NewSpring’s curious silence 63

I don’t have much more to say about this whole thing, but I’m surprised at how quickly NewSpring’s leaders seem to have gone to ground after their big splash on Friday afternoon.

I’ve learned that they actually sent their statement as a press release to the local newspaper, intending to get this on the front page last Saturday, though after I told my side of the story their communication apparatus has completely stalled.

Although the staff on every campus have been told they may not visit this site, there must at least be someone who has taken a peek at my rebuttal of their statement. Their official blog is still displaying exactly the same text as it did on Friday. Here, in order of ease of correction, is what I’m waiting for them to fix.

  1. The meeting was in April, not February. This is a no-brainer, and anyone who goes back to my February posts can see that NewSpring wasn’t even on my radar. You can also see Brad Cooper’s comment from March 7 inviting me to meet him for coffee. This is such an insubstantial change, why wouldn’t they make it, unless they want to pretend that my rebuttal doesn’t exist?
  2. There were four active harassers. I really don’t understand why they repeatedly refer to three rather than four harassers. Was this just a mistake? Is there one they dare not talk about? If they really believe there were three, perhaps they’d have been smart to have asked me for a few more details on the day they fired Maxwell.
  3. I didn’t seek to denounce the church from the pulpit. Their insistence that I did could only have been arrived at through a torturous process of misinterpretation. I challenged their attorney on this point on Friday night and told him that I expected them to correct this. The longer they leave this unfounded accusation on their site, the more it appears they really want the world to believe this about me.
  4. I didn’t email Wilson about the adoption. A search through their email archives will make this obvious. They probably understand how that error puts their claim of noninvolvement in question, so they might be reluctant to acknowledge their mistake by being seen to correct it.

I don’t expect to agree with every aspect of their statement, but these are four points that they already have enough evidence on hand to fix.

It’s been six days since they asked everyone to read it.

How many more days will we need to wait until they bother to get it right?

63 thoughts on “NewSpring’s curious silence

  1. David Barnett Dec 12, 2009 6:28 am

    First, let me say that I think that Mr. Duncan endured some activities that should have never taken place. With that being said, I would like to make several comments. It is easy to sit down from the safety of one’s own computer and attempt to fight injustice and the hurt in this world, and in this case try to assainate the character of the integrity of Perry Noble, Newspring, and the staff via a blog. It would be like having one college professor, or staffer at the the college conducting some unethical actions and then making the leap to criticize the President, all the faculty, staff, and students for being part of such a place.

    It appears to me that Mr. Duncan has an obsession with Newspring, has a bent in bring Perry Noble down to his level, and to make the world feel sorry for all the actions done to him. I really hate to tell you (Mr. Duncan), while these actions were wrong they are likely a small sample of what pastors like Perry Noble have to endure on a continuous basis. Sadly, I will take a little reach and say that most of this comes from the relitious community, specifically the “Christians” of Anderson county who have watched their flock leave and go over to Newspring. Again, the actions of some of the staff are abhorent and the actions that NS took were appropriate.

    I believe that someone has already asked you, Mr. Duncan to share where you went to church, what you do in that church, and how your church is impacting the culture of that area?? If you spent just a portion of the time that you are taking tearing down the body of Christ then you would be a sower of “Good News.” If you are not sure what that is then take some of the time that you are taking writing this blog site and open up the Bible. Do you really believe that Perry Noble is so insulated at Newspring that they won’t let him hear the criticism?

    You need to give yourself a gift and redirect your time and attention to things that will help people see Christ. I think that you started a campaign a few years ago to criticize something that goes against your traditional leanings and you have become bent on what Newspring is doing. Personally, there have been several times in my life that I could have sued the government, a person, a business for their actions, but I made a choice to move on in my life. I am not going to spend the rest of my life in court against someone, spending all my time (devote some to your family) focused on someone who hurt me, and live in past. You really seemed to enjoy that you finally got Newspring’s attention with their lawyer setting down with you and that you now have Perry Noble’s ear. I really feel sorry for you because you probably have some wonderful traits but forgiveness and mercy do not head up the list. As a person who has had to endure much in life (I am not going to bleed all over this page), my advice to you is to let God deal with Newspring if they are wrong, and you find a place in the Kingdom and be about it. Just in case you are wondering, I am not a member of NS or a personal friend of PN or anyone on staff. I have been to NS about three times for various activities, and I can tell you that what I see is a God movement. Is there also room for improvement? Absolutely, so pray for NS and PN that God would use them in this day for the same thing that he wants to use you, Mr. Duncan, and that is to love the world to Christ.

  2. cc Dec 12, 2009 12:16 pm

    I hate seeing this…Christians fighting each other is absolutely appalling. And it is especially appalling because of how unbelievers are viewing it. I once knew someone who was visiting an unbelieving friend in the hospital. He brought this friend a couple of Christian magazines to read hoping that it would encourage him and in these magazines were articles tearing down the opposing magazine. This is just wrong…the guy read that and said that Christians can’t even get along and wanted no part of it. Now I am in NO WAY condoning what some newspring staffers did and I am very sorry that this has happened to Dr. Duncan. However, I wonder if silence on Newsprings behalf isn’t best. I do feel that perhaps a private apology is warranted from Perry to Dr. Duncan but thats it. I just hate to sit back and watch the focus be taken off of Jesus Christ because he is the ONLY thing that matters. Now i’m not saying that I tell others about Jesus as much as I should, but I wonder what if Dr Duncan took his time and energy away from this blog and put it on passionately going after a lost and dying world? What if we all did that? I do pray for this situation and both sides involved. And maybe one day I won’t have to say “both sides” involved…should there be different sides among God’s people?

  3. David Barnett Dec 12, 2009 2:21 pm

    If I am not mistaken, I believe that both Mr. Duncan and Mr. Downing teach at the same university, Anderson University. [JD: You are mistaken.] It would not surprise me if they are not good friends, go to the same church, have no real hobbies (other than finding fault with pastors that they have never had one discussion with), and have no idea whatsoever of what it takes to pastor a church or change a community. Both of you educated men need to focus on your job, which, unfortunately is tenured so you are not open to being fired like you would like to suggest for all pastors who think a little different than you.

