at each individual C3 site on the web there is a opportunity to give into that church’s particular R&B?

    I do know that funds for OF C3 are definitely kept in a trust fund – and overseen by a board made up of business men. Good men too.

  394. I have always had the impression that PP is quite careful about how the money is looked after and how it is all structured. They worked pretty hard to ensure the tax deductible status for their building fund donations, too, I seem to remember. He’s not stupid.

  395. @RP – we know there has been some bad management as you alluded to before. Parramatta? I truly believe there’s no deliberate deception at C3 and finances where PP is concerned, just naivete? Don’t know about other churches although he-who-can’t-be-named aka FL (easier to type) was forthcoming before he was edited out.

    Didn’t you ever hear PP talk about tithing on profits or inheritances? Throwaway remarks in the midst of an offering “sermon”? Talking about and praising people who did do just that?

  396. I never heard PP talk about tithing on profits or inheritances. The first time I heard of such a thing was in a small group led by a pastor at my next church, where someone in the group actually told us that they’d tithed the substantial profit of a one-off real estate sale their business made. Everyone was very impressed. A few people wondered if they’d actually be able to bring themselves to do the same thing in that situation. The pastor was of course approving. Sadly for them, it was to a previous church though.

    So that was the first time I came across it. I mainly heard your every day tithing spiel, and lots of exhortation to give to the building fund when I was at PP’s church. I did actually help count the offering at one stage. We were monitored pretty carefully.

    Personally, I think PP would look after the finances very carefully, including seeking legal advice on how they do this, and ensuring they then followed it. If they have been slack at Balmain C3, then I would expect that is that individual church team, rather than the movement as a whole. My next church was also very careful in terms of how it looked after its finances, including recording both how things were spent, and where they were intending to spend in future. If PP had any connection at all to what may have happened at Balmain, then I think it would be naivete, not endorsement of any slack practices.

  397. I also saw many testimonies where people were brought up on stage for giving or pledging large amounts. Usually their faith was praised, or some other blessing that they’d subsequently received was attributed to their giving. But when I was there, the building campaign was in full swing, so the message was very much to do with sacrificial giving beyond the tithe – as well as maintaining the tithe.

  398. I don’t think TVD is a bully. I think he is speaking, as you said, out of head knowledge.

    I also believe that TVD is also speaking out of experience too. I can understand where he is coming from. Especially on the topic of unity. I don’t agree with him on his issues, but I don’t think he’s been a bully at all.

    B-B: “I’ve really got no time for supposed “spiritual leaders”; experience has taught me that 9 times out of 10, they’re in the game because they can’t make it in the “real world”.”

    😀 I’ve often thought the same. I was going to start a new thread with ‘Idiot Runs Church and Knows Where You Live’. But I thought I’d let this manipulative idiot speak for himself. 🙂

    You’d like this B-B:

    “Please turn to 1Samuel thirty verse one to eight. Little later on in this service we’re praying for the bible college students. They’re starting this week on the fourteenth of Tuesday. On Valentine’s Day they are starting.” – Phil Pringle, iTunes: (06:01), C3, Sermon: ‘Reason For Obedience’, 6pm 29/12/08

    ‘And what I’m saying to you today is that when God tells you to do something, do it 100%. ‘All for you, I surrender all!’ Do the thing totally and holy. Don’t do a half baked kind-of obedience to God. If He is saying, “Go to bible college”, go to bible college. Because in three years time He might be asking you to go start a church. He might ask you to become an associate preacher. He might ask you to do anything that you don’t know about at this time and you’re saying, ‘Well, it’s not really under my head’. But one day it could!

    And if He’s speaking to you about something today, it’s smart to do it because He’s going to equip you for the giant you meet tomorrow. And you don’t know what giants are coming up in your life, but today’s obedience is going to release tomorrow’s blessing. And you will find that if you’re disobedient today there are millions of people somewhere, in the world, who could be affected by your obedience today, or by your disobedience. And so it’s a fine between actually saying, “Ok! I’m going to do what God wants me to do”, and actually doing it.’ – Phil Pringle, 06:01, Reason For Obedience, 6pm C3 Service, 29/12/2008

    “But as you pursue- My friend, a journey of you walking by faith believing that this vision that you have is going to come to pass. My wife and I were talking about it this afternoon where Habbakuk says, “Though it tarry, wait for it. It will surely come. It will not tarry”. Which is weird because it says, “Though it tarry… it will not tarry”. Well is it tarrying or is it not? I want to know! What it’s saying is… It seems to take a long time for this stuff to come to pass. But you’re on a journey and it’s a journey of faith. And Paul says “Listen! We, having the same spirit of faith believe”. And then he says, “And we have the same word of faith which we preach”. So here tonight I want you to summon all the faith you got inside of your soul and say, “This year, I’m going to pursue my dream with all my heart, no matter how many setbacks I get. No matter how discouraged I get. (Applause starts.) No matter how many people put me down. No matter how many people stop supporting me. I’M STILL GOING TO MAKE IT TO MY DREAM!!! I’m just going to PURSUE!” – Phil Pringle, 19:17, Reason For Obedience, 6pm C3 Service, 29/12/2008

    And then the climax of the message 😀 :

    “What an exciting thing to not have hold of your own life. I’m too much of an idiot to know what to do with my own life..– You didn’t have to agree with me!.. – I heard that! – And I know where you live!” – Phil Pringle, 20:46, Reason For Obedience, 6pm C3 Service, 29/12/2008

    Why go to a bible college founded by an idiot?

  399. Absolute legalism! Millions of people affected by your disobedience? I seem to remember reading that Jesus said He will lose NONE that the Father has given Him.

