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Monday, December 31, 2012

"GAME CHANGERS" HEADING YOUR CHURCH?

    Lynn and Sarah Leslies' article "The Shepherding Movement Comes of Age" (2002-2003), http://erwm.com/ShepherdingMovement_L_S_Leslie.pdf, gives a clear picture of the abuses of the 1970s' "shepherding movement" being resurrected in the 21st century by the fact of the more recent use of membership agreements, constitutions, bylaws, confessions, pledges, vows, oaths and assorted "spiritual commitments", which prospective members of a church are required to sign, or current members annually affirm. The result as previously seen in the 1970s, is more bondage and binding of consciences for the typical Christian church member.
The Scriptures are clearly opposed then as now in:
James 5:12-But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.
Matt 5:33-37-But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation. But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God's throne: Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.
    As per the Leslies: "Across the country, parishioners are now being challenged to take oaths, perform vows and sign covenants."
    What in the world is going on?
    Do pastors learn this way of "doing" church from their seminary training? In part, yes. The other source is perhaps Rick Warren via Peter Drucker. Another would be the church growth methods of the "Leadership Network" http://www.leadnet.org/ for so-called "next generation pastors" running multi-site church "campuses" into change agents (facilitators) as described in:

    To quote the Leslies again: "Drucker has dedicated much effort into bringing the church into conformance with the “systems” model of governance, which is known as Total Quality Management in the corporate world.""In this model, parishioners are “customers.” "The focus shifts to “outcomes” which means that people will have to be held “accountable” for “performance.”" "Peter Drucker grew up under the influence of the German philosophies of the 1800s." "The Corporate and the Church subsume their identities and comfortably merge with State into one comprehensive “system” of governance for mankind."
    The following will demonstrate how, in the further words of the Leslies and supported by history that:

"Wherever the nationally established Christian religions have taken root they have tried to use religious oaths as a means to bind the wills and consciences of men to their own expediency and have used various methods to argue that Christ never meant what he plainly said concerning the taking of oaths." 
    Dr. Robert Klenck, orthopedist/apologist, speaks of this "new covenant agenda" which uses the diaprax method of incremental change by mixing truth and error, in the video below (2HR/43MIN):

Two examples of the influence of Leadership Network are the following videos of two well known emergent church pastors who attribute their successes to Leadership Network:
Steven Furtick: http://leadnet.org/resources/video/steven_furtick_find_your_rocks
Mark Driscoll: http://leadnet.org/resources/video/mark_driscoll_two_sparrows_in_a_hurricane
    Followed by videos of the merger of church and state in Hitler's Nazi (National Socialist) Germany:



Let's not allow this to be repeated again!


EFFECTS OF SPIRITUAL ABUSE ON WOMEN

"The Effects of Spiritual Abuse on Women" by Richard Damiani at Recovering From Spiritual Abuse website is below. The effects on women are devastating and sometimes long lasting. If married, a husband may feel he is unaffected by the abuse in a cult-like church and/or he can withstand it or "live with it", not realizing or taking into account the damages to his wife's spirit, soul and body. Read and learn:
 http://recoveringfromspiritualabuse.wikispot.org/The_Effects_of_Spiritual_Abuse_on_Women


Saturday, December 29, 2012

UNQUESTIONING LOYALTY TO PASTORAL LEADERSHIP THE MARK OF A CULT

    ABUSE IN A "RUCKMANITE" CHURCH:
    What is a "Ruckmanite" church? See Wikipedia profile of Peter Ruckman here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruckmanite
    David Cloud (IFB fundamentalist Christian) of Way of Life, http://www.wayoflife.org, authored the articles "Unquestioning Loyalty to Pastoral Leadership the Mark of a Cult" on May 8, 2008, posted here in their entirety: http://www.wayoflife.org/index_files/1a7ecae20e16e48abdd701020452e064-74.html
and "What About Peter Ruckman" on December 5, 2007 at: http://www.wayoflife.org/database/ruckman.html
    A posting of a letter to David Cloud was found elsewhere from someone in a "Ruckmanite" church, followed by Cloud's self described "balanced" answer here: http://www.rubysemporium.org/sa_abusive_pastor.html. Cloud advises the letter writer who was abused that she demonstrated an "angry spirit" and should not have forsaken the assembling ( Hebrews 10:25-Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.), at all the "stated meetings" (except for illness) of this abusive church. Doesn't the abused have enough of a reason (e.g. the abuse itself) to be absent from meetings, plus a feeling of just anger that is "righteous"? Apparently not, if you sympathize with and identify with the KJV only IFB crowd despite their pastoral abuse.
    James White (Reformed Baptist elder) of Alpha & Omega Ministries, http://www.aomin.org, has attempted in vain to debate Peter Ruckman on his KJV-Onlyism as shown in: http://vintage.aomin.org/ResponseToRuckman.html, and http://vintage.aomin.org/ruckcor.html, the latter containing scanned copies of correspondence (letters) between White and Ruckman. 
   
   

HOBBY LOBBY CRAFT STORES DEFY OBAMACARE SUPREME COURT RULING

    As per Life News: Following a decision by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor denying Hobby Lobby’s request for an exemption from the Obama administration’s HHS mandate, the Christian retail company said it will defy the mandate. Now, an attorney for Hobby Lobby says it will defy the mandate and potentially risk potential fines of up to $1.3 million per day. The full story is at:http://www.lifenews.com/2012/12/28/hobby-lobby-will-defy-obama-hhs-mandate-risk-millions-in-fines/
    Based on the multitude of companies already being exempted on other than religious exemptions, it would seem that all Christian companies subject to this mandate should join with the 40 current lawsuits against the mandate for religious reasons in sympathy with Hobby Lobby. As Christians we cannot be compelled to violate our consciences and/or the sanctity of life as God's Word describes. The Word of God takes precedence over the civil and criminal laws if the latter violates the Word of God.
    Recent videos show the progression of this, starting with a video from one month ago:





IFB ABUSE: ABC NEWS 20/20 REPORT APRIL 8, 2011

This is the link to the lengthy ABC News video report by Elizabeth Vargas on IFB abuse. Be advised that it is hard hitting and graphic, preceded by advertising and is in parts with advertising between parts. It is well worth watching though to get you to realize what you should be looking for in a church, either your present church or ones you are considering.
http://abc.go.com/watch/2020/SH559026/VD55121488/2020-48-victims-forced-confession

Friday, December 28, 2012

VERSES PASTORS TWIST & MISUSE TO CONTROL

    From BGBC Survivors blog, http://bgbcsurvivors.blogspot.com/2012/12/spiritual-abuse-verses-pastors-twist.html, comes a posting about the various and sundry Scripture verses that Reformed Baptist and other abusive/controlling pastors use on their flocks.
    Please refer to (cult deprogrammer/exit counselor) Mary Alice Chrnalogar's book "Twisted Scriptures" and the following pages for misuse of Scriptures:
1) Page 214-2Thess.3-misinterpretation of "disorderly", "busybodies", "shunning", "shaming".
2) Page 214-1Thess.5:22-misinterpretation of "avoiding evil" to include "uncommitted believers", etc.
3) Page 217-Luke 14:26-misinterpretation of "hating" family members.
4) Page 218-Luke 9:60 and Matt 8:22-misinterpretation of "burying the dead".
5) Page 218-2John 9&10-misinterpretation of "refusing to welcome".
6) Page 219-Matt 18:15-17-misuse of "confronting sin".



    

IFB ABUSE & HEPHZIBAH HOUSE FOR GIRLS

Reformed Baptist spiritual abuse of adult Christians is bad enough. IFB physical abuse of minors is what this is about. Some Independent Fundamental Baptist (IFB) churches and parents have and are supporting a "correctional" home in Winona Lake, Indiana known as Hephzibah House run by Ron and Don Williams, where "rebellious" girls from IFB families are sent for discipline in various forms described as extreme abuse by survivors. Said parents may have been inspired by Williams' sermon about daughters who may be developing a so-called "Jezibel spirit" or "Strange Woman" tendencies, as in: http://archive.org/details/StrangeWomanDoctrine, and the video:
Or the parents may have read and interpreted Michael and Debi Pearl's book "To Train Up a Child" http://nogreaterjoy.org/, reported on in the two videos below, after believing the advice to be the inspired Word of God from his "anointed":


Or they may have taken to heart the belief of Pearl that training a child is the same as training an animal as expressed in his own words in this video:

Williams refuses to answer reporter's questions:


At the excellent blog of Cynthia Kunsman, http://undermuchgrace.blogspot.com, there are excellent Blog Talk Radio interviews by Jocelyn Andersen exposing Hephzibah at these audio links:
http://undermuchgrace.blogspot.com/2012/01/information-about-hephzibah-house-and.html
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/jocelynandersen/2011/04/16/hidden-abuse-in-the-baptist-church-part-i-2020-episode
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/jocelynandersen/2011/04/18/helplessnes-bounded-choice-life-at-hephzibah-house
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/jocelynandersen/2011/04/23/hidden-abuse-in-the-baptist-church-part-ii-hephzibah-house
The five (5) part audio series of Jeri Massi on Hephzibah at: http://www.jeriwho.net/tlohh.html
Former Hephzibah Girls blog: http://formerhephzibahgirls.webs.com/
Hephzibah Girls blog: http://www.hephzibah-girls.blogspot.com/
Fundamentally Reformed: http://www.fundamentallyreformed.com/2011/09/21/hephzibah-house-horrors/
A heart wrenching video by Jocelyn Zichterman on IFB abuse and Hephzibah House abuse:


And finally, the video about the Lydia Schatz death from beatings as a result of (among other abusive methods) parents using flexible plumbing supply tubes on this child and other children.



MAC ARTHUR ON FREEMASONRY

As noted before, the Southern Baptist churches are filled with and influenced by Freemasons. As such, the SBC has taken a somewhat neutral stand on the incompatibility of Freemasonry with Christianity, while other churches have clearly condemned it unequivocably. John MacArthur exposes Freemasonry in this video below:



Thursday, December 27, 2012

WAYNE GRUDEM-THE DARLING & "GO TO GUY" OF REFORMED CONTINUATIONISM

First a recent introductory video of an interview of Grudem and D'Souza just prior to the last presidential election of November, 2012:




Wayne Grudem is Professor of Biblical and Systematic Theology at Trinity Evangelical
Divinity School, Deerfield, Illinois, USA, where he has taught since 1981. Prior to that he was
Associate Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies at Bethel College, St. Paul, Minnesota
(1977-81). He received a B.A. from Harvard University, an M.Div. from Westminster Seminary,
Philadelphia, and a Ph.D. (in New Testament) from the University of Cambridge, England.  He was
ordained as a minister in the Baptist General Conference in 1974. He has published four books,
including The Gift of Prophecy in the New Testament and Today, The First Epistle of Peter
(Tyndale New Testament Commentaries), and Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (co-
edited with John Piper). He is a member of the Vineyard Christian Fellowship of Evanston, Illinois.
He and his wife Margaret have three sons. Dr. Wayne Grudem is Research Professor of Bible and Theology at Phoenix Seminary. He holds a B.A. from Harvard University, M.Div. from Westminster Theological Seminary and Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge. He has served as president of the Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, as president of the Evangelical Theological Society (1999), and as a member of the Translation Oversight Committee for the English Standard Version of the Bible. He has written more than 60 articles for both popular and academic journals, and his books include: Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine, The Gift of Prophecy in the New Testament and Today, and Business for the Glory of God. He has also co-edited Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood: A response to Evangelical Feminism and edited Are Miraculous Gifts for Today? Four Views.
    Grudem on Oneness Pentecostals like TD Jakes (a modalist) where he waffles on those who deny the Trinity:


Grudem's defense of the charismatic, signs and wonders Vineyard Church founded by John Wimber (Toronto Blessing) is at this link, titled "Power and Truth":
http://www.vineyard.org.za/papers/paper4.pdf

Critique of Grudem's Doctrine of Divine Eternity:
http://www.reasonablefaith.org/a-critique-of-grudems-formulation-and-defense-of-the-doctrine

Michael Horton article from White Horse Inn, "Reformed and Charismatic?":
http://www.whitehorseinn.org/blog/2011/08/22/reformed-and-charismatic/

Challies interview with Grudem on Continuationism and Cessationism:
http://www.challies.com/interviews/continuationism-and-cessationism-an-interview-with-dr-wayne-grudem

Stephen Kring of Grace Fellowship Church on Grudem's view of NT Prohecy:
http://www.gfcto.com/articles/theological-issues/grudems-view-of-nt-prophecy

Oneplace.com radio interviews with Grudem:
http://www.oneplace.com/search/?q=grudem&r=show&ss=breakpoint

Grudem's connections to John Wimber and the Vineyard Movement:
http://www.svchapel.org/resources/articles/19-charismatics/31-the-vineyard-movement-part-1
http://www.rapidnet.com/~jbeard/bdm/Psychology/vine/vineyard.htm
http://www.newchurches.com/mediafiles/the-vineyard-movement.pdf

Grudem is widely revered despite the above associations. The problem is his view of prophecy, his continuationism (of spiritual "sign" gifts), the allowance and acceptance of the so-called "baptism of the Holy Spirit" as evidence of salvation, his personal prayer language (praying/speaking in "tongues"), and his failure to condemn charismatic, pentecostal, Word of Faith prosperity/healing and dominionist (New Apostolic Reformation) leaders and churches. This has resulted in not only confusing his readers worldwide, but introducing doctrinal confusion and a spirit of ecumenism which despite his otherwise orthodox views, is serving to soften true Bibilical Christianity and making it less doctrinal.


Monday, December 24, 2012

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST: HANDEL & THE MESSIAH IN HALLE, GERMANY



From Arche Chor Hamburg Gospel Singers:


Vocalensemble Erwitte Hallelujah


THE IMPLOSION OF "REFORMED CHARISMATICISM"

A Christmas present from Sovereign Grace Ministries as reported by Brent Detwiler http://www.brentdetwiler.com is below. It seems that that all the twists and turns of this never ending church saga either shines a strong spotlight on the continuing modern day perversion of the Reformation OR it is just another marketing ploy of the "semper reformanda" (always reforming) crowd. Just what we need on Christmas Eve, i.e., a ton of men's wisdom, which is only more foolishness, if not a severe reproach on the church of Jesus Christ and the true Gospel. Sure seems like God's "judgment begins in the house of the Lord"! Luther would be posting another 95 Theses if he was alive today. But he's not with us, so we have this blog and other blogs using the internet instead of the Gutenberg press to bring it into the light. Especially since the "laity" of SGM has been advised to keep their heads buried in the sand so as not to notice. Below is the unedited report in its entirety:

BrentDetwiler



Posted: 22 Dec 2012 11:33 AM PST
Sovereign Grace Ministries is in total disarray.  Last Sunday, the largest and most influential church in the denomination announced its decision to sever ties.  Two days later, Dave Harvey abruptly stepped down from all his sizeable leadership responsibilities.  This is mind boggling news.
After C.J. Mahaney, no one is a greater luminary in SGM or before the evangelical world than Dave.  Here’s his biography as it appears on the SGM website. 
Dave Harvey
Church Planting and Church Care
Sovereign Grace Ministries
Glen Mills, Pennsylvania 
Dave Harvey is responsible for church care, church planting, and international expansion for Sovereign Grace Ministries.  He has served as a member of the Sovereign Grace Ministries leadership team since 1995. 
Dave has been in pastoral ministry at Covenant Fellowship Church (Glen Mills, PA) since 1986, was ordained in 1988, and served as senior pastor from 1990 to 2008.  He has served on the board of the Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation since 2006.  Dave received a Master of Arts in Missiology from Westminster Theological Seminary in 1989, worked toward a Master of Divinity from Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary from 1993 to 1995, and in 2001 became a graduate in Westminster’s D.Min. program.  The subject of his doctoral thesis was the identification and equipping of church planters. 
Dave is the author of Am I Called? The Summons to Pastoral Ministry (Crossway, 2012), Rescuing Ambition (Crossway, 2010), and When Sinners Say “I Do”: Discovering the Power of the Gospel for Marriage (Shepherd, 2007).  He contributed a chapter to Worldliness: Resisting the Seduction of a Fallen World (Crossway, 2008) and wrote a chapter for Why Small Groups?, a book from Sovereign Grace’s Pursuit of Godliness series.  He continues to work on other writing projects. 
Dave lives in West Chester, Pennsylvania, with his wife, Kimm.  They have four children and, despite his many protests, one stray cat. 
Dave and I have a long history together going back to the early 1980’s when I was his first pastor in Indiana, PA.  He joined C.J, Steve Shank, Bo Lotinsky and me on the SGM Board of Directors in 1995. 
From 2000-2005, Dave and I worked in earnest to help C.J. see and turn from his long-standing and serious patterns of sin.  We were in total agreement regarding our assessment of C.J.’s character and leadership. 
By 2005, Dave was deeply discouraged and exasperated with C.J.  He had no hope C.J. would change and was exhausted after years of trying.  His trust in C.J. was greatly shaken and he was on the verge of despair.  I know because I was caring for his soul during this time. 
I continued to raise issues with C.J. but Dave made a conscious decision that year to accommodate C.J. and relate to him like a rebellious teenager.  Those are Dave’s exact words.  This is documented in A Final Appeal (pp. 90-97). 
In January 2006, Dave wrote C.J. a lengthy personal letter outlining his concerns and frustrations (AFA, pp. 85-87).  This was Dave’s last attempt to help C.J.  C.J. never responded to letter.  After this Dave went into retirement and stopped bringing concerns and correction to C.J.  He could not handle the on-going stress of dealing with C.J. and he did not want to jeopardize his prominent position in SGM.   
C.J. was Dave’s bread and butter but this accommodation to C.J. cost Dave his integrity.  His desire for national recognition exceeded his commitment to speak the truth without worldly concern for the consequences.  By 2007, he fully embraced the culture of accommodation surrounding C.J.  That same year I resigned from the SGM Board having lost respect for C.J.
When C.J. took his “leave of absence” in July 2011, Dave became the Interim President of Sovereign Grace Ministries for 9 months.  That began an even greater fall from grace that led to unimaginable deceit and heavy-handedness as he manipulated a puppet Board, the SGM pastors and the entire ministry with the help of men like John Loftness and Mickey Connolly.
But by June 2012, a couple members on the new Board began to tell others of a breakdown in Dave’s relationship with C.J.  Even though Dave had continuously lied, schemed, and covered up for him, C.J. was not pleased with Dave.  I wrote Dave immediately and brought this to the attention of the entire Board who were unaware.  See A Divided Board Makes C.J. Mahaney Long Term President (June 29, 2012).        
From: Brent Detwiler
Sent: Thursday, June 28, 2012 9:48 AM
To: Dave Harvey
Subject: Falling Out with C.J.
Importance: High
Hello Dave, 
I’ve been told about the break down in your relationship with C.J. because he feels you did not defend him adequately and did not denounce me, Larry T, etc. more harshly.  This comes as no surprise.  You need to bring this to the immediate attention of the entire Board to whom you and C.J. are now accountable.  Be honest with them.  Don’t cover up for C.J.  Put an end to the enablement.  You must tell the Board about this mistreatment of you.  Dave, you know full well that nothing has changed with C.J.  Your assessment and my assessment from 2004 are as relevant today. 
Dave’s Assessment 
“To correct CJ, or to challenge his own self-perception, was to experience a reaction through e-mails, consistent disagreement (without seeking to sufficiently understand), a lack of sufficient follow-up and occasionally, relational withdrawal.  Along with this, CJ was poor in volunteering areas of sin, temptation or weakness in himself.”
Brent’s Assessment
1. Can become resentful, distrustful or withdraw when he feels misunderstood, judged, or sinned against by others.
2. Can judge or prematurely come to conclusions about others based on limited or incomplete information.
3. When correcting or disagreeing can communicate his assessment or perspective too strongly or categorically.
4. Can lack gentleness and not perceive the unhelpful effect of his words, actions or decisions upon an individual. 
5. Can be difficult to correct and help because he often disagrees with or has a different perspective on illustrations.   
6. Infrequently makes us aware of specific sins or the correction others are bringing to him.    
I have little hope you and C.J. will be transparent with the Board.  I imagine this will be glossed over and made to sound like a trifle when it is serious.  Please turn the corner on a new lease in life by doing what is right. 
Regards, 
Brent 
Dave has been out of sight for the last 9 months.  The last time he posted or was featured on the SGM website was in March 2012 when he introduced the new Board.  Except for speaking at the November 2012 Pastors Conference, Dave has not been heard from in a long time.  When leaders go missing in SGM it is always a bad sign.  It usually means they have fallen out of favor with C.J.
In the letter to Dave above, I concluded by saying, “Please turn the corner on a new lease in life by doing what is right.”  Dave has done a lot wrong in relation to his family, C.J., and SGM.  He has finally been asked to step down by the pastors of Covenant Fellowship Church (CFC) outside of Philadelphia. 
