Yesterday morning, Rick Warren posted this tweet on Twitter:

The link in that tweet will take you to an article posted on The Gospel Coalition’s website entitled, “Multi-Site Churches Are from the Devil.”   The article was written by Thabiti Anyabwile, Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church of Grand Cayman in the Grand Cayman Islands and a Council member with The Gospel Coalition.  The gist of the article is this:

At bottom, I think the kind of multi-site churches (realizing there are a few different approaches) that feature one pastor being beamed into several sites around a region—and in some cases around the country or world—is simply idolatry.  It’s certainly cult of personality multiplied and digitized for a consumer audience.  As a brilliant young man remarked to me this morning, “The pastor now becomes the new icon in the midst of the Protestant worship service.”  I think that’s well said.  Video multi-site tends to idolatry, pride, and self-promotion—even where the ambition of spreading the gospel is genuine.  In other words, the ends do not justify the means because some of the ends produced will undoubtedly be odious in God’s sight.  (Source)

I couldn’t have said it better.

Rick Warren linked to the comment section of that article and posted the above tweet.  Shortly thereafter, James MacDonald, pastor of Harvest Bible Chapel gave Warren the honor of a retweet.  I don’t think it’s a coincidence that MacDonald himself was the subject of the article.  See below:

It’s no surprise that Warren would find the content of the above article offensive, but I find it interesting that MacDonald would agree with Warren and publicly affirm him with a retweet.  First, he gave Steven Furtick the right hand of fellowship by having him preach at his church, then he invited T.D. Jakes to his next Elephant Room event, and now he’s retweeting Rick Warren.  Seems like that downward spiral is getting tighter and faster, doesn’t it?

MacDonald doesn’t see things like we do.  Retweeting, doing a program, or inviting a false teacher to take the pulpit at your church isn’t, according to MacDonald, lending credibility to them.  I disagree.  What do you think?

Update:  Here is Phil Johnson’s tweet in response to Rick Warren’s tweet:


Ummmmm…. Amen!

56 thoughts on “Fiddle-Dee-Dee

  1. Kevin Kleint

    MacDonald and Warren promoting each other is no big surprise. The “You Scratch My Back, I’ll Scratch Yours” philosophy is how they both benefit. When I worked at the Elijah List, it was the same way (

    Idolizing “God’s Man of Power for the Hour” is nothing new. Whether by internet, television or tent meeting, it’s always easier to look to the man instead of God. People did it with Moses, and they have been doing it ever since.

    I think, however, it would be better to judge this situation by the message preached, NOT the venue in which it is preached. There are a (small) handful of people out there using the internet to preach a solid biblical message. And, as long as it is not used for self-exultation, I feel we are obligated to use any means necessary to get the Word of God out there.

    Many blessings,

  2. formeratheist

    Another unfortunate side effect somebody pointed out before is that these multi-site churches with the same pastor beamed all over the place prevent new leaders from rising to fill pulpits. As one pastor fills multiple pulpits via the power of technology, some young leader who God is calling to the ministry may be deprived of a golden opportunity. I do not believe that is how God intended things to be.

  3. Jennifer McSparin (@mcjennn)

    I wasn’t totally surprised to see MacDonald invite TD Jakes to the ER-MacDonald lately has been playing follow-the-leader with the Furtick/Noble/Young (Ed Young, Jr.) trio. Jakes has shared the stage with Furtick and Young, and Furtick has been courting him to speak at his “Code Orange Revival” in January. MacDonald’s wife also recently joined the wives of Furtick and Young on a mission trip to Haiti.

    So, seeing MacDonald re-tweet Warren (who seems almost normal compared to those he’s been keeping company with) isn’t a surprise. Warren has said before that he “thinks highly” of the ministries of Furtick, Noble, and Young. He’s kind of the puppetmaster of the seeker-driven crowd, so it just seems natural that MacDonald would follow his lead.

  4. Ian Vincent

    Warren, in his Tweet, is asking for an accountability-free world.

    The PDL is a trivialization of the gospel. It’s about pursuing personal, selfish ambition and agendas. Accepting Jesus is presented as a formality, the hoop one must jump thru first, in order to launch into creating your own world based on your selfish ambition. Like, tick the “Jesus” box first, it won’t take long and it’s quick and easy, won’t take much of your time, then your are all set to pursue your selfish ambitions “for God”.

    And like RW, you too can merchandize (prostitute) the gospel and get rich and famous! You too can have such a “purpose driven life”, as RW has.

  5. Jess

    Rick Warren ~ thumbs down.
    Phil Johnson ~ thumbs up… way to hit the nail on the head!!! LOVED it!

    I wish pastor’s would stop whining about people criticizing them all the time. It comes across as very juvenile… at least that’s my opinion.

  6. Javanut

    Thanks for the update Chrystal! I follow Phil Johnson on Twitter but had no idea what his tweet was about. I don’t have the patience to follow some of the nutcases out there but I’m glad someone does:)

  7. Theological Schnauzer

    So…if something happened to all this technology tomorrow and we were back to the tech level of ancient Rome would they simply make a statue…say of James Macdonald or Rick Warren…and worship that instead?? Perhaps they would have someone (a…Priest?) read the ‘message’ from the “Pastor” delivered by some form of messenger?? Change the variables around a bit and that’s called idolatry and/or Paganism.
    This whole multi-site video church thing just sounds creepy on a lot of levels, I’m sorry. I’ve been reading here for a long time (I’m a moderator on a site for ex-Pentecostals) I just had to comment on this one, I couldn’t hold it in any longer.

