Some posts to re-read with new eyes 17

Especially for long-time PP readers, you might be interested to read a few of these older posts against the context of the weekend’s story.

This is the Paranoid Pastors post that promoted Duffey’s “love the rage” conversation.

Duffey suggests that running over critics is a useful tactic. Now you know why I believed him.

From July 16, this post about how pastors interpret challenges against them as rejection of God. An excerpt:

What are you communicating to your own followers about the worth and dignity of Christians who are outside of your movement and, based on their own commitment to the Word of God, question the beliefs and methods of these charismatic leaders? When you call us sons and daughters of the Devil, what kinds of passions do you unleash and endorse among your true believers?

The weekend that Maxwell was fired prompted this announcement from Noble.

Here’s an excerpt from that post:

Perry’s warning against fighting isn’t terribly persuasive, especially given what else he said. He starts the illustration by asking God if he could fight a young woman at a fast-food restaurant who wasn’t even talking to Perry. The only reason that he didn’t is because God told him, after Noble sent up a quick prayer request, that he couldn’t. He then claims that his critics are sons of Satan, then he tops off the whole performance by wanting to hurl food at the young woman after hearing the testimony another young lady.

If this man were your boss, what kind of response to critics do you think would impress him most?

17 thoughts on “Some posts to re-read with new eyes

  1. Pastor David Bagwell Dec 8, 2009 1:06 am

    I am sorry to hear about all of this. I do have one question, why do you continue to speak on Newspring? Lets say everything you said is correct, when is enough enough? All the issues we as pastors and churches have to face, we dont need another critic. Why not write on issues that edify the church body and strengthen our faith and let God judge Newspring and other churches.

    We have so many issues in this world that needs our attention, we dont need another critic of the church. I am highly disappointed with some of the comments on here, they do a disjustice to our Lord and King. I wish we all were as passionate about reaching the lost as we were about tearing down Newspring and Mr. Duncan. It is time to move on.

  2. sam Dec 8, 2009 1:54 am

    Perry is so inconsistent when he talks about his critics. he says that he ignores them but he constantly talks about them. How many times do you have to hear Perry say that, “he wants to punch someone in the throat” (which he so obviously got from listening to Mark Driscoll. It seems alot of the way Perry acts is modeled after Driscoll).

    Here is a couple of gems on critics from Perry’s blog:

    On June 25th, 2009, Perry wrote the following blog post:

    “The critics and the naysayers who feel the obligation to “speak into my life” out of a sense of self righteousness and self preservation are going to be ignored now more than ever before!
    I am sure your opinion matters to SOMEONE…just not me.
    I don’t have the time, nor the energy, to do battle with you guys.”

    Notice that Perry says that he doesnt have the time nor energy to deal with critics. Which in and of itself is quite ironic because he took the time and energy to write about critics.

    On July 10th, 2009, Perry gave some more advice about dealing with critics:

    “#4 – Am I A Fighter or a Flake? II Corinthians 4:3-4
    We are at war…and not with other people (Ephesians 6:12) but rather with a very real enemy who works hard at blinding the minds of unbelievers…and we will either step up to the fight or run from it!

    In fighting we have to do battle with…
    A. Critics – they will always be around…the people who know everything you are doing wrong but don’t know you. They lash out at you–but not out of love and or concern…but with a self righteous/arrogant attitude.”

    Wow, here Perry clearly states that he must do “battle” with the critics. And if you dont battle the critics then you are a flake. How can Perry state on June 25th that critics should be ignored and less than a month later say that battle must be raged against the critics. No wonder, Newspring staff members felt empowered and justified about going after Mr. Duncan.

  3. CG Dec 8, 2009 3:26 am

    I find your blogs amusing and I would make jokes or amusing statements myself, but it seems like you do not like that so I will refrain for worry of being mocked.

    I attend a few services of churches at different times on Sunday’s because I believe that just like having several teachers in school allows you to disassociate yourself with the teacher and more associate with the subject. I do have a home church so please don’t think I am a church jumper. I also do this by listening to sermons in my car from Louie Giglio, Pete Wilson and others on my way to and from work. I do wonder though what people of today would say about Jesus if he were walking the earth acting the way he did during his life. Jesus was a radical man. He flipped over change makers tables in the temple, he told people to forget “laws” of the Old Testament and replace them with new “laws” such as any eye for an eye and he claimed to be the Son of God…I’m sure that wasn’t very popular. (I use the word laws for lack of a better term)

    I certainly don’t agree with everything every pastor has said to me, but that’s to be expected because we are all human and we aren’t going to get everything right. Jesus knew what God meant because he was God in the flesh and no once else can claim that. Churches die all the time because of false teachings and inconsistencies and if Elevation, Newspring, First Baptist, Covenant, Concord or any other church becomes a brick wall to the Gospel then I am sure God will strike it down in order to prove that false teachings will not be tolerated in this world that He has created.

