Tag Archive: abusive leadership


In light of all that has been happening regarding Harvest Bible Chapel lately, I’d like to share the following videos and Scriptures with you as a way to help you learn to discern, and to offer hope and encouragement to you, as well. Even though these videos were made in 2012, you will hear many things that clearly apply to this tragic and shameful situation.

Here are just a few of many eye opening things that you will hear Ingrid Schlueter say:

“A toxic church is any church or ministry leadership structure where maintaining an exterior image of a church or leader is more important than any single soul in the congregation.”

A toxic church is any church or leadership ministry structure where truth tellers who raise honest questions, heart-felt questions, are shut down, demonized, and made to feel that they are the spiritually defective ones.”

“If you are in a situation that is toxic and abusive, don’t waste time. Don’t let the locust eat any more time, any more years of your life. Get out. Get your kids away from a place like that because they can become cynical. They can become disillusioned very quickly when they hear Mom and Dad discussing all of this stuff. It’s very harmful  and Satan uses it in a thousand different ways to cause destruction. Leave. If they will not listen, if they will not hear you out, then go and let God deal with it.”

 

 SCRIPTURES FOR YOU TO REFLECT UPON

“He tends His flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart; He gently leads those that have young.” (Isaiah 40:11)

“As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness.” (Ezekiel 34:12)

“When He saw the crowds He had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” (Matthew 9:36)

“To the elders among you I appeal as a fellow elder, witness of Christ’ sufferings and one who also will share in the glory to be revealed. Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers–not because you must, but because you are willing as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.” (1 Peter 5:1-4 )

“Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.” (James 3:1)

“For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; He will lead them to springs of living water.  And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” (Revelation 7:17)

 

I hope that you are praying along with me for all involved in this matter.

Thank you very much for stopping by today.

God Bless You

~Mary Dalke/Living4HisGlory

UPDATE: Lord willing, new post coming soon.

YOU MAY ALSO BE INTERESTED IN READING:

WARNING YOU WITH TEARS

HARVEST BIBLE CHAPEL LEADERSHIP, CHRISTIAN LEADERS, AND THE LACK OF BIBLICAL DISCERNMENT

BETH MOORE LIVE SIMULCAST; WILL YOUR CHURCH BE BRINGING BETH MOORE TO YOUR COMMUNITY?

WOE TO THE SHEPHERDS

WHOM DO YOU FOLLOW?

LIKE SHEEP WITHOUT A SHEPHERD

 

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****UPDATED 10/20/13** ADDED LINK TO ANOTHER EXCELLENT POST AND SERMON BY TOM CHANTRY (SEE BELOW.  DATE HIGHLIGHTED IN RED)

**UPDATED 10/12/13** ADDED LINK TO TOM CHANTRY’S POST AND SERMON (SEE BELOW).

UPDATED 10/5/13** WELL, I WOULD LIKE ALL OF YOU TO KNOW THAT TWITTER’S FAMOUS ‘MEGACHURCHMOUSE’ WHO IS  “BOLD LIKE A LION” AND DEFINITELY NOT “TIMID AS A MOUSE,”  — AS THEY SAY — HAS BEEN TWEETING UP A STORM LATELY, TRYING TO GET THE ATTENTION OF PASTORS AND CERTAIN CHRISTIAN BLOGGERS HOPING FOR SOMEONE TO  GIVE A BIBLICAL ANALYSIS OF WHAT IS HAPPENING OVER AT HARVEST BIBLE CHAPEL ROLLING MEADOWS, CONCERNING THE ATTEMPT AT CHANGING THEIR ELDER STRUCTURE.  AND AS YOU CAN SEE FROM THE QUICK CAPTURES BELOW, HE/SHE (NO ONE REALLY KNOWS FOR SURE) HAS BEEN VERY SUCCESSFUL!

