Naming critics (Updated) 21

Because Perry still won’t name names, I will.

The critic Perry refers to in this post is me.

This is a huge, complicated story, and I’ll have it for you soon.

UPDATE: I don’t mean to be teasing you, but this is going to take a while (probably late tonight or early tomorrow). The whole point was that I hoped that what has happened this summer not become public, so I don’t have anything ready to go. Before you jump to conclusions one way or the other, remember that, at this point, you only have heard one side of this story.

If you care to, please pray for my family. There are details that are about to become public that I had hoped to keep secret, even from them. When you read what’s coming, you’ll understand why.

21 thoughts on “Naming critics (Updated)

  1. Elaine Dec 4, 2009 3:24 pm

    The dingo ate your BABY.

  2. Jamie Dec 4, 2009 3:53 pm

    I prayed for you today.

  3. JT Dec 4, 2009 3:57 pm

    “In February an employee of the church met with this individual in an attempt to resolve any misunderstandings and listen to his concerns.”

    “On November 17th, counsel for the Church met with the blog site author in an effort to resolve any conflicts he had with Pastor Perry or the Church.”

    Duncan, I thought you said they refused to meet with you?

    I am interested in hearing your response, particularly your response to this:

    “Alternatively, the blog site author demanded payment of three million dollars ($3,000,000.00) from the Church in exchange for him to not reveal his complaints against the Church to the public.”

  4. Luke Dooley Dec 4, 2009 4:00 pm

    I had heard the rumors of this site. I have never visited. I wish I hadn’t. To quote Jamie above: “I prayed for you today.”

    More importantly, I pray that no one separated from Christ encounters this blog, as it will surely amount to another unnecessary black eye for The Church.

    You my friend need a reality check, and an infusion of love in your life. I hope you receive both.

  5. Tommy F. Dec 4, 2009 4:07 pm

    Tammy and I were just talking. She thinks this showdown might turn out to be more interesting than the ACC title game. For Clemson’s sake I hope she’s right.

    I read the NS post with great interest and intrigue. Talk about some serious flaws in logic (but certainly expected coming from NS).

    Let’s tick them off one by one (pun intended):

    1. NS wrote: “When the Church’s leadership was contacted by the author of the blog site regarding the activities of these three individuals, the Church requested proof substantiating his claims.”
    NS didn’t meet with you? In case you think they did meet, you’d be wrong. Can you imagine JDuncan showing up to such a meeting empty handed? Neither can I. I find it very interesting that for all the bravado about Perry meeting critics, when one makes allegations of “activities” (that’s a benign word) they refuse to meet. Instead, “the Church requested proof.”

    2. Then NS wrote: “inappropriate activity had taken place by an employee and two volunteers.” And once detected, “The employee was immediately terminated and the two volunteers were removed from service to the Church.”
    So, you were right all along and their “activities” were offenses worthy of termination.

    3. Then NS wrote: “On October 31st, the author of the blog site emailed the Church broadly outlining complaints of harassment and interference with his adoption efforts, and asking to meet with a Church representative. On November 17th, counsel for the Church met with the blog site author in an effort to resolve any conflicts he had with Pastor Perry or the Church.”
    Knowing you were right the first time, when you contacted them again (believing you had legitimate concerns), did they send a minister to speak with you to hear your complaints? No. They sent “counsel for the Church”. Which means they said something like this to themselves: “He has more dirt on us. There’s more to what’s happened to him.” That’s an interesting reaction coming from someone who had legitimate complaints in the summer. People call lawyers when they want to make a deal, privately.

    4. When people make wild accusations you ignore them or you immediately discredit their claims. You don’t hire an attorney and send them to speak to an “exaggerator.” This summer you didn’t have “hollow” threats. You were right. Did you exaggerate? Apparently not. Someone lost their job over it and others aren’t allowed to serve at NS. Doesn’t sound like hollow or exaggerated. This summer you were right. Suddenly in October you’re wrong?

