Every Friday TRT will be bringing news from ‘Around Town’.
This week we’ll start out with an article from Apprising Ministries about what John Shelby Spong has been up to. For those that have followed Spong through the years, I think you will find this interesting. Remember? He’s the one that called Christ’s Atoning Death “Barbaric” and has written books such as, ‘Why Christianity Must Change or Die’. If that sounds familiar, as it should, Brian McLaren is on the same page with his, “Everything Must Change.” Much good information here not only on Spong and friends but also a peek at where the apostate church is headed.
**YOU KNOW HOW IT IS…sometimes the comments are just as important and informative as the post itself! As seen here in this article, Excuse Me Mr. Piper , by Mike Ratliff. Mike is once again asking Piper some questions, (although as he says he knows he won’t get a response), and we know that Piper has already shown his hand. BUT what I wanted to draw attention to is not only the article itself, but the insightful comments. They start out addressing Piper and then go on into other urgent matters that need to be addressed, as well. Hope you will take the time to read.
**ONE OF THE BEST articles that I have seen about Mark Driscoll’s visions is over ar Joel Taylor’s 5 Point Salt, Mark Driscoll Claims Extra- Biblical Revelation from Jesus.
“For years now, many have warned the Church of Mark Driscoll, including myself, and for good reason. Many good reasons. However, Driscoll is not the only concern out there.
But he certainly is a leader in an erroneous belief that apostolic powers (whether he admits it or not) still exist, and the Spirit of God will manifest Himself in ways that ceased long ago with the apostles. That belief, of course, is not the biblical norm.
Mark Driscoll, at least currently as a Church leader, is a dangerous man. So are many others. In fact, when you hear someone speak enthusiastically of “manifestations of the Spirit”, I hope you have the biblical discernment to perk your spiritual ears up and actually remember what the Word of God says. It is the final authority in all things — not what some young, reformed, restless (YRR) church planter wants it to say.” (Excerpt…
**MARK OVER AT Here I Blog: I Can Do No Other.. posted Brewing Controversy: A Respectful Disagreement with John MacArthur ,which this particular-excellent- post was written by Mark’s friend and fellow blogger, Spencer Nix. Here’s a snippet….
“Or it’s more Puritan title: Brewing Controversy: A 12 Point Respectful Disagreement to the Estimable Rev. John MacArthur over the subject of Beer, which We Greatly Enjoy and Hope He Someday Will, too.
This post is a response to John MacArthur’s latest blog post. In no way was I ever contacted or asked about anything regarding the post prior to its posting. I was singled out along with a few others, through hyperlinks in Dr. MacArthur’s post. I do not represent anyone but myself and Reformation Brewery. I don’t feel the need to respond directly to the author, nor to every point in the post. …”
HAVE YOU BEEN FOLLOWING WHAT’S GOING ON WITH SOVEREIGN GRACE MINISTRIES? AHEAD ARE A FEW UPDATES.
ARE YOU ENGAGING IN MASSIVE COVER-UPS???
**AT SGMSurvivors site, one of the points asked in this post, SMNot’s RESPONSE is this: (To: Greg Somerville and all the pastors at Covenant Life Church)…
**What follows is a small part “SGMnot’s” response to Greg Somerville’s message from last week. (FYI: SGMnot’s daughter was sexually abused as a child at CLC)
8. After reading our case stories and the resulting outrage online, do you as a pastoral team understand clearly what child molestation is, so that this crime will not be minimized by calling it “teenage experimentation”, or in exCLCer’s case “attraction of the woman that she was becoming” or some other excuse. And will you create a written, zero-tolerance policy that will specifically support victims and their families with follow-up counseling, as needed, AND clearly protect other possible victims in the church family as the primary goals VS. emphasizing the care, legal advocacy, and privacy of the perpetrators?
I agree with several of the folks that commented to Challies post. One being, “Tim, an unimpressive and shallow review….”
Yes, people REALLY DO need to do their homework and understand what’s going on here...THINK FOR YOURSELVES. YOU DECIDE AFTER READING AND RESEARCHING. One of the things Brent says is,
“What you fail to realize is the pervasive and profound nature of problems in SGM. Hundreds, if not thousands of people have been mishandled and mistreated. You don’t have two anti SGM blogs, Sovereign Grace Survivors and SGM Refuge, because of disagreements between C.J. and me. You really must get educated about the depth and breadth of ungodly practices that have existed in the movement. You haven’t done your homework.”
” Kris says: What follows was posted on the Evangel blog over at the First Things website. I thought Mr. Auten did an excellent job. “Yesterday, Tim Challies offered some thoughts about what I would argue—and he himself admitted—is a narrowly defined aspect of Sovereign Grace Ministries’ (SGM) current difficulties;…….”
** YOU ALSO CAN READ many excellent comments to this post. (above by Mr. Auten) One I’d like to bring attention to is the following by Kris:
“I was actually considering writing some sort of response to Tim Challies myself. When I saw Brian’s post, I realized I didn’t need to – he pretty much said everything I would have said, and since he’s an SGM insider, his words are more powerful than mine would be.