    Disclaimer: I’m a former Christian myself, but I got a basic theological education in both Catholic and mainstream Protestant schools and was a devout Christian for most of my life…why am I not now? Honestly, the things this site discusses have much to do with that. This sort of thing is NOT what I was taught Christianity was about, Period. If you’re going to call yourself a Christian, live by what the Bible says please, if you wanna have your face on a big screen go see if you got the chops to make it in Hollywood, not the Church.

    If you wanna do what you wanna do, why not just do it?? Why waste the time and potentially risk spiritual consequences with twisting the Scriptures?? I would think God would be more merciful to an honest publican than someone who claims to be a believer, but is not really. That’s just my opinion, but just because I’m not a practicing Christian anymore does not mean I don’t read the Bible. I often wonder if some of the ‘Christians’ today are reading the same Bible I had to when I was a kid.

  8. Rev's Kate & Rich M.

    Hi Theo Schnauz– you’ve been there, done that, I get it.

    However, let’s be practical, put all the drama and hyper-charismatic, super-duper theatrics aside–throw out the Internet junk and the TV slop; forget goofy doctrine, WOF, Dominionism, et al– you are a smart man (right gender?), sit down with your heavenly Father and have a nice, real heart to heart and tell Him what’s on your mind.

    The reason I suggest this is, and I think you probably do this already, you really care about Jesus Christ and His sacrifice for you–and you know He’ll never leave you nor forsake you–man will always disappoint, but Christ will never, ever leave you hanging precipitously.

    God bless you and may the peace which passes all understanding be with you always. :) K

  9. Theological Schnauzer

    I suppose you’re right. Sometimes I don’t know why I care so much about this sort of thing, but I do…and yes, male dog here.

  10. shane

    “was a devout Christian for most of my life…why am I not now?”
    Sounds like you were a Christian in name only. 1John2:19

  11. Theological Schnauzer

    Hmmm…Judge not, that ye be not judged, for with what judgement ye judge ye will be judged, and the measure ye mete will be measured against you again??

    That’s from memory, I didn’t look it up, and rather than a defensive, reflexive quotation, I will say that’s pretty rich coming from somebody who doesn’t know me or know anything about me…or how I got to my current spiritual viewpoint. You also do not know…can not have known…either my state of mind or my beliefs over the span of my life. I was raised going to church and did not set foot in a Public school until the 8th Grade, my dad’s side of the family is filled with people who are lifelong, churchgoing…by any standard I can even think of…devout Christians. I can clearly remember the first time I talked to God, I remember everything about that moment. I was five. I’ve had more than one of those…as I like most people have turned away and come back to spiritual things multiple times in my life. I am however, a spiritual person so when I have done that…it always comes back to bite me in the end. Like I said, I don’t even know why I still care about these matters…except perhaps that something outside myself is not letting me go.

    Eleven years ago, I had a severe crisis of faith prompted by the disintigration of my marriage to a Pentecostal woman…and deepend a year of dealing with a divorce, her mental problems, and stalking which yes, did result in law enforcement getting involved. She wrecked my life as I knew it at the time, was emotionally and verbally abusive, partied up or spent all my money, cheated on me while I was at work, and basically caused me a lot of problems for a few years even AFTER I left.

    Summary judgements from Christians reflexively taking her side or telling me I was not a true Christian for leaving her did not help matters at all. I became very angry toward God and religion in general, much less Christianity, in that timeframe. If things would have continued that way, I would most likely be an Atheist of the most strident variety by now. However, something would not let me stop believeing in God, something wouldn’t let me take that step and I can not to this day explain what it was.

    In the intervening time I moved and got another job. I did attend a very good Evangelical non-denominational church for a few years, but it’s an hour away and not very economical for me to go to these days. There’s lots of churches in this town I could attend but the ones I’ve gone to just didn’t seem right somehow. Since then, I’ve pretty much quit religion. I believe in God, honestly, I would say that I believe in Jesus. However, religiously I don’t consider myself to be anything at all, I’m just me. I still talk to God, still follow a moral code largely left over from being a Christian, and try to do the best I can just like most other people.

    I just don’t care much for organized religion at all, Especially the way things keep going where it really does seem like the decievers and false prophets keep gaining ground…and I get snarky drive by comments like “you were never really a Christian” when ever I attempt to discuss these matters in a place like this…I figure what’s the point?? I don’t have anything at all I have to prove to you, but I do have something to say.

    The Bible says true religion is to do justice and love kindness, and walk humbly with your God.

    Where’s the Grace, justice, or kindness in simply leveling some accusation like that when you don’t even know a person, much less what they’ve been through??

    I signed in on here simply to comment on something that I thought needed something said about it, that’s all. Now I don’t think I’ll be back, at all. Why?? Because I feel that what you said isn’t just offensive, it’s disrespectful and it’s wrong, in quite a Biblical sense. Before you go and judge a person’s spiritual state (current OR former) you ought to try taking into account what they’ve been through, walk a mile in their shoes so to speak.

    I’m out.

    To the moderator; I have found your blog to be useful and informative, so it’s not you in particular. To Rev K & R up top there, I’ll keep your comment in mind, and thank you. However, I do not wish to associate myself with a place that’s suddenly triggering anger and bad memories of a time in my life I’d rather not recall so vividly.

  12. Rev's Kate & Rich M.

    Okay Theo–keep caring–as you should, but don’t even think of forsaking your Lord because you will be a miserable, old fool–fighting against a tide you will never push back; you’ll just keep beating your brains out for nothing–it’s a useless waste of your time as you could be serving Christ the way He wants you to.

    Lastly, a great scripture for you–full of encouragement: Isaiah 58:11, “The Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your soul…”.

    God’s best!

