NewSpring takes desecration to the next level 22

You have got to be kidding me.

A few weeks ago I pointed out how pastor Brad Cooper asked his congregation if they frickin’ believed the Word of God (frickin’ being just a different spelling of the f-word.)

This evening I clicked on a Twitter picture from Cooper of people receiving Christ at NewSpring’s Easter service. Very good, no problem. Then I clicked on another of his photos and found this.

bamf

The caption says Fuse Factory looking bamf! (FYI, the Fuse Factory is the church’s newly completed youth “worship” center.)

I didn’t know what bamf meant until this evening, and my Internet filter did its very best to block me from finding out, so vile is the meaning. If you’re brave and not near anyone who could fire you from your job, check out the meaning here, though I really suggest that you don’t. Take my word, this makes frickin’ look positively genteel.

Come on, people. Why aren’t alarm bells going off all over Anderson?

If you go to NewSpring, I won’t ask how you can support this (though if you do, I’d love to hear from you), but I would like to know you can stand by when this is happening? How do you go to a church that keeps on doing this (as if once weren’t enough)? Do trash-talking pastors mean more to you than God’s holiness?

Either BCoop knew what bamf meant, which is unthinkable, or he used it without knowing what it meant, which is unthinkably stupid.

Much of what NewSpring does is debatable, meaning that you could make an argument to defend its beliefs and practices.

This? This isn’t debatable; this is unbelievable.

And on Easter Sunday. Way to go.

Update: It’s not the first time. Apparently worship at NewSpring is bamf too.

bamf21

22 thoughts on “NewSpring takes desecration to the next level

  1. Christina Apr 13, 2009 10:54 am

    maybe it stands for Basically Amazing Monumental Fun!

  2. Sara Grumbles Apr 13, 2009 12:21 pm

    Uses of phrases like “bamf” just go to show that this is all about being culturally “cool” and “trendy,” as opposed to anything else.

  3. Taylor Apr 13, 2009 2:56 pm

    Unbelievable!
    I’m at a loss for words right now.
    I just don’t understand how people can be so blind!
    It irritates me so much!

  4. Pingback: This is beginning to worry me… « the Micah Taylor site

  5. wow. May 17, 2009 11:48 pm

    Pastor Steven Furtick brought up the very valid point once at Elevation Church that we, as a human race, give curse words negative connotations as a society. He described how somebody once came up to him and used a complete mouthful to describe how incredibly moved he was by a service. Although this have a really negative connotation to society, some people use it to completely grasp the amazingness that they feel. So I don’t think we should really judge how people describe what they feel/see when they’re in church. & I also don’t really think you should have worship in quotation marks when you talk about the Fuse Factory. I have witnessed first-hand the awesome things that happen in there every week with Brad Cooper, his leadership, & the youth of Newspring. Just a thought.

  6. James Duncan May 17, 2009 11:57 pm

    It is absolutely astounding how impossible it is for any NewSpringers to say that this language is wrong. This post is more than a month old, is one of the most read on the entire site, and NOT ONE NewSpringer has said it was wrong. This should not be difficult.

    Now “Wow” tries the argument that the words are just fine, and it is just us who have a problem with them. The real question is whether God would have a problem with them, especially because they were used to describe what is allegedly his church. The Apostle James (hence God) was certainly convinced that curse words had real meaning and that they revealed the state of the speaker’s heart.

    That explains the quotes around “worship.” If Cooper describes this as a BAMF place, how can it possibly be a place of worship?

    Wow, shouldn’t you be more worried about what Cooper said than about my punctuation?

  7. James Duncan May 18, 2009 10:18 am

    Wow,

    Your and Furtick’s argument seems to be that we should redeem society’s negative connotations by using curse words in church even more. So we should start composing hymns called “Our God is F****** Awesome.” Would you have a problem with that? Would Cooper?

    Or we could go all the way and make “Highway to Hell” a hymn. No, surely no one would take it that far, would they?

  8. Micah May 18, 2009 12:17 pm

    Some people may be so moved that they go home and express the “the amazingness that they feel” from a service by beating their wife… what an expression of how they feel. I hope no one judges these people… that would just be wrong.

