I CHARGE thee therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ,
who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing
and his kingdom. Preach the word....But watch thou in all
things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist,
make full proof of thy ministry. (kjv)
6/28/2010 Update: The pastor that preached
only 5% of his sermon on the Bible three weeks ago, preached
about 40% from the Bible yesterday.
Stats: He preached 30 minutes. The first 9-10 minutes, didn't
mention anything from the Bible whatsoever. The next 10
minutes a little over half, next 10 minutes about the same.
simply need to get back to preaching the truth and planting
the seed. If we're faithful in that, the soil God has prepared
will bear fruit." (pages 85,86)
... You don't see him counseling Timothy or Titus to bone
up on secular culture, learn to quote the classics or study
philosophy... He simply commanded them to preach the Word,
in season and out of season -- and to be prepared to face
the world's hostility if they were faithful in that task."
Page 150 Ashamed of the Gospel
July 4th Sunday the pastor preached roughly 15%, of his
time, from the Gospel. The pastor's most memorable lines
were talking about a church that had their pastor's mud
wrestle (I guess to bring up attendance) and entertained
the idea of doing the same at the church. (A wrestling event
was mentioned on page 69 of 'Ashamed of the Gospel:
When The Church Becomes Like the World by'
John MacArthur, published in 1993)
I left a short note in his church mailbox, which was stamped
with his name and LEAD PASTOR. My note saying 2 Timothy
4 and Ashamed of the Gospel are things that should be on
his reading list this week along with my name and phone
His July 4th stats: On stage roughly 35 minutes, first half
0% from the Bible. The last half around
30% toward preaching any Christian message at all.
The senior pastor preached again. About 40% of
the sermon was from the Bible. Starting out with a portion
of an interview with Jack Welch former CEO of GE, being
interviewed for the WillowCreek Leadership Summit he also
mentioned Hugh Hefner and a basketball player in the news
this month. The sermon started out by bringing in worldly
knowledge concerning who should manage a church. During
the course of the 25-30 minute sermon, the pastor very rapidly
read sections or paraphrased sections of the Bible to a
low lit sanctuary few could read in. He rightly, but awkwardly,
presented the Bible's answer to what Jack Welch said, which
is, God will often use those that others wouldn't think
are worthwhile. Those that Jack Welch would fire or pass
over entirely, might be what God would use to do great things.
The pastor mentioned how much he loves
Bill Hybels pastor of Willow Creek community
church in Chicago. However, you can read what others have
Bill Hybels at www.DeceptionInTheChurch.com
pastor surely doesn't understand who Hybels really is
and what he is doing. For example, one can
view an eye opening expose on the band U2, and
it's lead singer Bono at theater.goodfight.org Bill Hybels
asked Bono to speak at his leadership conference
a couple years ago. According to the video at goodfight.org, Bono has
denied Christ and is into demons, he even proudly pranced
around the stage with demon horns when he portrayed his
demon persona Mephisto.
Now that the pastor is using inspiration for his sermons
from Jack Welch and Bill Hybels, I wonder when a "6Sigma"
program in the church will be started. Or if he'll
talk "tollgates" in sermons or force people to move to a different
position every 3 years. Just like Jack Welch did when he was CEO of GE.
In my opinion, regardless of whether the sermon was salvaged
at the end with an actual message from the Bible, I think
it could have been better preached from the Bible itself,
not through outside sources. I don't understand why he
encourages everyone to attend the Willow Creek Leadership Summit
since he himself criticized one of the main speakers
as giving good business advice but unsound Biblical advice on how
to run a church or ministry.
pastor should listen to the sermon: Learning
to Share Jesus (offsite mp3 link Adrian Rogers)
should he discuss philosophy or human insight? Those things
have nothing to offer. But Jesus Christ--the crucified,
risen and redeeming Savior--offers the only true hope for
the world. The faithful preacher--indeed, every true disciple--must
uphold Jesus Christ to an unbelieving world as the only
way, the only truth, and the only true life (cf John 14:6)
If we try to win them with entertainment, or clever arguments,
or scholastic credentials, or worldly wisdom,
we will fail, and we will ultimately mislead them."
Ashamed of the Gospel pages 116-117
July 16th, 2010
I was reminded this week that my own mother, who had taught
Sunday School to 4 and 5 year old children for nearly 40
years total and 30 years at this church, decided to quit
teaching Sunday School rather than be apart of putting the
children through the new curriculum, the run around (not good
for this age group) and ideas brought down from Willow Creek.
She wrote a letter saying she couldn't do it, it was wrong.
I found out, from my dad, that my mother may not have sent the letter to the pastors after all.
But I did find what she wrote and I'll post some of that here because it is valuable information concerning changes forced on her Sunday School class after the pastors followed Willow Creek's ideas:
"... The children should be singing simple songs that teach basic truths rather than the songs they are singing. Very few of the younger children are participating if you watch during song time....
