mis-leading ministries

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Iconoclast, Jul 8, 2011.

  1. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    Messages:
    13,379
    Likes Received:
    728
    In another thread Allan Brought up that He personally knows of 3 cases where a person tried to take over a ministry using guile and deception to get the position. Others have spoken of being "refugees" from a similar situation.
    The common idea seems to be a calvinist trying to hijack non cal assemblies.

    Have you been apart of this?

    How did it begin?

    How did you react?

    Was there a solution?

    Give 2-3 main ideas that you personally saw with your own eyes! No talebearing!
     
  2. Don

    Don
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2000
    Messages:
    10,547
    Likes Received:
    212
    I've seen it, and been peripherally involved, specifically with one particular pastor. Had nothing to do with Calvinism, or doctrinal viewpoints; had everything to do with a man wanting to be in charge.
     
  3. Tom Bryant

    Tom Bryant
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2006
    Messages:
    4,439
    Likes Received:
    0
    A church in our Association called a pastor but didn't ask about his view of soteriology. He didn't tell them he was a Calvinist. But when he started preaching it, people got mad. This caused him to preach more about it (every Sunday, by both the church's and his testimony).

    It ultimately ended with him leaving the church and starting a church in the same town.

    I think both sides made mistakes. They should have asked and I think he should have spoken up. They reacted to his preaching badly and he reacted to their questions with becoming a one note charlie.

    It was sad because any church arguement gets into the community.
     
  4. Allan

    Allan
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2006
    Messages:
    6,888
    Likes Received:
    0
    It is not just Cals that have done this, and I did specify it was not a common place thing as well but done enough that even Reformed men like Tom Ascol took note and addressed. In that same post, I showed a comment from Mr. Ascols blog where one of the commenters stated his friend applied for a pastorate and that when they asked if he was a Calvinist, he told them "No" even though he actually was.

    however what you see MORE often are those of the overly zealous charismatic persuasion trying to come into baptist churches. In fact, I was invited to a person who attended one of my bible studies, home. He friend was visiting from out of state (we were in De Smet, SD) and she presumed I was of the same beliefs her friend was (word of faith).. and told my wife and I that she was almost finished in her training to secretly go into Baptist churches and begin teach the 'truth' to a couple.. and once they were solid. To invite some others,, and then move to being a church teacher, and then bring into the service.

    The 3 issues which has Cals involved I did not witness personally. I was asked to hep mediate the issues that were in effect, as I was good friends with many in the churches and/or the association. In speaking with the Pastors however 2 pastors stated they knew from the outset the churches did not hold to Calvinism but deliberately did not tell them and in fact answered them in such away as to be vague. The interesting thing is that once inside the church the model above is fairly close to what both men had thought to do. The 3rd person was much like Tom Bryants posts... however again, the candidate knew the churches position and that it did not align with him views.

    The solution was a bit late in coming and the pastors left, the churches name and reputation was marred (to varying degrees) in the community due to the issue. The first 2 were, by their own admission, due to the willing desire to get into a non-cal Church and turn it around 'for the glory of God' , but ended up making a shadow more than a glory. And while I can not speak to the intent of the 3rd, I do know that he stated he did know the churches stance, but figured if they didn't ask, maybe they were open to change. I will give him the benefit of the doubt since it was his first pastorate, but I think it hurt him almost as much as the church.

    However can be seen in various churches in various ways, not just 'some' Cals in various places making a bad name for the many. In De Smet, SD.. has a couple just moved from Canada, he was a youth pastor and just finished his BA in something, we were just beginning a church plant there. After a few weeks he said there was nothing in the doctrines we taught that he didn't disagree with but he felt God wanted him in a church that DID NOT agree with him theologically, and if he became apart of it he could change it from the inside out and get them to understanding proper and correct doctrine. I FLAT OUT told him that if he did that he was being deceitful to that church, making himself a liar and standing squarely in sin. For one because God didn't call him there, 2. He was there for the wrong reasons, 3. He is willingly trying to cause division in the church.. and I gave a couple more but you get the picture. My wife can vouch for the conversation because I didn't hide the truth, but spoke it to both him and his wife at the BBQ they invited us to, with their family.

    In that instance it was a non-cal, doing the same thing.

    No matter WHO it is.. it is wrong, deceitful, purposely bringing division to the body of Church by THEIR means not Gods. In any event.. that is as far as I'm willing to go regarding info and discussion.
     
  5. jbh28

    jbh28
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    Messages:
    3,761
    Likes Received:
    0
    Wow, how sad. This is when one takes a doctrine too far. While I'm going to agree with the doctrines of Grace, I show grace to those at my church that don't agree with me. (I'm actually in the minority on this, though most would lean that way, I just lean a little bit more :)). We don't talk about it that much. Truthfully, I speak about it hear a lot more than at my church. I'm there to worship, not divide. If I was pastoring a church and the church wasn't calvinistic, I wouldn't preach Calvinism down their throats. It's not profitable.
     