I addressed these issues and also the unwillingness of the CFC pastors to be honest with the church about the true state of Dave’s family and other disqualifying sins in Dave’s life on my blog in March 2012.  For years, the pastors have been covering up for Dave in the same way Dave and others have been covering up for C.J.  See Dave Harvey’s Deceitful Leadership Covered Up and Left Uninvestigated – Exposed Tonight at Covenant Fellowship Church (March 4, 2012) and Hardball (March 6, 2012).  The house of cards is now collapsing. 
Here’s Dave’s statement from Tuesday of this week.  My comments are interspersed in blue lettering. 
## 
Some News from Dave
December 19, 2012
http://www.covfel.org/blog/some-news-from-dave/
Merry Christmas my friends,
I have some news that is now sprinkling our holiday season with an unexpected grace and I’m eager to share it with you.
As I’ve been experiencing the care of the elders and reflecting on the way forward, it’s become clear that the connection to my local church, my team, and my family should be prioritized in this next season. However, I don’t see how a more singular focus on these things would be possible with the extra-local responsibilities I’ve been carrying.  So, after discussion with the elders and with their support, I believe we’ve found a way to bring that emphasis.  I am stepping off the Sovereign Grace Leadership Team, largely eliminating my ministry travel, and resuming my role as a full-time elder at Covenant Fellowship through August 2013.  Let me shoot straight with you - this has not been an easy decision.  But Kimm and I now have a growing faith for what God intends to do as we take these steps.
Dave makes no mention of discussing this decision with SGM or of their support for his action.  Dave and the pastoral team took this radical action without involving with C.J. or the SGM Board of Directors.  I’m sure this only adds to the rift between Dave and C.J. 
“Experiencing the care of the elders” should be understood as including the discipline and correction of the pastors.  “Care” is something of a euphemism.  Dave does not divulge what kind of correction he has been receiving but the issues have reached a point where he was asked to step down in order to focus on “the connection to my church, my pastoral team and my family.”  The resignation was not “an easy decision” and Dave and Kimm “now have a growing faith for what God intends to do.”  There is more to this story than meets the eye.    
In predictable fashion, Dave tells us absolutely nothing about why this stepping down was necessary.  This is a radical step and one that would not be taken at this time if not for dire reasons.  Dave’s departure from his leadership post could not come at a worse time for SGM.  It throws them into greater confusion and creates an ever growing cloud of suspicion.  What is really going on here?  Will anyone in CFC or SGM just be honest?  This kind of statement only fuels suspicions and inevitably leads to skepticism because it lacks any kind of meaningful transparency. 
Now, just so there is no misunderstanding: this step does not reflect any lack of confidence in Sovereign Grace, our direction, or our leadership.  Actually, I’m quite excited over our mission to plant churches and serve pastors.  I think our new polity, if ratified, will help us do this even better.  It’s really my confidence in God’s grace already working so evidently through this family of churches that emboldens me to step away from the Leadership Team role I have occupied for the last 17 years.  Nope, the story on this is not about what Sovereign Grace lacks but what one pastor needs right now.
This is a lot to parse.  Statements like this cannot be accepted at face value because these kinds of press releases are inevitably full of spin as we have observed repeatedly over the last year and a half.  For example, when Joshua Harris stepped down from the SGM Board in July 2011, Dave told us Joshua was in 98% agreement with SGM.  It was a manipulative attempt to minimize the stark differences that led to the recent separation. 
Dave takes the opportunity to pump up SGM like an inflatable Santa Clause with a big hole.  For instance, “I think our new polity, if ratified, will help us [plant churches and serve pastors] even better.”  Great Dave.  Let’s hope SGM keeps up the good work as more and more churches leave the denomination.  Or, “It’s really my confidence in God’s grace already working so evidently through this family of churches that emboldens me to step away from the Leadership Team role I have occupied for the last 17 years.”  This is all hype and I believe Dave knows it.  He could be singing a different tune in nine months.  I would not be surprised if this begins his transition out of SGM.  He expresses no desire to return in this statement.
Dave also has a very short memory.  The four thousand people and 20 pastors at Covenant Life Church just severed ties with SGM two days before he released this statement leading into the chaos of Christmas.  This kind of positivism is so disingenuous.  SGM is being shaken to the core by Almighty God and Dave is emboldened to step away because all is well.  Dave would never make this move now if there weren’t very serious problems that needed immediate attending in his life, family and on the pastoral team.
Also, this transition back to Covenant Fellowship is not being initiated by Sovereign Grace; it’s a step I have voluntarily taken with the counsel of the elders – I’m grateful for the way they have walked with us through this decision.  It’s one of those times where local and family needs must take priority over extra-local relationships/ministry.  I want time in the church that I love and more connection to the men I have served with, some for over two decades.  I need to continue to receive their friendship and counsel.  And I want to be a part of what God is doing here.
Once again we see the “transition” was requested by the elders and without C.J.’s counsel.  C.J. can’t be pleased.  Furthermore, take note when Dave says, “It’s one of those times where local and family needs must take priority over extra-local relationships/ministry.”  “Local…needs” is a reference to the pastoral staff.  Not only are there problems in his family but also among the pastors.  I suspect there is division over issues concerning Dave, C.J., SGM, the SG Book of Church Order, etc. 
So what does this “one pastor need right now?”  He gives only this nebulous answer.  “I need to continue to receive their friendship and counsel.”  Dave and the pastors in Covenant Fellowship Church do not believe in congregational accountability.  They continue to act on their own and behind the veil of secrecy divulging nothing of significance to the church. 
Why won’t the pastors at CFC be open and honest with the church about the reasons for this mind boggling development?  Will Dave come clean and acknowledge to the church what has been going on for a long time?  I really doubt it.  This stepping down is at best a half measure.  I’d be surprised if Dave’s disqualifying sins were confessed to the church.  In all likelihood, he will continue to be treated with partiality and favoritism just like C.J. as things are covered up in his personal, family and ministerial life.  I don’t expect any truth telling, only vagaries, but I always hope I am wrong.
