Perry Noble’s Staff: Silencing Critics With Intimidation

Bloggers talk about many things.  Some talk about the weather, and that’s okay if the weather is what’s on your mind at the moment.  Some talk about politics, which turns out to be a great venue for having your voice heard whether your ultra liberal or ultra conservative or somewhere in between.  The blogosphere turns regular people into people who have a voice – and I like that.  There’s some good out there, some really bad, and some mundane, but still we have the freedom to voice our views.  It’s a free country, right?  I wish someone would tell Perry Noble, Senior Pastor of NewSpring church, that!

I’m referring to this post at pajamapages.com from Dr. James Duncan, Associate Professor of Communication at Anderson University.  Dr. Duncan wrote blog posts which took issue with Perry Noble’s approach to ministry, which is basically seeker-senitive, culturally relevant soft speak.  What was the result?  He and his family were stalked and harassed by members of NewSpring staff, which eventually led to a police investigation.  Some of the things this family was subjected to are horrible and heart breaking.  Among some of the tactics used to intimidate Dr. Duncan were:

  • Sending a fake letter of resignation to his boss
  • Reavealing Dr. Duncan’s son’s name and the location of his school on the Internet
  • Threatening violence against Dr. Duncan
  • Interfering with the adoption of a child and hindering it
  • Opening fake twitter accounts in Dr. Duncan’s name to discredit him
  • Emailing Dr. Duncan homosexual pornography
  • Repeatedly calling his home and calling him profane names
  • Subscribing him to a gay magazine
  • Scouting out his house
  • Inviting a serial killer to his house to commit murder (via twitter, of course)

As you might imagine, Dr. Duncan and his family have been through quite the ordeal lately.  Perry Noble acts as if he didn’t know what his staff was up to when they harassed and endangered Dr. Duncan’s family, but that’s no excuse.  Whether he knew about it at the time or not I can’t tell.  Maybe, maybe not.  This is just my opinion, but I find it hard to believe that something this despicable was happening by members of his staff and he knew nothing about it at all.  Regardless, as overseer, it is his job to know what his staff is doing in the name of his church.  If you can’t control your staff, you shouldn’t be a leader.  Since his staff was willing to stoop to this level of depravity and wickedness to get even with someone who dared to criticized Noble’s ministry, that is evidence that 1.) these people do not represent Jesus Christ, and 2.) these people have the type of character that you would never want to have on a ministry team.

So, this is what they’ve resorted to?  Intimidating and attempting to silence critics?  I tip my hat to Ken Silva for pointing this out.  Please take time to read Dr. Duncan’s account of the ordeal he and his family suffered.  In case you missed the link above, please click here to read it.  Be ready to be disgusted.  There is some explicit language and unsavory content, so keep the kiddies away from the computer screen.

Note:  Here is NewSpring’s statement on the situation.

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16 Responses to Perry Noble’s Staff: Silencing Critics With Intimidation

  1. Jason says:

    First, let me state that I am not a supporter of Perry Noble, don’t go to his church and am beyond disgusted & angered by the actions taken by some of his staff.

    That said, I do wonder about something you’ve written here. Having been in positions of leadership in business I’ve had staff below me who did things I never knew about that when they came to light resulted in their immediate termination. It’s entirely possible for staff to do things without their boss knowing it. It’s not unusual for both the secular and Christian worlds.

    Why are you holding Perry Noble to a standard that everyone else is not being held to on this? It’s unreasonable to expect an employer or church leader to know what their staff is doing all the time especially if they take steps to hide it. He’s a human just like you and I and he’s not omnipotent.

    There’s no question what happened to Duncan was horrible and the people involved should be held to account. I just think as Christians if there’s no proof that Noble was involved or no clear proof he knew about it then we have to refrain from gossip and say “well, he had to know about it and … ” It’s tempting to cast suspicion on Noble & deride him for the actions of others but Scripturally it’s not sound for a follower of Christ to be doing that.

    • Chrystal says:

      I’m holding Perry Noble to a Biblical standard that says to “know them that labor among you.” I don’t know anybody who would do the things that were done to Dr. Duncan. Yet, this was carried out by not one, but three church staffers. And many others followed it and didn’t say a word. This didn’t happen in a dark corner… it was done openly, albeit behind a cloak of anonymity afforded by the internet.

      Many people in that congregation knew this was going on and followed the tweets – and that includes the church’s chief of operations, a publicity director, and even one of the senior pastors. They may not have known who was doing it, but they knew it was someone. I don’t believe for a moment that Noble was completely clueless during this whole ordeal. No, he may not be able to know all the actions of all the people on his staff every second of the day, but he does need to know what is being done by the employees of his ministry, which he is the head of. The filth being spewed about this man didn’t even elicit an investigation by Noble. Did he not care? Who knows. But, if Noble would do as the Bible instructs and know them who labor in his church this could have been avoided.

