8 Reasons VS 1 Obvious Reason Why Churches Don’t Grow

Brian Houston retweeted on April 2010:

perrynoble 8 Reasons Why Some Churches Do Not Grow! http://bit.ly/9nUuJg Wednesday, 21 July 2010 11:25:24 PM via TweetDeck Retweeted by BrianCHouston and 100+ others

From: http://www.perrynoble.com/2010/07/21/8-reasons-some-churches-do-not-grow/

8 Reasons Some Churches Do Not Grow July 21, 2010

#1 – The Vision Is Not Clear – If people don’t know where a church is supposed to be going…then it will attempt to go everywhere and eventually wind up nowhere.  (Interesting experiment–ask people this coming Sunday at your church, “What is our vision” and see if people give you the same answers or different ones.  BTW…NewSpring Church…THURSDAY NIGHT we are rolling out our NEW vision statement…can’t wait!)

#2 – The Focus Is On Trying To Please Everyone – There is NO church on the planet that will make everyone happy every single week…and…according to the Scriptures that isn’t really supposed to be our obsession.  Too many times we become so concerned with offending people that we actually offend Jesus.

#3 – Passionless Leadership – When a leader does what he/she does for a paycheck and not because its their passion…it’s over.  I’ve said at this site before…I want difference makers not paycheck takers.  AND…also…it is hard to be passionate about a place when a persons average stay at a church is two years or less.

#4 – Manufacturing Energy – If a program is dead in a church…then it needs a funeral and the people need to move on.  Investing time, energy and money into something that is dead will not revive it.  Celebrate the fact that “that” program had its day…and then move on.  AND…quit trying to fire people up over events that you would not attend if you were not on staff.

#5 – Lack of Prayer – Many times we work so hard putting our ideas together than we actually think there is no need for the supernatural power of God to be involved.  Prayer should not be the good luck charm that we stick at the beginning or the end of what we do…but rather it should be our constant desperation to see God do the undeniable among us.  Intense desperation often brings undeniable revelation!

#6 – Unwillingness To Take Risks – When our focus becomes to play it safe rather than to do whatever it takes to reach people far from God…it’s over.  NOWHERE in the Scriptures did God ever ask anyone to do anything that didn’t involved an “oh crap” moment.  We’ve GOT to be willing to embrace the uncertain if we want to see the unbelievable.

#7 – Disobedience To The ScripturesMatthew 28:18-20, Mark 16:15, Luke 24:48, John 20:21, Acts 1:8, II Corinthians 5:16-21, Luke 19:10…I could go on and on…but we MUST understand that Jesus didn’t come to earth, live here for 33 years years, give HIS life for us and then return back to heaven to intercede for us so that we could get in really little circles and talk about ourselves and condemn those who are not as good as us.  We are called to REACH PEOPLE FOR GOD–PERIOD!

#8 – Selfish AttitudesMatthew 20:28 says it all…and if we are going to be more like Jesus we’ve GOT to serve others rather than expecting the church to be our servant all of the time.  When a person (or group of people) refuse to embrace that a call to follow Jesus is a call to serve…then we’ve lost sight of who He is and eventually we will make being a Christian all about Jesus following/serving us rather than us taking up our cross and following Him!

All this can be summarised in one reason why the church isn’t growing:

The biblical gospel is not preached.

When the gospel IS PREACHED:

1. The  Gospel gives people the desire to keep their eyes on Jesus – HE IS OUR VISION.

2. The  Gospel focuses on use pleasing Jesus and not man.

3. The  Gospel stirs people to passionately preach Jesus Christ and Him crucified under the Spirit’s conviction.

4. The  Gospel gives, equips, encourages, inspires, convicts and leads us to press on into Christ. The Spirit of God behind the Gospel gives us His power to run the good race in His strength.

5. The  Gospel gives us the desire to constantly remain in prayer and fellowship with Jesus.

6. The  Gospel gives us the boldness to take risks for the sake of sinners to be reconciled to God.

7. The  Gospel makes us accountable to the Holy Spirit in us to live a sound and biblical life

8. The  Gospel keeps us dead in our sin and alive in Christ.

You want to see God grow the church? Preach the gospel!


183 thoughts on “8 Reasons VS 1 Obvious Reason Why Churches Don’t Grow

  1. The main post is basically a matter of semantics; that is, the addition of the word ‘gospel’, which is always implied, if you read any other stuff he writes, to say almost exactly what Noble says, anyway.

    Looking for all the bad stuff in a ministry is easy, by the way. You can do it to anyone. Try doing it on yourself, for instance, to see exactly how simple it is, and how much ground you can cover, if you’re honest, and humble enough for self-assessment. In fact, if you do it BEFORE you assess others, you’ll probably cut them more slack than you do anyway.

    It astonishes me how anyone who has not planted a church, or even a home group, can have the nerve to criticise a person who has successfully grown a church from scratch, under the leadership of the Spirit, and think they have done the world a service, rather like Sanballat vs Nehemiah! It’s Nehemiah who’s remembered for doing God’s will, by the way!

    Anyway, I don’t know much about this guy, so I checked out some of what he says about church planting, since this is a post on church growth. He’s probably right on most counts here. But whether he’s technically right or wrong isn’t the issue. It’s the fact that he’s trusted God, and the had the courage to step out an undertake the very difficult and challenging task of church planting, and is prepared to pass on his knowledge to others, which is beneficial.

    I suggest that any of you who hasn’t had a go at starting a church, or at least a small group in your church, should think twice before trying to tell someone else how to do it. David Yonghi Co wouldn’t write his first book on church growth until he’d reached at least 10,000 members! Some people think they can be critical of church planters and growers when they couldn’t organise a pub crawl with 5 alcoholics!

    Anyway, for those of you who, judging by what you write in your posts and in your comments, are game to step out, any day now, and build this amazing church you apparently think you could easily build from scratch, just like the Pringles, Warrens and Houstons of this age, here are a few tips from Noble:

    Seven Reasons Your Church Plant Might Fail December 15, 2009

    Church planters are a RARE breed…no one in their right mind would EVER choose to do it…it MUST be a calling. AND…no one WANTS their church plant to fail…yet here are seven reasons I’ve seen that some have…

    #1 – The Church Is Planted Out Of Bitterness Rather Than A Divine Calling From God!
    What some people call a church plant…God actually calls a church split. When a group of bitter, angry, self serving people with a lot of money find a hirling who will do all that they want him to do…that isn’t necessarily a church plant. AND…usually within two or three years it goes REALLY bad. Let me be VERY CLEAR here…when bitterness and anger are the root of the plant…then the church is in deep trouble right at the beginning.

    #2 – The Leadership Has A Desire For Imitation Rather Than Seeking Revelation!
    We’ve seen it before…a group of guys go to a conference and see a church…and then come back to their community and try to be just like the church they saw at the conference. There is NOTHING wrong with receiving inspiration and ideas at a conference…but when one church tries to be just like another one in every area…then I believe the leaders are spending way too much time studying methods rather than the Scriptures. God calls every church to be unique in some sort of way…and that will never be found if the leadership isn’t desperately seeking God for His direction.

    #3 – The Pastor Has A Desire To Be Known Way More Than He Desires To Fulfill The Great Commission!
    When a leader is more obsessed with how many hits he is getting on his blog…or how many people follow him on twitter…and because of those things loses sight of reaching people for Christ–it’s over.

    #4 – When The Leadership Allows The Vision To Get Hijacked In Order To Keep Everyone Happy!
    EVERY church planter WILL experience SOMEONE trying to hijack the vision of the church…MOST of the time before the church ever officially launches. Pastor..BEG God for HIS vision, let Him BURN it in your heart…and then go for it and don’t let anyone talk you out of what God has clearly spoken into you.

    #5 – The Pastor Isn’t Willing To Call People To Commit.
    The last thing we need in the body of Christ is a room full of people who are more commited to watching their favorite TV shows every week than they are to following Christ. Pastors…you can’t be afraid to ask people to commit to Christ, to volunteer, to give and to read their Bibles. If you back down from this then you will do nothing more than raise a co-dependent group of people who learn to depend on you rather than Jesus.

    #6 – The Pastor Lacks Courage!
    This sort of goes along with #5. I believe that every church planter will be tested early in the process…usually within the first six months…and also usually it will relate to finances. A big giver will begin to list out his or her demands…and then the leader must decide whether or not he is a prositiute (paid for a service) or a prophet (someone who belongs to God.) Pastor…leadership requires courage. People WILL take shots at you. People WILL take what you say out of context. People WILL lie about you. You are NOT going to be loved by everyone…and to face that reality takes courage. If you lack it then you won’t make it.

    #7 – The Pastor Tries To Do It All By Himself!
    Dear pastor…you are NOT that good! You can’t do it all (even though some will expect you to.) You’ve GOT to delegate ministry to others. You’ve GOT to listen to the people God intentionally places around you. You’ve GOT to admit when the load is too heavy so those who care about you can take things off your plate. You’ve GOT to understand that Jesus cares WAY more about the church than you do…and He will send the right people along side of you to make sure HIS vision becomes reality. We are NOT called to do it alone!!!

  2. Probably depends mostly on what you are allowing to be defined as “Church” because the reality is that “the Pringles, Warrens and Houstons of this age” have built nothing of the sort but rather have succeeded in developing a most deceptive and subversive kind of threat faced by the Church and Biblical and Historic Christianity

  3. @Kipling,

    Did you watch the “Purpose Driving Scolding” video? This bloke is a complete nutter!

    Not only that, but have a squiz at his eyes – you can see that there is something very, very unhealthy going on here. It is plainly evident that he has a spiritual problem – demonic oppression at least, perhaps something worse…

    “It astonishes me how anyone who has not planted a church, or even a home group, can have the nerve to criticise a person who has successfully grown a church from scratch, under the leadership of the Spirit, […]”

    That’s an astonishingly naive statement: most churches that are “successfully grown” have nothing whatsoever to do with “the leadership of the Spirit”, they are the result of glib hucksters pitching a man-pleasing message to the ill-informed masses who are all too willing to have their egos stroked, their emotions manipulated and their ears tickled by every wind of doctrine, no matter how unscriptural or absurd. I should know; I have to sit in such a church quietly awaiting my time week after week, listening to heresy and suffering pathetic and insipid nonsense that is passed off as “preaching” and that is lapped up by the adoring crowd, who are encouraged to “thank pastor X for that wonderful message tonight”. Well, firstly, the messages are never anything close to “wonderful”, and, secondly, if they were that would be thanks to the work of the Holy Spirit, not to some grand-standing self-important mediocrity who is masquerading as a pastor. You glorify God, you don’t applaud the speaker, who is *nothing*, and who can, if necessary, be replaced by a donkey.

  4. P.S. God measures success by our obedience, *not* by the numbers of bums on seats. If you don’t know that, go and read what happened to Israel when King David numbered the fighting men.

  5. The thing is, CCCer, we are not obliged to measure a church’s success by your opinion any more than the impertinent ramblings of ELD, whose idea of church life is based on reformed dogma, and is a planet away from relevance to genuinely effective gospel ministry.

    You say,
    ‘most churches that are “successfully grown” have nothing whatsoever to do with “the leadership of the Spirit”, they are the result of glib hucksters pitching a man-pleasing message to the ill-informed masses who are all too willing to have their egos stroked’…

    …but what is it you want stroked, if it is not your own ego? Surely, reading between your arrogant lines, you are saying you are far superior to the ‘others’ you are forced to endure, and that is why you can be this confident in your aloof opinion on what makes any enterprise either successful or relevant. You not a contributor, you’re a spectator, and a politely hostile one at that.

    How would you know what ‘most’ churches are engaged in? How many are you able to attend on any given Sunday? Are you omnipresent in your amazingness to assess the entire Body of Christ with such assurance?

    I doubt that you have a clue what is actually going on in the one church your able to attend in your physically finite presence, especially if, as you claim, it is a megachurch, which probably has a plethora of departmental industry on the go even before you get out of bed on a Sunday morning.

    I’d love to see you and ELD get your acts together and apply your joint incredibilities to putting together a church plant which really reflects the kind of place you envisage as the true church.

  6. CCCer, David counting soldiers as a king was an act of preparation for war under the OT. God didn’t put him or Israel on a war footing, so he was out of order. david’s motives for counting were wrong, but this has nothing to do with numbering churches.

    It is entirely different to a shepherd counting sheep to know the state of his flocks.

    The shepherd was the sheep gate in Jesus’ time on earth, so that all the sheep had to pass him to go in and out of the paddock. Any wolf had to get through him to reach the sheep. The shepherd’s rod and staff were for protection, guidance and to help keep tally. He knew them all by name, which is an extension of counting, and numbering.

    In fact, if you would care to go through the Book of Acts, you will notice that, numerically, the Church grew exponentially, and Luke’s reports are punctuated with the growth and development of the various flocks, and what caused the growth.

    Granted, numbers are not necessarily proof of success or good teaching, but neither are they an indicator of failure or false doctrine.

    In fact, one would expect that a healthy, fruitful enterprise would generationally increase, if only because God put in motion seedtime and harvest principles by which succeeding generations, in ideal circumstances, generally expand, God being responsible for the increase.

    Hence Jesus referring to the kingdom as dough which had yeast added to it, the idea being expansion, or God revealing to Abraham, way back where he projected the coming Seed of Christ, that Abraham’s descendants would be as the stars of the sky and the sands of the sea, a reference to numerical enlargement of extraordinary proportion, considering he did not yet have a son by Sarah, and was aged.

    In short, God is interested in the Church growing, and increase can be a symptom of health, but you do have to understand the different connotations of numbering.

  7. The prophets warned and pleaded with Israel not to return to Egypt. They warned Israel to repent of their false prophets and their idols.

    These men where the serpent on their heads and speak blasphemes against God, enslaving God’s people. Osteen, Benny Hinn, Pringle, Houston, Prince, Hee and many others have made themselves pharoah and whip God’s people to build their own temples for their own names sake.

    We are living in Egypt all over again. You need your eyes opened Kipling.

    Do you not hear them corrupting God’s people with their vain and worldly philophies? They replace Godly faith with worldy faith, Godly love with worldly love, Godly living with worldly ‘best life now’ syndrome.

    This is not Christianity. What Perry reveals above is absolute blindness. If anyone believes what he writes above, it is the equivalent of Perry taking a searing hot iron and burning his members spiritual eyes out so they stagger around blindly.

    The church is not about these idols on vision, leadership, prosperity, happiness. This fundamental fallen philosophy where it’s all about us and not about God. These philosophies lead us to sin. These idols lead us to sin. They do not point to Christ. They do not glorify Christ. They do not exalt Christ. They do not declare Christ crucified.

    These philosophies, these ‘principles’, keep our eyes on our sinful desires. And this seems to be the foundation these ministers and ministries capitalise on. They captilise on sin and are breeding grounds for deception.

    I really cannot wait for God to come destroy their unrighteous works. If they have forgotten God’s power and simply use God for their own gain – then sin is their foundation and not Christ. May Christ judge their unrighteousness now before their souls are damned.

    It occurred to me recently how often these types of ministries pray this simple anti-Christ prayer:

    “We pray that you make us the head and not the tail.”
    Christ IS the head of our church. It is absolute anti-Christ tp pray such a sinful prayer that replaces Christ with ourselves. This is why the ‘gifts’ of leadership, prophecy, apostleship, teacher and shepherd are so exalted in the church. Because ANYONE who functions fully in these is clearly the closest to God – and yet they still pray the pharoah’s prayer, “Make us the head and not the tail”.

    People like Perry are increibly dangerous as his article CLEARLY demonstrates that we are to build a kingdom based on true leadership skills. Look at how it emphasises US and not Christ.

    Leadership is the idol, so it is quite comical and contradictory for him to say that one of the problems is a ‘selfish attitude’. It’s those who are being drawn to leadership positions I would be combatting to get down.

    What I am simply saying is – if people like Perry Noble and all these clucking fools were cast out of their church where they always emphasise visions, principles, prosperity, leaddership, sin, sin, sin … If we just rejected their methods, met in buildings anywhere and preached a solid gospel, GOD will add to His church.

    Stop defending the Pharoah’s Kipling and start defending the flock of God. Become a fool and lay down your selfish desires so you may become a fool for God and his flock.

  8. ‘We are living in Egypt all over again. ‘

    Speak for yourself. I’m in God’s ‘Zion’, in fact, a citizen of the New Jerusalem to come.

    ‘You have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant’.

    Yep, that’s the place to be. You can keep Egypt. But I don’t recommend you stay in Egypt. It’s about to go through a tricky election, provided the army relinquishes control.