... I can't understand why teachers are supposed to use 2nd and 3rd grade literature to teach kindergarten and 1st grade students. There are at least 4 big publishing houses, that have experts in the field of young children, who write lessons far superior than what we are using
I always knew when the lesson went well and the children had a good time in our class and learned something. I don't have that certainty anymore. I am not making a difference and further more I am not enjoying it. All these years I never lost my joy of teaching - always excited to get the literature for the new quarter and learn what was new in songs or craft or teaching aids."
church website seems to have an absence of Jesus, at least
on the front page and many others. Not only is Jesus missing,
there's no scripture too. What shocks me the most is they
are turning Wednesday night services, which have been the
"prayer meeting" night for over 4 decades, into yet another
friendly service. Advertising a change starting in August
2010, "Weekend-Free Wednesdays" right on
the front page.
churches now offer their largest services on Friday or Saturday
night instead of Sunday morning. These services are usually
heavy on music and entertainment, offering people an alternative
to the theater or social circuit. Church members can now
'get church out of the way' early, then have the rest of
the weekend to use as they wish."
Ashamed of the Gospel pages 45-46 published
read in the church bulletin that they got the idea out of
a USA today poll or study. Regardless of whether they choose
USA today, or some other source to make church decisions,
it is not God's Word.
the demise of the Wednesday night service. It started at
least 10-15 years back. One of the turning points for me
was when they started reducing the prayer time and having
musicians play while people were on their knees at the pews.
While I'm not opposed to music, I couldn't concentrate and
pray even with my fingers in my ears. The music quickly
grew in volume when the pastors wanted to move the service
along. Thirty years ago, people would pray for maybe 6-8
minutes then the pastors started shortening it to closer
to 4, and then to around 3 minutes. This demise also was
around the time that they dropped the Sunday night service
and had already started sending people up to Willow Creek
19th 2010 Update: Sunday's music service was actually pretty
good, but when it came to preaching God's Word the service
fizzled. After 5 minutes of announcements by the pastor,
he launched into Psalm 145 with brief passages out of Psalm
119 and Psalm 148. He spoke for another 25-30 minutes. His
message was about how creation is proof of God's existence.
Yes, looking at creation, even the smallest or largest elements
of it, one see's the Creator God behind it, not random chance.
This message could have been covered in 5 minutes or in
a church bulletin paragraph. I'd say about 35% of the sermon
was on the Bible. I thought the sermon used less and less
Bible the further along it went.
beginner is troubled about whether there is a God or not;
the older Christian believes in a God but does not trust
Him. What is the difference?"
Preached at Brixton Congregational Church, Brixton
I looked to my left, saw an attractive 20ish young lady,
nicely dressed, with her Bible in her lap. (She actually
brought her own Bible, one of the few.) She looked unimpressed,
at least she didn't take notes. My wife, didn't have much
to say about the sermon. I looked up and noticed that they
took out the lights in the sanctuary some time ago that
hung from the balcony ceiling originally. The lights were
quite old, had crosses on the sides and came from the original
sanctuary at the same location (now a small gym since the
late 1980's) I remember walking down the left aisle of the
old sanctuary, under those lights, with my mom and dad back
in the 60's and 70's. (We started attending here in 1967.)
The old lights would have provided more light for reading.
They have a wall partly full of Willow Creek material.
This wall used to house part of a Bible and religious library.
it's full of marketing idea's. I'm probably taking a safe
guess in assuming that this material contains what Willow
Creek pastor, Bill Hybels admitted that he got wrong.
offsite link: HeresyHunter: Bill Hybels: We Were Wrong!
"BUT there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies..."
2 Peter 2:1
Reveal: Where Are You?, co-authored by Greg Hawkins, executive
pastor of Willow Creek said:
Our dream is that we fundamentally change the way we do
church. That we take out a clean sheet of paper and we rethink
all of our old assumptions. Replace it with new insights.
Insights that are informed by research and rooted in Scripture.
Our dream is really to discover what God is doing and how
he’s asking us to transform this planet.
offsite link page 3: Crosswalk Bob Burney
Offsite link by Jan Markell:
When Evangelicals Dine with the Wicked
Read offsite link: Willow Creek Leadership Summit 2009
A Whore In Satin Sheets
"Seeker Sensitivity, as we have pointed out at great
length, is compromise incorporated, completely
absurd and absolutely unscriptural."
went to a church service in a foreign country 4 years ago.
The service was 3 and a half hours long. They had a long
song service with a band, followed by about 90 minutes of
solid preaching, followed by another 20 minutes of singing.
It was in a beat up old movie theater with probably 130
people in attendance filling nearly every seat. The joy
of the Lord was there. They didn't have a lot but they made
the most of what they had.
noticed that the pastors now have a large countdown clock
them on schedule. Most things are timed to the minute,
announcements, songs, and sermon with an occasional late
dismissal. I haven't
noticed many prayers being said at the close anymore.
26th Update: Yesterday's sermon was by a young preacher
usually handling middle school students. He spoke approximately
30-33 minutes while sitting on a stool on stage. About 60%
of the time he stuck to scripture, although was not much
more than reading through Psalm 19 and making comments along
the way. This young pastor started by semi-jokingly mentioning
how little scripture one of the pastors had covered lately.
have a Purpose Driven
church, the gospel has to be veiled or watered down in order
to avoid offending the target audience." How
the Church growth movement drives the Gospel out of Churches.
wife said that he might have some potential in the future.
