Archive for April, 2009


I’ve been sharing bits of my experiences on Team Pyro and now I’ve gone and shot myself in the foot.  I want to share that blog spot on facebook with my former church friends, it’s got some meat in it and besides, it points readers to scripture…comment hogs  like me are challenged to prove it with scripture (and even the not so hoggy).  Details I’ve posted could sound familiar to people from my former church, and I really mean to keep things anonymous.  It’s my one way to not bash the former church home by name out there.  My thoughts here don’t need to be aired to those in my former church (save a few choice friends). 

I am learning that I need to generalize more.  I need to THINK before I respond.  Geesh, how many lessons does it take before I wise up?  If I were 16 I’d have an excuse for my behavior, but I’m older.


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This is as good a day as any to remember what Christ did for his people. He was, He is, He will be forever.  He came in the flesh.  He taught.  He lead.  He showed.  He shared.  He bled. He died, but not for nothing.  He died to save sinners.  He extended grace and mercy and forgiveness for wretched sinners.  His body was in the grave.  He rose….that’s what we’ll remember this Sunday.  For today, remember His body and His blood.  He carried our sins.  Now He is our deliverer who mediates for us to the Father.  We do not deserve Him, or His sacrifice.  We deserve death and eternal damnation.  But, praise God, He died.

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Please pray for a couple who are friends of ours from our former church.  They have been very involved and remain so for the time being.  They have been asking tough questions in delicate and not so delicate ways in order to challenge and ascertain why…if this is a church focusing on youth and keeping them in the church…that many of the leadership’s children are running into a clearly emergent church.  This after the lead pastor said in a sermon that the church was ” not emergent” and that those who say it is or is leaning that way (he was referencing us) are telling lies from the pit of hell.  They have become alarmed with things and are trying to get pastors to really ask themselves some hard questions, from what I can tell.  Hard road.

Well, they were recently in a car accident and the wife has a “slight fracture” in her neck.  She’s in a brace for 6 weeks but can be home.  The husband really hurt his knee.  This is very stressful for them as they have other health issues.  It seems to me, and this is just me, that every time they ask a few questions they are either struck with some ailment or something like this happens.  When we were going through our deeper questions, they were often out of church for illness and didn’t hear the pastor’s sermons to back up what we heard.  They would have to do the cumbersome job of listening online which meant waiting half the week until it was posted.  If they were sick (brochitis, oh and so many other things…) it was hard enough to listen.  They were so gracious to us, and did try very hard to follow what we were saying.  Now that they are asking their own questions, I was hoping they wouldn’t have to battle physical ailments (well, I was hoping they wouldn’t anyway, but especially now).   I am worried for them as life has been very tough for them.  Please pray.

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I wanted to post the curriculum as an example without our former church name on the link.  The above curriculum encourages “shepherds” to have children listen to a song while on the floor with socks off, and with lighted candles.  There are other things that disturb me like some questions that do not have any right answers.  Quite a problem.

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In the “not NOT emergent church” we formerly attended, transformation was a BIG word and still is.  Transformation is tied to spiritual formation which is tied to work.  You must train yourself like an athelete would…to run the race and pass the baton and the whole thing.  You must be in community to transform.  Preferably, this means you are in a little clump type thing (called a life group/small group).  At any rate, you need others in order to transform.  Yes, no one changes on their own, no way.  You are to take all thoughts captive and work to become cleaner and cleaner.  Now, they don’t tie this to salvation really, it’s the process after salvation.  Studying the Bible, and memorizing scripture helps with this from what I recall.  Also, the idea was that story changed you.  Not sure how story transformed since Jesus used this all the time and many, many did NOT change.  Just listen to someone try to describe how story tranforms us and you’ll feel like you’re on the set of Oprah.

Today, in our newly found church…the pastor mentioned the word “transformation” and I gave myself a minute to listen because I wanted to hear him right.  He was speaking about the “new birth” and the discussion with Nicodemus that became a discourse.  The pastor put transformation in it’s proper context.  We are transformed when born again, by the water and the spirit (meaning we receive a new heart that is softened and not a stone AND we are cleansed spiritually internally).  The transformation comes but it is nothing of our doing.  In fact, we must believe to be saved but faith is a gift from God so even that is not our own.  So different than the concept of transformation we ever learned in our former congregation.

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Normally I don’t make political posts here, but I cannot avoid posting this.  The world governments haven’t scared so many before.  Conspiracy theory is not just an underground thing anymore.  At the G20 summit, the photos make it look like a bunch of frat boys at a party, meanwhile they are agreeing to things that will put money all over the world under control of who?  I can assure you the Saudi President won’t go for it…neither will many other nations.  America is walking off a cliff people.  Walking off a cliff.  Home of the free?  I don’t think we’re going to gain anything in this collapse of freedom.  I used to push these thoughts and feelings down because I thought I was paraniod, and didn’t want to trust all this panic.  It’s getting harder to do this now.  I am throwing my voice in here, we’re in trouble.  I believe it’s like this, we’re in trouble because we let it go and now God is letting us go.  It’s amazing how fast it can happen.  It’s like we’re setting up for a world leader to take over, America is going down, and not one shot is fired.  The terrorists must be celebrating.  Their work is so easy.  If they only knew the cost to them though.  Those who want a free America to fall will come and get the terrorists too.  They would have to obey also.  They are only useful for so long. 

Conspiracy theory or reality?  You can decide for yourself.  Time will tell.  I hope I am wrong, so wrong.