    5. I find it even more interesting that for all of his discussion about ignoring critics, Perry is fully aware that “the frequency and intensity of the critical blogs have increased.” How would he know? Have they been paying attention. Apparently they have.

    What’s my point? NS consistently paints their critics as enemies. Notice the tone used. Why discuss the options presented by JDuncan? To make it easy to dismiss his claims. To make him sound outlandish and greedy and sinful.

    If NS is right and the accusations are so “hollow and exaggerated” then I have one very easy, simple question for “Pastor Perry” and NS: why hasn’t NS shared them? Why not display the exaggerations? Why not show their hollowness? Why not say: a blog is making untrue accusations. Here they are and they’re all false.

    Why? Why? Why?

    Because they aren’t hollow or exaggerated. They are true and embarrassing.

    Regarding the $$ issue, which some will view as greedy (JT), my guess is that if I met with an attorney about an adoption gone wrong, I’d start high as a point of negotiation, fully expecting to negotiate. Starting high seems like common sense. Think of it in reverse to buying a house. Do you start with the price you’ll actually take? No, you eventually arrive at that number. Also, how do you put a price on an adoption gone wrong by a minister at a church that has engaged in harmful activity in the past? What’s a child worth?

    I’m not sure if Tammy is right. I expect the ACC game to be close, but something tells me that the next post by JDuncan is going to make the announcement by NS look foolish and naive.

    In fact, I predict he’ll outscore them.

    To which I’ll say: SCOREBOARD.

  6. Sara Crocker Dec 4, 2009 4:30 pm

    @ Elaine

    What???

  7. Tommy F. Dec 4, 2009 5:24 pm

    Since JDuncan is driving a slow train on this story, I’m asking all the Newspringers to contact Perry and NS and say this:

    “Please share the list of grievances that JDuncan has made. Show the world how “hollow and exaggerated” he really is. That way he’ll be discredited forever. Please Pastor. Please.”

  8. Ben Dec 4, 2009 5:54 pm

    You want whatever happened this summer to stay private? Are you for real? I have no clue what happened and the TMZ loving side of me eagerly awaits your side of the story. But in other posts you talk about these guys (Furtick, Noble, Lamb) not only being susceptible to, but deserving of public criticism and accountability because of the ‘fame’ their churches have given them. I wish I could recall the post on Gary Lamb where this was either elluded to by yourself or applauded by you in the comments section.

    So,you’ve created a public forum to go speak out against these guys every week (which you have every right to do)and they speak out to provide a defense and you say “I hoped that what has happened this summer not become public”. You may have been watching too much Tiger Woods coverage, because you abandoned that right when you chose to write in a public forum. It’s not that anyone deserves being outed for their actions, it’s that if you are in the limelight you have to accept that it will happen. It’s not about whether it’s right or wrong when it happens, it’s the acceptance of the day and age we live in. If you are going to put yourself in the public’s eye, expect to be spectated upon. You now have the choice to drag this on further or let it go away. My guess is that the same ego you have accused Perry of having will not allow you to not respond. And just like you accuse Perry of doing, you’ll justify it. And your friends will laud you. And your critics will hate you. From a theological standpoint, you and Perry may not see eye to eye, but from a psychological standpoint you are the same person.

    I don’t go to any of these churches. I live in Pennsylvania and caught wind of all this today via someone else’s Tweet. Found your site pretty easily, and have enjoyed the afternoon reading up on you and your friend’s opinions. I’m new here. I’ve read and enjoyed the dialog on this site, but you seem like a hypocrite if you don’t want to be challenged publicly.

    Sorry the adoption thing didn’t work out. That must have hurt you tremendously. I can’t relate. This is not sarcasm. I’m genuinely sad that things didn’t pan out. Keep in mind, there’s a chance, just a chance, that God knows, sees and feels your hurt. Maybe, just maybe the God who gave His Son for you will bring something good from the situation (maybe He already has). That’s His promise. Not that he caused this to happen, but that He’ll make something good out of it and that His plan on earth won’t be circumvented by this diappointment for you and your family.