Capture HBC Attempting To Change Elder Structure

Capture The Mouse Made Me Do It

MEGACHURCHMOUSE’S LOUD SQUEAKS FINALLY CAPTURED THE ATTENTION OF TOM CHANTRY, PASTOR OF CHRIST REFORMED BAPTIST CHURCH IN MILWAUKEE.  AND YOU CAN READ  HIS EXCELLENT POST BELOW, APTLY ENTITLED, ‘THE MOUSE MADE ME DO IT’ UNDER ‘FURTHER READING.’  AS YOU CAN IMAGINE, MEGACHURCHMOUSE WAS GREATLY APPRECIATIVE:

Capture MegaChurchMouse Humbled And Honored

    INTRODUCTION

I have been trying to finish writing ‘Part 2’ of my testimony, but in light of recent developments at my former church, Harvest Bible Chapel Rolling Meadows, especially concerning September’s Elder Update (that you can find at one of the links here) (UPDATE: 9/28/13 UNFORTUNATELY THAT VIDEO SEEMS TO NO LONGER BE AVAILABLE.  HOWEVER, I JUST FOUND IT ON A WEBSITE AS A VIDEO ON YOUTUBE, AND IT CAN BE SEEN BELOW IN ITS ENTIRETY.  **UPDATE** HARVEST BIBLE CHAPEL HAD THAT REMOVED.  **UPDATE** 10/5/13** JUST FOUND THIS YESTERDAY.  SO FOR THE TIME BEING YOU CAN SEE SEPTEMBER’S ‘ELDER UPDATE’ >HERE< ) that focuses on former elders, Scott Phelps and Barry Slabaugh, as well as the statement given by well respected and loved former 20 year elder of Harvest Bible Chapel Rolling Meadows, David Corning, (that you can read at ‘The Elephant’s Debt’ website here) I decided to take time to write a poem as a way to express my support for all of them. 

Some of the things you will hear being said, word for word, in September’s ‘Elder Update,’ are as follows:

James MacDonald: “I just want to remind you, uh, that God has entrusted, uh, spiritual authority, uh, to the local church.  And uh, every local church, um, has a an authority under God and we believe that the Bible teaches that the authority of the church is invested in the elders.  And that when the elders speak uh, collectively in agreement they speak uh, for God, uh, to our church.  That’s about as uh, serious as serious gets.  And uh, here are uh four of the elders in our church that have a message, uh, for us and we would do well to take heed to, so listen uh very carefully –these four men are speaking on behalf of the entire elder board of our church on every campus.  Listen now.”

Some of the many things you will hear the elders Paul Inserra, Steve Huston, Randy Williams, Jamie Harrison, say concerning former elders, Scott Phelps and Barry Slabaugh, are as follows:

“They refused to submit to elder consensus , choosing instead to sow discord and create division.”

“Please pray for their repentance and victory over a persistent spirit of superiority and self-righteousness.”

“Their goal is to discredit our pastor, divide this church.  And we call upon the people of Harvest family to make sure this does not happen.”

“Church matters are not to be tried in the court of public opinion.  Publicizing viewpoints rejected by the elder majority for any reason is Satanic to the core and must be dealt with very directly.”

“We warn the people of Harvest Bible Chapel to separate themselves from these false messengers.  Don’t stand in the middle, don’t seek to mediate.  Please avoid these former Harvest elders at all cost, lest you incur great detriment to your own soul.”

In part, the elders say the following to assure the people of Harvest that:

“We the elders of Harvest Bible Chapel are completely satisfied with Pastor James’ growth in grace.”

And that they:

“…stand behind his character and integrity without reservation.”

In closing, they have this to say:

  “Nothing is covered, nothing is unresolved, nothing is ongoing.  Only this attack from the enemy.”

Because of the serious concerns I had after viewing the Elder Update and hearing the above mentioned things that were said by the four elders in the video, I also wrote this poem as another warning (the first being WARNING YOU WITH TEARS) to all Harvest Bible Chapel attendees and members, (and every other Christian, as well) of not only how very important it is for you (and for all of us) to pray for discernment and to test all messages you (we) will hear by those in leadership (of any church) against the truth of God’s Word to make sure that what you (we) are hearing is true, (Acts 17:11, 1 Thessalonians 5:21,22) but also the importance of investigating any claims made so that you (we) will come to know what the truth really is. 