    That’s the sort of “doctrine” they are teaching at MTC?

  400. I’ve updated the above quote. I found the sermon of Brian Houston that Chris from Fighting for the Faith was examining on radio. If you listen to both Pringle and Houston, they love the word ‘tarry’ and use it’s meaning to encourage people to keep having faith that their visions, desires and dreams will come to pass.

    THAT is what is disgusting about these false teachers! They are playing with people’s lives. We only see the destruction of these teachings when it’s too late as we’ve seen with Dave and Tom.

  401. Why don’t they read chapter 1 of Habakkuk, read the warning that God gives Israel that the Babylonians are coming – then read chapter 2 in context. It has nothing to do with “vision”.

  402. If their is any word to summarise what C3 is doing it’s mystification. Someone behind me right now just said to me, “Mystification? Don’t you mean sorcery?”.

    Don’t know what to think about that question.
    When Phil Pringle said, “So here tonight I want you to summon all the faith you got inside of your soul and say…” that made me spiritually uncomfortable. The crowd was applauding like crazy as he continued and I started feeling unwell.

    I’m starting to see why Paul said to the Galatian church ‘Who has bewitched you?’. Mystification I think is what was done by Simon the sorcerer and the early gnostics in the Christian church. I’m now starting to see a lot of similarities used today in churches like C3.

    To mystify is dazzle people but to confuse them, the way magicians do their tricks. If you read Pringle’s above talk again, amazingly it’s all inspirational but lacks any substance. It’s very vague. I would could conclude that Phil Pringle is not aware that he is using mystification as a technique to keep people bound to his teachings.

    I am still exploring this process as it is new to me. My above comment may change once I further explore this.

  403. Hi, all,

    I’m enjoying following the conversation. Tom is, too, and I’m sure he’s finding the aspects relating to his stuff encouraging.

    RP, thanks for your kind thoughts.

    Teddy, this is my church background (thanks for asking)–Dad was a Prezzy minister; Mum was a missionary. I went to the Prezzies till my mid-twenties; then I went to a cell church for ten years. Then a C3 Balmain/other churches mix for eighteen months. Then the Anglicans for a few years; but its youth work collapsed (I have young kids). At present we go the the local Baptist Church, which has an excellent youth program.

    With respect to C3 Balmain, (I noticed some confusion about this, so it’s good to clear it up), I went there occasionally over about 6 years, and fairly regularly for a while. However, I was never convinced, so I moved on. I wasn’t going there when Tom etc were thrown out.

    The help I’m giving Tom, apart from fraternal support, is much more to do with my particular experiences and training than with my intimate knowledge of the church’s workings. (Apart from the things I’ve already mentioned, I worked as a social worker for a number of years. Another one of my areas of expertise both in and out of my current studies is the language-use of criminal tyrants–ie domestic violence perps, religious leaders in breach of the principle of natural justice etc.. If you’re good at that kind of thing, you can spot a criminal tyrant five or ten minutes after they start talking–and of course very quickly from their written work also.)

    That being said, Tom was extremely wise in his dealings with Lucas and Grant. About a year before he was chuckled out, he noticed problems with the legal set up of the church.

    He pointed them out to Lucas and Grant, thinking these problems had arisen by mistake.

    He was not encouraged by their response. So from that time on he had (if memory is correct) one private conversation with Lucas about anything significant. And there were two witnesses present at that conversation.

    Otherwise he conducted all meaningful communications with Lucas and his superiors in writing. In other words, there is a permanent record of basically all his actual behaviour in his treatment of Lucas over a long period–a period which began before he and Lucas were in dispute.

    I’ve read all the documents available–apart from the most damning one with respect to Lucas’s own personal integrity, which Tom has never shown me, although I know its contents.

    The speculations about Tom’s behaviour towards Lucas are understandable–but the worst he can possibly be accused of doing is writing him a moderately ill-mannered letter. And really, the tone of his communications is pretty good.

    In my view, his greatest fault in Lucas and Grant’s eyes was that he kept quizzing them about whatever legal problems he perceived. Not long before he was thrown out, he pointed out to them that lawyers have to reveal legal problems, or they face being disbarred (of course what else could he do?) In my opinion this was as much of a problem as the issue of Grandad’s money. To me, it was that which broke the camel’s back–Lucas and Grant had a lawyer with a conscience in their midst, and a set up whose legality was…highly dubious.

    Peace be on the heads of all!

  404. RP: “Just so greedy and grasping. That’s horrible. Horrible, horrible, horrible. Such an overreach. If people want to do those things, then fine, but to tell them that they should or that they have to, to be pleasing God!”

    You think that’s bad Teddy? Someone in leadership was ranting to me how disgusted they were in seeing Phil Pringle talk at Imagination (C3 primary school kids Sunday program) about giving to God.

    He gave a offering talk to convinced them to give their money! That’s their pocket money!

    If that is how desperate C3 is in obtaining money because of their financial circumstances, they are VERY desperate!

  405. Get them while they’re young – put fear of not being blessed by God if they don’t give of their “increase”!

    Specks, even if they weren’t desperate, they will still teach the children this method of “giving to get”.

    “Give me a child for the first seven years of his life and you may do what you like with him afterwards” Source Unknown/Ignatius Loyola

  406. I’d call that indoctrination. He’s planning for when they are actually earning money. Sounds like the focus has really changed, from Jesus to money. What will these kids think of that when they are old enough to start questioning? They may never enter a church again.

    You know, the funny thing is, you don’t really need to give kids talks about the principles of giving money. They are often happy to give of their own accord when they understand the need of a cause. I mean, they want to make a difference, and be part of contributing to things. How sad to take that away from them and make giving an obligation, rather than a joy.