  13. Berakah

    To T. Schnauzer-you are painfully honest in your assessment of the church world today. And as the site states, the sheep are being slaughtered right and left and hardly anyone notices it. My two cents worth is: yes, what is in the Word and what is being displayed out there are two very different things. We had to get out of the church and dig into the Word for ourselves to try to figure out what the Truth was without all of the spin and hype. At this moment we don’t fellowship anywhere but in our home with one other believer. May you keep on digging and sort out what is Truth and what is not and know that God loves you lots and Rev Kate is right-Jesus will NEVER leave you or disappoint you and sometimes knowing that is enough for now.

  14. Carolyn

    @Theological Schnauzer
    Don’t let the devil steal your salvation. It is a free gift.

    I know… much confusion in the Christian world of politics but Kate is right; the Word of God does not lie. If you go back to that and read it carefully, you will always find that the confustion comes where man has wrongly added to it or subtracted from it…and that includes all doctrine.

    TS…Faith is tested. Fight the good fight of faith. It will be worth it in the end. Satan, using every means possible, has twisted the meaning of faith to mean other than salvation to all who believe, to all who remain firm in their belief to the end.
    1 Timothy 6:12
    Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
    2 Timothy 4:7
    I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

    Resist the devil and he will flee. Humble yourself before God…and he will lift you up.
    Our prayers are with you!

  15. ali

    It would appear left wing radicals are becoming more and more bold. What was once done by a minority seems to be exploding across America – spewing tolerance and acceptability wherever it goes.

    Has Rick Perry opened Pandora’ box? Time will tell.!!.

  16. ian vincent

    You too can have such a “purpose driven life”, as RW has.

    You too can become like Rick Warren! (PDL worked for him)

    You too can become grossly over-weight!

    and make a lot of money peddling Christian books and preaching for big sums of money!

    You too can join hands with Islam and preach that we worship the same God!

    And hence, the reason for the books success. it appeals to the carnal nature.

  17. ian vincent

    Rick Warren will come to the Judgment Day and realize he totally missed the purpose of God and the high calling of Jesus Christ. “Purpose Driven”, yes, but the wrong purpose, as it flies outside the scope of the NT.

    This is the issue : Men are driven to pursue things which Jesus and the Apostles NEVER pursued or were driven to do. None were driven, anyway, they were submitted.

    To know the purpose of God for your life is an unfolding revelation, as you grow to maturity in Christ.

  18. Patricia DB Jones

    I don’t consider it a given that all multi-site churches encourage idolatry. I believe Woodmen Valley Chapel in Colorado Springs, Colorado has managed to share services without the idolatry. They have several pastors who share the pulpit, so they can offer opportunities to the younger leaders.

  19. rosewater

    I kinda hate that so many pastors (those that are false teachers and not) have seemingly taken to twitter in back and forth jabbing….I understand that it’s because many have closed their ears to the truth but I just hope those that are on twitter tweeting are on their knees praying for these people.

  20. anastasis

    Whilst I share Thabiti Anyabwile’s views on multi-site churches and the way they make pastors into idols, I wish he could have expressed himself using more measured language. I really don’t think it is appropriate or loving to use language like “from the devil” about other christians and churches. All it does is reduce what should be serious discussion into trading insults. Why couldn’t he just say “In my view, multi-site churches are unbiblical because…”?

  21. shane

    Satan cannot steal anyone’s salvation if they are truly saved. Neither can they walk away from it but most importantly they will not want to walk away from it. Salvation is not a gift that can be given back, picked up, laid down, stolen, forfeited, or given back to God and etc.

  22. IWTT

    What I find in these multi-site churches (the one I was very involved with for 10+ years) is that the people first of all, are the ones that put them on a pedastal which eventually will corrupt (not all, but many) the leaders sense of humilty, plus the whole unbiblical teachings of “unity” becomes an another issue because when this is “attacked” you are in “disunity” and then the pastor(s) become authoritarian above and beyond the boundries of scripture and as it continues and more people think the man/woman is the “best thing since sliced bread” pride has taken it’s ugly root deep and you have an idol, the person that “preaches” rather than worshiping the true Lord, Jesus Christ.

    The other part of these multi-site churches is since there is such “growth” in the parent church this is one way of getting multiple services taken care of by doing it maybe twice a Sunday rather than having four services. Many a pastor who are “in-charge” are only willing to disciple a new leader that is in the same thought and direction as the senior pastor, so “letting go” is not so easy a thing.

  23. Carolyn

    Shane – your Calvinism is showing. As a non Calvanist…I DO believe we have a choice even once we have come to know Christ. He does not bar the door and lock us in…just like marriage. It’s a binding contract until someone becomes unfaithful.

    I was told by a Calvinist that free will is a fairy tale. That makes everything I say to him slightly distorted and everything that he says to me slightly distorted. And does it matter? Yes, in the end of our discussion, it definitely mattered. We had irreconcilable differences. How can we both look at the same Scriptures and see them differently? Well, I was accused of being on the side of Armineus…which I really am not…because I can barely say his name…I have since educated myself but I have always just been a Christian. And that is what I will stay.

    Choose love, choose whom you will serve, choose life…I can’t imagine life without a choice. I know that God is faithful even when we are faithless, but he doesn’t override our choice. It would not longer be a free choice. If I wilfully and stubbornly walk away in anger…that is a choice i make. And he is patient and he waits but he will not wait forever. There is a cut off day…in death.

    If everything was already signed, sealed and delivered, as Calvinists say, what is the point of evangelism? what is the point of this blog site – talking about the sheep being slaughtered? what is the point of Christ telling us not to be deceived? What is the point of the Great White Throne Judgement?