Another person commented about how young and heavy he was
sitting there. Based on his final sentences I'd say he doesn't
believe he should be confrontational or has wrongly been
told not to be. Isaiah 58 records what God said to do:
chapter 58: Shout with a voice of a trumpet blast. Tell
my people of their sins!.... for the mouth of the LORD hath
Timothy 4: "...endure afflictions..."
Paul went to jail many times and expected other pastors
to as well if that's what it took to preach the Gospel.
Others like John Bunyon spent 12 years in prison and said
"If you release me today, I will preach tomorrow."
lights were very dim in the sanctuary throughout the sermon.
Like trying to read under a 15 watt light bulb. Nobody stopped
the service to have the lights brought up. After the service,
the lights were brought up for people to leave and the light
seemed about 8 times brighter.
we came into church, the service had just started and the
band was playing. There were quite a lot of people still
in the foyer, not a Bible in the hands of anyone including
the greeters and people opening the doors. The 30 or so
people we saw outside before even coming in the building
didn't have a Bible either. Coming in the back of the sanctuary,
I didn't see any Bible with anyone except one 23ish woman
in the back rows. Later a 33ish woman sat near us that had
brought her own Bible. She tried to read and take notes
during the sermon even in the low light. Lots of people
brought in cups filled with different drinks, but no Bibles.
Later I saw 6-7 Bibles in the hands of people lingering
in the foyer. My guess is 1 in 45 brought their own Bibles
and fewer than 1 in 25 even tried to use one found in the
pew. However, probably 1 in 10 brought drinks.
in the pews but gently used
paraphrase Spurgeon (and many others): it's embarrassing
how many riches can be found in God's Word.
There's over 800 pages in most Bibles but the pastors seem
to have difficulty in preaching out of it.
"If the pastor wanted to preach the gospel and teach
the Bible he would not be transitioning away from being
a Bible church." How
the Church growth movement drives the Gospel out of Churches.
We attended yesterday's church service, arriving 5-10 minutes
before it started. The attendance was slightly down but
I noticed quite a few more people bringing their own Bible
then last week. I'd guess about 1 in 18 people brought their
music was good, especially the last two songs. The lady
singing, in the yellow top, made a great 45 second mini
sermon between songs. When the pastor got up to preach,
the lights were kept very low again, same as last week.
Like reading under a 15 watt light bulb.
pastor started out by giving a run down about how Wednesday
night services would be a repeat of the Sunday service
in every way. He mentioned research by reading USA today
some other reasons for how they will conduct the Wednesday
service, along with people wanting a way to enjoy their
is shocking! They will have one sermon a week? They have
over 5 pastors in the church, and one sermon! Instead they
should have many sermons every week because we are at
time! The rapture is imminent, the church is under assault,
our nation is under assault, the anti-christ may appear
on the scene at any time (if he isn't active already) and
they want to have one short sermon (that barely touches
the Bible) repeated 3 times a week?
saw recently that they are advertising "Weekend-Free
Wednesdays" on at least one bus stop bench in town.
lose your sense of urgency, in season or out of
season" 2 Timothy 4
pastor was on stage around 35 minutes. During this time
I'd say he did a solid 50% of the time on the Bible. He
spoke with what looked like a small music stand to hold
Offsite link: How
to Be Irrelevant
The sermon started out with short quotes from a comedian,
an atheist and Charles Darwin and some other quotes. He
used quite a few Bible references in his sermon and I
think the sermon passages might have inspired some to read
their Bible during the week. However, it was very
dark in the sanctuary, and only one time did he ask people
in the pews to take their Bible or get one out of the pew
and read along with him. I saw some around me try to read.
I used my cell phone to get some light on the text. The
sermon was very light in subject, "leadership"
was the topic. I guess leading into the Willow Creek Leadership
Summit this week. Encouraging people to sign up and watch
it live on Thursday and Friday for about $110 or $300 if
they didn't use the coupon code that he gave out.
was a bit shocked to hear the pastor preach that we can't
trust or ask ourselves to know how to do things, we have
to follow God. I think that was the gist of the sermon.
(Although if I've got it wrong and someone else wants to
give a short summary of the sermon I'd be glad to post
here.) Maybe the pastor is wondering if this plan to follow
marketing is working or not (Nah! he's thoroughly deceived.)
the service we spoke with the senior pastor in the foyer. The
had cleared out quickly. Nobody lingered much at all. We
told him about our concerns; my wife mentioned the light
was too dim to read. He mentioned the media team wants an
"atmosphere like a rock concert"
and to the best of my recollection a word for word
can't take hard messages from the Bible. It's just too
much for them. They are just dealing with too much these
but said that he'll "take what we said seriously."
this conversation I got pretty loud and I asked the pastor:
Who is running things? The pastors? God? or the group in
the back? I didn't get an answer. I also asked him to
a look at the Bible's in the pews, gently used after 10-15
years! (They made a big to-do when they replaced the (aging)
hymnals with the Bibles back then too. Hybels church removes
churchy things like hymnals also which talk about Jesus
dying for our sins the cross, heaven, hell,, etc.)
sister missed the rhyme of turning to Jesus Paid
It All, Hymn
138 John T. Grape
Jesus paid it all,
All to Him I owe;
Sin had left a crimson stain,
He washed it white as snow.