  2. Doug says:

    I read through the materials on both sides, and to me, I see it as clear: Duncan was in the right, the church staff was ‘exercising their flesh’, meaning that they were not acting spiritually, but sinning, probably feeling that all of their actions were justified.
    I’ve had a few readers go off on me at me blog-one guy from Tennesee went WAY over the border into psychotic behavior. I banned him.
    Think about this: Duncan was blogging! Not even posting at NewSpring-Just posting his opinion. The NewSpring church staff went nuclear over an opinion! I thought Christians were supposed to have thicker skin than that.

  3. cindyinsd says:

    I don’t know anything about either of these men–this is the first I’ve heard their names–but what an incredible and disturbing story!

    The idea that the “boss” doesn’t always know what his “employees” are doing is beside the point. This isn’t a business we’re talking about; this is the CHURCH (or something masquerading as the church, anyway).

    The real church is a body. Do you know what your right hand is doing? If you don’t, you’re way too distracted. And you may not be immediately aware of what your spleen is doing, but trust me–if it’s malfunctioning, you WILL know very soon.

    Shouldn’t at least the leadership team of this (or any) branch of the body of Christ know one another well enough to know whether one or more of them is this seriously out of synch?

    If we aren’t related enough to know when something has gone this far wrong, then can we accurately refer to ourselves as the body of Christ?

    In love,

    Cindy

  4. David T says:

    Chrystal ~

    This does not surprise me at all with Perry Noble and NewSpring. I have spent much time reading about this false teacher and his hoards of people with itching ears on DefendingContending.

    Thank you for posting this, Noble and his gang of thugs need to be brought out of the darkness that they are in so they can see the light of Christ.

    • Chrystal says:

      David, you’re welcome. When I first read Dr. Duncan’s account, I knew I would post this because it needs to be exposed. I hope more bloggers pick it up and run with it.

      Everyone else, very good points. I was listening to Pirate Christian Radio with Chris Rosebrough – he had Dr. Duncan on his show to address this – and it is quite a compelling interview. I recommend everyone download the show and listen to it.

  5. Jim W says:

    I’ve been following this mess. I like James Duncan’s site and it amazes me what has happened. It also amazes me that anyone can say that Perry didn’t know what was going on. He fired those people for what was happening. That’s good, but it didn’t go nearly far enough. He needs to repent publicly and in person to Dr Duncan and his family and do whatever it takes to make this ess right.

  6. truthinator says:

    This is not the first nor will it be the last. Look, even REAL churches have problems with control cliques. They also do underhanded things. Is the pastor to blame? Yes and no.

    Yes, because he is the spiritual leader. He should preach the bible and expose those who are involved in such shinanigans (if he knows about it).

    No, if the leadership of the church has more power than the pastor and they are the ones involved in the wrong-doing. I have seen this happen before. The leadership has firing authority over the pastor. The pastor can only do so much but he should expose this as corruption.

    Many and maybe even most churches are businesses first and spiritual concerns second. People gain power, prestige, and money from churches. God will judge them in the end. A pastor can only do his best to be faithful. A corrupt elders or deacons board will do what it wants.

    I am not defending Noble. I believe he is a snake. I think the entire NewSpring thing is a sham. I am glad it has been exposed. If there are real Christians there, maybe they will get into a real Church.

  7. Matthew says:

    Heinous. That is the word best used to describe the behaviour of Maxwell and NewSpring and Perry Noble.

    Heinous.

  8. Rose says:

    Even if Noble didn’t know it was going on …(and I personally think he did, at least to some degree)…he has set the tone at his church for this type of behavior. He constantly verbally attacks anyone who dares to be critical of his ministry style. He sees nothing wrong with calling people (fellow Christians) names…sometimes using pretty colorful language to describe his critics. His minions are only following the example of he himself has set…an intolerance of anyone who finds fault with him or his ministry. He feels he is above correction from anyone and his congregation is fiercely defensive of him. This is just the result.

  9. amy h says:

    Maybe Noble wasn’t aware of the situation in the beginning… But he sure is now! So now that he’s aware, even if he feigned ignorance at the beginning, he has yet to apologise or make things up to Dr Duncan.

    In fact, the only restitution made in any way was not voluntary, but was the result of an investigation through which civil-type damages were begrudgingly paid.

    • Chrystal says:

      I was listening to Dr. Duncan being interviewed by Chris Rosebrough on Pirate Christian Radio. Rosebrough made a good point when he said that in business, the excuse that “I didn’t know” won’t wash. If someone goes rogue and does something like this, the CEO is held responsible regardless because the person doing it worked for his business. Moreso for the church.