    I love the passion you have for the Truth. I wish you could acknowledge the same passion in other Christians. I don’t think any of your critics or the people you criticize decide on a daily basis to wake up and be a heretic. I think anyone who calls themself a follower of Christ genuinely wants to live a pleasing and acceptable life to Him. But we miss it. We all do. Are they inaccurate in their intrepetation of the Word at times? Are you inaccurate at times? The answer to both questions is the same. Of course. I can’t imagine the pride in someone’s life to think they’ve got a lock on Bible interpretation (a la the Bible Answer Man). We can’t get our mind around God. And no, I’m not saying that we shouldn’t try to understand His Word.

    Just one further opinon (because that’s what this site is dedicated to, opinion). If there is a shred of truth to the request for money to go away or a combo-deal of some money and stage time to have your voice heard, you must recognize that to be pretty foolish by now. Because by doing so, you’ve said, my message is less valuable than $3m but a bargain at $1.5m. And just like if Tiger pays off a mistress, he makes her appear to be a whore (though she may not be). You’ve made a whore out of what you believe to be the divinely inspired Word of God that you hold true.

    Here’s the advice from someone who has not known when to put his ego aside in the past(me). You have a chance to be the bigger person here. To out love and outlive the people that you think are defaming you by showing real maturity. To turn the other cheek. To avoid going into details that will embarrass you, your family, the church, Newspring and Perry. Embarrassment aside, I urge you to please ask yourself one thing before you write your next post – “will my next post bring people closer to Jesus or Pajama Pages?”. If the answer to that question in regards to Jesus is “no, maybe, or I don’t know” please consider just not posting it. And before you know it, Sunday will come and you’ll have so much more new material for your website. You have great job security in this site, because God chose to put imperfect people in a role that trys to relate and communicate a perfect and loving God to other imperfect people. Every Sunday, you can be there to call them out and have plenty of new content.

    Maybe the only thing the next post needs to say is: “I’m sorry. I’m sorry if I’ve hurt the people of Newspring and caused a distraction to the greater Kingdom of God. My family and I have been hurt by the actions of the congregation of Newspring and the ministry of Perry directly. Theologically, I find him to be inaccurate. But I forgive him. I will continue to be a moutpiece for what I belive to be the truth.”

    Whether or not you post this to your site, please read it and consider it. Your awfully hard on people from the looks of the posts I read (whether your point is right or wrong). Has anyone ever shown you grace or mercy? Even if no one on earth ever has, I know a God who has. And you know right now the standard that He’s asking you to live up to. Please consider being obedient.

    Sincerely,
    Ben

  9. Albert Dec 4, 2009 6:11 pm

    Praying for you, Dr. Duncan.

  10. Elizabeth Dec 4, 2009 7:15 pm

    A true follower of Jesus is humbled in their own weaknesses and does not boast or broadcast on the blatant weaknesses of others. I sincerely pray for humbleness, healing, and an overflow of love.

    So much time is spent dissecting material in order to create such a blog or response… I only wish you could have used that time to have a relationship with Christ and then therefor brought lost souls into the Kingdom.

    I am left with a great president reflecting on a great president.. someone who accepted responsibility for his ability to impact people..To quote FDR “Today we have learned in the agony of war that great power involves responsibility.” The responsibility of those lost souls and representation of Christ to them..

  11. JT Dec 4, 2009 7:38 pm

    Duncan, why did NewSpring release this story today? Is there a lawsuit from either side pending or something? It looks like they thought you were about to come out with the story, and so have preempted you.

    As I said before, I am interested in hearing your response. Unlike Tommy, I will not assume I know either the whole story, or the future outcome.

  12. Lindsey Dec 4, 2009 7:52 pm

    As a former actively involved NS member, what caught me as the most strange was that NS’s article ended by calling Perry “Pastor Perry.” Numerous times I heard Perry laughing about church people putting titles before their leaders’ names. Now, in the midst of being called out for unnamed grievances, he suddenly allows himself to be publicly associated with old school church language. Strange to say the least.