    I have no comment on your situation that you have blogged about because I am not a part of it. I do however find your obsession with such matters a little disturbing (maybe that is a comment, but not directed at the basis of the situation).

    I will continue to be entertained and amused at your blog and sometimes informed like your baptism blogs. Actually if you could spend a little more time on information rather than defamation that would be awesome because I do find your non partisan blogs, though few, very well thought out.

  4. Rose Dec 8, 2009 4:05 am

    I was struck by pretty much all of what Noble said in the video, but what got me was at the end when he said that if what his church was doing was wrong that God would blow it up. Okay, there are a lot of different things (countries, companies, even ministries) that have been dead-set against God, but for his glory, he has let them grow and even become successful (Islam, anyone?). And there have been things that couldn’t be more God-centered and biblical, but God, according to his Will, has seen fit to let them fail.

    I think Noble needs to study the Word a little more (Job, perhaps?) and rethink his reasoning.

  5. Sylvia Dec 8, 2009 4:14 am

    The context doesn’t change my view much. I’m just as “humor impaired” as ever.

  6. Jared Wilson Dec 8, 2009 8:01 am

    If Perry wanted to beat up a woman(!) because of unhostile, indirect comments at Chick-Fil-A, I wonder what he would do if someone impersonated him, defrauded him, posted his home information online for stalkers, sent him gay p()rn, threatened violence against him, stalked his home, frightened his family, and emotionally tormented his wife.

  7. rw Dec 8, 2009 8:18 am

    JD you love to keep the pot stirred. You don’t want this to go away. You have been bashing NS ever since it’s existence. And where has it gotten you? Tell where has it gotten you. You love this stuff!!! Make take some time away from following all these people, churches and blogs and go away for awhile with just you and your family. Spend time with them and show them the attention you show NS,PN and others. I’m sure this won’t get posted though.

  8. Wes Dec 8, 2009 9:17 am

    I’ve been following this from a distance with interest – in part because my oldest son is headed into the ministry… Is THIS the type of mentor he will encounter? God help him and all of us. When did people like Noble, Furtick, Lamb, etc lose sight or the primary call of the ministry? Jesus told Peter to feed his sheep, not beat them up! Real pastors love their people and pursue those who stray, not threaten them. We need to recover the Biblical view of “pastor” as a shepherd rather than a leader. As for New Spring, et al, lie any harvest it may be slow in coming, but they should heed Paul’s warning in Gal. 6:7. I’ll remember to pray for you and your family.

  9. iMark Dec 8, 2009 10:57 am

    First, church might be boring to some, but that is their fault, IMO.

    Second, the only thing Noble really said that was biblical was that we are called to preach Christ crucified. Then, he quotes Rick Warren on how to deal with critics.

    Couldn’t he have consulted the Bible to show how to handle such items? Does he want to grow a culture where people get angry and make fun rather than trying to come along side and try to understand?

    There may be some validity to a critic no matter who you are. There also may be a problem with exactly what someone was saved to. Reacting from just what is heard, especially, when there is a chance for clarification may not always be the best response.

  10. Paul Dec 8, 2009 11:22 am

    I am still amazed that so many people think that serious biblical criticism is wrong…especially from pastors who are called to be keeping out wolves. Is there not any more discernment and wisdom in evangelicalism?

  11. David Strickland Dec 8, 2009 2:26 pm

    This criticism is absolutely right AND biblical AND called FOR. If you have no problem sending your children to this “church” then by all means go right ahead. For the rest of us though, we will continue to bring this church out into the open for the world to see what they really are. And hopefully, they themselves will see what they really are. It’s never too late to get right. But you have to be willing to change, no one can do it for you. I imagine this mainly for the benefit of the community and I for one appreciate the heads up. This type of criticism alerted me about it. I made me go and see for myself and it turned out that everything I was hearing is true.

  12. Mark Dec 9, 2009 11:38 pm

    As a former member of Newspring, and as someone who attended their services from the year 2000 up until about 2.5 years ago, all that I can say is that some of the most awesome people I have ever met hold leadership positions there. I loved every minute of my time there, and left because I felt called to a different ministry (volunteer-wise) at a different church. I love Perry and I love the way he teaches, mainly because it is in such a way that was (and still is) relevant FOR ME. When I left, I struggled with going to a church where Perry didn’t pastor – I missed his humor and intensity (and his humor is something I connected with, although I know it is not for everyone). I even got to the point where I was judging my current church for its lack of “Newpring-osity” (and please note that this feeling was over time because of my own selfish wants). What I came to realize is that churches are different for a reason. My current church is not supposed to be Newspring, and Newspring is not supposed to be like my current church – that’s the beauty! My brothers and sisters in Christ still attend, and I personally know and converse with members of the staff there. I do know that FOR ME, God used Newspring to make some radical changes that I can still see working themselves out today – and it’s amazing! Perry has always challenged me in a great way to seek and serve God, and for that I will always be thankful to him (for listening to God’s call) and God (for giving me the opportunity to worship and serve there as a volunteer for 7 years).

  13. Tommy F Dec 10, 2009 12:25 am


    With all of these nice things to say about Perry, then it should sting quite a lot that NS helped create a culture that allowed this to happen to a Christian. I’m a little surprised that you. Just because someone has a positive impact in your life doesn’t excuse their behavior in the lives of others.

  14. Mark Dec 10, 2009 5:19 pm

    Tommy, I definitely agree with you in that a created culture can soon take a different course than originally intended. It does sting a great deal that something like this could happen, and I do think that anyone who was involved should be heavily chastised, be it by removing them from a place of leadership or counseling or whatever may be deemed necessary for the situation. I also know that every church has issues, and while this is in no way condoning any person of any congregation to act as a few did at NewSpring, I do think that this issue may create some changes. Maybe now, maybe in the future, but I pray sometime. God pulled some crazy stuff throughout The Word (in a fantastic way), and he works in us in ways we will never understand.

    And briefly going back to the culture idea, the churches I have been to all have a culture that “allows” things like this or somewhat like this (OK, maybe this is a bit extreme, even though in all my time at NewSpring, even as I watch Perry on the web, I have NEVER thought about doing what these guys did), but the reason it occurs is because humanity is full of idiots who need a savior. I am one of them, and as an elementary school teacher, I know that as much as I love my kids and try to tell them what is right vs. wrong, it doesn’t always work. They trust me, they love me, and they still will go against what they know to be good and right.

    Again, this in no way condones anything that has occurred… I still would like to know both sides fully, and I know that it is because I once was a member at Newspring. Also know that I AM extremely bothered by what has happened and deeply saddened that it has brought pain to this family. I hope that all can be figured out and that whatever needs to happen will.

  15. Tommy F Dec 10, 2009 11:34 pm


    You wrote: “God pulled some crazy stuff throughout The Word (in a fantastic way), and he works in us in ways we will never understand.”


    Also, you wrote: “I still would like to know both sides fully”

    It appears you have a very clear picture of JDuncan’s “side.” Why won’t NS share theirs? My guess? It’s not very long, detailed, compassionate, or comprehensive. They didn’t investigate or seek to stop any of it.

    They didn’t care about JDuncan. And they still don’t. They bury their heads in the sand, cover their ears when it comes to heretics, and only see adoring fans.

    It’s really quite a dramatic use of the senses.

  16. Mark Dec 11, 2009 5:48 pm

    From the first comment, I meant that God works through situations that initially seem like the worst possible scenarios. This, of course, is not what one would consider a “good” situation. God can still work, though, and I hope that through this his glory is shown – and I know that it will take NS doing something more.

    Also, I have lived enough to know that there are indeed two sides, and that JDuncan’s may be slightly skewed, as Newspring’s could be as well. What I am saying is that what is seen from a third party, when all facts are brought forth, who doesn’t side unevenly with either side, takes a look at the evidence and comes to a decision, that I would feel more comfortable with the situation. If things are brought to light that show the full extent to which each individual from Newspring’s side were involved, so be it.

    Additionally, I really don’t think they see just “adoring fans.” I will not say that everyone who works there doesn’t, but I fail to believe that it is an entire church leadership problem… And that if it is, God changes them dramatically in whatever way He sees fit in order to make things right.

  17. JD Dec 13, 2009 7:46 pm

    I think this particular blog post wraps you up in a nut shell. I see that you posted an excerpt of Mr. Noble’s sermon and then completely took what he said and ran with it. I think if people what just sit back and look at what you do with people’s words, which is just barely short of twisting them, they would see that your interpretation of what they say is all wrong. I COMPLETELY relate to what he is saying here and I notice will people criticize me in public to his/her friends. You act as if you’re not human and you don’t have thoughts of wanting to reach out and correct people somtimes. Notice I said thoughts. I never follow through with some of the thougths I have in this particular manner, but to deny that these thoughts exist would be a lie. I think that it means a lot to me for Mr. Noble to be somewhat transparent and to not have this “Holier than thou” attitude towards other people. He completely recognized the fact that he is human and is ” in need of a savior”. I’m sorry you can’t see this and have sympathy or even see the little bit of humor that is involved here.

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