The following poem focuses on some of those concerns, and they are presented to you through many warnings.  I pray discernment and wisdom for all who have watched, and will watch the ‘Elder Update’ in the future. (Well, viewing the video of the ‘Elder Update’ may not be possible any longer, but I am sure it’s still on the Internet somewhere).

My final thoughts to all of you are as follows: Someone is being deceptive and manipulative, and someone is telling the truth.  Either the elders in the video are telling the truth, which would mean that Scott Phelps and Barry Slabaugh are trying to discredit James MacDonald.  But if not, that would mean that James MacDonald as well as some of the elders at Harvest Bible Chapel Rolling Meadows are attempting to destroy the reputations of Scott Phelps and Barry Slabaugh, as well as mislead all of you.  So be very cautious about coming to your own conclusion as to who is telling the truth.  Earnestly pray and ask God to reveal the truth to you.  Let God and His Word be the source for the truth that you seek, and pray for discernment concerning the information you find on the Internet.

Don’t allow anyone to manipulate your thinking if you have any valid concerns, even if you are told that “when the elders speak collectively in agreement they speak for God…”

Even though I left HBCRM over 1 1/2 years ago, I still continue to pray for all of you, as well as for James and all others in leadership.

Thank you very much for stopping by.  And thank you also for taking  time out of your busy day to read some of my posts and poems.  

God Bless You

~Mary Dalke/Living4HisGlory

UPDATE: 9/28/13 10:30p.m. JUST FOUND THIS ELDER UPDATE ON A WEBSITE, AND IT WAS UPLOADED ON YOUTUBE (UPDATE: 10/3/13 Harvest Bible Chapel had the video removed from the person’s channel who uploaded it on YouTube, so I have replaced it with this screenshot).

Capture HBC ELDERS

PLEASE CONSIDER WATCHING THE FOLLOWING VIDEO SERIES SO YOU ARE AWARE OF THE DANGER SIGNS OF:

TOXIC CHURCHES (Part 1 of 2)

SCRIPTURES FOR YOU TO REFLECT ON

“As for you, see what you have heard from the beginning remains in you.  If it does, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father.  And this is what He promised us–eternal life.  I am writing these things to you about those who are trying to lead you astray.  As for you, the anointing you received from Him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you.  But as His anointing teaches you about all things, and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit–just as it has taught you, remain in Him.” (1 John 2:24-26)

But a prophet who presumes to speak in My name anything I have not commanded, or a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, is to be put to death.”  You may say to yourselves,  “How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the LORD?”  If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken.  That prophet has spoken presumptuously, so do not be alarmed.” (Deuteronomy 18:20-22)

“Her prophets whitewash these deeds for them by false visions and lying divinations.  They say,  ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says’–when the LORD has not spoken.” (Ezekiel 22:28)

“I have heard what the prophets say who prophesy lies in My name.  They say,  ‘I had a dream!  I had a dream!’  How long will this continue in the hearts of these lying prophets, who prophesy the delusions of their own minds.  Let the prophet who has a dream recount the dream, but let the one who has My Word speak it faithfully .  For what has straw to do with grain?”  declares the LORD.  “Is not My Word like fire, declares the LORD, “and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?  “Therefore,” declares the LORD, “I am against the prophets who wag their own tongues and yet declare,  ‘The LORD declares.’  Indeed, I am against those who prophesy false dreams,”  declares the LORD.  They tell them and lead My people astray with their reckless lies, yet I did not send or appoint them.  They do not benefit these people in the least,”  declares the LORD.” (Jeremiah 23:25-32)

“For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ.  And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.  It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness.  Their end will be what their actions deserve.” (2 Corinthians 11:13-15)

“Consider how far you have fallen!  Repent and do the things you did at first.  If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.” (Revelation 2:5)

“Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.” (Acts 3:19)