    No sense getting into a big discussion about Calvinism here. It’s all over the net. But for you I made an exception. Becuase you addressed my comment directly. I will address yours (in love).

    TS – In listening to your story, I can understand your pain. Many of us have had diabolical things done to us. But God can and will comfort you and give you wisdom if you ask. He has promised. There is a reason that God allows us to go through afflictions…for the perfecting of our faith. And you have to do a lot of reading and praying to align your thinking with God’s thinking in that area. It’s really a lifelong walk…..I really pray that you will open your heart back up to God and let him take your cares and your mess and turn it for good. God loves you…believe it!!!
    Nahum 1:7
    The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him,

  24. Doug

    The first multi-church ‘flatscreen’ pastor I was aware of was Robert Tilton- he was being beamed from Texas into Missouri, and a friend was excited about his ministry-this was back in my Pentecostal days in 1985. I wonder what she thinks of him and his ilk now.

  25. shane

    “Shane – your Calvinism is showing.”
    I simply believe that Scripture teaches that man left to his own desires and “choice”, hates God and wants nothing to do with Him and will never accept Him and cannot come to Jesus unless the Father gives him the ability (John3:19; Romans3:11; John6:44).
    What God starts He will finish (Philippians1:6)
    Besides, if a person could lose, forfeit, or have their salvation taken away then Jesus is a liar. In John6:37-39 Jesus says that all of those given to Him by the Father He will raise them up at the last day. In doing that He is accomplishing the Father’s will. So if a true believer can lose or forfeit their salvation then Jesus is a liar or a failure because He would have lied about giving them eternal life or He failed to do the Father’s will.
    Most Christians give man too much credit and attribute to man abilities he does not have.

  26. Darrel

    For Carolyn and others that are trying to make the break from the pentecostal/charasmatic (pc) movement: It was shocking to read that you, Carolyn, believe that salvation can be lost or opted out of. For one that seems so firm in others areas, standing for the truth of the Gospel, this is troubling. If the scriptures are the only and final authority concerning this, then please educate us. My suggestion would be to read the Gospel of John where can be found dozens of verses that speak to this and all of them tell us that “losing” or “opting out of” salvation is impossible. Chapters one, three, six, and eight are chocked full of verses that confirm this. Nearly the whole book of Romans speaks to this also. Actually, one would be hardpressed to find one book in the entire Bible that does not address this in some way or another.

    Please understand that I in no way say these things to demean you, belittle you, or condemn you, but as one who had his first introduction to a faux gospel in a pc meeting at the age of 16 I know how strong this doctrine is to those who chose to believe it. I am now 64 having been saved nearly seven years ago. May I say as gently and as firmly, as loving and as dogmatic that you have believed a lie. Please read the above mentioned scriptures in light of James 1:5&6, asking the Father for wisdom, which He will graciously grant you.

  27. Kevin Kleint

    Hi Darrell/Carolyn, forgive me for barging in on the conversation …. but there are verses to back up BOTH of your points. There are verses that say that God is faithful to complete the work He started in you, and how He loves you and won’t give up on you. Then there are verses that say it is possible for Him to blot out your name from the Book of Life (Rev. 3:5). If we all value every scripture with equal authority (which I do), then we need to acknowledge both sides as having merit. I know that “settling somewhere in the middle” really comes against our opinions and biases … but until God gives us revelation, that is where we must stand.

    I believe in a faithful, loving God …. but as long as their remains even a remote possibility that I could trample on His grace (Heb 10:29-31), I go to great lengths to please my Father, Friend and King.

    Many blessings to both of you,

    Kevin Kleint

  28. Teresa


    Hey…..How are you doing?. I have not commented on this forum for sometime but when I read you comment, i felt it was time to do so.
    I have no comment to make of my own but here is a comment posted by Mike Larsen from another one of Chrystal’s blog rolls in 2010. He posted this comment to address someone on thw very subject of one loosing their salvation.
    Carolyn, this has nothing to do with Calviniism but “all to do with scripture” I am going to paste part of what he posted because his comment was addressed to someone else and I do not feel that would be apporiacate. It took me a while to find this but I pray that it will bless you.

    Here is his comment in part.

    Galatians tells us that we have been crucified with Christ and it is no longer we who live, but Christ lives in us (2.20). To lose my salvation would mean I become UN-crucified with Christ (Gal. 2.20). I become UN-hidden (Col. 3.3). I become an UN-holy nation, an UN-royal priesthood, UN-born again, UN-peculiar (1 Pet. 2.9), UN-grafted (Rom. 11.23), UN-filled with the Spirit (Eph. 5.18), no longer a child of God (Rom. 8.14-15), erased from the Book of Life (Php 4.3), no longer a friend of God (John 15.15), UN-justified (Rom. 5.1), UN-united (1 Cor. 6.17), no longer a new creation (2 Cor. 5.17); new things will become old (2 Cor. 5.17), no longer an heir (Gal. 4.6,7), no longer God’s workmanship (Eph. 2.10), no longer a citizen of heaven (Eph. 2.19), no longer a member of Christ’s body (1 Cor. 12.27), no longer united to the Lord and one spirit with Him (1 Cor. 6.17), no longer a temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 3.16; 1 Cor. 6.19), no longer the righteousness of God in Christ (2 Cor. 5.21), no longer enslaved to God (Rom. 6.22), no longer chosen and ordained by Christ to bear fruit (John 15.16), no longer the salt of the earth (Matt. 5.13), no longer the light of the world (Matt. 5.14), no longer part of the true vine (John 15.1-2), no longer filled with the divine nature of Christ (2 Pet. 1.4), no longer an expression of the life of Christ (Col. 3.4), no longer chosen of God, holy and dearly loved (Col. 3.12), no longer a child of light (1 Thess. 5.5), no longer a partaker of the heavenly calling (Heb. 3.1), no longer more than a conqueror (Rom. 8.37), no longer a partaker with Christ and sharing in His life (Heb. 3.14), no longer one of God’s living stones (1 Pet. 2.5), no longer an enemy of the devil (1 Pet. 5.8), no longer an alien and a stranger to this world (1 Pet. 2.11), no longer seated in heavenly places in Christ (Eph. 2.6), no longer saved by grace (Eph. 2.8), no longer a recipient of every spiritual blessing in heavenly places in Christ (Eph. 1-6 – The WHOLE book), no longer redeemed by the blood of the lamb (Rev. 5.9), no longer a part of the Bride of Christ (Rev. 19.7), and no longer a true worshiper who worships the Father in spirit and in truth (John 4.24).

