Heresy and Heretics
The heavens are putting on a celestial show next week — and one Christian pastor is convinced it’s a sign from God. Bestselling author and televangelist Pastor John Hagee claims the four blood moons that will soon appear in the skies over America are evidence of a future “world-shaking event.” The blood moons are part of a tetrad, a set of complete and consecutive lunar eclipses that will begin on April 15 and continue in roughly six-month intervals until October 2015.
To normal people these celestial events are interesting, even pretty. But to the Dilly winning Hagee they are grist for his insanity mill. When nothing happens in the wake of these events, will Hagee be honest and subject himself to the punishment the Hebrew Bible reserves for false ‘prophets’? No. He will make excuses- just like Harold Camping did. 8 times.
Anyway, ‘Pastor’ Hagee- here’s your Dilly (and you’re sharing it with each and every single person who believes what you say) -
This report by NPR is simultaneously enlightening and depressing. Just knowing that so many people are being misled by pentebabbleist pseudo-theology is enough to give even John Wesley a coronary. And knowing, as well, that the ecclesiology of Daystar is profoundly wrong just adds insult to injury.
About mid way through…
The founder and CEO of Daystar is a dapper, often-tearful, 56-year-old Pentecostal minister from Georgia named Marcus Lamb. He’s a spirited preacher and a tireless fundraiser. He declined numerous requests to speak to NPR. But in a four-page letter from Daniel Woodward, Daystar’s director of marketing, the network defends its business practices and notes that all of them comply with IRS rules. As a nonprofit broadcaster, it is little different from NPR, Woodward says, but for its classification as a church under IRS guidelines.
“Both networks are nonprofit entities that are tax exempt under Section 501(c)(3),” Woodward writes. “They both enjoy all of the same benefits and obligations, other than the fact that Daystar does not have to file a form 990, due to its church status, for which it is fully compliant under the law.”
Daystar produces its own lineup of popular Christian talk shows and sells airtime to well-known evangelists such as T.D. Jakes and Joel Osteen. “It just speaks to me, and I feel like I’m being ministered to,” says Jordan Riley, a Christian pop singer in Seattle who supports Daystar.
Despite its self-description as a church, Daystar does not resemble a church in any traditional sense.
“Church to me is when I’m gathered with other believers,” Riley says. “I don’t consider it an electronic church.”
Several former employees also don’t call Daystar a church.
“When the lights are on and the cameras are on, we’re a ministry. When those lights are off, cameras are off, it doesn’t feel like a ministry,” says Lisa Anderson, former executive assistant to Marcus Lamb and his wife, Joni. “It is a business making money.”
Daystar’s former IT manager Bill Hornback agrees. “I mean, there’s no Sunday sermon, no Wednesday night meeting. It’s all business. It’s not a church. It’s a television broadcasting company, that’s what they are,” says Hornback.
A tv show isn’t a church. A business isn’t a church. A church isn’t somewhere else, it’s where the people of God are gathered, literally, in one physical place at one particular time. Nothing else has been or ever will be the church in any respectable responsible theologically appropriate way.
Worst of all, these people are taking advantage of a law that wasn’t designed to feather their nests, but which is.
If that isn’t evidence of the cult like nature of the place, nothing is.
I have noted before that the current by-laws of Mars Hill Church do not give members voting privileges for anything at the church. However, on his Facebook page, another former Mars Hill leader is reminding current members that they can still have a voice. Former worship leader at Mars Hill, Luke Abrams, has joined other former leaders who have gone public with significant concerns about the current direction of Mars Hill. Abrams initially posted his thoughts on his private Facebook page, but they were quickly posted on several blogs, including this one. I contacted him to make sure he approved and he gave permission for his statement to posted more widely.
Why would Christians endure such a blatantly cult-like control? Read the rest of Warren’s post. And if you’re a Christian at Mars Hill, get out while you can, before Driscoll has you drink the Kool-Aid.
Sir / Madam,
I think it should be a formal , if I introduce myself. I am Emmanuel Willem ‘s, I ‘m from Canada. July 11th I will be 45yrs young. I esmubūvinženieris ( Geo technical and structural ) , we specialize in building drainage ‘s, road and bridge design. My work takes me to different parts of the world . I am currently in Africa working with my company for a project in Ghana.
I had to take up a personal project outside my companies project to help some orphans on their own. I saw an unregistered orphanage home in one of the villages where we are constructing roads.I time was in tears when I saw the children. Children , where about 47 children of all numbers , aging between 2yrs – 14yrs . The building was dilapidated and they sleep on bare grounds.
When it rains at night they become extinct , because the roofs are torn . They can not read , malnutrition – ED , looking haggard and not well clothe.I took it as a mission to help them build it and put a smile on the faces of the innocent children , because we are all Gods creation . I did a bill quotations to help them build a nice dorm , playground , library, and a small health center , so they can get vaccinated against snakes and malaria very special.
The irony of it all irvaldība do not care about it. They have 46 kids left , one died from a strange disease a few months ago . These are four of them in the hospital now . Two suffering from malaria , the other from pneumonia , betpēdējais require extensive surgery , she suffers from chronic renal failure ( CRF ) and undergoes dialysis twice a week.
My life is very tiring right now, I wish I had another life . I had a bad weekend, and I ‘m having a messed up week. I have been insulted and impolitely thrown away with a bad name , because I asked for some help callous individuals . I ‘m trying to help save the life of Mary , the little orphan girl who needed a major operation . I ‘m confused I do not know what to do? I do not know whether to let her go ? Something kept asking me if she was my daughter or family for me to go away .