So, my friends, this is good news for Kimm and I and I hope it hits you that way as well.  As to how I’ll be serving in Covenant Fellowship, I leave that to our elders – I’ll serve wherever they want.  As to what I’ll be doing beyond August 2013, I leave that to the Lord, confident that he’ll make it clear to us all.  As to our hopes for this season,…well, maybe some refreshment, some reconnection, some additional growth, and maybe lots of good fruit.  So please pray - pray for lots of good fruit.
It may be good news for Dave and Kimm but it is bad news for C.J. and SGM.  In the sovereignty of God this removal of Dave from SGM leadership is but another expression of his discipline and the on-going dissolution of SGM.  In the wisdom of God, no leader of any “prominence” remains in SGM except for C.J., Bob Kauflin and Jeff Purswell.    
Dave doesn’t know what he will being doing at CFC over the next nine months.  Nor does he know what he will do starting September 2013.  He expresses no interest in returning to SGM.  I’m not sure Dave wants to come back given his broken relationship with C.J., the greatly diminished stature of SGM, and the deep seated problems that plague the ministry.  Dave is no dummy.  These are all factors in his thinking despite his denials.  There are greener pastures in other fields.  But first we must “pray for lots of good fruit.”  What kind of fruit?  Dave doesn’t want us to know.  He gives no standards by which to evaluate his progress which should be evident to all (1 Tim 4:15).
It will be interesting to see how Covenant Fellowship Church responds to this announcement.  It was made a week before Christmas so that buys the elders some time.  Few members will make much of this immediately.  It awaits the New Year.  But will the church continue to be passive and indifferent or will substantial number of members finally ask hard questions and require honest answers of Dave and the pastors?  Thus far Jared Mellinger, the senior pastor, has managed to corral the church into a mindless submission.  His threatening’s to discipline slanderers and divisive members has all but silenced the church.  For instance, see What Does My Website Have in Common with Pornography?  Ask Jared Mellinger! (February 18, 2012).  His lording over the church has only been exceeded by Mickey Connolly in Charlotte, NC.  That must change.
Thanks for being the kind of church that makes a place for pastors, whether they’re young or old, green or weathered, fresh or embattled.  Because for us, drawing into Covenant Fellowship means coming home.
Dave feels old, weathered and embattled.  He wants to get out of the fight and salvage his family and relationships on staff.  These are his felt needs but not his greatest needs.  I know Dave extremely well.  He fully recognizes how serious the problems are in his life, his family, on the pastoral staff and in SGM.  He knows what he must do to get right with God and others and he knows the same for C.J.  He lacks no knowledge, only obedience to Scripture.  Psalm 32 is the remedy for all Dave’s woes.  I hope he turns the corner. 
See you Sunday!
Dave
##
Here is the accompanying statement by the pastors.
Covenant Fellowship Elders Statement:
Dave’s decision is one we fully support and believe represents the Lord’s direction for him and his family, as well as our church.  We are grateful for Dave’s willingness to follow the elders in this process. In making this decision, he embodies the collection of values that guide the elders called the Pastoral Team Affirmations: the values of devotion, humility, honesty, integrity, accountability, faithfulness, and unity.  These include receiving the assessment of those who serve with us and trusting God to work through the leadership and care of the elders.  How Dave has sought to walk with the team during this past difficult year and the decision he’s come to both reflect his deep commitment to these values.  Even more so, they demonstrate a faith in God that deeply affects us.
This statement sheds a little, but just a little, light on what has been transpiring.  Dave has been “receiving the assessment of those who serve with [him]” in relation to “the values of devotion, humility, honesty, integrity, accountability, faithfulness, and unity.”  He is willing “to follow [obey] the elders in this process.”  That is good but truth be told, these men hardly qualify bringing this kind of assessment because they suffer from the same maladies.  For example, Mark Prater has acted in the most unscrupulous way over the past 18 months [see Panel Report on Brent Detwiler’s Dismissal from Grace Community Church (January 25, 2012); The Need for Watchmen (October 5, 2012)] and Jared Mellinger has conducted himself like a demagogue [see What Does My Website Have in Common with Pornography?  Ask Jared Mellinger! (February 18, 2012)].
That aside, what is their assessment of Dave’s character?  Is he above reproach (1 Tim 3:1) and blameless (Tit 1:6)?  The obvious answer is no but I think hell will freeze over before the pastors are candid with the church about his true condition.  I have no doubt this is a disciplinary action by the elders.  Therefore, not only should CFC be told the basis for this action but so should all of Sovereign Grace Ministries.  That kind of transparency is expected in Scripture.   
Over the last ten years the elders have failed to deal with Dave in a biblical fashion (1 Tim 5:19-21).  In 2003, C.J. told me he thought Dave may need to step down as the senior pastor and should make a public confession to the church when major problems began to surface in his family.  Since then those problems have only worsened and intensified.  This and much more has been concealed from the church though many people in the church are aware of the family issues but afraid to speak out against the deceitful cover up that has transpired.  The elders also need to give account to the church for their compromise.  See Dave Harvey’s Deceitful Leadership Covered Up and Left Uninvestigated – Exposed Tonight at Covenant Fellowship Church (March 4, 2012) and Hardball (March 6, 2012).
We are eager and expectant for God’s grace and blessing in and through these steps, and we are full of faith for the good fruit that will come from them.  We love and respect Dave and Kimm for walking this path with us.  Our hope is that this upcoming season will result in a platform of even greater strength, in the home and in ministry, that will afford decades of local and extra-local fruitfulness.  To God be the glory!
I may be reading too much into this paragraph but the elders may not return Dave to full orbed service in ministry.  Such a restoration appears dependent on “good fruit” in “this upcoming season.”  The pastors have not removed Dave from the eldership but this action represents a major demotion.  It will interesting to see if Dave is allowed to preach or counsel others regarding marriage and family life. 