The only thing I would consider adding would have to do with this assertion from Mr. Challies:
It was almost 6 weeks ago that this information came to light. Beyond a brief mention in an interview, this is the first I’ve written about it, despite being rebuked by a handful of bloggers and receiving many email requests for comment. I guess this is the kind of situation I typically comment on since, in some ways, that’s what I do on this blog: I try to write about what is of interest to Christians in this little slice of the Christian world. Yet I have hesitated, not because I am in any way formally connected to SGM or CLC and not because I have anything to lose. [emphasis added]
I used to have a lot of respect for Tim Challies. I discovered his blog way back in the early days, before it became his full-time occupation. (He used to be employed in the I.T. profession, if memory serves, but once he’d built enough of a name for himself, and had a book contract, he was able to quit that job and focus on blogging/writing full-time. I also believe he’s now employed at least part-time by his church as one of its “teaching elders,” a position he was offered no doubt at least in part because of his blogging fame.)
I think I found his site way back in 2004 or 2005 while looking for information about Rick Warren. My parents’ church had been suddenly overtaken by “Purpose-Driven” stuff, and my dad and I had been having discussions about what was bothering him about Warren’s materials. We found Mr. Challies’ analysis of the “Purpose-Driven” movement to be very helpful. I also appreciated his various book reviews.
Interestingly enough, it was Challies’ live-blogging from SGM conferences – as well as his positive reviews of SGM materials and how obviously enamored he was with CJ Mahaney – that caused Guy and me to visit and then stick around our SGM church as long as we did. By the time we were attending our SGM church, I’d developed into such a Challies fan-girl that I kept telling myself, “Surely you must just be imagining that there’s something wrong here. Surely a guy like Tim Challies cannot be wrong. He’s got such great discernment about everything else!”
Later, though, after we’d left SGM and then stumbled upon SGM’s long history of spiritual abuse because of interacting with others on this blog, I began to have my doubts about Tim Challies. I’d contacted him probably 3 or 4 weeks after first hearing of some of the really bad stories, just knowing that he’d take some of the same brain power and energy he’d directed toward deconstructing Rick Warren’s “Purpose-Driven” materials and use it to take a closer look at SGM.
Well, I was wrong. He did answer my email, but it was the briefest and most non-committal of responses. About six months later, I think I wrote him again, and once again got something like a one-sentence email in return.
I guess I’m a little bit slow, because I still didn’t get it. I still didn’t understand why it was that Tim Challies could critique Rick Warren but seemed to be so willfully oblivious about problems with CJ Mahaney and Sovereign Grace Ministries.
I can’t quite remember when it was that the pieces finally began to fall into place. Maybe it was something one of the commenters here said. I don’t recall anymore. But one day I realized that – contrary to what Tim Challies asserted in his post yesterday –
…Yet I have hesitated, not because I am in any way formally connected to SGM or CLC and not because I have anything to lose.
Tim Challies does indeed have some pretty close connections with Sovereign Grace Ministries. And whether he wants to acknowledge it or not, he does indeed have something to lose!
The “Reformed” world is pretty tight these days. Tim Challies supports his family of 5 at least in part through ad revenues from his blog, and through royalties he earns from his books. I don’t have a copy of Challies’ latest book in front of me, but I am fairly certain either CJ Mahaney himself or one or more of CJ’s close cohorts provided book blurbs (endorsements) for the cover. SGM also has an eager book-buying population. Historically, if CJ recommends a book, the book will be sold in SGM bookstores (and at SGM book tables), and SGM lemmings will stand in line to buy whatever their pastors recommend.
It’s now totally logical, why Tim Challies wouldn’t dare to break ranks with the likes of Reformed Big Dogs like Al Mohler and Ligon Duncan. Or even of the Junior Reformed Big Dogs like Kevin DeYoung. All of these men have given CJ a free pass and have declared Brent’s documents to be meaningless. Challies wouldn’t dare be the lone voice going against that crowd.
So he gives us his half-hearted sermonette about the evils of Wikileaks for Christians. Even as he admits that he hasn’t read all of Brent’s documents, he pronounces judgment on them and feels free to declare that they primarily represent an “interpersonal conflict.” Mr. Challies seems grimly determined to overlook the obvious larger picture that is present in the fact that Brent Detwiler grew so frustrated over trying to call CJ to some sort of formal accountability over the course of a decade that Brent believed he had no other alternative but to send out his documents to a large circle of SGM pastors. If such a dramatic move doesn’t indicate serious organizational flaws (and not just a “largely interpersonal conflict”) I’m not sure what does.
Mr. Challies – the guy who first garnered a blog following by picking apart Rick Warren and making a name for himself as having “discernment,” even going so far as writing a book about discernment – now shows us that when his livelihood is at risk, his discernment takes a vacation.
Within the context of SGM, I now believe that Mr. Challies’ discernment is about on par with Mr. Mahaney’s humility. Both men may have “written the book” – but that doesn’t mean they actually live out what they wrote about.”
We will wrap up this weeks news with The Sacred Sandwich
Filed under: Week in Review/Current Issues Tagged: | Apprising Ministries, biblical discernment, Brent Detwiler, Brian McLaren, church apostasy, contemporary evangelical movement, ecumenicalism, Emergent Church, end time deception, False Teachers, global church, john piper, John Piper Rick Warren, Mark Driscoll's visions, New Age, new spirituality, One World Religion. Emergent Church, Sovereign Grace Ministries Survivors, Spiritual Abuse, Spong, Tim Challies SGM