Upon this rock 62

Noble’s Twitter:

WHAT IF this past 2,000 years of the church was merely the foundation to set up what God REALLY wants to do? That thought pumps me up!

Matthew Perry 16:18:

And I tell you that you are Perry, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.

(Yes, Twit, that is an example of adding to the Bible.)

Sorry, Reformer Perry, but that ship sailed two thousand years ago.

62 thoughts on “Upon this rock

  1. Chris Elrod Jun 10, 2009 9:57 am

    I was just wondering if you:

    a. Know Perry Noble personally?

    b. Go to or have gone to NewSpring Church?

    c. Live in the Anderson, SC area?

    d. Have confronted Perry in person with the information that you post to your blog?

    Just trying to get a handle on the situation.

  2. Ashley Jun 10, 2009 12:08 pm

    I stumbled upon this blog yesterday after I read the story about Gary Lamb on Perry’s blog. I didn’t know who Gary was, so I googled his name and affair and was directed here.

    I literally could not stop thinking about this site after I saw it yesterday. I’m not sure who even runs it, but I feel led to say something to that person or that group of people.

    First, I absolutely commend you for sticking up for what you believe in. Obviously, in this case, you believe that Perry and others could be described as false teachers, often incapable of correctly interpreting and preaching the gospel. I also commend you for challenging sermons or sermon portions that you see to be, at best, a stretch of interpretation, and, at worst, heresy.

    That being said, I need to be honest with you. I have attended church my entire life, but I never truly understood or appreciated who Jesus Christ was until two years ago during my sophomore year of college. That year, at NewSpring, I was finally saved, baptized, and began living daily for Christ. I now understand conviction, repentance, obedience, and, most importantly, the utterly amazing sacrifice that Jesus made for all of us by leaving a perfect HEAVEN, coming to live on Earth, and dying a horrible, painful death on the cross.

    I don’t always agree with Perry. Sometimes I think he is over the top and sometimes I cringe at the things he says. But he is who he is, and I can’t condemn him for that because Christ used his over the top preaching to get my attention and save me from hell. Christ continues to use Perry’s sermons to stretch and challenge me into spending more time daily with Him reading my Bible, honoring Him with my money, and constantly trusting Him with daily decisions. I am, literally, LIVING proof that God is using Perry to reach people and bring them into a personal relationship with Christ.

    I’m not “drinking the NewSpring koolaid.” I know everyone on staff there is imperfect and they make mistakes. I don’t worship NewSpring. I worship Jesus. Gary Lamb’s mistake is just more proof that you should never put your trust in any person but Christ. If he were my pastor, I would be admittedly disappointed. I am anyway. But honestly, I am more disappointed to read this blog.

    I just want to encourage you to take a serious look at this blog. Ask yourself, honestly, what you are accomplishing by it. God is using Perry to reach people for Jesus, end of story. Why are you, a fellow Christian, trying to stand in the way of that?

    I am not asking you to change your beliefs about Perry’s style or personality, and I’m not asking you to stop challenging him when you think he is teaching out of context. He, and all pastors, need people to keep them in check. But perhaps you might be able to find a better way to live out those beliefs than running a blog that is dedicated to publically slamming him and others daily. I don’t mean to sound pretentious, but I find your critique of Perry’s twitter posts to be a tragically misguided use of your obvious talent for writing and passion for Jesus.

    I won’t be back to this website, and not because I disagree with everything you say. I find some valid and thought-provoking points among your posts. I just can’t respect the way you present them. I know, without an ounce of doubt, that Jesus used Perry’s teaching to bring me into a personal and real relationship with Him. Imperfect, loud, spontaneous, obnoxious, vulgar, passionate Perry Noble.

    I have to wonder who Jesus is using this blog to reach.

    Ashley

  3. Albert Jun 10, 2009 2:25 pm

    where can i get a copy of this unique bible??? NS bookstore?

  4. Mark Jun 10, 2009 3:09 pm

    Well, honestly…isn’t that what Protestantism is all about? What is Perry saying that Luther, Calvin, or any other Protestant starting their own church hasn’t said before? That everything that came before was either false or preparation and they have the truth.

    I don’t see how he’s anything but garden-variety Protestant saying what Protestants say, and have said for 500 years.

  5. James Duncan Jun 10, 2009 3:51 pm

    Mark,

    No. The Reformers were not trying to do something new; they were trying to fix all the new things the church had added to the foundation that Jesus laid.

    Perry’s arrogance in assuming that all of church history so far was just a set up for now–that God has been holding something back–is flat-out wrong and dangerous.

    The more I think about what he said, especially the “REALLY”, the more astonished I am.

  6. Joe Jun 10, 2009 4:17 pm

    Dude,
    You need to get a life… Is this what you do all the time?

  7. John Bunchan Jun 10, 2009 4:38 pm

    Elena knew Gary Lamb personally!
    Elena Went to Revolution
    Elena lived in the Canton area

    Just trying to get a handle on the situation!!!!

  8. Revolution Member Jun 10, 2009 4:56 pm

    Wow .. Ashley has posted almost word for word exactly my experience and how I feel. In no way could I have expressed it better.

    In my case just replace the words Perry & NewSpring with Gary and Revolution.

    G. Wood
    Revolution Church volunteer

  9. Ben Jun 10, 2009 5:13 pm

    James

    I sure am glad that some of the religous pioneers of the past were arrogant enough to think that perhaps greater things were yet to come. What was that arrogant John Wesley and Billy Graham thinking anyway?

    The leadership at Newspring was arrogant enough to think they could facilitate 1000’s of people would give their lives to Christ. What were they thinking? I’ve heard alot of people pray to accept Christ and not one time have I heard any of them pray to Perry.

    Your assumption, James, that the last 2000 years isn’t a foundation is terribly presumptious. If Christ doesn’t come back for another 10,000 years would it then be fair to say that the first 2000 years was the foundation????

    • James Duncan Jun 10, 2009 5:19 pm

      What new thing has God been keeping from us until now? Perry’s message is that God has been hiding something from us and we are about to see what he “REALLY” wanted to do.

      Upon such foundations are heresies built.

  10. Chris Elrod Jun 10, 2009 5:23 pm

    James…I’m still waiting for an answer to my question above.

    • James Duncan Jun 10, 2009 5:31 pm

      Chris,

      1) No
      2) Yes and no
      3) Yes
      4) Not for lack of trying

      Perhaps you could reciprocate with an explanation of why your questions are important.

      Also you might want to read this.

  11. Emily Jun 10, 2009 5:44 pm

    In response to Ashley and to Dr. James Duncan:

    I stumbled across this blog recently as well, and the content has literally brought me to tears. I’ve attempted to construct a comment but have been unable to find the right words that will have the right impact. Ashley did a great job communicating her thoughts.

    I went to a traditional church regularly with a friend when I was in elementary school, but I stopped going when we started attending different schools and our friendship became strained. Unfortunately, the relationship that kept me in church was the one with my friend. At that time, I had no relationship with Jesus Christ, and church seemed plagued with internal politics and in-fighting, external appearances and gossiping.

    In high school, I became very interested in science, and I gradually stopped believing in God completely. During my senior year at Clemson University, my roommate, who was heavily into the party scene, decided that she wanted to let go of that life. She asked me to come with her to church, and I reluctantly agreed to go to support her. I went to my first NewSpring service with a cold heart. With each sermon, my heart warmed until I could hear the knocking and answer!

    My life looks nothing like it did a year ago. I thought I was so smart and happy and free believing in nothing, but it’s clear to me now that something was really missing in my life. I would never have met Jesus without Perry Noble and NewSpring church. They know how to reach lost people like me.

    I graduated from Clemson in December and was blessed with an amazing job in Boston, MA. I’ve plugged into a local church (nondenom, evangelical, contemporary in the style of NewSpring) and keep up with NewSpring online. This time, my relationship with Jesus Christ – and not the one with my roommate – keeps me involved in church and excited for Sundays!

    I share my testimony and add it to Ashley’s. NewSpring helped my roommate clean up her life. NewSpring brought me back to church when I had closed my heart and mind to it completely. And from what I’ve seen and heard and experienced – my story, my roommate’s story, Ashley’s story are not unique.

    I know NewSpring’s purpose is to reach people for Jesus. I know Perry Noble’s teaching – in all its imperfection – involves giving us ways to apply scripture to our daily lives. What I don’t know and can’t comprehend, is why this blog exists?

    As Christians, it’s our call to reach others for Jesus. As Perry says, “We’re not called to condemn the world; we’re called to reach the world!”. As far as I can tell, this blog calls others to hate and to share hatred and to tear down other believers. This blog calls others to revel in the downfall of one church leader and to dream and hope for the downfall of another.

    And that brings me to tears.

  12. Albert Jun 10, 2009 6:14 pm

    Emily, Ashley, and Joe,

    Your posts, while completely valid (except Joe’s), are nothing new to this blog. I sympathize with your positions because I myself have questioned the intentions of this blog many times.

    However, I keep coming around to the conclusion that the things written here (posts and comments) are for the best. By questioning and confronting issues and topics that would otherwise not be addressed, Dr. Duncan is doing both himself and those who agree with him as well as Newspring members a service.

    Let me explain. By confronting NS on the issues that Duncan does not agree with, he is expressing his concern and strengthening his beliefs and faith in Christ. On the other hand, NS’ers who participate in this blog and actively defend their beliefs and positions get practice at defending their faith. This is especially important for the NS side because they are met with so little true opposition (this is because NS commands such a huge margin of the Christian community in the upstate).

    So, I think that it would be great if posts like the ones you have written are swallowed and replaced with valid, effective arguments. Don’t just condemn Duncan for posting things contrary to what NS teaches, explore why and ask questions in the comment boxes. If you actively participate, your apologetics and argument skills will be improved.

  13. Emily Jun 10, 2009 6:40 pm

    Albert —

    I appreciate your post, but I can’t, won’t, and will never support your viewpoint that the things written here are “for the best”. I see this blog doing nothing to reach others for Christ as we are called to do (and not just by NewSpring). If you can really explain to me how tearing down, analyzing, and criticizing each and every twitter from Perry Noble is even remotely relevant, I’d appreciate it. This blog has gone far, far past “confronting NS” on issues/topics relating to interpretation of scripture, sermon presentation, etc. If you can’t see that, Albert, than I fear that you’re drinking the Duncan Kool-Aid…

  14. Albert Jun 10, 2009 7:14 pm

    @ Emily

    That’s completely fine. You don’t have to necessarily agree with what is being posted. That’s the nature of a blog after all. What I was suggesting was to actively participate in the blog by asking questions and offering opposing viewpoints-in light of your disagreement. In that manner (rather than just expressing personal opinions about the blog, it’s author, and commentators), more will be done to help people understand their own beliefs and views. I speak from experience. There have been times when I haven’t agreed with what Duncan has written. But, rather than just stating the fact that I didn’t like it, I asked him questions and through open discussion, found that either A) My viewpoint stayed the same and was strengthened, or B) Was able to see the point being made in a new perspective which changed my view on the subject.

    As for the “tearing down, analyzing, and criticizing . . .” remark, I don’t really see it as “tearing down”. As I have said before, I see it as challenging members to examine the things they are being taught from a different, non-NS perspective–something that members of any church needs from time to time.

    I hope that explains my viewpoint…

  15. John Jun 10, 2009 9:57 pm

    Wow, what a beautiful waste of time this website is! How many people have been led to Christ from these morsels of knowledge and encouragement? One two part question mr Duncan: Are you saved? Do you believe Perry is saved? These answers should clear some things up…

  16. Chris Elrod Jun 10, 2009 10:34 pm

    I was just wondering….it’s my life’s mission to wonder. 🙂

  17. James Duncan Jun 10, 2009 11:51 pm

    Emily,

    Albert has given you some good advice, but you wrote, “This blog calls others to revel in the downfall of one church leader and to dream and hope for the downfall of another.”

    In case someone one day notes that this was not disputed, let me dispute it here. Let it be noted that no-one on this blog is reveling in Lamb’s downfall, and no-one is hoping for Noble’s downfall. Your statements are very incorrect.

    You may not have noticed, but we’ve been talking about ways to prevent Perry’s and others’ downfall.

  18. Jake Jun 11, 2009 1:42 am

    Duncan, at least call it what it is. What you have been doing is criticizing one man’s personal conviction of the boundaries he has set in place to help hold his integrity intact (Perry) and then gossip and speculate on the motives and actions of another man (Gary) and group of men (leadership of Revolution) during an extremely difficult time.

    I can only imagine what Gary’s children would think if the google their dad’s name one day and stumble across this blog. How truly sad that you have contributed so much time to this matter.

  19. James Duncan Jun 11, 2009 2:19 am

    I’m not sure what you want me to be calling what, Jake.

    I’ve called Perry’s rules legalism, because even Perry says that’s what they are. If you don’t like that label, take it up with him.

    I have not speculated on Lamb’s motives (do they even matter?). I’ve criticized his lack of public apology to Elena. That’s an observable behavior by Lamb and the Revolution leadership.

    Lamb made a public statement, so I don’t know how you call talking about that gossip. We have not gone beyond any details that were not either in that statement or publicly available on his, Noble’s or Revolution’s websites. I have actually been deleting comments that did go beyond that and could be classified as gossip.

  20. Sara Crocker Jun 11, 2009 6:24 am

    @ Jake

    I think if Lamb’s children google his name, they will be much more upset when they read his own blog post about cheating on their mother. This blog is a discussion of the methods and actions of these very public leaders. These men put their opinions and personal lives on the internet. It’s fair game.

  21. Ben Jun 11, 2009 8:39 am

    James

    I’ve read the original twitter post 100 times, used my secret decoder ring, etc, and no where do I see where Perry says “God is holding out on us.” “The last 2000 years don’t matter.” Only James Duncan and Evil Kinevil could make that jump.

  22. Emily Jun 11, 2009 8:45 am

    “Albert has given you some good advice,”

    Actually, no. Albert tried to convince me this blog was doing some sort of great work in presenting the “other side” and that I should defend my beliefs on this blog. I have many objections to that argument, the major one being I SHOULDN’T HAVE TO DEFEND MY BELIEFS TO OTHER BELIEVERS

    (1) I SHOULDN’T HAVE TO DEFEND MY BELIEFS TO OTHER BELIEVERS. We’re on (or should be) the same side here.
    (2) CHRISTIAN IN-FIGHTING DISCOURAGES NON-BELIEVERS. I know. It kept me out of church for many years.
    (3) CHRISTIAN IN-FIGHTING DISTRACTS US FROM WHAT IS REALLY IMPORTANT. We should all be working toward the common goal of reaching others for Jesus. That is what we are called to do, and this blog, in my eyes, is doing the opposite.
    (4) YOU ARE IN A POSITION OF AUTHORITY. Your students go online to check their grades, then have the opportunity to read your hate-filled blog. Obviously, impressionable students like Albert are greatly affected by your words.

    “but you wrote, ‘This blog calls others to revel in the downfall of one church leader and to dream and hope for the downfall of another.'”

    Since you can always interpret Perry Noble’s heart through his blog posts and twitters, I will take the same liberty. Dr. Duncan, you were practically giddy while reporting the fall of Gary Lamb. I can tell your fingers flew across the keyboard with glee as you typed responses.

    “You may not have noticed, but we’ve been talking about ways to prevent Perry’s and others’ downfall.”

    Really? Do you read your own blog? You blamed Perry Noble for Gary Lamb’s sin (“How Perry Noble’s legalism failed Gary Lamb”) and called for Perry Noble’s apology (“Lamb didn’t apologize to her. Noble didn’t either.”). You made claim that Perry and Lamb have childish, corrupt hearts (“Perry Noble’s counseling of Lamb didn’t help him because it didn’t deal with his selfish and childish heart. A bad heart will always overcome good rules.”).

  23. Jake Jun 11, 2009 9:21 am

    Duncan, my issue is that these blog posts are not “helpful”. If you are indeed deleting “gossipy” comments, then that should be commended. However, you are making assumptions (and in turn those assumptions help ‘solidify’ your position) such as the fact that Elena has not requested that Gary and the leadership keep her out of the “limelight” beyond naming her. Perhaps you could extend that further by asking yourself if your blog posts glorify Christ before you hit “publish”.

    I have read some of your past posts, and you pose some very thought provoking points and “arguments”. But this line of posts that seem to attack the personal integrity of people is just out of line, and do not glorify God.

    @Sara I think that Gary and Deanna will deal with their children in the best way possible considering the devastating circumstances they are facing. And the leadership of Revolution church should be COMMENDED for their support. What is sad is that people assume that if someone makes a public statement, then it is everyone else’s right to attack them. Just because we have the freedom of speech doesn’t mean we shouldn’t show some restraint.

    I am curious if anyone here has listened to the message in it’s entirety that was delivered at Revolution on Sunday (the podcast is available on their website). I listened 2 days ago (not being from the area) and I was very impressed with how the leadership has handled everything. And I would say that they are not trying to minimize anything… I’m interested in your thoughts.

  24. Sara Crocker Jun 11, 2009 9:48 am

    @ Emily

    You said:
    “Your students go online to check their grades, then have the opportunity to read your hate-filled blog. Obviously, impressionable students like Albert are greatly affected by your words.”

    I am one of Dr. Duncan’s students and we are no more impressionable than the thousands (you being one) who relish every word that comes out of the mouth of Perry Noble and his clan. Please give us more respect than thinking Dr. Duncan has brainwashed us. If anything, he has given us something to think about. He allows us to look at this movement (the mega church and superstar pastors with Hollywood style “personal assistants”) through a different perspective.

    And I resent you saying this site is “hate-filled.” Just yesterday my favorite political commentator and entertainer, Rush Limbaugh, said that when people don’t like the truth, they label it as hate speech. Instead of accepting it, they dismiss it as hate speech. Sounds like you may be doing just that.

  25. Emily Jun 11, 2009 9:52 am

    @ Sara —

    Why would I give you and your fellow students more respect than you give me and my fellow NewSpring supporters?

  26. Jake Jun 11, 2009 10:22 am

    @Sara- See, this is an area in which I agree with Duncan…on the idea of “personal assistants”. I have actually talked with several staff in “larger” churches and different churches handle them differently.

    Many use the model of an executive assistant (which I feel is the appropriate…healthy example). In this model, the assistant manages much of the M-F goings on. But others do follow more of the “Hollywood” model of even “catering” to every need (please don’t make any Lamb references here–that is not my inference) on Sunday mornings as well.

    This is merely my opinion…but I believe that ANY pastor can handle themselves on Sunday morning. The idea of personal assistants then does lend itself to some ego issues (again, only my opinion). But I certainly see the need for a role such as an executive assistant.

  27. Pastor Brian Jun 11, 2009 11:00 am

    I am not one of Dr. Duncan’s students, in fact, I don’t even know the man, but I do agree with him which is what brought me here.

    Many of Lamb’s apologists can’t offer anything tangible or concrete so they have to attack and say that Duncan’s students are brainwashed? Give us a break, please.

    If my very own pastor did what Lamb has done and then he and the other pastor did the PR that Lamb and Noble have done/are doing, I would be saying the exact same things because ladies and gentleman, boys and girls, children of all ages, now more than ever we must have spiritual integrity, spiritual morality and spiritual sexuality in the pulpit from our church leaders.

    There is absolutely NO excuse whatsoever for Lamb’s affair. Call it what it is, it IS and remains and will forever be SIN!

  28. Jake Jun 11, 2009 11:05 am

    Okay, maybe someone can help me out here. Because perhaps I have missed a blog post or a message or something.

    Can you please direct me to anywhere where Lamb or Noble is (1) minimizing Lamb’s actions or (2) excusing Lamb’s actions ???

  29. Sara Crocker Jun 11, 2009 12:09 pm

    Emily:
    We do not disrespect you, we just make better arguments than you, we state our cases, and you can’t defend your own. So, you get frustrated and label it hate speech. Also: your pastor disrespects those of us who attend traditional church from the stage constantly. If you are concerned about respecting people, talk to your pastor.

  30. Albert Jun 11, 2009 12:48 pm

    @ Emily

    Again, the personal attacks and personal opinions you have expressed are not helping your case one bit. As I said before (clearly you didn’t read my posts), I DO NOT agree with everything Duncan writes. I have even been on your side a time or two when I questioned the intentions of this blog.

    However, I put my personal feelings aside and looked at the work objectively and have decided to participate by expressing my feelings about the topics at hand–not what I feel about the author or NS members.

    I suggest you do likewise.

    “I SHOULDN’T HAVE TO DEFEND MY BELIEFS TO OTHER BELIEVERS” Why shouldn’t you have to defend your beliefs? If you don’t (if any Christians didn’t), then we would never win anyone to Christ. By defending and explaining personal beliefs, we let others see why we believe the things we do. For the unbeliever, this could lead them to view Christians more favorably and possibly lead to a conversion. As I said before, explain and defend, don’t just tell opposition to “go away” like so many of your fellow members have.

    Also, I wouldn’t really call myself impressionable…just more aware of a logical argument than you are.

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