Moreover, the pastors say nothing about “decades of…extra-local fruitfulness” for Dave with SGM.  I believe some of them have serious misgivings about C.J.  They have registered their concerns with me regarding C.J. in the past.  They have seen his lording and deceit and experienced his harshness and sinful judgments in pastoral situations.  Mark Prater, Andy Farmer and Jim Donahue know of what I speak.  In their statement, the elders make no effort to express confidence in C.J. or a hope for Dave’s return to any position in SGM.  Dave and the pastors are entirely moot regarding their future commitment to C.J. and SGM.
##
Here is the press release put out by Sovereign Grace Ministries on Thursday.
Leadership Team Update
December 20, 2012
As we work together in our mission to plant and build churches with the gospel of Jesus Christ, we want to inform you of a change in Sovereign Grace Ministries’ Leadership Team.  Dave Harvey has made the decision to resign from our Leadership Team so that he can resume his full-time role as an elder at Covenant Fellowship Church.  Dave made a public statement yesterday explaining this change on the Covenant Fellowship Church blog.
“Dave Harvey has made the decision to resign from our Leadership Team.”  Hit the pause button!!!  Think about what this means for SGM at such a crucial point in its history.  Dave Harvey, the most public leader in all of SGM after C.J., is gone.  The ministry of SGM has been built around C.J. and Dave Harvey for the past five years.  After C.J., Dave has been the biggest draw to SGM.
Consider, Dave has been the center of the wheel for all SGM does in terms of church planting and oversight around the world.  He is the primary reasons for its growth and expansion.  In my opinion, Dave is the most gifted man in SGM when considering his total skill set.  His responsibilities have been massive.  He is also extremely well connected in the evangelical world. 
People must recognize that Dave is to growth and expansion what Jeff Purswell is to the Pastors College.  Without him there is a huge sink hole under the foundation.  No one can replace him as an equal.  No one has done more to attract and train church planters than Dave.  His strategic thinking is the key to SGM’s numerical success in the past. 
So how does C.J. explain this to the movement?  By simply saying “Dave Harvey has made the decision to resign from our Leadership Team so that he can resume his full-time role as an elder at Covenant Fellowship Church.”  End of statement.  C.J. can’t possibly be honest with the ministry.  He can’t tell all the pastors and people who remain in SGM why Dave really resigned.  Why?  Because C.J. would have to resign for the same reasons as Dave.  Here’s what I mean.  I have no doubt the pastors of Covenant Fellowship Church required that Dave resign from SGM because the issues in his life, family and ministry are serious.  He is barely an elder now. 
Though I have little confidence in the CFC pastors given their track record, they have done the right thing in demanding Dave resign from SGM without asking C.J.’s permission.  That took some nerve.  I commend them.
As Dave communicates in his post, this change does not reflect any lack of support for the direction or leadership of Sovereign Grace Ministries.  Dave is, in fact, excited about our future mission and the benefits our new polity will bring to this work.  He has expressed hopes of possibly returning to SGM service someday in the future.  As Dave states, “…the story on this is not about what SGM lacks but what one pastor needs right now… It is one of those times where local and family needs must take priority over extra-local relationships/ministry.”  
Contrary to this press release, Dave expresses no hope of “possibly returning to SGM service someday in the future.”  Maybe he said something to C.J. in private but he says nothing of the sort in his public statement.  Assuming he or the elders actually conveyed this thought to C.J. it is an extremely weak assurance.  The operative words are “possibly” and “someday.”  There is no guarantee Dave will ever return and if he does I don’t believe it will be in nine months.  He’s life is a mess right now.  I think this is a long term reclamation project.  He has lost the trust and confidence of his local elders and they have finally acted.  No band aids please.
This is precisely what the Covenant Life pastors should have done with C.J. in the past.  It is what his current elders should require of C.J. now in Louisville but that is a lost and hopeless cause.  If C.J. goes down, they all go down.    
This brief update provides insufficient space to adequately thank Dave for his outstanding contributions leading us in church care, church planting, and international expansion since 1995.  These past 17 years Dave has played a vital role in keeping Sovereign Grace’s mission to plant and build churches with the gospel of Jesus Christ at the forefront of all we do both domestically and internationally.  His proactive development of an SGM church planting group served to prepare future church planters for their calling.  His model of church care in the Northeast region both strengthened individual churches and SGM as a whole.  Covenant Fellowship Church, where Dave served as senior pastor for 18 years, has influenced SGM in countless ways through its example, teaching, and generosity.  And Dave’s vision to further equip church planters through his focused writing and preaching on the topic will serve pastors for years to come.  Please join us in thanking Dave for the unique role he has played serving us as a family of churches.  
This reads like an obituary or eulogy at Dave’s funeral. 
We are grateful that his influence and service do not end here.  Though transitioning from our Leadership Team, we look forward to Dave’s continued investment in the mission of SGM through his service as an elder at Covenant Fellowship Church this year.  Please join us in praying for Dave and his family during this transition.
Dave’s “influence and service” do end with Sovereign Grace Ministries and it is uncertain what limited a role he will play at CFC as an elder.  There is no guarantee Dave will return to SGM.
Finally, we want to you know that the SGM Board looks forward to communicating the plan to cover Dave’s responsibilities as part of our transition to the new polity, pending ratification.
This development caught C.J. totally by surprise.  He was not consulted or involved in the process of making the decision to have Dave step down.  He was kept out of the loop by the CFC elders.  This bespeaks of a lack of confidence in C.J. and the SGM Board of Directors.
C.J. is now the last man standing.  Soon more churches will leave SGM because the leadership culture is corrupt and the polity proposal unbiblical.  Yet, C.J. and his shrinking entourage continue to blame everyone else for the demise of SGM.  In so doing they further provoke the indignation of God.  The only solution.  C.J. must follow Dave’s example and step down from all his responsibilities in Sovereign Grace Ministries.  Of the two, he is the greater sinner. 
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Saturday, December 22, 2012