    I’m not sure why you’re criticising a blog which is called, “Perry Noble: Leadership, Vision & Creativity” for putting out posts on leadership, vision and creativity. I mean, what else would he be talking about? BUt, look, I read it and find references to God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit on just about every post. Still, that’s only me.

    As I said, I don’t know that much about Noble. I just had a look at his site, and found it very interesting. I’m not saying it’s right or wrong, just commenting on the fact that here is a person who has planted a church in the name of Jesus, and has set up a site geared to helping others accomplish a similar task by giving out some of the struggles, pitfalls, challenges, victories and general knowledge of how he was able to set up a thriving church. All in the name of Jesus, of course, not himself.

    (If I repeat the ‘Jesus’ name’ thing or ‘gospel’ over and over, it’s because I find people like you require all information you critique to be absolutely qualified in such a way, so that your superstition and religious fervour don’t make unsubstantiated claims about what I am actually saying, and whom I serve).

    Anyway, if it will help you, I’ll have a look at Noble’s doctrine sometime soon, and see what he teaches in that successful church he has planted (in the name of Jesus (we hope)).

    But I can’t, for the life of me, understand why you had to go off, in that last comment, like some latter day Elijah about a long list of Pharaoh’s, Egypt, and vain philosophies.

    Are you now a Prophet warning Israel they are about to go down to Babylon? A bit late, don’t you think?

    Jesus already came and surrendered himself to the cross and death so we can all enter eternal life through faith in him.

    The middle all of partition between the Jews and Gentiles has been broken down, old chap. Even the Egyptians can be saved! So it doesn’t matter if you’e still in Egypt or not. Jesus can save you right where you are, and he’ll receive you just as you are. Just call on his name and you can be saved.

    Besides, if you don’t believe in visions and leadership, how can you possibly be one of God’s Prophets of the last days? Weren’t the Prophets of the OT visionaries, seers, who were used of God to bring leadership and warning to the people of God in their time through dreams, visions and the Words of God?

  9. I think the bottom line here folks is who is doing the planting?

    If man does the planting, he may get success, he may get failure. It all depends on what strategy he follows and how receptive his target audience is.

    If the Holy Spirit inspires the planting, then the leaders there have a big advantage over man-driven strategies. It will be successful and the growth will be in new believers coming to repentance.

    If a church plant fails … it’s man driven … at least in the end it is.
    If a church plant succeeds, then it needs to be understood. If it’s mainly transfer growth … it’s man-driven. If it’s new growth … it’s Holy-Spirit Driven. If it’s a mixture … then it’s a mixture.

    It’s quite simple isn’t it?

    When something is man-driven, are the motives bad or good or a mixture?

    Who can read hearts? All we can see for certain are actions and consequences.

    Shalom.

  10. @Kipling,

    Yes, yes, yes, but *did you watch the video* ?

    The bloke has a screw loose, really. I don’t care how orthodox some of his stuff might seem, he has some very serious issues. Are you really going to contend that it’s not the case?

  11. P.S. Thanks for the link to the PDF; I’m just having a squiz now. (That’s my best “politely hostile” manners there).

  12. Lots of numbers; easy to read with big fonts and lots of clear graphs. Better than many corporate efforts.

    However, the bottom line is it’s all a waste of time if he’s preaching lies – you know, the wood, hay and stubble of those who exclaim ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’

  13. That’s just a generalised claim of error with no substance whatsoever, CCCer. Your mates, ELD, specks, and now you, are doing much the same thing. Making assertions, adding a scripture which talks about ‘Lord, Lord, etc” and acting as if that will convince a court of law, and not be thrown out as insubstantial. I’ve got news for you. It won’t even make the courtroom. Show us the lies.

    As for the clip, well, I’m not really interested in watching a short clip overlaid with propaganda of someone taken out of context by a hostile web critic. Waste of time and perfectly good kilobytes. #0 seconds were enough for me.

    Look, why don’t we hang out with you and video record your life, extracting two minutes and thirty seconds of the worse part of you in a bad mood, going off at the wife or kids, or someone supposedly dear to you, put it up on YouTube, and claim this is the sum total of your relationship with your family?

    Can you tell us the entire context of the message the clip was taken from? No? Not interested then. Give us facts.

    And I stand by my assertion that you and specks are not qualified to criticise a ministry which discusses church growth or planting advice form the basis of having successfully achieved sound growth, when you have had no experience in either, do not contribute to your own church’s growth, but rather sit in the pews and harangue the leadership and membership from the safety of your own ego.

    It’s a bit like the armchair coaches going of at the Carlton coach for failing to beat Collingwood. Great to vent their spleen, and get it off their hairy chests, but could they do any better? I doubt it.

    Although, at least they do it from the perspective of loving their team, which is more than can be said for some of the armchair critics here.

  14. @Kipling,

    “And I stand by my assertion that you and specks are not qualified to criticise a ministry which discusses church growth or planting advice form the basis of having successfully achieved sound growth, when you have had no experience in either, do not contribute to your own church’s growth, but rather sit in the pews and harangue the leadership and membership from the safety of your own ego”

    You can stand by your assertion, but it doesn’t make it right. Pentecostal churches do not “successfully [achieve] sound growth” by any stretch of the imagination, and I don’t need experience in either church planting or church growth to know that. I have no experience running a corporation either, but I am well aware of just how many managers are a total waste of space, and it’s exactly the same in pentecostal churches: the best people are not those standing behind the pulpit, and those running the show need to get out and do a little MBWA (“Management by wandering around”). Indeed, that is how churches are meant to work – you know, a universal priesthood where people in the pews actually receive some respect and get a say. What one sees instead of this is an oligarchy of pastors and leaders who are carefully vetted and groomed on their way up the quasi-corporate ladder, with non-conformists and dissenters being marginalised at best and shown the door at worst.

    Spiritual truths are spiritually discerned, and I have enough discernment to see the way things are. I know the things I know because it’s my job to know them, but even if that weren’t the case I could figure it out by observation. It’s really not that difficult.

  15. So, CCCer, you’re sent, apparently by God, into a Pentecostal church, which you obviously have an aversion to, which you do not respect or have the time for, and yet have been carefully placed there for some obscure reason, beyond anything closely resembling anything Biblical, and you think you have any credibility?

    I assume, this is you… coming out, as it were, and declaring yourself on a sympathetic anti-C3 blog. Was God prompting you in this also? Or does your ego have a louder voice than the Spirit?

    I take it you are not into speaking in tongues, the gifts of the Spirit, miracles, healings, and the like, or the the other aspects of Pentecostalism which demonstrate the distinctives. That’s right, you already wrote a very loud piece on the myriad of qualifications for the move of the Spirit, and the whole Church was found wanting by your list.

    Yet you have a two way bet, with ELD, by saying you’re not a cessationist!

    You have no idea, after all this time, of how C3 is actually structured, what Pentecost actually stands for, or is, nor do you grasp what is happening in other rapid growth movements or churches.

    You have just been set up in the church to be a distraction, presumably, and pick off likely candidates one by one.

    What gets me in this exercise, is why you had to come on here to declare it as if it was a trophy or something. That’s what I can’t understand about specks. He would be far better off not saying anything publicly, although I recognise he is a passionate guy with a cause, and it is true he has covered his tracks pretty well. I wonder if you guys go to a sheep’s clothing shop to buy the suit, or a fancy dress hire store, or actually skin someone yourselves.

    If God really had placed you there surely he’d want you under cover, surreptitiously getting around the waverers and drawing them out individually. But no! Here you are anonymously blowing your trumpet. Otherwise, what’s the point of placing you in a large congregation you hate, at all? Is this some kind of latter day Jeremiah anointing?

    You claim to have enough discernment to see the way things are, and yet you can’t actually put your finger on what it is that Perry Noble annoys you about, and swallowed the YouTube clip hook line and sinker.

    You’re no more than a busybody poking your nose into another man’s work, unless you can show us a NT Biblical precedent for what you claim God is doing with you?

  16. @Kipling and @CCCer-

    Stop squabbling. You were discussing Perry Noble and then somehow the discussion became about each other.

    Noble has been a speaker at Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church (2010 Radicalis Conference). Noble’s guests for his 2011 NewSpring Leadership Conference include Steven Furtick, Craig Groeschel, Andy Stanley, and Mark Driscoll.

    Noble compliments Rick Warren on his blog:
    “I would like to thank you for being one of the first people that God used to MESS ME UP in regards to my view of church. There were a series of events that took place in my life back in the mid 1990’s–and reading your book, The Purpose Driven Church, was one of them!”
    “I admire you because, despite people cracking on your PDL material and your funky shirts, you have stayed faithful! Stay the course…stay on task with what the Lord leads you to do…and know that there are tons of us out here who can clearly recognize the blessings of God on you and your ministry!!!”
    From perrynoble dot com 4-26-2007 an-open-letter-to-Rick-Warren

    Kipling- “#0 seconds were enough for me.”
    Was 0 seconds enough time for you to spend researching Noble and his relationship with Rick Warren before you defended him, his leadership methods, and his church growth philosophy?

  17. woah! slow down there!

    First thing we need to remember … there is no such thing as a special anointing.

    It’s simply the Holy Spirit or nothing.

    Secondly, we are all called to be watchmen on the wall.

    Thirdly, we are all part of a Royal Priesthood, a Holy Nation. We have all been grafted into God’s Chosen People.

    While we all need a Gideon, Gideon couldn’t have won anything without the army he led. He couldn’t do it on his own. He needed those toughest of tough men to win the battle … as well as God being with him.

    No revival without the body of Christ being active.

    And no … I haven’t watched the videos.

    C’mon, what are you really arguing about folks?

    C3 again, isn’t it? I’m right, you’re wrong.

    Is PP’s doctrine badly flawed and likely to to at least make believers useless at actually fulfilling the great commission? … Of course.
    Is PP the Devil Incarnate(tm) … of course not.

    Does PP need to repent? Yes.
    Does he need to return to the Jesus of the Bible? How should I know?

    The bottom line here is that leaders are flawed as much as the membership. By becoming the focal point and being put on a pedestal the leaders flaws become the church’s flaws.

    Would C3 go on if PP fell under a bus today?

    It may not! It would quickly become decentralised I think. The rigidity in the hierarchy would fall and then the australian branch would come under some authority figure but world-wide it would fragment. My understanding is it is already quite loosely structured anyway.

    You see, I believe that most if not all of the doctrinal problems are secondary. C3 is closer to the reformation that Roman Catholicism for example. (not saying much I think … but you get the picture.)

    I see quite a lot of anger here … (I know, pot/kettle etc) but is it helpful for us or does it merely entrench our views behind barricades of hatred?

    Shalom

  18. In fact, I pressed the wrong key and got ‘#’ instead of ‘3’, so it was more like 30 seconds of viewing, which was, actually, enough. It wasn’t going to get any better.

    I’m not interested in a cut-n-paste 2 minute 30 second representation of someone’s ministry, when I know that years of work have been put into building it. Give me some written facts, well documented and accurately investigated, which show beyond doubt, from scripture, your claims.

    I’m not so much angry, Bull, as astonished at the arrogance of the do-nothing-but-winge side-liners, who seem, on a blog, to have such a handle on everything that is going on on the whole planet spiritually, who present themselves as latter day Prophetic voices to the masses, as if they have a special ticket with God to hammer away at select ministries, yet have the basest of doctrinal accuracy themselves.

    This goes on, when most of us have enough to do to come to terms with what it is God has us doing day to day, and having to seek his face for instruction, encouragement, correction and a real grasp of the truth, keeping our own lives on track without dinging away at every fruitful, growing ministry just in case they’ve become successful by some means other than God’s grace!

    I mean, if their focus was on one ministry, and they gathered enough conclusive evidence to make their point, then let’s have a look at it, and let’s discuss it in an even handed way. But to come in and bombastically make empty clams based on a general repulsion for all things Pentecostal or charismatic is completely futile and, ultimately, self-appraising.

    What is worse is the apparent ability to dissect every alleged sect, as if these critics have got it all together themselves. The fist thing I do when observing a discernment site is get to the root of what the accuser believes and preaches.

    When Dave Hunt was in his pomp and accusing just about every charismatic ministry of seducing the Body, the thing I looked for in his book was his own beliefs, and it was clear he would never have an unbiased approach to rational investigation. So it is with most discernment ministries.

    Yes, we’re all called to be watchmen, but a deep mole in a church we have a biased negative opinion of? Perlease! To what end? You liken CCCer to Gideon? More like Sanballat.

    And, don’t worry, Bull, C3 is well equipped to survive after PP. It has a tremendous oversight structure.

  19. @Kipling-
    Beyond a doubt Noble is immature. He has demonstrated a lack of reverence for the scriptures. Is this the example of leadership that you want to follow?

    You said:
    “Give me some written facts, well documented and accurately investigated, which show beyond doubt, from scripture, your claims”

    Why do you need investigative journalism? Why would you want to go anywhere near this guys ministry?

  20. @ ex-pirate listener – Chris Rosebrough has excellent resources and rebuttals re Perry Noble. The sorry saga over the professor over at Pyjama Pages that I posted previously is also a strong indictment against Perry Noble too.

  21. Don’t bore us with cut’n’paste YouTube clips defaced with propaganda.

    As I said:
    “Give me some written facts, well documented and accurately investigated, which show beyond doubt, from scripture, your claims”

    But, look, is it wrong to talk about sex in the pulpit now? Are we all so sensitive about the facts of life that sex has become taboo in sermons? We’ve moved on from Victorian times, xpl.

    I don’t know how old you are, xpl, but post-moderns are far more explicit in their terminology and understanding of how stuff works, and far more willing to talk about what other generations considered sensitive issues. Get used to it. Sex ain’t unholy, or impure, as long as it’s in the marriage bed. I think that’s what Noble was saying up front.

    By the way Noble isn’t my leader, as I’ve pointed out. But I’ve not seen anything terribly bad yet. I’m just asking you to put up or shut up. I’m open to be convinced of any genuine error.

    But cut’n’paste YouTube agitprop don’t count!

  22. @Kipling-

    “But I’ve not seen anything terribly bad yet.” You need to open your eyes. He teaches that you need to tithe 10% of your gross salary or you are living in sin. He is extremely arrogant and along with his pal Furtick he attacks those who cry out for any kind of biblical discernment. Noble criticizes those who stand for sound doctrine instead of warning about the dangers of false teachers.

    “Oh yeah…in case you are wondering, I still have a goal to sit down and share a meal, one on one, with Bill Hybels, TD Jakes, Joel Osteen, Rick Warren, Matt Chandler and Erwin McManus. God has used these men to speak into my life and influence the heck out of me!!! For those of you who pray for me on a regular basis…pray that this will happen!”
    -Perry Noble (Three Leadership Environments I Am Committed To 7-15-2008)

  23. Fault finding just isn’t the same as fact-finding, or error exposing. What are his views on the important theological necessities such as the Godhead, soteriology, pneumology, salvation, grace, works, faith, propitiation, etc.. Go for it. Dig away.

    I think you raise expectations way over what Noble does for his own ministry. Here’s a few words of advice from Perry. The first might help you heaps:

    Seven Things I Cannot Expect! March 17, 2011

    #1 – I cannot expect to win arguments with those who don’t want to settle the argument, they just want to fight for the sake of fighting. (II Timothy 2:23)

    #2 – I cannot expect people to read my mind. (I Corinthians 14:8)

    #3 – I cannot possibly expect to have a complete and detailed plan from God that tells me exactly what His plans are for the next 20 years. (Psalm 119:105) – He doesn’t promise to let us see years in advance, but He does promise to show us our next step!

    #4 – I cannot expect to be a follower of Jesus and keep everyone around me happy at the same time. (Proverbs 29:25)

    #5 – I cannot expect to stay the same and see progress (Isaiah 43:18-19)

    #6 – I cannot expect to please God without taking steps of faith (Hebrews 11:6)

    #7 – I cannot expect to hear God’s voice if I am always running at an unsustainable pace! (Psalm 46:10)

  24. Kipling, before you make demands of documentation of others be reminded that you couldn’t even find 1 article, tweet, sermon, book or any other record where your venerated cult leader prensented the Gospel biblically or historically without error.

    That, my friend, is a sad state of affairs….

  25. “important theological necessities”?

    Romans 16:17(KJV)
    Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.

    Paul sure thought this doctrine was important and necessary. Noble sets an example of disobedience to God.

    2 John 1:10-11
    If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.

    Mark and avoid them. That sounds different than asking for prayer so that one (Perry Noble) can reach their goal of getting to sit down and eat a meal one-on-one with each of them (Hybels, Warren, Jakes, Osteen). Noble shows that he is willfully ignorant when he promotes and partners with Furtick and Warren.