    You constantly criticize PN for his rancor against traditional churches in the area, yet you find yourself doing the very thing you accuse him of doing. Maybe your pastor doesn’t spend most of his message bemoaning what is happening at NS but I am sure that your church has felts its wake. James Duncan loves to quote Scripture that fits his personal agenda but has likely never taken the time to understand the languages of the Bible or any serious study (be careful before you assume, you might be embarassed if you let your pride get a hold of you).

    So what is my purpose commenting on this site? I actually found this blog by accident while looking for some information. I had heard in the past that NS and PN get a constant barrage from churches in the area and this blog is just partial evidence of this. Why don’t you just come out and say that if you pastor doesn’t pray with someone to receive Christ then that “person” is not written in the “book?” Furthermore, why don’t you buy a billboard and say that everyone who has received Christ at NS is actually going to hell because PN is unbiblical and has a potty mouth? PN, NS, or any other church in your area has no special authority to deem people as “Christians.” Only the Spirit can draw people into salvation, not a pastor, a blog, or any other mode. I personally do not have the time to straighten you guys out. I am not going to out blog you, out insult you, out Bible reference you, and out belittle those doing something for the Kingdom. Honestly, your kind is not really open to real dialogue. You say that NS and PN should be open to criticism but you are not open to criticism. I can guarantee you if I followed you over a semester, at church, with your spouse, kids, how your treat your neighbors then I would have plenty to post about what a hypocrite you are or how you say you love God but look at your actions. You have built a “glass house” for yourself and if you throw rocks then don’t be suprised when other people challenge you. You have an agenda as evidence of your lawsuit, the use of your wife and son as leverage to gain sympathy for your tirade, and the fact that you are following these pastors lives like is was any of your business (e.ge. you claim: I have friends that go to NS or their children go to the youth group so I need to be able to help them). I can assure you that if both of you (Duncan and Downing) spent all the time in the Bible that you say your are doing in Bible study then God would not be saying, “Give your life to the bringing down of NS.” You men really have no idea (outside your religious upbringing and traditional leanings) of how to reach the culture (our preacher just preaches out of the Bible), and you are seriously out of your league. Don’t you think it’s time you moved onto something more productive?

  4. Bob Dec 12, 2009 2:33 pm

    Mr. Duncan,
    By your own admission this whole series of events began two years when ‘you’ initiated your opinions and criticisms against NS. You took issue with a billboard sign and some of the youth activities at this church which offended your personal sensibilities. In response, you submitted an article to a local newspaper and started a blog campaign about this church. It was your prerogative to do so. From there it’s apparent that things snowballed, escalated, and got very ugly on both sides..

    Has the thought ever occurred to you that if you had simply said nothing and not concerned yourselves with NS and its activities, then none of this would have happened to you, your family, or them? They (NS’s influence) might have just faded into insignificance and your own life would be much less complicated right now. This may be a clear case of cause-and-effect. This is a black eye on Christianity.

  5. Ian Dec 12, 2009 4:13 pm

    “Has the thought ever occurred to you that if you had simply said nothing and not concerned yourselves with NS and its activities, then none of this would have happened to you, your family, or them?”

    So what your saying Bob is Dr. Duncan deserves everything he got. Just say it.

  6. Jordan Dec 12, 2009 4:31 pm

    Bob,

    Yes, if everyone kept their opinions to themselves there might be less conflict. But that’s not necessarily good. Healthy discussion can benefit everyone. This blog provides for healthy discussion. Mr. Noble’s blog does not.

    Your comment almost makes is sound like you are placing all of the blame for the atrocious series of events on Mr. Duncan because he expressed his opinions. This is America — expression of opinions is welcome and a normal part of life here. It’s okay to disagree and blog about it. It’s okay to put an article in a local paper disagreeing with a billboard.

    What’s not okay is for a pastor of a church to convince his thousands of followers that bloggers who disagree with him are jackasses or somehow related to satan. That creates an environment where some may take it a little too seriously and go to extreme measures to shut down the critic. That is what happened here.

    Christians who disagree with other christians, based on biblical arguments, are not blackening the eye of christianity. Rather, they are encouraging others to read their Bible and seek the truth. If Mr. Noble and his team were always correct, there might be some merit to what you posted. But when things like “BAMF” from the NS youth leader come up, I’m certainly glad that someone is bold enough to point that out, and allow it to be discussed openly.

    I’m glad that Mr. Duncan maintains this blog. I don’t agree with everything he says, but he makes good points and then he leaves it open for others to discuss. I don’t understand why anyone would think that public statements from Newspring leadership should not be discussed.

  7. Tommy F. Dec 12, 2009 5:48 pm

    David,

    You wrote: that JDuncan tries “to assainate the character of the integrity of Perry Noble, Newspring, and the staff via a blog.”

    Please refer us to one example of an assassination attempt. 1. Uno. Satu. Un. Ein. One. Just one in all of the posts from the last 6+months. Happy reading. You’ll come up empty.

  8. Jay Dec 12, 2009 7:02 pm

    Bob,

    Do you realize that you basically just proved everything that Dr. Duncan has been saying on here? I don’t think you do, because if you did, I doubt you would have said what you said. Think about it. Dr. Duncan has been commenting on the fact that PN and NS don’t like it when people question them, their doctrine, or their church methods, and people should stand up against anyone that does. By YOUR OWN ADMISSION, Dr. Duncan just should have kept quiet and kept his opinions to himself. Because that is the Christian way, right? I would submit to you that if anybody or anything is “a black eye on Christianity,” it is Newspring and their totalitarian views on how a church should be run. The man TRIED to reason with them before it got to this point, and THEY did not act! It’s THEIR fault! It’s all in black and white. It is not just an American ideal to support freedom of speech without persecution, it is Christian. Even the Lord Himself wants people to question their faith in order to strengthen it. If God expected us to blindly follow Him, He would have never given us free will.

    Furthermore, if you were hinting at the idea that Dr. Duncan deserved any of what happened to him, you need to reevaluate your faith and your Christian beliefs (assuming you are a Christian). Do you really think that other professing Christians should have behaved in this manner? Do you really think that any amount of criticism should incite this type of response? Jesus Christ was BEATEN TO NO END and NAILED TO A CROSS TO DIE. What was His response? It’d be one thing if some looney bird that attends that “church” had done what they did, but this mess is tied all the way up to the Anderson Pope himself. You, or any of the other people who have told me there is no way PN knew about all this, CANNOT convince me that a paranoid leader like PN knew NOTHING about this. Dr. Duncan, and no other person deserved ANY of what happened to him. I’d like to know how you–and any other NS sympathizer–would have responded if it were PN or any of the other NS goons facing this type of persecution over their beliefs.

