Don’t blame NewSpring’s haters 7

For the last day or two I’ve been working on a post partially titled “Why this will happen again,” the this being NewSpring’s angry harassment of Perry Noble’s critics. I found out this afternoon that the prophecy came true yesterday.

A listener of Chris Rosebrough’s Fighting for the Faith show, which had broadcast an interview with me on Monday, had used a Twitter account to link to that interview and suggest that people listen to it. Yesterday, a NewSpringer named Jacob Morris posted the following threat to Rosebrough’s listener:

@MgaChrch_MndCtl if you do not stop harassing/hate tweeting NewSpring church, as an anonymous member I will personally take you out. #stop

The first time I read it, I assumed it was someone’s attempt at humor, trying to reinforce the point that even NewSpring has said that criticizing it is dangerous. But a little more reading made it clear that the author was indeed a NewSpringer who was trying to defend Perry. The threat was angry and very real.

Today, the author has heard from the Twitterverse and has apologized to the person to whom he made the threat. It appears as though the author has learned a bit from Rosebrough’s listeners this afternoon. The conversation, if you follow it, is heartening. Morris was reproved, repented and reconciled with the person he had threatened.

It was a good thing for him that Rosebrough’s listeners were looking out for him, but where was his pastor? The early stages of the conversation had enough @newspring and @perrynoble tags in them to have popped up on NewSpring’s radar; they have a full-time position (or two) whose job is to monitor Facebook, Twitter and blog chatter about Perry and NS. After their inaction on Maxwell, this should have triggered some alarms and prompted NewSpring’s pastors to reach out to Mr. Morris. Judging by his Twitter feed, no such outreach was offered.

Why not?

Perhaps they don’t care. When you have 27,000 attenders, it’s hard to really pastor them all.

Perhaps they don’t dare. To publicly reprove their own Mr. Morris would require them to recant too much of their own teaching. You see, Morris was doing exactly what Perry Noble and his deputy preacher, Clayton King, have been teaching for the last five years.

Morris’s violent fruit was simply the result of poisonous preaching.

In my next post, I’ll give you a taste of some of that preaching.

 

7 thoughts on “Don’t blame NewSpring’s haters

  1. Jane Jan 18, 2013 6:31 pm

    As a member/owner for over 10 years I am leaving NS.

    It hurts to know how Dr. James Duncan and his family were treated. NS is not perfect and never will be. I feel I have lost a church family that I actually did not know. I am not about HATE. I do believe in forgiveness and I value my walk with Christ.

    I am hurting because our leaders hurt others. That never will be ok….
    Many changes are needed but as a member for 10 years I have seen many come to Christ.
    I am not sure where The Lord will lead my family. I asked for a miracle this Christmas….I had no idea I would be leaving my church over the mis-treatment of the this family. That is far from God ….please keep my family in your prayers because I love my church….this is hard to do!
    God Bless

  2. James Duncan Jan 18, 2013 7:14 pm

    God bless you, Jane. That’s a brave and wise decision. My family stopped and prayed for you a few minutes ago, especially that you’ll find a good church home now.

    I know people look for different things in churches, but I’d recommend that your top priority ought to be preaching. How faithfully does the pastor interpret and expound God’s Word? If that’s done well, you’ll often find that, as a result, other facets of the church are healthy as well.

  3. SallyVee Jan 18, 2013 7:21 pm

    Wait. Did you say 27,000 people attend New Spring??? What the devil (pun intended) is Noble putting in the water to keep the flock so docile and obedient. The whole thing would be comical if it wasn’t so distressing.

    I do blame the New Spring hater but I definitely blame Noble first and foremost. Your play-by-play analysis and irrefutable logic is marvelous to behold. It almost makes me feel sorry for Noble and his know nothing thugs.

    You wrote: “Morris was reproved, repented and reconciled with the person he had threatened.” That’s all good news but I’m afraid Morris has zero credibility until he flees New Spring and calls the operation what it is (at least to himself). I’m not saying he needs to do this publicly though that might be salutary. But he needs to fully recognize what he’s been involved with and get himself and his family AWAY from the madness, then find a real church with solid theology.

    I haven’t checked, but I wonder if any former NSpringers have banned together and started something online similar to the ex-Scientologists. One good reason for doing this is so people who feel stupid and gullible realize they are not alone. One of the worst results of a cult-ish experience is that many people who finally get away end up never setting foot in church again, or ever trusting someone who calls himself a pastor. A group discussion can provide humor and support, and allow people to let off enough steam to prevent total alienation from the church. Plus it’s very convenient to have a place to point current members who may be having doubts and misgivings about NSpring and Noble.

  4. James Duncan Jan 18, 2013 7:45 pm

    27,573, according to this NS tweet from Sunday.

  5. David Strickland Jan 18, 2013 11:14 pm

    The sad truth is that they just don’t care. Every number has a name and every name has a story. But stories like yours, mine, David Joseph Horn’s, my good friend Karen’s and countless others don’t get told on their website. NewSpring does indeed change lives, of that there is no doubt. Just look around on this website. Jane, you are in my prayers as well.

    I understand how it feels to finally reach a breaking point. I used to be heavily involved in the occult. Leaving wasn’t easy. Surprisingly though, I didn’t lose many friends. Some of them even left with me. Though I have never been a NewSpringer, I have friends that were and I HAD friends that are. They won’t talk to me anymore. One of my best friends for almost 15 years (I’m 31) stopped speaking to me after I respectfully voiced my concerns about his church and his participation. I know others that have left NewSpring and their friends who still attend treat them as if they’re dead. I know some who only stay because they don’t want to lose their family.

    I’ve often wondered how long it will be before someone starts up a support group for ex-NewSpringers. There are a lot of them, and that number is growing. The worst part about it is that, for most people, these stories don’t involve them personally, so they don’t care. When it does become personal for them, it’s so devastating that it tends to cause them to turn their back on the church altogether. I’ve seen it. That’s why it is so important for stories like Dr. Duncan’s, my family’s, DJH’s and all the others to be told. People need to hear what is happening. Some listen, as we see above with Jane. Sadly, most don’t. We just keep getting hit with the “you’re just jealous, you want Perry’s platform, you just want attention, you’re just a jackass, yadda yadda yadda” arguments. But we can’t stop telling our stories. As you said in your interview, Dr. Duncan, people need to know what this man’s heart is. And, as far as I can tell, the heart of his followers as well. If just one person can be spared the pain that is so clearly evident here and elsewhere, it is a victory.

  6. Provender Jan 19, 2013 12:56 am

    “New Spring hater” has a double meaning and I was confused for a few minutes, but caught on. Mr. Strickland shares many important insights here. If shunning is really going on, that’s a sign of a spiritually abusive church. The “your just jealous” response is a common rejoinder when people criticize spiritually dubious groups, too. Church exit groups can certainly be helpful for those making the agonizing decision to leave a church they’ve been attached to for years. Sometimes they leave family in the toxic church, sometimes every close relationship is shattered, and sometimes in throwing out the poisonous teachings they start to throw out good ones, too, and it helps to talk to former members for perspective.

  7. AB Jan 19, 2013 4:08 pm

    New Spring teaches a watered-down, self-centered gospel… I hate to see so any led astray.

    James, thanks for stepping out and confronting the darkness.

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