My wife said, a couple things about the lights and how the
preaching needs to be from God's word. The pastor must have
studied the material from Willow Creek or other sources
on how to handle church goers that are resistant or complain
about the marketing-the-church-seeker-friendly-don't-upset-anyone-by-preaching-the-Bible-too-much
approach because he didn't want to make any waves. Instead,
it seemed to us that he wanted us to drift off. Noticing
his response was leaning toward we're not changing much
but might increase the light just a little, I then
told him a lot of what I have written on this page already.
However, I didn't tell him about this page. I'm going to
finish it up and give it to the pastoral staff and they
can all read it together.
Although my wife had left during part of the conversation
she heard enough to say later that the Bible is accurate
about how the churches will fall away in the Last Days.
first 5 minutes of Jack Van Impe's broadcast on Sunday
1st is worth watching. The Van Impe's gave headline reports
that the churches in Europe and America are emptying
Then, with Bible raised, Jack Van Impe quotes some of 2
Timothy 4 and said that the churches are not preaching
word. They are instead preaching little nothing sermons
with a rock concert to draw a crowd. People are getting
nothing out of the sermon and are eventually walking away.
Unfortunately, I can't post the actual video clip here.
Here is the
link to their site, watch or listen to their tv program
with air date July 31 2010 while you can.
Update Sunday August 8th
This is a hard one to talk about and difficult to summarize
but here it goes. The service started with the band playing
(but not singing the lyrics) to an AC / DC rock song about
a night of sex. You can look up the lyrics to "You
shook me all night long" The band was pretty
good and I did see them raising their hands later.
(Note: For quite some time, the
pastors have been asking the band to play an exciting
warm up song to start the service.
For example: Easter
Sunday 2009 they started with:
You can fly if you'd only cut
Loose, footloose kick off
your Sunday shoes
Oowhee, Marie shake it, shake it for me")
to my review of August 8th. After 25 minutes of music
and light show they collected tithes and offerings. The senior
pastor stood up and said a lot of what he wrote on a FAQ
on the web site, saying the other pastor was sort of leaving
the church to start a "plant" in a nearby city.
They rarely ever refer to this "plant" as a
church. He went on glowingly talking about the pastor
that is leaving
and talked about how the church was needing to support
etc. As I said further up, there was really too much said
to summarize it properly here.
pastor that is leaving then spoke about 10-15 minutes, reading
a long passage out of the 2nd chapter of Acts, then another
verse out of Acts 11. Then talked about he is leaving to
do what he feels God is calling him to do. Preach to un
churched people. He mentioned going to Afghanistan some
years ago with his family to help in a mission project there,
and meeting an American missionary there who was just killed,
mentioned on the news this weekend along with about 9 other
Christian Medical missionaries by the Taliban. A lot of
people are upset around the nation concerning this. I hope
to ask a doctor friend of ours if she knew the people that
died, as she worked in Afghanistan a lot over the last years
and even went into the very area's these missionaries were
murdered to help the Afghan people.
the senior pastor spoke the rest of the time. I say "spoke"
because it really wasn't preaching. It was mostly giving
announcements in the form of a sermon. He has often done
this over the years, substitute announcements instead of
preaching, talk about where they are going, where they've
been etc. and how they'll do things in the future. He put
things in glowing terms, a few times people clapped. One
odd event was when he brought out a tree log with a open
Bible on top of it, and a metal spike had been pounded
the center of it, the spine, and the spike stood up about
10 inches above the Bible. I didn't hear that sermon in
the past but he said he had driven a spike through one
of his old Bibles, during a past sermon. He said
the tree log
and spiked Bible on top reminds him that the Bible is their
center and keeps it in his office. (This sounds
like something a witch or satanist would do to me. While perhaps not
damaging the text, isn't damaging the spine synonymous
something? Regardless, there are clearly better
Bible is our center" then staking a Bible this way.
For example: Why not spend 2 hours a Sunday
and preach out of it?
If you have to rely on a thing like that to remind you to
keep you "centered" what does that say about your faith?
put a banner in the foyer saying "the Bible is our center,
So bring your Bible and expect the pastors to preach effectively
out of it."
The Faith Church (www.hit.hu)
In Hungary has 6 hour services and the place is packed.)
senior pastor said that the church is finally about
he has wanted to take the church for a long time.
(also mentioned elsewhere he wasn't going back either.
He wrote and posted a letter saying that in the new era
of the church they would warn people once then kick them
out of the church. Note: Since they incorporated the church long
ago and just have some Trustees to deal with, they can
pretty much do what
they want anyway.)
