Friday, September 12, 2008

Church Growth War Casualties (Part 3)

I added WATCHER'S LAMP to my list of favorite blogsites nearly a year ago. It is a blog with a purpose; to Monitor Spiritual Deception and World Events From a Biblical Perspective. There is some really insightful stuff there.

One of the many great posts that particularly caught my attention is titled, Satan's Greatest Weapon; Disunity? In it, the author demonstrates how Rick Warren instructs pastors to silence, discipline (and remove if necessary), dissenters in their Purpose Driven Churches. By cleverly abusing scripture, he attempts to prove that those who object are guilty of divisiveness, dissention, disunity and resistance to church leadership. In other words, they are demonized and must be told to "shut up" and "don't question their pastoral authority."The blog’s owner and author chooses to remain unidentified, probably for good reasons. But from his own published personal profile we can get an understanding of his mission and recognize that he is a true soldier and a critically wounded veteran in the worship wars. Here is his story:

"I am a Husband of 20 years and a father of two children. I served God as a Deacon and a Sunday school teacher in my Southern Baptist Church. With my church family, under the leadership of my pastor, I prepared for the 40 day Purpose Driven Life program.

It was in that preparation and study, I became alarmed at the edification of Catholicism and the total omission of the work of the Holy Spirit. When I expressed my concerns to my pastor, whom I greatly respected and admired, I was asked to give it a chance.

I did, but continued to research the issue. During the following twenty months, I shared the evidence of the erroneous teachings and made several requests to meet with him and his staff to discuss the issues. There was no response.

I was told, by my pastor, that if I did not back down, I would be prohibited from teaching my Sunday School class. Subsequently, I was banned from attending the Sunday School class.

When asked, I told the class that I was removed for challenging the pastor’s authority. Allegations made against me included accusations of breach of confidentiality and bold-faced lies. In blind, unquestioning fashion, the deacon body defended the pastor at all cost.

A state association mediator was called in but the deacons abruptly terminated the arbitration process. Ignoring the guidance and concerns of two other 50 year members (one an ordained SBC minister) the deacons officially determined that they found nothing wrong with the Purpose Driven Life material or the actions of the pastor and his staff.


May God have mercy on the church.

Those who resist unbiblical movements and teachings in the church are NOT the problem. Those guilty of divisiveness are the ones (including pastors) who teach or make provision for false doctrines and unbiblical practices. In fact, the following passages (along with others) indicate that not all disunity is wrong. Factions and divisions are ordained by God for the purpose of identifying true disciples.
"There must, indeed, be factions among you, so that the approved among you may be recognized." 1 Corinthians 11:17-19
"Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division..." Luke 12:51

4 comments:

Watcher's Lamp said...

Ralph,

Thanks for the kind words.

Keep contending!

Jim

Anonymous said...

2 Peter 2:1-3 says, “But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber.” (NKJV)

Pastors are to guard to flock. Very many of them have forgotten this tremendous responsibility even as they search for ways to grow their churches by carnal means.

Stan McCullars said...

I've seen it happen.

Anonymous said...

"Can two walk together, except they be agreed?" (Amos 3:3) This simple, rhetorical question is the Biblical answer to those who would put unity above truth. The fact is, there can be no unity without doctrinal agreement, and as long as we are going to agree, it is far better to agree on the basis of sound doctrine rather than false doctrine. "Speak unity" means nothing.