NEW APOSTOLIC REFORMATION/THIRD WAVE/DOMINIONISM/7 MOUNTAINS MANDATE

    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-uZVx9B3SsDM/Tm6Zs739gSI/AAAAAAAAACQ/IlicbiW_vVo/s1600/7m.jpg
    Above is a picture/diagram/schematic of the 7 Mountains Mandate subscribed to by the New Apostolic Reformation which is a loosely organized movement of dominionist, charismatic, pentecostal, and word of faith leaders, churches, and political figures. It basically makes the assumption that the churches and Christians in general should involve themselves into seven areas of life with the aim of taking control over them. Since a lot has already been written on this movement by others, the purpose here is to introduce this movement to those unfamiliar with it and to point to the appropriate sites where existing research lies.

First, this video of Lance Wallnau, apologist for the 7 Mountain Mandate, promotes the Dominionist view:



    Second, this video from the 7 Mountain Apologists Wallnau, Hillman, and Enlow who are tailoring their "terminology" to the audience, and are heistant to say they are creating a "new theology":



John MacArthur videos on the "Modern Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit" and the connection to the NAR followed by the connection to John Wimber and the Vineyard Movement and the Third Wave:



MUST SEE: Vimeo video of Sandy Simpson, "A Tale of Two Kingdoms" at: http://vimeo.com/53829980

Sources of Information:
http://apprising.org/category/new-apostolic-reformation/ (various articles)
http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/thecall.html (Rick Joyner & The Call)
http://www.apologeticsindex.org/j08.html (Rick Joyner & Morningstar Ministries)
http://herescope.blogspot.com/2010/05/mainstreaming-dominionism.html
http://herescope.blogspot.com/2008/07/kicking-kingdom-into-high-gear.html
http://herescope.blogspot.com/2011/09/who-invented-dominionism.html
http://herescope.blogspot.com/2007/06/dominion-at-first-it-may-seem-like.html
http://www.crossroad.to/articles2/05/sarah-leslie/dominionism.htm (Sara Leslie article)
http://www.crossroad.to/articles2/010/discernment/5-may-day.htm
http://herescope.blogspot.com/2010/06/seven-mountains.html
http://apprising.org/2011/07/02/ihop-enters-dominionchristian-right-politics/ (IHOP affiliation with NAR)
http://www.morningstarministries.org/
http://www.talk2action.org/story/2011/9/24/155523/590 (Sam Rodriguez)
http://www.generals.org/ (NAR Generals International)
http://cicministry.org/radio_series.php?series=apostles (Bob DeWaay's articles on the NAR)
http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/newapostolic.html (Sandy Simpson on the NAR)
http://hiswordfirst555.ning.com/group/newapostolicreformation2/forum
http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/arise.html (transcript of C. Peter Wagner by Sandy Simpson)
http://kimolsen.wordpress.com/2011/06/13/a-strong-delusion-what-is-the-new-apostolic-reformation/
http://www.letusreason.org/Latrain22.htm (article about C. Peter Wagner & the NAR)
http://www.reclaim7mountains.com/
http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/orrel10.html (Climbing Joyner's Gnostic Mountain)
http://www.pfo.org/r-joyner.htm (Personal Freedom Outreach on "The Higher Life Of Rick Joyner")
http://www.seekgod.ca/cohenjoyner.htm (Prophecies of Rick Joyner & Rabbi Cohen at Messiah '99)
http://www.scribd.com/doc/15902535/THIRD-WAVE-EXPOSED
http://www.talk2action.org/story/2008/9/5/0244/84583 (Third Wave)
http://www.equip.org/articles/joels-army-marches-on/ (CRI on Joel's Army & Elijah List)



REFORMED BAPTIST "CHURCHMANSHIP" A/K/A DISCIPLESHIP ABUSE

    Have you ever taken a "spiritual gifts survey" after your pastor or elders recommended it in a sermon about the multitude of gifts we have as members of the body of Christ, only to be told later that you are not mature in the faith yet, have to be discipled, and/or "watched" for an indeterminate length of time before you can use these gifts, or that the gifts "reside" in the eldership alone? Do these attributes look familiar to you about your church and elders?:
1)"A giant tongue that speaks with absolute authority, and a giant ear that listens with unquestioning obedience." 
2)"But some ministers cannot endure the process of maturing in the sheep." 
3) "Dictatorial measures make lesser men craven and dependent, stunting their true growth." (See above 3 quotes below in Reisinger article).
    First, as an introduction, Jon Zens of Searching Together http://www.searchingtogether.org, presents the following video, in which he proposes that there should be no distinction between clergy and laity or any sort of contrived hierarchical structure in the church, the "body of Christ". Perhaps what we are seeing or personally experiencing in abusive "divinely appointed" or "duly authorized" eldership is due to the inordinate and excessive powers assigned to and assumed by the leadership to the detriment of the laity. "A horrible and shocking thing has happened in the land: The prophets prophesy lies, and priests rule by their own authority, and my people love to have it this way." Jeremiah 5:30,31"           Whatever happened to the "priesthood of believers" (1Peter2:5 "Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ", and 1Peter2:9 "But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light"). He does not specifically refer to Reformed Baptist churches or elders.


The following is a link at Wicked Shepherds: http://www.wickedshepherds.com/WhenShouldaChristianLeaveaChurch.html to a reprint of John Reisinger's article "When Sould a Christian Leave a Church", which specifically addresses Reformed Baptist abuse. Some quotes from this article are:
"law ministry" where the Elders were the "Lords and Masters" 
"pastor had deliberately placed himself between the husband and wife" 
"daring to question God's "duly authorized" minister"
"you are so sick spiritually that you can't think straight."
"Whose glory is in their shame," 
 "Our preacher did not step on our fingers, he used a sledge hammer." 
 "The preaching of the law that sends believers home week after week with a despondent and despairing heart"
"The legalist binds your conscience to the law"
 "sheep are led to true peace by whipping them with the law every week"
"no right to feel "secure in Christ" until his daily life can "pass inspection" by the "holy Law of God."
 "afraid and terrified" even to speak what was in their hearts for fear of the elder's discipline?"
"personally being treated like a dog"
"beating the sheep into subjection"
"The Confession of Faith is clear. Who are you to dare contradict that venerable document." 
"Arrogance and an overbearing spirit is never acceptable in elders."
 "Yet a church may be as much injured by tyranny as by anarchy."
"Sheep cannot be whipped and driven into conformity with pastoral wishes."
"you are actually part of a cult and you have totally given up your true liberty in Christ."
"use the office of elder and deacon as a carrot stick to award the "really loyal devotees." 
 "domineering spirit in the elders." 
"the office of elder is almost raised to the level of priest."
"The people under such a pastor "run to him for decisions" about their whole life."
"they have a view dangerously close to the autocracy of Rome."
"he must seek to put your neck under the yoke of law"
"They threw out the church's authority over your soul but hung on to the church's authority over your conscience."

"When a situation gets to the place that men are willing to literally turn children against their parents, and turn wives and husbands against each other, then it is time to speak loudly and clearly."
"When believers are taught to actually hate another believer simply because he dared to challenge the pastor, the cultic mentality must be exposed"
    In this regard, Albert Martin, former head pastor of Trinity (Reformed) Baptist Church, Montville, NJ quotes from Luke 14:26 to justify their form of discipleship to Christ, stressing the hate aspect more than the discipling: