Dec 192013
 
Holding and expressing Moral Opinions is a Free Speech issue. But, that sword cuts both ways.

Holding and expressing Moral Opinions is a Free Speech issue. But, that sword cuts both ways.

A&E finds itself in a Free Speech firestorm over its recent capitulation to the Gay Agenda regarding blunt comments by Duck Dynasty mega-star patriarch Phil Robertson.

Phil Robertson’s comments regarding his Moral Opinion of homosexuality appear here: http://www.gq.com/entertainment/television/201401/duck-dynasty-phil-robertson?currentPage=2

Here’s the dealio:

Moral Opinion should be protected Free Speech under the First Amendment and Bill of Rights, as long as it doesn’t incite violence and as long as the employer isn’t engaging in workplace harassment or discrimination. Having and expressing a Moral Opinion should and must be protected if we are going to remain a somewhat free society.

However, the sword cuts both ways. If churches want the right to fire someone for expressing a Moral Opinion, then other businesses have that same right. If you don’t want people being fired or punished in the workplace for expressing a Moral Opinion then you have to abide by that standard equally.

Personally, as a Libertarian, I could care less if you hump a man or a sheep (assuming the man or sheep is of age and consenting) and if you express that you think it’s morally right or morally wrong, it shouldn’t affect your employment and you shouldn’t suffer job recrimination for your moral opinions in either direction.

Christians* are outraged over this issue, as the Gay Agenda was outraged by Phil Robertson’s comments.

Both Groups need to decide on what the Standard is going to be. If A&E can fire or censure or punish a Phil Robertson for holding and expressing his Moral Opinion, then Churches and Christian* owned businesses can do the same.

If holding and expressing a contrary-to-ownership Moral Opinion is deemed protected from workplace recrimination, then that protection must be for all Moral Opinions, not just a particular Agenda’s Sacred Cow or Cows.

If A&E can fire or punish a Phil Robertson for expressing his Moral Opinion, then Churches and Christian-owned businesses can fire or punish employees who express Moral Opinions that assert homosexuality is not sin.

Christians* and Gay Agenda, pick one.

 Posted by at 11:40 am
Dec 182013
 
Social Media Campaign to address Calvary Chapel Church abuses.

Social Media Campaign to address Calvary Chapel Church abuses.

#FreeSaeed and #SaveSaeed has been extremely successful and very encouraging. The World has heard us, our Government has heard us. Social Activism and Social Media Campaigns work.

We here at Calvary Chapel Abuse have been tackling the Ideas and Institutions in the Church, specifically the Calvary Chapel System of Churches, with regards to addressing core Problems of bad doctrine, bad best-practices, bad by-laws, bad leadership models, bad cult-like indoctrination that the Calvary Chapel Senior Pastor is “specially anointed by God!” as well as financial opacity, zero or lax systemic accountability, no mandatory child protections in place to be an “official” Calvary Chapel Associate/Affiliate/Franchisee….all of which are the Disease that leads to the many Symptoms we see in the news regarding abusive CC pastors, CC financial scandals, CC overlooking child abuse, pedophiles and felons working at the churches with kids, large-scale spiritual abuses and many cult-like practices.

In working our way through the Calvary Chapel System to address the issues of abuse and corruption and spiritual abuse etc, we have encountered many obstacles and many naysayers along the way. Michael Newnham over at PhoenixPreacher.com has come to the conclusion that to make any real change, the responsibility is on the “sheep” to quit supporting this particular Church System with their money and time and attendance when changes aren’t made. No butts in seats, according to Newnham, no particular Calvary Chapel with bad practices and abusive dynamic.

These “sheep” who are recruited by Calvary Chapel through their advertising, rhetoric, websites, crusades, radio programs, conferences, books, videos and person-to-person proselytizing need to be reached with the other side of the Calvary Chapel story, the side of the story that CC Franchisees and the CC System of Churches doesn’t disclose. We need to warn the “sheep” and the general public who is considering trusting a Calvary Chapel for spiritual guidance and giving them their time, money and often their submission and belief etc.

One area of disagreement between me and Michael is the role the individual Calvary Chapel Franchisee plays in the Problem. CC Franchisees enjoy being a Denomination and Association when it suits their particular interests, but when it comes to church discipline, church accountability, making reforms in Calvary Chapel…with one voice, the individual CC Franchisees cry, “We have NO responsibility for our System of Churches! We are all 100% independent!” This simply isn’t true and it’s wrong.

If the Calvary Chapel Franchisees won’t take responsibility for their Church System and won’t provide the whole Calvary Chapel Story to their communities and their “sheep” and won’t bring needed Reforms to their System of Churches, then we will do our best to stand in the gap.

Welcome to Project Accountability.

The new year provides us with new goals…we can make 2014 a productive year in taking the Cause to the hyper-local level.

Here’s the rough outline of the Campaign and we’re open to your input:

1. Create an online article/profile for every single Calvary Chapel Affiliate/Associate church and community. This will identify who the local CC Franchisee is and document their connection/association/affiliation to Calvary Chapel and then document the massive amount of info available that presents the other side of the Calvary Chapel Story. There will be links to the articles in the news about Calvary Chapel abuses, corruption, molestation, etc as well as to this site and others. Each individual CC Franchise will have the opportunity to present how they are different than the norm when it comes to open vs. closed finances, child protections in place, by-laws that are transparent and good, Matthew 18 resolution processes, who owns/controls all the church stuff, etc etc.

We will have the article/profile open for comments so folks can share of their experiences at each CC. The particular CC is welcome to present their story and answer any questions or concerns.

We will have a rating system: Jesus’s and Moses’s. 5 Jesus’s and 0 Moses’s is Best, 0 Jesus’s and 5 Moses’s is Worst.

2. We will focus on a group of CC Franchisees at a time. We will blitz Google Reviews, Yelp, Topix, etc. with the Project Accountability Campaign and drive people to the particular CC Franchisee’s page on here. We will review Calvary Chapel in general and our general experiences and ask if that particular CC Franchise has addressed the issues in its by-laws and practices that we have all experienced negatively.

We will do blitz searches for each group of CC Franchisees we focus on, searching key words over and over. This drives our page up the Search Engine list and puts us in a top position so our information will be accessible for review when someone is looking into attending a particular Calvary Chapel Franchise in their local area.

3. We will send out press releases to local media in the particular CC Franchise area articulating our Campaign, why we are doing it, what we are calling for and requesting that the particular CC Franchise responds with transparency and information about how they address the issues that are important to all of us.

We’re open to ideas. We’ll flesh this out more in the coming couple of weeks. We’ll pick the first round of CC Franchisees, articulate an outline of To Do’s and then we’ll hammer away for a specified period of time on each group.

We’re running a test case-study to the right in the Pages Section regarding our PhxP friend Jeff Jones’s CC Franchise of Calvary Chapel Foresthill. Jeff has been emailed and asked to provide his information so we can include it on the page and give him our Rating.

Some are already crying, “Guilt by ASSOCIATION!”….well, last I checked, the Calvary Chapel Association says it’s an Association: http://calvarychapelassociation.com/

 Posted by at 1:23 pm
Dec 042013
 

freeSaeed_vectortextThe blitz begins!

Today you will be heard… we will be heard… as we speak with one voice for Saeed Abedini.

Step One: Email your leaders!

1.Please email each of your state’s two US Senators. Contact info can be found here:http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

2.Please look up and then email your Representative in the House. http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/

3.Please email the White House http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/submit-questions-and-comments

We suggest your emails be BRIEF, RESPECTFUL, and SPECIFIC.

The following is a suggested format for those looking for assistance in drafting their emails. You can send the same email to all 4 individuals, just addressing each one separately as needed.

1st paragraph) Identify yourself as their constituent, but also as one of (however many we have by then) thousands of like minded men and women across the country that are concerned over the injustice of Saeed Abedini’s continued imprisonment in Iran. A link to the facebook page could be included here as proof of our numbers.

2nd paragraph) Thank them for their previous support in calling on Iran to release Saeed. Then express your disappointment that a nuclear agreement with Iran was recently made that did not include Saeed’s release.

3rd paragraph) Express that religious freedom and the return of an American citizen to his family is a bipartisan issue that all Americans of whatever political party should support. Ask them to use all of their influence to help bring Saeed home.

Close with a thank you.

It is very important to make this effort. You could also fax the same letter to their office, post on their facebook, and of course personally telephone their office and talk to a staff person. However, please at minimum send these four emails.

Step 2: Facebook!

Change your profile pic (if you haven’t already) to one of Pastor Saeed and post a link to this page and encourage others to do what you are doing!

Step 3: Twitter!

If there is a link under a name you can simply click to send the tweet.

Tweet President Obama

@BarackObama

We respectfully request that you use the full powers of your office to liberate Pastor Saeed Abedini! #freesaeed #savesaeed http://clicktotweet.com/iBeI7

@MichelleObama

@VP

@WhiteHouse

Tweet The President of Iran

@HassanRouhani We respectfully request you release Saeed Abedini as an act of mercy and friendship! #freesaeed #savesaeed  http://clicktotweet.com/Bj65t

Tweet a link to this page and encourage others to do what you are doing!

Retweet others as they join with us!

Step 4: Use your other social media

If you use Pinterest, Tumblr, Linkedin, etc…post a link to this page and encourage them to join us!

Click this link to auto post to Pinterest:

http://www.pinterest.com/pin/44684221276278759/

Step 5: Pray!

Pray that God amplifies our voices and that they carry with them the power of the Holy Spirit.

The last step…persevere in all the above!

 Posted by at 9:45 am
Nov 302013
 
Paul Crouch, founder of Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN), dead at 79.

Paul Crouch, founder of Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN), dead at 79.

Paul Crouch, Televangelist and founder of Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN), is dead at age 79.

According to PaulCrouch.com: “Dr. Paul F. Crouch passed into the presence of the Lord on November 30, 2013. We are grateful for the life of this amazing servant of God. Please pray for the Crouch family during this time.”

The scam-evangelist leaves a multi-million dollar empire consisting largely of his Trinity Broadcasting Network satellite television empire. Crouch was often criticized for his over-the-top fundraising efforts and was plagued my many scandals over the years, including a recent lawsuit by his granddaughter Brittany Koper. In the lawsuit, Koper alleges abuse of funds by using money given for charitable purposes being used instead to live a life of excess by Paul and Jan Crouch, Koper’s grandparents.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2119493/Private-jets-13-mansions-100-000-mobile-home-just-dogs-Televangelists-defrauded-tens-million-dollars-Christian-network.html

According to online sources, “Crouch was born in St. Joseph, Missouri, the son of Assemblies of God missionaries. Crouch, whose father died when he was seven years old, was mainly raised by his mother with the help of his grandparents. He soon became interested in amateur radio and announced he would use such technology to send the Gospel around the world.

Crouch…in 1973…with his wife, Jan, founded the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN). In 1974, TBN purchased its first TV station, KLXA-TV (now KTBN-TV). Since then, TBN has grown to become the United States’ largest Christian television network, and the third largest group owner of broadcast TV stations in the U.S., with CBS, FOX, and NBC holding fourth, fifth and sixth place, according to TV News Check’s annual listing of the Top 30 Station Groups. Forbes.com indicated that Paul F. Crouch had compensation of $402,244 in the Fiscal Year ending on 12/31/08.

TBN is viewed globally on 70 satellites and over 18,000 TV and Cable affiliates. TBN is also seen on the internet globally. TBN is carried on over 287 television stations in the U.S. and on thousands of other cable television and satellite systems around the world in over 75 countries, where their programming is translated into over eleven languages.

In the US, TBN’s coverage grew through agreements with national cable operators. TBN is viewed on US satellite and cable subs, and affiliated with major cable and satellite companies such as Comcast, Cox, Time Warner, Verizon FIOS, DirecTV, AT&T, Dish Network and Charter.

In addition to TBN, Crouch and his wife developed and oversee operations for TBN’s affiliated television networks: Smile of a Child – children’s channel, JCTV – youth network, The Church Channel, TBN Enlace USA – Spanish language network, TBNE-Italian, The Healing Channel – Arabic language network, TBN-Russia, TBN Nejat TV – Persian-language channel, and TBN-HD, TBN’s new high definition network.

Crouch and the former Janice Bethany (Crouch) met in 1957 and married in Missouri. They have two sons, Paul Crouch Jr. and Matthew Crouch.”

 Posted by at 10:50 am
Nov 272013
 
American pastor Saeed Abedini pictured with his family. Abedini was held in an Iranian prison for the crime of being a Christian missionary.

American pastor Saeed Abedini pictured with his family. Abedini was held in an Iranian prison for the crime of being a Christian missionary.

Liberals and Conservatives alike are hailing the news out of Washington D.C. today that President Obama has secured the release of American Christian pastor Saeed Abedini from Iranian prison as a huge human rights victory and big step toward healing strained relations between Iran and the U.S.

According to OPI News Service, the deal was part of the ongoing Iran nuclear negotiations which seek to bring a peaceful resolution to current tensions in the Middle East over Iran’s development of nuclear capability.

According to news sources, “In July 2012, Abedini made his ninth trip to Iran since 2009 to visit his family and continue his work to build an orphanage in the city of Rasht. While in the country, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps confiscated his passports and placed him under house arrest. He was later transferred to Evin Prison, where he has been incarcerated since late September.”

Many efforts have been underway to call attention to the American captive’s plight including efforts by the ACLJ’s “Save Saeed” campaign and the recent efforts of Groups like “Free Saeed” as well as many others, including Abedini’s home church system, Calvary Chapel.

An unnamed source from the Obama administration who spoke on the condition of anonymity due to the sensitive nature of ongoing negotiations is quoted as saying, “Saeed Abedini was brought to our attention because of grassroots efforts to secure his release. The public outcry has been overwhelming. We received thousands of emails, phone calls, letters and the social media blitzes have been extremely effective. The Obama administration is committed to human rights and we are committed to the plight of a fellow American being held in a foreign prison for nothing more than being a Christian. We rolled up our sleeves and we got a deal done. This is a victory for the American people and for human rights.”

Saeed Abedini is being flown out of Iran in route to Washington D.C. where he will be evaluated and treated at Walter Reed Army Medical Center before flying home to Boise, Idaho to be reunited with his friends and family.

The above is a dream. It’s a fictional account of what can happen…if we all pull together and make it happen. Many efforts are underway and many voices have cried out to help bring justice and freedom for one of our fellow Americans whose only crime is being a Christian missionary in a foreign land. The Obama Administration and our Government and the Iranian Government have the power to make this dream come true. You and I have the power to make this dream a reality. Let’s bring Saeed Abedini home to his wife and children and friends. Let’s not leave one of our fellow Americans behind and alone.

Join us at #FreeSaeed on December 4th. Blog, facebook, tweet, email, write letters, call your congress people, call the White House, send letters to the editor of your local newspaper. Injustice thrives where apathy persists. Make some noise. Make a difference. Call on Iran and the Obama administration to Free Saeed.

https://www.facebook.com/events/451324411638963/

http://michaelnewnham.com/?p=14609

 Posted by at 1:09 pm
Nov 252013
 
Calvary Chapel Boise pastor Bob Caldwell and many other Calvary Chapel pastors speak out  against the "torture" of adult Saeed Abedini, a fellow Calvary Chapel-ite. Yet, Calvary Chapel continues to endorse and condone Child Torture by one of their own CC Pastors in good standing.

Calvary Chapel Boise pastor Bob Caldwell and many other Calvary Chapel pastors speak out against the “torture” of adult Saeed Abedini, a fellow Calvary Chapel-ite. Yet, Calvary Chapel continues to endorse and condone Child Torture by one of their own CC Pastors in good standing.

By now, I’m sure many of you have heard of Saeed Abedini, the Boise, Idaho based Calvary Chapel missionary/pastor who is currently in an Iranian prison for really nothing more than being a Christian. It’s a terrible tragedy, if I was God for a day, one of the first things I’d do is karma the Iranian religious and political leaders into toilet paper so humanity could wipe their ass with them.

Saeed’s family lives in my area, his home church is Calvary Chapel Boise, we have mutual friends. I’ve been told Saeed is a great guy. I feel terrible for him, his wife, his family, his friends. No one should be imprisoned simply for their religious beliefs (unless those beliefs lead to breaking the law). But, there’s the rub…in Iran, the law there gives the Iranians the legal right to punish Saeed. I don’t agree with it and I think it’s a raw deal, but the guy is an adult and he knew the risks of going there. Even so, I say “Save Saeed!” Bring him home. Any pressure we can apply through letters, social media etc. should be done.

I am a bit pissed off about this “Save Saeed!” stuff from Calvary Chapel and here’s why:

Calvary Chapel continues to affiliate and endorse a Calvary Chapel Pastor, Bob Grenier of CC Visalia, who did a lot of the same stuff that Camp Saeed is alleging has happened to him in Iranian prison. “Torture” they call it. Saeed has supposedly been “beaten” with objects, struck in the face and body repeatedly, grabbed, kicked, punched, roughed up, etc. If that’s “torture”…then while Calvary Chapel screams foul over Saeed’s “torture” in Iranian prison…they continue to protect one of their officially affiliated pastors who beat children with custom made thick wooden paddles leaving bruises on the lower backs, backs of legs and buttocks…even breaking the skin from time to time. Pastor Bob also struck us in the face and body, grabbed us violently, pushed us, kicked us and even imprisoned my brother Geoff in a small coat closet….”torture”? In Bob Grenier’s case, that has been framed as “corporal punishment”…so maybe Iran isn’t really “torturing” Saeed…maybe they’re just employing a little good old fashioned “corporal punishment” Calvary Chapel Bob Grenier style.

Calvary Chapel should deal with Child Torture in their own House before they cry foul over one of their adults being tortured in a foreign land. When Chuck Smith and the now Calvary Chapel Association have been lobbied, called, sent letters etc. over Child Torture…their response has been: “Leave it to the Lord!” “Forgive!” “It’s in the past!” “Get a life!” “Not our problem!” or just plain ignoring the situation and Stonewalling…much like Iran.

If Jesus is in fact real…it seems he would be more pissed off about a powerful Church ignoring Child Torture in its ranks and finding any excuse to wash their hands of it, Pontius Pilate style…while in the next breath using their political muscle to save one of their own pastors.

A big social media effort is currently being organized to “Save Saeed”…many Calvary Chapels are getting involved. We’ll support the effort here at CC Abuse…but we’ll also call on Calvary Chapel to deal with Child Torture in their pastoral ranks as well.

Mark your calendar and get involved:

Pastor Saeed Abedini, an American citizen, has been imprisoned in Iran for over a year for the crime of being a Christian.

” On Wednesday December 4, every Christian with a platform, great or small, will feature Saeed on it and demand that our government secure his release. “

http://michaelnewnham.com/?p=14609

 Posted by at 7:42 pm
Nov 242013
 
Jesse Stovall, member of "founding family" of Calvary Chapel Visalia, lends his support for embattled pastor Bob Grenier.

Jesse Stovall, member of “founding family” of Calvary Chapel Visalia, lends his support for embattled pastor Bob Grenier.

A long-time Calvary Chapel Visalia “founding family” member sent public comments to CC Abuse recently that seek to defend the embattled Calvary Chapel Visalia pastor Bob Grenier who is accused of physical and/or sexual abuse by three of his male children (now adults).

Following are the unedited comments from Jesse Stovall:

“Alex, you seem to say that the cancer that Chuck Smith had is deserved in some way and that reconciliation with you was something he should have sought. Hmm, this from the guy that used to beat the crap out of his brothers when his parents were out of town…oh wait, is that too personal?”

“In as much as it concerns CC Visalia, I can say with 100% surety, I have never seen any of the so-called abuse. I have been in the home of Bob Grenier. I know Geoff and Alex. They can deny it but I know both of them. I know Alex’s wife. I grew up with them all. My family is one of the founding families of CC Visalia. I understand that many people have been hurt by Calvary Chapel. I had my own problems with a CC but not CC Visalia. I know Bob and Gayle and they are some of my favorite people ever.”

Following are my responses: I don’t run from questions or criticism and Camp Bob Grenier of Calvary Chapel do have many supporters who see Bob as a victim and not a perpetrator.

Jesse, regarding the “Chuck Smith Dead at 86″ article you reference in your comment, my point was to document the irony that Chuck Smith and Calvary Chapel have historically taught and practiced what’s called a “Doctrine of Divine Retribution” where Chuck warned and sincerely believed that God would punish his enemies who came against him and his “ministry” etc. This is well-documented and very apparent in the Christianity Today article that investigated issues about Chuck Smith and Calvary Chapel and the many scandals, abuses and lawsuits etc. and published a scathing 7 page news story on the issues. In the article, the CT Reporter is warned by Chuck Smith, “Touch not God’s anointed, do my prophet no harm…I believe you are trying to harm a work of the Lord, I wouldn’t want to be in your shoes.” This example is one of many throughout the years…and Smith and many in CC believe that God has brought death, sickness and other trouble to their perceived enemies and critics. Chuck Smith pulled the “Touch not God’s anointed” stuff with me from the CC Costa Mesa pulpit…saying “that what I (Chuck) could do wouldn’t hurt him much…but what the Lord will do…well, I’m glad I have the Lord on my side.”

Basically, good old Papa Chuck called down the “Touch not God’s anointed” CC curse on me. I commented on the blog shortly after that I felt (and I did, I had a strange feeling) that Chuck had called down the curse on himself and Camp BG. A month later, Chuck was diagnosed with Stage 3 lung cancer…and year later…to nearly the hour…Chuck croaked. Sharon Ries, Raul Riese’s wife has been diagnosed with Stage 4 liver cancer after Bob Grenier filed his lawsuit…and Raul Ries was on Bob’s Board and ignored the requests for dealing with the abuse situation…and sources tell me that Raul has been instrumental in giving Bob Grenier support and advice with regards to suing etc. It is also reported and alleged that Bob’s right-hand-man, Mike Buford, was diagnosed with a severe form of potentially life-threatening hypertension after the lawsuit.

Coincidence? Probably. I’m more of a skeptic and very much not a Christian* Fundamentalist. I don’t see any evidence today of the “supernatural”…but, yikes! Lots of sickness and death all the sudden in Camp Bob Grenier…and the point I am making is that if I and others in my Camp had some sort of bad luck…Chuck (well, not Chuck now…he’s dead) and Bob and Raul and the others would point to any sort of tragedy as “God moving!” and “God ZAPPED our enemies!” and they’d see God in all of that…and they’d give thanks to God for nuking their enemies and critics. That’s how they roll.

When tragedy befalls them on the heels of their bad actions…it’s not “God” and punishment to correct them…it’s “random chance”…they become as skeptical as any atheist. Very convenient Belief System they have. If I believed their nonsense and bullshit, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere near Bob’s circle…their version of God seems to be quite angry with him.

Regarding this comment you made, “Hmm, this from the guy that used to beat the crap out of his brothers when his parents were out of town…oh wait, is that too personal?” 

Well, not much is “too personal” after going public with the abuse in our home growing up. I’m happy to address this. I never “beat up” Paul or Robert. They are ten and eleven years my younger and I didn’t beat up small children when I was a teenager. That’s silly. Now, me and Geoff…different story. Geoff was a year younger, as you know, and a tough kid (much because of the violent physical abuse by “pastor” Bob in our home…it made us tough). Geoff and I got in a lot of fights. It’s how we learned conflict resolution in the home…something I shared with the Visalia Police Detectives when they asked about that issue when I interviewed with them about the child abuse three or four years ago at the Visalia Police station. Geoff was my equal and then got much bigger and stronger than me…and yes, we had some epic fights as male siblings from abusive homes often do. Violence breeds violence.

Regarding your comment here: “In as much as it concerns CC Visalia, I can say with 100% surety, I have never seen any of the so-called abuse.”

Child abusers, as a general rule, don’t invite other children or teens into the room (Jesse is a year or two younger than me) when they abuse their own children. It’s very uncommon that abusers (physical and/or sexual) allow witnesses to be present that are outside of the family unit that they tightly control. The fact you never witnessed any abuse in our home is about like the vast majority of teachers and coaches at Penn State saying they never saw Sandusky butt-f’ing one of his young victims.

There are witnesses to abuse in both cases. I’m a witness, Geoff is a witness, Paul is a witness, my aunt is a witness and there are neighbors who have come forward who saw and heard things that they now believe were signs of abuse and there are coaches from Geoff’s high school days who saw bruises on him in the shower according to Geoff’s testimony on the police report. Statute of limitations was the reason given by the Tulare County Prosecutor for not pursuing child abuse charges at that time.

I personally didn’t see Paul sexually abused, but I believe his testimony of abuse on this blog for many reasons.

Regarding your comment here:  “I have been in the home of Bob Grenier. I know Geoff and Alex. They can deny it but I know both of them. I know Alex’s wife. I grew up with them all. “

Yes, agreed. Why would I deny that? That’s a strange comment. Yes, you were in the home on very very rare occasions, you didn’t live there and don’t even think you ever spent the night (but I could be wrong about that one). You did come over with your family on occasion. I remember spending a little more time with you in late high school and early college around the time I met my wife. We had a mutual buddy, Tim Holzem, great guy. I lived with the Holzem’s for a period of time as it was always dicey at home and I was still hiding the abuse to keep up appearances for church etc. I remember you very well. You are the adopted son of Chuck and Lanelle Stovall. Chuck was the principal at Woodlake High School and then later worked for Valley Financial as a stock broker/securities broker. I gave him some of my business. Your adopted family sister is Sara and your adopted family brother was Sam who was an awesome swimmer, but his life was tragically cut short when he hit a moose with his car or something when he was working in Alaska (if memory serves). My wife went to his funeral at Calvary Chapel Visalia with our newborn son who my mom refused to meet. She tried to introduce my son to his grandma at the church before or after Sam’s memorial service, but she said Sue Dowds and some other CC women shuffled my mom off to the back of the church to avoid having to see her and my son. Very crazy and cult-like. Your mom and dad should be ashamed to be a part of that sort of nonsense, but they seem to support it, as do you. Shame on you and them.

Regarding your comment here: My family is one of the founding families of CC Visalia. I understand that many people have been hurt by Calvary Chapel. I had my own problems with a CC but not CC Visalia. I know Bob and Gayle and they are some of my favorite people ever.”

Yes, agreed. Your folks were OG CCV. They were there from early on. You had a good experience at CCV, good for you. I didn’t, neither did many others. Regarding my folks, if they are some of your favorite people then you should want what’s best for them and that’s to tell the truth and repent and seek to reconcile and make amends for any wrongdoing rather than to re-abuse the victims.

Jesse, frankly, I am disappointed that you would speak publicly to these issues without doing any real homework and without speaking to me or my wife or her family etc or any of the many people you know from CCV who have come forward. But, that’s ‘Merica, you have the right to your take, just as we do. I guess I just expect a little more out of a someone who is in “intelligence” and does analysis etc.

According to Jesse’s Linked-In profile:

Jesse Stovall at Sotera Defense Solutions, Washington D.C. Metro Area | Defense & Space

Current: Intelligence Analyst at Sotera Defense Solutions, Inc. Past: Technical Advisor at Lockheed Martin, Signals Intelligence Analyst at United States Army

Education: Community College of Aurora, Woodlake Union High School

Jesse Stovall’s comments were posted publicly by him on this blog. The comments were stuck in the spam filter and didn’t post publicly at first. They are from an email address bearing his name and an IP address that matches his location. They have been posted publicly as the subject of this article and he is free to respond and I’ll seek to liberate any further comments that get stuck (if I’m able to find them, we get lots of spam and the filter is a little over-active sometimes). I have no problem with Camp Bob’s defenders addressing the situation publicly. In fact, I welcome it. Let’s hash it all out again.

 Posted by at 12:46 am
Oct 032013
 
Chuck Smith, co-founder of the Calvary Chapel non-denomination, has died as a result of complications from a battle with lung cancer. He was 86-years-old.

Chuck Smith, co-founder of the Calvary Chapel non-denomination, has died as a result of complications from a battle with lung cancer. He was 86-years-old.

Pastor Chuck Smith of Calvary Chapel fame has died in the early morning of October 3, 2013 according to daughter Janette Smith Manderson. Chuck Smith has been battling lung cancer since he was diagnosed with it in late 2011.

My feelings are mixed.

Some of the last words I heard from Chuck Smith were his calling down God’s judgment on me from the Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa pulpit in classic “Touch not God’s anointed!” form.

Full audio of the public rebuke and warning here:

 

From Chuck Smith’s public rebuke of me from the Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa pulpit:

“There is a young fellow…who has created a website…a blog…in which he has been attacking me and Calvary Chapel viciously because his step-father was abusive to him as he was growing up…and he is wanting to bring his step-father down. And…so because I won’t take action against his step-father…because I, really…every Calvary Chapel is independent…I’m not in control of them…nor do I want control of them…I have a hard enough time just being in control of my own ministry. And, I just don’t want to have the responsibility of having to try and control the over 1,500 Calvary Chapels we have in the United States….so he is attacking me also on the blog and saying that I’m covering up all kinds of horrible things and making a lot of accusations and all…”

“…and I called him up and invited him down [this is factually incorrect, I first called Chuck Smith at his office and then reached him live at his home]…to try and sort of make peace if possible.”

“So, I promised him I would look into the situation…and I did…and then I wrote to him a response…and I sent it to his email address…but somehow it didn’t go through. And, it was endeavor on my part for reconciliation…but the email didn’t go through…I don’t know why…and I gave it a couple shots…and it didn’t go through….so I just sort of let it go…so he became really upset that I didn’t respond to his charges and so-forth against me…”

“So I was thinking…what can I do…and how can I defend myself…against all of these charges which are false and lies…and things that he is putting out on his blogsite. As we were finishing here tonight…as I was in my final prayer…the Lord just of spoke to me and said ‘look you’re praying that you’ll learn to turn things over to the Lord…let me fight your battles…and here you’re considering how you can deal with it…just leave it with me. I thought oh yes…and so….[pause, clapping]….I’m thankful for the help of the Lord”

“…and you know, I feel sorry for the guy. BECAUSE, WHAT I COULD DO WOULDN’T HURT MUCH…BUT I TELL YOU..WHAT THE LORD WILL DO…I CAN REALLY…UM…YOU KNOW…WELL…I’M GLAD I HAVE THE LORD ON MY SIDE.

I publicly stated on this blog after hearing that very sobering and hurtful “Touch not God’s anointed” chilling warning from the very powerful and influential Chuck Smith…something that would have rocked most people hearing that chilling warning that “God is on my side and he’ll zap  you!”…I had a feeling Chuck had called down a curse on himself, if God was in fact real, as I knew I was right in these matters.

Chuck Smith was diagnosed with Lung Cancer about a month or so after this public rebuke of me from the Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa pulpit.

I then commented publicly that I had a feeling the cancer would kill him, despite the happy and optimistic updates from his daughter and all the prayers for his healing etc…unless Chuck repented of his lying and his wrong handling of this situation and his wrong public rebuke and warning to me…when he and BG were in the wrong.

Well, the cancer has killed him and Chuck Smith died without repenting of this situation and without coming clean and without seeking reconciliation with me…other than some email that’s lost in cyberspace (according to him).

Calvary Chapel Pastors: Let this be a lesson to you. If you truly believe the “Touch not God’s anointed” garbage…if you truly believe God is “on your side” and you truly believe that critics and those who call you to accountability and responsibility are “of the devil” and that God will zap them for you….then what do you make of this situation? Coincidence? Random chance? Or did God do this as a public statement of who was right and who was wrong?

As a skeptic, I think it’s random chance and just a huge, though very very big, coincidence. I don’t think Chuck Smith or you as a Calvary Chapel pastor are “specially anointed” nor do I think that God will zap your enemies for you, etc. But, what if that dynamic is real? What if God is real and God does step in and zap folks sometimes, like Ananias and Saphira? If it’s true, then what are the odds this is coincidence? Again, I think it’s random chance, I don’t think God is active in this manner…BUT YOU AND YOUR DEAR LEADER DO and have expressed this dynamic and used this “Touch not God’s anointed” warning many times…believing that God does intervene sometimes and does punish folks sometimes in these sorts of matters.

So, what do you believe now? I’m sure the Chuck Smith “faithful” will be as skeptical as Richard Dawkins and any atheist and mark this one down as “random chance” and “coincidence” and “no connection whatsoever”…because the victim, this time, was their guy, their Dear Leader…and no way their Dear Leader could be wrong or could be lying or in sin etc. No way, not a chance.

If you embrace “Touch not God’s anointed!” as Chuck Smith both practiced and professed (see the Christianity Today article where he gives a chilling warning to the reporter and even quotes the verse about ‘touch not God’s anointed, do my prophet no harm’)….then circumstances around Chuck’s handling of the BG situation and Chuck’s subsequent cancer and death should chill you to your core.

My guess is you Calvary Chapel guys are full of s**t and you only profess a belief in spiritual things when it supports your narrative and your leaders and your business….God does all sorts of stuff in circumstances when it fits your agenda..otherwise everything is just random coincidence.

To the family of Chuck Smith, especially Chuck Smith Jr. (who is a great guy)…I’m sorry for your loss. Chuck had many good qualities. He was a mix of good and bad like we all are. He did a lot of good while he was on this planet…and unfortunately, he was also human like the rest of us and did some bad stuff as well. Net-net, I think Chuck as a man was a decent guy, not perfect, but decent. I think the position, the power, the Chuck-worship was a lot of temptation for him and I think that sort of power corrupted him over time, but he wasn’t near as bad as many others who have reached similar success. I think Chuck helped a lot of folks and I think, from what I’ve gathered, he treated you kids well and was a good husband. My beef with your Pops was the Machine he created and his propagation of particular mythology like the “Touch not God’s anointed” crap…and the Moses Model dynamic in the form of the CC pastors are “special” and privileged and God is “on their side” and will zap their enemies. That is dangerous stuff…and it’s the reason I drive this particular point home so strongly. Chuck was not “specially anointed”…he was talented. God was not on Chuck’s side, nor was he against Chuck.

Let my example dispel the myth of “Touch not God’s anointed” and Moses Model CC pastors are “special” and God is on their side. God will not zap you for questioning them and challenging them and calling their b.s. If you don’t believe that, Calvary Chapel-ites, then I must be “specially anointed” as God zapped Chuck and not me (if your theory is true). I am not specially anointed, therefore Chuck’s and Calvary Chapel’s thing is a myth. Run from it. Don’t repeat it. Let all that garbage and nonsense die with Chuck.

Wishing the family peace in their time of grief, wishing the Calvary Chapel pastor progeny of Chuck Smith repentance of their error and a new course for the future.

UPDATE: OK, I will say this…Chuck Smith Sr. seemed to be a great dad, which to me, will be the best part of his Legacy. He had some difficult kids…one is just plain difficult (yet Chuck always maintained a relationship with him and gave him lots of grace)…another kid had major philosophical differences that brought down a lot of heat on the Old Man and his church (even to this day). Chuck Sr. protected and maintained a good relationship with that son as well. This, to me, is Chuck Smith at his best and it is one of the very positive things I will remember about him.

 Posted by at 6:40 am
Sep 292013
 

I often peruse my Facebook wall for anything interesting…and many times my curiosity is piqued by a particular theological or philosophical statement. My early Sunday morning ventures dissected paths with this recent FB Reformed Presbyterian Fundamentalist friend, Nick Batzig.

Say hi to Nick: “Hi Nick!” Pleasant looking lad. Very smart. Very Reformed.

Nicholas Batzig

Rev. Nicholas T. Batzig is minister of New Covenant Presbyterian Church (a church plant of the PCA) in Richmond Hill, Ga. He is a contributor to Feeding on Christ and Christ the Center, a weekly Reformed podcast.

So, I come across this post of Nick’s and it captures my interest and sparks a discussion of sorts. It’s typical of how these sorts of discussions usually go when you apply Critical Thinking to dogmatic Sacred Cows. I find this convo noteworthy enough to post for your reading pleasure and consideration. Here it is, unedited and in its entirety:

Nick Batzig:

37 minutes ago near Richmond Hill, GA

“It is only because the author assumes his readers have assimilated the gist of this teaching that he expects

his appeal to come with convincing force to them. They would understand that Jesus Christ must indeed be the same yesterday and today and forever because they remembered who Jesus Christ was and in what terms he had been described to them in almost every sentence of the epistle.” – Geerhadus Vos on Hebrews 13:8

 Alex Joye Grenier:

Hmmm, I’ve always had a tough time with the presupposition that “Jesus is the same, yesterday. today and forever” as if Jesus never changed in any way or never changed his mind or approached major issues differently etc. We have what we assume is “Jesus” as OT Theophany appearing in the Garden to Adam and Eve, appearing to Moses, appearing to Jacob “face to face” etc to avoid a contradiction in the NT that states “no one has seen God at any time” (ergo OT “God” and “Lord” is Jesus and not God the Father or there is a biblical contradiction). So, Jesus then gave Moses the Levitical Law (and even if one doesn’t accept the Jesus Theophany position, Trinitarians must accept that Jesus is also God and equally responsible for giving the Levitical Law to Moses) and the Levitical Law commands to kill rebellious children with stones, permits slavery, permits concubines (sex slaves) and commands the execution of women with stones for adultery, permits selling your daughter into slavery etc. Then in the NT, Jesus states, “I give you a new law, love your enemies…be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect” which implies God now loves his enemies. So, it appears that Jesus and God or Jesus-God has ‘changed’…from OT “smite thine enemy!” to “love your enemy!” but Revelation then changes back to Jesus on the White Horse smiting his enemies with a sword “until the blood is bridle high”…so Jesus seems to change quite a bit…

23 minutes ago · Edited · Like

 Nick Batzig:

Here is the rest of what Vos says in that paragraph: “They would understand that Jesus Christ must indeed be the same yesterday and today and forever because they remembered who Jesus Christ was and in what terms he had been described to them in almost every sentence of the epistle. He was the Son of God, the effulgence of the Father’s glory, the very image of his substance. To him the author had applied the words of the 102nd Psalm: “Thou Lord in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of thy hands: they shall perish; but thou remainest. And they all shall wax old as cloth a garment, and as a mantle shalt thou roll them up. But thou art the same and thy years shall not fail” (vv. 26,27). To him therefore belongs the attribute of unchangeableness that is inherent in the conception of divinity itself. Indeed the very form of the words–the same, yesterday and today and forever–reminds us most vividly of the New Testament Apocalypse gives of God himself as the one that is and that was and that is to come who fills with his being all the possible categories of time because he is eternal; and also it reminds us of that other no less sublime description which we find in the same book of both God and Christ himself as the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end. Christ belongs throughout the epistle to the heavenly world in which everything bears the character of the unchangeable, the abiding. In this respect, the teaching of the epistle stands nearest to our Lord’s own teaching concerning himself in the fourth gospel where also the emphasis is continually thrown on this–that Jesus is from above and not from beneath and that consequently he is free from all the relativities and imperfections and vicissitudes that necessarily belong to everything earthly. Christ is the truth, the reality of God incarnate, and therefore we can sustain to him the same religious relationship, address to him the same religious trust that we sustain and address to God.”

23 minutes ago · Like

Nick Batzig:

I would recommend the whole sermon as it is one of the finest on this passage I’ve read http://t.co/yPIE10hLvM

23 minutes ago · Like

Tom Martin:

If Jesus is not the same, then He may change. I don’t want Him to change. I can’t risk that His love for me might change.

22 minutes ago · Like · 1

Nick Batzig:

Additionally, here is something I wrote years ago to help explain the relationship between the ceremonial laws of the Old Covenant and the fulfillment they find in Christ in the New http://feedingonchrist.com/…/

21 minutes ago · Like

 Nick Batzig:

Alex, Jonathan Edwards’ sermon on Heb. 13:8 is extremely helpful on this too http://www.biblebb.com/files/edwards/thesame.htm

20 minutes ago · Like

Alex Joye Grenier:

Well, God ‘repented’ (changed his mind) according to the bible. There appears to be many contradictions and paradoxes. I actually hope God/Jesus is truly “love” and truly “good” and truly a God of forgiveness and truly loves his enemies as we are commanded to do in the NT. I don’t understand why an all powerful almighty God would be bound by some weird Eternal Contract that forces him to torment most of humanity in hell forever with no end…even though most of humanity has never been presented with a “correct” Christian gospel message.

19 minutes ago · Like

Alex Joye Grenier:

Nick, yes I used to be Reformed and I’ve read much from Edwards, I just now disagree with his positions.

18 minutes ago · Like

Nick Batzig:

That’s a semi-pelagian understanding of that passage. God uses anthropomorphic language to prove the point of His displeasure with our rebellion. “I the LORD do not change” (Mal. 3:6).

18 minutes ago · Like

Tom Martin:

God’s repentance means He turned around in the direction He was going. That does not mean He changed His mind, merely that His actions appear at odds with what He was doing previously. He is not a mummy.

18 minutes ago · Like

Alex Joye Grenier:

No, it’s more of a Universal Reconciliation position.

17 minutes ago · Like

Alex Joye Grenier:

“He turned around in the direction He was going. That does not mean He changed His mind” I guess, if you redefine the term, but then you neuter the meaning of the word for the rest of its use throughout the bible.

16 minutes ago · Like

Tom Martin:

Words are defined by their context

16 minutes ago · Like

 Alex Joye Grenier:

Context is defined by the individual.

16 minutes ago · Like

Tom Martin:

Respectfully, no. Context is self defining

15 minutes ago · Like

Alex Joye Grenier:

How so?

15 minutes ago · Like

Tom Martin:

If communication has any meaning, then it means what the communicator intends. We might misunderstand, or the communicator might mistakenly communicate, but the intent is what the words mean.

15 minutes ago · Like

Alex Joye Grenier:

So, who was the original communicator in the Hebrews passage?

14 minutes ago · Like

Tom Martin:

Those who hear must seek to ascertain what was intended

14 minutes ago · Like

Nick Batzig:

I would only answer your statement about not understanding why an all powerful God would send people to hell forever by telling you what Anselm told his disciple, “You have not yet adequately come to understand what your sin deserves.” One sin against …See More

13 minutes ago · Like · 1

Tom Martin:

Well, Hebrews is anonymous. I think it was the apostle Paul.

13 minutes ago · Like

 Alex Joye Grenier:

OK, then how can you ask Paul or Anonymous what they intended by every word and nuance?

13 minutes ago · Like

Nick Batzig:

Alex, maybe the God you have formed in your own mind will change from his universal salvation and consume you in His wrath. What makes you think he won’t?

12 minutes ago · Like

Tom Martin:

We can’t ask them. We must exercise our talents to decipher the meaning of the context. This is possible, by the grace of God.

12 minutes ago · Like

Alex Joye Grenier:

…you must rely on a particular Group’s Hermeneutic and you must rely on the consensus opinion of a particular set of gurus of a particular sect or denomination.

12 minutes ago · Like

Tom Martin:

that’s a cop out

11 minutes ago · Like

 Nick Batzig:

True. The question is, do I have the right heremenuetic

11 minutes ago · Like

Alex Joye Grenier:

“We can’t ask them. We must exercise our talents to decipher the meaning of the context. This is possible, by the grace of God.” Yes, that’s very subjective and very individual in nature.

11 minutes ago · Like

Alex Joye Grenier:

Hermeneutic is very subjective.

11 minutes ago · Like

Nick Batzig:

We believe that the Reformed have the right hermeneutic.

11 minutes ago · Like

Tom Martin:

I don’t want to read a passage objectively; I want to know what it means.

11 minutes ago · Like

Tom Martin:

Words have meaning

10 minutes ago · Like

 Alex Joye Grenier:

Yes, I know you do. And, the other 9,000 (James White’s number) to 30,000 Christian* denominations who differ on all sorts of “this is what the bible says!” apply different hermeneutics and even applying what some would call a Reformed Hermeneutic many arrive at different opinions of “this is what the text means!”

10 minutes ago · Like

Nick Batzig:

Sure. You could say, “That’s just your interpretation;” to which I would say, “It is. Is it the right one.” You’re doing precisely the same thing. Subjective interpretations do not change the fact that there is an objective meaning in the Scriptures.

10 minutes ago · Like

 Tom Martin:

Whether or not I believe Hebrews, we know what its author meant and I believe it

9 minutes ago · Like

Alex Joye Grenier:

No, we don’t really know for sure.

9 minutes ago · Like

 Nick Batzig:

Gents. I have a sermon to preach about the unchangeable Lord Jesus Christ for the building up of believers. I have to bail on this discussion.

9 minutes ago · Like

Alex Joye Grenier:

We can make some assumptions, draw some conclusions, but to be intellectually honest, we really haven’t much of a clue.

9 minutes ago · Like

Tom Martin:

With due humility, I know (at least partly) what it means. It means that the God-man Jesus is unchangeable.

8 minutes ago · Like · 1

 Alex Joye Grenier:

The text seems to contradict your position of “unchangeable”. God seems to have Free Will and the ability to change his mind if he wants to.

8 minutes ago · Like

 Tom Martin:

God is not capricious

7 minutes ago · Like

 Tom Martin:

He is infinitely wise and patient in His judgments

7 minutes ago · Like

 Nick Batzig:

It also means that His once-for-all sacrifice for our sin continues to be acceptable to God for us and that His intercession on the throne of God never ceases for those for whom He died.

7 minutes ago · Like

 Alex Joye Grenier:

OK, so Jesus paid the penalty for sin, so it’s all good.

6 minutes ago · Like

 Alex Joye Grenier:

Yes, Limited Atonement, Jesus only died for the Elect.

6 minutes ago · Like

 Alex Joye Grenier:

…I don’t agree with that position any longer.

6 minutes ago · Like

 Nick Batzig:

Alex, have you read the Vos sermon I posted or any of the lengthier comments I have made, or do you just like to see your own comments being posted on my FB wall?

5 minutes ago · Like

 Alex Joye Grenier:

Yes and no.

5 minutes ago · Like

 Nick Batzig:

Proverbs 18:2

5 minutes ago · Like

 Alex Joye Grenier:

It caught my attention and sparked some comments from me which led to a discussion.

4 minutes ago · Like

 Nick Batzig:

I answered your initial comment with several resources that suitably answer it and your ignored them and proceeded to argue. This is not a discussion.

3 minutes ago · Like

 Alex Joye Grenier:

No, the appeal to the fool passages is usually a form of ad hominem and not very constructive. The bible also states you have to become a fool to be wise so there is another example of competing narrative.

3 minutes ago · Like

 Nick Batzig:

Jesus calls people fools in the Bible, but I guess you think he changed.

3 minutes ago · Like

 Alex Joye Grenier:

Nick, you assume I am not familiar with what you appealed to and I am. I used to be reformed and have already read the stuff, it doesn’t suitably answer my questions IMO or I wouldn’t be continuing the discussion.

2 minutes ago · Like

 Alex Joye Grenier:

Yes, Jesus called the Pharisees “you fools!” and Jesus also said that you would be in danger of the fire of hell if you called your brother “you fool!”

about a minute ago · Like

 Alex Joye Grenier:

…another competing narrative.

about a minute ago · Like

 Nick Batzig:

Alex, please stop writing on my FB wall.

about a minute ago · Like

 Alex Joye Grenier:

Okey doke. Have a good day.

a few seconds ago · Like

…and then the thread was removed, but to his credit, Nick did not zap me from being a facebook friend. Thanks to Nick and to Tom for the discussion. I think it highlights and illustrates some major blind spots in conservative Fundamentalism…this guru from the Reformed wing of that Tent.