    Are you going to tell me I’m taking this video out of context?

    This is not the spirit of God.

    Acts 17:11(NIV)
    Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.

    2 Timothy 2:15(KJV)
    Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

  26. @the unbelievably exasperating ELD…’Kipling, before you make demands of documentation of others be reminded that you couldn’t even find 1 article, tweet, sermon, book or any other record where your venerated cult leader prensented the Gospel biblically or historically without error.’

    First off, I don’t have a venerated cult leader.

    Secondly, it was you who made the accusation.

    Thirdly, the onus is on you to produce the evidence, not I, as I have repeatedly said.

    Fourthly, the absence of a single shred of evidence on your part is the most telling part of all.

    Fifthly, this case has been closed for some time, since you utterly failed to produce a single shred of evidence.

    End of story!

    It is xpl and CCCer who are making the accusations re-Noble, who, apart from being a Christian, is nothing to me personally, except a brother in Christ being falsely accused, unless someone comes up with evidence.

    I have merely challenged them to put up the evidence, which they have, like you, consistently failed to do, on major issues of doctrine. We’ll give it a couple of days, otherwise, another case closed!

  27. @xpl…

    ‘Romans 16:17(KJV)
    Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.’

    Gosh, xpl, so who is that is causing divisions and offences here?

    Who is that has deliberately entered a flock with the express motive of causing people to leave one by one, and to oppose the teaching and methodology?

    Who is that is deeply ensconced in a flock with the express aim of causing as many to leave as possible?

    Who is it that has a website expressly dedicated to opposing his own church, leaders and fellow congregants?

    Who is it that has determinedly set out to cause divisions in a flock?

    Who is it then that should be marked and avoided?

  28. By the way, I have no personal interest in defending Noble, as I have stated. I know very little about him or his ministry.

    All I have said is that if you have just cause then put it up. Let us see your evidence. Let us know your cause and reason.

    Since you are so convinced of your position it should be a simple matter.

    Since you have already deemed him guilty, you must have evidence already, or you are truly a hypocrite. So where is the evidence?

    You must, surely, already have it ready and available for us all to see, since you have already made the judgement.

    I am genuinely open to your response.

  29. Its amazing even when “evidence” in the form of video (which is the most appropriate for this forum) is adduced, we still have Kipling making bare denials that no evidence has been produced.

    The first video of that scumbag Perry Noble brow beating his congregation is not only disgusting but unequivocal evidence of abusive/manipulative/selfish/egotistical leadership. The scandal Teddy mentioned is another.

    I guess what is good evidence for x is not necessarily good enough for y (especially when y is a complete purpose driven plonker and conplicit in an apostate movement himself):)

  30. @ELD
    The video was not evidence of anything but a few seconds of a minister going off. It could be construed as rude, depending on the context and circumstances of the segment. The propaganda surrounding it corrupted the evidence, frankly, as did the second clip produced.

    Are you seriously suggesting anything here would stand up in a court of law? You seem very interested in proving things legally. It surprises me you would let such scant evidence be your guide.

    On this evidence John McArthur is a very guilty man, judging by the way he goes off at people from behind the pulpit with such venom and vindictiveness. He treats everyone, saints included, as sinners. Similar preaching approaches have been lauded on this site as the way to go in the pulpit. Now you’re condemning someone for being firm?

    Here someone you don’t like gets in the face of a few sinners, and you plead a case for abuse. Well by this token McArthur is hyper-abusive. And he’s quite tame compared to Paul Washer. Or do you defend their use of strong, conviction preaching?

  31. I was not likening anyone on here to Gideon.

    Gideon was a leader, not a nay-sayer. He also had to trust God, rather than numbers of men. Smaller was better.

    He then refused to take the place of God when he declined to become King of Israel.

    Shalom

  32. Point taken, Bull, it doesn’t matter whether the battle is taken on by many or by few, the Lord wins, but I don’t think God was shrinking the nation, or ‘church’. of Israel, just choosing out a team to take on a certain task.

    Notice he chose a leader, and equipped a team. The rest looked on.

    He numbered out the best equipped to win a battle on behalf of the entire congregation. They had the victory against the odds, and God received the glory.

    The size of the ‘church’ remained large, however.

  33. Hey revelationunveiled welcome, there is always room for one more eschatological nut on SP02….

  34. @Kipling-
    Romans 16:17(KJV)
    Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
    (NIV)
    I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them.
    (ESV)
    I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them.

    In the first 16 verses of this chapter paul encouraged the church to greet and serve men and women because of their hard-work, self-sacrifice, and love for Jesus Christ, the chruch and each other.

    Then he urged the brethren to watch out for those who create obstacles and cause divisions that are contrary to the doctrine they had been taught. This means all of the doctrine they had learned from the apostles and the entirety of Paul’s letter to the Romans!

    Rick Warren preaches a different gospel that includes imams and mosques, deeds not creeds, and embraces Catholicism, Mormonism, and contemplative spirituality!

    During a sermon Perry Noble says:
    “I had a conversation this week with Rick Warren. You might of heard of him. He wrote a really good book. And we were talking through this and I get some coaching from him – he’s an increadible godly man. He said Perry let me give you three things to do: Out love, out live, and out fruit your critics…”

    Rick Warren is causing division (read about Dan Southerland and purpose-driven Transitioning). He creates obstacles and stumbling blocks as he misuses and twists the Bible as he sees fit. Like I said before Noble shows his willfull ignorance through his relationship with Warren. That is in addition to his distasteful manners and extremely questionable expostion of Malachi pertaining to the tithe.

    I don’t understand who you are referring to here:

    “Who is that has deliberately entered a flock with the express motive of causing people to leave one by one, and to oppose the teaching and methodology?”
    “Who is that is deeply ensconced in a flock with the express aim of causing as many to leave as possible?”
    “Who is it that has a website expressly dedicated to opposing his own church, leaders and fellow congregants?”
    “Who is it that has determinedly set out to cause divisions in a flock?”
    “Who is it then that should be marked and avoided?”

    Perhaps you could tell me who you are refering to???

  35. Yeah, xpl, and the Archbishop of Canterbury is an honorary druid. Does this make every Anglican minister a druid?

    Why are you fishing around on the mud bank? Get into the river f doctrine and do some decent angling. This is just lazy surface stuff.

  36. @Kipling-

    Sorry Kipling, you have it twisted.

    Read the post above. It’s not a competition. This isn’t fishing for sport. You may be underestimating the deceptiveness of the purpose-driven movement.

    Any informed Christian will avoid Rick Warren and inform those they love about his subversive nature. Noble does the opposite. I hope your river of doctrine doesn’t continue to flow right past the parts where we are commanded discern the spirits and abstain from all appearance of evil. Listen to all of the witnessess who are in agreement on this page. Why would you be so surprised to find Noble is not such a godly man?

  37. Typically for this site, the main evidence is both circumstantial and by association. Nothing direct.

    All of a sudden, because of some allegedly ill-advised conciliatory remarks he made, Warren is now apparently a Muslim! How droll! I think you read to many discernment sites. They don’t always know everything, or tell the actual truth, only what they want you to believe, or didn’t anyone point that out to you yet?

    I dont think Warren’s exactly introducing Sharia into Saddleback, old son!

    Purpose Driven Sharia! Now there’s a million-seller book!

    You’re actually talking to grown-ups here, xpl. If you think Warren’s Islam gaff constitutes evidence of error in doctrine on Noble’s part I’d have to say you’re a long way short of convincing.

    You’re right. It’s not a competition. It’s real life. Accusing and elder is said to be a Biblical no-no without two or three witnesses present. That is serious.

    Still waiting!

  38. OK, to give specks a few more hits on the Flag Counter, and open a decent discussion based on real facts, and t do some of the work for you, I have dug out NewSpring Church’s statement of beliefs, which should give an idea of their orthodoxy, or cult status, depending on what kind of conclusions you reach. I find them pretty orthodox from an evangelical standpoint, but I know you experts out there will have something to say, so here goes:

    GOD God is the Creator and Ruler of the universe. He has eternally existed in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three are co-equal and are one God. (Genesis 1:1,26,27; 3:22, Psalm 90:2, Matthew 28:19, I Peter 1:2, II Corinthians 13:14)

    MAN Man is made in the image of God. He is the supreme object of God’s creation. Although God designed man to have fellowship with him, man became alienated from God through disobedience. As a result, all human beings are born with a sinful nature and choose to sin against God. Man is incapable of regaining a right relationship with God through his own efforts. (Genesis 1:27, Psalm 8:3-6, Isaiah 53:6a, Romans 3:23, Colossians 1:21, Isaiah 59:1-2)

    ETERNITY Man was created to exist forever. He will either exist eternally separated from God by sin, or in union with God, through forgiveness and salvation. When you die, you will either spend eternity in Heaven or Hell. Eternal separation from God happens in Hell. Eternal union with God occurs in Heaven. (John 3:16, I John 2:25; 5:11-13, Romans 6:23, Revelation 20:15)

    JESUS CHRIST Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is co-equal with the Father. Jesus lived a sinless human life and offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all men by dying on a cross. He arose from the dead after three days to demonstrate His power over sin and death. He ascended to Heaven’s glory and will return again to reign as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. (Matthew 1:22-23, Isaiah 9:6, John 1:1-5; 14:10-30, Hebrews 4:14-15, I Corinthians 15:3-4, Romans 1:3-4, Acts 1:9-11, I Timothy 6:14-15, Titus 2:13)

    SALVATION Salvation is a gift from God to man. Man can never make up for his sin by self-improvement or good works. Only by trusting in Jesus Christ as God’s offer of forgiveness can man be saved from sin’s penalty. Eternal life begins the moment one receives Jesus Christ into his life by faith. (Romans 6:23, Ephesians 2:8-9, John 14:6; 1:12, Titus 3:5, Galatians 3:26, Romans 5:1)

    ETERNAL SECURITY Because God gives man eternal life through Jesus Christ, the believer is secure in that salvation for eternity. Salvation is maintained by the grace and power of God, not by the self-effort of the Christian. It is the grace and keeping power of God that gives this security. (John 10:29, II Timothy 1:12, Hebrews 7:25; 10:10-14, I Peter 1:3-5)

    THE HOLY SPIRIT The Holy Spirit is equal with the Father and the Son as God. He is present in the world to make men aware of their need for Jesus Christ. He also lives in every believer from the moment of salvation. He provides the Christian with power for living, understanding of spiritual truth, and guidance in doing what is right. The Christian seeks to live under His control daily. (II Corinthians 3:17, John 16:7-13; 14:16-17, Acts 1:8, I Corinthians 2:12; 3:16, Ephesians 1:13, Galatians 5:25, Ephesians 5:18)

    THE BIBLE The Bible is God’s Word to all men. It was written by human authors under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is the supreme source of truth for Christian beliefs and living. (II Timothy 3:16-17, II Peter 1:20-21, II Timothy 1:13, Psalm 119:105,160, Psalm 12:6, Proverbs 30:5)

    •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

    @ELD

    You gave me a real chuckle when you sounded out Noble for his in-your-face demeanour on the YouTube clip. I mean, you of all people, calling someone out for being ill-mannered towards believers! 😀

  39. God likes variety?
    A coalition to end stereotyping?
    Differences make a difference?
    Disagree without being disagreable?
    Freedom for All!
    Rick Warren the comical philosopher!

    Keep going after those global giants.

  40. So that’s Rick Warren, then, but did you check out the NewSpring statement of beliefs?

    Ah what’s the point! You obviously don’t have one!

  41. @Kipling-
    Yes, I read the NewSpring statement of beliefs.

    Perry Noble has idedntified himself as a follower of Warren. Warren lies and is a false teacher. Do you dismiss that because of a statement of beliefs?

    Actions speak louder than words.

    Like when you say “By the way, I have no personal interest in defending Noble, as I have stated. I know very little about him or his ministry.”

    Yet you act as if you are certain Noble is a man of God and you KNOW he couldn’t be a purpose-driven hireling.

    3:20 is where Noble heaps praise on Rick Warren, who he gets coaching from:

    From NewSpring:
    ETERNAL SECURITY Because God gives man eternal life through Jesus Christ, the believer is secure in that salvation for eternity. Salvation is maintained by the grace and power of God, not by the self-effort of the Christian. It is the grace and keeping power of God that gives this security. (John 10:29, II Timothy 1:12, Hebrews 7:25; 10:10-14, I Peter 1:3-5)

    Does this mean that Noble and his coach Warren are eternally secure in Christ? Certainly Noble would say so, after all he called Warren an “incredible godly man”
    in front of his congregation.

    Here are examples of Warren’s scripture twisting in the PDL book:
    http://sacredsandwich.com/warren_scripture.htm

    You continue to embarrass yourself by defending Noble when you “know very little about him”.

  42. Not at all. The onus is on you to produce the evidence for your claims.

    I am merely asking you to furnish it.

    Appreciation of Rick Warren’s lifestyle and Christianity isn’t enough to condemn a man as a heretic.

    Besides which your accusations against Warren are pretty limp, anyway. I don’t agree with some of his doctrine or his Calvinist approach to scripture, but I have no doubt he is a Christian man, oversees a Christian church, and is obviously a brilliant leader. The means he uses to reach out to Muslims and people of other faiths, whilst noble, isn’t my cup of tea either, but I don’t think it signals an intent to deny Christ, or reconfigure Christian faith, or integrate Muslin culture and teaching into Christianity, or create some kind of ecumenical potage.

    You are clearly clutching at straws over Warren, but I don’t want to go into a discussion of him, in particular, except to say that your accusation by association is at best very weak and would be thrown out of court.

    I know you could o for days pointing out what you consider to be Warren’s error, but I have explicitly asked for evidence of Noble’s error, and you have been patently unable to show a single direct cause for your claims.

    The fact that you are wriggling away with this Warren association ambit tells me you have nothing, even though I took the time to produce the statement of faith from NewSpring, which you are quite at liberty to dissect and critique.

    In fact the absence of direct critical comment on the statement of faith tells me you consider it orthodox.

    The burden of proof is yours.

  43. “your accusations against Warren are pretty limp, anyway. I don’t agree with some of his doctrine or his Calvinist approach to scripture”

    Rick Warren’s a calvinist? Next thing I will be hearing is the Pope is Madonna.

  44. @ Specks – when Chris Rosebrough and Bob Dewaay had a private meeting with Rick Warren, they had the opportunity to ask RW why he doesn’t preach the gospel.

    Bob remarks in his CIC Commentary….”One of the disconcerting things about dealing with Rick Warren is that in spite of many problematic, public teachings, he claims to agree with orthodox Christian doctrine. His church Web site does have an essentially orthodox statement of faith. When I researched for my book Redefining Christianity, I found that the deeper I dug into the movement, the more conservative it appeared. Warren and Purpose Driven appear liberal in public (at least to us critics) and conservative in private. I describe this phenomenon as “file cabinet orthodoxy” in chapter 8 of my book. In our private meeting he again asserted that he believes orthodox theology.”

    He said, “I am not a hyper-Calvinist, I am a Kuyper-Calvinist.” (Abraham Kuyper was a Reformed theologian from the Netherlands.)”

  45. I don’t know what Warren is. He does seem to change in different settings, and not just holding back in some compared to others, which would be understandable, but actually portraying contradictory stances.

    He is certainly an administrator. Maybe he is just good at coating organisational structures with whatever PR spin sounds good in that setting? Maybe he’s mainly a salesperson, with an organisational product for religious settings, that can be easily adapted to any kind.

  46. Thanks teddy! Anyone wh had to read Warren’s ‘Purpose Driven Life’ during a 40 Day exercise will have seen it in plain text. Yes, Warren is Neo-Calivinist.

    From Time Magazine:

    ‘Calvinism is back, and not just musically. John Calvin’s 16th century reply to medieval Catholicism’s buy-your-way-out-of-purgatory excesses is Evangelicalism’s latest success story, complete with an utterly sovereign and micromanaging deity, sinful and puny humanity, and the combination’s logical consequence, predestination: the belief that before time’s dawn, God decided whom he would save (or not), unaffected by any subsequent human action or decision.

    Calvinism, cousin to the Reformation’s other pillar, Lutheranism, is a bit less dour than its critics claim: it offers a rock-steady deity who orchestrates absolutely everything, including illness (or home foreclosure!), by a logic we may not understand but don’t have to second-guess. Our satisfaction — and our purpose — is fulfilled simply by “glorifying” him. In the 1700s, Puritan preacher Jonathan Edwards invested Calvinism with a rapturous near mysticism. Yet it was soon overtaken in the U.S. by movements like Methodism that were more impressed with human will. Calvinist-descended liberal bodies like the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) discovered other emphases, while Evangelicalism’s loss of appetite for rigid doctrine — and the triumph of that friendly, fuzzy Jesus — seemed to relegate hard-core Reformed preaching (Reformed operates as a loose synonym for Calvinist) to a few crotchety Southern churches.