    Lastly, this man is a professing Christian who has provided far more evidence in proving his side of the case. If we are truly Christian people, we should stand alongside him in support and prayer. Not in efforts to take down NS, but instead, to represent the body of Christ as it should be represented. Not through threats. Not through vulgarity. Not through mindless persecution. Not through ignorance of facts and evidence. Not through lies. Not through the distribution of misleading information to keep people on our side. None of these things are what God has asked us to do, but they are all things that NS has promoted–whether they were ignorant of it or not.

    If they want to do the right thing, they will publish the truth and provide an apology to Dr. Duncan, their members, and the community. They are in the wrong, and Dr. Duncan has proved that. Christians, there is no way to argue it, and there is no gray area. Newspring’s refusal to act and meet with Dr. Duncan in a spiritual and Christian way–rather than a business and legalistic way–has once again exposed them for the cold, misguided machine that they are.

    Wake up, Bob. Wake up, Anderson. “Changing lives” sounds nice, but there is a reason why it wears off after a while. To paraphrase what Dr. Duncan said in his podcast interview, Oprah changes lives, too. Just because PN teaches you how to save your marriage and manage your checkbook doesn’t mean he’s a real pastor. Making your earthly life more comfortable isn’t what Christ had in mind. If you’re not willing to fix these things on your own, without someone telling you that you shouldn’t sleep around and blow your money on fruitless things, there’s a good chance that you’re still not saved. Furthermore, Being “blessed” doesn’t JUST mean having a good meal at Chick Fil-A or having great friends and great times or “having your mind blown at the ‘Spring.” Earth to all you “Christians” out there: IF YOU’RE NOT HATED, CRITICIZED, AND ATTACKED BY THE WORLD, YOU’RE NOT LIVING YOUR LIFE AS CHRIST INTENDED! And, before you comment saying that Dr. Duncan was doing all of that, allow me to clarify. Dr. Duncan is a Christian. If other Christians are criticizing you, you should find out why and if their complaints are valid. You certainly shouldn’t attack them.

    I would like to know how many times the world, not fellow believers, have really went after Newspring. I would wager none. Why would they? Newspring looks just like them. Talks just like them. And sadly, in many cases, such as the one Dr. Duncan dealt with, their people act just like them.

    Just some food for thought.

    Sincerely hoping nobody slashes my tires in the name of the Almighty PN,

    Jay

  9. Jay Dec 12, 2009 7:25 pm

    David,

    Wow, I thought I was through on here. Man, you really need to read my last post. It, along with your post, sums up the whole problem. It’s people like you, David. You’re the problem. People who think that there should be no criticism of a church, and yet, they feel they can criticize other Christians. Oh, wait, I guess I should have put that into quotation marks as you did. I take offense to what you wrote, and you know why? It’s because of what you’ve implied by saying that anyone who thinks a traditional church is a good thing and feels that Newspring should change some of their practices is not a Christian.

    Then again, I guess I can’t blame you, because as Dr. Duncan has said countless times, these are the teachings of PN. These are the teachings that you are blindly following. These are the teachings that are wrong in the eyes of God and the Christ PN and the rest of us serve. You really need to reevaluate yourself, sir.

    As for Dr. Duncan, he is not “out of his league” as you put it. Though, it is rather humorous that you are placing Perry in such lofty, “cultured” category. Yes, Perry is far more cultured on reaching the masses than a man that has a doctorate in COMMUNICATIONS. Seems like he’s done a good job of reaching you and many others, hasn’t he?

    Also, I’d like to address your comment regarding how you believe that Dr. Duncan pulls scripture out of context. Ha! This is the biggest laugh of the night. PN is the absolute MASTER of this. And what did you mean when you said that Dr. Duncan has “never taken the time to understand the languages of the Bible or any serious study”? This is rather laughable don’t you think? He seems to have his stuff a lot more in order than Mr. Noble. Everything you have posted shows the way that Newspringers really think PN is the greatest thing since sliced bread. I guess that whole your righteousness is as good as rags bit is just a sham too, right? Oops, I just pulled that out of context to suit my needs. I guess that means that I’ve never really taken the time to understand the Bible either?

    You’ve got a lot to learn, friend. You shouldn’t follow so blindly. Just ask the Gary Lamb followers.

    -Jay

  10. R Dec 12, 2009 7:54 pm

    In reading these comments I’m obligated to address to a few things. In regards to robbing the church, ask Perry to disclose his compensation in preaching the Gospel. True a workman is worthy of his pay,.. but really ? come on..Your only suing God If the church is acting in God’s will As Perry has stated “If Its God Will Its Gods Bill “… Mr Duncan is justified in what ever action is necessary (with in the law, something someone forgot) to bring about a change of the error. The hardest part is always getting people to understand that they are sinners and pride is the hardest to over come. For those that think Mr Duncan has got what he deserved..Church reformers have always been burned at the stake, just read Fox book of Martyrs, I’m glad there were those willing to hold those with ridiculous amounts of self obtained power accountable.
    You see the change that is made by Jesus in the life of those who trust in Him as Savior does not just appear when the person enters the “church” but is felt by those who meet them every day, 10’000 on fire Christians in little Anderson, where is the impact for Jesus. The book of James is still in the bible. So don’t judge Mr. Duncan for only pointing out the obvious. I am a fan of NS as a church, but just a bigger fan of the righteousness found in Christ Jesus.

  11. Paul Dec 12, 2009 8:01 pm

    David, just one simple question… is it sin when you hold a ministry accountable to the Word of God? Paul confronted Peter publically when he, by his actions, deviated from the Gospel. Luther publically confronted the heresy of the church with his 95 thesis (ancient blogging). I guess by your comments that these men were wrong, and should have kept their mouth shut since an unbeliever might see their disagrements. God forbid that unbelievers see faithful men standing for truth.

  12. Bob Dec 12, 2009 8:43 pm

    Keep it up… if it’s worth it to you.