LeighsPhotography2-1

LEARN TO DISCERN SO YOU WILL NOT BE DECEIVED

Learn to discern so you will not be deceived

Everything a church leader says is not always to be believed

Examine every Scripture concerning what is being said

Test the character of everyone, or you just might be misled

Truth is not always apparent by what you’re being told

You need to think quite carefully, or a lie you may be sold

Destructive labels are being placed upon godly men because it’s simply

the truth these men do seek

And they can paint quite a different picture; one that’s distorted, untrue

and bleak

Attempting to destroy someone’s reputation, possibly because of arrogance

or pride

Would be clear evidence of a wayward, rebellious heart that’s forming

deep inside

God’s Word warns that men will come and claim to speak for Him

Speaking the deceit of their own hearts, messages spoken not just on a whim

Discernment is truly needed to know who it is that really speaks the truth

But the evidence is very clear, so it doesn’t take a sleuth

A church divided can never stand, but please know that God is in control

Seek the truth in prayer and in His Word, and you will find healing for

your soul

Keep your eyes on Christ alone, for by man many are led astray

May God have His way in the hearts of all, and for that we must truly pray

Kingdoms rise and many fall when a man takes his eyes off of the Lord

But through humbleness and true repentance, it all can be restored

This warning goes out to every one of us, for we are all sinners saved by grace

In reverent fear let’s search our hearts, for we will one day see Him face to face

Copyright© 2013 Mary K. Dalke/Living4HisGlory/Living For His Glory All rights reserved.

Scriptures taken from The Holy Bible New International Version® 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society.  Used by permission of Zondervan.  All rights reserved.

RELATED POSTS

WARNING YOU WITH TEARS

WHOM DO YOU FOLLOW

LIKE SHEEP WITHOUT A SHEPHERD

OUT OF THE DARKNESS AND INTO THE LIGHT

FURTHER READING

HOW TO SPOT A MANIPULATIVE CHURCH LEADER

MIND CONTROL AT CHURCH: SIX TELL-TALE SIGNS OF ABUSIVE LEADERS

**ADDED 10/5/13** POSTS BY TOM CHANTRY, PASTOR OF CHRIST REFORMED BAPTIST CHURCH CONCERNING HARVEST BIBLE CHAPEL

THE MOUSE MADE ME DO IT

TOUCH NOT THE LORD’S ANOINTED

**ADDED 10/12/13** 

WHAT DOES A FALSE MINISTRY LOOK LIKE?  READ AND LISTEN TO PASTOR TOM CHANTRY ON THIS SUBJECT AT THE LINKS BELOW:

 TEN MARKS OF A FALSE MINISTRY

TOM CHANTRY’S EXCELLENT SERMON >>HERE<<

**ADDED 10/20/13**

TOM CHANTRY SHOWS US THROUGH SCRIPTURE, THE PATTERN FOR A TRUE, BIBLICAL MINISTRY:

SEVEN MARKS OF A TRUE MINISTRY

ANOTHER EXCELLENT SERMON OF THE SAME TITLE BY TOM CHANTRY CAN BE FOUND >>HERE<<

NOTE: ANY ADVERTISEMENTS THAT SHOW UP ON MY BLOG ARE COMPLETELY THE CHOICE OF WORDPRESS, AND I HAVE NO CONTROL OVER WHAT THEY CHOOSE TO POST, NOR CAN I EVEN SEE WHAT THEY MAY CHOOSE TO POST ON MY SITE

**UPDATED 12/20/12 MORE TO COME** Since there have been so many concerns on my mind lately that I have been writing about on my blog, I haven’t had the time to even think about writing a Christmas poem for this year.  So if you’d like, you can read the following Christmas poems I wrote over the past few years. 

God bless you, and thank you very much for taking time out of your busy day to read some of my posts and poems.

~Mary Dalke/Living4HisGlory

2009-BEYOND THE MANGER TO THE CROSS

2010-FOR GOD SO LOVED…HE GAVE

2011-CHRISTMAS, HOLDING ON TO HOPE

I may be adding more information to this post in the near future, but for now I believe there’s enough information here to help you to ‘connect the dots,’ so-to-speak, and will help you to begin to grasp what is happening in many of our churches today.

INTRODUCTION

Do you find alarming changes taking place within your church?  Have you tried to express your concerns to the leadership in your church only to be told you are being ‘divisive’ or ‘ungrateful?’  Have your concerns been dismissed, and have those in leadership twisted your words of concern to cause you to doubt your ability to discern?  Have you been told to leave if you do not agree with the ‘vision’ that ‘God’ has given to your pastor?  Well, it’s very possible that your church is in the process of becoming a ‘Purpose Driven’ church without you even realizing it.