    No more. Neo-Calvinist ministers and authors don’t operate quite on a Rick Warren scale. But, notes Ted Olsen, a managing editor at Christianity Today, “everyone knows where the energy and the passion are in the Evangelical world” — with the pioneering new-Calvinist John Piper of Minneapolis, Seattle’s pugnacious Mark Driscoll and Albert Mohler, head of the Southern Seminary of the huge Southern Baptist Convention. The Calvinist-flavored ESV Study Bible sold out its first printing, and Reformed blogs like Between Two Worlds are among cyber-Christendom’s hottest links.

    Like the Calvinists, more moderate Evangelicals are exploring cures for the movement’s doctrinal drift, but can’t offer the same blanket assurance. “A lot of young people grew up in a culture of brokenness, divorce, drugs or sexual temptation,” says Collin Hansen, author of Young, Restless, Reformed: A Journalist’s Journey with the New Calvinists. “They have plenty of friends: what they need is a God.” Mohler says, “The moment someone begins to define God’s [being or actions] biblically, that person is drawn to conclusions that are traditionally classified as Calvinist.” Of course, that presumption of inevitability has drawn accusations of arrogance and divisiveness since Calvin’s time. Indeed, some of today’s enthusiasts imply that non-Calvinists may actually not be Christians. Skirmishes among the Southern Baptists (who have a competing non-Calvinist camp) and online “flame wars” bode badly.’

    (David van Biema; 10 ideas changing the world right now)

    From ‘The Kuyperian’:
    ‘Neo-Calvinism is a particular Christian tradition. It originates in Dutch Calvinism and is brought to expression through Groen van Prinsterer, Herman Bavinck and Abraham Kuyper among many others, and has been given particular philosophical expression in the last century in the Reformational philosophical tradition of Herman Dooyeweerd and Dirk Vollenhoven and their colleagues and students including Evan Runner in North America.’

    More on this site:
    http://kuyperian.blogspot.com/2004/09/relevance-of-neocalvinism-for-today.html

    More at the Westminster Presbyterian site, article by William Young, ‘Historic Calvinism and Neo-Calvinism’.

    So, you see, Warren is fundamentally orthodox, and found to be conservative at heart, in a Neo-Calvinistic way.

  47. @ravingpente-
    You’re right. He adapts his message/doctrine to the audience!
    Warren is a chameleon. Bob Dewaay hit the nail on the head with “file cabinet orthodoxy”:

    “You stick it in a file cabinet, and someone questions you about it, you pull it and show [it to] them. Then you put it back in there; but it really doesn’t influence what you do, how you write, how you preach, how you speak. And it’s not very useful orthodoxy.”

  48. So, xpl, all things to all men, eh?

    But the point is, Warren turns out to be one of the Reformed crowd, which makes Noble a product of the same cloth according to xpl.

    And, we can assess from this that Noble is a fairly orthodox Neo-Calvinist running a contemporary work consisting of five campuses targeting a post-modern, cosmopolitan demographic.

    We’re finally getting somewhere.

  49. @Kipling-

    “Warren turns out to be one of the Reformed crowd…”

    Wrong. Rick Warren has infiltrated the reformed camp, but the only doctrine his consistently preaches is one of ecumenical inclusivism.

    From the Saddleback website:
    “There are Purpose Driven congregations in more than 200 different denominations and associations. Our desire is to work with denominations to strengthen their churches. Each church can maintain its own heritage and doctrinal convictions while cooperating with others on accomplishing the five purposes”

    Since you like Time magazine here is a clip from USA Today:
    “Warren’s pastor-training programs welcome Catholics, Methodists, Mormons, Jews and ordained women.”

    Rick Warren:
    “I’m not going to get into a debate over the non-essentials. I won’t try to change other denominations. Why be divisive?”

  50. Regardless of whether you like Warren’s methodology and openness to other streams, xpl, your heretic charge against Noble is completely refuted.

    There is no question, however, of Warren’s own admission to being a Neo-Calvnist. Plus, his standard writings, his emphases in his own church, and his approach to mission and evangelism all point to Neo-Calvinism.

    He is what he says he is.

    Incidentally, they may go into college as Catholics, Methodists, etc, but the point is, how do they come out? Neo-Calvinists!

    I think he is the Reformed camp infiltrating others!

    I never thought I’d be defending any kind of Calvinist, especially amongst a predominantly Reformed crowd!

  51. @Kipling-

    You’re putting words in my mouth. Find where I ever called Noble a “heretic”!

    I said he was immature, willfully ignorant, extremely arrogant, that he had an extremely questionable exposition of Malachi pertaining to the tithe, and that he creates stumblingblocks and encourages error by repeadedly promoting Warren.

    Why does someone need to have glaring errors on their doctrinal statement to make you believe that they may not be a good example of leadership?

    Register now! You can here Perry Noble, Andy Stanley, and Steven Furtick at NewSpring in September!

  52. In fact, you called Noble a false teacher, and preacher of another gospel, imitating his mentor Warren, which I took to be another way of calling him a heretic.

    Interestingly, as it turns out, the people you are mostly criticising here, Noble, Warren, Furtick, Stanley, Groeschel and Driscoll, are all out of the Reformed camp, so maybe I’ll hand you over to ELD, and he can tell you whether these guys are OK or not.

    No skin off my nose!

  53. Calling yourself “reformed” and actually preaching reformed theology properly, contextually, honestly, well, these guys (apart from Driscoll)are all rather schizophrenic in this area – they are seeker-sensitive to the max.

    I’ve heard all the others preached and critiqued rather well on Fighting For The Faith….painful as it is, at least I give them a hearing. How about you Kipling?

  54. Yes, well, teddy, I’ve just done ten rounds with ELD, xpl, CCCer and specks standing up for a Neo-Calvinist or two. I think I’ve given them a pretty fair hearing, don’t you?

    Whether these Calvinists are toeing the Reformed line isn’t my problem. It is my problem if I let people falsely accuse a brother, even if we don’t fundamentally agree on theology. I tink Noble got a bum wrap on this post and thread, mostly from his own side as it turns out.

    If the seeker sensitive crowd are predominately Calvin inspired Baptists, and the like, Hybels included, I ask what they were taught in seminary which convinced them that seeker sensitive was the way to go.

    Not that seeker sensitive in its way is a huge problem, unless it stows away important doctrinal truths so as not to offend. That I take issue with, but probably not for the same reasons as Rosebrough and his ilk.

  55. “Unless it stows away important doctrinal truths so as not to offend” – you nailed it there! Down there in that bilge hold is a lot of Truth just to get out….by the way, there is a lot of income being generated from books etc by the above seeker-sensitive group. Anyone here just hanging to get hold of Steven Furtick’s “Sun Stand Still” book of vain imaginings?

    Having spent the last 4-5 years seriously checking these gentlemen out, I would certainly say there is no false accusation going on – they are all very fair observations.

  56. And, this seeker sensitive inspired concept has infiltrated some charismatic and Pentecostal churches, much to the chagrin of many who lament the watering down of the ministry of the Spirit, having emanated from these neo-reformed ministries. How did that happen?

    Is this a revolt against the hard-line MO of traditional Reformists?

    Not all of the seeker sensitive approach is wrong, but where the Spirit and Word are put on the back-burner there is an issue.

    I do not see this in what I have seen of NewSpring, however. Noble is clearly an in-your-face preacher, not afraid to tell it as it is.

    Do I detect a degree of dominionism in Neo-Calvinism?

  57. I don’t have a problem with “in your face” preachers, just incorrect handling of scripture/preaching.

  58. I’m with ex-pirate listener here, in that, having given it a go, I don’t like Rosebrough’s style, attitude or methods, so I don’t think being brain-swamped by unedifying criticism is on the cards for an otherwise fun evening with family, but thanks all the same. Maybe a clear ten minute audio of Noble if you can locate it.

    What are your views on any dominionist emphasis in Neo-Calvinism?

  59. None – I’m not interested. I prefer “unedifying criticism” that helps me more be more discerning, that points me to the cross and the finished work of Christ.

  60. As do I Kipling, but perhaps unlike you, I believe that the gift of teaching is given, by the Holy Spirit, to certain godly men for the building up of the Body.

  61. I’m happy for you, teddy. I’m happy for ELD in his 30 something Reformed Baptist set up. I’m happy for the guy in the ‘organic’ church. I’m not happy for CCCer or specks. They must be suffering. Where you are joyful, fulfilled and functioning in God’s purposes is where you should be.

    I checked out a new YouTube message by McClarty, by the way, and I can’t help but think that he’s done a bit of a hatchet job on 1 Timothy 2:4, where he ‘proves’ that ‘all’ doesn’t really mean ‘all’, but ‘all types’ to ‘prove’ his preconceived doctrine, which doesn’t actually suit the context of the passage very well. I don’t think he’d get it past a decent Arminian theologian, however, but it’s an insight into Reformed thinking. It says something which doesn’t fit with our theology so let’s see if we can find a way around it by digging up the Greek and manipulating it a bit. I find that a bit annoying, because I like truth, and I do have a nagging thing about Romans 9 which I haven’t got a handle on yet, so I am listening, but mashing scripture like this isn’t going to help. It’s a pity about the condescending tone, though, from a non-reformed perspective. He needs to work on this.

  62. @Kipling-
    “In fact, you called Noble a false teacher, and preacher of another gospel, imitating his mentor Warren, which I took to be another way of calling him a heretic.”

    I did not call Noble a “false teacher” or a “preacher of another gospel”.

    If you did not see things so black and white then you would see that I have been criticizing Noble’s leadership qualities (or lack therof), his lack of understanding and reverence for the scriptures, his unconditional support of Warren, and his church growth philosophy (which is what the main article was about).

    I did say “Rick Warren preaches a different gospel” and that “Warren lies and is a false teacher”. I said that “Perry Noble has idedntified himself as a follower of Warren” and “Noble criticizes those who stand for sound doctrine instead of warning about the dangers of false teachers”.

    Where did I call Noble a false teacher who preaches a different gospel?
    “Get some facts… Furnish the evidence… Dig away… Put up or shut up…”

    Don’t continue to put words in my mouth. “Which I took to be another way of” is not the same as “you called”, Kipling.

    You still have not answered these important questions:

    “Why does someone need to have glaring errors on their doctrinal statement to make you believe that they may not be a good example of leadership?”

    “Why would you be so surprised to find Noble is not such a godly man?”

  63. @Kipling- (interesting how twitter has invaded the internet … even with non-twitterers)
    “The size of the ‘church’ remained large, however.”

    Unfortunately, the majority of God’s People did not remain faithful … did they?

    The prophets were part of a remnant who were regularly sent to teh people to warn them of calamities to come as a consequence of their idolatry and so on.

    The actual body of Christ across the whole world is added to by many more nominal believers, particularly but not exclusively in the established churches. (Including Anglican, Catholic, Orthodox, Methodist and so on.)

    Regarding scripture twisting, both Arminians and Calvinists would love for the difficult texts to disappear. In some strange and unimaginable way, both perspectives are true.

    We are chosen, yet all may come to know Jesus … even now. It’s not too late for hearts to soften and people to come to repentance. But not in their own strength, but through the active power of the Holy Spirit convicting people of their sin and leading the way to repentance towards the Father.

  64. Rick Warren.

    Let’s say for the sake of arguement that he is a Calvinist or whatever label.

    The trouble is, you wouldn’t know that, would you?
    A lot of digging has to take place.
    Given that he is trying hard to woo Muslims, many are wondering if Warren is at the very least denying the exclusivity of Christ. It seems to me that there is very little point in speaking to other faiths unless it is to attempt to tell them the biblical Gospel.

    But no. Warren isn’t doing this. He also seems to include mormonism as a recognised Christian denomination … at least in public.

    This is completely insane.

    I don’t think of myself as particularly well versed Biblically. I do know what I know and I do try and share it. I am working on my Bible knowledge daily and weekly as I go through my life.

    However, I started reading the Purpose Driven Life for myself before reading the critical reviews and within a few pages, I realised that Warren is a rather poor Bible teacher.

    A poor Bible teacher races through the Bible to prove a point. One verse from this book, another verse from another book and so on.

    Of course, if the points are correct in the first place, you don’t really need to do that. However the points he was making were so wrong … (40 days of …)

    Basically, it’s an arbitrary number of days. Yet he tries to make it biblical and does such a pathetic job, it really put me off the book as well as the author. It’s the poor teaching but mainly the lack of honesty about it which strikes me as being spiritually abusive.

    Ultimately, the program is a man made program and has little, if anything, to do with God at all.

    That’s why Mormons and Muslims can use it. Satanists could probably adapt it if they change a couple of the biblical quotes.

    Right … sounded off on that one now.

    Gonna have a cappuccino … Shalom.

  65. @Teddy-

    Thanks for the link to the FFTF podcast.

    I personally don’t care for Rosebrough because of his calvinist sympathies in addition to some of what Kipling mentioned (attitudes, methods), but I did find this one to be edifying.

    Rosebrough goes after easy targets like Warren, Hybels, Bell, and Patricia King over and over and over and seemingly enjoys making a mokery of them. I’ve heard enough of his laughing.

    @Kipling-

    You can skip to 51:00 of the first part of the podcast if you want to avoid any facebook/twitter he said she said “propaganda”.

    Noble from the Unlea$hed Conference:
    “Ignore the jackass.”
    “In Greek jackass is translated blogger.”
    “Casting vision”?????
    “Have no friends”?????

    Is this really “a move of God”?

    Or is Noble attracting people who would rather be entertained than think for themselves?

    Take Noble’s advice advice and “don’t fight the bloggers”.

  66. @Bull-
    I agree with your comments about Warren and the PDL book. Warren has mastered the art of doublespeak. What is the point of trying to pinpoint the beliefs of a liar?

  67. Yes, Ex-pirate, (not to hijack the thread here… but since you bring it up…) I have repeatedly asked him to review sermons of someone like Jon Falwell, with no response. It’s too much fun and too easy to go after (what some refer to as) the low hanging fruit.

    Then again, he’s happy to turn his cannons on those who would actually question the wisdom of promoting questionable people (not just calvinists… but really muddy water folks like Dan Kimball) and calling outright heretics “dear friends.”

    I am torn myself between Reformed and Lutheran and I am open about that. I realize that wiser people than myself have a reason for being one or the other and I constantly ask myself why am I missing it? God help me, because I can’t possibly be wiser than those godly men.

    So yes, it bothers me to be in this position and I am constantly aware that I could lead others astray by it. Then again, we have pirates tromping all over those lines and thinking nothing of it, and shooting and belittling those who ARE sensitive to leading others astray.

    I fear for him. He is on very dangerous ground.

  68. “Yes, Warren is Neo-Calivinist.”

    Actually he comes off as pretty arminian or even semi-pelagian to me, but then he does speak out of both sides of his mouth. It’s an art form with him.

  69. @Paula-

    Thanks for the comment. Chris has repeatedly ignored me as well. He won’t allow any critical comments (of him or his cohorts) to appear on his blogs. The Kimball thing is ridiculous.

    You’re not missing anything. Stay close to the word.

  70. @ EPL – I don’t agree, I’ve seen negative comments allowed on Chris’ FB wall. He has answered, asked questions, and not been answered himself. He HAS at one point asked someone not to comment until they responded to his question, that same person is certainly not blocked and responds to other related comments as they arise.

  71. @Teddy-
    Well, I have posted comments on his Letter of Marque blog that have been censored. Chris has ignored any of my concerns that I sent to him personally via email and he has not bothered to respond. Pirate Christian Radio is a business, and Rosebrough would not want to hurt it’s corporate image or the image of any of his business associates.

  72. @Kipling,

    “I’m not happy for CCCer or specks. They must be suffering.”

    Job suffered. Joseph spent time in prison in Egypt, even though he was innocent. David sought refuge amongst the Philistines when Saul was looking to murder him. Samson spent the last part of his life in prison blinded and chained to a grinding stone. The apostle Paul suffered with his “thorn in the flesh”, and when he prayed that it be taken away was told “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Even Jesus – who told his disciples “These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full” – was described as “a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief”.

    No one in their right mind would seek suffering, but suffering is a part of life, and sometimes even a part of God’s plan. Jesus Himself stated this very clearly and succinctly when He said “[Your Father] causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”

    Life is what it is, and God does not offer a free pass on hardship or troubles to those who put their faith in Him. What he does promise is that He will never leave us nor forsake us, that we shall never be separated from His love, and at the end of our days we shall be gathered to Him to spend all of eternity in His presence. What He asks of us in our days on earth is that we trust and praise Him whatever the circumstances, and that we patiently bear whatever afflictions or trials come our way, knowing that “in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose”.

    Although outwardly my circumstances are not always what I would choose, nevertheless inwardly the joy of the lord is my strength.

    And do you know what? I’m living my best life.

  73. @Teddy-
    I read through the three links you posted. The writer is splitting hairs trying to explain the difference between Saddleback and Lausanne, like it makes a significant difference why Horton was at Saddleback Church.

    He says:
    “The first is a probable misunderstanding of what the Lausanne event at Saddleback was. It was not about Rick Warren per se. Lausanne was not founded by Rick Warren, it predates him.”

    Aside from Rick Warren, Lausanne should be avoided!
    Lausanne History:

    It is a very ecumenical group, however you define the term. Who are some of Lausanne’s present day leaders? Warren and Piper! Warren and Piper were both speakers at The Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization in Cape Town in 2010.

    “Link arms for the global glory of God”
    “Put aside our differences, our doctrinal distinctions”
    That is the spirit of Rick Warren.

    Here is a list of the U.S. Council of Reference taken from the Lausanne website:

    •Dr. Billy Graham Founder, Lausanne Movement
    •Dr. John Stott Honorary Chairman, Lausanne Movement
    •Dr. Leighton Ford Honorary Chairman, Lausanne Committee
    •Dr. Miriam Adeney Professor, Seattle Pacific Seminary
    •Dr. Leith Anderson Senior Pastor, Wooddale Church, President, US National Association of Evangelicals
    •Dr. Bryan Chappell President, Covenant Seminary
    •Dr. Loren Cunningham Founder, Youth with a Mission (YWAM)
    •Mr. Jim Daly President, Focus on the Family
    •Dr. Steve Douglass President, Campus Crusade for Christ
    •Dr. Ken Fong Pastor, Evergreen Baptist Church
    •Dr. Timothy George Dean, Beeson Divinity School
    •Dr. Os Guinness Author
    •Dr. Gary Haugen President, International Justice Mission
    •Dr. Dean Hirsch President, World Vision International
    •Dr. Tim Keller Pastor, Redeemer Presbyterian Church
    •Dr. Duane Litfin President, Wheaton College
    •Mr. Hugh Maclellan President, The Maclellan Foundation
    •Dr. Jesse Miranda Hispanic Evangelical Leadership Alliance
    •Dr. Richard Mouw President, Fuller Theological Seminary
    •Dr. David Neff Editor, Christianity Today
    •Mr. Peter Ochs President, First Fruit Foundation
    •Mrs. Jane Overstreet President, Development Associates Int’l
    •Dr. Luis Palau President, Luis Palau
    •Dr. John Perkins President, John M. Perkins Foundation
    •Dr. John Piper Pastor, Bethlehem Baptist Church
    •Mrs. Becky Pippert President, Salt Shaker Ministries
    •Mr. Bill Pollard Chairman of the Board, BGEA
    •Dr. Wess Stafford President, Compassion International
    •Dr. Tite Tienou Dean, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
    •Mr. Paul Tokunaga Inter Varsity Christian Fellowship
    •Dr. Mike Treneer President, The Navigators
    •Dr. Rick Warren Pastor, Saddleback Church
    •Dr. George Wood General Superintendent, Assembly of God

    I don’t think these people are getting together to rebuke Rick Warren or straighten out Loren Cunningham.

  74. @ EPL – Sounds like you made your mind up anyway. Dr Horton has always been forthcoming about his views on Rick warren.

    I’m over the whole issue at this point. Seems “it’s damned if you do or damned if you don’t” while people are daily going into eternity. Do you think they cared one way or another if Dr. Horton spoke at Lausanne or was photographed with Warren? Do you honetly believe that tipped them into Hell? I don’t,but then I’m a TULIP kind of person anyway!

  75. Yawn…

    Brian Houston dosent understand the Gospel

    Arminiaism is far superior to Calvanism

    Discuss

  76. And being saved is far superior than being a liberal apostate……..

    discussed.

  77. Just read this comment on another blog and find it to be a very good appraisal of the (my former) pentecostal experience…

    “I was raised Pentecostal (A/G). Pentecostal piety begins with embracing signs rather than the thing signified. They are not unlike the Jews of Jesus’ day. In Luke I think in particular, this is dealt with in chapt 4-5. There, the Jews make it clear that they like to see Jesus performing magic tricks, but they are offended at his message about himself. They want the signs, but they aren’t interested in what those signs point to.

    So when the Pentecostal goes to church, he isn’t there to hear the authoritative (very important word) declaration of pardon from the pulpit. No, they’d rather find their assurance in something else: their own piety. They’d rather be assured by having an emotional experience, which they suppose is the result of the “moving” of the Holy Spirit. So if they go to church, sing songs over and over, work themselves up into this emotional state, falling in love with the beauty of spirituality, and then hear a moralistic sermon that leaves them encumbered with guilt – then they are ready to cry their eyes out, come to the altar, and get saved all over again.

    This is WHY Pentecostals go to church. During the week, they’ve sinned, and so their faith that the Spirit is still with them is shaken. They have no doctrine of election, no doctrine of the perseverance of the saints, and they sure never hear the unadulterated preaching of the gospel. No, they hear moralism, they hear that their sins have resulted in their back-sliding, and they hear that they need to come to the altar and cry a while, so that they know that the Spirit is still with them, and thus they are still saved.

    Pentecostal piety is fundamentally at odds with Reformed piety. We Reformed come to church to hear the man of God authoritatively announce the Word of God. When he says, “Your sins are forgiven in Christ”, we are assured that we didn’t lose our salvation this week when we yelled at our wife or gazed longingly at the commercial on TV. We aren’t getting saved all over again; rather, we’re told that we’ve been saved the whole time. We’re reminded that the Lord will never leave us or forsake us, and he proved it by paying the highest price imaginable to purchase us from slavery to sin and death.

    We don’t need an emotional experience to tell us the Spirit has not left us. We need the promises of Scripture: “Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you.”

  78. @Kipling- I finally finished listening to the entirety of the FFTF podcast. I had to take breaks because I can only stomach Perry Noble (and Rosebrough) in small doses.

    Noble is a pathetic excuse for a Bible teacher and his jokes are abhorrent. His exposition and exegesis of 2nd Kings and the book of Acts are clearly unacceptable. Any pastor who would accept money from their congregation in order to travel and pay to hear Noble speak should be ashamed of themselves.

    Those following Noble and laughing at his jokes are an embarrassment to the church of Christ Jesus. Please dig a little deeper before you publically defend characters such as Nobel. Don’t fear having to discern the propaganda from the truth. Even Rick Warren can come up with an acceptable doctrinal statement.

  79. Re the experience Teddy referred to:

    While I don’t doubt it reflects the author’s experience, it isn’t reflective of my own.

    Even though I’m critical of C3OF, and the way my last Pente church eventually went, I also went to a Pente church for some years while it was healthy.

    It wasn’t a megachurch, but was a sizable congregation. It didn’t emphasise emotion over teaching. The teaching was equal in calibre or better than anything I’d heard in traditional congregations. We weren’t manipulated into tithing (though some did tithe) or anything else. It attracted people who valued quality teaching, who also believed that charismatic gifts of the Spirit are for us today. It didn’t try to minimise sin for the sake of positive thinking; neither did it try to put a guilt trip on us week after week.

    We did not get saved over and over again; we were certainly reminded that the Lord would never leave us nor forsake us.

    It was balanced. A hard thing to come by.

    Pentecostal churches do not have to conform to the megachurch mold or mindset that we see so often today; neither do they need to be a copy of the old Holiness Pentecostals or AOG.

    The charicature doesn’t necessarily apply to all of them. But it can help people feel good about their own alternative position, nobly shoring themselves up by contrast.

  80. @Teddy, that was absolutely profound and perfect summation of everything wrong with the apostate modern charasmatic Church.

    Is it any wonder we have a leader of a C3 Franchise leveling accusations at cessationists that they are not saved (saying they have a different gospel IS AKIN to saying they cannot be saved) on account of not believing in the silly antics and “tricks” that the same leader has absolutely no evidence to point to that such “miraculous signs & wonders accompanying the preaching of the gospel” are/have occured in his or ANY OTHER pentecostal church in the world – and he knows it…..and all he is left with is wishful thinking and the bankrupt idolatory of pentecostal piety as it has been well explained in Teddy’s comment….

    As has been said many times now Kipling – we have the advantage of experience of the bankrupt charasmatic system for ourselves……..

  81. @Teddy-
    @ELD-
    Experiential Pentecostal delusion and Unconditional Election are not the only two options. I believe ALL men can be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth.

    1 Tim 2:3-6
    For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

    @Kipling-
    The Perry Noble sermon can be seen unedited online on the NewSpring/Unleash website. The one I referred to was ’09 Session 1. Go ahead. Take notes.

  82. @ELD…’that was absolutely profound and perfect summation of everything wrong with the apostate modern charasmatic Church.’

    No it wasn’t. It was a pathetic attempt at pretending to understand a Pentecostal meeting. I’m genuinely surprised that teddy would claim it as her own experience, and glad that RP made it clear it wasn’t hers.

    You might hear similar condemnation preaching in Pentecostal holiness churches, such as the Potter’s House (not Jake’s), but certainly not in C3 or Hillsong. Neither is there any teaching that we must saved again and again, except, again, in the Potter’s House. I think the writer’s descriptives identify the kind of Pentecostal experience they must have had. I don’t see how it could reflect C3.

    As for ‘working themselves up’, I really wonder why cessationist preachers have to make such idiots of themselves in guessing what Pentecostal worship and praise actually is, and trying to invoke some kind of hype into it, as if Pentecostals and charismatics don’t know how to simply adore God, and express their worship of Hm without it being some kind of psychological exercise.

    I don’t remember anyone saying a person wasn’t saved for being a cessationist, ELD. We are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, not by works. Anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

    I think it was mentioned once that cessationist teaching could be said to be another gospel, since there is no scriptural evidence that signs, wonders, miracles or the gifts of the Spirit have ceased, and are still part of the ministry of the Spirit in confirming the preaching of the gospel.

    If it is not another gospel, then it is certainly error. Would you care to define the difference?

    By the way, it’s ‘charismatic’.

    You’ve never proved anything of the sort, ELD, only a bias against Pentecost. Slippery slander and iblistic innuendo do not constitute proof.

  83. @ Kipling – stay in denial but the number of people who would affirm my post and “experience” comment would surprise even you.

    “We not going to take it anymore” – everybody sing in tune. 🙂

  84. @teddy…So you’re saying that C3 gives condemnation preaching and encourages people to be born again again?

    I was specifically referring to the person you quoted who sated these things.

  85. Interesting to watch over the years – if nobody or just a few, responded (in that unbiblical decisional regeneration way they so love) to the altar, then the call would be made for recommitment, where the exact same prayer would be recited, to be “born again”.

  86. The post-modern C3/Hillsong “church” phenomenon is nothing more than “Moralistic Theraputic Deism”

    1. “A god exists who created and ordered the world and watches over human life on earth.”

    2. “God wants people to be good, nice, and fair to each other, as taught in the Bible and by most world religions.”

    3. “The central goal of life is to be happy and to feel good about oneself.”

    4. “God does not need to be particularly involved in one’s life except when God is needed to resolve a problem.”

    5. “Good people go to heaven when they die.”

    C3/Hillsong has no Gospel to declare rather it promotes a introspective, moralistic, quid pro quo program of behaviour modification – you do x and God will do y;

    It has no patricular theology of the person of Christ or of the essence of God’s exisitence in the unity and diversity in the community of the Trinity which is why it can profess orthodoxy by means of a pathetic meaningless statement of faith tucked away on its website all whilst nonchalantly embracing all kinds of heresy – including that of Thomas Dexter Jakes because “they are like us – they pray in tongues too!!”;

    The amorphous god of C3/Hillsong exists to provide therapeutic benefits to members and revolves around the idolatry of Freudian theory of self-esteem, feeling good, happy, secure, at peace, attaining subjective well-being, being able to resolve problems, and getting along amiably with other people – “In short, God is something like a combination Divine Butler and Cosmic Therapist: he is always on call, takes care of any problems that arise, professionally helps his people to feel better about themselves, and does not become too personally involved in the process.”

  87. Hmm, well, if we’re really honest we both know that a recommitment isn’t a salvation.

    People do backslide. Rededication is returning to Christ having left, albeit without renouncing him completely. This is not isolated to C3, but normal in most evangelical churches.

    And you say condemnation preaching is the norm?

  88. Have you ever been to a C3/Hillsong meeting, ELD? Once?

    I can tell you are so laughably wrong that you are looking a bit like a joke.

  89. Yes many times, I also often listen to the crap that they pass off for preaching by podcast……I believe the existence of C3 and Hillsong IS the judgment of God on the Church

  90. Kipling – What then is a recommitment in the context of the finished work of Christ…?? 🙂

    I am assuming you are familiar with Galatians 1:8

  91. @ Greg – isn’t it annoying! Talk about an unwelcome addition – I thought it was a 24 hr trial but not so it seems. I went on the WordPress blog and there is a way to get rid of it, I’m just not “geeky” enough to figure it out…..if you find out, let me know.

    (I’m back on my computer typing this!)

  92. I dont know much about kimball and seeing he rates high on the Gregometer I might just leave it that way….

    Greg – do you at least enjoy the William Tapley – Third Eagle of the Apocalypse Updates on Fighting for the Faith? Classic!!!

  93. I’ve watched Brian Houston on tv:

    “Live a wide life on a narrow path”?

    I would rather live a tiny, petty, “narrow minded” life that the one Houston describes which includes studying Eugene Peterson’s “Message” paraphrase, fleecing the flock with abusive teaching, and partnering with blasphemers like T.D. Jakes.

  94. Correction:

    I would rather live a tiny, petty, “narrow minded” life THAN the one Houston describes…

  95. @ELD-
    What Michael Horton teaches closely resembles Sonship theology. Reformed pastors and authors have been writing about this doctrine since the 1980’s. If Horton believed and taught traditional Reformed Theology his ministry wouldn’t have to be called “Modern Reformation”.

    @Greg-
    Do you know what “contemplative prayer” (the way it is described by contemplative mystics like Thomas Merton, Dallas Willard, and Thomas Keating) is?

    The forward to Kimball’s book “The Emerging Church” was written by Rick Warren and Brian Mclaren.

    “We have neglected so many of the disciplines of the historical church [Desert Fathers], including weekly fasting, practicing the silence, and lectio divina.”—Dan Kimball, The Emerging Church, page. 223

  96. @XPL – “Michael Horton teaches closely resembles Sonship theology.”

    That statement closely resembles rhetoric, perhaps you might like to actually particularise your claim because I wouldnt want to start responding on assumptions and possibly commit a galatically dopey non-sequitur logical fallacy like the following:

    “If Horton believed and taught traditional Reformed Theology his ministry wouldn’t have to be called “Modern Reformation”.”

  97. Well, ELD, if you have actually been to a C3 meeting anywhere, I can only think you are as poor at hearing what is being said as you are at understand what is being written here, and your mind scrambles everything into some overcooked omelette of dry legalism no matter what anyone says to you.

    If you can honestly claim that C3 or Hillsong teach so-called ‘Moralistic Theraputic Deism’ without blushing, then I wonder if you are actually worth talking to about anything at all. That is just a preposterous proposition.

    Where do these wordy theologians dig these phrases up from? Do they have some special Reformed Thesaurus containing words to be thrown together to mean something so completely obscure that only the densest of Arminian opposers could possibly consider using them to back up an argument? Or are they specially contrived phrases designed to attempt to confuse the unwary onlooker into thinking you know what you are talking about? I take it this one is a Hortonism.

    Well, it may well be applicable to Buddhists and the like, but to even attempt to thrust this upon Pentecostals is beyond belief.

    I was going to refute the itemised list for you, but what’s the point? If you actually believe the tripe you write you won’t hear a sensible argument even if Horton himself tapped you on the shoulder.

    I think some people are telling serious porkies here to attempt to add weight to their claims. If anyone thinks C3 or Hillsong are at all like the last few negative comments on this thread, including the notions of ‘being saved again again’, ‘condemnation peaching’ to ‘works based salvation practices’, and ‘being good being enough to get to heaven’ doctrine, they have (1) never really been to a meeting, (2) they are hearing challenged, or (3) they are wantonly disingenuous.

  98. @ELD-
    Calvinists believe that salvation is monergistic– that we are unable to cooperate with the Holy Spirit in regeneration (new birth) in any way. Some are adding to that and saying that sanctification is also monergistic– that we are unable to freely choose to obey even after we have been given new life in Christ. I am not promoting works rightousness, but I am saying that we have freedom to choose to obey the lusts of the flesh or to choose to serve in newness of spirit (Rom 7:4-6).

    Horton may not come out and directly say that sanctification is monergistic, but his writings blur the distinction between justification and sanctification. These essays are by a Calvinist author, Paul Dohse, and his analysis of direct quotes from Horton describe what I mean:

    http://paulspassingthoughts.wordpress.com/2011/01/27/%E2%80%9Cchristless-christianity%E2%80%9D-michael-hortons-lawless-trilogy/

    http://paulspassingthoughts.wordpress.com/2011/01/30/psychological-theory-antinomians-want-to-be-caught-part-1/

  99. @ELD-
    Calvinists believe that salvation is monergistic– that we are unable to cooperate with the Holy Spirit in regeneration (new birth) in any way. Some are adding to that and saying that sanctification is also monergistic– that we are unable to freely choose to obey even after we have been given new life in Christ. I am not promoting works rightousness, but I am saying that we have freedom to choose to obey the lusts of the flesh or to choose to serve in newness of spirit (Rom 7:4-6).

    Horton may not come out and directly say that sanctification is monergistic, but his writings blur the distinction between justification and sanctification. This essay is by a Calvinist author, Paul Dohse, and his analysis of direct quotes from Horton describe what I mean:

    http://paulspassingthoughts.wordpress.com/2011/01/27/%E2%80%9Cchristless-christianity%E2%80%9D-michael-hortons-lawless-trilogy/

  100. 1)Went for 22 years 2)Have great hearing 3) Not being capricious or unjust – have the experience of hearing all the above occur over 22 years.

    @ Kipling – What’s your experience since apparently 22 years, with at least 15 as lay pastors/leaders doesn’t count.

  101. @ Kipling – yet to see an ounce of proof from you re good teaching at C3 (unless you’re willing to offer up your own?)

    There have been glimmers of light but as I commented way back, pretty soon dumbed down by the “Sunday night service with a Gospel centered intro, only to then ‘fist pump’, nod and amen PP minutes later from the front row as he preached the tithe or some other perverted legalistic doctrine.”

  102. @xpl…’Calvinists believe that salvation is monergistic– that we are unable to cooperate with the Holy Spirit in regeneration (new birth) in any way. Some are adding to that and saying that sanctification is also monergistic– that we are unable to freely choose to obey even after we have been given new life in Christ.’

    Couldn’t it also be said that they promote that it is actually impossible to have a works-based theology of salvation, since God preempts and manipulates everything. Why would Paul even bother to teach the salvation isn’t by works if works are neither an option or a possibility since, they say, God ordains that we are unable to co-operate with the Holy Spirit in regeneration, and, above all we have no say whatsoever in even receiving or resisting the free gift even if we wanted to.

    How is it a free gift free if it is not open to refusal rejection?

    @teddy…I’m pretty sure you must have a good idea of what I believe by now, having given gospel presentations on many occasions.

    But, again, the onus is on the prosecution to produce just cause. I don’t have to show why any group’s doctrine is right or wrong unless I am claiming error. The burden of proof is entirely yours.

  103. @Greg – have you ever done the Funky Cold Medina with the verse Matthew 27:5-8??? very cool!!!

    @XPL –

    Thankyou so much for explaining to me what Monergistic Regeneration is, I really dont know what I would do without you but perhaps you should stick to inserting the sinner in the synergistic regeneration equation – because evidently you dont know shit from shine when it comes to Monergism – for example your comment:

    “Some are adding to that and saying that sanctification is also monergistic– that we are unable to freely choose to obey even after we have been given new life in Christ.”

    Really???, this you say is a recent invention!!! have you considered, among many other sources of classic reformed theology, the ” Westminster Shorter friggin Catechism of 1649:

    “Sanctification, says the Westminster Shorter Catechism (Q.35), is “the work of God’s free grace, whereby we are renewed in the whole man after the image of God, and are enabled more and more to die unto sin, and live unto righteousness.” The concept is not of sin being totally eradicated (that is to claim too much) or merely counteracted (that is to say too little), but of a divinely wrought character change freeing us from sinful habits and forming in us Christlike affections, dispositions, and virtues.” (J.I. Packer – Concise Theology)

    Furthermore, I fully agree with Horton’s soteriology and the full content of Horton’s assertions in “Christless Christianity”….In that regard, you have Paul Dohse’s accusations of antinomianism against Horton. Again, I totally subscribe to Horton’s theological undertanding of soteriology, and I consider it to be well within the boundaries of classic reformed protestantism therefore accordingly, I must also necessarily be an Antinomian!

    HOWEVER; there is a certain potato head on this very thread that, at the same time accuses my every thought “scrambling everything into some overcooked omelette of dry legalism no matter what anyone says to me”!!!!

    The only Antonomian/Legalist I know of lives in Post-Modern Town next door to the Zoroastrian/Bhuddist/”bible believing” Christian – Greg the Explorer….

    So, perhaps you can confer with Kipling and decide which one I am – a Legalist or an Antinomian??? – in the meantime I am with RC Sproul who said “I know I am on the right track in the middle somewhere if I have as many people accusing me of being a Legalist as I do accusing me of being an Antinomian”!!!

  104. The reference to a dry omelette theology was your hearing ability, not your doctrine, where by you take whatever anyone says and mangle it up into one pan of conclusion completely removed from reality. You have a scope which diminishes everything to a single antagonistic course.

  105. @ELD-
    “How is it a free gift free if it is not open to refusal rejection?”

    I think you mean “how is a free gift free if…” or “how is it a free gift if…”

    Thats the whole point. It’s not a free gift if you cannot refuse it.

    You don’t believe in a free gift. You believe grace is irresistible and there is no possible way that you could reject it. You must also believe that your behavior is a direct result of the “imputed active obedience of Christ” and that you have no control over how you act. That would explain why you are able to continue in your arrogance and make demeaning comments like the one you just made to Greg. How does that help him learn about the deceptive nature of the emergent church and contemplative mysticism? You don’t care, because you don’t think that you can choose to be kind to people. And even if you did it ultimately wouldn’t matter because you believe that we can’t influence others by our love. Those who aren’t chosen are never even offered this “free gift” you believe in.

    “Why would Paul even bother to teach the salvation isn’t by works…”

    I think you meant “that salvation isn’t by works…”

    There is a difference between works salvation and being obedient to God because we love Him and express our faith and love through obedience to His word.

    Keep studying the Westminster Shorter Catechism with the rest of the philosophers.

  106. I have no idea what you are on about but I’ll tell you what, I dont have a problem debating reformed doctrine from the sole rule and plumbline for faith and practice in the church – the Holy Scriptures…

    Pick any subject and scripture/s – i.e. election – why not start at the big Arminian three: 1 Timothy 2:4, 2 Peter 3:9, and Matthew 23:37???

    Otherwise bye bye…I tire of you quite quickly

  107. @xpl, you took something I said at, 3.04 pm, to be a comment from ELD.

    @ELD…what I am saying to you is that you tend to take things others say and convert them into something you think they said, which you then use as a launching pad for a rebuff. It doesn’t help any discussion at all.

    For instance, I said cessationism, being error, could be construed as another gospel, if it can be demonstrated that the accompanying signs of the Spirit remain extant.

    You took this and twisted it into me saying that cessationists weren’t saved, which I never said.

    You then formed an argument around something I didn’t say, which means you were actually arguing with your own imagination.

    Not good!

  108. Kipling – you are begging the question that someone who believes “another gospel” can be saved….

    unless you can show how someone who believes another gospel can be saved by means of that “other” gospel, then I didnt twist your words at all, rather I demonstrated that you are labouring under the misapprehension that there is more than one Gospel that can save….

    If someone believes “another Gospel” it follows without exception that they are not saved…having said that, you could certainly say that cessationism is a error, even a serious error for x, y and z reason and if I replied that you are necessarily also saying that a cessationist was not saved, then I would be twisting your words…

    You really need to fall on your happy clappy char”IS”matic sword now

  109. I’ll let you make an assessment about whether a cessationist is saved, ELD. Can a person be saved and preach error?

    John McArthur is a cessationist. Is he saved? Probably. I would say definitely. Does he preach the gospel? In part. Enough for a person to be saved? Probably. Is he in error to teach a cessationist doctrine? Certainly. But not alone in this error.

    Is it another gospel to deny the complete work of the Spirit today? I say yes.

    If, when we preach the gospel, we do not preach the full gospel, are we preaching the gospel? In part, yes, but not fully.

    In Romans 15, Paul speaks of having fully preached the gospel, demonstrated by preaching in word and deed, including the presence of signs and wonders and miracles; and Hebrews 2 speaks of distributions of the Spirit accompanying the gospel preached. 1 Thessalonians says something similar:

    ‘For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance’.

    Can a person be saved and partially preach another gospel? On this basis, yes.

    Mc Arthur, I’d say, preaches enough of the gospel for a person to be saved, since the main requirement of salvation is to receive the free gift of eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ. Are signs and wonders essential to salvation? Not strictly essential, but denying them is denying the fulness of the gospel. Are they still relevant? Yes. Are they still part of the word and deed of the gospel. Yes. Does McArthur leave out part of the fulness of the gospel? Yes.

    ‘I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.’

    So, if it’s not the same gospel Paul preached, he says. let it be anathema. Here is our dilemma, then. If the gospel preached leaves out the fulness of the gospel, is it another gospel?

  110. @Greg – settle down brother Lawrence I was poking fun at that incredibly dopey practice of Lectio Divina and parody on Fighting for the Faith where the verse being mindlessly chanted was “Judas hung himself”….it is bloody funny – I wonder if anyone would choose Matthew 27:5-8 to do the Lectio Divina (have you? – if not, why not???) – its really just pagan nonsense at the end of the day (probably why that little poof Rob Bell likes it)

    @Kipling – what is the gospel?

  111. @Kipling

    What is the Gospel? set it forth for us in plain language and in terms easily understood as if you were talking to someone from Rob Bells Church who had never heard of it before….

  112. The Gospel is the good news about the great salvation purchased by Jesus Christ, by which He reconciled sinful men to a holy God – the divine legal and forensic declaration by which a Holy and Righteous God can declare a person just before him without compromising His justice

    Thats it…. not some pentecostal nebulous Galatians 1:8 augmentation “[plus] the complete work of the Spirit” – thats the Galatian heresy – dont add to it Kipling, you want people to go under the knife as well like judaizers then you will inevitably put them under the knife of God’s judgment….

    Make sure you tread very, very, very carefully with how you presume to define the Gospel of Jesus Christ

  113. @Kipling-
    “you took something I said at, 3.04 pm, to be a comment from ELD.”

    Sorry. Thanks for the correction. I thought those were both posts by ELD.

    @ELD-
    Some of Horton’s past works reveal his ecumenism (in addition to his appearence at Saddleback). He wrote a book with Catholic-sympathizer Chuck Colson.

    Here are some Horton quotes from “Power Religion”:
    “The contributors to Power Religion would be quick to note that these disciplines [sociology, psychology, and politics] are not in themselves evil or unnecessary … None of the authors suggests that those who support Christian political activism, the signs and wonders movement, the church growth movement, the therapeutic movement, or sensational or potentially authoritarian schemes, are non-Christians or enemies of the faith masquerading as disciples of Christ … [That is a large part of the problem today — the acceptance of everyone as genuine Christians, regardless of their doctrinal fruit.] In fact, none of us suggests that there is nothing to learn from these various movements. Speaking for myself, I know that my own Christian faith and life would be the poorer without interaction with some of my close friends who are charismatic, for instance. Likewise, I have admired the zeal of some church growth leaders … miracles, philosophy, corporate and psychological insights, and political positions may well be part of the life of any Christian, [although] they are weak substitutes for the gospel” (Jacket & pp. 14-15, 333.)

    In “In The Face of God” Horton makes a case for baptismal regeneration:
    Note the following quotes:
    (a) It is one thing for an evangelical to believe that the Word is a means of grace. It is quite another to add that the sacraments are a further means of grace. Even the word “sacrament” sounds “Catholic” to many evangelical ears. In fact, it is a biblical concept. … (p. 139).

    (b) The sacraments serve the same purpose as the Word itself, not only offering or exhibiting God’s promise, but actually conferring His saving grace by linking us, through faith, to Christ and His benefits (p. 141).

    (c) The Roman Church undermined the importance of God’s ordained sacraments by adding sacraments of their own. The Anabaptist enthusiasts undermined them by reducing the efficacy of the two sacraments [Baptism and the Lord’s Supper] Christ instituted (p. 142).

    (d) Furthermore, a sacrament not only reveals; it confers. Through Word and sacrament, God actually gives that which he promises in his gospel — forgiveness of sins, freedom from the tyranny of sin and eternal life. The sacraments not only testify to or signify divine activity in salvation, but are part of that divine redemptive activity (p. 219).

    (e) Nothing other than the Word, baptism, and the Lord’s Supper are given this place by God as a means of grace (p. 219).

    http://www.rapidnet.com/~jbeard/bdm/exposes/Horton/general.htm

  114. @Greg-
    The “Spiritual Formation” movement is fairly new to Protestants compared to the mystical streams in Catholicism that have been present for centuries. Richard Foster contributed to bringing these ancient practices to mainstream evangelicalism through his book “Celebration of Discipline”. The Desert Fathers experimented with prayer and added to the Bible. They embraced Eastern Religion and saw it as compatible with Christianity.

    Centering prayer is not biblical, and neither is the “silence”. Jesus told us to avoid vain repetition.
    Willow Creek, Saddleback, the Emergent Church, and institutes such as Renovare are making these disciplines popular and appealing to those who would embrace a more mystical approach.

    Rediscovering Spiritual Formation at Willow Creek:
    http://www.willowcreek.com/news/story.asp?id=WN02I42007
    Renovare:

    The Transforming Center:

    You would be surprised to find out how influential Ruth Haley Barton is.
    The way some of these spiritual ‘directors’ teach journaling is really occultic channeling through a medium– the same as Teresa of Avila of Spain in the 16th century.

  115. @ELD… ‘the complete work of the Spirit” – thats the Galatian heresy’

    How so? Where have I added anything? Again you change what I say into what you think I say!

    The Galatian heresy involved Judaisers attempting to return the Galatians to the law of Moses by removing the Spirit and faith from the gospel.

    Galatians 3
    1* ¶ O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified?
    2* This only I want to learn from you: Did you RECEIVE THE SPIRIT by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
    3* Are you so foolish? HAVING BEGUN IN THE SPIRIT, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?
    4* Have you suffered so many things in vain–if indeed it was in vain?
    5* Therefore HE WHO SUPPLIES THE SPIRIT TO YOU AND WORKS MIRACLES AMONGST YOU, does He do it by the works of the law, or BY THE HEARING OF FAITH? —
    6* JUST AS Abraham “believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.”
    7* Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham.
    8* And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, “In you all the nations shall be blessed.”
    9* So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham.
    10* For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.”
    11* But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for “the just shall live by faith.”
    12* Yet the law is not of faith, but “the man who does them shall live by them.”
    13* Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”),
    14* that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might RECEIVE THE PROMISE OF THE SPIRIT through faith.

    Where the Spirit is removed the gospel is compromised and becomes another gospel.

    Where faith is removed the gospel is compromised and becomes another gospel.

  116. “The Galatian heresy involved Judaisers attempting to return the Galatians to the law of Moses by removing the Spirit and faith from the gospel.”

    No Kipling, that is a bunch of unintelligble meaningless crap that you made up, not the Galatian Heresy….your writing in tongues again….

    The Galatian Heresy was in fact that the Judaizers were wrongly teaching that circumcision and keeping the law were necessary for salvation in ADDITION to faith in Christ – they were saying that the new converts had to go under the knife and become “Jews” as well as observence of the law (i.e. they were trying to “JUDAIZE” them – make them like “Jews” – i dont know how much more clearer I can make that point)

  117. @Kipling BTW I love it how you cited the parts of the text in Galatians in all-caps as if that somehow helps your cause – talk about putting the emphASIS on the WRONG syllABLE

    I could do the same Kipling, for example, by saying that the Galatian Heresy was about them practicing pagan witchcraft

    Galatians 3
    1* ¶ O foolish Galatians! WHO HAS BEWITCHED YOU that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified?

    SEE!!!! THE TEXT CLEARLY SAYS THEY WERE PRACTICING WITCHCRAFT

    As you can see Kipling, doing what you are doing (classic pentecostal/seeker sensistive eisegesis) we can read anything into the text…

    I seriously cant beleve that you, as a pastor, dont even understand the basic plot of Galatians and what the Galatian heresy is – I really have to shake my head

  118. @ELD…The emphasis was to help you understand what you clearly don’t, that we don’t live under the law or by the flesh anymore, but by the Spirit and by faith.

    Your ‘witchcraft’ emphasis was the most telling thing I’ve seen for a long time. It showed you for who you really are – someone who spouts theology, but doesn’t know the gospel.

    You must know that I’m not actually as dumb as you make out, and can discern scripture, and see through fakery.

    You know very well the passage is not about witchcraft, but the Judaisers’ attempt to replace the Spirit and faith, by which we are saved, with the law and flesh. In reintroducing the law, they had to restore the flesh, and thus deny the Spirit and faith.

    If you can’t see this, you truly do not know the gospel.

    I so doing, they attempted to take Christianity backwards into the very problems of the law and flesh which caused men’s lives to be forfeit through sin.

    Emphasising the work of the Spirit and the need of faith for you should have shown you the key to my argument – that cessationists preach another gospel by leaving out the Spirit and his work, in attempting to take us into a gospel which is devoid of the miraculous, by onerously declaring that the gifts, signs, prophecy, miracles and healing have ended, and we only need the letter, not the Spirit, for if we deny the gifts and works of the Spirit, we deny the deity, power and eternal consistency of the Spirit.

    What you have done, again, is introduce a detour for the thrust of the argument, but criticising my accurate use of emphases, and making that the subject. You did this because you cannot, in all honesty, deny what Paul is saying to the Galatians, and to us, in regard to the false gospel the Judaisers were introducing, that of a return to the law, he flesh and dead works.

    You greatly surprise me, ELD. I thought you had a better handle on the gospel than this, I really did.

    The sooner you stop bluffing and come clean about what the Galatian problem was, the sooner you will see the truth of the work of the Spirit today.

  119. I dont believe the Galatian Heresy was about “Witchcraft” you dumbass – I was using that as a example of your eisegetical modus operandi – read both of my comments carefully you snapperhead.

  120. I know you don’t, my rude friend. I was discussing your fumbling means of attacking sound doctrine.

    I know when you’re struggling to cope with sound exegesis. You become more bad mannered than usual as in the last couple of comments.

    The passage I gave undoubtedly outlines WHY the Galatians were bewitched, and Paul leaves us in no doubt that they were being enticed into the law and flesh, and away form the Spirit and faith.

    Why not just read it in context with the whole epistle.

    You really are wriggling around with this one, ELD.

  121. @ELD

    I even told you, just so you could not miss what I was saying, that you don’t believe it’s witchcraft…

    ‘You know very well the passage is not about witchcraft, but the Judaisers’ attempt to replace the Spirit and faith, by which we are saved, with the law and flesh. In reintroducing the law, they had to restore the flesh, and thus deny the Spirit and faith.’

    The Judaisers were wanting believers to add Mosaic law to Christ, and circumcise the men.

    To add Mosaic Law you must remove the Spirit, because we’re not saved by the law, but through the Spirit, by faith.

    The only circumcision which counts is that of the heart, the new birth, the new creation. The circumcision pertains to law. The circumcision of the heart pertains to the Spirit.

    That is entirely the thrust of Paul’s argument.

    You really surprise me when you deny this.

  122. I think someone circumcised your frontal lobes, – Ill go back a few steps and repeat my previous comment which you have not addressed – you said the following – “The Galatian heresy involved Judaisers attempting to return the Galatians to the law of Moses by removing the Spirit and faith from the gospel.”

    – RESPONSE – No Kipling, that is a bunch of unintelligble meaningless pentecostal crap that you made up, not the Galatian Heresy….your writing in tongues again….

    The Galatian Heresy was in fact that the Judaizers were wrongly teaching that circumcision and keeping the law were necessary for salvation in ADDITION to faith in Christ – they were saying that the new converts had to go under the knife and become “Jews” as well as observence of the law (i.e. they were trying to “JUDAIZE” them – make them like “Jews” – i dont know how much more clearer I can make that point)

  123. Then we’ve agreed all along what the controversy was, and I knew you must know this, but you deliberately or blindly ignored that part of the actual gospel which involves the Spirit and faith.

    You can’t be saved without the Spirit and faith.

    Paul makes this absolutely clear in the passage I quoted, including the emphases I gave you. I added nothing, cessationists subtract the fact of the Spirit.

    Again, for you…

    Galatians 3
    1* ¶ O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified?
    2* This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
    3* Are you so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?
    4* Have you suffered so many things in vain–if indeed it was in vain?
    5* Therefore he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles amongst you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? –
    6* Just as Abraham “believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.”
    7* Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham.
    8* And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, “In you all the nations shall be blessed.”
    9* So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham.
    10* For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.”
    11* But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for “the just shall live by faith.”
    12* Yet the law is not of faith, but “the man who does them shall live by them.”
    13* Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”),
    14* that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

    I removed the emphases this time, but the point is clearly made that we received the Spirit by faith, and this is an essential part of the gospel.

    When you were saved, you received the Spirit. How? Through faith – because you believed. Not by works, but by grace, through faith.

    Look at verse 5. What does it say?

    ‘He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles amongst you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?’

    Can you deny this as part of the gospel? It is as clear as day here where Paul outlines the gospel to the Galatians.

    Cessationists say this is no longer relevant. Therefore they preach another gospel.

  124. No we havent agreed at all….your summation on the Galatian Heresy was a load of pentecostal scubalon….

    The rest of your comment is too dumb to comment on

  125. Right then.

    The Galatians were adopting jewish legalism as a result of those following after Paul who tried to make the gentiles in the Galatian church “jewish” believers in Christ.

    They were trying to add the law of Moses to that of Christ Jesus.

    Paul had to fight very hard for Gentile freedom. But we see a return of Old Testament stuff into churches after the first leaders died …

    Altars, vestments, incense, Tithing, and so on. All Old Covenant stuff that we don’t need.

    Worse than that, creating a seperate priesthood is a basic denial of our equality in Jesus. There is a danger that modern day elders and deacons are going the same way as the established churches and creating a two-tier christianity in the free churches too.

    “The righteous shall live by keeping faith” says Paul.

    By being faithful. No mention of the Holy Spirit. No mention of irresistable grace either.

    It is simply your faith that keeps you alive in Christ. No tithing, no altars, no kosher food laws, no circumcision.

    That is the greatest miracle after all … that sinners can come to repentence and be reborn.

    Shalom
    Shalom

  126. Of course we need the Holy Spirit … however we come to repentence before receiving the Holy Spirit.

    Living a different life then becomes possible but until then, all we have is God pressing on our consciences.

    So, why is there this long rambling argument?

    Why not just meet up, have a fight, then go out and have a beer?

    Shalom

  127. I don’t drink, Bull!

    This is a very interesting conversation, because I have made it clear all along that the problem Paul had with the Galatians involved Judaisers entering in and wanting to add Moses to Christ, including circumcision. That is entirely the heresy.

    I have no clue why ELD won’t accept this, because he is saying the same thing, basically.

    But, Bull, I challenge you to revisit the verses I gave from chapter 3, 1-14, which has multiple references to the Spirit, and to faith. How can you justify saying that the Spirit of Christ is not involved in salvation?

    I find it intriguing that you and ELD are ether missing this vital point, or side-stepping a crucial truth.

  128. “Why not just meet up, have a fight, then go out and have a beer?”

    If I were in Oz, I would get you guys together, supply the beer (or champagne for Teddy) make sure there weren’t any physical fights, and have a long friendly debate.

    Who knows, you might all have more in common than you think.

  129. No Kipling – this was the crap you tried to pull on about the Galatian Heresy:

    “The Galatian heresy involved Judaisers attempting to return the Galatians to the law of Moses by removing the Spirit and faith from the gospel.”

    THAT IS NOT THE GALATIAN HERESY – nuff said

    “But, Bull, I challenge you to revisit the verses I gave from chapter 3, 1-14, which has multiple references to the Spirit, and to faith. How can you justify saying that the Spirit of Christ is not involved in salvation?”

    SO what!!!! you are just trying to justify your original nonsensical statement above, NOBODY is saying the Holy Spirit is not involved in salvation – that is a strawman.

    I not only believe that the work of the Holy Spirit is present IN SALVATION but also that the work of the Holy Spirit PRECEDES our believing AND is also present post our justification in the process of sanctification….

    Therefore I believe that there is a greater amount of the work of the Holy Spirit in Salvation than even you do as an Arminian you dunderclump! why do you think we call your poor theology of decisional regeneration “a man centred gospel” – because it relies on man’s decision and mans so-called libertarian free will and sovereignty!

    You dont know what you are talking about Kipling

  130. @ELD…’I not only believe that the work of the Holy Spirit is present IN SALVATION but also that the work of the Holy Spirit PRECEDES our believing AND is also present post our justification in the process of sanctification….’

    Absolutely, which is what Bull missed.

    However, what I was pointing out was this: if you reintroduce law and flesh, it must be at the expense of the Spirit and faith. That is what Paul is explaining in this passage.

    Galatians 3:2-3
    ‘This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are you so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?’

    Paul explains that ‘when faith has come’ we no longer need the Law (vs.25).

    We received the Spirit by the hearing of faith.

    Paul adds that ‘he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles amongst you’, does so ‘by the hearing of faith’.

    Therefore, form this, we know that the Spirit and works of the Spirit accompany the preaching of the gospel.

    Paul confirms this in Romans 15:18-19, ‘I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ has not accomplished through me, in word and deed, to make the Gentiles obedient–in mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God, so that from Jerusalem and round about to Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ’.

    And, ‘our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance, as you know what kind of men we were among you for your sake’ (1 Thes.1:5).

    How, then, can a cessationist be correct about the gospel, when the same Holy Spirit is at work in the gospel today?

    Your attack on what you call ‘decisional salvation’ is merely Reformed and a completely different aspect of this whole debate, but it explains, in part, why you’re unable to agree.

  131. “your writing in tongues again….”

    Actually, some of the people at Azusa Street believed they actually could write in tongues from what I have read ….

    And some were very disappointed when they travelled to Asia and their “tongues” were not actually Chinese etc.

    Just a bit of trivia. But “writing in tongues” was a good one.

    ELD, you remind me of Black Adder!

  132. “Therefore, form this, we know that the Spirit and works of the Spirit accompany the preaching of the gospel.”

    No – from this record in the epistle we know that the “miraculous” outward manifestations of the Holy Spirit “MAY” accompany the preaching of the Gospel. Paul was posing a rhetorical question to the “GALATIANS” based on “The GALATIANS” experience. Paul was not writing to the C3-ians.

    According to the Biblical record, are miracles confined to the preaching of the Gospel? No

    According to the Biblical record, are miracles confined to Human Agency alone? No

    Do miracles appear throughout the course of redemptive history (OT/NT) Yes

    Were miracles more prevalent at certain stages of redemptive history (OT/NT) Yes

    Are miracles required to be confined to outward visible manifestations? No

    LOGIC TIME:

    According to the Biblical record, do parts of the Bible contain violence? Yes

    Does this mean the whole Bible is nothing but a book of violence? No – That would be the fallacy of composition (or even hasty generalisation) – or assuming that which is true of a part must therefore be true of the whole

    Outward manifestations of the Holy Spirit were experienced by “the Galatians” – does that entitle me to therefore dogmatically assert – outward manifestations of the Holy Spirit accompany ALL BELIEVERS in all occasions without exception – No

    or

    Outward manifestations of the Holy Spirit always accompany the proclamation of the Gospel – no (your own expereince proves this notwithstanding your delusional claims to the contrary)

    In the providence of the Triune God, miracles may indeed accompany the gospel – even today!!, in that same providence, a miracle may also accompany the Big Mac, fries & coke in the paper bag of a drive-thru customer if the same God so pleases….

  133. Ah, so now we have ‘rhetorical’ Pauline doctrine, and actual, or literal, Pauline doctrine. Would you care to let us know how we detect this?

    And why should we have ‘rhetorical’ miracles performed by the Holy Spirit in the course of preaching the gospel? Have you read the account of the evangelist Phillip as he preached?

    And we have things which ‘may’ occur when the text says they actually occur. Could you give scripture to confirm the ADDITION of ‘may’ where ‘may’ doesn’t occur in the text?

    I can’t see why you clam to not be a cessationist when you spend so much time arguing for cessationism. Why can’t you just own up to it?

    These typical wriggly arguments reflect the need of Reformed theology to bend the truth.

    I showed you perfectly sound scripture from three separate accounts which confirm what am saying to you, and you make them all ‘rhetorical’. I could actually show more of these apparent ‘rhetorical’ references to the work of the Spirit in the gospel, but I reckoned that three witnesses should be enough for you to chew on.

    And you constantly insult me along with your poor exegesis. I’m sorry, ELD, you’ve sided with cessationists often enough now to convince me you are one.

    Of course miracles are the providence of the Almighty. That’s the point. Explain to us ow prayer comes into the providence of God.

    The thing is you are convinced his providence is particular and preordained, whereas scripture makes it clear he is no preferer of persons, and faith is involved in his interaction with his creation.

    You really won’t look at scripture for what it says, will you?

    Rhetorical miracles! Lord help us!

    I think we’re done.

  134. For goodness sake, ELD! I can’t let you get away with this, actually.

    What is rhetorical about Romans 15:18-19, or 1 Thessalonians 5, which I produced to confirm Galatians 3:2-3?

    Paul talks about the fully preaching the gospel including the word and the deeds of the Spirit. What is it you can’t see here?

    ‘I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ has not accomplished through me, in word and deed, to make the Gentiles obedient–in mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God, so that from Jerusalem and round about to Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ’.

    What is it that stands out to you in the following?

    ‘our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance, as you know what kind of men we were among you for your sake’ (1 Thes.1:5).

    Paul’s gospel did not come in Word only. But in what, ELD? What accompanied the Word, ELD?

    And the warning in Hebrews:

    ‘How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him, God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will?’

    And the move of God as they entered missional ministry:

    ‘Therefore they stayed there a long time, speaking boldly in the Lord, who was bearing witness to the word of His grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands.’

    And the answer to prayer when under persecution:

    ‘“Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word, by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus.” And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.’

    Are these all explained away as rhetorical?

  135. 1. Ok, fine – its not rhetorical! whatever! whether its rhetorical or not is quite inconsequential!!!;

    2. I insult you because you are a complete tool. If I was to apply your trademark logical fallacy of composition/hasty generalisation to the equation, then from that I would be forced to conclude that all pentecostals are also tools;

    3. “Could you give scripture to confirm the ADDITION of ‘may’ where ‘may’ doesn’t occur in the text?”

    – No because the phrase “look back and read carefully what I said, you goose” doesnt appear in the text either, however if you took that advice you might better understand the point I was making;

    4. “whereas scripture makes it clear he is no preferer of persons” – yes, and He is also no twister of scripture;

    5. “I’m sorry, ELD, you’ve sided with cessationists often enough now to convince me you are one.” – Fine my Amway-driven friend, I would rather be numbered among them then yoked up with the heretics your organisation promotes;

    Kipling – You have not proven your thesis at all that:

    1. extenal, visible, perceptible interruptions of the laws of nature – “miracles” are normative occurances that accompany the proclamation of the Gospel each an every time the Gospel is preached; or

    2. Such “miracles” are integral and necessary part or constituent element of the “Gospel of Jesus Christ” which Chrisitians are commanded proclaim (of which I have properly defined for you on this thread and you have not challenged) and that without which, the Gospel has not been properly (or even “fully”) proclaimed.

    As a result, your previous thesis that cessationists preach “another gospel” on account of the matters laid out above in paras. 1&2 is also not made out either and destined to be abandoned as another significant gap in your already aberrant understanding of theology.

    What is quite humorous – with regard to what I said above in paras. 1&2 – you even admitted previously that “miracles” did not accompany the proclamation of the Gospel when it was proclaimed to you nor did they accompany your subsequent conversion – and yet you were saved??. Accordingly, by your own reasoning, the gospel you recieved was “another gospel” 🙂 (that one manifested the gift of holy laughter in me)

    All you have proven over again is that you cannot properly handle the text of scripture.

    Yep – we are done…Im glad we did this

  136. ELD, there you go again, saying things I didn’t say to prove your own argument. No need to comment or respond to things I have not said, but, to clarify…

    I have never said or implied that miracles were an accompanying imperative to salvation.