  13. Ian Dec 12, 2009 9:35 pm

    Tommy F,

    “to assainate the character of the integrity of Perry Noble, Newspring, and the staff via a blog.”

    They don’t read, they heard it from someone that some guy is talking trash on a blog about Perry and come here with there guns loaded, they don’t read, believe me, they don’t read.

  14. chris Dec 12, 2009 9:46 pm

    http://www.independentmail.com/news/2007/oct/26/my-mind—newspring-church-billboards-offend-local/?printer=1/

    Jay and Tommy,

    You didn’t issue this question to me but I’ll answer. Read the above article (where all this started)

    Accusing/equating someone in ministry of “being un-christian”, “selfish”, “arrogant”, “beneath even Jerry Springer” to name a few, is tantamount to defamatory. I know, I know “that stuff is true” and “it’s his right to criticize” etc…but I don’t see it that way. Apparently neither did other people.

    I’m still waiting for my response in another post about “Care to define Gossip”? Still waiting.

    Continue on mujahideen.

  15. David Barnett Dec 12, 2009 10:50 pm

    To James Duncan: What is your relationship to Grumpy James if you do not teach together? I find it hard to believe that there is no connection but you quietly find ways to step in and cover each other as if you are in tag team wrestling match. [JD: This is the last time I’ll tell you. You are wrong. After all of this, do you suppose Downing wants me giving you his address and phone number? It’s not going to happen.] You constantly high five each other so much, it is hard to tell if you ever disagree with each other about anything other than who is giving PN more grief. What concerns me greatly is the way you speak of pastors like PN is that you call into question the salvation of their “followers” as if you men go to the only church where there is no heresy taught (at least yet according to Grumpy James but he has his heresy ears on. I also pray you have the love of Jesus in your heart so that you ears and your intellect don’t disqualify you for the prize, sir.

    To Jay (whatever your last name is) To be honest with you guys, if you cannot put your name on something then you are the ultimate coward. Would you to my face or PN be so beligerent as you are behind your Mac book or PC (as I said in my first post, what happened to JD was wrong. If anyone at NS (I am speaking of those who were identified and since have been disciplined to the degree warranted) wanted to confront JD then they should have set up an appointment with him, call or write him, not try to intimidate him with such means? I can respect James and James for at least this part of their blog.
    Who are you following Jay? I would love to know what your job is other than stepping in and take the heat off of James and James. I am not a PN follower as I said if you would take the time to read my post. I found this blog by accident and do not regularly follow anything that PN says. Be careful since you know nothing about me. I am not trying to defend anyone’s comments on this post so just speak for yourself instead of CAP locking people you disagree with for James.

    Take a look at Scripture followers of James and James
    Galatians 6:1-3 (The Message) or use your version
    Nothing but the Cross
    1-3 Live creatively, friends. If someone falls into sin, forgivingly restore him, saving your critical comments for yourself. You might be needing forgiveness before the day’s out. Stoop down and reach out to those who are oppressed. Share their burdens, and so complete Christ’s law. If you think you are too good for that, you are badly deceived. end

    Jay are you really Spiritual enough to correct all the pastors in Anderson County, in South Carolina, how about the nation? I love your little petty statements about how criticism is needed but who will police the bloggers who have no following whatsoever? Who will correct your misstatements and misgivings and others personal agendas to profit from a tragic event. Many of the names that James, James, and Jay (Now you must be all giving each other fist pumps taking up for each other since you are of “like minded”) mention are people that I nor many people have heard of but you make blanket statements like “we follow them blindly.” Oh you are so spiritual that you can indeed see the heresy the rest of us poor souls cannot see? I tell you what, there is no way that someone on your intellectual, spiritual, or professional level is going to change my mind, so why don’t we just agree to disagree on this one and you don’t need to bother using the CAPITAL letters on me which is basically cursing in a blog (ask James and James about this one). Wonder why James doesn’t scold you since he is a communications professor and has certainly taught his students not to use this informal use of communication to blog or to communicate to others. If it’s wrong for PN then it’s wrong for you.

    Tommy F.
    I love it when those who criticize the most simply cannot handle anything of correction themselves. If any one you petty minded people endured one day of what it means to stand on the front line and take the hits you would not be so quick to open up your mouth or your computers.
    What evidence is there regarding JD trying to destroy PN and Newspring? Are you kidding? The whole blog and the last two years has been James Duncan’s attempt in exposing and looking for dirt on PN and Newspring. Get a clue, please. I have spent way too much time already looking at this garbage than to satisy your language study. Is there anybody else who is looking at the blog that believes that this blog is foxnews (fair and balanced) and that James and James really just want to be fair to everyone. It amazed me when I check this out the pastors that these guys were attacking. Some have fallen from their ministry, others are considered the most evangelical leaders in America but the point that I would make is that there is way too much broad personalization of a certain kind of pastor that is dangerous, contemporary, full of heresy (according to whom?, and emergent minded.

    To Jordan and all the other people who think that this blog is safe then consider how under their own admission they should be focusing on their effectiveness among their colleagues. Are these really men (because they teach at a school)that they know what it takes to operate a growing church?
    Listen to what you said: Basically, since we live in America, James and James should be able to do or say what they want (whatever damages it does), but because Perry Noble has a bigger following that he should not warn his followers about someone out to get him (I thought that a good shepherd was to warn his sheep about people who want to destroy the flock). Remember, it was Saul who thought that murdering other pastors/christians was exactly what God called him to do. It was not until that encounter (the vision that Grumpy James writes about so often) that Jesus reminded Saul that he was actually doing the opposite of what God wanted him to do. I am not going to start my own blog belittling you guys but how do you know what you are doing is right, that God really approves of this criticism, that this is keeping heresy out of the church? My thoughts are that you are likely not to influence very many people other than those who already feel the same way you do now, but the sad part is that resentment has grown to the point that people are going to be repelled by the gospel.

    In short, you all have way too much time focusing on what others are doing (following their tweets, e-mails, every sermon, and every word). If you are a college professor, then be the best college professor that you can be, if you are a pastor then lead, if you are a Bible study leader then teach the Bible. Blogging your way into eternity might make you feel better but it will not likely net another soul in heaven.