  13. Lindsey Dec 4, 2009 7:53 pm

    Oh, and BTW, yes, James, we pray for you daily.

  14. Paul Dec 4, 2009 10:07 pm

    May God, in his sovereignty, love and grace, reveal and uphold the truth in this matter, expose any sin that may or may not be involved, vindicate the righteous, protect the innoscent and condemn any involved who refuses to repent and be reconciled.

  15. Robbie Lynn Dec 4, 2009 10:25 pm

    Dr. D–I too pray for you daily, but I also know that those at NS and those that are around there definately don’t practice what they preach. Instead they chose to shelter “Pastor Perry”–why doesn’t he talk to you. Why won’t NS tell the rest of us what is wrong. And if you demanded money with their counsel, you’d be sitting under the jail. Keep up the good work to show them for what they really are at times. Big building, ego full people and those that care or appear to care little about those outside. We can only take so much of what he eats, when he sleeps, and being pumped up. Get a life Noble. And change your picture on facebook.

  16. John Dec 4, 2009 10:29 pm

    I don’t know about this $$$ stuff, but I have never been here before, read most of these supposedly “critical” posts and found nothing for Perry and or Newspring to get all bent out of shape about. The author here for the most part just quotes Perry and corrects him. Either James Duncan is telling the truth or not that is for the reader to decide. The posts I read seem right on the money to me. Just because Perry labels those who disagrees with what he does and what he says “critics”, doesn’t mean he is right. They just may be telling the truth!!!

  17. Albert Lance Dec 4, 2009 10:53 pm

    [NOTE: This post has been edited to remove address and phone number information. This is an example of some of the comments that are coming in and that, most of the time, I am deleting. I’m letting this one through as an example of the kind of response that’s out there.]

    The owner of this blog:

    JAMES DUNCAN
    999 Xxxxx Xxx
    Anderson, South Carolina 29621

    (864)-999-9999

  18. Melanie Dec 4, 2009 11:08 pm

    I just wanted to say that you don’t have to make the details of your private life public. Newspring has explained basics and has not at all tried to make you or anyone else involved public. I only found you because I searched for an hour on the internet to figure out what everyone was talking about. There is no reason to subject your family to having their private lives made public over this. The only thing you should clear up is the mention of asking for money in exchange for keeping things quiet. That is the only bad thing I saw that directly relates to you. For your family’s sake, don’t throw your private issues into the public spotlight. At least speak with them about these things first before making them known to others.

    Further, and I am sure you have heard this many times before, Newspring has been a treasure to a lot of people. I have been a follower of Christ since I was very young but my husband grew up in a different kind of family. We were dating when we started attending Newspring together and about a year afterwards he accepted Christ as his Lord and Savior. Because of the family environment he grew up in, Perry’s way of reaching out really struck him. He realized that no one is perfect and that you need Jesus to save you. He had been in churches all his life that never spoke to him on a real level. They always spoke as if they were perfect and he was going to hell instead of getting on his level to explain why. Perry did that. Then, a few weeks ago, things suddenly clicked for my husband. He knew who he wanted to be in Christ and, for the first time ever, he chose to cancel one of our nightly shows to watch a sermon we had missed while out of town. You have no idea how long I have prayed about this. After these things clicked with him, he completely broke down. If Newspring hadn’t been around the last couple of years, I don’t know if all these things would have taken place. You must be careful when speaking ill about a church. You have no idea what it has meant to a lot of us. There are changes for the good happening there despite the practices you have issues with. That church has meant the world to me and my family.