  10. Julie says:

    “And be ye kind one to another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” ~Ephesians 4:32~

    “Then said Jesus, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do …” ~Luke 23:34~

    “Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned, forgive, and ye shall be forgiven.” ~Luke 6:37~

    I am a college student at Anderson University where Duncan works, and I go to Newspring and am a member there. i volunteer and absolutely love it! Because i am a member does that mean Perry Noble knows what i do every minute of everyday outside of the Church! NO! These men were wrong in their actions, there is no excuse for what they did and said to Duncan, but how is Noble to blame! Are any of you parents? Do you really think you know everything your children do, as a teeneger, i can assure you, you do not. How can you sit here and criticize Perry for not knowing what his members are doing outside of church, and you dont even know what your own children are doing behind your back.

    As Christians, we are called not to Judge. So instead of judging these men we should be showing them the way and helping them. And as for judging Noble- i think that is ridiculous! He is helping the Kingdom of God and people are getting saved! I was saved while attending Newspring!! This Church is amazing and if you would step back, drop your opinion for a few minutes, and just realize this Church is helping people get into Heaven, then maybe you wouldn’t be so quick to judge!

    • Chrystal says:

      Julie,

      As Christians we are called to judge. Christianity requires judgment and discernment in order to be safe from false doctrine. The Bible is replete with instructions telling us to weigh what we’re being taught, to reject false doctrine, and to know them that labor among us. We’re told to try the spirits, and how can we do that unless we use Biblical judgment.

      Now, parents may not know what their children are doing at all times, but if they pick up a gun and shoot someone or themselves, simply saying, “I didn’t know they had it” won’t float. They’ll lock them up faster than a wink.

      The Biblical standard is to know those who labor among us. We are also given guidelines and standards for leaders. Noble fails miserably all the way around. When he’s shown how his teaching is false Biblically, he rejects these admonitions and calls the messengers jackasses.

      Please take those Scriptures you quoted and use them in context. The way you’re representing them here makes it sound like we are to turn a blind eye to false doctrine because it is unloving to point it out. Wrong! It is loving to contend for the faith as we are instructed in God’s Word. Those who teach false doctrine are not really in the grace of God, and are to be held to the standard of heretics. We are to reject them.

      As for the “Judge not” scripture you quoted from Luke, if you’ll read it in context you will see that Jesus was instructing against hypocrisy, not biblical discernment.

      As noted before, simply saying, “I didn’t know” isn’t good enough. That would never hold in a court of law, and shouldn’t be tolerated in church. Perry Noble now knows of this, and his way of handling it is shameful. He twisted and warped the truth and tried to make this all about money with hints that Duncan’s motives are mercenary. Had he been a true minister of Christ, he would have publicly apologized. Instead, he has circled the wagons and refuses to address it beyond the one statement that was made (which was full of erroneous information).

  11. Denise says:

    We are to judge a thing to be of Christ or not. Moreover those in Christ are to expose dark deeds:

    Eph 5:6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not become partners with them…11 Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.

    Julie, you are judging others for judging, which is hypocrisy…the very thing Jesus was saying NOT to do in Matthew 7 that you so loosely referred to! You are disobeying the very words of Jesus about judging hypocritically.

  12. Denise says:

    A church cannot help a single soul get into heaven, Julie. Salvation is not a cooperation of man with God; its solely the work of God. No one, no church nor person can take any credit, no matter how little, to say they are helping anyone get saved. That is only the work of the Holy Spirit…and He is not dependant upon anyone or anything to save a soul.

    So what gospel is coming out of New Spring that would reap horrific behavior and bad teaching that we see in its members? What is it that people are hearing there and think they are now saved by? What is the real Gospel?

    What is the Gospel? Is it a message of glad tidings from Heaven to make God-defying rebels at ease in their wickedness? Is it given for the purpose of assuring the pleasure-crazy young people that, providing they only “believe” there is nothing for them to fear in the future? One would certainly think so from the way in which the Gospel is presented—or rather perverted—by most of the “evangelists,” and the more so when we look at the lives of their “converts.” … It is not an announcement that God has relaxed His justice or lowered the standard of His holiness.

    And do you imagine that the Gospel is magnified or God glorified by going to worldlings and telling them that they “may be saved at this moment by simply accepting Christ as their personal Saviour” while they are wedded to their idols and their hearts still in love with sin? If I do so, I tell them a lie, pervert the Gospel, insult Christ, and turn the grace of God into lasciviousness.

    …And that is why so many are fatally deceived, for there are multitudes who wish to escape the Lake of Fire who have no desire to be delivered from their carnality and worldliness.

    Salvation is by grace, by grace alone, for a fallen creature cannot possibly do anything to merit God’s approval or earn His favour. Nevertheless, Divine grace is not exercised at the expense of holiness, for it never compromises with sin. It is also true that salvation is a free gift. but an empty hand must receive it, and not a hand which still tightly grasps the world!

    No one can receive Christ as Saviour while he rejects Him as Lord.

    Those preachers who tell sinners they may be saved without forsaking their idols, without repenting, without surrendering to the Lordship of Christ, are as erroneous and dangerous as others who insist that salvation is by works and that Heaven must be earned by our own efforts.

    ~A.W. Pink

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