  16. sam Dec 13, 2009 12:08 am

    David,
    Got to love the absolutes that you PN supporters operate in. Like, if you blog then you arent doing anything at all for the kingdom. It is not an either/or situation. People can blog AND reach others for Christ at the same time. I find it quite ironic that people call Mr Duncan judgmental but yet they judge him as well. Call him a Pharisee, satan, non-evangelistic, etc.
    PN cant help himself when it comes to his critics. Just the other day he retweeted something the Purpose Driven Pope said about critics. In 2007, the loving and pastorly PN said that he believed that more critics would come out and that the critics could kiss his rear end. How different is this than Paul who preached to the Bereans and the Bereans checked to see if the things that Paul said were of the scriptures. You didnt see Paul rebuking the Bereans for daring to check up on what Paul was saying. He didnt launch a campaign to silence them nor did he use them as sermon and letter fodder for other churches. In 1 Thes 5, Paul says that we are to “test everything and hold fast to what is good”. We see in Rev 2, the Ephesian church being praised for:

    “I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but(D) have tested those(E) who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. 3I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up(F) for my name’s sake, and you(G) have not grown weary.”

    We are not to sit idly by and listen to people like Perry Noble twist and contort the scripture to reach his extra biblical conclusions. Just listen to the day that Mr Duncan was on Pirate Radio’s Fighting for the Faith where the host critiques PN’s talk that he gave to other pastors at their Unleash conference and you can clearly see where PN draws unbiblical conclusions.

    You quote from the Message? Really……The Message??? Enough said.

    PN has taken it upon himself to seek a national, celebrity status. He is speaking at conferences all over the nation just based on the fact that his church has obtained some level of attendance by turning the church into a circus. Spurgeon said it best, “feeding the sheep or amusing the goats”. PN influence is reaching beyond Newspring’s walls. Also, where do you think that growth is coming from? Its not all by conversion growth. Alot of the growth is christians leaving other churches because PN “tickles their ears” (2 tim 4:3-4). The church isnt all about Jesus. How does it glorify Jesus when the band plays songs like, Highway to Hell, Hell’s Bells, Friends in Low Places, Crazy in Love by Beyonce, You only Call me when you are sober, etc. The church is intended for the gathering of saints to worship God. The church service is not intended to be the primary tool for evangelism. The worship service is for the gathering of saints to worship God and to be equipped to GO out in the world and reach others for Christ.

    We, as Christians, are not to blindly follow everyone such as the self appointed Pastor PN and just use pragmatic reasoning to justify everything that he does. The lessons of history such as Charles Finney, teach us otherwise. And less we not forget the reformation where men stood up and challenged the church in their teachings at the penalty of death. You, David, would have had these men hold their tongue under some misguided and wrong headed definition of love.

    Speaking of love, dare i say that if Perry had not been so belligerent always spoiling for a fight while talking about being macho by punching someone in the throat or dreaming to be an ultimate fighter then maybe this would never had happened. PN created a culture that led to this. We still do not know for sure that PN had no knowledge of this happening. Perry “endures” this because he seems to thrive on it. Just go back and read his blog and see how much time he talks about critics. Listen to him call people Jackasses and watch him take pot shots at his critics AND listen to PN criticize the traditional church. Criticize other churches that are reaching people for Christ.

    Lastly you say,
    “Blogging your way into eternity might make you feel better but it will not likely net another soul in heaven.”

    How do you know how God might have used this blog in other people’s lives? How do you dare to suppose that God could not use this blog and Mr Duncan pointing people to scripture and regenerate their hearts through the reading of scripture all because they read this blog? And getting back to the beginning of this post, why do you present this as “if you write a blog then you cant lead others to christ” Wow, I guess if you spend your free time in certain ways then you NEVER tell anyone of the Gospel.

  17. Tommy F Dec 13, 2009 1:02 am

    David,

    You wrote: “James Duncan loves to quote Scripture that fits his personal agenda but has likely never taken the time to understand the languages of the Bible or any serious study.”

    This is one of the funniest things I’ve read in a long time. And I’m really old. So this means something.

    How uninformed are you?

    Your quote applies to PNoble much more than it does to JDuncan. As a way of comparison why don’t you pick one of JDuncan’s posts on baptism and compare it to any sermon series by PNoble. I didn’t say sermon, I said sermon series. Pick any 5 sermons by PN and compare them to JDuncan’s post. More Bible is cited and explained there than any given month at NS. And re: serious study you can also compare the education level of both men, too.

    SCOREBOARD.

  18. JB Dec 13, 2009 2:48 am

    To a certain extent, both sides of this argument need to take a step back – there are better things to be worrying about than a) defending someone in complete blindness without acknowledging some the fact that nobody is perfect and that some of the opinions being stated may have some truth, or b) defaming somebody they don’t know everything about and even (at times) mocking the aformentioned a) people. Both sides have their reasons for believing what they do, and both sides have their biases. That’s how any issue inside or outside church doors occurs and plays out. Pardon my French, but sometimes we have to get our heads out of our own asses (donkeys?) long enough to take a look around and see that others are involved. Even though I love NS, I think that they have to realize that someone was hurt, and even if they “legally” took care of things thus far, that doesn’t mean the wound is gone. As for the blogging/comments, both sides are getting so defensive that it’s turned into on heck of an ugly set of characters on this and every other post (especially in the comments). I love a good discussion, but this is not that – from BOTH sides (although not everyone on both sides has a part in this). I would love to see it become a good discussion again! AND please don’t post something that says “Yeah, but they started it…” or anything resembling it… :o) On a more casual note, have a great Sunday!

  19. Jay Dec 13, 2009 3:37 am

    David,

    The reason I honed in on you is because you seem to be prone to contradictions and triviality and misstatements. Again, may I restate this: you’re part of the problem. And, I stand by that. You see, I don’t have to know you to know who you are. I know lots of you. I’m friends with many people just like you. I know you’re not literally them, but sadly, you’re all just as like-minded as those who you feel oppose you. You all use the same defenses. In fact, if i weren’t typing on a computer, I’d say I were having a face-to-face conversation with one of them. Why are you so defensive? I’m not defending traditionalism. You want to take a crack at it? Go right ahead. I stand upon my faith and that alone. I don’t need a preacher and a million dollar church in the richest part of a city to make me feel better about myself.

    Dr. Duncan has presented mounds and mounds of evidence condemning the actions of those involved with the systematic planned destruction of a Christian man. Likewise, there is plenty more evidence that demonstrates PN and the NS admin’s lack of action to come to the aid of a fellow Christian. Does this mean nothing to you? You think they have a right to ignore him, purely because he has criticized them? Read your Bible.

    I offer you a list of rebuttals, and I’d ask you to do the same, but judging by your last post, I’m not sure if you can do that without resorting to trivialities and misinterpretations.

    1. I don’t feel that I am spiritual enough to do anything. I simply would like to see justice served. I feel that a fellow Christian has been wronged, and I feel that NS and PN are more responsible than they seem to be letting others think. Try to argue the facts all you want, but the evidence has been given and the ball is in their court now.

    2. How are any of my statements “petty”? You say that, and yet, you name no examples. I’ll demonstrate what I mean: “you don’t need to bother using CAPITAL letters on me…” That, sir, is petty. I’m sorry that it offended you. Next time, I will use italics to stress my emphasis for my more defensive and sensitive readers. My apologies.

    3. “Who will police the bloggers who have no following whatsoever?” Is the answer you? If so, why? Why do you feel the need to police someone that, in your words, has no following? It seems to me this blog has struck a chord with people all over the place. How do you explain that? Also, this sort of self-refutes your claims about stumbling upon this blog as a casual observer. Seems to me you have an agenda here of some sort.

    4. I don’t feel that I, my like-minded contemporaries, or even Dr. Duncan is trying to profit from this event in any way. I won’t see a dime of any money that is awarded. Also, if you go back and read critically, you will see that Dr. Duncan did not ask for money. NS asked him how much he wanted, so he told them. And yes, I really believe that. Why would he lie? It wouldn’t do him any good or change my opinion. There’s no motivation.

    5. I used that blanket statement because you are again and again proving it. So are many of your fellow Newspring supports. Trust me, I’m not a casual observer. I’ve got many many friends and family involved in that church. Furthermore, I know, and have relationships with church insiders. I don’t hate or dislike any of them, and each of them has a varying degree of loyalty that ranges from complete sell out to slight skeptic. Sadly, the sell outs out weigh the skeptics. Why? Why be sold out to a human? Why not have the ability to criticize something? Would you be willing to say that everything they do is perfect?

    6. My last point. Now, pay attention to what you said, because this really backs up everything I’ve said and everything Duncan has said: “I tell you what, there is no way that someone on your intellectual, spiritual, or professional level is going to change my mind, so why don’t we just agree to disagree on this one…” You go from saying that I know nothing about you, so I shouldn’t use blanket statements against you, to using a very brash one yourself. How do you know my intellectual, spiritual, or professional level? And, what level would it take to change your mind? Or, are you saying that nobody could change your mind? Or, must I be as brilliant and spiritual as someone like PN? The truth of the matter is, I’m not trying to change your mind. I only want you wake up and think this through. I’m wanting you to do something that Newspring has proven that they don’t want you to do. Think for yourself. If you consider all of the facts and the evidence that has been listed and still feel that PN and NS is in the right 100% and Dr. Duncan is just some hack, then, well, I guess I’m sorry. I’m sorry for asking you, or anyone else to think for yourself. I’m sorry that you feel that way, and I’ll only hope that you will be able to understand some day. I promise you, this isn’t my agenda.

    Peace,

    Jay

  20. Jay Dec 13, 2009 4:03 am

    chris,

    You’ve really made this too easy. Your comment does nothing but embody the dangerous (not in the hip, trendy christian way) and misleading messages that PN and NS have sent their listeners.

    Mujahideen-pl. Muslim guerrilla warriors engaged in a jihad.

    While, I applaud your use of the correct plural form of the word to describe our group, I must point out to you that unless you are being sarcastic, you’ve really exposed–once again–the problem with PN’s teaching.

    If the critics of PN are “mujahideen,” I suppose that would make you and your contemporaries the righteous Christians sent here to destroy us. So, we are the enemies? Is that what you’re trying to say? You’re really going to go with that? If I were you, and I didn’t want to lose all of my credibility as a poster, I would completely drop the usage of that word. I’m guessing you picked that up from political talk shows or some trendy book written by an “edgy” writer, and now, you feel it applies here. It echos of Glenn Beck to tell you the truth.

    I’m not the enemy, my friend, and I’d like it if you wouldn’t address me as such. I grant you, and your cohorts that same courtesy, and I would think that you would be civil enough to do the same. Your doing so does nothing but speak volumes for the flawed teachings of PN. Yes, they are radical and they are dangerous but not in the way of my God.

    Regarding other professing members of the body of Christ as the enemy is not the way of the One we all say we serve. If you do, you’re just as responsible as the misguided cowards that treated Dr. Duncan and his family the way that they did. Anyone that supports that way of thinking or those types of actions really needs to have some time to reassess their life.

    Hope that doesn’t apply to you.

    Peace,

    Jay

  21. Danny Dec 13, 2009 10:38 am

    Summary of the NS apologists: To: James Duncan
    James, you shouldn’t have worn that short skirt and exposed yourself on the internet. We cannot control our animal instincts to pounce.
    Some free advice. Do not practice this type of behavior towards the church again, especially an Ultimate Fighting Church.

  22. zuma Dec 13, 2009 11:23 am

    mr. duncan

    you’re just jealous of perry noble

    that is all

  23. Chris Dec 13, 2009 3:27 pm

    Jay,

    See here’s the thing I speak fluent English, Arabic, and farsi. Mujahideen…means literally “those involved in struggle” or current Arabic parlance “those fighting in struggle”. While I know you googled your definition and took the first one that came up It’s not the etymology of the word.But we don’t need to derail for that.

    Your logic is a little muddled when you say:”Regarding other professing members of the body of Christ as the enemy is not the way of the One we all say we serve.”

    Perhaps you’ve missed the last 7 or 8 months of comments on this blog. Because that’s exactly what JDuncan supporters claim PN is. An enemy of Christ.

  24. Jay Dec 13, 2009 5:25 pm

    Chris,

    Actually, I went to a dictionary to get the exact definition. I have a hard time trusting online dictionaries. I did that so that the others being referenced by that word would know what it meant. I already had a general idea of the word meaning from watching the occasional CNN or FOX News program. I can’t claim to know Arabic, but I do know English quite well. And from knowing English, I understand writing. That being said, if you weren’t wishing to describe people who disagree with you using a word that has come to have a negative meaning, then why use it at all? It’d be like me saying PN is gay for his church when it does something good. Gay, of course, used to mean happy.

    Once again, I applaud your reference of the word’s etymology. That is a very interesting field of study that I would recommend to anyone with a lot of time and a heart for research. But, now that I think about it, I could just as easily say that you are bluffing and that you Googled the word. I just did, and wouldn’t you know it, it mentions the word’s etymology right off the bat. Imagine that. Hmm…

    Enough with the trivialities.

    I can’t speak for everyone who comments on this blog, but when it comes to me personally (seeing as how you did address me personally), I would rather not be referenced as an enemy to anyone. I would be just as mad about this if the situation were flipped. I assure you of this.

    I don’t have to speak for Dr. Duncan, because if you would simply go back and read, he again and again says he does not consider himself an enemy of the church. Nor does he consider the church an enemy. He is merely critiquing some of the policies he finds negative about the church. You wouldn’t consider a movie critic an enemy of a movie he or she doesn’t like would you?

    -Jay

  25. Bob Dec 13, 2009 6:47 pm

    NS may be quiet, but apparently a lot of other people are not.

  26. Chris Dec 13, 2009 9:16 pm

    You’re right Jay trivialities. I agree but for the record I am fluent in Arabic (grew up in a larger muslim communtiy) and I am fluent in Farsi (my wife made me do it to communicate with her Mom) Apparently your googles broken though. The first reference is Wikipedia (not the best source but close) and wouldn’t you know it.

    A Mujahid (Arabic: مجاهد, muǧāhid, literally “struggler”, “justice-fighter” or “freedom-fighter”)

    and

    The word is from the same Arabic triliteral as jihad (“struggle”).

    But for the sake of argument and assume that you’re definition is accurate. How often do these “discernment” blogs say things like “fighting for the faith” “contending for the faith” or my favorite “waging war against the enemy” to describe their work? Here’s a few of my favorite:

    http://defendingcontending.com/2009/07/24/bitterspring-newspring-defenders-defend-this/

    http://www.raptureforums.com/forum/apostasy-local-church/29602-perry-nobles-newspring-church-ghost-sighting-wish-i-making-up.html

    http://www.alittleleaven.com/2009/03/new-spring-churchs-easter-service-to-open-with-acdcs-highway-to-hell.html

    Sounds a lot like they’re mujihadeen. But I digress.

    I know it’s easier to assign guilt by association (logical fallacy) because 3 people decided to act way outside the lines of appropriate, christian, behavior to Perry Noble and ignore the other side but can you not see the similarities? Additionally; as far as I can see, NS followed biblical mandate by firing the guilty party, the police investigated, the church disciplined all the guilty parties. How much more is necessary? A public apology? $1.5 million? The moon? I’m sure what the ultimate answer is: New Spring closing.

    If JDuncan considers PN to be a brother in Christ then the biblical mandate is to “restore gently” (not that PN is complicit) not blog incessantly your concerns to an audience. Again I know that somehow he’s justified because he’s saving others from believing error but if PN is a brother in Christ what’s the fear? But that’s not the Matthew 18 route either. I know…I know why would we want anybody who was wronged to do the right thing. I mean Jesus would never forgive anybody who wronged him without provocation…wait a second. Maybe we all shouldn’t be striving to look like Jesus.

    If you can find me one verse just one verse that says “Tell the largest audience possible your complaint” I settle for a close facsimile, then I’ll never comment here again. JDuncan is neither a prophet (unless I missed it) nor biblically handling grievances against a leader. Again not that PN is complicit.

    Carry on freedom fighters! Was that better?

    Sorry for the choppiness my iphone is not the best modes of typed response.

  27. sam Dec 14, 2009 12:27 am

    Chris…Chris…Chris….
    Just an FYI. Matthew 18 does not apply to Perry Noble. 1 Timothy 5:19-20 are to be followed. And a case can be made that PN continues to sin when he calls critics jackasses, Pharisees, unsaved, tell them to kiss his rear end, etc. The text says that PN should be rebuked in front of the WHOLE church.
    Part of the restoration process is reconciliation. The wronged party needs to be made whole for the wrongs committed against them. And, Perry has ignored scripture once again by not having a plurality of elders to govern the church so he is the person ultimately responsible for this. Why cant PN humble himself enough to even acknowledge Mr Duncan’s claims and the wrongs done to him? That would be the Christian thing to do.
    Lastly Chris, stop with the hyperbole. Mr Duncan is not seeking to have NS shut their doors. He is seeking to be righted for the wrongs committed against him.

  28. Jay Dec 14, 2009 1:37 am

    Chris,

    All of that is well and good, and once again, it’s very nice that you know more than one language. It still doesn’t escape the fact that you used a word that could be bent to your specific bias, and on a board that is obviously this charged, is it really necessary to use an ambiguous word? Also, my search isn’t broken. I was referring to the Wikipedia site, and my meaning in that is that anyone could go on there and name off the etymological background of the word, just as you have done. In other words, I’m not impressed.

    Once again, this is not about another blog. This is not about other people’s comments. This is not about what I believe or what you believe. This is about the fact that NS and PN are in the wrong on this, and Dr. Duncan is not. Furthermore, he did not deserve any of what happened to him. I know PN and NS didn’t physically cause any of what happened, but he knew about it, and I fear that it is impossible to convince me otherwise without evidence. That’s what I’ve been saying again and again. That’s what Dr. Duncan has said again and again. It’s really easy. It’s black and white.

    I feel that Dr. Duncan does in fact deserve a public apology. I feel that the NS congregation does as well, as well as the rest of the community. Why should it be private? They must want to keep breaking those attendance records. As far as the money, I believe that Dr. Duncan is definitely entitled to a negotiated sum, and he plainly stated why he hit them so high. Also, in case you didn’t read, they offered him money before they offered him their ears. I’d reread that part if I were you. I don’t wish Newspring would close, and I don’t think Dr. Duncan does either. I think the assertion that I feel that way is asinine and overly dramatic, and I would hope you would agree.

    1. “If JDuncan considers PN to be a brother in Christ then the biblical mandate is to “restore gently” (not that PN is complicit) not blog incessantly your concerns to an audience.”

    First of all, PN is complicit both legally and Biblically. Second, it doesn’t get much more gentle than typing at your keyboard. It’s a far cry from a holy war. Third, how would you recommend he go about it then? Are you saying he should remain silent? If so, why? Can someone give me a GOOD reason why? Not just, “well, he disagrees with me, so he shouldn’t say those mean things. :(”

    2. “Again I know that somehow he’s justified because he’s saving others from believing error but if PN is a brother in Christ what’s the fear? But that’s not the Matthew 18 route either.”

    If you know he’s justified in that, then why disagree with him? And, what’s wrong with saving others from error, even if it is another Christian? I wouldn’t want to run around proclaiming a lie in the name of God and another Christian realize it and not act. Ignorance is one thing but refusing to act on something that you knew was wrong seems even worse. Sort of seems like what PN and NS did to Dr. Duncan, doesn’t it? Hmm..

    Also (I’m holding back the urge to not yell this as I am typing it) how in the world does Matthew 18: 15-17 not apply here? Seriously? Please, please, PLEASE, explain that to me. You’re going to have to consult some serious Scripture twister books or something to make that work. Dr. Duncan’s case parallels that passage the whole way through, word for word. It’s almost hilarious how something so ancient lines up even now. Come on, Chris. I wasn’t even going to go there, but you set it up. That was a little too easy.

    3. “I know…I know why would we want anybody who was wronged to do the right thing. I mean Jesus would never forgive anybody who wronged him without provocation…wait a second. Maybe we all shouldn’t be striving to look like Jesus.”

    The same principle of a chocolate donut, filled with chocolate, and glazed with chocolate sauce could be paralleled to the sarcasm laced in these lines. It sounds good at first, but you have to regret it later. If you talk the way you type, you probably win a lot of debates, because I was quite confused by this. I really had to reread it a lot, and I still don’t fully understand it. I invite you to rewrite this, because it seems like you’re setting yourself a trap. How did forgiveness get in there? Dr. Duncan said he forgave them. But, you do realize that there are still consequences for actions, right? I mean, God has forgiven me of all my sins, and yet, I still live in the judgement. I’m not alone there. I mean heck, why do you think we all die? Actions have consequences, my friend.

    4. “If you can find me one verse just one verse that says “Tell the largest audience possible your complaint” I settle for a close facsimile, then I’ll never comment here again. JDuncan is neither a prophet (unless I missed it) nor biblically handling grievances against a leader. Again not that PN is complicit.”

    Again, I say unto you, PN is at fault. The minute you become a leader, you take on more responsibilities. This includes responsibility for your employees. Can we agree on this? If not, go ask your boss. He’ll back me up on this. This is a legal and Biblical principle.

    For one example, see 1 Timothy 3: 1-5.

    Also, I guess the closest passage that I can think of for you offhand (a very appropriate one at that) would again be Matthew 18: 15-17. Know why? Because it applies to this whole mess. Maybe you disagree, and maybe you can say that it doesn’t literally say that, but I really don’t see how it doesn’t. It even accounts for the audience aspect of your argument. I mean, if you want to throw it out just because it doesn’t say “largest audience,” I guess you could if it means that much to you. And, even though you did set up that intriguing agreement (I’m pretty sure I just won by the way), I ask you not to do that. Because, unlike the church you seem to love so much, I’m not going to try and silence those who disagree with me. 🙂

    You see, I am a fan of open discussion, much like Dr. Duncan. That is the purpose of this blog. To give another side to the story. Because we all know that if Dr. Duncan had not posted his side of the story, many of the people who saw the Newspring blog would have just imagined him to be some looney bird that was ranting and raving and wanting an easy pay day. And, as we all should know by now, that is not the case.

    I think that about covers all I feel like saying. I could probably really nitpick and ask you why Newspring has engaged in the same exact process if it is so wrong? The anti-critic rhetoric and what not.

    But, here’s what I would really like to ask you: every coin has a flip-side, and since I pretty much know you are going to disagree with the choice of Bible passage that I chose, what would you say is a good Biblical argument for NOT telling people about his situation.

    I’m pretty sure there isn’t one. I suppose that’s the one gray area in all of this. The rest is pretty simple. He’s right. They’re wrong. It’s a terrible situation. Why will they not just try and make it all in the right and go on about their business? Maybe that’s what they call themselves doing, but I’m not really impressed.

    And, I guess freedom fighters is an improvement, but I’m really not fighting for anything. I just want the truth to be told and justice to be had. Maybe you can call me, Just Jay or something. Eh.. I don’t know. Maybe I’ll just stick to Jay.

    Peace,

    The Jay is for Just?

  29. Bill (cycleguy) Dec 14, 2009 6:43 am

    JD: I came to your site by way of “Straight Up” via Luke MacDonald under the heading of “Something Very Troubling.” He brought attention to the one on the problem of separating Jesus from the Word. Since then I have read quite a few of your posts and the responses. I am not going to comment on any of it since I know neither party but did want to say that I posted this blog (http://billgrandi.ovcf.org/wordpress/?p=3230) on December 10th which was before I read any of your posts and then posted this one late last night (http://billgrandi.ovcf.org/wordpress/?p=3236). I do have some definite thoughts about all of this but will keep those to myself at this point. My prayers are with you and NS to reconcile in some way. My deeper concern is for the glory of Christ and leadership that honors Him. I have included you in my Google Reader now that I know about your blog and will keep current.

  30. Chris Dec 14, 2009 2:08 pm

    Jay,

    As I stated in my last message I was typing on my Iphone. Stupid Qwerty. Not the most efficient way.

    I also want to say that I appreciate the tenor of your responses. It’s nice to have dialogue and not a sarcasm fight. Which by the way after rereading and examining my heart I want to apologize for my snarkiness and biting comments. Can you forgive me?

    Since it appears that nothing is being accomplished by the “they started it..” “you started it…” defenses I want to ask; biblically/scripturally how do you feel that PN sinned against JD? I think this is the core of the disagreement. Maxwell certainly.

    I’ll leave it there. Everything else is a matter of opinion.

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