  6. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    Messages:
    13,379
    Likes Received:
    728
    Don,
    Sounds like Diotrephes

    Allan,
    Very sad situations,but it sounds as if God gave you grace and wisdom to help those affected by these misguided persons...Thanks for the imput.


    Tom,
    Exactly ....the work of God suffers harm for a season...
     
  7. Jerome

    Jerome
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Messages:
    5,623
    Likes Received:
    45
    Without the congregation's knowledge, the pastor listed our church on various Reformed church directories (Farese's, Founders, etc.), which attracted some very divisive Reformed types.

    On these sites, the pastor pastor falsely claimed our church's confession was the 1689 LBC.
    He waived a requirement that new members affirm their agreement with our actual statement of faith (dispensational, congregational), did not tell us he was doing so.
    Suddenly we began hearing things like elders this, arminian semi-pelagian that, 9Marks books being waved aroung in the pulpit, etc.
    The pastor eventually resigned, but we ended up with a vocal minority of Reformed members who were intent on getting their way.

    When some dear saints left the church, disgusted with the tactics of these people, we were told, no problem God is just pruning dead wood from the church.

    Sick. :tear:
     
  8. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    Messages:
    13,379
    Likes Received:
    728
    Jerome this is sad if it happened this way...

    1] was the pastor always reformed. or studied into it

    2] did he start teaching or preaching this suddenly or over time?

    3] did you question him and his methods?
     
  9. Jerome

    Jerome
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Messages:
    5,623
    Likes Received:
    45
    IF it happened this way? What is that supposed to mean?

    1. When he finally leveled with the congregation, he claimed that he had adopted Reformed views during the course of his pastorate.

    2. Both. Looking back he slowly was introducing things, but it really ratcheted up and became obvious once he had attracted a core of supporters.

    3. Of course I did, privately, and was placed under a gag order similar to that described as the MO of certain authoritarian Reformed Baptist types by John Reisinger:

    http://www.soundofgrace.com/jgr/index042.htm

    And yes, he appeared to be closely following the Founders blueprint for turning a church Reformed:

    judicious avoidance of overtly Reformed vocabulary (at first). Check.
    gathering a cabal of supporters. Check.
    appearance of a book table full of just Reformed titles. Check.

    You are right that it is sad what happened, but sad does not begin to describe the hurt that resulted from such tactics.
     
  10. quantumfaith

    quantumfaith
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2010
    Messages:
    6,890
    Likes Received:
    0
    Jerome,

    I can sense your frustration and disappointment (hurt) in what happened. Some of what you described (perhaps not as blatant) I also went through.

    The church I had worshiped at for 12 years called a new (young) pastor to replace the retiring pastor of more than 30 years. This new pastor was, as he preferred to be called "historical baptist". Immeadiately, almost, the churches Articles of Faith began to be considered for possible revision. The "pulpit committee, of which I knew most on it, was led by a close friend, respected friend, I knew him to be reformed in his theology outlook. I did not think that we would necessarily be given a reformed prospect, as I know my friend to be reasonable, intelligent and wise. But that is what we were offered. Of course, the church had no knowledge or awareness of this initially prior to his calling. It slowly came out through a class the pastor taught on Sunday evenings. The friction, head butting etc. then began, by that time, a core of "leadership" was in place. Suffice it to say, over the next 1-2 years approximately 150 families left the church. Personally, I went to the pastor in private to discuss matters with him, but was only offered a 'history lesson". I "hung in" for most of 2 years until it was revealed to me that I would not be permitted to teach if my views did not align with those of the leadership. So I left, landed in a church that I could never have imagined that I would "end up" in, a Andy Stanley campus. Contemporary, totally a new thing for me. I have grown to absolutely love and now teaching a "Starting Point" class geared toward those who have little or no experience with "church" or often "religion" at all. There are many things I miss about my more "traditional" SBC church. Much of the "hurt" could have been avoided at my church, if the pastor, staff and leadership had held some form of "meeting" early on and discussed, here is where things are, here is where we want to go, how can we work together to make that happen. But that was not to be, if fact, few if any of those families that left, have ever been contacted.
     
  11. quantumfaith

    quantumfaith
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2010
    Messages:
    6,890
    Likes Received:
    0
    BTW, I think "I" am the "refugee", at least I used that adjective earlier.
     
  12. Jerome

    Jerome
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Messages:
    5,623
    Likes Received:
    45
    Check.

    Check

    When I left a favorite hymn of these Reformed people was "My faith has found a resting place, not in device nor creed" (this was during the time they were trying to illegally jettison our statement of faith), six months later I read that they had adopted the 1689 Confession. Truly bizarre.
     
  13. quantumfaith

    quantumfaith
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2010
    Messages:
    6,890
    Likes Received:
    0
    My personal position is simple, if a church is not clearly and unambiguously identified as favoring "reformed" theological traditions (I speak only of SBC churches), then incoming pastors oshould be VERY clear about where they stand, and then the two parties discuss things to determine if they think things can "work out" without strife and division. Most church lay members are blissfully unaware of differences which only later occur.
     
  14. TomVols

    TomVols
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2000
    Messages:
    11,170
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have not seen anyone try to take a church Reformed. I have heard of it, but never seen it. Never heard of a particular one until Allan and until one or two ancedotes (unnamed) in the Western Recorder. What I have seen most of in my two decades plus of ministry:

    1. IFBs trying to take over SB churches and turn them IFB. Far and away, the biggest issue. More of this than all else combined. Saw it first in the 80s and am seeing one just a couple of miles from my house right now. Some have told me they've seen this since the early 1900s. I've had to rebuild three churches that were ravaged by this in my area alone.

    2. (and with a bullet) Non-Cals encouraging a "smoking out" of Reformed people.

    3. Conservatives trying to "turn around" the so called "moderate" churches, and conversely, Liberals trying to "soften" conservative churches

    4. Pastors using wedge issues to divide churches (KJVO, Dispensationalism, etc.)

    5. Charismatics trying to infiltrate SB churches. I qualify this because Charismatic thought is part and parcel of quite a few IFBs in my neck of the woods. Two charismatic denominations are housed in my area, so this is easy to figure out. Most IFB churches use pentecostal or Church of God hymnals. So this is also found in #1 above.
     
  15. Jerome

    Jerome
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Messages:
    5,623
    Likes Received:
    45
    Ever hear of the Founders organization's activities over the last few decades?

    On their website, Ernie Reisinger's "success" at North Pompano Baptist is related as a pattern of how to go about "Reforming" one's Baptist church.

    That the guide is titled "A Quiet Revolution" is quite telling.

    So what happened to North Pompano Baptist, this "Exemplar of Baptist Reformitude"?

    Ooops.

    The church is now defunct. In an ironic twist one of the elders could no longer abide the SBC and split the church, peeling off many members to his new "Reformed Baptist" church.
     
  16. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    Messages:
    13,379
    Likes Received:
    728
    Jerome,
    Thanks for the links to the articles..and your imput. I think either one of these articles could be useful to expand upon and think through.
    Jerome I did post ..."if" it happened this way. The reason is not that I am doubting what you said....but I am only getting one side of it, and it sounds like you were less than thrilled with the result;) .... If you had liked what was happening with the change your report might come out differently.
    I do not condone anything being done under the table or behind the scenes.
    The articles raise alot of questions.


    Quantum....yes... you were the "refuge"lol I remembered you said that and was hoping for some imput.
     
  17. quantumfaith

    quantumfaith
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2010
    Messages:
    6,890
    Likes Received:
    0
    Found the following, among others, quite "assaulting". (From the document you just cited)

    What is interesting is that both liberal/moderate Baptists and (for lack of a better phrase) conservative, non-Calvinistic Baptists reflect that theological confusion. For all their differences (which we do not minimize), the two perspectives are alike in that their theologies are inherently unstable. Liberalism runs by nature to an intellectual abandonment of the doctrinal content of the faith. A conservative, non-Calvinistic system runs by nature to a practical ignoring of the doctrinal content of the faith. In the end, there is no difference. Perhaps we will see that, another generation or two down the line, conservative, non-Calvinistic Baptist theology will end up being virtually indistinguishable from liberal theology. As Charles H. Spurgeon recognized in his day, the downgrade always ends up in the same place.
     
  18. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    Messages:
    13,379
    Likes Received:
    728
    Jerome and Quantum,
    Let me ask a question . What if a pastor is convicted that most of the congregation is showing no evidence of Spiritual life, or fruit?
    Should their not be some kind of reformation needed?
    If true revival and reformation comes...is it possible that some who leave cannot stand the fellowship of holy people, or those seeking to grow in grace, holiness and obedience?

    Like when Jesus said in lk 9:62 ;
    62And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.

    Is it possible that many who left just wanted a shallow religious experience? enough to soothe their conscience, but not enough to matter?
     
  19. quantumfaith

    quantumfaith
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2010
    Messages:
    6,890
    Likes Received:
    0
    If the majority of a church wishes to "convert" (become identified as) reformed in their doctrines, then I say that is just fine, provided that it was not a sudden "influx" of new members flocking to the leadership of a new pastor. (An analogy here being "illegal immigration) I understand the point (I think, I hope) of the intent and seriousness of your question. Should a pastor lead according to the direction that he feels God places before him? Yes, however, as part of that leadership, I think he should do EVERYTHING to have and maintain the cooperation and support of the parishioners. Everything should be clear and UP FRONT.
     
  20. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    Messages:
    13,379
    Likes Received:
    728
    I AGREE:thumbs:
     

Share This Page

Loading...