    If you REALLY want to believe that can all be undone, I feel sorry for you because you must live in abject fear of losing your salvation BASED UPON YOUR WORKS, rather than knowing that you are saved SOLELY by His grace through faith.

    In His service,


  29. Carolyn

    Shane and Darrel:

    I hope you can be a little patient with us non Calvinists. Until this very year, I had no clue what Calvin taught, so it has been quite a learning curve for me.

    As I have read the arguments and discussions from both sides of the debate…I have landed somewhere in the middle. I know God’s ways are far beyond our understanding so I would not be surprised if we all get a few surprises about our dogmatic stances once we see him face to face.

    All will be clear…meanwhile I continue to read it as I see it and see it as I read it and exercise my choice to believe, to walk in the light as he is in the light and to give the devil no foothold.

    Good tidings of Great Joy! Be Blessed! Carolyn

  30. Carolyn

    Shane: I agree with everything you said. I think we are talking about apples and oranges
    In the case for the apples, If keeping my salvation depended on MY ability to remain righteous, then I would not be a Christian today. Jude :24 To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— 25 to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.
    Christ upholds me in righteousness IF I continue in belief which is also how I started. Hebrews 11:6
    And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

    However, in the case for the oranges, if we turn away in unbelief…wilful sin, disobedience, anger, drunkeness, fear, malice, bitter roots, idolatry, etc….then IF we are not brought back to repentence, that is a choice we made to depart from the faith.
    James 5:19 My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, 20 remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.

    Where does God’s Sovereign will end and man’s belief begin?
    I don’t think any mortal can answer that…not even Calvin. I feel quite comfortable in saying “I don’t know.”

    In light of Calvin’s 5 point theology TULIP, how do you explain these Scriptures if we are not a freewill agent? I think Calvin took God’s sovereignty to the extreme where we have no personal responsibility…yes we were predestined and yes we have a choice between belief and unbelief.

    Luke 13:34
    “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. (Please explain “not willing” – without twisting the meaning)

    Hebrews 3:19
    So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief.
    why would unbelief matter if God predestined them with unbelief?

    6 But Christ is faithful as the Son over God’s house. And we are his house, if indeed we hold firmly to our confidence and the hope in which we glory.
    (notice the little world “if”…… I read “personal responsibility”.

    Warning Against Unbelief
    7 So, as the Holy Spirit says:
    “Today, if you hear his voice,
    8 do not harden your hearts
    as you did in the rebellion,
    during the time of testing in the wilderness,
    Note: we have the ability to harden our hearts through repeated unbelief. In Pharaoh’s case it says the Lord hardened his heart. I think hardness is the natural progression of unbelief…

    In the case study of Noah…it has been estimated that there were 7 billion people who died in Noah’s flood. That means that there were 7 billion people that made a choice of unbelief (unless you believe Calvin that God predestined those 7 billion people to hell and they did not have a choice).

    You see, that’s where I have a problem. I cannot believe that God creates and predestines people to hell. What I do believe in is progression of evil……yes I believe that. And God allows the progression of evil because he has given men a choice between light and darkness.
    John 3:19
    This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.

    Are we on the same track?

  31. Darrel

    Carolyn, the problem that I attempted to address was not Calvanism vs. Armenianism; rather it was the losing of God’s redemptive work in a believer. Teresa’s quote from Mike Larsen gave dozens of scriptures that should answer the question and leave no doubt as to the folly of believing that the loss of God’s gift of salvation is possible. If it is still not settled in your heart then I must pose difficult questions to you: do you want to lose your salvation? Is the only thing that will guarantee entrance into heaven is the fact that you held on to the bitter end? (held on to what?) Is the supremacy of your will over that of the Father’s so important to you that He must take second place to you? If the answer to any of these is ‘yes’ then where is faith? Just exactly who is it that you trust to ultimately save you? Jesus Christ or the will and works of Carolyn? All of this goes way beyond the Calvanism/Armenian debate. The real assault here is on the very character of the Father (Who holds you), the Son (Who died and rose again for you) and the Holy Spirit (Who sealed you until the day of redemption).

    Luke 24:45

  32. Carolyn

    Teresa….howdy stranger. Good to hear from ya!
    My answer to you…apples and oranges. (read my last post)

    Kevin – feel free to jump in anytime. I agree with your post…you are right on! Funny we should both use the word “middle”.

  33. shane

    “Where does God’s Sovereign will end and man’s belief begin?”
    God’s will never ends. Whatever He wants to accomplish will come to pass. Unless God steps in a persons life then that person will never believe. That person will always turn away from God.
    Isaiah55:11; Romans8:28; Romans3:11
    God has revealed Himself to man (Romans1) but man has taken that revelation and chosen to worship idols instead of the creator.

    Why can’t God do with His creation as He wills?