I'm guessing he learned to say
this in a "Transitions" training
The senior pastor said that the pastor that
is leaving to start the "plant" helped him to
take the church about where he wanted it to go
for a long time. He said he wants more rock bands, media
artists, and to
things in different services. I don't remember if he said
but I think that was what he meant they want to do in the
link: Exposing The Cult-Like Hostile Takeover Tactics
of the Purpose-Driven
Church Transitioning Seminar
lights during the talk were about twice as bright as previous
weeks, like reading under a 30 to 40 watt bulb which was
enough to see to read. Near the end, the lights went down
again, for the band to play. The pastor stood up to make
one more comment. He asked people to fill out a response
card / questionnaire. However, the person handling the lights
must not have been paying attention because the pastor asked
the lights to be brought up twice and then only after a
long delay did it increase.
were other odd things said Sunday morning but I don't have
the time nor do I think it's worth saying any more here
other than this one: They took up an offering the last week
to send a copy of the Willow Creek Leadership Summit to
the mission in Myanmar / Burma.
Offsite YouTube video Links:
Sheep or Amusing Goats - Charles Spurgeon
MacArthur on Charles Spurgeon & Worldly
SEE: Worldly Churches
Church is Changing, What is Emerging?
You Considering the Rick Warren & Bill
Hybels Model for Your Church?
offsite link: Schuller Planted, Hybels Watered, Warren
(Peter Drucker) Gives The
By Orrel Steinkamp, The Plumbline, Volume 10, No. 3, November/December
Read offsite link: Warren, Blanchard, Hybels, Laurie, Buford
Launching New York Leadership Center
just learned a great Christian musician and singer died
back in June. Dana Key, from the Christian group DeGarmo
and Key. I listened to their albums hundreds of times. One
of Dana Key's great songs, "Mary", a mini sermon in itself,
would be wonderful to hear performed in the church service
leading into a sermon. The song is a rock song but with
a cello. I noticed a lady playing a cello last month in
a service, hope they can do this one.
Lyrics by Dana Key
Mary why have you come here?
With your heart so sad and your eyes filled with tears
Think back, think back, what did he say?
He said that he would die, but he'd rise the third day
He's higher, raised up by the Father's power Higher, up
from the dead
He did what He said So
Mary please don't be afraid There's no man there where he
Run now, run now, tell your friends Jesus was dead but he
He's risen, raised up with our sins forgiven
Risen up from the grave Oooh, oooh, oooh, with the power
Aaaah, Mary why did you come here?
With your heart so sad and your eyes filled with tears
Why don't you run now, run now, tell your friends
Jesus was dead but he lives again
He's ri-i-sen, ri-i-sen, ri-i-sen today, yeah, yeah!
August 14th: We ran into a man that attended services here
with his wife. He showed up on our street at a yard
sale at the same time we walked down there in the morning.
Coincidence or God arranging this? Without asking, he
almost immediately started telling us that he had
written a long letter with many
scripture references and sent it to about 7 people at
saying they were on an unscriptural path. He even had a
meeting with a pastor twice. He said that many others
have warned them that they are not following God's direction
laid out in the Bible. While it doesn't surprise me
that there has been many others confronting the pastors.
like God is giving confirmation
here that we are to continue.
you love me, keep my commandments." John 14:15
August 15th: We attended the service today. The last two
songs of the song service were good. The pastor, who
preached as little as 5% in the past from the Bible, preached
about 70%, of his 35 minutes on stage, from the Bible
today. An enormous improvement. I may be wrong, but it seemed
like there was a lot more buzz after the service ended.
While the pastor pretty much stayed on scripture, he did wander
off a little and it distracted from the sermon. The
was on a "light" topic however. I doubt the topic or message
offended anyone in the room. But he offended me when he
said we would need a page number to find II Chronicles.
My guess is even a Buddhist or a Hindu, could find
II Chronicles. Isn't this an admission
that the pastors are no longer teaching scripture? I don't
remember the last time they actually encouraged people
to read outside of church, memorize or carry their Bible.
The pastor was also wrong when he said the book of Samuel
was on two leaders Saul and David. No, it was on at least
4 leaders, the prophet Samuel was one of the greatest men of all time.
Samuel was the man that showed up, in his old age, at
the gates of Bethlehem with a cow and the city leaders came
out trembling in fear. He was the man that none of his
prayers fell to the ground and the entire nation turned out for
his funeral. Then another leader mentioned was
Eli, who's family didn't
follow God's prescribed way.
Eli's family wanted
to do things differently.
lights were again very dim, and it was very hard to read.
About a 15 or 18 watt light bulb in brightness where we
sat. (At least this week I dimlysee that the
we-want-a-rock-concert-atmosphere team won out over the
spiked-Bible-is-our-center team.) At the end of the service,
the senior pastor stood up and announced how successful
he thought the first "Weekend Free Wednesday"
service was. Kind of reminded me of something on the video
link I mentioned earlier: Worldly
Churches and Why They Grow "so the end justifies
I'll say again how much improved the service was because
the pastor preached scripture.
of the troubling things, I noticed Sunday, was when we
into the building. The same 21ish young lady held
the door for us this week as last week. I asked her if
she brought her Bible. She smiled, said no she didn't bring
her Bible this week either.. but then said, well I did
bring my phone and there's a Bible app on it.