What say you? Does God have free will (God being Jesus and God the Father, remember Trinitarians, you assert they are the same essence, different persons). Did Jesus “change” from the Old Testament to New Testament and then back again in Revelation? What does it mean to “love your enemies”?

 Posted by at 6:48 am
Sep 142013
 
There are 9,000 to 30,000 Christian* denominations and many different versions of the Gospel and how one can be sure they are truly saved.

There are 9,000 to 30,000 Christian* denominations and many different versions of the Gospel and how one can be sure they are truly saved.

“The Gospel is simple!” according to most Christian Fundamentalists I’ve shared air with in my journey.

Yet another mythology that “simply” isn’t true from an intellectually honest perspective.

The Gospel* and being “saved” takes on a lot of nuance, depending on which of the 9,000 to 30,000 flavors of Christian* denomination and their particular interpretation of “this is what the bible says!” you appeal to.

Whenever I hear the statement, “The Gospel is simple”…my first response is to ask the particular person to quantify that statement…to give me the “simple” Gospel message. Then I ask them how I can know for sure whether or not I am officially “saved” according to their particular Belief System.

It usually goes something like this:

Evangelical: “The simple Gospel is this: Believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God and you’ll be saved.”

Alex: But, your same Presuppositionalist position asserts that “even the devil believes.” There must be more to it, no?

Evangelical: “Well, yes, you have to accept Jesus into your heart and be born again.”

Alex: OK, you mean like saying the sinner’s prayer?

Evangelical: “Yes. Exactly.”

Alex: OK, I’ve done that a bunch of times, too many to count.

Lutheran: “Um, excuse me, you have to be baptized as well. The bible clearly says you have to be baptized to be saved.”

Evangelical: “No, it doesn’t say that.”

Lutheran: “Um, yes it does, right here: Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. And, here: Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved. And, here: Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. You have to believe AND be baptized to be officially saved.

Calvinist: “Hey, excuse me, God regenerates you, you have nothing to do with it. Walking forward at an altar call and saying you believe in Jesus and getting baptized doesn’t mean squat. Five bucks and an altar call at your local Calvary Chapel will get you a coffee at their onsite Starbucks. You have to be regenerated by God.”

Catholic: “You rebellious protestants are all wrong. You have to go to confession for your mortal sins, you have to be baptized into the Roman Catholic Church and you have to do good works. And, Martin Luther was a total arsehole.”

Lutheran: “Good works? Puuulllleeeze. Sola Fide! Sola Scriptura! Sola Gratia! Don’t make me nail some s**t on your door you Mary worshipper!”

Catholic: “Screw you protestant rebel scum.”

Evangelical: “Well, I think you’re both going to hell and worshipping a false God, you both belong to dead churches and you baptize babies and liturgy is the sign of a dead church. You have to have life and you have to walk with Jesus and abide in the vine and live for God daily.”

Charismatic: “No, YOU’RE going to hell, too. You have to be born of the Spirit and have the sign gifts or you aren’t truly saved! You don’t even speak in tongues!”

Calvinist” “Sign gifts? Like rolling around in the aisles barking like dogs and speaking in Klingon? You guys are freaking nuts! God is a God of order!”

Lutheran: “Ya, God is a God of order!”

Catholic: “Amen!”

Evangelical: “Ya, kind of with you on that, but we do raise our hands now and again. And, I close my eyes on occasion. I spoke in tongues at a Calvary Chapel once, but then they became Southern Baptist.”

Charismatic: “The only moves of the Spirit ya’ll have are when you’re about to drop a deuce. You’re all spiritually dead! You need the Holy Spirit! Come to a fresh fire spiritual revival and get the Holy Ghost! You need a miracle in your life. If you step out in faith and send me some money, you’ll get that miracle!”

Alex: Um, guys, can we get back on topic? How can I know for sure I’m saved? What do I have to do?

Lordship Salvation’ite: “You must be holy and Jesus must be Lord of your life in all areas. You have to surrender to him daily. Don’t dance, don’t smoke, don’t drink, don’t chew…and don’t go with girls who do.”

Alex: Oh, brother.

Calvinist: “You’re not regenerate, you’re not my brother. If you were truly regenerate, you’d understand the correct doctrine and correct Theology. TULIP, double-predestination, monergism, ESV, Calvin’s Institutes. That’s how I roll beotches.”

Lordship Salvation’ite: “You got that right. He’s not saved, no way. I like your content but I can’t agree with your language Calvinist. You need to repent. We must be holy at all times. I sense some sin in your life and that is not a sign of being truly regenerate. There is something you haven’t surrendered to the Lord yet”

Lutheran: “Doubtful you’re saved. Have you been baptized? Do you take the Sacraments?”

Alex: Yup, I’ve been baptized twice. I’ve even had communion many times.

Lutheran: “As a baby?”

Alex: Nope.

Lutheran: “Juice and crackers? Did you believe it was the literal flesh and blood of Jesus?”

Alex: Yes to the first one and nope to the second.

Lutheran: “Then nevermind, you’re screwed.”

Catholic: “Alex, when is the last time you went to confess your sins to an authority who represents God from the Catholic Church?”

Alex: Nope. Never.

Catholic: “Not good, unless you don’t know any better in your conscience, then you’ve got a chance in purgatory.”

Evangelical: “Purgatory? There’s no such thing. You Catholics are nuts. But there is a Jesuit conspiracy and the Pope is the Anti-Christ!”

Catholic: “Oh, here we go again.”

Lordship Salvation’ite: “I’m with Evangelical on this one.”

Charismatic: “Me, too, the great Whore of Babylon! The End is near!”

Evangelical: “You know it! Gog and Magog, the Mark of the Beast, One World Religion, it’s the sign of the times! Just read the newspaper.”

Lutheran: “You guys are freaking nuts. The End is near alright, the end of interpreting Revelation correctly.”

Calvinist: “Amen, Lutheran.”

Lordship Salvation’ite: “Calvinist, I love you bro, but you’ve got blind spots when it comes to the bible. Dispensationalism and End Times are legit, Johnny Mac says so.”

Calvinist: “Johnny Mac? He’s a legalist.”

Evangelical: “He’s not very nice. He seems so angry.”

Charismatic: “He’s a Cessationist demon possessed false prophet! You’d be angry, too, if you didn’t have the Holy Spirit!”

Catholic: “You’re all nuts. You need to repent and come back to the Catholic Church.”

Lutheran: “The Pope wears a fish hat and the reason priests molest all those boys is because they can’t get married.”

Catholic: “Oh, you had to go there!”

Alex: Guys, guys, settle down. Can’t we all sing Kumbaya or something?

Universalist: “Did somebody say Kumbaya?”

What is the “simple” Gospel message? Can you tell me how I can be saved, like for sure saved? What’s your take?

 Posted by at 7:18 pm

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