As I was searching for information to finish writing my post on the reality of ‘mysticism entering the church,’ I came upon the following information that I have seen before in my search to try and figure out what was happening at my former church, Harvest Bible Chapel Rolling Meadows.  I am putting aside finishing my post on ‘mysticism’ for awhile, because I think that those of you who are hurt and confused by what you see taking place in your church may find this information insightful and helpful, though extremely alarming at the same time.  Please pray for discernment and wisdom before watching the videos below and before you read the information at the links below, and seek God in prayer, and especially in His Word, as to what He would have you to do.

**ADDED 12/17/12** CHURCH OF TARES: PURPOSE DRIVEN, SEEKER SENSITIVE, CHURCH GROWTH, AND NEW WORLD ORDER

In the following video, Bob Klenck, a Christian, and an orthopedic surgeon, explains the ‘Hegelian Dialectic Process,’ and how this process is often used in small groups through peer pressure, to gradually lead you away from your solid Christian beliefs based on Biblical truth, by being conditioned to accept a compromise, rather than be alienated from the group.

**ADDED 12/12/12** CLICK HERE TO READ>> BOB KLENCK- WHAT’S WRONG WITH THE 21st CENTURY CHURCH? PART 1 OF 3

CLICK HERE TO READ>>CREATING COMMUNITYPURPOSE DRIVEN CHANGE THROUGH TRANSFORMATIONAL LEADERSHIPBY BERIT KJOS

‘TRADING BIBLICAL UNITY FOR A MORE INCLUSIVE VISION OF ONENESS’

In this article at the link above, I was shocked at the similarities of some of the ‘seven principles of transformational leadership’ — which is posted on Rick Warren’s website, and I have also posted for you below — to what I observed during the last couple of years that I attended Harvest Bible Chapel Rolling Meadows: [My notes are in brackets and black ink.  Author’s notes are in brackets and purple ink.]

“1)Principle of Simplification – Successful leadership begins with a vision, which reflects the shared purpose.  The ability to articulate a clear, practical, transformational vision which answers the question,  “Where are we headed?”  [During ‘Vision Night’ on October 5th 2011, we at Harvest Bible Chapel were presented with that ‘vision’ of where we were headed.]

“2)Principle of Motivation – The ability to gain the agreement and commitment of other people to the vision…A common way to motivate others is to challenge them, provide ample opportunity to join the creative process and give them the credit.”  [Author’s note: Not God?]”

“3) Principle of Facilitation – The ability to effectively facilitate the learning of individuals, teams…Peter Senge in Fifth Discipline says the primary job of leadership now is to facilitate the learning of others”

“4) Principle of Innovation – The ability to boldly initiate prayerful change when needed…Team members successfully influence one another to assimilate change because the transformational leaders have built trust and fostered teamwork.”

“5) Principle of Mobilization – The ability to enlist, equip and empower others to fulfill the vision.  Transformational leaders …desire leadership at all levels, so they find ways to invite and ignite leadership at all levels.  They introduce baby steps to enlist larger participants.”  [Author’s note: That’s what 40 Days of Purpose is: “Baby steps” toward the new solidarity.  40 days of Community is simply the next higher level in this process.] 

“6) Principle of Preparation – The ability to never stop learning about themselves…Rick Warren says,  ‘Leaders are learners.’  …This is such a rigorous path of learning that transformational leaders must be in thriving relationships with others pursuing transformation.  It is within these vital relationships, life opportunities and obstacles get saturated in love and support.  [Author’s note: “Keep in mind this “promise of love and support” applies whether the group forms under a secular or Christian banner.  Facilitated togetherness, not the Holy Spirit, is the glue that creates success.”] 

“7) Principle of Determination – The ability to finish the race…Transformational leaders have to develop, spiritual, emotional, and physical disciplines to sustain their high level of commitment to their cause.” 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Also, I encourage you to read Chris Rosebrough’s ‘RESISTANCE IS FUTILE’ You Will Be Assimilated Into the Community PDF   He also has some very revealing information for all of us who see a shift from Biblical truth taking place within our churches.  Here are some points that stood out to me:

ON PAGE 5 ‘WHAT ARE THEY THINKING?’