The church is now using stupid quotes from Craig Groeschel
on their web pages and apparently are now in partnership
with his ministry too.
"To reach people no one else is reaching... we must do things
no one else is doing."
This is on a page concerning missionaries. I know quite
a few of the missionaries that came out of this church
and many are at the top of their
field and have been so since the 80's. Now the pastors
seem to be getting into partnership with yet another marketing
group grow the church organization headed by Greg Groeschel.
Here's a quote about him I found on Wikipedia:
1996, Groeschel and a handful of people started Life
Covenant Church in a two-car
garage. Groeschel later told Business Week that he started
by performing market research of non-churchgoers, and
designed his church
in response to what
he learned "
sound like Groeschel really consulted the Bible does
it? (Concerning Groeschel, a sermon review of
"The Path to Your Greatest Potential" where he
uses Nietzchean superman themes rather than Biblical Sanctification
is available on FightingForTheFaith.com)
The little I've heard from this Oklahoma pastor Greg Groeschel
makes me wonder why the church pastors are linked up with
the way, a missionary told me that 2 of the churches
that have supported them in another state "are declining
in numbers and spiritual maturity"
August 22nd Update: We arrived late to
church today, for several reasons, but walked in while
a lady was making a, long and awkward, introduction to tithing
and giving. We sat down and a couple minutes later she
Then they started passing the white plastic 10 inch tall
buckets. (I guess they think the nice offering plates are
too churchy and have decided to remove as much as possible to remind people they
are in a church service.)
sermon was a little bit of a tag team sermon with another
person that we know. They mostly sat on stage, kind of
submissive like. (see
Offsite Youtube video: How to be Irrelevant) They stuck
to teaching out of the Bible I'd
were quite a bit more focused on talking about Jesus dying
for our sins, paying the price for sins then other's have
preached the last months. They still managed to keep the
sermon on the light side and didn't make any effort to
people to read and study their Bible or pray during the
week. When they diverted from scripture it wasn't so good.
Afterwards, there was even more buzz in the sanctuary then
last week, although there was a lot of stuff going on
missions today so that may have contributed too.
Offsite Link: CNN Advocates Watered-down Politically Correct Christianity
August 30th Update:
Concerning yesterday's service. Arrived late, saw someone
playing guitar was giving a long talk between songs,
went up and sat down in the center of the balcony
this time. A married couple in their
30's "spoke" today. At first, I thought it would be good when
I saw the husband carry his Bible on stage. He spoke
about 5 minutes out of the Bible, 1st Samuel. I thought,
"hey this will be great." Then it quickly slid downhill,
not talking from scripture, using words like "Journey" as in
spiritual Journey. His wife spoke a couple times coming
back and forth from a table and chair setup one would
see in a coffee shop. I wasn't impressed, they didn't
cover the Bible any more. Enough said. 15% of their time
they spoke from the Bible. The senior pastor gave them a hug at the
end and encouraged applause.
From the balcony, in the low light just dimly spotlighting
the center of the stage, it didn't appear to me to be
a Christian service, but something else. The terminology,
coffee shop table and chair setup, lack of Bible
truth with the exception of the first minutes, made
it so. They were probably advised
or their sermon was approved to do this but
I've had enough of it.
Before leaving, I spoke briefly afterwards to a lady
who is in her 30's. She didn't elaborate but said she's
upset with how things have been
going lately at church. I'll ask her what she meant
by that another time.
6 update: Learned yesterday that the church stopped soul
winning visits. This caused a long time
member involved in
this ministry to leave the church. I need to get more info
on this but it sounds very much like what is mentioned
on page 4 of the following link: "...He asked if he
could share about Christ with visitors
who came to church. Again their
answer was no. An “evangelical” church
was forbidding one of its members from
sharing the gospel."
info on the pastor stopping soul winning outside
the church. I spoke with the person that left the church and
he said that senior pastor had read a verse out of the
Bible and then announced he was ending the, long running,
Evangelism Ministry focused on soul winning outside the
church. The man that I spoke with and at least
one other long time member (a brother-in-law of one of
the pastors) went to the senior pastor to discuss this
and read other verses out of the Bible which do say to tell
other's about Christ and witness. No change in the senior
pastor's decision. This pastor has usually had the attitude
my way or the highway."
For example, on at least one occasion he told the congregation
from the stage that if they didn't like the music "there's
the door!" (while pointing)
either late 1982 or in 1983
I remember hearing a report that this same senior pastor
announced publically at church that he wasn't quite a Christian
before that time. By that time he had already been a pastor
at the church for decades.
verses in the Bible there's a verse (2
John verses 9-11) that says not to even greet or allow
in your home not to encourage at all anyone that doesn't
teach what Christ taught. "people can't take
hard messages from the Bible. It's just too much for them.
They are just dealing with too much these days." That statement,
from the senior pastor, doesn't sound to me like an admission
that they are preaching everything Christ taught because
Jesus said some very harsh things. Therefore, I
cannot encourage them but point out Biblical error.
the Church growth movement drives the Gospel out of Churches. By: Bob
Dewaay (offsite link: Critical Issues Commentary cicministry.org)
had lunch with my sister who came to town for the
holiday. She said the last time she was at this church
the sermon only included half a verse of scripture,
and a dance that her daughters said came from "High School Musical"
My sister won't go back to that service.
Take a look at http://www.alittleleaven.com otherwise
known as The Museum of Idolatry: Artifacts of Apostasy. Site is worth a look. I particularly
liked the video titled: "Van
Halen's Jump Poorly Performed by 'Church' Praise Band"
and "Motocross in Church...During the Sermon" and "Seeker-Driven
Thrown Out of Elementary School For Wanting To Preach Obscenity"
September 10th update.
Several days ago, I received a call from the retired pastor of the Church, angry
that I handed out letters to some leaders at church about what his son's are
doing. He was also angry I used a quote that he says, in practically every
service, about doing things we KNOW TO DO without waiting around
for someone else. (I guess he doesn't think it applies to when his family is in Biblical
I think he will never confront his children, as he didn't want to hear about
any of this.. He only hesitated briefly when I said his son's
didn't respond and ignored over 2 messages from
us. Apparently, his son's ignoring us disturbed him greatly. Over the years,
his son, the senior pastor has told the, 100 or so, older members various things
to get them on board to allow changes. This allowed him to gradually "Transition
s" the church closer toward a Willow Creek & Saddleback gospel.
The retired pastor surprised me when he
said it didn't matter that the church played AC/DC
if they didn't play the lyrics. I thought I'd never hear him say that.
On his demand, I've removed his name, church name, pictures and ministry phone
number from this website. But I may use their names in the future. I'll let God
Click this link to read most of the text from my letter.
September 21, 2010
The Pastor's and leadership have suddenly
jerked directly into the path of the Emergent Church garbage.
Emergent church keywords are now actively being used: "re-envision/reinvent/re-imagine."
They also will promote and passout t-shirts for the "I am Second" campaign
which seems to be suspicious to me. Suspicous for a number
of reasons but especially because Emergent church advocates
are embracing it. Click
here to read some good comments found on deceptionbytes
about "I Am Second."
It seems like it's a twist on what football great Gale
Sayers said. written about in his 1971 autobiography titled "I
am Third." The book was introduced by Bill
Cosby. Gale Sayers said, "The Lord is first, my friends are second,
and I am third." Regardless, whether it's
"I am Second" or "I am Third" it isn't exactly scriptural
for Paul the Apostle said, "I am last of all."
The senior pastor is just so excited about all this too and apparently
he's not the only one. He'll give, yet another announcement
in the form of a sermon in, he hopes, all four services
this week. Looks like it could be a 30 minute talk immediately at
the start of the 60 minute service, concerning the plans
or vision that he's received. In his own words: He will "...present
a crystal-clear picture of our <church name> vision:
How we got here. Who we are. Where we're going."
It looks to me like the pastor's are following Willow Creek,
as Willow Creek and other's are embracing Emergent Church
info at offsite link: www.LighthouseTrailsResearch.com
"There's a lot on the
web concerning the Emergent church and why it is so bad. www.understandingthetimes.org and
good places to start reading.
OAKLAND SPECIAL REPORT: God’s Word Shines Light
Upon End Time Apostasy
Some more thoughts on the "I Am Second" campaign and it's
creator of the "I Am Second" campaign is E3 Partner's
www.e3partners.org. In my opinion, Jesus is a very soft sell
on most of their webpages as displayed on September
2010. So soft, it's hard to figure out it's a Christian
ministry at first and second glance. However, I found
a small section of downloads under resources that were
great which they hyperlink only as "Cubes" which are later
referred to as EvangeCube's. But the download page
it was on, didn't explain what it was until it was opened. It's
basically a picture tract that flips open in different
ways to show people and tell them about sin, Jesus
coming and dying on the cross for our sins and accepting
Him to be saved. Great, I like it, it's nice. When
did they create this? Another large download under
resources for churches was apparently copied from another
ministry based in Grand Rapids, Hope Ministries, with
a copyright of 1999. It's pretty good too, again, why
don't they proclaim this more? Instead their website
front page has an odd headline: "Discover
Your Mission, Join the World Community Today." There's
several odd suggestions in that statement coming from
a Christian ministry.
Jesus said we are not of this world and the world hates
us because of Him. I'm surprised they don't have the
prayer section finished too. "Soon
you will have the opportunity to get resources to grow
your prayer life or the prayer
foundation of your church." "Suggested ways to pray and
specific items to pray for will be found here." A
ministry founded in 1987 doesn't have this together
already on their website? Now, contrast
E3 Partners with Campus
Crusade for Christ's website which has a link on the
front page "How
to know God" and resources on prayer inside.
It looks like E3 Partner's isn't as suspicious as I first
thought. But i still have some concern about whether
they are changing their message;
"...join the world community today" is just too wrong of
a phrase. Did something change in their ministry? Are they
adopting more Emergent church terminology?
