Duncan, why do you keep criticizing Newspring? 1

  1. Because it’s big. On Easter weekend, the church counted 15,000 attenders across all its campuses. In a city the size of Anderson, that’s a big deal. When an organization has the kind of rapid growth and influence as this single church does in such a relatively small area, why wouldn’t it warrant closer scrutiny than the 200-member, 100-year-old church down the road? Something unusual is happening there, and we shouldn’t have to accept only their official explanation of why that is.
  2. Because it matters. Perry Noble has said that he’s out to change what church is. Rick Warren has talked about a second reformation. That’s not necessarily welcome news.

    I really do believe in what we are doing here at NewSpring Church. I believe that lives are being changed. I believe that Jesus is being lifted up. I believe that the word “church” is taking on a new meaning in the community of Anderson, SC…and even the upstate. I believe so much in what we are doing that I can’t even sleep most nights…I am consumed.

    And so when people want to speak against our church and attack what God is doing here I usually have one response–FIGHT! [emphasis added]

    Note the “and so.” Noble understands why this is happening; he’s out to redefine the church, which is why people like me speak up.

  3. Because God cares. God cares about how he is worshipped and demands that we test new teachings. Little things matter to him, so they should matter to us.
  4. Because people care. This blog has not always focused on NewSpring, and it probably won’t always do so. Blogging software gives bloggers an idea of how many people are reading what articles, and from what I can see, people obviously are interested in NewSpring and don’t always take NS-approved blogs as the last word on the topic. For example, after I posted an innocuous note about Tony Morgan leaving NewSpring, the blog was flooded with people who were searching the Internet looking for the real story, beyond what Morgan and Noble were saying in their public statements. It won’t always be the case, but a Google search for “Tony Morgan Newspring” (there were many such searches) puts this little blog at the top of the search results, above TM and PN’s official sites. People obviously want to know what’s happening in this church.
  5. Because people ought to know. I am aware that there are a number of families who send their kids to NewSpring’s youth group, even though they’re members of other churches. As a parent, the prospect of my child being excited about mid-week church activities sounds good, though I’d hate to think that I would ever let my child attend a church that does things like show condom ads and curse at God’s house. This blog may serve an an archive that could be found by a parent who is researching NS’s youth group. I know that I’d appreciate the knowledge.
  6. Because I’ve approached Noble privately first. On multiple occasions and through multiple channels. Just so you know.
  7. Because I’m a Protestant. We care and argue about church doctrine and practice. It’s what makes us who we are.
  8. Because people I love, love NewSpring. I’m not usually touchy feely, so that’s all I plan to say about that.
  9. Because it keeps surprising me. I hadn’t expected to spend this much time and this many words focusing on NewSpring, but often when I click on a new blog post, I find something new that surprises me. Just when I thought I was out . . . they drag me back in.
  10. Because the defenses are often pitiful. I noticed it first in the billboards reaction, but the defense–to the extent that there is any–to any NewSpring outrage is usually 1) You go away, then 2) Others are coming. If I can at least prompt a few folk to think about why they do what they do and express it clearly, it should help everyone.
  11. Because it’s interesting. I enjoy watching the interaction of culture and media, and particularly how those two forces interact with the church. When you change the environment within which the Gospel is preached, you change the message in small and sometimes large ways. NewSpring and churches of its ilk engage culture and media more than most churches, so it fascinates me professionally.
  12. Because I want my son to be proud. My father did this kind of thing when I was growing up (still does), and I want my son to be able to look back and say that, when it mattered, his dad made an argument in defense of the purity of Christian doctrine and worship. Who knows what issues his generation will be dealing with, but I hope he will care about it enough to do more than just shrug his shoulders and go along.
  13. Because it’s my purpose in life.*
  14. Because I have a vision for it.*

* Heh.

One comment on “Duncan, why do you keep criticizing Newspring?

  1. Berto Apr 30, 2009 11:45 pm

    This was past due. But better late than never.

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