Point 1 – “Mega-church pastors in the Seeker-Driven movement berate Christians for coming to church with the expectation to be fed the Word of God.”

Point 2 – “These same pastors claim that their churches exist for non-believers and the people who are not there.”

Point 3 – “These same pastors are aggressively anti-doctrinal.”

Point 4 –They claim their churches are Communities of small groups.”  [Do you attend a church where there is an overpowering insistence on joining a small group?  This information may help you understand why.]

ON PAGE 6 ‘WHAT ARE THEY THINKING?’

Point 1 – They are openly pushing for unity in the visible church with men who are Word of Faith Heretics and/or Modalists.”  [Three words came to mind when I read this –Elephant Room Conference.]

Point 3 – “Their leaders have zero accountability to the people in their congregation. But, the people are accountable to the leaders for accomplishing the vision that they cast.”  [This clearly would explain what is happening at Harvest Bible Chapel…(Will add more thoughts here at a later time).

Earlier today (12/16/12) I discovered that Chris Rosebrough has a new YouTube channel, and he posted much of this information in the following video:

There once was a time when Mark Driscoll preached a Biblical view of church leadership and church discipline.  In the following video, you will hear him say:

“Churches need to have real elders.  And those elders need to be able to discipline even the senior leader.  And there needs to be in the bylaws clear process by which the senior leader is brought to discipline.  The way this works is I can get fired by the elders.  If they vote- I’m fired.  I have one vote on the elder board.  And if they’re voting about me I don’t have any vote.  Ah..every few years when we have as an executive elder team and there are nominations and elections for, and they can vote for me not to be one of the executive elders in the church.  And so the lead pastor — some churches call the senior pastor —  but that’s Jesus in 1 Peter  5 — needs to be the one who sets the example of coming under spiritual authority, being able to be disciplined, being able to be fired, being held accountable in all ways.  And if not, there will be no ability to have partiality..ah.. impartiality and and no acts of favoritism.  ‘Cuz everybody is partial.  (Creator of this video-ReallySad1, then repeats Mark Driscoll’s words to emphasize this point…)  And those elders need to be able to discipline even the senior leader.   And there needs to be in the bylaws clear process by which the senior leader is brought to discipline.  And so the lead pastor — some churches call the senior pastor — but that’s Jesus in 1 Peter 5 — needs to be the one who sets the example of coming under spiritual authority, being able to be disciplined, being able to be fired, being held accountable in all…”

MARK DRISCOLLWHO CAN FIRE THE PASTOR

Now please click here  and pray for discernment before you listen to what Mark Driscoll had to say in October of 2007 to a group of Acts 29 church planting leaders, (I also posted this on my WARNING YOU WITH TEARS  post) as well as what other pastors had to say concerning their ‘visions,’ and test what is said against Scripture to see if this all lines up with Biblical truth and Biblical church leadership.  I pray you will find what is said — as well as how it is said — as disturbing as I, and many other people have found it to be!

**ADDED 7:37p.m. 12/16/12** Just found this video filled with good information (except for the breaks where they promote Lutheran doctrine) and you can again hear Mark Driscoll,(@45:33)  James MacDonald (@43:11), and others, express what their intentions are towards those who oppose their visions, and those who are considered to be divisive.

IS VISION CASTING BIBLICAL?

So what is happening?  What has happened to Mark Driscoll,  that he went from having a solid Biblical understanding of church leadership and church discipline, to now speaking in such a way that, at times, the love of Christ cannot even be heard in his words, but only evil?  And what is happening to so many others in church leadership today that has caused them to seemingly take matters into their own hands concerning the direction their church should be going in, that is causing them to “aggressively defend” their ‘visions?’  Why are so many in ministry today becoming so controlling, instead of being controlled and led by the Holy Spirit?  Where are the fruits of the Spirit in their lives?

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, goodness, and self-control.”  (Galatians 5:22,23)

Jesus also warned us about the fruits of false prophets:

“Watch out for false prophets.  They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.  By their fruits you will recognize them.  Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?  Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.  A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.   Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.  Thus by their fruit you will recognize them.  Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven.  Many will say to Me on that day,  ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’  Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you.’  Away from Me you evildoers!’ ” (Matthew 7:15-23)

Why does there seem to be such dominance by many pastors over the people in their churches, instead of  being  loving shepherds to their flock? Why have so many pastors shifted from expository preaching to using humor and ‘coarse joking’?

“Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.  But among you there must not even be a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.  Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.  For of this you can be sure:  No immoral, impure or greedy person–such a man is an idolater–has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.  Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient.  Therefore, do not be partners with them.  For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.  Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.”               (Ephesians 5:11)

Has it come to preaching what is ‘relevant’ instead of focusing on and preaching Biblical truth and exposing sin and preaching repentance and the gospel of God’s mercy and grace?  Is it ‘all about the numbers’ of those in attendance at our churches?  Has it become ‘The church with the most in attendance wins,’ type of mentality?  Have we forgotten that it’s ‘God  who gives the increase’ (1 Corinthians 3:7) and not our man-made strategies and entertainment based presentations?

Why is it that so many of us today feel intimidated by our pastors and those in church leadership?  Why are we allowing our voices to  be silenced?   Why are we giving some who are in leadership positions the power to cause us to doubt the discernment that God has given to us?  We are made to feel that ‘to question or challenge their vision is to question God.’  We must remember that God warns us in His Word that we are to be as the Bereans and ‘examine the Scriptures daily to see if what is being said (and done, by those who claim to speak God’s Word) is true.’  (Acts 17:11)

Please wake up!  And as God’s Word clearly shows us, look to Jesus Christ and to Him alone, so that you will not be led astray or become discouraged:

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.  Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”  (Hebrews 12:1-3)

LET’S CONTINUE:

ON PAGE 15 ‘COUNTER-ENLIGHTENMENT’

“The Individual DOES NOT EXIST.” [This may explain to some of us, why none of our valid concerns matter when we express them to the elders and/or pastors.]

Is this what’s really happening?  Are many of our churches slowly being transformed into ‘Purpose Driven’ churches?  Or is it merely a coincidence that many of these steps that are being implemented in churches that are patterned after Rick Warren’s ‘Purpose Driven’ plan parallels in many ways what many of us are witnessing taking place in our churches?  After reading through all the information and listening to the videos, please pray, test things in light of Scripture,  and you decide.

**UPDATE 12/18/12 ** Computer problem has been resolved!  For now this post is finished, but will be adding to some of my thoughts when time allows, and may be adding more information within the next few days.

NOTE: (NOVEMBER 26, 2012)  This post is far from finished, but I have been having major problems with my computer freezing up over the past couple of days, and lost two attempts at replying to a comment on one of my posts. So to make certain that I do not lose the information I have thus far, I will be publishing it now and adding more information during the day today and over this coming week.  (Grrrr!  Modern technology)!  So consider following along with me as I continue to reveal more information to make my valid concerns known to all of you, and to make you realize just how very important it is for us to be like the Bereans by ‘examining the Scriptures daily to see if what is being said (and done by those who claim to speak for God) is true.’  (Acts 17:11)

RECOMMENDED BOOKS TO READ:

WARREN B SMITH – ‘DECEIVED ON PURPOSE’ -Warnings about the serious New Age implications of Rick Warren’s book,’The Purpose Driven Life.’

ROGER OAKLAND – ‘FAITH UNDONE’ – The Emerging Church – A new reformation or an end time deception.

12/12/12 LORD WILLING, COMING SOON:

A POEM IDEA REQUESTED BY READER, C. CURTIS, ENTITLED – ‘OUT OF THE DARKNESS AND INTO THE LIGHT’

A POST CONCERNING ‘MYSTICISM IN THE CHURCH’

LORD WILLING, BY EASTER – ‘MY TESTIMONY: FROM FEAR AND UNCERTAINTY TO PEACE AND ASSURANCE – HOW GOD REVEALED THE TRUTH TO ME BY READING A CATHOLIC NEW TESTAMENT BIBLE’