PLEASE I We need your help .
God bless .
Willem ‘s Eng.Emmanuel
Joel, stop writing me these letters. Just say no.
Witnesses say that just before he was seen to fly skyward without a rocket pack, he spread out his arms, and then up he went, shouting ‘buy my giant book which is very much like all my other less giant books or the wrath of God will descend onto your unrighteous heads… sinners…’
Witness stories diverge at this point but many swear that as he disappeared out of sight through a giant hole in the ceiling created by the hurling of his new book through it that he was received either by Chuck Norris or Ryan Seacrest.
He promised to return. Oh that we will all still be alive when he does… Meanwhile, many will come in his name, proclaiming his gospel and urging souls to follow Tom’s teachings (also known as TT). If you want to get to heaven, and spend eternity with Tom, you have to embrace TT.
And, believe it or not, an apology isn’t repentance. An apology is – by definition – self defense. We ‘apologize’ in order to defend, to some degree, our actions. ‘I’m sorry this happened, but I’m only human’ is both evasion of responsibility and non-responsive as to the issue of genuine repentance.
Genuine repentance is a change of course. If Mark Driscoll is sorry, it makes no difference at all. If his sorrow leads him to change his pseudo-theological views, his plagiarizing ways, his misogyny, and his false teaching, then it means something because that is what repentance is.
As John the Baptist declared to the crowds who came to see the show- ‘Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath. Bring forth fruits worthy of repentance’. That’s what God expects. Not a feigned apology that really is nothing more than a self serving and cynical ploy under the guise of spirituality. Your crocodile tears are as meaningful as a cat’s whisker so far as respectability as a servant of the Divine Word is concerned.
Jesus wasn’t kidding when he said ‘by their fruits you will know them’.
When Mark Driscoll renounces his false teachings and his theft of intellectual property, he will demonstrate authentic repentance. When he admits he isn’t sorry for what he did, but that he’s only sorry that he got caught, he will demonstrate authentic repentance. Until then, he’s just another pretend Christian using his pretend Christianity as a method and means to self aggrandizement.
Certainly, I do feel sorry for members of his family. They will hurt and I do care about that. What I don’t care about, however, is the death of an evil man who lied, misled, misrepresented the Gospel, the Bible, and Christianity itself.
Accordingly, in my view, when he dies, a cancer on the body of Christ is removed. And I don’t do hypocrisy so I won’t pretend that his death is an occasion for sorrow. Not that I will rejoice, because I learned long ago that rejoicing at the death of anyone is dehumanizing. But lament? For Fred Phelps? Not a chance.
The estranged son of the founder of the Westboro Baptist Church said his father is “on the edge of death.” Fred Phelps Sr. became famous for organizing picket lines of brightly-colored signs carrying hateful messages against tolerance during the funerals of military personnel and famous figures. His actions led to at least two federal and several state laws restricting protests during military funerals. In a statement on his Facebook page, Nathan Phelps, who has been estranged from his father for 30 years, said the senior Phelps was dying in hospice care in Topeka, Kan., and that he had been ex-communicated from his own church in August of 2013. “I’m not sure how I feel about this. Terribly ironic that his devotion to his god ends this way. Destroyed by the monster he made,” Nathan Phelps wrote.
Indeed- Phelps created a god in his own image. That’s exactly why his cult should be called Westboro NOT Baptist NOT Church. When he dies, God willing, the cult will die with him.
Yeah, @PastorMark, don’t pretend that you’ve got the gift of writing when you obviously don’t…
Mark doesn’t want you to be like him. I agree. You shouldn’t be like him at all, having private erotic visions, misapplying the Bible misogynistically, and acting the fraud.
In the Christian church, members aren’t sworn to secrecy. Plain and simple, if your ‘church’ asks you to sign something promising secrecy it only means that they have secrets to keep that could embarrass, and thereby impoverish, the ‘ministry’.
That’s what Mark Driscoll’s corporation does (because non disclosure agreements are perfectly sensible for corporations which need to retain corporate secrets). And that’s why, in spite of it calling itself a ‘Church’ it is not- rather it is simply a cult, with a controlling leader who, Jim Jones-esque, determines everything that happens within the ‘community’.
As Warren Throckmorton writes, in part,
On Tuesday, Warren Cole Smith posted a brief note at World Magazine about the policy of Mars Hill Church to require staff to sign non-disclosure agreements in order to maintain their severance pay and health insurance. And then on Friday, Smith posted a copy of an agreement given to him by a former Mars Hill staffer.
I also have a copy of an agreement given to me by former pastor Kyle Firstenberg. Firstenberg was executive pastor at Mars Hill Orange County until about a year and a half ago. You can read more about the situation in Orange County at Wenatchee the Hatchet’s blog.
Firstenberg also provided me with a letter he wrote to Mars Hill regarding his experience as a pastor in Orange County. Given what he is saying in his letter, I can understand why Mars Hill leaders want departing staff to sign a non-disclosure agreement. Often non-disclosure agreements are signed in the business/tech world to protect proprietary information from leaking out. In this case, the main reason appears to be to keep departing staff from candidly describing their bad experiences.
Reading the NDA, it appears to me that MHC leaders hope to use fear of legal action and loss of severance pay to keep former staff quiet.
The more we learn about Driscoll the less Christian he seems and the more cultish.