"join the world"
is not the message of the Bible. Read 1st John chapter
2 in the Bible
"Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world".
September 29, Partial update
I don't have all the details of last Sunday but I do
know that the pastor's passed out a large foldout. It was roughly 4 pages of material saying
a lot of stuff but reading between the lines I see them laying the groundwork or hinting that they will
do even more wild things in the near future. Also there were veiled threats that they will get rid of Christians
that complain about the changes. They "say" they will listen, then talk with them, then warn them, then
it seems to me they do something else if the person doesn't shut up or get out. The pastors believe they will will see
rapid church growth any time now.
Offsite Link: Playing the Pharisee Card
Southwest Radio Ministries (SWRC.com) pointed out that
Rick Warren rejected some or all of the five tenants of faith in May 23, 2005.
"Now the word "fundamentalist" actually comes from a document in the 1920s called the Five Fundamentals of the Faith. And it is a very legalistic, narrow view of Christianity, and when I say there are very few fundamentalists, I mean in the sense that they are all actually called fundamentalist churches, and those would be quite small. There are no large ones."
source: pewforum.org Myths of the Modern Megachurch May 23, 2005
The five fundamentals of the faith to
which Dr. Warren objected are:
- The inerrancy and full authority of the
- The virgin birth and full Deity of Jesus
- The bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ
from the dead
- Christ's atoning, vicarious death for
the sins of the world
- The literal second coming of Jesus
Take note that Rick Warren said there were no large churches that believe this. Saddleback Church is a large church.
Rick Warren of Saddleback Church. A recent glaring example
of Rick Warren publicly twisting scripture and encouraging
other pastors to follow his lead was on parade at the
Desiring God Conference. It's a very long review but
I'd recommend you listen to it at FightingFortheFaith.com (October
4) If you don't want to hear it all, just listen to the
last 35 minutes.
alternately, I've transcribed some of the quotes from
the audio review and posted it on a web page here at www.Dial-A-Prayer.com
Rick Warren of Saddlebach Church
The review contains plenty of Warren examples of twisting
the Bible, plus at the very end he refers to having members
signing covenants at his church too, which is something
the Bible tells us not to do. It's amazing that pastors
across the country, and yes here in Evansville Indiana,
follow Warren and Hybels and others like them like Groupies.
Here's a good article by Paul Proctor on Warren and Hybels
pushing covenants: CHURCH
October 12 Update
I heard the church is laying off 12 or 13 staff
and 2 or 3 others are heading over to work at the "plant." Surely the
economy has something to do with it, plus some are leaving
to help start "the plant" by being
attenders there. However my observation is the
major, underlying cause of this is they largely stopped
preaching the Bible and followed false teachers. Had
they stuck with preaching to Christians and followed
they wouldn't be so much in this mess. There's been
dozen's, maybe hundreds, of Christians that have left
for another church. Some after confronting
the pastors about not following scripture.
Let me recommend another good book by John MacArthur
published in 2007, The Truth War: Fighting for Certainty
in an Age of Deception.
At the 17 minute mark of the Jack Van Impe Presents tv program they spent 5 minutes talking
about how so many churches today are not preaching the gospel, not preaching doctrine but preaching nothing
sermons to people with latte's.. Jack Van Impe quoted a lot of scripture verses confronting it and said bluntly
"... now what do you do when you go to a church where you haven't
heard a good Bible sermon in weeks? Get Out! That's
Roman's 16:17 Mark them which cause divisions and offenses
contrary to the doctrine in which you received and
AVOID THEM. That's easy to understand..."
He also pointed
to scripture saying the ministers, and others, are
in big trouble for preaching another Gospel. Van Impe
even used the scripture 2 John vs 9-11 hinting that
we should not let them in our home or give them
a greeting because they are not abiding in the
doctrine of Christ. He emphasized the word doctrine
a dozen times when he quoted scripture.
it is still available, here's the MP3 audio download link program: 1042 at JVIM.org
Proctor's article on Church Membership Coverenants may
be read here
Quote from the THE
DAY OF RECKONING by Paul Proctor:
see, today's “secular Christians” decided somewhere back there that it was time to bring the culture into the church
in the interest of evangelism and make the gospel more relevant to reprobates, thereby compelling Christians into a compromised
co-existence with the enemies of Christ by giving them a place and a voice once reserved exclusively for the redeemed.
Now it has become the driving desire of countless congregations
around this country to expand and refashion their simple structures into grand palaces of bread and circus where
believers and unbelievers can be lured into facilitated fellowships of compromise and consensus by way of their
“felt needs” to enjoy not only the steady beat of the street but also a steady diet of passion-filled,
purpose-driven psycho-heresy and all of the cultural relevance a secular Christian could covet; praising, worshiping and
serving one another in the name of Christ while tolerating anything and everything at the expense of His Word so as
to justify and gratify the appetites and senses of all; creating a chaotic peace; a “unity in diversity”
by the mixing of truth with lie and good with evil; something
the bible clearly condemns.