    We live in a society now where you have to get on mankinds level for them to understand. Christians are constantly under fire for things they have said or done. In fact, it is my belief that a lot of people who call themselves Christians do so only referring to it as if it is another denomination of a religion not because they are actual followers of Christ. Because of this, Christians have a really bad reputation amongst society…especially some of the younger generations. If you do not speak to them on a level they can understand then you are losing a huge opportunity to have them come to Christ. While I understand why some have issues with some of the methods being used, that is for God to handle…not for people who claim to have Christ dwelling in them to use and bash constantly. God can do anything including taking seemingly suspect acts and using them to further his purpose. There are examples of this everywhere and in everyday life. Praise God that people are legitimately coming to Christ all over the world no matter what form the message came to them in. We will all be held accountable for our acts when we stand before God one day including Perry, yourself, and myself. Do you really want to stand before Him one day and have to explain why you spent so much time complaining about one church and one pastor and trying to negate everything that was said by them? I wouldn’t want to. I would want to stand before God and know that I did what I could while here on earth to further his cause and help usher others into his kingdom.

    Please do not take what I am saying in a negative way. I am only speaking out as a sister in Christ who by no means is perfect or loving all the time. We all have our issues! 😉 I just didn’t want you to feel the need to make some of your private life public if there wasn’t a real need to. I hope you understand where I am coming from and I will be praying for both you and your family as you go through any of the tough times you might be going through.

    God bless!

  19. Johnathan Dec 5, 2009 1:03 am

    This is more exciting than watching Inside Edition cover the Tiger Woods drama!!

    Honestly, it’s actually really sad. I am curious as to why NS posted their statement. I can’t make sense of it. For a church that preaches ignoring and loving critics, they do a poor job practicing it. Comments like “scoreboard”, “masturbation in your parent’s basement”, and “blog about that buddy” come to mind. Also, the leadership of the church SEEMS like they are all too important to be accessed by regular folks. Sin of pride comes to mind.

    James Duncan is not innocent in the matter either. I’ve been reading his site for a while now. It SEEMS he gets pleasure from the failures of the church and the sins of others. Almost as if he’d love nothing more than to have any of his targeted pastors screw up.

    In all these events, who are the wolves, who are the sheep, and who are the shepherds?

    This is just my opinion of how things SEEM to be, and I am a BELIEVER. Should an UNBELEIVER feel any different?

  20. M Dec 5, 2009 1:58 am

    Mr. Duncan, Sir,
    Your pain is so evident. I am so sorry about the hurts and wounds you are experiencing and have experienced. I pray that the Lord will bring healing where it is needed. I pray that Jesus, the Healer, will touch and mend all the broken parts in your heart.

    Perhaps God is trying to get your attention. I used to be critical of everyone and everything. I am probably still critical of people and things, but I know that I am not where I used to be. He brought me to a place of absolute brokenness, where I had to acknowledge that I didn’t have it all together and I didn’t know it all. When I began to speak truth about myself, instead of speaking lies (even taking something out of context, which appears to be the case in your blogs, is a lie) about other people, He began to bring healing. God asks us to walk in humility. James 4:10 says “Humble yourself in the sight of the Lord and He will lift you up.” That may be a paraphrase — I don’t have it in front of me. The verses leading up to that verse talk about how to do that. It’s about speaking the truth. You don’t have to defend yourself. Just be honest. Speak the truth. Not the truth that’s wrapped up in woundedness and pain. The bare truth. “This happened and it hurt” — that sort of thing. If you need to defend it, it’s probably not the truth. And that is why Pastor P. (probably) hasn’t responded too much to you. Because he is speaking the truth of God’s word, and God’s a big boy and He doesn’t need His little buddies to help Him beat people up. God’s got it covered. Mature people know the truth and they know that the truth will come out whether they respond or not.

    (Disclaimer: I am not part of Newspring Church and I am *not* speaking on behalf of anyone there. I am speaking from personal experience about what it means to be a grownup.)

  21. Kay Dec 5, 2009 6:44 am

    If a child lives with criticism, they learn to criticize. I’m sorry for your pain, but don’t lash out at others, go to our Lord. If you feel you have been injured, forgive, seven at seven times. How can we have unity of faith? Jesus.

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