  9. Albert May 18, 2009 2:19 pm

    As the official sarcasm expert on PP, I would like to inform you, WOW, that the previous two posts were using sarcasm to make a point.

    @ wow. Are we not told in scripture to abstain from all appearances of evil? What about the tried and true, “In the world, but not of the world?” I’m pretty sure if profanity such as BAMF has been given a negative connotation by society, we should stay away from it altogether–if not just in church. You’re theory doesn’t hold, my friend.

  10. James Duncan May 18, 2009 6:08 pm

    No one actually called you an expert, Albert.

    More like a case study.

  11. David J May 19, 2009 3:16 pm

    When are these people going to wake up and understand that Noble and Furtick are frauds? BAMF is vile. Noble should fire Cooper, but if he did this poor Perry Noble must fire himself. Clearly this is a simple case of the blind: Cooper following the blind: Noble.

    For all you NewSpring people I have a very simple challenge for you I really want you to ponder:

    E-mail NewSpring and ask how much salary B Cooper makes per year.

    E-mail NewSpring and ask to see Perry Nobles salary and benefits. You will be surprised by what you are told as an excuse to prevent you from seeing this information. Also consider that 40% of the total offering go to the salaries and benefits for NewSpring staff. In 2007, 44% of over 8 million went to salary and benefits. Ask NewSpring why they will not release Perry Noble’s yearly salary and benefits for the year 2006-2008. Every Baptist church I know willingly shows the congregation the salary of the pastor, assoc pastor, student pastor etc… upon request and business meetings. It’s a shame that NewSpring hides this information from the people who give the donations to pay Perry Noble’s salary.

    I could care less what this hireling makes, but I truly believe that since he is a pastor that this information should be public upon request. The people funding NewSpring should know Perry Noble and the staffs salary. How much does this guy make because clearly NewSpring is very reluctant to release these numbers. I will be willing to bet if these numbers are made public that it would start a fire storm in the Upstate of SC.

    Ask yourselves why 44% of all offerings when to salary and benefits? Why does NewSpring hide the salaries?

    Do the math by the known number of NewSpring employees and see what you come up with. You can get an idea of a possible salary and it’s rather large.

    But then again Perry Noble overlooks bamf so why should I anything from him? He will tell you my salary is my f^&%in business and not your %^^%& business.

    • James Duncan May 19, 2009 4:08 pm

      A word or two in defense of NewSpring here. As I’ve said before, Perry Noble’s salary is not a big deal to me, though I suspect David J is correct in thinking it would cause a bit of a firestorm if it was made public. We know it’s very large.

      Thing is, he deserves it. How many pastors can grow a 15,000 church from a small college gathering within ten years? Now, I don’t endorse much of what he does, but 15,000 other people do (including quite a few folk I like very much) and they contribute money to his paycheck each week. Good for them, and even better for him.

      You can ask, but NewSpring doesn’t have to, and won’t, tell you his salary. Yes, other churches do make that public, but NS is very much not like those kinds of churches. The people who attend that church know who their money is going to, and most also seem content with not knowing exactly how much flows to the chief.

      One last thing: Given that churches are a human-intensive enterprise, 44% on salaries doesn’t seem excessive to me, though I’m not sure what that would look like in other churches. I suspect that it may well be much higher.

  12. David J May 19, 2009 6:27 pm

    I agree James Duncan in that I have no problem if Noble makes 2 million a year. I just think the people giving to any non-profit group have the right to see the salaries of the CEO’s, pastors, etc…From attending NewSpring, I can see why they keep Perry’s salary under lock and key because I think it would cause a huge issue with the Upstate of SC. To me, any church that refuses to reveal a pastor’s salary is dishonest because the people giving should know. As it stands right now, the people of NewSpring are in the blind and they have no way of knowing how much Perry makes which I see as wrong and abusive towards all who give money to this church.

    I’m considering gathering the info they released to me and starting a awareness group using the freedom of speech and the freedom of the press to try to get the actual numbers. I just smell a rat kind of like the Benny Hinn style rats. I hope I’m wrong but my gut feeling is that Perry Noble’s salary is very high and they know it will cause a problem. I’m not a big government supporter but I feel that people who give money to a non-profit group like a church have every right to see salaries. By this is helps avoid the Jim Baker’s of the world. As it stands right now NewSpring refuses to give me the info because they are non-public. I’m going to contact some SC law makers and see what can be done to make these non-profit groups transparent since they are getting donations which are tax credits.