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I was checking out a friend’s dramatic interpretation of a woman from scripture which lead me to my former church web site and former pastor’s sermon.  I still obviously check things out there though we’ve been gone for over six months.  The pastor spent time discussing demons and Satan’s tactics both on the world and on the church.  At one point, in the online sermon he began speaking about how Satan uses division against the church.  If we hadn’t gone through what we did at this church, the comments would not have caught my attention.  I transcribed the following;

We also know that division is one of his key strategies.  Get the Christians fighting against themselves. 

“I am here to tell you as your pastor I am tired of people changing churches over trivial issues (uses music as the example).  And don’t expect me to come knocking on your door and begging you to stay…If you’ve got a trivial issue that isn’t relevant to the kingdom of darkness conflicting with the kingdom of light and you want to change churches over it have at it…people are going to hell and the church is spending all of it’s time battling over trivial stuff…reads(2 tim 2:23-26)  If you’ve got a legitimate concern and you’re hurting I’m there with you but if you’re just mad that you don’t think the church is just living up to your expectations why did God charge you not to be a part of the solution???  Why is it that when everybody looks at something that’s going on in the body they say well I need to change churches?  Why not say I see a need I see an area that’s what this Steven ministers are doing (as if this wasn’t already a plan in the church to get going…)…that’s a solution,  amen?  I want to encourage you if you see something that’s not right with the church roll up your sleeves ask Jesus how you can make it right and be in the battle don’t just transfer clubs.”

To be fair, his example had nothing to do with us.  We did not complain about music, or anything trivial.   Our fears were that our church was focused off Christ and on man’s methods, and that emergent was creeping.  This is not a trivial thing, a small disagreement.  Though it’s tempting to believe he could be speaking about us, it’s been a long time.  It’s more likely there are others commenting about issues now and maybe some have left without comment.  Still, he may be intending to speak to people just like us who are very alarmed and are thinking of leaving because they perceive the fight is going to be of no effect on the direction the church is taking.  Considering the issues I’ve heard a few have left for besides us, his comments are interesting.  He is “tired of people leaving” and “switching clubs.”  If he does have folks like us (or even us) in mind, we did not leave without some sort of fight.  We did not leave for trivial reasons.  We did try to be a part of the solution.  We are still working to be part of the solution by praying for our former church.  We also cannot watch our children be taught dangerous things while we try to rescue the church that will not listen.  We had to move on and find, not a club (as that is what small group can become) but a church and a place to hear scripture preached properly and where we can fellowship and worship.  Not a social club, not a small decision.  I can only guess whoever he is talking about and to (and this pastor has a habit of talking directly to a few people or about a few people) that they are not as petty as he makes this all sound.


On another note, he did not mention this outloud in his sermon but instead directed people to his notes…and the online notes contained a  high recommendation for two books both by Neil Anderson.  He told his congregation to read them because they are the “best books” he knows of on the subject of spiritual warfare.  They are Victory over Darkness and The Bondage Breaker.  Just from reading a few book reviews, it’s possible this author teaches that demons can posses Christians (they cannot) and he promotes the idea of demons over kingdoms and that people can be oppressed by “the spirit of bitterness” meaning a demon is bitterness and hangs out with a person which makes them bitter.  This is an odd ology to be sure.  What else can this pastor be into?  He already approves of seeker friendly stuff, has defended Lectio Divina and contemplative practices, claims to not be emergent as a church and yet sends his children to a camp run by emergence thinking people and allows people on that staff to be also on church staff, brushes off our concerns of New Age and emergent leaking into sermons, and now we’ve got this superstition.  Earlier, when we still attended, this pastor also referenced the Nephalim stating they were angels who mated with humans and he cited the “book of Moses.”  He’s certainly all over the place!  No wonder we could not get a clear handle on the direction of our former church. 



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Just checked in on children’s ministry at my former church. The curriculum I helped teach just a few years ago is either getting progressively worse, or it was edited by the church and they aren’t doing it exactly as published on the web site…or I was blind to the weirdness. The last Sunday’s lesson included having the children relax, they could even recline on the floor and take off their shoes. The “shepherd” was to light candles and play a CD of “God So Loved the World” by Jackie Velasquez. We never did this. I recall playing the song and helping the children memorize the verse, but did not light candles and encourage the kids to lie on the floor. I am disturbed by the suggestion that “there is no right answer” to questions. Below is a cut and paste of the questions from the curriculum:

◆ How How much does God love you?
◆ Can you think of someone you love enough to sacrifice something for them?
◆ What is eternal life?
◆ What does Jesus tell us to do so we can live with him in heaven forever after
we die?
◆ What does it mean to believe in Jesus?

There is no right answer to “what does it mean to believe in Jesus?” Okay, so why spend the time talking about this? “What is eternal life” doesn’t have a right answer? Come on people. This is just downright foolish talk.

The suggestion for “large group worship” is to use wind chimes for a call to worship. When has this been a practice in church? I do not have a problem with candles and bells being used as I don’t think this is a sin. I do, however, think it’s not just for getting attention or for making the room pretty. There is a specific agenda, and it involves a specific mindset in teaching. The children are being prepped for meditation. They are being preened for contemplative prayer. I do know that bells are often used in eastern religious experiences. Not sure if it’s been so in Catholic churches. I just find it unfair that the parents are told this is “spiritual formation” and are not given an honest picture of what that means and where it’s going.

 The curriculum comes with this at the bottom:

Copyright © Vickie Bare. Printed

Workshop Zone® Rotation Sunday School Curriculum by Cook Communications

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