    However there are times when signs and miracles will accompany the preaching of the gospel, and this has never ended, thereby refuting cessationist theology which completely excludes the possibility of the miraculous today.

    I have said that cessationism is error, and therefore could be said to be another gospel.

    •••••••••••••••••••

    But, now, your use of interesting reformist methodology intrigues me, because you so easily add qualifiers like ‘rhetorical’ and ‘may’ to outstanding scripture, apparently to confirm a theological stance, rather than establish it through the actual text, which some would consider eisegesis.

    I’ve seen a similar use of qualifying parentheses in the New Word translation which they add to falsely confirm Watchtower doctrine.

    So your version – the ELD New World Reformist Bible might say things like:

    ‘Therefore [RHETORICALLY] He who [MAY] supply the Spirit to you and [MAY] work miracles among you, [MAY] He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?’

    ‘For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD [MAY] be saved.”’

    “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but [MAY] have everlasting life.”

  137. “However there are times when signs and miracles will accompany the preaching of the gospel…….”

    – Sorry what was that???? – “THERE ARE TIMES WHEN SIGNS & MIRACLES WILL ACCOMPANY…..”

    – So you mean that Signs and & miracles “MAY” accompany and NOT “SHALL” accompany the preaching of the gospel…..right?

    – So therefore you also admit that extenal, visible, perceptible interruptions of the laws of nature –“miracles” are NOT NECESSARILY normative occurances that accompany the proclamation of the Gospel each an every time the Gospel is preached; AND

    Because such “miracles” DO NOT ALWAYS NECESSARILY accompany the proclamation of the Gospel each an every time the Gospel is preached you also admit that they are therefore NOT integral and a necessary part or constituent element of the “Gospel of Jesus Christ” which Chrisitians are commanded proclaim (of which I have properly defined for you on this thread and you have not challenged) and that without which, the Gospel has not been properly (or even “fully”) proclaimed – rather they are something quite separate; AND

    As a result, your previous thesis that cessationists preach “another gospel” on account of the matters laid out above has also not been made out has it??….

    If I were you I wouldn’t get too hung up on Watchtower doctrine when yours is not much better….

  138. You’re arguing with yourself again, ELD.

    I have never, at any time said anything about imperative miracle accompaniment at salvation. You added that imperative, and argued it, and continue to argue it, and that is why I have been saying that you are arguing in a bogus way.

    There is a world of difference between saying that signs never, ever, in the cessationist-contrived ‘post-apostlic’ era, accompany the preaching of the gospel and saying that signs do follow the preaching of the gospel.

    Whether or not they always follow is surely dependent on the situation.

    For instance, the scripture says that those who believe will lay hands on the sick and the sick will (not may) recover. That is said to be an accompanying sign. If a person were not sick they would not need the healing.

    Adding a proviso ‘may’ is erroneous to the fact. ‘May’ implies election, or a selective process, whereas the gospel is open to all who will believe.

    “To whom He was not announced, they shall see; And those who have not heard shall understand.”

    What you are arguing for is a world away from what I am saying.

    Cessationists deny the work of the Spirit in the current age. That is error. Therefore it compromises the gospel.

    On all else we hold a complimentary position.

  139. @ELD-

    Why don’t you sign up for a “Sovereign Cruise”??? You can listen to special live tapings of the White Horse Inn broadcast and talk about the Reformed faith all day and night while at sea. You would have a great time discussing Covenant Theology, Systematic Theology, and Amillennialism with friends! You could be an integral part of Michael Horton’s five year project to develop 95 theses for a Modern Reformation!!!

    Register now and you can be a part of it!!! Maybe you were predestined to conform to the likeness of Michael Horton!!!

    http://sovereigncruises.org/whi/index.htm

  140. @XPL – hows about you find out what the reformed concept of “a means of grace” is before you start erroniously conflating it with baptismal regeneration – yes you will notice I didnt answer your comment before because you really are just too ignorant about the matters you are trying to refute to argue with.

    @Kipling – yes, thankyou, in other words you admit signs “may” accompany the preaching of the gospel – other than that, save to say that you have clearly erroniously conflated external phenomenon “miracles” with the substance of the Gospel of Salvation, I simply repeat what I have laid out in my last comment – consider yourself refuted

  141. No, again, ELD. You have not refuted what I have said, only what you said I said!!!

    Cessationists, by definition, say that all miracles, signs, gifts, manifestations and graces of the Holy Spirit ended at some undefined apostolic age.

    Paul says that fully preaching the gospel includes the distributions of the Spirit, as he wills, the availability of miracles, signs, wonders, manifestations and gifts, as outlined in scripture, still available to us today as an integral part of preaching the gospel.

    If, as cessationists do, it is said that this aspect of the gospel is now null and void, then the gospel is clearly compromised, the Holy Spirit is no longer healing, delivering or working miracles amongst us.

    You know that if we in any way add to the gospel we are in error. Adding a requirement such as the law or circumcision would be a violation of the gospel.

    Similarly, if we remove any aspect of the gospel we are compromising the fulness of the gospel.

    You have come half way to admit that the Holy Spirit ‘may’ heal people, or perform miracles, signs and wonders amongst the people. Whether you say ‘may’ is a selective, elective or random act of God, we’ll leave aside. The truth is you accept that God will heal where he wills.

    Therefore you agree that signs ‘may’ accompany the word preached. In which case you refute cessationist theology, which would not, could not, accept any ‘sign’, beit basic healing or a major miracle, as from God. They, by definition, eliminate the possibility.

    If you remove any aspect of the gospel you are in error, and must, to maintain your position, preach another gospel, because you would have to explain why God will not heal, deliver or raise a person, and to do this you must compromise truth.

    I put it to you that God is neither wasteful nor flippant about the gospel, the tools of the gospel, or the power of the gospel. If he has given us a tool to use as part of the gospel armoury, beit word or deed, as Paul tells us, then we have no right to compromise what he gives.

    The ony thing you have refuted, if lightly, is cessationist doctrine.

  142. Furthermore, how, if the Spirit ‘may, heal, deliver or preform miracles, would you be able to predetermine, when preaching the gospel, whether, or when, the Holy Spirit ‘may’ accompany the preaching with signs?

    How could you know, if it is as he wills?

    Therefore, why would you eliminate the possibility by leaving out any essential information regarding the possibility?

    Worse, why would anyone deliberately deny the possibility through cessationist teaching?

  143. @ELD-

    Hurry!

    It’s the last week for a special “kick off” rate for the January 2012 WHI cruise!!!

  144. @Kipling
    “Cessationists, by definition, say that all miracles, signs, gifts, manifestations and graces of the Holy Spirit ended at some undefined apostolic age.”

    Ahhh…there you go with that very ignorant fallacy of compostion again!! – Kipling I am convinced you are ignorant of almost any theologcal concept that doesnt come out of a John Bevere Book!!!!

    Im sure there are Cessationists who affirm what you said there, but among the litany of beliefs in cessationism there are ALSO cessationist who, inter alia, affirm the extraordinary works of the Spirit WITHIN the framework of Cessationist theology – for example some hold that modern Spiritual Gifts are analogous (but not identical) to Apostolic Gifts – for goodness sake, there are Charsmatics who are of the same belief!!! (i.e. the legendary Wayne Grudem, CJ Mayhaney ect)

    You are ignorant on this issue and on the verge of biggotry like your friend XPL who holds irrational dissenting views about things he disagrees with that are not founded in reality or fact.

    Kipling reformed people have the peace and blessing of knowing that we can disagree about the nature or even the very existence of modern supernatural “Charismatic” phenomena with our charasmatic bretheren for the very reason that a view either way does not compromise the GOSPEL like the heresy of nestorianism, or sabellianism (oneness pente’s) or any anti-trinitarian cult.

    To conflate charasmatic gifts with the message of the Gospel of salvation of Grace Alone through Faith Alone in Christ Alone is erronious and is indicative not only that you do not properly understand the Gospel but that you may have some idolatrous tendency toward signs and wonders…who knows!

  145. Sorry I keep doing the old CharAsmatic – its supposed to be CharISmatic…..

  146. Nah, ELD, for some unbeknownst reason you are trying your hardest to make my thinking unorthodox enough to be error. It’s really very unfriendly, unbrotherly and totally untrue. I’ve given you, teddy and specks enough information for you know that I am as evangelical as s required to be doctrinally sound.

    I don’t have an issue with your reformed thinking, apart from your delight in putting down other views, despite your claims to an open and relaxed attitude towards charismatics. I disagree on some key issues with reformed thinking, but not on our need of repentance and of Christ.

    Why you salivate at the prospect of a slam-dunk put-down is beyond me. I think I would otherwise enjoy discovering your actual reasoning in regard to reformed theology, which I find hard to come to terms with in some ways, but, nevertheless, interesting.

    I have a great many friends i ministry who are either full on, or, at least, closer to reformed ideal, including C3 & Pentecostal Calvinists, and we seem to get on rather well, so I’m quite flummoxed by the treatment dished out here by reformed adherents at times.

    For the last couple of days we have said more or less the same things, as I’ve pointed out, but you have made a full-on battleground out of it. Where we disagree, on this, is on the importance of the word and work of the Spirit in gospel ministry.

    Fine.

    You say that cessationists, whether hard-line or nominal, are not preaching another gospel. I think they could be, but agree it is subject to conjecture.

    Calling me stupid names and accusing me of ignorance, heresy, bigotry, and poor doctrine because I put up a reasonable defence of my position, in all faith, is really condescending, and, frankly, ignorant in its own arrogance.

    My main beef is with those cessationists who attack charismatics for believing God heals, delivers and performs the miraculous today. They do so to extent of claiming that Jesus’ words, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name…’, etc, are targeting them specifically. The degree of ignorance and negative bias towards charismatics is troubling.

    I encourage you to enjoy the reformed ideals you have, but also to exercise far more relationship-building and earnest understanding of those of us who do not hold to Calvinism’s more confronting doctrines, and, in tune with the discussion, refuse to allow themselves to deny that the word and works of the Holy Spirit have in any way ended.

  147. By the way, defending the position that the Holy Spirit is the same today as he was in the Book of Acts is in no way idolisation of signs and wonders. That is a crude accusation not worthy of a person of your obvious intelligence.

  148. beg to differ there … I didn’t miss it. I merely didn’t mention it.

    The whole Peter Package includes:
    1) Repentance towards The Father.
    2) Belief in The Son.
    3) Baptism (full immersion) in water.
    4) Receiving The Holy Spirit.

    not necessarily in that order …

    Peter ddn’t know if he should baptise gentiles until he encountered one that had already been filled with The Holy Spirit!

    I don’t believe in Baptismal Regeneration, but I do have a very high view of Baptism, even so.

    Shalom

  149. I have one reason why a church grows… because the pastors misreport church attendence as written in my blog. Numbers are not everything.

  150. I’m sorry you have to be so cynical, Edwin.

    The reason the Church grows is because Jesus is building it and the Gates of Hades will not prevail against it. It’s God who determines who’s in and who’s not. Shepherds do need to know the state of their flocks.

    If you ever do some decent research on demographics you’ll learn far more than looking for ways to be critical.

    But numbers are important to God, especially the next one to come in, the one that is lost from amongst the crowd that needs to be retrieved.

    Luke 15
    4* “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it?
    5* “And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing.
    6* “And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’
    7* “I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance.
    8* “Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it?
    9* “And when she has found it, she calls her friends and neighbors together, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the piece which I lost!’
    10* “Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

    All heaven rejoices over one!

  151. See to me that passage gives a message that numbers (in themselves) are not important to God. There is more rejoicing over the individual, more importance placed on the individual – than the numbers in the group.

    Its interesting that the same passage can mean quite opposite things depending on your point of view.

  152. Which is part of my point. One is a number. Without one you have none. Add one and you have increase. It is God who gives the increase.

    Being negative about numbers is not more praiseworthy than being positive.

    Demographics are important to mission.

    Counting the cost before you commence is crucial to finishing a building.

    Numbers happen throughout scripture.

    Gideon had to narrow his warriors to 300.

    Israel had twelve tribes.

    Jesus chose twelve. When Judas died, they added another to remain twelve.

    There were 120 in the Upper Room at Pentecost. I guess someone counted!

    The list of numbers in scripture is prodigious.

    Don’t say for one second that numbers are unimportant to God.

  153. Numbers are okay. Probably lots of people count. We probably can’t help it.

    But, numbers can be deceiving. Obviously Jesus could have had more numbers at different times if He did things differently.

    In the NT we read about multitudes, and we read about 5000, but on the other hand Paul could say that all Asia had turned against him. And he didn’t go read some books or get advice about how to bring the numbers up again.

    Two points to remember about numbers. First, there is a lot of double counting. Some workers are told to attend more than one service, and if you include bible college students which can be hundreds, the figures for the thousands who attend can be inflated.

    Second, a man who has seen his church grow several times larger can probably teach others how he did it. And Pastors who want to do the same thing will obviously look to him in the same way MLM people listen to people who have made it better than them. But, that doesn’t mean he is Godly, or qualified to be looked up to as a spiritual authority.

    (He may be all of those things – but not necessarily so).

  154. Bull, as you would know, King David numbered the people for war, but was not instructed by God to do so. That is quite a different application to a shepherd making sure all of his flock is securely entering in and out of the fold.

    We’ve covered this before, so it’s not the first time this passage has been suggested out of context.

    Edwin used his sceptical understanding of numbering congregations to say it was a pointless exercise based on greed. He may be correct in a few cases, which, if he has evidence, he should produce in basic form so we can all see why he claims this. Suggesting this is evidence that all instances of knowing weekly attendance figures is wrong is baseless.

    And it doesn’t make knowing the attendance figures a bad thing, or pointless, or ungodly.

    @churchman…

    Glass half empty version:
    ‘a man who has seen his church grow several times larger can probably teach others how he did it. And Pastors who want to do the same thing will obviously look to him in the same way MLM people listen to people who have made it better than them. But, that doesn’t mean he is Godly, or qualified to be looked up to as a spiritual authority.’

    Glass half full version:
    a man who has seen his church grow several times larger can probably teach others how he did it. And Pastors who want to do the same thing will obviously look to him in the same way trainees listen to skilled tradesmen. But, that doesn’t mean he is ungodly, or not qualified to be looked up to as a spiritual authority.

  155. FL, you are reading more into my comment than I said.

    The problem with David wasn’t what he did, but why he did it.

  156. So your argument is “1 is a number, therefore numbers are important to God”.

    Semantics…, zero is a number but is that important to God too? Are zero people as important to God as one or more?

    And sure you have to count people sometimes, you have to know how many there are if you are going to war etc. etc. How is that relevent?

    I said numbers IN THEMSELVES are not important.

  157. Ok … what is a number?

    Solve A=(4i + 4)(i – 1) where i is an imaginary number.

    Well, it’s not a figment on my imagination but i is in fact the square root of -1.

    I know. High-ish level mathematics is completely irrelevant to the topic … sorry. 🙂

    Just showing off … the pointlessness of my university education … but going to Uni introduced me to God.

    So it wasn’t pointless after all!

    What were we talking about?

    Shalom

  158. Regarding the glass half empty/full thing.

    The glass is always full with God. However we very often fail to see the glass!

    Unfortunately the reasons for this are down to ourselves in some cases, or even worse down to leaders we trust who have gone wrong.

    One point to note FL: you’ve done a fantastic job of avoiding the C3-esque jargon … but do your best to keep it that way 😉

    Words like “increase” in the way it gets used sets my teeth on edge!

    I find it useful when you keep it to normal english and so on. Gives me achance to keep up, since I don’t have a pente background at all.

    🙂

  159. What would you call ‘C3-esque’ jargon, Bull? I wouldn’t know what that was. I haven’t tried to write any differently to how we speak generally. I have spoken to far more articulate C3 ministers who are jargon free and very well read and educated. I see a popular misconception, here, about both Pentecost and C3. That is very sad.

  160. re half glass. I thought my post conveyed that there is no doubt value in listening to a man who has pioneered a mega church if that’s what you want to do. And that the megachurch Pastor may or msy not be a Godly man.

    My concern is that in the church today we assume that he is and bestow leadership status on him.

    I think we need to be careful. And there are mega church pastors who express the same thing, so it’s not really such a negative statement.

    Kipling, I’m surprised you still don’t realize the familiarity many of us have with Pente/charis etc.

    I was in it before it was cool…. When they still sang This is the Day, Clark Tayler was the big thing, and suggesting Frank Houston had problems would have been unthinkable.
    i was in it when a guest speaker would often be someone with charts showing that the EC currency meant we had 5 years- 10 years at most etc etc.

    So most of us have been there heard that.

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