    “In the case study of Noah…it has been estimated that there were 7 billion people who died in Noah’s flood. That means that there were 7 billion people that made a choice of unbelief (unless you believe Calvin that God predestined those 7 billion people to hell and they did not have a choice). ”
    “Genesis 6:5 And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”
    All of those people were evil God hating blasphemers. Just as we are until God graciously steps in to save us. Those 7 billion people got the justice they deserved. Noah and his family got the grace, mercy, and salvation they did not deserve. Just as all true Christians received the grace, mercy, and salvation they did not deserve.
    Man is not by nature a God loving sinless being that deserves God’s love and mercy.

  34. Rev's Kate & Rich M.

    Teresa! The Teresa from WV? Our buddy whom I have missed and had loads of fun with and prayed to hear something from? Yay!

    How’s the family? And so glad to see you again. K

  35. Teresa


    I am wonderful, it is cold here in Wisconsin. Carolyn, I, Shane nor Darrel can not change your mind, only God can. I will I try to change your mind but I will share what I have come to know as truth by the spirit and by the word of God.
    Three years ago when I moved to Wisconsin from West Virgina…I had no clue what the truth was. I asked God to open my eyes and my heart to see and know the truth. Just like God opened Lydia heart in the book of Acts to receive the Gospel. The key is God opened her heart not Lydia to receive. I knew I had to get a clear biblical view of the God of the bible not what I think or any one else told me.
    So the question we are trying to answer is can one loose their salvation. First, I will say that you can not loose something you never had to begin with. Second (John 10:27-28) 27My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
    28And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. 29My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. No one, not even me, not even satan.
    Eph 1: 13-14 (13) In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, 14)Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory. (Just notice where is says the gospel of your salvation.)
    Carolyn, do you not believe that the same God that saved you is the same God that will keep you. I can not imagine, if one truly belongs to the LORD, why would one ever want to walk away.
    I would like to ask you a few simple question. What did you or I ever do to deserve or merit God gift of grace? the answer for me is simple, nothing. Grace, as you know mean, “unmerited favor” There is nothing that you or I or anyone else could ever do to buy it, earn it or even deserve it, it is a gift.
    Eph 2: 8 -9 8For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9Not of works, lest any man should boast.
    I simply believe that when it comes to our salvation it is in Christ alone and his finished work on the cross. I also beleive that no one seek after God. Romans 3:10-12 10 As it is written , There is none righteous, no, not one: 11 There is none that understandeth , there is none that seeketh after God. 12 They are all gone out of the way , they are together become unprofitable ; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
    I guess another question I need to ask is what do you believe concerning the original sin of Adam and Eve. Do you not believe that the act of one man disobeidence put all man kind into the bondage of sin. Children do not have to be taught how to lie it is just there.
    I believe that we have responsiblity as beleiver’s but when it comes to our salvation it is in Christ Alone. I personally can not find the term “free will” in the bible, that is term came from “pelagianism” I must post a second part sorry.

  36. Teresa

    Man is in bondage to sin Roman 6: 6-7 6Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
    7For he that is dead is freed from sin.
    Eph 2: 1-3 1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;
    2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
    3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

    2 cor 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

    John 6 verses 44 and 65
    44No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
    65And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.

    My best interpretation of these verses is that human beings cannot open their minds, their eye or hearts to Christ apart from a sovereign act of God… who must open them himself or no one could be saved.

    The only way man could be saved is if God lifts the veil of blindness and opened his heart to Jesus Christ.
    Sorry for writing a book and the long post. There are more but this is all I have time for.

    Love you Carolyn…..I pray the LORD will help you on your journey….Love T

  37. Teresa

    In the first part of my book, LOL I will I try to change your mind …..that should have read.. I will not try to change you mind, oops.

  38. Carolyn

    @ Teresa: Last post on this subject:

    True story. For the last 9 months, a friend of my husband’s came and stayed with us. He claims to be a Christian “with problems”. He went to Bible College, claims to have been saved and then became angry with his pastor and left the church. He returned to his drinking for solace.
    Proverbs 26:11
As a dog returns to its vomit, so fools repeat their folly.

    2 Peter 2:22
Of them the proverbs are true: “A dog returns to its vomit,” and, “A sow that is washed returns to her wallowing in the mud.”

    Jesus had this to say about returning to sinful lifestyles once you have been cleansed. He said:
    Matt 12:43 “When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. 44 Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. 45 Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first. That is how it will be with this wicked generation.”

    Today, he drinks 15 beer a day, (at least), you hardly ever see him without a beer and cigarette in his hand and has one of the foulest mouths in town. As I said, he regards himself as a Christian with problems. Ok, I bought that for awhile, and struggled with the concept. I had compassion for him because he crashed, lost his job, his wife and his house. But I was cooking his dinner, giving him free rent and he was a drunken mess most of the time.

    1 Corinthians 5:11
But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.

    1 Corinthians 6:10
nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

    Galatians 5:21
and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

    I have since given him his walking papers and experienced the full spectrom of his hate speech, but I still pray for him that God will grant him repentance. However, the chances of that are narrowing as he is now 60 years old and he refuses to deny himself as Christ has commanded. If he would make the choice, Christ would give the power.

    Either this man was never saved (what you would say) or he has turned back to wallowing in the mud. I am inclined to take these Scriptures and many others at face value. He has not yet sinned unto death but time for repentance is running out for him.

    Colossians 1:22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— 23 if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.
    ….how do you read “if you continue”….

  39. Darrel

    Being so bound and determined to tell God how His salvation works is a stupid and dangerous game. It is the bottomless pit of arrogance to suggest that our will can trump His. It is the foolishness of ignoring scripture and the council thereof only to take a few chosen verses to make a point that is otherwise unmakeable.

    Hebrews ten: v.26 “For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sin”. So tell me those who hold to the idea that a person can waltz in and out of “salvation” at the whim of the moment, how do you intend to be born again the second time? or the third time? or the fourth time? How many times can a person be born again? Is there a limit? Who determines when will be the last time that the Spirit will “born again” a person again? Reading a few verses further we find what God’s response is. Such a person has “trampled under foot the Son of God, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing and insulted the Spirit of grace”. So now some may say that I am proving their point. Not so fast. Let’s look at Hebrews 6: 4-6. ” For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame.” So you think you can be lost after God REALLY saves you here is the consequence of your FREE-WILL choice: You can NEVER be “saved” again unless you find a way to crucify Jesus Christ again just for YOU. If that’s not the bottom of the pit of arrogance, please tell me what is. So you really want to be able to opt out of salvation? then you have NEVER met the Lord Jesus Christ. He is not your santa claus savoir He is KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS. He is utterly soveriegn over all of His creation, you and me included. HE chooses who will be saved no matter the hoops one might claim to jump through in order to garner His favor. He knows the “will” of man, that no man anywhere at any time will choose Him (scriptures have been provided, but cast aside because they reveal the real sin of man-willful unbelief). If indeed you are saved you had best thank Him continually for choosing you, because you would NEVER have chosen Him. A paraphrase of John MacArthur’s comment concerning the “free-will” of man: man has a free will, he is free to choose the sin by which he rebels against God.

    The free-will of man has been elevated to idol status. For those who wish to hold to it’s tenants you will never know the real joy of being forgiven because you will always claim to have had a part in the greatest act of creation ever accomplished by the Savior and Creator Jesus Christ that is the REGENERATION of a lost, dying, sin filled and hopeless soul. May I humbly suggest that you examine yourselves to see if you really are in the faith. For those who know the boundless grace afforded them and the giving of the gift of life by the Holy Spirit and who consider the shed blood of Jesus Christ to be “precious” and the love of the Father to be unmatched, I will see you at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.

    Revelation 1:18

  40. Teresa

    No Carolyn, I am not saying he is not saved, I am saying that if “he” truly belongs to the LORD…the LORD will bring him back. The LORD brought me back, and brought me out of deception, praise God. We all know the parable of the lost sheep. I will also say the LORD will complete what he started because his word says so.
    Phil 1:6 6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

    Now I am no Greek scholar that is for sure. However, you ask how do you read “if you continue”

    Lexicon results from the strong’s concordance G 1489 and G 1065 renders the words..
    G 1489 If, inasmuch, as, since
    G 1065 Indeed, truly, at least, even, if indeed, seeing that
    Now let us look at other passage’s with the same word” if ” that renders the same words.

    Col 1: 23 if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister ESV

    This translations use “If indeed” that is one of the word rendered. I read it that we as true believer’s are to preserve in the purity of the gospel, we are making progress but have not reach the goal as of yet. We are to remain stable and steadfast, not being lead astray by false teaches, or drift away from the assurance you received, the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven.

    Col 1:23 But you must continue to believe this truth and stand firmly in it. Don’t drift away from the assurance you received when you heard the Good News. The Good News has been preached all over the world, and I, Paul, have been appointed as God’s servant to proclaim NLT

    I believe that Paul was exhorting them to continue to believe this truth and stand firmly in it because there were false teachers just like there are today.

    Carolyn, We do have responsibily to stay in the truth, study to show ourselves approved. love you and God bless you on your journey.

    Kate love you to. My son is taller than me and my 10 year old daughter can wear some of my clothes now, of course I wear an X small. I will not have to buy clothes for the both of us for a while, we can wear each other’s. LOL

    Carolyn, I pray this helps maybe someone else can help better than me. I will be praying for peace for you and joy. Love T

  41. Sandy

    Rather than burning, I like to see it as “iron sharpening iron”. Unfortunately, some prefer to remain “dull” and put on the cape of martyrdom.

  42. unworthy1

    Hello Carolyn,

    I do not desire to debate calvinism, I desire to show you, from God’s word, the truth.
    We will start with Ephesians 2:1,5-And you [hath he quickened], who were
    dead in trespasses and sins’- ‘even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us, together with Christ (by grace ye are saved)’ To quicken means to make alive, God’s mighty supernatural power awakens us from spiritual deadness, something we simply cannot do. Another essential doctrine is grace, which is how we are saved. This is God’s undeserved favor to those He bestows grace upon: now I direct you to Ephesians 2:8-9, ‘For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.’ When someone claims they have free will to choose Jesus, they boast, thus robbing God of glory.
    Let’s not forget Isaiah 42:8 ‘I [am] the LORD: that [is] my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.’

    Jim McClarty explains Ephesians 2:8-9 further-

    I pray the Lord will guide you as you study this –

    Blessings to you,

  43. unworthy1

    When you understand salvation is all of the Lord, then you can be assured you will not lose it. God is immutable, He doesn’t change (Malachi 3:6). When He saves a dead sinner, He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion’-Philippians 1:6 Also remember this from 1 John 5:13, ‘I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that YOU MAY KNOW THAT YOU HAVE ETERNAL LIFE’.

  44. Teresa

    Carolyn,, I meant to say…..persevere in the purity of the gospel not preserve. I did not think that look correct, I am not a good speller. LOL

    Love you sweetie. If you ever want my personal e-mail address. let me know. Later

    P.S. Kate just notice I have some kind of PINK looking icon now but it does not look like a pink chicken thing. LOL

  45. ian vincent

    Purpose Driven – They’ve found a purpose for Jesus
    By ian vincent

    Yes folks! At last they’ve rescued Jesus out of the sea of irrelevancy and found a purpose and use for the Son of God. And what is that? That he can show you what your true destiny and purpose in life is!

    Lo, and behold, Jesus turned out to be useful! He’s no longer irrelevant! (Which is the big fear of worldly-commercial-driven christendom : How exactly Jesus of Nazareth is relevant to the materialistic christian culture they have created) They have now found a “use” for Jesus. And what is that? That he can help you find your purpose in life. That is the purpose for Jesus, the reason he exists, so that he can help you find your purpose.

    Don’t worry! It won’t take long. There is only one small formality to complete first. Accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior. It only takes a few minutes of your time, so relax, it’s quick and easy, so don’t worry. Say these words after me…. Now, that didn’t hurt did it? Congratulations! Now that formality is over you can begin to find your purpose in life, which is the really important thing. Now that Jesus has served his purpose we won’t be referring much anymore to him. Now, it’s all about YOU. YOU are the most important person in the world. YOUR DESTINY is all that matters now.

    Recently when visiting a friend i happened to pick up and read the first chapter of The Purpose Driven Life. First impression was that its a false gospel from the start, but he is tricky in the way he defines things, so while i’m sure some people have a check about it, it may be hard for them to put their finger on the exact reason for their uneasiness.

    The false assumption to begin with is that lost sinners need to find their God-given purpose. That that is the need of man. Then, Jesus is very casually introduced as the means for the lost to find their purpose. VERY casually introduced.

    I was disgusted. Jesus is reduced to only a “helper” or “assistant” for man.

    Man’s rebellion is never addressed, only man’s perceived needs.

    Warren overlooks the fact that even some of the most wicked people in history really believed they had found God’s purpose and destiny for their life, and yes, their “jesus” helped them achieve their purpose.

    A person can’t begin to know what God’s purpose is for them UNTIL they have submitted themselves to Christ and grown to know Him : a process over years.

    Even as a babe in Christ, usually what we think is God’s purpose for our life is still a projection of our own vanity.

  46. Carolyn

    Ian – Your posts about the PD Gospel are good. I was thinking about a time when I was reading “The On Purpose Person”….just before all this Purpose Driven came out. I was struggling with the concept and praying that God would show me if it was right. I kid you not…I was sitting on the couch, beautiful day out, sun shining when a bird flew straight into the window with a earth shaking thud and fell to the ground dead. As I was standing over this lifeless bird I wondered out loud, “what would cause him to fly full speed into the window?” I put myself in his position, looking toward the window and then I saw it. He had seen a reflection of trees, water, sky and thought it was real…but it was only an illusion. It was a parable to me of what I was doing with the book I was reading. The illusion of somehow gaining control over my life through purpose would be a fatal mistake…I responded to God’s cue that day by throwing the book away and picking my Bible up instead. Purpose Driven followers are flying straight into an illusion.

    Chrystal…the idea of Multi site Churches is an image of something. Not the real thing. It is a possible foreshadowing of the image of Revelation…several verses:
    Revelation 13:14
    Because of the signs it was given power to perform on behalf of the first beast, it deceived the inhabitants of the earth. It ordered them to set up an IMAGE in honor of the beast who was wounded by the sword and yet lived.
    Revelation 13:15
    The second beast was given power to give breath to the IMAGE of the first beast, so that the image could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed.
    Revelation 14:9
    A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: “If anyone worships the beast and its IMAGE and receives its mark on their forehead or on their hand,
    Revelation 14:11
    And the smoke of their torment will rise for ever and ever. There will be no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and its IMAGE, or for anyone who receives the mark of its name.”

  47. ian vincent


    Your illustration of the bird flying into the illusion and being killed by that illusion is excellent.

    If it had known that the image it saw was not what it appeared to be, and if it had known it would cause it’s death, it would never have flown into it.

    Similarly, we have to see Jesus and His words for what they are and take heed.

    Is PDL a clear window into seeing Jesus and His words, to see Him as He really is?

  48. Rev's Kate and Rich M.

    Well folks it’s Oct. 22 and we’re still here! How is Mr. Camping doing today, anyone know?

    T, yes the pink chicken thingy will probably be back, the icons are like The Circle of Life, they go on and on.

    Good to see you again you’ve always been a funny, sweet person; keep writing and sharing in your straightforward way. Talk to y’all soon. K

    1. Rev's Kate & Rich M.

      There ya gooo! I am a prophetess–what’d I say about the icons? Kidding, kidding, kidding!

      Chrystal loves to keep us on our toes, have ya noticed? K

  49. Teresa

    Chrystal..Kate….I am laughing my head off. This is to funny. You got to love them ICONS.. Love you guy’s. T

  50. Likeflint

    @Theological Schnauzer on the off-chance you might read this can I just say people are very fallible. We all are. Please dont equate the way “Christians” behave with God. You are obviously an intelligent person and I dont mean to sound condescending but for all the wrongs that people do to us, we cannot hold God to account for them. I myself (like many) have suffered at the hands of “Christians” on a number of occasions, but I eventually realised none of it was God’s “fault”. Everyone who has been hurt by “Christians” need to turn to God on His terms and not allow people to come between them. If I have misunderstood you and have gone off on a tangent, please forgive me.

  51. snorquest

    Where is the line of idolatry?

    Who has a “MacArthur Study Bible”? Does anyone subscribe to podcasts of preachers? Who attends conferences (Psalm 119 conf., Gospel Coalition, etc…) BECAUSE advertise certain speakers? Idolatry can be construed in all these circumstances. Let’s be careful how we sling terms like idolatry, heresy, and the like.

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