    Perry Noble’s salary amount is my my main issue. I hope that I mad that clear for all who read my post here.

    PS- Thanks for exposing some of Perry Noble’s problems. I was sucked into NewSpring by the kids ministry. I left NewSpring because of Pery’s ungodly mouth and attitude.

    • James Duncan May 19, 2009 7:11 pm

      David,

      Good luck in your quest, but I don’t think you’ll get far. While there is a requirement that nonprofits make their CEO salaries public, churches are exempted from this. There is no legal requirement that they do this, so I wouldn’t characterize them as being dishonest about it.

      This is not a Jim Baker analog. Baker raised money for things that he never built. Noble is being paid for pastoring a church. No one is being misled into giving money. Given that the Bible endorses the idea of pastors being paid well, I don’t think there’s a Scriptural reason to object to his salary (you can object to the church structure that set the salary, but not to the fact that he is paid).

  13. David J May 19, 2009 7:51 pm

    Thanks James. Hopefully I can work to change the laws changed so churches can be transparent just like other nonprofit groups. I know it’s going to be an uphill battle. Like I said, he can make all the cash they want to give him, I just want to givers to know how much he is getting from the donations. If they people of NewSpring see a 800k salary and continue giving then more power to them, and I will never condemn them for that nor will I speak against Perry Noble for accepting. My point is I feel they have the right to know so that they can either continue giving or stop. I do not think that will be an unreasonable request for the SC government to require “if” I can figure out how to get this done(done without the government having the right to interfere and set salaries etc…) Basically I want to empower the people with knowledge while not empowering the government to regulate and tax.

    I appreciate your insights and advice.

    Many thanks!

    • James Duncan May 19, 2009 8:26 pm

      Requiring churches to disclose compensation would violate the free exercise clause of the First Amendment. It can’t, and shouldn’t, happen.

  14. Micah May 19, 2009 7:59 pm

    Dr. James Duncan defends Perry Noble… it’s like church bipartisanship.

  15. Rob Jun 4, 2009 10:15 pm

    Uh, oh…trouble in the tribe. Ed Young doesn’t like the language link to edyoungblog.com

  16. Rhonda Jun 8, 2009 11:13 am

    I attend NewSpring Church and have been a member for a little over a year. Honestly, I do have issues with some of the language BCoop (and some others) uses at times. I would be irate if my child came home and used the term “bamf”. Although it bothers me, it doesn’t bother me enough to overcast the amazing things happening at NewSpring and *Fuse. Each week people are meeting Christ and even if it’s just one person, that is one person that won’t go to Hell. Yes, there are things that happen that I may not agree with but I don’t know anything in life that I completely agree with, 100% of the time. As I have said to others, who are we to cast the first stone? I know I’m not perfect. In the end, PP and BCoop will be forced to answer to God for the things they do and if they are comfortable with knowing that and still make the decisions they do, good for them!

    About Perry’s salary, my husband and I tithe regularly and we know what percentage goes toward salaries for the staff of NewSpring. Perry Noble could make a lot more than he does if he worked in the corporate world! He is a very influential man and a brilliant speaker. Perry works really hard for NewSpring and that is the reason the members of NewSpring don’t care about his salary.

    In closing, like I mentioned earlier, I do not agree with everything that NewSpring does but amazing things are happening there and I feel fortunate to be a part of it. God is working in big ways in Anderson, SC!

  17. Andy Jun 9, 2009 10:33 am

    I definitely agree with you on this post. Many churches are compromising in a desperate attempt to be “relevant” and instead are simply diminishing their relevance. Imitating the world doesn’t make us more relevant, it makes us LESS relevant, because we no longer have anything worthwhile to say.

    Or, as Jesus put it, “If salt has lost it’s flavor, how shall it’s saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.”

    We don’t need to imitate the culture, we should seek to transform the culture. We don’t need to approach the world on its terms, we should seek to emulate the early church, “men who turned the world upside down.” (Acts 17:6)

    “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.”
    – 2 Tim 4:3-4

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